‘Burn pits’ registry demanded by vets who claim disease links

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 3, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Imagine a gaping pit filled with every sort of waste imaginable -- plastics, appliances, batteries, dead animals -- and then set ablaze using jet fuel, spewing plumes of black smoke into the air. And then imagine breathing that dark air from the " burn pit " -- not once or twice, but several times a week over several months. Where you work, where you eat and where you sleep.

‘Don’t count us out’: After Janus decision, teachers unions vow to fight and conservative groups celebrate

Teachers unions across the country are reeling from the Supreme Court decision Wednesday that could limit their funding and political influence. The decision, in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, keeps unions from collecting fees from non-members. Here's more about the case and how major figures are responding. Notably, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who has long made her antipathy for teachers unions known, has yet to weigh in. We'll update when she does.

‘Frat party’: State fired Corp Comm candidate over harassment claims in 2016

Corporation Commission candidate Eric Sloan, whose campaign slogan is “Conservative. Experienced. Principled.” was fired from his job as chief of public policy at the Department of Gaming two years ago, after employees complained about a hostile work environment that resembled a “frat party.”

‘I dream’: St. Louis child hopes the city will do something about vacant properties

Gravois Park has an unlikely advocate for inclusive development in a 12-year-old girl who wants to see the vacant buildings and lots on her block be transformed into safe, liveable places. Deyon Ryan's passion for the issue is partly influenced by her father DeAndre Brown, who has been vocal on the issue. Ryan wrote about the vacancy problem in school and it caught the attention of local groups.

‘I fought to be here.’ Amid national debate, Newark students share their immigration stories

Today, Yorleny is a sixth-grader at Hawkins Street School in Newark's Ironbound section. But not long ago, she was a young immigrant making a treacherous journey to the United States in pursuit of a better life. “My story of how I came to America to find the American dream is a very hard one,” she wrote in a personal essay about her journey. “I gave up so much to be here. I fought to be here.”
At a time when many immigrants to the U.S. are beset by fear and uncertainty after thousands of children were recently separated from their parents at the border, Yorleny is part of a group of students and teachers at her neighborhood school, which includes prekindergarten through eighth grade, who are speaking up about their own immigration stories.

‘Is God Is’ to open Mixed Blood season; Made Here: ‘Avenues’ launch party

Pamela Espeland

Provocative, up-to-the-minute and in your face, Mixed Blood Theatre's 42nd season wants to shake things up. It has a theme: “Transforming the Impossible to the Probable.” Topics to be covered include #MeToo, automation, Black Lives Matter, abortion, climate change, gender identity, NFL player protests, and race. In the words of founding artistic director Jack Reuler, “At Mixed Blood, the stage is a soapbox and compassion is a verb.”The season starts big with Dame-Jasmine Hughes reprising her Obie-winning role in Aleshea Harris' “Is God Is,” a play about violence, justice and revenge. Hughes is known to Twin Cities audiences for earlier performances at Mixed Blood in “Pussy Valley” and “An Octoroon,” at Pillsbury House in “Bright Half Life” and at Penumbra in “Sunset Baby,” for which she won an Ivey. “Is God Is” runs Sept.

‘Longest Day’ raises money for still-mysterious Alzheimer’s

Thursday was the summer solstice, and the local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association marked the occasion with a 24-hour fundraising blitz. The organization's Longest Day fundraiser is a national event that collects money to research the disease as well as support patients and their caregivers. Friends and family conduct sponsored activities such as bike rides, bowling tournaments and even drag shows.

‘Nehemiah-style’ leaders and Better Angels: the movement for civic repair

Harry C. BoyteElectoral politics in June shredded Minnesota Nice. But the month also had signs of a movement for civic repair, suggesting the revival of citizen-centered democracy.Calls for partisan warfare were on stage at the DFL convention on June 2. Gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Otto said the party didn't need moderates and rural voters. When Otto dropped out, her delegates mainly went to Erin Murphy. Murphy won the nomination over Tim Walz, running as a candidate committed to bridging the rural-urban divide.On June 20 in Duluth, Republicans responded in kind when thousands of Trump supporters booed 17 times, according to the White House transcript, as the president went through his litany of villains – Fake News, Crooked Hillary, Obamacare, immigrants, and protesters who need haircuts.

‘Phubbing’ is not just rude, it can also undermine a basic need: to belong

Susan Perry

Here's a research finding that will surprise few people: Ignoring someone you're talking with in order to look at your mobile phone can have a negative effect on your social relationships.But the harm that this “phubbing” (“phone” + “snubbing”) has on relationships stems not only from the fact that many people perceive it as boorish behavior. Phubbing, particularly when it's done persistently, also appears to threaten one of our basic human needs: the need to belong. That's the key finding from an interesting study published earlier this year in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology. A ubiquitous behaviorPhubbing has, of course, become an all-too-common element of everyday communication. In a 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center, 90 percent of U.S. respondents said they had used their smartphones during their most recent social activity, and 86 percent said they had seen others doing the same.In another study, almost half of the participants reported being phubbed by their romantic partner, and almost one in four of them said it had caused conflicts in their relationship.

‘Sharing their hearts’: Why these parents became advocates for Memphis students

While their children are out of school for the summer, a local parent group is using this time to hit the books. Memphis Lift, a non-profit organization in North Memphis, aims to amplify the voices of those who, some say, have historically been excluded from conversations surrounding their schools. Many of those conversations, said organizer Dianechia Fields, have made out parents like her to be “scapegoats” for students' struggles in the classroom. “It's easy to blame someone who's not there in the room,” she said. “Instead of blaming parents as the problem, we're inviting parents to the table to be part of the solution.”
Fields is the director of the program's Public Advocate Fellowship, which was created three years ago by Natasha Kamrani and John Little, who came to Memphis from Nashville to train local parents to become advocates for school equity.

‘A ray of hope’: At Perspectives, Yolanda Farris addressed her trauma and addiction — and now helps others

Andy Steiner

For 34 years, Yolanda Farris' life was powered by lies.Addicted to cocaine, alcohol and marijuana since she was 14 years old, Farris told lie after lie to keep her job, to keep her children, to keep her pride intact.“In my addiction I was such a liar,” Farris said. “I used to tell a lie, and then I'd think, ‘Why did you tell that lie? You don't have to.' But I did it out of fear. I hated myself.

‘A right turn from stardom’: Rita B takes center stage on the comedy scene

Rita BrentComedian Rita Brent
Much like how she is now, Rita Brent was a resourceful and confident 8-year-old growing up in Jackson and teaching herself how to drum. Despite having no drum set and nevering taking professional lessons, she knew that she could beat to a rhythm. So, she piled stacks of books onto her bed, arranged them in the shape of a drum set, and started beating. “That's how I was as a kid — I was a beatin' fool,” said Brent, who is hosting “Jackson: Soul of the City” June 30 at Duling Hall. “I was beating on everything.”
It was with similar pose that Brent, whose stage name is Rita B, taught herself to be a comedian.

‘Allies of Courtney’ organize vigil: ‘She just wanted to be everyone’s friend’

Courtney Gaboriault, 29, a Vermont Department of Public Safety employee, was killed Wednesday in Barre by a former boyfriend, police say. Courtesy photo
" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?fit=300%2C226&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?fit=610%2C461&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?resize=610%2C461&ssl=1" alt="courtney gaboriault" width="610" height="461" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?resize=610%2C461&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?resize=125%2C94&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?resize=300%2C226&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?w=657&ssl=1 657w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Courtney Gaboriault, 29, a Vermont Department of Public Safety employee, was killed Wednesday in Barre by a former boyfriend, police say. Courtesy photoA group calling itself “Allies of Courtney” is hosting a vigil Wednesday evening in remembrance of the life of their slain friend and asking the public to join. The vigil is set for 7 to 9 p.m. in the park on Main Street in Barre to pay tribute to 29-year-old Courtney Gaboriault, who was killed last week on the morning of the Fourth of July. Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox.

‘Beacon Stands with Families’

Fundraiser will raise money for legal defense‘Beacon Stands with Families' was first posted on June 28, 2018 at 10:29 pm.

‘Better and better’: Thermal cameras turn up the heat on poachers

Nearly 2 million animals, mostly wildebeest and zebra, migrate roughly 800 kilometers (500 miles) each year between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara National Reserve across the border in Kenya. Their joint search for fresh green grass is an ecological phenomenon and a major tourist attraction in both countries. A few of the participants in the annual Serengeti-Mara wildebeest migration. Image by Sue Palminteri/Mongabay But along with tourists, this profusion of animals also attracts bushmeat poachers. Each year, poachers from the western edge of the Serengeti follow the herd into Kenya.

‘Clean Sweep’ program to demolish vacant buildings

The days are numbered for five crumbling buildings in north St. Louis. As part of the "Clean Sweep" program, hundreds of volunteers will come together on Saturday to demolish vacant homes in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood. The program, spearheaded by Better Family Life and the Regional Business Council, is part of an ongoing community effort to revitalize St. Louis neighborhoods.

‘Decolonizing conservation’: Q&A with PNG marine activist John Aini

KUCHING, Malaysia — In 1993, fisheries scientist John Aini founded the conservation group Ailan Awareness in Papua New Guinea's New Ireland province to help his community and others nearby reverse declines in the marine life they depend upon. The organization helps communities around the province's islands develop marine resource management plans that are based on local customs and designed to sustainably improve their livelihoods. Aini grew up in New Ireland and is a traditional leader of the Malagan culture in the province's northern region. He has received numerous international awards, including the Seacology Prize in 2012, for his work in marine and fisheries conservation. The Roviana Solwara Skul, or Saltwater School, is a key project that Ailan Awareness established in 2010 to teach local people about the marine environment, emphasizing both traditional knowledge and Western science.

‘History of failure’ highlights Line 5 risks outside Straits of Mackinac

Last year, the controversial pipeline sprung two small leaks, illustrating lingering questions about a pipeline that crosses nearly 400 bodies of water in Michigan and the state's power to oversee it. But Enbridge Energy says it's significantly improved safety.

‘I just want to tell my son I love him’

LOS FRESNOS, Texas — Calling from an unreliable phone at the Port Isabel Detention Center, her voice sounds muffled, and far away. To be understood, she needs to keep repeating herself. For her to hear the person calling, they need to yell. Blanca wishes more than anything else that it was her two daughters, ages […]

‘Liberal’ Police Less Effective Under Criticism, Study Finds

In recent years, thanks in no small part to smartphone videos, police departments in Texas and across the nation have faced demands for accountability in the wake of outrageous abuses of authority and force. How does public criticism affect policing? A new study by Texas researchers says empathetic officers – police with more liberal approaches to their work – become less effective, reports the Texas Standard. Shefali Patil, an organizational psychologist at the University of Texas, studies how employees react in their work environment. After a 2017 Pew Research study found that a majority of police officers believe the public doesn't understand the risks and safety concerns they face, Patil became interested on how police officer job performance is being affected by public criticism.

‘Light’ rules for short-term rentals now in effect

An Airbnb listing in Warren. Photo by Airbnb
" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Screen-Shot-2018-03-08-at-12.35.33-PM.png?fit=300%2C192&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Screen-Shot-2018-03-08-at-12.35.33-PM.png?fit=559%2C357&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Screen-Shot-2018-03-08-at-12.35.33-PM.png?resize=559%2C357&ssl=1" alt="airbnb in Warren" width="559" height="357" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Screen-Shot-2018-03-08-at-12.35.33-PM.png?w=559&ssl=1 559w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Screen-Shot-2018-03-08-at-12.35.33-PM.png?resize=125%2C80&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Screen-Shot-2018-03-08-at-12.35.33-PM.png?resize=300%2C192&ssl=1 300w" sizes="(max-width: 559px) 100vw, 559px" data-recalc-dims="1">An Airbnb listing in Warren. Photo by AirbnbVermonters who operate short-term rentals through websites such as Airbnb will face “light” regulations this year, under a law introducing new requirements for rental hosts that just took effect. Under legislation Gov. Phil Scott signed into law last week, hosts must comply with general health and safety standards and register with the Department of Taxes. The tax department in turn will assign short-term rental hosts meals and rooms tax numbers — an effort to improve tax compliance in the industry.

‘Newark Enrolls’ is here to stay, superintendent says

The big story

One of the biggest policy questions facing Newark's new superintendent is what to do with the city's often-controversial enrollment system, “Newark Enrolls.”
The system is one of the few in the country that allows families to use a single tool to apply to most district or charter schools. Proponents consider it a boon for families that lets them easily apply to multiple schools, but critics see it as a way to divert students from district to charter schools. Superintendent Roger León, who began this month, appears to have come down squarely in favor of the system. At a recent closed-door meeting with charter school leaders (pictured above), he promised to keep it intact. Now, he must secure the approval of the school board, which has tried to dismantle the system in the past.

‘Not all doom and gloom’: Q&A with conservation job market researchers

You grew up watching David Attenborough documentaries and reading Gerald Durrell memoirs. You volunteered banding marmosets in Brazil. You have a bachelor's in biology and a master's in conservation biology. You spent a year interning at an international NGO. You've got the passion, the education, the experience — but now you just can't find a job.

‘Really something incredible’: Local guitarist recounts contest win, 30 Seconds to Mars performance

By day Jerod Broadbooks is a student-athlete at Lindenwood University. He studies music education and is on the track team. On Monday night, however, Broadbooks, who is also a guitarist, got the chance of a lifetime to perform onstage at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater with the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. Broadbooks said the experience started when he heard an advertisement on 105.7 The Point while at his summer job as a lifeguard in Wildwood. “Do you want to be a guitar god and play with 30 Seconds to Mars?” the radio ad started, he said.

‘Saving the rainforest 2.0:’ New report makes recommendations for improving forest protection

Over the past decade, Norway has spent $3 billion to support efforts to keep forests standing in all of the world's major rainforest countries, helping to elevate forest protection as a globally important cause (and climate solution) in the process. But it's time to take stock of what's worked and what hasn't, in terms of both tropical forest protection in general and Norway's particular role in facilitating forest conservation, and chart a new course forward — that's the premise of a new report from Rainforest Foundation Norway titled “Saving the rainforest 2.0.” The report, released last week as hundreds of policymakers and conservationists met at the Oslo Tropical Forest Forum hosted by Norway, identifies key barriers to stopping the destruction of the world's forests and offers several recommendations for how the world can more successfully combat deforestation. Incidentally, last week also saw the release of deforestation data from the University of Maryland in the U.S. that showed tropical countries lost 158,000 square kilometers (39 million acres) of tree cover in 2017. That's the equivalent of deforesting an area the size of Bangladesh, marking the second highest annual rate of tree cover loss recorded since the dataset was first compiled in 2001, and it was primarily driven by land clearance for agriculture. “As long as deforestation and forest degradation is happening at alarming rates, it is obvious that we're doing some things wrong,” Øyvind Eggen, executive director of Rainforest Foundation Norway, said in a statement accompanying the release of the new…

‘Screen, not just green’ infrastructure projects to help economies and the environment

It's time to slow the pace of the wave of road, dam and railroad building sweeping over the globe, says Bill Laurance, a tropical ecologist at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. “[There is] still this implicit assumption that the project's going to happen [and] we can't stop it,” Laurance said in an interview. In an essay published June 14 in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, he lays out a strategy for scientists and conservationists to “disclose, debate [and] delay” these projects. Laurance's own research has shown the widespread effects of infrastructure development that ripple through an ecosystem. And they often don't make a lot of sense from a social or economic perspective either.

‘Silent epidemic’ of tooth decay worsens

Drs. Richard Barbierri, Michael Brady and Russell O'Connell are staffing a dental practice in a new facility on the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center campus in Bennington. Provided photo
" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BAN-L-DENTAL2-0109-1.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BAN-L-DENTAL2-0109-1.jpg?fit=610%2C407&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BAN-L-DENTAL2-0109-1.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1" alt="dentist" width="610" height="407" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BAN-L-DENTAL2-0109-1.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BAN-L-DENTAL2-0109-1.jpg?resize=125%2C83&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BAN-L-DENTAL2-0109-1.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BAN-L-DENTAL2-0109-1.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BAN-L-DENTAL2-0109-1.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BAN-L-DENTAL2-0109-1.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BAN-L-DENTAL2-0109-1.jpg 3600w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Drs. Richard Barbierri, Michael Brady and Russell O'Connell are staffing a dental practice in a new facility on the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center campus in Bennington. Provided photoWhen a dental clinic opened in January at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, administrators had no trouble attracting clients.

‘Stop and Frisk’ is Over, But Low-Level NYPD Encounters Now Raise Concerns

Adi TalwarDister says he has frequently been approached by police officers in situations where he did not feel free to leave. But those encounters likely did not show up in the official tally of 'stops.' One fall evening about two years ago, a man named Dister was walking with a friend in Washington Heights, near 173rd Street, when he was abruptly approached by a pair of police officers. “Hey, where you guys going? Are you coming from a train station?” Dister recalls them asking loudly.

‘That’s Not Me:’ How a Mistaken ID Put an Innocent Couple in Jail

Vickson Korlewala drove from his West Philadelphia home on April 2, 2014, planning to pay off some utility bills. Instead, he and his wife Lorpu found themselves caught in a four-year roller coaster ride inside the justice system. After driving just a few blocks, he pulled over when a police cruiser flashed its lights behind him. Korlewala, 62, a Liberian immigrant and the CEO of his own renewable energy business, Ecopower Liberia, was expecting to hear about a traffic violation. To his shock, he was told that he was being placed under arrest for the recent robbery of an elderly woman.

‘The Climbers’

By the late 1990s only a few of the climbing pioneers who defined an era of exploration and first ascents in the Sierra Nevadas in the 1920s and '30s remained alive. Jim Herrington, a Los Angeles-based photographer and climber, wanted to meet them, while he still could. They were his heroes, the people who inspired him to first touch a climbing rope in 1976 and to later move West where he could explore the mountain range that had captivated him since childhood. Herrington met Glen Dawson, who made the 1931 first ascent of the east face of Mt. Whitney, and took his picture in 1998.

‘The pressure is on everyone’ as Detroit’s main district advertises to attract more students

Detroit's main school district has a new look. Officials announced a new brand for the Detroit Public Schools Community District to real-live fanfare on Thursday, unveiling a new logo and tagline with a student brass band as backdrop. After the announcement was made at Nolan Elementary School, students streamed out wearing blue tee shirts printed with the new logo, which depicts a rising sun. “Students rise. We all rise,” reads the tagline, signaling that improvement is coming to a district that is working to recover from decades of disinvestment and mismanagement.

‘There was no cyber attack,’ investigator says of Tennessee’s online testing shutdown

Questar's unauthorized change of an online testing tool — not a possible cyber attack, as earlier reported by the company — was responsible for shutting down Tennessee's computerized exams on their second day this spring, the state's chief investigator reported Wednesday. An independent probe determined that “there was no cyber attack,” nor was any student data compromised, when thousands of students could not log onto the online exam known as TNReady on April 17. Instead, investigators said, Questar was mostly responsible for this year's testing miscues. The main culprit was a combination of “bugs in the software” and the slowness of a computerized tool designed to let students turn text into speech if they need audible instructions. Comptroller Justin P. Wilson reviewed early findings of his office's internal review and the external investigation by a company hired by the Education Department during a legislative hearing in Nashville.

‘They’re my second family.’ Largest Pathways to Graduation class earn their diplomas

Before last fall, Jasmine Byrd never envisioned herself striding across the stage to receive a diploma at a graduation ceremony. But then Byrd moved to the Bronx from Utah and entered New York City's Pathways to Graduation program, which helps 17- to 21-year-olds who didn't graduate from a traditional high school earn a High School Equivalency Diploma by giving them free resources and support. “Just walking into this space and being like, this is what you've accomplished and this is what you've worked hard for is a great feeling,” said Byrd, who also credits the program with helping her snag a web development internship. “I've built my New York experience with this program. They're my second family, sometimes my first when I needed anything.”
Byrd is one of about 1,700 students to graduate during the 2017-2018 school year from Pathways, the program's largest graduating class to date, according to officials.

‘They’re Not Monsters’: The Roots of Young Girls’ Violence

When I was in my early teens, there were girls in the public housing project near my home who were as well known to the police as the boys who committed crimes with me. Just like us delinquent boys, these young ladies were quick to “get down” or, rather, to lash out violently. The difference was that their target was typically a girl who was dissing them or a woman who unwittingly provoked them while they were out roaming the city. During my frequent stays in the local juvenile detention center, I saw similar girls cycle through who were adjudicated for crimes that were just as serious as those committed by the boys who were confined. In hindsight, I can see that social workers saw me as an at-risk youth in need of intervention; juvenile justice personnel viewed me as an offender in need of confinement; and prosecutors influenced by the Super Predator theory perceived me as a budding sociopath destined for the penitentiary.

‘Urban Raptors’: Q&A with authors of book on ecology and conservation of city-dwelling birds of prey

On April 30, a pair of bald eagle mates in Washington, D.C. named Mr. President and The First Lady welcomed their newly hatched eaglet Victory to the world. Just a few days later, on May 3, Victory's sibling Valor emerged from the shell, another new addition to an eagle family whose nest is perched high in a Tulip Poplar tree at the U.S. National Arboretum. Eagle lovers around the world not only had the opportunity to watch the eaglets first appearance in the world, but will be able to continue watching them as they grow thanks to the D.C. Eagle Cam Project, which has provided a live feed of the eagle's nest since the 2016-2017 nesting season. This is just one of numerous nest cameras that have been set up in cities across the United States to give viewers an intimate look into the nesting activities of urban-dwelling birds of prey like eagles, falcons, hawks, and owls. These raptors represent a rare instance of wildlife thriving amidst the hustle and bustle of areas densely populated by mankind.

‘We aggressively go after it’: Missouri biologists work to control invasive hydrilla plant

Shane Creasy stands on the edge of a lake and casts a plastic beaker full of thick white herbicide into the water. The herbicide slowly fans out across the surface of the lake, as Creasy, a fisheries technician with the Missouri Department of Conservation, peels off his protective gloves. The target, an invasive aquatic plant known as hydrilla, is a tenacious adversary that takes years to eradicate.

‘We all became family.’ Students say goodbye to Detroit school after promising three-year run

The Mumford Academy's future has been in doubt almost from its first day of existence. The small school tucked inside the larger Mumford High School started with about 100 ninth graders in 2015, but soon faced a series of threats despite some early wins. There was news in 2016 that the state-run recovery district that created the small school would be dissolved, and it wasn't clear what would happen to the academy. There was the possibility in 2017 that Mumford High School, along with the academy inside it, could be shut down by the state after landing on a closure list because of years of poor test scores at the bigger school. But ultimately, it was the issue of cost that doomed the school in 2018, with officials deciding it doesn't make sense for a cash-strapped district like Detroit to pay two principals in a building that needs only one.

‘We are not playing with kids lives’: Teach for America director emphasizes Mississippi mission

For those who argue the education system is broken, Barbara Logan Smith disagrees. “In truth, the system is doing exactly what it was designed to do because it was never designed to actually get all kids to the place where they knew what they needed to know and could do what they needed to do to actually be viable citizens in the world,” said Smith, executive director of Teach for America's greater Delta region. Staci Lewis, Teach for AmericaBarbara Logan Smith, executive director of Teach for America's greater Delta region
The longtime educator spoke to a full room at a community forum in west Jackson Friday morning, where she discussed the organization's work in Mississippi. Teach For America is a national organization known for taking recent college graduates and placing them in underserved communities across the country. The teachers, known as corps members, go through summer training before they start the school year and each commit to a two-year period with the organization.

‘We didn’t have options’: A new school Staten Island charter school aims to fill a gap for students with dyslexia

Laura Timoney knew that New York City's first charter school designed for students with dyslexia would become a reality when she and its other founders were able to envision a full day in the life of a student. “We named her Juanita Henderson, and still just smile whenever we think of her,” said Timoney, who works on education issues in the Staten Island borough president's office. “She's so excited and looking forward to coming to school, learning, looking in microscopes.”
If all goes according to plan, Bridge Preparatory Charter School will begin serving its real students on Staten Island in fall 2019. The elementary school was approved by the Board of Regents in June, and it's set to be the first charter school in the state — and among only a few public schools nationwide — devoted to educating children with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities. The goal is to provide another option for families who have long fought for more choices closer to home.

‘West Side Story’ shines; Cowles Center announces 2018-19 season

Pamela Espeland

Settled in for a long run on the thrust stage, “West Side Story” is the Guthrie's big summer musical for 2018. It's big in many ways. It has a cast of 32 (including 24 making their Guthrie debuts), an orchestra of 15 (visible behind a scrim at the back of the stage) and big ideas: to take a revered classic about race, bigotry and gang violence from a different time and place (1950s New York), change up the casting and not use Jerome Robbins' iconic choreography.When Joseph Haj – the Guthrie's artistic director and director of this production – read the first page of the script, he saw the same line all previous directors have seen: a description of the Jets as “an anthology of what it means to be American.” But while most directors have interpreted this to mean “the Jets are white,” that's not how Haj took it. His Jets are multiracial and multicultural. The Sharks, as they were in the original, are Latinx newcomers, immigrants in search of better lives.

“No question, it’s going to hurt”: Trump trade war with China worries Texas agriculture

Cotton fields ready for harvest, Highway 87, south of Lubbock, Texas. Calsidy Rose
There's a Chinese proverb: Sow melons, reap melons. Sow beans, reap beans. In other words, expect tit for tat. President Donald Trump — and by extension many of the nation's farmers — is seeing that lesson in action after he launched a bevy of tariffs against China on Friday, prompting the People's Republic to retaliate with its own tariffs on imports from the United States.

“Not knowing anything about my daughter is torture.” Immigrant parents describe being without their children

Earlier this week, three Central American parents, whose children range from two to 13 years old, sued the federal government over its now-reversed policy of separating migrant families at the border. On Friday, those parents followed up on their suit with a series of desperate pleas: In handwritten court documents, they asked the government to tell them where their children are, who is watching them, what they're doing and, most importantly, when the parents will be able to see them again. “It ought to be a very simple question for the government to simply provide them reliable, complete information about where their kids are,” said Jerry Wesevich, a lawyer with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid who is representing the parents in the lawsuit. One of the parents, a father of a 12-year-old girl from Honduras, has not been able to talk to his daughter at all since they were separated nearly three weeks ago. Two Guatemalan mothers said they've been allowed brief conversations, but they involve mostly consoling weeping children.

“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."

“We live in fear”: Honduran family seeking asylum left stranded on a bridge

Watch more video. Many families arriving at U.S. ports of entry to seek asylum left their home countries months before recent changes in how border and immigration officials handle their requests. Walter and Helen Vindel say they left Honduras with their four children this year to escape gangs that killed relatives and extorted money from them. By the time they arrived in Matamoros, Mexico, to cross a bridge and seek asylum at a Brownsville border station, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ruled that people fleeing only gang or domestic violence don't necessarily qualify for asylum. On a Sunday in June, the Vindel family waited on the bridge with other migrants as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents prevented many from making it on to U.S. soil to begin the asylum process.

“A Bittersweet Victory”: MOVE Member Debbie Sims Africa on Being Released After 39 Years in Prison

On June 16, Debbie Sims Africa was released from a northwestern Pennsylvania prison after serving nearly four decades behind bars. Her family and friends were there waiting for her, ready to begin the seven-hour drive back to Philadelphia, a distance that had separated them for so many years. Three days later, Debbie held her first official press conference seated alongside her son, Mike Africa Jr., and lawyer, Brad Thomson. Reflecting on the days since her release, Debbie observed on Tuesday, June 19, “I've been in prison almost forty years ... I still don't think I've actually caught up with my feelings.”

Debbie is the first of nine MOVE members, collectively known as the “MOVE 9,” to be freed from prison.

“A Night at The Forbidden City” draws on legacy of Asian American cabaret

Jenny Ku, who performs under the name The Shanghai Pearl, produced “A Night at The Forbidden City.” (Courtesy photo.)“A Night at The Forbidden City” aims to bring back the charm and excitement of 1940s and 1950s era supper clubs. The evening promises magic, aerialists, musical storytelling and legendary dance troupes — in an homage to the legacy of Asian American variety and cabaret performers. It's a night that will rival the urge to Netflix and chill in a time when original acts like these are hard to find. Show producer and performer Jenny Ku, also known as The Shanghai Pearl, says part of what makes this show special — besides its all-API cast — is that many generations will be performing together. “We are going to see where we came from, and…we'll also get a glimpse of the future.

“A room so cold that we got headaches:” Mother details conditions inside migrant detention center

Watch more video. The Texas Tribune's reporting on the Families Divided project is supported by the Pulitzer Center, which will also help bring discussions on this important topic to schools and universities in Texas and across the United States through its K-12 and Campus Consortium networks. Cells so cold she got headaches. Nights spent sleeping on mats with foil blankets. The sound of mothers weeping after being separated from their children.

“A very cruel punishment”: A family split by “zero tolerance” won’t try to cross again, mom says

Six-year-old Heyli was separated from her father after crossing the U.S. border in late May. Her mother and aunt, who have spoken to her by phone, say she cries constantly and begs them to take her away from the Arizona facility where she is being held. "There's nothing else I can say to say to make her stop crying," Heyli's mother said. Every time 6-year-old Heyli gets on the phone with her mother back in Honduras, she breaks into tears. The last time was Tuesday, exactly one week ago.

“I Just Want to Tell My Son I Love Him”

by Kavitha Surana
LOS FRESNOS, Texas — Calling from an unreliable phone at the Port Isabel Detention Center, her voice sounds muffled, and far away. To be understood, she needs to keep repeating herself. For her to hear the person calling, they need to yell. Blanca wishes more than anything else that it was her two daughters, ages 6 and 14, on the other end of the line. But she hasn't spoken to them since they were separated at the border, after a long journey from Honduras.

“Maker Space” Expansion OK’d

A maker space on Chapel Street will soon allow members to build metal prototypes and do office work at rentable on-site desk spaces in addition to activities ranging from sewing to 3D printing to brewing beer.

“No Blueprint” offers new blueprint for local podcasts

Yoshiko Ueda, 33, prepared the audio equipment while Domonique Meeks, 30, closed a window to drown out music from an Ethiopian diner across the street. The 100-square-foot room in Seattle's Hillman City neighborhood was barely large enough for two people, let alone a podcast studio space. A fan placed in front of a bowl of ice cubes helped combat the unusually sunny day, as Meeks sat down underneath his books about social justice, posters promoting equality and multiple motifs from the Marvel film “Black Panther.”
“I'm into ‘Black Panther' for the idea of understanding Afro-Futurism,” Meeks said. “Someone had this idea of whenever folks saw comic books of the future they never saw black people in them… I feel like ‘Black Panther' to me represents a call to representation in mass media.”
Meeks and Ueda are using their show No Blueprint to answer that call. The podcast, now in its second season, gives a platform to local artists and entrepreneurs of color.

“Solo quiero decirle que lo amo”

por Kavitha Surana
LOS FRESNOS, Texas — Llamando desde un teléfono poco confiable en el Centro de Detención Port Isabel, su voz se escucha lejana y amortiguada. Para ser entendida, ella necesita repetir lo que dice una y otra vez. Para ella escuche a quienes le llaman, ellos tienen que gritar. Blanca desea más que nada que fueran sus dos hijas, de 6 y 14 años, en el otro lado de la línea. Pero ella no les ha hablado desde que fueron separados en la frontera, después de un largo viaje desde Honduras.

#AbolishICE? Texas Democrats begin to navigate emerging issue

Texas Democrats, including some of their top candidates in November, are beginning to grapple with an issue that is steadily gaining support at the national level: whether to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE, which is the main federal agency in charge of immigration law enforcement, has become an increasing target of some liberal activists who believe it has abused its power under President Donald Trump. The calls to eliminate the agency — or at least ratchet up scrutiny of it — reached a new volume last week after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pulled off a stunning primary upset against U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, a member of House leadership from New York, running on an abolish-ICE platform. The win by Ocasio-Cortez, who had visited the Texas-Mexico border in the home stretch of her race, immediately elevated her status nationally and sent the the #AbolishICE hashtag trending on social media, prompting Democrats across the country to weigh in more directly on what until then was a slow-building rallying cry. "The good thing about Alex winning is it forced Democrats that usually play it safe to come out and really address the problem," said Linsey Fagan, an ally of Ocasio-Cortez who is running against U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville.

#MeToo founder: Do better

Don't know what to do in the face of the scrutiny brought to bear by the #MeToo movement? Founder Tarana Burke offered a suggestion: Use some common sense.

#MeToo Founder: Do Better

Don't know what to do in the face of the scrutiny brought to bear by the #MeToo movement? Founder Tarana Burke offered a suggestion: Use some common sense.

$1 billion for buildings, DACA teachers, bye-bye textbooks

Hi! We're Cassie Walker Burke, Adeshina Emmanuel, and intern Elaine Chen, and we're rounding up Chicago public education news for the week. Please send any tips, story ideas, or general shoutouts our way: chicago.tips@chalkbeat.org. Last week, we shared with you our goal of getting 100 new newsletter subscribers. We're close—help us over the finish line by sharing our newsletter with a friend.

$3M project to improve medical imaging in St. Johnsbury

Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury has received state permission to start a $3.19 million upgrade of outdated MRI facilities.State regulators have approved a $3.19 million upgrade to MRI services at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, saying the project will improve care without increasing patient costs. The approval by the Green Mountain Care Board means the St. Johnsbury hospital can proceed with plans to replace its 12-year-old MRI unit, which is currently housed in a trailer on hospital property. The project also will provide for the construction of a new, more permanent home for the hospital's MRI services.Get all of VTDigger's health care news.You'll never miss our health care coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox.

$4.69 billion verdict in baby powder-ovarian cancer case

The legal assault on Johnson & Johnson and its signature baby powder reached new heights Thursday, as a Missouri jury found the company responsible for the ovarian cancers of 22 women, and ordered the drug giant to pay $4.69 billion in damages to the cancer victims or their survivors.

$5.2 million tab for Final Four curtains for U.S. Bank Stadium

MinnPost staff

Can't they just go to Pier 1? Rochelle Olson at the Star Tribune reports on the need for curtains on the walls and ceiling of U.S. Bank Stadium per NCAA regulations: "The tab for window treatments to black out U.S. Bank Stadium for the 2019 NCAA Final Four is a doozy — $5.2 million. On Thursday, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), the public board that oversees the $1.1 billion building for the taxpayers, will be asked to authorize spending of $4.6 million, with the potential of another $600,000 for final negotiations on the 'darkening solution.' "Tragedy. Field Level Media reports on the body of a White Bear Lake man found inside a SunTrust Park baseball stadium beer freezer: "According to multiple reports, the body found before Tuesday's game between the Braves and Cincinnati Reds was that of 48-year-old Todd Keeling of White Bear Lake, Minn.

$50k theft from Pownal school district account

Pownal Elementary School in Pownal, VermontThieves operating electronically, possibly from out of the country, may be responsible for the theft of $50,000 from one of the bank accounts of the Pownal School District, school officials have reported. “I was shocked,” Cindy Brownell, chair of the Pownal School District school board said. “We had never heard of anything like this happening in such a small town.” Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
Sundays only (Weekly Wrap)

Email me stories on these subjects... Business News
Courts & Corrections News
Education News
Energy News
Environment News
Health Care News
People & Places News
Politics News

Email me stories for these regions
Bennington
Burlington
Rutland
Windham County

Pownal, a town of about 3,500 residents tucked into the corner of southern Vermont between New York and Massachusetts, is a one-school district.

1 Dead, 2 Injured

New Haven police were kept busy this weekend investigating shootings that left two people injured and one person dead.

1 in 5 detained immigrant children are under 13

The Trump administration has detained 2,322 children 12 years old or younger amid its border crackdown, a Department of Health and Human Services official told Kaiser Health News on Wednesday. They represent almost 20 percent of the immigrant children currently held by the U.S. government in the wake of its latest immigrant prosecution policy. Their […]

1,100 School Layoff Notices Sent

Eleven hundred public school employees received notices this weekend that they may be laid off come the fall.“May” is an important word in that equation.

10 Ideas on How to Personalize Your News Platform

Most football fans don't care that much about politics — but some do. There are also 14-year-old opera lovers; or grandmothers interested in self driving cars. In the age of the information flood, selection and curation by trustworthy news organizations is more important than ever. But the audience is not a monolith. In fact, there are many different audiences.

12 Years in, National City Has Only Booted Two Polluting Businesses From Residential Neighborhoods

Jose's Auto Electric on 18th Street in National City was ranked No. 2 on a list of the city's top polluters. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
National City wants to clean up its neighborhoods. But in the 12 years since the city passed an ordinance making it easier to boot industrial businesses located next to single-family homes, just two businesses flagged by the city as polluters have moved. One of those two businesses simply moved across the street, where it continues to operate.

13 hours to midnight: A documentary reflecting on Wendy Davis’ abortion filibuster

In 2013, Democrat Wendy Davis filibustered an abortion bill, a 13-hour saga that put a national spotlight on both Davis and the abortion debate in Texas. Five years later, key members of the Texas Senate and other onlookers discuss the significance of that night.

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.

2 charged in deadly shooting outside strip club

Two Tucson men have surrendered to police and face charges in the fatal shooting of a man during a late-night fight outside a Midtown strip club, authorities said.

2-Minute News Quiz

5 questions about the June 15 issue2-Minute News Quiz was first posted on June 18, 2018 at 11:40 am.

2-Minute News Quiz

5 questions about the June 22 issue2-Minute News Quiz was first posted on June 25, 2018 at 2:42 pm.

2018 Arctic sea ice melt season just got a big headstart

Arctic sea ice in eastern Greenland. What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic. Scientists theorize that large-scale ice loss up north may be altering, and sometimes stalling, the jet stream, which can result in drought or severe storms hovering over one locale for lengthy periods of time. Image by mariusz kluzniak, Flickr. Close, but no cigar.

2018 Environmental Health in the State Budget

By Catherine Clabby and Rose Hoban
Usually, in the second year of the legislative biennium, lawmakers return to Raleigh to revise spending for the second year of the biennial budget bill written and ratified the prior year. Usually, the House presents a budget, the Senate revises that budget and conferees from each chamber hammer out the differences in a process that's open to amendment. In the past, we have presented the House and Senate appropriations side by side for comparison. This year deviated from the norm, however, in that the budget was negotiated between the two chambers, then the language was dropped into an existing bill which had been approved by both chambers. This meant that the public amendment process was absent and that lawmakers from each chamber only could vote up or down.

2018 Illegal Fireworks Operation

The mission of this operation was to enforce illegal, dangerous fireworks laws and local ordinances.

2018 Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo begins Friday, June 22

The three-day horse show and rodeo will feature numerous competitions and events, including western art and cattle sorting.

208 Days And Counting …

It has been 208 days since Nelson Pinos sought refuge at sanctuary at the corner of College and Elm streets, and it could be many more days as he awaits a decision from an immigration appeals board in Bloomington, Minn.

2nd Kid Poisoned After City Ordered Repairs

A mom whose 3-year-old son is sick with lead-poisoning called the New Haven Health Department more than 20 times, begging for someone to enforce the laws and clean up the cracked and flaking paint at her Edgewood apartment.After a month of messages, an inspector finally came out and confirmed the walls were coated with lead. But for the next five months, the property remained largely unabated. During that time, her 11-month-old son was poisoned too.

3 More Firefighters Promoted

Kenyatta Harris knows carbon monoxide is a silent killer, so he risked his life to save seven people from a house in a CO emergency. As captain of the New Haven Fire Department Capt. Kenyatta Harris saved lives on a daily basis. As of Friday, he has even more responsibility.

3 Of Every 4 Jailed Louisville Youth Are Black. Who Can Change That?

Michelle HanksLouisville Metro Youth Detention Services is located on West Jefferson Street in downtown Louisville. When Alicia Price's son was cited by police for the first time, officers said he was part of a marauding group of juveniles “terrorizing” the Shawnee neighborhood. A police report said the large group was causing unreasonable annoyance and alarm to residents. The officers labeled him for the first time as a gang member. Price's son was 13 years old.

3 Things to Know About Bob Brewer, Trump’s Pick to Be San Diego’s Top Federal Prosecutor

Robert Brewer kicks off his district attorney campaign at the home of Craig Irving, president of The Irving Group. / Photo by Sam Hodgson
Defense attorney Bob Brewer, who once sought to be the county's top prosecutor, is the Trump administration's pick to serve as the U.S. attorney overseeing federal prosecutors in San Diego and Imperial counties. The White House announced Wednesday that it was recommending that the veteran attorney and onetime prosecutor replace Adam Braverman, who has served as interim U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, the federal court that covers San Diego, since November. Brewer, a former assistant U.S. attorney who served a seven-year stint as a prosecutor before moving into private practice in 1982, now must win the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Senate before taking the post. Most recently, Brewer has focused on civil and white-collar defense cases at San Diego-based law firm Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek.

4 Injured In Weekend Shooting

Police are investigating a shooting that left two women and two men injured Saturday night.

4.6 Million Children Live in Homes Where Guns Are Unsafely Stored: Survey

An estimated 4.6 million children live in a home where they are exposed to unsafely stored guns, according to study published in the June issue of the Journal of Urban Health. The figure, based on a 2015 survey, represents an estimated seven percent of children living in a home where at least one individual owned a firearm. “Among gun-owning households with children, approximately two in ten gun owners store at least one gun in the least safe manner, i.e., loaded and unlocked,” the study found. “Three in ten store all guns in the safest manner, i.e., unloaded and locked; and the remaining half store firearms in some other way.”
The figure represents more than double the estimates from the last nationally representative survey conducted in 2002, which showed 1.6 million children lived in homes where firearms were unsafely stored. The study is one of nine open-access articles in the June issue that focus on different aspects of gun violence, in an effort to compensate for what issue editor David Vlahov says is the “sparse” data available on firearm violence and intervention strategies since 1996, when the Congress prohibited funding on research studies that “advocate or promote gun control.”
Several of the studies deal with issues that have been connected to recent mass shootings in the US.

42 New Firefighters Graduate The Academy

Soon after moving to New Haven, Fire Chief John Alston went to Best Buy to pick up a new gadget. He liked the young man working in tech support so much that he encouraged him to apply for the fire department.Over a year after that first retail encounter, Alston pinned a badge on the lapel of James Hilton, that former Best Buy employee, as Hilton formally became a New Haven firefighter.

5 Questions: Mike Faloon

Author of The Other Night at Quinn's5 Questions: Mike Faloon was first posted on July 2, 2018 at 1:22 pm.

5 Questions: Patricia Ward Kelly

Widow of Gene Kelly, director of Hello, Dolly!5 Questions: Patricia Ward Kelly was first posted on June 24, 2018 at 1:13 pm.

5 takeaways from the final Democratic debate for Colorado governor

The final televised debate among the four Democrats running for governor in Colorado didn't elicit the kind of fireworks of previous debates. But there was some minor daylight between them and they drilled down on at least one issue — drilling. Ballots have been out for about a week and Election Day is June 26. FLASHBACK: 6 takeaways from Colorado's first Democratic gubernatorial debate
On Monday evening, Democratic Lt. Gov Donna Lynne, former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, former state Sen. Mike Johnston, and Boulder Congressman Jared Polis took questions for 90 minutes at the University of Denver in a debate moderated by The Denver Post's John Frank and Anne Trujillo of Denver7. Here are five takeaways.

5 things Trump gets most wrong about MS-13

The gang is not invading the country. They're not posing as fake families. They're not growing. To stop them, the government needs to understand them.

5 Tips on Collecting CCTV Footage at a Crime Scene

Видео на русском
Talking Tips: Dmytro Gnap (far right) alongside Elena Loginova, Anna Babinets and Vlad Lavrov at GIJC17 in Johannesburg in November 2017. Photo: GIJN
Last weekend in Orlando, Florida, the gripping documentary “Killing Pavel” — which followed the investigation into the murder of reporter Pavel Sheremet — was awarded the IRE Medal, the highest honor Investigative Reporters and Editors can bestow for investigative reporting. It's the first time Ukrainian journalists have received the prestigious award, which is often won by outlets like The New York Times (which took it this year for “Harassed” — about the Harvey Weinstein allegations — alongside “Killing Pavel”) or The Washington Post. It's also the second international award won by the documentary this month; earlier in June the team of reporters received a DIG Festival award in Riccione, Italy. The film tracks Sheremet's murder through an investigation led by Slistvo.info and OCCRP journalists Anna Babinets, Elena Loginova, Vlad Lavrov, Dmytro Gnap, Matt Sarnecki, Ilya Magazanin, Sergiu Brega and Timmi Allen (Bellingcat).

5 ways ‘Janus’ Supreme Court ruling could affect Illinois schools

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to decide a historic case that could shift the political landscape and dampen union power – including in local school districts. The plaintiff in the case, Janus vs. AFSCME, is Illinois state employee Mark Janus. Janus complained that he should not have to pay fees to a government union he refuses to join and whose politics and policies he rejects, and that being compelled to pay violates his First Amendment right to free speech. Illinois is one of 22 states that allow unions to automatically deduct what's known as an “agency fee” from workers' checks even if they opt not to join the labor organizations.

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 post-election voter data

More than 1.1 million voters cast ballots in Colorado's midterm election Tuesday night, or roughly 35 percent of the state's active voting population. For context, in the 2016 primaries, turnout was 21 percent — and that was during a presidential year, but unaffiliated voters couldn't participate. Now that the initial numbers are in, what do they show so far— and what could they mean for November? Democrats were energized
As of the figures this morning, 465,331 Democrats voted versus 412,411 Republicans. The high-water mark for Democratic ballots cast in Colorado was around 325,000 in 2010, so this is a significant jump just by the raw numbers.

6 takeaways from the final Republican debate in the Colorado governor’s race

The final showdown among the four Republicans running for governor of Colorado started with a question about separating children from their families at the Mexican border and ended with an admission about farting at the family dinner table. Primary ballots have been out for about a week and Election Day is June 26. On Tuesday evening, former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, former investment banker Doug Robinson, state Treasurer Walker Stapleton and businessman Victor Mitchell each took questions for 90 minutes at the University of Denver in a debate moderated by The Denver Post's John Frank and Anne Trujillo of Denver7. Here are six takeaways
Who supports Trump's policy of separating children from their parents at the Mexican border? What a grim question.

6-year-old heard on border facility audiotape still separated from her mother

Jimena Madrid riveted people around the world when her voice was captured on an audiotape after she was separated from her mother inside a Border Patrol detention facility. Three weeks later, reunification remains uncertain. “She says over and over, ‘Mommy, I want to be with you.'”

7 years after Joplin tornado, Mercy builds hospitals with disaster in mind

A visitor to the new wing of the Mercy hospital in Festus can likely tell immediately where the old building ends and the new part begins. The atrium still smells of fresh paint, and instead of dark, winding hallways, windows let in natural light. Builders designed it to be prettier and more user-friendly. But Mercy Hospital Jefferson is safer, too. Making its new hospitals safer has become a top priority for St.

7/20/18 The Red Tent

Red Tent Bazaar Fundraiser
for The Colorado Independent
Wear red and join us for a night of drinks, music, dancing and laughter to benefit The Colorado Independent
Bring fabulous, artsy, funky stuff for the Indy to resell. This is a WOMEN ONLY event

Live music:
The Milk Blossoms
Rocky Mountain Batala Drummers
DJ LaWanna

Come to The Red Tent! July 20
7-10pm
Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St. Wear Your Red
$20 minimum donation for entry. Donate ahead of time and show proof of donation confirmation at the door (screenshot or printout)
Donate easily and securely at ColoradoIndependent.com by clicking here
Cash or check at the door will be accepted
No credit cards accepted at the door.

87-year-old Tunbridge woman hit in accidental shooting dies

Tunbridge — 87-year-old Edith Whitney, who was shot outside of her house last Saturday night in an apparent accidental firing, was died Monday night. Vermont State Police responded to the call at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday and conducted interviews with people who were shooting firearms nearby. No link between the individuals and the death of Edith Whitney have been confirmed.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
Sundays only (Weekly Wrap)

Email me stories on these subjects... Business News
Courts & Corrections News
Education News
Energy News
Environment News
Health Care News
People & Places News
Politics News

Email me stories for these regions
Bennington
Burlington
Rutland
Windham County

“Our investigators identified a number of people who were shooting a firearm in the vicinity of Ms. Whitney's home at the time that she was struck by what appears to be a stray bullet,“ said Adam Silverman, a spokesperson for Vermont State Police.

88-year old Tunbridge woman struck by stray bullet

Editor's note: This staff report from the Valley News was published on July 1. TUNBRIDGE — An 88 year-old Tunbridge woman was struck by a stray bullet on Saturday night outside her Spring Road home, according to Vermont State Police.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
Sundays only (Weekly Wrap)

Email me stories on these subjects... Business News
Courts & Corrections News
Education News
Energy News
Environment News
Health Care News
People & Places News
Politics News

Email me stories for these regions
Bennington
Burlington
Rutland
Windham County

Edith Whitney, of 240 Spring Road, is in critical condition at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, hospital spokeswoman Victoria McCandless said on Sunday morning. Whitney was brought to the hospital after being struck by a “projectile” shortly around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to a Vermont State Police news release.

A “country girl” from Costa Rica in front of the White House

Isabel Sancho (now Loomis) left San Jose, Costa Rica, for Washington, DC in 1951. She was 17. (Photo courtesy of Isabel Loomis)Isabel Sancho (now Loomis) came to the United States from 1951 to 1952 for a one-year scholarship program under the Truman Point Four Program in Washington D.C.

Listen: Isabel Loomis' first day in the US

The program was for students from “developing countries” to come and study in the United States. Sancho then went back to work for the Costa Rican government in 1952 as the head of the foreign trade and statistics department. There, she met an American from Washington state named Ralph Loomis.

A $1.6 billion tax increase for Colorado education just got a lot closer to the ballot

Supporters of more funding for Colorado schools turned in more than 170,000 signatures Wednesday to place a $1.6 billion tax measure on the November ballot. If approved, the measure would increase the corporate tax rate and the income tax rate on individuals earning $150,000 or more, with the additional revenue going to increase base per-student funding, to pay for full-day kindergarten, and to put more money toward students with special needs, such as those learning English, those with disabilities, and those who are gifted and talented. Organizers said volunteers collected more than 111,000 signatures, with paid canvassers collecting the rest to build up a substantial cushion and make approval more certain. The measure needs 98,492 valid signatures to get in front of voters. Inevitably, some signatures are rejected for a variety of reasons.

A 24-hour journey to the United States

Bishara Kharoufeh left Al Ahmadi, Kuwait for Lafayette, Louisiana in 1984. (Photo by Bryan Nakata)Bishara Kharoufeh, 50, was born in Palestine during the 1967 war between the Arabs and the Israelis. Only 40 days after giving birth to him, his mother escaped with Bishara through the Jordan River to Jordan and reunited with his father who worked in Kuwait. Bishara stayed in Kuwait through high school, but as a foreigner was not allowed to stay any further unless he had a work permit or entered a university there. Since his parents were not engineers or doctors, he could not enter their universities.

A Banner Day For Goffe Street Park

Mary Brown has lived across the street from Goffe Street Park for 60 years. She has watched the plot of land, currently including a baseball field, basketball court and playground, morph into “not being kept up like when I was a kid.

A birthday also becomes her anniversary of arrival

Fiona Njorarai (second from left) with her family after five years in the US. (Photo courtesy Fiona Njorarai)Fiona Njororai moved to the U.S. from Nairobi, Kenya, when she turned 16, on July 29, 2006. Her mother had moved to Dallas, Texas, to get her Ph.D., and her father back in Kenya was needing to travel a lot for his work, so it was decided that Fiona and her brother would join their mother in the US. The day was bittersweet for Fiona, as she was leaving behind her father and extended family and the life she had known growing up in Kenya. She was happy that she was leaving boarding school and would be living with her family.

A Brief Case for Cancelling All Student Loan Debt

stu•dent debt am•nes•ty

noun

1. The erasure of every penny owed on U.S. student loans

"I feel like these loans are so illegitimate. I was conned into going to this school. They sold me a dream and I got a nightmare.” —Makenzie Vasquez, a former student of Corinthian Colleges who participated in a historic "debt strike" in 2015

Is this a legitimate proposal, or just a broke millennial's fantasy? The call for full student debt cancellation has been gaining steam since Occupy Wall Street, which put indebted students front and center.

A brief history of the brief history of the new-State-Fair-food media frenzy

Joe Kimball

As you may have heard — and, really, how could you not? — earlier this week the Minnesota State Fair announced the list of new foods that would be available at this year's 10-day get-together: a diverse lot of 27 new treats with only a few deep-fried items (and none on a stick).And, once again, that list was greeted with a media feeding frenzy. Soon after fair officials put out the list at 6 a.m., stories popped up on nearly every media website and TV news show in the Twin Cities. Not without reason. Last year, the No.1 story on KARE-11's website was, yes, “Minnesota State Fair announces new foods.”Which raises a pretty simple question: When did this become a thing?Making it fair-erThis big coordinated roll-out of the new fair foods began in earnest about 10 years ago.

A busy summer of campus construction at San Benito High School

Superintendent thanks voters for support of Measures G and U, which are funding educational and athletic facility upgrades at San Benito High School.

A Compassionate Tribute to Incarcerated Children That Exposes Their Trauma, Anger

Jane Guttman's “Kids in Jail: A Portrait of Life Without Mercy” gives poetic voice to children who are trapped in the catacombs of society with little hope of resurrection. It is a gut-wrenching, graceful and dignified look at lives that are painfully scarred by conditions and circumstances that were preordained out of neglect, abuse, poverty, chance or a combination of all these elements. It is not a light or easy read, but a necessary read. I had to put the book down on several occasions because the depth of despair, lack of hope and painful reality of these poems lit upon my nerves like a hammer. Too many of our children are trapped in inhumane conditions of juvenile prisons around our country.

A Country in Turmoil

Siddharthya RoySiddharthya Roy travels to Bangladesh and files a series of reports documenting the many threads of political turmoil and violence that have gripped the delta nation.

A crash course on luring sports betting from the shadows

It was an eclectic audience at a seminar to learn about a business still illegal in Connecticut, if for the moment. There was an OTB guy from Suffolk, N.Y., a casino and horse-track general manager from Ruidoso Downs, N.M., the Harvard-educated consumer-protection commissioner of Connecticut, and three silent observers from the National Hockey League. The agenda: How to make a buck by taking bets on sports.

A dash of guerrilla theater in GOP race for governor

Republican gubernatorial candidate Timothy Herbst staged a ceremonial signing Monday of the no-tax pledge popularized by Grover Norquist, whose web site promotes Norquist with theatrical-style blurbs: “The high priest of Republican tax-cutting — New York Times,” and “The dark wizard of the Right's anti-tax cult — Ariana Huffington.” It was more theater than he expected.

A facility to house unaccompanied immigrant children is planned for Houston. City officials don’t want it.

A facility to house undocumented children is planned for downtown Houston, but city officials don't want it there. Southwest Key, the private contractor operating a converted Walmart in Brownsville as a shelter for nearly 1,500 children, has leased a Houston warehouse that in the past housed women and families displaced by Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Chronicle reported. Advocates who work with immigrant minors told the Chronicle that the facility would house “tender age” children younger than 12, as well as pregnant and nursing teenagers. Nearly all of them would be without their parents. The federal government is searching for new places to house immigrant children as the number of undocumented minors in federal custody has swelled.

A fast-growing charter network is planning a high school 0.8 miles from a closed IPS campus

At the same time Indianapolis Public Schools is closing campuses, a charter network is starting a high school – just blocks from the just-shuttered John Marshall building on the far eastside. Phalen Leadership Academy will add ninth grade to its middle-school campus, with the ultimate aim of creating a full high school, said founder Earl Phalen. The school is at 4352 Mitthoeffer Road, on the distant edge of Indianapolis Public Schools and less than a mile down the road from John Marshall, a campus the district first converted to a middle school then closed this spring. The shift in the neighborhood is the latest chapter in decades of shrinkage of Indianapolis Public Schools, as families left for charter, suburban, and private schools. Now, the district is facing a paradox: Low enrollment led the school board to close half its high schools over two years in an effort to save money and improve the academic offerings at the remaining four centrally located campuses.

A few Colorado charter schools won ‘the lottery’ in this year’s round of school construction grants

Five Colorado charter schools are among the nearly three dozen schools getting new roofs, HVAC systems, or even entire new buildings courtesy of state land proceeds, lottery funds, and marijuana tax revenue. The State Board of Education this month approved $275 million in grants through the Building Excellent Schools Today or BEST program, with schools and districts contributing an additional $172 million for $447 million in total construction projects. This is the largest award the state has ever given, a 60 percent increase from the nearly $172 million given out last year. It's also likely to be the largest award for some time to come. With this grant cycle, the board that oversees the BEST program used up its existing ability to issue debt, similar to the limit on a credit card, and next year's grants will be limited to cash awards of roughly $85 million.

A Fireworks Finale To Remember

As the sun set and the anticipation started to rise, the first few fireworks were shot off close to 9 p.m., creating a canvas of white smoke over the sky.

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

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

A great headline about property tax rates

The map below shows Vermont towns by their change in education property tax rates from FY18 to FY19. Towns with blue labels have seen an increase in their tax rate. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis vitae bibendum nunc. Phasellus leo risus, mollis id velit non, tincidunt luctus sapien.

A Guide to Celebrating the Fourth of July in San Antonio

If you're not celebrating with a home-style picnic or barbecue, check out the numerous festivities happening all over the city. The post A Guide to Celebrating the Fourth of July in San Antonio appeared first on Rivard Report.

A letter from our publisher

Dear readers,
This is the first of my columns as publisher of The Colorado Independent, and I'd like to introduce myself. I have lived in Colorado for most of the past thirty years. I've raised a family here in Denver, and traveled all over the state in my work in nonprofits and philanthropy — A+ Denver, the Women's Foundation of Colorado, and Rocky Mountain PBS, most recently — and as the mother of athletic children, now grown. I love Colorado and embrace its contradictions. We are newcomers and natives, we love the mountains but hate the traffic.

A Life-Changing Moment

Benjamin Taylor at Sunset ReadingsA Life-Changing Moment was first posted on June 22, 2018 at 9:57 am.

A Local Data Reporter Covers America’s Deadly Opioid Epidemic

Crossing Bridges: The footbridge next to Spokane Falls. Photo: Mike Tigas (CC BY 2.0)
For most of the time I was working on this story about health care workers dying of opioid overdoses, I didn't really believe I'd ever finish it. It wasn't because I didn't have the data. I'd done a lot of writing about opioid overdoses, relying especially on state death records to get numbers and develop a picture of who was dying in Washington. That dataset was critical for me as I added gut punches to stories about families, individuals struggling with addiction, or people trying to make sense of a loved one's overdose.

A Major Piece of Faulconer’s Housing Plan Is on Hold

Mayor Kevin Faulconer delivers his 2017 State of the City speech. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle
Mayor Kevin Faulconer's plan to encourage developers to build more homes for middle-class residents – a centerpiece of his proposed housing reforms – is now on hold and will likely see substantial changes before it re-emerges. It had been set to go to the City Council last week. The postponement followed concerns from unions and affordable housing advocates that the proposal wouldn't serve the middle-class San Diegans it's intended to benefit and that it could hamper efforts to build homes reserved for low-income residents. Labor leaders not included in earlier talks about the policy are being brought to the negotiating table – which they see as an opportunity to advocate for other policy changes.

A Memphis native will take over leadership of four charter schools under Aspire

Aspire Public Schools has named Nickalous Manning to its top job. Manning will replace Allison Leslie, the founding superintendent of the charter network's Memphis schools. She is leaving for Instruction Partners, an education consulting group that works with school districts in Tennessee, Florida, and Indiana. “I look forward to serving children and families in my hometown,” said Manning, who served previously as Aspire's associate superintendent, director of curriculum and instruction, outreach coordinator, and as principal of its Aspire Hanley Elementary. Aspire runs three elementary schools and one middle school in Memphis.

A most unlikely hope: How the companies that destroyed the world’s forests can save them (commentary)

Deep in the forest of the Bolivian Amazon, fire burns through thousands of acres of ancient Amazon rainforest. It's a crude way to destroy an ecosystem. The scene offers no hint of all the technology that's supposed to be transforming our world according to our Twitter feeds and thought leaders on Wall Street and Silicon Valley. But make no mistake: this simple act of destruction, prehistoric in its origins though modern in its scale, is shaping our world as much or more than every iPhone, missile, or the Internet of Things. This is the frontier where ‘modern' agriculture meets nature, and it's not a pretty sight.

A mother from Guatemala is supposed to see her 6-month-old tomorrow. Will it happen?

An eight-year-old boy detained at a children's shelter in Phoenix, Arizona sends a drawing to his grandmother in the mail. The boy and his three siblings were separated from their mother after crossing the Texas-Mexico border earlier this summer. A few weeks ago, Hilda received some letters in the mail from her 8-year-old grandson. One is a drawing of a red heart framed by two pink roses with bright green stems, surrounded by the words "La adoro mucho, Mama Hilda." Another shows a house at the end of a long walkway, next to a small car and behind a line of seven stick figures — each one progressively smaller than the next.

A mother from Guatemala is supposed to see her 6-month-old tomorrow. Will it happen?

An eight-year-old boy detained at a children's shelter in Phoenix, Arizona sends a drawing to his grandmother in the mail. The boy and his three siblings were separated from their mother after crossing the Texas-Mexico border earlier this summer. A few weeks ago, Hilda received some letters in the mail from her 8-year-old grandson. One is a drawing of a red heart framed by two pink roses with bright green stems, surrounded by the words "La adoro mucho, Mama Hilda." Another shows a house at the end of a long walkway, next to a small car and behind a line of seven stick figures — each one progressively smaller than the next.

A new approach to sparking interest in the construction trades: Girl Scouts building tiny homes

Erin Hinrichs

Last week, at Camp Lakamaga in Marine on St. Croix, many of the signature Girl Scout camp features were on full display: spontaneous group singing, friendship bracelets and campfires.At this particular camp, however, there was also a hands-on project not typically associated with adolescent girls to keep them busy each day: constructing tiny homes. All 80 campers, grades 6 to 12, pitched in to help build two tiny homes from scratch in just five days. And when they weren't busy testing out power tools and hammering, they got to enjoy the outdoors by kayaking or tent pitching or doing other activities of their choosing.For Nicole Lamothe, 13, a student in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Schools district, the promise of using power tools is what convinced her to sign up for this camp.She'd already gained some familiarity with construction terms and tools in shop class — an elective that she didn't hesitate to enroll in, even though it's typically not as popular among her female peers. And by the end of the week at camp she was even more encouraged to continue pursuing these trade skills on her own.

A new rail link between Hartford and New Haven and ‘life completely changed’

Bronx resident Thomas Rome would regularly crisscross between New York City and Hartford by car for nearly three hours to practice as a lawyer at his two offices. On Monday, Rome said his life completely changed when he joined other weekday commuters in riding CTRail's newly launched Hartford Line.

A parent hotline is among fixes promised for special education in Detroit schools

It is a stunning number: roughly one-sixth of students in Detroit's main school district have learning disabilities or other special needs, compared with one-eighth of students statewide. So it was no surprise that special education was a recurring theme at a sometimes boisterous community forum with parents in the Detroit Public School Community District. Patricia Thornton enrolls her youngest son, who has autism, in the Montessori program at Maybury Elementary. She said teachers at the school were welcoming, but she worries they haven't been adequately supported by the district to teach students with disabilities. “They need some training,” she said.

A reminder of what presidential-ness looks like

Eric Black

There used to be something called being “presidential.” The rules of being presidential weren't clearly enumerated anywhere, but they generally revolved around maintaining the dignity of the office and trying to be president of all Americans, not just your political base.Those norms are breaking down. That's really an understatement. The current incumbent in the White House sometimes amuses crowds at his rallies by explicitly mocking the idea of being “presidential,” which he equates with being stiff and boring.The most recent ex-president, Barack Obama, observed many of those traditions, at least tonally (although I'm sure many of his detractors will disagree). Obama certainly maintained dignity during the handover to his successor and, since then, has kept a low profile even as that successor has been guided to a significant degree by an agenda to undo as much as he can of what Obama did.Obama has carried some of those old norms of presidential-ness into his ex-presidency. He doesn't say much publicly about Trump.

A Returning Prisoner’s Story: ‘Hate Consumed Me’

Four months after he was released from prison, Steven Cave, 36, sat between the couple he calls his parents in Bloomsburg, Pa., and explained how their kindness showed him how to end a lifetime of chaos. “I never was big on words,” he said. That's because Cave's earliest memories are of his biological mother using words to mask a perverse pattern of abuse, sending him off with men and women she told him were uncles and aunts. “I used to have people tie me up and just rape me brutally, to every type of degree,” Cave said. There were dozens of them, he estimates.

A sneak peek at this year’s Filmmakers Showcase lineup, including ‘Gateway Sound’

A treasure trove of St. Louis-based filmmaking talent will be in the spotlight throughout the next two weekends as Cinema St. Louis' annual Filmmakers Showcase gets underway on Friday. One of the locally driven films set to screen Saturday is “ Gateway Sound ,” which was produced and directed by Justin Fisher, an audio engineer and educator. The documentary explores the state of the recording industry in St.

A Socialist Woman of Color Just Turned the Entire Democratic Party Upside Down

The experts were wrong. A 28-year-old democratic socialist woman of color—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—just unseated one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress, Joe Crowley, an incumbent who hadn't faced a primary challenger since 2004 and was angling to become Speaker of the House. New York's 14th District is 85 percent Democratic, meaning a Latina millennial calling for the abolition of ICE and the PROMESA board in Puerto Rico, Medicare for All, a federal job guarantee and a Marshall Plan to scale up renewable energy is almost surely heading to Congress. In the weeks leading up to Tuesday's primary, the consensus among party insiders—and even progressives with a passing familiarity with New York politics—was that she didn't have a shot in hell at the seat. The combination of an entrenched incumbent with deep roots in the state party machine, arcane voter registration rules, paltry institutional support and notoriously low turnout seemed like too big a hurdle for a first-time candidate to overcome.

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 Tourism Public Improvement District Could Bring More Visitors, Money to SA

Many may not be familiar with Visit San Antonio, or its mission to sell and market our city as a destination for conventions, family reunions, vacations, and all sorts of other gatherings. The reason for this is simple: The selling and marketing occurs outside of the city, and the resulting visitation doesn't generally have a […]
The post A Tourism Public Improvement District Could Bring More Visitors, Money to SA appeared first on Rivard Report.

A viral Facebook fundraiser has generated more than $20 million for immigration nonprofit RAICES

In December 2016, a Texas nonprofit called the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services welcomed more than 400 undocumented women and children to its shelter in San Antonio, after a judge ordered federal authorities to release the immigrants from a family detention center. The court ruling generated national headlines that helped RAICES raise $100,000, a sizable haul for the legal-aid group. “At the time, we were really blown away,” recalled Jenny Hixon, development director for RAICES. But that was nothing compared to the last two weeks. One night earlier this month — amid nationwide outrage over the Trump administration's “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has forced more than 2,500 migrant children to be separated from their parents at the border — Hixon received an unexpected email from a married couple in the Bay Area, Dave and Charlotte Willner.

A Walk On the Pride Side: Parade Celebrates SA’s LGBTQIA Community

On Saturday, the “Pride Bigger Than Texas” parade marched down the LGBTQIA-friendly “Main Strip” toward the city's new rainbow crosswalks. The post A Walk On the Pride Side: Parade Celebrates SA's LGBTQIA Community appeared first on Rivard Report.

Aaron Coleman uses poetry to turn memories into reflections and epiphanies

Fulbright scholar and Cave Canem fellow Aaron Coleman writes, teaches and translates poetry. Fascinated with what words can do, he cites hip-hop as his “first love” that formed his passion for poetry. “[Rap] was a great way to get invested in rhythm and sound and improvisation,” he said. “But it was really just the first step, I think, in starting to get more serious about the potential of poetry and letting it be something that lives fully on the page and then also fully in sound.” Coleman read some poetry and talked about his craft and his book “Threat Come Close” on Monday's program with St. Louis Public Radio contributor John Larson.

AB InBev merger still stings 10 years later

On July 14, 2008, Anheuser-Busch accepted a $52 billion takeover offer from InBev, a beer conglomerate based in Belgium. The deal marked the end of an era for the iconic American brewery established in 1852, and its hometown of St. Louis. One local industry that had flourished for decades in the shadow of Anheuser-Busch was advertising. Think Jon Hamm in Mad Men .

Abbott agrees to debate with Valdez, who says, “Call me, maybe?”

Democratic candidate for governor Lupe Valdez and incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
Gov. Greg Abbott has accepted an invitation from a TV station group to debate Democratic opponent Lupe Valdez on Sept. 28 in Austin — and she says she's "in" but doesn't sound sold on the specifics yet. The Republican governor's campaign made the first move Wednesday evening, announcing it had agreed to the debate request from Nexstar Media Group. Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff, responded a short time later in a tweet that took issue with the debate's timing — a Friday evening in the middle of high school football season.

Abbott to Trump: Steel and aluminum tariffs will harm Texas oil and gas

Gov. Greg Abbott urged President Donald Trump in a letter Thursday to reconsider his tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, arguing the imported metals are vital to the growth of Texas' economy. In the letter, Abbott praised his fellow Republican for guiding the country to a time of increased job creation and thriving agriculture, technology and energy sectors by "modernizing our nation's trade policies" to work in the United States' favor. But Abbott also emphasized the necessity of foreign steel and aluminum to the continued growth of American oil and gas, which have an enormous footprint on Texas. "Our country's steel and aluminum workers are a vital part of the national workforce, and creating jobs in that industry must be a top priority," said the letter. "But attempting to protect these jobs through the new tariffs could jeopardize the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Texans and other Americans employed in the oil and gas industry."

Abbott to Trump: Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Will Harm Texas Oil and Gas

Though he praised the nation's economic growth under Trump's leadership, Abbott urged the president to reconsider tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The post Abbott to Trump: Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Will Harm Texas Oil and Gas appeared first on Rivard Report.

ABC’s Shark Tank on the Hunt for Diverse Entrepreneurs in San Antonio

The July 15 casting call is part of Shark Tank's "diversity tour" to select entrepreneurs who will appear on the Emmy-winning show's 10th season. The post ABC's Shark Tank on the Hunt for Diverse Entrepreneurs in San Antonio appeared first on Rivard Report.

Abdon Nababan: ‘North Sumatran land mafia offered me $21m to win election — and then hand over control of government’

In July last year, Abdon Nababan, one of Indonesia's most prominent activists, announced his intention to run for governor in his home province of North Sumatra. During his decade-long tenure as head of AMAN, the country's main advocacy group for indigenous rights, Abdon led the organization to a series of high-profile wins. These included a landmark court decision that eroded the state's legal claim to indigenous peoples' territories, which have widely been leased out to agribusiness and extractive companies by corrupt politicians. North Sumatra is no exception: Its last two governors were convicted of graft. North Sumatra, home to nearly 14 million people, is a bastion of the indigenous rights movement, and in many respects Abdon was an ideal candidate — politically connected, charismatic, an experienced campaigner, social-media savvy, and a political outsider and reformer in the mold of current President Joko Widodo.

Abenaki celebrate culture near historical mural that left them out

Controversial mural, along an alley off the Church Street Marketplace, depicts Burlington's history. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BurlingtonMural.jpg?fit=300%2C169&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BurlingtonMural.jpg?fit=610%2C343&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BurlingtonMural.jpg?resize=610%2C343&ssl=1" alt="Burlington mural" width="610" height="343" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BurlingtonMural.jpg?resize=610%2C343&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BurlingtonMural.jpg?resize=125%2C70&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BurlingtonMural.jpg?resize=300%2C169&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BurlingtonMural.jpg?resize=768%2C432&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BurlingtonMural.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BurlingtonMural.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BurlingtonMural.jpg 4608w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Controversial mural, along an alley off the Church Street Marketplace, depicts Burlington's history. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDiggerBurlington – The Wabanaki Confederacy hosted an educational event on Burlington on Sunday in response to the ongoing controversy around the “Everyone Loves a Parade” mural displayed along Church Street. The Abenaki have been at the center of the conversation about how Vermont's history is told, and who gets to be part of it, but the event was the confederacy's first public reaction to a debate that has lasted for almost a month. Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox.

Acadia Pharmaceuticals: This Is Not a Pharmaceuticals Company

Illustration: Edel Rodriguez
Frequently sporting a $2 billion plus market capitalization, Acadia Pharmaceuticals brings to mind the work of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte. His 1929 painting “The Treachery of Images” depicts a pipe with the inscription “This is not a pipe,” suggesting that an image and its meaning don't necessarily correspond with each other. In that vein, San-Diego-based Acadia cleverly portrays itself as a pharmaceutical company but a Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation investigation has revealed that this is merely a clever facade. What lies below is a ruthless marketing entity whose pursuit of regulatory approval is best described as “loophole-centric.”
Nonetheless, in little more than two years, Acadia has gained a remarkable foothold in the pharmaceutical marketplace. The company generated $124.9 million in sales last year — a steep increase from its $17.3 million in 2016 — and its management has told brokerage research analysts to expect its revenue to more than double this year.

Access Health CT enrollment rose, along with premiums

WASHINGTON – A new federal report shows that enrollment in Connecticut's Affordable Care Act marketplace increased this year, even as the cost of health insurance rose sharply. The report also said that 75 percent of those purchasing insurance through Access Health CT get federal help in paying for their premiums.

Access to Guns Debated for People with Dementia in North Carolina

By Thomas Goldsmith
This year's news of school shootings in Parkland, Fla., and elsewhere heightened a national debate over the ability of young people to buy and possess guns. In North Carolina, a related discussion has proceeded – a mostly quieter one – about the level of access to firearms that should be available to people with incipient or full-blown dementia. A graphic illustration of the danger possible in such situations emerged in the June 2016 death of Charlene Norris, 79, of Charlotte. Her husband, James Nelson Norris, 84, faces a July 19 court date on a charge of first degree murder in her death. According to a media account, Michael Greene, Norris's attorney, claimed both Jim and Charlene had dementia at the time of the shooting.

ACLU challenges Gov Scott on social media censorship

Gov. Phil Scott's Facebook page
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?fit=300%2C166&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?fit=610%2C338&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?resize=610%2C338&ssl=1" alt="Phil Scott Facebook" width="610" height="338" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?resize=610%2C338&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?resize=125%2C69&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?resize=300%2C166&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?resize=768%2C426&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png 2074w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Gov. Phil Scott's Facebook pageThe American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont is confronting Gov. Phil Scott for allegedly violating the First Amendment by blocking users from viewing his Facebook page and deleting some of their comments. The ACLU wrote in a letter to the governor on Wednesday saying they have been contacted by multiple constituents who have had comments deleted and profiles blocked by the administrator of Scott's official Facebook page.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
Sundays only (Weekly Wrap)

Email me stories on these subjects... Business News
Courts & Corrections News
Education News
Energy News
Environment News
Health Care News
People & Places News
Politics News

Email me stories for these regions
Bennington
Burlington
Rutland
Windham County

ACLU attorney Jay Diaz said the social media censorship goes too far and violates of the First Amendment of America's Constitution and Article 13 of the Vermont Constitution, as he considers the accounts public forums for expression. “In an affect the governor is muzzling people in preventing them from commenting on his Facebook posts,” he said.

ACLU challenges Scott on social media censorship

Gov. Phil Scott's Facebook page
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?fit=300%2C166&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?fit=610%2C338&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?resize=610%2C338&ssl=1" alt="Phil Scott Facebook" width="610" height="338" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?resize=610%2C338&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?resize=125%2C69&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?resize=300%2C166&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?resize=768%2C426&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-6.56.24-PM.png 2074w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Gov. Phil Scott's Facebook pageThe American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont is confronting Gov. Phil Scott for allegedly violating the First Amendment by blocking users from viewing his Facebook page and deleting some of their comments. The ACLU wrote in a letter to the governor on Wednesday saying they have been contacted by multiple constituents who have had comments deleted and profiles blocked by the administrator of Scott's official Facebook page.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
Sundays only (Weekly Wrap)

Email me stories on these subjects... Business News
Courts & Corrections News
Education News
Energy News
Environment News
Health Care News
People & Places News
Politics News

Email me stories for these regions
Bennington
Burlington
Rutland
Windham County

ACLU attorney Jay Diaz said the social media censorship goes too far and violates of the First Amendment of America's Constitution and Article 13 of the Vermont Constitution, as he considers the accounts public forums for expression. “In an affect the governor is muzzling people in preventing them from commenting on his Facebook posts,” he said.

ACLU hosts Campaign for Smart Justice at Rokeby

News Release — Rokeby Museum
June 20, 2018
Contact:
Rokeby Museumdirector@rokeby.org
Campaign for Smart Justice – ACLU Vermont
Sunday, June 24 at 3:00 pm
The U.S. represents just 4% of the world's population, yet locks up nearly 25% of the world's prisoners. Nationwide, Black and Latinx communities are over-represented in the system. Vermont's incarceration rate has followed national trends and incarcerates African American men at a higher rate than any other state. ACLU Vermont is part of the Campaign for Smart Justice — a national initiative that seeks to cut the number of people in prison by half through innovative and necessary reforms. In this forum, led by Nico Amador, Ashley Sawyer, and Katrina Battle:
Learn about a variety of solutions to this problem. Watch a screening of three short films that premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, telling the first-hand stories of three people who have been incarcerated.

Activate our voices with yours

Smart speaker owners can enjoy hands-free listening to St. Louis Public Radio in more ways now than ever. On an Amazon Alexa Device: Simply say, “Alexa, play NPR,” to listen live to our main channel, KWMU-1. Additionally, we offer a “ flash briefing ” that allows you to listen to our most recent regional newscast by asking, “Alexa, what's in the news?” Learn more about listening with Alexa .

Activist Buddhists Aid Thai Environmental Movement

Kiley PriceAs development increases across Thailand, so do deforestation and pollution. Activist Buddhist monks have stepped up as champions for the environment through ritual and advocacy.

Activists launch campaign to close the Workhouse, reduce St. Louis jail population

Activists will rally Wednesday outside the City Justice Center of St. Louis to launch an effort to shut down the city's Medium Security Institution, commonly known as the Workhouse. The Close the Workhouse campaign comes as progressive politicians across the country look for ways to address criminal justice reform and large cities, such as Philadelphia and New York, take steps to reform their court systems. Close the Workhouse organizers hope their work can lead to change in St. Louis. Organizers say their goal is to build public and political support for the closing the city's medium-security jail, and, in the meantime, enact policies that would reduce the number of people held at the facility.

Adam Greshin: A stronger, more sustainable education system

Editor's note: This commentary is by Adam Greshin, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Finance and Management. Gov. Phil Scott believes we can make our education system the very best in the country, if we have the courage to rethink the current system, which is diverting valuable budget dollars away from kids and increasing the tax burden at an unsustainable rate. The K-12 system was built to educate more than 100,000 kids. Today, we're educating about 76,000. For 20 years, we've been serving, on average, three fewer students every day.

Adams 14 votes to appoint Sen. Dominick Moreno to fill board vacancy

A state senator will be the newest member of the Adams 14 school board. Sen. Dominick Moreno, a graduate of the district, was appointed Monday night on a 3-to-1 vote to fill a vacancy on the district's school board. “He has always, since I have known him, cared about this community,” said board member David Rolla, who recalled knowing Moreno since grade school. Moreno will continue to serve in his position in the state legislature. The vacancy on the five-member board was created last month, when the then-president, Timio Archuleta, resigned with more than a year left on his term.

Administration gives in to pressure over labor board process

Lindsay Kurrle, the commissioner of the Department of Labor. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Lindsay-Kurrle-2-e1496952904879.jpg?fit=300%2C188&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Lindsay-Kurrle-2-e1496952904879.jpg?fit=610%2C383&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Lindsay-Kurrle-2-e1496952904879-610x383.jpg?resize=610%2C383&ssl=1" alt="Lindsay Kurrle" width="610" height="383" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Lindsay-Kurrle-2-e1496952904879.jpg?resize=610%2C383&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Lindsay-Kurrle-2-e1496952904879.jpg?resize=125%2C78&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Lindsay-Kurrle-2-e1496952904879.jpg?resize=300%2C188&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Lindsay-Kurrle-2-e1496952904879.jpg?resize=768%2C482&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Lindsay-Kurrle-2-e1496952904879.jpg?resize=150%2C94&ssl=1 150w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Lindsay-Kurrle-2-e1496952904879.jpg?w=929&ssl=1 929w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Lindsay Kurrle, the commissioner of the Department of Labor. File photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDiggerGov. Phil Scott made a rare concession to labor interests this week by agreeing to reset the selection process for candidates to the state's Labor Relations Board before making three new appointments in the coming weeks. The labor board found itself in the crosshairs of a pitched battle between the administration and some of the state's largest labor unions. Two of the six members have expiring terms, while a third seat remains open following the blocked nomination of Burlington attorney Karen O'Neill.

Advised to be vigilant, Minnesotans maintain Paris plans despite attacks

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

Advocates for Medicaid Expansion Continue to Press for Legislative Actioning days

By Jared Weber
In the waning days of this year's legislative work session, advocates continued to push for Medicaid expansion Tuesday. Members of Health Action North Carolina (HANC) — a group of social justice organizations, community health centers, health care providers, advocates, patients and others — spent the day visiting lawmakers and government officials in a quest to add hundreds of thousands more low-income North Carolinians to Medicaid, the joint state and federal program provides insurance to low-income children, some of their parents, people with disabilities and many low-income seniors. Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr. (D-Durham) expressed his support for Medicaid expansion during an afternoon press conference. He also acknowledged that the time to pass any legislation in favor of Medicaid expansion during this year's legislative work session has passed. “The short session will be over this week.

Advocates Seek ‘Lighter’ Regulatory Approach as E-Scooters Land in SA

Another regulatory quagmire looms as e-scooters descend on San Antonio, but this time feels less adversarial than a 2015 rideshare debate as lawmakers and stakeholders come to the table. The post Advocates Seek ‘Lighter' Regulatory Approach as E-Scooters Land in SA appeared first on Rivard Report.

Advocates: DSS call center wait times must be fixed

A group of Medicaid enrollees, providers and advocates demanded Thursday that the state Department of Social Services address the long wait times and dropped calls at its five-year-old call center.

Affordability Program for Small Buildings Closes Deals, Learns Lessons

The de Blasio administration will need many ingredients if it's going to put the city on track to meet the mayor's goal of creating or preserving 300,000 units of housing by 2026. Money is a big one. Developers are another. Buildable land and unused zoning density are also on the list. But don't forget landlords—or, to use the more polite term, property owners.

Affordable housing resources must be used wisely

Owen DuckworthRecent end-of-session legislation has gutted our state housing finance agency's ability to incorporate any community priorities when directing limited affordable housing resources. The Fort Snelling Upper Post project is one example of how damaging this shift in policy is and will continue to be. This midnight-hour legislation eliminates the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency's (MHFA) ability to take calculations of project costs into consideration when making funding decisions and misallocates scarce resources for affordable housing to an exorbitantly costly project that does not serve those most in need of housing stability. In other words, it allows private interests relative carte blanche in forcing a public agency to use our tax dollars for their private financial benefit.To state what we feel is the obvious, the Twin Cities is facing a growing affordable housing crisis. Gentrification and displacement are real threats.

AFL-CIO endorses Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, Jahana Hayes

The state AFL-CIO rejected convention-endorsed Democrats in two high-profile primaries Friday by backing political newcomers with strong union ties: Eva Bermudez Zimmerman for lieutenant governor and Jahana Hayes for the open 5th Congressional District seat.

After 20 Years Fighting for Democracy, What’s Next for Malaysiakini?

Big Story: Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan gives a speech in the Malaysiakini newsroom at about 4am on May 10, after the Barisan Nasional government was ousted after 61 years of rule. Photo: Marc Lourdes
Malaysiakini was born in 1999, in the crucible of the Reformasi movement that sprung up in the wake of the arrest and imprisonment of then-deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Steven Gan and Premesh Chandran started the online news portal to give Malaysians an unvarnished view of what was happening in the country — the kind people were unable to get from the government-controlled mass media newspapers and TV stations at the time. The little outlet is now one of Asia's most influential news sites. But the journey has been perilous.

After devastating floods in 2013, an Indian state ignores the lessons

UTTARAKHAND, India — H.P. Upreti, an ex-serviceman, vividly recalls the day, five years ago, when one of the worst natural disasters struck his hometown of Srinagar in India's Uttarakhand state. “The water came rushing in. It was everywhere. It's a scene I will never forget,” he said. Srinagar was one of the worst-hit areas during the devastating June 2013 floods.

After failing to crash Texas’ U.S. Senate race, independent candidate alleges his petition firm and the Cruz campaign derailed him

When independent U.S. Senate candidate Jonathan Jenkins missed the filing deadline for the November ballot last month, it surprised the political observers who had been keeping an eye on his Texas run. Jenkins, a Euless tech entrepreneur, seemed to be running a credible — if unusual — campaign, and he had professed full confidence he would get the more than 47,000 signatures need to qualify for the ballot. Yet the deadline, June 21, came and went without Jenkins submitting the signatures, and he and his staff went dark for days. Now Jenkins is speaking out, alleging that the signature-gathering firm he hired misled him about the progress of the petition drive — and that associates of the Republican incumbent, Sen. Ted Cruz, meddled in the effort to keep Jenkins off the ballot. All this occurred while Jenkins paid over $350,000 to the firm, California-based Arno Petition Consultants.

After five years, the Tennessee-run district isn’t performing any better than low-performing schools receiving no intervention, research says

After five years of trying to turn around low-performing schools, Tennessee's state-run schools aren't performing any better than schools that haven't received any intervention, according to new research released Tuesday. But locally controlled low-achieving districts called Innovation Zones have not only improved performance — as shown in other studies — but have sustained those improvements over five years. That time period is seen as a significant marker because previous research has found it can take up to five years to see improvement from school interventions. Both the state-run district and the local iZones were launched 6 years ago. Tennessee is seen as a leader in turnaround work around the nation.

After hearing from educators across the city, Carranza outlines his ‘bold, progressive’ to-do list

Over his first two months as chancellor of New York City schools, Richard Carranza embarked on a listening tour that introduced him to 2,125 students, 1,876 parents, 2,984 teachers and employees, and 336 elected officials and community partners. As he announced a major reorganization of the Department of Education Wednesday, Carranza also released a report detailing his takeaways from all he heard. “I am excited to work with our Mayor on a bold, progressive agenda, that embraces diversity and is committed to making New York the fairest, most enlightened big City in America,” he concluded. “The last four years gave us a strong foundation,” he said in reference to the work of his predecessor Carmen Fariña. But the reports suggests he will have some different priorities from the chancellor he replaced, including his push to increase integration in the city's schools.

After Hospital Closure, A Missouri Community Tries to Fill The Gap in Health and Jobs

Lee Ann Stuart still wears her nursing scrubs, even though the only work she's been doing since Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center closed June 11 is to pack boxes of medical supplies to be hauled away. “It's strange walking those halls, and they're empty and the lights are down,” Stuart says. She's been a nurse at the hospital in rural Kennett, Missouri, for 22 years.

After logging, activists hope to extend protections for Bialoweiza Forest

But for the rumble of frogs or the song of a bluethroat, Bialowieza Forest in Poland has become quiet again after two years of heavy machinery, chainsaws and falling trees. But it's not the same forest as it was before the drastic explosion in logging began—and it will likely take decades, if not longer, to recover. So, activists say now is the time to call for the Bialowieza National Park to be extended across the entire ecosystem. “The entire Forest of Bialowieza must become a national park. It is [the] most valuable forest [in] Poland and lowland Europe, the home of unique species of animals, plants and fungi,” said Krzysztof Cibor, a spokesperson for Greenpeace- Poland.

After Prison, Many Oklahomans Are Banned from Voting for Years

For Robin Wertz, the wait will be long before she can cast a ballot at an Oklahoma polling place. Wertz, who runs a nonprofit center in Oklahoma City that helps people transition from prison back into society, is prohibited from voting in any election until 2024. That's in spite of the fact that she has been out of prison for 11 years, works full-time, has never re-offended and can travel abroad with no restrictions. “I've never even received a traffic ticket,” Wertz said of her time since leaving prison. “It's like I'm still being punished.”
Wertz, 54, is among the tens of thousands of Oklahomans who have been convicted of felonies but are unable to vote until their sentences have been completed, including completion of probation or parole.

AG Hopeful Backs Trump On Immigration

Don't look for Sue Hatfield to sign onto letters attacking Donald Trump if she becomes Connecticut's next attorney general, even when some of her fellow Republicans criticize him for separating parents and children at the border.

AG Sues to Remove Planning Commissioners

AG Sues to Remove Planning Commissioners
Quo Warranto information seeks to force theCity of Austin to comply with its City Charter
Investigative report by Ken Martin© The Austin Bulldog 2018Published Thursday July 5, 2018….am
Litigation filed in a Travis County district court by the Texas Attorney General seeks to remove eight named members of the Austin Planning Commission because these people allegedly hold office unlawfully. The grounds cite Austin City Charter Article X Section 2, which requires the Planning Commission to “have a number of members equal to the number of members on the council plus two additional members, a minimum of two-thirds of the members who shall be lay members not directly or indirectly connected with real estate and land development.” (Emphasis added.) Meaning no more than four. “It's shameful that the City of Austin ignores the will of the voters and its own City Charter, allowing the Planning Commission to be controlled by eight real estate professionals who unlawfully hold seats on the (commission),” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a July 3 press release. “We're seeking the court's removal of all commission members whose appointments violate the two-thirds ‘lay member' requirement of the City Charter.”

Agencies trade accusations as Rutherford seeks to switch regions

Vaya and Partners LME/MCOs exchange barbs over services. Rutherford commissioner points to mountain barrier, but Vaya says it has care providers nearby. The post Agencies trade accusations as Rutherford seeks to switch regions appeared first on Carolina Public Press.

Agency of Transportation compiles list of summer road construction

News Release — Agency of Transportation
July 9, 2018
Contact:
Brent Curtis
Brent.Curtis@vermont.gov
We are not used to temperatures like we have had these last few days. Here is a list of things not to leave in a vehicle when it is really hot. Candy bar – goes from solid to liquid mess quickly. Crayons – the rainbow colors on leather are not that attractive. Lipstick – melts quickly above room temperature and leaves a nasty stain.

Aging Alamodome Would Need More Upgrades to Host Final Four Again

San Antonio will learn Monday whether it will be picked to host the NCAA men's basketball Final Four within the next eight years. Regardless of whether the city's bid is successful, another round of upgrades is needed for the 25-year-old Alamodome, multiple officials involved with the bid for a future Final Four told the Rivard Report. Potential […]
The post Aging Alamodome Would Need More Upgrades to Host Final Four Again appeared first on Rivard Report.

Al Weber photo exhibit at Mission San Juan Bautista

The photography exhibit runs through August 15 to bring the community together in honor of photographer Al Weber. The show is in the mission museum.

Alamo Committee Gets More Details on Traffic, Branding, Archaeology Studies

Many committee members had not seen the research before Tuesday, and several members asked to see the reports on paper so they could better advise those in charge of the redesign. The post Alamo Committee Gets More Details on Traffic, Branding, Archaeology Studies appeared first on Rivard Report.

Alamo Committee To Weigh Public, Expert Input at Tuesday Meeting

An advisory group overseeing changes to the Alamo and its surroundings will hear updated reports from experts at a meeting Tuesday. The post Alamo Committee To Weigh Public, Expert Input at Tuesday Meeting appeared first on Rivard Report.

Alamo Committee To Weigh Public, Expert Input at Tuesday Meeting

An advisory group overseeing changes to the Alamo and its surroundings will hear updated reports from experts at a meeting Tuesday. The post Alamo Committee To Weigh Public, Expert Input at Tuesday Meeting appeared first on Rivard Report.

Albuquerque aviation company mum on federal contracts related to immigration

A New Mexico aviation company owned by a prominent Republican businessman has active contracts with the federal agency charged with housing migrant children once they cross the border. Albuquerque-based CSI Aviation, Inc., owned by Allen Weh, a former GOP candidate for New Mexico governor and U.S. Senate, has won multiple contracts from the U.S. Department […]

Alders Override Harp’s Budget Veto

Alders voted unanimously to override the mayor's veto of a tax increase reduction order, thereby requiring any “additional revenue” that the city receives for next year's budget to go towards mitigating the new 11 percent tax hike.

Alders Play Hardball With Mayor’s Raises

The average city homeowner will save around $10 on his or her new property tax bill if alders follow through on plans to strip city department budgets by nearly half of a million dollars and put that money instead towards reducing the new 11 percent tax increase.

Alert: After five years, Tennessee’s state-run schools show little academic progress

Report: While state-run schools are stagnant, local districts maintain progress
In a landmark new study, researchers are coming down strongly in favor of Tennessee's Innovation Zones, which are run by several local districts with the help of extra state funding. On the other hand, the research finds little evidence that the state-run Achievement School District is producing any positive results. In fact, the study says that the schools in the state-run district are performing no differently than other low-performing schools that have received no extra support. Read more about the study, officials' reactions, and what this could mean for Tennessee's turnaround work in our story. (photo by Kyle Kurlick for Chalkbeat)
The post Alert: After five years, Tennessee's state-run schools show little academic progress appeared first on Chalkbeat.

Alert: Chicago Public Schools to spend $1 billion on campus improvements

Chicago Public Schools is plunging $1 billion into campus investments, a plan that includes two new West Side schools, the district announced today. “This is a historic capital budget,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “These investments will ensure that there is equity in our system.”
CONTINUE READING HERE
Plus: Competitive classical schools get boost in new $1 billion capital plan
The post Alert: Chicago Public Schools to spend $1 billion on campus improvements appeared first on Chalkbeat.

Alert: Will the Janus Supreme Court case have much impact in Tennessee?

Breaking: Supreme Court decision in Janus deals blow to nation's teachers unions, but not in Tennessee
Tennessee will largely be left out of the flurry of analysis following a devastating ruling for teacher unions across the nation. The 5-4 ruling in the case, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, means that states and school districts will no longer be able to require their employees to pay negotiating fees to the unions that bargain on their behalf. But Tennessee is a right-to-work state, meaning an employee is not required to be a paying member of a worker's union. And to take it a step further, action by state legislators in recent years has weakened Tennessee's teacher unions. here about what this decision means for Tennessee.

Alex Farrell: Missed budget opportunity

News Release — Alex Farrell
June 26, 2018
Contact:
Alex R. Farrellalex@alexfarrell.org
802-503-5242
Budget Debate Displays a Missed Opportunity for LeadershipSenate Leadership Kill Negotiations Agreed upon by the Governor and House
Burlington, VT – Despite a unique budget surplus of more than $50 million – and more projected in the near future, the Chittenden County Senate delegation pushed through a budget that raises property taxes. In response to Governor Scott's announcement allowing the budget to become law without his signature, Alex Farrell, candidate for the State Senate issued the following statement:
“While I am thankful for the Governor's leadership and understand his decision, I am once again disappointed in the actions and votes of those elected to the Senate here in Chittenden County. They continuously vote in a block with no variation from the Party line. It's time for Chittenden County to hear a different perspective, a pro-growth, and a pro-business perspective. “Despite an agreement between Governor Phil Scott, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and House Minority Leader Don Turner, Chittenden County Senator Tim Ashe and fellow Chittenden County Senators, derailed and blocked a deal that would have averted a possible Government shutdown and kept rates for residential taxpayers flat for another year, as well as provide 100 percent of the rate relief for non-residential payers over two years.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Why She Wants to Abolish ICE and Upend the Democratic Party

In many ways, the race to represent New York's 14th Congressional District, encompassing parts of Queens and the Bronx, is a microcosm for the fight being waged within the Democratic Party. There, incumbent candidate Joe Crowley—a creature of New York's Democratic Party machine—is facing off against 28-year-old community organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the first primary challenger he's had since 2004. Ocasio-Cortez supported and campaigned for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and identifies as a democratic socialist. Her campaign platform includes support for a federal job guarantee, Medicare-for-All and abolishing ICE. She has also sworn off corporate donors, while Crowley rakes in generous campaign contributions from Wall Street and real estate developers.

All the Ways You Can Help Our Reporting Right Now

by Logan Jaffe
Get Email Updates from ProPublica Illinois

Dive deeper into our reporting. Our newsletter is written by a ProPublica Illinois journalist every week. If you haven't noticed, part of how we do our reporting here at ProPublica Illinois is by asking you to help us. As each story we publish takes shape, a few of us get in a room together and ask the reporter: What data do you need? What visuals do you need?

Allie Stickney: Nurses’ strike possibility disheartening

Editor's note: This commentary is by Allie Stickney, who is the chair of the board for the UVM Medical Center. The UVM Medical Center has been negotiating with the union that represents our nurses to come to an agreement on a fair contract. The nurses union let us know they intend to begin a 48-hour strike on the morning of July 12. While that does not necessarily mean there will be a strike and there is still enough time to reach resolution, UVM Medical Center leaders are hard at work developing a contingency plan to ensure patients get the care they need should there be a work stoppage. As chair of the board at UVM Medical Center, I have seen up close how people prevail through some of life's most difficult moments with the help of a skilled, caring health care professional.

Allow Doctors to Prescribe Buprenorphine for Opioid Addicts: Study

Primary care physicians should be able to prescribe opioid addiction treatment with buprenorphine, according to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Authored by medical doctors Sarah Wakeman and Michael Barnett, the report highlights the importance of normalizing buprenorphine as an office-based addiction treatment. Distribution of the medicine has slowed in annual growth despite an increase in access to buprenorphine. In 2015, 16 percent of 52,000 active psychiatrists were allowed to prescribe it in the U.S., according to the article. The authors addressed several stigmas and myths surrounding the usage of buprenorphine, which have inhibited its use as a mainstay treatment.

Alternate Takes

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, July 1, 2018 ill be “Alternate Takes.” Many of our favorite jazz recordings have alternate takes recorded on the same day or even some time later by the same group, vocalist or big band. I suspect that many of you have heard these famous tunes so much that you have memorized them. We will hear some of these alternate takes and possibly hear why these takes were not used for the final pressing of these famous recordings. Some of the artists featured on this show are Louis Armstrong, Charlie Christian, Art Tatum, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Ahmad Jamal, Art Blakey, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Herbie Hancock and others. The Slide Show has one of my photographs of Ahmad Jamal, heard on this show.

Alumni Say Chula Vista Choir Teacher Crossed the Line With Students for Years

The School for the Creative and Performing Arts building at Chula Vista High School. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
When longtime Chula Vista High School choir teacher Anthony Atienza was found responsible for harassing female students in 2017 and removed from the school, he denied the allegations and said the claims came from “the imaginations of three troubled high school girls.”
Now, several graduates of Atienza's class over the years and a former volunteer assistant director say some of the behavior reported last year was not isolated. They told Voice of San Diego Atienza regularly crossed boundaries with students. Their accounts date back to the early 2000s and include an uncomfortable encounter on a school trip out of state, massage circles, butt-slapping, commenting on a student's chest size, and revealing photo shoots with students. Atienza, who remained on paid leave through June 30 under a deal reached with the Sweetwater Union High School District, did not respond to multiple requests for an interview about the new allegations.

Always a Good Day for a Parade

Tommy Tune leads procession at Garrison's LandingAlways a Good Day for a Parade was first posted on June 22, 2018 at 2:57 pm.

Amalfitani Hit The Streets

Some came for the memories and to see old friends.Others came to introduce a fourth and even fifth generation of local Italian-Americans to enduring traditions.Almost everyone ca,e to taste the sausage and peppers, the pasta e fagioli, and the fried mozzarellaYet others come to plumb the mysteries of the secret sauce.

Amateur Radio Field Day taking place June 23

The local amateur radio association is taking part in a national exercise Saturday, June 23 at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy. The event is free and open to the public.

Amazon Is One Step Closer To Taking a Cut on Literally Every Economic Transaction

The paper the forms are printed on at City Hall. The desk your child sits at in math class. The books in your local library. Amazon has begun to profit from all of these products, extending its business from consumer retail into government procurement, according to a new report released today. As detailed by Stacy Mitchell and Olivia LaVecchia of the nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), Amazon won a nationwide contract last year to supply up to $5.5 billion in commercial items for states, cities, and school districts through its Amazon Business platform.

Amber deposits yield oldest evidence of frogs in wet, tropical forests

Tropical rainforests are home to the vast majority of the world's frog species today. Yet frog fossils from these moist environments have been incredibly rare, largely because the small animals have tiny bones, which make preservation difficult, and the wet conditions usually lead to their quick decomposition. This lack of frog fossil records has made it hard for researchers to build a picture of the earlier ecosystems the amphibians may have occupied. But now, within amber deposits in northern Myanmar, scientists have found four tiny frogs that they estimate became trapped within sticky tree resin some 99 million years ago. These are the oldest frog fossils known to have been preserved in amber, according to the team led by Lida Xing, an associate professor at the China University of Geosciences.

Ambitious Brooklyn School Desegregation Plan Faces Hurdles

Adi TalwarFeryal Abuhammoud with her son Omar, who graduated from Sunset Park Preparatory in June of 2018. Feryal, a member of the District 15 working group, says she thinks having some kind of screen can be a good way to incentivize all students to work hard. While the debate continues over the mayor's plan to address the disproportional lack of Black and Latino students at specialized high schools, some school districts are adopting policy changes to address school segregation on the neighborhood level. In one Brooklyn school district, a locally-driven effort is moving toward large reforms that aim to make the district's 11 middle schools more integrated and inclusive. District 15 encompasses more affluent, majority White neighborhoods like Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Kensington and Windsor Terrace, as well as neighborhoods with large low-income communities of color like Red Hook and Sunset Park.

Amended report shrinks campaign’s unpaid bills overnight

The gubernatorial campaign of Republican Bob Stefanowski filed an amended campaign finance report Wednesday showing it had unpaid expenses of $128,965, not the stunning $1.75 million that appeared in the original filing late Tuesday night.

American Hate Group Looks to Make Allies in Europe

by Ali Winston and A.C. Thompson
Robert Rundo, a leader of the violent white supremacist group known as the Rise Above Movement, pounded the man, hitting him with a series of thudding punches — left, right, left — that sent his foe staggering backwards. But this wasn't a street brawl captured on video: It was a boxing match — complete with 12-ounce gloves, a referee, and scantily attired ring girls — and it was promoted by a white supremacist fight club in Ukraine. The event was held inside a bunker-like building in Kiev, with fighters competing inside a cage of the sort familiar to mixed martial arts fans in America. With the skinhead subculture fading, neo-Nazi organizers in Europe have turned to promoting boxing and mixed martial arts bouts with the aim of pulling in new recruits. Rundo's fight in Ukraine occurred this spring, as he and two other RAM members toured Europe.

American Packaging starts operations at new Chili facility

Operations are now up and running at American Packaging Corporation 's new 215,000 square foot facility in the Town of Chili. The company has already hired 70 new employees, of which 40 are working at the new site. American Packaging also has about 200 employees working at its long-established plant on Driving Park Avenue in Rochester. The company plans to create up to 260 jobs over the next five years in this area. As first announced a year ago, Empire State Development offered $7.7 million in Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative grants and $7 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits.

Americans Own World’s Largest Arsenal of Firearms: Survey

The largest number of firearms in the world are in the hands of civilians located in the US, according to a report by the Small Arms Survey (SAS). The Survey, an independent research project within the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, estimates the rate of civilian firearm holdings to be 120.5 firearms per 100 residents, compared to less than one firearm for every 100 residents in countries like Indonesia and Japan. According to the Survey findings, contained in three briefing papers—on firearms held by civilians, by military forces, and by law enforcement agencies—at the end of 2017, there were approximately 1.013 billion firearms throughout 230 countries and autonomous territories in the world. Of the global total, 84.6 percent were held by civilians, 13.1 percent by military forces, and 2.2 percent by law enforcement agencies. The one billion figure represents a 15.7 percent global increase in number of firearms worldwide over the past decade.

AmeriCorps ‘volunteers’ in Denver schools were district employees, investigation finds

The Denver school district will be barred forever from using the AmeriCorps program that places volunteers in needy communities after an investigation found it broke rules by recruiting its own employees to serve as volunteers, according to a report released Wednesday. The Colorado agency that oversees some AmeriCorps programs here has discontinued the one in Denver Public Schools. The agency, Serve Colorado, is requiring the district pay back $200,000 in federal money it received to administer the program in the 2017-18 school year. In addition, Serve Colorado determined that the more than 400 AmeriCorps members working in Denver Public Schools this past year will not be eligible for a key AmeriCorps perk: up to $5,920 each to pay for college courses or pay back student loans. District officials have said they will pick up that cost, which they estimate at between $1 million and $1.8 million.

Amid #ArchSoWhite controversy, second Arch grounds ribbon-cutting to include black officials

The Arch grounds reopening is happening again after photos of the initial ribbon-cutting on Tuesday showed a lack of racial diversity. As the common saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The photos showing city officials and guests cutting the ribbon at the ceremony organized by Gateway Arch Park Foundation were worth three: “Arch So White,” or #ArchSoWhite on social media.

Amid dramatic growth of U.S. drone fleet, federal safety oversight lags

By Paul FeldmanFairWarning
As the nation's fleet of small recreational and commercial drones keeps soaring — the government projects nearly 3 million will be in the skies by 2022 — safety concerns are rising even as federal enforcement stalls. The post Amid dramatic growth of U.S. drone fleet, federal safety oversight lags appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

Amid dramatic growth of U.S. drone fleet, federal safety oversight lags

This content is for MinnPost members onlyCurrently, member content is not available in our RSS feeds. If you are a member, please log in or register on minnpost.com to access it.If you haven't yet, become a MinnPost Member at Silver or above to access this content, starting at $5 per month.

Amid family separation saga, U.S. House votes down conservative immigration package

President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address on Jan. 30. 2018. The White House
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House rejected a conservative immigration bill Thursday as moderate Republicans in the GOP-controlled chamber found its hard-line provisions too difficult to swallow. Opponents of the bill swiftly killed it in a 193-231 vote on the House floor.

Amid glee over DFL ‘disarray,’ the Minnesota GOP will have to deal with its own discord

Michael Brodkorb

The first few days of June were a time of celebration for Minnesota Republicans.After Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson was not endorsed on the first ballot for reelection at the DFL State Convention on June 2, she withdrew her name from consideration and, days later, announced she would run for governor.Amid the chain reaction of candidate filings that followed — with Congressman Keith Ellison deciding to run for attorney general, which created an opening for his seat in the Fifth Congressional District — Republicans were quick to brand the DFL Party in “disarray.” The hashtag #DFLDumpsterFire was added to nearly every tweet from Republicans as they watched DFL candidate after DFL candidate file to run against each other.But while Republicans reveled in political schadenfreude, few mentioned the obvious problem: the road ahead for the GOP in Minnesota is anything but smooth. In fact, Minnesota Republicans face a their own minefield over the coming months. Like the DFL, the GOP has its own hotly-contested primaries for governor and a congressional seat. And like Democrats, they too will need to heal any inter-party bruises if they want to be successful in November.Electability — and Trump — key in guv raceIn the race for the Republican nomination for governor, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson is the endorsed candidate for governor of the Republican Party of Minnesota. But Johnson announced his bid eleven months before former Gov. Tim Pawlenty got in the race, which came after Republicans had already elected delegates to their state convention.MinnPost photo by Brian HallidayRepublican endorsed candidate for governor, Jeff Johnson, with running mate Donna Bergstrom greeting attendees of the 2018 GOP convention.And though the GOP endorsement does give Johnson some organizational advantages to assist his campaign, Pawlenty has already built a fundraising and political operation that far exceeds Johnson's.

Amid immigration debate, feds moving ahead with land seizures for South Texas border wall

As a national debate raged about family separations at the border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection told a group of South Texas officials earlier this week that the federal government plans to move forward with private land seizures in the Rio Grande Valley to build sections of President Trump's border wall. “They said that they got the money, they got the authority and they're going to move on trying to acquire the land,” said U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat who attended the briefing in McAllen of a few dozen officials from cities, counties and foreign trade zones along the Texas-Mexico border. Cuellar, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee, said land will be seized to build a combined 33 miles of border wall in Hidalgo and Starr counties that was funded in an omnibus spending bill Trump signed in March. It allocated $1.6 billion for construction of 25 miles of wall in Hidalgo County — to be built atop flood-control levees — and 8 miles in Starr County. “In the next week or so we're going to find out how much more they'll be asking for the fencing to be built,” Cuellar added.

Amid Scrutiny of Jails and Jailers, NYC’s Private Prison Escapes Attention

Harrison DiPrinzioThe Queens Detention Facility at 182-22 150th Avenue in Jamaica. It's almost impossible to spot from the outside. Besides the cameras located on the corners of the building and a tiny sign posted next to the nondescript front door, there's nothing distinguishing 182-22 150th Avenue from the warehouses and shipping companies nearby in Jamaica. It, too, was once a warehouse, but it is now the Queens Detention Facility, a privately run prison used by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS). According to a spokesperson for the USMS, the Queens Detention Facility is operated by the GEO Group, the second largest private prison company in the world, under a contract with the Marshals.

Amid social media confusion, Espy remains neutral; calls Baria, Sherman good candidates

Mike Espy, former Democratic congressman and cabinet secretary. He is running for the U.S. Senate. Mike Espy has made it clear he is not endorsing a candidate in Tuesday's U.S. Senate Democratic primary runoff, but will support the winner in the November general election. Both David Baria and Howard Sherman, who are vying for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, have tried to align themselves with Espy. Espy, who in the 1980s became the first African American from Mississippi elected to the U.S. House since Reconstruction and then served as the Agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration, also will be on the ballot in November – in a special election to replace Thad Cochran who resigned from the Senate earlier this year.

An alternative route to a diploma: why some special-ed students in Minnesota opt to continue past their senior year of high school

Erin Hinrichs

When Barb Ziemke's kids each completed their senior year at Apple Valley High School, they both participated in the school's commencement ceremonies. Both walked across the stage, wore a cap and gown and received a high school diploma case.In her son's case, though, the case was empty. That's because Brandon Ziemke, along with his parents and team of educators, had predetermined that he needed three more years of high school to meet his educational goals.Because of a developmental and intellectual disability, Brandon qualified for a transition programming provided by the district. So those involved in his education helped put together an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) — replete with modified academic goals and an emphasis on life skills he'd need to enter adulthood successfully — to chart out his alternative route to a high school diploma.Later, he celebrated graduation a second time and received the exact same high school diploma that his sister had. “My daughter's diploma measures different from what my son's diploma measures, and there are a whole lot of students between that,” Ziemke said, noting some may end up continuing their high school education even though they've mastered their academic work.

An Immigrant Recruit’s Story: Rejected by the Nation I Yearn to Serve

I enlisted in the U.S. Army because saw it as my duty to repay the country that had welcomed me so warmly and offered me so much growth. The post An Immigrant Recruit's Story: Rejected by the Nation I Yearn to Serve appeared first on Rivard Report.

An integration plan is approved for Upper West Side and Harlem middle schools, parent leaders say

The Community Education Council in District 3 on Wednesday announced the city will move forward with a plan to integrate middle schools, the culmination of years of advocacy amid vocal pushback against admissions changes aimed at creating more economically and academically diverse schools. The plan marks the city's first attempt under Mayor Bill de Blasio to integrate middle schools across an entire district, an effort that garnered national attention after the schools Chancellor, Richard Carranza, tweeted a blunt criticism of parents who protested the proposal. The new admissions system builds on growing momentum to unravel deep segregation in the country's largest school system. A few weeks ago, de Blasio announced a contentious plan to overhaul admissions at the city's elite specialized high schools. And later on Wednesday, a set of recommendations is expected to be unveiled for integrating middle schools in Brooklyn's District 15.

Analysis: Completing reunifications without putting families back together

Left to right: Director of the Annunciation House Ruben Garcia, Roger (only first names given), Pablo Ortiz and his 3-year-old son Andres (off frame) and 4-year-old Roger Jr. speak to the media during a press conference at the Annunciation House in El Paso on July 11, 2018. The fathers and sons were released the previous night by ICE. Ivan Pierre Aguirre
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The first report card is in on the federal government's efforts to reunite the families it separated at the United States' border with Mexico. It's not encouraging.

Analysis: Do the feds have a plan to reunite migrant families? We’re about to find out.

Immigrants who illegally crossed the Mexico-U.S. border are apprehended by the U.S. border patrol in the Rio Grande Valley sector, near McAllen, Texas, U.S., April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. This is the week when we learn whether the federal government keeps track of migrant toddlers as well as major airlines track your luggage. More than a week ago, a federal judge ordered immigration officials to reunite kids under the age of 5 with their parents by tomorrow. (The government, saying it's unlikely they will be able to meet that deadline, asked for more time late last week, but hasn't received an answer; another hearing is scheduled for Monday morning.) They have another two weeks — until July 26 — to reunite the rest of the more than 2,000 children who were separated from their parents after their families illegally entered the United States.

Analysis: How to turn a weak Texas governor’s office into a strong one

Gov. Greg Abbott gives the keynote speech at the Republican Party of Texas convention in San Antonio on June 15, 2018. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. When Texas lawmakers return for a regular legislative session in January, two big things will be different: The governor will have a stronger hand in state law and policy than ever before, and the state's financial condition will be better than expected. Take the second bit first: Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar revised the official estimate of how much money is available to the state, adding $2.8 billion to his previous estimate, and crediting the state's robust retail economy for the boost. That's a partial relief to budget-writing legislators who have been fretting over a projected $7.9 billion hole in the next budget — a difference between what it would take to continue current programs and cover deficits in the current budget, and what the state is expected to collect in future taxes.

Analysis: If kids separated from their parents can’t hold our attention, what will?

Marcos Samayoa learns that his wife has detained and separated from their children as he waits on the international bridge between Brownsville and Matamoros, Mexico., on June 20, 2018. Reynaldo Leal for The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. And — click — we have moved on to something else, like bored weekenders mashing the buttons on our TV remotes. Enough with those immigrants and their children. What else is on?

Analysis: Legal political maps — except for those minority voters in Fort Worth

Graphic by Todd Wiseman
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. In the eyes of the federal courts, it probably doesn't matter — for electoral purposes — that the political lines in Fort Worth's 90th Texas House District are discriminatory. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled almost entirely in favor of the state of Texas in a challenge to the political maps drawn for congressional and state House seats, with one exception, saying HD-90 is the one district where racial discrimination via redistricting crossed the legal lines. They sent the case back to lower federal judges for whatever nips and tucks their ruling requires. In turn, that lower court — three judges working out of San Antonio — last week asked the horde of redistricting lawyers to say by next month how each would make repairs.

Analysis: On immigrants, death penalty and pot, Texans’ views now look more like the rest of the country

About 25 immigrant mothers and their children caught coming across the Texas-Mexico border are released at the McAllen bus station wearing ankle monitors on June 22, 2018. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. If Texas ever really played counterpoint to national political trends, it's not doing it now. On many issues, the state is behaving a lot like the rest of the country, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Start on the Mexican border.

Analysis: What sees us through

Jai Gillard, a freshman at Santa Fe High School, writes a message on a cross at a makeshift memorial left in memory of the victims killed in a shooting in Santa Fe, on May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. We keep getting back up. Our children still go to school, or will, when the summer is over. The kids in Parkland are still pushing, and the kids in Santa Fe are adding their voices.

Anatomy of a scene: Meet some local music fans

The most important element of a local music scene is... local music fans. So this week, we salute not the bands but the audiences, as we meet a few of Tucson's coolest rock and roll aficionados. Plus, cooling off in Bisbee, Ladytowne at Club Congress and more in your weekly TucsonSentinel.com music roundup.

And then there were 12: Why don’t we hear about extinction until it’s too late? (commentary)

Everyone loves a wildlife story. Watching the latest blue-chip natural history series complete with hushed narration about nature's grandeur — or reading the latest online science about evolution or quirky behavior in our favorite wild animals — can offer respite from the increasingly grim updates on world politics or social issues that bombard us. Environmental stories of recent weeks have been anything but uplifting, however. Recently, the death of Sudan, the world's last male northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), was widely reported. Sudan's death leaves only two living northern white rhinos.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador has strong lead in Mexican presidential race

The leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador greets supporters after voting in Mexico City. Edgard Garrido
MEXICO CITY — Andrés Manuel López Obrador, an anti-corruption crusader, has a commanding lead in Mexico's presidential election according to several exit polls, positioning him to be the first leftist leader since Mexico began its transition to democracy more than 30 years ago. Several exit polls gave López Obrador a double-digit lead over his two closest competitors, including the candidate for the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, José Antonio Meade. In a speech to his supporters on Sunday evening, Meade acknowledged he didn't have the votes to win. “Andrés Manuel López Obrador has the majority,” he said.

Andrew Torre: The immigrant ‘crisis’ we created

Editor's note: This commentary is by Andrew Torre, who gave up his life as a New York City advertising writer 20 years ago and moved to Londonderry, where he is now retired. He writes progressive political commentary, which has appeared regularly in Vermont newspapers. He is a member of the Vermont Progressive Party and MoveOn Manchester. While the media focuses on immigration – particularly the atrocity of separating children from their immigrant parents – none of it puts the issue into historical context. That's unfortunate, since unveiling that history makes a bad situation even more condemnable.

Angry farmers set fire to offices of Madagascar eco group, gov’t agency

What began with a rare instance of aggressive enforcement of Madagascar's environmental laws last month culminated in violent destruction. Angry farmers armed with sticks and machetes stormed into the northwestern city of Boriziny, also known as Port–Bergé, to demand the release of people arrested for illegally clearing farmland inside a protected area. On June 22, hundreds of barefoot men from Tsiningia, a municipality on the fringe of the Bongolava Forest Corridor, ransacked the Boriziny offices of the local nonprofit that manages the protected area. They smashed the group's motorcycles, computers and other equipment, and set fire to the building the group shares with an outpost of the Ministry of the Environment, Ecology and Forests, along with a stockpile of seized precious timber. Over the course of the day, the crowd also attempted to break into the police barracks and set fire to the home of the nonprofit's coordinator and that of the chef de district, the government administrator for the area, rendering it “entirely reduced to ashes,” according to a local news report.

Animal law course launches at Vermont Law

News Release — People for Ethical Treatment of Animals
July 10, 2018
Contact:
David Perle
202-483-7382, ext. 2194
DavidP@peta.org
South Royalton — Vermont Law School has this week welcomed PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders and PETA Foundation Supervising Veterinarian Dr. Heather Rally for a new summer course on animal-welfare law. Together with Donald Baur, a partner at Perkins Coie, Winders and Rally will focus on the ethical questions and legal challenges surrounding the exploitation of wild animals for human entertainment. The class will combine traditional principles of animal-welfare laws and advocacy using laws typically applied in the context of wildlife conservation, such as the Endangered Species and Marine Mammal Protection acts. The course will also touch on PETA's groundbreaking lawsuits, including its legal efforts on behalf of Lolita, the lone orca at the Miami Seaquarium; the “monkey selfie” suit, which sought to grant Naruto the macaque the copyright of the photographs that he took of himself; and the 13th Amendment suit filed on behalf of five wild-caught orcas at SeaWorld.

Animal leg traps found along Shingle Creek trail in Minneapolis

MinnPost staff

This could have had a much worse ending. WCCO's Reg Chapman reports: “Conservation officers want to know who set animal traps near a popular Minneapolis walking trail. … Chris Koch was out walking his dogs on Saturday when he discovered two traps along the Shingle Creek Regional Trail in Minneapolis. … ‘Just walking along with the dogs and I noticed something shiny and I'm like, “Hmm, you know, what could that be?” And I looked at it, and I've done enough hunting and what not in my youth to know … that's a trap,' Koch said. … He says the leg trap was in the brush, about a block west of 52nd and Penn avenues north, just steps away from Shingle Creek.”Things not looking great for former McNally Smith students and faculty.

Animals are becoming night owls to avoid humans

Large mammals are spending more time hunting and foraging under the cover of darkness to avoid humans, a new study has found. Researchers compiled data from 76 studies, and analyzed activity patterns of 62 mammal species, including bears, deer, coyotes and tigers, to find that wild animals were 1.36 times more active at night in areas with high human presence compared to their counterparts living in areas with low human presence. Take for example, the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), a day-loving species that inhabits the tropical forests of Southeast Asia: According to a 1993 study, in areas of Sumatran forests where human traffic was high, sun bears shifted 90 percent of their activity to nighttime, while individuals in areas with low human presence scheduled less than 20 percent of their activities at night. In fact, in 83 percent of the case studies the researchers looked at, animals showed some increase in night-time activity in response to human presence, the team reports in the study published in Science. These results seemed to be consistent across species and continents: from red brocket deer (Mazama americana) becoming more nocturnal in the presence of subsistence hunters in Argentina's Atlantic Forest; to coyotes (Canis latrans) in California, U.S., shifting their activities after dark to avoid hiking humans; sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park foraging more at night to avoid hunters; and tigers (Panthera tigris) around Nepal's Chitwan National Park becoming less active during the day when human activity peaks.

Anne Donahue: A night of rancor in the Statehouse

Editor's note: This commentary is by Rep. Anne B. Donahue, R-Washington 1, who represents Northfield and Berlin in the Vermont House of Representatives. She wrote this piece on Sunday. Was it only insider baseball that doesn't really matter? I don't think so. I think voters need to know about the very sad – shocking, even — chain of events in our state's House of Representatives last Friday night.

Annual IEHA Golf Tournament Supports Howard Center

News Release — Annual IEHA Golf Tournament Supports Howard Center
July 10, 2018
Contact:
Martie Majoros
mmajoros@howardcenter.org
BURLINGTON, VT—Members of the Vert-Mont Chapter of the International Executive
Housekeepers Association (IEHA) recently presented Howard Center with a check for more than
$8,000, raised through the group's annual golf tournament at the Basin Harbor Club in
Vergennes, Vermont. This year marks the 23rd anniversary of the event which benefits Howard Center's family and
community programs. The tournament began in 1995 when 52 golfers raised $3,408. Since
then, the event has grown to include about 120 golfers per year who have raised a total of more
than $315,000 and contributed $170,000 to Howard Center. In addition, the Vert-Mont Chapter
of the IEHA has supported other organizations, including the Red Cross, VT Food Bank,
Salvation Army, the IEHA Education Scholarship fund and more. The tournament is the work and effort of many, including Ed Vizvarie, Howard Center Director of
Facilities, who has enthusiastically helped coordinate the fundraiser for 23 years.

Another Cecil? Secrecy surrounds June trophy lion hunt

Skye, a beloved South African lion, has gone missing. Image © WILDAFRICAPTURE.COM / Charlie Lynam. On June 7th, a trophy hunter shot a male lion in Umbabat Private Nature Reserve in South Africa, a part of the Greater Kruger National Park. Nothing surprising about this: around 500 lions, usually males, are killed every year by trophy hunters on the African continent. What's made this different is the suspicion that the hunter baited and killed Skye a beloved lion, the dominant male of Kruger's so-called “Western Pride,” who has not been seen since June 7th.

Another Judge Rips City On Lead

A second Superior Court judge ripped into the city's handling of a child lead poisoning case, declaring that he is “appalled” at the city's delays and deficiencies in completing an adequate abatement and inspection of the child's apartment.

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.

Anthony Kennedy Retiring from Supreme Court

Justice Anthony Kennedy announced Wednesday that he is retiring from the Supreme Court. The departure gives President Trump the chance to replace the court's pivotal justice and dramatically shift the court to the right, setting up a bitter partisan showdown on Kennedy's successor, the Washington Post reports. “It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” said Kennedy, 81, who is leaving July 31. Kennedy joined the court in 1988 and has been its most important member for a decade. The Californian, who was chosen by President Ronald Reagan, cast the deciding vote on the controversial Citizens United campaign finance decision, the constitutional right to same-sex marriage and the continued viability of affirmative action.

Anti-immigration populism is driving the agenda in Europe, too

Mark Porubcansky

Amid the uproar over the Trump administration's “zero-tolerance” border policy, it is easy to overlook the fact that Europe, too, is struggling through another round of wrenching disputes over immigration.It has been three years since nearly 2 million Africans, Middle Easterns and Asians overwhelmed the continent's capabilities, setting European Union allies against each other and helping spur a powerful populist movement. The numbers have dropped dramatically every year since — one count earlier this month put the year's total so far at less than 40,000. But in a poll released this month, EU citizens indicated immigration was their top concern. As Reuters points out, worries are strongest among countries with relatively little immigration.A new populist government in Italy, where many would-be immigrants first set foot on European soil, is helping focusing attention on the issue. Earlier this month, it refused to allow ships that had plucked more than 600 people from rubber dinghies in rough Mediterranean waters to dock in Italy.

Anti-Semitic chalk message causes stir in Brattleboro

An anti-Semitic message was found written on the sidewalk on Elliot Street. Provided photo
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?fit=300%2C225&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?fit=610%2C458&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?resize=610%2C458&ssl=1" alt="'Toten die Juden' message in chalk" width="610" height="458" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?resize=610%2C458&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?resize=125%2C94&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?resize=300%2C225&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?resize=768%2C576&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?resize=1376%2C1032&ssl=1 1376w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?resize=1044%2C783&ssl=1 1044w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?resize=632%2C474&ssl=1 632w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?resize=536%2C402&ssl=1 536w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?w=1500&ssl=1 1500w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Anti-Semetic-message-Brattleboro.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">An anti-Semitic message was found written on the sidewalk on Elliot Street. Provided photoThis story by Chris Mays was published by the Brattleboro Reformer on June 25. BRATTLEBORO — An anti-Semitic message scrawled on a sidewalk in chalk on Elliot Street created a stir on social media this weekend.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
Sundays only (Weekly Wrap)

Email me stories on these subjects...

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

The Vermont Department of Corrections is having difficulty finding a new location for out of state prisoners because of an anticipated influx of immigrant detainees. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is looking to lease beds in locations across the country, Vermont officials say. State prison commissioner Lisa Menard told the Senate Appropriations Committee this week that federal demand for prison beds is impacting the search for a new placement for Vermont prisoners held out of state. Lisa Menard, commissioner of the Department of Corrections. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?fit=300%2C201&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?fit=610%2C409&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?resize=300%2C201&ssl=1" alt="Lisa Menard" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?resize=300%2C201&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?resize=125%2C84&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?resize=610%2C409&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?resize=150%2C100&ssl=1 150w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_1416.jpg?w=1024&ssl=1 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Lisa Menard, commissioner of the Department of Corrections.

AP: Emmett Till case reopened after new evidence surfaces

Federal investigators are reopening the Emmett Till case, which started with the kidnapping and brutal murder of a black child in Mississippi in 1955. The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Justice Department said it would take another look at the case, closed in 2007, in a report to Congress in March. The report does not contain details about the new information, but did coincide with the publication of a book titled “The Blood of Emmett Till. Till, who was 14 at the time of his death, was murdered while visiting relatives in from Chicago. During the visit, Till and his cousins visited a store in Money owned by Roy and Carolyn Bryant, who said that Till grabbed her her arm, put his hands on her waist and made sexually suggestive comments.

AP: Walker Stapleton wins the Republican nomination for governor in Colorado

DENVER — Early returns in Colorado show state Treasurer Walker Stapleton with a commanding lead as the Republican nominee for governor in this state where the GOP has captured the state's highest office only once in the past 43 years. The Associated Press called the race for him at 7:30 p.m.
The Bush-family relative with a background in business and real estate, is set to declare victory from a stage in a hotel ballroom at the Denver Tech Center Tuesday evening. His campaign was outspent nearly two-to-one by self-funding businessman Victor Mitchell who dumped $5 million of his own money in the race. Also running was first-time candidate Doug Robinson and Greg Lopez, the former mayor of Parker. As the vote totals came in supporters began filling a ballroom outfitted with a popcorn machine and a bandstand.

Appeals Court Sides With Trump on Sanctuary City Grants

A federal appeals court temporarily narrowed the scope of a nationwide injunction against the Trump administration's attempt to withhold grants from sanctuary cities, Politico reports. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit granted Attorney General Jeff Sessions' request to stay the nationwide aspect of the injunction, so that it will apply only to the city of Chicago. The full appeals court will hear oral arguments over the scope of the injunction on Sept. 6. The ruling amounts to a victory for President Trump in his quest to bring into line jurisdictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, a frequent target of the president's ire.

Araby: A Road Movie Driven By Economic Necessity, Not Wanderlust

At first blush, the new Brazilian film Araby feels like a typical oh-so-sensitive imported movie, the kind, a la Il Postino, that Miramax used to market so successfully to mezzobrow filmgoers. We open with a teen—one of the mode's moody, slim, soulfully troubled boys with a vast head of uncombed hair—biking alone on a mountain road, and the camera follows him as an old Jackson C. Frank ballad strums lyrically. We've been here before, you think; here comes the dysfunctional home, the mumbling self-pity, the romantic trial, the wistfully scored struggles toward self-discovery. But the film, by writer-directors João Dumans and Affonso Uchoa, has something else on its docket, a far subtler tack that is both poetic and intensely granular in its depiction of life at the low edge of the Brazilian socioeconomic spectrum. At home, the boy, Andre (Murilo Caliari), is alone and unparented, watching over a little brother while his mother is away working somewhere unspecified.

Are some animals too smart for their own good?

Last week a Minnesota raccoon captivated the nation as it climbed a skyscraper. As people marveled at its endeavor on social media, Lauren Stanton thought “Yes, that seems like something a raccoon would potentially do,” she said. Raccoons are climbers. They are dexterous, clever and adaptable, Stanton said. She's a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wyoming and works in an animal cognition lab there.

Are summer learning programs too expensive?

Families in Mississippi spend an average of nearly $2,000 for just five weeks of enrollment in a summer learning program. That cost amounts to 16 percent of the median summer income for a two-parent household and more than double what is considered affordable by the federal government, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress. Read The Hechinger Report's full analysis here. The post Are summer learning programs too expensive? appeared first on Mississippi Today.

Area residents voice concerns over Coventry landfill expansion

The Coventry landfill, operated by Casella Waste Systems. Chittenden Solid Waste District photoCOVENTRY — Northeast Kingdom residents are lukewarm to the prospect of the state's last open landfill expanding by 51 acres within sight, and smell, of their homes. Earlier this month, the state's Agency of Natural Resources approved Casella Waste Systems' application to recertify the existing 78-acre lined landfill for 10 years and to add two cells on its south side. As the site of Vermont's sole operational landfill, Coventry accepts about 70 percent of the state's waste. Under the draft certification, the proposed landfill addition would not be finalized until after public comments are reviewed by the agency. Jeff Bourdeau, the agency's project manager, told the crowd of 40 gathered Thursday night in the whitewashed Coventry Community Center that the state had spent more than a year reviewing Casella's application.

Arguments, confusion, second-guessing: Inside Trump’s reversal on separating migrant families

The White House's hastily crafted executive order to end child separations spurred confusion and fights within the federal government, and second-guessing from the president who had demanded the order in the first place. Amid continuing fallout from the Trump administration's family separation policy, and a disjointed retreat earlier this week, senior officials met Friday to craft a plan for reuniting immigrant children with their parents or guardians, though it remained unclear how long that work will take. The midday meeting was designed for officials to hash out exactly how they would reunite the more than 2,500 migrant children who have been separated from their parents since the practice went into effect in early May, according to officials involved in the discussions, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer candid insights into internal deliberations. Roughly 500 children have already been reunited with a parent or guardian, officials have said. The Friday meeting capped a tumultuous week in which administration officials rushed through an executive order that relieved the political pressure on President Trump but intensified friction between the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security.

Armadillo Boulders Offers First Look at New Downtown Climbing Gym

Armadillo Boulders' co-owners say they'll focus on great route-setting, safety, and building up San Antonio's climbing community. The post Armadillo Boulders Offers First Look at New Downtown Climbing Gym appeared first on Rivard Report.

Arming teachers with guns? West Texas A&M arms teachers with computers

CANYON — In a college classroom in the Texas Panhandle this fall, student teachers will study more than how to plan lessons or manage a classroom. They'll learn what to do when a gunman attacks their school. The Crisis Management Classroom will train student teachers at West Texas A&M University on how to handle emergencies including tornadoes and active shooters. Though the school has been preparing teachers and administrators for school violence since 2001, the new classroom — which was unveiled this week — will amp up training with new technology normally reserved for emergency responders. The unveiling comes a month after a deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School southeast of Houston.

Around Town (Photos)

Boys State ambassadors, Lions at the paradeAround Town (Photos) was first posted on June 23, 2018 at 9:06 am.

Arrest made after mother and daughter killed by boulder that fell off truck

MinnPost staff

Horrifying. WCCO's reports: “Police is Rosemount say an arrest has been made after an 800-pound boulder dislodged from a commercial vehicle and struck another vehicle, killing a mother and daughter. … The fatal incident happened around 4:50 p.m. Monday on Rich Valley Road, just south of 125th Street. … Karen Christiansen, 67, and 32-year-old Jen Christiansen, both of Shoreview, were going north on the road when the boulder became dislodged from the commercial vehicle and fell on their Toyota Avalon. … Both of the Christiansens suffered severe trauma.

Arrested for Not Carrying an ID on Way to High School, Young New Yorker Opts to Fight

Clarissa Sosin
NEW YORK — Mariah Charles woke up on Tuesday faced with a difficult decision. Does she take a plea to a crime she didn't commit or go to trial — face the two officers who slammed her to the ground, arresting her on her way to school — and risk losing. On the morning of April 28, 2017, Charles, 19 at the time, was on her way to her high school. Instead, she was thrown head first into the back of a New York Police Department squad car. Now, more than a year later, her case has wended its way through the courts.

Arrests on Mexican Border Fell Sharply in June

Border Patrol arrests fell sharply in June to the lowest level since February, ending a streak of four straight monthly increases, the Associated Press reports. The drop may reflect seasonal trends or it could signal that President Trump's “zero-tolerance” policy to criminally prosecute every adult who enters the country illegally is having a deterrent effect. The agency made 34,057 arrests on the border with Mexico during June, down 16 percent from the 40,344 in May. The June tally is preliminary and subject to change. Arrests still were more than double the 16,087 made in June 2017, but the sharp decline from spring could undercut the Trump administration's narrative of a border in crisis.

Artist Finds Higher Ground At YCBA

Society." alt="John Goto">In an impossibly pastoral setting — fading classical architecture, a swooning, partly cloudy sky, distant mountains rising from the shores of a lake — a wealthy family is more interested in keeping up appearances than celebrating the day, while a few of its members fumble with lawn furniture. Elsewhere, possibly in another part of this vast estate, two men beat the living crap out of a third man under gathering clouds and circling birds.Welcome to the works in John Goto's “High Summer,” a collection of campy, funny, and sometimes menacing images that do a thorough job of tearing down the past and pointing us toward an uncertain future.

Artists bring spotlight to global refugee issues in ARTvocacy exhibit

People attend ARTvocacy at La Marzocco Cafe and Showroom at KEXP. (Photo by Kimberly Westenhiser)Pietro Frediani's experience as a refugee comes through his paintings. One of them shows a woman, looking worried, between a pleasant landscape and a series of fires. “She's lonely without a husband,” said Frediani, who was born in Eritrea. “She's in between hope and darkness.

Arts As Healing classes offer respite as cancer patients become ‘lost in what they’re creating’

Kathy McGee had just recently completed her cancer treatments when she visited Arts As Healing for the first time. She wasn't exactly sure what she was getting into or how to prepare, but her daughter had encouraged her to give this new opportunity a try. So McGee grabbed the adult coloring book she'd been enjoying lately and headed to class. “I show up with [the] book in hand, and the class had absolutely nothing to do with that – absolutely nothing,” McGee said on St. Louis on the Air .

Arts for Andrew

Friends organize benefit for artistArts for Andrew was first posted on June 26, 2018 at 2:11 pm.

As ‘Abolish ICE’ gains steam, Sanders calls for restructuring

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks to the media about the firing of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin during a visit to White River Junction on Thursday. Photo by Geoff Hansen/Valley News
" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180329-vn-sanders-gh-121_Original_16286097-1.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180329-vn-sanders-gh-121_Original_16286097-1.jpg?fit=610%2C407&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180329-vn-sanders-gh-121_Original_16286097-1.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1" alt="Bernie Sanders" width="610" height="407" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180329-vn-sanders-gh-121_Original_16286097-1.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180329-vn-sanders-gh-121_Original_16286097-1.jpg?resize=125%2C83&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180329-vn-sanders-gh-121_Original_16286097-1.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180329-vn-sanders-gh-121_Original_16286097-1.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180329-vn-sanders-gh-121_Original_16286097-1.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180329-vn-sanders-gh-121_Original_16286097-1.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180329-vn-sanders-gh-121_Original_16286097-1.jpg 2400w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. File photo by Geoff Hansen/Valley NewsSen. Bernie Sanders joined a growing number of lawmakers calling for a restructuring of immigration enforcement Tuesday. The Vermont Independent said he supports restructuring Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and other agencies as part of a more comprehensive reform effort in a statement Tuesday.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
Sundays only (Weekly Wrap)

Email me stories on these subjects...

As Colombia expands its palm oil sector, scientists worry about wildlife

The large-scale expansion of oil palm has been a major driver of deforestation and biodiversity loss in many areas of the tropics. In Malaysia and Indonesia, where 85 percent of the world's oil palm is cultivated, rampant industry growth over the past several decades has replaced rainforest with monoculture plantations, devastating wildlife in the process and leading Indonesia to issue bans on further expansion. But as demand for palm oil continues to rise, other countries are looking to pick up the slack. Colombia's oil palm industry aims to overtake Thailand to become the world's third largest supplier of the plant-based oil commonly found in household products such as snack foods, ice cream, cosmetics as well as biofuels. Known as a mega-biodiverse country, Colombia claims 74 distinct natural ecosystems with a biodiversity rate second only to Brazil.

As Cook County Judge Coghlan seeks retention, concerns over lawsuit, rulings

cookcountyjudges.orgCook County Judge Matthew Coghlan
Two men exonerated after 23 years in custody claim Cook County Circuit Judge Matthew Coghlan took part in framing them for murder, standing by as disgraced former Chicago police Detective Reynaldo Guevara convinced an informant to falsely accuse them, according to a pending federal lawsuit. The informant eventually recanted, saying prosecutors and police had worked together to prepare a story they knew to be false. And one of the key players involved was Coghlan, who in a previous job as a gang prosecutor had worked with Guevara, whose misconduct has led to 18 exonerations of falsely convicted people. This fall, voters will vote whether to retain 62 Cook County judges for new six year terms on the Circuit Court. To help readers with their decision, Injustice Watch is studying the records of those candidates.

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 Expected, the US Quits the UN Human Rights Council

Ambassador Nikki Haley's first and only attendance at a session of the UN Human Rights Council was in June 2017, when she said the US would propose ideas to make the Council “more effective, more accountable and more responsive.” Those ideas never came to fruition, but threats to leave the body poured out. ERIC BRIDIERS/ US MISSION
In a long-expected decision, the United States announced it was withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, the world body's primary organ for promoting and protecting the rights of people worldwide. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, delivered comments on June 19 in the late afternoon from Washington, D.C., not taking any questions from reporters. “The Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy — with many of the world's worst human rights abuses going ignored and most serious offenders sit on the council sit in pious and self-righteous judgement of others with infinitely better records,” Pompeo said, his remarks posted on his Twitter page. Haley followed with longer remarks, citing among other things the work her team has apparently done to fix the Council's flaws.

As immigration debate rages, private prison operators spread cash to NM pols

Two of the nation's largest private prison companies have given nearly $33,000 to New Mexico's congressional representatives and state lawmakers over the last year and a half, a review of campaign finance records by New Mexico In Depth shows. The two operators — the GEO Group, Inc., and CoreCivic, which have maintained a major presence […]

As Quebec and Siberia demonstrate, heat waves afflict northern regions, too

Ron Meador

Much of Minnesota ventured back into heat-wave territory last week, the misery perhaps tempered by comparisons to places where the situation was downright deadly.Places like southern California, where a 68-year-old mail carrier was found dead the other day in a delivery vehicle that lacked air conditioning, on an afternoon the temperature along her suburban Los Angeles route hit 117.Well, we've come to expect such horrors in L.A., or Las Vegas, or Phoenix and other places in the arid Southwest. These are hot and dry landscapes after all, although the scorchers continue to make news with their increasing frequency and duration as the shifting climate makes them hotter and drier still.But we don't expect them in places like Quebec, where around 70 people died as temperatures climbed some 20 degrees out of the normal range last week, reaching the mid-90s in Montreal. That's where half the province's fatalities occurred — a modern, affluent, high-functioning city that's slightly closer to the North Pole than the equator. Its official latitude, 45.5 degrees, is about the same as St. Cloud's.Three more fatalities were reported in Ontario, where the authorities require confirmation by autopsy before counting a death as heat-related.

As Refugees Await Their Futures, NGOs Offer New Ways to Help Them Prepare

Children who live in refugee camps have diminished chances to receive a proper education; for adolescents, the choices drop drastically. Yet a range of services is trying to fill these yawning gaps. Rohingyas, above, who have been displaced from their villages in Myanmar to Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. CREATIVE COMMONS
As the school year ends in many countries and children turn with joy to vacation time ahead, millions of other school-age children will have nothing to look forward to but more long days in overcrowded refugee camps. The situation gets worse as they grow into adulthood.

As reunification deadline lands, dozens of immigrant children under 5 remain separated from their parents

About 25 immigrant mothers and their children caught coming across the Texas-Mexico border are released at the McAllen bus station wearing ankle monitors, on June 22, 2018. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
The federal government expects it will have reunited at least 38 — and maybe more than 60 — immigrant children under 5 with their parents by the end of the day Tuesday, but that means it could miss Tuesday's court-mandated reunification deadline for dozens of toddlers who were separated from their parents after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. In a court filing midday Tuesday, the government said it has identified 102 kids under 5 who were separated from their parents. Four of those kids are already back with their parents. Another 34 "are expected to be reunified" on Tuesday.

As San Angelo air base prepares to receive immigrant children, residents ask, “How can we help?”

SAN ANGELO — From its founding in the mid-19th century to support Fort Concho to its modern ties to Goodfellow Air Force Base, the residents of this West Texas town have always been strong supporters of their military neighbors. So when the military calls on the town to do something, “It'll happen” said Howard Taylor, director of the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. This week, Goodfellow, along with Fort Bliss near El Paso, was selected to house undocumented immigrant children amid a national uproar over the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border. Defense Secretary James Mattis announced the decision on his way to Asia on Monday; the first minors are expected to arrive at Goodfellow by July 31. Taylor, like many San Angelo residents interviewed Wednesday, is preparing for the immigrants' arrival and said he would be willing to run art programs for the children at the base.

As school year ends, Carranza announces major personnel changes at DOE

Just three months into his tenure leading the nation's largest school system, schools chancellor Richard Carranza announced a major personnel shake-up at the city's Department of Education. The sweeping new structure is meant to “streamline” the way principals and district superintendents are supported by creating another level of executive superintendents, the education department said. The effort to create clear lines of command is reminiscent of a reorganization that former Chancellor Carmen Fariña instituted when she took the helm of the nation's largest school system. However, the overhaul is also likely meant to correct for some elements of Fariña's plan that have drawn criticism, including from principals who complained they weren't always sure where to go to seek support. In addition, the changes appear to demote or revise the responsibilities of several key leaders who served under Fariña.

As temps soar, keeping cows cool is no small task

Fans attached to the barn walls keep the air moving to help keep the cows cool at Miller Farm in Vernon, on Monday, July 9, 2018. Photo by Kristopher Radder/Brattleboro Reformer
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Miller-Farm-cows-2.jpg?fit=300%2C191&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Miller-Farm-cows-2.jpg?fit=610%2C388&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Miller-Farm-cows-2.jpg?resize=610%2C388&ssl=1" alt="Cows in a fan-cooled barn" width="610" height="388" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Miller-Farm-cows-2.jpg?resize=610%2C388&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Miller-Farm-cows-2.jpg?resize=125%2C79&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Miller-Farm-cows-2.jpg?resize=300%2C191&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Miller-Farm-cows-2.jpg?resize=768%2C488&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Miller-Farm-cows-2.jpg?w=1500&ssl=1 1500w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Miller-Farm-cows-2.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Fans attached to the barn walls keep the air moving to help keep the cows cool at Miller Farm in Vernon, on Monday. Photo by Kristopher Radder/Brattleboro ReformerThis story by Susan Smallheer was published by the Brattleboro Reformer on July 10. VERNON —It's not just humans who don't like the heat and humidity. One Vernon dairy farm is doing its best to keep its bovines as cool and comfortable as they can during this unusually long stretch of hot, humid weather.

As Trump backlash continues, STEM professionals in Texas run for office

Clockwise from bottom left: Allison Lami Sawyer, Michelle Beckley, Joseph Kopser, Carla Morton, and Rick Kennedy are Democrats with backgrounds in STEM running for office this year. Marjorie Kamys Cotera: Joseph Kopser/Others provided courtesy campaigns
Allison Lami Sawyer's path to the 2018 Texas midterms started at Space Camp. As a child growing up in small-town Alabama, Sawyer spent five consecutive summers at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, where she built model rockets and began to envision herself as a scientist. Sawyer went on to earn degrees in engineering and nanotechnology before starting a Houston company called Rebellion Photonics, which develops high-tech cameras to detect gas leaks in oil installations. Since she moved to Houston in 2008, that scientific background has attuned Sawyer, 33, to what she sees as a decline in “evidence-based decisions” in Texas politics, starting with the Tea Party's rise to power in 2010 and exacerbated by Donald Trump's election six years later.

As Trump dials back family separation, critics remain vocal

Families at the southwest border were being separated under the Trump administration's ‘zero tolerance' policy. Creative Commons photoWASHINGTON — Amid a mounting outcry over a new border enforcement practice that has resulted in the separation of thousands of children from their parents, President Donald Trump abruptly signed an order that would keep families together. A new “zero tolerance” policy the administration implemented has resulted in thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents, who have been arrested and held in federal prison after entering the country without authorization.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
Sundays only (Weekly Wrap)

Email me stories on these subjects... Business News
Courts & Corrections News
Education News
Energy News
Environment News
Health Care News
People & Places News
Politics News

Email me stories for these regions
Bennington
Burlington
Rutland
Windham County

More than 2,300 immigrant children have been separated from their parents because of the change in policy, according to the New York Times.

As water shortages loom, Wyo seeks water-bank bill

Worried by growing demands and shrinking water supplies in the Colorado River Basin, Wyoming lawmakers are seeking legislation to authorize water banking in Wyoming and declare it a “beneficial use.”
The proposed changes to water law could allow Wyoming to “bank” Green River water for the purpose of meeting obligations to downstream states, and in doing so keep the state's water users from running dry in the event of a shortage. Lawmakers on two legislative committees were briefed recently of looming disruption in the Colorado River Basin due to drought and growing demand. The 1922 Colorado River Compact that determines how the basin's water is divided among seven western states and Mexico is based on overly rosy assumptions of flows. With Lake Powell at 43 percent of capacity and falling, water managers are nervous. They fear cascading events that could limit water use, curtail power generation, reduce critical electricity revenue and jeopardize endangered species in the region where 40 million people depend on Colorado River Basin water.

As We Celebrate “Independence,” Remember That the U.S. Left Its Colony Puerto Rico to Die

Residents of Puerto Rico are confronting the prospect of a fresh hurricane season, which will likely bring five to nine hurricanes, including one to four major hurricanes. The island, badly battered by last year's Hurricane Maria, still hasn't recovered. We continue to learn more about how dire the disaster has been. A recent academic study showed that the death toll from Maria was likely about 4,700—or more than 70 times the “official” count of 64. This was no mere "natural" disaster.

As We Celebrate “Independence,” Remember That the U.S. Left Its Colony Puerto Rico to Die

Residents of Puerto Rico are confronting the prospect of a fresh hurricane season, which will likely bring five to nine hurricanes, including one to four major hurricanes. The island, badly battered by last year's Hurricane Maria, still hasn't recovered. We continue to learn more about how dire the disaster has been. A recent academic study showed that the death toll from Maria was likely about 4,700—or more than 70 times the “official” count of 64. This was no mere "natural" disaster.

Ask Politically Speaking

What do you want to know about the resignation of Gov. Eric Greitens? What should our reporters be asking?

Ask the candidates: What questions do you want answered before the November 2018 election?

Jacob Villanueva for The Texas Tribune

Picture this: It's Election Day. You're about to walk into the voting booth. You know whether you're voting for Ted Cruz or Beto O'Rourke (you've been following that race for months). But then you see a ballot with a lot of other candidates you know nothing about. Now what?

Aspen signs deals with American Rivers, Trout Unlimited to move Castle/Maroon dam rights

ASPEN – American Rivers and Colorado Trout Unlimited are the latest of 10 opposing parties to sign agreements with the city of Aspen stating that the city will move its conditional water storage rights out of the upper Castle and Maroon creek valleys to five other locations. “This is a significant victory for rivers in Colorado,” said Matt Rice, the Colorado River basin director for American Rivers, in a statement issued jointly with Colorado Trout Unlimited on Tuesday. The alternative potential locations to store water from Castle and Maroon creeks include the city's golf course, on open space near the Burlingame neighborhood, on open space at Cozy Point at the bottom of Brush Creek Road, on undeveloped land in Woody Creek next to the gravel pit and in the gravel pit itself. David Nickum, the executive director of Colorado Trout Unlimited, said in the statement, “We appreciate the city of Aspen making this commitment to meet its water-supply needs while protecting these much-loved valleys and creeks, and the wild trout that call them home.”
City officials also expect to soon receive a signed agreement from Roaring Fork Land and Cattle Co., the owner of an estate in the lower Maroon Creek valley, according to Margeret Medellin, a utilities portfolio manager for the city of Aspen. As of May 29, the city had reached earlier settlements with Pitkin County, Wilderness Workshop, Western Resource Advocates, Double R Cross Ltd and Asp Properties LLC in the two cases.

Aspiring county leaders in charge of money for Memphis schools share their views

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners and county mayor are responsible for most school funding in Memphis. So, Chalkbeat sent a survey to candidates to hear their thoughts on what that should look like. Below, you can sort through each district race and see candidates' answers. First up are candidates for the county commission, and you can find responses from mayoral candidates below. The election is Thursday, Aug.

Association health plans touted by Trump under state scrutiny

Mike Pieciak, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_2427-2.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_2427-2.jpg?fit=610%2C407&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_2427-2.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1" alt="Mike Pieciak" width="610" height="407" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_2427-2.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_2427-2.jpg?resize=125%2C83&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_2427-2.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_2427-2.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_2427-2.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_2427-2.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_2427-2.jpg 5616w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Mike Pieciak, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerThe federal government is touting new regulations designed to make health insurance more accessible and affordable, but Vermont officials are concerned they'll have the opposite effect. So even as President Donald Trump's administration rolls out an expansion of “association health plans,” the state has begun drafting new rules to ensure that such plans are solvent and offer adequate coverage.Get all of VTDigger's health care news.You'll never miss our health care coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
Sundays only (Weekly Wrap)

Email me stories on these subjects...

At Johnson farm, 1,600 mark legalization of marijuana in Vermont

Heather Hubb, who moved to Vermont for the medical marijuana program, with two hemp plants. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DSC_0034.jpg?fit=300%2C201&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DSC_0034.jpg?fit=610%2C408&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DSC_0034.jpg?resize=610%2C408&ssl=1" alt="" width="610" height="408" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DSC_0034.jpg?resize=610%2C408&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DSC_0034.jpg?resize=125%2C84&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DSC_0034.jpg?resize=300%2C201&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DSC_0034.jpg?resize=768%2C514&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DSC_0034.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DSC_0034.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DSC_0034.jpg 3872w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Heather Hubb, who moved to Vermont for the medical marijuana program, with two hemp plants. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerJOHNSON — Marijuana officially became legal in Vermont on Sunday, and events across the state marked the landmark law. The largest event was a festival, nicknamed “Weedstock” by one volunteer, held by Heady Vermont in Johnson. About 1,600 people — old Vermonters, middle aged professionals and young Burlington hipsters — gathered at a farm to hang out, listen to live Reggae and toke in public.

At Last: Cold Spring Has New Post Office

Sorting remains in Garrison, upsetting neighborsAt Last: Cold Spring Has New Post Office was first posted on June 21, 2018 at 1:30 pm.

At Last: Cold Spring Has New Post Office

Leaves Foodtown trailer for Lahey PavilionAt Last: Cold Spring Has New Post Office was first posted on June 18, 2018 at 1:30 pm.

At rural-urban convening, a first step toward a new ‘One Minnesota Equity Blueprint’

Dane Smith

The front page of the West Central Tribune on June 29 featured photos of joyful kids escaping the heat and frolicking in the water at the recently renovated Robbins Island Park in Willmar. Dane SmithAll three of the children pictured were of color, and two had Latino surnames, reflecting one of western Minnesota's most racially diverse, and thriving, regional centers. About 30 percent of Willmar's population is now of color, and the percentage is higher in the city's schools.Right next to those happy images at the top of the page was an article headlined “Workforce Shortage Ahead: Groups Seek Policy Agenda to Bridge Urban-Rural Economic Divide.'' Veteran Tribune reporter Tom Cherveny captured the spirit of a nearby conference sponsored by these groups with this paragraph:The numbers suggest that communities most welcoming of immigrants and people of color will be best able to meet labor needs in the future. Yet research by American Public Media in its Ground Level Survey project found that attitudes in rural areas were less welcoming than those in urban areas, even though the growing labor shortage is likely to impact rural areas with declining populations the hardest.True that. All these imperatives emerged during the unique three-day conference: inclusiveness and embracing our diversity, welcoming newcomers and investing more in ALL our people and places, reducing regional and racial and economic disparities, redoubling efforts on climate action and environmental protection, and upgrading our physical infrastructure statewide.

Attention all womenfolk!

What are you steamed about? The heat? The traffic? The man? The primary election results?

Attorney General Donovan announces elder protection initiative

News Release — Attorney General T.J. Donovan
June 15, 2018
CONTACT:
Jamie Renner
(802) 828-5947
AG DONOVAN LAUNCHES ELDER PROTECTION INITIATIVENew Effort Follows Statewide Listening Tour
WINOOSKI – Attorney General T.J. Donovan has announced the launch of a permanent unit within his office known as the “Elder Protection Initiative.” This unit will focus on supporting and protecting Vermont's aging population. The unit is the result of a listening tour that solicited ideas from stakeholders on how best to assist Vermont's aging population. In the immediate, this unit will collaborate with Vermont 2-1-1 and Council on Aging for Southeastern Vermont on elder-related projects. The Elder Protection Initiative (EPI) brings together representatives from the Attorney General's Criminal, Public Protection and Human Service Divisions, along with the Consumer Assistance Program, to collaborate with stakeholders. EPI's collaborations will work to identify common vulnerabilities facing older Vermonters and address these systemic concerns, whether by enforcement efforts, public education, or advocating for legislation.

Attorney General Donovan announces meetings to protect privacy

News Release — Attorney General T.J. Donovan
June 22, 2018
CONTACT:
Ryan Kriger
(802)828-3170
Attorney General and Department of Public Service Announce Hearings on Protecting the Privacy of Vermonters
Attorney General T.J. Donovan, in consultation with the Department of Public Service, has announced the first of a series of meetings to consider legislative proposals to protect the privacy of Vermonters. The hearing will take place on Thursday, July 12, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at 29 Church Street, 3rd Floor in Burlington, Vermont (best entrance for the public is located at 110 Cherry Street). Citizens, industry representatives, businesspeople, and members of academia are invited to attend and provide their insights. Topics under consideration will include, but not be limited to:
Adoption of regulations concerning telecommunications privacy and whether to model such rules after the FCC's 2016 Privacy Order, WC Docket No. 16-106, FCC 16-148, adopted Oct.

Attorney General hopeful Hatfield backs Trump on immigration

Don't look for Sue Hatfield to sign onto letters attacking Donald Trump if she becomes Connecticut's next attorney general, even when some of her fellow Republicans criticize him for separating parents and children at the border.

Attorney general warns of GoFundMe scam

News Release — Office of the Attorney General
June 18, 2018
CONTACT:
Chris Curtis
(802) 828-5586
ATTORNEY GENERAL WARNS OF SCAM USING GOFUNDME
A new scam is targeting Vermont attorneys. The Attorney General's Office warns that a fake “GoFundMe” campaign purports to raise money for a child with a rare disease using GoFundMe.com. According to the Vermont Bar Association, the phony campaign referenced its organization and requested that VBA members make contributions. GoFundMe.com is a popular online fundraising platform. The VBA issued the following alert on its website:
“Recently, a Go Fund Me request entitled ‘Support Josh' was sent with reference to the Vermont Bar Association, requesting that our membership support a member's child with a rare disease, using our info@ email address.

Attorneys Argue CodeNEXT Petition

Attorneys Argue CodeNEXT Petition
CodeNEXT petition backers seek court order to forceCity of Austin to put petition on November 6 ballot
By Ken Martin© The Austin Bulldog 2018Posted Monday July 2, 2018 7:51pm
Whether the City of Austin must put the CodeNEXT petition on the November 6 ballot is still up in the air. After a hearing in which attorneys argued for nearly three hours, District Judge Orlinda Naranjo said she would take the matter under advisement and issue a decision as soon as possible. Before the hearing the parties filed a combined 148 pages of legal arguments as to why the CodeNEXT petition should or should not be placed on the November 6 ballot. (These documents are linked at the bottom of this story. Cause No.

Attorneys in literacy lawsuit plan to appeal federal judge’s ‘disappointing’ dismissal

The attorney representing seven Detroit students, parents, and teachers in a lawsuit accusing the state of failing to provide students access to literacy is going to appeal a federal judge's decision to dismiss the case. The lawsuit, filed in September 2016, claimed poor conditions in Detroit schools led to Detroit's main district having the nation's lowest literacy rate. The students and their families plan to appeal the ruling to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The City of Detroit, the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Teachers, the International Literacy Association and community groups such 482Forward filed briefs supporting the suit. In a 40-page decision handed down late Friday, U.S. District Judge Stephen J. Murphy III agreed with both sides.

Audio: Crisis on the border, 5-year anniversary of the Wendy Davis filibuster and the latest UT/Texas Tribune poll

On this week's TribCast, Emily talks to Jay, Neena, Edgar and Ross about inconsistent efforts to reunify immigrant parents and kids on the border, how Texas voters feel about separating families in the name of immigration enforcement, and the legacy of the Wendy Davis filibuster. 1. Chaos at the border

Listen in as Jay, Neena and Edgar try to untangle the logistical and humanitarian mess on the border, from questions on the whereabouts of immigrant kids and parents to concerns over the tactics federal officials are using to get families to self-deport. 2. Particularly timely polling

It was almost serendipitous that the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll was in the field at the start of the border crisis — and that we included a question asking Texas voters how they felt about separating families.

Audio: Family separations, political horse races, guns, weed and the NFL, from the UT/TT pollsters

In this special edition of the TribCast, Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey sits down with University of Texas at Austin pollsters Daron Shaw, Jim Henson and Josh Blank to talk about the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Among the topics this week:
1. Family separations
The short form: Texas voters don't like the family separations on the U.S.-Mexico border. The poll gives us some insight into the reactions of public officials, particularly Republicans. 2.

Audio: How to use drones without stressing wildlife

On this episode of the podcast we discuss the increasing use of drones by wildlife lovers, researchers, and businesses, how that might be stressing animals out, and how drone hobbyists can make a meaningful contribution to science while avoiding wildlife harassment. Listen here: Our guest is Alicia Amerson, a marine biologist, drone user, and science communicator. She tells us why it's critical to have best practices for drones in place not only to guide hobbyists making videos of whales or birds, but especially before companies like Amazon.com deploy fleets of drones in our skies. After getting a Master's degree in marine biodiversity and conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, Amerson spent two seasons on a research project flying drones over mother whales and their calves in Australia. Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, are a hot topic in conservation research these days.

Audio: Immigrant family separations, Pain and Profit in Medicaid managed care

On this week's TribCast, Emily talks to Ross, Emma and the Dallas Morning News' Dave McSwane about the separation of immigrant families on the Texas-Mexico border and McSwane's Pain and Profit series about misdeeds in the state's Medicaid managed care program. We also talk to state Rep. Tony Dale about his bellwether November election and Congressman Marc Veasey about the upcoming state Democratic Party Convention. Emma explains why the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy is leading to family separations at the border, how it's markedly different from family detention under the Obama administration and how Texas officials — including Republicans — are reacting in outrage and horror. (If you want to get involved in this issue, here's how.)
Dave, who coauthored his amazing series with Andrew Chavez, reveals how the state's big move to Medicaid managed care — meant to be more cost effective, better orchestrated and more efficient — has had a seriously dark underbelly. Some of the neediest, most desperate kids and adults with disabilities have been left without adequate care, and boy have there been consequences.

Audio: The dialogue between science and indigenous knowledge

On today's episode, we discuss traditional indigenous knowledge and climate change with Snowchange Cooperative director Tero Mustonen. Listen here: Through Snowchange, which is based in Finland, Mustonen works with indigenous communities around the world on projects related to climate change. He co-authored a scientific paper in the journal Science last year on climate change, human wellbeing, and biodiversity, and will also be one of the lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's next assessment report, due out in the early 2020s. We were interested to hear how Mustonen thinks traditional indigenous knowledge can inform climate science. “Often in the past, science has been seen as quite [the] colonial tool by indigenous peoples, and they have been the targets of research,” Mustonen says in this episode of the Mongabay Newscast.

Audio: TribCast: Democrats make it rain in some key races

On this week's TribCast, Patrick talks to Evan, Ross and Neena about Democrats' impressive fundraising in the U.S. Senate race and some congressional contests, as well as about the latest developments in the family separation crisis at the Texas-Mexico border. Senate hopeful Beto O'Rourke also joins the show to discuss his second-quarter fundraising numbers. 1. O'Rourke's massive $10.4 million haul
O'Rourke, who's challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, announced Wednesday night he raised over $10.4 million over the last three months, again outraising Cruz by a wide margin. The El Paso congressman talks with the gang about what he believes is powering his fundraising success, where the money's coming from and how he plans to spend it with four months until Election Day.

Audio: TribCast: The latest on the shifting immigration crisis

On this week's TribCast, Emily talks to Evan, Patrick, Marissa and Emma about the politics at play in the ongoing border crisis and how countries with striking similarities to Texas have brought down their maternal mortality rates. 1. Are midwives an answer? What's Poland got to do with Texas? The central European country is similarly sized and has similar conservative politics to Texas — but has a remarkably low maternal mortality rate (while Texas' is nothing to write home about).

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

By Charlie Hayward
CharlieHayward@MarylandReporter.com
State auditors found that the State Mental Health Administration found that the MHA failed to:

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

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

Auditor Slams City on Stormwater Mess

Stormwater runs into Auburn Creek in San Diego. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle
Water bills in the city of San Diego may need to go up by about $9 a month on average to help the city deal with flood control and improve the quality of rivers and streams. A new city audit looks into how poorly funded the city's stormwater program is. Stormwater is a fancy name for water on the ground after it rains. For years, mayors and city councils have refused to completely tackle this major infrastructure issue, the audit concludes. Now, stormwater is among the most underfunded infrastructure issues in the city.

Auditor Stacey Pickering to resign, headed to state Veterans’ Affairs board

State Auditor Stacey Pickering will resign his position in July to become executive director of the state Veterans' Affairs board, Mississippi Today has learned. Pickering, who was first elected auditor in 2007, confirmed to Mississippi Today that he would inform his senior staff Monday morning that he is taking the Veterans' Affairs position, which became vacant late last year when former director Randy Reeves was confirmed as Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 2017. “We had been talking about it for a while and praying about it for a while, and given my service in the National Guard, it seemed like the perfect fit,” Pickering told Mississippi Today. Gov. Phil Bryant would appoint a replacement to fill the remainder of Pickering's term as auditor, which runs through 2019. Bryant himself got his big political break in 1996, when former Gov. Kirk Fordice appointed Bryant auditor after then-Auditor Steve Patterson resigned as part of a court settlement.

Aurora school board approves the budget, but will continue transparency discussions to change the level of detail available

Aurora school board members on Tuesday unanimously approved next school year's $746.8 million budget after months of heated discussions over whether the district had provided the public enough detail about it. The budget represents a 4.7 percent drop from the current year, because of declines in enrollment and thus state dollars. It does include money for salary increases, but it was Aurora's transparency, or lack of it, that has generated the most controversy. But just because the budget was approved doesn't mean the transparency discussion has ended. New board member Kyla Armstrong-Romero — the first to press for more information after district officials said they planned on raising student athletic fees — said Tuesday she will keep asking the district for more detailed budget documents.

Aurora superintendent is getting a bonus following the district’s improved state ratings

Aurora's school superintendent will receive a 5 percent bonus amounting to $11,820, in a move the board did not announce. Instead, the one-time bonus was slipped into a routine document on staff transitions. Tuesday, the school board voted on the routine document approving all the staff changes, and the superintendent bonus, without discussion. The document, which usually lists staff transfers, resignations, and new hires, included a brief note at the end that explained the additional compensation by stating it was being provided because of the district's rise in state ratings. “Pursuant to the superintendent's contract, the superintendent is entitled to a one-time bonus equal to 5 percent of his base salary as the result of the Colorado Department of Education raising APS' district performance framework rating,” the note states.

Aurora’s school district is testing out a stipend for hard to staff positions

The Aurora school district may experiment with paying some teachers and staff about $3,000, to see if the district can attract more candidates, fill more vacancies, and retain more employees. The pilot plan has $1.8 million set aside for next school year to to attract and retain as many as 400 employees in hard-to-staff jobs. But in the long run, Superintendent Rico Munn said, the stipends could save Aurora money. “This is a force multiplier,” said Rico Munn, Aurora superintendent. “If we can fill those positions ourselves, we can decrease our overall expenditures.”

Aurora's stipends:
Nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists are eligible district-wide.

Author Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’ turns 70

Shirley Jackson, author of ‘The Lottery' and other works. " data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Shirley-Jackson.jpg?fit=210%2C300&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Shirley-Jackson.jpg?fit=610%2C870&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Shirley-Jackson.jpg?resize=610%2C870&ssl=1" alt="Shirley Jackson" width="610" height="870" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Shirley-Jackson.jpg?resize=610%2C870&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Shirley-Jackson.jpg?resize=88%2C125&ssl=1 88w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Shirley-Jackson.jpg?resize=210%2C300&ssl=1 210w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Shirley-Jackson.jpg?w=712&ssl=1 712w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Shirley Jackson, author of ‘The Lottery' and other works.This story by Cherise Madigan was published by the Bennington Banner on June 27. NORTH BENNINGTON — On or around June 27 of each year, Bennington's bibliophiles congregate to celebrate local author Shirley Jackson, who continues to lure and enliven readers more than 50 years after her death. For those unfamiliar with Jackson, the celebrations may seem somewhat mysterious— how does Jackson continue to engage readers to such a degree, after all of these years? Known for her use of enigma and psychological suspense, Jackson has been hailed for her novels “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” and “The Haunting of Hill House,” but also penned two memoirs, four books for children, and countless short stories.

Autopsy confirms Blevins killed by multiple gunshots from Minneapolis police

MinnPost staff

Still quite a few unanswered questions here. The Star Tribune's Libor Jany and Erin Adler report: “Thurman Blevins Jr. was shot multiple times by police when he was killed Saturday night following a foot chase in a north Minneapolis alley, according to an autopsy report by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner. … Blevins died at 5:35 p.m. of ‘multiple gunshot wounds' in the alley behind 4746 Bryant Ave. N., the report said. Witnesses said they heard several shots fired before Blevins was killed.

Az wildlife managers rely on public to help stop poaching

Because of negative effects poaching can have on wildlife management – and the multimillion-dollar economic impact hunting has on the state – Arizona Game & Fish is emphasizing catching poachers.

Baby and Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both...Baby and Dog was first posted on June 19, 2018 at 10:26 am.

Baby Zoo

A caravan of little animals visit the Desmond-FishBaby Zoo was first posted on July 2, 2018 at 12:49 pm.

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.

Backfire: How misinformation about wildfire harms climate activism (commentary)

When large wildfires in the forests of the western United States generate dramatic headlines, it can be particularly tempting for climate activists to adopt negative messages about wildfire and link them with global warming as a means of building public concern about dangers from anthropogenic climate change. While such efforts are well-intentioned, in this essay I examine how negative messages about wildfire will ultimately backfire for climate activists by inadvertently giving cover to logging schemes that are harmful to forests and the climate. There are two key aspects of the forest fire issue that makes it a particularly tricky territory for climate activists. The first is that human-caused mechanical wildfire suppression by the US Forest Service and similar agencies has caused a significant shortage of fire in forests of the western US over the past century and continuing to this day. Fire is a natural and beneficial component of western forests, just like rain is.

Ballpark Village begins construction of $65 million hotel

Officials plunged ceremonial shovels into the dirt at the future site of Live! by Loews at Ballpark Village on Monday. The $65 million hotel, at the corner of Clark and 8th streets, is part of the $260-million, second phase of the development. The hotel is a part of the living space that Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III said will put the “village” in Ballpark Village.

Baria and Sherman court black voters in final days of runoff campaigns

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi TodayOmeria Scott endorses U.S. Senate candidate Howard Sherman for the June 26 runoff. Two days after the June 5 primary, Howard Sherman hopped on Interstate 59 in Meridian and headed south to Laurel with a mission: To earn the endorsement of Rep. Omeria Scott. Sherman knew Scott's endorsement would be critical in the coming runoff between himself and state Rep. David Baria. Scott, who is a African American and a longtime state representative, earned 20,000 votes but did not make the runoff. With fewer than 1,000 votes separating Sherman and Baria on June 5, those 20,000 votes could more than swing the election.

Baria scores Democratic runoff win; Sherman declines to endorse

GULFPORT, Miss. — David Baria, a state representative and attorney from Bay St. Louis, won the Democratic runoff for U.S. Senate Tuesday night, helping Democrats avoid an embarrassing loss to a candidate major party officials declined to support. Baria's win also avoids putting party leaders in the thorny position of lining up behind a candidate they attempted to paint as a Republican, which became a major rallying point during as the campaign drew to a close. Baria defeated Howard Sherman, a venture capitalist from California and husband of Mississippi actress Sela Ward, by several hundred votes, earning the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat Republican Sen. Roger Wicker currently holds.

Barnes-Jewish, SLU hospitals rank high on price, low on quality; critics call rating unfair

St. Louis' most expensive hospitals don't provide the best quality care, according to a new report from the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition. The region's two academic medical centers, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Saint Louis University Hospital, offer the most expensive care in the region even though they rate among the lowest for hospital quality, according to the report. But some critics say quality ratings are influenced by factors beyond a hospital's control and fail to adequately represent a facility's challenges and strengths.

Barnes-Jewish, SLU hospitals score low on quality – but critics say it’s complicated

St. Louis' most expensive hospitals don't provide the best quality care, according to a new report from the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition. The region's two academic medical centers, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Saint Louis University Hospital, offer the most expensive care in the region even though they rate among the lowest for hospital quality, according to the report. But some critics say quality ratings are influenced by factors beyond a hospital's control and fail to adequately represent a facility's challenges and strengths.

Barnet man sentenced in deer poaching incident

News Release — Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
June 26, 2018
Media Contacts:
Sgt. Szymanowski
802-751-0103
Dennis Amsden
802-289-0630
Previously Convicted of Two Dozen Fish and Wildlife Crimes
DANVILLE, Vt. – A Barnet man has been sentenced to two years in prison with all but 30 days suspended and ordered to pay $850 in fines after pleading no contest to five charges stemming from an October 2017 incident. Carl Sanborn, 49, pled no contest to five charges, including taking big game by illegal means, hunting while under revocation, shooting from a roadway, failure to stop for a game warden, and contributing to juvenile delinquency. Sanborn has previously been convicted of 24 fish and wildlife crimes dating back to 1993 and had been sentenced to 81 days and fined $6,800 because of these previous convictions.

Barre rock crusher granted permit despite neighbor opposition

Rock crushing operations near Rock of Ages in Barre Town. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Asphalt-plant.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Asphalt-plant.jpg?fit=610%2C406&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Asphalt-plant.jpg?resize=610%2C406&ssl=1" alt="" width="610" height="406" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Asphalt-plant.jpg?resize=610%2C406&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Asphalt-plant.jpg?resize=125%2C83&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Asphalt-plant.jpg?resize=330%2C220&ssl=1 330w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Asphalt-plant.jpg?resize=150%2C100&ssl=1 150w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Asphalt-plant.jpg?w=1024&ssl=1 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Rock crushing operations near Rock of Ages in Barre Town. Photo by John Herrick/VTDiggerA rock crusher in Barre has been granted a permit under Vermont's Act 250 land-use law after a six-year battle with neighbors seeking to halt its operation. Northeast Materials Group operated a rock crusher at the Graniteville site without a permit for years. After the Vermont Supreme Court required the company to apply for a permit, they turned the crusher off and started up another crusher 3,000 feet away.

Barre woman’s death was fifth domestic violence related homicide in 2018

Courtney Gaboriault, 29, a Vermont Department of Public Safety employee, was killed Wednesday in Barre by a former boyfriend, police say. Courtesy photo
" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?fit=300%2C226&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?fit=610%2C461&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?resize=610%2C461&ssl=1" alt="courtney gaboriault" width="610" height="461" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?resize=610%2C461&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?resize=125%2C94&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?resize=300%2C226&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/courtney-gaboriault-cropped-1.jpg?w=657&ssl=1 657w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Courtney Gaboriault, 29, a Vermont Department of Public Safety employee, was killed Wednesday in Barre by a former boyfriend, police say. Courtesy photoThe killing of 29-year-old Courtney Gaboriault in Barre earlier this week was the fifth domestic violence related homicide in Vermont this year, the state attorney general's office said on Friday. “Right now,” said Auburn Watersong, policy director at the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, “we're kind of unfortunately on the same path we were last year.” Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
Sundays only (Weekly Wrap)

Email me stories on these subjects...

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.

Battle of the Pies

With soul music filling the air, Chocolate Pear squared off against Apple Crumb outside Mitchell branch library Monday night — and the community was the winner.

BBC film spotlights adventurous life of Robert Campbell, Irish farm boy turned St. Louis fur trader

A love story, expeditions full of danger and discovery, unimaginable tragedy – the life of Robert Campbell (1804-1879), a prominent resident of early St. Louis, pretty much has it all. “In 40 years of making documentaries I have rarely found a story that has so many aspects, that has so much adventure … it's just an incredible story,” filmmaker Michael Beattie said on Monday's St. Louis on the Air. “And to have the opportunity to tell it was just too good to miss.” Beattie's new hour-long BBC documentary, “Robert Campbell, Mountain Man,” will celebrate its North American premiere in the Public Media Commons during an outdoor screening and discussion Monday evening.

Beach or Bay? Southwest Airlines Begins Two New Flights from SA

Two departures from the San Antonio International Airport marked the first launch of Southwest Airlines' newest nonstop flights. The post Beach or Bay? Southwest Airlines Begins Two New Flights from SA appeared first on Rivard Report.

Beacon Bandits Win Title

Soccer travel team prevails, 3-1Beacon Bandits Win Title was first posted on June 21, 2018 at 10:01 pm.

Beacon Has Cooling Centers

Three spots to escape the heatBeacon Has Cooling Centers was first posted on July 2, 2018 at 5:47 pm.

Beacon High School Class of 2018

Graduation is Saturday, June 23, at Dutchess StadiumBeacon High School Class of 2018 was first posted on June 19, 2018 at 2:32 pm.

Beacon Independence Day

City will celebrate on Sunday, July 1Beacon Independence Day was first posted on June 26, 2018 at 1:58 pm.

Beacon Named ‘Coolest Small Town’

Budget Travel calls city "vibrant, forward-thinking"Beacon Named ‘Coolest Small Town' was first posted on June 29, 2018 at 11:44 am.

Beacon Obituaries

Ruth Lauritsen, Nick Romano, Richard Straley Sr., Edward Sullivan, Sue SweeneyBeacon Obituaries was first posted on June 24, 2018 at 12:49 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Bob Carapola, Pete Podloski, Michael TabonBeacon Obituaries was first posted on June 28, 2018 at 9:03 pm.

Beacon Police Arrest Two

Cold Spring man charged with attempted robberyBeacon Police Arrest Two was first posted on June 21, 2018 at 11:34 am.

Beacon Police Blotter

Select incidents from June 8 to 21Beacon Police Blotter was first posted on June 27, 2018 at 9:08 am.

Beacon Police Blotter

Select incidents from May 25 to June 7Beacon Police Blotter was first posted on June 21, 2018 at 12:17 pm.

Beacon Solar Farm Ready to Shine

Former landfill will save city $100,000 annuallyBeacon Solar Farm Ready to Shine was first posted on June 22, 2018 at 4:11 pm.

Bear raids kitchen of Pownal home

Bear complaints are on the rise in Vermont and residents are asked to remove things that might attract a bear from their yard such as trash, dog food or bird feeders. Photo courtesy of Gillian Stippa.This story by Patricia LeBoeuf was published by the Bennington Banner on July 12. POWNAL — A quest for a midnight snack led to a close encounter with wildlife for one Roizin Road resident Monday. Amelia Silver woke up around midnight to “clanging and banging” in her kitchen. “Of course, I thought maybe it was my cat climbing the sink,” she said.

Bear sighting in Ballwin has residents on alert

The Ballwin Police Department is urging residents to be cautious after a black bear was spotted Sunday in a St. Louis County neighborhood. According to a post on Facebook by the police department , a resident saw a large bear running between the Castle Pines Subdivision and Oak Run Lane. It's not the first time a black bear has made its way into St. Louis County, according to Tom Meister, the wildlife damage biologist of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Becoming a Music City Could Be Good for Business – If Done Right

Austin, our robust neighbor to the north, claims to be the “Live Music Capital of the World.” If it is, it is in trouble. The post Becoming a Music City Could Be Good for Business – If Done Right appeared first on Rivard Report.

Before his aviator son made the Lindbergh name famous, Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. was a prominent Minnesota politician

Greg Gaut

Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical SocietyCharles A. Lindbergh Sr. ca. 1918, the year in which he ran for governor as the Nonpartisan League's nominee.Charles August (C. A.) Lindbergh, father of the aviator The legislature created the Minnesota Commission of Public Safety (MCPS) in April to govern the state for the duration of the war. It included Governor Burnquist, the attorney general, and five other men, mainly conservative business leaders. John F. McGee emerged as the dominant force, and under his leadership, the commission demanded “100 percent loyalty” and classified any criticism as treasonous.Meanwhile, the Nonpartisan League began a major drive to elect its candidates in the 1918 elections.

Before there was Social Security, Beltrami County had its poor farm

Cecelia Wattles McKeig

The Beltrami County Poor Farm provided shelter and care for elderly and disabled people from 1902 until 1935, when old-age assistance programs replaced the poor farm system.In 1901, the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners decided to purchase land suitable for a farm complex that would care for the county's poor citizens. While large cities in Minnesota (and across the US) supported poor houses and houses of charity, rural areas established poor farms and tried to make them well run and self-sustaining. Beltrami County was one of the sixty-three Minnesota counties, out of a total of eighty-seven, that maintained a poor farm at some point in its history.Beltrami County purchased the property on August 2, 1901, from Rien Kilgard in Section 14 of Bemidji Township, directly east of the city limits. It advertised for bids for the main building and a second small building for quarantine and hospital purposes in September 1901, and the buildings were erected soon afterwards.On January 9, 1902, bids were opened for the position of farm superintendent. H. J. Armstrong, the lowest bidder, was appointed; his salary was fixed at $50 per month, starting on the first day of January 1902.

Before Your Time: Vermont libraries house more than books

A souvenir vase in the Vermont Historical Society's collection depicts the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro. Photo by Ryan Newswanger
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/souvenirWareOrig.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/souvenirWareOrig.jpg?fit=610%2C407&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/souvenirWareOrig.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1" alt="Souvenir vase depicts Brooks Memorial Library" width="610" height="407" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/souvenirWareOrig.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/souvenirWareOrig.jpg?resize=125%2C83&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/souvenirWareOrig.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/souvenirWareOrig.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/souvenirWareOrig.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/souvenirWareOrig.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/souvenirWareOrig.jpg 3000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A souvenir vase in the Vermont Historical Society's collection depicts the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro. Photo by Ryan NewswangerBefore Your Time is a podcast about Vermont history. Every episode, we go inside the stacks at the Vermont Historical Society to look at an object from their permanent collection that tells us something unique about our state. Then, we take a closer look at the people, the events, and the ideas that surround each artifact.

Behind the Criminal Immigration Law: Eugenics and White Supremacy

by Ian MacDougall
Amid a bipartisan backlash, President Trump has tried repeatedly to shift blame to Democrats for his own administration's “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, which has resulted in more than 2,300 migrant children being taken from their families along the U.S.-Mexico border. “The Democrats have to change their law — that's their law,” Trump told reporters on Friday. The president didn't specify which law he was talking about. But the statute at the center of his administration's policy is the work of Republicans — with origins dating back all the way to World War I — albeit with substantial Democratic support along the way. Known originally as the “Undesirable Aliens Act,” the statute would not exist without support from, respectively, a eugenicist and a white supremacist.

Behind The Data: How We Found Louisville’s Highest Eviction Rates

Each year, an average of 7,500 households are evicted in Jefferson County, a rate that in 2016 was more than two times the national average. Our findings came from data from Eviction Lab, a research group out of Princeton University who earlier this year released an extensive, multi-year dataset of evictions for much of the United States. Included with that data were statistics about the communities in which these evictions were happening, such as poverty rates, percentages of the population that rent and the race of residents. These data came at a very local level, down to something called a Census block group. For comparison, several block groups could likely fit within a typical city neighborhood.

Behind the Headline: Allisa Song

by Cynthia Gordy Giwa
When research scientist Allisa Song read the ProPublica's 2017 story “Drug Companies Make Eye Drops Too Big — and You Pay for the Waste,” she didn't just get outraged. She got organized. Get ProPublica's Major Investigations by Email

The story, by reporter Marshall Allen, exposed how drug companies are making patients waste money by manufacturing eyedrops much larger than what they can actually use. Every eyedrop is bigger than what the eye can contain, many two to three times too large, causing the excess to spill out. “I already have such strong feelings about health care in the U.S. right now,” said Song, a neuroscience researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle, who's starting medical school next semester.

Behind the Headline: Christopher Copolillo

by Cynthia Gordy Giwa
Christopher Copolillo was a grad student at the University of Southern California in 2017, when the Trump administration announced plans to cut $3.9 billion from the Pell Grant program for low-income college students. “It felt so wrong, and I wondered how it would play out in our local context,” said Copolillo, a former public school teacher who was majoring in public policy analysis. Get ProPublica's Major Investigations by Email

A columnist for USC's student newspaper The Daily Trojan, Copolillo set out to write an article ringing the alarm about the White House's proposed Pell Grant cuts. “Living in L.A. can sometimes feel like you're far away from the federal government and the ways these policies can affect real people. I wanted to give people some context and an access point.”

He turned to ProPublica's Debt By Degrees database, which lets users see how much U.S. colleges and universities financially support (or financially burden) their poorest students.

Behind the Headline: Demetrius Smith

by Cynthia Gordy Giwa
Demetrius Smith was wrongly accused of shooting someone — not once, but twice. In 2008, a jury found Smith guilty of murder and sentenced him to life plus 18 years for shooting his neighbor, a crime he maintained he didn't commit. He served more than five years before he was proven innocent and exonerated. Get ProPublica's Major Investigations by Email

Because of this injustice, when Smith was wrongfully convicted of another shooting, he reluctantly took a special plea deal that allowed him to maintain his innocence and be released, while the felony conviction was left on his record. This kind of plea deal is called an Alford plea, in which a defendant enters a guilty plea while also asserting his innocence for the record.

Behind the Headline: María Eugenia Vela

by Cynthia Gordy Giwa
A lawyer from the small Mexican town of Allende, María Eugenia Vela was at work on the evening of March 18, 2011, waiting for a judge to sign off on reports she had written. Her husband Edgar stopped by her office, delivering empanadas and giving her a kiss. It was the last time she ever saw him. That night, gunmen from the Zetas drug cartel swept through Allende, kidnapping men, women and children. Houses were looted and set on fire.

Behind the Headline: Marie McCausland

by Cynthia Gordy Giwa
Four days after Marie McCausland gave birth to her first child, the hospital sent her and her husband home with their new baby boy. Hours later, she felt awful: severe chest pain, a splitting headache and spiking blood pressure. When she laid down to rest, the symptoms got worse. “I just had this feeling like, ‘If I go to sleep, I'm not going to wake up,'” says McCausland. Get ProPublica's Major Investigations by Email

The hospital's discharge materials said nothing about her symptoms, but McCausland remembered the ProPublica/NPR story she'd read one week earlier about Lauren Bloomstein, who died soon after childbirth from preeclampsia, a type of high blood pressure that only occurs in pregnancy or postpartum.

Behind the Headline: Noemi Martinez

by Cynthia Gordy Giwa
Noemi Martinez of Jacksonville, Fla., was in a desperate hurry last July, as she ran to catch the bus from one job interview to the next. Along the way, she veered off the sidewalk to avoid a showering sprinkler. She was stopped by a police officer who issued a $62.50 citation for “walking in roadway where sidewalks provided.”

“I couldn't believe it,” said Martinez, who was unemployed at the time. “I was really overwhelmed.”

Get ProPublica's Major Investigations by Email

Having missed her bus, Martinez headed to the courthouse, where she planned to contest the ticket. Unsure where to go, she stopped Whitney Lonker, a defense attorney who happened to be nearby; Lonker explained the protocol and tried reassuring her that it would be dropped.

Behind the Headline: Oscar Ramírez Castañeda

by Cynthia Gordy Giwa
In 2011 Oscar Ramírez Castañeda, a 32-year-old married father of four living near Boston, learned that his life was a lie. He was not the son of a heroic Guatemalan military officer, as he'd been told by the family that raised him. DNA tests proved that he'd been kidnapped at age three by the officer, whose commando unit had massacred Ramírez's entire village of Dos Erres — one of the worst crimes in Guatemala's bloody civil war. Get ProPublica's Major Investigations by Email

ProPublica senior reporter Sebastian Rotella chronicled the story of Ramírez, who was living as an undocumented immigrant, in the 2012 series “Finding Oscar.” In partnership with This American Life, the story was also told in a Peabody Award-winning radio documentary. Four months after its publication, the story put enough political pressure on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to grant political asylum to Ramírez and his wife.

Behind the Headline: Tim Newman

by Cynthia Gordy Giwa
Tim Newman was a government contractor, training Iraqi police forces in Baghdad, when he lost his right leg in an explosion in 2005. The insurance provided to contractors through a private company covered a prosthetic, and he transitioned to working as an advocate to help other injured contractors get counseling and medical treatment. When he requested a more advanced prosthetic leg a few years later, his request was denied, and he found himself embroiled in a long-running battle. He sued the Department of Labor, his case taking a year to go through the federal court system, in order to get it. Get ProPublica's Major Investigations by Email

Newman shared his story with ProPublica reporter T. Christian Miller, whose 2009 series “Disposable Army” revealed that contractors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, suffering the same physical and mental scars as troops, often have to fight with insurers to get the care they need.

Behind the Headlines: Analysis of former Gov. Greitens’ latest legal issues

On Friday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh got an update from St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies on the latest news concerning former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. Mannies reported Tuesday that state Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) had filed a formal complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission. It accuses Greitens of intentionally skirting election laws.

Behind the Headlines: Local implications, impressions of Trump’s immigration policy

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Friday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live . On Friday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh will take a look at the local ramifications of a news story that continues to rock the nation: the treatment of migrant parents and children along the U.S.'s southern border.

Behind the Headlines: The state of organized labor locally, nationally in light of court ruling

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Friday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live . The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a significant legal blow to public-sector unions earlier this week with its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, an Illinois union-dues case. The ruling comes as Missouri voters gear up to decide in August whether to pass a right-to-work referendum, Proposition A , that would impact collective bargaining in the private sector .

Belize Barrier Reef Reserve gets UNESCO upgrade

UNESCO has announced that the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which it added to the World Heritage List in 1996, has been removed from its list of ‘sites in danger.' The system contains the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, offshore atolls popular with divers, hundreds of sandy cayes, estuaries, stretches of mangrove forest, and coastal lagoons. The system's seven sites are a significant habitat for threatened species, including sea turtles, manatees, and marine crocodiles. Previously, there was concern that the system was likely to be damaged and degraded, but early this year the Mesoamerican Reef as a whole received an improving bill of health from the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative. In addition, recent moves that the country of Belize has taken, such as the imposition of a moratorium on offshore drilling in late 2017, encouraged the committee.

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

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

Ben Jealous’s Victory Is Proof the Democratic Party’s Left Flank Is Winning Concrete Power

It's easy to be hyperbolic about Ben Jealous' victory in Maryland's Democratic gubernatorial primary. Last winter, Mother Jones called it maybe “the most important election of 2018.” In truth, it isn't even the most important race that Ben Jealous, the winner, will compete in this year. That will take place in November, when Jealous faces the incumbent Republican, Larry Hogan, whose approval numbers are in the low 70s even though Maryland is a heavily Democratic state. But the excitement around the Jealous candidacy is understandable. We are a little past the midpoint of the primary season, and the media narrative has coalesced around the idea that progressives have succeeded in moving the Democratic Party left, but not in actually winning primaries.

Benczkowski Confirmed as DOJ Criminal Division Chief

The Senate voted 51-48 on Wednesday to confirm Brian Benczkowski to head the Justice Department's Criminal Division, ending an 18-month delay in his confirmation, NPR reports. Benczkowski, a Justice Department veteran who held top posts in the George W. Bush administration, languished for months as critics raised questions about his legal work for a Russian bank and his close ties to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “At a time like this — with surging violent crime and an unprecedented drug epidemic — this position is especially important,” Sessions said. (As Ohio State University law Prof. Douglas Berman noted, it is dubious to assert that violent crime is surging.)
Senate Democrats had urged the White House to withdraw the nomination, citing “poor judgment,” after Benczkowski acknowledged briefly performing legal work for Alfa Bank, which has ties to Russian government officials, in 2017. “At a time when we need the Department of Justice's Criminal Division to help uncover, prevent, and deter Russian interference in our democracy, Mr. Benczkowski's choices so far have not inspired confidence that he is the right person to lead that fight,” wrote Senate Judiciary Committee members Richard Durbin of Illinois and Dianne Feinstein of California.

Bennington Arts Weekend to return in August

News Release — Bennington Chamber of Commerce
June 19, 2018
Contact:
Matt Harrington
802-447-3311matt@bennington.com
Bennington Arts Weekend Returns with First Fridays, The Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival, and the Homebrew Festival. Bennington, VT – Bennington Arts Weekend returns this year Friday, August 3 to Sunday, August 5th, offering a variety of venues to get your arts and crafts on! The Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, Bennington Downtown Alliance (BDA), 4Corners North, Hop Ridge Farm, Bennington Area Arts Council (BAAC) and the Craftproducers of the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival have come together again to offer a weekend that will enrich and expand the art and craft scene in Southern Vermont. “I think with the growth of the Bennington Area Arts Council, and the amazing amount of press this region has received in the last couple years around the arts movement including being ranked 3rd for most culturally vibrant town in the US, this weekend is a banner weekend to showcase the best of southern Vermont and Bennington especially,” says Matt Harrington, Executive Director of the Bennington Chamber. Bennington Arts Weekend has been growing since it began in 2008.

Bennington County prosecutor lays out case for re-election

Bennington County State's Attorney Erica Marthage. Photo by Dave LaChance/Bennington BannerBENNINGTON — State's Attorney Erica Marthage believes her roots in Bennington County, hands-on experience as a prosecutor and involvement with criminal justice reform issues make her the best choice for leading the office over the next four years. Marthage, first elected in 2006 and seeking a fourth term, is challenged by attorney Arnold Gottlieb in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary. Although independents could still enter the race, there are no other declared candidates, meaning the winner of the primary will most likely be elected on Nov.

Bennington Museum to host Elizabeth Kolbert and Edward Koren

News Release — Bennington Museum
July 3, 2018
Contact:
Susan Strano
802-447-1571 ext/ 204sstrano@benningtonmuseum.org
Elizabeth Kolbert and Edward Koren Present Thinking About Extinction
On Sunday, July 15, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm join Berkshire County author Elizabeth Kolbert and Vermont artist Edward Koren as they explore her book The Sixth Extinction and its impact on Koren's work in creating curious skeletal creatures in a landscape of ruined Gothic and Classical architecture. The presentation will take place in the Ada Paresky Education Center of the Bennington Museum. On view in the Works on Paper Gallery is Thinking About Extinction and Other Droll Things: Recent Prints and Drawings by Edward Koren. Exhibition on view to September 9. This presentation is free and includes admission to Works on Paper Gallery, but not admission to the other galleries.

Bennington ready for design work on water lines

Water line work on Silk Road in Bennington was underway in April. File photo by Dave LaChance/Bennington BannerBENNINGTON — With state funding in place, Bennington is close to beginning design work to extend water lines to the remaining properties contaminated with PFOA. The question remains, however, whether the firm considered the responsible party will agree to pick up a multi-million dollar tab for both design work and the water-line project itself. An appropriation in the new state budget provides $750,000 for engineering design or related work to prepare for a project to provide clean water to more than 200 Bennington properties. Those are roughly east of Route 7A within a state-determined perfluorooctanoic acid contamination zone around two former ChemFab Corp.

Bennington’s PFOA issue inspired national coalition

Representatives of community organizations dealing with PFOA or related chemical contamination are shown during a 2017 summit on contamination issues at Northeastern University in Boston. Courtesy photoBENNINGTON — Bennington wasn't the first community to struggle with PFOA contamination of drinking water, but the town helped inspire a coalition of citizen groups that is demanding action to deal with perfluorooctanoic acid and related industrial chemicals. Shaina Kasper, director of Toxics Action Center initiatives in Vermont and New Hampshire, said what became known as the National PFAS Contamination Coalition coalesced about a year after her organization responded to the discovery of PFOA in Bennington in early 2016. “February 24, 2016, was really my first experience with PFAS,” Kasper said. That was when well testing around two former ChemFab Corp.

Bernie man: At Minneapolis rally, Sanders stumps for Ellison, urges DFLers to ‘get out into the streets’

Peter Callaghan

It wasn't so much a fundraiser, though there was a pitch for money.It was more of an enthusiasm-raiser.The Bernie Sanders Reunion at First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis Friday seemed intent not just on getting the Vermont senator's supporters back together — but getting them excited to work for DFL candidates on the ballot this year.The primary beneficiary was the campaign of the guy that sponsored the event: U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running for attorney general of Minnesota. But also riding whatever wave was triggered by the mid-morning rally was U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, who introduced Ellison and joined in the traditional arm-in-arm-in-arm photo op at the end of the rally.Sanders, a Democratic Socialist who was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2016 — and who sounded like a candidate in 2020 — was repaying the support given him by Ellison. The Minneapolis Democrat was a prominent endorser of Sanders in the latter's run against Hillary Clinton — support that was amplified by coming early in the 2016 election cycle.And while much of Sanders' speech to those who packed the floor and balcony of the music club focused on issues important to progressives across the country such as health care, the economy and the environment, Sanders also challenged his supporters to get and remain active. “The antidote to political depression is activism,” he said.While he complimented Minnesota's highest-in-the-nation voter participation (joking that Vermont was bent on topping it), he also said that Minnesota could still do better.“The political revolution that Keith and I and others have talked about is not just a progressive agenda that speaks to the needs of working families, it is the need to create a national grassroots movement where ordinary people stand up to the billionaire class and take back this country,” Sanders said. “By electing Keith, and reelecting Tina and Amy [Klobuchar], you guys can help lead this country in that direction.”Addressing those in the room as “brothers and sisters,” Sanders said that his positions on issues are shared by majorities of Americans.

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

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

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

Beto O’Rourke to report huge $10.4 million fundraising haul in second quarter of 2018

Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Texas, raised more than $10.4 million over the past three months, he announced Wednesday, revealing a sum that takes his already massive fundraising to new heights. The latest haul, which brought O'Rourke's cash-on-hand total to over $14 million, is easily his biggest yet. It tops the $6.7 million he raked in during the first quarter, which was more than double what the Republican incumbent, Ted Cruz, took in at the same time. O'Rourke, who announced his latest fundraising figures Wednesday night on Facebook Live, also saw a big increase in the number of individual contributions to his campaign — from 141,000 in the first quarter to 215,000 during the most recent period. Cruz has not yet released his second-quarter fundraising numbers but the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday that Cruz will report raising over $4 million and having $10 million cash on hand.

Betomania, the border and Trump-bashing: Five big takeaways from the Texas Democratic convention

FORT WORTH — Thousands of Texas Democrats gathered here over the past three days for their biennial convention, looking to build momentum toward a November election where the long-beleaguered party sees more opportunities than usual thanks to President Donald Trump. The more than 7,500 delegates who flocked to the city convention center each day heard from all their statewide candidates — including the brightest star, U.S. Senate hopeful Beto O'Rourke. They also re-elected state Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa, installed some other new leaders and found themselves on the front lines of the political response to the family separation crisis at the border. The Democrats' confab fell a week after state Republicans staged their convention in San Antonio, an affair that put on display the party's embrace of the president as well as some pitched family disagreements. Things were a little different in Fort Worth.

Beyond borders: Children at heart of local implications, impressions of Trump’s immigration policy

On Friday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh discussed the local ramifications of a news story that continues to rock the nation: the treatment of migrant parents and children along the U.S.'s southern border. Joining him to talk about President Donald Trump's evolving immigration policies were three St. Louis-area residents whose areas of expertise shed light on the real-life impacts of those policies.

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

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

Big, busy summer for Minnesota Orchestra; St. Kate’s Art Festival coming up

Pamela Espeland

The Minnesota Orchestra won't get much of a vacation this year. The season finale in mid-June, where they performed Mahler's Fourth, was followed a week later by an appetite-whetting 2018-19 season sampler led by Sarah Hicks. A thrilling and unusual Sommerfest begins July 13. There won't be a single Viennese waltz.This year's Sommerfest celebrates the centenary of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's anti-apartheid revolutionary and first black president. On the program: Broadway star Audra McDonald; an evening of pageantry honoring Mandela; big Beethoven (the Fifth and the Ninth); a free, 12-hour International Day of Music indoors and out on multiple stages; the world premiere of a new work by South African composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen; associate conductor Roderick Cox's final concerts with the orchestra; and an “Inside the Classics” concert of protest music.Peavey Plaza is closed for a yearlong renovation, but food will be available from several vendors, along with house wine, beer and signature drinks.Sommerfest ends Aug.

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

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

Birks Directed To Rescind Layoff Notices

The mayor and Board of Education president called for a course reversal on handling expected layoffs by the schools superintendent — who was noticeably absent as they publicly criticized her as a newbie stumbling through an important decision-making process.

Bisbee hosts remembrances of infamous deportation of union miners

Sunday, Bisbee wound up a week-long commemoration of the forced removal of nearly 1,300 striking miners from their homes 100 years ago. The event, known as the Bisbee Deportation, was "the biggest mass kidnapping in American history" but hasn't always been well known, even to people who grew up in the area.

Black bookstore working to build community, celebrates third anniversary

Eyeseeme African American Children's Bookstore in University City became an internet sensation by association thanks to a visit to the store by Sidney Keys III and his mother, Winnie Caldwell. About a year and a half ago, she posted a video of him reading a book in the store that went viral. He was inspired by his visit to start Books N Bros book club, which caught the attention of CNN (which recognized him as a “Young Wonder” as part of the 11th annual CNN Heroes), Steve Harvey, Oprah Winfrey and many others. They were thrilled and excited for young Sidney. But the frenzy about it let Eyeseeme owners Pamela and Jeffrey Blair know that the work they do is important, necessary – and that there is so much more that needs to be done.

Black Girls Must be Included in D.C.’s Juvenile Justice Reform Efforts

As we work to keep youth out of prisons and ensure they are met with community-based services, we must remember our girls who are increasingly impacted by the juvenile justice system. Across the country, girls' involvement in the justice system — from arrest to incarceration — has grown due to more aggressive policing of minor offenses, such as running away or missing school. This carceral response disproportionately impacts girls of color and is made all the more troubling by the fact that the behavior for which girls are penalized is often rooted in their experiences of abuse and marginalization. Unfortunately, this holds true for girls in Washington, D.C., who have not escaped the impact of this alarming juvenile justice trend. Cherice Hopkins
To highlight this trend, Rights4Girls and the Georgetown Juvenile Justice Initiative recently released a first-of-its-kind report examining girls' increased contact with the D.C. juvenile justice system.

Black Lives Matter Remembers The Fallen

Ala Ochumare stood at the center of a candle-lit circle and read a two-page list of New Haveners who have been killed in the city since 2010.

Blumenthal sounds alarm on SCOTUS pick over protections for sick people

Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Thursday promoted a key Democratic strategy to try to block President Donald Trump's choice to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, warning the candidate would roll back the Affordable Care Act's popular guarantee of health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Blumenthal to travel to border as Congress stumbles on immigration

WASHINGTON – Sen. Richard Blumenthal is the latest Connecticut lawmaker to announce plans to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border this weekend to visit with immigrant children who have been forcibly separated from their undocumented parents. Meanwhile, a hardline immigration bill failed in the U.S. House Wednesday and GOP leaders postponed a vote on another immigraition bill.

Blumenthal: Contact Murkowski, Collins, McCain To Save Roe v. Wade

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said the recent retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is not a drill. And if Americans who believe in the reproductive rights —the human rights—of women don't take action, the Trump administration will likely appoint a new justice who will roll back Roe v. Wade.

Bob Stannard: Local is the real solution

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, an author, musician and former lobbyist. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. The level of fear and anger in America may not be unprecedented but it sure is close. People are angry and the result of their anger is that we now find ourselves in arguably the worst position in modern times. For many years to come America will be known as the country that allowed kids to be torn from their parent's arms.
The administration's policy that allowed this to happen is because of a lack of leadership on the issue of immigration (or pretty much anything else).

Bob Stannard: Solution or the problem?

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, an author, musician and former lobbyist. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. This month marks his 13th anniversary as a regular, bimonthly columnist
for the Bennington Banner. You and your toddler daughter are walking through a shopping center parking lot on your way to go buy groceries. Your daughter really likes shopping with you, because she almost always gets a treat; well, if she's good, that is.

Bob Stefanowski qualifies for GOP primary

Republican voters will have at least four candidates for governor in the Aug. 14 primary as the secretary of the state's office confirmed Monday that Bob Stefanowski had collected sufficient signatures for a place on the ballot.