Save intact forests for humanity's sake, urge experts The world's largest forests can help solve some of the biggest problems facing humanity, but only if we move to safeguard them, argue two experts in a New York Times op-ed published ahead of Earth Day. Tom Lovejoy, a distinguished Amazon rainforest researcher who serves as Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation, and John Reid, an economist who applies economic modeling in service of forests and wildlands, make a case for protecting the planet's last “intact forest landscapes” — areas of at least 500 square kilometers of unbroken natural tree cover — for the role they can play in reversing three critical challenges: “climate change, the sixth great extinction crisis and the loss of human cultures.” Tropical rainforest in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler Climate change mitigation and other ecosystem services Intact forests have a disproportionate importance when it comes to sequestering carbon with intact forests in the tropics storing 40 percent of above-ground carbon despite representing only 20 percent of tropical forest cover, note Lovejoy and Reid. That means conservation of intact forests is one of the most cost-effective climate change mitigation mechanisms. And beyond sequestering carbon, intact forests afford other ecological benefits, including stabilizing precipitation patterns and temperatures locally and regionally. In fact there are fears that continuing deforestation, fragmentation, and degradation of the tropics' largest intact forest landscape, the Amazon, could trigger water shortages in South America's agricultural heartland and megacities.

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¡Viva Hemisfair! Weekend Festival Regards Past As Prologue

The official theme of HemisFair '68 was “The Confluence of Civilizations in America.” Much of that same language is used today to promote SA's Tricentennial. The post ¡Viva Hemisfair! Weekend Festival Regards Past As Prologue appeared first on Rivard Report.

‘Buzzed’ threats against McSally earn Tucson man 15 mos. in prison

A series of threatening phone messages directed at Rep. Martha McSally led to a sentence of more than a year in federal prison for a Tucson man. Steve Martan was told by a federal judge Wednesday that he'll also spend three years on probation after completing his stay behind bars.

‘Dangerous disparities’ found among U.S. states in life expectancy and other health measures

Susan Perry

Creative Commons/David QuitorianoA baby born in West Virginia in 2016 had a healthy life expectancy of 63.8 years — 6.5 fewer years than a child born that same year in Minnesota.Minnesota's life expectancy — 80.8 years — is the fourth highest in the nation, behind only Hawaii, California and Connecticut, according to a major study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).As for healthy life expectancy — the years that an individual can expect to live in full health — Minnesota ranks first among all states and the District of Columbia, with 70.3 years.In fact, Minnesota's health measures are reported as strong throughout the study, at least relative to other states.The study is part of an annual assessment known as the “Global Burden of Disease,” which is described as “a comprehensive effort to quantify health internationally.” This JAMA study focuses on health outcomes in the United States between 1990 and 2016. Specifically, the study's authors looked at 33 diseases and injuries and 84 risk factors on a state-by-state basis. They used the data to estimate various health measures for each state, such as life expectancy, disability rates and the incidence and prevalence of specific diseases, disorders and injuries.The study shows that the United States is making some notable improvements in its health, but those improvements are not being shared equally across the country.“We are seeing dangerous disparities among states,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, the coordinator of the study and the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, in a released statement. “Unless and until leaders of our health care system work together to mitigate risks, such as tobacco, alcohol, and diet, more Americans will die prematurely, and in many cases, unnecessarily.”Troubling trendsBoth life expectancy and healthy life expectancy are clear reflections of those disparities in risk. And, as this study shows, the residents of certain states are much more likely to die an early death and to live fewer healthy years than those living elsewhere in the country.

‘East Los High,’ other shows suggest ‘crumbling’ barriers to representation, says actress/producer

Sonja Perryman's love for storytelling developed early in life, along with her sense of its potential to impact lives. She has vivid memories of reading “The Baby-Sitters Club” books as a girl and telling her father about one particular character in the series. “I was like, ‘Yeah, she has diabetes, and she's always thirsty and always hungry,'” Perryman recalled in a conversation this week on St. Louis on the Air . “And I remember my dad's face going pale – well, as pale as it could go, but he looked like he saw a ghost – and he was like, ‘What were her symptoms again?'” Two weeks later, Perryman's father told her he had diabetes, something he would go on to struggle with the rest of his life.

‘Eight Nights’ adds music magic to Festival of Lights

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 27, 2011 - One of the great things about music is the serendipitous events that can blossom from an unexpected combination of different musical styles brought together for a live performance. For a prime example of how a single concert featuring diverse musicians can create something far beyond what anyone could have anticipated, look no farther than a performance that took place Friday, Dec. 2 at Off Broadway featuring the Brothers Lazaroff, Rabbi James Stone Goodman, Will Soll's Klezmer Conspiracy band and Ben Kaplan's band, the Vaad.

‘Fired up about Rondo’: Land-bridge concept for St. Paul neighborhood gets a boost

Peter Callaghan

The Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul isn't the only potential location for the region's first freeway cap — known as a land bridge. Other neighborhoods ripped in two by the 1960s freeway construction have been mentioned, especially North Minneapolis near The land bridge has now become the primary focus as a means of closing the chasm that divided the neighborhood in the 1960s and cost many residents their homes and businesses. The national ULI group followed by a year a similar examination by local ULI members who looked at land bridges in general, including a proposed one over I-35W near Cedar-Riverside. “There's an old saying in Rondo that there are only two days that count,” Anderson said before the panel's presentation Friday.

‘Five Points’ is ambitious, audacious and touching; Cantus at MacPhail

Pamela Espeland

It was exciting going into the Ritz Theater for the world premiere of “Five Points,” and even more exciting coming out. We'd seen something ambitious, audacious and touching. We felt like dancing down 13th Ave. NE.“Five Points” is part of Theater Latté Da's NEXT 20/20 initiative, a commitment to develop 20 new musicals or plays with music. Artistic director Peter Rothstein told Saturday's opening night crowd, “This is wholly original.

‘Fly Guy the Musical’ to open SteppingStone season

Pamela Espeland

Imagination, diversity, empowerment, belonging, hope and joy define SteppingStone Theatre's 31st season. And a dose of silliness. Playing to diverse audiences of kids and families, SteppingStone is also committed to the young people on stage as makers of art and contributors to the culture of their community.The season begins on Oct. 12 with Austin Zumbro's “Fly Guy the Musical,” adapted from “Fly Guy” the book by Tedd Arnold. What happens when a boy named Buzz and his new friend Liz take their pet flies on a field trip to a flyswatter factory?

‘I do not plan to resign,’ McQueen tells lawmakers over latest testing missteps in Tennessee

Candice McQueen adamantly told state lawmakers Wednesday that she will not step down as Tennessee's education commissioner over the state's bungling of standardized tests for a third straight year. One day after House Democrats called for the embattled leader to resign, McQueen reported that students were testing successfully online on the third day of TNReady. She said the problems of the first two days had been addressed — at least for now. The commissioner opened a two-hour legislative hearing with an apology to students, parents, and educators for technical problems that stalled testing and affected tens of thousands of students this week. “We were completely devastated when we heard that districts were again having technical issues yesterday,” she said of issues now being attributed to a “cyber attack” on the data center operated by testing company Questar.

‘It’s like art and science together’: Curiosity shop teaches taxidermy

St. Louisans looking for a new date night activity can add taxidermy to the list. The Creaky Crow, a four-month-old curiosity shop on Cherokee Street, now offers hands-on taxidermy classes. Aspiring taxidermists learn the basics of animal preservation, from skinning to stuffing, while enjoying a glass of wine.

‘Legally Blonde’ to open Artistry’s 2018-19 season; CraftBOWL at ASI

Pamela Espeland

Who says women in theater can't do it all? Sally Wingert, the best-known actress in the Twin Cities, directed a play at the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company in 2017. Sara Marsh, founder and artistic director of Dark & Stormy Productions, performs in all of the company's plays; when her director had to drop out of “The Maids” earlier this year, Marsh took on that role, too. Which included directing herself. Austene Van splits her time between acting and directing; Pillsbury House Co-Artistic Producing Director Faye Price does both.Angela Timberman, who has graced many Twin Cities stages and recently had a hit with a one-woman Fringe show about a State Fair pickle, is about to lead her third production for Artistry, the theater in the Bloomington Arts Center.

‘Minnesota’s Quiet Crusader’ Don Fraser reflects on his career and today’s politics

Doug Grow

Quiet, humble, the politician without an ego? Arvonne Fraser listened to the descriptions of her husband and smiled.“There are people who think that Don doesn't have an ego and that he wasn't ambitious,'' she said, as her husband sat near her, stirring somewhat uncomfortably.It was clear the former Minnesota congressman and Minneapolis mayor was a bit concerned with where his wife was headed in this conversation about his life and times. But after all the decades together — the political victories, the one painful defeat, the policy disagreements the two have had, the personal tragedies they have suffered — Don Fraser knows that once Arvonne Fraser is rolling, there's no slowing her down.“Talk about ambitious!'' she said. “He's always been ambitious, he's always had a plan for how to get there.''A biography, “Don Fraser, Minnesota's Quiet Crusader,'' recently has been published. Written by Iric Nathanson, historian and frequent contributor to MinnPost, it underscores the fact that a man who seems so quiet — almost shy — on the outside has been a significant player in the events that have shaped our times.

‘Suddenly they are serving as mouthpieces’: What’s troubling about Sinclair’s ‘must-read’ scripts

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of local television stations in the country, recently required its news anchors to read a scripted statement that accused other media outlets of disseminating "fake news." On Friday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh went behind the headlines to discuss the issues raised by the statement that had led to public outcry. The broadcast company faces backlash from media critics for the conservative slant of their stations' news reporting and other programming decisions.

‘Suddenly they were serving as mouthpieces’: What’s troubling about Sinclair’s ‘must-read’ scripts

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of local television stations in the country, recently required its news anchors to read a scripted statement that accused other media outlets of disseminating "fake news." On Friday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh went behind the headlines to discuss the issues raised by the statement that had led to public outcry. The broadcast company faces backlash from media critics for the conservative slant of their stations' news reporting and other programming decisions.

‘We are the voice:’ St. Louis studednt leaders reflect on 50th anniversary of King assassination

On March 14, students Cardinal Ritter College Prep walked out of their school and through their Grand Center neighborhood in St. Louis, stopping on the steps of St. Francis Xavier College Church. Among the Cardinal Ritter students who took part in the walkout, were two members of the school's student council: Deja Brown, 17, is senior class president, and Darius White, 16 who is a sophomore class officer.

‘We are the voice:’ St. Louis student leaders reflect on 50th anniversary of King assassination

On March 14, students Cardinal Ritter College Prep walked out of their school and through their Grand Center neighborhood in St. Louis, stopping on the steps of St. Francis Xavier College Church. Among the Cardinal Ritter students who took part in the walkout, were two members of the school's student council: Deja Brown, 17, is senior class president, and Darius White, 16 who is a sophomore class officer.

‘Annihilation trawling’: Q&A with marine biologist Amanda Vincent

Marine biologists have been raising concerns about bottom trawling for years. The fishing technique involves a boat dragging a weighted net along the seafloor, scooping up whatever marine life swims or sits in its way. In their pursuit of commercially valuable seafood, not only do bottom trawlers unintentionally kill or injure non-targeted creatures as bycatch, they can disrupt the marine habitat itself and kick up sediment plumes that smother nearby organisms. While the technique is widely acknowledged to be destructive, seahorse expert Amanda Vincent is calling attention to a new problem. She and her colleagues are finding that in parts of Asia and elsewhere, bottom trawlers are no longer targeting particular species at all. Instead, she says, it's any and all sea life they're after, for processing into chicken feed, fishmeal and other low-value products.

‘Backcountry Rescue in Vermont’ panel discussion at Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum April 12

News Release — Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum
March 26th, 2018
Deb Taylor 802-253-9911, ext. 202 –
According to SnowSports Industries America, human-powered snowsports, which includes backcountry skiing, snowboarding and touring, is becoming one of the fastest growing sectors of the winter sports industry making it no surprise that Vermont's highly specialized rescue teams have responded to their fair share of calls this winter. Teams have mobilized to search for dozens of lost parties including incidents in Killington, Middlebury Gap and Bolton Valley. Six soldiers were caught and rescued after being caught in an avalanche in Smuggler's Notch in March. A tragic fall through the ice at Bingham Falls in Stowe required a difficult water rescue.

‘Boom and bust’ cycle of deep-sea trawling unsustainable, study finds

Fishing in the remote waters of the deep sea isn't easy. But with technological advancements, fishing boats have pushed farther and deeper into the oceans, frequently using bottom trawl gear — giant fishing nets weighted down with metal attachments that drag along the seafloor — to scoop up huge amounts of fish from depths of up to 2,000 meters (6,560 feet). Deep-sea trawling, however, can be extremely destructive for fish populations, while providing minimal economic benefits, researchers have found. Catches from deep-sea trawling are also grossly underreported, the researchers conclude in a new study published in Frontiers in Marine Science. “Considering that the search for fishable resources, though partly ‘buffered' by some recent regulatory positions … is progressively moving deeper and deeper, the picture that emerges from this study is definitely worrying,” Antonio Pusceddu, professor of ecology at the University of Cagliari, Italy, who was not involved in the study, told Mongabay.

‘Buy American’ Policies Boost Private Industries’ Use of Prison Labor: Study

The populist slogan “Buy American” increasingly means buying goods produced by America's thriving prison-based industries, says a new paper. “The public sentiment against outsourcing has…offered prison labor programs unique opportunities for expansion under the rubric of providing a competitive alternative to low-cost foreign workers,” writes Lan Cao, a professor of international economic law at the Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University. Cao argues that the increasing use of low-wage or free prison labor by companies seeking to manufacture in the US also calls for a re-examination of claims that such labor is rehabilitative for inmates on the grounds that it provides “moral, psychological, and economic benefits to prisoners and communities.”
Instead, Cao maintains, the economics of prison labor programs, which are strongly focused on productivity and cost reductions, suggest that rehabilitation is, at best, a secondary goal to generating profit. The use of inmates as a revenue-generating workforce should actually be re-framed in a context that connects it to its real purpose “as reflected in facts on the ground – market, profit and employment.”
The Federal Prison Industries website claims that prison jobs make inmates 24 percent less likely to recidivate, and 14 percent more likely to find employment after release. But these claims have not been verified by long-term studies, according to Cao.

‘Connecting kids with who they are’: Why school diversity advocates are optimistic about Chancellor Richard Carranza

By the time Tony Ozuna was a sophomore in Tuscon, Arizona, he had little passion for school — but he loved the mariachi music his mother blasted in his home and his father played professionally. So after a social studies teacher at his high school started a mariachi group that toured the city in sharp suits, Ozuna eagerly auditioned to play the vihuela, a small guitar. It proved to be a turning point in Ozuna's life. While some of his friends got caught up in the wrong crowds, Ozuna was too busy with practice, sometimes dragging on until 9 p.m., to find trouble for himself. To be part of the group, his mariachi teacher insisted that he keep up his grades, show up to class, and behave both in school and out.

‘Crusaders’ who reformed state’s psychiatric hospitals highlighted in new book

Andy Steiner

Back in 2013, Susan Bartlett Foote was newly retired and not really looking for anything to occupy her time. Then the project of a lifetime appeared out of nowhere.Foote, professor emerita at the , the public is invited to a free book launch, reading and dessert reception for “The Crusade for Forgotten Souls.” To RSVP, go here.

‘Cyber druid’ memorialized in posthumous book

A photo of Ivan McBeth, a druid who lived and taught in Worcester, posted on Facebook
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Ivan McBeth" width="610" height="458" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1600w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A photo of Ivan McBeth, a druid who lived and taught in Worcester, posted on FacebookThis story is by freelancer Susan Green, a longtime Vermont journalist. In his chronicle of the Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar described the Druids, a mysterious Celtic priesthood primarily based in the British Isles. He emphasized that, among many other practices of this highly educated cult, all learning had to be communicated orally. For reasons lost to history, they were not inclined to jot down any of their knowledge. Hopefully, two millennia later the ancients are OK that a Vermont Druid wrote a 248-paperback published posthumously on April 1.

‘Don’t Wait for the District to Do the Right Thing’

Christy Heiskala/ Photo by Adriana Heldiz
Christy Heiskala taught her children from a young age their body was theirs alone, and they didn't need to hug, kiss or touch anyone they didn't want to, including family. No one could touch them without their consent. Just two weeks into the school year at Carlsbad's Pacific Rim Elementary in September 2007, Heiskala's third grade daughter came home from school and said her teacher, Raymond Firth, had touched her inappropriately. She was the last one in class filling out her planner as Firth began to massage her shoulders, rub her chest and moved down to her crotch area, she told her mom. She left the classroom stunned and Firth said he would see her the next day, as if nothing had happened.

‘Five-Alarm Fire’ As IL Prisons Run Out of Money

The Illinois Department of Corrections says a major cash crunch has it struggling to keep its facilities running, reports NPR Illinois. The warning came Wednesday at a Senate budget hearing. Some lawmakers say that was the first time they were hearing the situation was so dire. Back in 2016, prison officials were on the brink of a crisis at Western Illinois Correctional Center. John Baldwin, director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, says the city-owned utility in Mt.

‘How do you tell someone they’re dying?’ and other difficult questions – plus some answers

Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air included the sort of conversation that often doesn't happen as often or as early as it should among loved ones – the kind about planning for the end of life. Joining host Don Marsh for the discussion was Cara Wallace, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Saint Louis University. Her research focuses on overcoming barriers to end-of-life care as well as improving quality of life, and she also educates health-care students, professionals and the general public about facing issues surrounding death, illness, loss and grief.

‘I’m making a new life here’: A student’s journey to Newark after Hurricane Maria

Kristal Sepulveda can cite the exact moment when her old life ended and her new one began: 5:48 p.m., Oct. 18, 2017. Four weeks earlier, Hurricane Maria had crashed into Puerto Rico, leaving her hometown of Arecibo in tatters. Kristal's aunt had died after the storm and her school was shuttered, yet she could still imagine things returning to something like normal — until 5:48 p.m. on Oct. 18.

‘It felt so good’: On Day of Visibility, older transgender women look back

Eighty-year-old Wisper Lowe, a transgender woman from Belleville, grew up during World War II, a period that demanded patriotism and strict gender roles. Lowe was assigned male gender at birth. When she was 5, her mother caught her putting on lipstick. “And her response was to smear the lipstick all over my mouth and then push me onto the front porch where all the neighborhood kids were playing in the street — and lock the door,” Lowe said. As a child, and later as an adult, Lowe's life has been typical of transgender women her age.

‘It’s enough now’: Mayor Baraka calls for pause on new charter schools in Newark

The big story

As charter schools have proliferated in Newark — they now enroll about one in three students— the big, unspoken question has always been: How many charters is enough? On Thursday, Mayor Ras Baraka made his answer crystal clear: “It's enough now.”
The charter sector's rapid expansion has led to an exodus of students and funding from the district, resulting in school closures and staff reductions. In an interview with Chalkbeat on Thursday, Baraka said that if state funding remains flat and charters continue to grow, “it will suck the life out of traditional schools.”
Rather than wait for that to happen, he joined other charter skeptics — including the Newark and New Jersey teachers unions — in calling for a moratorium on new charters or the expansion of existing ones. The catch, of course, is that Baraka has no control over the city's charter schools. The state education department is the only entity that can approve or reject charter applications.

‘IUCN Green List of species’: A new way to measure conservation success

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the world's most widely used information source on a species' conservation status, may soon get a makeover. The Red List measures the decline in populations of plants and animals, and classifies species into groups on the basis of their extinction risk. But what if, despite years of conservation efforts, the threat category of a species doesn't budge. Does this mean that conservation efforts have been unsuccessful? Does it mean that the species is not recovering?

‘Lila & Theron’ wins national award for popular fiction

News Release — Independent Book Publishers Association
April 18, 2018
Manhattan Beach, CA – The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) – – announced over the weekend the winners in the prestigious IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program, now in its thirtieth year. This year's esteemed indie book award program recognized excellence in books published during calendar year 2017. From close to 1,500 entries, one gold winner was named in each of fifty-four categories. Silver winners were also named in each category. Lila & Theron by Bill Schubart SILVER WINNER
Publisher: Charles Michael Publishing ISBN: 978-1-6826-1356-6
A love story set in 19th century rural Vermont in which the exigencies of survival define the character and lives of the principal characters.

‘Lost’ fairy lantern spotted in Malaysian Borneo after 151 years

In 1866, the Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari chanced upon a peculiar plant in the rainforests of western Sarawak, in Malaysian Borneo, where he had set up camp. He made detailed sketches of the tiny plant, and many years later, formally described it as Thismia neptunis. There have been no records of the species in the scientific literature ever since. But in January last year, a team of botanists spotted the plant again, 151 years after it was first recorded, in the same rainforest. The scientists also took what they believe are the first ever photographs of the species.

‘Make Vermont Great Again’ message exposes rift in Republican party

The header of an email sent out to Vermont Republicans this week. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="MVGA" width="610" height="325" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 957w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">The graphic at the top an email sent out to Vermont Republicans this week.Trying to fit supporters of Gov. Phil Scott and President Donald Trump in the same tent is proving treacherous for Vermont's Republican Party. The governor is enjoying a 65 percent approval rating, according to the latest Morning Consult poll, while one of the most recent indicators of support for Trump — a 2017 Gallup poll — puts his approval rating in the state at 26 percent, the lowest in the nation.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Yet the state's Republican Party is betting their base is on board with Trump's messaging, repackaged for Vermont.

‘Nation’s Report Card’: Oklahoma Students Drop in Reading Proficiency

Oklahoma students lost ground in reading proficiency in the past two years, erasing gains they had made in 2015, newly released data from the “Nation's Report Card” show. Nationally, students' reading scores held steady. The decline was significant and could raise questions about the efficacy of the state's third-grade retention policy. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister attributed 2015 gains to the policy. In math, Oklahoma fourth-graders' scores slipped while eighth-grade students held steady, the data show.

‘New Dance Horizons VI’ pairs renowned choreographers with St. Louis companies for world premieres

Several weeks' worth of intensive collaboration will culminate this Saturday as three local dance companies present brand-new works during a performance that is really three shows in one. On Thursday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh discussed what makes the “ New Dance Horizons VI: Live at the Grandel ” event particularly unique. Joining the conversation were Brian Enos, artistic director of The Big Muddy Dance Company , and Terence Marling, artistic consultant for Dance St. Louis .

‘One City’ Initiative Takes Shape

The One City Initiative website is live. The logo for the initiative continues to evolve. And ideas and plans for 60 days of summer adventures and the expo to kick things off are coming together.

‘Ropeless’ consortium aims to end entanglements of declining North Atlantic right whales

North Atlantic right whales face an increasingly uncertain future. Despite two decades of intensive monitoring and protection, their numbers have hit a seven-year skid, with an estimated 451 right whales remaining. Now, however, a newly formed team of engineers, scientists, conservationists and fishers hope they've snagged a possible strategy to save these endangered whales from their most significant remaining threat: entanglement in fishing gear. The approach hinges on developing so-called ropeless fishing gear. The goal of creating this modified equipment is to get rid of the long lines that connect traps, pots and nets to buoys or markers on the surface.

‘Smart City’: As Buzzword Spreads, Areas Vie for Innovation Designation

If all goes according to plan, the City will by year's end name an new innovation zone, a pilot area to test so-called smart city initiatives in San Antonio. The post ‘Smart City': As Buzzword Spreads, Areas Vie for Innovation Designation appeared first on Rivard Report.

‘Smarter Justice,’ Bail Reforms Make Headway Across U.S., Advocates Say

Policies of prosecutors elected on progressive platforms around the U.S. show promise to reduce the nation's incarceration totals, two experts told a gathering of state attorneys general. Jeremy Travis of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation called “remarkable” and “stunning” a set of new policies announced by newly installed Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. Krasner told his staff last month to offer shorter prison sentences in plea deals, decline to file marijuana possession and many prostitution charges, and explain case-by-case why taxpayers should pay thousands of dollars per year to incarcerate people. Travis suggested that Krasner's practices reflected some of the findings of a Misdemeanor Justice Project at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which he formerly headed. The project “seeks to understand the criminal justice response to lower-level offenses, from arrest to disposition.”
During a discussion of bail reform, Travis questioned why suspects charged with misdemeanors “should be put in jail [pretrial] if the typical sentence is non-custodial.”
Another panelist at the meeting, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, described the new prosecution trend in some cities as “smarter justice.”
Frosh noted that since 2013, police in his state have been empowered to issue citations instead of arresting people for many lower-level offenses, a change he said has “reduced the workload for judges, police and prosecutors.”
Travis and Frosh spoke on a panel Friday in Washington, D.C., at a conference organized by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine for the National Association of Attorneys General on “Reducing Violence: Innovations That Work.”
Their main subject was efforts around the nation to eliminate or reduce the use of cash bail and base pre-trial release decisions on a scientific assessment of the risk that defendants will commit more crimes or fail to make future court appearances if they are released.

‘So there I was, figuring it out myself’: A Brooklyn teen on why the city’s specialized high school prep wasn’t enough

Stuyvesant High School once loomed large for high school senior Hiba Hanoune. The school is one of New York City's specialized high schools, long considered crown jewels of the city's education system. The schools also look very different than the city, with just 11 percent of admissions offers for next year's freshman class going to black and Hispanic students. Under Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city has taken some steps diversify those student bodies, including expanding programs that provide students with test prep. The numbers haven't budged, though. In front of a standing-room crowd at the Brooklyn Public Library, Hanoune recently shared her less-than-ideal experience with the city's DREAM program, which is supposed to help students prepare for the specialized high school exam — and explained how she eventually created a successful high school experience without Stuyvesant.

‘Suitcase Killer’ Executed After Assailing Prosecutor

Before he was executed, Texas “Suitcase Killer” Rosendo Rodriguez called for the FBI to investigate the Lubbock County District Attorney and medical examiner, the Houston Chronicle reports. After a seven-minute final statement urging onlookers to write other men on death row, calling for a boycott of Texas businesses and referencing his Catholic faith, the condemned San Antonio man died by lethal injection. Rodriguez was the fourth man executed this year in the Lone Star State. The 38-year-old lost a final appeal – which stemmed from claims prosecutors withheld information regarding a lawsuit against the medical examiner – less than half an hour before he was scheduled to die at 6 p.m.
Rodriguez decried the “thousands” he alleged were wrongfully convicted by Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell. Powell declined to address the condemned man's final words against him.

‘The Lake Effect’ to be screened April 12 at Statehouse

News Release — House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish & Wildlife
March 30, 2018
Christy Ketchel
Phone: 802-828-2266
Fax: 802-828-2244
Film: The Lake Effect
Thursday, April 12, 2018, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
State House, Montpelier
Montpelier, Vermont. The House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor will hold a viewing of the film “The Lake Effect” on Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
The film will be shown in Room 10, located on the first floor of the State House. The public is invited to attend, and a short question-and-answer period will take place after the film. For information about this event, contact the Committee at 802-828-2266 or e-mail If you plan to attend and need accommodation, please contact Christy Ketchel at by April 9, so that we can arrange those in advance.

‘This giant of a man’: Reflections on loss of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years after his death

Mike Jones remembers being “shocked but not surprised” when he heard that Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had been murdered. The assassination of the civil rights leader occurred a half-century ago this week in Memphis, Tennessee, when Jones was a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. “The forces in America that have been against black progress have always taken black lives,” Jones said during a St. Louis on the Air conversation marking the 50-year anniversary of King's death.

‘Tough Love’ for Mississippi Gun Offenders: An Out-of-State Prison Term

On a cool, breezy and overcast morning this past December, U.S. Attorney Michael Hurst called a press conference on the steps of the U.S. District Court in downtown Jackson, Ms.
President Donald Trump, who had appointed Hurst the previous June in a second wave of U.S. attorney nominees, described him as sharing “the president's vision for ‘Making America Safe Again.'”
A sign with a large red button and “Project EJECT” written across the center leaned on a tripod easel. Hurst had invited media, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Christopher Freeze, and clergy to stand by him as he unveiled Project EJECT (Empower Jackson Expel Crime Together). “Today is a new day,” Hurst began, adding, “(T)he message to violent criminals in Jackson is simple: you break the law, you terrorize our neighborhoods, and you will be ejected from our community.”
Hurst has charged 35 people since he first announced the anti-crime initiative in late 2017. In the next two months, 13 people are going to trial before a federal jury of their peers to decide whether they will be among the first ejected from Jackson under the strategy that Hurst, Freeze and Sessions embrace, with (qualified) support from the City of Jackson. But the program has already prompted skepticism from community residents, criminologists and reformers from all sides of the political spectrum.

‘We’ve seen a fundamental shift’: The local impact of evolving U.S. immigration policies

St. Louis has been home to Saadiq Mohammed for about three years now – ever since he fled Somalia to seek safety and education in the United States. But along with college coursework and soccer at Saint Louis University these days, Mohammed has something else weighing on his mind on a daily basis: whether his request for asylum will be approved. “It's really tough,” he told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh during Monday's show.

‘Whiplash Approach’ Leaves U.S. Prison Reform in Limbo

In what the New York Times calls a “whiplash approach” to prisoner reentry, at the end of the Obama administration, the Justice Department created a prison school system, pledged money for technology training and promised to help prevent former inmates from returning to prison. Then the Trump administration began undoing their work. Budgets were slashed, the school system was scrapped and studies were shelved. Nearly a year and a half later, the White House has declared reducing recidivism and improving prisoner education a top priority, echoing some of the policies it helped dismantle. That reflects tension between Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and adviser, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a hard-liner whose views on criminal justice were forged at the height of the drug war.

“A friendly vote on the court”: How Greg Abbott’s former employees could help Texas from the federal bench

On Nov. 4, 2013, Greg Abbott filed his 30th lawsuit against President Barack Obama's administration. This time, then-Attorney General Abbott was objecting to Obama's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which had issued a rule warning employers not to impose blanket bans on hiring felons. It was “absurd,” Abbott said; it “jeopardized public safety.” And it went beyond what a federal agency should be allowed to do, Abbott's office argued. The lawsuit got off to a bad start; a federal district court tossed it out on a Wednesday the next August.

“I adore her”: In Houston, mourners celebrate Barbara Bush’s life

HOUSTON — Under a spread of flowers, in a closed silver casket, at the front of a brick-facade church in Texas' most populous city lay the former first lady, the wife and mother to presidents and governors and a force in her own right. And on their way to see her were thousands of mourners — celebrators, they might correct you — young and old, liberal and conservative, many of the men in Houston Astros hats and many of the women in Barbara Bush's characteristic bright blue and pearls. Bush, a sharp-tongued literacy advocate, a frank political critic, a national figure bold enough to cradle an infant AIDS patient in 1989 as the disease remained a national taboo, died Tuesday at 92. On Friday, many of her admirers gathered at a Houston church to say goodbye — because, as 8-year-old Eva Factor put it, “it's not every day that a first lady dies who lives in Houston.”
Bush's funeral will be held Saturday at St. Martin's Episcopal Church.

“Insulted” pro-Trump Spurs fans feel forced to choose between their team and the president

Not long ago, Cassandra Casanova would plan her weeks around the NBA playoff schedule. She would wear her San Antonio Spurs gear and spend days talking about her favorite team, dissecting its postseason matchup. Not this year. “I have no idea when the games are,” she said. “I could not care less.”
Casanova ignored the Spurs' playoff opener over the weekend, a Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, and she said she doesn't feel as though she missed a thing.

“It’s our form of apartheid”: How Galveston stalled public housing reconstruction in the 10 years after Ike

GALVESTON — Sometimes, money is the easy part. After Hurricane Ike ravaged this island town in September 2008, the federal government poured millions of dollars into local coffers to jump-start the recovery process. The results are obvious nearly 10 years later: Near the Strand, a historic street lined with 19th-century buildings, workers pour concrete for road projects, while others install streetlights and sidewalks a few blocks away. Still, about $76 million of that recovery money remains unspent: The dollars earmarked to rebuild public housing for the city's poorest residents. After Ike's head-high floodwaters and 110 mile-per-hour winds damaged three Galveston public housing developments beyond repair, the city demolished all 569 units — and the city's housing authority promised that it would rebuild all of them.

“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."

“Affordability” Loophole Caught

City officials flagged a loophole in a land development deal worth at least $240,000, just in time to change it before construction begins.

“Appealing for Justice”: Jean Dubofsky, former Colorado Supreme Court Justice

“Appealing for Justice”
A panel featuring Jean Dubofsky, former Colorado Supreme Court Justice
Jean Dubofsky, former Colorado Supreme Court Justice and civil rights attorney, who successfully argued against Colorado Amendment 2, Romer v. Evans, in the United States Supreme Court in 1992, is speaking in Boulder! This was a landmark US Supreme Court case dealing with sexual orientation and state law. Dubofsky is the featured speaker for a panel discussion panel discussion concerning discrimination in its various forms: race, gender, and sexual orientation. Other panelists include:
— Mardi Moore, Executive Director of Out Boulder County
— An immigration attorney
— A local high school student
The panel discussion will be moderated by former US Congressman David Skaggs. When: Sunday, April 8, 11:45 am Where: First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Boulder, 1128 Pine St., Boulder, CO 80302
Come celebrate the recent publication of the book about Dubofsky, Appealing for Justice: One Colorado Lawyer, Four Decades, and the Landmark Gay Rights Case: Romer v. Evans, by Susan Berry Casey.

“Cuba Adrift,” Seen Three Ways

Police and Musicians." alt="Hank Paper">We're on a sunlit stretch of a city block. From the architecture it could be any city center south of the United States, or someplace in Europe. That the building in the foreground is worn down helps narrow it down. But not as much as the subjects.

“Explorer” Keeps Cop Dream Alive

Jamarr Daniels teared up as he told how his father ran the streets and died when Jamarr was 12. His five older brothers all followed their dad into the streets. Jamarr determined one day to become a cop.Thwarted in that quest this week, he made a last-ditch appeal to commissioners who held his fate in their hands.

“I Really Did Kill Those Babies”

by Peter Elkind
Convicted murderer Genene Jones, suspected for decades of killing more than a dozen children while working as a nurse at San Antonio's charity hospital, offered several chilling confessions while in a Texas prison, according to court testimony by a prosecutor today. During an October 1998 prison interview for a parole review, Jones tearfully told a parole officer “I really did kill those babies,” testified Bexar County Assistant District Attorney Jason Goss, who is leading the prosecution on five additional murder charges. On another occasion, Goss told the court, a fellow inmate wrote the parole board opposing Jones' release, explaining that Jones had told her: “I didn't kill those babies. The voices in my head did.”

The alleged admissions surfaced during a pretrial hearing in state court in San Antonio, Texas. That's where Jones, now 67, faces five new murder charges in the mysterious deaths, which took place in the pediatric intensive care unit at Medical Center Hospital in 1981 and 1982.

“It’s The Brotherhood And The Music”

“This is a song about friends, and this is what today is about,” said Richard Neal of the Birdmen right before performing another song by his friend and former bandmate, the late James Velvet, who was on the minds and in the hearts and voices of almost too many people to mention at Cafe Nine Sunday afternoon.

“Monuments Of New Haven” Documented

You may know the Connecticut state bird (the American robin). And perhaps the state flower (the mountain laurel).You may even know the state fish (correct: the shad).How about the official Connecticut state hero? Who even knew we had one!

“Not My Decision”

As some Democrats back home called on embattled U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty to resign in the wake of revelations of her mishandling a staff sexual harassment episode, two prominent Democrats interviewed in New Haven held their fire.

“Queer, Mama. Crossroads” brings visibility to invisible trauma

The cast of “Queer, Mama. Crossroads.” (Courtesy photo.)Ebo Barton, in character and on stage at Gay City's theater space, spoke from behind a ribbon of yellow caution tape. Barton plays the character of a queer mother who was taking their child out for ice cream before being shot in a deadly encounter with the police. “I always knew it was going to be like this,” Barton said in character, beside fellow actors Kamari Bright and Simone Dawson. “You don't have to get ready if you stay ready.

“Red flag” law for Colorado in the works, the last shot of getting gun control through both chambers this session

Colorado lawmakers are mulling legislation that would allow police officers to temporarily remove guns from people suspected of being a threat to themselves or to others. Details are yet to be finalized and the legislation is yet to be introduced, but for weeks lawmakers have been quietly working on red flag legislation, also known as extreme risk protective orders or gun violence prevention orders. Democratic gubernatorial candidate and current Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne revealed that work was underway during Wednesday night's 9News debate. Lynne said if lawmakers did not act, the Hickenlooper administration was considering stepping in. Gov. John Hickenlooper equivocated when reporters asked about the plan on Thursday during a news conference.

“Trash Talk” Has Game

A vivid painting stands tall, from the floor to well above the average person's head, a riot of color and faces, a collage of brushwork, print, and found objects. It depicts chaos, but it's not chaotic. It has a point to make, and you know that before you see the writing in a small panel of the piece. It's hard to make out at first. You have to get close to see it.

“Walking While Black” Wins Paul Tobenkin Award

by ProPublica
ProPublica reporter Topher Sanders and the Florida Times-Union's Ben Conarck are the recipients of this year's Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award for their joint investigation, “Walking While Black.” The story examined Jacksonville, Florida's enforcement of pedestrian violations, showing sharp racial disparities in who gets stopped and penalized. ProPublica social visuals and graphics producer Lucas Waldron and data fellow Kate Rabinowitz, as well as ProPublica/Vox video fellow Ranjani Chakraborty, also contributed to the project. Sanders and Conarck looked into the issue after the emergence of viral video showing an African-American man receiving a ticket for jaywalking and not having an ID while crossing a street. The reporters found that these encounters are common in Jacksonville, which has 28 separate statutes governing how people walk in the city — including failing to cross a street at a right angle, and for not walking on the left side of a road when there are no sidewalks. Their analysis, using data from local and state agencies, also showed that these pedestrian tickets — typically costing $65, but carrying the power to damage one's credit or suspend a driver's license if unpaid — were disproportionately issued to black residents, almost all of them in the city's poorest neighborhoods.

“Whatever’s Your Darkest Question, You Can Ask Me.”

On a winter morning, Anna* walked the aisles of an herbal-medicine store, picked up a bottle each of blue cohosh and black cohosh, along with a plastic bag of pennyroyal tea, and drove to the topless bar on the edge of town where she worked. There, she met Jules, another dancer. They performed on a small stage with crystal curtains, the green light of an ATM flashing on their left, until 9 p.m. The women, both in their 20s, then drove to the Motel 6 where Jules lived and entered her dim room on the second floor, which smelled of grape cigars. Anna pulled out the tinctures and tea and explained the plan. She was going to help Jules try to have an abortion.

#MeToo Shines Light on Chronic Tampon Shortage in Prisons

The #MeToo movement is helping to raise awareness of a chronic shortage of feminine hygiene products in prisons, reports the Associated Press. Pushed by #MeToo advocates, state legislatures, corrections officials and the federal government are working to supply prisons and jails with adequate products, train staff, and raise awareness of the issue. The problem is so widely recognized that it is popping up in popular culture: A recent episode of “Orange Is the New Black,” a Netflix show about a woman's prison, focused on the lack of tampon access. Maryland is on the verge of enacting a new law that mandates free access to menstrual products for prisoners. Virginia legislators passed a measure early this month.


Capillary Waves." alt="">Some high schools put on an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet. Cooperative Arts High School is staging an immersive, site-specific, feminist rewrite of Hamlet.Written by a drama teacher, Capillary Waves shoves Hamlet out of the spotlight and instead centers the story on Ophelia. In Shakespeare's version, she's the jilted lover who commits suicide. In Co-Op's version, she's the heroine who talks back to men, rescues Hamlet from his uncle's plots and is ultimately murdered trying to save him.

$1M Coming For Sinking Homes

The State Bond Commission has approved Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's recommendation to release $1 million to provide grants to homeowners in Westville and Woodbridge to fix their sinking homes.

$33M dairy plant could bring 46 jobs in next two years

This article by Chris Mays was published in the Brattleboro Reformer on April 15. BRATTLEBORO — Town officials are involved in talks about developing a $32.5 million dairy processing plant at the Exit One Industrial Park. “The project will create 46 new jobs in the next two years at this facility, with no less than 51 percent made available to households of low or moderate income,” Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland wrote in a memo last week, noting that such a description would make plans more favorable for grants. “We can expect substantial job creation as the project reaches its full potential at some point late in its first five years of operations.”
On Tuesday night, the Select Board will decide whether to approve a $1 million grant application to the Vermont Community Development Program and commit to using money from the town's utility fund to improve water/sewer capacity for about $840,000. The grant would help Brattleboro Development Credit Corp.

$35 million for school safety will go toward training, but not hiring, of school resource officers

The Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday voted unanimously to include $35 million for school safety programs in Colorado's 2018-19 budget. In doing so, they laid out guidelines for how the money can be used that alleviate one of the major concerns of opponents. Both the House and the Senate voted to include a large allocation for school safety grants in the budget. The footnote in the budget amendment said it could be used for physical improvements to facilities that improve security and for "resource security officers,” without specifying whether that meant hiring or training or both. Some Democrats and community groups objected strongly to hiring more school resource officers because they worry about the criminalization of children, particularly students of color.

$55 Million Software Firm Looking at Beacon

Plan would create industrial complex on Main Street$55 Million Software Firm Looking at Beacon was first posted on March 30, 2018 at 9:30 am.

$80 million Pompano debt-relief scam: First of $32 million in seized assets auctioned off

By Joseph A. Mann
A team of Miami-based attorneys has taken the first steps in auctioning off tens of millions of dollars in assets seized after a nationwide debt-relief scam headquartered in Pompano Beach was shut down last year by a District Court injunction. The post $80 million Pompano debt-relief scam: First of $32 million in seized assets auctioned off appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

1 Morris Cove Block, 2 Foreclosures

Two lenders quietly became the owners of two properties on the same residential block in Morris Cove during separate, simultaneous foreclosure auctions.

1 year in: St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson answers 10 questions from Don Marsh, listeners

Wednesday marked the first anniversary of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's time in office. The first woman elected to lead the Gateway City, she joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh for a conversation both reflecting on her first 12 months in the role and looking ahead. In addition to saying she will sign current aldermanic legislation that would, respectively, give subpoena power to the Civilian Oversight Board and increase workforce inclusion goals , Krewson touched on the effort to create a buffer zone around St.

10 Kids, 9 Adults Flooded Out Of Homes

Nineteen people were flooded out of their Goffe Street apartments Monday when heavy rainfall and a blocked water drain resulted in up to two inches of water seeping into eight different familes' homes.Six of those families were relocated to an area hotel. One family opted to spend the night with relatives. One family decided to stay put in their water-logged room.

10 questions about school resource officers in Colorado, answered

Colorado lawmakers have responded to demands to make schools safer with a plan to spend $35 million on school security, including school resource officers. Proponents of this idea see it as basic common sense that having armed law enforcement on school grounds makes them safer – but opponents think they don't make schools safer, especially for the students who end up arrested or ticketed for what would have been a school discipline matter a generation ago. A decision by the bipartisan Joint Budget Committee to allocate the money to training for officers and other school employees – and make explicit that it cannot be used to hire additional officers – alleviates one of the concerns opponents had. They'll be working to nudge more of this money toward approaches they support, like training in restorative justice. As we wrote about this debate, we realized we had some questions.

10 Years In, Film Festival Tackles Inconvenient Truths

When Eric Desatnik founded the Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY) ten years ago, environmental documentary filmmakers still had to lay the groundwork for why the general public should care about broad issues like climate change and food sustainability.

10 шагов, необходимых небольшим СМИ, чтобы начать копаться в журналистике данных

© Pexels/Lukas – CC0
Деятельность медиа-индустрии нарушена. Падение доходов от рекламы заставляет многих издателей с тревогой смотреть на свои балансы. Особенно страдают небольшие СМИ. Как следствие, многие из них не решаются вкладывать средства в журналистику данных, опасаясь, что это приведет к дополнительным расходам. В Великобритании, которую считают авангардом журналистики данных, местным СМИ приходится несладко.

13 candidates are competing in a historic Newark school board race. Here’s what happened when they met this week.

The 13 candidates vying for three spots on the Newark school board had just finished introducing themselves at a forum this week when a whistle sounded from the back of the college auditorium. With that, a column of demonstrators marched down the aisle of the auditorium on Rutgers University-Newark's campus clapping and chanting, “The whole system is corrupt, public schools don't have enough.”
It was a sudden jolt to an otherwise sleepy race. The new members elected on April 17 will join the first nine-member board to have full authority over the city's schools since 1995, when the state seized control of the Newark school system. And yet, for all its historical significance, this election season has been quieter than in the recent past. The lower volume is partly due to the departure of state-appointed superintendents whose policies provoked a groundswell of resistance.

13 Hillhouse Students Become Licensed Guards

Nineteen-year-old Tytainya Gaines is a certified emergency medical responder, and she's working her way through an emergency medical technician program. On Tuesday she also became a licensed unarmed security officer.

13 Long-Awaited New Cop Cruisers Arrive

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

14 Independent News Sites Changing Cuban Journalism

Between 2001 and 2017, 14 media organizations were launched in Cuba that are already making an impact on and off the island. Most of their teams have fewer than a dozen journalists and many of them are volunteers. All these media sites have reporters working from Havana, but 50 percent have offices or newsrooms in foreign cities, such as Miami, Mexico City and Valencia in Spain. The sites cover a broad range of topics: politics, society, the environment, the economy, technology, culture and sports. Most of them have received threats or have been harassed by fake social media accounts.

147 Indianapolis educators still don’t know where they will work next year

Nearly 150 Indianapolis Public Schools educators don't know where they will teach next year, more than six months after the district announced that many high school teachers would be required to reinterview for their positions. The administration displaced 418 certified staff for 2018-2019 as part of the closings of three of its seven high schools. Many of those educators have found positions, but 147 current high school staffers have not, according to the administration. If the teachers are not hired for a new position, they remain on the displaced list. If they do not find positions by July 15, they will be placed in vacancies that match their license area, according to Mindy Schlegel, who heads human resources for the district.

2 lawmakers threatened on social media during gun votes

State Reps. Laura Sibilia and John Gannon take testimony during a school safety forum at Twin Valley Middle High School on March 18, 2018. Photo by Chris Mays/Brattleboro Reformer
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Laura Sibilia John Gannon" width="610" height="453" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1122w, 1125w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">State Reps. Laura Sibilia and John Gannon take testimony during a school safety forum at Twin Valley Middle High School on March 18. Photo by Chris Mays/Brattleboro ReformerThis story by Chris Mays was published by the Brattleboro Reformer on April 4, 2018.

2 New Haveners Win Pulitzer Prizes

James Forman Jr., who wrote a powerful book documenting the roots and unintended tragedies of drug-war mass incarceration, and Jake Halpern, who told the story of a local Syrian immigrant family's resettlement in the New Haven area in the Age of Trump, each won journalism's highest honor Monday: the Pulitzer Prize.

2-Minute News Quiz

Five questions about this week's stories…2-Minute News Quiz was first posted on April 21, 2018 at 8:40 pm.

2-Minute News Quiz

Five questions about this week's stories2-Minute News Quiz was first posted on April 15, 2018 at 11:59 pm.

200 performers set to take audience on musical journey to Chaco Canyon, home to ancestral tribes

Jim Henry has yet to visit New Mexico's Chaco Canyon , the hallowed, high-desert landscape once home to ancestral Pueblo tribes. But the choral director has already fallen in love with the place, as have his music students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. That's due to a new symphony inspired by Chaco from local composer Gary Gackstatter , who is a music professor at St. Louis Community College-Meramec.

2018 Campaign Finance Dashboard

With an open contest for the governor's office, two U.S. Senate seats, and up to five U.S. House races considered competitive by national groups, one thing's certain: Minnesota is going to see a lot of campaign fundraising this year. To help make sense of all this, we're keeping track of two key numbers — amount raised by the candidates and cash on hand. Of course, this is only one part of the campaign spending picture, as political parties, PACs and outside expenditure groups are sure to play a big role in the 2018 election. Note: Total amount raised is the amount raised by candidates for the entire 2018 election cycle. Update: We've updated the dashboard with first quarter data for candidates for governor and U.S. House.

2018 Marketplace Enrollment in Kansas

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released final summary enrollment data on April 3, 2018, for the fourth open enrollment period of the federally facilitated health insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Kansas Health Institute has prepared statewide maps showing marketplace enrollment.

2018 Primaries Elections: A look at the three District 3 Candidates

Three locals, Patricia Loe, Peter D. Hernandez, Jr., and Richard A. Perez, Sr., step up to run for the District 3 supervisorial seat vacated by Robert Rivas, as he runs for state assembly.

2018 Primary Election: Judge of the Superior Court, No.2

As Judge Tobias gets ready for retirement, four new candidates are vying for the position of Judge of the Superior Court in San Benito County

2018 Primary Election: San Benito County Supervisor District 4

Incumbent Supervisor Jerry Muenzer is being challenged for the first time by four residents who think they can do a better job at curbing growth and fixing roads.

206,000 Kids Saw School Violence since Columbine

Friday is the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school massacre in 1999, and high-school students nationwide are staying out of school to mark the occasion. The Washington Post has spent the past year determining how many children have been exposed to gun violence during school hours since Columbine. Beyond the dead and wounded, children who witness the violence or cower behind locked doors to hide from it can be profoundly traumatized. The federal government does not track school shootings, so the Post pieced together its numbers from news articles, open-source databases, law enforcement reports and calls to schools and police departments. The count now stands at more than 206,000 children at 211 schools.

3 быстрых способа проверки изображений на смартфоне


Это пошаговое руководство объясняет, как выполнить обратный поиск изображений, чтобы проверить, действительно ли фотография, которую вы увидели в социальных сетях, настоящая. Когда в 2016 году в социальных сетях появилась фотография бывшего южноафриканского президента Джейкоб Зума, предположительно танцующего с двадцатилетней певицей Бэйбс Водумо, южноафриканцы радостно делились ею, где только можно. На самом деле это был фотошоп из двух разных изображений. Результат был прекрасным примером того, как из крупицы истины вырастает дезинформация. В данном случае, репутация бывшего президента как дамского угодника, который на политических митингах действительно танцевал на сцене с топ-музыкантами, помогла усыпить бдительность многих, и они не усомнились в подлинности снимка.

31 Apply to Become LAPD’s Next Top Cop

Thirty-one people had applied to become Los Angeles' next police chief as the application deadline passed last Friday, reports the Los Angeles Times. Few of the candidates' names have emerged, and the full list won't be released by the city's Personnel Department. But there is at least one surprising omission: Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala, considered a top contender, said Monday she did not apply. Steve Soboroff, president of the Police Commission, declined to discuss the applicants in detail, saying he wanted to protect the integrity of the search. He said the applicants for the job, one of the highest-profile positions in U.S. law enforcement, included “highly, highly qualified candidates.”

The search for Chief Charlie Beck's replacement began in January, when he announced he would retire this summer.

36,000 American teachers benefiting from cryptocurrency after company funds their DonorsChoose requests

New books, musical instruments, and other materials are set to flow into nearly 36,000 American classrooms after a cryptocurrency company made an unprecedented donation to a website that helps teachers obtain the supplies they need. The company, Ripple, spent $29 million to cover every classroom materials request that appeared Tuesday on DonorsChoose, the nearly two-decade-old education crowdfunding site. The site estimates that a million students will benefit from the donation. Stephen Colbert, the comic who sits on DonorsChoose's board, unveiled the gift on his show Tuesday night. In 2009, he announced a $4.1 million donation for college-readiness requests, and more recently he funded every request by teachers in his home state of South Carolina.

4 in 10 American adults are now obese, CDC reports

Susan Perry

America's obesity epidemic is showing no signs of slowing down.According to new data from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 39.6 percent of adults in the United States were obese in 2015-2016, up from 33.7 percent in 2007-2008. Severe obesity is also on the rise. The report says 7.7 percent of Americans were severely obesity in 2015-2016, up from 5.7 percent in 2007-2008.That means four in 10 adults in the United States are obese, and one in 13 is severely obese. The CDC's findings are based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which the agency has been conducting annually since the 1970s. Obesity in adults is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, while severe obesity is a BMI of 40 or more.There is some good news — relatively speaking — in the report.

46% of Albertine Rift species may be threatened by 2080, study finds

East Africa's Albertine Rift extends nearly a thousand miles from the border between northwestern Uganda and northeastern DRC down through Rwanda and Burundi to Malawi. Dotted with mountains and pockmarked with lakes, the region is considered one of the most biodiverse places on the continent and is home to many animal and plant species that evolved in isolation and are endemic – meaning they're found nowhere else in the world. But agriculture and climate change are putting many of these species at risk, according to a study published recently in Biological Conservation. Its findings indicate nearly half of the Albertine Rift's endemic species may become threatened with extinction by 2080 if current climatic trends continue. The Albertine Rift region contains several isolated mountain ranges and lakes, and much of it is already contained within protected areas.

460 Kids Poisoned By Lead In 2 Years

A young mom vacated a Fair Haven apartment where flaking lead paint poisoned her 3-year-old. Then she found out that her new apartment across the river in Fair Haven Heights is also covered with the heavy metal, and her child is at risk again.

4th Elm City Folk Festival Stomps To Cafe Nine

Now in its fourth year, the Elm City Folk Festival has reached beyond the borders of the city and state to put together two nights of music and 12 acts at Cafe Nine on the corner of State and Crown.

5 Questions: Brett Feller

Beacon hardware store owner5 Questions: Brett Feller was first posted on April 8, 2018 at 9:56 am.

5 Questions: Chris Reisman

Owner of Hudson Valley Vinyl5 Questions: Chris Reisman was first posted on April 20, 2018 at 5:32 pm.

5 Questions: Jim Birmingham

Beacon Sloop Club sailing instructor5 Questions: Jim Birmingham was first posted on March 31, 2018 at 8:08 am.

5 Questions: Stephanie Dignan

Creator of FrankenStuffs5 Questions: Stephanie Dignan was first posted on April 16, 2018 at 9:46 am.

50 years later, Illinois environmental protection structure has deteriorated

Nearly 50 years ago, Illinois became the first state in the nation to adopt a comprehensive Environmental Protection Act. The act, passed in 1970, established a triumvirate of offices to protect the state's environment, setting up a system that could legislate, rule and enforce. The Pollution Control Board, a quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial independent agency, would adopt environmental regulations and hear cases on those regulations, the Institute for Environmental Quality would provide independent and focused research for the board, and the Environmental Protection Agency would serve as an enforcement arm, conducting inspections and finding violations. “It was a great design. It was among the first in the country,” said Clark Bullard, a professor emeritus at the University of Illinois and vice chairman of the National Wildlife Federation.

50 Years Later, MLK’s Labor Message Revived

Fifty years ago today, on April 3, 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his last public speech, which continues to haunt Americans today with its ringing tones of courage in the face of a possible assassination, which in fact occurred the next day.

54% in CO Justice System Have Serious Brain Injury

Researchers have screened 4,100 people in jail, on probation or assigned to drug courts in Denver and five other Colorado counties to find out how many have traumatic brain injury — an impairment that could impact the likelihood of their return to the criminal justice system. The results were stark: 54 percent had a history of serious brain injury, compared with 8 percent of the general population, the Denver Post reports. “This is a picture of the most vulnerable segment of our entire community population,” said Dr. Kim Gorgens, a clinical professor of psychology at the University of Denver, which runs the project along with the Colorado Department of Human Services. “This is not a group of serial murderers or notable psychopaths. This is the standard, average, typical probationer or jail inmate.”
Finding out they have traumatic brain injury changes inmates' perspectives.

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

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

6 takeaways from Colorado’s first Democratic gubernatorial debate

Former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy, ex-state Sen. Mike Johnston, and Democratic Lt. Gov Donna Lynne squared off for the first time on TV Wednesday night. The three took questions at the Lakewood Cultural Center in a debate moderated by 9News journalists Kyle Clark and Brandon Rittiman. Here are some takeaways:
It wasn't much of a real debate
The three candidates largely agree on policy, and they seem to get along well enough on a personal level— at least publicly. Because the candidates didn't speak directly to each other, challenge each other, or even really reference each other, this first debate was more like a standard forum— with some follow-up questions from the moderators. In other words, it was no Bernie-vs-Hillary slugfest.

7 Entrepreneurs Get Seeded

Seven local entrepreneurs received over $1,000 in seed money and a crash course on how to make their businesses work after completing the first round of an incubator program run by two New Haven small business advocates.

7 things to know about how Colorado schools punish their youngest students

Young black boys are suspended at disproportionate rates in school districts across Colorado. Some rural districts have the highest early childhood suspension rates in the state. And despite nationwide debate about the impact of harsh discipline on young children and local efforts to bring the numbers down, suspensions in the early grades are actually going up. These are a few of the findings from a new Chalkbeat analysis of three years of data on out-of-school suspensions given to students in kindergarten through second grade. Chalkbeat obtained the district- and state level data — some of it disaggregated by race and gender — from the Colorado Department of Education through a public records request.

8 Families Back Home After Monday Flooding

Two days after a torrential rainstorm flooded eight families out of their Goffe Street apartments, all eight are back home, and five of the eight apartments have been completely cleaned, cleared of water, and dried, according to interviews with residents and the management company.The other three affected units still have wet kitchens, which the management company said it is currently working to finish drying out.

8 takeaways from the first Republican gubernatorial debate

Former Parker mayor Greg Lopez, entrepreneur and one-time lawmaker Victor Mitchell, and retired investment banker and first-time candidate Doug Robinson faced off for the first time on TV Thursday night. The three took questions at the Lakewood Cultural Center in a debate moderated by 9News journalists Kyle Clark and Brandon Rittiman. Here are some takeaways:
It was, at times, a real debate
Unlike Wednesday's Democratic gubernatorial debate where candidates largely did not talk to each other, challenge each other or reference each other, the Republicans at times mixed it up — including calling out candidates who chose not to take part in the debate. For instance, Robinson jabbed Walker Stapleton for his DUI
Asked whether he would want Colorado to report undocumented immigrants to ICE if they got a DUI in Colorado, Robinson dodged by taking a shot at one of his GOP rivals who chose to skip the debate. “I'm not that familiar with DUIs,” he said.

9 questions answered about 2017 tax returns. The deadline is April 17.

On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh discussed what you need to know in advance of filing state and federal tax returns that must be postmarked by April 17. Lance Weiss, a certified public accountant and partner with SFW Partners LLC in St. Louis, joined the program to answer listener questions about taxes – and provide an update on changes for the 2018 tax year after recently approved tax law changes. “Most of the changes [from the new tax law] kick in January 1, 2018,” Weiss explained.

9/11 victims subpoena secret FBI records; next subpoenas to Saudi Arabia, State Dept.

By Dan
Armed with subpoena power granted by a federal judge, 9/11 victims suing Saudi Arabia have told the FBI to hand over long-hidden records, including an uncensored copy of a startling 2012 summary report about an investigation of an apparent co-conspirator of the suicide hijackers. The post 9/11 victims subpoena secret FBI records; next subpoenas to Saudi Arabia, State Dept. appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

A Betrayal

by Hannah Dreier
If Henry is killed, his death can be traced to a quiet moment in the fall of 2016, when he sat slouched in his usual seat by the door in 11th-grade English class. A skinny kid with a shaggy haircut, he had been thinking a lot about his life and about how it might end. His notebook was open, its pages blank. So he pulled his hoodie over his earphones, cranked up a Spanish ballad and started to write. He began with how he was feeling: anxious, pressured, not good enough.

A bridge near you is likely closed; locate it, show us

Bridge closings may soon overtake potholes as the most confounding infrastructure issue confronting Mississippi drivers. This week alone, more than 100 city and county bridges judged deficient by federal National Bridge Inspection Standards and the Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction are being closed by the Mississippi Department of Transportation. As of April 10, 542 local bridges have been closed across Mississippi according to the Office of State Aid Road Construction. In the graphic below, place your cursor over a county to see how many bridges are closed in that jurisdiction. To identify specific locations of bridges that have been closed, use the zoom in and out buttons in the bottom left corner of the Google map below.

A budget battle and brinksmanship. Then Colorado lawmakers agreed on $35M for school cops and security. Not everyone is happy.

Colorado lawmakers agreed late Wednesday to spend $35 million next year on police officers in schools and security upgrades to school buildings. It was the most significant change to the state's $28.9 million budget in hours of debate Wednesday, and it represents a major allocation to schools in a year when lawmakers touted a $150 million increasein K-12 spending as historic.The revision came after thousands of students descended on the Colorado Capitol to protest gun violence twice in two weeks, as part of a national movement inspired by a Florida school shooting that killed 17. Many of those students were calling for gun control measures, but the political dynamics in the Capitol make new gun laws unlikely. This year, though, legislators have money to spend. The 2018-19 budget recommended by the Joint Budget Committee already included $7 million for school security improvements.

A Change in Routine in Beacon

New studio has punch — and smoothiesA Change in Routine in Beacon was first posted on April 10, 2018 at 9:40 am.

A Change in Routine in Philipstown

Cold Spring studio goes beyond bikesA Change in Routine in Philipstown was first posted on April 10, 2018 at 9:35 am.

A charter school led by former Mayor Willie Herenton announces it will close

A former superintendent who now leads six charter schools told parents Wednesday that one of his network's high schools will shut its doors this summer. Dubois High School of Arts and Technology was already in danger of losing its charter because of poor academic performance. The network of schools is led by former mayor and Memphis City Schools superintendent Willie Herenton. In a letter provided to Chalkbeat, Herenton said the decision was based on a shortage of “highly qualified” teachers. The letter came from Lemichael Wilson, who has three sons enrolled in the charter network.

A day of action by Colorado teachers will bring hundreds to the Capitol and already one district has canceled classes

In the midst of a wave of teacher activism across the country, educators in Colorado are joining the fray by putting more pressure on lawmakers, calling attention to school funding shortfalls — and in one case forcing a school district to cancel classes by walking off the job. Hundreds of Colorado teachers will descend on the Capitol Monday to call for more school funding and for protecting teachers' retirement benefits. The leader of the state teachers union, the Colorado Education Association, said the union had originally planned this as a “Lobby Day” because changes to the retirement plan are being heard in a House committee. The mass walkout in the suburban Englewood district south of Denver grew out of a local grassroots effort there, not a campaign by the state union. The same holds true with the growing movement of teacher activism across the U.S., with minimal to no union involvement and organizing being done largely on Facebook.

A day of action by Colorado teachers will bring hundreds to the Capitol and already one district has canceled classes

In the midst of a wave of teacher activism across the country, educators in Colorado are joining the fray by putting more pressure on lawmakers, calling attention to school funding shortfalls — and in one case forcing a school district to cancel classes by walking off the job. Hundreds of Colorado teachers will descend on the Capitol Monday to call for more school funding and for protecting teachers' retirement benefits. The leader of the state teachers union, the Colorado Education Association, said the union had originally planned this as a “Lobby Day” because changes to the retirement plan are being heard in a House committee. The mass walkout in the suburban Englewood district south of Denver grew out of a local grassroots effort there, not a campaign by the state union. The same holds true with the growing movement of teacher activism across the U.S., with minimal to no union involvement and organizing being done largely on Facebook.

A Day of Seeking Out Authors Both Familiar and New

My schedule during the San Antonio Book Festival is fully loaded. Definite conflicts exist, but to swing my vote, I pay attention to who's moderating. The post A Day of Seeking Out Authors Both Familiar and New appeared first on Rivard Report.

A decade after Ike, Houston still hasn’t spent tens of millions it got to build affordable housing

When Tory Gunsolley learned that his agency was about to receive $40 million in federal recovery funds in the wake of Hurricane Ike, he was thrilled. It was 2011, and the Houston Housing Authority director had recently taken the job after leaving a similar position in Newark. He immediately realized that this new pot of money could be a “once in a generation opportunity” to address Houston's desperate need for more affordable housing — a chance to build as many as 2,000 new units across Houston for lower-income people. Seven years later — and a full decade after Ike, the disaster that brought those recovery dollars — Gunsolley chuckles when he thinks back to his original plans. Of the $45 million his agency eventually received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), it has managed to build just 154 units of affordable housing with $12 million.

A decade of stagnation: Little progress on closely watched federal test, as big disparities persist

Scores on the exams known as the “nation's report card” have barely budged over the last two years, new data show. The minimal progress on the federal math and reading exams given to fourth and eighth graders will be a disappointment to officials who have hoped that their policies would boost students' performance or help close yawning gaps between groups of students. The 2017 results also mean that the U.S. has seen its test scores largely stagnate for a decade, after 10 years of substantial gains in math. The country's “achievement gaps” between black and white students, and between low-income and affluent students, have also largely held steady over the last 10 years. “I'm pleased that eighth-grade reading scores improved slightly but remain disappointed that only about one-third of America's fourth- and eighth-grade students read at the NAEP Proficient level,” said former Michigan Governor John Engler, the chair of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the tests.

A decade of stagnation: What you should know about today’s NAEP results

A decade of stagnation: Little progress on closely watched federal test, as big disparities persist
Scores on the exams known as the “nation's report card” have barely budged over the last two years, new data show. The minimal progress on the federal math and reading exams given to fourth and eighth graders will be a disappointment to officials who have hoped that their policies would boost students' performance or help close yawning gaps between groups of students. But score analyzers, beware: It's difficult to draw conclusions about the benefits of specific policies based on the results. NCES, the federal agency that administers the tests, warns against it. Still, advocates on all sides will use them to argue for their preferred changes to education policy.

A Decent Find

Beacon artist turns scrap into specialA Decent Find was first posted on April 18, 2018 at 8:00 pm.

A Delridge Wetlands park for everyone

Willard Brown is unrelenting in striving for a long-term vision for an ecologically sound and community-centered Delridge Wetland Park. (Photo by Stephanie Ingram for the Pomegranate Center.)By Kamna Sashtri for Puget Sound Future-Makers
If you walk up 23rdAve Southwest, just parallel to Delridge Way in West Seattle for a while, you'll eventually hit a little plot of land where tufts of grass grow beside a thin winding ribbon of Longfellow creek. There are a few tree stumps and where once the ground would have been run over by invasive vegetation, now there is brown bark and dirt. This is the only green space in the area, and one day, it will be a full-fledged park where local residents can take a respite from their daily lives and connect back to the earth. Willard Brown of the Delridge Neighborhood Development Association, is the driving force behind this project.

A fall onto the basketball court, and Sami Howard’s life changed forever

Sami Howard's last concussion, captured by a student videographer, looks bad. But it's the sound — something like a dropped bowling ball — that turned the crowd's cheers into a low moan and then near-silence. The five-second video shows the 17-year-old in the No. 11 jersey wrestling for a basketball and then suddenly going down, her blond ponytail whipping around as the back of her head slams the hardwood court with a stomach-churning thud. “You can see me laying there, not moving,” said Howard, who grew up in Gresham and attended Columbia Christian's high school in East Portland.

A fall onto the basketball court, and Sami Howard’s life changed forever

Sami Howard's last concussion, captured by a student videographer, looks bad. But it's the sound — something like a dropped bowling ball — that turned the crowd's cheers into a low moan and then near-silence. The five-second video shows the 17-year-old in the No. 11 jersey wrestling for a basketball and then suddenly going down, her blond ponytail whipping around as the back of her head slams the hardwood court with a stomach-churning thud. “You can see me laying there, not moving,” said Howard, who grew up in Gresham and attended Columbia Christian's high school in East Portland.

A federal judge dismissed the ‘Hamilton Elector’ lawsuit in Colorado. But that’s what they wanted.

A federal judge in Colorado on Tuesday dismissed a case its plaintiffs hope will eventually bring more clarity to how members of the Electoral College should vote in presidential elections. And a dismissal is actually just what the plaintiffs wanted. They expect an appeal could bring their case before the nation's highest court. At issue is a lawsuit by three members of the 2016 class of Colorado's Electoral College who argued that Colorado GOP Secretary of State Wayne Williams violated their constitutional rights by forcing them to officially cast their national electoral ballots for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. District Court Senior Judge Wiley Daniel dismissed the case— and in doing so, helped get the legal question potentially further up the legal chain on an appeal and perhaps, eventually, before the United States Supreme Court, which is what the plaintiffs ultimately want.

A federal judge just lowered the bar for passing constitutional ballot measures in Colorado

A federal judge has ruled unconstitutional a key part of a constitutional amendment passed by voters to make it harder to pass constitutional amendments. Head spinning yet? Here's what happened: Until 2016 it was not very difficult for people and groups to get questions about whether to change Colorado's Constitution onto statewide ballots for voters to decide. It was a matter of gathering enough petition signatures. Some famous examples of voter-approved constitutional amendments are the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights that mandates all tax increases require a vote of the people, and, of course, legalizing marijuana.

A First for Depot Docs

Film will be screened with live musicA First for Depot Docs was first posted on April 16, 2018 at 10:01 pm.

A First Look at Alameda Theater Renovations, TPR’s New Home

Architects have released preliminary renderings for the renovation of the historic but long-vacant Alameda Theater on West Houston Street. The post A First Look at Alameda Theater Renovations, TPR's New Home appeared first on Rivard Report.

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 Foster Care System for the Homeless Could Ease the Housing Crisis

Bill Rogers, 60, receives a haircut at Project Homeless Connect in 2013, an annual resource fair providing the homeless with medical, legal and other types of care. / Photo by Sam Hodgson
On the surface, building affordable homes in San Diego to shelter the homeless may appear to be a practical solution, but relying on building alone is not realistic because the cost to build is prohibitive. In 2015, a Point Loma Nazarene University study determined that building regulations are a significant factor in San Diego's high housing costs, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the total costs to build. In January, the median cost for a newly built home in San Diego was $646,000, and the median sale price was $565,000. These housing prices make San Diego one of the most expensive cities in the nation to live in.

A half century after Fair Housing Act: ‘We are segregated’

President Lyndon Johnson signed the federal Fair Housing Act on April 11, 1968. Fifty years later, discriminatory lending and rental practices persist, as the Connecticut Fair Housing Center discovered sending fair-housing testers out to pose as renters or homebuyers over three years ending in 2015. Our Sunday conversation is with Erin Kemple, an attorney who lives in an integrated Hartford neighborhood and is executive director of the center.

A heated debate over the desire for a traditional high school in far northeast Denver boils over

A community conversation in far northeast Denver started as an effort to ask residents what they want in their schools. It has boiled over into a heated debate about whether to resurrect the region's shuttered traditional high school. The aim of a series of community meetings run by Denver Public Schools over the past year was to come to consensus on education priorities, a district spokeswoman said. Those priorities, she said, would “inform future district policy-making.”
But when word got out that some residents were asking for the return of a traditional high school, the backlash was fierce. Principals, teachers, parents, and students from some of the small schools that have grown in the absence of a big high school lined up at a recent school board meeting to give passionate testimony about what they consider a flawed process and a dangerous recommendation that could threaten their schools' existence.

A heated debate over the desire for a traditional high school in far northeast Denver boils over

A community conversation in far northeast Denver started as an effort to ask residents what they want in their schools. It has boiled over into a heated debate about whether to resurrect the region's shuttered traditional high school. The aim of a series of community meetings run by Denver Public Schools over the past year was to come to consensus on education priorities, a district spokeswoman said. Those priorities, she said, would “inform future district policy-making.”
But when word got out that some residents were asking for the return of a traditional high school, the backlash was fierce. Principals, teachers, parents, and students from some of the small schools that have grown in the absence of a big high school lined up at a recent school board meeting to give passionate testimony about what they consider a flawed process and a dangerous recommendation that could threaten their schools' existence.

A Mere Handful of Voters Likely to Decide Who Represents 125,000 Bronxites in Albany

NYS Assembly, NYC CFBGene DeFrancis (lower left inset) and Nathalia Fernandez are contesting next week's special election for the 80th Assembly district. Nathalia Fernandez has all the advantages heading into Tuesday's special election for the 80th Assembly district in the Bronx. As a Democrat, she has an eight-to-one registration advantage over Republican Gene DeFrancis in the district whose tail stretches from Van Cortlandt Village through Bedford Park and Norwood, and whose heart is in the Allerton, Pelham Gardens and Morris Park neighborhoods. Her campaign funds, while modest at $21,000, are about 10 times what DeFrancis reports. She's got the backing of Mark Gjonaj, for whom she once served as chief of staff, and who held the Assembly seat for five years until leaving for the City Council in January.

A Mid-century Mirage At 13th & Lombard

The Shadow slips behind the stucco of this illusive apartment building to reveal nearly a century of commercial occupation

A Midcentury Mirage At 13th & Lombard

The Shadow slips behind the stucco of this illusive apartment building in Washington Square West to reveal nearly a century of commercial occupation

A Middle America You’ll Never See in the Coastal Media

I first came across John Porcellino's self-published King-Cat Comics, and so many like them, in the 1990s as I was sifting through micro-comics, zines and chapbooks in bookstores in places like Lawrence, Kansas. The settings of his comics are where I spent my youth, from rural Kansas to Denver through Iowa and up to Chicago. And the stories echo my memories—driving aimlessly through flat prairie land blasting punk music, eating bad white-people Midwestern tacos and playing darts with eccentric old men in dive bars lit up with Christmas lights. These were not stories I read much in books, or saw on the television. Middle America remains disconnected from the culture at large, ignored by mass media except when coastal reporters drop in to interview a Trump voter or a white nationalist.

A Missouri law allows armed teachers. Schools are using something else

The few rural Missouri schools allowing employees to carry concealed guns in order to respond to an active shooter in a school aren't using a state law that allows them to do just that. Missouri lawmakers passed a law in 2014 that creates a framework for how school districts can arm their employees to protect against school shootings by becoming “school protection officers.” It sets out how teachers seeking to carry a gun would have to go through special training at a certified law enforcement academy and file their name with the Missouri Department of Public Safety. Yet no teachers in Missouri have done so.

A more common school safety problem: assaults on teachers

Statewide, there has been little progress in stemming aggressive student behavior as student suspension and expulsion rates steadily decline. For this Sunday Conversation, we sat down with Tod Couture, a special education teacher from Enfield, to talk about school safety in a district that is focusing its resources on another safety issue: student assaults on teachers.

A more diverse judiciary, including a leader’s brother-in-law

While Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has embraced a more inclusive approach to judicial nominations, he has not turned away the well-connected: His latest nominees include two former Democratic lawmakers, Eric D. Coleman and James F. Spallone, and the 35-year-old brother-in-law of House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, and the 39-year-old daughter of John F. Droney Jr., the former Democratic state chairman.

A new kind of school patrol: Senators hear pros and cons of armed officers in schools

Amy Fowler, Vermont's deputy education secretary, speaks to the House Education Committee. File photo by Amy Ash Nixon/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Amy Fowler" width="610" height="404" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Amy Fowler, Vermont's deputy education secretary, said schools need to balance safety with fair discipline. File photo by Amy Ash Nixon/VTDiggerThe state deputy education secretary warned senators on Tuesday of the unintended consequences of deploying trained police officers in schools: more suspensions, expulsions and court referrals for misbehaving students. The Senate Judiciary Committee has set to work this week drafting a school safety law and at the center of the debate will be whether schools should employ someone to carry a firearm on school grounds to respond to school shooters or other safety threats, and if so, who should carry the gun. Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox.

A Partisan Combatant, a Remorseful Blogger: The Senate Staffer Behind the Attack on the Trump-Russia Investigation

by Robert Faturechi
Jason Foster, chief investigative counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, fits a classic Washington profile: A powerful, mostly unknown force at the center of some of the most consequential battles on Capitol Hill. For the last year, Foster — empowered by his boss, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the committee's chairman — has been the behind-the-scenes architect of an assault on the FBI, and most centrally its role in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to interviews with current and former congressional aides, federal law enforcement officials and others. With Foster in charge of his oversight work, Grassley has openly speculated about whether former FBI director James Comey leaked classified information as Comey raised alarms about President Donald Trump's possible interference in the Russia probe. Grassley and the other Republicans on the committee have questioned the impartiality of a former member of Mueller's team, cast doubt on the credibility of the FBI's secret court application for permission to surveil a Trump campaign associate and called for a second special counsel to investigate matters related to Hillary Clinton. A firm that conducted opposition research on Trump has made clear in court it believes Grassley's committee, with Foster as its lead investigator, had leaked sensitive information about its business.

A Pro-Union Case for Steel Tariffs

A great wailing and gnashing of teeth arose across the land after the Trump administration announced its plan to place tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum. House Speaker Paul Ryan claimed the moderately sized tariffs on two metals would reverse the economic boon he thinks will surely be created by the tax breaks his party gave to corporations and the rich. The good times would be over. Kaput! This drama comes from a politician who proposed a border adjustment tax on all imports, not just two metals, that would have cost American consumers $1 trillion.

A Push to Lock Up Guns In NC Homes

By Catherine Clabby
Brevard Police Chief Phil Harris learned decades ago that tragedy can occur in seconds when firearms are left unlocked at home. While Harris was growing up in Gastonia, a fellow high school student found a family member's semi-automatic gun at home while skipping school. After yanking out the handgun's magazine, she was unaware a bullet remained in the chamber. She figured the weapon was harmless. So, when she aimed the handgun at a friend and playfully pulled the trigger, it fired, struck her friend in the chest, and killed her.

A quiet finale for the GOP gubernatorial road show

NEW CANAAN — The fifth and final episode of a road show produced by Connecticut Republicans and starring an evolving cast of gubernatorial contenders came to an end Wednesday night without resolving a key plot point: Is the GOP any closer to settling on a front runner?

A Quiet Place in Town

Scenes shot at Beacon Natural MarketA Quiet Place in Town was first posted on April 14, 2018 at 9:39 pm.

A Seat at the Table: Where Are All the Female Superintendents?

In Bexar County's 15 public school districts, only one woman serves as superintendent while more than 70 percent of teachers and the majority of principals are female. The post A Seat at the Table: Where Are All the Female Superintendents? appeared first on Rivard Report.

A Short History of Threats Received by Donald Trump’s Opponents

by Decca Muldowney
When Stormy Daniels spoke to “60 Minutes” last month, the porn actress described a threat she received years ago after speaking to a journalist about her alleged affair with Donald Trump. A stranger approached her in a parking lot in Las Vegas. Daniels was there with her baby daughter. “Leave Trump alone,” Daniels recalled the man warning her. “That's a beautiful little girl.

A Special Kind of School

Jaime JoyceWhat does it mean to be a refugee? What is it like to live in and go to school at a refugee camp? "A Special Kind of School" takes young readers to Kenya to visit the classrooms of refugee students.

A stunning SNAFU by Colorado GOP governor hopeful Walker Stapleton throws Saturday’s state assembly into chaos

A dramatic cascade of events in the past 24 hours has scrambled a Republican front-runner in Colorado's campaign and is about to throw an upcoming state GOP assembly into chaos. Walker Stapleton, an establishment favorite and Colorado's sitting state treasurer, today said a company his campaign hired to help him get on the June primary ballot via petitions committed fraud. Because of that, he asked the Secretary of State not to count those petitions, meaning he will now have to get his name on the ballot a different way— and one he never planned on. The stunning announcement comes a week after one of his Republican rivals accused him of hiring a firm that used dubious characters to illegally gather petitions, a charge Stapleton's campaign initially dismissed. But after acknowledging those accusations have merit and asking to be removed from the ballot via the petition process, the 43-year-old Republican with a background in real estate and banking now must go through the gauntlet of the GOP state assembly.

A sustained public-health approach can help stem the tide of gun deaths

The sight of millions in major cities across the U.S. rallying for common-sense gun safety under the leadership of committed youth gives hope that an effective social movement is finally being born to confront this great public-health challenge. The young millennial leaders who survived the Parkland, Florida, school shootings and so many others reminded us last Saturday that hope alone is not a plan. Creating a social movement with a strong agenda for change — now there's the start of a powerful plan.John FinneganIs there enough common ground for collective and sustained action on one of our most divisive issues — gun violence? Could red and blue engage to take us down the road toward preventing deaths and injuries from guns? Some say, “No way.” But others answer with a measured, “Not so fast …”A recent PEW Foundation report found that among U.S. adults who identify as Democrat or Republican, a majority of both supported the following policy ideas as tools to stem gun violence: preventing the mentally ill from purchasing firearms; barring gun purchases by people on no-fly or watch lists; requiring background checks for private sales and at gun shows; banning assault-style weapons; and creating a federal database to track gun sales.

A swipe at longer school days & protesters disrupt Newark school-board forum

The big story

Newark's interim school chief received a dramatic email from the head of the city teachers union this week with the subject line, “Turnaround Schools Dead: End the EWA threats now!”
“Dozens of your dedicated employees are crying out for help,” Newark Teachers Union President John Abeigon said in the email. “Turnaround Schools” are ones the city has sought to improve by asking teachers to work longer hours in exchange for extra pay. “EWA's” are the annual agreements that teachers must sign to work at those schools. According to the union, some principals were pressuring teachers to sign those agreements this week before they had a chance to look for other job openings. But the problem goes beyond those agreements, Abeigon said.

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 Tap Great Shuffles into Beacon

Brenda Bufalino, 80, is known for her improvisationA Tap Great Shuffles into Beacon was first posted on April 8, 2018 at 9:59 am.

A Taste of Running for Political Office Has Left This UN Retiree Ready for More

After a 22-year career with the UN, Margaret Novicki, an American, decided to run for mayor as a Democrat in her hometown of Orange, Conn. Although she didn't win, she is “still very intrigued by the possibility of political office,” she said. ORANGE, Conn. — Margaret Novicki is a 22-year veteran of the United Nations, having served in various regions in Africa and as the director of strategic communications at UN headquarters in New York. Upon her retirement in 2017 at age 62 from an eventful, complicated career at the UN, Novicki, an American, ran as a Democrat for first selectman of Orange, Conn., the mayoralty post of her small hometown in New Haven County and long held by a Republican.

A teacher says a coworker grabbed her “behind.” The Texas Supreme Court tossed her lawsuit

Catherine Clark claims that a coworker barraged her with lewd and harassing comments while Clark was working as a gym teacher at the Alamo Heights Independent School District about a decade ago. She complained to her supervisors, then to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and was soon fired, she said in court documents. But the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that she can't sue her old district, in part because her alleged harasser was also a woman and Clark didn't prove that the woman is gay. The court also ruled that she didn't prove that she was fired because of her complaint. Clark had argued that the San Antonio district's actions violated state law and that the hostile work environment she suffered from constituted gender discrimination.

A Texas Democrat’s campaign just unionized. Here’s why so few campaigns do that.

Hey, Texplainer: Campaign workers for Laura Moser, a Democrat running for Congress in Houston, recently unionized, which guarantees them benefits such as health insurance, paid sick days and paid leave. How come most political campaigns don't already do that for their employees? In late March, the campaign staff for Democrat Laura Moser, who secured a spot last month in a primary runoff to take on Republican U.S. Rep. John Culberson of Houston, announced they had unionized. Though the workers initiated this, Moser's support of the move aligned with her campaign's message. Since announcing her congressional bid, the Democratic activist and journalist has run as a progressive advocating for things like universal Medicare, and improved access to paid family leave when a baby arrives, a child falls ill or an aging parent experiences a medical emergency, according to her campaign website.

A Walk Through the Walkout

Thousands of people descended on the state Capitol daily during the two-week teacher walkout. This timeline is a look at events leading up to the walkout, the high points of Oklahoma Watch's coverage and the galvanizing effect the work stoppage had on teachers in Oklahoma and nationwide.

A week onto the job, Chancellor Richard Carranza steps into New York City schools

One week after taking office, Chancellor Richard Carranza is headed to school — three of them, to be precise. Carranza is planning to spend much of the day in the Bronx, according to the city education department, which invited reporters to tag along for the new schools chief's first day while schools are in session. He'll start the day visiting 3-K and pre-K classes at Concourse Village Elementary School, move on to tour a community college with seventh-graders from P.S./M.S. 279, and then join Mayor Bill de Blasio at P.S. 25 for another pre-K visit. Carranza isn't scheduled to visit any high schools until this evening, when he'll throw out the first pitch — and "cheer with families" — at a baseball game between the James Monroe and George Washington campuses, according to the city's press advisory. Alex will be along for the ride in the education department's bumpy press van and sharing dispatches here.

A week onto the job, Chancellor Richard Carranza steps into New York City schools

Chancellor Richard Carranza is spending his second week in New York City visiting city schools -- a lot of them. On Monday, he headed to the Bronx to visit three schools. Tuesday, he's stopping by three more, this time in Brooklyn. And he's expected to keep the tour up the rest of the week. The visits are just one part of the Department of Education's public introduction of Carranza to the city.

A Weekly News Briefing

That daily cocktail or glass of wine – friend or foe?: When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 47, Stephanie Mencimer asked herself a question many patients face: “Why me?”
“It's an impossible question to answer definitively for an individual, like trying to prove that a single weather event was caused by climate change,” she writes in Mother Jones. Still, she tried, and the effort led her to another worthy question: Did alcohol cause her breast cancer? She delves deeply into the evidence that alcohol is a carcinogen and one of particular concern for women, explaining how “alcohol-related breast cancer kills more than twice as many American women as drunk drivers do.” The story provides good context for the debate over the health impact of moderate drinking, particularly in light of recent reporting by The New York Times that federal health officials solicited tens of millions of dollars from the alcohol industry to fund a study they said could provide evidence that a daily drink is part of a healthy diet. Those meetings are now under investigation by the National Institutes of Health. # # #
In ‘heaven,' grappling with groundwater contamination: Perfluorinated compounds are used to make consumer and industrial products water-, stain- and heat-resistant.

A Weekly News Briefing

For Johnson & Johnson, more baby powder battles: J&J's baby powder, seen as a safe and reliable product by generations of parents and other customers, was responsible for causing a New Jersey banker's mesothelioma, a jury found. The case is the first to affirm a consumer's claim that the company knew that the talc in its body powder was contaminated with asbestos and that the product caused the rare, aggressive cancer. The jury awarded Stephen Lanzo III and his wife $37 million, with 70 percent to be paid by J&J and the remainder by talc supplier Imerys Talc America. A second phase of the trial is now under way, with jurors considering whether the companies should face punitive damages. As of Dec.

A wish list for an environmentally friendly NAFTA

The NAFTA flag. The fate of the three-nation trade agreement is now in the hands of negotiators operating in secret. Photo by Keepscases licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 generic license With the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations (lets call it NAFTA 2.0) still in a state of limbo, experts worry Mexico, Canada and the U.S. may bail out of what President Donald Trump has repeatedly called “the worst deal ever made.” The possibility of a tariff and trade war over steel and aluminum has complicated and delayed the negotiations, while earlier foot dragging has already resulted in Brazil being the recipient of large scale corn and other commodities sales to Mexico that would have otherwise likely have gone to U.S. farmers. If NAFTA negotiations fail, U.S. agriculture could take a further blow, along with American automotive and electronics industries; even potentially upsetting global economic stability. But the unlikely winner in this newest rendition of the Art of the Deal could be North America's, and by extension the world's, environment.

A work requirement for Medicaid recipients? It doesn’t make sense

On March 12, three members of the Minnesota House of Representatives introduced a bill that would — for the first time ever — impose work requirements on adults who receive Medicaid, the public insurance program for low-income populations. Health policy experts agree that adding work requirements to Medicaid would increase uninsurance rates. Imposing work requirements does not make sense for Minnesota, and both liberals and conservatives should oppose the idea.Ezra GolbersteinThe Affordable Care Act allows states to expand their Medicaid programs to cover all adults whose incomes are below 138 percent of the federal poverty line ($12,140 for a single person, $25,100 for a family of four), with the federal government paying most of the costs. This Medicaid expansion has been a key driver of record-low uninsurance rates in Minnesota and nationally. Medicaid covers nearly 1.1 million Minnesotans, approximately 40 percent of whom are non-disabled, non-elderly adults who would be affected by the proposed work requirements.

A&M expert has educators asking: If Kansas schools need $2 billion, how much do Texas’ need?

Texas A&M University professor Lori Taylor has a reputation for being fiscally conservative when it comes to school finance. When Texas school districts sued the state for underfunding public schools last decade, Taylor took the stand as an expert witness for Texas and said schools didn't need much more money than they already had. She recommended the state give the 46 school districts suing a boost of less than $1 million — after they demanded hundreds of millions more. So when lawmakers in Kansas lost a school finance lawsuit of their own, they hired Taylor, more than 600 miles away in College Station at A&M's George Bush School of Government and Public Service, to advise them on how much more to spend. Districts that sued Kansas wanted at least $600 million in new funding.

AAA offers a 10 mile ride home with “Tipsy Tow” April 20 and 21.

AAA estimates that a first-time DUI conviction can cost a motorist more than $10,000 in fines, penalties, legal fees and increased insurance costs. Tipsy Tow is available April 20 and 21 in

AARP announces grants to 3 Vermont communities

News Release — AARP
April 9, 2018
David Reville, Communications Director
Community Placemaking Projects Promote Livability for All Ages
Three Vermont communities have each received $3,000 in grants from AARP Vermont to jump start placemaking demonstration projects that focus on creating public spaces and streets that are safe and accessible for everyone. Proposals from Winooski, St. Johnsbury and Bennington were selected from a host of applications for the initiative. AARP Vermont teamed up with the Vermont Department of Health and the Greater Burlington YMCA to support these communities in making temporary changes within the community or neighborhood that can lead to permanent change that supports healthy active lifestyles for people of all ages and abilities. “This is an opportunity for these Vermont communities to start small by test-driving a process in the community with the expectation that the project will be further improved upon and refined over time — and hopefully lead to permanent change to the built environment,” explained Kelly Stoddard Poor of AARP Vermont.

AARP, a Scourge of Scams Aimed at Seniors, Draws Flak Over Its Membership Marketing Practices

In its newsletters and magazines, in congressional testimony and on its website, AARP warns seniors about deceptive direct mail and other dubious marketing come-ons as part of its mission to protect members from financial abuses. But the huge advocacy group's own aggressive efforts to coax seniors to join or renew their memberships also have drawn a burst of criticism this year. Angry members say AARP's barrage of solicitation letters and social media posts can mislead or confuse aging consumers, some of whom struggle with memory and managing their financial affairs. Hundreds have complained about getting false warnings that their memberships would soon expire, and at least some people have unwittingly paid for duplicate memberships. The critics include Kathy Portie, senior editor of the Big Bear Grizzly weekly newspaper in Southern California.

AARP, critic of scams aimed at seniors, draws flak for own membership marketing

In its newsletters and magazines, in congressional testimony and on its website, AARP warns seniors about deceptive direct mail and other dubious marketing come-ons as part of its mission to protect members from financial abuses. But the huge advocacy group's own aggressive efforts to coax seniors to join or renew their memberships also have drawn a burst of criticism.

Abbott urges Trump administration to protect two key NAFTA provisions

With the North American Free Trade Agreement again in President Trump's crosshairs, Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday urged the country's top trade representative to safeguard two provisions of the pact in particular that the governor said greatly benefit Texas' businesses and consumers. Trump threatened earlier this week to dismantle NAFTA – which he derided as Mexico's “cash cow” – if that country didn't do a better job of policing its border with Central America. The president has said for years that NAFTA is a bad deal for Americans, but negotiations on changing the landmark trade pact between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada have continued for more than a year without a final compromise. Abbott's request to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthize is the latest in an effort to highlight how much Texas and other border states have benefitted from the 1994 pact. Since Trump took office, several business groups have grappled with how to convince the White House that NAFTA isn't just a good deal for border states, but for the country as a whole.

Abbott Urges Trump Administration to Protect Two Key NAFTA Provisions

Gov. Greg Abbott has urged the country's top trade representative to safeguard two NAFTA provisions that he said greatly benefit Texas. The post Abbott Urges Trump Administration to Protect Two Key NAFTA Provisions appeared first on Rivard Report.

Abbott wants special election for Farenthold seat as soon as possible

Gov. Greg Abbott wants to hold a special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, as soon as possible. That's according to a letter he sent Thursday to Attorney General Ken Paxton, seeking guidance on whether the governor can suspend certain laws he believes are standing in the way of a timely special election. The letter amounts to Abbott's first public comments on the subject since Farenthold suddenly resigned earlier this month, leaving the governor to ponder how long the Coastal Bend-area district could go without representation given that it is still reeling from Hurricane Harvey. Abbott made clear Thursday he believes there is no time to waste. "It is imperative to restore representation for the people of that district as quickly as possible," Abbott told Paxton in the letter.

Abele, Bolden, Buxton, Meyer and Nemerov to receive honorary degrees from UVM at 2018 Commencement

April 4, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Wakefield,, 802-578-8830
UVM Names Honorary Degree Recipients for 2018 Commencement
The University of Vermont will award honorary degrees at the May ceremony to John E. Abele, Frank A. Bolden, J. Brooks Buxton, and Karen Nystrom Meyer. The 2018 commencement speaker, celebrated humanities scholar Alexander Nemerov, received a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa during 2017 commencement ceremonies. John E. Abele, retired founding chairman of Boston Scientific, has radically changed the culture of medicine, developing some of the first-to-market devices to treat life-damaging conditions of the heart, brain, lungs, and body systems. After co-founding medical devices company Medi-tech in 1969 with its first product—steerable catheters as alternatives to traditional surgery—Mr. Abele started Boston Scientific in 1979 to acquire Medi-tech and significantly expand the vision of bringing non-invasive medical options to market. Today, Boston Scientific offers more than 13,000 products affecting the health and lives of over 26 million people each year worldwide, including such well-known innovations as the angioplasty dilation balloon and stent. Since retiring from Boston Scientific in 2005, Mr. Abele devotes himself to helping build change-the-world businesses and organizations in his second career as a philanthropist, venture capitalist, and professional tinkerer.

About 5 Percent of San Diego Homes Are Off Limits as Housing

Homes in Point Loma / Image via Shutterstock
About 57,000 of the region's homes are not housing San Diegans, according to a recent analysis. Instead, they're either vacation or second homes that often sit vacant, exacerbating the housing crisis because they're unavailable to people who live and work here, or would like to. There's been much hand-wringing about homes pulled from the housing stock as San Diego wrestles with a housing shortage and the rise of sites like Airbnb that make it easier to host tourists. But there's little data out there on existing homes that are not available to long-term renters, how this has changed over time and what that means for San Diego's housing crisis. So SANDAG, the county's regional planning agency, sought to estimate how many homes are unavailable to San Diegans as part of a larger effort to project how many homes the region needs to build by 2050 to keep up with demand.

Absentee Landlords Caught Supersizing

The city found a Mechanic Street home owned by two Guilford-based landlords to be “unfit for human occupancy” due to an absence of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, unpermitted and uninspected interior renovations, and the illegal conversion of a two-family dwelling into five separate rental units.

ACLU wants Greyhound to end Customs and Border Protection raids

Greyhound bus passengers of color, who speak with accents or simply are “not white,” routinely are questioned and sometimes detained by Customs and Border Protection agents, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Active-shooter drills at schools are about saving lives

Local law enforcement trains school administrators and teachers how to survive an active-shooter by emphasizing escaping, barricading and hiding, and if all else fails, fighting.

Activists fear for environmental protection under Indonesia’s revised Criminal Code

JAKARTA — A highly contentious set of revisions to Indonesia's Criminal Code threatens to undermine the fight against environmental offenders and polluters, activists warn. Deliberations on the new draft are in the final stage in parliament, in what proponents are calling a much-needed overhaul and reform of a penal code inherited from Dutch colonial rule more than 70 years ago. Already the bill has drawn intense criticism for new provisions that, if passed as expected in April, would criminalize consensual non-marital sex, outlaw the promotion of contraceptives, and make it illegal to insult the president or religious leaders, among other points. But overshadowed by the furor over the looming rollback of personal freedoms and human rights are provisions that appear to weaken existing enforcement articles under the 2009 Environmental Protection Law. “When we studied the draft, we found out that it'll heavily affect existing environmental law enforcement and there are going to be many things that can't be enforced,” said Reynaldo Sembiring, a researcher with the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL).

Activists Host ‘Vigil’ For Hays Street Bridge

Protesters gathered Monday for a "vigil" to mourn the City's decision to allow a local developer to build apartments next to the Hays Street Bridge. The post Activists Host ‘Vigil' For Hays Street Bridge appeared first on Rivard Report.

Ad-buying plans show Minnesota’s importance in fall congressional races

Eric Black

In case you needed any further convincing that Minnesota is currently among the key battleground states in the 2018 race for control of the House of Representatives, National Journal's “Hotline” publishes the list of 20 races on which the Congressional Leadership Fund has budgeted for and reserved time for TV advertising, and Minnesota rates two of the 20, and among the biggest amounts of spending.Congressional Leadership Fund is a superpac that works to elected Republicans to the U.S. House. It has booked reservations for $38 million of spending on TV ads in furtherance of that goal, spread across 20 races, including the Minnesota 3rd Congressional District, where Republican incumbent Rep. Erik Paulsen is preparing for a stiff challenge from Democrat Dean Phillips. The CLF has reserved time for $2.3 million in TV ads in that race, plus an undisclosed additional amount for online ads.The single biggest budget, in this round of CLF ad buying, is $2.6 million for TV ads in Minnesota's 8th District, where the retirement of incumbent DFLer Rick Nolan has set off a toss-up race. The final lineup for that one won't be known until after a primary.The only state to get more attention is California, where CLF is investing in three House races, but, of course, that's out of a much larger number of districts. After that, Minnesota and Kansas were the only states targeted for CLF ad spending in two races, and the amounts of the buys were higher in Minnesota.Politico published the list of the states and races in which CLF plans to advertise and the amounts.

Adams 14 school board votes to give superintendent a raise with no prior notice

The school board for Adams 14 approved a raise for Superintendent Javier Abrego Tuesday after amending their agenda during their meeting. The surprise vote came in a year when the district's progress has been tested. Abrego took over the Commerce City-based Adams 14 district in 2016 and has a contract running through June 2019. The addendum, approved on a 3-2 vote, raised his salary to $169,125, up from $165,000, and will be retroactive to the start of this school year. The board also gave Abrego a $25,000 contribution for his retirement account.

Addiction Drug’s Side Effect: More Overdoses?

by Alec MacGillis
At the very moment that the Trump administration has thrown its weight behind a particular medication meant to deter opioid addiction, a new paper in a public-health journal is warning that too little is known about one of the medication's possible downsides: a heightened chance of overdose among those who stop taking it prematurely. The drug in question is Vivitrol, which is administered as an injection in the buttocks. It promises to block the patient from getting high on heroin or other opiates for a month after the shot. Ideally, it is taken for up to a year — long enough for those suffering addiction to get themselves back on their feet, drug-free. Since it received FDA approval in 2010 based on a single trial in Russia, sales of the medication — which is a form of the opioid antagonist naltrexone and can cost as much as $1,000 per shot — have boomed to more than $200 million per year.

Addison County, Brandon and statewide funding available through the Walter Cerf Community Fund

News Release — Vermont Community Foundation
April 4, 2018
Lauren Bruno
The Vermont Community Foundation
802-388-3355 ext.
Funding is now available through the Walter Cerf Community Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation. Mr. Cerf, a native of Germany who made Addison County his home in his later years, gave more than $10 million to organizations and projects in Vermont before passing away in 2001. He focused much of his giving in Addison County and Brandon. The Walter Cerf Community Fund committee aspires to continue that focus: roughly two-thirds of the grants are reserved for Addison County/Brandon projects and roughly one-third is reserved for statewide projects.

Addressing More Than Just Students’ Educational Needs in Southside ISD

Southside ISD is trying to improve students' access to health care and balanced meals in the hope that better educational outcomes will follow. The post Addressing More Than Just Students' Educational Needs in Southside ISD appeared first on Rivard Report.

Administration calls teachers union’s statewide health proposal ‘great news’

Secretary of Administration Susanne Young. File photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Susanne Young" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Secretary of Administration Susanne Young. File photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerThe administration of Gov. Phil Scott is calling the decision by the teacher's union to embrace a statewide health benefit “great news,” but wants immediate action on its cost-containment proposal before hashing out long-term changes. The Vermont-NEA made a major concession this week in its dispute with the administration over healthcare benefits when the union put forward a plan that would shift decision-making to the state level, as opposed to having individual school boards negotiate with their teachers. Vermont teachers' healthcare coverage was the sticking point that extended last year's legislative session, until the governor agreed to create a commission to explore the issue.

Adult Ed Launches ‘No Excuse’ Campaign

Daniel Hernandez Torres dropped out of school 14 years ago, but this June he plans to walk across a stage with his diploma in hand. He credits the support he received at New Haven Adult & Continuing Education Center for helping him achieve that goal.

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.

Advisory group interested in deleting I-77 tolls, despite steep cost

Letting the state take over toll collection on I-77 would be costly and logistically difficult. Deleting the tolls entirely could be even more costly, but it may be the favored option. The post Advisory group interested in deleting I-77 tolls, despite steep cost appeared first on Carolina Public Press.

Advocates On Road Trip to “Change the Rural Narrative”

By Taylor Knopf
Last year, folks at the NC Rural Center set out on a “Rural Road Trip” to visit all 80 of North Carolina's rural counties. The goal: To find out what makes these communities tick and what they struggle with. But also, to reframe the rural narrative. John Coggin, NC Rural Center director of advocacy, described national news stories which feature dilapidated, old buildings with little context that talk about the rural-urban divide. John Coggin.

Advocates, Prosecutors See Promise in Revised Criminal Justice Reform Bills

Ben Fenwick / Oklahoma WatchA guard tower at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington. Oklahoma's prison population will continue to grow in the years ahead — the only question is how much. A marquee slate of criminal justice reform bills fall short of what Gov. Mary Fallin's Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force recommended a little over a year ago to curb incarceration rates and provide alternatives to prison. By 2025, the prison population will be 30,947 if the six bills pass as currently written, according to an analysis from, a national group that specializes in immigration and criminal justice data. Without any legislation, the figure would be 35,798.

After abuse scandal, CT lawmakers push to reform Whiting

About a year after cruel, ongoing abuse of a Whiting Forensic patient was revealed, the legislature's Public Health Committee has reported out three bills aimed at reforming the state's only maximum-security psychiatric facility by increasing transparency and oversight.

After Alert On Russian Hacks, Bigger Push To Protect Power Grid

The joint alert from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security last month warning that Russia was hacking into critical U.S. energy infrastructure may have shaken some Americans. But it came as no surprise to the country's largest grid operator, PJM Interconnection. "You will never stop people from trying to get into your systems," says PJM Chief Information Officer Tom O'Brien. "The question is, what controls do you have to not allow them to penetrate? And how do you respond in the event they actually do get into your system?"

After an abrupt resignation, de Blasio appoints professor to New York City’s education oversight panel

Mayor Bill de Blasio has quietly appointed a professor who trains city principals to New York City's education oversight board, replacing a panel member who voted to block two of his administration's school closure plans last month. Shannon Waite, a professor at Fordham University and former longtime Department of Education employee, was sworn in Monday evening to replace T. Elzora Cleveland — a panel member who abruptly resigned after casting a deciding vote to block two Queens schools from closing. (Cleveland has subtly suggested she was “forced to resign” but has not responded to multiple requests for comment.)
That episode marked a stunning departure for the panel, which is often considered a rubber stamp for the education department's proposals. Eight of the panel's 13 members are appointed by the mayor, who also controls the education department. Waite's appointment means all eight mayoral appointee positions are filled.

After bombings, uncomfortable truths emerge about racial divides in Austin

Editor's note: Visit KUT News to hear the audio version of this story. In the days after the Austin bombings, Jesus Valles couldn't stop thoughts from buzzing around like bees in his head. He made sense of his feelings the best way he knew how: He sat down at his computer and began to write a public Facebook post about Austin. “Austin is an exhausting place where racism smiles at you and does yoga and is a kind teacher and is such a good actor and is just trying to help you and just wants to know why you're so upset,” Valles wrote. Valles is a teacher by day.

After Farenthold resignation, hopes fade that he’ll repay $84,000 sexual harassment settlement

Four months after U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold promised to repay an $84,000 sexual harassment settlement funded by taxpayers — and 11 days after the Republican resigned his Corpus Christi seat — he has yet to write a check. And with Farenthold out of public office and increasingly out of the public eye, there's little anyone can do to force him. Farenthold pledged last winter to personally repay the cash paid out by the federal government to a former staffer, Lauren Greene, who sued him for sexual harassment in 2014. When news of the settlement surfaced in December, Farenthold told a local TV station he'd reimburse the money that same week, saying “I didn't do anything wrong, but I also don't want taxpayers to be on the hook for this.” In January, he said he would wait to repay the money after seeing what changes Congress would make to policies around the issue, saying he wanted to seek legal counsel. Then, he resigned abruptly on April 6 — days before the House Ethics Committee, which was investigating his misconduct, would have released its findings in his case, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat who has led efforts to reform Congress's sexual harassment complaint process.

After legal fight with the Detroit district, local charter Detroit Prep begins renovations on school building

The leader of a charter school that has been battling the Detroit district over a property says she expects her school to move into its new home in December, even though final sale documents have not yet been signed. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a pro-free market think tank funded in part with money from the family of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, released a promotional video on Wednesday highlighting its support of Detroit Prep, an elementary charter school. The video says renovations on the former district building have started and are expected to be completed in December. “We are back full force, working on the building,” Kyle Smitley, the co-founder and executive director of Detroit Prep said in the video. “Our architects are here regularly, our contractors are here regularly.

After months of complaints, new administrator named for St. Louis Veterans Home

The St. Louis Veterans Home has a new administrator. Theresia Metz will replace Stan Smith, who became interim director in January. The Missouri Veterans Commission announced Metz's appointment today, months after residents and their family members accused veterans home officials and staff of mismanagement and neglect. An independent investigation called by Gov. Eric Greitens confirmed those complaints.

After Parkland, Schools Beef Up Security

During a recent lockdown drill, a classroom of New Haven students took the threat of an active shooter so seriously that they told the teacher to get out of the way and started barricading the door.

After Prison Deaths, SC Asks FCC to Jam Cellphones

The fights at South Carolina's Lee Correctional Institution that resulted in seven inmate deaths and 17 injuries were a byproduct of gang activity facilitated by contraband cellphones, said Corrections Director Bryan Stirling. He said gang members use cellphones thrown over the prison fence or smuggled inside prison walls to conduct illegal business inside and outside the facility, the Wall Street Journal reports. Stirling said, “What we believe is that this was all about territory, this was about contraband, this was about cellphones. These folks are fighting over real money and real territory while they're incarcerated.”
Stirling and Gov. Henry McMaster reiterated a request that the Federal Communications Commission allow the jamming of cellphone signals in prisons. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has toured the Lee facility and coordinated a forum with Stirling and others on the topic, saying he is in favor of finding ways to rid prisons of illegal cellphones but is concerned about the risks of also blocking legitimate wireless users.

After the Marches, Where Is the Politics of Guns Heading?

The hundreds of passionate gun control rallies Saturday that brought out large crowds around the country sent a vivid signal that the issue is likely to play a major role in the 2018 midterm elections, and that Republicans could find themselves largely on the defensive on gun issues for the first time in decades, says the New York Times. In general, those who participated in the events, dubbed the March for Our Lives, say they support a law banning the sale of assault weapons, a prohibition on the sale of of high-capacity magazines, and universal background checks on gun sales. “If you listen real close, you can hear the people in power shaking,” Parkland, Fla., student activist David Hogg said Saturday in Washington. “We're going to make sure the best people get in our elections to run not as politicians but as Americans. Because this,” he said gesturing to the US Capitol.

After U of Chicago Cops Shoot Student, Community Says It’s Time to Disarm and Defund Campus Police

A frigid wind cut through the crowd gathered last Friday at the University of Chicago where nearly 200 people chanted “No Justice, No Peace! No racist police!” The rally, which made its way across campus, was organized by UChicago United, a coalition of multicultural student organizations formed to make the university more inclusive of students from marginalized backgrounds. The students gathered to demand the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) be disarmed after one of its officers shot Charles Thomas last week, while he was experiencing a mental health crisis. “This campus is notorious for its poor handling of mental health, especially when it's causing a lot of these issues due to the high stress environment,” Daniel Lastres, a student at the university and Thomas' roommate, told In These Times. “He's not the first student to have suffered injury at someone else's hands as a result of mental health problems that have occurred on this campus.

After years of decline, suspensions shot up in New York City schools this year

New York City schools are suspending students significantly more often, according to new data the city released Friday. Between July and December 2017, schools issued roughly 14,500 suspensions — 21 percent more than in the same period the previous year. The increase reverses a multi-year trend of precipitously declining suspension rates. Principal suspensions, which are handed out for less serious offenses, increased by 19.5 percent. Meanwhile, more serious superintendent suspensions shot up by nearly 25 percent.

After years of living alongside troops, border residents see little impact from Trump’s deployment so far

HIDALGO, Texas – Ron and Janella Frankl Reicks had just finished an early steak dinner when they stepped outside of their home here and chuckled about snow falling back in their native Iowa while they enjoyed 80-degree weather in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. Hours earlier in nearby Abram, Elia Villarreal was dispensing advice outside her shuttered convenience store on Military Highway on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a practice she credits with letting her reach the age of 80 despite having only one kidney. And around the same time, Max Muñoz was sorting through papers and attending to his duties at Mission's renowned National Butterfly Center as he answered the same questions about border security he's heard for the past four years. It was, in other words, an ordinary weekday for these Hidalgo County residents who have grown accustomed to periodic bursts in law enforcement presence and haven't noticed President Donald Trump's latest deployment interrupting their day-to-day lives. At least not yet.

AG Coffman files first brief in defense of oil and gas industry in landmark state Supreme Court case

Colorado Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Coffman this week filed an opening brief in support of the oil and gas industry in a landmark Colorado Supreme Court case, the outcome of which could have major implications for how the industry does business in Colorado. The case, Martinez v. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), focuses on whether the state oil and gas regulatory agency is obliged to first and foremost consider the impact of drilling on public health. In 2013, a group of young plaintiffs aided by attorneys for anti-fracking and environmental groups and led by 17-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, petitioned the state oil and gas regulatory agency to pass a rule prohibiting new drilling permits unless it can be scientifically demonstrated that such drilling will not harm human health or Colorado's ecological resources or contribute to climate change. But the COGCC, which is funded largely by the oil and gas industry, declined, arguing that such a rule would undermine its dual mission: to protect health and safety, and to promote drilling. Coffman's brief, filed Monday, argues that the Commission was well within its rights to turn down the teenagers' request.

AG George Jepsen endorses Ned Lamont for governor

Attorney General George Jepsen, who backed Ned Lamont's challenge of U.S. Sen. Joseph I. LIeberman in 2006, is endorsing his candidacy for governor, the Lamont campaign said Monday.

AG Jeff Sessions Brings Back “Just say no” to Addiction Prevention

By Taylor Knopf
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stopped in Raleigh on Tuesday to discuss the rising number of opioid overdoses and deaths, and what his office is doing to curb the crisis. He said law enforcement is making a number of large fentanyl and heroin seizures, as well as drug dealer arrests across the country. He announced several changes and new tools to combat the drug addiction problem. For example, he's placed experienced prosecutors in “opioid hot spot” areas, including North Carolina, to investigate and prosecute opioid-related health care fraud cases. Sessions noted that treatment, prevention and law enforcement efforts will all see funding increases.

AG, tax commissioner warn Vermonters of tax scams, offer tips as filing deadline nears

News Release — Office of Vermont Attorney General
April 2, 2018
Christopher J. Curtis, 802-828-5586
(MONTPELIER) – Vermont's Attorney General and Tax Commissioner are urging Vermonters to avoid the worst kind of April Fool's trick: scams that could lure them into losing hundreds or thousands of dollars. State officials met at the Tax Department two weeks before the April 16th tax filing deadline to warn Vermonters about the “IRS scam”, identity theft, and what they can do to protect themselves. “Don't be fooled,” said Attorney General T.J. Donovan. “With tax season just around the corner we want Vermonters to be alert and avoid problems that could cost them money,” he said. Donovan said that his office received over 5,000 calls reporting scam activity in the last year.

AG: Release Names Of Exonerated Sexual Harassers, Too

Ryland Barton / Kentucky Public RadioAttorney General Andy Beshear
Public agencies must reveal the names of employees accused of sexual harassment even if the allegation was not substantiated, the state attorney general's office ruled in an open records decision issued last week. The ruling followed an appeal of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet's response to a records request filed by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. The attorney general's office ruled that the cabinet violated the Open Records Act by withholding the name of an employee whose alleged sexual harassment of a co-worker wasn't substantiated. The Kentucky Labor Cabinet refused to release the name of an employee accused in 2016, saying that the employee's privacy outweighed the public interest. “The public's interest in monitoring agency action outweighed the privacy interest of the employee who was exonerated of misconduct,” said assistant attorney general Gordon Slone in the decision.

AG’s office: Magazine limit in gun bill ‘largely unenforceable’

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee take testimony on gun legislation Wednesday. Photo by Alan Keays/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Senate Judiciary" width="300" height="200" srcset=" 300w, 125w, 768w, 610w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee take testimony on gun legislation Wednesday. Photo by Alan Keays/VTDiggerThe Vermont Attorney General's office testified Wednesday before a Senate panel against a controversial provision contained in a monumental gun bill that would set limits on the rounds of ammunition a magazine can hold. That measure appears to be the main sticking point that still needs to be reconciled between a House version of the bill and one approved earlier this month in the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard strong words and emotional pleas on both sides of the debate Wednesday morning.

Agencies seek expanded investigation of Vermont Gas pipeline

Pipes to be used in Vermont Gas' natural gas pipeline project wait in a construction yard in in November 2014 . File photo by John Herrick/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Vermont Gas" width="610" height="348" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 330w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Pipeline materials in a construction yard. File photo by John Herrick/VTDiggerTwo state agencies have asked for an expanded investigation into Vermont Gas Systems' recently completed 41-mile gas pipeline to determine whether the utility failed to install devices on the pipeline meant to prevent it from draining wetlands. Vermont Gas said it backs the investigation in a filing made with the Public Utility Commission on March 22. The Agency of Natural Resources and Department of Public Service issued filings the same day requesting the expanded probe.

Aging infrastructure blamed for sewage spills into public waters

Summer 2013
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" width="610" height="428" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 330w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Sewage spilled from aging pipes eventually ends up in Lake Champlain. File photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDiggerMore than one million gallons of raw sewage burst from the town of Brandon's sewage pipes earlier this month and flowed into the Neshobe River, a Lake Champlain tributary, in an accident officials are attributing to aging infrastructure. Over the span of two weeks, untreated effluent flowed from two separate holes in a 12-inch-diameter sewage pipe that runs parallel to the river. The pipe was buried and put into service in the 1930s, said Jessica Bulova, supervisor of the wastewater section in the Department of Environmental Conservation's Watershed Management Division. “We have aging infrastructure in Vermont,” Bulova said.

Agriculture Agency issues reminder to farmers regarding spring manure spreading restrictions

News Release — Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
March 29, 2018
Ryan Patch
Sr. Ag Development Coordinator
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
March 29, 2018 / Montpelier, VT – April 1st marks the end of Vermont's winter manure spreading ban for non-frequently flooded fields in Vermont, but with another cold and wet spring bringing adverse field conditions to most of Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is issuing a spring stewardship reminder to ensure that farmers are aware that water quality rules will restrict manure spreading activities until the weather and individual field conditions improve. The Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs), newly revised in December of 2016, prohibits the application of manure on frozen or snow-covered ground, or to any fields where field conditions are conducive to runoff into Vermont's waters. Showers and snowfall are forecasted in some parts of the state through the coming weekend and farmers are urged to take caution when spreading through the spring months. Timing of crop nutrient application is important not only to avoid runoff from farm fields, but also to achieve efficient nutrient uptake and maximize crop yield. The RAPs outline that manure cannot be applied to fields that are frozen or snow-covered, nor to fields that are saturated, likely to runoff, or are conducive to any other off-site movement regardless of nutrient management plan recommendations.

Agriculture law seeks to ensure Vermonters ‘right to forestry’

Logging in Vermont. Creative Commons
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="logging" width="610" height="458" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1376w, 1044w, 632w, 536w, 1600w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Logging in Vermont. Creative CommonsA bill establishing a “right to forestry” in Vermont would help hard-up foresters expand their operations and keep more of the state's forests eligible for protection under the current use program, supporters say. The bill already won a unanimous vote in the Senate and on Tuesday received unanimous support from the House Committee on Agriculture. Titled S.101, the bill establishes a “rebuttable presumption” that logging is not a nuisance, meaning that a logging or forestry operation can only be found to be a nuisance if it is negligent or violate state or federal law.

Agroforestry bolsters biodiversity and villages in Sri Lanka

PITEKELE, Sri Lanka — Visitors to the Sinharaja Man and Biosphere Reserve, Sri Lanka's largest remaining primary rainforest, could easily miss the fact that adjoining the forest's entrance is the old and thriving community of Pitekele. Yet on foot, it takes just a quick turn and a climb over a boulder or two to exit the UNESCO World Heritage Site and enter into this bucolic village landscape of fallow rice paddies, sprawling tea gardens, and homes surrounded by some of the most diverse, and biodiverse, gardens in the whole region. Pitekele, Sinhalese for “the village outside the forest,” is located within the 3-kilometer-wide (1.9-mile) buffer zone on the northwestern side of Sinharaja, the last remaining example of a once extensive mature wet-zone rainforest containing species endemic to Sri Lanka, and is itself a prime example of applied agroforestry. View of a Pitekele home garden surrounding dense plantings of tea. Photo by Chandni Navalkha for Mongabay Villagers have a complex relationship with the protected area; while they fully support the conservation of the forest for its contribution to the local climate and clean water, conservation rules implemented after the reserve's establishment in 1986 have curtailed their ability to use forest resources upon which they have depended for generations.

Ahead of 2020 census, Texans are becoming even harder to count

Local officials, demographers and advocates are worried the census could be particularly tough to carry out in Texas in 2020. They are bracing for challenges both practical and political that could make the state, which is already hard to count, even tougher to enumerate.

AI can ‘help us move mountains’ for people and planet, Watson developer says

Neil Sahota is an IBM Master Inventor and World Wide Business Development Leader in the company's Watson Group. He works to create solutions powered by Watson, the supercomputer that he helped to develop which famously competed on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! against two human champions in 2011 and won. Sahota is a big believer in the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the lives of people and the health of the environment, and while technology won't solve all human or ecological problems, it has an important role to play, prompting Mongabay to ask him for an interview. An Interview with Neil Sahota Erik Hoffner for Mongabay: At our conservation tech site Wildtech, we increasingly publish news about how AI and machine learning can be applied to conservation, from using eBird to track songbird populations to applications that can curtail illegal rainforest logging.

Ailing former first lady Barbara Bush halting treatment, seeking “comfort care”

Former first lady Barbara Bush has endured a series of hospitalizations and has decided to halt treatment for her failing health, according to a statement from her family Sunday. Bush, 92, will instead focus on receiving "comfort care," the statement said. "It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others," said a statement from the office of her husband, former President George H.W. Bush. "She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving." Barbara Bush, also the mother of former President George W. Bush, and her husband have lived in Texas for much of their post-presidency years.

Alabama Executes Judge’s Killer at 83

Alabama executed 83-year-old Walter Leroy Moody on Thursday night for the 1989 pipe bombing death of a federal judge. He became the oldest inmate executed in the U.S. since the return of executions in the 1970s, reports The execution was delayed about two hours after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a temporary stay about 15 minutes before the scheduled 6 p.m. execution time. The high court gave no explanation for the delay or why it later lifted the stay. Federal public defender Spencer Hahn took issue with the execution process even though Moody moved less on the gurney than had some previous inmates.

Alamo Heights Repeals Gun Ordinance Amid Local Pressure

The decision to repeal the ordinance in Alamo Heights follows a parallel decision made last week by Olmos Park's City Council. The post Alamo Heights Repeals Gun Ordinance Amid Local Pressure appeared first on Rivard Report.

Alana Stevens: Wildlife policymakers pander to sport hunters

This commentary is by Alana Stevenson, a professional animal behavior specialist who has an master's degree in biology education and a bachelor's degree in biology. She is the author of “Training Your Dog the Humane Way” and is certified in Low Stress Handling for dogs and cats. The population of moose has drastically declined in Vermont due to winter ticks, brainworm, lungworm, loss of habitat and hunting. Yet the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the Fish and Wildlife Board still support a 2018 moose hunt. For too long the department and the board (solely made up of hunters and trappers with vested self-interests) have catered to hunters and trappers at the expense of animals, wildlife, homeowners and non-hunting Vermonters.

Albertus Falcons To Skate At Walker Rink

Albertus Magnus is creating a varsity men's hockey team — and ponying up $300,000 to help the city turn Ralph Walker Skating Rink into home ice.

Alcohol use among Minnesota’s teens continues to decline

Susan Perry

Alcohol use among Minnesota's teens continues to decline, according to new data released on Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The percentage of Minnesota' 9th graders who report that they started drinking before age 13 has plummeted from 30 percent in 2001 to 11 percent in 2016. And the percentage of 9th graders who acknowledge that they are currently using alcohol has fallen from 20 percent in 2007 to 12 percent in 2016.“This is really good news, given the health effects that drinking has on youth,” said Dana Farley, MDH's alcohol and drug policy prevention coordinator, in an interview with MinnPost. Those effects include being at increased risk of death from alcohol poisoning, alcohol-related crashes and other unintentional injuries, according to background information in the MDH's report on the new data. They also include being at higher risk for suicide, homicide and physical and sexual assault.“Alcohol consumption at young ages can also create changes in brain development that could lead to dependency, memory problems and other long-term effects that may cause difficulty in school and beyond,” the report adds.A comparison of two surveysThe data in the report comes from the Minnesota Student Survey, which has been administered to students in three, and more recently in four, different grade levels (5th, 8th, 9th and 11th) every three years since 1989.

Alert: Promising a ‘heavy hand’ in education, Baraka hints at plans to influence school policy

Newark's elected school board regained control of the schools this year after a decades-long state takeover. So where does that leave Mayor Ras Baraka? “We are going to try to have as heavy a hand as possible in the school district by fostering collaboration,” he recently told Chalkbeat. “We don't have to be in charge of it literally in order to have influence over it.”
One idea he has is to bring in outside experts to help guide the school board's decision-making. That's partly out of concern about some board members, Baraka said.

All about chemistry: The remarkable career of the University of Minnesota’s Izaak Kolthoff

Paul Nelson

University of MinnesotaIzaak Kolthoff, 1952Izaak Maurits Kolthoff was a professor of analytical chemistry at the University of Minnesota from 1927 to 1962. He published over a thousand papers, wrote more than a dozen books, and created and edited the first comprehensive treatise of analytical chemistry. He also played a key part in the development of synthetic rubber during and after World War II. He is known as the “father of modern analytical chemistry.”Izaak “Piet” Kolthoff was born in Almelo, the Netherlands, in 1894 and received a rigorous education there. He took an intense interest in chemistry at an early age and specialized in analytical chemistry (the science of identifying and measuring chemical compounds) at the University of Utrecht.

All about the here and now: This may be his last year as governor, but Dayton isn’t looking back

Briana Bierschbach

Mark Dayton is reaching the last six months of a political career that's spanned most of his adult life, most recently including two terms as Minnesota's governor. But don't expect him to start getting nostalgic about it.“The stakes are very immediate,” Dayton, a Democrat, said in a recent interview with MinnPost about his eighth and final legislative session as governor. “People are asking about my legacy,” he added. “Your legacy lasts as long as it takes the next person to get the keys to the office.”Dayton isn't seeking re-election this fall after a dramatic eight years as governor that included a multibillion-dollar budget deficit, a historic 21-day government shutdown, a two-year battle over gay marriage and plenty of negotiations over taxes, education and other issues in between.Each session was marked by its own distinct challenges — not to mention political makeups of the Legislature — and Dayton said this year is no different, even if it's his last.“This is my last chance to accomplish some of these things, but it's really about the here and now,” he said. “It's really about this session, and it's about what in this session is going to be the best outcome for people.”Taxes on the table for debate, againThe “here and now” for Dayton includes something he and lawmakers weren't expecting to deal with this year: taxes.Last spring Dayton and state lawmakers agreed to a budget that included a $650 million package of tax cuts as part of the deal.

All Talk, No Housing: Public Press Weekly

If you want the housing crisis to be over and done with/solved/end of story, the political arena may not be the best place to start, according to some editorial powers-that-be. (San Francisco Chronicle). The op-ed page recently had a full-throated condemnation of the gubernatorial hopefuls who, at the last debate, coughed up platitudes about housing but ducked on supporting any specifics — specifically, state Sen. Scott Wiener's bill to go light on regulation and up the housing supply. The editorial did point out that the candidates were full of ideas on increasing spending on low-income housing. Hmm.

All the Democratic men in the U.S. Senate — plus Ted Cruz — sign letter urging overhaul of Congress’ sexual harassment policy

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz was the lone Republican to sign onto a letter released Thursday from male senators calling for an overhaul of sexual harassment policies in the U.S. Senate. The letter, addressed to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York, affirms support for an earlier letter sent by the women of the U.S. Senate in March calling for an overhaul of the chamber's workplace misconduct rules. "If we are to lead by example, the Senate must revise current law to give the victims of sexual harassment and discrimination a more coherent, transparent, and fair process to tell their stories and pursue justice without fear of personal or professional ruin," the men's letter stated. "If we fail to act immediately to address this systemic problem in our own workplace, we will lose all credibility in the eyes of the American public regarding our capacity to protect victims of sexual harassment or discrimination in any setting." All 31 of the Senate's Democratic men signed the letter, along with Cruz, making him the most out-front male Republican on the issue.

Alliance of School Boards hold conference on ‘Alternative Governance’

News Release — Alliance of Vermont School Board Members
March 23, 2018
Last weekend, Vermont school board members and study committees from across the state went to the Montpelier High School to attend a conference designed to help them strategize how best to present their “Alternative Governance” proposals to state officials.The Conference was hosted by The Alliance of Vermont School Board Members. David Clark, a school board member from Westminster, Vermont explained, “A significant percentage of Vermont school districts have discovered that there are few economic savings generated by consolidation and that their communities want to preserve local governance. Act 46 provides for alternatives to consolidation. It is up to districts to develop persuasive proposals to either preserve or modify their governance. Many have done so, but they also have to go before a committee of state officials and convince them to support these alternatives.

Although cleared of bias, questions remain for Burlington School Board

Yaw Obeng, superintendent of the Burlington school district, and Stephanie Seguino, vice chair of the Burlington School Board listen to a speaker. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Burlington school district" width="640" height="427" srcset=" 5184w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 610w, 150w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" data-recalc-dims="1">School Superintendent Yaw Obeng, left, and former board member Stephanie Seguino, were both interviewed as part of the investigation. File photo by Cory Dawson/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — Although a lengthy investigation into possible racial discrimination by the Burlington School Board determined there was no evidence of bias, questions remain about discussions between officials that led to the complaint. Daniel K. Troidl, a former Vermont State Police officer, conducted the investigation and authored the report that was released by the board last Friday. He had been asked to examine incidents that had allegedly occurred between March 2017 and Jan.

Alton hopes ‘Small Business Revolution’ will wake up sleepy town

When Lauren Pattan and James Rogalsky started looking for a building to house their brewery, they didn't plan to move from St. Louis to Alton, where they'd both grown up. But they found the perfect building on Landmark Boulevard, right near the riverfront and off Alton's old Antiques Row on East Broadway, and it swayed them. The downtown stretch of Broadway, Rogalsky said, had been “neglected for the last several decades.” But in the last few years, new businesses have opened on the street. Established food staples moved from the city's traditional main street to Broadway.

Alton Sterling Decision Shreds Last Bit of Trust in Police, Community Says

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — It is easy to imagine that the scene Thursday afternoon in front of the Triple S Food Mart on North Foster Drive in Baton Rouge was similar to the way it was the evening of July 5, 2016, before Alton Sterling was shot to death. Two men sat on a cooler beneath a ramshackle little tent chatting. Young people strolled into the store to buy after-school snacks. Cars pulled into the lot and people hopped out to do some light shopping. Another man stood behind a table with stacks of CDs for sale, doing the same thing Sterling was doing when an encounter with police turned into a struggle and ultimately his death after one police officer shot him.

Amelia Gianetta: What about college campus safety?

Editor's note: This commentary is by Amelia Gianetta, who is a senior studying environmental studies with a concentration in law, justice and activism, at the University of Vermont. I work as a student caller for the University of Vermont. I call alumni, parents and friends of the school for surveys, fundraising and to update information. It's a great job that has taught me much about my school, Burlington and Vermont. Often, I call parents of current students.

Amendment looks to exempt manufacturers from magazine limit

Rep. Corey Parent, R-St. Albans. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Corey Parent" width="610" height="397" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 140w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Rep. Corey Parent, R-St. Albans, speaks on the House floor. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDiggerLawmakers have drafted an amendment that would exempt Century International Arms, a firearm company that employees more than 100 people in northern Vermont, from legislation that the company says would “significantly impact” business.

America’s NAEP hangover

Welcome to Chalkbeat's national newsletter! We're Matt Barnum and Sarah Darville, Chalkbeat's national team. Our goal is to help you make sense of the messy, fascinating, often controversial efforts to improve education for poor students across the country. Did someone forward? You can subscribe here.

American Craft Show in St. Paul; Prince tribute events all over town

Pamela Espeland

Bag by Chip AddingtonOne of the nation's premiere craft shows takes place in only four cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, San Francisco and St. Paul. Presented by the American Craft Council (ACC), the American Craft Show comes here because, in 1987, Sam Grabarski and the 11 members of the Minnesota State Arts Board persuaded the ACC to move its Dallas show to Minnesota. Basically, we poached it.And it's been here ever since, an annual destination/pilgrimage for those who enjoy, appreciate and can afford fine craft. Meanwhile, in 2010, the Craft Council moved its offices from New York City to the old Grain Belt brewery complex in northeast Minneapolis.

American Voting Machines Are Old and Vulnerable, But Who Will Pay for New Ones?

by Mac Schneider, Vox, and Kate Rabinowitz, special to ProPublica

Congress has approved $380 million to fund state efforts to address the security of election systems ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. What's that all about? If you've been paying attention to the news recently, you know there's evidence that Russia tried to manipulate the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. How they did it and the degree to which those attempts were successful is the subject of intense scrutiny. But the focus on foreign meddling has obscured another type of threat.

Amid Cities’ Green Power Push, SDG&E May Buy a $280M Gas Plant

San Diego Gas & Electric may be forced to buy a natural gas power plant near the border even as it is under pressure to reduce the amount of gas it burns to make power. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
Even under pressure to burn less natural gas, San Diego Gas & Electric is preparing to spend more than a quarter billion dollars to buy another gas-fired power plant. Once it does, a third or more of the company's electricity will come from company-owned natural gas plants. The deal, though, is not up to SDG&E. Several cities, including the city of San Diego, are trying to get rid of gas power, because burning gas contributes to climate change.

Amid national focus on election security, town clerks have few concerns

Morristown Town Clerk and Treasurere Sara Haskins. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" width="640" height="480" srcset=" 3264w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 610w, 1376w, 1044w, 632w, 536w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" data-recalc-dims="1">Morristown Town Clerk and Treasurer Sara Haskins. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerELMORE — When Sharon Draper first became clerk of this lakeside town, there were about 250 registered voters. That has grown over the years to approximately 700. But for many elections, the number of voters is still not robust enough to justify the expense of using a tabulator, so the paper ballots are counted by hand.

Amputee Parity Bill Advances

A bill that would require that full coverage insurance plans in Connecticut adopt prosthetic coverage is headed to the floor of the State Senate.

An American Epidemic: Crimes of Wrongful Liberty

Unlike what appears on Law and Order, wrongful convictions very rarely end up with a happy ending. Most cases remain unsolved, leaving those harmed by criminal justice failure with neither justice nor closure. Further, they often leave the truly guilty party, the perpetrator, on the street to commit more crime. We call those “crimes of wrongful liberty” because the justice system, by putting the wrong person in custody, left the true criminal wrongfully free. During that time of wrongful liberty, these criminals often commit more crime.

An Ethnic Media Beacon Goes Dark, but Its Creator Keeps Inspiring

When Sandy Close recruited a young African-American rapper to her news organization, Pacific News Service, his first assignment was to write about Cantopop, popular music that swept Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities in the 1980s and '90s. She also asked a 16-year-old Afghan refugee to hang out with Salvadoran immigrants in San Francisco's Dolores Park and write about why they joined gangs. Close has made it her life's work to find and amplify unique voices from different ethnic communities, especially those of the young. She's especially fascinated by the complexity of relationships between people of different cultures. For 48 years, Pacific News Service practiced “journalism from the inside out” by bringing people from many cultures into the newsroom.

An inside look at the legacy of William Gass through his literary papers, peers

The writings of the late author and philosopher William H. Gass have a reputation for being cerebrally intimidating to some would-be readers. But when Joel Minor opened one of Gass' books for the first time years ago, he was pleasantly surprised by a sense of accessibility. “I found his work very approachable,” said Minor, who now oversees the Modern Literature Collection where Gass' literary archive is housed. “‘Middle C' is, I think, a very engrossing, approachable book. If you go into it knowing it's not going to be a strictly linear narrative from start to finish, you're going to be able to follow it and really appreciate his ability to work the language in a unique way in this character's perspective.”

An Ode to Sharp-Tongued Women, From Dorothy Parker to Susan Sontag

Mary McCarthy could command a room. “She stood in what I later recognized as a characteristic stance, right foot forward and balanced on a high heel,” recalled poet Eileen Simpson of the time they met. “In one hand she held a cigarette, in the other a martini.”

There are moments like this, where a writer makes an impression, throughout Michelle Dean's Sharp, a collective biography of women, like McCarthy, “who made an art of having an opinion.” Even private moments seem designed to impress, like Susan Sontag's recollection that, while she was writing her first novel, her 10-year-old son, David Rieff, would “stand by her and light her cigarettes as she typed.”

Throughout Sharp, we witness enough timely encounters with editors and friendships forged from critical reviews to show just how dependent on relationships these women's work was. But to have an opinion is to stake out ground, to stand apart. Dean argues that the writers she profiles, from Dorothy Parker and Rebecca West to Nora Ephron and Janet Malcolm, saw themselves as outsiders and wielded their wit—the “sharpness” of the book's title—against a world that often had no place for them.

Analysis highlights shortfall in Mississippi public education funding

A new analysis of state-by-state spending on public education found that a high school senior in Mississippi received about $33,000 less in state funding than the national average over the course of his or her public education. Efforts to rework the state's public education funding formula died in this year's legislative session, but debate over appropriate school funding levels continues —and the analysis provides new insight for evaluating state spending levels. The analysis — based on U.S. Department of Education data through the 2015-16 school year — was done by Steve Suitts, a former chief strategist of the political action committee that unsuccessfully pushed for full funding of Mississippi's school funding formula under Proposition 42 in 2015. Suitts previously worked at the Southern Education Foundation for almost 20 years and now is an adjunct professor and researcher at Emory University in Atlanta. Since 1997, the state has used the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) to determine public school funding.

Analysis: Adding a citizenship question to the census could screw over Texas

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Counting is one thing. Culling is something else entirely. As the federal government prepares for its once-every-decade count of the U.S. population, it has decided to ask residents whether they are U.S. citizens or not. At a time when immigration and sanctuary cities tops Republican lists of political concerns, that question has less to do with counting and more to do with culling.

Analysis: Changing the Texas Senate, a special election at a time

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Candidates are lining up for the day — maybe soon, maybe not — when two Texas Senate incumbents get out of the way. Texas is poised to have a couple of state Senate elections ahead, in Houston and in San Antonio, races that are not yet on the ballot. One is opening because the incumbent, Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, ran for higher office (successfully, so far); the other could happen because the incumbent, Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, was convicted of 11 federal felonies including money laundering and fraud. Garcia won last month's Democratic primary for an open seat in Congress, getting 63.2 percent of the vote and leaving six other candidates in her dust.

Analysis: Gender wage gap costs Vermont women more than $1 billion each year

Press Release — National Partnership for Women & Familie
April 9, 2018
Contact: Alexandra Nseir
New Analysis Released for Equal Pay Day Tomorrow
If the Wage Gap Closed, Vermont Women Could Afford More Than Eight Additional Months of Child Care or 7.3 More Months of Rent Each Year
A state-by-state analysis released for Equal Pay Day tomorrow reveals that a woman employed full time, year-round in Vermont is typically paid just 86 cents for every dollar paid to a man – a yearly pay difference of $6,718. That means Vermont women lose a combined total of more than $1 billion every year to the gender wage gap. If it were closed, on average, a woman working full time in Vermont would be able to afford 50 more weeks of food for her family, more than nine additional months of mortgage and utilities payments, nearly one additional semester of tuition and fees for a four-year public university, nearly one year of tuition and fees for a two-year community college, more than seven additional months of rent or more than eight additional months of child care each year. This new analysis, conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, finds that Vermont has the fifth smallest cents-on-the-dollar gap in the nation. It also finds that there is a gender-based wage gap in every single state and the District of Columbia.

Analysis: In Texas politics, breaking out is hard to do

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. It's hard for a political first-timer to get attention. Just ask Andrew White. Maybe you've never heard of him. In fact — based on recent polls, and in spite of the fact that he's currently in a runoff for the state Democratic Party's nomination for governor — you almost certainly haven't heard of him.

Analysis: San Antonio’s Economic Development Incentives Pay Off

A study found that for every $1 spent on incentives to attract business to San Antonio, the City earns more than five times that in revenue. The post Analysis: San Antonio's Economic Development Incentives Pay Off appeared first on Rivard Report.

Analysis: Texans hate standardized tests, but govern by the results

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The best way to improve public education in Texas? Cut the number of standardized tests students have to take, according to a February 2017 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. That answer came in ahead of increased funding, vouchers, higher pay for teachers, incentives for prospective teachers, grading of schools, expanded pre-k, more charter schools and more online earning. Texans really, really hate those tests.

Analysis: Texas GOP ignores young voters with LGBT snub

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Texas Republican leaders have decided once again not to allow the party's biggest LGBT group — the Log Cabin Republicans — to operate a booth at the state convention. It's not the first time that's happened, and it's in line with the party platform on LGBT issues. But it also pits the party's social conservatives against its live-and-let-live conservatives, and its older voters against its younger ones. The reality is, Republicans are old.

Analysis: Texas hasn’t seen a Senate underdog like Beto O’Rourke since 2012, when Ted Cruz ran

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The fight promoters in politics — the media, in other words — are delighted that El Paso congressman Beto O'Rourke raised enough money in the past three months to command U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's attention. It's the difference, at least for a moment, between a real contest and the Bambi vs. Godzilla races that have marked statewide general elections in Texas for the last umpteen years. O'Rourke raised $6.7 million from more than 141,000 people during the last three months, according to his campaign.

Analysis: Texas lawmakers asked for a study on open government. They’re still waiting.

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. It makes little sense to scold someone without first reminding them that they are supposed to take care of something — and that they haven't taken care of it yet. Hold the scolding, then, but here's the prompt: Tie reminder ribbons around Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus' index fingers. The Texas Legislature unanimously passed — and the governor signed — a Senate resolution last year to create a committee to work on patches to the state's open information laws. It's supposed to be a joint committee, with members from the House and Senate.

Analysis: Texas mapmakers built the GOP’s political house on high ground

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Texas' gerrymanders are the political equivalent of putting houses on stilts to keep them safe from flooding. Democratic hopes for a “blue wave” that would lift some of their candidates into statewide office and reduce their disadvantages in the congressional delegation and the statehouse aren't completely out of line. Presidents' political parties often have trouble in midterm elections. It's just that Republicans in Texas drew maps in 2011 — since modified by the federal courts but still being litigated — that protect the party's officeholders from most changes in public sentiment.

Analysis: The Texas Senate’s Republican supermajority, on the bubble

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. This isn't necessarily about something that is going to happen when the 86th Texas Legislature convenes next January. But it could happen, and it's a great peek into how political chess works. Texas Republicans have a 20-11 advantage in the state Senate. That's just enough, under current Senate rules, to proceed with debate on bills even when all 11 Democrats are in opposition.

Analysis: When it comes to replacing Speakers Paul Ryan and Joe Straus, your vote belongs to someone else

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Joe Straus and Paul Ryan are quitting, leaving the Texas and U.S. houses in some state of shock — and the rest of us wondering what all the fuss is about. The two speakers are the most powerful elected officials most of us never vote for. Straus is one of 150 members of the Texas House, installed by the voters of his San Antonio district. Ryan one of 435 U.S. representatives, elected by voters in his home in Wisconsin.

Analysis: Why Texas Republicans hope 2018 won’t be like 1990

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Unpopular presidents regularly get their parties clobbered in mid-term elections, but Texas Republicans have a couple of layers of political insulation. Donald Trump is still popular with the party's voters, and Texas Democrats would have to have an unusually strong year to win big even if there's a Trump slump in 2018. When Texas Republicans won the last round of state elections in 2014, the margins of victory were almost as important as the victories themselves. In contested statewide races, the average Republican candidate finished 13 percentage points ahead of the average Democrat.

Analysis: You can’t replace some Texas lawmakers without their permission

With one congressional resignation in the bag and a couple more pending — maybe — in the Texas Senate, special elections have become a spring parlor game in Austin. Republican Blake Farenthold of Corpus Christi quit earlier this month — pushed into the limelight and squeezed out of his office by a sexual harassment scandal and a related ethics investigation. He'd already decided not to seek another term. With his decision to quit, Gov. Greg Abbott is positioned to call a special election — on or before Nov. 6 — to elect someone to finish Farenthold's term.

Analyst: County has no management policies beyond “keeping the boat afloat”

As county supervisors try to figure out how to recruit and retain employees, former county Analyst Louie Valdez said leadership is non-existent and board should hire new leadership.

Andrew White proposes cutting border security, expanding gambling to fund a $5,000 raise for teachers

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew White on Wednesday proposed a $6.5 billion plan to tackle an "education emergency" in Texas, in part by expanding gambling in the state and redirecting the state's border security funding. White's plan includes a $5,000 teacher pay raise, universal, full-day pre-K and a $5,000 college scholarship for anyone who graduates from a public high school with a 3.0 GPA or better. It would be paid for by ending the state's $800 million, two-year commitment to border security, as well as allowing slot machines and table games at horse tracks and a "few destination resorts." The rest of the funding would come from closing a commercial property tax loophole that White has been campaigning against since launching his campaign. Zeroing out border security funding and expanding gaming would likely be political non-starters in the current GOP-dominated Legislature, but White insisted he expects the Legislature's political makeup to change in the November elections.

Anger in the White House; missiles in Syria, politics everywhere

President Donald Trump had a lot to be angry about last week, starting with an FBI raid on his lawyer Michael Cohen's offices and finishing with the impending release of former FBI director James Comey's book. Connecticut's Congressional delegation members were not to happy, either.

Anglers seek lower catch limits for Vermont’s state fish (cold-water)

The brook trout is Vermont's official state cold-water fish. Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceIn the run-up to the start of trout season on Saturday, the Vermont Council of Trout Unlimited called for halving the daily catch limit for brook trout, Vermont's official state cold water fish, from 12 per day to six. The state's current regulations are “out of balance,” Clark Amadon, president of the Mad Dog Trout Unlimited Chapter, said in an interview on Wednesday. The organization wants the state to provide brook trout “the same level of protection offered to non-native trout species in Vermont.”
Brook trout are the only native stream-dwelling trout species in Vermont. They require clean, cold water , and tend to favor streams at higher elevations.

Anglo American iron ore pipeline suffers second rupture in Brazil

The ruptured pipeline moves a mix of iron ore dust and water under pressure. When the pipe broke the mining material shot high into the air, then flowed away, contaminating a local river and pastureland. Image courtesy of MPMG On 12 March, Anglo American Brasil halted iron ore production in Minas Gerais state after the rupture of a mineral duct in the rural area of Santo Antônio do Grama, which leaked 318 tons of mining material into a local stream near its EB2 pumping station. Seventeen days later, on 29 March, a second pipeline leak occurred only 200 meters (656 feet) away from the first. It spilled 647 tons of iron ore, including 174 tons into the Santo Antônio do Grama River as well as contaminating nearby pastureland according to IBAMA, Brazil's environmental agency.

Animal trainers are teaching wildlife to conserve themselves

Ken Ramirez honed his animal training skills working for many years with dolphins. Photo courtesy of Ken Ramirez Mention animal training and most of us imagine teaching a dog to sit up for a treat — not something with an obvious conservation connection. But in fact, modern scientifically based wildlife training traces its origins not to canines, but to dolphins, aquatic mammals with whom trainers had to devise teaching methods neither involving force nor requiring direct contact. Today, the techniques first practiced with dolphins many decades ago are used with a surprising number of wild species, ranging from chimpanzees (not so surprising), to butterflies (quite surprising!). Notably, conservationists are finding that the skills of animal trainers can be effective in protecting animals, even in their natural habitats.

Announcing inewsource’s newest partnership with The Coast News Group

inewsource content will now be viewed by more than 120,000 readers in print spanning 11 cities from Oceanside and Carlsbad to Del Mar and Carmel Valley. The post Announcing inewsource's newest partnership with The Coast News Group appeared first on San Diego news from inewsource.

Announcing Our Illinois Reporting Project

by ProPublica
At ProPublica Illinois, we want to expand our investigative reporting throughout the state and we're looking for some excellent journalists with great story ideas to help us do that. We have $40,000 to fund reporting projects focused on issues critical to rural, small and mid-sized communities in Illinois. What are those issues? Well, we have a particular interest in examining the environment, energy, politics and agriculture, but if you know of other stories that should be told or additional areas that should be investigated, please pitch them. We welcome all ideas.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Hollister Saturday March 31

Annual Easter Egg Hunt participants are reminded to arrive early. The event is hosted by VFW Post 9242 and Auxillary will be at Veterans Memorial Park

Anore Horton: School meal programs close achievement gap

Editor's note: This commentary is by Anore Horton, of Williston, who is acting director of Hunger Free Vermont. In response to the recent coverage of Vermont students' math and reading performance slipping, I offer that increasing participation in the school breakfast and lunch program is an intervention that helps to decrease the achievement gap. While an increase in the number of students enrolled in school meal programs could be an indicator of a growing achievement gap, it can also be an indicator that schools are successfully reaching more low-income students by encouraging more families to apply for what research shows can be one of the most effective ways to improve students' health, behavior, and readiness to learn. In this article, the director of the National Educational Policy Center, Bill Mathis, is spot on when he correlates a decrease in test scores to an increase in low-income students, because the opportunity gap for children from low-income households is very real. Children from low-income households are more likely to experience food insecurity and not receive the regular, nutritious meals required for proper health and development.

Another candidate adds to drama of race to replace Sen. Cochran

Jason Shelton, the mayor of Tupelo, announced Tuesday that he will join what is becoming a packed race for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by retiring Sen. Thad Cochran. Hyde-Smith
Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith has been appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to hold the Cochran seat until a special election Nov. 6. She will be sworn in on Monday and is running to complete Cochran's full term through 2020. City of TupeloTupelo Mayor Jason Shelton
Shelton, a 42-year-old Democrat, said his record as mayor of the state's seventh-largest city qualifies him for the race.

Another round of winter weather expected to hit much of Minnesota

Brian Lambert

Says Mary Lynn Smith for the Strib: “A big, ugly and unpredictable storm is about to hammer much of Minnesota. What's certain is that the Twin Cities and areas north and south could be hit by a trifecta of rain, ice and snow. The big question is how much of what will fall where. Some parts of the state could be buried in a foot or more of snow … .” I'm saying: Fourth of July before the furnace goes off.And at MPR, Paul Huttner says: “I'm not totally sold yet on the idea of double-digit snowfall totals for parts of the Twin Cities, but I'm getting closer. This looks like one of those systems where impacts will be roughly the same regardless of the eventual number of inches in your backyard.

Another St. Louis County municipality decides whether to dissolve

When Mackenzie Village's voters go to the polls Tuesday, the fate of their south county community will hang in the balance. They will decide whether to dissolve the 72-year-old village -- made up of 134 residents, 68 homes, one park and three streets.

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.

Anson Tebbetts: EPA gives Vermont all A’s

Editor's note: This commentary is by Anson Tebbetts, the secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets. The Environmental Protection Agency Boston regional office announced last week that the Vermont Agency of Agriculture has made significant progress toward meeting the state's water quality goals. In a letter to the agency dated April 2, EPA regional administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn noted, “Your staff have clearly been working hard to get new programs off the ground, rapidly award large amounts of new funding to priority phosphorus reduction projects, ramp up inspection programs and establish the new comprehensive tracking and accounting system. The many milestones that have been completed reflect this excellent progress.”
This independent review means Vermont's farmers, partners and the agency are on the right track. In fact, the Agency of Agriculture met all of its milestones with a perfect score: 14 out of 14.

Anthony Graves on Texas request for faster death penalty appeals: “I would have been executed”

Anthony Graves spent 12 years on death row before a conservative federal court tossed out his wrongful capital murder conviction. Texas courts had previously rejected all of his appeals. “I had to get out of the state of Texas and into the federal court system to get help,” he told The Texas Tribune Friday. “If it was up to the state itself, I would have been executed.”
It's a point he made in arguing against a pending request by the state to speed up the federal appeals process in death penalty cases. He's not alone: Several lawyers, former judges and legal groups have asked the federal government to deny the request by bringing up the cases of people, like Graves, who were taken off death row long after their sentences were handed down.

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

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

Antillean Manor Co-Op Agrees To Sale

The resident-owners at one of the city's last cooperative housing developments have reached an agreement to sell the crumbling property to a Meriden-based real estate company, which plans to temporarily relocate them, demolish and rebuild the housing complex, and retain the same number of subsidized affordable housing units for anyone interested in returning to the new facility.

Antwan Wilson being paid $60,000 to consult for Denver Public Schools

The Denver school district is paying former administrator Antwan Wilson $60,000 to be a part-time consultant for 12 weeks to help to build a strategic plan for a career and technical education program, according to Wilson's contract. The contract shows the district determined that Wilson, who was recently forced to resign as Washington, D.C. schools chancellor, was the only person qualified for the consultant job. “We considered other local or national consulting organizations that could provide these services, but determined they would not be able to meet our needs,” Denver Public Schools Chief Operating Officer David Suppes wrote as justification for why the contract was not put out for competitive bid. Chalkbeat obtained the contract in an open records request. Suppes cited Wilson's years of experience managing large urban school districts, as well as his experience leading secondary schools in Denver.

Apartments OK’d For Hill “Ghost Town”

A 30-year plan to redevelop an 11.6-acre “ghost town” of mostly parking lots and vacant buildings between the Hill and Downtown took another step forward on Wednesday night when city planners approved site plans for two residential developments that are scheduled to begin construction this fall.

Appeals court re-raises the bar for passing constitutional ballot measures in Colorado

When it comes to trying to get constitutional amendments on the statewide ballot in Colorado, voters in 2016 raised the bar. Then, last month, a federal judge lowered it back down. Now, an appeals court has put a stay on that ruling, lifting that bar once again. At issue is how hard it should be for groups or citizens to gather enough petition signatures to get a question that changes Colorado's Constitution on an election-year ballot. Some famous examples of voter-approved constitutional amendments here are the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights that mandates all tax increases require a vote of the people, and, of course, legalizing marijuana.

April 1968: In the aftermath of the King assassination, a calm Twin Cities

Iric Nathanson

Harry Davis remembered turning on the television on that April night and hearing the newscaster tells his viewers: “It looks like there is going to be another riot in north Minneapolis. Young men are running up and down Olson Highway.”The Minneapolis civil rights leader had been on the scene on the city's north side a year earlier, when young blacks had torched storefront businesses on Plymouth Avenue. Then, Davis and other community activists had succeeded in preventing the Plymouth Avenue disturbance from erupting into a full-scale riot. But now, following the April 4 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., violence was sweeping through urban centers all across the country. Minneapolis could be next.“Without waiting to be summoned, I jumped into my car and headed back to my old neighborhood.

April 2018 MinnPost partner offers to members announced

Laura Lindsay

Our next monthly MinnPost members ticket giveaway will start at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, and feature the following offers:The Ordway Center for Performing Arts — Two tickets to Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: The Scared Scriptless Tour on Tuesday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m.Northrop — Two vouchers for two tickets each to Alonozo King LINES Ballet on Tuesday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m.Westminster Town Hall Forum — Two pairs of premium reserved seats to Steve Schmidt: A Candid Look at Today's Headlines on Tuesday, May 1, at noon.Minnesota Orchestra — One pair of tickets to Liszt Piano Concerto on Saturday, April 14, at 8 p.m.Minnesota Opera — One voucher for two tickets to Thaïs on the date of your choosing: May 15, 17, 19 or 20.American Craft Council — Three pairs of passes to the American Craft Show at the St. Paul RiverCentre, good for one day free entry from April 20-22.VocalEssence — One voucher for two tickets to Rutter Returns on Saturday, April 21, at 8 p.m. at Cathedral of Saint Paul.The O'Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University — Two pairs of tickets to Rhythmic Circus: Feet Don't Fail Me Now on Friday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m.Cowles Center for the Performing Arts — One pair of tickets to Zonongo Flamenco Dance Theatre on the date of your choosing — April 6-8, April 13-15.Tickets are distributed via our partner offers page on a first-come, first-served basis to MinnPost Gold and Platinum members, who support our work with contributions of $10 or more per month.To take part in this and future giveaways, you must be a MinnPost Gold or Platinum member, have a user account and be logged in to the site.Those who make a qualifying donation before 9 a.m. on April 3 will be eligible to participate in this month's giveaway. Members can create a user account and verify their login status in advance via our partner offers page.If you have any trouble donating, creating a user account, logging in, or viewing our partner offers page, please contact us at, we would like to again thank the partners who provided our March offers:The Ordway Center for Performing Arts — Mermaid Theatre's Goodnight Moon & the Runaway BunnyPark Square Theatre — Pirates of PenzanceWestminster Town Hall Forum — Suzy Hansen: An American Abroad in a Post-American World and Nadine Burke Harris: Healing the Effects of Childhood Adversity and TraumaMinnesota Orchestra — Liszt Piano ConcertoTwin Cities Gay Men's Chorus — Rise Up!American Craft Council — American Craft ShowCantus — For the Beauty of the EarthNorthrop — Houston Ballet — Swan Lake and Keigwin + Company Celebrates Bernstein

ArchCity Defenders makes guide to help people maneuver legal system

A non-profit civil rights law firm wants to help people help themselves when they're in legal trouble. ArchCity Defenders created the guide known as Pro Se STL. The guide's namesake, pro se , comes from the Latin term that means “for oneself.” It's aimed at helping people advocate and protect themselves when they have interactions with law enforcement, go to jail or in the courtroom. Executive director Blake Strode said the guide is particularly helpful for those who don't have representation, because they can't afford the standard legal fees.

Aresimowicz asks GOP to drop partisan budget plans

The top Democrat in the House of Representatives asked his Republican counterparts Tuesday to abandon their longstanding practice of issuing a GOP budget this spring. But House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, said Republicans won't forfeit their option to bring their fiscal proposals directly to the public.

Argentina, Brazil Could Fill The U.S. Soybean Export Gap

Argentina and Brazil may fill China's soybean needs if China imposes a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybean exports. Chad Hart, an agriculture economist at Iowa State University, said the impact depends on what happens during negotiations. IOWA NOTE: China is the second-largest market for Iowa exports ($2.3 billion in 2016 – $1.8 billion of it oilseeds and grains), behind Canada ($3.4 billion in 2016). “It is so hard to say, ‘This is what is going to happen.' There are so many other moving parts,” he said.

Arizona added 1,000 manufacturing jobs over the past month

Arizona continues to surpass the nation in adding manufacturing jobs, with an increase of 9,000 over the past year and 1,000 over the month. But metro Tucson's manufacturing growth rate landed in fifth place behind other metro areas.

Armed Activists March into Olmos Park to Protest Police Actions

Gun rights activists carrying weapons marched through Olmos Park to the municipality's City Hall in protest of an advocate's recent arrest. The post Armed Activists March into Olmos Park to Protest Police Actions appeared first on Rivard Report.

Army Vet, Conservative Now Leads Battle on Environment

By Catherine Clabby
Drive with Mike Watters though his serene neighborhood south of Fayetteville and very quickly he starts sharing numbers. “This house right here. He's over the 140. Has been at 264, 236. He's had several tests.

Around Town (Photos)

A 100th birthday, and getting ready for DollyAround Town (Photos) was first posted on April 15, 2018 at 11:47 am.

Around Town (Photos)

Charlie Plummer film, Haldane in New Orleans, dock installAround Town (Photos) was first posted on April 20, 2018 at 1:53 pm.

Arrest fears stalk North Carolina immigrant communities

School staff members escort worried children home, photo alleges ICE agents at a bus stop and rumors say alarmed families are keeping children out of schools. Feds insist they are targeting criminals. The post Arrest fears stalk North Carolina immigrant communities appeared first on Carolina Public Press.

Artist Makes Strides From Doodles And Drips

Though the catchy name for his website and business, BoToDo Art & Photography, is an acronym for “Born to Doodle,” New Haven artist David S. Chorney did not pick up an artist's brush until 2010. His new solo exhibit, “Let it Flow,” is a testament to just how little the artist relies on the brush to bring full expression to his lively canvasses.

Artpace Board: Executive Director Le Melle Out; Robinson In As Interim

Artpace trustees named Studio Director Riley Robinson as interim executive director, replacing Executive Director Veronique Le Melle. The post Artpace Board: Executive Director Le Melle Out; Robinson In As Interim appeared first on Rivard Report.

As Aurora district is crafting next year’s budget, coaches who turn new technology into engaging lessons are going away

In one Aurora school, a personalized learning coach helped teachers guide students in starting their own Google websites to use as digital binders — to save and display all of their projects. In another school, a coach showed a teacher how to use Spotify, and helped him create an assignment in which students wrote and recorded songs about the Bill of Rights. “That was a really cool experience, not only for me, but for my kids,” said Patrick Hogarty, an Aurora teacher, now a dean at a different Aurora school. “That type of activity, if I wasn't being coached, wouldn't have happened.”
Personalized learning partners, also known to teachers as EdTech coaches, help teachers in Aurora schools learn to use new technology, and more importantly they say, come up with new ways to use it in class. But the same district-level help may not be around come fall.

As college costs rise, some Texas students go hungry. Will food scholarships help?

HOUSTON — Joel Philistin, a financial coach at Houston Community College, has had students come to his office hungry. Not on-a-diet hungry, or only-eating-ramen-noodles hungry. But so hungry they can't concentrate in class. Hungry enough that Philistin, whose job is somewhere between a financial literacy coach and a social worker, will peel bills out of his own wallet and tell the student to go buy a meal. “I experienced this in college,” Philistin said, “but not to this extent.”
At colleges across Texas and the nation, concern has quietly mounted about a new trend: Students – particularly those coming from low-income families – are going hungry, and researchers say it's largely because the price to earn a degree has become so steep.

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 Easter approaches, thoughts on challenges facing our churches

Chuck Slocum

Christians throughout the world number about 2.4 billion, or just over one in three people on Earth; followers of Islam rank second (1.6 billion) followed by Hinduism (1.15 billion).The Christian calendar this year calls for Easter to be celebrated on April 1. Easter has become something of an annual floating religious event that culminates a 40-day Lenten season for believers as they prepare for their highest holy day in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.Overall, attendance at Minnesota churches has been dropping for a long time. About 20 percent — far lower than some studies have reported — attend a religious service regularly, with Catholics being only slightly more vigilant than Protestants.7 in 10 Minnesotans are ChristiansFor those who study such things, 74 percent of Minnesota adults identify as Christians; non-Christian faiths account for about 5 percent of adults in the state; and those who report no religious ties total approximately 20 percent of Minnesota adults.Unless the current trend is changed, it is estimated that by 2050, there will be a 50 percent reduction in the number of churchgoers. Three of four Minnesota adults consider their religion important, however, and nearly 90 percent of them say they believe in a God. A scan of research done nationally indicates that Minnesotans are in step with national trends.

As emerald ash borer broadens its base in Vermont, other alien insects lurk

An ash tree dying as a result of damage by the emerald ash borer. Photo courtesy of Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and MarketsThis road is made for walking, inclining gently upward, not too muddy. A mountain stream rushes alongside, noisy with snowmelt. In summer it is cool, shaded by a mix of trees commonly found in the forests of northern Vermont — a scattering of hemlock, cedar in the low-lying areas, but mostly mixed hardwoods, birch, sugar maple, ash. So many ash trees, rising tall and straight toward gaps in the tree cover. Given the news last week, that evidence of the invasive emerald ash borer now has been found in four towns and three counties in northern Vermont, the ash lining this road merit closer examination.

As generations age, farmland owners increasingly less connected to land

They're not making any more farmland. That's what Ruth Rabinowitz's father used to tell her. He'd grown up poor in the great depression and, after putting himself through medical school, saved enough money to buy a few small broccoli farms near his Phoenix, Arizona, home. David Rabinowitz (Ruth's father) at his Mitchell County Iowa farm in the 1980s. Contributed.

As GOP Robinson smacks rival Stapleton over alleged campaign tactics, Sec of State says its getting calls

Establishment favorite Walker Stapleton is taking direct fire from investment banker Doug Robinson on the GOP side of the governor's race for the first time. And it's not about policy, it's about petitions. Specifically, Robinson has pounced on a TV news report that relied on a Robinson campaign vendor as its source and questioned whether dubious characters are or were involved in helping Stapleton, the GOP state treasurer, try to get on the ballot in his quest for the GOP nomination for governor. Denver7 Report: Secret recording prompts concerns about illegally gathered campaign signatures in Colorado
In Colorado, candidates for governor can get on the ballot if they collect 1,500 valid signatures from Republican voters in each of the state's seven congressional districts. Stapleton, Robinson, and another Republican, Victor Mitchell, are currently waiting to hear from the Secretary of State's Office about whether they have collected enough valid signatures to make the June 26 primary ballot.

As lawsuits over Texas chemical disaster add up, advocates blame Arkema and rules regulating it

CROSBY — Most of the houses along Crosby Eastgate Road and its neighboring streets are one-story outfits on sprawling green lots. In their driveways are spare trucks, old armchairs or small motorboats; grazing their grass are horses and cows. Some houses are raised on stilts; others look abandoned. And many of them belong to plaintiffs suing their neighbor on Crosby Eastgate: an Arkema Inc. chemical manufacturing plant. It's hard, on a sunny March morning seven months removed from the storm that devastated this community, to picture the floods.

As March Madness Sweeps through SA, Players Won’t See a Penny

Per NCAA rules, compensation for athletes competing on the hardwood is typically limited to their tuition and cost of attendance. The post As March Madness Sweeps through SA, Players Won't See a Penny appeared first on Rivard Report.

As Minnesota stink bug numbers grow, a look at barriers to controlling them

Ron Meador

Second of two partsFor the most part, though, the arrival of the brown marmorated stinkbug in a new place is an understated affair. Like a dance party that technically starts at nine but doesn't really get going until one in the morning, there's a long lag between when stinkbugs show up in a new place and when their population booms. Maryland had a stinkbug annus horribilis in 2010, seven years after the first one was documented there. Virginia's mass infestation, in 2011, likewise took place seven years after the first sighting in that state. – Kathryn Schulz, in “When Twenty-Six Thousand Stinkbugs Invade Your Home.”This notion of a seven-year fuse is interesting to consider, looking east from Minnesota, where the first documented appearance of this home-invading, crop-wrecking pest occurred in 2010. But of course there's nothing fixed about this pattern; one more of this bug's challenges to control efforts is the difficulty in predicting its population explosions.Ask Angie Ambourn, who tracks the BMSB in her role as a Minnesota Department of Agriculture entomologist, if we are headed the way of Maryland, Virginia, and other states where the BMSB has become “an unbearable household nuisance,” and she will say: “I honestly don't know.”The insect isn't super cold-tolerant, as insects go, but if it can get into shelters, people's homes and barns, through the winter, then it will certainly survive.

As policies shift, more immigrants and refugees in Minnesota turn to congressional offices for help

Ibrahim Hirsi

Jamie LongMany of President Donald Trump's moves since taking office could be characterized by upheaval and unpredictability, but at least one set of policies has resulted in an entirely unsurprising outcome: Members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation who represent the Twin Cities area have seen a substantial increase in the stream of constituents seeking help with immigration cases."We have experienced a noticeable increase in … more complex cases involving prolonged detention, deportations of long-term U.S. residents with U.S. citizen families [and] delayed applications,” Jamie Long, Rep. Keith Ellison's deputy chief of staff, said in an email.During the first three months of 2016, for instance, Ellison's Minneapolis office received 24 immigration-related requests from constituents. Over the same period this year, the number grew to 60. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith likewise have seen an increase in the number of immigrants and refugees searching for answers regarding many of the policies implemented by the Trump administration, though both offices were unable to provide specific numbers. For constituents with questions or concerns about immigration cases, congressional offices offer a range of services, include expediting pending applications and securing appointments with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the federal agency that handles immigration-related issues.When permanent residents who aren't yet U.S. citizen need to temporarily leave the country, for example, congressional offices can help speed the process of getting the required documents.

As Ryan steps down, Welch doesn’t anticipate improved party relations

Congressman Peter Welch speaks at a news conference on tax season March 23, 2018, in Burlington. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="U.S. Rep. Peter Welch" width="640" height="360" srcset=" 4608w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 610w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" data-recalc-dims="1">Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., says he has had a “good personal relationship” with House Speaker Paul Ryan. File photo by Cory Dawson, VTDigger[WASHINGTON] — Rep. Peter Welch says he does not anticipate that the change in House Republican leadership brought on by the retirement of Speaker Paul Ryan will improve relations between the two party caucuses. Ryan announced Wednesday he would not seek re-election this fall to his Wisconsin House seat. The move positions Republicans for a major overhaul in leadership as a potentially difficult mid-term election season approaches.

As Sawyer’s release looms, Fair Haven asks ‘What now?’

Kinder Way Cafe owner Mark Gutel, right, and customer Kevin Durkee, say talk of Jack Sawyer has dominated conversation in town. Photo by Alan J. Keays/VTDiggerFAIR HAVEN – Mark Gutel said he purposefully has no internet service in his downtown Kinder Way Cafe. Without WiFi, he says, customers are encouraged to talk, and for the past two months the dominant topic of conversation has been the case of 18-year-old Jack Sawyer, accused of plotting to shoot up the town's high school. “There's a lot of questions, there's a lot of fears,” Gutel, 48, said. “There's a lot of what do we do now.”
A ruling by the Vermont Supreme Court last week that Sawyer could no longer be held without bail on the charges against him has unnerved residents of this western Rutland County town of 2,700.

As smoking rates stagnate, tobacco fund dwindles

Cigarette pricing at M&M Beverage in Montpelier. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDiggerAfter years of decline, Vermont's adult smoking rate appears to have stalled and now “lags behind the nation,” advocates say. At the same time, state investment in tobacco-related programming is shrinking. A tobacco trust fund that once held $31 million now has no money, and only a small portion of the state's yearly settlement payments from the cigarette industry go toward Vermont's Tobacco Control Program. Officials say those problems don't cancel out the progress Vermont has made on the health and regulatory fronts.

As teachers rally for higher pay, Arizona’s tax code exempts $13.5B from collection

Arizona teachers have demanded pay raises, but Gov. Doug Ducey and GOP lawmakers have balked at the proposal, claiming that the state cannot afford them. But if lawmakers and Ducey were inclined to find money for teachers, one place they could go looking is in the taxes that the state doesn't collect: Arizona allowed more than $13.5 billion in taxes to go uncollected in fiscal year 2017, thanks to a litany of exemptions, deductions, allowances, exclusions or credits. The post As teachers rally for higher pay, Arizona's tax code exempts $13.5B from collection appeared first on Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.

As teachers rally for higher pay, Az’s tax code exempts $13.5B from collection

If lawmakers and Gov. Ducey were inclined to find money for teachers, one place they could go looking is in the taxes that the state doesn't collect: Arizona allowed more than $13.5 billion in taxes to go uncollected in fiscal year 2017, thanks to a litany of exemptions, deductions, allowances, exclusions or credits.

As the UN Strives to Modernize Peacekeeping, the US Still Vows to Cut Funding

Rebels in the north of Central African Republic, where the UN has a peacekeeping mission and is one of the most dangerous UN ventures in the world. CREATIVE COMMONS
As peacekeepers sweat and toil and risk their lives in the some of the world's most lethal settings — South Sudan, Mali, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo — it is incumbent on the United Nations and its 193 members to alleviate the suffering and deaths of troops as fatalities keep rising. In 2017, 59 peacekeepers were murdered through malicious acts, a 73 percent increase over 2016. With peacekeeping reform underway, at least on paper, conditions for those working in the most dangerous operations are finally getting more attention through focused workshops and specific recommendations. As to how improvements will be paid for as the United States strives to cut its financial contribution is unclear.

As Trump plans for troops at the border, numbers show border arrests are down

After President Trump issued a furious barrage of tweets about sending U.S. troops to the southern border, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders referred to “the growing influx” of both people and drugs that's prompted calls for more dramatic measures. But the statistics that U.S. officials have long used to measure the pace of migrant influx—apprehensions—indicate that border crossings have been sharply dropping, not growing. U.S. Border Patrol data shows that overall apprehensions began to fall steadily after 2006, falling more steeply with the onset of the co-called Great Recession in December 2007. Apprehensions fell from nearly 1.8 million in 2005 to under 304,000 in 2017, the lowest number in 37 years. That was during Trump's first year in office, and coincided with his campaign of harsh rhetoric targeting undocumented immigrants.

As Trump targets immigrants, elderly brace to lose caregivers

Ending the temporary protected status for Haitians “will have a devastating impact on the ability of skilled nursing facilities to provide quality care to frail and disabled residents,” warns Tara Gregorio, president of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association,

As YouTube Cowers, Gun Bills Advance

Hartford — While another active shooter drama unfolded on the West Coast Tuesday, Connecticut legislators debated whether to respond to the epidemic by restricting certain types of guns and accessories — or by allowing people to carry guns openly in state parks.

Ashes at Sunset Trail: An Easter story

Quentin Andrea Lawrence stands beside the Pico Mountain gravestone of her grandparents, resort founders Brad and Janet Mead. Photo by Peggy Shinn
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Quentin Lawrence" width="610" height="458" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1376w, 1044w, 632w, 536w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Quentin Andrea Lawrence stands beside the Pico Mountain gravestone of her grandparents, resort founders Brad and Janet Mead. Photo by Peggy ShinnKILLINGTON — Quentin Andrea Lawrence was skiing Pico Mountain one recent morning when, hitting a bump, a long-lost spirit miraculously sprang back to life. The 57-year-old Virginia visitor, sliding quietly onto the slopes, hadn't told anyone she was the granddaughter of the 80-year-old resort's founders, Brad and Janet Mead, or the daughter of its most famous alumna, two-time 1952 Olympic gold medalist Andrea Mead Lawrence. Ask, however, and she'll tell you how the champion, pregnant with her in 1960, skied the Olympic flame into the Winter Games that year in Squaw Valley, Calif., then celebrated a mother and child reunion with the torch when the two relayed it to the 2002 opening ceremony in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Assault rifles were banned in the U.S. for 10 years; 2nd Amendment rights were not curtailed

The Parkland, Florida, shooting raised awareness and started a conversation about how to curtail gun violence in our country. This terrible incident gave students across our nation a platform to become impassioned gun control advocates and promote common-sense changes to our laws – such as a ban on assault rifles – to prevent mass shooting tragedies from ever happening again. Since then, we've heard from political opponents and the NRA that banning assault rifles is a gateway to taking away our second amendment rights. There is nothing further from the truth.Sen. Bobby Joe ChampionSince 2007, at least 173 people have been killed in mass shootings in the United States involving AR-15s, according to a New York Times analysis. The grim list of assault weapons involved in crimes includes Newtown, Connecticut; Las Vegas; San Bernardino, California; and now Parkland, Florida.Let's be clear: Assault rifles are not used for hunting.

Assemblyman Skartados Dies at 62

Represented Beacon in the state LegislatureAssemblyman Skartados Dies at 62 was first posted on April 15, 2018 at 1:24 pm.

At 167, Family-Owned C.H. Guenther & Son Sold to Investment Firm

Chicago investment firm PPC Partners on Wednesday announced it has acquired C.H. Guenther & Son, the oldest family-owned business in Texas. The post At 167, Family-Owned C.H. Guenther & Son Sold to Investment Firm appeared first on Rivard Report.

At 23 women senators, we’ve made a lot of progress; 11 will face voters this fall

Eric Black

For lefties like me, especially those of us who have to pay a lot of attention to the goings on in Washington, these are trying times.I don't mind confessing that, for me, many of the policies that our current president and the party that currently controls both houses of Congress (and perhaps, one might say, the Supreme Court as well) agree on represent regress, not progress. Even the ludicrous slogan “Make America Great Again” is an invitation to look backward.But really looking back can help us see what we've left behind, including many things (oh, I don't know, the near-genocide of the native population, slavery, de jure segregation, voting for males only, things like that) that we now recognize were shameful, but on which we have made great progress.When I can, I summon a longer view and, while acknowledging the shameful parts, try to remember and celebrate the progress.A great deal of what offends us day to day about President Trump is style and personality, not substance. The number of important bills passed is surprisingly low. Nothing that has been done cannot be undone as part of the ongoing story of America. Sometimes, it seems, you have to take a step backward before you can summon the momentum to move two steps forward.

At an Edina clinic, a controversial treatment for depression: ketamine

Joey Peters

For more than two decades, Laura Clark has suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder. So three months ago, Dr. Gregory Simelgor hooked her to an IV in his Edina clinic for an unusual type of mental health treatment.Over the course of two weeks, Simelgor injected Clark six times with ketamine, a drug used to anesthetize patients during surgery or other painful procedures. During infusions, Clark felt like she was floating. Sometimes, her lips and hands felt bigger than they actually were. Other times, she felt like she didn't have hands at all.

At current rate, equal pay is decades away, St. Louis women’s advocacy group says

While pay for most Missouri women lags behind that of men, leaders at the Women's Foundation of Greater St. Louis say some local businesses are leading the way in compensation as well as hiring and promoting women. The organization released results from a 2017 Employment Scorecard survey ahead of Equal Pay Day, April 10, a symbolic date that draw awareness about pay inequality between men and women, and some cases among women themselves.

At Education March, Signs All Around, with a Touch of Wit

Other than the chants and the speeches – and, of course, the people – the dominant feature of Monday's education march at the State Capitol was the ubiquity of signs and posters. The cleverness of many of them showed how teachers, students and supporters pulled out all the stops to craft messages for media attention and maximum effect. Here's a large sampling:

At emergency meeting, Burlington School Board opts not release to racial bias investigation

Burlington School Board member Liz Curry at Sunday's emergency meeting. Photo by Gail Callahan/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Liz Curry" width="300" height="225" srcset=" 300w, 125w, 768w, 610w, 1376w, 1044w, 632w, 536w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Burlington School Board member Liz Curry at Sunday's emergency meeting. Photo by Gail Callahan/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — School commissioners here decided not to release an investigation into a racial bias complaint brought by Superintendent Yaw Obeng against a Burlington School Board member. The board voted in February to launch the inquiry after Obeng filed a complaint and former board chair Mark Porter accused school commissioner Jeff Wick of racial bias at a board meeting in January. Acting chair Stephanie Seguino said the probe was held up because one person refused to be interviewed.

At Facebook hearing, Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn grill Zuckerberg on social network’s content

WASHINGTON – The two senators from Texas threw heated hardball questions Thursday at Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO who is under fire for a massive data breach at his company and how the site may have been used by foreign agents during the 2016 presidential election. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn asked whether Zuckerberg believed his company bears "some responsibility for the content" on his platform. "I agree that we're responsible for the content," Zuckerberg said. Zuckerberg promised that in the future, his company would not rely on users to flag objectionable content — like terrorist propaganda — and will instead have artificial intelligence technology to filter such information. "There are moral and legal obligation questions that I think we'll have to wrestle with as a society about when we want to require companies to take action proactively on ...

At the Story Collider, 5 people tell stories about plans gone awry in and out of the laboratory

It's a fact that as humans, we have to deal with the curveballs life throws at us. For example, Emma Young, a Ph.D biology student at University of Missouri-St. Louis, had imagined a career full of adventures in remote places of the world. But she discovered along the way that fieldwork is lonely, frustrating and sometimes prone to moments of panic involving unknown species of spiders. As for Michaella Thornton, a writer and English instructor at St.

At Trustmark Park, there’ll be a new but familiar face in the coaches’ box

Chris HarrisChris Maloney fields questions from the media Wednesday at Trustmark Park. Jackson native Chris Maloney, new manager of the Mississippi Braves, spent 28 years employed by the St. Louis Cardinals. He managed championship minor league teams at three different levels. He coached first base and third base for the Major League Cards.

AT&T expands service to Grace Cottage Hospital

Ambulances parked outside Grace Cottage Hospital. Photo by Jacki Brown
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Grace Cottage" width="610" height="458" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 632w, 536w, 960w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Ambulances parked outside Grace Cottage Hospital. Photo by Jacki BrownGrace Cottage Hospital for years had the unfortunate distinction of being the state's last hospital without access to cell service. That changed last year. But with the company that finally connected the hospital now on the brink of bankruptcy, a return to landlines looked possible.

Attacking state pensions, Stemerman tries to break from GOP pack

Former hedge fund manager David Stemerman is trying to distinguish himself in the crowded field of Republican candidates for governor with a radical political and legal strategy for attacking Connecticut's massive unfunded pension liability.

Attorney General T.J. Donovan reaches out to older Vermonters

News Release — Office of Vermont Attorney General
April 10, 2018
Natalie Silver
Office of Vermont Attorney General
Montpelier – Attorney General TJ Donovan announced today that his Office will be undertaking a statewide listening tour to engage older Vermonters about their most pressing concerns. Currently, over one-third of Vermonters are 55 and older. Many older Vermonters are thriving. Others suffer from financial insecurity, isolation, lack of access to needed care and services, and memory loss, among other challenges. Some suffer from neglect, exploitation, and abuse.

Attorney General TJ Donovan hails passage of CLOUD Act

News Release — Vermont Attorney General
March 27, 2018
Ben Battles
Solicitor General
802 828 3689
Montpelier – The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (“CLOUD”) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law last week. In February, the National Association of Attorneys General sent a letter urging Congress to pass the Act, which updates the federal law known as the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”). The bipartisan letter was sponsored by Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and signed by the attorneys general of 34 other States. The CLOUD Act addresses when and under what conditions law enforcement may obtain data that an electronic communications provider has stored in a foreign country. The Act solves a problem that has led to litigation in courts around the country, from the Vermont state courts to the United States Supreme Court.

Attorney General walks back office’s opposition to magazine limit

TJ Donovan gives testimony on gun legislation to the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year as David Scherr, far right, looks on. Photo by Colin Meyn/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="TJ Donovan" width="610" height="458" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1376w, 1044w, 632w, 536w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">TJ Donovan gives testimony on gun legislation to the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year as David Scherr, far right, looks on. Photo by Colin Meyn/VTDiggerAttorney General TJ Donovan said Thursday that his office fully supports sweeping gun legislation currently before the Senate, including a provision on gun magazine limits that his deputy said Wednesday “we don't support.”
Donovan said that Assistant Attorney General David Scherr was referring specifically to a “grandfather” clause in the provision that exempts from the law magazines purchased before it comes into effect. The exchange between Scherr and Senator Tim Ashe, D-Chittenden, appeared to be about the magazine ban broadly, with Scherr saying that enforcement would be a struggle in all but the most obvious crimes — such as police officers witnessing a sale take place. “What is the actual position of the AG,” Ashe asked of the magazine limit.

Attorney seeks to disqualify Howard Sherman from U.S. Senate race

Alex J. Berliner, ABImages via APHoward Sherman and Sela Ward in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 2016. A Mississippi attorney has filed a petition with the state's Democratic Party Executive Committee to disqualify Howard Sherman, one of six Democratic candidates gunning to unseat Republican Sen. Roger Wicker this fall. Jackson attorney Sam Begley, a longtime Democratic voter and operative, said on Thursday that Sherman is violating the state Democratic Party's constitution. Sherman, a venture capitalist who has recently resided in California and is the husband of Mississippi actress Sela Ward, has never voted in Mississippi, according to voting records. Begley claims that Sherman does not currently reside in the state.

Audience Accessibility a Refrain in San Antonio Symphony’s 2018-19 Season

The San Antonio Symphony announces its 2018-19 season, featuring a Spring Culinary Festival, a popular Broadway singer, and a focus on accessibility. The post Audience Accessibility a Refrain in San Antonio Symphony's 2018-19 Season appeared first on Rivard Report.

Audio: Bowhead whales in the Arctic sing hundreds of complex songs

Under the Arctic ice, a mysterious concert plays out each winter. Bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) living east of Greenland break into a wide range of complex, intricate songs, showcasing a new set of musical notes every year. Kate Stafford, an oceanographer at the University of Washington, and her colleagues first heard these bowhead whales singing in 2007. The following year, in a preliminary study, Stafford recorded more than 60 unique whale songs from October 2008 to April 2009. “We were hoping when we put the hydrophone out that we might hear a few sounds,” Stafford said in a statement, referring to the study published in 2012.

Audio: Census citizenship question, March for Our Lives, Tillerson for UT chancellor? (podcast)

On this week's TribCast, Patrick talked to Ross, Aman, Alexa and Republican congressional candidate Chip Roy about Roy's upcoming runoff, the new question about citizenship on the 2020 Census, the March for Our Lives protests against gun violence and buzz that the University of Texas System is eying Rex Tillerson, the former U.S. secretary of state, as its next chancellor.

Audio: Impacts of agriculture on Brazil’s Cerrado region

On today's episode: the impacts of agriculture on Brazil's Cerrado region. Listen here: Brazil's Cerrado region is incredibly biodiverse, supporting more than 10,000 plant species, 900 birds, and 300 mammals. But it has long been overlooked by scientists and environmentalists alike, and as protecting the Amazon has become more of a priority in recent decades, much agricultural production in Brazil has moved from the rainforest to the vast Cerrado savannah. In February, Mongabay sent journalists Alicia Prager and Flávia Milhorance to the Cerrado region of central Brazil to report on the impacts of rapid expansion of agribusiness on the region's environment and people. Prager and Milhorance filed a series of six reports and they're here to tell us what they found.

AUDIO: In Wake of Crown Heights Police Shooting, Quiet Anger Amid a Crowd of Mourners

Abigail Savitch-LewThe intersection of Utica and Montgomery in Crown Heights at around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday April 4, 2018. On Wednesday at 9:30 p.m., between 50 and 100 people were gathered on Utica Avenue in Crown Heights where, about five hours earlier, a 34-year-old black man named Saheed Vassell was shot by NYPD officers. By that time of night, it was a scene of quiet mourning and quiet anger, except for occasional and individual outbursts. The crowd gathered in small groups where people shared their memories of Vassell. There were residents of the neighboring streets who were familiar with him, as well as activists and faith leaders from nearby areas.

Audio: Maroon 5’s James Valentine on why he’s working to stop illegal logging

On today's episode, we speak with a multiple-Grammy-winning musician about his work to keep illegal and unsustainable wood out of musical instruments and make concert tours more environmentally friendly. Listen here: Our guest today is James Valentine, lead guitarist of Maroon 5, a pop rock band that has sold more than 75 million records, had 13 songs make the Billboard Top 10 Hits list, and won three Grammies. Valentine has traversed the globe numerous times on tour, taking the band's music around the world. But late last year, he went to Peru with a much different mission: he was part of a group of musicians who spoke in Lima in support of the “No More Blood Wood” campaign, which aims to stop illegal logging in the Amazon. The group also visited some indigenous Amazonian communities to see the impacts of illegal and unsustainable logging firsthand.

Audio: Redistricting hits SCOTUS, Stockman gets convicted (podcast)

On this week's TribCast, Emily talks to Ross, Patrick, Alexa about the Supreme Court-bound Texas redistricting case, Ted Cruz's latest fundraising numbers and former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman's criminal conviction. Democratic congressional candidate Rick Trevino joins the conversation.

Audio: SD-19, higher ed hunger, Paul Ryan’s exit (podcast)

On this week's TribCast, Evan talks to Ross, Patrick Shannon and State Rep. Roland Gutierrez about the possibility of a Senate special election, food insecurity on college campuses and how the U.S. House speaker's unexpected retirement affects Texas congressional elections.

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

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

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

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

Aurora school board moves forward with two year extension for superintendent’s contract

Aurora's superintendent will get a chance to lead the district for another two years. The Aurora school board reviewed details of a proposed contract extension at a board meeting Tuesday night. The board is expected to vote on the contract at their following meeting in two weeks and are expected to approve it. There was no discussion about the proposed contract extension Tuesday. Board president Marques Ivey had stated his support for Munn when he announced the board's intention to extend the superintendent's contract last month.

Australia opens vast swaths of famed marine parks to fishing

Australia is known for protecting its sea life in a 3.3 million square kilometer (1.3 million square mile) system of marine parks that covers 36 percent of the country's oceans. The protection of those parks is now at stake, as the government last week approved five long-awaited management plans covering 44 parks. The new plans open 17 percent of the parks' area to commercial fishing and 16 percent of their area to recreational fishing compared to the original plans formed by the previous government when the parks were proclaimed in 2012. On March 27, the left-leaning opposition Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens party moved to block the ruling conservative Liberal Party of Australia's plans in the Senate but failed. Australia's environment minister Josh Frydenberg said in a March 27 press release that the senate victory would be warmly welcomed by the fishing industry.

Average salary: $50,481. Doctorates: 21. First year educators: 241. We have the numbers on Indianapolis Public Schools teachers.

Teachers in the state's largest district are facing significant upheaval, as Indianapolis Public Schools consolidates high schools and grapples with a steep budget deficit. Teachers and other staff are one of the district's biggest expenses. This year, the district expects to spend nearly $200 million on salaries and benefits for staff, the vast majority of its general fund operating budget. In the months ahead, it is uncertain what steps district leaders will take to balance the budget, but it is likely teachers will be heavily impacted. Already, we're seeing some of the effects of high school closings and budget woes on educators.

Avivo’s remodeled recovery apartments help families stay together

Andy Steiner

Less than a year ago, Paige Banks was locked in the mental health and addiction services unit of a local hospital when she learned that she was pregnant with her second child. The 27-year-old was struggling with a relentless addiction to alcohol and methamphetamines, and she had no idea what she was going to do next: She had no home of her own, seriously strained connections to family and friends, and, in less than 9 months, a new baby would be coming into the world.“I was scared,” she said. “I had nowhere to go.”To be discharged from the unit, Banks needed to find an inpatient addiction treatment program that would take her, and, eventually, her child. She had lost custody of her oldest son to his paternal grandmother, but Banks wanted to keep this baby — and eventually regain custody of his older brother. So she signed up for Avivo, the only residential addiction treatment program in Minnesota that accepts mothers and their children ages 0-17.

Axley, with help from Mother Nature, wins in Oxford on his 44th birthday

OXFORD – For his 44th birthday present, left-handed, veteran golf pro Eric Axley on Sunday won the first North Mississippi Classic, the newest tournament on the PGA's Tour. “The check (for $99,000) will be a nice gift,” Axley said. Kevin PriseEric Axley gets a head start on his “liquid” birthday dinner. He should send a thank-you note to Mother Nature, who threw a wet blanket over Sunday's scheduled fourth round. South Korean K.H. Lee had moved into a tie for the lead when play was halted because of steady rain.

Baby and Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both...Baby and Dog was first posted on March 31, 2018 at 8:19 am.

Baby and Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both...Baby and Dog was first posted on April 7, 2018 at 8:41 am.

Baby and Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both...Baby and Dog was first posted on April 14, 2018 at 9:42 pm.

Baby and Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both...Baby and Dog was first posted on April 21, 2018 at 2:48 pm.

Back by Popular Demand: Yiddish for Dogs – and Their People Too!

(New York, N.Y.)— Is your dog meshugena or a mensch? Find this out on May 20 when the Workmen's Circle presents Yiddish for Dogs, where you'll learn how to communicate with your canines in Yiddish. What's more New York than that?! “We are always looking for new programs to connect people with Jewish culture in fun and unusual ways,” says Ann Toback, the Executive Director of the Workmen's Circle. “We're showing that Yiddish is accessible, vibrant, fun, and a part of all our lives as New Yorkers.

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. CEO Ferrer Admits Guilt in Plea Deal

Carl Ferrer, CEO and co-founder of the classified ad website, cut a plea deal with state and federal prosecutors, admitting that he knew that the site had become a massive online marketplace for prostitution, reports Politico. Ferrer, 57, agreed to plead guilty to charges in state courts in Texas and California and federal charges in Arizona in a bid to resolve an array of criminal investigations he was facing over his role in the site. The deal appears to limit Ferrer's potential prison time to no more than five years. “I have long been aware that the vast majority of these advertisements are, in fact, advertisements for prostitution services (which are not protected by the First Amendment and which are illegal in 49 states and much of Nevada),” Ferrer acknowledged. Ferrer and other Backpage officials hadinsisted they were policing the website aggressively to remove such advertising.

Bail Bondsmen Accused of Shaking Down Suspects

As commercial bail has become a $2 billion industry, bail bondsman are the payday lenders of criminal justice, offering quick relief to desperate customers at high prices, the New York Times reports. When clients cannot afford to pay the bond company's fee to get them out, bond agents loan them the money, allowing them to go on a payment plan Bondsmen are supposed to return their clients to jail if they skip court or do something illegal. Some states give them broad latitude to arrest their clients for any reason. A credit card company cannot jail someone for missing a payment. A bondsman, in many instances, can.

Baler named CCS Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Swimmer and water polo player Josh Corrigan, who will study aerospace engineering in college, wins $1,500 scholarship in recognition of his academic and athletic pursuits

Ballot Questions Could Boost Teacher Pay or Put Raises at Risk

Whitney Brown / Oklahoma WatchChalk writing on the sidewalk at the Capitol on April 2 during a walkout aimed at increasing education funding. The end of the widespread teacher walkout doesn't mean questions surrounding Oklahoma's education funding are settled. Voters will head to the polls this November to chose Oklahoma's next governor and elect a large swath of the Legislature. But it's a pair of proposed state questions, which may or may not ultimately appear on the ballot, that could decide if teachers lose recently approved raises or possibly receive further pay increases. Perhaps the more controversial of the two is an effort to repeal the nearly $425 million tax package the Legislature passed to give teachers an average raise of $6,000.

Baltimore Crime Down, Mayor ‘Not Satisfied’

Crime in Baltimore was down through the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year, continuing a trend that began slowly in November, the Baltimore Sun reports. There were 60 killings in Baltimore in 2018 as of Monday, compared with 79 during the same period last year. Through March 24, homicides were down 27 percent from last year and non-fatal shootings were down 23 percent. The declines are only in comparison to 2017, the deadliest year on record. Crime remains above five-year averages, and gunfire marred the holiday weekend and continued Monday.

Baltimore Tries ‘Violence Reduction Zones’

In Baltimore's most crime-ridden zones, officials are conducting an experiment in government. They started by targeting four small, deeply troubled areas to be flooded with more police patrols and city services. They called them “Transformation Zones,” at first, then rebranded them as “Violence Reduction Zones.” They've since added three more zones, bringing the total to seven, reports the Baltimore Sun. Each zone gets several dedicated police officers, called Neighborhood Coordination Officers, and an extra focus across city government for ramped-up services. Mayor Catherine Pugh has put $1.6 million in the city's budget for two “rapid response” crews from the Department of Public Works to clean up these areas quickly, three more housing inspectors to enforce code violations such as peeling lead paint and extend hours at local recreation centers.

Bank of America will begin asking about citizenship status

Bank of America says it plans to ask all customers about their citizenship. (Photo courtesy of Bank of America)Bank of America has begun asking some of its account holders to disclose their citizenship status, sounding off alarms to some in the Seattle community. Univision Seattle reports that Maria Parker, who has had an account for 19 years, was confronted with the question “Do you have dual citizenship?” when she logged onto her online Bank of America account. Parker told reporter Pablo Gaviria that she won't answer the question and if it becomes a requirement, she doesn't mind moving to another bank. “I think the information received from this question could be used for other reasons,” she told the TV station in Spanish.

Bar SZ Ranch builds experiences with youth and family camps

The Bar SZ Ranch will continue its Junior Wrangler and Junior Wrangler Internship camps, while extending camp opportunities to families who are interested in learning about ranch life together

Barbara Ehrenreich: At 70, We Are “Old Enough To Die”

In her new book, Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying and Our Illusion of Control, Barbara Ehrenreich reminds us that once we are over 70 we are “old enough to die” and should not make strenuous or unseemly efforts to stay alive. As a young woman, she wanted to be a scientist and wrote her Ph.D. about certain cells that are, apparently, vital to the immune system. Macrophages, she tells us: help sculpt the embryo into a human fetus; they defend the body against microbial invasions; they participate in the process of antigen presentation; they keep the body clear of dead and damaged cells. On the destructive side, they participate in the growth and spread of tumors; they launch the catastrophe of inflammaging; they are frontline killers in autoimmune diseases. The central chapters of this alarmingly persuasive book enlarge knowledgeably and imaginatively on this news of cellular treachery and its implications.

Barrier to healthier ‘active travel’: People overestimate how long it takes to walk or bike somewhere

Susan Perry

Most people incorrectly estimate how long it would take them to walk or bike from their home to a location they frequently go to by car — and usually by overestimating the amount of time, according to a new study.These findings, published recently in the journal Transportmetrica A: Transport Science, underscore one of the biggest barriers to getting people to use more active forms of transportation: the perceived time commitment.“People in general aren't very good at estimating how long it's going to take to get somewhere,” says Melissa Bopp, one of the study's co-authors and an associate professor of kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), in a released statement. “That's problematic when you're trying to get someone to walk or bike somewhere.”And there are plenty of good reasons for trying to get more people to ditch their cars for more active forms of transportation. Not only does active transportation help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution (and thus contribute to a more sustainable environment), it's also associated with many health benefits, including lower levels of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, as well as higher levels of psychological well-being.Yet, as background information in the study points out, when it comes to getting to work, only 5.1 percent of Americans take public transit to get to work, and even fewer walk (2.3 percent) or use other forms of transportation, such as cycling (1.3 percent). Most people commute by car.In one study, only 28 percent of Americans said they spent more than 10 minutes walking to any destination within the previous week.Study detailsBopp and her colleagues wanted to investigate how common it is for people to incorrectly estimate the time it takes to walk or bike to frequently visited destinations and what factors influence those misperceptions. To conduct such a study, they recruited 253 faculty and staff and 252 students at Penn State.

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.

Basilica Block Party lineup announced; Humphrey School atrium renamed to honor Joan and Walter Mondale

Pamela Espeland

Twenty bands are on tap for this summer's Basilica Block Party, set to rock downtown Minneapolis on July 6 and 7. It's the by-now classic mix of national and local bands, with music on three stages.The Block Party began in 1995 as a fundraiser for the $9.5 million structural restoration of the Basilica of St. Mary, the first basilica established in the United States, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and still a knockout. A portion of the proceeds go to the St. Vincent de Paul outreach program.Headliners include Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, CAKE, Andy Grammer and Fitz and the Tantrums. Also in the lineup: Kid Dakota, Third Eye Blind, Reina del Cid and the winner of our Best Band Name Award (if we had one to give), Lazy Scorsese.

Basketball, concerts and now…charter school testing rallies? Success Academy takes over the Barclays Center.

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn has hosted sold out Jay-Z concerts, Brooklyn Nets basketball games-- and now a charter school testing pep rally. Success Academy, the city's largest and most controversial charter school network, held its annual ‘Slam the Exam' event at the massive arena on Friday. As some parents prepare the opt their children out of the next week's New York state English and math tests, the rally was designed to energize more than 4,000 Success students to tackle the exams.
The spectacle also mirrored the charter network's growth. “Slam the Exam” has expanded year after year, moving from the Washington Heights Armory, to City College of New York to Radio City Music Hall to the 19,000-seat Barclays Center this year -- its grandest pro-testing gesture to date. The network's thousands of dancing, singing and cheering children filled up less than half of the Barclays Center, but the rally had all the trappings of a major sporting event.

Batter Up!

Opening day for Philipstown Little LeagueBatter Up! was first posted on April 20, 2018 at 2:15 pm.

Battered Dwight Gem Ready For Rehab

The owner of an historic Dwight Street home that has sat empty and derelict for three years has teamed up with a local architectural designer and amateur historian to restore the property to its architectural roots.

Battle in Boulder: Governor’s race at GOP state assembly still anyone’s game with curveballs expected

BOULDER — With a critical vote among Republicans to help shape the governor's race looming in a convention hall in this liberal college town, no one knows what might happen— and some are prepared for sheer chaos. Seven candidates are set for the afternoon ballot. On the buzzing convention floor and raked stadium seating are roughly 3,000 of the party's most hardcore loyalists. Men in bushy mustaches and bolo ties mix with MAGA-hat-wearing Trumpists and country-club types in blue blazers all under placards for county Republican Party organizations from Saguache to San Miguel. In roughly two dozen interviews, most Republicans said they remain undecided in the governor's race— a remarkable thing for a race with a sprawling field that has played out across this swing state for a year and exploded this week with a front-runner's status thrown into question because of ballot-petition fraud.

Battle in Broomfield: Delegates casting ballots for Dem hopefuls with talk of a “blue wave”

BROOMFIELD —More than 3,000 Democratic delegates packed the 1st Bank Center on Saturday, fanning themselves with campaign posters and showing their support for Democratic candidates seeking to get on the June 26 primary ballot through the party assembly process. Cheers went up for Senator Bernie Sanders, who won big in the 2016 Democratic caucus when running as a candidate for U.S. president. Several Democratic party diehards attending the event wore Bernie 2016 pins. “I'm a progressive, I'm happy when I hear progressive values being recognized. You know, ‘union' isn't a bad word,” said Paul Pearson, chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen CO State Legislative Board from Centennial.

Be on the lookout for frogs, salamanders along roads

News Release — Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
April 3, 2018
Media Contacts:
Jens Hilke, 802-879-5644; Steve Parren, 802-371-7142
MONTPELIER, Vt. – One of the great wildlife migrations is happening right now in Vermont, and it's taking place right at our feet. You may have already heard the spring peepers or wood frogs calling in your backyard. Or perhaps you've noticed salamanders crawling over rocks in a nearby stream. Amphibians are on the move, but their spring breeding migration can too often become deadly.

Beacon Baseball Primed for Solid Season

Led by All-American pitcher Lenny Torres Jr.Beacon Baseball Primed for Solid Season was first posted on April 22, 2018 at 8:30 am.