The post appeared first on Mississippi Today.

The permanent contraceptive Essure went off sale December 31—a relief to the activists known as “E-Sisters,” who came together around symptoms they linked to the device via a Facebook group called Essure Problems in 2011 and celebrated with New Year's Eve online toasts. The controversial product won't soon be forgotten for the thousands of women who complained that it caused long-term and extremely serious side effects. But it's also not entirely gone: while physicians and clinics can no longer order new devices, they may continue to use them until the end of this year. The device had developed a following as the only non-surgical permanent contraceptive device on the market. And not everyone is happy it is disappearing.

The post appeared first on Type Investigations.

‘Beyond Despair and Denial: Facing Climate Change With Moral Urgency and Hope’

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 6:00PMAtlanta, GAUnited StatesJon Sawyer, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Codi Norred , Clifton GranbyPulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer joins public conversation focusing on climate change and how to address it now. Event partners include the Yale Divinity School and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. For more information

‘Bhutto’: first woman elected leader of Pakistan

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 5, 2011 - "Martyr, accused, scandal, savior." All of these terms and more flash on the screen at the end of a trailer for the documentary "Bhutto," which will be screened Thursday at the Missouri History Museum. The film by directors Duane Baughman and Johnny O'Hara depicts the life and politics of Benazir Bhutto, the first Muslim woman elected to lead an Islamic nation.

‘Brave, Not Perfect’ Speaks To The Scarcity Of Women In Tech

Last year was, without much doubt, the year of Big Tech. One Facebook scandal after another (and yet, the ubiquitous social media platform is raking in record breaking profits ). Amazon joined Apple in becoming the second trillion-dollar company publicly listed in the U.S. New tech campuses were announced in New York, D.C., Texas, and California. With those, came the promise of tens of thousands of new jobs. And the follow up question from many locals: Exactly who will those jobs go to?

‘Contested Lands’ Photo Exhibit in California at World Affairs

Monday, January 28, 2019 (All day) to Friday, March 01, 2019 (All day)San Francisco, CAUnited StatesJonas Bendiksen, Chien-Chi Chang, Stuart Franklin, Thomas Dworzak, Susan Meiselas, Emin OzmenThrough a collaboration involving Magnum Photos, Pacific Standard and the Pulitzer Center, six photographers shed light on indigenous communities around the world waging battles against governments and commercial interests to remain on their ancestral lands. Learn more

‘Different Face’ Of Addiction Has Led To ‘Long Overdue’ Shift From Criminal Justice To Public Health

When David Patterson Silver Wolf refers to the U.S. opioid epidemic as part of a “disease of despair” and “a tough disease to treat,” he's speaking from experience both professional and personal. He experienced substance-use disorder firsthand after growing up in a troubled home that quickly led him toward drugs and alcohol. “I was young and I was also suicidal – which, a lot of folks, when we talk about [overdosing], it's hard to separate out what is an OD and what is just taking of your life,” the Washington University faculty member recalled on Monday's St. Louis on the Air . “And I was also full of despair.

‘It’s Always The Right Time To Fight Discrimination,’ Says Lawyer For LGBTQ Couple In Housing Case

The LGBTQ couple whose lawsuit against Sunset Hills-based Friendship Village was recently dismissed by a circuit judge will be taking further legal action, an attorney for Mary Walsh and Beverly Nance told host Don Marsh during Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air . “Definitely Mary and Bev are going to be appealing this,” Arlene Zarembka said of the Jan. 16 decision. The case against the local retirement community is one that St.

‘People migrate to survive’: In moving speech, Memphis student reflects on children who died at the border

The death of two young children spurred a Memphis sixth-grader to share his thoughts with a crowd of adults on why immigrants are like butterflies migrating to survive. Marco Villa, a student at White Station Middle School, recently shared the analogy in a recent tearful gathering of Latino, white, and black Memphians to honor two Guatemalan children who died in December while in U.S. custody at the Mexican border. The monarch butterflies, which draw visitors to Mexico every year when they leave the harsh winters of Canada, reminded Marco of the great lengths immigrants go through to survive. PHOTO: Marcos VIllaMarco and his father, Marcos Villa, at a march for peace in Mexico in 2011. His experience working with his parents to advocate for immigrants meant he has seen the impact of federal immigration raids on Memphis families.

‘Acting’ officials: Another way Trump gets around Congress is detailed in WaPo article

If I were writing articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, I would certainly include one that accuses him of violating his Oath of Office. Other members of the federal government take oaths when they are sworn in. But the president is the only one who repeats an oath that is actually part of the text of the Constitution itself:
Article 2, section 1, Clause 8: Oath or affirmation:
“Before he enters the Execution of his Office, [the president-elect] shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.'”
I don't know if Donald Trump had his fingers crossed when he took that oath. But he acts like it. He doesn't protect or defend the Constitution.

‘Afflicted not addicted’: Chronic pain sufferers rally for access to opioids

Debra Hickey, who has lived with chronic pain for two decades, recently went to her medical specialist for her regular dose of 30 milligrams of oxycodone. The doctor told her she had to reduce the dosage because of state regulations to decrease the number and dosage in patients' opioid prescriptions. Hickey, 63, of Phoenix, was appalled. And scared.

‘Beautiful legislation’ fails to protect PNG’s environment, landowners

Papua New Guinea is a canopy-covered country, with a substantial chunk of the world's third-largest rainforest and some 7 percent of global biodiversity. It is home to many endemic species, from legless lizards to the amber-plumed Raggiana bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea raggiana), immortalized on the nation's flag. These natural wonders are ostensibly safeguarded by laws that include the Land Act of 1996, the Environment Act (2000), Forestry Act (1991), Mining Act (1992) and the Oil and Gas Act (1998). Regulations also cover everything from marine pollution to timber exports, to gaining free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) for land acquisition. The laws “look good on paper,” says Evelyn Wohuinangu, principal lawyer at PNG's Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR), an NGO.

‘Crying real tears’: Educators testify about the toll of standardized testing

Educators from multiple districts wanted legislators to know how state testing affects their lives. Lawmakers held a public hearing to discuss the toll standardized tests have on students, families and educators. Mississippi has switched state tests three times in three years, starting with the Mississippi Curriculum Test and moving to the PARCC test in the 2014-15 school year. The state switched once more in the 2015-16 school year and currently uses the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP). Mississippi uses MAAP to test students on their proficiency in math, reading, history and science, depending on the grade.

‘Devaluing Black Bodies’: How Police-Shooting Videos Can Thwart the Search for Justice

On July 5, 2016, Alton Sterling, 37, died after police in Louisiana tackled and shot him outside the convenience store where he was selling CDs. The following day, Philando Castile was shot and killed by police in Minnesota during a traffic stop. The horrific eyewitness videos of both shootings immediately went viral on social media. One social media post of the leaked video of the 2016 death of Delrawn Small, shot by an off-duty New York City police officer in a traffic dispute, has been viewed more than 70,000 times. Historically, such searing images have helped gather support for legal reforms against racial discrimination and state violence against African American people.

‘El Chapo’ Wrapup: Glimpses Into Workings of a Drug Cartel

The 12-week trial of notorious drug lord Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera — known as “El Chapo” — has shown in meticulous detail how the cartel smuggles drugs from Mexico into the United States, along with tales of gruesome murders, diamond-encrusted pistols and betrayal, the Washington Post reports. Closing arguments concluded Thursday. The jury in federal court in Brooklyn is scheduled to begin deliberating Monday. The billions of dollars' worth of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana came through elaborate tunnels and stashed in trucks and trains, rolling through official entry points, and on container ships docking at Pacific ports. The proceedings were filled with drama: Guzmán's mistress wept on the stand, his wife at one point coordinated outfits with him in court, and the man who managed the cartel's computer networks betrayed his old boss in public testimony.

‘Frozen,’ ‘Mean Girls’ in next Broadway on Hennepin season; flower show at the arboretum

In a Facebook Live stream Thursday morning, Hennepin Theatre Trust announced its 2019-20 Broadway on Hennepin season. Eclipsing all other theater news until Lin-Manuel Miranda pens his next musical, “Hamilton” will return … in 2020-21. You can guarantee your seats by subscribing to 2019-20, which will give you first dibs on 2020-21. We're not saying this is a plot, um, strategy, but if it is, it's a good one. Let's call it smart marketing.

‘Goofy’ proposal for giving Minnesota’s major parties veto power over primary candidates gets a rewrite

Backers of legislation to liberalize Minnesota's rule for minor political parties thought they had something in the bills to attract the support of the major parties. They were wrong. A MinnPost article on two companion bills, House File 708 and Senate File 752, outlined a provision that would give state Republicans and DFLers a veto over which candidates could run in the state primary under their banner. Rather than interest the parties, it attracted opposition, at least from DFL Chair Ken Martin, who called the idea “goofy” and perhaps unconstitutional. State Sen. Scott Jensen, a Republican from Chaska, said he also heard from Senate colleagues who called the section of the bill “klutzy.”
“I'm gonna guess that what we're gonna do is excise that entire section,” Jensen said, “because that's not really the heart of the bill.” The heart is to make it easier for minor parties to get candidates on the ballot by lowering signature requirements, allow them to seek lower office like state House and Senate without first having to run statewide races, and even to let them gather signatures on 8½-by-11 paper instead of 14 inches, as current law requires.

‘I Became Their Voice’: Survivor Reflects On Holocaust, Preservation Of Stories

Sunday marked the international community's commemoration of lives lost and tragedy caused during the Holocaust. Although it took place more than 70 years ago, its lessons continue to resonate today. “Those [lessons] are not bound by time,” Dan Reich, curator and director of education at the Holocaust Museum & Learning Center, told host Don Marsh on Monday's St. Louis on the Air . “I hope that the Holocaust will continue to be commemorated,” he said.

‘I can’t afford to have children:’ Denver teachers on verge of strike plead with district to raise pay

As Colorado's governor weighs whether to intervene to head off a teacher strike in the state's largest school district, Denver teachers packed a school board meeting Thursday night to press their demand for higher pay. They marched on the sidewalk in front of district headquarters, chanted in the lobby, and took turns giving sometimes emotional testimony to the board. “I'm striking because I spend 182 days a year supporting and helping raise other people's children, but my husband and I can't afford to have children of our own,” said Bridget Stephenson-McKee, a third-grade teacher at Force Elementary, as she fought back tears. Meanwhile, the district continues to prepare for how to keep schools open if teachers walk out. Denver Public Schools Superintendent Susana Cordova sent a letter Tuesday to employees who work in the central office making clear the expectation that they will be deployed to schools to work as substitute teachers or in non-instructional roles, such as hall monitors.

‘I serve everybody, proudly’: a Q&A with Minnesota’s first Latina mayor

On Jan. 8, Maria Regan Gonzalez was sworn in as the mayor of Richfield, making her the first Latina mayor in Minnesota history. The two-year City Council member ran unopposed for the position when incumbent Pat Elliott decided not to seek re-election. Regan Gonzalez (one last name: It's Irish-Mexican) spoke with MinnPost about the rewards and challenges of running a fast-growing suburb, as well as her plans for a unique State of the City address next month. MinnPost: Congratulations on your new job.

‘I serve everybody, proudly’: a Q&A with Minnesota’s first Latina mayor

On Jan. 8, Maria Regan Gonzalez was sworn in as the mayor of Richfield, making her the first Latina mayor in Minnesota history. The two-year City Council member ran unopposed for the position when incumbent Pat Elliott decided not to seek re-election. Regan Gonzalez (one last name: It's Irish-Mexican) spoke with MinnPost about the rewards and challenges of running a fast-growing suburb, as well as her plans for a unique State of the City address next month. MinnPost: Congratulations on your new job.

‘If the government shuts down, we’ll do it again’: Vicksburg military park kept open, and 19,000 visitors showed up

Carol M. Highsmith, Library of CongressCannons at the Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi. A 35-day tug-of-war in Washington D.C. would have kept over 19,000 tourists out of one of the world's jewels for military history. The Vicksburg National Military Park, however, kept its forts manned during the federal government's partial shutdown thanks to the support of a local non-profit, Friends of VNMP, as well as the City of Vicksburg. Friends of VNMP released new figures last week showing only a slight decrease in visitation. “The park is obviously the centerpiece for tourism in Vicksburg,” said Bess Averett, Executive Director of Friends of VNMP, which raised over $50,000 to keep the park operating.

‘It Was a Mess’: Sheryl Sculley on Changing San Antonio’s Trajectory

When Erik Walsh takes over as San Antonio's City Manager on March 1, he will inherit a very different city than the one his predecessor Sheryl Sculley took over 13 years ago. The post ‘It Was a Mess': Sheryl Sculley on Changing San Antonio's Trajectory appeared first on Rivard Report.

‘It’s time’: How the politics of addressing Minnesota’s opioid crisis changed at the Capitol

Supporters of bills to fight opioid abuse and addiction think they have the votes at the Minnesota Legislature to pass a comprehensive response to the crisis. That, in itself, isn't new. Back in 2018, a similar bill failed to get through the Minnesota House after easily making it through the state Senate, even though the basics of the legislation had widespread support. At the time, the measures included treatment, education and grants to local governments for expenses related to opioid addiction — provisions for which it is hard to find opponents. Yet lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry blocked passage of increased registration fees for drug makers and distributors that would have raised $20 million a year to pay for the programs. Those lobbyists argued that prescription drugs that are vital to many people in the state should not be taxed for health-related programs.
Last year, such opposition mattered.

‘Key To Progress’: How St. Louisans Are Using Community Organizing And Engagement To Make Change

On Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh explored how community organizing has evolved in the St. Louis region over the past 40 years. Joining the discussion was Kevin McKinney, executive director of SLACO – the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations – which is anticipating its 23rd annual Regional Neighborhoods Conference set for this Saturday.

‘Let’s give Dr. King his due’: Democratic lawmaker pushes to nix Robert E. Lee holiday

As the state of Mississippi again officially honors the birth of Robert E. Lee on the same day as that of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a state lawmaker is pushing to scrap the Lee celebration altogether. Rep. Kabir Karriem
Rep. Kabir Karriem, D-Columbus, sponsored a bill this session to remove the celebration of Lee, the Confederate Army's general during the Civil War, from the list of official state holidays. Mississippi and Alabama are the only two states to pair Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King Jr. holidays. “I think we do Dr. King a disservice by celebrating Robert E. Lee on the same day,” Karriem told Mississippi Today. “It's 2019.

‘Medicare for All’ can mean at least two different things

The slogan “Medicare for All” can mean two things. Well, at least two. One of them would be a much bigger, and, to some people, much scarier change than the other. But the two meanings are both out there, which isn't really helpful but makes it necessary to clarify the two ideas. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, who is considered a top contender for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, gave a CNN televised town hall forum Tuesday night.

‘Mississippi School Safety Act’ on the way to House floor, requires active shooter drills

A bill lawmakers say is necessary to keep Mississippi children safe in school passed the first hurdle of the legislative process Thursday. House Bill 1283 would create the “Mississippi School Safety Act of 2019,” something Gov. Phil Bryant urged the Legislature to pass in his State of the State address earlier this year. Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/Report For AmericaGovernor Phil Bryant delivers the State of the State address in the House of Representatives Chamber of the Mississippi State Capitol Tuesday, January 15, 2019. “Our schools, which once were a haven of security, have become a place of potential violence,” Bryant said. “To help protect our students and those who teach them, I will ask you to pass a comprehensive plan to keep our school children safe.”
In addition to fire drills and emergency drills which already occur, schools would be required to conduct active shooter drills within the first two months of each semester.

‘New Dude’ highlights opening weekend of DI baseball

WeirThis rendering shows rebuilt Dudy Noble Field/Polk-Dement Stadium, which opens this weekend in Starkville. Mississippi's Division I college baseball season begins Friday, and the star will be what Mississippi State fans are calling “The New Dude.”
No, we're not talking about J.T. Ginn, the freshman right-handed pitcher from Brandon, who turned down $2.4 million from the Los Angeles Dodger to pitch for the Bulldogs. We're talking about re-built Dudy Noble Field/Polk-Dement Stadium, the sparkling, $67 million facility where Ginn presumably will pitch for the next three seasons. The new stadium features every bell, every whistle imaginable for a college baseball stadium, including three stadium clubs, 20 luxury suites, 96 outfield lounges, a new two-tiered grandstand, a capacity of upward of 15,000, and 12 lofts (rented condos) beyond the Left Field Lounge area. “We think, overall, we will have the best facility in college baseball,” said athletic director John Cohen, who played and coached baseball at State.

‘Next thing you know, he left me’: After an unusually deadly month, loved ones reflect on the lives of Jackson homicide victims

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/Report For AmericaMississippi's capital has had 12 shooting in January alone. Jackson's Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Gov. Phil Byrant have offered various proposals to combat crime, including Credible Messenger Mentoring, Violence Interrupter Training and a Real Time Crime Center. First row from left: Rev. Anthony Finch Longino, Evan Henry, George Robinson, and De'Anthony Snell; Second row: Mack Pope, Kameron Cortez, Christopher Collins, 25 and Calphrion Vardman, 19; Third row: Demarcus Harris, 32, Julian Smith, Elizahown Burns and Quinvarus Devon Parker. In January, there were 12 homicides in Jackson. This continued a trend from the previous year when the number of homicides reached 84, making 2018 one of the deadliest in recent memory for the capital city.

‘Nightmare’ at NYC Federal Jail Without Heat, Power

Inmates in the Metropolitan Detention Center, a federal jail in Brooklyn, were in cramped cells on Saturday that had no electricity and were frigid cold. Vents in the ceiling were stuffed with clothing or cardboard to keep out icy air. At 2 p.m., the jail population had not yet been fed. Those were the conditions described by elected officials who visited the jail, where more than 1,600 inmates have been largely confined to their freezing, dark cells for nearly a week, since an electrical fire partially cut off power to the jail, prompting management to cancel visits and place inmates on lockdown, reports the New York Times. “The situation is really, really a nightmare,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), whose district includes the jail.

‘Nightmare’ at NYC Federal Jail Without Heat, Power

Inmates in the Metropolitan Detention Center, a federal jail in Brooklyn, were in cramped cells on Saturday that had no electricity and were frigid cold. Vents in the ceiling were stuffed with clothing or cardboard to keep out icy air. At 2 p.m., the jail population had not yet been fed. Those were the conditions described by elected officials who visited the jail, where more than 1,600 inmates have been largely confined to their freezing, dark cells for nearly a week, since an electrical fire partially cut off power to the jail, prompting management to cancel visits and place inmates on lockdown, reports the New York Times. “The situation is really, really a nightmare,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), whose district includes the jail.

‘Parents Are Children’s First, Best Teachers’: How Home-Visiting Model ‘Adds Value’ To Development

Constance Gully 's first encounter with the home-visiting Parents as Teachers (PaT) program was 24 years ago, when she became pregnant and experienced complications and preterm labor. “I was afraid,” Gully explained to host Don Marsh on Wednesday. “Every parent wants what's best for their child; and regardless of their economic or educational status, every parent can be a great parent, but we don't always have the confidence to know that. Parents as Teachers is great to provide parents with the affirmation to just let them know you can take these particular steps to help add value to your child's development and let parents know that they play a role.” Fast forward to the present day, Gully is now the CEO of the organization. She joined Wednesday's St.

‘Parker’s Law’ would charge dealers, friends for drug overdose deaths

Ever since her son Parker died of a drug overdose four years ago, Cordie Rodenbaugh has spent her time talking at town halls and college campuses about addiction and drug use among students. Rodenbaugh, a Madison resident, has even sponsored a workshop in her own living room to teach people how to use Narcan. And this year, she began lobbying at the state capitol for Parker's Law, a bill named after her son that would make it easier for prosecutors to go after anyone who provides drugs that lead to an overdose — a bill she believes would help prevent deaths like Parker's. “I feel so good about it (the bill),” Rodenbaugh said. “You have to be accountable for what you do.

‘Parker’s Law’ would put drug dealers behind bars for overdose deaths

David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, FileUnder Parker's Law, people charged with sale or intent to sell drugs could face an additional 20 years to life without parole in prison and a fine of up to $1 million for each person who dies or suffers serious bodily injury. Ever since her son Parker died of a drug overdose four years ago, Cordie Rodenbaugh has spent her time talking at town halls and college campuses about addiction and drug use among students. Rodenbaugh, a Madison resident, has even sponsored a workshop in her own living room to teach people how to use Narcan, a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses. And this year, she began lobbying at the state capitol for Parker's Law, a bill named after her son that would make it easier for prosecutors to go after anyone who provides drugs that lead to an overdose — a bill she believes would help prevent deaths like Parker's. “I feel so good about it (the bill),” Rodenbaugh said.

‘Queens Of The Board’ Take Center Stage In St. Louis Chess Club’s First All-Female Tournament

The St. Louis Chess Club is currently hosting its first international all-female chess tournament in an effort to expand opportunities for women to enter the male-dominated sport. Jennifer Shahada, a two-time U.S. women's chess champion, commentator and analyst explained the excitement behind the Cairns Cup tournament on Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air . “It's really a chance for the queens of the board to take center stage,” Shahade told St.

‘Speaker’s Soiree’ skirts law against legislators soliciting from lobbyists

House Majority Leader Jill Krowinski speaks Thursday night at a Vermont Democratic Party fundraiser. Photo by Colin Meyn/VTDigger
At the bottom of the emailed invitation to Wednesday night's Speaker's Soiree at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier, there's a note in small print: “House members are not soliciting funds from lobbyists or lobbyist employers for this event.”
That's because it would be illegal if they were. And perhaps it needs to be said, because you could be mistaken for thinking that's exactly what's happening. Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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‘The Invisibles,’ A Video Series


In this video series, titled “The Invisibles,” Oklahoma Watch profiles individuals whose quiet struggles in life reflect some of the larger issues facing the state. The series is made possible by a sponsorship from the Chickasaw Nation. Out of Prison and Reconstructing a Life
Every month, hundreds of Oklahoma inmates who've served their time are released from prisons across the state – often given bus fare and sent back to the communities from which they came. But rebuilding a life is challenging. In this video, Robin Wertz, who spent years in prison, talks about her experiences and how, as site director at Exodus House in Oklahoma City, she helps former inmates re-integrate into society.

‘The whole thing is goofy’: Proposal to liberalize rules for minor party candidates in Minnesota would also block some major party candidates from primary ballot

Maybe it should be called the Richard Painter Bill. Or the power that no one wanted. A set of proposals filed in the Minnesota House and Senate would give the state's political parties the authority to block some candidates from appearing on state primary ballots with party affiliation. House File 708 and its companion Senate bill, Senate File 752, make several changes to state law governing how candidates from both major and minor political parties get on the ballot. But a new section of law would also change the current procedure for major party filing.

‘They Still Haven’t Given Her Back to Me’

Demonstrators protest President Donald Trump's immigration policies in Chicano Park. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
A 1-year-old girl brought into the United States near Calexico by her father has been separated from her family since November. The girl's mother, who requested asylum from Border Patrol agents days later and has since been released into the country, said she is being asked to pay thousands of dollars in order to reunite with her daughter. The girl's father remains in custody. The family's case offers a reminder that families are still being separated at the border, and underscores the murkiness of the rules outlining when such separations can legally take place.

‘This Funny Thing Called Love’ and other Valentine’s Day fun

Valentine's Day is Thursday. You know that, right? If you already have plans – or you just don't care – you can skip ahead to Michael Christie's Grammy win below. If you're looking for ideas, we can help. Wednesday, Feb.

‘This is why people are leaving the state’: How state aid rules hinder college access for low-income families and middle class

Andrew Krech, The Citizens' Voice via APMany outdated regulations written into state aid laws create barriers for lower and middle-class Mississippians trying to get a higher education for their kids or themselves. It started with her husband's injury at work. His doctor prescribed him opioids; taking them for pain morphed into a full-blown addiction and later, a controlled substance arrest. After 18 years of marriage and middle-class living, Joyce Blankenship found herself kicking her husband out of the house, and along with him, her family's only source of income. That same year her twin daughters were seniors in high school and preparing to go to college.

‘This was wrong,’ says Denver schools chief of email threat to immigrant teachers

Less than three weeks into her tenure as Denver schools superintendent, Susana Cordova stood in the lobby of the district's downtown headquarters Friday afternoon and apologized. Ringed by television cameras, Cordova said she was shocked the evening before to learn that a district human resources employee had sent an email to schools on Tuesday that said immigrant teachers working in Denver Public Schools on visas would be reported to immigration authorities if they participated in an impending teacher strike. “This was wrong,” said Cordova, flanked by three Denver school board members. “I cannot begin to express how shocked I was to learn of this message, and how deeply sorry I am for the anxiety and fear this has caused our educators, our families, and our community.”
The district will not report to authorities the names of any employees who walk off the job, Cordova said. Of the district's approximately 5,600 educators, 128 of them are here on H-1B and J-1 immigrant visas, a district spokesperson said.

‘We can’t nickle-dime this thing.’ Water Congress comes up dry on funds for Colorado River Plan

When Gov. Jared Polis took office in January, he took responsibility for ensuring that Colorado doesn't run out of water. Many in the water community were thrilled when Polis said in his State of the State address that he wants to find a “sustainable funding source” to finally implement the far-reaching Colorado Water Plan. But, weeks later, many of those water experts are still wondering where the money will come from. Some hope that Polis, who has made funding all-day kindergarten and health care programs a priority, still cares about water. The opening day luncheon at this year's Water Congress in Westminster was dedicated entirely to the subject of how to fund the water plan, a lengthy manifesto finalized in 2015 intended to prevent projected water shortfalls in 2050.

‘We can’t nickle-dime this thing.’ Water Congress comes up dry on funds for Colorado Water Plan

When Gov. Jared Polis took office in January, he took responsibility for ensuring that Colorado doesn't run out of water. Many in the water community were thrilled when Polis said in his State of the State address that he wants to find a “sustainable funding source” to finally implement the far-reaching Colorado Water Plan. But, weeks later, many of those water experts are still wondering where the money will come from. Some hope that Polis, who has made funding all-day kindergarten and health care programs a priority, still cares about water. The opening day luncheon at this year's Water Congress in Westminster was dedicated entirely to the subject of how to fund the water plan, a lengthy manifesto finalized in 2015 intended to prevent projected water shortfalls in 2050.

‘What happens in this house stays in this house’: Black women sound the alarm about domestic violence in the African American community

LAUREL — On a windy afternoon in March 2002, Ishaunna Gully hoisted her young son onto her hip and listened intently as her grandmother presented her case. The grandmother had a bad feeling about Ishaunna's ex-boyfriend, Sammy, who had been controlling and verbally abusive during their year-long relationship. In the last few days, he was behaving erratically and making violent threats towards Ishaunna and her son from a previous relationship. The first time Sammy attacked her, he only escaped arrest because Ishaunna declined to press charges. Days after that incident, fearing he might try to kidnap her son, Ishaunna sought a restraining order at Hattiesburg police headquarters but was told she needed to come back the following week.

“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."

“Someone did not do their due diligence.” How an attempt to review Texas’ voter rolls turned into a debacle

“What they have set in motion is going to disenfranchise U.S. citizens and it's going to infringe on their right to vote,” said state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas. State Rep. Rafael Anchia had been alarmed by the actions of the Texas secretary of state's office for days by the time the agency's chief, David Whitley, walked into the Dallas Democrat's Capitol office on Monday. The Friday before, Whitley's staff had issued a press release calling into question the citizenship of 95,000 registered voters in Texas. In the days since, advocacy groups and Democratic lawmakers were raising serious questions about whether the majority of people on that list would soon be proven to be eligible voters. But before those doubts emerged, Whitley, the top election officer in the state, had handed over information about those registered voters to the Texas attorney general, which has the jurisdiction to prosecute them for felony crimes.

“This is very personal to us”: Santa Fe survivors are expecting results from the Texas Legislature

Flo Rice, 56, was wounded in both legs during a shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 dead and 13 injured. She now advocates for more school safety and emergency training for substitute teachers. Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune
Flo Rice remembers when she could run 30 miles a week as a way to get rid of stress. But after a shooter opened fire at Santa Fe High School on May 18, killing 10 people and wounding 13 others, the former substitute teacher hasn't logged her usual five to six miles a day. When Rice first heard a fire alarm go off that morning, she assumed it was a normal drill.

“Alien/Angel” is a stage retrospective of a performer lost too soon

Devin Bannon plays avant garde performance artist Klaus Nomi in a show at Cafe Nordo. (Photo credit by Bruce Clayton Tom.)Klaus Nomi opened his mouth to sing and all eyes turned to him. All eyes probably already were on the performance artist, who rose to fame in the 1970s. His costumes looked like what alien eyes might make of Western evening wear. His dress shirt, bow tie and black tails all fitted, but they all stretched out much larger than understood limits.

“Doubling Down”: With Private Care Push, Trump’s VA Bucks Lawmakers and Some Veterans Groups

by Isaac Arnsdorf

When Congress passed a bill last year to transform the Department of Veterans Affairs, lawmakers said they were getting rid of arbitrary rules for when the government would pay for veterans to see private doctors. Under the old program, veterans could go to the private sector if they would have to wait 30 days or travel 40 miles for care in the VA. Lawmakers and veterans groups, including conservatives, criticized those rules as arbitrary. The new law, known as the Mission Act, was supposed to let doctors and patients decide whether to use private sector based on individualized health needs. On Wednesday, the Trump administration proposed new rules, known as access standards, to automatically make veterans eligible for private care.

“Good Faith” Fights Fire With Words

At the end of Good Faith, three firefighters and a lawyer stand on stage.“We fight the fire,” they tell the audience, one after the other.By then the fire is a metaphor, the play moving from the concrete to the abstract. “Who will save you? Who will you save?”

“Gospel Shabbat” Choirs Sing Hallelujah For King

On Friday afternoon, the 51-member choir on the bima of Congregation B'nai Jacob had just torn through the gospel song “Hallelujah, You're Worthy” and was now tackling an uptempo version of “We Shall Overcome.” Choir members started with singing and clapping.Something wasn't quite working. Angela Clemmons, directing the choir, stopped them.

“I Should Have Named You Amber — Just In Case”

Poet, organizer, and master of ceremonies Ngoma was once again in front of the microphone on the third floor of the Peabody Museum on Whitney Avenue on Monday, overseeing the annual Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Community Open Mic and Professional Poetry Slam.The professional part of the slam tended to draw poets from around the country to compete. But the community open mic was already getting heavy.

“Mi Presidente Es Guaidó!”

Hours after hundreds thousands of protestors took to the streets of Venezuela, 30 protesters gathered in front of New Haven City Hall's Amistad Memorial in New Haven to take up their chant: “¿Quiénes somos? Venezuela! ¿Qué queremos? Libertad!”

“People’s Budget” Pitch Targets Empty Lots

Nobody likes vacant lots. But publish an online map showing where those lots are and which are owned by the city, and maybe more residents will come forward to buy, build, and put that property back on the tax rolls.That was one of a handful of land management recommendations that neighborhood leaders suggested during a conversation with city staff about boosting revenue and cutting costs.

“Today, We Have A New President”

With tri-colored flags clutched in their fists and emblazoned on their hats, dozens of Venezuelan émigrés rallied downtown in support of their native country's new self-declared president.

“Urban Miner” Tackles Recycling Challenge

Hangers? Can't recycle them — but a nearby business might want them.And as for that new toter — maybe you can reduce how much you throw out instead.Those questions came into Hamden Town Hall — and got quick answers from the new man on the job.

#MeToo Movement Empowered Women Accusers of R. Kelly, says Attorney

Social media and the #MeToo movement have empowered the women who have gone public with sexual abuse allegations against R&B superstar R. Kelly, says a lawyer for one of his accusers. “Now victims can tell their story and no one can keep them off [the Internet],” said Gloria Allred, attorney for Faith Rogers, who has accused the singer of sexual battery, false imprisonment and “willfully, deliberately and maliciously” infecting her with an STD. “Some of the men feel that's unfair, but they can use the Internet to respond,” Allred said in an interview with The Crime Report. Gloria Allred. Photo via Wikipedia
Allred, one of the country's leading women's rights attorneys, said the growth of the #MeToo movement has helped remove the fear of women in many areas of American business, media and culture from challenging powerful men.

$100,000? Or None?

A proposal that promised to spark controversy at Monday night's Hamden Legislative Council meeting was pulled from the agenda at the last minute — to make changes to the mayor's office that some say could cost around $100,000 next year.

$250 million awarded for emergency road and bridge projects

Mississippi Department of Transportation crew members close a bridge last year on Springridge Road in Raymond, Miss. The Mississippi Transportation Commission announced Tuesday which projects will receive funds designated for emergency road and bridge repair during the last special session. The $250 million announced last August will go towards 163 projects around the state. The Mississippi Department of Transportation will receive $16 million for repairs on Interstate 20. MDOT will also get about $8 million for maintenance on Highway 51.

1,400 central office employees will be deployed to Denver schools in a strike

Denver Public Schools is preparing for a teacher strike Monday, even as district administrators and union teachers plan to return to the bargaining table Friday to see if they can find a last-minute deal. What does that preparation look like? The district is hiring more substitutes and deploying central office staff. Here's a breakdown, by the numbers, of who might be striking, who will be working, how many kids will be affected, and what it will cost. All numbers come from the school district.

10 reasons U.S. must hold Peru to trade deal and protect Amazon (commentary)

Confiscated timber at the regional government's forestry office in Ucayali, Peru. Image by David Hill. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has reportedly just done something for the first time. Almost exactly 10 years after the U.S. Trade Promotion Agreement with Peru (PTPA) entered into force on 1 February 2009, the USTR requested – and recently held – “environment consultations” with the Peruvian government. The reason?

10 things you can do right now to help immigrants and refugees in Minnesota and beyond

At last week's “Immigrant Moral Witness, Moral Action” forum at First Universalist Church of Minneapolis, Michelle Rivero wrapped up her presentation by talking about the importance of speaking out with love. Given her experience as an immigration attorney and as Minneapolis' first-ever director of the newly created Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA), Rivero said it was an emotional but necessary bit of information shared amid the rest of the night's topics. Rivero expanded on her comments for MinnPost, and provided some nuts-and-bolts information for anyone interested in helping out in the face of how the federal government is treating asylum seekers and would-be new Americans. “I think it's easy to feel a great deal of anger when you see injustice, especially when you are coming from a position where you recognize a wrong, or multiple wrongs, and you feel like there's very little you can do as an individual to right those wrongs,” said Rivero. “I think anger only gets you so far, as an emotion.

10 Visualizations About Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is a perpetual focus of media coverage, but last year was especially ripe with stories in the United States. From the massive reform bill passed in Massachusetts to the debate over gun rights following the massacre of 17 at a Parkland, Florida, high school, journalists and data experts have been kept busy in their attempts to quantify and analyze the criminal justice machine in the US. Storybench cut through the noise and pulled out these 10 visualizations that best explain criminal justice in America today. How Many People are Locked Up in the United States? (Prison Policy Initiative)
The Prison Policy Initiative published a report in March titled “Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie,” and this mammoth chart appropriately heads it.

10-0

Beacon modified boys' team goes undefeated10-0 was first posted on February 9, 2019 at 11:29 am.

12 Days of Giving Wrap Up

Annual holiday campaign raises over $152,000.

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.

13-year cicadas swarm to their own special love song

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 6, 2011 - For better or for worse, the St. Louis area is witnessing one of nature's most bizarre phenomena, one that only comes around every decade or so. That's right, it's time to put in the earplugs and turn down the hearing aids. The cicadas are back.

14 States Now Have ‘Red Flag’ Laws Allowing Gun Seizures

In the year since the Parkland, Fl., school shooting, more states have passed laws making it easier to take guns away from people who may be suicidal or bent on violence against others, reports the Associated Press. Courts are issuing an unprecedented number of seizure orders. Advocates say “red flag” laws are among the most promising tools to reduce the nearly 40,000 firearm suicides and homicides each year in the U.S. Gun advocates protest that the laws undermine their constitutional rights and can result in people being stripped of their weapons on false or vindictive accusations. Nine states have passed laws in the past year allowing police or household members to seek court orders requiring people deemed threatening to surrender their guns, bringing the total to 14. Several more are likely to follow in the months ahead.

16 Years For A Crime He Didn’t Commit

Jeffrey Deskovic was playing whiffleball with a friend the night his high school classmate was raped and murdered.Despite DNA evidence to the contrary, the state still thought he did it. So did a jury.Deskovic spent 16 years behind bars, until the actual killer's DNA finally helped clear his name and set him free.

2 Democrats headed to runoff in race to replace former state Rep. Carol Alvarado

Melissa Noriega and Christina Morales. Jan 29, 2019. Melissa Noriega/Twitter and Christina Morales/Facebook
Democrats Christina Morales and Melissa Noriega are headed to a runoff in the special election to replace former state Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston. With all precincts reporting Tuesday night, Morales received 36 percent of the vote and Noriega 31 percent in the eight-way race, according to unofficial returns. The sole Republican candidate, Martha Fierro, secured 25 percent of the vote.

2 Minneapolis artists named USA Fellows; ‘A Little Night Music’ to open at the Ritz

United States Artists has announced the winners of its coveted 2019 USA Fellowships, $50,000 unrestricted awards “recognizing artists for their contributions to the field, and allowing them to decide how to best support their lives.” In other words, no strings. Photo by Emily BaxterLesley Nneka ArimahTwo Minneapolis artists are among the winners. Painter and mixed-media artist Dyani White Hawk is a new USA Fellow in visual art, fiction writer Lesley Nneka Arimah in writing. Other names on the 2019 list will be familiar to fans of the SPCO's Liquid Music, the Walker's Performing Arts series and Icehouse, because the artists have appeared thanks to them: avant-pop musician and performer Helado Negro, multi-instrumentalist and composer Roscoe Mitchell and vocalist and composer Jen Shyu. Previous Minnesota USA Fellows are Frank Big Bear, Jonathan Muecke, Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, Ranee Ramaswamy, Mary Ellen Childs, Morgan Thorson, Carlyle Brown, Siah Armajani, Michael Sommers, Dominique Serrand, Sandra Benitez and Susan Power.

2 Shot Overnight

Two New Haven young men suffered non-life-threatening injuries after getting shot in separate incidents overnight.

20 Years Before Virginia Blackface Scandal, Mel Carnahan Navigated Similar Revelation In Missouri

On Friday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh delved into a local parallel to the current controversy involving Virginia's top leaders – Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment and Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring – who recently admitted to appearing in blackface decades ago. Joining him for the conversation was longtime political reporter Jo Mannies, who discussed her coverage of a similar case in Missouri in 1999, when a photo of then-Gov. Mel Carnahan in blackface – taken in 1960 – surfaced during Carnahan's campaign for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

2018 was the fourth hottest year on record

According to independent analyses of the latest global temperature data by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record for planet Earth. “Earth's long-term warming trend continued in 2018 as persistent warmth across large swaths of land and ocean resulted in the globe's fourth hottest year in NOAA's 139-year climate record,” the agency said in a statement. Separate analyses of global temperature data performed by scientists at the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organization reached similar conclusions, NOAA said. Global temperatures in 2018 were 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.83 degrees Celsius warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean, scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) found. The average global surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit or 1 degree Celsius since the 1880s.

242 people, including families & children, cross into U.S. near Lukeville

In the last week, more than 400 people from Central America have turned themselves over to Border Patrol agents in Arizona after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, part of a dramatic shift that began last fall and has continued throughout the fight over new border barriers in Washington.

25 Years of African-American Artists

Howland opens its latest exhibit in annual series25 Years of African-American Artists was first posted on February 1, 2019 at 10:13 am.

3/15/19 – Amy Goodman Coming to Denver KFFR 88.3 Benefit

Event Links

Join Amy Goodman at a benefit for KFFR 88.3 FM, Colorado's newest full-power community radio station, serving Winter Park, the Fraser Valley, and the Headwaters of the Colorado River. General Admission tickets to the 7pm talk are $15. There will be a special VIP reception with Amy Goodman at 5:30 pm, which includes refreshments, reserved seating at the talk, and a copy of Amy's latest book, Democracy Now!: 20 Years Covering the Movements Changing America. Tickets available online here: https://amygoodmankffr.brownpapertickets.com
Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, the award-winning global news hour that broadcasts on over 1,400 public radio and TV stations around the globe. This talk is her only Colorado speaking engagement this Winter/Spring!

3/21/19 – Denver Mayoral Candidate Forum

EVENT LINKS

The Denver mayoral election is in May! Do you know who is running? What they stand for? Join us on Thursday, March 21, at The Alliance Center for a forum featuring the candidates for Denver's next mayor. This forum will this forum be sustainability-focused, covering the environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainability.

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Beacon girls' bowling on a roll31 was first posted on January 22, 2019 at 1:50 pm.

4-H All Stars announce new projects

Projects include making socks for seniors and repairs at Bolado Park.

4th Graders Connect On World Read Aloud Day

Have you ever had to do something scary?Two sisters who work in the city's high schools asked that question to a class of Ross-Woodward's fourth-graders on World Read Aloud Day, which took place across the city's elementary schools on Friday morning.

5 Education Issues To Watch In Jeff City This Year

One of the first major policy issues introduced in the Missouri General Assembly every year is K-12 education funding, which takes up a fifth of the state budget. With a new governor and leadership in both chambers, expect a different debate about education than recent years, but over some perennial issues.

5 Questions: Daniel Gilbert

Founder and CEO of Philipstown's CloudVisit Aviation5 Questions: Daniel Gilbert was first posted on February 2, 2019 at 10:09 am.

5 Questions: Joel Schlemowitz

Filmmaker and magic lantern enthusiast5 Questions: Joel Schlemowitz was first posted on February 16, 2019 at 10:41 am.

5 Questions: Mark Bittman

Food writer, who lives at Glynwood, has a new cookbook5 Questions: Mark Bittman was first posted on February 9, 2019 at 10:28 am.

5 Questions: Shauna Ricketts

Haldane grad is Fulbright scholar in Bulgaria5 Questions: Shauna Ricketts was first posted on January 27, 2019 at 11:21 am.

50 Factory Jobs Coming To Fair Haven

From electrical insulation to custom art frames.A Fair Haven factory is about to make that transition as a Brooklyn-based frame manufacturer moves to town and a heavy industrial manufacturer rolls out, in the city's latest property transactions.

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.

7 cosas que aprendí al producir mi primer podcast de investigación

English
Al igual que muchos otros periodistas de todo el mundo, me fascinó el fenómeno que fue Serial, en particular porque mi trabajo en ese momento se centraba en las condenas. Así que cuando la historia de Anthony De Vries llegó a mi escritorio en Johannesburgo, donde resido, pensé que ésta me permitiría profundizar en este formato. Cuando lo conocí, Anthony era un hombre de unos 40 años que había cumplido 17 años en la cárcel por un crimen que, él insistía, no cometió. Fue un robo brutal a plena luz del día en 1994, menos de un mes antes de las primeras elecciones democráticas de Sudáfrica, que terminó en el asesinato de dos guardias de seguridad. Lo que salió de mi investigación de 18 meses fue una serie de ocho partes —la primera serie de investigación en Sudáfrica cuando se publicó en marzo de 2017— que ganó un premio nacional y fue celebrada por ser “singularmente sudafricano” sin dejar de capturar una modesta audiencia internacional.

7 Takeaways From President Trump’s State Of The Union Address

President Trump delivered a wide-ranging State of the Union address Tuesday night that went an hour and 21 minutes. That's the third-longest ever. So what should we make of Trump's third address to Congress, and in a year when Democrats are gearing up for a crowded primary to decide who will face Trump in 2020 ? 1. Trump did not acknowledge the new political reality in Washington Each of the past four presidents, including Trump, had lost the House at some point during their presidency.

88-year-old man dies in train accident

An 88-year-old man who was clearing snow with a tractor near railroad tracks in Fairlee was struck by a train and killed on Wednesday afternoon. Lloyd Raymond was apparently clearing a private driveway and moving snow across the tracks when his John Deere tractor was struck by a Vermont Rail System train, according to the Vermont State Police. The accident occurred near Hodges Farm. Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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9 things to know about Amy Klobuchar

The self-proclaimed “senator next door” is officially hoping to walk through another door: that of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is a popular politician in her state of Minnesota, gaining support and cash from both liberals and, to a lesser degree, conservatives. She smoothly sailed to a third term in her 2018 Senate race, raising more than 38 times the cash her Republican opponent raised — and winning 60 percent of the vote. (Her “Minnesota nice” persona hasn't worked on everyone: Back in 2011, Justin Bieber said Klobuchar should be locked up for proposing an anti-piracy bill concerning unlicensed online content.)
Before becoming the first Minnesota woman in the U.S. Senate, Klobuchar, 58, served as county attorney for the most populous county in Minnesota, Hennepin County. Her prosecutorial experience came into focus during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh: Klobuchar's exchange with Kavanaugh about whether he ever blacked out while drinking — he retorted, “Have you?” — went viral and earned her a spoof on Saturday Night Live.

A ‘FitBit for squid’ could help track the ocean’s squishier species

Research on soft-bodied marine invertebrates such as squid and jellyfish has been slow in coming. Squid are keystone taxa and important food sources for myriad larger species, said T. Aran Mooney, associate scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) in Massachusetts. Squid respond to changing climate and ocean forces, Mooney told Mongabay, and in spite of recent ocean changes, their populations “are doing OK.” So learning how these animals adapt to change may have significance for climate science. A longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii) wearing an experimental tracking tag schools with others in north Atlantic waters. Video screenshot image courtesy of Daniel Cojanu/Undercurrent Productions.

A ‘Water Tax’ Is Looking Increasingly Likely

The Colorado River / Image via Shutterstock
This post initially appeared in the Feb. 8 Sacramento Report. Get the Sacramento Report delivered to your inbox. In the past five years, California voters have approved over $10 billion in statewide bonds to fund water projects, some in areas could not otherwise afford to improve their own water systems.
Now, faced with perhaps several million Californians who still lack access to safe and affordable water, the Legislature looks increasingly likely to impose a statewide tax to fund more water projects. In a legislative hearing last week, Wade Crowfoot, the new director of the state's Natural Resources Agency, said Gov. Gavin Newsom wants a solution this year to this “crisis” this year.

A “Bittersweet” Moment: Court Says VA Was Wrong in Denying Vietnam Veterans Benefits

by Beena Raghavendran

Tens of thousands of Navy veterans didn't set foot in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, but spent their time on ships patrolling the waters surrounding the country. And for decades, that distinction — exactly where they put their feet — made all the difference. Veterans with “boots on the ground” were eligible for benefits if they had an illness connected to exposure to the toxic chemical Agent Orange, which was sprayed as a defoliant during the war. Veterans on ships in inland waters, such as rivers, also could get benefits. But those who were on ships farther away weren't compensated, even if they had the same illnesses and believed they had the same exposure.

A brief timeline of Amy Klobuchar’s political career

Well, it's official. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is running for president. At a snowy rally on Minneapolis' Boom Island on Sunday Klobuchar confirmed what many had been speculating about for months: that she would seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 2020. To paraphrase Klobuchar musical favorite the Talking Heads: How did she get here? Below, a brief timeline of Klobuchar's political career in Minnesota.

A call to arms: Connecticut needs more primary care

In 2017 in Connecticut less than 31 percent of physicians in the state provide primary care. The generally accepted optimal percentage... 50-60 percent! It is well known that in the U.S. most of our quality indicators lag those of the other industrialized countries. What are we doing...?!

A Chinatown Matchmaker. An Immigration Crackdown. Who Decides What Love is?

Theodora YuMadam Lee
In New York City's hidden alleys and narrow corridors lay offices of matchmakers who weave the red thread of fate between couples. “Are you looking for a U.S. citizen? We have many candidates,” Ying Chen told a visitor at her office on 40th Road in Flushing, New York. A matchmaker from Taiwan, who goes by “Mrs. Lee” or “Madam Lee,” Lee always begins conversations with this question to potential clients. Around a thousand Chinese men and women have approached Lee since her matchmaking business started in 1980.

A Closer Look at Consolidating Bexar County’s Weakest School Districts

A single, countywide district is not a good solution, but consolidating certain school districts makes sense, Robert Rivard writes in a commentary. The post A Closer Look at Consolidating Bexar County's Weakest School Districts appeared first on Rivard Report.

A community in Guyana relies on indigenous knowledge in conservation

YUPUKARI VILLAGE, Guyana — If Russian Dorrick is sure of anything, it's that his community is capable of protecting their natural environment here in southern Guyana's epic Kanuku mountain range. The region is one of the most biodiverse in Guyana: one assessment in 2002 concluded that 70 percent of the country's mammal species and 53 percent of the country's known bird species live there. Spanning more than 5,000 square kilometers (2,000 square miles), the mountains are located in the heart of the Rupununi savanna. Dorrick and his fellow inhabitants of Yupukari village live alongside the Wapishana and Macushi indigenous groups, who are spread out as far as northern Brazil. In Yupukari, indigenous villagers partner with researchers, scientists and conservation groups for support and to build upon their knowledge and capacity for conservation work.

A Cost Of Med School Debt: Poor Patients, No Doctors

Over the next decade, the American Association of Medical Colleges is projecting a drastic decrease in the number of primary care physicians in the US, which could result in a shortage of 15,000 to 50,000 doctors nationwide. Many suspect the sheer cost of medical school is driving students to choose higher-earning specialties over primary care. […]
The post A Cost Of Med School Debt: Poor Patients, No Doctors appeared first on Tiny Spark.

A cult on a global suicide mission

The Republican Party is a cult, much like the one Jim Jones led, only their agenda is suicide for the entire planet. According the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, ¨written by 91 authors and 40 review editors, it features 133 contributing authors, 6,000 scientific references, and was subject to over 42,000 expert and government review comments before publication.¨ we have 12 years left until the point of no return.

A cult on a global suicide mission

The Republican Party is a cult, much like the one Jim Jones led, only their agenda is suicide for the entire planet. According the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, ¨written by 91 authors and 40 review editors, it features 133 contributing authors, 6,000 scientific references, and was subject to over 42,000 expert and government review comments before publication.¨ we have 12 years left until the point of no return.

A Curtain Closing For The Rep’s Artistic Leader, Steven Woolf

For more than 30 years, Steven Woolf has been at the heart of the Repertory Theater of St. Louis. Since taking the helm as artistic director in 1986, Woolf oversaw three decades of productions and directed 47 shows That 47th show, however, will be his last as artistic director. Woolf is to retire at the end of The Rep's 2018-2019 season, after directing the theater's production of “Oslo” – which won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2017. On Friday's St.

A Family’s Choice: Struggle Together Abroad, or Live Comfortably Apart in the U.S.

Tami Couch reflects with her husband, Mateo Juan Juan Mateo, right, and their children, Mariano Juan Couch, 2, Matthew Juan Hudgins, 6, and Bella Marie Couch, 7, at their home in Tijuana, Mexico. / Photo David Maung
Mateo Juan Juan Mateo and his wife, Tami Couch, have a lot in common with members of the migrant caravan who traveled from Central America to Tijuana, Mexico in the spring of 2018. The couple and their three children lived in Guatemala for six years, and wanted to escape the country's violence and poverty to take advantage of better economic opportunities in the United States. And like many of them, they're staying in Tijuana working random jobs and trying to make ends meet. But their situation is also unique among members of the caravan.

A Fire District for Cold Spring?

Village Board, fire company discuss optionA Fire District for Cold Spring? was first posted on January 25, 2019 at 12:52 pm.

A former superintendent wonders: What’s missing from the discussion about the portfolio model?

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Sharif El-Mekki, the principal of a Mastery Charter School campus in Philadelphia. We walked the hallways and talked about how to infuse social justice, social-emotional learning, and other priorities into the everyday life of the school. As we popped into classrooms, it struck me that the teachers all seemed to share a vision for what students should be learning and how they should be learning it. The instruction that I saw was not just excellent but also consistent. The rest of our discussion focused on how specific practices in use at Mastery might be adopted successfully by traditional high schools.

A fossil fuel fan

I have to admit that I love fossil fuels and feel extremely grateful that I have lived my entire life as a beneficiary of their use. I can hardly imagine what life would have been like without them. The modern world that we know would have been impossible without fossil fuels and the related industries that enabled us to use them. Let me offer a couple of examples that might shed light on my affection.

A GOP senator in Colorado was just stripped of all committees after harassment claims

A Republican state senator in Colorado, Randy Baumgardner, has been stripped of all his summer interim committee assignments following a sustained pressure campaign by Democrats for Senate leadership to punish him over allegations of sexual misconduct. Today, the Senate's president, Kevin Grantham, announced the move in a letter that became public. “Please be advised immediately I am removing Senator Randy Baumgardner from Capital Development Committee, Transportation Legislation Review Committee, Water Resources Review Committee, and Wildfire Matters Review Committee,” Grantham said in a May 2 letter to Mike Mauer, the nonpartisan director of the Legislative Council. The hammer coming down knocks Baumgardner off his chairmanship of the Capital Development Committee. But some Democrats say it doesn't come down hard enough.

A Journey Into Terror and Truth: My Travels Alone in Afghanistan

The author, an Australian who has been researching the lives of women and girls worldwide, risked traveling in Afghanistan by herself, yet she said she would return, despite the problems she met. Here, a woman heading into the village of Ishkashim, near the Tajikistan border. JOHANNA HIGGSISHKASHIM, Afghanistan — I entered the country from the northeast, from Tajikistan, where I had been traveling for a month, researching the lives of women, as I have been doing across the world for years. From the small town of Khorog in Tajikistan, I hired a taxi to drive me to the border crossing. As we drove over the dusty, bumpy road, the enormous snowcapped Pamir mountains surrounded us and a small green river marked the border.

A Kidnapping? No, Just ICE Agents ‘Doing Their Jobs’

In a frantic 911 call from the street outside the Brooklyn, N.Y., Supreme Court, a bystander reported that she had just witnessed a kidnapping. Several men in plain clothes had just appeared, slamming a man against a wall and separating him from his attorney. Refusing to identify themselves and claiming to be “doing their jobs,” they forced the man into an unmarked car with no plates and sped off. In fact, what she and others had just witnessed was a commonplace operation conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforce (ICE) agents. According to the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP), despite internal regulations to the contrary, ICE agents regularly refuse to identify themselves or provide reason for detentions.

A Look At The Evolving Role – And Shifting Spaces – Of Today’s Public Libraries

Want to check out a telescope – or maybe a fishing pole? To hear library director Steve Campbell tell it, the local library's probably got you covered. He's confident there's a library-related service or program for “any subject that you can think of that someone could have an interest in” these days, especially in smaller communities like the ones his Scenic Regional Library district serves in eastern Missouri. The examples Campbell gives range from learning to clean fish and deer – yes, in the library – to programming involving escape rooms for teens and quilting for adults. But it's not a variety show simply for the sake of variety – there's a community-driven rationale to the wide-ranging activities.

A Look At The Latest Scientific Research About The Moon In Light Of Lunar Eclipse

Although wintry skies in the St. Louis region didn't make for ideal viewing conditions Sunday night as the sun, Earth and moon aligned for a total lunar eclipse, the anticipated celestial event still had many people looking skyward. It also sparked renewed interest in human understanding of the moon. On Friday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh talked with space journalist Rebecca Boyle, lunar scientist Brad Jolliff and St.

A lot of buzz signifying nothing

In most weeks, a pissing match between the Speaker of the House and President of the United States over a weeks-long government shutdown would top the news. But BuzzFeed threw a wrench into that. Late Thursday it reported that President Donald Trump directed his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress – an allegation, […]

A man, a plan, a canal: Yanks rout Canaleros 3 – 0 in Arizona

About 9,000 people got to see coach Greg Berhalter's debut as U.S. national team coach at Glendale's State Farm Stadium on Sunday night. The Yanks — captained by ex-FC Tucson player Aaron Long — beat Panama's national side, 3–0.

A Mayor And His Smart Phone

Hamden Mayor Curt Leng was in his office around 9:30 one morning last week when he checked the Facebook Messenger app on his iPhone 8 Plus. A constituent from Park Road had something to tell him.“Hey Curt,” she wrote, “I don't mean to be a pain, but they haven't filled the pothole in front of our house yet.”

A Member Of The Satanic Temple Loses Her Challenge To Missouri’s Abortion Law

This story was updated to include the comments of Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. An adherent of The Satanic Temple who challenged Missouri's informed consent law on abortion, claiming it violated her First Amendment rights, has lost her case in the Missouri Supreme Court. The law requires women seeking an abortion to acknowledge receipt of a booklet stating that life begins at conception and that abortion “will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.” Mary Doe – not her real name – became pregnant in February 2015 and went to obtain an abortion at Planned Parenthood's clinic in St. Louis in May 2015. She told her doctors that she held religious beliefs contrary to those stated in the booklet and absolved them of responsibility to abide by the informed consent law's requirements.

A New Path for Reform: Fuse Social Justice with Criminal Justice

A “reimagined” justice system that shifts from punishment to social justice as its central operating principle can be the most effective long-term means of ending the harms inflicted by the current system on millions of Americans, according to one of the nation's leading experts on mass incarceration. Bruce Western
Bruce Western, a professor of sociology at Columbia University and co-director of the Columbia Justice Lab, argues that while the justice reform movement to date has moved many courts, correctional institutions and law enforcement agencies away from the hardline strategies of recent decades, fundamental change requires policymakers to “cut the connections between incarceration, poverty and racial inequality.”
That involves, in turn, thinking “outside of traditional justice agencies,” Western wrote in a paper released as part of Square One, a multi-disciplinary project aimed at generating new ideas about justice reform. “A reimagined justice system will concede some jurisdiction to other agencies—departments of housing, child services, public health, education and labor [so that] criminal justice becomes social justice, and the goals of promoting safety and reducing the harms of violence are continuous with providing order, predictability, and material security in daily life.”
Square One was launched last fall by Arnold Ventures (formerly the Laura and John Arnold Foundation) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Western's paper was the first of a set of papers released under the auspices of Square's One's “Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy,” which has assembled about two dozen researchers, practitioners, policy makers, advocates, and community representatives to meet periodically and “generate and cultivate new ideas” for reforming the system. Western noted that despite the impressive reductions in incarceration rates—from a peak of 762 people per 100,000 in 2007 to 695 people per 100,000 in 2018—the U.S. still imprisoned more individuals than any other country in the world, with some 2.17 million behind bars and another 4.85 million on probation and parole (according to 2018 figures).

A Onetime Rising Democratic Star Faces Questions About Voter Privacy

by Jessica Huseman, ProPublica, and Daniel Desrochers, Lexington Herald-Leader

In an appearance on MSNBC in July 2017, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes expressed her vehement opposition to giving voter data to President Donald Trump's voter fraud commission, which had requested it from election officials in all 50 states. The privacy risks were simply too high, she said. “There is not enough bourbon here in Kentucky to make this request seem sensible,” Grimes said. “Not on my watch are we going to be releasing sensitive information that relates to the privacy of individuals.”

But beginning months before she made that statement, Grimes' own staff had been looking up hundreds of voters in the very same registration system. One of her former staffers first revealed the practice last summer but provided little detail.

A Power Grab In Kentucky Sparks a Revolt

by Jessica Huseman, ProPublica, and Daniel Desrochers, Lexington Herald-Leader

The September 2018 meeting of the Kentucky State Board of Elections was strikingly contentious. There was shouting, cross-talk and threats to eject staff — all playing out in a public forum in front of TV cameras. But the most unusual moment, perhaps, was this: Two board members moved to rescind the votes they had cast at the previous meeting, only three weeks before. They claimed that Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, whose position also makes her chairwoman of the State Board of Elections, or SBE, had essentially misled them into granting her unprecedented day-to-day power over the SBE. The board members' efforts to void the resolution failed.

A Sanctuary For Well Women Opens In Westville

Women of the Elm City have a new haven where they can take off their superwomen capes and draw from a “well” that aims to restore them to fight another day.

A Second Lindenwood University President Goes On Leave

Two weeks after the president of Lindenwood University-Belleville officially left his post after going on administrative leave, the president of St. Charles, Mo.-based Lindenwood University System has been placed on paid administrative leave. Michael Shonrock told the university's student publication Lindenlink that he was placed on leave Tuesday and not given a reason for the decision in a letter from Dr. J. Michael Conoyer, the chairman of the Lindenwood University Board of Trustees. Chris Duggan, director of marketing and communications for Lindenwood, said the school “can't comment on personnel matters.” Neither Shonrock nor Conoyer could be reached for comment Tuesday. On Jan.

A silver medal for Detroit pre-K. Now where are the kids?

Detroit has earned a silver rating, the second-highest possible, in a national ranking of urban preschool programs published Wednesday. But the report by the advocacy group CityHealth also says that too few eligible 4-year-olds are enrolled. CityHealth, a foundation-funded organization that rates America's largest urban centers based on their public policies, looked at how big cities stack up in offering preschool programs in a report published Wednesday. Researchers at the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University conducted the study and compiled the report. Following standards set by the largest state-funded pre-K organization, the Great Start Readiness Program, Detroit requires teachers in state preschool to have at least a bachelor's degree, limits class sizes, and requires health screenings of children.

A snapshot of camera traps reveals user frustrations and hopes

Camera trapping has become an important conservation and research tool worldwide. Photos from remote cameras have afforded us insights into the lives of rare, shy, cryptic, nocturnal, or otherwise seldom-seen animals. Remote cameras can capture images of a variety of rare, cryptic, and shy animals that would otherwise be impossible to view in their natural habitat.These three cameras in a forest in Borneo found an orangutan, a pangolin, and a mousedeer. Images by Oliver Wearn. The idea is simple: Buy some cameras equipped with motion or heat sensors that automatically take an image or video when triggered by a passing animal, set the cameras out where you think the animal(s) will go, and let the animals take the images for you.

A state task force wants self-driving cars on the road in Minnesota. Legislators aren’t so sure

Autonomous vehicles have largely been absent from Minnesota roads, even as fleets of driverless cars already patrol the streets in states like Arizona and California. State Sen. Scott NewmanBut after months of research by a state task force, Minnesota might finally take cautious steps toward fostering the industry. The panel has drafted bills that would allow driverless cars on private roads, and maybe public ones, too, as long as they pass scrutiny from the Department of Transportation. The potential economic upsides of such technology are well documented. Yet early in the 2019 legislative session, key lawmakers aren't exactly chomping at the bit to usher in a Silicon Valley-type vision of autonomous Ubers and hands-free commutes.

A Street-Level View of How Policing Can Fuel Segregation

When private security officers working for the Rockford, Ill.., public housing authority stopped and searched a 15-year-old boy without probable cause, they found the remains of a marijuana joint. The cascading effects of that discovery — threats to tear a family apart, and the family's loss of housing — provide one of several examples of policing tactics that feed a broader pattern of black-white segregation in the Midwest Heartland found in a six-month investigation by a reporting team from Governing. The intense scrutiny of the residents at the Rockford Housing Authority is common in areas where poor black people live, Governing points out. Heavy-handed enforcement tactics are often employed in the name of protecting residents from crime. But often they catch only low-level offenders, with dire consequences for the offender's ability to get a job or decent housing.

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 Tax the Rich Can’t Avoid

wealth tax

noun

1. A policy to break up the enormous, unearned assets of super-rich families

“It is a win-win idea for the American people, an idea no conventional politician would have the guts to put forward.” —Donald Trump, proposing a one-time tax on wealth in 1999

Can't we just raise the income tax? As bad as income inequality is in the U.S., wealth inequality is worse. The top 1% now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. Three families with multigenerational wealth—the Waltons, the Kochs and the Marses—have a combined fortune of $365.7 billion, more than 5 million times the median wealth of U.S. families.

A trying week of presidentiality

It was a very presidential week, but not necessarily in a good way. President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union Address on Tuesday to a divided Congress that reacted as a divided Congress would: Republicans applauded the call for national unity and a firm approach to immigration – including construction of a border wall. Democrats dismissed Trump's appeal for comity as an insincere pitch out of character with his regular use of insulting tweets and personal attacks.

A Voice From the Albany Hearings on Combatting Sexual Harassment

NYS Senate videoRita Pasarell testifies before a State Senate committee hearing on sexual harassment in workplaces on Wednesday, February 13. There needs to be a culture shift at the highest levels of power if New York is going to combat pervasive sexual harassment in workplaces—especially in public agencies and the offices of elected officials. But that is not all that's needed, says Rita Pasarell, a victim of a politician's abusive behavior who is now a leading advocate for change in how workplaces deal with sexual misconduct. Moments after testifying at the first Albany hearings on sexual harassment in a generation, Pasarell—who alleges late Assemblyman Vito Lopez harassed her, and received a settlement in that case—joined WBAI's Max & Murphy Show to talk about the legal and operational changes that also need to occur. “It sounds like the ‘severe or pervasive' standard that's currently applied by New York State to sexual harassment is something that needs to go.

A voter guide for people who care about Chicago schools

The week in review
An unprecedented data set: Two comprehensive reports — one external, one internal — shared with the school board this week detail the broad scope of sexual misconduct reports from students. Since a new awareness campaign launched in September, more than 900 sexual misconduct complaints have been logged. Chalkbeat has more. The call for smaller class sizes: It's getting louder. A new report from Parents 4 Teachers said that 13 Chicago elementary classrooms have more than 40 children, despite guidelines to the contrary.

Abortion access in Louisiana could soon be reduced to a single physician

A 2014 law set to take effect next month could leave only one clinic in the state. This week, lawyers seeking to overturn it tried to delay an appeals court ruling upholding. They were denied. Now, the only place for them to go is the U.S. Supreme Court.

Abortion bill backers and foes crowd Statehouse

Bridget Mount of Essex Junction speaks against a proposed abortion rights bill during a public hearing before a joint meeting of the House Human Services Committee and the House Judiciary Committee at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190206LEGIE11.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190206LEGIE11.jpg?fit=610%2C407&ssl=1">

<img width="125" height="83" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190206LEGIE8.jpg?fit=125%2C83&ssl=1" alt="Abortion bill hearing" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190206LEGIE8.jpg?w=2000&ssl=1 2000w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190206LEGIE8.jpg?resize=125%2C83&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190206LEGIE8.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190206LEGIE8.jpg?resize=768%2C513&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190206LEGIE8.jpg?resize=610%2C400&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190206LEGIE8.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190206LEGIE8.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 125px) 100vw, 125px" data-attachment-id="265453" data-permalink="https://vtdigger.org/20190206legie8/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190206LEGIE8.jpg?fit=2000%2C1335&ssl=1" data-orig-size="2000,1335" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta='{"aperture":"1.8","credit":"GLENN RUSSELL","camera":"NIKON D750","caption":"Greg Darling of Littleton NH speaks against a proposed abortion rights bill during a public hearing before a joint meeting of the House Human Services Committee and the House Judiciary Committee at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger","created_timestamp":"1549475735","copyright":"GLENN RUSSELL","focal_length":"20","iso":"6400","shutter_speed":"0.002","title":"20190206LEGIE8","orientation":"1"}' data-image-title="Abortion bill hearing" data-image-description="Greg Darling of Littleton, New Hampshire, speaks against a proposed abortion rights bill during a public hearing before a joint meeting of the House Human Services Committee and the House Judiciary Committee at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Wednesday, Feb.

Abrams Rocks State House Alt-“State” Crowd

The State of the Union address is about how the president sees the country. For a crowd gathered gathered at the State House Tuesday, it became about a picture painted from a different view.

Accused Child Rapist Found, Arrested

Hamden police and U.S. marshals found a 60-year-old accused child rapist hiding in a New Haven apartment, and arrested him.

Achievement First Students, Teachers Demand Change

The directors of Achievement First Amistad High School Wednesday night launched an investigation into whether administrators mishandled the discipline of a student-shoving principal, as nearly 100 people crashed a meeting to make clear that issues in the charter network run far deeper than just one out-of-line employee.

Achievement Gap, Absenteeism Targeted

In response to test results and other metrics of district performance, the Hamden Board of Education has drafted five new goals for the next three years, including equity and high school achievement.

ACLU has ‘friends’ in its fight to view Burlington police bodycam footage

A police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, wears a bodycam. Photo by Ryan Johnson/WikiMedia Commons
The American Civil Liberties Union has a friend in Vermont's secretary of state as well as several other organizations as it argues to the state's highest court that a Burlington man should be able to view, free of charge, body camera footage from the arrest of a minor. Secretary of State James Condos filed an amicus brief, or “friend of the court” brief, with the Vermont Supreme Court in support of the ACLU of Vermont's bid to “inspect” the body camera footage.Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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“Public records are the cornerstone of transparency in government,” Condos said Tuesday.

ACLU sues to halt ‘Remain in Mexico’ asylum policy

Three civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging the Trump administration's plan to send asylum-seekers back to Mexico while their cases wind through the U.S. immigration system.

Act 46 mergers, and lawsuits, complicate school budgeting

Members of the school boards from Athens, Grafton, Westminster and Rockingham speak during a meeting of the State Board of Education in Barre on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. They oppose the board's merger plan for their districts. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/20181115EDUBOARD2.jpg?fit=300%2C211&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/20181115EDUBOARD2.jpg?fit=610%2C429&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/20181115EDUBOARD2.jpg?resize=610%2C429&ssl=1" alt="State Board of Education" width="610" height="429" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/20181115EDUBOARD2.jpg?resize=610%2C429&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/20181115EDUBOARD2.jpg?resize=125%2C88&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/20181115EDUBOARD2.jpg?resize=300%2C211&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/20181115EDUBOARD2.jpg?resize=768%2C540&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/20181115EDUBOARD2.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/20181115EDUBOARD2.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/20181115EDUBOARD2.jpg 4000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Members of the school boards from Athens, Grafton, Westminster and Rockingham speak during a meeting of the State Board of Education in Barre on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.

Addison County Chamber of Commerce welcomes new members

News Release — Addison County Chamber of Commerce
Jan. 25, 2019
Contact:
Rob Carter
P: 802-388-7951
E: rob@addisoncounty.comGet all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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The Addison County Chamber Sees Flurry of New Members
Middlebury, Vermont – January 25, 2019 –The Addison County Chamber of Commerce welcomes eighteen new members in less than three months. The Addison County Chamber has been a flurry of activity with a surge of new members at the end of 2018 (see full list below).

Adjutant general reiterates defense of Guard before presenting sexual assault report

Lt. Col. Steven Cray, Vermont National Guard adjutant general, discusses the Guard's annual report on sexual assault before the House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Steven-Cray-20190122LEGIE28.jpg?fit=300%2C195&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Steven-Cray-20190122LEGIE28.jpg?fit=610%2C396&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Steven-Cray-20190122LEGIE28.jpg?resize=610%2C396&ssl=1" alt="Steven Cray" width="610" height="396" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Steven-Cray-20190122LEGIE28.jpg?resize=610%2C396&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Steven-Cray-20190122LEGIE28.jpg?resize=125%2C81&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Steven-Cray-20190122LEGIE28.jpg?resize=300%2C195&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Steven-Cray-20190122LEGIE28.jpg?resize=768%2C498&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Steven-Cray-20190122LEGIE28.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Steven-Cray-20190122LEGIE28.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Steven-Cray-20190122LEGIE28.jpg 2000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Maj. Gen. Steven Cray, Vermont National Guard adjutant general, discusses the Guard's annual report on sexual assault before the House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee at the Statehouse on Tuesday.

Administration pitches partnership between VTC and tech centers

Vermont Technical College in Randolph. VTC photo
Gov. Phil Scott would like to see associate and certificate degree programs from Vermont Technical College made available to high school students — and offered in the state's career technical education centers. State officials believe such a partnership could help plug workforce shortages, make college more accessible and affordable, and create a stronger pipeline of students into the state's public colleges, which have seen their enrollments decline steadily over the past decade. The state already has an early college program that pays for high school students who want to attend Vermont colleges in their senior year, and some lawmakers think they could use that same mechanism to help fund, at least in part, the VTC-CTE partnership. VTC president Pat Moulton told the Senate Education Committee the idea could be a “win-win” for all involved, decentralize the delivery of some of the college's programs, and help address “screaming” workforce needs.

Adults sleep more soundly in ‘rocking beds,’ study finds

As any parent knows, rocking a baby often helps the child fall asleep. But would adults reap a similar benefit from being rocked to sleep? Yes, according to a small but intriguing study published last week in the journal Current Biology. The study found that sleeping in a gently swaying bed affects adult brain activity in a way that promotes deep sleep. The rocking motion also appears to help consolidate and strengthen memory.

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.

Advocate describes China’s growing movement for LGBTQI rights

Ping “Hoping” Hou, foreground, is an activist for the LGBTQI community in China who was a featured speaker at OutRight Action International's recent fundraiser. (Photo by Jack Storms courtesy OutRight Action International)Advocate Ping “Hoping” Hou believes one of the biggest obstacles for equal rights for the LGBTQI community in China is visibility — the acknowledgement that their lives have value. “You're treated like you didn't exist at all,” Ping said. “That's very bad because we can fight with each other, but if you're treated non-existent, it's like, reject all your value.”
Ping was one of the keynote speakers for OutRight Action International‘s fundraiser in Seattle last week, which raised $65,000 for the organization. OutRight Action International focuses on advocacy for LGBTQI human rights outside the United States.

Advocates critique budget, education process

As a powerful House committee nears completion of a draft state budget this week, leaders of a movement to transform New Mexico education through multicultural, bilingual education reforms say crucial funding to achieve their vision could go missing from the soon-to-emerge spending plan. And they say it's already gone missing from a House omnibus education […]

Advocates want protections for farmworkers

Workers rights advocates are planning rallies across the state for a bill that would give farmworkers access to labor protections they don't have. Advocates are rallying in Rochester for rights and protections for farm workers. Right now, in the U.S., federal law states that all workers have the same basic rights -- including overtime pay, the right to unionize, and a day of rest -- except for farmworkers. West Crosgrove is with Rural and Migrant Ministries. They're advocating for a state bill that would extend those protections to farmworkers.

Affirmative action a focus at annual Seattle MLK Day march

Marchers in the streets of Seattle for MLK Jr. 37th Annual March. (Photo by Jacquie Bird Day.)Bringing affirmative action back to Washington state was the focus of this year's annual Seattle Martin Luther King Jr. Day March. With a theme of “Affirmative Action = Justice,” the event backed Initiative 1000, an initiative to the Legislature that would redefine affirmative action. The initiative was created in response to Initiative 200, the ban on affirmative action in Washington state that voters approved in 1998. The goal behind I-1000 is to redefine and expand affirmative action to provide equal opportunities in education, employment and entrepreneurship for women, veterans, minorities and people with disabilities.

Affordable Prescription Pricing, Public Insurance Option Among Legislature’s Health Care Goals

Although Gov. Ned Lamont said nothing about health care policy in his inaugural speech to the General Assembly, it's likely to be a major theme of at least his early months in office. Why? Depending on how it's calculated, health care makes up 25 to 30 percent of the state budget, according to the Office of the State Comptroller. Lamont will have to balance the need to save money with the desire of many inside and outside the General Assembly to expand and improve health care coverage and lower costs for consumers. “There's almost two levels,” said Patricia Baker, president and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation, which focuses on assuring health equity and access to affordable care for all.

Afghan and Pakistani Women Against Extremism

Alice Su, Sara HyltonWhat do Afghan and Pakistani women see as the roots of violent extremism, and how are some of them working together to build peace? Who are the women who are fighting to be more than mere victims?

African-American Soldiers Share Experience Of U.S. Military Service Over Generations

On Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh talked about the contributions and enduring legacies of African-American doughboys who served in World War I. The topic will also be the subject of a panel discussion Sunday at the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum in downtown St. Louis. Joining the Wednesday's discussion were Marshall J. Phillips, a 100-year-old World War II veteran; Kim Chamberlain, a U.S. Air Force veteran; and Marvin Alonso Greer, the education and visitor experience lead for Soldiers Memorial Military Museum. Phillips and Chamberlain, who will both play a role in the weekend event, shared some of their experiences in the military with Marsh and listeners – and also described how they overcame some of the challenges they faced.

After a pretty below-average December and January, February is close to setting a Twin Cities snow record

MinnPost photo by Jana FreibandHave you noticed it's been snowy lately?It's starting to feel like we're stuck in a snowglobe. One that someone picks up and gives a good shake every couple days, leaving messy piles of snow tumbling down to wreak havoc on school, work and travel plans. In the last three weeks, the Twin Cities have seen double-digit windchills, freezing rain, 4 inches of snow followed by 6 inches of snow, another 6 inches, and then another nearly 6 inches more before the roads were even clear from the last weather event. By the end of Tuesday, the 22 inches of snow that fell in February in the Twin Cities put the region inches away from a February snowfall record. And we're only halfway through the month.

After a year back in control, Newark’s school board is about to get its first report card

Nearly one year after the state ended its decades-long takeover of the Newark school system, the district is nearing a major milestone — report card day. By the end of January, independent evaluators at Rutgers University are expected to release a report assessing the district's progress since the school board regained conditional authority over the schools last year. The evaluators will rate the board's adherence to ethics rules and the district's budgeting practices, among other considerations. The report is one of many requirements laid out in a state plan guiding the district's return to full local control — a two-year process that began last February. If the district earns failing grades on more than a third of the report's measures, then the state could beef up its oversight, demand corrective action, or extend the board's transition period, which is set to end in January 2020.

After a year of no babies, 3 right whale calves spotted off U.S. coast

There's finally some good news for the troubled North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered whale species in the world. After a year when no newborns were confirmed, whale surveying teams have observed three whale calves during the 2018-2019 calving season, off the coast of Florida, U.S., according to the state's fish and wildlife conservation commission. Researchers spotted the first calf in late December, followed by another sighting on Jan. 6, calling it a “sight for sore eyes” on their Facebook page. “The weather outside may be frightful, but endangered species observers with Coastwise Consulting were hard at work aboard the dredge Bayport when today, they spotted the first North Atlantic right whale calf of the 2018-2019 season!” the team wrote in a Facebook post Dec.

After beating in Evanston, Northwestern alum seeks to promote better policing

In October, 2015, a graduate engineering student was stopped by police on Ridge Avenue in Evanston as he headed to Northwestern University's campus to do lab work. Lawrence Crosby, then a PhD student in material engineering, was pulled over by Evanston officers who were responding to a call that a Black man appeared to be prying open the door of a car and stealing it. A dash cam video shows what happened next: As Crosby got out of his car with his hands in the air, six police officers converged on him, knocked him to the ground and repeatedly punched and kicked him. The car turned out to be his, and he had not broken in. Crosby was charged, but then acquitted, of disobeying police officers and resisting arrest.

After El Chapo: Ignore Drug ‘Kingpins’, say Experts

A verdict is expected soon in the trial of notorious Mexican drug boss Joaquin Guzman, nicknamed El Chapo. Illustration by Diario Presencia via Flickr
Over the past 11 weeks, federal prosecutors unveiled the inner workings of Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera's drug empire. Tales of elusive tunnel escapes, of corruption potentially reaching the highest levels of the Mexican government, and a sprawling and violent international drug network—details so dramatic they could come straight out of a blockbuster film, or at least a Netflix series. Jurors began deliberations Monday after a case that featured 56 witnesses and some 200 pages of testimony. For prosecutors and international law enforcement agencies that have been chasing the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel for years, a jury conviction may be hailed a victory.

After Hurricane Harvey, Texas senator eyes using state’s savings for flood control

Record rainfall in Llano and Burnet counties in the Texas Hill Country caused major flooding in Marble Falls in October 2018. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
Before the next Hurricane Harvey strikes, and thousands of homes are damaged or destroyed, some Texas lawmakers want to make sure communities statewide are better prepared for future floods. On Tuesday, state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, filed legislation to establish Texas' first-ever flood plan – slated for completion by September 2024. The statewide plan would incorporate regional plans to better coordinate flood-control projects and strategies. It would also look at flooding problems on a watershed basis, not just at the community level.

After Parkland, States Acted on Guns, Congress Didn’t

In the year since the Parkland, Fl., school massacre, both Republican- and Democratic-controlled state legislatures passed 76 gun control laws in the past year, including bans on bump stocks, caps on magazine sizes, minimum-age requirements for buying guns and expanded background checks, the New York Times reports. Among victories for gun control advocates was a bill in Florida that raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 and extended the waiting period to three days. More than half the states passed at least one gun control measure in 2018, with Washington and New York joining the trend in 2019. There were significantly fewer new state laws expanding gun rights in 2018 than the year before, according to an end-of-year report by the national advocacy group Giffords. The National Rifle Association said the number of enacted gun control measures outnumbered pro-gun measures for the first time in at least six years.

After pressure from school board members, University of Memphis middle school drops its academic requirement

Leaders of a popular elementary school known for its high academic performance are changing the entrance requirements at a proposed middle school in hopes of creating a more diverse student body. After the Shelby County Schools board raised concerns that the University of Memphis' plans would continue a pattern of student enrollment from its elementary school, Campus School, that is mostly white, university leaders said last week they would drop the academic requirement for the middle school. Most Memphis students do not meet state standards for learning. Under the revised proposal, students would need satisfactory behavior records and fewer than 15 unexcused absences, tardies, or early dismissals. In addition, the school is meant to be a learning lab for teachers earning their degrees.

After Rape Increase, NYPD Adding 35 to Sex-Crimes Unit

The New York Police Department is adding 35 investigators to its sex-crimes unit in response to an increase in reported rapes, reports the Wall Street Journal. Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said he will add 15 investigators to the adult sex-crimes unit in the Special Victims Division, bringing the head count to 129. An additional 20 investigators will aid units investigating child and transit sex crimes. The division, which was criticized last year about its handling of sexual-assault complaints, had been expanding its ranks. In 2018, its adult sex-crimes unit rose to 114 investigators from 74.

After snow, more snow on the way for Minnesota

MPR reports: “The Twin Cities metro area is included in a winter storm watch from 6 p.m. Monday to 6 p.m. Tuesday. It's for the possibility of 5 to 8 inches of snow. A winter storm watch starts at 3 p.m Monday in portions of south-central and southeastern Minnesota. The winter storm watch starts at 9 p.m. Monday in Chisago and Pine counties, plus northwestern Wisconsin and west-central Wisconsin.”
Klobuchar announcement reax, part 1: For The New York Times, Mitch Smith and Lisa Lerer say, “On a snow-covered stage in Minneapolis along the banks of the Mississippi River, with the temperature barely above single digits, Ms. Klobuchar said that as president she would ‘focus on getting things done' and reverse some of President Trump's signature policies. On her first day in office, she said, the United States would rejoin the Paris climate agreement.”
Part 2: For The Huffington Post Marina Fang and Jesselyn Cook write, “In addition to serving as a foil to Trump, Klobuchar hopes to capitalize on her Midwestern roots as an asset, given how Trump's 2016 victory hinged on narrow victories in nearby states like Michigan and Wisconsin.

After traveling the world, reporter joins InvestigateWest

From APRIL 2018 Sidebar newsletter for InvestigateWest members. (Miss it? Join now to start receiving Sidebar.)
Sergio Olmos
This year [2018] we welcomed reporter Sergio Olmos to InvestigateWest to participate in our just-launched project on concussions among high school athletes. Sergio's resume' and writing samples were the first to arrive when we advertised this position back in December. His cover letter and samples exploded with eagerness.

After Walkout, What’s Next For Public Education at the Capitol?

The first post-walkout legislative session is getting underway and lawmakers have proposed bills aimed at alleviating the teacher shortage and making changes to the state's public education system. In total, Oklahoma lawmakers have filed more than 2,800 bills and joint resolutions for the 2019 legislative session, which begins Feb. 4. There are many unknowns going into this session, with a new governor, many new faces in the Legislature and a newly energized pro-public education constituent base. And while teacher pay could be on the table again (Gov. Kevin Stitt has said it's a priority even after the average $6,100 salary boost teachers received last year), there are many other education topics for lawmakers to consider.

AG probing Northfield police chief over allegation of untruthfulness

Northfield Police Chief John Helfant. Photo from Northfield Police website
The Vermont Attorney General's Office is investigating allegations the Northfield police chief was “untruthful” in court records he submitted for a search warrant and later in support of charges in the same drug case. Washington County State's Attorney Rory Thibault asked Attorney General TJ Donovan to conduct the probe last month into Northfield Police Chief John Helfant. David Sleigh, a St. Johnsbury attorney representing Helfant, said Friday that his client “vehemently” denies wrongdoing.

Agribusiness harm to Gran Chaco genetic diversity: centuries to heal

A tractor clears still smoldering trees in the Gran Chaco as dry forest is converted to soy plantation. Image by Jim Wickens, Ecostorm via Mighty Earth. A study looking at the Brazilian portion of the Gran Chaco biome, has concluded that the ecosystem is at great risk of permanently losing its genetic diversity. As it exists today, the degraded biome – which is under extremely heavy pressure from industrial agribusiness ­– would require at least 300 years, or up to 3 000 years, to recover the range of genome variables necessary to maintain a healthy natural environment. The study, published in the Ecology and Evolution journal, was conducted by scientists from a number of Brazilian institutions, including the University of Campinas (Unicamp), Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS), and the São Paulo Agency of Technology and Agro-Business.

Airbnb Hosts Form Group To Oppose Proposed Regulations

Although St. Louis Airbnb hosts brought in more revenue and more guests than anywhere else in the state last year, some are worried a proposed city bill could hurt business. A group called the Saint Louis Metro Airbnb Hosts has formed to oppose new regulations introduced in the Board of Aldermen in December. The bill , sponsored by Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, D-Ward 6, would limit short-term rentals to 30 days per stay and 120 total days a year. The proposal also calls for annual city inspections and for violators to receive a maximum $500 fine, up to 90-days in jail, or both.

Airport Officials: Air Canada and Frontier Airlines Canceling Routes

The nonstop flight between San Antonio and Toronto that began in 2017 will be discontinued April 28, as will several Frontier Airline routes. The post Airport Officials: Air Canada and Frontier Airlines Canceling Routes appeared first on Rivard Report.

Alamo Heights Taps New City Manager, Discusses Rules for E-Scooters

The Alamo Heights City Council unanimously voted Monday to pick Buddy Kuhn, the municipality's assistant city manager and fire chief, for the top job. The post Alamo Heights Taps New City Manager, Discusses Rules for E-Scooters appeared first on Rivard Report.

Aldermen debate grassroots-led bill on surveillance technology

This story originally appeared in The St. Louis American. There's a surveillance camera at corner of Arsenal Street and S. Grand Boulevard, and it appears to be pointed at MoKaBe's Coffeehouse, where Black Lives Matter activists and other human rights protestors are known to meet, said Kendra Tatum, an organizer with Organization for Black Struggle. “We are concerned that police are using surveillance cameras as an intimidation tactic on First Amendment rights,” testified Tatum at the Jan. 24 aldermanic Public Safety Committee meeting, speaking in support of Board Bill 219.

Alders Sign Off On $3M Budget Transfer

With a mixture of resignation, frustration, and cautionary instruction, alders unanimously signed off on spending over $3 million reserved for debt service on shoring up the police and fire overtime budgets instead.

All Aboard!

Model train club offers challenges, camaraderieAll Aboard! was first posted on January 25, 2019 at 12:49 pm.

Allegations of NYPD’S special treatment of Trump and others seeking gun permits

A disgraced ex-NYPD lieutenant facing sentencing for bribery conspiracy has detailed alleged corruption in the department's License Division, including accusations of special treatment for President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Michael Cohen and an unidentified ally of New York City Mayor de Blasio, the New York Daily News reports. Former Lt. Paul Dean says in papers filed in Manhattan Federal Court Wednesday that a culture of corruption within the unit responsible for processing city gun permits was enabled by former Commissioner Bill Bratton, among others.

Almost 70% of Mississippians support restoring voting rights to some ex-felons, poll finds

R.L. Nave, Mississippi TodayThe Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit in federal court over the state's voter disenfrachisement laws. From left: Attorneys Jonathan Youngwood and Jody Owens with plaintiffs Dennis Hopkins, Walter Kuhn and Byron Coleman in Jackson. A new poll of 200 Mississippians finds majority support for restoring voter rights to most people with felony convictions who have completed their sentences, the Southern Poverty Law Center announced Tuesday. Conducted by Tulchin Research, the poll of registered voters was released on the last day to pass bills out of committee before they die, as Senate Democrats pushed for a bill that would re-enfranchise people with felony convictions upon the completion of their sentences. “What's exciting about it, in all honesty, is that for far too long, the proposition has been, that people should be punished forever,” said Jody Owens, managing attorney of the SPLC, which is currently suing the state over the constitutionality of of its disenfranchisement laws.

Alpina Foods in Batavia has closed its plant

A Genesee County agri-business has closed. According to the Genesee County Economic Development Center, Alpina Foods closed due to the loss of a co-packaging contract. The Daily News in Batavia reported that the company employed 25 to 35 people. There was no immediate comment from the company. The maker of yogurt products had announced an expansion in 2016 to its existing operation at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

Alumni Match-Up

Two former Blue Devils -- a coach and player -- square offAlumni Match-Up was first posted on January 28, 2019 at 11:42 am.

Alumni, parents and students rally to save Green Mountain College

Founded in Poultney in 1834, Green Mountain College launched it environmental liberal arts curriculum in 1995 and now is one of the Princeton Review‎'s top “green” schools. " data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/VTD-WindhamGMC-1.jpg?fit=300%2C163&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/VTD-WindhamGMC-1.jpg?fit=610%2C332&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/VTD-WindhamGMC-1.jpg?resize=610%2C332&ssl=1" alt="Green Mountain College" width="610" height="332" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/VTD-WindhamGMC-1.jpg?resize=610%2C332&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/VTD-WindhamGMC-1.jpg?resize=125%2C68&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/VTD-WindhamGMC-1.jpg?resize=300%2C163&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/VTD-WindhamGMC-1.jpg?resize=768%2C418&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/VTD-WindhamGMC-1.jpg?resize=150%2C82&ssl=1 150w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/VTD-WindhamGMC-1.jpg?w=1000&ssl=1 1000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Founded in Poultney in 1834, Green Mountain College launched it environmental liberal arts curriculum in 1995 and now is one of the Princeton Review‎'s top “green” schools. Calling themselves “radical optimists,” a group of Green Mountain College alumni, parents, and students say they want to save the school from closing in the spring. SaveGMC.org, which launched this weekend, reports that it has already received more than 100 pledges worth a little over $25,000. Kheya Ganguly, a Wallingford resident and parent of two GMC grads, said the group has been at work basically since the administration made its announcement two weeks ago.

Amazon at risk: Brazil plans rapid road and rail infrastructure expansion

Brazilian Minister of Infrastructure Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas. Image courtesy of Agencia Brasil. “We are going to create a second revolution in Brazilian agribusiness,” declared Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas in a 2018 interview with Mongabay. “Mato Grosso state produced 62 million tons of grains on 9 million hectares (34,700 square miles) of land in 2017. There are another 14 million hectares (54,000 square miles) of land, currently used as pasture, available for arable farming.

Amazon Drops Plans For New York Headquarters

Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET Amazon will no longer build new headquarters in New York City after weeks of local politicians, union leaders and community organizers protesting the financial incentives promised to one of the world's most valuable companies. The decision to abandon the planned New York HQ is a big reversal of its much-hyped decision to build a campus in Queens after a highly publicized nationwide search that lasted over a year. On Thursday, an Amazon spokeswoman told NPR that the company plans no further negotiations with city and state officials in New York, where the firm has faced scathing criticism in recent City Council hearings. One key issue was the almost $3 billion in state and city tax incentives Amazon was slated to receive in exchange for creating some 25,000 jobs. Local union leaders had organized protests against the company and have accused it of anti-union behavior.

Amazon HQ2: Texas Experience Shows Why New Yorkers Should Be Skeptical

Research on economic incentive deals found that companies often challenge public record requests and renegotiate renegotiated contracts, all while avoiding public scrutiny. The post Amazon HQ2: Texas Experience Shows Why New Yorkers Should Be Skeptical appeared first on Rivard Report.

Ambassador Kelley Currie Is Leaving the US Mission to the UN

Kelley Currie, the No. 2 ambassador at the UN mission to the UN, speaking with reporters on Oct. 16, 2018, regarding Cuban political prisoners. Currie is leaving the US mission as it awaits a formal ambassador to arrive to succeed Nikki Haley, who resigned on Oct. 9.

Amendment 4’s Exclusions Remain Unclear

The Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, better known as Amendment 4, specifically excludes those convicted of murder. But there's significant disagreement about what that means, Florida Politics reports. Forgiving interpretations of ballot language say only those convicted of first-degree murder still face a lifetime voting ban. But a broad reading of Florida's homicide statutes includes those convicted of, say, partial birth abortions. Neil Volz, a board member with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, testified Tuesday before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee that drafters of Amendment 4 intended to exclude those convicted of first-degree murder.

Ameren Missouri Gets Green Light To Build Electric-Vehicle Charging Stations Along Highways

After a failed attempt and months of delays, Ameren Missouri has received approval from the Missouri Public Service Commission to install electric vehicle charging stations along highways in Missouri. The utility's $4.4 million pilot program, which will run for five years, aims to install fast-charging stations at rest stops and businesses near highway entrances. The company also will offer financial incentives to businesses that want to help install charging stations. The effort could ease the “range anxiety” that motorists feel when they're worried that their electric vehicle will run out of power before they reach a charging station.

Ameren Missouri to invest $5 billion to improve statewide electrical grid

Ameren Missouri is planning $5 billion worth of improvements to its energy grid, company officials announced Friday. The “Smart Energy Plan” includes 2,000 electric projects to be completed during the next five years, including a new substation in Hazelwood and upgrades to the underground grid that serves downtown St. Louis. The utility also plans to spend $1 billion on wind energy in 2020. “We're modernizing this grid to benefit customers today, as well as future generations to come,'' Ameren President Michael Moehn said.

America’s growing existential threat

President Donald Trump's recent public ridicule of the reports before the Congress by our nation's three major intelligence agencies is unparalleled in our nation's modern history... and utterly anguished our intelligence community writ large. Our intelligence leaders outlined that we face an unprecedented potential adversary -- the developing China-Russia axis. With a combined population of five to six times that of America, it has formidable industrial and military capabilities.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network releases statement on e-cigarettes

News Release — American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Jan. 24, 2019
Contact:
Name: Marc Kaplan
Cell: (518) 796-1038
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ACS CAN Praises Governor's Leadership in Addressing E-Cigarette Issue In Budget
MONTPELIER, VT – January 24, 2019 – In his budget address today, Governor Scott proposed a tax on e-cigarettes at the same rate as on other tobacco products. American Cancer Society Cancer Acton Network (ACS CAN) Vermont Government Relations Director Jennifer Costa released the following statement:
“If enacted this tax can save lives and protect health.

Americans and Guns: Are the Politics Changing?

Igor Volsky. Photo by Peter Dohan
Igor Volsky learned to tell the difference between what politicians say and what they do when he was growing up in the former Soviet Union. The lesson came back to him forcefully as a teenager exposed to the debates and controversy about gun control in the U.S.
After the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Ca., (2015) and Orlando, Fl., (2016), annoyed by what he called the “risk-averse” approaches taken by politicians, he decided to form Guns Down America, a nonprofit organization aimed at harnessing the national consensus that more regulation can help reduce gun violence. He turned his policy ideas into a forthcoming book as well: Guns Down: How to Defeat the NRA and Build a Safer Future with Fewer Guns. In a conversation with The Crime Report's Julia Pagnamenta, Volsky explains why he thinks the chances for meaningful gun control have improved, why firearms manufacturers are vulnerable to a concerted campaign, and what he thinks the Founding Fathers might have made of the current debates over the Second Amendment.

AmeriCorps VISTA’s grassroots structure threatened by Trump plan

AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers have been making a difference in our communities since 1965. A key to the program's success has been the staff working at the state and local level. Good relationships with community groups lead to good programming. Unfortunately, the Trump administration plans to close state Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) offices by May 1. The closure would also affect the Senior Corps (Foster Grandparents, RSVP, and Senior Companions).

Amid Freeze, Cops Scan Streets For Homeless

As temperatures dropped into the single digits on Wednesday night, beat cops fanned out across the city searching for anyone who might be at risk of freezing to death.

Amid Freeze, Cops Scan Streets For Homeless

As temperatures dropped into the single digits on Wednesday night, beat cops fanned out across the city searching for anyone who might be at risk of freezing to death.

Amid State Scrutiny, Harlandale Extends Superintendent’s Contract

The district extends Rey Madrigal's contract through 2021 in the wake of a preliminary state report that accuses him of violating the Texas Education Code. The post Amid State Scrutiny, Harlandale Extends Superintendent's Contract appeared first on Rivard Report.

Amid Worker Safety Scrutiny, Kentucky Labor Secretary Proposes Merging Cabinets

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet is asking the legislature to do something bold — put it out of business. The Labor Cabinet would merge with the Public Protection Cabinet under a plan proposed Tuesday to the Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee. Cabinet leaders said eliminating the Labor Cabinet would save money, streamline government and improve the functions of Kentucky's Occupational Safety and Health agency, which has been under federal scrutiny since a critical audit released in August. The federal audit, first publicized by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting in November, found that Kentucky had failed to properly investigate nearly every worker fatality in a two-year period. Inspectors often didn't interview eyewitnesses, missed worker safety violations and improperly blamed employees for their own deaths, according to the investigation, published in collaboration with the Center for Public Integrity and the Ohio Valley ReSource.

Amistad Principal: “We Will Be Better”

Beleaguered Amistad High now has a black woman at the helm — and she is promising to tackle the charter school's racial challenges with an honest communal reckoning.

Amy Klobuchar may be Minnesota’s most popular politician. But how popular is she in Minnesota’s Trump country?

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's entrance to the presidential race Sunday turned presidential watchers' eyes toward Minnesota for the first time since the 2012 election, when the state had the distinction of having two politicians — Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty — seek the office. There's a particular reason some are watching Klobuchar, though, amid a crowding field of Democrats looking to get the party's nomination next year: Her ability to run up big electoral wins in a Midwestern state that almost went for Donald Trump in 2016. Democrats routinely win statewide offices in Minnesota. But not by Klobuchar's margins. In three Senate elections, she's bested her Republican opponents by double-digit margins, and the ability to win big in an increasingly purple Midwestern state has made some pundits say she might be the Democrats' best shot to win votes in Trump Country.

Amy Wenger: Keep kids safe from cannabis edibles

Editor's note: This commentary is by Amy Wenger, RN, who is the practice administrator for Appleseed Pediatrics in Morrisville. On July 1, cannabis (aka marijuana) was legalized for recreational use for people over the age of 21 here in Vermont. An unintentional consequence of legalization, as seen in other states that have legalized cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes, are higher instances of accidental ingestion of cannabis in young children. The Northern New England Poison Control Center reports that the rates of pediatric exposure to marijuana calls in legalized states increased to 30 percent when compared to those states who had not legalized. In Lamoille County, this trend in accidental cannabis exposures is occurring.Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox.

An Economic Blueprint for Chicago Any Progressive Candidate Should Get Behind

When Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley left City Hall in May 2011, he was greeted with banners reading, “Chicago … A World Class City … Thank You Mayor Daley.” Many mayors before him had set out to turn Chicago into a world-class city, and with those banners, the city's political establishment was proudly proclaiming that Daley had accomplished this feat. When Rahm Emanuel succeeded Daley to the Mayor's office, he saw it as his mission to maintain this world-class status. But the vision of a world-class city that Daley and Emanuel have projected through their financial and budget priorities has been deeply incongruent with the needs of Chicago's communities. Their version of turning Chicago into a “world-class city” typically meant passing policies to attract wealthy, white professionals and big, multinational corporations to the city—at the expense of the city's communities of color. To these mayors, improving Chicago has included transforming the demographics of the city rather than improving the lives of the people who already live there.

An emergency for Native Minnesotans is hidden inside the state’s opioid epidemic

Madelyn KlabundeOverall, Minnesota's opioid epidemic has avoided national attention. According to recent data on opioid overdose deaths by state, Minnesota's opioid death rate ranked 11th lowest out of 51 states and the District of Columbia. In this case, 11th place is a comfortable place to be. Minnesota doesn't have the lowest rate of opioid overdose deaths – we didn't even break the top 10 – but we certainly don't have the highest rate — far from it. When it comes to managing opioid overdose deaths, we're not going to break our arms patting ourselves on the back, but there's really no cause for alarm.

An ignored epidemic in New Mexico’s prisons

The treatment was simple — three pills a day, best taken on a full stomach — and it cured Gabriel Serna of hepatitis C in eight weeks. He just had to wait eight years to get it. In theory, revolutionary medications have made the blood-borne, sometimes-fatal infection curable, so people with the disease need not […]

An Interview on Wheels!

Lou Ferreira, Ferreira's Auto Repair, BeaconAn Interview on Wheels! was first posted on February 3, 2019 at 12:50 pm.

An outbreak of ‘If-true-itis’

An outbreak of “if true-itis” is spreading through newsrooms across the country. It peaked last Friday, when BuzzFeed News posted an article claiming Special Counsel Robert Mueller had evidence President Donald Trump told his former lawyer to lie to congress. The story instantly spread around the world, via social media. “If true,” many reporters said, […]

Analysis: A green appointee’s harsh introduction to Texas election politics

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley, appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott, still must clear the Senate Committee on Nominations and a two-thirds vote in the full Texas Senate. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. When the appointed chief elections officer of the state of Texas can't define “voter suppression,” it's safe to say his appointment is in trouble. David Whitley's confirmation as secretary of state is in trouble. It's not just because of that voter suppression business, either: He was in hot soup before he testified at Thursday's meeting of the Senate Nominations Committee.

Analysis: A State of the State address that’s short on surprises, long on collaboration

Most notable about Gov. Greg Abbott's State of the State address Tuesday were the topics he didn't discuss, including voter rolls. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Gov. Greg Abbott didn't make much news in his third State of the State speech, and that's a small victory for a guy hoping to keep everyone on track during a legislative session with big and relatively unrewarding work to do. Reworking the state's funding for public education and “reforming” property taxes — what you call it when you're trying to limit the growth of a tax instead of actually reducing taxpayers' bills — are hard things to do. They are not high-reward targets, though — not like real tax cuts or a solid promise that schools will improve.

Analysis: A Texas senator’s reputation, in a word

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (right) swears in state Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, as president pro tempore of the Senate on opening day of the 85th Texas Legislature on Jan. 10, 2017. Looking on are Seliger's sons Matthew (left) and Jonathan (hidden) and wife Nancy. Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. What began as a political spanking has become a smear campaign.

Analysis: Dan Patrick sends a message to Kel Seliger — and 30 other Texas senators

State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, speaks during a higher education symposium in Waco. Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. You think politics is tough in your office? Consider the case of Kel Seliger, a Republican senator from Amarillo. As of Tuesday afternoon — and for the first time since his first term in the Senate 16 years ago — he is neither the chairman or vice chairman of any committee in the Senate.

Analysis: Eight ways Gretchen Whitmer vows to improve Michigan

The new Democratic governor outlined her policy priorities during her first State of the State address Tuesday. Bridge offers context behind the proposals and what Republicans and other skeptics had to say in response.

Analysis: Here’s your property tax cut, maybe. Heads up — it’s expensive.

State Rep. Drew Springer has proposed getting rid of some sales tax exemptions to pay for a cut in property taxes. Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Willing to give up some sales tax exemptions to pay for a cut in your local property taxes? That proposition, from state Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, is the first serious stab at a property tax cut in the current Texas legislative session. Lawmakers in the House and Senate are already working on legislation designed to slow the growth of property taxes.

Analysis: It takes more than three high officials to make Texas laws

From left: Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston; Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick; Gov. Greg Abbott; House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton; and Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, speak at a Jan. 31, 2019, news conference addressing property tax reform. Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The state's top leaders spent the beginning of the legislative session talking about unity, comity and how they were on the same track, ready to work and even filing identical copies of important bills in the House and the Senate. Now that the 20-week session is entering its second quarter — believe it or not, it's 25 percent complete — the other 180 elected officials in the building are starting to raise their heads and make their thoughts known.

Analysis: Something’s missing from the opening bid for property tax “relief” in Texas

From left: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen speak at a joint press conference addressing property tax reform. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. State leaders are picking up property taxes right where they left the issue in mid-2017, proposing a requirement that voters approve any local property tax increase of more than 2.5 percent before it can take effect. Need a quick refresher on why this is still on the table? The House wanted a 6-percent limit in 2017.

Analysis: Texas election officials serve up a plate with lots of red meat, few veggies

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley is telling local election officials that some people on the state's list of potential noncitizen voters do not belong there. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. It seems like the people most likely to scream about “fake news” would be better than this: The state of Texas put out a misleading alert last week that convinced a lot of people — including the big fella in the White House — that thousands of noncitizens have been voting in Texas elections. That would be bad, if only it were true. It's not.

Analysis: The challenge of reining in property taxes at no cost to schools

Property Tax Committee Chairman and state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, during the Senate Property Tax Committee hearing on on Feb. 6, 2019. Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The Texas Senate's property tax fervor shouldn't come as a surprise. That's where state-imposed limits on local tax increases got traction two years ago, and the leaders there — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Paul Bettencourt, who replaced Patrick in the Senate — were both flying the property tax flag for years before they were elected to state office.

Analysis: The Texas comptroller’s pesky chart and a new look at the state’s school finance share

Local schools are outspending the state by about $17 billion for the 2018-19 school year, according to Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar's report. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The state of Texas is paying 36 percent of the cost of public education while local school districts — funded by property taxes — pay the remaining 64 percent, according to a new report from Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. That's a less rosy assessment than those offered by the Texas Education Agency or by the Legislative Budget Board, each of which has put the state's share at about 40 percent. And it's a benchmark from the state's chief financial officer at the beginning of a legislative session in which the governor and legislative leaders have made school finance and property tax relief their top priorities.

Analysis: Unfunded state mandates have a new enemy — the governor of Texas

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Those looking for something new in the governor's second inaugural speech found it, right after he talked about reining in property taxes. “A state as prosperous as Texas should not punish seniors who have worked their entire lives to retire in a home they have already paid off, and it shouldn't force middle- and low-income Texans out of their neighborhoods,” Gov. Greg Abbott said. “To fix this, Texas must limit the ability of taxing authorities to raise your property taxes. At the same time, Texas must end unfunded mandates on cities and counties.

Anchini opens Vermont store

News Release — Anchini
Jan. 22, 2019
Contact:
Heather Carey
T: 802.281.6275hcarey@anichini.com
Anichini.comGet all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Anichini, the Vermont-based luxury textile company, is taking a chance on a longtime dream. In January 2019, the company opened its one and only brick and mortar store in Quechee, Ver- mont, ANICHINI 802, a full-service home furnishings store like no other.

Ancient spirituality guides a Maya town’s conservation efforts

Links to other stories in this three-part profile of the Concepción Chiquirichapa community's stewardship of its sacred cloud forest will appear here once they are published: How a Mayan town restored its sacred cloud forest and water supply CONCEPCIÓN CHIRIQUICHAPA, Guatemala — It was Thursday, Nov. 8, but the Mayan calendar marked the day as Wukub' Q'anil, or 7 Rabbit, a good day to ask for the rebirth of sterile lands and the fertility of all living beings. Rumualdo López, a Maya priest and spiritual guide, was prepared to hike up to the top of Siete Orejas, a mountain sacred to the Maya Mam of Concepción Chiquirichapa, a town of roughly 18,000 in western Guatemala, to perform a fire ceremony. The purpose was to connect with the energies of the mountain and ask for wisdom and the blessing of the Creator, the Ajaw as the Maya Mam call it. “Nowadays there are many people who prefer to connect with the Ajaw through other rites, such as Christians or Catholics,” López had said the day before the ceremony, checking the Mayan calendar.

And Now A Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

When a U.S. president schedules a Rose Garden announcement to talk about declaring a national emergency, it's a pretty safe bet that NPR will carry it live. That was the case this morning, when NPR started airing "special coverage" of President Trump's declaration of a national emergency in order to help finance a U.S.-Mexico border wall. But the president didn't make it easy for NPR and its member stations, and other news organizations that cut away from regular programming, to broadcast the remarks live. Trump started out at 10:39 a.m. ET talking about international trade for several minutes before moving on to the topic of why he was declaring a national emergency. NPR carried those remarks live for 20 minutes, during which the president repeated his rationale, as well as some of his past claims that have been proven untrue.

Andy Griffith won’t save us

I watched the dash-cam video of Albany County Sheriff's Corporal Derek Colling scuffling with Robbie Ramirez, attempting to taser him, then shooting Robbie to death, as soon as it was released. Upon hearing of Robbie's death, I had wept for a solid hour. When I learned that he had a variety of serious mental illness (schizoaffective disorder) similar to mine (severe bipolar disorder with psychotic features), I was frightened. A local grand jury declined to indict Colling, who has also been cleared of two on-the-job killings in Nevada. He will likely not face federal prosecution either.

Annotating Stitt’s ‘State of the State’ Speech: Proposals and Omissions

Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma WatchGov. Kevin Stitt speaks on the House floor at the Capitol during his first State of the State address on Feb. 4, 2019. In a 33-minute speech Monday to kick off the 2019 legislative session, Gov. Kevin Stitt filled in some details on how his administration intends to make Oklahoma one of the the nation's leaders in education and business recruitment, and improve government accountability and transparency. Stitt used his first State of the State address to call for an additional pay raise for teachers, a more modernized state government and greater control over state agency leaders' employment. What was absent, however, might be as important as what was included.

Annual Insurance Update 2019 (January 2019)

In 2017, there were 243,305 Kansans who were uninsured, including 40,815 children age 0-18. In the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) Annual Insurance Update 2019, a comprehensive review of health insurance coverage in the state is presented using the most recent data available.

Another group of civil rights organizations sues Texas over voter citizenship review

The lawsuit is the third of its kind filed against the state of Texas since the citizenship review effort was unveiled on Jan. 25. Mikala Compton for The Texas Tribune
A group of civil and voting rights organizations is suing the state's chief election officers and local election officials in five counties, claiming Texas' voter citizenship review efforts are unconstitutional because they intentionally target naturalized citizens and voters of color. In a lawsuit filed on Monday in a Galveston federal court, the MOVE Texas Civic Fund, the Jolt Initiative, the League of Women Voters of Texas and the Texas NAACP allege that the state's move to flag tens of thousands of voters for review using faulty data violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. They claim the effort places an undue burden on the right to vote and treats naturalized citizens differently than those born in the county.

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.

Anti-trafficking campaign gets boost at Sea-Tac airport and on King County buses

Signs like these will be appearing at Sea-Tac Airport and on King County Metro buses to raise awareness of how to fight against human trafficking. (Photo courtesy King County.)Travelers will see an increasing number of ads and posters raising awareness at the airport and on buses, as the Port of Seattle and King County Metro step up a campaign against labor and sex trafficking. The campaign is in the hope of letting victims of sex or labor trafficking know how to find help. “Human traffickers prey on people in our community who are vulnerable, specifically targeting people of color,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in a prepared statement. “Our united effort will connect survivors with the resources they need to break free and thrive once again.”
The primary goal of the campaign is to increase the number of trafficking survivors that call a national hotline to receive assistance and resources.

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="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?fit=300%2C201&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?fit=610%2C409&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?resize=300%2C201&ssl=1" alt="Lisa Menard" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?resize=300%2C201&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?resize=125%2C84&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?resize=610%2C409&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?resize=150%2C100&ssl=1 150w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?w=1024&ssl=1 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Lisa Menard, commissioner of the Department of Corrections.

App, Community Buy-In Can Help Decrease Litter in San Antonio

The Litterati app presents us with an opportunity to tackle our litter problem by turning environmental activism into a game that inspires sustainable solutions. The post App, Community Buy-In Can Help Decrease Litter in San Antonio appeared first on Rivard Report.

Appalachian Trail side trails in Norwich area under review

This story by Jared Pendak was published by the Valley News on Jan. 26
NORWICH — A potential crackdown on unauthorized side trails along the Appalachian Trail corridor in Norwich is forcing longtime users to contend with federally imposed regulations.Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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As a designated National Scenic Trail, the AT is governed by the National Park Service and, in Vermont, is managed by the Green Mountain National Forest. According to a 2016 inventory of side trails in Norwich administered by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy — an organization that partners with NPS and the U.S. Forest Service to protect and maintain the AT — the approximately 6 miles of the AT that run along the southern boundary of Norwich contain some of highest density of unauthorized side trails within the 2,190-mile trail's entire corridor from Georgia to Maine.

Apparent suicide at Springfield prison part of ‘copycat’ series of incidents

Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vt. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DSC_0118.jpg?fit=300%2C201&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DSC_0118.jpg?fit=610%2C408&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DSC_0118.jpg?resize=610%2C408&ssl=1" alt="Southern State Correctional Facility" width="610" height="408" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DSC_0118.jpg?resize=610%2C408&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DSC_0118.jpg?resize=125%2C84&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DSC_0118.jpg?resize=300%2C201&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DSC_0118.jpg?resize=150%2C100&ssl=1 150w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DSC_0118.jpg?w=1024&ssl=1 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vt. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
A Vermont inmate recently sentenced to more than two decades in prison on sex crimes pushed himself over a second-tier railing at the Springfield prison and has died, state corrections officials say. It was one of three incidents over a two-week span on the prison's second-tier involving inmates who tried to harm themselves by falling or hanging from that level, according to Vermont Defender General Matthew Valerio.Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Appeals Court Rules Key Anti-Age Discrimination Protections Don’t Apply to Job Seekers, Only Employees

by Peter Gosselin

In a decision last month, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has sharply limited a federal law that protects workers who are 40 and older from age bias by ruling that key provisions only apply to those who already have jobs, not those seeking them. The 8-4 decision, written by Circuit Judge Michael Scudder, a Trump administration appointee, said the “plain language” of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act shows that in enacting the measure, Congress aimed its sweeping prohibition against discrimination at employees but “did not extend that same protection to outside job applicants.”

The ruling prompted a fierce dissent from Circuit Judge David Hamilton, an Obama administration appointee, who accused the majority of taking a “deliberately naïve approach” to the law and “closing its eyes to fifty years of history, context and application.”

The ADEA's anti-discrimination language originally matched that of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which covers race, gender, religion and other categories. And for much of the last half-century, federal courts have treated provisions of the two laws as largely interchangeable. The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by an Illinois lawyer, Dale Kleber, who was 58 in 2014 when he applied for a senior attorney position with CareFusion Corp., a unit of medical device maker Becton Dickinson & Co., but was passed over for an interview. The job eventually went to a 29-year-old candidate.

Applications Open for Girls’ State

Philipstown legion will select one junior to attendApplications Open for Girls' State was first posted on February 2, 2019 at 8:41 am.

Apply Now: City Limits’ Paid Internship for NYC High School Students

Jeanmarie EvellyFormer CLARIFY interns at work. City Limits is now taking applications for the spring semester of our youth journalism training program. CLARIFY, or the City Limits Accountability Reporting Initiative for Youth, is a 10-week internship that teaches students the the ins-and-outs of reporting and writing news stories, with a focus on how to successfully cover community board and other civic meetings. Under the guidance of City Limits staff, interns work on stories related to issues in their neighborhoods and have the chance to get their articles published. Applicants must be of high school age, and must live in New York City.

Are Fifth-Graders Ready for Middle School? Oklahoma City Public Schools Leaders Say Yes

Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma WatchStudents gather outside of Webster Middle School after classes on Jan. 24, 2019. Middle schools would include fifth-graders under an Oklahoma City Public Schools proposal. Fifth graders in Oklahoma City Public Schools will be joining older peers in middle schools across the district under a proposal unveiled this week. The fifth-through-eighth-grade middle school model isn't very common, especially in large districts.

Are mixed-use projects the right path forward for the Twin Cities?

Once upon a time, an office building was an office building, a hotel was a hotel, and an apartment building was an apartment building. But today, mixed-use projects combining different property uses are increasingly popular. While the most common mixed-use developments are apartments with ground-floor retail space, many developers are assembling a wide array of mixed uses, sometimes in unexpected combinations. Mixed-use development isn't the future of commercial real estate; in many cases it's already become the norm. But mixed-use projects are more challenging than a single-use development.

Are the ‘New Republicans,’ the Capitol’s newest caucus, any different from the old Republicans?

Last week, while unveiling legislation to require drivers in Minnesota to use hands-free devices for cell phone calls, Rep. Frank Hornstein touted the measure's bipartisan support:
“We have Legislators from all four major caucuses,” the DFLer from Minneapolis said. Until a month ago, Hornstein would not have needed the qualifier “major.” At least since 1951 (and probably long before that), the Minnesota Legislature has only had four caucuses, the semi-official groupings of DFL and GOP members in the House and Senate (or back when the Legislature was non-partisan, “liberal” and “conservative” members). That order was altered in December, though, when four House members who had just been re-elected as Republicans decided they would form their own group rather than rejoin the House Republican Caucus under now-Minority Leader Kurt Daudt. [cms_ad:x100]So now the Minnesota Legislature now has five, not four, party caucuses. The self-defined “New Republicans” are Reps.

Area Businesses Continue To Lend A Helping Hand As Government Reopens

Federal workers across the nation are taking a temporary sigh of relief as the government reopens for three weeks during negotiations over security along the southern border. But even with the shutdown on pause, there is still a lingering question of when the roughly 800,000 federal workers nationwide affected by the shutdown will get paid.

Arizona’s 54th Legislature: Smell the sanity (and/or fear)

The 54th Arizona Legislature is acting someone put two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen in their drinking water. Could it be they've read my work? Or do they just know a thing or two about elections and consequences?

Arizona’s 54th Legislature: Smell the sanity (and/or fear)

The 54th Arizona Legislature is acting someone put two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen in their drinking water. Could it be they've read my work? Or do they just know a thing or two about elections and consequences?

Armed With Tourniquet, Cops Saves A Life

Officer Gregory Dash saw bright red blood flowing from the leg of a shot man on a Newhallville porch. So he reached to the left side of his duty belt to retrieve the police department's latest weapon of choice.

Aromas Progressive Action League plans panel discussion

Feb. 10 event to focus on local impact of November midterm election.

Around Town (Photos)

Calm after the storm, super wolf blood moon, elementary artAround Town (Photos) was first posted on January 25, 2019 at 12:45 pm.

Around Town (Photos)

Haldane smarts, road blockAround Town (Photos) was first posted on February 1, 2019 at 10:20 am.

Arson attack leaves activist in Indonesia shaken

MENEMENG, Indonesia — An environmental activist and his family survived an attack on their lives early Sunday morning after assailants barricaded them inside their home and set it on fire. Murdani heads a chapter of Indonesia's largest environmental NGO, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi). At around 3 a.m., he and his wife woke to the smell of burning on the second floor of their home in Menemeng village on Lombok, an island next to Bali. Over the past few months, Murdani had noticed people watching his house. He had recently taken to sleeping on the front porch in order to keep guard, though on this night he slept upstairs.

As animal tagging goes cutting-edge, ethical questions abound

Devices worn by wild animals that record their location, and in some cases their behavior and environmental conditions, are known as biologgers. They have vastly increased our knowledge of animal movements and generated data on their use of space that have led to numerous conservation applications. A growing class of biologging devices incorporates sensors that not only track an animal's movements but also gather other environmental data. These geo-referenced data sets are then incorporated by scientists into oceanographic databases, such as NOAA's World Ocean database. But as researchers tag an increasing number of species, a debate has arisen over the consequences for animal welfare, conservation and technology.

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 debate rages on border wall funding, construction is already beginning

Nayda Alvarez painted this message on the roof of her home in La Rosita, Texas after receiving letters from the federal government stating that a portion of her land could be seized for the border wall. Marjorie Kamys Cotera
MISSION — Krista Schlyer saw the arm of a yellow excavator emerge from the treetops in La Parida Banco National Wildlife Refuge on Thursday morning. Soon, this tract will be bisected by roughly 30 feet of concrete and steel fencing. In the past week, the conservation photographer and writer has walked past the land multiple times and glimpsed the heavy machinery — but it was never moving. On Thursday morning, as she approached the site, she saw roughly a half dozen vehicles from local law enforcement agencies and Border Patrol surrounding the site.

As Denver braces for strike, charter operators seek to reassure parents, tackle pay issue

The day after news that Denver teachers union members had voted to strike, Denver's largest charter school operators reassured families their schools will keep operating as usual and sought to highlight their own efforts to better compensate teachers. Both DSST Public Schools and STRIVE Prep — which collectively educate about 9,500 students at 25 schools — wrote emails to families and supporters Wednesday as questions swirl about the ramifications of a potential Denver strike at district-run schools. The earliest a strike could start would be Monday, but Denver officials have asked for state intervention, a move that could delay any labor action. Teachers at Denver's 60 charter schools are not union members and won't be going on strike. But around the nation, unions have started to organize charter teachers, and the issue of teacher pay and how schools are funded has drawn more public attention.

As Denver teachers turn out to vote on strike, superintendent defends ‘compelling’ district offer

Denver teachers — some fighting back tears, others filled with energy and purpose — streamed into a rented Baptist church Saturday to cast a high-stakes vote on whether to go on strike. If their answer is yes, it would be the first strike in Colorado's largest school district in 25 years and affect some 71,000 students and 5,300 teachers. The vote on Saturday and another scheduled for Tuesday evening come after the Denver Classroom Teachers Association rejected a district offer and ended negotiations late Friday night, the conclusion of months of bargaining that left the two sides still more than $8 million apart and with significant philosophical disagreements about how teachers should earn raises. “This is about solidarity of all the workers for the district,” said Kris Valdez, who has taught physical education for 17 years at Columbian Elementary, a high-poverty school in northwest Denver. “For as long as I have been in the district, I feel like we have kind of always been taken advantage of.

As Denver teachers turn out to vote on strike, superintendent defends ‘compelling’ district offer

Denver teachers — some fighting back tears, others filled with energy and purpose — streamed into a rented Baptist church Saturday to cast a high-stakes vote on whether to go on strike. If their answer is yes, it would be the first strike in Colorado's largest school district in 25 years and affect some 71,000 students and 5,300 teachers. The vote on Saturday and another scheduled for Tuesday evening come after the Denver Classroom Teachers Association rejected a district offer and ended negotiations late Friday night, the conclusion of months of bargaining that left the two sides still more than $8 million apart and with significant philosophical disagreements about how teachers should earn raises. “This is about solidarity of all the workers for the district,” said Kris Valdez, who has taught physical education for 17 years at Columbian Elementary, a high-poverty school in northwest Denver. “For as long as I have been in the district, I feel like we have kind of always been taken advantage of.

As greenhouse emissions from power plants decline, a new focus on vehicles

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recently released “The Air We Breathe,” a report to the state Legislature on air quality that state statute requires every two years. One item in the 27-page report that drew particular attention was the fact that for the first time, vehicle exhaust represented the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota, exceeding emissions from power plants. While Minnesota is making progress in reducing emissions associated with global climate change, the state is still short of the goals it set for itself in when it passed the Next Generation Energy Act in 2007, which sought to cut emissions 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050. Robert Moffitt

Nationwide, the news is even worse. U.S. carbon dioxide emissions rose an estimated 3.4 percent in 2018, according to a report issued this month by the Rhodium Group, an independent economic research firm.

As it ponders where to put a Confederate plaque, a Texas state board faces backlash for removing it

Dr. Alma Arredondo addresses the State Preservation Board at the Capitol on Jan. 25, 2015. Arredondo argued the state erred in removing a Confederate plaque that said the Civil War wasn't over slavery. Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune
What started Friday as a public State Preservation Board hearing on where to place a controversial Confederate plaque that was recently removed from the Texas Capitol quickly turned into a heated debate over whether the marker should've been taken down in the first place. Two weeks prior, the board voted unanimously to remove the “Children of the Confederacy Creed” plaque, which falsely states that the Civil War was “not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery,” from its location near the Capitol rotunda.

As jobs grow hard to fill, businesses join the drive to push rural residents toward college

This story about rural college-going was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. When the Chemours chemical plant in New Johnsonville, Tennessee, needed workers to maintain its high-tech machinery, it advertised for them as far as 90 miles away in Nashville in one direction and 150 miles away in Memphis on the other. It still couldn't fill the jobs. “You just can't find anybody because people don't want to come that far,” said Gregory Martz, manager of the facility, which makes a quarter of the nation's supply of titanium dioxide used in everything from paints to plastics and paper. [cms_ad:x100]The problem isn't just that the plant is in a rural town with a population of less than 2,000.

As lawmakers file financial disclosures, House wants more

As lawmakers and officials filed their annual financial disclosure forms last week, Wyoming representatives passed a bill to increase what they must reveal. The 2019 disclosure forms required of the state's senators, representatives and five top elected officials are published below. The state's requirement seeks to protect the public from conflicts of interest arising from elected officials voting on issues that could benefit them personally. Lawmakers in the Wyoming House have meantime passed and sent to the Senate a bill that would make solons and statewide elected officials include, in many instances, how much they make from state contracts. Wyoming has not ranked well in nationwide analyses of elected officials' conflict-of-interest and disclosure requirements.

As lawmakers select a new leader of The Green Mountain Boys, candidates focus on treatment of women

Col. Greg Knight, candidate to be Vermont National Guard adjutant general, at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Greg-Knight-20190122LEGIE32.jpg?fit=300%2C203&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Greg-Knight-20190122LEGIE32.jpg?fit=610%2C412&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Greg-Knight-20190122LEGIE32.jpg?resize=610%2C412&ssl=1" alt="Greg Knight" width="610" height="412" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Greg-Knight-20190122LEGIE32.jpg?resize=610%2C412&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Greg-Knight-20190122LEGIE32.jpg?resize=125%2C85&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Greg-Knight-20190122LEGIE32.jpg?resize=300%2C203&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Greg-Knight-20190122LEGIE32.jpg?resize=768%2C519&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Greg-Knight-20190122LEGIE32.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Greg-Knight-20190122LEGIE32.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Greg-Knight-20190122LEGIE32.jpg 2000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Col. Greg Knight, candidate to be Vermont National Guard adjutant general, at the Statehouse in Montpelier last month.

As layoffs go into effect, Keurig closes Waterbury early production facility

Photo by Gordon Miller
Keurig Dr Pepper has followed through with its layoff announcement in October and shuttered the company's Early Production Center in Waterbury. The company shut down that operation at the end of December, following an announcement in late October that the company would lay off 118 employees across the company's three Vermont locations, with Waterbury workers taking the brunt of the cuts. The layoffs followed the July merger of Keurig Green Mountain and Dr Pepper Snapple Group to form Keurig Dr Pepper. The new company offers an array of potable products, from A&W Root Beer to Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Drink, and expects to generate $11 billion in annual revenue. The layoffs were among the largest in Vermont in 2018.

As Neighboring States Raise Worker Safety Inspector Pay, Kentucky Lags Behind

Kentucky Labor CabinetA KY OSH compliance officer inspects the worksite after a fatality at Kellie Poultry Service in Calhoun, KY on February 26, 2016. For David Stumbo, it's not hard to recruit students at Eastern Kentucky University into the occupational safety and health major. “We just roll out those starting salaries,” said Stumbo. Private companies like Amazon, Georgia Pacific and Marathon Petroleum recruit on campus, offering corporate safety jobs that start at more than $50,000 a year, he said. But when students ask him about working for the state, he's honest.

Asian banks give billions to firms linked to deforestation, study finds

Industries that cause the loss of rainforest and peatlands in Southeast Asia were bankrolled to the tune of $62 billion between 2013 and 2018, according to new data released by the Forests and Finance campaign of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Malaysian banks were the biggest funders of so-called forest risk activities and were least likely to have internal policies that restricted damage to the environment from the activities they funded, RAN concludes. According to the Forests and Finance campaign director, Tom Picken, eliminating or restricting the financial support for forest-risk businesses – defined as unsustainable palm oil, pulp and paper, rubber and timber developments – is the most significant action that can be taken to reduce their impact. The campaign is a collaboration between RAN, the NGO TuK Indonesia, and a Netherlands-based not-for-profit called Profundo. “Step back for a second and think about recent efforts to address deforestation in Southeast Asia,” Picken said in an interview with Mongabay.

Ask Curious Louis: What’s Happening With The St. Louis City-County Merger Plan?

After nearly 150 years of separation, will St. Louis and St. Louis County reunite in 2020? If Better Together has its way, the answer will be yes. The group has released a formal proposal to merge the city and county governments and police departments and plans to gather enough signatures to put the issue on the Missouri ballot.

Ask the Indy: How would a Denver teachers strike affect you?

Denver teachers are preparing to strike Monday, and we're turning the tables on our Ask the Indy project. Rather than you asking us questions, we have questions for you. If this weekend's last-ditch negotiations between Denver Public Schools and the teachers' union fail, how would a strike affect you or people you know? We'll take your responses — please make them as specific as possible — and put them together into a story. Here's an example: Rebecca Lovvorn, a Denver Public Schools English teacher and single mother of three, tells us she worries about the stress a strike will cause for her kids, especially her oldest son.

Asked to probe Bennington law enforcement, attorney general takes a pass

Attorney General TJ Donovan, right, appears before the House Democratic Caucus at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. Donovan explained his decision not to prosecute the people who harassed former representative Kiah Morris of Brattleboro. Morris chose not to run for re-election after her family was subjected to racial harrassment. Donovan, basing his explanation on First Amendment grounds, said the fact that Morris was a public official raised the bar very high when it came to distinguishing harassment from an actual threat of violence.

Aspen Journalism 2018 annual report

2018 highlights
We at Aspen Journalism, which was founded in January 2011, have successfully completed our eighth full year of operations. In 2018, we published 74 in-depth stories, 70 of them about water issues in the Colorado River basin, which includes the Roaring Fork River basin. To inform our reporting, we attended 54 water meetings and events around Colorado. We collaborated on our water stories with The Aspen Times, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, the Vail Daily, the Summit Daily, the Steamboat Pilot and the Greeley Tribune. And we produced sustained and impactful reporting on potential dams on Maroon Creek and Castle Creek tied to conditional water-storage reservoir rights.

Asylum Seekers Getting Pushed Back Across Border

U.S. border officials finalized plans Thursday to require asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases are considered in the United States, The Los Angeles Times reports. Border officers were set to start pushing asylum applicants back across the border as soon as orders became operational on Friday, beginning at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego, a Homeland Security official said on condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning. Until now, most migrants seeking asylum were released from detention into the United States while awaiting a court hearing, a process that can take years because of backlogs.

At Feb. 7 ‘Think Tank,’ Local Experts Will Seek Solutions to Missouri Teacher Shortage

Leaders in the field of education are sounding the alarm that a teacher shortage is hurting Missouri schools —and that it's about to get worse. Local education experts plan to put their heads together Thursday to try to combat the factors leading to the problem. The teacher shortage is a national phenomenon; and to be clear, it's not that qualified people don't exist—it's that they simply are deciding not to be teachers, or that they're getting out of the field early. Listen to the audio version of this story here. There are many factors, and Missouri stands out in at least a couple of areas.

At Hollister town hall, residents voice concerns about growth

While some see the current development projects as catching up post-recession, others fear traffic will get worse as a result.

At state’s first hemp conference, farmers told to ‘share the risk’

Thatcher Michelsen, center, and Colbey Daden of Eat More Hemp talk about their products at the 2019 Industrial Hemp Conference at the Hilton Burlington in Burlington on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190208HEMP5.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190208HEMP5.jpg?fit=610%2C407&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190208HEMP5.jpg?resize=640%2C427&ssl=1" alt="Thatcher Michelsen, center, and Colbey Daden" width="640" height="427" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190208HEMP5.jpg?w=2000&ssl=1 2000w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190208HEMP5.jpg?resize=125%2C83&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190208HEMP5.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190208HEMP5.jpg?resize=768%2C513&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190208HEMP5.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190208HEMP5.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20190208HEMP5.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" data-recalc-dims="1">Thatcher Michelsen, center, and Colbey Daden of Eat More Hemp talk about their products at the 2019 Industrial Hemp Conference in Burlington last Friday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
As he watches the hemp business take off, Jay Noller, head of the Oregon State University Crop and Soil Science Department, is reminded of the evolution of the modern sugar cane industry, but at high speed. Like hemp, sugar cane was grown and used domestically for centuries before it became a commodity.

At USM, Hopson, Bennett at odds over Briles, so what, if anything, happens next?

Southern Miss Sports InformationJay Hopson, shown here arguing a call, wanted badly to hire ex-Baylor head coach Art Briles as his offensive coordinator. Jay Hopson's job is to win football games at Southern Miss. He'll get fired if doesn't win enough. Never mind graduation rates and playing by the rules, the bottom line is the same as it always has been in college football. Just win, baby.

Attorney General backs legal cannabis market in Vermont

Attorney General TJ Donovan, left, testifies Thursday in favor of a cannabis tax and regulation mechanism before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
Attorney General TJ Donovan voiced support Thursday for legislation that would establish a regulated market for cannabis in Vermont, after he had previously expressed reservations about legalizing sales of the substance. Donovan told the Senate Judiciary Committee that since Vermont moved to legalize limited possession and cultivation of the drug last year, his views on creating a market for the drug had “evolved.”Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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“We have to have a regulated market,” he said.

Attorney General Donovan announces successful block of census question

News Release — Attorney General T.J. Donovan
Jan. 18, 2019
CONTACT:
Julio ThompsonGet all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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802-828-3171
VERMONT AND COALITION OF STATES SUCCESSFULLY BLOCK FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FROM ADDING CITIZENSHIP QUESTION TO CENSUS
MONTPELIER – Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced that a court has blocked the federal government's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census questionnaire. In April 2018, the State of Vermont joined a coalition of 17 other states, the District of Columbia, 15 cities and counties, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to block the federal government from demanding citizenship information in the 2020 Census.

Attorney General Donovan proposes legislation for immigrant communities

News Release — Attorney General T.J. Donovan
Jan. 23, 2019
CONTACT:
Julio Thompson
802-828-3171Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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AG PROPOSES ENHANCED PROTECTIVE MEASURES FOR IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES
MONTPELIER – Today Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan issued recommendations to the Vermont legislature to enable law enforcement agencies to better protect immigrant communities. Attorney General Donovan also called for robust trainings for law enforcement in hate crime and bias incident investigation and implementation of the Fair and Impartial Policing Policy (FIP).

Attorney General Donovan shares heating assistance information

News Release — Attorney General T.J. Donovan
Jan. 31, 2019
CONTACT:
Charity Clark
802-828-3171
AG's OFFICE WARNS OF INCREASED HYPOTHERMIA RISK FOR VULNERABLE VERMONTERS; HEATING ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE
MONTPELIER – With extreme cold hitting Vermont, Attorney General T.J. Donovan is warning that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions are especially susceptible to hypothermia. Hypothermia is a dangerous drop in core body temperature. It caused 16 deaths in Vermont last year. The Attorney General's message comes through his Elder Protection Initiative and the Vulnerable Adult Fatality Review Team.

Attorney General Donovan statement on protecting Vermont immigrant communities

News Release — Attorney General T.J. Donovan
Jan. 27, 2019
Contact:
Charity R. Clark
802-828-3737
STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL T.J. DONOVANOn the Attorney General's Office's Work in Support of Vermont's Immigrant Communities
Since changes to immigration policies by the federal government began in early 2017, my office has taken many steps to protect Vermont's immigrant communities. I believe that no matter where you came from if you live in Vermont and call Vermont home, you are a Vermonter. It is incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to support all Vermonters, and I will continue to stand up for our immigrant communities however I can. My office has taken numerous steps, some of them unprecedented, to protect Vermont's immigrant communities.

Audio: Good news from Mexico monarch reserve despite looming deforestation, mine threat

On today's episode, we talk with Mongabay contributor Martha Pskowski, who recently traveled to central Mexico to report on threats to monarch butterflies in their overwintering grounds. Listen here: A large population of monarch butterflies migrates from the United States and Canada to central Mexico every year. Tourists typically arrive in droves to see the butterflies at the reserves set up in their overwintering grounds. Right now is a particularly good time to see the butterflies, as Mexico's national commissioner for protected natural areas has announced that, after years of declines, the number of monarchs spending their winter in Mexico is up 144 percent from last year. Scientists have cited a number of reasons why fewer monarchs might have made it to Mexico in recent years, including a more perilous migration route, the eradication of the milkweed the butterflies lay their eggs on in their breeding grounds in the US Midwest, and climate change, which is making milkweed too toxic for monarch caterpillars to eat.

Audio: IUCN’s Inger Andersen: “Women represent 3.5 billion solutions”

On today's episode, we talk with the Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Inger Andersen. Listen here: Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Switzerland, the IUCN is probably best known for its Red List of Threatened Species, a vital resource on the conservation statuses and extinction risks of tens of thousands of species with whom we share planet Earth. But the IUCN does much more than just maintain the Red List, as Inger Andersen, the organization's director general, explains. Andersen also discusses how updates are made to the Red List (and what updates we can expect to the List in 2019), the importance of empowering women in conservation and sustainable development, the need to tackle unsustainable production and consumption patterns, and why the 2020 installment of the IUCN's World Conservation Congress will be perhaps the most important yet. Here's this episode's top news: Antarctica now shedding ice six times faster than in 1979 China busts major ivory trafficking gang following EIA investigation Tanzania creates new reserve to protect rare colobus monkeys and trees Would you like to hear about the Mongabay team's long list of snake bites, or learn which huge mammal chased our Program Manager up a tree? Have you ever wondered about the origins of Mongabay, and how we got that name?

Audit faults financial management at troubled Springfield hospital

A forensic audit discovered no illegal activity but found financial managers at Springfield Hospital were not forthcoming and made “material misstatements” the year before the troubled hospital almost closed. BerryDunn, a New Hampshire accounting firm, reviewed financial records for the hospital between Oct. 1, 2017 and Dec. 3, 2018, after the board discovered the hospital was months behind in payroll taxes and was facing penalties. The forensic audit highlighted a financial transparency problem at the troubled hospital the year before the state bailed out the hospital with an $800,000 loan.

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

By Charlie Hayward
CharlieHayward@MarylandReporter.com
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.

Auditors to Prosecutors: Hire Collection Agency to Recover Unpaid Fees From Offenders

Oklahoma district attorneys have more than $56 million in uncollected fees on their books and are being advised they should hire collection agencies to go after offenders to recover more of the debt. But district attorneys are balking at the recommendation, made by private auditors, because the prospect of collecting a lot of the money is uncertain – and aggressive collections could conflict with criminal justice reform efforts intended to shift their offices and the courts away from depending on fines and fees. Reform advocates say heavy fees and fines have trapped offenders in debt loads that are difficult or impossible to erase and can lead former inmates to re-offend and end up back in prison. A recent performance audit of the District Attorneys Council found more than $56 million in uncollected fees among just 13 of the 27 DA districts. The total could be much higher because it doesn't include Oklahoma and Tulsa counties, which track fees on different systems, and 14 DA districts that use another financial system.

Audubon makes case for $2.5 million in projects to restore Mississippi Gulf Coast

A Piping PloverThe National Audubon Society is recommending a $1.7 billion investment in the Gulf Coast through restoration and conservation efforts, including $2.5 million worth of projects in Mississippi. Tuesday's report, Restoring the Gulf of Mexico for Birds and People, highlights the challenges that birds and their habitats have faced since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which resulted in a $20.8 billion global settlement. Researchers say the damage has been compounded by challenges such as loss of habitat, reduced water quality, erosion, predation, and human disturbance. Of the settlement money, BP agreed to pay $750 million to Mississippi. Legislators decided to dedicate about 75 percent of the funds to the Gulf Coast in last year's special session.

Augsburg prof who used N-word in class suspended

Currently suspended over a “range of issues.” City Pages's Hannah Jones reports: “In October, during an honors seminar called ‘The Scholar Citizen,' Augsburg University history professor Phillip Adamo had his class discuss James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time. In the book, Baldwin, an African American man, attempts to convey the experience of living as a black person in 1960s America to white readers. … The way Adamo tells it, a student in the class quoted a sentence from the book: ‘You can really only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a…' … You can fill in the blank from there. Baldwin did, and so did the student, according to Adamo. This, allegedly, took some other students aback, which prompted Adamo to ask whether it was ‘appropriate to use the word if the author had used it.'

Aurora is proposing to hire an external manager for two struggling schools

The Aurora school board will consider a pre-emptive move next month: whether to offer to hire an external manager to pull up two struggling schools — before the state decides to intervene and impose a solution. Under Colorado law, when schools continuously fail to improve student achievement, the state must order a solution. Aurora could seek to avert that. Aurora Public Schools would be the first district in Colorado to take advantage of a new state provision allowing schools and districts to request early state approval of a district-devised plan to improve. The benefit, as district officials told the school board, is that they get some say in the decision and stability.

Author, Social Justice Advocate Reginald Dwayne Betts to Speak at OLLU

Betts, who at age 16 was sentenced to nine years in prison, has since earned a law degree from Yale and now advocates on behalf of prisoners who face similar struggles. The post Author, Social Justice Advocate Reginald Dwayne Betts to Speak at OLLU appeared first on Rivard Report.

Authorities Find More Ways to Silence Women Human-Rights Experts

Protests against a new overtime law in Hungary, Dec. 12, 2018, Budapest. Women who defend human rights are subjected more than ever before to a range of threats, from online trolling to torture, a new Swedish report finds. More than two decades have passed since the United Nations General Assembly approved the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which encourages countries to protect people who fight for human rights around the world. So why has the situation deteriorated, especially for women who defend human rights?

Automated ‘platoons’ of trucks might soon be driving on Minnesota roads

MnDOTPlatooning is aimed at helping trucking companies save gas and improve traffic flow while preventing crashes.The future of vehicle automation in Minnesota doesn't just revolve around personal cars, like self-driving Ubers, or features built into the latest Tesla. New technology is also changing the state's long-haul trucking industry. Much of that technology, like automatic braking, is already being incorporated by private businesses. But industry leaders and a state task force have approached Minnesota lawmakers in an effort to legalize the latest wave of automation to reach local roads: a practice known as platooning, in which trucks follow each other closely on highways and synchronize their driving with the help of technology. Platooning is aimed at helping trucking companies save gas and improve traffic flow while preventing crashes.

Award Winners (Photos)

First responders, Beacon schools, Jean Saunders history, Farm BureauAward Winners (Photos) was first posted on February 9, 2019 at 10:50 am.

Baby & Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both ...Baby & Dog was first posted on January 26, 2019 at 11:01 am.

Baby & Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both ...Baby & Dog was first posted on February 10, 2019 at 11:12 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 on the bus: A civil rights struggle rolls on

For people of color, U.S. banks are shutting the door to homeownership. And for nearly a year, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has been fighting to keep this story off the streets of Philadelphia. Last year, we reported that African Americans in Philadelphia were far more likely to be denied a home loan than their white counterparts, even when they made the same amount of money, tried to get the same size loan and wanted to buy in the same neighborhood. We combed through 31 million mortgage records, covering nearly every loan application in America in 2015 and 2016. Even taking various factors – such as applicants' income, loan amount and the neighborhood where they wanted to live – into consideration, our analysis found some disturbing patterns.

Bail bond industry fights back against moves to limit or end cash bail

Beyond Bail
This series explores the use of cash bail in Wisconsin and around the country. Poor stay in jail while rich go free: Rethinking cash bail in Wisconsin
Nonprofit bail funds help poor gain freedom nationally and in Wisconsin
Key terms explained

In many states, pretrial inmates may end up in heavy debt to bail bondsmen, even if they are ultimately acquitted. Wisconsin is one of a handful of states that have laws banning bail bonding, having abolished it in 1979. Bail bonding is the practice of hiring a third-party bail bondsman who pledges to pay the full cash bond amount if the defendant fails to appear for court. The defendant is released after paying a non-refundable fee, usually 10 percent of the bond amount, to the bail bondsman.

Ballantyne: How the south Charlotte burbs went blue in 2018

Demographic-driven shifts in voting patterns have statewide implications, both in the 2018 impact on key races and for what may happen in the future. The post Ballantyne: How the south Charlotte burbs went blue in 2018 appeared first on Carolina Public Press.

Baltimore’s Mosby and Police Divided Over Pot Policy

Baltimore joined other cities when State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced her office would stop prosecuting people for marijuana possession, but thus far she lacks a critical ally in the move: Baltimore police. The Baltimore Sun reports that after Mosby informed interim police commissioner Gary Tuggle, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent, of the plan, Tuggle said his officers wouldn't quit making arrests unless state law changes. Maryland decriminalized small amounts of marijuana possession in 2014. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has said he's not in favor of enacting broader legalization this year. Mosby's policy is to forgo prosecuting possession in any amount and regardless of the person's criminal history.

Bannon boosts ‘private’ border wall at Sahuarita event

Billed as a town hall, Friday's pro-border wall event in a gated community near Tucson, featuring former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, was every bit as much a pep rally and fundraiser — and maybe part dry run.

Bans on the bird trade in South America yield mixed results

The trade of live birds in South America is down to its lowest levels in years, according to a report released Jan. 16 by conservation NGOs TRAFFIC and WWF. But bird populations are still in danger across the continent, Bernardo Ortiz-von Halle, the report's author, said in a statement. “Habitat loss remains the greatest threat to wild bird populations in Amazon countries,” said Ortiz-von Halle, a biologist at Colombia's Universidad del Valle. And bans on the collection and sale of wild birds enacted by many South American countries by the 1980s have shifted the trade abroad, he said.

Barbara Harrington (1940-2019)

Cold Spring resident was former county health aideBarbara Harrington (1940-2019) was first posted on January 20, 2019 at 4:41 pm.

Barr Wants Jeffrey Rosen as Deputy Attorney General

The Senate confirmed William Barr as attorney general, putting the veteran of corporate and Washington legal circles in charge of a Justice Department that has been rocked by departures, political storms and Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, the Wall Street Journal reports. Democrats Doug Jones (AL), Joe Manchin (WVA) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) joined Republicans in a the 54-45 vote to confirm Barr. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the sole Republican “no” vote. Wrestling with whether to release the Mueller probe's findings will be among Barr's first tasks. “He dodged questions, and left himself space to protect the president from potential consequences for serious wrongdoing,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

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.

Basketball Round-up

Haldane and Beacon teams close out seasonsBasketball Round-up was first posted on February 15, 2019 at 12:10 pm.

Battles Loom Over California Criminal Justice Reforms

California has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce mass incarceration, as courts have forced the state to lower the population of overcrowded prisons. Crime rates are at historic lows, yet some crimes like theft have ticked up, feeding into a narrative by reform opponents that California's new laws have gone too far, the New York Times reports. Powerful forces are lining up to roll back some changes and possibly return California to its get-tough-on-crime days. Police unions have put up hundreds of thousands of dollars to support a ballot measure to expand the category of crimes that can be charged as felonies. The grocery chain Albertsons contributed, blaming the changes for a rise in shoplifting.

Beacon Girls Looking for Offensive Rhythm

Basketball team slow to start in two lossesBeacon Girls Looking for Offensive Rhythm was first posted on January 20, 2019 at 1:28 pm.

Beacon Leaper

Beacon's Rayvon Grey talks about his goals on the LSU jump teamBeacon Leaper was first posted on January 27, 2019 at 8:41 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Kenneth Hill, Jacquelyn Jones-BroughtonBeacon Obituaries was first posted on January 26, 2019 at 11:30 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Raymond Fantauzzi, John Johnson, Calvin TomlinsBeacon Obituaries was first posted on February 6, 2019 at 10:23 am.

Beacon Obituaries

Ken Canary, Heriberto Chico, Mary D'Aprile, Robert Glover Sr.Beacon Obituaries was first posted on February 16, 2019 at 5:50 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Mary Jordan, Helen Killmer, Thomas SherbanBeacon Obituaries was first posted on January 28, 2019 at 8:32 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Dottie Bell, Richard ShoulkinBeacon Obituaries was first posted on January 22, 2019 at 10:20 am.

Beacon Obituaries

Barbara Jean Claudio, Jeanette Johnson, Susie Rende, Jack Sine, Alice Smith, Billy SmithBeacon Obituaries was first posted on February 1, 2019 at 10:43 pm.

Beacon Police Blotter

Selected incidents from Jan. 22 to Feb. 4
Beacon Police Blotter was first posted on February 9, 2019 at 3:48 pm.

Beacon Police Blotter

Select incidents from Jan. 3 to 21Beacon Police Blotter was first posted on January 25, 2019 at 5:45 pm.

Beacon Scenes

Photographs by Michael Bogdanffy-KrieghBeacon Scenes was first posted on January 20, 2019 at 1:28 pm.

Beacon Snow Day (Video)

Soaring over the city after the Jan. 19-20 stormBeacon Snow Day (Video) was first posted on January 22, 2019 at 4:12 pm.

Beacon Will Have Warming Centers

No parking on city streets after 2 inches fallsBeacon Will Have Warming Centers was first posted on January 29, 2019 at 10:44 pm.

Beacon’s Lost Bridge

The city took the Tioronda apart. Can it put it back together?Beacon's Lost Bridge was first posted on February 8, 2019 at 10:00 am.

Bees face yet another lethal threat in dicamba, a drift-prone pesticide

This article was produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting in collaboration with the Food & Environment Reporting Network, an independent nonprofit news organization. While soybean farmers watched the drift-prone weed killer dicamba ravage millions of acres of crops over the last two years, Arkansas beekeeper Richard Coy noticed a parallel disaster unfolding among the weeds near those fields. When Coy spotted the withering weeds, he realized why hives that produced 100 pounds of honey three summers ago now were managing barely half that: Dicamba probably had destroyed his bees' food. In October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency extended its approval of the weed killer for use on genetically modified soybeans and cotton, mostly in the South and Midwest, for two more years. At the time, the EPA said: “We expect there will be no adverse impacts to bees or other pollinators.”
[cms_ad:x100]But scientists warned the EPA years ago that dicamba would drift off fields and kill weeds that are vital to honeybees.

Bees face yet another lethal threat in dicamba, a drift-prone pesticide

This article was produced in collaboration with the Food & Environment Reporting Network, an independent nonprofit news organization. While soybean farmers watched the drift-prone weed killer dicamba ravage millions of acres of crops over the last two years, Arkansas beekeeper Richard Coy noticed a parallel disaster unfolding among the weeds near those fields. When Coy spotted the withering weeds, he realized why hives that produced 100 pounds of honey three summers ago now were managing barely half that: Dicamba probably had destroyed his bees' food. In October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency extended its approval of the weed killer for use on genetically modified soybeans and cotton, mostly in the South and Midwest, for two more years. At the time, the EPA said: “We expect there will be no adverse impacts to bees or other pollinators.”
But scientists warned the EPA years ago that dicamba would drift off fields and kill weeds that are vital to honeybees.

Before Your Time: Built to last

Danny Sagan, an architecture professor at Norwich University, tours homes created during the design/build movement on Warren's Prickly Mountain. Photo by Ryan Newswanger
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?fit=300%2C225&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?fit=610%2C458&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?resize=610%2C458&ssl=1" alt="Danny Sagan" width="610" height="458" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?resize=610%2C458&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?resize=125%2C94&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?resize=300%2C225&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?resize=768%2C576&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?resize=1376%2C1032&ssl=1 1376w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?resize=1044%2C783&ssl=1 1044w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?resize=632%2C474&ssl=1 632w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?resize=536%2C402&ssl=1 536w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1972.jpg 4032w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Danny Sagan, an architecture professor at Norwich University, tours homes created during the design/build movement on Warren's Prickly Mountain. Photo by Ryan Newswanger
Before 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 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.

Behind The Lens episode 17: ‘Should a failure occur’

A failing wastewater reservoir threatens St. James Parish. The Orleans school district faces a budget shortfall at Harney elementary, and it can't access federal funds earmarked for the school. And a BGR report backs Mayor LaToya Cantrell's position on hotel taxes in New Orleans.

Beloved elderly man’s death after arrest motivates community, highlights growing tension with police

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/Report For AmericaGabriel Wilson holds a sign while marching during a protest against police violence and the death of George Robinson in Jackson Monday, January 21, 2019. Connie Bolton, known in her West Jackson neighborhood for her cooking, fixed a meal of BBQ neck bones, string beans, mashed potatoes and cornbread on a cool, cloudy Saturday in January. As she often did, Bolton made sure her neighbor George Robinson got a plate. The next day, she said she watched from her porch as police officers “body slammed” Robinson, 61, to the ground, then stomped several times on his chest and stomach. Bolton's 10-year-old niece Keiaria was outside standing in a yard across the street from police during the field arrest — for which Jackson Police Department has yet to give a reason — and said officers held Robinson against his car while K-9s sniffed in his vehicle.

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.

BenitoLink Content Manager proposes on Valentine’s Day

Cliché, we know.

BenitoLink Pledge of Champions raised $67,260 in donations

Thank you to all the individuals and local organizations who participated in our fundraising campaign!

Bennington agrees to police review, but says ‘we haven’t done anything wrong’

Max Misch inside the Bennington County courtroom Thursday afternoon. Pool photograph via Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner. " data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/misch-2.jpg?fit=300%2C256&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/misch-2.jpg?fit=610%2C520&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/misch-2.jpg?resize=640%2C546&ssl=1" alt="Max Misch inside the Bennington County courtroom Thursday afternoon." width="640" height="546" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/misch-2.jpg?w=1499&ssl=1 1499w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/misch-2.jpg?resize=125%2C107&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/misch-2.jpg?resize=300%2C256&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/misch-2.jpg?resize=768%2C655&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/misch-2.jpg?resize=610%2C520&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/misch-2.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" data-recalc-dims="1">Allegations that information had been withheld about whether Max Misch, shown here inside the Bennington County courtroom last week, had illegally possessed high-capacity magazines is at the center of the requested police probe. Pool photo by Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner.

Bennington County Regional Commission to host energy forum

News Release — Bennington County Regional Commission
Jan. 16, 2019
Contact:
Madison Kremer
Email: mkremer@bcrcvt.org
Phone: (802) 442-0713 x9Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Regional Commission Hosts Energy Forum to Support Formation of Municipal Energy CommitteesPublic event will help Bennington County residents start and support local energy committees
Arlington, VT— The Bennington County Regional Commission, in partnership with the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN) and Efficiency Vermont plans to host a Southwestern Vermont Regional Energy Forum, which will be held from 5:30 – 8 pm on Thursday, January 31st at the Martha Canfield Library in Arlington. Communities throughout Bennington County have a great deal of work ahead of them to reach ambitious energy goals and ensure their energy production and consumption is sustainable.

Bennington Museum to feature Battle of Bennington portrait

News Release — Bennington Museum
Jan. 15, 2019
Contact:
Susan Stranosstrano@benningtonmuseum.org
802-447-1571 ext. 204Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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New Finds about the Battle of Bennington
On Saturday, February 2 during FREE Community Day at the Bennington Museum, join the Curator of the Bennington Museum Jamie Franklin at 2:00 pm when he presents “A Battle of Bennington Veteran's Portrait Rediscovered – and Acquired.” Learn about the fortunate circumstances that led to Bennington Museum's acquisition of a tintype and miniature portrait of Lt. Jonathan Holton, a soldier in the Battle of Bennington.

Bennington Regional Chamber of Commerce to present Winter Homebrew Festival

News Release — Bennington Regional Chamber of Commerce
Feb. 6, 2019
Contact:
Matt Harrington
802.447.3311matt@bennington.com
Award-Winning “Winter Homebrew Festival” Returns to Southern Vermont! (Bennington, VT) –– The Bennington Regional Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Hopridge Farms, will be joining forces again to present the third annual Southern Vermont Winter Homebrew Festival! The festival, which has won a coveted Top 10 Vermont Winter Event award two years in a row, will be held on Saturday, March 9th at the former LaFlamme's Building (239 W. Main Street) in downtown Bennington, Vermont. The festival has invited the area's top home brewers asking them to bring their very best home brewed beer, cider, mead, braggot and wine for a chance to be crowned “Best Home Brewery.” In addition, the festival has also invited area restaurants to submit their best chicken wings for the chance to be crowned “Best Regional Wings,” a crown currently held by two-time champion Ramunto's Pizza.

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.

Beto O’Rourke hits the road again with 2020 decision looming

Beto O'Rourke is expected to announce a decision about whether he's running for president this month. Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune
Beto O'Rourke is on the road again as he nears a decision on whether to enter the 2020 presidential race. The former Democratic congressman from El Paso who ran for U.S. Senate in 2018 has at least two appearances scheduled this weekend across the Midwest. On Friday evening, he will visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he will hold a meet and greet with students and faculty. And on Saturday afternoon, he will speak at the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute National Conference in Chicago.

Beto O’Rourke ran his 2018 campaign on his own terms – he’s looking at 2020 the same way

US Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D- El Paso, thanks the crowd of supporters as he leaves the stage during the Turn Out For Texas Rally with Willie & Beto held at Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2018. U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke is running against Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, in a one of the top U.S. Senate races nationally this year. (The Texas Tribune /Rodolfo Gonzalez)
The Texas Tribune
Beto O'Rourke is considering a 2020 presidential campaign much like he ran his 2018 U.S. Senate campaign: on his own terms.

Facing wide encouragement to join the White House race, the former Democratic congressman from El Paso is taking his time, giving few outward clues and keeping even close allies and supporters in suspense. The waiting game is unfolding as the 2020 field takes shape at a quickening pace, growing on a near-weekly basis and magnifying the spotlight on those whose intentions remain less clear.

Beto O’Rourke says he’s excited at the prospect of running for president. He’ll decide this month.

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey (left) and former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski: Winfrey/Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson: O'Rourke
NEW YORK CITY — Beto O'Rourke said Tuesday he will decide whether to run for president by the end of the month. He made the comment during an interview with media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who pressed him on his long-awaited decision — and whether he's given himself a deadline. "The serious answer is really soon — before the end of this month," O'Rourke replied. Earlier in the interview, O'Rourke said he was "so excited at the prospect of being able" to run for president but suggested the potential toll on his family was still weighing on him.

Beto O’Rourke to march, speak against border wall during Trump rally in El Paso

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, flanked by U.S. Sens. Tina Smith, D-Minnesota (left), and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, spoke to the press after touring a tent city that held thousands of immigrant children in Tornillo on Dec. 15, 2018. Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune
Beto O'Rourke is not shying away from the spotlight as President Donald Trump prepares to hold a rally in the El Paso hometown of the former congressman and potential presidential candidate. On Monday evening, O'Rourke will lead a march through the city and then speak at a local sports center at 7 p.m. local time — the same time Trump's rally is set to begin, according to O'Rourke's team.

Beto O’Rourke will lead a counter-march at the same time as Trump’s El Paso rally. Watch live.

Beto O'Rourke thanks a crowd of supporters during a campaign rally in Austin on Sept. 28, 2018. The Texas Tribune
Beto O'Rourke will lead a march through El Paso tonight and then speak at an event at 8 p.m. Central Time — the exact same time as President Donald Trump's El Paso rally. Watch it live here. The march, which will feature other speakers, is intended to highlight El Paso's strength as a binational community, and push back against Trump's long-sought border wall.

Beto O’Rourke says Ted Cruz has an attendance problem. Cruz has missed 14 percent of votes; O’Rourke has missed 3 percent.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (left) and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, at the first of their three debates, in Dallas, on Sept. 21, 2018. Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas Tribune
As he has entered the homestretch in his quest to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke has honed an attack: Cruz spent too much of his first term running for president, and not enough time representing Texas in the U.S. Senate. “In 2015, he missed one-quarter of the votes in the United States Senate,” O'Rourke said in the candidates' first debate on Sept. 21.

Better Together Refiles City-County Merger Proposal With Minor Changes

A group seeking to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County sent a new version of their constitutional amendment to Missouri's secretary of state's office Monday that contains mostly minor changes. Better Together described the changes to the amendment as “technical,” dealing with the handling of pensions and existing debt. It also makes some clarifications to language creating a new fire protection district encompassing St.

Bexar County Couples Set Valentine’s Day Record at Free Midnight Wedding

Sixty couples were married shortly after midnight on Valentine's Day, setting a new record for Bexar County's annual tradition of offering free weddings. The post Bexar County Couples Set Valentine's Day Record at Free Midnight Wedding appeared first on Rivard Report.

Bexar’s Eye: A Vibrant Community Feels Like Home to Seniors

Living at Ventura Hills are about 50 residents and an equal number of staff aiming to make the seniors' time there as active as age and wellness allow. The post Bexar's Eye: A Vibrant Community Feels Like Home to Seniors appeared first on Rivard Report.

Bexar’s Eye: After 109 Years, Local Roofing Company Still Busy As Ever

During its long history, Samuel Dean Sheet Metal Inc. has worked on commercial projects across San Antonio, including the Tower Life building. The post Bexar's Eye: After 109 Years, Local Roofing Company Still Busy As Ever appeared first on Rivard Report.

Bexar’s Eye: Spirit of Sound Fills Family Deaf Church

Wearing earplugs at a church celebrating God's love among the deaf and hard of hearing might be puzzling at first, but there's a very good reason. The post Bexar's Eye: Spirit of Sound Fills Family Deaf Church appeared first on Rivard Report.

Beyond The ‘Rhetoric’ – Reclaiming What’s Become Almost A Pejorative Term

While the art of persuasion and the study of public discourse have enriched human civilization for millennia, negative connotations frequently surround contemporary notions of rhetoric. Politicians are dismissed as “all rhetoric, no action,” and talking heads on TV make everyday people sigh over “all the rhetoric” of the 24-hour news cycle. But for those who conduct research in the academic field of rhetoric – and anyone interested in the work that words can do – the term “rhetoric” still holds great hope and possibility for society. On Monday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh talked with two local scholars about cultural understandings of rhetoric, its positive uses and the ever-shifting ways in which humans communicate.

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 […]

Biden Apologizes for His Tough-on-Crime Laws

Former Vice President Joseph Biden said Monday he made a mistake in supporting tough-on-crime drug legislation in the 1980s and 1990s, citing a bill that created different legal standards for powdered cocaine and street crack cocaine, the New York Times reports. “It was a big mistake that was made,” Biden said of the measure, which was criticized as disproportionately affecting blacks. “We were told by the experts that “crack you never go back,” that the two were somehow fundamentally different. It's not. But it's trapped an entire generation.” Biden, who is deciding whether to run for the presidency, is assessing what hurdles he faces in an increasingly progressive party.

Biden Apologizes for His Tough-on-Crime Laws

Former Vice President Joseph Biden said Monday he made a mistake in supporting tough-on-crime drug legislation in the 1980s and 1990s, citing a bill that created different legal standards for powdered cocaine and street crack cocaine, the New York Times reports. “It was a big mistake that was made,” Biden said of the measure, which was criticized as disproportionately affecting blacks. “We were told by the experts that “crack you never go back,” that the two were somehow fundamentally different. It's not. But it's trapped an entire generation.” Biden, who is deciding whether to run for the presidency, is assessing what hurdles he faces in an increasingly progressive party.

Bids to Remake the Plaza de Panama Are $20M Higher Than Expected

The Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park / Photo courtesy of Balboa Park Central
Construction bids for a controversial plan to overhaul Balboa Park's central mesa have each come more than $20 million higher than earlier estimates, setting the stage for tough decisions for Plaza de Panama-overhaul supporters. Two years ago, a consultant hired by the so-called Plaza de Panama Committee projected construction on the project, which would clear cars from the center of the iconic park, would cost about $60 million. The city and other experts penciled in another $18 million in management and contingency costs, leading to a $78 million total estimate. Construction bids released late last week show the lowest bid came in almost 40 percent higher than a previous estimate – at least $83.5 million for construction alone. Other bids came in at $88.4 million and $105 million, totals the city says don't include some costlier options the city and the committee could pursue.

Big push is on for early education funding from school permanent fund

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is proposing $60 million more this year for early childhood education — part of a five-year plan to make access to preschool in New Mexico available to all 3- and 4-year-olds. Legislation has been introduced that expands the prekindergarten program in public schools and adds preschool classrooms to the school building […]

Bike ride memorial honors life of UVM student Connor Gage

University of Vermont students take part in a bike ride to honor the life of Connor Gage, who died earlier this month. Photo by Sophie MacMillan/VTDigger
[As] the afternoon snow began to fall, several dozen students pedaled their bikes across the University of Vermont campus in tribute to Connor Gage, a first-year student who had died earlier this month. The UVM Bike Co-Op, where Gage had volunteered, led the ride that culminated Tuesday in a memorial service inside the Old Mill building, where a crowd gathered to share their memories of Gage. “Connor was an amazing volunteer, he was everything our club looks for in a new volunteer,” said Connor Smith, president of the co-op. “He was motivated, he was dedicated, he came in for all his shifts, he worked late, and most of all, he really enjoyed and cherished what we do as a club.”
Smith announced an award that will be presented at the end of the spring semester to a volunteer who best embodies the spirit of the 19-year-old neuroscience major from Little Falls, New York, who died Feb.

Bilingual Family Story Time at the San Benito County Free Library

Children and their families invited to enjoy story time Thursdays from 4 p.m to 5 p.m. beginning Feb. 7.

Bill addresses sentencing options for repeat felony offenders

Sen. Dick Sears speaks during a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Photo by Colin Meyn/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SH4.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SH4.jpg?fit=610%2C407&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SH4.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1" alt="Dick Sears" width="610" height="407" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SH4.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SH4.jpg?resize=125%2C83&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SH4.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SH4.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SH4.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SH4.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SH4.jpg 5616w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Sen. Dick Sears speaks during a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Jan. 11. Photo by Colin Meyn/VTDigger
A Vermont legislative panel is exploring changes to how certain repeat offenders can be prosecuted, looking to target for sentence enhancements those with violent pasts, as opposed to offenders who have a number of felony convictions.

Bill banning sexual exploitation by law enforcement sails through House

Rep. Selene Colburn, P-Burlington, right, is congratulated by Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman, P-Middletown Springs, after a bill that she sponsored to prohibit sex between law enforcement and those being detained passed the House of Representatives at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190131LEGIE10.jpg?fit=300%2C210&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190131LEGIE10.jpg?fit=610%2C428&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190131LEGIE10.jpg?resize=610%2C428&ssl=1" alt="Chestnut-Tangerman, Colburn" width="610" height="428" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190131LEGIE10.jpg?resize=610%2C428&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190131LEGIE10.jpg?resize=125%2C88&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190131LEGIE10.jpg?resize=300%2C210&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190131LEGIE10.jpg?resize=768%2C539&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190131LEGIE10.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190131LEGIE10.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190131LEGIE10.jpg 2000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Rep. Selene Colburn, P-Burlington, right, is congratulated by Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman, P-Middletown Springs, after a bill that she sponsored to prohibit sexual acts between law enforcement and those being detained passed the House on Thursday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
The Vermont House on Thursday approved a bill that would forbid sexual conduct between a law enforcement officer and an individual being held in custody. A person convicted of the offense would face up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox.

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 Ferris wins two Grammys for “Voices of Mississippi”

Steve Ledbetter, from left, Bill Ferris, Michael Graves, and April Ledbetter arrive at the 61st annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. Historian and Mississippi native William Ferris took home a Grammy Award on Sunday for a retrospective of his work as a Mississippi folklorist. “Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris” won the Grammy Award for Best Historical Album. The 120-page book that accompanied the recordings also received a Grammy for best album notes.

Bill Schubart: Time to ban plastic bags

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bill Schubart, a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio. This piece was first aired on VPR. [Al]l of the plastic manufactured since Bakelite debuted during the Depression still litters the earth. The world is choking on an invention that's barely a century old. Today, shoppers worldwide use 500 billion single-use plastic bags a year or a million bags a minute.

Bill seeks to allow out-of-state domestic violence convictions to enhance penalty in Vermont

Legislative counsel Erik FitzPatrick, right, briefs the House Judiciary Committee on a bill pertaining to second degree aggravated domestic assault at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190123LEGIE1.jpg?fit=300%2C195&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190123LEGIE1.jpg?fit=610%2C397&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190123LEGIE1.jpg?resize=610%2C397&ssl=1" alt="Erik FitzPatrick" width="610" height="397" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190123LEGIE1.jpg?resize=610%2C397&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190123LEGIE1.jpg?resize=125%2C81&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190123LEGIE1.jpg?resize=300%2C195&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190123LEGIE1.jpg?resize=768%2C500&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190123LEGIE1.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190123LEGIE1.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190123LEGIE1.jpg 2000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Legislative counsel Erik FitzPatrick, right, briefs the House Judiciary Committee on a bill pertaining to second degree aggravated domestic assault at the Statehouse on Wednesday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
A proposed bill would allow for an increased penalty for a person charged with domestic assault in Vermont who has a previous conviction for a similar offense in another state. The legislation, H.7, would permit a prior out-of-state domestic assault conviction to bump a misdemeanor domestic assault charge in Vermont up to a felony.Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox.

Bill tackles child care ‘cliff effect’ by expanding eligibility

Most government safety net programs like welfare, Medicaid and food stamps have a “cliff effect.” It's when someone gets a raise at work that makes them ineligible for financial help from the government, and they lose benefits that are more valuable than that bump in salary. Most benefit cliffs are fairly small, but the one […]

Bill tackles child care ‘cliff effect’ by increasing eligibility

Most government safety net programs like welfare, Medicaid and food stamps have a “cliff effect.” It's when someone gets a raise at work that makes them ineligible for financial help from the government, and they lose benefits that are more valuable than that bump in salary. Most benefit cliffs are fairly small, but the one […]

Bill to increase political reporting, raise contribution limits clears Senate

An almost decade long saga may end this year if the latest effort to reform New Mexico's unconstitutional campaign reporting act makes it to the governor's desk. Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Majority Leader Peter Wirth of Santa Fe, would increase public disclosure of money spent to influence elections by requiring certain groups […]

Bills would expand Mississippi’s hate crimes law this session

Scott Crawford of the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities
Key committee chairs are not ruling out the possibility of taking up a bill on Tuesday – a key deadline day – to expand Mississippi's hate crimes law to cover crimes committed against people because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Under current Mississippi law, the penalties can be enhanced – as much as doubled – if it can be determined by a jury that the crime was committed against someone because of his or her race, ethnicity, nationality, religion or gender. On Monday, the Human Rights Campaign and others held a news conference at the state Capitol to say the penalty also should be enhanced if committed because of a person's sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. “When a person is targeted for who they are, it is not only a crime against (that person), but everyone like” that person, said Scott Crawford, of the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities. In the past few years, Rob Hill, chair of the state's Human Rights Campaign, said four transgender women have been murdered in the state.

Biotech Entrepreneur To Feds: Shutdown Is Shutting Down Our New Drug

In the early 2000s a Yale scientist discovers why cutting your arm or finger can result in nerve cells regenerating, but not so if your injury is in the spinal column. He figures out how to inhibit the inhibitors of regeneration for the central nervous system.In 2010, a company is formed to research the drug, and it passes tests with mice, rats, and monkeys.In early 2019, human clinical trials are all set to go, giving hope to nearly 17,000 people a year — many young adults — with paralyzing spinal injuries, for whom there's no reversing treatment, only physical therapy.Then comes the federal government shutdown.

Birks Dives Into The Nitty-Gritty

One parent asked if she could serve food at a high-school dance without violating the district's allergy policy.Another parent asked if community groups could hold events after school without paying a $340 fee for security.A third asked if he could touch up a building's paint job himself without violating any maintenance contracts.

Bitch Fit Forgets To Breathe

“I'm so excited I'm forgetting to breathe,” said Megan, vocalist for Bitch Fit — one of three local bands that gave the audience some breath-stopping moments during a Tuesday night when many braved the icy sidewalks and below-freezing temperatures to be warmed and welcomed by a trio of acts all celebrating their first time playing at Cafe Nine on State and Crown.

Bitter cold to hit Minnesota next week

At MPR, Paul Huttner says, “This will be the week that Minnesotans remember this winter. A major Polar Vortex outbreak is likely next week across Minnesota and much of the eastern U.S. The massive upper air low-pressure system is forecast to drive bitterly cold Arctic air deep into America next week. … Temperatures next Tuesday through Thursday could run 20 to 50 degrees colder than average across the Midwest and Great Lakes.”
In the Pioneer Press, Ryan Faircloth says, “A DFL-backed bill introduced in the Senate on Thursday would allow police or family members to petition a court to temporarily seize someone's guns if they are deemed a threat. But here's the catch — the seizure could happen with or without the gun owner having a say. The Senate bill, which has a similar companion in the House, was authored by Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St.

Black Lives Matter. Do Elections?

Scholar Barbara Ransby, known for her influential biography of Ella Baker, is a participant in the protest movement we usually call Black Lives Matter (BLM). Now she has written an account of that movement that draws heavily on her experience, Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the 21st Century. It is, as a result, as much a movement biography (or autobiography) as a history. Ransby was there, in the ranks of the leadership, and tells the story with the urgency and passion we might expect from a participant. The BLM movement burst into the public sphere in 2014 and 2015 with street protests over police murders of black young men and boys.

Blackface, Confederate reverence a decades old tradition at Mississippi universities and colleges

University of MississippiThe 1970 University of Mississippi yearbook shows a member of the Delta Psi fraternity dressed in full Ku Klux Klan robe and hat, holding two burning torches. The caption provided by the fraternity to the yearbook reads: “The leader of the ‘SECRET PSIs' prepares to open their chapter meeting.”
A photo in the University of Mississippi's 1970 yearbook shows a member of the Delta Psi fraternity dressed in a full Ku Klux Klan robe and hood, holding two flaming torches. “The leader of the ‘SECRET PSIs' prepares to open their chapter meeting,” the photo caption on the Delta Psi yearbook page reads. A photo in the 1979 Mississippi State University yearbook shows two shirtless members of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity with their faces, torsos and arms darkened. In the 1969 Ole Miss yearbook, two separate photos show members of two sororities — Chi Omega and Kappa Kappa Gamma — performing skits in blackface.

Blue Devils Roll to Victory 14

Hold off Westlake on senior nightBlue Devils Roll to Victory 14 was first posted on February 8, 2019 at 2:23 pm.

Board of Supervisors look ahead in two-day retreat

Discussion of the county's strengths and weaknesses give way to goal-setting.

Board Told: Keep Birks Report Card Secret

A consultant advised New Haven's Board of Education not to put any part of the schools superintendent's upcoming performance review on paper, other than a single summary sheet at the end.Otherwise, he warned, the public would find out what's really in it, through a public-records request.

Bob Stannard: America, time for some soul searching

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, an author, musician and former lobbyist. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. “‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect
for the elderly and revere your God.”— Leviticus 19:32Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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I was raised by a middle class parents of Protestant faith.

Bob Stannard: Don’t get me Roger Stone

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, an author, musician and former lobbyist. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. “These sores do not heal unless they are treated with anti-fungal medicine. They may last for years and can sometimes drain small amounts of pus.” – Dr. Adam Sheridan regarding embedded splinters. Odds are that at some point in your life you've had a splinter.

Bolsonaro government reveals plan to develop the ‘Unproductive Amazon’

Commodities on the move on the completed southern section of the BR-163 highway. A planned extension of the BR-163 could result in major new deforestation along a 300-mile corridor stretching northward from the Amazon River to the Surinam border. Image by Roosevelt Pinheiro courtesy of Agência Brasil. With Brazil's Bolsonaro administration not even a month old, the new president's Chief of Strategic Affairs last week announced plans to build a bridge over the Amazon River in Pará state in order to begin developing what he called an “unproductive, desertlike” region ­– a reference to the Amazon rainforest. Maynard Santa Rosa, a retired army general and one of seven military ministers in the new government, said the administration plans major construction projects centered on the Trombetas River, which flows into the Amazon from the north, so as to integrate the region into the “national productive system.” The projects to be built include a hydroelectric dam on the Trombetas River, a 1.5 kilometer (0.9 mile) bridge over the Amazon at the small town of Obidos, and an extension of the BR-163 highway from Santarem north to Brazil's frontier with Surinam, a distance of roughly 480 kilometers (300 miles).

Book Launch: ‘Violence Against Women at the Frontiers of Globalization’

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 3:00PM to 4:00PMWashington, DCUnited StatesIndira Lakshmanan, Sarah Aziza, Alison Brysk, Mary Ellsberg, Susan MarkhamPulitzer Grantee Sarah Aziza will participate in a panel moderated by Pulitzer Center Executive Editor Indira Lakshmanan examining the impact of gender violence as a worldwide issue. RSVP Today

Book Review: Beijing Bastard

Beijing Bastard

By Val Wang

GOTHAM BOOKS

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.

Booming Beacon

The latest on 13 developments underway in cityBooming Beacon was first posted on February 8, 2019 at 1:11 pm.

Boost Education for Youth in Solitary With Books, Workbooks, Graphic Novels, Audiobooks

Advocates often urge the dismantling of the school-to-prison pipeline. But for many of our youth, prisons are already their schools. In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education first demonstrated that “separate but equal” is an unacceptable doctrine within our school system. Yet the doctrine of separate and unequal continues today through the placement of a disproportionate number of minority students and students with disabilities in youth detention facilities, where they receive educational services that are often underfunded and inadequately staffed. Kristabel Stark
The most drastic “separate and unequal” of today is experienced by the many youth who are still put in solitary confinement on a regular basis, where they receive fewer individualized education services, fewer instructional minutes and fewer opportunities to learn important skills like speaking and writing — even compared to their incarcerated peers.

Border Deal Doesn’t Limit ICE Immigrant Detention

Democrats came up short in their quest to limit detention of immigrants as part of a bipartisan border deal reached this week, reports the Wall Street Journal. The arcane math left lawmakers citing different numbers and activists on both sides crying foul. A dispute over funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds emerged as a sticking point in the negotiations. Democrats wanted fewer beds and sought to prioritize the detention of criminals over other immigrants, such as people who overstayed their visas. Republicans wanted more beds and no constraints on which immigrants ICE can detain.

Border Lands: The Wall’s Impact on Property Rights

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 9:30AM to 11:00AMWashington, DCUnited StatesKiah Collier, Yuliya PanfilPulitzer Center and New America program explores the political, legal and human dimensions of what a border wall might mean for thousands of families and organizations in the United States. RSVP Today!

Border Report: The Fight Against Cross-Border Sewage Slogs on

Signs warn of dangerous sewage contamination on a hiking trail near the Tijuana River. / Image via Shutterstock
Sewage from Tijuana continues to plague San Diego's border beaches. In early December, a ruptured pipe that was part of the Poniente Collector — a wastewater collector in southeastern Tijuana — began spewing as much as 7 million gallons of sewage into the Tijuana River. A diversion system was able to reduce the flow at the border days later, but the damaged collector pipe continued to spill about 4.4 million gallons a day into the river, the Union-Tribune reported at the time. Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina said that according to current gauges of the Tijuana River, there is roughly 50 million gallons a day of sewage-polluted water flowing toward the Pacific Ocean.

Border Report: The U.S. Is Sending Asylum-Seekers Back to Uncertainty in Mexico

A girl peers out from an encampment at the U.S.-Mexico border where she and several hundred people waited to present themselves to U.S. immigration to seek asylum. / Photo by David Maung
Roughly two weeks ago, the Department of Homeland Security began sending asylum-seekers who came through the San Ysidro Port of Entry back to Mexico, where they will await their legal proceedings. Dubbed Migration Protection Protocols, the policy will eventually be expanded to whole families and to individuals who request asylum after crossing between ports of entry. There are also plans to expand it to other parts of the border, like El Paso. But there are still many questions in San Diego and Tijuana about how it will all play out.

Borneo study explores links between farm expansion and deforestation

JAKARTA — A slowdown in both the expansion of industrial plantations and forest loss across Borneo in 2017 provides strong evidence of a correlation between the two. The findings are laid out in a new study by scientists at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), who used time-series satellite images to quantify forest loss, industrial plantation expansion and their overlap each year from 2000 to 2017 in Borneo. The island, home to half of the world's oil palm plantations, is shared by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, but the study omitted the latter because of its negligible area of industrial plantations. The area of forest lost in the region studied amounted to 2,500 square kilometers (970 square miles) in 2017 — a sharp decline from the 2016 peak of 6,100 square kilometers (2,360 square miles). Also in 2017, industrial plantations expanded by 1,100 square kilometers (425 square miles) in Indonesian Borneo, also known as Kalimantan, and by 500 square kilometers (190 square miles) in Malaysian Borneo.

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 sides now: The donors who gave big to Tim Walz … and to Jeff Johnson

In the course of the governor's race last year, at least 51 people and political groups made donations to both Republican candidate Jeff Johnson and his opponent, now-DFL Gov. Tim Walz. To the average political observer, that might be something of a head-scratcher: aren't most people who are into politics enough to donate to campaigns pretty firmly in either the Republican or the Democratic camp? And if you write a check to one politician aren't you cancelling it out by writing a check to his or her opponent? Not necessarily. Some of the people who are most into politics, in fact, donate to both sides.

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Community Community College of Vermont graduate medical assistants

News Release — Brattleboro Memorial Hospital
Jan 22, 2019
Contact:
Gina Pattison
Phone: 802.257.8314
BMH/CCV Graduates Third Class of Medical Assistants
January 22, 2019 (Brattleboro, VT) – Addressing a room of new graduates at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Joyce Judy, Community College of Vermont President, asked Monday's class of new Medical Assistants to reflect on how they had felt 14 weeks ago upon entering their training program. Without hesitation, the responses echoed each other: “nervous,” said some; “overwhelmed,” replied others. And when Judy then asked them to describe their feelings upon graduating, the responses were equally unanimous: confident proclamations of “excited,” and “grateful,” were met all around with nods and smiles. Monday's celebration marked the third class of graduating Medical Assistants (MAs) from the College to Career certification program developed between Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH) and Community College of Vermont (CCV). “Each year of CCV's partnership with BMH, I have seen the benefits for our students and for the community.

Breaking down the numbers: Diversity in the House

Democratic Speaker of the House Brian Egolf kicked off the 54th legislative session last week by acknowledging the diversity he saw arrayed before him in the Legislature's lower chamber. “We start with the most diverse House of Representatives our state has ever seen,” the Santa Fe Democrat told a chamber teeming with fellow lawmakers, their […]

Breathing into the New Year

Mindfulness is a challenging practice, especially for overachievers, like many of us in public media. But it's a better modus operandi than the alternatives: mindlessness, reactivity and denial.

Brendan Towers Sold For $6M+

A Fairfield County developer sold a 60-unit Whalley Avenue apartment complex for $2.2 million more than he paid for it before fixing it up, in one of the latest land transactions in town.

Brewers and distributors reach truce in hopes of allowing take-home beer sales at breweries

A compromise between breweries and beer distributors would make it possible for people to buy beer to take home from breweries. Erika Rich for The Texas Tribune
Beer brewers and distributors and have been battling for years over what can be bought and sold at breweries across Texas. This week, two key groups in the fight finally signed a truce. The Texas Craft Brewers Guild, which represents the interests of local breweries, and the Beer Alliance of Texas, which represents the interests of beer distributors, have inked an agreement proposing that Texans be allowed to buy up to two cases of beer per person, per day in places where beer is brewed. Texas is the only state in the country where customers cannot purchase beer from local breweries to consume at home, according to the Texas Craft Brewers Guild.

Brewery Twenty-Five helps raise funds for Camp Fire victims

Proceeds from Resilience IPA go to the town of Paradise.

Brewing up a Baler partnership

San Benito High School Life Skills students develop business and leadership skills in cooperation with local coffee business.

Bridgeport Saw It And Fixed It

Municipalities need to adapt to changing technologies to keep up with their residents.

Bringing Coast Guard Secrecy to Court

In 2017 and 2018, I exposed a little known practice by the U.S. Coast Guard of detaining suspected drug traffickers aboard cutters and holding them incommunicado for weeks or even months. In a pair of stories for The New York Times Magazine and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, I found that many of these detainees remained shackled to the decks of ships 24 hours a day, except for occasional trips to use the bathroom. On some ships, they were so exposed that they were routinely drenched by rain or sea spray. While held at sea, these detainees, mostly Central and South American fishermen, some of whom were later convicted of drug smuggling, were barred from contacting their consulates or attorneys. Even their families were left in the dark about what had happened to them.

Broadband bill becomes law at lightning speed, but questions persist about transparency at electric co-ops

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/Report For AmericaGov. Phil Bryant shakes hands with Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves after signing the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. Even though a proposal to give rural electric cooperatives the authority to offer broadband sped its ways through the legislative process, some have questioned whether the utilities are responsive to their member-clients. Wednesday morning, flanked by legislators, electric cooperatives members and others at a desk set out in the middle of the state Capitol, Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act. The Republican governor praised the efficiency and cooperation in moving the legislation quickly through the process – the first bill to reach his desk this session.

Broadway in San Antonio Announces 2019-20 Season on Heels of Hamilton

Fans of "Dear Evan Hansen" will be pleased to see it's among Broadway in San Antonio's 2019-2020 season offerings, along with some perennial favorites. The post Broadway in San Antonio Announces 2019-20 Season on Heels of Hamilton appeared first on Rivard Report.

Brockhouse Asks Fire Union to Come to Contract Negotiating Table

District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse has asked the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association to start contract negotiations with the City. The post Brockhouse Asks Fire Union to Come to Contract Negotiating Table appeared first on Rivard Report.

Brockhouse to Put Mayoral-Run Rumors to Bed This Saturday

Councilman Greg Brockhouse will make a campaign announcement on Saturday, but it's still unclear which office he will seek – District 6 or the mayor's. The post Brockhouse to Put Mayoral-Run Rumors to Bed This Saturday appeared first on Rivard Report.

Bronx Program Wins $1 Million to Replicate Detention Alternative in Another City

NEW YORK — A Bronx nonprofit will receive a $1 million grant from The Rockefeller Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to research, document and expand its youth violence prevention and alternative-to-incarceration programming to another U.S. city. Supporters of the model hope it will set a new standard for the rest of the nation. BronxConnect was one of the 10 organizations to receive the grant money as part of the Communities Thrive Challenge that seeks to fund grassroots community-driven programs providing alternatives to detention. The program is a collaboration between the two philanthropies, which support criminal justice reform. “I would say, ‘All great things come from the Bronx,'” said the Rev. Wendy Calderón-Payne, the executive director of the Urban Youth Alliance, the parent organization of BronxConnect.

Brookside nursing facility’s owners appeal license revocation

Brookside Nursing Home in Hartford dropped from a five star rating to a two star rating since a group of investors took control of the facility in late 2015. File photo by James M. Patterson/Valley News
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Brookside_Nursing_Home.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Brookside_Nursing_Home.jpg?fit=333%2C500&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Brookside_Nursing_Home.jpg?resize=333%2C500&ssl=1" alt="Brookside_Nursing_Home" width="333" height="500" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Brookside_Nursing_Home.jpg?w=333&ssl=1 333w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Brookside_Nursing_Home.jpg?resize=83%2C125&ssl=1 83w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Brookside_Nursing_Home.jpg?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w" sizes="(max-width: 333px) 100vw, 333px" data-recalc-dims="1">Brookside Nursing Home in Hartford dropped from a five star rating to a two star rating after a group of investors took control of the facility in late 2015. It is now closed. File photo by James M. Patterson/Valley News
This story by Nora Doyle-Burr was published by the Valley News on Feb. 6.

Broomfield homeowners’ lawsuit alleges “forced pool” oil drilling is unconstitutional

Under the new MOU with Broomfield, Extraction would abandon the Lowell Pad, pictured here, and put in a new 19-well site named Livingston just southwest of Lowell, between Wildgrass and Anthem developments. (Ted Wood/The Story Group)
" data-medium-file="https://www.coloradoindependent.com/wp-content/uploads/Lowell-Pad2_014-2-300x200.jpg" data-large-file="https://www.coloradoindependent.com/wp-content/uploads/Lowell-Pad2_014-2-256x171.jpg">A group of Broomfield homeowners on Wednesday filed a lawsuit that challenges the nearly century-old practice that allows oil and gas companies to drill under their property using “forced pooling.”
Forced pooling gives oil and gas companies the right to drill — without property owners' consent — as long as the company makes a “reasonable” offer and at least one homeowner signs the lease. With that sole thumbs up, the company can then ask the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the state body regulating the industry, to “pool in” the remaining land — over the objections of other owners. More than half the states in the country have some variation of this law, which originated in the 1930s as a way to insure that a property owner who didn't want oil and gas rigs on his property could not deprive his neighbor of the right to develop them. Once the pooling happens, non-consenting property owners have fairly little recourse.

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

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org

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.

Bruce Pandya: Ethnic studies, a high-schooler’s view

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bruce Pandya, of East Montpelier, who is a 10th grader at U-32 High School. He is a member of the Vermont Coalition for Ethnic and Social Equity In Schools. Earlier this month, I spoke at the Statehouse for the opening of the People's Power Lobby.Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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I spoke in favor of H.3, which is a bill about reviewing current state-mandated standards and suggesting adding ones that include the histories and contributions of ethnic and social groups who have been marginalized for too long.

Brunson to be first African American head of state medical association

Dr. Claude Brunson has been appointed executive director of the Mississippi State Medical Association, making him the first African American in that role and the only African American currently running a state medical association. Mississippi State Medical AssociationDr. Claude Brunson, named executive director of the Mississippi State Medical Association
“Physicians in Mississippi are on the front lines in the fight to make Mississippi a healthier state, and I am excited to be able to focus every day on supporting my colleagues through our state medical association,” Brunson said in a statement. “MSMA has for decades been a vital advocate for health care in Mississippi, and that role is more important today as we all face a rapidly changing health care environment.”
The 160-year-old Mississippi State Medical Association is arguably the most powerful lobbying group for physicians in the state, with more than 5,000 members. Brunson replaces the previous executive director Charmaine Kanosky, who left in December after nearly 25 years with the organization. Few doctors in Mississippi have held more leadership roles than Brunson, an anesthesiologist who also served as president of the MSMA in 2013.

Buckle-up session watchers, it’s crossover week

This week is bound to be the busiest of the 2019 legislative session and the most frustrating for lawmakers — it's crossover week. Every bill, file and resolution that's going to survive must meet the crossover deadline: each must be approved by its chamber of origin and passed to the other by Feb. 6. Measures that don't make it through the necessary hoops in time are dead for the year. The deadline for House bills to move to the Senate and vice versa is the one hard and fast point on the session timeline for which leadership maintains a firm adherence.

Bug bombs are duds at killing insects yet may pose harm to people, study finds

By Eli Wolfe
Fair Warning
A new study has found that bug bombs, which are used by millions of Americans to kill insects such as cockroaches, often fail to eradicate those pests and yet expose consumers to potential health risks. Researcher Zachary DeVries applying insecticide as part of a recent study on bug bombs.Researchers from North Carolina State University reported last week that their tests on several types of bug bombs showed that they killed, at most, 38 percent of the wild cockroaches in the spaces where they were used. Previous studies have shown that the aerosol devices — which douse a room with a fine mist of insecticides and are more formally known as total-release foggers – don't penetrate crevices and cracks where bugs can thrive. The new study revealed an additional problem: bug bombs deposit significant amounts of insecticide where humans are likely to come into contact with it, such as on tabletops, kitchen counters and floors. When the North Carolina researchers swabbed rooms exposed to bug bombs, they discovered that many surfaces were coated by pesticide residue that lingered for several weeks.

Bug Bombs Are Duds at Killing Insects Yet May Pose Harm to People, Study Finds

iStock
A new study has found that bug bombs, which are used by millions of Americans to kill insects such as cockroaches, often fail to eradicate those pests and yet expose consumers to potential health risks. Researchers from North Carolina State University reported last week that their tests on several types of bug bombs showed that they killed, at most, 38 percent of the wild cockroaches in the spaces where they were used. Previous studies have shown that the aerosol devices — which douse a room with a fine mist of insecticides and are more formally known as total-release foggers – don't penetrate crevices and cracks where bugs can thrive. The new study revealed an additional problem: bug bombs deposit significant amounts of insecticide where humans are likely to come into contact with it, such as on tabletops, kitchen counters and floors. When the North Carolina researchers swabbed rooms exposed to bug bombs, they discovered that many surfaces were coated by pesticide residue that lingered for several weeks.

Bug Bombs Fail At Killing Insects But May Pose Harm to People, Study Finds

A new study has found that bug bombs, which are used by millions of Americans to kill insects such as cockroaches, often fail to eradicate those pests and yet expose consumers to potential health risks. Researchers from North Carolina State University reported last week that their tests on several types of bug bombs showed that they killed, at most, 38 percent of the wild cockroaches in the spaces where they were used. Previous studies have shown that the aerosol devices — which douse a room with a fine mist of insecticides and are more formally known as total-release foggers – don't penetrate crevices and cracks where bugs can thrive. The new study revealed an additional problem: bug bombs deposit significant amounts of insecticide where humans are likely to come into contact with it, such as on tabletops, kitchen counters and floors. When the North Carolina researchers swabbed rooms exposed to bug bombs, they discovered that many surfaces were coated by pesticide residue that lingered for several weeks.

Built with rehabilitation in mind, Texas state jails are now viewed by lawmakers as a “complete failure”

Texas lawmakers are hoping to reform state jails during the 2019 session. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune
Twenty-five years ago, Texas lawmakers created a new state jail system designed to keep low-level drug offenders out of overcrowded prisons. Unlike in state prisons, inmates convicted of nonviolent drug offenses would spend less time in jail and more time getting rehabilitative services while on probation, a period of time where an offender is released from detention and is supervised to ensure good behavior. But advocates and lawmakers say the system has failed. Attitudes about criminal justice shifted soon after the system was put in place.

Burke Mountain announces renaming of trail and list dedication

News Release — Burke Mountain
Jan. 26, 2019
Contacts:
Burke Mountain Academy
Jodi Flanagan
Email: jflanagan@burkemtnacademy.org
Phone: 802-427-8012
Burke Mountain
Jessica B. Sechler
E-mail: jsechler@skiBurke.com
Phone: (802) 626-7394 | C: (610) 704-3405
East Burke VT – January 26, 2019, Burke Mountain and Burke Mountain Academy (BMA) announced the naming of a ski trail and dedication of ski lift in honor of Don Graham in recognition of his innumerable contributions to Burke, BMA and the broader community over the past 50 years. The trail formerly known as “Lower Fox's Folly” has been dedicated “Graham Slam” and the new Leitner-Poma T-Bar installed on Burke Mountain in the summer of 2017 has been dedicated “The D-Bar.”
At a reception at the Burke Mountain Hotel, Kevin Mack, Director of Resort Services, presented Mr. Graham with a commemorative Burke Mountain Trail sign and Rick Spear, President of Leitner-Poma North America, unveiled a plaque that will be installed at the base loading area of the “D-Bar.” Also honoring Mr. Graham at the ceremony were Burke Mountain Receiver Michael Goldberg and Burke Mountain Academy Head of School Willy Booker. Mr. Graham was drawn to the area when his oldest son, Steve, began attending school at Burke Mountain Academy and shortly after purchased a home in the area that he and his wife Ingrid have made their winter residence for close to 50 years. Over the years, all five of the Graham's children attended BMA as well as four of their grandchildren.

Burlington council decides not to put City Hall Park renovation plan before voters

Doreen Kraft, executive director of Burlington City Arts, speaks at Monday's city council meeting. Photo by Aidan Quigley/VTDigger
BURLINGTON — The Burlington City Council voted not to include an advisory question about its plans to renovate City Hall Park on the March Town Meeting Day ballot in a contentious 6-6 vote Monday night. With the vote, the battle over the park appears to be resolved with the city moving ahead with its current construction plans.Get all of VTDigger's daily news.You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Daily
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The vote followed lengthy discussion by the council and more than 50 members of the public, much of which focused on a debate on which was the more democratic process — the years-long process that led to the current plan, or holding a vote of the full citizenry.