At the keynote event of the 2017 Global Investigative Journalism Conference, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz addresses speaks on “Media Power in a Post-Truth World.” Stiglitz is interviewed by Sheila Coronel, academic dean of the Columbia Journalism School. There were also special presentations of the annual African Fact-checking Awards (by Africa Check), the biennial Global Shining Light Awards (by GIJN), and the first GIJN Leadership Award to Nils Mulvad, co-founder of the Global Investigative Journalism Network.

 The Simple Way to Prevent False Confessions

This month, Cook County prosecutors in Chicago dropped charges against 15 men, and two others claiming innocence won a new trial—all based on false confessions. Even for Chicago, the so-called “false confession capitol of the nation,” this was extraordinary. The Chicago Tribune called it the largest mass exoneration in Cook County history. Cook County Prosecutor Kimberly Foxx did no more than her duty. When I was an indigent appellate defender in the northern part of Illinois in the 1980s, prosecutors routinely confessed error and/or dropped charges to correct a miscarriage of justice.

‘Brimstone & Glory’ is a dreamy, almost hallucinatory experience; Holidazzle to open

Pamela Espeland

In real life, fireworks are here, KABOOM, then gone. In “Brimstone & Glory,” a documentary that opens Friday at the St. Anthony Main Theatre, they linger, tracing slow patterns of fire and smoke across the sky. More visual poem than documentary, “Brimstone” is a dreamy, almost hallucinatory experience that takes you to another world and way of life.Berlin-based director Viktor Jakovleski's first feature journeys to Tultepec, Mexico, north of Mexico City, where making fireworks by hand is a cottage industry and the city's main business. Fathers and sons work side-by-side packing gunpowder and chemicals into shells.

‘Butcher Of Bosnia’ Ratko Mladic Guilty Of Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity

Updated at 8 a.m. ET After a 5 1/2-year trial, the former Bosnian Serb military commander blamed for orchestrating the murders of thousands of ethnic Muslims has learned his own fate. On Wednesday morning, judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague handed down a guilty verdict for one count of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity and four counts of violations of the laws or customs of war, out of the 11 counts against 74-year-old Ratko Mladic, for his role as a general in the Yugoslav army and chief of staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, the ethnically Serb entity in Bosnia. The three-judge panel found him not guilty on one of the two counts of genocide and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Minutes before the verdict was to be read, Mladic, 74, shouted, "This is all lies, you are all liars," and was removed from the courtroom. Mladic will appeal, his lawyer told reporters from Reuters and the Associated Press.

‘Giant’ sinkhole shuts down I-694 in Oakdale

Brian Lambert

This is not convenient. The Pioneer Press' Kristi Belcamino writes: “MnDot officials are warning drivers that a water-main break that created a ‘giant' sinkhole along Interstate 694 in Oakdale on Sunday is likely to disrupt traffic for days before the road is completely repaired. Metro commuters are being asked to find a new route to and from work Monday and to prepare for heavier traffic that is going to be diverted from that stretch of freeway that has been shut down since 9 a.m. Sunday.”Ok, it's official. The Vikings are for real. But don't take som homer's word for it; in The Washington Post, Mark Maske writes: “It's time to stop trying to figure it out and wondering when it will end.

‘Lo siento mucho’: Trump’s focus on deportations forces St. Louis father to say goodbye

Jose Garcia and his partner, Ana Ortiz, shuffled quietly into the warmth of a packed Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Ferguson. Their older daughters, Julissa, 11, and Dana, 7, disappeared into the pews looking for friends. Garcia picked up 5-year-old Amanda and rocked her in his arms. For more than a decade, Garcia attended Sunday Mass with his family. But this November morning was different.

‘Low pay and low prestige:’ How Colorado superintendents want to lift the teaching profession

The teaching profession, says Bree Lessar, has become “low-pay and low-prestige.”
Professionals in other fields — like architecture, law and medicine — get plenty of support starting off, said Lessar, superintendent of southern Colorado's LaVeta school district. New teachers “get the most difficult classrooms and kids, and not a lot of resources,” she said. Lessar needs more than mountain views to attract educators to the 220-student district nearly three hours from Denver. So the district offers what incentives it can: First-year teachers get two planning periods, to better prepare. One-third of the district's teachers are retired, and there's talk of exploring ways for the experienced hands to mentor the newcomers.

‘My job is to do what’s best for the children:’ State board member defends Vandeven ouster

One of Gov. Eric Greitens' five appointees to the Missouri Board of Education says disappointing reading, math and social studies scores convinced him that Margie Vandeven needed to be dismissed as the state's education commissioner. Amid a bipartisan backlash, Eddy Justice is rejecting the idea that he's a “puppet” of the governor — or that the move to oust Vandeven “politicized” the board's proceedings.

‘Names matter’: Finding out just how much on a stroll around Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska

Jim Walsh

“Names matter,” said Sara Schonwald, a lifelong Minneapolis resident, before talking about why she supports Tuesday's Hennepin County Board vote to return Lake Calhoun to its original Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska. “Names matter,” echoed Tim Prinsen, whose family home overlooks the lake, before launching into a riff about the linguistic difficulties and pronunciation challenges presented by Bde Maka Ska (pronounced beh-DAY mah-KAH skah, meaning White Earth Lake).Hennepin County's action follows the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's approval of the name change last May. It now awaits approval by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.Wednesday afternoon and evening, a stiff breeze churned waves on Minneapolis's biggest lake, which was originally named Bde Maka Ska by the Dakota people who lived along the shore, and changed in 1839 to honor John C. Calhoun, one of America's most aggressive segregationists and proponents of slavery. As the sun went down over that glorious body of water, MinnPost collared a few walkers, runners, and lake regulars to get their views on the new name, racism, reparations, and living history:MinnPost photo by Jim WalshDwight JohnsonDwight Johnson, Edina. “I'm a lifelong citizen of the area, so I've been coming to the lake since I was a child.

‘Overlapping surgeries’ linked to increased risk of complications

Susan Perry

The controversy regarding overlapping surgery — the practice of some surgeons to be involved in more than one operation at the same time — intensified Monday.A new Canadian study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, reported that patients undergoing hip surgery were twice as likely to experience serious complications if their operation was “double-booked” by their surgeons.The longer the surgeries overlapped, the greater the risk, the study also found.Overlapping surgeries first hit the headlines in 2015, when a Boston Globe investigative report of the practice at a Boston hospital raised safety concerns. Since then, several studies have looked at the issue, and most have found that overlapping surgeries have no impact on complication rates.Indeed, a study published just last month in JAMA Surgery reported that although overlapping neurosurgeries tended to be “significantly longer” — a factor that meant the patients often spent more time under anesthesia — they were not associated with a higher complication rate.The current study, however, is much larger than the previous ones. It examined data from more than 90,000 hip operations at about 75 hospitals. It also followed patients for up to a year rather than a few weeks.Study detailsThe new study focused on hip surgery patients — people who underwent either hip replacements or surgery for hip fractures in Ontario, Canada, from 2009 through 2014. Because these patients tend to be older, they are at greater risk of surgery-related complications than patients in some of the other studies that investigated overlapping surgery.

‘A vicious cycle towards extinction:’ Hunting and trade can push even abundant wildlife populations to the brink

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's announcement in November that it was lifting a ban on the import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia — an order President Donald Trump said in a tweet two days later that he had put on hold — was merely the latest flashpoint in a debate that has been raging for years. Proponents of trophy hunting insist that it generates revenue that can be directed towards conservation efforts and creates incentives for local populations to conserve particular species. Opponents counter that there is no research proving these claims to be true and that there are better alternatives, such as eco-tourism, the benefits of which are more established and do not rely on killing animals for sport. According to the Matthew Holden, an applied mathematician at University of Queensland in Australia whose work focuses on how human behavior reacts to and impacts conservation policies, we don't know enough about how trophy hunting affects wildlife populations to say with any certainty whether or not the legalization of the transport of elephant trophies could drive African elephants to extinction. “Both sides of the trophy hunting debate make seemingly logical arguments, but actually very little is known about the social and economic side of trophy hunting and that's a big concern,” Holden said in a statement.

‘Banker with a conscience’ John Ewing dies, leaving environmental legacy

Photo by Dorothy Weicker, Vermont Folkife Center
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="John Ewing" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">John Ewing. File photo by Dorothy Weicker/Vermont Folklife CenterA banker who became one of the leaders in Vermont's environmental community has died. John Ewing, the former president of the Bank of Vermont who founded a group to combat suburban sprawl, died Monday of cancer. He was 85 and lived in Burlington overlooking the Winooski River. Colleagues recalled his commitment to the environment.

‘Be bold’: Advocates, lawmakers call on New York City to go further on school integration

As New York City tries to increase the racial and socioeconomic diversity of its schools, it must do more to make sure every school is welcoming to students of all backgrounds, advocates said Thursday before a hearing on the city's diversity plans. To make the point that the city has overlooked what actually happens inside classrooms at diverse schools, advocates pointed to an anti-bias training for 600 teachers that was funded in this year's budget. Advocates had expected the training to take place before school started -- but, three months into the school year, it still has not, they said. Without such trainings and teaching materials that reflect students' backgrounds, schools cannot become truly integrated, said Angel Martinez, the mother of three children in Harlem. “It's not just about putting black and brown children into predominantly white classrooms,” Martinez said Thursday outside City Hall at a rally organized by the Coalition for Educational Justice.

‘Before, we were invisible:’ how Minnesota’s most prosperous Indian tribe became a powerhouse in Washington

MinnPost photo by Bill Kelley
A sprawling complex anchored by a 150,000 square foot casino and a tower with 586 hotel rooms, the Mystic Lake Casino boasts a 70,000-square foot conference and events space, an 18-hole golf course, and a 2,000-seat concert venue that regularly hosts performances. It was a situation that persisted for years, and like many things in Indian Country, it seemed almost unbelievable to non-Native Americans once they learned about it: if a Native woman was assaulted, abused, or raped on tribal land by a non-Native man, tribal law enforcement could do nothing to prosecute him. That's because tribal authorities did not have the jurisdiction to prosecute any case involving someone who is not Native, leaving any offenses committed by a non-Native on tribal land in the hands of federal law enforcement authorities. But they often proved ill-equipped to handle violence against Native women: with few officers available to handle cases on reservations, which are often remote and rural, the U.S. government passed on prosecuting over two-thirds of sexual abuse-related cases in Indian Country, according to a 2010 report. This translated into a dangerous — even lethal — state of affairs for Native women, who experience domestic and sexual violence at disproportionate rates compared to other groups in the U.S. Policymakers in Barack Obama's administration and in Congress wanted to do something about this, and they found an opportunity in 2011, as Congress took up the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, the landmark 1994 law establishing more protections for victims of domestic or sexual violence, and more funding to investigate those crimes.

‘Concerned’ JPS board grills consultants, questions what it’s getting for $326,000

Kayleigh Skinner/Mississippi TodayAnn Moore of Bailey Education Group talks with the JPS school board during a meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. The Jackson Public Schools school board spent more than 90 minutes Tuesday interrogating an education consulting group to determine if they produced results worth the more than $326,000 the district has spent on them so far. In its second meeting since its six members were confirmed, the Board of Trustees used Tuesday night to discuss the tight timeline the district has to submit a corrective action plan. Members repeatedly stressed they want assurance that they can count on the consultant the district is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for.

‘Extraordinary audit’ of San Ysidro School District moving forward

The state agency that will investigate potential fraud or misuse of funds involving two former top administrators at the San Ysidro School District has signed an agreement to conduct what is called an “extraordinary audit.”
The post ‘Extraordinary audit' of San Ysidro School District moving forward appeared first on San Diego news from inewsource.

‘Extreme concern’: Report gives glimpse into scale of Kalimantan bird trade

JAKARTA — Tens of thousands of birds, many of them protected species on the brink of extinction, are being openly traded in Indonesian Borneo, in the first clear picture to emerge of the extent of the practice there. Nearly 200 stores across the region, known as Kalimantan, were found to be selling more than 25,000 birds from 148 species, according to multiple periodic field surveys carried out by the conservation group Planet Indonesia between July 2015 and February 2017. “This is the first data that we know of about the wild bird trade from Kalimantan,” said Adam Miller, the group's executive director, in a statement announcing the findings. Some of the species discovered for sale include the Bali myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) and the black-winged myna (Acridotheres melanopterus), both of which are critically endangered; the straw-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus zeylanicus), an endangered species; and the greater green leafbird (Chloropsis sonnerati), classified as vulnerable. Rural areas in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo, host a thriving trade in wild birds, threatening the survival prospects of several species.

‘House of Cards’ screenwriter and playwright Laura Eason brings to life a classic tale to Metro Comp

This month, Metro Theater Company will turn the Grandel Theatre into an ice rink set in Amsterdam. Their production will bring to life the classic tale of “Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates” starting Dec. 6. On Tuesday‘s St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh talked to the production's playwright Laura Eason and Metro Theater Company's artistic director Julia Flood.

‘House of Cards’ screenwriter Laura Eason brings to life a classic tale to Metro Theater Company

This month, Metro Theater Company will turn the Grandel Theatre into an ice rink set in Amsterdam. Their production will bring to life the classic tale of “Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates” starting Dec. 6. On Tuesday‘s St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh talked to the production's playwright Laura Eason and Metro Theater Company's artistic director Julia Flood.

‘Period Poverty’: Why No One Is Talking About Eco-Friendly Solutions

A teacher distributing free sanitary pads to students in Pader, Uganda. The subject of “period poverty,” in which women and girls cannot afford basic sanitary protection every month, is still taboo across the world, while promoting sustainable solutions is an equally queasy topic. CREATIVE COMMONS
The United Nations has recognized menstrual hygiene as a global public health and human-rights issue, yet across the world, “period poverty,” as some call it, is the reality for millions of women and girls. In India, for example, it is estimated that only 12 percent of the country's 355 million menstruating women can afford to use sanitary protection, while around 50 percent of school-age girls in Kenya do not have access to sanitary pads. Globally, more than 1.2 billion women lack access to basic sanitation and hygiene.

‘Stonewall Strong,’ an excerpt

Editor's note: John Killacky, executive director of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, and Larry Connolly, instructor at the University of Vermont, are featured in a new book, “Stonewall Strong” by John-Manuel Andriote. Drawing from research and nearly 100 original interviews, the author illustrates pivotal moments in recent history as manifestations of gay men's resilience, from the years of secrecy and subversion before the 1969 Stonewall riots; through the coming of age, heartbreak, and politically emboldening AIDS years; and pushing onward to legal marriage equality. Andriote presents inspiring stories of gay men who have moved beyond the traumas and stereotypes, claiming their resilience and right to good health, and working to build a community that will be “Stonewall Strong.” Here is an excerpt featuring Vermonters Killacky and Connolly. Three paragraphs with sexual content have been removed. AIDS certainly showed John Killacky and Larry Connolly what resilience looks like.

‘The Bachelor’ films opening scenes in Manchester

“The Bachelor” filmed an opening segment for its spin-off production “Bachelor: Winter Games” in Manchester this week. Photo by Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="The Bachelor" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1500w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">“The Bachelor” filmed an opening segment for its spin-off production “Bachelor: Winter Games” in Manchester this week. The “Winter Games” spinoff will be filmed somewhere in Vermont though a location has not been announced. Photo by Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner(This story by Cherise Madigan was published in the Bennington Banner on Dec. 7, 2017.

‘They want to occupy and take our land’: Land conflicts increase in Brazil

Deforestation is rife in the Brazilian state of Rondônia, which lies deep in the western Amazon rainforest. A new investigation by Greenpeace reveals that as deforestation of protected areas has risen in the state, so have allegations of attacks against the Indigenous communities that call its disappearing forests home. And as budget cuts deplete resources aimed at protecting these communities, many are worried this violence stands to worsen in the months and years to come. Sitting on the western edge of Brazil's infamous “arc of deforestation” – a huge swath of cleared land advancing in the wake of an ever-growing agricultural frontier – Rondônia is one of the most-deforested states in the Brazilian Amazon. In its middle, vast tracts of forest have been cleared for farmland, with remaining primary forests still hugging its borders where protected areas have afforded them relative safety.

‘This Little Light of Mine’ shines at Civil Rights Museum

Like any flame, it started with a spark that, once caught and fed, wrapped the skills and talents of many into its growing glow. However, the fabric/light sculpture This Little Light of Mine, a metaphor for the civil rights movement, is unlike any other, anywhere. In the rotunda of the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, opening along with the Museum of Mississippi History Dec. 9, This Little Light of Mine is a centerpiece art element and integral part of the visitor experience. It serves as a contemplative counter to exhibits of dark, hard truths about the civil rights movement, as a celebratory symbol encircled by faces of the struggle and as an engaging beacon with tendrils that carry the spirit forward.

‘Unduly cruel’: Gender language debate turns ugly

House Minority Floor Leader Cathy Connolly hadn't anticipated controversy. She saw her bill as a clean-up of statutory language; a long-overdue update of gender references to reflect the modern realities of gay marriage and women in the workforce. A committee meeting in Sundance proved her wrong. Connolly, who is in a same-sex marriage, has proposed legislation that would change references to “husband and wife” to gender-neutral terms like “spouse,” “married couple” or “parents.” It would also clarify problematic pieces of Wyoming law that refer to the wife of a policeman or firefighter, as though those jobs are held only by men. Thus, the bill would clarify the law for heterosexual couples as well as same-sex ones, proponents say.

‘Where is this going to go?’ Local Muslim community concerned over latest version of Trump’s travel

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed enforcement of the latest version of President Trump's restriction on travel to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, with fewer restrictions on visitors from Sudan. New limits and restrictions were added on visitors and immigrants from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. On Thursday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh discussed the situation and the potential effect of the travel ban in St. Louis.

‘Where is this going to go?’ Local Muslims concerned over latest version of Trump’s travel

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed enforcement of the latest version of President Trump's restriction on travel to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, with fewer restrictions on visitors from Sudan. New limits and restrictions were added on visitors and immigrants from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. On Thursday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh discussed the situation and the potential effect of the travel ban in St. Louis.

‘Words are important’: Lessons for journalists, others who cover and talk about transgender people

According to a study by the Williams Institute , more than 1.4 million people in the United States now identify as non-binary and are gender fluid. But quite often, transgender people are misidentified in news stories and police reports. On Thursday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh talked about LGBTQ advocacy with Missouri's state-wide LGBTQ group, PROMO . They addressed how journalists have reported on recent violence against transgender people in Missouri and appropriate language to use when talking about trans people.

“Political” Police Reforms Embolden Criminals, Union Official Charges

The head of Cleveland's police union blamed gunfire involving police and gun-related arrests near the scene Sunday on an ever-expanding anti-police narrative that will make officers targets, reports the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Steve Loomis, head of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, said federally mandated police reforms, a Cleveland judge's finding of probable cause for charges against the officers involved in the Tamir Rice shooting and the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's release of the investigation materials in that case were "politically motivated." "What it's doing, and what all these sideshows and unprecedented events are doing, is emboldening the criminal element," Loomis said. "It absolutely is going to get somebody killed; one of us or one of them. Neither is a good thing."

“A black hole of due process” in New Mexico

In December 2016, a 24-year-old small business owner, who asked to be identified as “Boris,” joined a protest in his native Cameroon. The country's English-speaking minority of nearly 5 million people had begun coalescing into a movement for equal rights, “to tell the government our griefs, to make them understand that we have pain in […]

“Credible” evidence Burge detectives beat teen into confessing, board finds

For the first time since Demond Weston was arrested in 1990 for murder and attempted murder, a government body found merit to his claims that he is innocent and was coerced into falsely confessing by police detectives under former Chicago Police Department Commander Jon Burge. Members of the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission unanimously found “sufficient credible evidence of torture to merit judicial review,” resolving a commission review that had ended inconclusively in October. Weston was a 17-year-old high school student in the Englewood neighborhood on May 29, 1990 when a shooting spree erupted that police concluded involved Gangster Disciple members seeking revenge on a rival gang. Days later, police detective Michael Kill stopped Weston on the street and took him to the station where, hours later, Weston gave a statement saying he had brought a .22-caliber gun with him and fired it in the May 29 shooting incident that left a man named Joseph Watson dead. Though no physical evidence tied Weston to the crime, he was convicted by a jury and sentenced to 75 years in prison.

“Death Of Yazdgerd” Aims To Slay

Shadi Ghaheri, a third-year director at the Yale School of Drama, once told me she doesn't like to direct “new plays.” I reminded her of that comment when talking to her about her thesis project, Death of Yazdgerd, by Bahram Beyzai, which runs Dec. 5-9 at the Iseman Theater on Chapel Street. The play dates from 1979, so could be called “new” compared to a classic. Beyzai's play, Ghaheri pointed out, “is a masterpiece and is the equivalent, at least in its themes, of something like King Lear.” So, while the play is relatively new, the story is very old.Or is it?

“Super Block” Revival Ready

A developer is just about ready to put shovels in the ground to start construction on 269 new market-rate apartments that will replace a four-acre surface parking lot on a “super block” at Audubon and Orange — and to help the city add a traffic-calming “speed table” there.

“Sweetie Bake Your Day” Debuts

When an artist and a baker get together — when they get along famously, and the artist loves food and the baker loves art — well, an illustrated cookbook can't be far behind.

“Temporary is temporary:” DHHS Leaders Promise to Fix Cardinal, Then Get Out

By Rose Hoban
Since firing the CEO and the board of directors of Cardinal Innovations, employees from the Department of Health and Human Services have been working to get the organization back on track. And DHHS leaders told lawmakers on Tuesday that they intend to make their presence in Cardinal's offices a short-term stay and guaranteed that delivery of services would not be interrupted. “Temporary is temporary,” state Medicaid head Dave Richard told members of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services. “We have no desire to be running Cardinal for any length of time. We believe that is the best function for a board of directors that is appointed in the proper manner.”
Cardinal CEO Richard Topping.

“The Courier” Delivers A Wartime Message

A man in a gas mask thrusts a bayonet in your face. There's an explosion behind him, and a soldier caught up in it. Behind him, as if through a veil, are what seem like memories, of a row of women, of a train steaming by the Eiffel Tower, of a zeppelin shot down over a city by a machine gun. Action and memory blur together.It's a comic book. It's a document.

“We’re All In This Together”

A roomful of New Haveners embarked on a journey Monday night from Newhallville to Wyoming, from Panama City to Brooklyn, and back again. By the time it ended, they traveled through time, heard about fateful encounters with ancient bison bones a tough-love judge, and gained new insight into their own community — as well as the spiritual quests that can connect people from seemingly different worlds.

“Yazdgerd” Got It Right

I went to see Death of Yazdgerd at the Yale School of Drama in the same way I've gone to see all other artistic productions by Iranian expats in the last thirty years – for support, not inspiration. For us, exiles, going to such events is a form of community service. More than anything else, we go to allay the pangs of nostalgia, not to experience art.So imagine my surprise when, after nearly two hours, I walked out of the theatre positively energized and perfectly inspired. Rather than engage in some form of charitable act, I had seen a genuine work of beauty.

#GIJC17: Un encuentro abierto a la colaboración entre periodistas de 130 países

La Conferencia Global de Periodismo de Investigación se celebró del 15 al 19 de noviembre en la Universidad de Witwatersrand en Johannesburgo, Sudáfrica. Estar ahí era tener al alcance información valiosa de lo que pasa alrededor del mundo y cómo se están organizando periodistas para investigar y narrar estos sucesos. Los invitados estaban en total disposición de compartir su experiencia para apoyar a otros con tips, herramientas, bases de datos, metodología, consejos y aprendizajes. Protección para periodistas
La primera sesión se trató de autocuidado. Organizada por el Dart Center, un centro de recursos de la Universidad de Columbia para periodistas que se especializan en la cobertura de violencia.

#MeToo Must Include All Women: A Chat With UN Women’s Director

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, a South African and the executive director of UN Women. Powerful men who have been abusing women, exposed in the #MeToo movement, have been doing it, she said in an interview with PassBlue, “because there was no consequence.” RYAN BROWN/UN WOMEN
November 25 marks the annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which encompasses 16 days of activism through Dec. 10, with this year's theme being “leave no one behind.”
The annual commemoration couldn't be better timed this year, coinciding with the #MeToo movement reverberating across the United States — and far beyond — that is still rattling Hollywood, Capitol Hill and corporate offices with new allegations of sexual assault almost daily. To honor the international day to eliminate violence against women — violence in its blatant and subtle forms — PassBlue's Kacie Candela chats with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the executive director of UN Women, about championing marginalized women especially on this day; the takeaway from #MeToo; and why the United Nations is not immune from gender-based violence in the workplace, either. “If you see how many people, each one of them has violated, it tells us that they have been doing it because they can,” Mlambo- Ngcuka said.

#Mumtoo: Her memoir explained a lot

Walter SigtermansShortly before Mum died, she told me that she was silently cheering for me from behind the lilac bushes the day I punched Tommy Zelnick*. Tommy was the neighborhood bully who beat me up when I was 5 years old. He was two years older than I, so he was 7 when he beat me up. Mum said I didn't fight back during that first encounter when he sat on my chest and pounded on me with his fists. It wasn't until a couple of days later when Tommy attacked the next-door neighbor boy that I struck back.I remember the beating that I got, but I don't remember, or can't remember, that I had hit Tommy to protect my neighbor.

$1.9 million civil lawsuit follows new Texas special education director

Texas' new special education director is facing allegations that she tried to cover up sexual abuse of a six-year-old student at her previous job as special education director for a small school district in Oregon. Laurie Kash, who was hired by the Texas Education Agency in mid-August, was sued Nov. 14 by Michelle Eastham and Terrianne MacEllven, two instructional assistants at Rainier School District, north of Portland on the Oregon-Washington border. According to the $1.9 million civil complaint, in October 2015, Eastham and MacEllven heard from a six-year-old in their special education classroom that she had been physically and sexually abused by a high school boy. The suit states that Kash and her husband Michael Carter, superintendent of the school district, forbade them from reporting the abuse to the state or police, although the instructional assistants are mandatory reporters in the state of Oregon.

$12M Maverick Plaza Redevelopment Plan to Feature 3 Restaurants

If plans are approved, La Villita and Maverick Plaza could become home to three new restaurants run by respected San Antonio chefs by 2021. The post $12M Maverick Plaza Redevelopment Plan to Feature 3 Restaurants appeared first on Rivard Report.

$21M Verdict Upheld; Where’s The $?

Hartford — Rabbi Daniel Greer won't get a new civil trial to re-litigate how his alleged sexual abuse damaged a former student, but he will be deposed to find out whether he has hidden cash to avoid paying his victim.

$22M Fund Can’t Compensate All Las Vegas Victims

The Las Vegas committee overseeing the millions of dollars donated after the mass shooting in October has expanded the scope of those that could make a claim, but many people will remain ineligible to receive any cash under the final guidelines, the Los Angeles Times reports. Scott Nielsen, chairman of the Las Vegas Victims Fund Committee, says the fund has $22 million, but “the overwhelming number of victims prevents us from providing individual monetary payments to those suffering psychological trauma, though we are committed to identifying mental health services to assist this critical segment of the survivor population.” Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds more injured when Stephen Paddock fired into an crowd of about 22,000 during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Oct. 1. With so many victims, more donations would be needed to cover everyone who suffered emotional trauma or visited a doctor after Oct. 10 for injuries.

$4.2 Million? Dam!

Repairs at Cold Spring's upper reservoir will be costly$4.2 Million? Dam! was first posted on December 15, 2017 at 9:13 am.

$5M “Just In Time” For Affordable Housing

As New Haven debates how to preserve affordable housing, the state came through with money to ensure that a new apartment complex in the Hill will include homes for people earning less than the area median income.

100 Days in the Arctic

Amy MartinSeason two of Threshold takes listeners to the homes, hunting grounds, and melting coastlines of Arctic peoples, where climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a part of daily life.

104 Deaths Behind Bars Are Linked to Taser Use

Tasers have been misused or linked to accusations of torture or corporal punishment in U.S. prisons and jails, Reuters reports in the sixth of a series. The news service identified 104 deaths involving Tasers behind bars. That was 10 percent of a larger universe of more than 1,000 fatal law enforcement encounters in which the weapons were used. A Taser was listed as a cause or contributing factor in more than a quarter of the 84 inmate deaths in which the news agency obtained autopsy findings. Of the 104 inmates who died, just two were armed.

11th Hour Maneuvering Could Threaten Council President’s Re-Election

Myrtle Cole / Photo by Sam Hodgson
San Diego's City Council is set to choose the Council president for the next year, and people on the right and left of City Hall's 10th floor are jockeying in a way that could mean the end of Myrtle Cole's short time in the seat. It's considered a complete toss-up. Cole wants to keep the job, but is facing a series of demands from the left – mostly from labor leaders – that she strip some or all of the Republican Council members of their committee chairs. She has plenty of motivation to appease her supporters as she heads into a 2018 re-election bid. But Cole became Council president a year ago with the help of Republicans, who joined together to vote for her to keep Councilman David Alvarez, the senior Democrat and an outspoken progressive on the Council, from taking over.

12 days of giving helps Chamberlain’s children enjoy the holidays and beyond!

Donations will help the children living at Chamberlain's experience a wonderful holiday season and more.

13 Long-Awaited New Cop Cruisers Arrive

Some relief has arrived for cops used to responding to calls in cars that have holes in the floor or steering wheels that come off. Thirteen new cars are parked in the city's police car garage, but it will be up to alders to decide how much more relief might come before the year is over.

14 percent of U.S. schools accepting vouchers have anti-LGBT policies, according to new investigation

Across the country, millions of taxpayer dollars are flowing to private schools that explicitly discriminate against gay students. That's the conclusion of a new analysis by the Huffington Post, which examined policies at 7,000 private schools where families can pay tuition using vouchers — an arrangement that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said she'd like to see expand. From the story:
We found at least 14 percent of religious schools take an active stance against LGBTQ staff and students. ... At least 5 percent of these schools also have explicit policies against hiring or retaining LGBTQ staff.

15 days left to sign up for 2018 health coverage

News Release — Department of Vermont Health Access
Nov. 30, 2017
Seán Sheehan
Deputy Director, Health Access Eligibility & Enrollment Unit
Department of Vermont Health Access
(802) 585-6339
Customer Support Center to Open Next Two Saturdays (9am-1pm)
WATERBURY, VT – State officials marked the end of the first month of Open Enrollment by thanking Vermonters for acting promptly ahead of this year's deadline and reminding those who still need coverage to be sure to log in to or call by December 15th. They also announced that the customer support center will be open the next two Saturdays (12/2 & 12/9) to take applications and change requests from new and renewing members. “Most calls are being answered in under a minute,” said Cory Gustafson, Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, “but it's important to note that the actual application can be lengthy, especially for new members who are seeking financial help for the first time. The Saturday hours can be a good option for Vermonters who are busy during the week.”
The special Saturday hours are offered for new applicants signing up for coverage and for existing members who want to change plans, add a household member to their plan, or report a change in income or other household information.

2 Chittenden County mobile home parks working on cooperative park purchase

News Release — CVOEO
Dec. 14, 2017
Jonathan Bond
St. George & Hinesburg, VT – A coalition of two mobile home park cooperatives of St. George Villa MHP and Sunset Lake Villa MHP are working feverishly to purchase their respective parks from private ownership and have put forth their best offer to purchase the parks. At a public meeting Wednesday, December 13, 2017, residents heard from their cooperative board's terms of making an offer, including the engineer's inspection report and property appraisal completed with financial support from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.

20-Year Voyage Comes To End

Summer camp on Hudson shuts down20-Year Voyage Comes To End was first posted on December 1, 2017 at 9:15 am.

200 bicentennial stories told in one ‘Mississippi Mile’

What exactly is the story of Mississippi's 200 years? How is it told? And who gets to tell it? The answers to these questions can be found on images or “photo stories” in storefront windows on Capitol Street in downtown Jackson. The pop-up, open air gallery, billed as the country's largest, will be unveiled at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at the King Edward Hotel, less than a mile from the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opening the same day.

2007 Capitol Christmas tree volunteers reunite at Veterans’ Home

Members of the 2007 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree group gather together around the donated tree from Don Keelan's tree farm in Arlington. Photo by Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Vermont Veterans' Home" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1500w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Members of the 2007 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree group gather together around the donated tree from Don Keelan's tree farm in Arlington. Photo by Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner(This story by Derek Carson was published in the Bennington Banner on Nov. 27, 2017.)
BENNINGTON — Volunteers who 10 years ago helped transport the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree from Bennington to Washington, D.C., gathered at the Vermont Veterans' Home, one of the tree's last stops before heading south, to reminisce on the event and to donate a new Christmas tree to the home. In 2007, when a Vermont tree was chosen to be displayed at the U.S. Capitol for the first time since 1994, the Tree Committee (a joint effort between the Bennington Chamber of Commerce and the Green Mountain National Forest) and then-Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie decided to do something special.

2017 Special Holiday Programs

JOIN ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO FOR SPECIAL HOLIDAY PROGRAMS FROM DECEMBER 12 THROUGH NEW YEAR'S DAY! Hannukkah Lights 2017, Tuesday, 12/12/2017 at 8 pm (rebroadcast Sunday, 12/17 at 7 pm) A perennial NPR favorite with all new Hanukkah stories. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. An Afro Blue Christmas , Monday, 12/18/2017 at 8 pm Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue, and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut.

25th Annual Holiday Boutique

Desmond-Fish fundraiser opens Nov. 2525th Annual Holiday Boutique was first posted on November 23, 2017 at 8:06 am.

27 Crime ‘Hotbeds’ Get More Federal Prosecutors

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is assigning three more prosecutors to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland, part of a broader reallocation the Justice Department announced Friday to confront violent crime, the Baltimore Sun reports. The announcement comes after Sessions held a press conference in Baltimore to discuss the Trump administration's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration and international gangs. During the visit, Sessions mentioned the city's homicides, which have reached over 300 for the third straight year. Along with the northern district of Illinois, which includes Chicago, Maryland's allocation of three new assistant U.S. attorneys represents the largest increase in the U.S. Sessions said 40 prosecutors would be deployed to 27 crime “hotbeds” nationwide, including in Islip, N.Y.; Detroit and Oakland. “These additional assistant United States Attorneys can make an immediate impact.

3 New Yorkers Talk About Life With DACA

NEW YORK — George Kenefati, a sophomore at Macaulay Honors College in Manhattan, recently posted a social event on Facebook for his fellow students. It was meant to raise awareness of the challenges faced by students in the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program. Kenefati, 19, is originally from Venezuela. His family migrated when he was 6. He expected a big turnout.

3 nights, 32 bands, no spoilers: Return of the Great Cover-Up!

A treasured Tucson musical event is back this year, and super organizer Mel Mason fills us in with a sneak peek of sorts... and stay tuned for more Cover-Up memories, local music news and this week's live music roundup.

375th commander at Scott Air Force Base relieved of post

Col. John Howard, the commander of the 375 th Air Mobility Wing at Scott Air Force Base, has been removed from the post. He had served as commander of the wing , which oversees the base, since late July.

5 Questions: Darren Scala

Owner of D. Thomas Fine Miniatures5 Questions: Darren Scala was first posted on December 3, 2017 at 8:44 am.

5 Questions: Emily Lombardo Nastasi

Boscobel docent leads candlelit tours5 Questions: Emily Lombardo Nastasi was first posted on November 25, 2017 at 2:34 pm.

5 Questions: Jackie Grant

Retired Hudson Highlands Nature Museum director5 Questions: Jackie Grant was first posted on December 16, 2017 at 9:01 am.

5 Questions: Rae Wynn-Grant

Conservation scientist who studies black bears5 Questions: Rae Wynn-Grant was first posted on December 8, 2017 at 9:42 am.

50 Great Photos

Winning shots from Garrison Art Center's biennial show50 Great Photos was first posted on December 16, 2017 at 9:24 am.

5X match for donations to Bridge Magazine today!

Through donations from loyal readers like you, Bridge Magazine's nonpartisan, nonprofit, fact-driven, statewide news will be more in-depth and frequent than ever in 2018.

6 of 7 police oversight board nominees confirmed, next steps include setting policies

Update with confirmation - Six of the nominees to the Civilian Oversight Board for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, sailed through Board of Aldermen confirmation Friday. The seventh, DeBorah Ahmed, withdrew her name from consideration.Ahmed is an executive director at Better Family Life, which has received thousands in city money over the last decade. Her nomination had been criticized for possible conflicts of interest. This means that the mayor will have to find a new nominee for the third district, in north-central and northwest St.

6 things to know before Indiana officials vote on new high school graduation rules

It's about to get a lot more complicated for Indiana high schoolers to graduate — assuming a proposal is approved next week. The plan for creating a system of “graduation pathways” has seen several twists and turns since lawmakers approved the idea last spring. Since then, a state committee has met for dozens of hours to try to figure out the answer to one key question: What skills do students need to be ready for life after high school? Is it passing a test? Multiple tests?

7 child care and preschool facilities work with state to assess possible chemical contaminants from dry cleaners

News Release — Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
December 13, 2017
Media Contact:
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
Patricia Coppolino, Environmental Program
Seven child care and preschool providers around the state that are located within 200 feet of current or former dry cleaning businesses are partnering with state agencies to assess indoor air quality to ensure they are not impacted by chemicals associated with dry cleaning. The assessment work is precautionary, and the state stands ready to provide mitigation support if needed. State officials emphasized that this proactive effort is based on an understanding of the potential impact of chemicals used by dry cleaners. At this time there have been no reported cases of illnesses linked to this issue and there have not been any issues reported with any of the children's programs being tested. All seven child care and preschool facilities are open and operating as usual.

700 Kids Get Coats

Last week at New Horizons High School, an alternative school in the Hill, six students tried on coats of varying sizes, zipping them up as far as they'd go and throwing the faux fur-lined hoods over the heads — a small fix that might reduce the district's absences.

75 years later, U.S. refuses plea to bring home remains of fallen Broward war hero

By Dan
Nearly 76 years after Fort Lauderdale Medal of Honor winner Alexander R. “Sandy” Nininger Jr. was killed in action in the Philippines, the U.S. is refusing his family's request to use DNA testing to identify Nininger's remains and bring him home. The post 75 years later, U.S. refuses plea to bring home remains of fallen Broward war hero appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

8 Balers earn all-league honors

Five players from the offense and two defenders earn recognition; one player named to sportsmanship team

86-year-old woman dies in Chelsea house fire

Jim Doyle of Chelsea stands beside the ruins of his mother's home on Monday. Alice Doyle, 86, died in the home after an early morning fire. (Valley News – Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to

89-year-old pilot dead after small-plane crash in Pittsford

A pilot from Massachusetts is dead after his Cessna crashed Wednesday afternoon in Pittsford. Norman L. Baker, 89, of Windsor, was alone aboard the four-person aircraft, according to Vermont State Police. The cause of the crash is yet to be determined, and an autopsy is being performed. A landowner came across the wreckage late Thursday morning while walking his property, state police said in a news release. Authorities had mounted a massive air and land search after a report of a possible crash in the area Wednesday and the later news that Baker hadn't arrived at his destination, Middlebury.

8th annual River of Light Parade brings ‘Ripples and Rhythms’ to downtown Waterbury

News Release — River of Light
Nov. 25, 2017
8th annual River of Light Parade brings ‘Ripples and Rhythms' to downtown
Waterbury, Saturday, Dec. 2
WATERBURY (Nov. 25, 2017)—Early-evening darkness next Saturday will give way to the glowing sights and festive sounds of the 8th annual River of Light Parade in downtown Waterbury. This free community event grows bigger every year as the parade draws from Waterbury and surrounding towns with people of all ages filling the streets to either march or watch the procession of handmade illuminated lanterns accompanied by a variety of drummers.

A ‘portfolio’ of schools? How a nationwide effort to disrupt urban school districts is gaining traction

Several years ago, Indianapolis Public Schools looked like a lot of urban school districts. The vast majority of students attended traditional public schools, though enrollment was dwindling, and the district had an adversarial relationship with its small but growing number of charter schools. That's no longer true. The district is actively turning over schools to charter operators, and it's rolling out a common enrollment system for district and charter schools that could make it easier for charters to grow. Nearly half of the district's students now attend charters or district schools with charter-like freedoms.
It's a remarkable shift that many in Indianapolis credit to — or blame on — the Mind Trust, a well-funded local nonprofit with a clear vision for improving education in Indianapolis.

A ‘sickening spectacle’: Elizabeth Drew on the grotesque tax bill’s substance and process

Eric Black

I was thrilled yesterday to see that the great Elizabeth Drew has contributed her thoughts on the grotesque tax bill(s) that have just passed through both houses of Congress (in slightly different forms that will presumably soon be merged into one) to overhaul our poor dear nation's tax code. Feel free to stop reading here and just click this link to get her full TNR piece in The New Republic.I recall Drew's glory years, covering Washington for the New Yorker and writing books. In her 80s now, she writes less often, frequently for the New York Review of Books. But she brought her A-game to this TNR piece, which focused equally on the substance of the bills and on the process by which they have gotten this far. (There is still, by the way, some small reason to hope that the whole hideous deal will fall apart in the effort to reconcile the two versions, but don't bet on it.)The Party of Lincoln (sob) is very, very motivated to get this done, which leads me right in to the first of several excerpts from Drew's piece that I pass along to those who decline to read the whole thing.

A Border Wall’s Uncompensated Victims

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Kiah Collier and Julián Aguilar, The Texas Tribune

A brief history of Minneapolis’ First Avenue

Ehsan Alam

In the late 1960s, Allan Fingerhut and Danny Stevens leased the old Greyhound Bus Depot in Downtown Minneapolis with the plan to open a rock club. Since then, First Avenue & 7th Street Entry has nurtured a diverse group of musicians, both local and national, and brought together people from various backgrounds. It remains one of the most highly regarded music nightclubs in the country.The club opened in 1970 as the Depot. Over the next two years, it hosted national acts such as the Kinks, B. B. King, Frank Zappa, and the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. By 1971, however, it had closed due to money issues.In 1972, Fingerhut sold controlling interest to American Events Company (AEC) and the club was renamed Uncle Sam's as part of a franchising agreement.

A Chance to Support Nonprofit News

Because FairWarning is a nonprofit news organization, your support allows us to keep publishing stories that matter. This month #NewMatch, a grassroots fundraising campaign to support nonprofit news, will match every donation we receive, up to $1,000 per gift. This is an incredible opportunity for us, so please donate if you're in a position to give.

A Classic Holiday Dance

Garrison student lands role in NutcrackerA Classic Holiday Dance was first posted on December 3, 2017 at 9:39 am.

A community comes together for Thanksgiving, but we, as individuals, can also do our part

Brian MolohonWhen we talk about community and sharing dinner during America's biggest food holiday, we get excited at Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities, as the pieces come together to provide traditional Thanksgiving meals to upwards of 50,000 people in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Volunteers show up to help at our events, about 750 in all. Hundreds more from churches and other organizations around the Twin Cities gathered food and gave funds this past summer to help us prepare. We owe our gratitude to so many who work behind the scenes to make this happen.This year is also a milestone for us.

A cri de coeur over what the Republican Party has become

Eric Black

TwitterDavid BrooksDavid Brooks is a leading representative of what we have, in the past, viewed as moderate Republicanism. The victory of the current incumbent, with the support (according to exit polls) of 88 percent of self-identified Republicans, raised the question of what moderate Republicanism might be.Brooks, who seems increasingly willing to break ranks with the GOP, has nonetheless has said as recently as this year that “[one] of [his] callings is to represent a certain moderate Republican Whig political philosophy.” It would take another short piece to explore what work the word “Whig” is doing in there. But it does seem that Brooks' political soul is some kind of old-school Republican soul, struggling since last year to deal with what his party has become under Donald Trump. And the struggle isn't going all that easily or well.So, with apologies for being a few days late and encouragement to click through and read the whole Brooks column, here's what I meant to put up sooner.Under the headline “The G.O.P. is rotting,” Brooks published a cri de coeur over what's become of the Republican Party under President Trump. Republicans made a devil's bargain with Trump, Brooks argues, thinking they could sell a small part of their souls for the benefits they might reap from having a Republican in the White House while the party controlled Congress.

A Curious Incident

Haldane to present play about seeing the world in unexpected waysA Curious Incident was first posted on November 26, 2017 at 9:49 am.

A day before vote, parents and educators passionately object to new high school graduation plan

One day before Indiana education officials are set to vote on a plan that would overhaul the state's high school graduation requirements, many educators and parents from across the state spoke out strongly against it. The “graduation pathways” plan has attracted concerns from principals and district leaders since a state committee began developing it in August. The goal was to create a system that would ensure students are ready for life after high school, but the resulting recommendations are complex, and many don't see how they differ from the state's existing diploma structure or serve students with learning challenges. Under the plan, not only would students need to meet diploma requirements, but they would also have to satisfy additional criteria in most cases, which could be an exam, completing a certain number of advanced courses or gaining credit for internships. Read: 6 things to know before Indiana officials vote on new high school graduation rules
A vote is expected on Wednesday.

A deeper look at the ranked choices for mayor of Minneapolis

Tom Nehil

On Wednesday, November 8, Jacob Frey was declared the winner of the Minneapolis mayoral election. He'd led on election night, capturing around a quarter of Minneapolis voters' first choice selections, and after five rounds of ranked-choice voting tabulation he edged out second-place finisher Raymond Dehn. None of this is news to someone who's been paying attention to Minneapolis politics. But on Friday last week, city staff posted a spreadsheet containing the actual rankings for mayor of the 105,928 ballots cast in the election. (There were only 104,522 votes in the election for mayor because 1,406 ballots had no valid votes for mayor as first, second or third choices.) Of course, nothing in this data changes anything about the outcome of the election, but it can give us a little more insight into the preferences of Minneapolis voters than is possible either from the election night results or the RCV tabulation results released by the city.

A Detroit district plan would allow ‘master teachers’ to coach less experienced colleagues and reduce class sizes

Some of the best teachers in Detroit will likely soon have a chance to become "master teachers," taking a dual role in which they teach children half the time and coach teachers the other half. Detroit schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says the model would give teachers who don't want to become administrators another way to advance their careers and potentially make more money. It would also help alleviate the district's severe teacher shortage because master teachers would spend part of their day in the classrooms.
That's compared to the "instructional specialists" who currently support teachers in some Detroit schools. They spend all of their time instructing other teachers and have no classroom responsibilities. “Master teachers would model lessons for beginning and struggling teachers, facilitate grade level and common planning, mentor new teachers or resident teachers, and student teachers,” Vitti said in an email.

A Divided City Council to Vote on SAWS Rate Increase

Robert Puente, SAWS president and CEO, will go before City Council on Thursday to make the case for two years of rate increases: 5.8% in 2018 and 4.7% in 2019. The post A Divided City Council to Vote on SAWS Rate Increase appeared first on Rivard Report.

A Dreamer calls for a clean DREAM Act

Nayeli Mercado (left) and Bertha Hernandez, both teachers at El Centro de la Raza, hold signs made by the preschoolers in their classes in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in September. (Photo by Venice Buhain.)I did not spend Thanksgiving weekend playing board games, quizzing family members on popular culture, nor did I enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers. Instead, I went to a three day convening of immigrant-youth state leaders. I strategized on political actions with high school and university students, recent graduates, and young professionals. I was with my undocumented family.

A Dubious Arrest, a Compromised Prosecutor, a Tainted Plea: How One Murder Case Exposes a Broken System

by Megan Rose
The case of Demetrius Smith reads like a preposterous legal thriller: dubious arrests, two lying prostitutes, prosecutorial fouls and a judge who backpedaled out of a deal. It also delivers a primer on why defendants often agree to virtually inescapable plea deals for crimes they didn't commit. ProPublica has spent the past year exploring wrongful convictions and the tools prosecutors use to avoid admitting mistakes, including an arcane deal known as an Alford plea that allows defendants to maintain their innocence while still pleading guilty. Earlier this year, we examined a dozen such cases in Baltimore. Smith's troubling ordeal, Alford plea included, is a road map of nearly every way the justice system breaks down — and how easily a cascade of bad outcomes can be triggered by one small miscarriage of justice.

A fight to frame ’18: Trump & taxes vs. Malloy & budget

State Senate Democrats introduced President Trump and federal tax policy as issues in the 2018 race for control of the General Assembly on Tuesday with a withering dissection of how tax plans crafted by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress would hit middle-class taxpayers in the Northeast. A Republican leader countered that the legislature has bigger issues closer to home.

A former Panama agent is guiding Trump’s Homeland Security pick

A private consultant shepherding President Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security secretary nominee Kirstjen Nielsen through her U.S. Senate confirmation process has also lobbied the homeland security agency on behalf of the Panamanian government. Thad Bingel, who is guiding Nielsen through the confirmation process, worked as a registered foreign agent representing Panama's interests to the Department of Homeland Security from February 2012 to the end of 2013, according to federal records reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity. Lobbying on behalf of foreign governments is perfectly legal, but Trump has been especially critical of such advocacy in vowing to “drain the swamp” and limit the influence of special interests. Upon taking office, Trump signed new ethics rules banning administration officials from ever lobbying on behalf of a foreign government, although those rules wouldn't apply to volunteers such as Bingel. In a written response to questions from the Center for Public Integrity, Andrew Hansen, a spokesman for Bingel, pointed out that the filings on Command Consulting Group's work for Panama were publicly available, and the work “was fully disclosed.”

Asked whether Bingel had agreed to limit future lobbying of the Department of Homeland Security, Hansen said he had.

A Google-Related Plan Brings Futuristic Vision, Privacy Concerns To Toronto

Years ago, Google's founders wondered what would happen if they could take their pieces of technical knowledge and apply them to cities. "We started talking about all of these things that we could do if someone would just give us a city and put us in charge," Eric Schmidt, CEO of Alphabet, Google's parent company, joked recently. Last month, after a public competition, an Alphabet subsidiary called Sidewalk Labs was chosen as an "innovation and funding partner" to help Toronto come up with an ambitious, tech-heavy plan for a small part of the city's waterfront. When Waterfront Toronto, the government-created entity tasked with revitalizing the area, asked for proposals for the future neighborhood, Sidewalk Labs responded with a vision of a futuristic, sci-fi-ready smart city . The company suggested heated pedestrian lanes to melt the snow; a self-driving bus; and a series of underground channels where trash is hauled away, packages might be delivered, and utilities are easier to reach

A governor’s Thanksgiving message in an unsettled time

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy delivered an unusual Thanksgiving message Wednesday that reflected the tumult, turmoil and tragedy of a year which the U.S. has reeled from two mass shootings, devastating hurricanes, culture-changing disclosures of sexual harassment and predation, and a general coarsening of public discourse.

A high-tech approach to boost language skills starts with infants in Detroit

Eleven mothers sit around a table bouncing infants and chatting in Spanish in a converted church in Southwest Detroit, the site of a pricey new program designed to close the language gap between resource-scarce children and their affluent peers. The program, LENA Start, comes at a time when Detroit students' reading scores are a pressing concern for school administrators and lawmakers statewide. Last year, only 9.9 percent of third-graders passed the state English Language Arts exam. A new state law will require children who test a year or more behind third grade reading level to repeat the grade starting in the 2019 school year. If that law were in effect in 2016, 90 percent of Detroit students would have been qualified to be held back.

A Home for Thanksgiving

After years of instability, neighbors enjoy a simple meal together, capturing the sentiment of Thanksgiving.

A Hospital Charged $1,877 to Pierce a 5-Year-Old’s Ears. This Is Why Health Care Costs So Much.

by Marshall Allen
Two years ago, Margaret O'Neill brought her 5-year-old daughter to Children's Hospital Colorado because the band of tissue that connected her tongue to the floor of her mouth was too tight. The condition, literally called being “tongue-tied,” made it hard for the girl to make “th” sounds. It's a common problem with a simple fix: an outpatient procedure to snip the tissue. During a pre-operative visit, the surgeon offered to throw in a surprising perk. Should we pierce her ears while she's under?

A MINER problem: Emmer mining bill passes House, but who will take it up in the Senate?

Sam Brodey

The battle over mining in northern Minnesota — which has played out in Washington and Minnesota over the last year — reached a critical point in Congress last week.Eleven months after Barack Obama's administration released an order that could block mining in a part of Superior National Forest for 20 years, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation, introduced by 6th District Republican Rep. Tom Emmer, to undo that decision, and to make it significantly harder for the executive branch to issue similar orders in the future.Last Thursday's vote was the biggest step yet for pro-mining lawmakers and advocates who have been working for months to counter the Obama decisions, made in the last weeks of his presidency. Emmer, who has emerged as a leading voice on this issue, has worked with other lawmakers and administration officials on ways to stop a government environmental review of the impact of copper-nickel mining a few miles from the protected Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.With the passage of the Minnesota Economic Rights, or MINER, Act by a 12-vote margin, their efforts have cleared a first major hurdle. But across the Capitol, in the U.S. Senate, Emmer's legislation does not have a companion bill — or an obvious champion to introduce legislation and shepherd it through the chamber.Advocates for mining in Minnesota are hopeful that will change, while vocal environmentalists believe this close vote in the House will be the end of the road, for now, for Congress' efforts to remove obstacles to mining near the Boundary Waters.Tying the administration's handsThe MINER Act, introduced by Emmer and co-sponsored by 2nd District GOP Rep. Jason Lewis and 7th District DFL Rep. Collin Peterson, has significant short and long-term consequences for mining and the environment, not just in a corner of national forest, but around the state.Immediately, the legislation allows the federal government to renew two mineral leases held by the mining company Twin Metals, which were denied by the Obama administration. Twin Metals, a subsidiary of Chilean mining conglomerate Antofagasta, had long held rights to a valuable trove of copper and nickel in this corner of Superior National Forest.The bill also ends an environmental review under way at the U.S. Forest Service to assess the safety of mining copper and nickel in this area. Many environmentalists believe it will never be possible to extract these metals in a responsible way that does not have the potential to seriously damage the air and water of the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters, places treasured by outdoors enthusiasts around the state and country.The study automatically placed a two-year moratorium on any mining activity in a quarter-million acre swath of the forest, and it could have led to a withdrawal of that land from any mining consideration for as long as 20 years.Restoring those leases and terminating the environmental review does not authorize a specific mining project — and no mine has been proposed here — but it does clear obstacles that could have barred mining and mineral exploration in this area for a long time.A particularly controversial element of the bill is its provision to block federal agencies from making decisions like the ones made by the Obama administration a year ago without explicit congressional approval.“Minerals within the National Forest system lands in the State of Minnesota,” the law reads, “shall not be subject to withdrawal from disposition … unless the law is specifically approved by an act of Congress.” Notably, this provision does not apply to any other state, just Minnesota.Unfamiliar splits in House delegationThe debate over mining near Minnesota's natural treasures has grown increasingly national in scope.

A minimum salary for Colorado teachers? State officials may ask lawmakers to consider it.

As part of a broad plan to increase the volume of high-quality teachers in Colorado, state officials are considering asking lawmakers to take the bold step of establishing a minimum teacher salary requirement tied to the cost of living. Officials from the state departments of education and higher education are finalizing a list of recommendations to address challenges to Colorado's teacher workforce. Pressing for the legislation on teacher salaries is one of dozens of recommendations included in a draft report. The report, assembled at the request of the legislature, also proposes a marketing campaign and scholarships to attract new teachers to rural areas. Representatives from the Colorado Department of Education said they would not discuss the recommendations until they're final.

A minimum salary for Colorado teachers? State officials may ask lawmakers to consider it.

As part of a broad plan to increase the volume of high-quality teachers in Colorado, state officials are considering asking lawmakers to take the bold step of establishing a minimum teacher salary requirement tied to the cost of living. Officials from the state departments of education and higher education are finalizing a list of recommendations to address challenges to Colorado's teacher workforce. Pressing for the legislation on teacher salaries is one of dozens of recommendations included in a draft report. The report, assembled at the request of the legislature, also proposes a marketing campaign and scholarships to attract new teachers to rural areas. Representatives from the Colorado Department of Education said they would not discuss the recommendations until they're final.

A Missouri Botanical Garden scientist eats with Bosnians to learn how urban life affects cuisine

On a recent Saturday, four middle-aged Bosnian women bustled in a warmly lit kitchen at Fontbonne University. Bags of flour and sugar, metal mixing bowls and trays of flaky pastries filled, called pitas, were spread across an island. The air smelled strongly of bread, butter and cheese. Ashley Glenn, a botanist at the Missouri Botanical Garden, stood next to the women, providing commentary about the food for an audience of about two dozen people. Glenn has spent the last year and a half interviewing more than 100 Bosnians in St.

A new Memphis nonprofit sees training teachers in dyslexia therapy as key to closing literacy gap for all

A new organization says educators must be better trained in recognizing and teaching students with learning disorders like dyslexia if they are to be successful in raising reading proficiency throughout Memphis. Michelle Gaines and Krista L. Johnson founded ALLMemphis, a nonprofit, in June to boost overall reading comprehension and fill a gap they see in local classrooms — the lack of training for teachers in approaches proven to help students with dyslexia, a disorder from which many Memphis students are likely struggling. The pair now work, for free, with about 500 students in four Memphis elementary charter schools and have trained 29 educators. About one in five children in Tennessee are dyslexic, but until last year, early screenings weren't required in local schools. Students with dyslexia have difficulty recognizing words and sounds and spelling, but can learn how to read with a specific multisensory approach that combines touch, sound and sight.

A new push to tackle an old problem: transportation neglect

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Thursday a day of reckoning has arrived for Connecticut's depleted special transportation fund and the services and projects it finances, outlining what is likely to be an election-year challenge for the General Assembly and, perhaps, the last major initiative of a lame-duck governor.

A Newly-Elected Democratic Socialist On How to Win in Trump Country

“I'd like to think of myself as ordinary,” says Ross Grooters as he describes his life in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, an eastern suburb of Des Moines. But then he corrects himself. “Most people's passions or enjoyment are not going out and doing activist things, so that's where I'm not an ordinary Joe.”

Indeed, it has been a long, strange trip for Grooters. After growing up as an “Air Force brat” in a conservative California family in the 1980s, this November, Grooters was elected to the Pleasant Hill City Council as a card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America, having run on an openly left-wing platform. Grooters' victory this year came in a town that in 2016 voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by a five-point margin, showing that even in a Republican-leaning area, socialists can win elections.

A News Match Letter From IowaWatch Co-Founder Steve Berry

IowaWatch is eligible for matching funds from News Match 2017. Donate now and News Match will double the amount to support IowaWatch's journalism and training program. Help us reach our goal:

Dear Friends of IowaWatch,
I, as co-founder of, would like to congratulate you, the members of the IowaWatch family. Thanks to your past support, IowaWatch's journalistic success had earned for us a chance to receive up to $28,000 in matching funds from a $3 million national News Match 2017 fund drive. So, now, we need your help so that we can take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

A November surprise: Jepsen won’t seek a third term as AG

Attorney General George Jepsen stunned fellow Democrats on Monday by announcing he will not seek a third term in 2018, inviting a scramble for what may be the most attractive state office in Connecticut politics right now.

A Perry Township principal led her school to its first A grade 40 years after being a student there

Chalkbeat is talking with principals across the city at schools that made some of the biggest ISTEP gains in 2017 to explore what was behind their school's progress and possible lessons for other schools. Find other Q&As here. In 1975, Whitney Wilkowski was a third-grader at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Perry Township, and she adored her teacher. “Miss Giltner,” Wilkowski said fondly, pointing at her class photo. “I loved her, and I just knew that I wanted to emulate her, so I wanted this job that she had.”
And she got it.

A Rare Opportunity

Today is Giving Tuesday—or as we like to call it around here, #GivingNewsDay. It's a big deal for us, because this time your gift goes twice as far in helping us to produce more of the deeply-reported stories you've come to expect from FairWarning. All donations will be matched, up to $1,000 per gift–so please donate today. FairWarning is a proud participant in News Match 2017. This vital initiative to strengthen nonprofit news organizations is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Democracy Fund, and will match individual gifts through December 31.

A reflection on COP23: Incremental progress but no industrialized country’s top priority (commentary)

I remember well the vibrancy that December evening in 2015 when word spread on the last day of the 21st UN climate summit that there would be an agreement — the Paris Agreement. After two decades of staring at a known and worsening global crisis of epic proportions, leaders of 196 nations, pushed mercilessly by UN, French, and US negotiators, finally decided to not allow the earth to burn up by 2100. The Eiffel Tower glowed with triumphant messages against a starry Paris sky. For the first time, nations voluntarily agreed to reduce their carbon emissions and slow the rate of deforestation. That moment in Paris felt historic, hopeful, perhaps the most significant agreement among world leaders for the greater good of this earth since World War II.

A tale of four famines.

Climate and conflict have left tens of millions with little to no access to food in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia. And across the Gulf of Aden, Yemen is also facing a shortage of food driven by war and the changing environment.

A Tale of Two Interviews: Chris Matthews Grills Bernie Sanders, Tosses Softballs to Hillary Clinton

Three weeks ago, a mere seven days from Super Tuesday, Bernie Sanders sat down with the host of MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews, for a contentious interview about the viability of his policy platform and his readiness to be commander in chief. The interview was a great example of adversarial journalism at its best, with Matthews cornering Sanders and forcing him to get specific about how he would enact his ambitious platform, and how exactly his calls for “political revolution” would translate in practice. Rather than letting Sanders dodge and bloviate, as politicians are wont to do, Matthews repeatedly pressed Sanders and forced him to answer the questions at hand. Last night, on the eve of the March 15 primaries, Hillary Clinton sat down with Matthews and received a similar grilling from the MSNBC host, who put her feet to the fire and refused to let her wriggle out of any question he asked or dubious claim she made. Just kidding.

A Texas House candidate mocked a sheriff on social media. Did he violate the law?

Bo French, a Fort Worth businessman and Texas House hopeful, argues that “Thief Bill Waybourn,” a Facebook page he launched in March 2016 to criticize then-Dalworthington Gardens Police Chief Bill Waybourn, was a harmless joke. Three North Texas law enforcement groups have taken a different view. "It wasn't merely a political prank, it potentially was a crime," the presidents of the Tarrant County Law Enforcement Association, Arlington Police Association and Dallas Police Association wrote in a joint statement Friday. "We are also calling on the Texas Rangers to investigate this scandalous crime." The page was created, taken down and investigated in March and April of 2016, but the controversy didn't emerge into the public eye until this week, as French enters a bitter Republican primary rematch against state Rep. Charlie Geren, a former friend who beat him by 16 percentage points in the same race two years ago.

A Thief and Murderer Afraid to Care, I Learned to Truly Understand What Life Is About

Just as lightning flashes and dances across the sky, so too, does this life I live. In a world away, a jungle so thick that everything touches you, a war not of my making, took my father and sister in a cloud of thundering smoke. BOOM — POOF, gone forever. I was ducking and dodging bullets and bombs in a body not mine, my mother's. She cried to heaven above and unseen spirits all around: not for what death just took but for what was not taken.

A Very ProPublica Holiday Gift Guide

by Celeste LeCompte
Our staff is incredibly dedicated to investigative journalism. But they also write novels, play music and even pen poetry. Whether you're looking for some good holiday reads, gifts for your friends and family, or something to take your mind off the news for a while, our staff has you covered. And, if you buy something on this list, ProPublica gets a tiny piece of the sale. For political junkies…

The Chickenshit Club

From the publisher:

Jesse Eisigner begins his story in the 1970s, when the government pioneered the notion that top corporate executives, not just seedy crooks, could commit heinous crimes and go to prison.

A year later, Pearl Pirates, Tylan Knight make their coach a prophet

Keith Warren/MHSAAStarkville junior Rodrigues Clark rambles for yardage with Pearl's Demonte Holliman in pursuit. OXFORD — A year ago Saturday, the much younger Pearl Pirates fiercely battled the Clinton Arrows and the great Cam Akers before Akers just proved too much. Final score: Clinton 49, Pearl 35. “We'll be back,” Pearl coach John Perry vowed. On a crisp, cool, clear Friday night at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, the Pirates made their coach a prophet.

A&M’s firing of football coach Kevin Sumlin means another big buyout for a Texas school

Texas A&M University football coach Kevin Sumlin may have had his pride wounded when he was fired this weekend. But financially, he'll be no worse off. Thanks to a raise and contract extension awarded to him in 2013, Sumlin is still entitled to the $10 million he would have been paid if he hadn't been fired by A&M, according to his employment contract. That means Sumlin will join the ranks of several other coaches from Texas who will be paid millions by state schools not to lead their teams anymore. According to his contract, Sumlin earned a base salary of $5 million per year.

Abandoned by their sponsors, Madagascar’s orphaned parks struggle on

PORT BERGÉ, ayoradagascar — Karimo and Célice could scarcely believe their luck. Four years of bumper corn harvests have allowed the husband and wife, who each go by a single name, to rebuild their house with a metal roof, buy several new humped cattle, and launch a side business putting on dances in the countryside with a pair of new speakers and an amplifier stacked on the verandah. In July, Karimo rushed to show off the seed corn he put aside from their most recent harvest, producing four oversize ears with rows of perfect amber kernels. He fanned them out in front of him like a poker hand. “Each ear is one kapoka and a half!” he said with glee.

ABC Suspends Brian Ross for Erroneous Flynn Report

ABC News has suspended investigative reporter Brian Ross for four weeks without pay for his erroneous report on Michael Flynn, which it called a “serious error,” the Associated Press reports. Ross, citing an unnamed confidant of Flynn, the former national security adviser, reported Friday that then-candidate Donald Trump had directed Flynn to make contact with the Russians. That would have been an explosive development in the ongoing investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the election. A few hours later, Ross clarified his report, saying that his source now said Trump had done so not as a candidate, but as president-elect. At that point, he said, Trump had asked Flynn to contact the Russians about issues including working together to fight ISIS.

About 6,500 Under 17 Shot to Death Since Newtown

In the five years since 20 first-graders were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct., the number of children under the age of 17 killed or wounded by gunfire in the U.S. is astounding, the Boston Globe reports. About 6,500 have been killed, and about 30,000 others have been wounded. The numbers are crunched by averaging annual numbers of deaths and injuries recorded in recent years by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts like Dr. Michael Nance of the Pediatric Trauma Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who has closely researched childhood gun injuries, said they believe the figures to be a fair representation, as stunning as they may seem. “The numbers are unbelievably high,” Nance said.

ACA signups for 2018 outpace last year’s enrollment

More Mississippians have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in the first weeks of this year's enrollment period than at this point last year, according to federal figures released Wednesday. The increase, which mimics national trends, has defied predictions that enrollment numbers would drop in the wake of restrictive new measures imposed by the Trump administration on the healthcare marketplace. Among other changes, the administration has cut advertising for the marketplace by 90 percent and reduced outreach budgets. In Mississippi, 22,889 people had signed up for the Affordable Care Act by Nov. 21, the end of week three.

Access Health projecting 2018 enrollment will match last year’s

With about three weeks left in open enrollment, Access Health CT CEO Jim Wadleigh estimates that the health insurance exchange will end the enrollment period with about the same number of customers it had at the end of last year's signup.

Accidental Gun Deaths Rose After Sandy Hook Massacre

In the days after the 2012 massacre at Newtown, Ct.'s Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun enthusiasts rushed to buy millions of firearms, driven by fears that the episode would spark new gun legislation. Those restrictions never became a reality, but a new study concludes that all the additional guns caused a significant jump in accidental firearm deaths, the Washington Post reports. The study, published Thursday in the journal Science, estimates that the 3 million guns sold in the several months after Sandy Hook caused about 60 more accidental gun deaths than would have occurred otherwise. Children were killed in a third of them — some 20 youngsters, the same number as died at Sandy Hook. The work by two Wellesley College economists tackles one of the biggest questions in gun research: how to measure the relationship between gun prevalence and gun deaths.

Acclaim and controversy on museums’ opening day

Dennis Moore, Mississippi TodayWorkers set up podium on the museum plaza Saturday morning. Getting to opening day has been a Herculean task for people who conceived, nurtured and assembled the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History — weathering last-minute controversy and a surprising snowfall at the finish line. But today, with temperatures near the freezing mark, everyone arrives to dedicate the new museums in downtown Jackson — civil rights activists who never thought they would see such a day, elected officials, everyday citizens and the president of the United States. Donald Trump's scheduled appearance, initiated by Gov. Phil Bryant, was the capstone for the saga of the museums' opening. It is both applauded and condemned.

Accused Sex Offenders Rush to Therapy, But Does It Work?

The recent surge in accusations of sexual harassment and assault has prompted some admitted offenders to seek professional help for the emotional or personality distortions that underlie their behavior, says the New York Times. “My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons,” the producer Harvey Weinstein said in a statement in October. The actor Kevin Spacey announced that he would be “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment.” Whatever mix of damage control and contrition they represent, pledges like these suggest that there are standard treatments for perpetrators of sexual offenses. In fact, no such standard treatments exist, experts say. Even the notion of “sexual addiction” as a stand-alone diagnosis is in dispute.

Activists seek protection for Indonesia’s karst amid building boom pressure

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia — Activists in Indonesia have called for the government to issue a new regulation aimed at better protecting the country's karsts, the unique rocky landscapes that are home to species found nowhere else on Earth. The current regulation governing the management of this limestone topography dates from 2012, issued by the ministry for mines and energy, which frames karst preservation in terms of its geological importance rather than its role as an ecosystem supporting a diverse range of animal and plant life. “We need a regulation with a special agency that oversees the function, exploitation and protection of karst ecosystems,” said Wahyu Perdana, campaign manager for food, water and essential ecosystems at the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), at a public discussion last month. Mining activities in a karst area in Rembang, Central Java. Photo by Tommy Apriando/Mongabay-Indonesia.

Activists urge Town Meeting votes on Vermont climate agenda

Vermonters gathered at the Statehouse to advocate for climate justice. Photo by Michael Dougherty/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Man holding earth flag" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Vermonters gathered at the Statehouse in April to advocate for climate justice. Photo by Michael Dougherty/VTDigger(This story by Matt Hongoltz-Hetling was published in the Valley News on Dec. 8, 2017.)
HARTFORD — Environmentalists are asking communities throughout the Upper Valley to put articles on their Town Meeting warnings that urge the Vermont state government to be more aggressive in combating climate change. Saying Vermont has made “insufficient progress” toward renewable energy goals, draft resolutions ask the state to ban the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructures, such as natural gas pipelines, and to step up efforts to transform the energy landscape for Vermonters.

Add St. Louis Public Radio to your holiday playlist

Every day through January 1, St. Louis Public Radio will offer listeners special holiday programming and music. There are several ways to listen – on your radio, smartphone, computer or smart speaker.

Administrative law judge tosses complaint against developer Minn over anonymous Minneapolis council campaign mailing

Peter Callaghan

LinkedInSteven MinnAn administrative law judge has dismissed a campaign disclosure complaint [PDF] against Minneapolis developer Steve Minn for an anonymous mailing targeting a City Council candidate.The reason? The person who filed the complaint didn't provide evidence that Minn had spent more than $750 on the piece, the threshold for being covered by disclosure laws. However, the complainant, Paul Birnberg of Minneapolis, did establish that Minn rented the Post Office box used as the return address for the attack on Ward 9 council candidate Gary Schiff.The state law governing the disclosure of sponsors of campaign material requires that anyone bringing a complaint has to provide enough facts to allow a judge to find a “prima facie” case that a violation occurred. That is, the facts on their face are enough to show that a violation occurred.But in this case, Jessica Palmer-Denig, an administrative law judge for the state Office of Administrative Hearings, wrote: “Minn was legally entitled to circulate campaign material anonymously, provided he acted alone and did not make more than $750 in disbursements to disseminate these items. Complainant speculates that dissemination of the campaign material must have cost more than $750 and must have required more than one individual to stuff the envelopes for mailing. Complainant doesn't offer any facts in support of these allegations.”Minn said Wednesday that he had knowledge of the disclosure law and made sure he acted in a way that would not trigger a statement on the mailing identifying the sponsor.

Advised to be vigilant, Minnesotans maintain Paris plans despite attacks

The terrorist attacks that shook Paris Nov. 13 week aren't stopping Minnesotans from traveling to the City of Light, according to local travel experts.Sandy Lovick, owner of several Travel Leaders locations throughout the Twin Cities, noted Wednesday that her own associate was on her way to Paris, which has been nursing its wounds since the Nov. 13 attacks that claimed the lives of at least 130 people.“They certainly had problems in Paris, but not necessarily in the very midst of the most popular tourist spots,” said Lovick, speaking of the reason travelers are still packing for France.She added: “But certainly, there are people who are going to think about going, and we would tell them to be most vigilant to their surroundings.”Agency sees no cancelationsLovick, who has nine travel-agency offices in Minneapolis and St. Paul, sent messages to her employees after the attacks, checking to see if clients wanted to change their flight dates. So far, the agencies have not heard a word from people wanting to cancel or delay their plans.“While there are people who probably hesitated [to travel to Paris], we — at our own offices — have not had any changes from any of our clients,” she said.Lovick added: “We have not had on any reports of any delays on our flights to Europe.

Advocates of the portfolio model for improving schools say it works. Are they right?

Author David Osborne is sure that his vision for improving schools is the right one: “If you discovered a cure for cancer, but it was politically difficult with your union, would you avoid it?”
Neerav Kingsland, another proponent of the idea known as the “portfolio” model, is also optimistic but more cautious. “There's enough evidence to try it in eight to 10 cities and see if we get good results,” said Kingsland, who leads one foundation's efforts to parcel out funding for the approach. “This reform effort might work and so I think it's really worth trying,” Kingsland said. “We just need to be sober with the evidence.”
As with many education policies, the portfolio model is gaining adherents even while an research base is still being built. Those philanthropists, nonprofit groups, and policymakers — like Kingsland at the Arnold Foundation and Osborne, on a multi-city book tour promoting the approach — are betting big on the idea that schools should be managed more like stocks in a portfolio, where successful ones should expand and failing ones should close. They point to schools in New Orleans, Denver, Indianapolis, and Washington, D.C., cities that have embraced the model to varying degrees and have seen some education metrics tick up over the last several years.

Advocates Promote Guardianship Alternatives for Adults With Disabilities

By Taylor Knopf
Janie Desmond was nervous the first time she boarded a train in Durham headed for Greensboro. From her wheelchair, the train seemed big, loud and unfamiliar. “I kind of wanted to convince my mom to take me to school, but I had to take the train,” Desmond said describing her freshman year UNC Greensboro. “There were a bunch of people on there that I didn't know.”
When the train would make stops, Desmond said she was confused about what was going on. This was one of Desmond's first explorations away from home on her own.

Advocates say CT makes further progress reducing homelessness

An assessment by the Partnership for Strong Communities states the number of Connecticut residents experiencing homelessness during 2016 fell to 10,083, a five-year low and an 8 percent decrease from 2015.

Advocates say recent net metering changes could slow solar growth in Ohio

Recent rule changes in Ohio would not fully reward solar energy and other renewable resources for the flexibility they bring to the market, say advocates. On November 8, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio released new net metering rules on how utilities compensate customers who supply their own excess generation to the grid. Compared to rule changes adopted in 2014, the changes reduce the amount customers get, limit reimbursement to credits against future bills, and make a distinction between customers who stay with the utility and those that seek out an alternative supplier. New net metering rules
Ohio's new net metering rules “made some progress in a few respects, but also took Ohio backwards in several very important regards,” said Trish Demeter at the Ohio Environmental Council. Among other things, the changes will allow a system that can produce up to 20 percent more than a customer's electricity usage.

Advocates say solar poised for growth under latest regulatory changes in Michigan

With the ongoing decline of solar energy costs and now a favorable ruling by Michigan regulators recognizing its ability to produce valuable energy during peak times, advocates say the sector is poised for growth here. Moreover, solar advocates at the national level have said Michigan could be a model for other states considering changes to “avoided cost” rates that utilities must pay independent power companies for their generation. On November 21, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) issued a final order in a case setting avoided cost rates for Consumers Energy, one of two major investor-owned utilities in the state. These are rates utilities pay independent power producers under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978, which was passed to encourage domestic renewable energy and keep costs low for ratepayers. The commission first opened the case in May 2016, and could set the tone for other utilities' avoided cost proceedings, including DTE Energy.

Advocating for a U.S. Teen in Egyptian Prison Changed Us Both

I'm writing this for the benefit of families who may have a family member trapped in a foreign prison, for other advocates and for my own closure. What I have learned could fill volumes. All the advocacy cases I have had in my career were domestic. Ahmed Hassan's case was on an international level and it has changed my life forever in myriad ways. His name is indelibly carved into my brain.

After 45 Years, Brandywine Workshop Still Thinking Creatively

It looks quiet, but the old 19th century firehouse at 730 South Broad Street, home of Brandywine Workshop, is buzzing with art and adaptation. Contributor Karen Chernick takes us behind the blue-green doors.

After 50 Years of UN Sanctions, Is the System Broken?

Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, at an African Union conference in Addis Ababa, February 2009. Steps to calm Libya's violent Arab Spring protests in 2011 through dialogue were stopped cold by a UN Security Council resolution, the authors say. (US NAVY, JESSE B. AWALT/CREATIVE COMMONS
With only few of the current United Nations sanctions cases accomplishing their political objectives, it is not unreasonable to wonder why the system seems broken. As the 50th anniversary of the first use of this important political tool is duly noted, the short answer is that nothing is wrong with sanctions. The problem is with the sanctions policymakers, particularly the leading countries on the UN Security Council, who routinely interject their national interests to confuse, conflate or corrupt UN sanctions.

After a Long Holdout, Tobacco Companies Issue Mea Culpas

Last week, the American tobacco industry began publicly admitting some ugly truths about its dark history and the health effects of smoking. The post After a Long Holdout, Tobacco Companies Issue Mea Culpas appeared first on Rivard Report.

After a Long Holdout, Tobacco Companies to Issue Mea Culpas

Tobacco industry CEOs being sworn in at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in April 1994. The executives testified that they did not believe that nicotine is addictive. (The Washington Post via Getty Images)
In a matter of days, the American tobacco industry will begin publicly admitting some ugly truths about its dark history and the health effects of smoking. The tobacco giants will launch a court-ordered national advertising campaign to end a massive fraud and racketeering case that the federal government brought against the industry nearly two decades ago. The campaign will run on TV, in newspapers, online and on cigarette packaging.

After a mother’s surprising request, this Colorado debate coach realized the value of her work

How do teachers captivate their students? Here, in a feature we call How I Teach, we ask great educators how they approach their jobs. You can see other pieces in this series here. Renee Motter, an English teacher at Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, was taken aback several years ago when a student's mother told her it was up to her to save her daughter. Then Motter thought about it and relaxed.

After a Wildfire, Scams Rage – Here Are Three to Watch Out for

The foundation of a home in Fallbrook remains standing after the Lilac Fire engulfs a nearby community. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
Almost as predictable as the wildfires in California are the scams that inevitably follow. People in vulnerable positions – who are panicked and in search of assistance – sometimes fall for any number of scams. It doesn't help that people running fraudulent schemes often know how to make their efforts appear legitimate. These are a few of the cons and bad business practices that local and state officials are urging residents to watch out for in the wake of the latest wildfire. Price-Gouging
This is America, after all, so individual businesses are free to charge whatever they want for goods or services.

After another Colorado child commits suicide, search for solutions intensifies at schools and the statehouse

As the tragic circumstances of a Colorado fifth-grader's suicide draws widespread attention, two state lawmakers said Friday they plan to introduce legislation next year aimed at helping schools try to prevent such cases. “I want to have a conversation that 10-year-olds die by suicide,” state Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet told Chalkbeat. “And we need to be doing more to help them.”
The Commerce City Democrat's comments follow the death of 10-year-old Ashawnty Davis, who hung herself in her closet, according to multiple reports. Ashawnty's parents say she was “devastated” after a video of her confronting a bully after school was posted to a social media app, Anthony Davis and Latoshia Harris, Ashawnty's mother and father, are raising questions about whether Sunrise Elementary in Aurora, part of the Cherry Creek School District, did enough to prevent the incidents before their daughter's death.

After Indian Point: Leaving Waste High and Dry

The advantages, and risks, of dry cask storageAfter Indian Point: Leaving Waste High and Dry was first posted on November 26, 2017 at 10:12 am.

After losing state funding, groups try to prevent infant deaths seek donations

Lessons on safe sleep practices for low-income parents, and 200 portable cribs. That's what a $20,000 contract represented for a St. Louis nonprofit, before the Missouri Department of Health decided not to renew it this fall. “We were told they are switching their focus … to violence prevention,” said Lori Behrens, executive director of Infant Loss Resources. “It's hard to argue with the need for that.”

After losing state funding, groups trying to prevent infant deaths seek donations

Lessons on safe sleep practices for low-income parents, and 200 portable cribs. That's what a $20,000 contract represented for a St. Louis nonprofit, before the Missouri Department of Health decided not to renew it this fall. “We were told they are switching their focus … to violence prevention,” said Lori Behrens, executive director of Infant Loss Resources. “It's hard to argue with the need for that.”

After the Keystone XL Approval, Here’s What’s Next for the Climate Movement

After months of public hearings and deliberation, Nebraska's Public Service commission on November 20 approved a route for the Keystone XL pipeline in a 3-2 decision. The years-running fight against the controversial infrastructure project, however, is far from over: Organizers up and down the project's route are already lining up to stop it, whether in courts or on construction sites. And whether Keystone XL ends up getting built or not, the battle against it has already changed the way Americans relate to the fossil fuel industry. Last Monday's outcome wasn't an ideal result for either side. The confines of what the commission was allowed to consider in its decision were strict.

After years of seeking asylum in U.S., a Mexican reporter and his son just narrowly escape deportation

EL PASO – Mexican reporter Emilio Gutiérrez and his son Oscar have been fighting to stay in the United States for nearly a decade. That fight almost came to a grinding halt on Thursday after they were cuffed and hauled away by immigration agents during what his lawyer said should have been a routine check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The episode was the latest in what's been an immigration saga that predates President Donald Trump's crackdown on immigration and asylum seekers. But it's now taken a new – and possibly dangerous – turn, his lawyer Eduardo Beckett told The Texas Tribune Friday. Gutiérrez fled the border state of Chihuahua in 2008 when his reporting on cartels and military corruption there led to a price being placed on his head.

Age Well receives $25,000 grant from Walmart Foundation to support Meals on Wheels

News Release — Age Well
Nov. 29, 2017
Sara Wool
Director of Development & Communications
Age Well (formerly the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging)
November 29, 2017 (Essex Junction, VT) — Walmart and the Walmart Foundation recently presented a $25,000 grant to Age Well in support of its efforts to deliver more than 250,000 meals over the next year to homebound seniors and support infrastructure that will ensure greater quality and efficiencies in meal preparation and delivery for the largest Meals on Wheels provider in the state of Vermont. The grant will also provide funding to support Age Well's new meal delivery technology, ServTracker which enables online management of delivery routes, dietary needs, volunteer schedules and much more. The grant was made available through the Walmart Foundation's State Giving Council. “Given our rapidly aging population, increasing costs, and funding that is not keeping pace, programs like our nutrition services face unprecedented challenges to meet a growing demand,” said Sara Wool, Director of Development & Communications at Age Well.

Airline-style variable pricing comes to Bromley, Cranmore, Jiminy Peak

News Release — Fairbank Group
Nov. 14, 2017
Media contact:
Jeff Blumenfeld
Blumenfeld and Assoc. PR
203 326 1200,
HANCOCK, Mass. (Nov. 14, 2017) – As the start of the 2017-18 ski season has begun, the Fairbank Group of New England ski resorts – Bromley Mountain, Cranmore Mountain Resort and Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort – today officially launched airline-style variable lift ticket pricing for skiers and riders able to plan ahead and purchase tickets online before they arrive.

Airport Opens Short-Term Parking Garage in Time for Holidays

Travelers can now access terminals through a pedestrian tunnel without having to cross the busy access road for arrivals. The post Airport Opens Short-Term Parking Garage in Time for Holidays appeared first on Rivard Report.

Alabama flees Moore: ‘There are bridges you just don’t cross’

Eric Black

I did not believe Democrat Doug Jones would defeat Republican Roy Moore for the Senate seat. Luckily, I am long since over the idea that I know what will happen in the future. But at least I know it.So, to belabor the obvious, which you have surely learned elsewhere, Jones seems to have won the special election (although as of press time Moore has refused to concede). There's some talk in the Moore camp of a recount, but none of the smarties seem to be taking it seriously.Jones likely will be sworn in in early January, shortly after the holiday recess. That will make it a 51-49 Republican majority, which is still a majority but obviously leaving little room for defections.

Alaska Grassroots Alliance Aim To Melt GOP’s Cold Cold Heart

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—On Nov. 14, 2017, bundled-up members of the Alaska Grassroots Alliance gather on the sidewalk outside local offices of Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to protest the pending Republican tax overhaul. Joni Bruner, an organizer with the Alliance, is wearing a puffy lavender parka and tending to urns of hot chocolate to fortify protesters against the subfreezing temperature and the strong northerly wind. “It's really cold,” she says.

Alder-Elect Targets Civilian Review Board

Steve Winter will never forget what cops did to him seven years ago. Now he has a chance to help make sure that when cops do that to other citizens, citizens have a chance to hold them accountable.

Alderwoman drops lawsuit over Scottrade upgrades, clearing the way for financing deal

A St. Louis alderwoman and two other city residents have dropped a lawsuit challenging the use of public money to make upgrades to the Scottrade Center. A circuit court judge was scheduled to hear arguments in the case on Monday. The agreement removes one of the last legal barriers to a plan passed in February that requires the city to sell about $100 million in bonds to finance improvements such as a new scoreboard and ice-making equipment.

Alexander Friend: Burlington Telecom and local control

Editor's note: This commentary is by by Alexander Friend, of Burlington, a volunteer with Keep BT Local who works at UVM and is a member of the Burlington Planning Commission. The views expressed are his own. The situation with Burlington Telecom could not be more stark. On the one hand, we have the mayor and some city councilors backing the nominally cautious approach of selling our internet utility to a private company in exchange for modest returns and near-term stability. On the other hand, we have a bunch of “idealists” who want to turn the thing into a cooperative, and with borrowed money.

Alexis Lathem & Shay Totten: Megadams and the flood of lies

Editor's note: This commentary is by Alexis Lathem and Shay Totten. Lathem, who has paddled 200 miles of the Lower Churchill River to Muskrat Falls, has reported on hydroelectric development in Quebec and Labrador since the mid 1990s. Her story on Hydro-Quebec's Romaine River project — “Rage on, Sweet Romaine,” — appeared in Canada's Alternatives Journal. Totten lives in Burlington and is the communications director for Rights & Democracy, a bi-state, grassroots advocacy organization working in communities throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Gov. Phil Scott likes to claim that Vermont's longstanding relationship with Quebec is allowing the state to remain “energy independent” while at the same time thwarting in-state renewables.

All Minnesota metro areas’ GDPs grew in the past two years except one: Duluth’s

Greta Kaul

Duluth is kind of having a moment. In recent years, it's been named the best town in America (by Outside Magazine). The transformation of its Canal Park with shops and restaurants has helped revitalize its waterfront area. Tons of parks and trails make the Duluth area something of an outdoors mecca. And it's home to some of the state's destination breweries.

Almost 80% of San Antonians Drive to Work Alone, Says Census Data

If you live in San Antonio, chances are you drive a car to and from work. And chances are, according to new estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau, you're also driving alone. The post Almost 80% of San Antonians Drive to Work Alone, Says Census Data appeared first on Rivard Report.

Alt-Transiteers Map Street “Anarchy” Attack

Bike in protected lanes, pay tolls, erect red-light cameras, walk on safer sidewalks — and run, for office.Alternative transit advocates identified that vision for getting around New Haven and, with in part with the running suggestion, debated how to realize it, at a strategy session Monday night.

Altering prices of seven foods could save thousands of U.S. lives each year, study suggests

Susan Perry

Changing the cost to consumers of just seven types of food — making the healthful ones (like fruits and vegetables) cheaper and the unhealthful ones (like sugary drinks) more expensive — could significantly reduce the number of Americans who die each year from coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, according to a study published recently in the journal BMC Medicine. Such changes would especially benefit lower-income Americans and would therefore help address the growing health disparities between the rich and the poor in the United States, the study also found.An unhealthful diet is considered a major cause of coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, and people with lower incomes are known to be at higher risk of developing these and other cardiometabolic diseases. As the authors of the study point out in their paper, past public health interventions to get people to improve their food choices, such as education campaigns or more detailed food labeling, have had some positive effects on Americans' dietary habits — but mostly among people with higher incomes and more education. Study detailsFor the current study, a team of researchers from Tufts University did a comparative risk assessment analysis using national data on the food choices of Americans (broken down by age, gender and socioeconomic status), the known associations between those foods and the risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases, and the effects of price changes on people's buying habits.The researchers focused on five foods that have been associated with a lower risk of disease (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds) and on two that have been associated with a higher risk (processed and unprocessed red meats and sugary drinks).The analysis revealed that if the prices of all of these foods were altered by 10 percent each (lowered for the healthful foods and increased for the unhealthful ones), an estimated 23,000 deaths per year could be prevented in the United States — or about 3.4 percent of all deaths from coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. If prices were altered by 30 percent, the number of lives saved would triple, to an estimated 63,000 per year, or 9.2 percent of all deaths from the three cardiometabolic diseases.The largest impact of the altered food prices was observed for stroke, followed by diabetes and then coronary heart disease.

Alvarez Flips, Torpedoes Council Decision on Vacation Rentals

City Councilmen Scott Sherman and David Alvarez / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
In the days before Tuesday's City Council meeting, few were speculating about whether City Councilman David Alvarez would sign off on new vacation-rental regulations. He was one of four councilmen who signed a September memo agreeing to a largely permissive compromise. They modified it and reissued it just weeks ago. With four votes, they would only need one more. It did not seem difficult.
A partner on the memo, Christopher Ward, stuck with the plan through withering criticism as labor groups activated in support of Councilwoman Barbara Bry's alternative, more restrictive proposal.

Amazon “Sleigh” Delivers

Move over, Santa's Sleigh. Amazon got here first, giving new humane resonance to the term “fulfillment.”

Ameren warns customers to watch out for utility scams

Ameren is working to address the rising number of sham calls that have affected roughly 1,500 of its customers. The utility company has racked up nearly 30 calls a week from people who have reported being on the receiving end of the ruse. According to Ameren, the scam callers have been impersonating their employees, claiming they will disconnect the customer's service unless they make an immediate payment.

America’s teachers don’t move out of state much. That could be bad for students.

Certification rules can make moving to a new state a serious hassle for teachers. That might explain a recent finding: Teachers are significantly less likely to move between states than others with similar jobs — and past research suggests that students suffer as a result.
The study, which uses national data from 2005 to 2015 and was released this week through the National Bureau of Economic Research, appears to be the first to document how frequently teachers move states compared to those in other occupations. Teaching stands out: Relative to jobs requiring a similar level of education, teachers were 45 percent less likely to move to different state, but only 5 percent less likely to move a long distance within a given state. This suggests that teachers aren't averse to moving — there are just strong incentives to not cross state lines. That “may limit the ability of workers to move to take advantage of job opportunities,” the researchers write.

America’s largest private landlord faces civil rights lawsuit

The largest corporate landlord in the United States was hit with a federal civil rights lawsuit this week that alleges a blanket refusal to rent to tenants with a criminal record. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday, the nonprofit Equal Rights Center argues that Memphis, Tennessee-based Mid-America Apartments' policy of categorically forbidding anyone from renting an apartment who has a “felony conviction or pending felony charge as well as certain misdemeanors or pending misdemeanor charges” violates the Fair Housing Act of 1968 because it has a “disproportionate adverse impact on African Americans and Latinos.”
Company officials did not return two emails and three phone calls seeking comment, and have not yet filed a response to the suit in court. Mid-America Apartments has doubled its holdings since 2013 and is now the largest private landlord in the country, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council, with more than 100,000 apartments across the Southwest and Southeast. The complaint alleges Mid-America Apartments enforced the policy in at least 55 housing complexes containing over 20,000 units. The apartments were formerly owned by Post Properties, an Atlanta-based megalandlord that Mid-America acquired last year for $3.9 billion.

American Airlines Expands Tweed Service

Airplane riders will have smoother flights — and more daily seats to try to reserve — from New Haven to Philadelphia now that American Airlines is switching from using 37-seat, Dash 8 turboprop service with 50-seat, CRJ- 200 regional jets.

American-Made Gifts

Pop-up shop through Nov. 26American-Made Gifts was first posted on November 25, 2017 at 10:44 am.

Amid Population Swell and Affordability Worries, NYC Looks to Region to Absorb Some Growth

Adi TalwarCommuters at Grand Central Terminal on the day before Thanksgiving
In 2002, Andrew Alper, the newly appointed president of the city's Economic Development Corporation, appeared before the City Council to explain his strategy for making New York City more competitive. “We are, with a lot of people's help, trying to make sure we do a better job of marketing and positioning New York City as a brand,” he said, as quoted by Julian Brash in Bloomberg's New York: Class and Governance in the Luxury City. “In the past, I think, we relied on the fact that New York is at the crossroads of the world, it is the business capital of the world. We sort of let people come to us. Well, you know what?

Amid Rush to Deploy Driverless Cars, Federal Regulators Urged to Keep Hands on the Wheel

The era of driverless vehicles appears to be rapidly approaching, raising a bevy of urgent questions about how to prevent the emergence of new hazards on the nation's roads. So, how much preparation have federal transportation authorities carried out to meet the challenge of the advent of self-driving cars and trucks? Not nearly enough, according to a new 44-page report by the Government Accountability Office, a Congressional watchdog agency. Citing numerous scenarios in which autonomous vehicles could cause tragedies, the GAO said a lack of comprehensive planning makes it unclear whether federal transportation officials “are well-positioned to fully address the challenges posed by automation.”
The report's most vivid sections zero in on practical driving concerns. For example, what happens when an automated vehicle recognizes a hazard, such as a boulder, in the road – but can't get around it because it's programmed not to cross a double-yellow line?

Amid rush to deploy driverless cars, federal regulators urged to keep hands on the wheel

By Paul FeldmanFairWarning
The era of driverless vehicles appears to be rapidly approaching, raising a bevy of urgent questions about how to prevent the emergence of new hazards on the nation's roads. The post Amid rush to deploy driverless cars, federal regulators urged to keep hands on the wheel appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

Amid sexual harassment allegations, Sen. Dan Schoen and Rep. Tony Cornish to resign from the Legislature

Briana Bierschbach

A Democratic state senator and Republican House representative announced Tuesday they will resign from the Minnesota Legislature, after multiple women accused both men of sexual harassment during their time in office. DFL Sen. Dan Schoen's attorney, Paul Rogosheske, said the senator will resign in a Wednesday afternoon news conference, according to the Star Tribune. Rogoscheske did not return multiple calls from MinnPost. Schoen was facing mounting pressure to step down from top leaders in his own party, including Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.Republican Rep. Tony Cornish told the Mankato Free Press that he plans to step down on Dec. 1 after serving eight terms in the House.

Amid sexual harassment controversy, U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold faces tough re-election

WASHINGTON — In the face of a storm of controversy and a slew of challengers, U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold indicated Monday he's still running for re-election. This time around, it will likely be a lonely battle for the Corpus Christi Republican. "It's lonelier than it's been in past times, but he's not alone," said Farenthold's chief of staff, Bob Haueter, on Monday evening. Farenthold found himself at the center of the sexual harassment firestorm engulfing the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 1 when Politico reported that he had settled a sexual harassment lawsuit using $84,000 in taxpayer funds.

Among global companies, efforts on deforestation lag

Global efforts by companies to tackle deforestation are lagging behind climate actions, with the adoption of zero deforestation policies going at a snail's pace, according to a recent report by London-based non-profit CDP. The forest report found that only 13 percent out of 201 companies surveyed adopted zero net deforestation policies. Companies that adopt a zero deforestation commitment exclude high conservation value (HCV) or land under conservation and high carbon stock (HCS) land or peatland from exploitation and require the free, prior and informed consent of local people to any land-use activity that affects them. Adopting zero deforestation policies is a critical step in stopping global forest loss as deforestation accounts for up to 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to CDP. The impact of deforestation on climate change might have also been underestimated, with carbon emissions from deforestation estimated to have twice the impact on climate as emissions from other sectors.

An Indianapolis private school touted by DeVos is adding 400 more seats

An Indianapolis private school that is dedicated to promoting racial and economic integration is planning to grow by 50 percent in the coming years. The growth, which school officials say was made possible by larger-than-expected donations, will set the Oaks Academy up to potentially bring in even more in voucher funding from the state. The Oaks is a private Christian school with three campuses in the city's urban core. Leaders plan to expand the school to educate 1,224 students, up from its current enrollment of 815, according to a release. The school consistently earns top marks from the state because of students' test scores and, unusually, has a racially and economically diverse student body.

An Update On ‘The Pope’s Long Con’

On Monday, we launched a new series from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. “The Pope's Long Con” is a five-part investigative series that focuses on state Rep. Danny Ray Johnson. Our story revealed Johnson's history of lies and deception, including attempted arson, false testimony, and an allegation of sexual assault.
On Wednesday night, Johnson committed suicide in Bullitt County, which is part of the district he represented in the statehouse. We are shocked and saddened by Johnson's death, and we – like many of you – are grappling with what happened. Maranda Richmond, a former member of Johnson's church, went on the record with KyCIR to say Johnson had molested her in 2013, when she was 17 years old.

An Upset In Trump Country: Democrat Doug Jones Bests Roy Moore In Alabama

Updated at 12:44 a.m. ET Democrat Doug Jones has won the Alabama Senate special election, a victory that was a stunning upset in a deeply red state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. The president, who had backed Republican Roy Moore despite multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, congratulated Jones on Twitter. The win by Jones, projected by The Associated Press two hours after the polls closed Tuesday night, is sure to send shock waves through Washington. The special election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who left the Senate in February, was upended in November as multiple women came forward to say Moore had pursued them romantically as teenagers when he was in his 30s. Some alleged he had sexually assaulted them, including one woman who said he had initiated sexual contact with her when she was just 14.

Analysis: “Who?” for Governor of Texas

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. It's not that the Democrats don't have any candidates for governor of Texas; their problem is that the state's voters know next to nothing about the eight people who are running. A melodious name might be more valuable in this primary than a winning political philosophy. All eight Democrats start out at the same point: getting asked about their beef with Gov. Greg Abbott. They drop “I'm in,” and the news tribe starts its downpour of questions: Why do we need a change?

Analysis: A political earthquake hits the Texas congressional delegation

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Six gone, and counting: It usually takes a brutal round of redistricting to get rid of this many members of the Texas congressional delegation. This is not yet a record, but the quitting season has a couple of weeks left. Not everyone in the state's 36-member delegation to the U.S. House has filed for re-election, but just a few months ago, nearly all were expected to. Things changed rapidly; at least a sixth of those people are leaving, and more could join them.

Analysis: Can Texas politicians police themselves?

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. It's not going to be any easier to police sexual harassment in the Texas Capitol than it is to police ethics violations; the difference, at the moment, is that lawmakers have spent more time regulating ethical transgressions. It's not easy to get arms-length enforcement of elected state officials. They don't have bosses, the way the rest of us have bosses. The human resources departments in the House and the Senate can handle a lot of employee issues, but not a lot of officeholder issues.

Analysis: In 2018, watch the political undercard

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Texas Democrats don't have a statewide slate. This is the place where a columnist has to add the word “YET,” since there are two more weeks for candidates to file for office. Texas Democrats don't have a statewide slate YET. And this isn't the standard-issue election opener about how Texas Democrats are cooked and there's no need to check their pulse; this is about voter turnout and how to win down-ballot elections without big-time candidates making news and advertising and stirring things up.

Analysis: Politicians will take sexual harassment seriously when voters do

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The 181 members of the Texas Legislature are not sovereigns — it just seems that way. Give them credit for giving the pent-up backlash against sexual harassment some attention. They're trying to develop policies that will protect harassment victims and to give them some recourse, or at a minimum, some way to report the transgressions of the overwhelmingly male Legislature without being punished professionally for doing so. One problem, reported last week by the Texas Tribune's Jolie McCullough, Alexa Ura and Morgan Smith, is that it will be hard to make any new rules stick.

Analysis: Sometimes, the Texas political agenda sets itself

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Bad news has a way of hanging in there — it persists — in spite of the wishes of the ruling class in Texas. It's hard to control the agenda when you can't control people's attention, and there is really only one person right now who can reliably change the course of civic conversation with a single tweet, and he's not a Texan. Texas officeholders have a lot less control, and they're in a bumpy patch. Between courts and scandals, football and storms, rats of the literal and figurative varieties, state leaders have lately been forced to react to outside events instead of blazing new trails and dazzling voters with improvements in education, healthcare, transportation and all the other things government does.

Analysis: Texas has more than one problem with government rats

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The Brown-Heatly State Office Building in Austin is home to the state's Health and Human Services Commission. It's infested by rats. And it's a metaphor — but maybe not in the obvious way — for your state government. Sure, it's entirely possible that state government is full of rats; your view on that will probably vary with your political temperament.

Analysis: What recent election results in Texas congressional districts tell us about 2018

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. In the three much-discussed Texas congressional districts where Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and where Republican incumbents are defending their seats, Gov. Greg Abbott won handily in 2014. The differences are important as the political world turns its attention to 2018: Donald Trump wasn't on the ticket in 2014, and Texas Republicans do better in non-presidential election years. The 2016 results, combined with the flagging popularity of the nation's top Republican, have buoyed Democratic hopes of some wins in the biggest red state in America. Trump lost to Clinton in congressional districts represented by Republicans John Culberson of Houston, Will Hurd of Helotes and Pete Sessions of Dallas, and Texas Democrats are licking their lips at the prospect of wins there.

Analysis: What recent election results in Texas state Senate districts tell us about 2018

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Half of the state senators in Texas don't have to run for re-election until 2020, and at least one of them should consider himself very, very lucky. State Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, represents one of the most politically competitive districts in the state. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by almost 12 percentage points in Uresti's SD-19. In the 2014 governor's race, Republican Greg Abbott finished just a whisker ahead of Democrat Wendy Davis — 0.1 percentage points.

Analysis: What state government can learn from college football

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Why run government like a business? Friends, there is a better way available: Run it like a major college football team. Find those underperforming state agencies. The fastest way to find them is to ask the people who watch them all the time.

Analysis: Why George P. Bush is jealous of Ken Paxton

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who was probably second on most lists of the most politically vulnerable officeholders in Texas, will face a Republican primary opponent in 2018. Attorney General Ken Paxton, at the top of most lists — what with those security fraud indictments and a running legal fight with prosecutors — won't. His challenges won't come from his fellow Republicans, but from opponents in the November general election. The months leading up to the candidate filing deadline were full of talk about who might challenge whom, a drawn-out round of punditry often centered on Miller and Paxton on the Republican side, and on whether Texas Democrats would cough up a full statewide slate (yes) that would include brand-name personalities (not if you're looking for celebrities and well-established politicos).

And Here’s the Wrap: #GIJC17 Highlights

The 10th Global Investigative Journalism Conference was an intense five days of sharing, learning, networking and creating new journalism partnerships. The event, organized for the first time in the African continent, brought together over 1200 media practitioners from 130 countries to Johannesburg, South Africa, from Nov 15 to 19, 2017. As Huffington Post's Ferial Haffajee, moderator of the plenary session “Investigating the New Autocrats,” aptly put it: it was a huge “gathering of troublemakers and the world's worst nightmares under a single roof.” Here are some highlights from the conference. Harrowing Stories from the Frontlines
Investigative journalists from around the world, including Philippines and Russia, shared inspiring tales of reporting under oppression and harsh conditions, all while facing physical threats and online vitriol. “Once upon a time – which is the only good & proper way to begin a story – there was a mother & a father who lived in a cinder block house w/ their 6children in the slums.” @patevangelista‘s harrowing story & more in #GIJC17 plenary round up @ThaliaHolmes
— GIJN (@gijn) November 17, 2017

Tips, Tools, Techniques
One of the biggest takeaways of the conference was the practical tips and tools the expert investigative and data journalists presented.

And The Band Played “Boola Boola” …

The candidates and their supporters swarmed through the smoky hotel convention hall, girding for battle. Jay Gitlin watched from his perch at his keyboards — not realizing he would become a musical political tool by evening's end.

Anheuser-Busch strategy prompts craft brewers to fight back with humor

St. Louis could become one of the next fronts in the battle between large and small beer companies. A nonprofit group representing independent brewers is trying to slow acquisitions by larger corporations, like Anheuser-Busch InBev, which has been on a purchasing binge of the past few years, buying several prominent craft beer companies including Goose Island, Breckenridge and Wicked Weed.

Annual winter manure spreading ban effective Dec. 15-April 1

News Release — Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
Dec. 15, 2017
Ryan Patch
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
Montpelier, VT / December 15, 2017 – The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets would like to remind all state farm operations that the 23rd annual winter manure spreading ban is underway. As required by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets' (VAAFM) Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs), between December 15 and April 1, no manure or other agricultural wastes (including: compost and spoiled feed) may be spread on agricultural fields throughout Vermont. This annual ban is required by the RAPs, which is a part of VAAFM's overall strategy to protect water quality, the working landscape, and natural resources. VAAFM works closely with farmers across the state to ensure the RAPs are understood and complied with.

Another blow to troubled Madagascar rare earth mine

A rare earth mining project in Madagascar that has been in turmoil for the last two years took another blow in September, when its concession, previously valued at over $1 billion, was reappraised at just $48 million. Tantalum Rare Earth Malagasy (TREM), a company owned by firms in Germany and Singapore, holds the rights to the 92-square mile (238-square kilometer) concession, located on the Ampasindava peninsula in northwest Madagascar, just across the water from Nosy Be, the country's main tourist destination. Demand for rare earth elements, sometimes called “technology metals,” has risen in recent decades because they are used in the production of smartphones and other modern devices. China dominates the market for rare earths, having produced more than 85 percent of world supply for the last few decades. But the environmental and health impacts of rare earth mining have caused Chinese authorities to restructure the industry and close, or attempt to close, many of the mines.

Another reason you shouldn’t eat raw cookie dough: the flour

Susan Perry

Here's a family tradition that you'll need to discard this holiday season: When baking cookies, cakes, breads or other tasty items, resist the temptation to scrape the bowel and nibble on any leftover raw dough.And, no, that's not only because you might get salmonella poisoning from uncooked eggs. For, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Tuesday in a Consumer Update, even eggless raw dough can make you sick. Harmful bacteria can be found in dry flour, too.“Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria,” explains Leslie Smoot, a food safety specialist at the FDA, in the Consumer Update. So, if animal waste gets on the field, either from cattle manure used as fertilizer or from deer or other animals, the grain can become contaminated — and remain that way until it ends up in your kitchen.Complex detective workThe FDA's updated warning comes on the heels of a report published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that recounts how health officials doggedly traced a 2015-2016 outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) to a batch of contaminated flour.In that outbreak, there were 56 confirmed cases of people (aged 1 to 95) who became ill with STEC. Sixteen of those individuals ended up being hospitalized, and one — a teenage girl — experienced kidney failure, although she recovered.

Another UMD coach leaves position

A resignation that makes you say hmmmm: Annette Wiles, the University of Minnesota-Duluth women's basketball coach, resigned Monday and is the third female head coach to leave the university this year. Matt Wellens of the News Tribune reports that she was with the Bulldogs for seven seasons, taking UMD to the NCAA Division II tournament in 2010 and 2012, and finishing with a 109-86 record. She follows Shannon Miller, the former women's hockey coach, and Jen Banford, who served as women's hockey director of operations and head softball coach. Wiles cites an unhealthy work environment at the university. Miller and Banford have filed a complaint against the university with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and Wiles is expected to join them.The folks in Austin are taking a deserved victory lap after former TV and radio news director, Riverland Community College instructor and former mayor John O'Rourke has been named to the Minnesota broadcasting Hall of Fame.

ANR: Feds may gut funding for Lake Champlain clean up

The EPA is unlikely to roll back clean water requirements for Lake Champlain. Federal funding, however, may dry up and drive up state costs even further, the Scott administration told lawmakers Monday. Representatives from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources explained the precarious finances of the federal program at a standing room only hearing held in a tucked away corner of the Statehouse. The House Committee on Corrections and Institutions committee heard testimony from Scott administration officials Monday as part of a review of a funding report. Lawmakers also learned that inflation was not included in the estimated $1.2 billion in total costs for the 20-year cleanup effort.

Ansley Bloomer: Local wood achieves local good

Editor's note: This commentary is by Ansley Bloomer, the assistant director of Renewable Energy Vermont. A healthy working landscape is a crucial part of Vermont's identity. With almost 80 percent of Vermont covered in forested land, wood markets provide a sustainable economic solution for rural Vermont communities. Stewardship of these natural resources is essential, so historically we have relied on low-grade wood markets to incentivize the tasks essential to maintaining forest health. However, this past year we saw a significant loss of low-grade wood jobs.

Anticipated increase in ICE detainees puts Vermont out of state inmates in limbo

The Vermont Department of Corrections is having difficulty finding a new location for out of state prisoners because of an anticipated influx of immigrant detainees. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is looking to lease beds in locations across the country, Vermont officials say. State prison commissioner Lisa Menard told the Senate Appropriations Committee this week that federal demand for prison beds is impacting the search for a new placement for Vermont prisoners held out of state. Lisa Menard, commissioner of the Department of Corrections. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Lisa Menard" srcset=" 300w, 125w, 610w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Lisa Menard, commissioner of the Department of Corrections.

António Guterres, Please Reform the UN’s Human Rights Tools

Protesters from the Femen women's rights group in Kiev, campaigning against a regular summer hot-water switch-off, 2010. Ukraine has recently undergone a UN human-rights periodic review, which noted that the government was creating a post of commissioner for gender equality. CREATIVE COMMONS
When recently asked what keeps him up at night, António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, gave a straight answer: bureaucracy as well as “fragmented structures, byzantine procedures, endless red tape.” Such flaws also apply to UN human-rights mechanisms, and Guterres should ensure that his UN-wide reform agenda prioritizes strengthening such tools, which can be done through practical steps. UN reform on human rights should not just focus on the Human Rights Council; it should also aim at improving complementary roles and coherence among the three major UN human-rights aspects: treaty bodies, special procedures and the universal periodic review. The Trump reform agenda for the UN has resulted in major cuts to some important UN humanitarian programs that benefited millions of women and girls around the world, especially in developing countries.

Application fee waived through Dec. 15 for Snelling Center’s Early Childhood Leadership Institute

News Release — Snelling Center for Government
Dec. 1, 2017
Suzanne Trahey
Early Childhood Leadership Institute
December 1, 2017 – The Snelling Center for Government is currently accepting applications for the Early Childhood Leadership Institute Class of 2018 and the non-refundable $25 application fee is being waived from December 1-15. The Early Childhood Leadership Institute is a unique leadership and personal transformative institute, initiated in 2014 to stimulate enthusiasm for and effective participation in efforts to improve early childhood work in Vermont. ECLI brings a group of diverse participants together for twelve seminar days over six months starting in May 2018 and is an initiative of the 2014 Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge Grant. ECLI is designed to develop participants' understanding of themselves and their impact on others, share knowledge and understanding of early childhood issues, and strengthen habits of curiosity, inquiry, listening, authenticity and reflection in leadership to make greater contributions in participants' organizations and communities.

APT Pays $883,859 For Double-Billing

The APT Foundation, already under fire for its relationship with the Hill neighborhood surrounding its methadone drug-treatment center, has also been in hot water with the federal government.

ArchCity Defenders co-founder is on a new mission: to end cash bail.

Since Thomas Harvey helped start ArchCity Defenders in 2009, he has delivered legal representation to the homeless and working poor throughout St. Louis. But now, Harvey is taking part in a nationwide effort that could get tens of thousands of people charged with a crime out of jail while they await a trial. Harvey is relocating to Los Angeles to take a position with the Bail Project, which is seeking to pay the bails of roughly 160,000 people over the next few years. The organization plans to set up operations in 40 cities, including St.

Archivist Hargrove Has 27,000 More Homicides Than FBI

Homicide archivist Thomas Hargrove now has the largest catalogue of killings in the country—751,785 murders carried out since 1976, about 27,000 more than appear in FBI files, reports The New Yorker. States are supposed to report murders to the Department of Justice, but some report inaccurately, or fail to report altogether, and Hargrove has sued some of these states to obtain their records. Using computer code he wrote, he searches for statistical anomalies among ordinary murders resulting from lovers' triangles, gang fights, robberies, or brawls. Each year, about five thousand people kill someone and don't get caught, and a percentage of these men and women have killed more than once. Hargrove intends to find them with his code, which he calls a serial-killer detector.

Arctic data shows no pause in global warming: Study.

Researchers have long puzzled over an apparent contradiction in climate change calculations that suggested global warming may have paused or slowed down between 1998 and 2012 even as increased emissions of greenhouse gases in that period should have accelerated the phenomenon.

Arctic Refuge drilling permission tucked into tax bill: What’s at stake

Mark Porubcansky

Tucked into the Senate version of the mammoth tax bill is a longstanding Republican priority that has been unable to win approval on its own: authorization for oil and gas exploration in part of Alaska's 19-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.In 1995, President Clinton vetoed a budget that would have permitted drilling. In 2005, a filibuster by Democrats stopped it. This year, if Republicans in Congress can agree on a final version of the tax bill and ram it through both Houses, it probably will be included. There is little doubt President Trump would sign it into law.That doesn't mean, though, that drilling is likely to start anytime soon. The immediate future is more likely to be dominated by lawsuits and the economics of the global petroleum market.

Are Police Dogs Really Effective in Subduing Suspects?

The proliferation of smart phones and body cameras may make it easier for Los Angeles lawyer Donald Cook to win lawsuits over police dog bites, NPR reports. Cook has mainly lost so far, which he blames on “The Rin Tin Tin Effect.” Juries think of police dogs as noble, and have trouble visualizing how violent they can be during an arrest. In fact, the dogs can inflict a lot of bloody violence, Cook says. Videos of serious incidents should provide more evidence for Cook's cases. Police dog handlers say dogs are a valuable method for subduing dangerous suspects while protecting officers from harm.

Are you ready for some championship football?

Keith Warren/MHSAAStarkville coach Chris Jones won a state title at Kemper County last year. If you appreciate really good high school football – and I do – Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Ole Miss will be the place to be this Friday and Saturday. These eyes have been watching Mississippi high school football for forever, and I cannot remember ever seeing such a compelling slate of six championship games. Start with this: The combined records of the 12 participating teams is 161-11. That's an average of 13.4 victories per team.

Are Youth of Color Benefiting From Juvenile Justice Reform?

Within the scope of juvenile justice literature, studies highlight the need for both immediate and long-term reform measures. This is clearly pertinent given the existence of racial disparity in terms of treatment and confinement among youth in the United States. In fact, federal and state-level funding has been provided to address this dilemma during the past 10 to 15 years. There are a variety of programs and policies that facilitate juvenile justice reform efforts. For instance, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has instituted a number of effective measures designed to reduce the use of detention among youth.

ARIJ Awards Top Investigative Journalists in Mideast, North Africa

Journalists from Egypt, Yemen and Jordan who exposed human rights abuse and state-run mass surveillance took top prizes for the best investigations in print, film and multimedia in 2017 at the 10th Forum for Arab Investigative Journalists this weekend. Prize Winners: Journalists at the 10th Forum for Arab Investigative Journalists in Jordan. The winners were announced at a gala dinner Sunday in Jordan, the final day of the conference, which was organized by Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), the region's only investigative journalism network, which has been promoting a culture of investigative reporting in Arab newsrooms since 2005. This is the first year that ARIJ opened its competition to all investigative journalists in the Middle East and North Africa, not only those whose in-depth reports came after training and funding from ARIJ. “This reveals the confidence ARIJ has in the international standards ARIJeans have reached,” said Jordan's Rawan Damen, an award-winning journalist and media executive who headed the four committees judging the 2017 ARIJ Prizes.

Arkansas Lagging on Juvenile Justice Reform

Two decades ago, Arkansas had the lowest delinquent youth confinement rate in the region and one of the lowest in the nation. Now, the most recent U.S. Justice Department data show the rate at which Arkansas locks up its youth is higher than all but one of its neighbors, Louisiana, reports the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network. In 2015, Arkansas confined 175 youths for every 100,000 in the general population. The national rate that year was 152, a number that shows the sea change in juvenile justice after confinement of youths peaked in the mid-1990s. The nation has seen a 57 percent decrease in youth confinement since 1997, when the rate was 356.

Arkansas’s Jailed Youth Population Declines

Arkansas Nonprofit News Network
This story is the second part of a series. Read the first part here. Two decades ago, Arkansas had the lowest delinquent youth confinement rate in the region and one of the lowest in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Now, the most recent OJJDP data shows the rate at which Arkansas locks up its youth is higher than all but one of its neighbors, Louisiana. In 2015, Arkansas confined 175 youths for every 100,000 in the general population.

Armenian Dolmas a Thanksgiving Treat

Hollister resident Keith Bonner prepares traditional Armenian dolma's to share with his family on Thanksgiving Day

Arrests along border dipped sharply under Trump, according to federal data

Federal border and immigration officials said Tuesday that the number of people caught trying to enter the country illegally reached near-historic lows during the government's 2017 fiscal year, which ended on Sept 30. Yet the number of unaccompanied minors and family units who were apprehended or who turned themselves in, continues to plague border agents – even amid President Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration. During the last fiscal year, U.S. Border Patrol agents made 310,531 apprehensions while Customs and Border Protection officers recorded 216,370 inadmissible cases, according to year-end statistics. That's a 24 percent decline over the 2016 fiscal year. The federal government's fiscal year runs from October to September and the 2017 numbers include the last three full months of the Obama administration.

ARTI-Culture to celebrate one-year anniversary

The free event will feature live music and raffles.

Artists create work that explores the edges of St. Louis

As the sun sets, several people circle around giant plastic disk laid out behind the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. The disk inflates and attendees are invited to walk back and forth as it grows into a massive bubble. Adults giggle as performers run around the inflated orb before inviting people inside. The exhibit is part of “ At the Edge of Everything Else ” a creative soiree hosted by artist and organizer Gavin Kroeber. It's part of a project to highlight art rooted in the urban fabric of St.

Arts Awards Celebrate “Creative Ecosystem”

Daniel Fitzmaurice, executive director of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, stood before the assembled audience in the ballroom of the New Haven Lawn Club in a turquoise suit adorned with roses.“Have you been to the beach lately?” he asled.

Arts Council Joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement

In celebration of #GivingTuesday, the San Benito County Arts Council launches The Art of Giving to raise funds for its Arts in Education Program

As 2017 hurricane season ends, scientists assess tropical forest harm

Puerto Rico's El Yunque National Forest in 2014, before this year's hurricanes damaged the forest canopy. Photo by HBarrison on / CC BY-NC-SA On September 20th, the 150 mile-per-hour winds of Hurricane Maria barrelled into Puerto Rico, the worst storm to hit the island in recent history. Maria destroyed tens of thousands of homes, and, over two months later, widespread power outages still affect much of the island and hurricane-related deaths continue to rise due to a lack of access to healthcare. A recent satellite analysis shows just how completely Maria changed the natural face of the island. El Yunque National Forest — the United States' only national tropical rainforest — was altered almost beyond recognition, with leaves lost, branches snapped and trees downed.

As Bayer and Monsanto push for merger, Texas farmers fear rising prices

Two of the world's largest agricultural firms plan to merge, and some Texas farmers fear the move will diminish competition in an already shrinking market and cause prices for seeds and other essential products to spike. German conglomerate Bayer, a global distributer of seeds best known for its pharmaceuticals like aspirin, hopes to buy Missouri-based agricultural firm Monsanto, which sells agricultural chemicals. But the merger must first gain approval from European antitrust regulators. The market for seeds and other agricultural materials has been dominated by six firms, including Bayer and Monsanto. Recent mergers — one between Dow and DuPont, and another joining ChinaChem and Syngenta — dropped that number to four, and a Bayer-Monsanto merger would leave just three giant companies in the sector.

As budget talks begin, top New York lawmaker eyes cuts from Washington

It's Washington politics — not Albany's — that are keeping state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie up at night as he girds himself for New York's coming budget season. New York is facing its own $4.4 billion budget deficit amid ongoing power struggles in Albany. Yet it's the tax overhaul being pushed by Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump, along with possible federal spending cuts -- both of which could take a bite out of funding for New York schools -- that are worrying Heastie, a Democrat who represents the Bronx and is closely aligned with the New York City teachers union. “Absent any other federal action that can do damage, I think we can manage that so that our schools will be fine and our healthcare can be fine,” he said Tuesday during a preview of next year's legislative session hosted by the union. “It's the unknown of what's going to happen.

As Congress deliberates funding for children’s health insurance, Missouri makes plans

As Congress deliberates over whether to renew funding for children's health insurance and community health centers, the delayed decision is forcing local agencies to make contingency plans. The funding represents $3.4 million for the nonprofit Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Centers in St. Louis. “For us, it's a possibility that we would have to close one of our sites,” MHD spokeswoman Deneen Busby said. “It would be about 60 employees impacted.”

As Congress deliberates over funding for children’s health insurance, Missouri makes plans

As Congress deliberates over whether to renew funding for children's health insurance and community health centers, the delayed decision is forcing local agencies to make contingency plans. The funding represents $3.4 million for the nonprofit Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Centers in St. Louis. “For us, it's a possibility that we would have to close one of our sites,” MHD spokeswoman Deneen Busby said. “It would be about 60 employees impacted.”

As Congress readies tax overhaul, an accountant explains its impact on Connecticut taxpayers

As a historic overhaul of the nation's tax code nears the finish line, Connecticut taxpayers have deluged their accountants with questions over its impact on their households or businesses. “As a tax practitioner I'm kind of excited to see this happen, but at the same point there's a lot of anxiety out there as well,” says Andrew Lattimer, a certified public accountant and tax specialist at the West Hartford office of BlumShapiro. In this Sunday conversation, Lattimer explains how the new tax plan would affect Connecticut taxpayers.

As CPS irons out school budgets, charters will also get more cash

CPS is increasing the per-pupil funding provided to charter schools for this year in order to “equalize” funding between them and traditional schools. Charter school operators say that even with the slight increase, some of them are down so many students that they have had to shift spending around to create a balanced budget. CPS will spend an additional $7.8 million on charter schools, but spokesman Bill McCaffrey says he is not sure how much more per-pupil that amounts to. The decision is in response to the late September announcement that CPS would not cut traditional school budgets even if they had less than the projected number of students. Under student-based budgeting, schools get a stipend for each student, but ever since implementing the new strategy two years ago, officials have declined to take money away from schools that enroll fewer students than expected.

As districts across the country try to drive down absenteeism, New York City leads the way

As Anna Diaz started her sophomore year of high school, simply making it to class each day was an ordeal. Her home life was sometimes chaotic, her mom was out of work, and she wrestled with depression. On top of that, after a summer of bouncing from hotel to hotel, her family relocated to Queens, lengthening her commute to her Brooklyn high school to nearly two hours. As a result, she rarely made it to first period at Cypress Hills Collegiate Preparatory School, and missed roughly 15 percent of her sophomore year. “I was going through a lot,” recalled Diaz, now a senior at Cypress Hills.

As Indonesia pushes flagship land reform program, farmers remain wary

JAKARTA – Marsudi has mixed feelings about the visit earlier this month by Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to his small village of Nganduk in East Java province. On the one hand, it was cause for celebration as Jokowi handed out permits to the 58 members of Marsudi's farmers' association that would allow them to manage and protect a swath of nearby forest — part of the president's flagship land reform program. But on the other hand, the permits were only the first in a series of hurdles to overcome before the plan can become reality. “Truthfully, I felt pessimistic right after the president's visit,” Marsudi says. “Because usually when there's a festive ceremony [like the visit], the impact only lasts for two or three months.” Marsudi was among dozens of farmers from across Java who spoke at an event at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in early November in honor of the permits they received as part of Jokowi's “social forestry” program.

As international enrollment declines nationwide, UT-Dallas looks for ways to halt the slide

To get a sense of the importance of international students to the University of Texas at Dallas, you only need to look at the annual Homecoming Parade. One of the main attractions of the fall tradition, which includes a performance by the pep band, cheers from the cheerleaders and floats made by fraternities, is the Parade of Flags, where dozens of students from countries such as Egypt, Mexico, China and Iran march through campus waving the flags of their homelands. But this year, there were fewer students available to join the march. After years of growth, international student applications to UT-Dallas dropped by about 6 percent in 2017, school officials said. It's part of a nationwide trend — a recent report by the Institute for International Education said international student enrollment is down 7 percent nationwide this fall — but for a school like UT-Dallas, the decline is a particular threat.

As national debate over discipline heats up, new study finds discrimination in student suspensions

Black students in Louisiana are suspended for slightly longer than white students after being involved in the same fight, according to new research that adds to a roiling national debate about school discipline. The study comes as the U.S. Department of Education appears to be considering rescinding Obama-era guidance on school discipline. Its findings — that black students are treated more harshly — bolster the case of civil rights groups that want the guidelines to remain, noting that suspension rates for America's black and poor students remain disproportionately high. “Given that we find that direct discrimination occurs in this context, with a black and white student receiving different punishments for the same exact incident, it seems likely that direct discrimination would [also] occur where discipline disparities are less visible,” the researchers write. Still, the difference between suspensions given to black and white students was quite small, amounting to a fraction of a school day.

As New York City prepares to close more struggling ‘Renewal’ schools, here’s what we know about ones they’ve shuttered before

In the coming days, struggling schools in the city's "Renewal" improvement program will learn whether they get more time to mount a comeback -- or will be shut down for good. New York City education officials are expected to announce soon which of the low-performing schools will close at the end of this academic year. The decision will have enormous consequences for students and teachers who will have to find new schools — and will likely rekindle debate about the effectiveness of Mayor Bill de Blasio's $582 million effort to turn around troubled schools by infusing them with social services and academic support. As the Renewal program passed its third birthday in November — a date by which the mayor promised to decide which schools aren't measuring up — officials have been tight-lipped about which schools are on the chopping block. Chalkbeat analyzed the previous rounds of closures — nine schools out of the original 94 — to understand which schools might be targeted this time.

As one Wisconsin coal plant closes, neighbors of another worry pollution will shift to their backyards

When We Energies announced the closing of its Pleasant Prairie coal-fired power plant in southeastern Wisconsin last week, residents and clean power activists applauded. But the news has also caused anxiety as some fear it means We Energies will increase production at a pair of coal-fired power plants about 15 miles away. Those concerns are heightened by earlier news that tech giant Foxconn plans to open a large factory nearby, which will likely increase power demand in the area. Residents have long worried about both the emissions coming out of the power plants' stacks and the coal dust from the coal piles and train cars supplying the Elm Road and Oak Creek plants — known together as the Oak Creek campus. “It's great that Pleasant Prairie is closing down, and I'm sure the people that live near that plant have to be thrilled,” said Sister Rejane Cytacki, who leads the Eco-Justice Center of the Dominican Catholic community in Racine County.

As states update rules for solar, no guarantee of friendlier policies

Missouri is the latest state where utility regulators are reevaluating outdated rules on customer-owned solar power and other distributed energy sources. The experience of two neighboring states shows there's no guarantee the effort will result in policies that are more favorable for renewable power. Across the country, commissions have been playing catch-up with policies in the wake of rapid economic and technological change around clean energy, according to Karl Rábago, a distributed-energy consultant who has provided testimony in some Midwestern states. In some states, notably California and New York, regulators have adopted new policies designed to advance clean energy, Rábago said. In others, “you'll have … no recognition of the need for change.

As Tennessee governor’s race ramps up, so does the conversation around schools

A powerful advocacy group helping to steer Tennessee's education policy is now working to shape the conversation around schools heading into the 2018 governor's race. The State Collaborative on Reforming Education, also known as SCORE, on Wednesday unveiled five priorities aimed at moving Tennessee up from the middle of the pack on student achievement. The list offered no big surprises. The priorities are mostly based on strategies that have emerged in overhauling K-12 education during the last 16 years under two different governors, Democrat Phil Bredesen and most recently Republican Bill Haslam. However, this checklist offers a sharper focus than any previous ones from SCORE.

As the J20 Trials Begin, We Must Not Allow Trump to Imprison Dissenters When They Are Needed Most

Editor's Note: On Inauguration Day, thousands of people took to the streets of Washington, D.C. to participate in a “Disrupt J20” coordinated day of direct actions, blockades and protests against the incoming Trump administration. One part of this mobilization—the anti-capitalist, anti-fascist contingent—was targeted by a heavy police crackdown, and more than 200 people in or near this demonstration were surrounded and arrested. Now, more than 190 of the people caught in this sweep face rolling trials, with the first kicking off this week as supporters flood the courtroom. The majority of defendants are fighting heavy charges and up to 60 years in prison at the hands of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, which answers directly to Jeff Sessions' Department of Justice. Often vilified in the press, J20 defendants have had few public platforms to share their experiences on Inauguration Day—and describe what motivated them to take action.

At open enrollment midpoint, Obamacare sign-ups boom in Arizona

Halfway into the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment, the number of people signing up per day is sharply higher than it was last year, with about 500 more Arizonans signing up every day. The deadline is Dec. 15, and premiums in Arizona are expected to increase by only about 2 percent this year.

At this Perry Township school, progress isn’t just about testing, it’s ‘the work we do every single day in our classrooms’

Chalkbeat is talking with principals across the city at schools that made some of the biggest ISTEP gains in 2017 to explore what was behind their school's progress and identify possible lessons for other schools. As Principal Star Hardimon hurried down the hallway of Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, she had her sights set on Tom Stahlhut's fourth grade classroom, where in just minutes students would be packing up for an assembly. She carried a gold trophy, which is awarded to the classroom that saw the most improvement on math or English practice tests for that month, part of a new program called Evaluate. Kids were already lining up to leave, but she stepped quickly into the room. One student was already on to her surprise.

ATF Finally Starting Its Bump Stock Review

Two months after a shooter in Las Vegas killed 58 people and injured hundreds more, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has just started reviewing whether it has the authority to ban bump stocks, used by the shooter to make his guns behave like automatic weapons, McClatchy Newspapers reports. After the mass murder, Democrats and Republicans in Congress began calling for more regulation of the devices. When the National Rifle Association opposed new legislation but said it would support regulatory measures by ATF, lawmakers called on the agency to determine whether it had the authority to regulate bump stocks without congressional action. ATF said it was starting the process just before Acting Director Thomas Brandon is testifying to a Senate committee. Chris Harris, spokesman for Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), said Congress should act quickly to allow ATF to ban bump stocks.

Atlanta a Center of Stepped-Up Immigration Policing

Few places in the U.S. have both beckoned undocumented immigrants and penalized them for coming like metropolitan Atlanta, a boomtown of construction and service jobs where conservative politics and new national policies have turned every waking day into a gamble for the undocumented, reports the New York Times. Immigration arrests are up more than 40 percent this year. While the Obama administration deported record numbers of undocumented immigrants, it directed agents to focus on arresting serious criminals and recent arrivals. The current administration has erased those guidelines, allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to arrest and deport anyone here illegally. The regional ICE office in Atlanta made nearly 80 percent more arrests in the first half of this year than it did in the same period last year, the largest increase of any field office.

Attorney general to review Hartford officer’s use of force

(This story by Jordan Cuddemi appeared first in the Valley News on Nov. 22, 2017.)
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The Hartford Police Department and an independent investigator have asked state prosecutors to review whether one of the town's officers mistreated a suspect in a holding cell. The request came after other police officers raised questions about the conduct of the officer, whom authorities haven't publicly identified. An outside investigator hired by Hartford police prepared a report after reviewing the Sept. 14 incident involving 32-year-old Jeffrey Stroike, officials said Tuesday.

Attorney general, secretary of state warn of fraudulent ‘fundly’ scam targeting municipal officers

News Release — Office of the Attorney General
November 21, 2017
Christopher Curtis
Chief, Public Protection Div. (802) 828-5586
Eric Covey
Secretary of State's Office
(802) 828-2148
This morning an email sent from a fake account meant to mimic an official Vermont Secretary of State email address was sent to some municipal officials soliciting donations for a family “in dire need” claiming a 3-year old girl “desperately needs your help.” Anyone with a heart is likely to be moved by such a plea, especially around Thanksgiving, a time when Vermonters actively look to help their neighbors in need. But, this Thanksgiving season, Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan and Secretary of State Jim Condos are warning Vermonters about a scam targeting municipal officials that preys on the good intentions of others. Secretary Condos says the email purporting to be from his office to help a child in need is false. “My first priority is always to help Vermonters engage with state government and to assure them of the integrity of state government,” said Secretary of State Jim Condos.

Attorneys: Cook County judge’s corruption polluted his handling of murder case

Chicago Sun-Times; Illinois Department of CorrectionsLeft: a mugshot of Ronnie Carrasquillo showing his face swollen after being beaten by the police, which ran in the Oct. 12, 1976 issue of the Chicago Sun-Times. Right: an undated photo of Carrasquillo in prison. Attorneys for a man convicted of the 1976 murder of a Chicago police officer asked a Cook County judge Wednesday to overturn the verdict or sentence, contending the trial judge treated their client unfairly to deflect criticism of his own corruption. The argument came on behalf of Ronnie Carrasquillo in a courtroom at the George Leighton Criminal Courthouse that was attended by dozens of his family members and supporters.

Attorneys: Life-saving transplant still affecting firefighter facing charges

Brent M. Garrow, a Rutland firefighter, appears in Rutland Superior Court on Thursday to face a charge of impersonating a police officer. Pool photo by Robert L. Layman/for the Rutland Herald
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Brent Garrow" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Brent M. Garrow in court. Pool file photo by Robert L. Layman/Rutland HeraldRUTLAND — Attorneys for a city firefighter who is facing criminal charges for the second time in several months say their client is still dealing with the emotional aftereffects of a kidney transplant. “It's never been mentioned what an emotional toll getting an organ transplant must have on a person,” attorney Sabina Smiechowski said of Brent M. Garrow, 31, outside a courtroom Monday where he was arraigned on charges of DUI and leaving the scene of a crash. W. Tracy Carris, co-counsel in the case, echoed Smiechowski's comments, adding that his client had to deal with thoughts of his own mortality at a young age.

Audio: Amazon tribe’s traditional medicine encyclopedia gets an update, and conservation effectiveness in Madagascar examined

On today's episode, we'll get an update on an ambitious effort to document traditional indigenous healing and medicinal practices in the Amazon and speak with the reporter behind Mongabay's popular new series on conservation efforts in Madagascar. Our first guest on today's episode of the Mongabay Newscast is Christopher Herndon, a medical doctor who studied at Yale and Harvard who is currently based at the University of Washington. Herndon, who is on Mongabay's board, has worked over the past decade and a half in some of the most remote regions of the Amazon to research the medicinal plant knowledge and healing systems of indigenous peoples. As co-founder and president of the group Acaté Amazon Conservation, Herdon has supported the Matsés people in planting healing gardens, which are basically living pharmacies as well as classrooms, and to document their traditional healing and plant knowledge in an encyclopedia. Mongabay interviewed Herndon back in 2015 about the first volume of the encyclopedia, and that article went on to become our most shared piece that year.

AUDIO: Apocalypse, Now.

Science fiction has always been an outlet for our greatest anxieties. This week, we delve into how the genre is exploring the reality of climate change.

Audio: Audio: How the UT System spends portions of its $20 billion endowment

It's no secret that college is getting more expensive – or that America's student debt has erupted into a full-on crisis. But it's not just loans that are putting pressure on Americans seeking an education. This segment, produced by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX — and reported by The Texas Tribune's Matthew Watkins and Neena Satija of the Tribune and Reveal — explains that students face a variety of obstacles, from rising tuition rates to hard-line immigration laws. A little over a year ago, administrators tapped Bill McRaven, a former four-star admiral, as chancellor of the University of Texas System. McRaven immediately proposed a series of “quantum leaps” that he promised would put UT's enormous endowment to good use – and make it “the envy of every system in the nation.” Several huge purchases later (including a land parcel worth more than $215 million), questions still linger about whether students are benefiting from McRaven's sweeping changes.

Audio: Margaret Atwood on her conservation-themed graphic novel, dystopian futures, and how not to despair

Today's episode features best-selling author and environmental activist Margaret Atwood as well as the founder of a beverage company rooted in the Amazon whose new book details the lessons he's learned from indigenous rainforest peoples. Like our guest on the last episode of the Mongabay Newscast, Jane Goodall, our first guest on today's episode probably needs no introduction. But here goes anyway: Margaret Atwood, whose novels and poetry have won everything from an Arthur C. Clarke Award for best Science Fiction to the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction, recently tackled a medium she is not as well-known for: comic books. Not only that, but she has written a comic book series, called Angel Catbird, that “was a conservation project from the get-go,” she told Mongabay. The graphic novel explicitly looks at the environmental impacts of pet cats, the plight of declining North American songbird populations, and other ecological concerns, within a really captivating story about a half-man, half-owl, half-cat superhero named Angel Catbird (and yes, he deliberately has three halves).

Audit finds Burlington Uber drivers have clean records, cars

BURLINGTON — A sample of the city's Uber drivers received clean marks from city inspectors during the first round of audits required under a new local ordinance. About a year after the Burlington City Council mandated scrutiny of Uber drivers operating in the city, the resulting report shows the first batch of drivers audited had clean criminal histories, relatively new cars and adequate driving experience. Under the process, Uber — actually a subsidiary called Rasier LLC — provides a list of driver identification numbers, and city officials randomly pick 25. Burlington City Councilor Max Tracy, P-Ward 2, speaks at Monday night's meeting. Photo by Emily Greenberg/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Max Tracy" srcset=" 232w, 97w, 768w, 610w, 116w, 1239w" sizes="(max-width: 232px) 100vw, 232px" data-recalc-dims="1">Burlington City Councilor Max Tracy, P-Ward 2.

Audit: Mental Health Administration failed to check patients’ eligibility and patient information is not secure

By Charlie Hayward
State auditors found that the State Mental Health Administration found that the MHA failed to:

Keep documentation showing patients who received over $16 million in mental health services were eligible
Assure timely reviews/audits of provider claims and perform regular bank reconciliations
Maintain adequate security over computers and sensitive patient data
Keep adequate internal control over cash receipts

The Mental Health Administration delivers comprehensive care, treatment, and rehabilitation of individuals with mental illnesses, either through a network of hospital facilities operated by MHA or through community service agencies. MHA spent $788 million during fiscal year 2013. MHA receives funding from multiple federal and state sources and each funding source can have different eligibility rules. Because of this, MHA must keep detailed records about patients so the funding source is correctly matched to each patient service. Eligibility documentation missing; important statistics not kept
MHA utilizes an Administrative Services Organization (ASO) to review its mental health services.

Auditor: Six rural Mississippi hospitals in critical condition

Auditor Stacey Pickering briefs reporters on rural hospitals in Mississippi. Six public rural hospitals are on life support, according to an analysis the state auditor published Wednesday. Speaking to reporters in his office, Auditor Stacey Pickering said his office examined the profitability, debt loads, liquidity and quality of buildings and assigned a score to 19 public rural hospitals, which account for nearly 17 percent of all hospitals. Of the six that are in poor condition, three are located in the Delta: North Sunflower Medical Center, Greenwood Leflore Hospital and Tallahatchie General Hospital. “We're talking about some of the poorest of the poor in Mississippi rely on their community owned public hospitals,” Pickering said.

Auditor’s report finds school superintendents’ pay increases outpacing teachers

Missouri's top public school leaders are getting larger salary bumps than the teachers they're overseeing, according to an audit from state auditor Nicole Galloway. The audit released Monday found a large gap in the pay range of superintendents that's not always based on district size. Overall pay is up 31 percent from 12 years ago, according to the auditor. During that same time, teacher salaries increased 22 percent.

Award-winning St. Louis poet Mary Jo Bang latest poetry collection draws influence from the Bauhaus

On Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh talked with author and Washington University professor Mary Jo Bang about her work and new poetry collection, “A Doll for Throwing.” Bang said the unusual title comes from several sources of inspiration. She liked the concept of German designer Alma Siedhoff-Buscher's “throw dolls” – dolls that no matter how they are thrown, always land with grace. “I was rather charmed by that idea because in fact, we're all human dolls and we're often thrown, and the idea of always landing with grace would be quite consoling,” Bang said. The other meaning for “A Doll for Throwing” is the concept of a ventriloquist adding a voice to a doll.

AZ Man Pleaded With Police Before He Was Killed

After an Arizona police officer was acquitted of second-degree murder charges, officials released graphic video showing Daniel Shaver crawling on his hands and knees and begging for his life in the moments before he was shot and killed by police in January 2016, the Washington Post reports. The shooting, by Philip “Mitch” Brailsford, then an officer with the Mesa Police Department, occurred after officers responded to a call about a man allegedly pointing a rifle out of a fifth-floor window at a La Quinta Inn. Shaver, 26, had been doing rum shots with a woman he had met earlier that day and showing off a pellet gun he used in his job in pest control. The graphic video, recorded by Brailsford's body camera, shows Shaver and the woman exiting the hotel room and complying with commands from officers. The video was shown during the trial; it was released after jurors acquitted Shaver on Thursday.

Baby and Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both…Baby and Dog was first posted on December 2, 2017 at 8:59 am.

Baby and Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both…Baby and Dog was first posted on November 28, 2017 at 9:07 am.

Back from Nowhere, Ride delivers at the Riv

If the primary measure for the validity of a band's reunion is whether the group left unfinished business in need of completion, a strong case can be made for the return of Ride, the groundbreaking Oxford quintet that was one of the most vital in the shoegaze/dream-pop scene of the early '90s.As dedicated manager Dave Newton noted in the balcony of the Riviera Theater Friday night, Ride only played Chicago twice in its first incarnation. When the band asked for a show of hands for how many had seen it back in the day, a mere handful in the packed crowd shot up. And as great as it is on the four albums it produced between 1990 and 1996, it was always louder, harder, and much more intense—almost overwhelming in the style of its peers and Creation labelmates My Bloody Valentine—onstage.The enormously talented Andy Bell, who fronted the group with fellow guitarist-vocalist Mark Gardener, went on to become a hired hand with Oasis, then Liam Gallagher's Beady Eye. He likely played to more people at some festivals than had seen Ride on the entirety of its first U.S. tour, and that just ain't right: Think of John Lennon joining Herman's Hermits.The influence of the group's swirling guitars, seductive harmonies, and driving rhythms looms large on the current rock scene, with Montreal's Besnard Lakes, which opened with a strong set on Friday, just one of a dozen worthy examples. And though Ride's last album Tarantula represented a bit of a retrenching, number three, Carnival of Light, is an unjustly overlooked gem that significantly broadened the trademark hazy sound, offering a dozen new directions that could still have been explored if Bell, Gardener, frenetic drummer Loz Colbert, and stoic bassist Steve Queralt hadn't gone their separate ways for a time.So, hell, yeah, it was great to have the original foursome back at the Riv.

Back in the USSR

For a good deal of the 20th century, it was difficult to know much about how Russians were getting on in the USSR and what they were making of the extraordinary changes their lives were undergoing. My father started learning Russian at the beginning of the Second World War (“the Great Patriotic War” for Russians of his and my generation), partly because the Russians became our allies. He was not a Communist, but many of his friends were. I unsatisfactorily studied Russian in 1952 at Cambridge, mainly in order to read the literature. We didn't discover very much, though we read Turgenev's warnings and Tolstoy's almost impenetrable epilogue to War and Peace, which castigates historians for mapping their versions of the past onto a few “great” men and their victories and defeats.

Baler girls’ soccer to host alumni game

Annual event reunites former players and raises money to help purchase warm-ups, equipment, league patches and other training and cover other team expenses

Baltimore On Track For Worst Homicide Year Ever

Baltimore, which has by far the highest per-capita homicide rate among biggest U.S. cities, is on track to have its worst year on record, the Wall Street Journal reports. More than 300 people have been killed this year. Home to 615,000 people, the city has recorded more killings this year than either the much larger New York or Los Angeles. While Chicago has had more homicides, Baltimore is No. 2.

Baltimore Police Department “In Crisis,” Ex Official Says

Staggered by civil rights violations, corruption convictions and the unsolved killing of a homicide detective, the Baltimore Police Department is closing out its dismal year with a depleted force struggling to contain soaring violent crime while also trying to restore wavering public trust, the Baltimore Sun reports. While the department flails, city, state and federal officials appear to be operating from competing playbooks, which the Sun calls “a lack of coordination that law enforcement professionals warn could deepen distrust.” When Gov. Larry Hogan came to Baltimore last week to announce a crime-fighting plan for the city, Baltimore officials stayed away. Mayor Catherine Pugh thanked Hogan, but said the plan offered nothing new. On Wednesday, a fifth officer from the formerly elite gun trace task force pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges for his role in a scheme to shake down criminal suspects and innocent citizens. Homicide Detective Sean Suiter had been set to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the task force when he was shot in the head last month.

Bands Make It Hot On A Snowy Night

By the time Elison Jackson took the stage at Cafe Nine on Saturday, the crowd had reached near capacity. The evening should have been the night of a thousand shows, with abundant musical offerings from Three Sheets to Best Video. The winter's first snowstorm forced a lot of cancellations elsewhere. But at Cafe Nine the Saturday night crowd, perhaps rallying from the other closed venues, filled with faces new and familiar as the snow piled up outside the windows.

Banker turned baker shares his recipe for success

Martin Philip is head bread baker at Norwich's King Arthur Flour. Photo by Lars Blackmore
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Martin Philip" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 673w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Martin Philip is head bread baker at Norwich's King Arthur Flour. Photo by Lars BlackmoreNORWICH — Martin Philip, head bread baker at this town's King Arthur Flour Co., recalls the time New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult sought his help while researching a culinary novel. “We spent an afternoon making challah, bagels and bialys,” he says, “chatting, laughing and fully stuffing ourselves.”
So when the Arkansas boy turned New York banker turned Vermont baker asked her to review his attempt at penning the first pages of his hopscotch game of a life story, she reciprocated by taking a look — and, surprisingly, giving him the name of her agent. Philip has done many things in his nearly half-century on the planet, from studying music to surveying the East and West coasts before settling in New England as a husband, father and occasional ultramarathon runner.

Barbara Lee’s War on War

Congressional negotiations over the Pentagon's annual budget are usually a staid affair, with much of the focus on lawmakers' favored pork projects. But on June 29, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) won nearly unanimous support on the appropriations committee for her measure to sunset the post-9/11 authorization for the use of military force, or AUMF, essentially a blank check for American wars. Though Paul Ryan stripped the measure from the bill later in the summer, Lee singlehandedly launched a debate on the issue in Congress, with Republicans and Democrats alike asking whether the president should have this power. Lee's success also comes as a vindication; she was the only member of Congress to vote against the AUMF. “September 11 changed the world,” she said at the time.

Barbuda’s Communal Land Ownership

Gregory ScruggsIn September, Hurricane Irma leveled the island of Barbuda and all 1,800 residents were evacuated. Now, redevelopment and the end of collective land ownership threaten to keep them off their land.

Barrasso investigates Russian deal with Wyo. uranium facility

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso yesterday requested documents related to the 2010 deal granting Russia control over some American uranium. The Republican from Wyoming — the nation's top uranium state — is conducting his own investigation into the Obama administration signing off on a Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corp. subsidiary taking control of Uranium One Inc., a Canadian firm with Wyoming operations. Recent reporting revived the “scandal” that President Trump invokes to deflect criticism about his own Russian connections. According to The Hill, Obama officials knew at the time of the deal that the FBI was probing a bribery racket that would lead to the 2015 conviction of a Kremlin-linked uranium executive (Greenwire, Oct.

Barrasso investigates Russian deal with Wyo. uranium facility

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso yesterday requested documents related to the 2010 deal granting Russia control over some American uranium. The Republican from Wyoming — the nation's top uranium state — is conducting his own investigation into the Obama administration signing off on a Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corp. subsidiary taking control of Uranium One Inc., a Canadian firm with Wyoming operations. Recent reporting revived the “scandal” that President Trump invokes to deflect criticism about his own Russian connections. According to The Hill, Obama officials knew at the time of the deal that the FBI was probing a bribery racket that would lead to the 2015 conviction of a Kremlin-linked uranium executive (Greenwire, Oct.

Barred Woods announces new line of handcrafted maple granola products

News Release — Barred Woods LLC
Dec. 1, 2017
Barred Woods LLC is pleased to announce a new line of healthy, handcrafted Maple Granola products. The granola is produced in Hardwick, VT at the Vermont Food Venture Center. The granola is made from organic oats and sweetened with Pure Vermont Maple Syrup. Two flavors are available: maple pecan with pumpkin seeds and cranberries and maple pecan with almonds and raisins.

Barrie Dunsmore: Trump stirs up more trouble

Editor's note: This commentary by retired ABC News diplomatic correspondent Barrie Dunsmore first appeared in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus and Rutland Herald Sunday edition. All his columns can be found on his website. I watch cable news a great deal – more, I'm sure, than is good for one's mental health. But it does give me some credibility when I offer my choice of the most authentic and credible critic of President Donald Trump – veteran Republican strategist Steven Schmidt, who these days appears mainly on MSNBC. The name may not instantly ring a bell for you.

Barrier-Breakers Get Personal At Women’s Retreat

One not-for-profit director was told she was a mouthy know-it-all for expressing her opinions. One business executive was asked to train a new hire for the promotion she was promised. One government staffer said she holds in so much frustration that she sometimes feels ready to explode.As more black women assert themselves in business and politics, they're feeling that kind of strain in the workplace. As trailblazers in their fields, they regularly face pushback to their ascension. But alone without a colleague to turn to, isolation can take its toll.

Barrio Logan Residents Want Clean Air — So Stop Asking and Make it Happen

A school bus drives through Barrio Logan. / Photo by Sam Hodgson
Children suffer in Barrio Logan because polluting businesses operate next to homes, schools and parks. Families here live on the same street as companies like SA Recycling. You might think “recycling” means neat rows of bins for glass and cans, but SA Recycling crushes junked cars creating hazardous wastes, and moves mountains of debris onsite using noisy and diesel-driven equipment. Additionally, fires at recycling centers are regular occurrences, and SA Recycling had a large, middle-of-the-night fire in 2015 that sent toxic smoke into our homes.

Barrios granted two-year stay, but his case is ‘an exception’

Federal immigration officials have granted Luis Barrios, a Guatemalan native who has spent decades living in Derby, a two-year stay of his deportation, giving him ample time to formally pursue asylum in the United States. His reprieve may prove to be an outlier under new Trump administration deportation policies, however.

Barton told woman he would report her to Capitol Police if she exposed his secret sex life

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, who apologized Wednesday for a lewd photo of him that circulated on the Internet, told a woman to whom he had sent sexually explicit photos, videos and messages that he would report her to the Capitol Police if she exposed his behavior, according to a recording reviewed by The Washington Post. The woman spoke to The Post after the lewd photo was published Tuesday by an anonymous Twitter account. She shared a secretly recorded phone conversation she had with Barton in 2015 in which he warned her against using the explicit materials “in a way that would negatively affect my career.”
The woman described encounters and contact spanning a five-year period that began online after she posted a message on Barton's Facebook page in 2011, leading to the sexually explicit exchanges and ultimately a pair of physical sexual encounters in Washington and Texas. Over time, she said, she became aware of and corresponded with multiple other women who engaged in relationships with Barton, who represents a suburban Dallas district and is one of the most senior Republicans in the House. The woman, who is not married, spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect her privacy.

Bassfield + Prentiss = Class 3A state crown

OXFORD — Jefferson Davis County coach Lance Mancuso this past week preached two essentials for beating Yazoo County in the State 3A Championship:
• “I told them our offensive line had to win their battles. They had to dominate the line of scrimmage.”
• “And I told them that on defense we had to have 11 guys running to the football and getting after (Kenny) Gainwell.”
Rick Cleveland
Missions accomplished. Jefferson County High, in its first year of existence, accomplished that and a lot more in a 36-7 trouncing of Yazoo County's previously undefeated Panthers. Thus far, the combining of Bassfield and Prentiss high schools, at least on the football field, has worked to perfection. When people talk about the Jeff Davis Panthers, what they usually talk about is s-p-e-e-d.

Battle over coal ash continues in Illinois, with hearings underway

After five years of deliberation over the storage of coal ash at Illinois power plants, advocates say water pollution threats remain and are seeking stronger remedies. For decades, coal ash produced at coal-fired power plants in Northern Illinois was stored on the plants' grounds, in ponds, pits and other areas, and was used as structural fill. Environmental watchdogs have long feared the coal ash could be contaminating groundwater and nearby water bodies, including Lake Michigan. Groundwater testing starting in 2010 showed evidence of such contamination, according to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which issued violations. The owner of the plants at the time, Midwest Generation, entered an agreement with the state government and took steps to remedy the problem.

BBB says scammers posing as computer technical support are stealing millions from Americans

Scammers are successfully using phone calls, emails and pop-up messages on computer screens to convince American consumers that their computers are infected with phony viruses or malware, warns a new report by the Better Business Bureau. Scams involving computer technical support aren't new, but they continue to be widespread. Americans forked over more than $21 million to such schemes in the first nine months of this year, according to the FBI. The scammers often claim to be with Microsoft, and they catch consumers by surprise, said Michelle Corey, president of the St. Louis BBB .

BCBSVT holding free flu shot clinic in South Burlington

News Release — BCBSVT
December 4, 2017
Kathy McNally
(802) 371-3205
Free Flu Shot Clinic at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont's Information and Wellness Center – Blue Mall, South Burlington
South Burlington, VT – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) is hosting a free flu shot clinic on December 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at their Information and Wellness Center located in the Blue Mall at 150 Dorset Street in South Burlington. The flu shots are free for all participants 18 and older, regardless of their insurance plan or status. BCBSVT members, individuals covered under other health plans and those without health insurance are all welcome. “I encourage you to make time in your busy schedule to get a flu vaccination. Every year, thousands of adults and children become seriously ill with influenza.

Beacon Development Roundup

Edgewater, 226 Main on Planning Board docketBeacon Development Roundup was first posted on December 9, 2017 at 8:58 am.

Beacon Obituaries

Angelina Alicea, Lorraine Lucas, Ernie MaloufBeacon Obituaries was first posted on November 30, 2017 at 10:22 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Esther Garambone, James Keenan, Joan Kelly, Augustus Lemmo, Bobbie Marsh, Donna PedersenBeacon Obituaries was first posted on December 6, 2017 at 3:25 pm.

Beacon Police Blotter

Select incidents from Nov. 16 to 30Beacon Police Blotter was first posted on December 5, 2017 at 3:58 pm.

Beacon Police Blotter

Selection incidents from Dec. 1 to Dec. 14Beacon Police Blotter was first posted on December 15, 2017 at 2:55 pm.

Beacon Police Chief to Leave

Expected to take same position in NewburghBeacon Police Chief to Leave was first posted on December 15, 2017 at 9:07 am.

Beacon School Vote is Tuesday

District plans $9 million improvement planBeacon School Vote is Tuesday was first posted on December 2, 2017 at 1:31 pm.

Beacon Voters Approve School Plan

Nearly $9 million in projects on agendaBeacon Voters Approve School Plan was first posted on December 8, 2017 at 8:49 am.

Beaver Hills Joins The Neighborhoods Tree-Lighting Roster

The Beaver Hills community had some early Christmas cheer to spread Sunday as the Friends of Goffe Street Park celebrated its first tree lighting on DeGale Field. Members of the community came together to sing, dance, and be merry.

Beer, Coffee, & Mushroom Businesses Under One Roof

A new not-for-profit committed to economic development with a social impact is looking to convert a vacant industrial building near the Mill River into the new home for a brewery, a coffee roaster and an indoor mushroom farm.

Bees for trees: testing a potential tool for reducing human-elephant conflict

When times are tough for elephants, knocking over a tree may be the best way to get at the food resources it offers. Trees with bees, however, may avoid damage by hungry elephants, even during a drought. A recent study in South Africa's Kruger National Park has found that hanging beehives containing African honeybees from tree branches may protect specific trees and their branches from damage by hungry elephants. Elephants eat tree leaves, branches, and bark, as well as fruits and grass. Photo credit: Sue Palminteri Tree damaged by elephants in Kruger National Park.

Before Your Time: A Green Mountain mixtape

Courtesy Middlebury College Special Collections
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Helen Hartness Flanders" srcset=" 598w, 125w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 598px) 100vw, 598px" data-recalc-dims="1">Courtesy Middlebury College Special Collections and ArchivesBefore Your Time is a podcast about Vermont history. Every episode, we go inside the stacks at the Vermont Historical Society to look at an object from their permanent collection that tells us something unique about our state. Then, we take a closer look at the people, the events, and the ideas that surround each artifact. In the late 1920s, a state panel called the Vermont Commission on Country Life asked Helen Hartness Flanders, a well-connected socialite from Springfield, to document Vermont's traditional music. Like an Alan Lomax for the Green Mountains, Flanders traveled the state with a Model T full of recording equipment, calling on everyday Vermonters to sing into her microphone.

Behind the harassment bombshells from the ‘dark underbelly’ of Colorado’s Capitol

If you listen to public radio in Colorado, you've likely heard the voice of Bente Birkeland who covers the Capitol for 15 local stations based out of KUNC in Greeley. In recent weeks she's blown the doors off the statehouse with a series of scoops about a creepy, sexualized culture under the gold dome in Denver— a place not typically accustomed to salacious scandal. Just as harassment allegations have drawn national headlines and rocked Congress, Hollywood, and the media biz, Birkeland's exposés in Colorado have been consequential on a smaller, local stage. Birkeland's stories came about organically, not based on a tip or from following up on social media postings. And she didn't have anyone in mind before many of her interviews started pointing her in the direction of a Democratic lawmaker who also just happens to be running for state treasurer.

Belt-Tightening At Our Children’s Expense

On the surface, Connecticut is a great place to raise children. Our schools, on average, perform well. Families have access to incredible learning opportunities in our history, science and creative arts. But what do you call a crisis in waiting? A report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ranked Connecticut sixth in the nation for things such as economics, education and health among our younger residents.

Ben Carson’s small-dollar donors could keep yielding big money

Ben Carson's presidential bid has failed. But the retired neurosurgeon's campaign succeeded wildly at one thing: collecting personal — and lucrative — information from more than 700,000 donors and millions of fans. This database is a potential post-campaign money machine: The remnants of Carson's campaign could wring riches from a legion of small-dollar supporters for years to come, as other campaigns have done before it. How? By renting supporters' information to other candidates, political committees — even for-profit data brokers — that may, in turn, use it to raise money.

Bennington Center for the Arts donated to Southern Vermont College

Bennington Center for the Arts co-founder Bruce Laumeister, left, and SVC President David Evans announce the donation of the 5.8-acre arts center to the college. Photo by Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Bennington Center for the Arts" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1500w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Bennington Center for the Arts co-founder Bruce Laumeister, left, and Southern Vermont College President David Evans announce the donation of the 5.8-acre arts center to the college Monday. Photo by Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner(Bennington Banner reporter David LaChance contributed to this story. It will be updated.)
BENNINGTON — The owners of the Bennington Center for the Arts have agreed to donate the facility to Southern Vermont College, a gift the school's president called “genuinely transformative” for the college. SVC President David Evans announced Monday that under a “pretty complicated agreement,” Bennington Center for the Arts founders Bruce Laumeister and Elizabeth Small are donating the arts center on Gypsy Lane.

Bennington downtown developers worried about GOP tax bill

This is part of the vision in a redevelopment brochure for the Putnam Block project in downtown Bennington. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Putnam Block" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 150w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A rendering from a redevelopment brochure for the Putnam Block project in downtown Bennington.BENNINGTON — Supporters of the $53 million Putnam Block project are nervously eyeing the massive Republican tax code overhaul as it takes shape in Congress — concerned about the effects on tax credits that are vital to the redevelopment effort. According to U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., the situation is similar in other Vermont communities as well, wherever developers are planning the rehabilitation of aging downtown structures. The historic rehabilitation and new market tax credits are “extremely helpful tools for development in towns like Bennington,” he said in a telephone interview. The credits were considered to be in hand for the potentially transformative Putnam project, but they quickly became less certain as the federal tax legislation has edged toward passage, said Bill Colvin, assistant director of the Bennington County Regional Commission and local contact person for the Putnam Block developers.

Bennington energy plan moves ahead despite developer’s warnings

A commercial solar array off Route 7 just south of downtown Bennington. A draft of the proposed town energy plan is before the Selectboard for review. It could become the first of its kind to be approved statewide. Photo by Jim Therrien/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="solar" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A commercial solar array off Route 7 just south of downtown Bennington. A draft of the proposed town energy plan is before the Selectboard for review.

Bennington social services organizations celebrate 3rd anniversary of Community Care Team

News Release — Southwestern Vermont Medical Center
Dec. 15, 2017
Media Contact:
Ashley Brenon Jowett
Communications & Marketing Specialist
Phone: 802.447.5019 | Fax:
BENNINGTON, VT—December 15, 2017—Last week Southwestern Vermont Medical Center hosted leaders from a dozen local social services agencies for a lunch in celebration of the 3rd anniversary of the Community Care Team. Those in attendance represented Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), United Counseling Services (UCS), Bayada, Support and Services at Home (SASH), Shires Housing, the Vermont Department of Human Services, and others. Many shared heartfelt success stories as a part of the event's program. The Community Care Team is an innovative program that helps social service providers coordinate their work for the clients and patients they share.

Bennington TIF district gets state council approval

The former Hotel Putnam building in Bennington is one of several that recently changed hands to help clear the way for the Putnam Block redevelopment. Photo by Holly Peczynski/Bennington Banner
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="">BENNINGTON — Bennington has won approval for a downtown tax increment financing district after a unanimous vote of the Vermont Economic Progress Council. Council Executive Director Fred Kenney said the state panel voted Friday on the town's application after receiving a positive review from his staff. Action on the town's TIF application wasn't expected before the council's December meeting, but Kenney said the few remaining technical questions were addressed in time for him to recommend approval. <img data-attachment-id="206248" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="3024,4032" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta='{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}' data-image-title="Old Courthouse" data-image-description="The Old Courthouse Building in Bennington was one of two historic structures to receive tax credits to support a major redevelopment of the property.

Bernie Sanders Has Been the Most Influential Insurgent Candidate Since the 70s

Win or lose (hint: he's going to lose), Bernie Sanders should feel pretty good about his success in pushing Hillary Clinton to the left during the primary campaign. She's now against the TPP; she definitively favors a large hike in the minimum wage; and she supports expansion of Social Security. These may not seem like huge changes—and they aren't—but they're a lot more than most candidates accomplish. Dennis Kucinich ran twice without having any measurable effect at all on the Democratic race. Now Bernie can take credit for one more move to the left:

“I'm also in favor of what's called the public option, so that people can buy into Medicare at a certain age,” Mrs. Clinton said on Monday at a campaign event in Virginia.

Bernie Sanders Is Now Backing Randy Bryce—Which Could Be Very Bad News for Paul Ryan

Randy Bryce took the political world by storm this June when he released a stunning television ad announcing his campaign to unseat House Speaker Paul Ryan. Bryce is running for Ryan's seat in Wisconsin's southeastern 1st congressional district, which straddles Milwaukee's metropolitan border. “I decided to run for office because not everybody's seated at the table—and it's time to make a bigger table,” Bryce says in the ad. “If somebody falls behind, we're so much stronger if we carry them with us. That's the way I was raised.

Bernie Sanders: What I learned in high school … last week

Editor's note: This commentary is by Sen. Bernie Sanders,I-Vt. Last year, more than 60,000 people died from opioid overdoses in the United States. That's more Americans dying in one year than during the entire 19 years of the Vietnam War. In our small state, 112 Vermonters died from a drug overdose, which is three times as many as died in 2010. And what's even more shocking than the sheer numbers of people dying is how hard this epidemic is hitting younger people.

Berniecrats Score Another Major Win Against the Democratic Establishment

This past weekend, progressive forces scored a significant—if tentative—victory in the long battle to make the Democratic Party more democratic. Meeting in Washington D.C. for the fifth and final time this weekend, the party's Unity Reform Commission voted to recommend a slate of reforms that, if fully implemented, would broadly democratize key structures and processes within the Democratic Party that affect how candidates are nominated. At the top of the list: a long-awaited proposal that slashes by 60 percent the number of superdelegates—a nebulous collection of party insiders whose votes in presidential nominating conventions are unbound by the results of primaries and caucuses. In 2016, superdelegates overwhelmingly backed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, many pledging their support to Clinton before any other candidates had entered the race. Some Sanders backers have claimed that this early support helped swing the election in Clinton's favor from the outset of the race.

Best Buy expands after-school program with teen tech centers in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Ibrahim Hirsi

Best Buy is opening its third after-school program in St. Paul's Keystone Community Services on Wednesday as part of an effort to help teenagers develop an aptitude for technology and prepare them for a career in the fast-growing industry.The launch comes a week after the retailer opened a similar program — Best Buy Teen Tech Center — at the Brian Coyle Center in Minneapolis' Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. They are among the first seven centers the company plans to establish in the coming years in the Twin Cities, largely focusing its efforts in neighborhoods where young people often lack the means to access technology. The initiative is part of a larger campaign that Best Buy has undertaken in partnership with the Boston-based nonprofit Clubhouse Network aimed at reaching nearly 20,000 young people each year through 60 teen tech programs in major cities across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The company has invested $30 million to grow the Best Buy Teen Tech Centers to provide participants with hands-on, yearlong after-school activities in programming, filmmaking, music production and design, says Best Buy Community Relations Director Andrea Wood.

Betsy DeVos tours school during her first Tennessee visit as education chief

In her first official stop in Tennessee as secretary of education, Betsy DeVos praised career and technical education at a traditional public school, but also put in a good word for vouchers in a state that has consistently eschewed them. DeVos visited Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, a fast-growing university town south of Nashville, and spoke with students taking classes in health sciences, automotive technology and mechatronics. PHOTO: Marta W. Aldrich
She lauded the school for “addressing individual students' needs and aptitudes and helping them to prepare for their adulthood very early on” — in partnership with regional industries that are heavy on healthcare and automobile production. But even as she praised instruction happening at Oakland, DeVos encouraged Tennessee lawmakers to approve a voucher program. Vouchers would allow parents to use public funding to send their children to private schools, despite recent studies showing that student achievement dropped, at least initially, for students making that leap in Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio and Washington, D.C.
“I think empowering parents to make the right decision for their children is important, no matter what state and no matter what community,” she told reporters when asked about Tennessee's perennial tug-of-war over vouchers.

Better Together Commission launches search for outside evaluator

The Jackson Public Schools Better Together Commission took the formal step on Monday of seeking an outside group to conduct an in-depth study of the district's problems.
The commission released a request for proposal Monday for an education organization to “conduct a student-centered study that leads to the creation of a community-wide vision
and plan of action to create an excellent, equitable education system that benefits all
students in JPS.”
The RFP details many of the problems the district faces – student population has declined in recent years and 99 percent are eligible for free or reduced lunch. The Jackson Public School District received an F rating for the second year in a row earlier this fall. Prior to that, the Mississippi Department of Education concluded an 18-month investigative audit which found the district in violation of 75 percent of state accreditation standards. Responses to the RFP are due by 5 p.m. on Dec. 29.

Beware of Cyber Crime on Cyber Monday

The number of malicious attacks goes up almost 40 percent on Cyber Monday as shoppers let their guard down and cyber criminals seize the opportunity. The post Beware of Cyber Crime on Cyber Monday appeared first on Rivard Report.

Beyond volleyball, what else should be part of a re-imagined Rash Field?

In 2013, when the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore unveiled its Inner Harbor 2.0 makeover for the city's tourist waterfront, one aspect of it set off a howl of protest – moving beach volleyball off of Rash Field. Now, under a $3 million Rash Field renovation, which the Partnership promises will not spike volleyball, the group […]

Bicentennial panels probe past, future of civil rights movement

Fred Anklam Jr., Mississippi TodayA panel of authors discussed the role of Mississippi in the national civil rights movement Thursday at the Old Capitol. Two panel discussions Thursday celebrated key moments of Mississippi's contribution to the national civil rights movement coupled with admonitions of the work that remains to bring full equality for all. Fred Anklam Jr., Mississippi TodayClayborne Carson, American history professor and founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. “Where do we go from here — we haven't answered that yet,” said historian Clayborne Carson, referencing the title of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1967 book. “Getting civil rights (through laws passed by Congress in the 1960s) made us complacent about human rights,” Carson said.

Bid-Rigging Claimed In Lead Cleanup

Grilled by a judge about how an apartment's lead-based paint became unsafe enough to poison a child, a landlord testified in court Wednesday that a city-recommended contractor won an abatement gig through a bid-rigging scheme and then did a shoddy job in order to pocket the federal dollars.

Big Illinois justice job about to be filled: Trouble is, few know of opening

A vital position in Illinois' criminal justice system is about to change hands; yet you (and most potential candidates) are probably reading about this job opening for the first time right here. Come January 1, we likely will have a new head of the Office of the State Appellate Defender (OSAD). This is the man (so far it's always been a man) who oversees an agency of approximately 230 employees, mostly lawyers, who handle appeals for criminal defendants who cannot afford their own lawyer. With an annual budget of approximately $20 million, the office handled about 2500 new cases in the fiscal year that ended June 30, and had approximately 5700 cases pending on that date. OSAD has had only two leaders since it was established in 1973; the leader, called the State Appellate Defender, is appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court.

Big mountain ski dream: Ski-Hayden was a pre-war vision of what could have been

ASHCROFT – Imagine you are riding the new Aspen aerial tram in 1943 from Ashcroft to Hayden Peak on a bluebird day of spring skiing. You, wearing an Admiral Bird fabric anorak atop gabardine ski pants bloused over snowflake wool socks and your girlfriend, wearing a wasp-waisted tuck-in Jantzan ski suit, complain about the housing shortage in Ashcroft. Thirty-five skiers jostle like vertical sardines in the full, octagonal gunmetal cabin as it travels 4,000 vertical feet from the valley floor. A single operator at the controls stands near the trap door and hemp rope coiled for possible evacuation. The breathtaking span on the bowed cable is 500 feet off the ground.

Big turbines ‘incompatible’ with Windham region, plan says

Dr. David Cherry, of Windham, holds a sign with about 30 other protesters along Putnam Road in Readsboro on Monday to protest the groundbreaking ceremony for the Deerfield Wind project, a 15-turbine installation in Searsburg and Readsboro. Gov. Peter Shumlin and local elected officials were in attendance as well as regional media. Photo by Gillian Jones/The Berkshire Eagle
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Deerfield Wind" srcset=" 400w, 125w, 300w, 150w" sizes="(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px" data-recalc-dims="1">Dr. David Cherry, of Windham, holds a sign with about 30 other protesters in Readsboro last year to protest the groundbreaking ceremony for the Deerfield Wind project, a 15-turbine installation in Searsburg and Readsboro. File photo by Gillian Jones/The Berkshire EagleBRATTLEBORO – Citing public opposition and environmental concerns, a proposed energy plan says large-scale wind turbines are unsuitable for the 27-town Windham region. The draft plan – which is the subject of a series of public meetings that start Monday – touts the benefits of renewable energy and pushes for solar power expansion as one way to meet the state's energy goals.

Big-City Life — Displacement Blues: Public Press Weekly

Everyone's favorite city — San Francisco — looks like it's not everyone's favorite place to live in. Lots of Bay Area residents, say, 20,000 a year, are saying “enough already” to the city and surrounding areas, and fleeing to the Sacramento region, where the summers are triple-digit scorchers, the pace of life slower and the housing prices helluva cheaper. (The Mercury News). And hey, you need to pull in $216,181 a year to buy a median-price house in the San Jose metro area (and $171,330 in San Francisco metro), so it's no wonder that wannabe homeowners are heading inland (household income needed in Sacto? $71,345).

Big-City Life — Displacement Blues: Public Press Weekly

Everyone's favorite city — San Francisco — looks like it's not everyone's favorite place to live in. Lots of Bay Area residents, say, 20,000 a year, are saying “enough already” to the city and surrounding areas, and fleeing to the Sacramento region, where the summers are triple-digit scorchers, the pace of life slower and the housing prices helluva cheaper. (The Mercury News). And hey, you need to pull in $216,181 a year to buy a median-price house in the San Jose metro area (and $171,330 in San Francisco metro), so it's no wonder that wannabe homeowners are heading inland (household income needed in Sacto? $71,345).

Big-City Life — Displacement Blues: Public Press Weekly

Everyone's favorite city — San Francisco — looks like it's not everyone's favorite place to live in. Lots of Bay Area residents, say, 20,000 a year, are saying “enough already” to the city and surrounding areas, and fleeing to the Sacramento region, where the summers are triple-digit scorchers, the pace of life slower and the housing prices helluva cheaper. (The Mercury News). And hey, you need to pull in $216,181 a year to buy a median-price house in the San Jose metro area (and $171,330 in San Francisco metro), so it's no wonder that wannabe homeowners are heading inland (household income needed in Sacto? $71,345).

Big-ticket items survive first review of Rutland mayor’s budget

David Allaire, mayor of Rutland. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger​
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="David Allaire" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">David Allaire, mayor of Rutland. File photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger​RUTLAND — The Board of Aldermen has started its review of Mayor David Allaire's proposed city budget with some big-tickets items drawing debate but remaining in the spending plan. At least for now. There was an unsuccessful bid to remove a little more than half the $692,000 budgeted to fund the city's pension liabilities.

Bill de Blasio Explains Why Encounters with Police Are “Different for a White Child”

In his call for Americans to begin an "honest conversation" about broken race relations in America, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended earlier statements he made explaining why his biracial son Dante needs to be especially careful in encounters with law enforcement. "What parents have done for decades, who have children of color, especially young men of color, is train them to be very careful when they have a connection with a police officer," de Blasio opened up to ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. "It's different for a white child. That's just the reality in this country. And with Dante, very early on with my son, we said, look, if a police officer stops you, do everything he tells you to do, don't move suddenly, don't reach for your cell phone, because we knew, sadly, there's a greater chance it might be misinterpreted if it was a young man of color."

Bill Moyers Named The Crime Report’s ‘Justice Trailblazer’ for 2018

Bill Moyers, a legend in broadcast journalism for four decades, has been selected as the 2018 Justice Media Trailblazer, an award given annually by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Crime Report to honor individuals in the media or media-related fields who have advanced national understanding on the 21st-century challenges of criminal justice. Most recently, Moyers was the executive producer of Rikers: An American Jail. The riveting documentary brings viewers face to face with men and women who have endured incarceration at the country's largest jail facility. Their stories, told directly to camera, vividly describe the cruel arc of the Rikers experience—from the shock of entry, to the extortion and control exercised by other inmates, the oppressive interaction with corrections officers, the torture of solitary confinement, and the challenges of reentering civil society. RIKERS, which won a 2017 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award, is a production of Schumann Media Center, Inc. and Brick City TV LLC, in association with Public Square Media, Inc.
“Bill Moyers has been honored in many venues for his journalism, but the John Jay Trailblazer award is a way of recognizing the impressive contribution he has made in bringing longstanding issues of incarceration to the forefront at this time in our history, and in setting a standard of excellence for other journalists writing on criminal justice,” said Stephen Handelman, Executive Editor of The Crime Report.

Bill Schubart: Our sexual behavior

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bill Schubart, a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio and a former board member of the Vermont Journalism Trust, the umbrella organization for This piece was first aired on VPR. Any male not now asking himself about his own behavior towards women and children is extending the risk to both into future generations. Sexual abuse rolls forward from generation to generation until someone – both victim and perpetrator – decides to get honest with themselves and others. Victims are now coming forth in droves, perpetrators only when outed.

Bill Schubart: The curse of instruction manuals

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bill Schubart, a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio and the author of “Lila and Theron.” He is a former board member of the Vermont Journalism Trust, the umbrella organization for This piece was first aired on VPR. When I was young, cursing was frowned on in our family. I was raised a Catholic and it was a mortal sin to take the Lord's name in vain. But I remember shocking myself one day as I led a pack of Stowe ski friends down the mountain after a 20-inch snowfall in a game of “follow the leader.” To show off, I veered off the summit trail and over the cliff that begins the National, a notoriously difficult racing trail.

Biofuel project near India’s rhino heartland sparks protests

On July 15 this year, activist Soneswar Narah stepped up to express his views in a public hearing on an upcoming bioethanol refinery. The project, a joint venture between India's state-owned Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and Finland's Chempolis Oy, is slated to be built near Kaziranga National Park in India's northeastern Assam state. Many locals like Narah oppose the project, saying it will have harmful impacts on Kaziranga's fragile ecosystem and is likely to intensify human-wildlife conflicts in the Numaligarh area, given its proximity to an elephant corridor. During the public hearing, Narah said, the microphone was cut off before he could say “anything provocative,” and police barged in, dragging him away. Narah was arrested by the Assam state police and charged with multiple crimes, including “attempt to murder,” “assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty,” and “criminal act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.” There are two starkly different versions of what exactly sparked Narah's arrest.

Bipartisan Senate Group Seeks ‘Revenge Porn’ Law

Shortly after a member of Congress had a explicit photo released on the internet by an anonymous Twitter user, several members of Congress began a strong push to make “revenge porn” or “sextortion” a federal crime, McClatchy Newspapers reports. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), said he shared a sexually explicit video and text messages with a woman he was seeing after he separated from his second wife. An image from that video of a naked Barton, 68, appeared on the internet last week. Tuesday, Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said they'd sponsor new legislation to make “revenge porn” a federal crime.

Birks Vows “Open Door”

Fresh from being narrowly selected as the city's next schools chief amid an outpouring of public opposition, Carol Birks vowed Wednesday to work with her critics.

Black Women Disproportionately Suffer Complications of Pregnancy and Childbirth. Let’s Talk About It.

by Adriana Gallardo
About 700 to 900 women die each year from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. And for every death, dozens of women suffer life-threatening complications. But there is a stark racial disparity in these numbers. Black mothers are three to four times more likely to die than white mothers. Nevertheless, black women's voices are often missing from public discussions about what's behind the maternal health crisis and how to address the problems.

It is estimated that up to 60 percent of maternal complications are preventable.

Bless This Beer

Pints and prayers at DogwoodBless This Beer was first posted on December 9, 2017 at 7:21 am.

Block Burned By Bank’s Blight

Claudio Pinos has been building up the block where he lives in the Hill — and now an international bank has let part of it burn down.

Bloody murder: Were teens wrongly convicted?

Shawn Henning and Ralph “Ricky” Birch, have been locked up since 1989 for a gruesome 1985 murder in New Milford they steadfastly insist they didn't commit. The state's case, never airtight to begin with, has diminished over the years as two prosecution witnesses have recanted, key defense testimony was uncovered, and DNA testing put an unknown person at the scene. Nonetheless, a state judge turned down their petition for a new trial last year, leaving the two with a slim chance of freedom.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield offer Medicare Part D prescription plan

News release — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont
Dec. 7, 2017
Kathy McNally
Coordinator, External Affairs
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of
(802) 371-3205
Berlin – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) reminds Vermonters of its high-ranking Medicare Part D prescription drug plan options. BCBSVT, in a joint venture with three other New England Blue plans, contracts with the federal government to offer prescription drug coverage, called Blue MedicareRxSM (PDP). Earlier this fall, the company reported that Blue MedicareRx (PDP) is the only individual prescription drug plan (PDP) in Vermont, and greater New England, to achieve a five-star rating[i] for 2018 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The five-star rating means the highest possible ranking for quality, access and member satisfaction.

Blue Line accident briefly delays light rail service

MinnPost staff

Light rail accident. The Star Tribune's Tim Harlow reports: “Metro Transit says northbound Blue Line trains are back on schedule after a train and a car collided Friday morning and created delays. … At 8 a.m, service back to normal. … A southbound train made contact with a vehicle around 6:30 a.m at Hiawatha Avenue and 30th Avenue, said spokesman Drew Kerr. … One person in the vehicle was hurt and taken to Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina.”Cities have their minds on the sewers.

Blumenthal: Mueller has ‘breached the White House gates’ with Flynn

WASHINGTON — Sen. Richard Blumenthal said on Friday that special counsel Robert Mueller has “breached the White House gates” with his prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Blvd. Housing Rehab Plan Hits The Skids

A developer's last-minute changes to plans to rehab an historic home on the Boulevard stalled before the Board of Zoning Appeals just as his time to close a financing deal with the bank is running out.

Board of Regents votes to consolidate all 12 community colleges

The governing board of the state's 12 community colleges voted Thursday to advance a controversial plan intended to merge the schools into a single accredited institution, despite fervent opposition from faculty and students who attended the meeting.

Bob Orleck: Scott marijuana statement not new news

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bob Orleck, of Randolph, who is a retired pharmacist and lawyer. He served as an assistant attorney general under Vermont Attorney General Jerome Diamond. Most of the story “Governor says he'll sign legislation allowing marijuana possession” was based on Bob Kinsel's interview with Gov. Phil Scott and two online stories from VPR that reported on the discussions in that interview. One VPR story included a 37-second audio clip with the announcer speaking most of the words and Scott saying just one short thing. The other had the full interview (minus what VPR said was editing for brevity) that was 36 minutes long.

Bob Stannard: The Party of Lincoln is no more

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, an author, musician and former lobbyist. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.”– Lewis Carroll
Nov. 8, 2016, a day we'll never forget.

Bob Stannard: We will get fooled again

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, an author, musician and former lobbyist. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. “We Won't Get Fooled Again” – The Who
“It's easier to get mad at the dog than the one you're mad at.” – Unknown
I grew up in a middle-class household in the 1950s and ‘60s. Mom stayed home and raised three boys while dad worked for his dad as a plumber. We seemed to live fine in the house that cost $7,000 to build.

Body of Scuba Diver Recovered in Southeast

New Jersey man was exploring former iron mineBody of Scuba Diver Recovered in Southeast was first posted on November 21, 2017 at 3:41 pm.

Bombs in Your Backyard

by Lena Groeger, Ryann Grochowski Jones and Abrahm Lustgarten

Bon Appétit: Here Are All The Complaints To The Capitol Cafeteria

Patrick Fitzgerald / FlickrTurkey
It was a question that holiday meal lovers everywhere could appreciate. Would the main course be “REAL turkey, (not just ‘turkey roll')? That's what Ellen Raine of the state Legislative Research Commission wanted to know before buying Thanksgiving dinner at the Capitol Annex cafeteria in Frankfort last year. So she fired off an email to the manager. His response: “We only do real turkeys.”
The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting wondered what kind of complaints, questions and compliments the state capitol cafeteria received.

Book Review: Beijing Bastard

Beijing Bastard

By Val Wang


In her drifter memoir of leaving home in order to find it, Chinese American author Val Wang struggles between head and heart as she tries to make a living—and a life—in Beijing, burdened by the expectations of her forebears yet buoyed by the spirit of youth. In the process, she shows us a China full of contradictions: at once glamorous and grungy, ancient and modern, ambitious and loafing.

Book signing with Megan Price, author of ‘Vermont Wild Vol. 5,” at Phoenix Books in Rutland

News Release — Phoenix Boosk
Nov. 27, 2017
Kristen Eaton
Phoenix Books
802.872.7111 (p)
Rutland, Vermont – November 27, 2017: On Saturday, December 16th from 1-4pm, Phoenix Books Rutland will host a meet and greet and book signing with Megan Price, the author of the phenomenally popular Vermont Wild series featuring tales from our state's fish and game wardens. Come in and have Megan personalize a copy of the new Vermont Wild Volume #5 for the hunter or wildlife-watcher in your life. A former award-winning journalist and Vermont legislator, Price has been called a “folklore artist” for her ability to breathe life into little known, true tales of the Green Mountains as told by those who lived them.

Book Signings Add a Touch of History to First Friday

With book signings scheduled here Dec. 1 and 2, interested readers can meet the authors in informal settings to learn more about their new works. The post Book Signings Add a Touch of History to First Friday appeared first on Rivard Report.

Books N Bros co-founder Sidney Keys III to receive CNN ‘Young Wonders’ award

Earlier this year, we spoke with 11-year-old Sidney Keys III and his mother Winnie Caldwell about Books N Bros, a book club Keys founded to encourage boys to read. This weekend, Keys will be recognized as one of CNN's “Young Wonders,” an award that showcases young people making a difference in their communities. The one-hour special will be hosted by Anderson Cooper and airs Dec. 15 at 9:00 p.m. All five CNN “Young Wonders” will also be honored during CNN Heroes: “An All-Star Tribute,” which airs live Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. Listen below for our full discussion with Keys and his mother: St.

Border Agents in Training

Eighteen-year-old Victoria Chacón spent much of this past winter and spring learning to shoot an M4 rifle and disarm a knife-wielding attacker. She also studied immigration history and law, camped in the mountains, and put on boxing gloves and sparred. Chacón was one of 18 kids from Nogales, Arizona, between the ages of 14 and 20 enrolled in the Border Patrol's Explorer Program. The daughter of a Border Patrol agent, Chacón had known for years that she wanted to join the program. “My dad would tell work stories,” she says.

Border apprehensions and detentions, explained

Immigration figures released this week show the lowest number of people trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in decades. Meanwhile, deportations of people living illegally in the United States are up significantly. So are President Donald Trump's immigration policies working or is there more behind the numbers? Ev Meade, director of the University of ... The post Border apprehensions and detentions, explained appeared first on San Diego news from inewsource.

Border Fence Land Grab

Julian Aguilar, Kiah CollierDonald Trump's promised border wall will involve taking land from hundreds of people. An earlier land grab to build border fencing was rushed, sloppy, and gave landowners wildly differing payments.

Border Report: ‘In a Couple of Months, Our Entire Worlds Are Going to Collapse’

Five Dreamers spokes about their experiences before and after DACA at a UC San Diego panel. / Photo by Michelle Fredricks
The clock is ticking for participants of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. On Sept. 5, the Trump administration announced it would be ending the program that shields nearly 800,000 people who were brought into the country illegally as children. President Donald Trump gave Congress until March 5, 2018, to come up with a legislative solution to fix DACA (though he's expressed willingness to extend that deadline).

Border Report: Haitian Community Describes Growing Fear and Uncertainty

Johny Oxeda is a pastor at the First Haitian Baptist Church Ebenezer in City Heights. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
The Trump administration continues to take steps to shrink immigration protections, amplifying fear and uncertainty in immigrant communities throughout the country and in San Diego. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would end Temporary Protected Status for Haitians. The program, part of the Immigration Act of 1990, aimed to help people from countries without properly functioning governments due to things like civil war or natural disasters. Right now, it includes El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Boston Archdiocese, Catholic Parishioners Battle Over Church Eviction

When walking into the front vestibule of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in the seaside town of Scituate, Mass. it doesn't look or sound like the average church."What the hell are you doing," an actor from The Young and the Restless shouts on a big screen TV. Two recliners are set up in front of it, all right next to a stained glass window.Nancy Shilts is one of more than 100 parishioners who have taken turns holding vigil in the church, night and day, since the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston announced nearly 11 years ago it wanted to close the church."We have a TV here.

Both Mississippi senators targeted in Republican civil war

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon has his sights set on long-serving Republican establishment Sens. Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran, according to an NBC News report. Bannon is hoping to take over the GOP with conservative candidates who can carry the torch of Donald Trump long after the president is out of office. He supports Roy Moore in Alabama's upcoming senate election, and he has urged state Sen. Chris McDaniel to challenge U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker in a primary next year. He also wants Gov. Phil Bryant to send himself to Washington if U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who is 79 and in poor health, retires before his term ends in 2020, according to people familiar with Bannon's plans.

Bove’s restaurant may be razed for Burlington hotel, apartments

The empty Bove's restaurant in Burlington would be demolished under a plan for a hotel and new apartments. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Bove's" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">The empty Bove's restaurant in Burlington would be demolished under a plan for a hotel and new apartments. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — The former home of the venerable Bove's Italian restaurant on Pearl Street may be torn down and a hotel and apartments built under a proposal from owner Richard Bove Jr.
His plan is to make space for a roughly 76-room brand-name hotel and 20-unit apartment building by demolishing the restaurant and two nearby rental houses. Bove's restaurant closed in 2015 but started a manufacturing facility in Milton that produces its pasta sauces and meatballs. The city would sell Bove a 30-spot metered parking lot behind the restaurant for its market value of $500,000, according to a memo from Burlington's Community and Economic Development Director Noelle MacKay.

BP agent shot, killed man as he wrestled for fellow agent’s pistol

A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man, who fought another agent and attempted to "gain control" of the agent's sidearm, during an incident in the remote Baboquivari Mountains, said Rodolfo Karisch, the chief of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector.

Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation publishes annual report

News release — Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
Dec. 7, 2017
BRATTLEBORO, VT – The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) & Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) have published their 2017 Annual Report, the first combined Annual Report from BDCC & SeVEDS. The report documents the programs and projects, planning and partnerships that characterize the work of the region's multifaceted regional development corporation which has expanded its work to better meet the region's economic development needs. The BDCC & SeVEDS 2017 Annual Report was previewed by board members and stakeholders at the organizations' Annual Meeting on October 25th. The report describes programs and projects encompassing work with major employers and startups, workforce and students, as well as work with the 27 towns served in the Windham Region.

Brattleboro Retreat says accreditation another sign of recovery

Brattleboro Retreat's Louis Josephson introduces the panel during an All-Payer Forum held at the Brattleboro Retreat on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Photo by Kristopher Radder/Brattleboro Reformer
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Louis Josephson" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Brattleboro Retreat President and Chief Executive Officer Louis Josephson. File photo by Kristopher Radder/Brattleboro ReformerBRATTLEBORO – The Brattleboro Retreat has been reaccredited for the next three years, and administrators say it's yet another sign that the hospital has recovered from past regulatory troubles. The Joint Commission, an Illinois-based nonprofit that surveys thousands of health care organizations nationwide, examined Retreat operations in late October and granted its “gold seal of approval.”
Hospital administrators say the Joint Commission's “rigorous” survey and subsequent recertification highlight their continuing efforts to improve the facility's mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.
“What it shows is that we've worked very hard in focusing our attention on developing a new approach to patient care,” said Kirk Woodring, the Retreat's chief clinical officer.

Brattleboro schools feeling effects of opioid crisis

The front entrance at Academy School, a Brattleboro elementary school where a new social worker meets families in their homes to work through problems. File photo by Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Academy School" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 969w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">The front entrance at Academy School, a Brattleboro elementary school. File photo by Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons(This story by Chris Mays was published in the Brattleboro Reformer on Nov. 27, 2017.)
BRATTLEBORO — School administrators are seeing the effects of the opioid crisis up close and personal. “Clearly, the system is broken,” Academy School Principal Andy Paciulli told the Brattleboro Town School Board at a meeting earlier this month after describing a week of disturbing incidents that led to investigations by the Vermont Department for Children and Families. One student came to school with a needle filled with heroin.

Brazil / UK push offshore oil pact, a potential climate change disaster

Exploitation of the pre-salt layer off the coast of Brazil could result in the burning of a carbon reserve equivalent to the release of 74.8 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, potentially compromising the Paris Agreement goal to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Photo by nate2b on / CC BY-NC-ND Opposing forces within the Temer administration are engaged in a tug-of-war over Brazil's dire need to slash greenhouse gas emissions, and its desire to unleash an orgy of deep water drilling off the country's coast to hugely profit transnational oil companies. Similar is Great Britain's divided mind, which at the COP23 Climate Summit last month recommitted to its carbon reduction goals, while plotting a deal to help BP, Shell and other firms drill for 176 billion barrels of Brazilian crude. Pulling in one direction is Brazil's Ministry of the Environment which says it is standing firm against fossil fuel exploration expansion – the ministry, through its communications office, told Mongabay that it is working to fulfill Brazilian carbon cut commitments made under the Paris Agreement, which was ratified by Brazil on 12 December. Pulling forcefully in the opposite direction is Brazil's Presidency of the Republic, with the support of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME).

Breaking: Indiana didn’t set aside enough money for schools. Senate leader says a fix is ‘top priority.’

State education officials are expecting a shortfall in school funding this year that could be as high as $9 million because state and local officials underestimated Indiana's student enrollment. If the legislature does not act to increase funding, districts, charter schools and private schools that receive state vouchers could all get less money than they were promised this year. Senate President David Long said new legislation to appropriate more money to schools would be proposed, though other lawmakers involved in budget-making were less certain on what a solution would look like this early. “It's our top priority, education is, so it'll have our full focus when we come back in January,” Long said. But on the upside, he said, public school enrollment increased since last year.

Breathe in: Mindfulness class focuses on teen anxiety and stress

Andy Steiner

At a time of great personal stress, Josephine Chung found herself turning inward. Nearly 14 years ago, her family's house was gutted by fire. Chung's husband was badly burned and their life was turned upside down.“Before the fire,” Chung said, “I would've considered my husband and myself to be stable and well connected, but this catastrophic and traumatic experience stressed us to our limits.” As Chung helped her husband heal from his injuries, she also worked with contractors to get their home rebuilt. “We all experienced a lot of trauma, and I took so much of it on myself.”During this crazy time, Chung's life felt like it was spinning out of control. She realized that in order to take good care of herself and her family she needed to rediscover her innate sense of inner calm. She also wanted to be more mindful and present for her young son.When she was growing up, Chung's Korean-American family informally practiced meditation, but it wasn't until stress threatened to upturn her adult life that she decided to seek out a formal .

Brian Ricca: Unconscious biases

Editor's note: This commentary is by Brian G. Ricca, the superintendent of Montpelier Public Schools. The Montpelier Public Schools Leadership Team is participating in a training with CQ Strategies called We All Belong Series, in a sustained effort grow our own cultural competency. One of the goals in the MPS Action Plan is “To implement an articulated multi-tiered system of support to provide equitable learning opportunities for students in safe and inclusive learning environments.” A substantial part of that commitment is working to address our own shortcomings and actively grow as leaders in MPS for this work. During a discussion at a recent training, one of the participants asked our facilitators if there is a way to ever fully overcome unconscious bias. The facilitator paused before answering and the answer was stunning in its simplicity.

Brilliant blue tarantula among potentially new species discovered in Guyana

While walking through the forests of Guyana's Potaro Plateau one night in 2014, herpetologist Andrew Snyder noticed a flash of bright cobalt blue peeking out of hole in a rotting tree stump. When Snyder took a closer look, he noticed that his flashlight had illuminated a small tarantula's blue legs. The tree stump had numerous small holes, and nearly every hole housed a similar blue tarantula. “I have spent years conducting surveys in Guyana … and I immediately knew that this one was unlike any species I have encountered before,” Snyder wrote recently. “Prior to this, I had only ever encountered individual tarantulas, either outside of a burrow like with the Goliath Bird-eaters, walking through the leaf-litter, or clinging to the sides of trees.” While the blue tarantula is yet to be formally described, it is most likely new to science, Snyder added.

Bringing Data Journalism to China

Read in Chinese | 点击查看本文中文版
At the end of 2013, after Chinese newsrooms got a tip that Zhou Yongkang, the former head of China's security services, was being investigated for abuse of power and corruption, journalists began preparing investigative stories on Zhou. The interactive piece “Zhou's Power Base,” produced by Caixin Data Visualization Lab, stood out among the thousands of stories on the topic. The visualization has had more than 4 million “clicks,” according to its producer, Zhimin Huang, Caixin Media's former chief technology officer and the current CEO and founder of Dataworks. Screenshot of Zhou's Power Base, by Caixin. Huang is widely cited as one of the first people to do data journalism in China, and his visualization of Zhou's web of power is considered a turning point in Chinese journalism.

Brining icy roads can save cities serious money — and could help save Minnesota’s lakes

Greta Kaul

When the weather gets bad — like it did with this week's messy reintroduction to winter — public works crews get to work, scraping up the snow and dropping tons of salt on roads across Minnesota.The salt is a point of contention. It's pretty good for getting rid of dangerous ice, but it has some nasty side effects: When ice and snow melt, the runoff carries salt into the watershed, where it wreaks havoc on the environment.But winter storms like Monday's leave public works crews without a lot of options — whatever the long-term risk to the environment of using salt, the combination of ice on the roads and commuters represents an immediate risk to public safety. So often, salt it is.In recent years, some Minnesota jurisdictions have adopted a relatively simple method to clear ice from the roads using far less salt, however: treating the roads with brine — a combination of salt and water that prevents ice from forming and helps break it down.The equipment for making and spreading brine requires an investment up-front, but once it's in place it can cut costs and reduce salt use by as much as 40 to 70 percent. And as researchers continue to see rising chloride levels in lakes, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is working to educate jurisdictions across the state about brining (aka liquid de-icing) and other ways to cut back the amount of salt flowing into the state's waters.Salty waterSalt wasn't always the go-to method for clearing roads. Until the '80s, crews mostly used sand to make Minnesota roads safer for travel, said Brooke Asleson, watershed project manager for the MPCA.

British Arrows: This year’s ads seem especially good

Pamela Espeland

In the last American TV commercial we saw, a woman was in a shopping aisle, having a conversation with a box of probiotics. “My friend told me about you!” she exclaimed, just before our thumb found the fast-forward button.Thanks to the Walker, we have the British Arrows Awards. People talk about the Super Bowl spots like they're the Holy Grail of advertising, but some (most?) of the best commercials we've seen have British accents. The Arrows are the UK's Clios, awards given for the best ideas, craftsmanship and commercials of the year. For 31 years straight, the Walker has screened a reel of the winners over the holidays.Maybe it's the times we're in, but this year's reel seems especially good.

Broadband quest spurs some success, much frustration

A state map shows the spotty nature of high-speed internet service in southern Vermont. Red indicates underserved or unserved addresses, while blue shows addresses with access to broadband speeds of at least 4 megabits per second for downloads and 1 megabit for uploads. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="broadband" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1376w, 1044w, 632w, 536w, 1440w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A state map shows the spotty nature of high-speed internet service in southern Vermont. Red indicates underserved or unserved addresses, while blue shows addresses with access to broadband speeds of at least 4 megabits per second for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDiggerDOVER – Southern Vermont's broadband coverage maps bear a passing resemblance to a Jackson Pollock canvas, with splotches and streaks of color representing various speeds and types of service.

Broken families: ICE leaves single mothers behind in Casper

On the night of Thursday, Nov. 30, Patricia Miramontes sat in her apartment on the north side of Casper waiting for her phone to ring. The chaos of a single-parent household swirled around her. Mauricio, Miramontes' 11-year-old son by her ex-husband, chopped potatoes and sautéed beef for dinner. His 8-year-old sister, Hirleenda, gamely attempted to change the diaper of their half-sister, the baby Merci.

Broken families: ICE leaves single mothers behind in Casper

On the night of Thursday, Nov. 30, Patricia Miramontes sat in her apartment on the north side of Casper waiting for her phone to ring. The chaos of a single-parent household swirled around her. Mauricio, Miramontes' 11-year-old son by her ex-husband, chopped potatoes and sautéed beef for dinner. His 8-year-old sister, Hirleenda, gamely attempted to change the diaper of their half-sister, the baby Merci.

Bronx Borough Pres Says Yes with Conditions to Jerome Ave Rezoning

Adi TalwarBorough President Ruben Diaz Junior and his director of Planning & Development James Rausse at the Bronx Borough hearing on the Jerome Avenue rezoning on November 2, 2017. On Monday morning, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. voted in favor of the Department of City Planning's proposed Jerome Avenue rezoning with conditions. The Bronx Borough Board voted in favor—and each of the community board representatives involved in the vote have already individually proffered a list of their own conditions. The rezoning will promote housing development along 92 blocks of Jerome Avenue and come with a suite of other programs and investments in the surrounding neighborhoods. The proposal is the fourth neighborhood rezoning sponsored by the de Blasio administration as part of the mayor's affordable housing plan to make its way through the seven-month public review process known as the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

Brooklyn Defenders Challenge Exorbitant Bail

Spend even a little time in Brooklyn's Kings County Criminal Court, and a pattern quickly emerges. An arrested person is brought before a judge to be arraigned. A prosecutor asks the judge to set bail. The judge, without asking whether the defendant can afford the payment, offers him two unworkable choices: Post the full amount of bail or visit to the bail bondsman, an expensive proposition. Most are forced to a third option: Unable to put up the cash, they spend weeks and months—in some cases, years—at the widely condemned Rikers Island jail complex.

Broward Outreach shelter yanks welcome mat for mental health court referrals

By Noreen
When homeless people turn up in Broward County's mental health court, Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren does everything she can to keep them out of jail. One of the court's few options was sending them to a Broward Outreach Center homeless shelter. But earlier this month, days after BOC told the judge it would no longer accept her referrals, she had visions of rootless, disturbed people being forced to grapple alone with a tough, lottery-like system to apply for a bed. The post Broward Outreach shelter yanks welcome mat for mental health court referrals appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

Broward PD Finkelstein says bond court judge Hurley must go; Chief judge says no

By Dan Christensen,

Broward County Court Judge John “Jay” Hurley Photo: NBC6 Miami

John “Jay” Hurley, a Broward County judge who's gained a measure of online celebrity for his brand of televised justice, will keep his post in bond court despite a call for his removal by Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein. Finkelstein complained to Chief Judge Peter M. Weinstein last week in a letter that Hurley should be booted out of magistrate court for “expressing his contempt for the homeless and members of my office.”
Saying Hurley “has crossed the line,” Finkelstein asked Weinstein to transfer him in a letter recounting five incidents from October 7-15. DVD recordings that Finkelstein said depict “Judge Hurley's rash and troubling behavior” accompanied the four-page letter. “Each DVD shows Judge Hurley over-reacting, abusing his judicial authority and acting in a manner unbecoming a judicial officer,” Finkelstein wrote. “His behavior is clearly intended to bully and intimidate the attorneys and prevent them from effectively representing detainees.”
But in a Sunday telephone interview, Weinstein rejected Finkelstein's request.

Brower Retains Garrison Fire District Seat

Incumbent defeats challenger Joe RegeleBrower Retains Garrison Fire District Seat was first posted on December 12, 2017 at 10:48 pm.

Bruce Hiland: Middlebury’s rail project overkill

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bruce Hiland, of Middlebury, who is a retired management consultant and past president of the Middlebury Business Association. It was first published in the Addison Independent on Nov. 23. If VTrans has its way Middlebury's historic downtown will experience historic disruption and damage over the next three years. Fifty-two million-plus of your taxpayer dollars will be spent to do this “… if all goes according to plan.” To avoid this disaster, concerned citizens have developed an alternative that meets safety objectives, avoids the damage to our downtown and costs less than one-third as much.

Budd-Falen: Provocateur or protector?

The prospect of Karen Budd-Falen's appointment to lead the Bureau of Land Management elicits strong reactions across the political spectrum. Conservationists and environmentalists fear that Budd-Falen — a Wyoming attorney who has spoken with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke about the position — would bring a long career of anti-regulatory antagonism to the agency headquarters. They see her as the next in a long line of Trump appointees, such as Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry at the Department of Energy, and Mick Mulvaney at the Consumer Protection Bureau, selected to undermine their charges. Many go so far as to accuse her of inciting violence against federal employees and of supporting armed insurrection — charges she rejects. The ranching community, rural western politicians and multiple-use advocates meanwhile view Budd-Falen as a fearless legal champion who's spent a career fighting for the common man, struggling under the heel of a distant and oppressive federal government.

Budget error means San Ysidro School District owes state $5.1 million

The San Ysidro School District for two years overstated student enrollment and now owes the state an estimated $5.1 million. But inewsource has learned the district's budget problems don't end there. New administrators hired last month following the resignations of the superintendent and his deputy have also uncovered an estimated $2.1 million in expenses that ... The post Budget error means San Ysidro School District owes state $5.1 million appeared first on San Diego news from inewsource.

Budget outlook is grim for 2018

With a projected multibillion-dollar deficit and looming federal changes that could cost the state billions more, the biggest obstacle in the upcoming 2018 legislative session will be balancing the state budget. The second-highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, John DeFrancisco, said the budget will be “horrible” and the worst in at least seven years. “I think it's going to be very, very difficult,” DeFrancisco said. “Probably the most difficult budget year the governor has had since he's been governor.” The state's comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, a Democrat, agreed. He said the projected $4.4 billion deficit and lower-than-expected tax collections are only the beginning of the trouble.

Building a teacher pipeline: How one Aurora school has become a training ground for aspiring teachers

Students at Aurora's Elkhart Elementary School are getting assistance from three aspiring teachers helping out in classrooms this year, part of a new partnership aimed at building a bigger and more diverse teacher pipeline. The teachers-to-be, students at the University of Northern Colorado's Center for Urban Education, get training and a paid job while they're in college. Elkhart principal Ron Schumacher gets paraprofessionals with long-term goals and a possibility that they'll be better prepared to be Aurora teachers. For Schumacher, it's part of a plan to not only help his school, but also others in Aurora Public Schools increase teacher retention. “Because of the nature of our school demographics, it's a coin flip with a new teacher,” Schumacher said.

Building an Alternative to Capitalism From the Ground Up

sol•i•dar•i•ty e•con•o•my


1. An alternative economic system based around institutions—from food co-ops to community-owned renewables—that make decisions democratically, meet local needs and put people and planet over profit

“There is no blueprint. We've had two blueprint disasters in the past 50 years: centralized socialism and corporate capitalism. We need something different.” —Filipino sociologist Walden Bello, speaking at the 2002 World Social Forum in Brazil

What Sorts of Institutions? There's quite a list—turns out there's no One Easy Trick to building an entire parallel economy.

Bunker Labs’ Mission: Turning Veterans into Entrepreneurs

Bunker Labs, a national nonprofit offering veterans resources for business development and employment, chose a prime spot for its 17th chapter: San Antonio's downtown tech district. The post Bunker Labs' Mission: Turning Veterans into Entrepreneurs appeared first on Rivard Report.

Burdened by school retiree costs, Memphis leaders explore dropping new-hire benefits

Memphis leaders have been grappling for years with how to cut a $1 billion-plus liability for retiree benefits through Shelby County Schools. But even as they've put options on the table, they've never settled on a sure-fire reduction plan. Now school board members are exploring one extreme option anew: eliminating all retiree benefits for employees hired after January of 2018. The proposed policy change was presented Tuesday to school board members by Trinette Small, the district's chief of human resources. (The original proposal would have applied to employees hired this year too, but was amended before the meeting.)
At issue is the $1.2 billion obligation known as OPEB, or "other post-employment benefits” such as health and life insurance.

Burlington 2030 District private-public partnership created to address climate change

News Release — Vermont Green Building Network
November 29, 2017
Jenna Antonino DiMare
Phone: 802-735-2192
November 29, 2017, Burlington VT – Leading Burlington businesses and institutions have committed over 3.6 million square feet to participate in the Burlington 2030 District, a private-public partnership working to reduce building energy consumption, water use and transportation emissions 50% by 2030. By establishing the economic case for the necessary reductions, the District helps property owners increase asset value, reduce operating costs, and create a healthier community. Burlington is the 17th city to join a national network of 2030 Districts including Seattle, San Francisco, Pittsburg, Ithaca and Cleveland. In April 2017, local non-profit Vermont Green Building Network (VGBN) became the non-profit sponsor organization of the newly established Burlington 2030 District. “VGBN sees the Burlington 2030 District as an important tool in the achievement of VGBN's mission,” states Jenna Antonino DiMare, VGBN Executive Director.

Burlington chief lobbies against federal concealed carry expansion

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo, and New York County District Attorney Cy Vance (from left) advocated against the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Del Pozo" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1590w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo is flanked by Los Angeles city attorney Mike Feuer, left, and New York County District Attorney Cy Vance as he speaks Wednesday in Washington against the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerWASHINGTON — The chief of the Burlington Police Department joined prosecutors and police officials from across the country to urge Congress not to move forward with a bill that would allow some people to carry concealed guns across state lines. As the House Judiciary Committee took up the measure in a hearing Wednesday morning, Chief Brandon del Pozo and two dozen high-profile prosecutors, police officials and lawmakers held a press conference advocating against it. Under the legislation, states that allow concealed carry would be required to accept permits issued by other states.

Burlington Council approves sale in Bove’s restaurant deal

The empty Bove's restaurant in Burlington would be demolished under a plan for a hotel and new apartments. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Bove's" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">The empty Bove's restaurant in Burlington would be demolished under a plan for a hotel and new apartments. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — Burlington City Councilors voted Monday to approve the sale of a city parking lot to Richard Bove Jr., who has submitted plans to the city to raze the lot and his family's adjacent Bove's Italian restaurant on Pearl Street and use the space to build a hotel and apartments. Bove's plan is to make space for a roughly 76-room hotel and 20-unit apartment building by demolishing the restaurant and two nearby rental houses. Bove's restaurant closed in 2015 but started a manufacturing facility in Milton that produces its pasta sauces and meatballs.

Burlington firm may bid for Ibex

(This story by John Lippman was published in the Valley News on Dec. 12, 2017.)
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The former head of the Vermont Teddy Bear Co. and a Burlington private equity firm said they hope to make a bid for the assets of Ibex Outdoor Clothing Co. to keep the company and its jobs in Vermont.RELATED STORIESBurlington firm may bid for IbexIbex Outdoor Clothing to liquidate
Liz Robert, former chief executive of Vermont Teddy Bear, and Vermont Works, a private equity firm that makes “social impact” investments, said they are working with investors to submit a proposal to buy Ibex's assets in order to prevent the struggling White River Junction maker of outdoor apparel from being sold to an out-of-state or overseas buyer and the jobs disappearing from the state. Ibex, squeezed by changes in the retail market and burdened by debt, announced earlier this month it was liquidating and selling off the intellectual property to its brands and customer database.

Burlington law firm launches immigration campaign

News release — Holman Immigration Law Firm
December 8, 2017
Burlington, VT — Yesterday, Leslie Holman of the Holman Immigration Law Firm hosted a Facebook Live event to display united support for immigrants. The event marked the launch of the iMarch for Immigration Campaign, a national day of action with online and offline events in all 50 states. In Vermont, the group called on Vermont's Congressional Delegation to take action protecting DREAMers as a first step to addressing the longstanding economic hurdles that reside within our outdated immigration system. The Facebook video can be found at: “As an immigration attorney, I am acutely aware of the challenges DREAMers are currently facing.

Burlington mayor defends immigration policy against federal pressure

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger delivers the 2016 State of the City address. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Miro Weinberger" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. File photo by Morgan True/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — The mayor is standing by a city policy that has come under fire from the federal government. Last month the Department of Justice sent a letter to Mayor Miro Weinberger, Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Tom Anderson and 27 other jurisdictions in the country, alleging their laws may violate a federal law that ensures U.S. immigration authorities can get information about a suspect's immigration status upon request. Attorney General Jeff Sessions railed against local policies that he said undermine the safety of residents.

Burlington mayor touts quality of life initiative

News Release – Mayor Miro Weinberger
Dec. 8, 2017
Katie Vane
Burlington, VT – Today Mayor Miro Weinberger encouraged residents to attend an upcoming Neighborhood Project Interactive Community Open House on December 12 and highlighted the City of Burlington's progress on longstanding noise complaint, landlord accountability, intoxication and disorderly conduct, and other quality of life issues. The City will be hosting the Neighborhood Project Open House in collaboration with the University of Vermont (UVM), Champlain College, and Preservation Burlington from 3:00 to 7:00pm on December 12 in Contois Auditorium to enable resident feedback on the City's continued work in near-campus neighborhoods. The overarching goal of Neighborhood Project is to build on recent successes and develop with community input an actionable strategy and toolkit of policies and programs for neighborhood stabilization in historic neighborhoods. The Open House will allow experts selected by UVM, Champlain, Preservation Burlington, and the City to share their findings with the public and the public to weigh in on potential new tools and strategies that could help improve residents' quality of life, as well as to suggest different ideas.

Burlington Mayoral Candidate Culcleasure convicted in 1990s for cocaine charges

Infinite Culcleasure, independent candidates for Burlington mayor, seeks the endorsement of the Progressive Party. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Infinite Culcleasure" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Infinite Culcleasure, independent candidates for Burlington mayor, seeks the endorsement of the Progressive Party. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDiggerBurlington mayoral candidate Infinite Culcleasure was jailed on felony cocaine charges in the early 1990s, news clippings and court documents show. Culcleasure is running as an independent for the mayor's office against Carina Driscoll, an independent former state representative and stepdaughter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Driscoll and Culcleasure face incumbent Democrat Miro Weinberger.

Burlington offers discount on parking on select Saturdays during holiday season

News Release — Burlington Business Association
November 21, 2017
Kelly Devine
(802) 863-1175
Burlington, VT – a new holiday parking promotion will begin November 25, 2017. Downtown stakeholders hope the promotion will bring more visitors to downtown Burlington to get their shopping done and enjoy all of Burlington's winter charm. The Burlington Business Association, Church Street Marketplace and Department of Public Works have partnered to offer a $3 discount on metered parking in Burlington on select Saturdays this holiday season utilizing Parkmobile. The $3 off promo can be used for one parking session per day that the promotion is in effect. Each code represents Burlington's airport code, as well as, the abbreviated month and day the promotional code is valid.

Burlington police search for missing woman

Patricia Rooney, 57, went missing from her Fletcher Place home in Burlington on Dec. 13, 2017. Police are asking for help locating her. Photo courtesy of Burlington Police Department. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" srcset=" 567w, 71w, 170w, 768w, 1469w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 567px) 100vw, 567px" data-recalc-dims="1">Patricia Rooney, 57, went missing from her Fletcher Place home in Burlington on Dec.

Burlington Progressives endorse Driscoll in mayoral race

Carina Driscoll and Infinite Culcleasure, independent candidates for Burlington mayor, vie for the Progressive Party endorsement. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Carina Driscoll, Infinite Culcleasure" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Carina Driscoll and Infinite Culcleasure, independent candidates for Burlington mayor, vie for the Progressive Party endorsement. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDiggerBurlington Progressives endorsed Carina Driscoll in the race for mayor. Driscoll announced her candidacy on Monday. She is a former state representative and Burlington City Councilor, and Sen. Bernie Sanders' stepdaughter.

Burlington schools chief vows better communication, two financial audits in first 100 days

Yaw Obeng, who was hired by the Burlington School District as the new superintendent after serving 20 years in educational leadership roles, began his job the week of August 31, he said. Photo by Jess Wisloski. BURLINGTON – New Burlington schools superintendent Yaw Obeng, who decamped from a Canadian district with 27 schools to oversee 11 here, has his sights set on improving educational equity and stabilizing the district's finances. “Building on a strong foundation, Burlington School District will serve as a model for the state, by increasing student achievement and narrowing the achievement gap through 21st-century classrooms,” he said at a news conference Thursday. Announcing his 100-day leadership plan, Obeng, 45, outlined his organizational strategy for the turbulent district while speaking in a classroom at the district's offices on Colchester Avenue.

Burlington Subaru partners with the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf

News Release — Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf
Dec. 12, 2017
Media Contact:
Anna McMahon, CEFS Community Engagement Manager
802-658-7939 ext.
Steve Kelson, Burlington Subaru General Manager
Burlington, VT – Burlington Subaru has announced that they are partnering with the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf (CEFS) for the fifth year in a row as part of Subaru of America's annual Share the Love event. From Nov. 16, 2017 to Jan.

Burlington Telecom also-rans merge proposals as vote nears

Burlington Telecom's offices in Burlington. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file=""><img data-attachment-id="204718" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="2845,1897" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta='{"aperture":"10","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS REBEL T5","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1502278485","copyright":"","focal_length":"40","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.004","title":"","orientation":"1"}' data-image-title="Miro Weinberger" data-image-description="Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger speaks at the announcement Wednesday that Burlington Telecom is expanding the Lifeline program. Photo by Alexandre Silberman/VTDigger
The press conference was outside of city hall in Burlington. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Miro Weinberger" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. File photo by Alexandre Silberman/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — Two previously rejected bidders have unveiled a combined proposal to buy Burlington Telecom, adding another level of uncertainty to the prolonged sale process.

Burlington Telecom has a buyer, but mixed feelings remain

Burlington Telecom's offices in Burlington. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Burlington Telecom" srcset=" 300w, 94w, 225w, 113w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Burlington Telecom's offices in Burlington. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDiggerBurlington Telecom will be sold to Schurz Communications after months of back and forth between three bidders and the city, capped by a long, combative Burlington City Council meeting last Monday. City officials are still waiting to finalize the deal in writing that was hashed out late Monday and early Tuesday. Mayor Miro Weinberger said Thursday attorneys have been trading drafts of the plan, and he expects to be able to release a final letter of intent from Schurz within days.

Burlington Telecom to remain net neutral regardless of FCC ruling

News Release — Burlington Telecom
December 13, 2017
Abbie Tykocki
Burlington Telecom
Earlier this year, Congress repealed internet privacy rules and Burlington Telecom re-committed to never collect, share or sell sensitive personal data about our customers. In July, Burlington Telecom joined the national battle to preserve net neutrality by participating in an internet-wide day of action opposing FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai's work to undo key consumer protections that prevent American internet customers from facing new fees, website blocking, and traffic throttling. We were one of only 40 Internet Service Providers to sign a letter demonstrating that Burlington Telecom does not see eye-to-eye with large, national media conglomerates or the current trajectory of the FCC. On Cyber Monday, we joined over 200 internet businesses in another letter testifying to the power of an open internet to encourage entrepreneurship, drive innovation, make our lives easier, and support a healthy economy. And just last Tuesday, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger joined over 50 other mayors from around the country to characterize the FCC's current proposal as an attack on “the constitutional principles that lie at the heart of our system of government” by eliminating state and local authority to regulate abusive service provider practices.

Burlington to host overnight stop on 2018 Great Race

News Release — Vermont Convention Bureau
Dec. 5, 2017. Contact: Susan Smith
Vermont Convention Bureau
60 Main Street, Suite 100
Burlington, VT
Office: 802-860-0606 x230
Burlington, VT., will host an overnight stop on the 2018 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty Monday, June 25, the Vermont Convention Bureau has announced. The Great Race, the world's premiere old car rally, will bring 120 of the world's finest antique automobiles to town for the $150,000 event, with the first car rolling onto Church Street Marketplace downtown starting at 5 p.m. In all, the participants in the event will cover more than 2,300 miles in 9 days. The start will be at the Pierce Arrow Museum in downtown Buffalo, N.Y., on June 23.

Burlington to use grant to fight steep child care shortage

A child plays on a slide. Photo by Jean Melis/Wikimedia Commons
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="child" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1021w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A child plays on a slide. Photo by Jean Melis/Wikimedia CommonsBurlington will start committing a half million dollars per year to promote expanding early education programs, helping to alleviate a dire shortage of care and education space for young children in the city. In early 2015, Mayor Miro Weinberger's office put out a report that showed, among other issues, a lack of quality child care options in the city. There are about 1,225 childcare spots in the city, but many are not all full-time or year-round spots, according to the report.

Burlington winter temperatures rise 7 degrees

Winters in Burlington have warmed more over the past four decades than in any major US city, according to data compiled by a Washington, D.C.-based science organization. Average winter temperatures in the Queen City rose seven degrees Fahrenheit since 1970 — from 18 degrees to 25 degrees, a group called Climate Central reported last week. Climate Central culled these figures from measurements taken by two fe