The mother of the man accused of killing one and injuring 19 in Saturday's domestic terror attack in Charlottesville, Va., called 911 from her Florence, Ky., apartment at least twice reporting her son was attacking or threatening her. According to records, authorities from the Boone County (Ky.) Sheriff's Office and the Florence Police Department responded nine times from November 2010 through February 2013 to the condominium of Samantha Bloom, 49, and her son, James Alex Fields Jr.
In 2011, Bloom called police to report her son “is being very threatening toward her. The mother is in a wheelchair and doesn't feel in control of the situation and is scared,” according to police dispatcher notes. The calls were among new details that emerged Monday regarding the family's sometimes tumultuous past. More: Charlottesville aftermath: Protests flare up again across U.S.
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Authorities in Virginia say Fields, a Boone County native, drove his 2010 Dodge Challenger through a crowd of counterprotesters following a white supremacist rally, smashing into two other vehicles and throwing several victims into the air.

‘Backhauling’ pilot project: Expanding Greater Minnesota farmers’ ability to sell produce

Challenges facing rural Minnesota are reflected on many of our Main Streets. The brunt of shifting farm policies, demographic changes and declining commodity prices — to name a few — is shouldered in small towns.Kathryn DraegerA pilot program of the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) offers hope. At its core is a concept called “backhauling,” which, if successful, will benefit small- and medium-sized farm producers and strengthen rural grocery stores, the anchor businesses in many small towns.When you think about it, turning small-town groceries into local food hubs makes sense. Wholesale food suppliers' truck drivers deliver fresh and processed food and dry goods to rural grocery stores throughout the state on a weekly basis. The trucks, then, return to the distribution center empty.Our project connects local growers with rural grocery stores as a network of docking sites.

‘Buying time’ rather than things is associated with greater life satisfaction, study suggests

Susan Perry

Money may be able to buy you happiness if you 1) have enough discretionary income and 2) spend it to purchase some free time — such as by paying someone to do cleaning, cooking and other household chores.That's the interesting, but by no means definitive, finding of a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).Researchers surveyed more than 6,000 people in four developed countries, including the United States, and found that “buying time” — defined as paying others to do chores that you personally dislike — was associated with greater life satisfaction.“People who hire a housecleaner or pay the kid next door to mow the lawn might feel like they're being lazy,” said Ashley Whillans, the study's lead author and a social psychologist at Harvard Business School, in a released statement. “But our results suggest that buying time has similar benefits for happiness as having more money.”In a small follow-up experiment, the researchers also found that people expressed higher level of happiness when they spend money on timesaving purchases rather than on material “things.” These findings come with all sorts of caveats, of course, but we'll get to those in a minute.A ‘time famine'As background information in the study notes, people living in developed countries — whether it be Germany, Korea or the United States — report greater time scarcity than did people in past generations, including those with higher incomes.The stress from that lack of time comes with a hefty health-related price tag: Research has linked it to lower well-being, including reduced happiness, increased anxiety and insomnia.Time stress also plays a critical role in the rising rates of obesity, because when people lack time, they often fail to eat healthful foods or exercise regularly.“In theory, rising incomes could offer a way out of the ‘time famine' of modern life, because wealth offers the opportunity to have more free time, such as by paying more to live closer to work,” write Whillans and her colleagues in the study. “However, some evidence suggests that wealthier people spend more time engaging in stressful activities, such as shopping and commuting.”Study detailsTo determine whether money could be used to buy time and, thus, happiness, an international team of researchers examined data collected through lengthy questionnaires filled out by almost 6,300 participants in four countries — the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands and Denmark. The annual household income of the participants ranged from $30,000 to $1 million-plus. Some of the participants were recruited online, some from public places, such as train stations and public parks.

‘Elvis of academia’: Noam Chomsky joins Univeristy of Arizona faculty

Noam Chomsky, a pioneer in cognitive science and noted linguist, philosopher and social critic, has joined the UA. Chomsky, an MIT professor emeritus, has been a leading American intellectual since the 1950s, and co-taught a UA course last spring. "We fell in love with Tucson — the mountains, the desert," he said.

‘I Am Somali’ at Mia; Steve Sack at Talk of the Stacks

Pamela Espeland

To create Mia's first-ever exhibition of work by contemporary Somali artists, curator Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers didn't have to look far; Minneapolis has the largest Somali population of any city in the U.S. “I Am Somali: Three Visual Artists from the Twin Cities” opens Saturday and spans three generations.For Ifra Mansour, a multidisciplinary artist in her 30s, this won't be her first show at the corner of 24th and 3rd Ave. S.; her one-woman play “How to Have Fun in a Civil War” was featured at the Children's Theatre in 2016. Mansour's “Can I Touch It” is a multimedia installation of film, audio, fabric and willow branches. Aziz Osman is in his 60s; he arrived in Minnesota in 1991, part of the first wave of Somalis to resettle here. His work is figural and semi-abstract.

‘It’s hard to talk about the bad stuff:’ Discussing postpartum depression, what can be done to help

Research by the Centers for Disease Control finds that one in nine women experience postpartum depression, a depression that occurs after having a baby. Some postpartum depression experiences last longer and are felt in different ways than others. Dr. Matthew Broom, SLUCare pediatrician at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital said that anywhere between 15 and 30 percent of women experience some sort of postpartum depression. "It is often the most common medical problem new mothers face," Broom said on Monday's St. Louis on the Air , when our panel discussed the topic, an important component of maternal death discussions that outlets like NPR and ProPublica have been undertaking for the past year .

‘This is our story to tell’: Documentary portrays Ferguson from the people’s perspective

After a Ferguson police officer fatally shot Michael Brown Jr., local artist Damon Davis hit the streets. What he saw there conflicted with TV news reports and social media posts he'd seen that emphasized clashes between protesters and police. “It was absolutely nothing like what was being portrayed by the media,” Davis said. Instead of clashes with police, he noticed people exercising their first amendment rights. So when budding filmmaker Sabaah Folayan contacted Davis about collaborating on a documentary about the protests he felt compelled to work with her.

‘A dream come true’: Doctor, DJ among 71 new citizens

Volunteers with Windham County People Power hold signs Tuesday outside the Paramount Theatre in Rutland greeting new U.S. citizens after a naturalization ceremony. Photo by Alan J. Keays/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="citizens" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1110w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Volunteers with Windham County People Power hold signs Tuesday outside the Paramount Theatre in Rutland greeting new U.S. citizens after a naturalization ceremony. Photo by Alan J. Keays/VTDiggerRUTLAND — Edward Thairu had been a doctor in Kenya. He now calls Vermont home and is studying to be a cardiologist in the United States. On Tuesday he joined 70 other people from 26 countries on the stage of the Paramount Theatre in downtown Rutland to take the Oath of Allegiance and become U.S. citizens.

‘Bye Bye Bye’ by NSYNC

Mississippi native Lance Bass was a member of NSYNC, one of the best-selling boy bands in history. Formed in 1995, NSYNC performed together for only seven years but sold more than 70 million albums. Bye Bye Bye was released on Jan. 11, 2000, as the first single from the group's second studio album, No Strings Attached. The song peaked at No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and within the Top 10 in almost every country where it charted.

‘Chain Gang’ works its way onto the Playlist

The sound of Sam Cooke working on Chain Gang will reverberate on The Ultimate Mississippi Playlist. Chain Gang, one of soul stylist supreme Cooke's biggest hits, garnered 51 percent of the votes in Round 12 of the Playlist competition. Jesse Winchester's Mississippi You're on My Mind tallied 24 percent of the votes; The Cedric Burnside Project's Down in the Delta, 20 percent, and Shelly Fairchild's Mississippi Turnpike, 5 percent. Clarksdale native Cooke's song from 1960 was inspired after a chance meeting with an actual chain gang of prisoners on a highway while Cooke was on tour. The Playlist salutes the significance of Mississippi music during our state's bicentennial celebration.

‘Crown Heights’: Cautionary True Tale of Youth’s Unjust Sentence, Exonerated By Stubborn Friend

“You never know how sacred your freedom is until it's jeopardized.”
That's the driving sentiment behind “Crown Heights,” a new film that tells a tale of friendship and perseverance in the face of a miscarriage of justice. The drama is the story of Colin Warner, an 18-year-old immigrant from Trinidad who was arrested for a 1980 killing in New York that he played no part in. He ended up spending two decades behind bars before being freed — largely due to the efforts of his childhood friend Carl “KC” King, who ran down witnesses and lobbied lawyers to take on Warner's case. “This was a guy who grew up in prison,” said the film's director, Matt Ruskin. “He was an 18-year-old kid when he was charged with a murder he had nothing to do with, and he became an adult in one of the harshest environments imaginable.”
Warner was released in 2001 and won a $2.7 million settlement from New York authorities for their wrongful prosecution.

‘Ferguson became a giant’: How 3 years of activism is slowly reshaping the St. Louis area

The 2014 death of Michael Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old, at the hands of a white police officer unleashed anger and activism throughout the St. Louis area. Some who marched in the streets of Ferguson after August 9 of that year remain committed to changing hearts, minds and laws throughout St. Louis and Missouri, despite setbacks at the ballot box and within legislative chambers. But activists also concede that policy alone won't bring St.

‘Foster Grandparents’ Needed

County program looking for tutors, mentors‘Foster Grandparents' Needed was first posted on August 1, 2017 at 7:26 am.

‘Good Jobs’ law may depend on the definition of good

A tax incentive that rewards companies for creating hundreds or thousands of new jobs will require them to also pay “good” wages. What that means for workers remains is not yet clearly defined.

‘Hammmade’ furniture is handmade, heartfelt success

This story is our weekly ‘Sip of Culture, a partnership between Mississippi Today and The ‘Sip Magazine. For more stories like this or to learn more about The ‘Sip, visit Take advantage of a special 2-for-1 subscription offer and explore a ‘Sip of the South with The ‘Sip's print edition. Natalie and Tim Hamm married as teenagers — Natalie was 17 and Tim 19 — with a baby son and another on the way. They had little to call their own, but from a shared love of furniture restoration they have since constructed a business, built a national following and designed a way of life in their North Mississippi community.

‘Hate did not win’: Vandalized Jewish cemetery rededicated after repairs

Six months after vandals knocked down more than 150 gravestones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, members of the local Jewish community reconsecrated the land and honored the dead. Despite grey clouds threatening rain, dozens attended the ceremony on Sunday, seeking closure after the grave markers were repaired, and in some cases replaced .

‘How Can You Work … for a President That Undermines Your Work?’

by Mattathias Schwartz, special to ProPublica,
Last week, Dan Coats, the former senator from Indiana and current head of the U.S. intelligence community, was interviewed by NBC's Lester Holt in front of a live audience at the Aspen Security Forum, a gathering where diplomats, journalists and top U.S. officials mingle with business executives in between livestreamed panel discussions on world affairs. (The hourlong discussion was posted on YouTube.)

ProPublica has obtained internal talking points, apparently written by one of Coats' aides, anticipating questions that Holt was likely to ask. They offer a window into the euphemisms and evasions necessary to handle a pressing issue for Coats: how to lead the intelligence community at a time when the president has insulted it on Twitter and denigrated its work while questions about Russian influence consume ever more time and attention in Washington. Sixteen of the 26 questions addressed by the talking points concerned internal White House politics, the Russia investigation, or the president himself. One question put the challenges facing Coats this way: “How can you work as DNI for a president that undermines your work?”

DNI spokesman Brian Hale told ProPublica that the 17-page document was a small, unclassified part of “a thick binder” of preparation documents for Coats' interview.

‘Hush, Hush’ by Jimmy Reed

Hush, Hush, performed by blues musician and songwriter Jimmy Reed, was recorded in 1960 for his album Found Love. Reed, a preeminent player of electric blues, had a significant influence on rock ‘n' roll artists such as Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Hank Williams Jr., Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jerry Garcia and the Rolling Stones. Reed was born in Dunleith, a small community in the Mississippi Delta, in 1925. He learned the harmonica and guitar from his friend Eddie Taylor and moved to Chicago in 1943. By the 1950s, Reed established himself as a popular musician and had a long string of hits.

‘I am the Church. I am the State’: Diaz Sr. Faces Younger Voices in Bronx Primary

Jarrett MurphyState Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr., meets with student reporters on July 20. Ruben Diaz, Sr. is aiming to return to his roots on Primary Day, hoping to win the District 18 Council seat he gave up in 2003 when elected to the State Senate. But Diaz, an ordained minister, indicated in a recent interview that he now has a different take on how his personal views intersect with his public role. Diaz, whose son is the Bronx borough president, founded and leads the Christian Community Neighborhood Church on Longfellow Avenue and the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, which is comprised of 150 local evangelical ministers. He was forced to resign from the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board years ago for suggesting that the Gay Games would encourage homosexuality and spread HIV.

‘I Can’t Vote, But My Daughter Can’

Lea en españolELIZABETH, NJ — Rossana Madeira is a wife and a mother. She is also an undocumented immigrant.But five years ago, because of the economic hardships that her family experienced, Rossana realized that she could no longer remain silent and stay in the shadows. “I can't live in fear because of my immigration status,” she said. “I need to exercise my rights as a person.”A native of Mexico, Rossana knows that she cannot vote. Yet, she also understands well that she could influence her relatives, friends and other immigrants— who have the right to vote— to participate in the elections.“If I don't speak out and exercise our rights, no politician will take [undocumented immigrants], like me, into consideration,” added Rossana, who is now a member of Make the Road-New Jersey, where she has participated in mobilizing campaigns and protests that advocate for the rights of immigrants."Even if we do not have legal papers, we pay taxes and bring our work to this country,” she added.

‘I should have stopped’: Hit-and-run driver sent back to jail

Christopher Sullivan, former city attorney in Rutland, appears in Rutland Superior Court on Thursday for his sentencing in a fatal hit-and-run crash. Pool photo by Robert L. Layman/ for the Rutland Herald
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Christopher Sullivan" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Christopher Sullivan, former city attorney in Rutland, appears in Rutland Superior Court on Thursday for his sentencing in a fatal hit-and-run crash. Pool photo by Robert L. Layman/for the Rutland HeraldRUTLAND — Saying she didn't find him credible, Judge Theresa DiMauro sentenced a former municipal attorney for Rutland to the same prison term she handed down two years earlier for his role in a fatal hit-and-run crash. Christopher Sullivan's attorney argued for a lesser prison sentence than the one the judge originally imposed, which the Vermont Supreme Court had tossed out earlier this year. Meanwhile, the prosecutor sought a longer prison term for 57-year-old Sullivan.

‘If You Hemorrhage, Don’t Clean Up’: Advice From Mothers Who Almost Died

by Adriana Gallardo and Nina Martin, ProPublica, and Renee Montagne, NPR,
This story was co-published with NPR. Choosing a Provider
Preparing for an Emergency
Getting Your Provider to Listen
Paying Attention to Your Symptoms
After the Delivery
Grappling With the Emotional Fallout
Four days after Marie McCausland delivered her first child in May, she knew something was very wrong. She had intense pain in her upper chest, her blood pressure was rising, and she was so swollen that she barely recognized herself in the mirror. As she curled up in bed that evening, a scary thought flickered through her exhausted brain: “If I go to sleep right now, I don't know if I'm gonna be waking up.”

What she didn't have was good information about what might be wrong. The discharge materials the hospital sent her home with were vague and confusing — “really quite useless,” she said.

‘In the Heights’ is command performance for St. Louis’ Latino actors but messages cross cultures

Way before his blockbuster play “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda was a college student, struggling with a script about his upbringing in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood. On Friday, Miranda's early musical “In the Heights” comes to St. Louis' .Zack Theatre in the Grand Center area. The R-S Theatrics play tackles one of today's toughest subjects: immigration. It's a huge draw for local Latino actors and those from other states, including one theater professional from New York City.

‘It has been heartbreaking to have to make these changes’: A Q&A with Greater Twin Cities United Way chief Sarah Caruso

The Greater Twin Cities United Way exists to help people in a nine-county area, but the organization got public criticism in April when it cut grant funding to nonprofits serving domestic violence victims.United Way, widely known for soliciting financial support in workplaces, has been making hard funding choices because its revenue has been falling. Annual campaign contributions dropped from $82.4 million in 2014 to $74.9 million in 2016. Meanwhile, total revenue fell from $101.9 million in 2014 to $88 million last year.Sarah Caruso, United Way's president and CEO, is working with a board composed of many business executives to remake the 102-year-old nonprofit. Caruso took the helm of United Way in late 2009, just as Twin Cities residents were coping with the destruction of the Great Recession.During her tenure, many United Ways across the nation have found it more difficult to annually increase donations from workplaces. In addition, at the Greater Twin Cities United Way, an increasing portion of contributions are now donor-designated.

‘It’s solid fear’: How the impact of Trump’s immigration agenda is already being felt in Minnesota

Sam Brodey

From the very beginning of his campaign in 2015 to his election as president, Donald Trump was most clear, forceful, and consistent on one issue: immigration.His core ideas on immigration — stopping refugee resettlement, building the border wall, removing undocumented immigrants — were unambiguous, and resonated deeply with his supporters.Upon entering office, Trump swiftly moved to act on that agenda, but seven months in, his administration has found some promises easier to keep than others. On one hand, federal immigration authorities are toughening enforcement, arresting more undocumented immigrants, and slowing refugee resettlement to a near-halt.On the other, the president's ban on travel from a group of Muslim-majority countries has been mired in the courts, the fate of the border wall remains uncertain, and so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions continue to defy the president's wishes that they cooperate with federal immigration authorities.The White House's strident outlook on immigration, combined with an inconsistent enforcement of policy, has created an environment that Minnesota immigration experts describe as confusing, difficult, and anxiety-provoking for the immigrants and would-be immigrants affected by the administration's policies — and they don't expect any relief anytime soon.False starts and clear stepsTrump's first move to enact his immigration agenda came on January 25, when his administration handed down an executive order “enhancing public safety in the interior of the United States.”The order, which blasted the prior administration's handling of illegal immigration, broadened the category of immigrants subject to, and prioritized for, deportation. Under Barack Obama — whose administration deported record numbers of migrants — those with violent criminal records were primarily targeted for removal. Under Trump, people convicted of nonviolent crimes, charged with a crime, and/or ordered to be removed previously also became prioritized for deportation.The January 25 order also directed the Department of Homeland Security to hire 10,000 new immigration law enforcement officers and construct the border wall with Mexico; it directed the Department of Justice to withhold federal grant money from sanctuary jurisdictions, like Minneapolis and St. Paul, which do not inquire about an individual's immigration status, nor do they send any information to ICE.The order also directed DHS to make public a list of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in sanctuary jurisdictions “to better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with” those places.Then, on January 27, the administration handed down the first version of its executive order banning travel to the U.S. for nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries, lowering the number of refugees resettled in the U.S., and suspending the refugee resettlement program for three months.The “travel ban” instantly threw a wrench into the U.S. immigration system, creating confusion for travelers — including legal residents of the U.S. from the affected countries — and drawing court challenges from several states.

‘It’s visual problem solving:’ UMSL students use design projects to connect with dementia patients

If you have someone in your life who is living with dementia, it can oftentimes be difficult to connect with that person. A new design movement, using person-centered techniques, seeks to aid that process for dementia patients and for the people who care for them. A new UMSL graphic design class pairs design students one-on-one with dementia patients at a local nursing facility. Students work with individual patients to create design-centered activities that will help them access memories or provide a service. Sarah Barton, a graphic design student at UMSL, worked with a patient using mosaics, clay and wood whittling, eventually creating a tactile workshop for residents in the retirement community.

‘Keep Out’ Warnings Goad Skilled Cyberhackers into Trying Harder: Study

Warnings aimed at discouraging cyberhackers have almost no effect on skilled cybercriminals, according to a University of Maryland-College Park study. In a finding that is likely to prove discouraging to law enforcement, the study discovered that warning “banners” set to flash across screens to discourage illegal online activity actually prodded trespassers to increase their efforts to infiltrate computer networks. Researchers set up a number of “honeypot” computer accounts at a large American university, which was not named, to lure and monitor hackers to test whether “situational deterring cues” discourage system trespassing —”one of the fastest growing, yet least understood, forms of cybercriminal activity,” according to the study, embargoed for release Wednesday by Criminology & Public Policy, published by the American Society of Criminology. The University of Maryland researchers set up a number of decoy computer accounts and during a six-month period in 2012 waited for the trespassers to arrive. And they certainly did.

‘Native Gardens’ is a perfect summer play; we’re all invited to the Capitol’s Grand Opening

Pamela Espeland

The Guthrie has extended “Native Gardens” another week, and that's a good thing, because it's a perfect summer play. It has sharp, witty writing, lots of laughs, a strong cast, a beautiful set, a sense of currency and immediacy, and an ideal summer length: 90 minutes, no intermission. Everything about it clicks and hums.The new play by Karen Zacarías had its world premiere just last year in Cincinnati. (The director there, Blake Robinson, is also the director here.) Zacarías is currently the most-produced Latinx playwright in the country, and one of the most-produced women playwrights, with several plays under her belt and awards to her credit. “Native Gardens” is her Guthrie debut, and if Tuesday night's audience response and the extension are reliable indicators, we'll see her again.

‘PowerForward’ grid modernization hearings move forward in Ohio this week

Hearings on how to shape the future of the grid in Ohio continue this week with Phase 2 of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio's PowerForward initiative. Full day meetings will take place at the PUCO's offices in Columbus on July 25 through 27 to explore technologies for expanding and improving the grid structure to provide greater value, improve costs and address environmental concerns for Ohioans. Plans call for the presentations to be webcast through the PUCO's website. “PowerForward is built upon two pillars: technology and regulatory innovation, and enhancing the customer electricity experience,” PUCO spokesperson Matt Schilling said. “Everything related to PowerForward is keeping the customer at the forefront.”
‘Not Utility 2.0'
“Our grid modernization endeavor is a discussion about the future for Ohioans,” PUCO chair Asim Haque said when the first three days of hearings took place in April.

‘Regulate’ by Nate Dogg

“Regulate” is a song performed by Warren G and Nate Dogg. Released in the summer of 1994, the track appears on the soundtrack to the film Above the Rim and later Warren G.'s album Regulate…G Funk Era. The song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100[1] and #8 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.[2] It is considered the breakout single for both artists.[citation needed]
The track makes heavy use of a four-bar sample of the rhythm of Michael McDonald's song “I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)”.[3] It also samples “Sign of the Times” by Bob James and “Let Me Ride” by Dr. Dre. One mix of the song is referred to as “I Keep Forgettin' to Regulate”. The song also starts with a quote sampled from the film Young Guns.[4][5] The music video featured scenes from Above the Rim, including an appearance by Tupac Shakur.

‘Regulate’ by Nate Dogg and Warren G

Regulate, performed by Nate Dogg and Warren G, was released in the summer of 1994 as the breakout single for both artists. The song appeared on the soundtrack to the film Above the Rim and later on Warren G.'s album Regulate…G Funk Era. The song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 8 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

‘Riot’ Charges Filed In Fall of NC Confederate Statue

A University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill law professor and a Durham, N.C., City Councilman question whether those arrested in connection with the toppling of the Durham County Confederate memorial should face felony charges, reports the Durham Herald-Sun. City Councilman Charlie Reece asked Sheriff Mike Andrews not to press felony charges against the accused and law Prof. Joseph Kennedy questions the basis of the felony charges. Andrews said he would pursue felony charges and added, “Let me be clear, no one is getting away with what happened.”
The four activists arrested as of yesterday have been charged with two misdemeanors – disorderly conduct by injury of a statue, damage to real property – and two felonies – participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 and inciting others to riot where there is property demand in excess of $1,500. Reece questioned whether the statue, which he called a “hunk of junk metal,” was worth $1,500. The decision on the charges is up to District Attorney Roger Echols.

‘Shark Tank for Nonprofits’ Coming to SA

Philanthropitch is a pitch competition for philanthropic ideas. Based in Austin, it is in the process of opening in San Antonio. The post ‘Shark Tank for Nonprofits' Coming to SA appeared first on Rivard Report.

‘Solar for All’: Can Illinois energy bill live up to ambitious promises?

After months of negotiations and surviving a contentious budget battle in the state legislature, the hard work of enacting Illinois' comprehensive energy bill is underway. The Future Energy Jobs Act calls for the installation of about 2,700 MW of solar in Illinois by 2030, a dramatic increase from the state's current 75 MW. “It's going to be crazy, and it's going to be really exciting,”said Lesley McCain, executive director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. “We've seen such interest from around the country, from all types of developers focused on helping get this legislation built out correctly.”
About 40 percent of the new solar is to be utility-scale projects over 2 megawatts, about 50 percent is to be distributed and community solar, and two percent is to be on brownfields, with the remaining 8 percent left up to state officials' discretion. The state will deal with utility-scale solar much as it has in the past — through procurements carried out by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA).

‘Speak Up,’ San Antonio: City Calls for Input on 2018 Budget

The largest budget in the City's history will, for the first time, use an "equity lens" to allocate resources where they are needed most. The post ‘Speak Up,' San Antonio: City Calls for Input on 2018 Budget appeared first on Rivard Report.

‘Tango in the Wind:’ New film captures courtship dance of critically endangered Hooded Grebe for first time ever

The Hooded Grebe wasn't discovered by scientists until 1974, due mainly to the fact that it lives in one of the most remote and inhospitable environments on Earth: the windswept plateaus of southern Patagonia, often referred to as “The end of the world.” Hooded Grebes (Podiceps gallardoi) are quite striking in appearance, with their dark grey backs and hindnecks, black heads that contrast sharply with white foreheads and throats, peaked forecrowns that are reddish in color, and intense red eyes that help them to see more clearly amidst the deep blues of the Patagonian landscape. During the breeding season, the birds set up their nesting colonies on just a few basaltic lakes on the arid Patagonian steppes in extreme southwest Argentina, so it's safe to say that very few people on Earth have ever witnessed its incredible courtship display firsthand. But now, thanks to filmmakers Paula and Michael Webster, who captured the mating ritual of the Hooded Grebe on film for the first time, you can watch it from the comfort of your own home. The full film is embedded below. Here's a video meme the filmmakers have made featuring the Hooded Grebe's mating dance in all its glory: Given that Argentina is the birthplace of the tango, Paula Webster tells Mongabay that the title of the documentary film came to her instantly.

‘The 100th Nail in the Coffin’ for Integration in Westchester County

by Joaquin Sapien

For years, Westchester County insisted its zoning laws did not prevent black and Latino families from moving into wealthy suburbs north of New York City — even in a town like Pound Ridge, which is 94 percent white. Almost all homes in that bucolic community accommodate single families. Apartments are hard to come by; in most areas, the zoning law requires a special permit to build a multifamily complex. It was this kind of setup that led a federal judge to rule in 2009 that Westchester had violated the nation's fair housing laws. In a landmark order, the judge told the county to identify ways in which its zoning laws impede integrated housing.

‘The situation you’re in’: Herbie Hancock builds on the past with music from a new generation

If you're a celebrated jazz artist who has played with some of the genre's lions, you could continually reinterpret the past and satisfy fans nostalgic for your heydays. Pianist Herbie Hancock , who performs Thursday at Powell Hall in St. Louis, has no interest in being a museum of sound — or giving a music lesson. Instead, he wants to audiences to experience jazz as a living art.

‘Time to start yelling again’: For transgender veterans in Missouri, Trump’s tweets are personal

On the morning of July 25, President Donald Trump tweeted an unexpected announcement: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow ... ” Nine minutes later, Trump's Twitter followers — and the rest of the world — discovered not what , but who he wanted to ban: transgender service members.

‘We Should Not Be Fooled’ – API Leaders Condemn New Immigration Bill

SAN FRANCISCO – Asian American leaders in San Francisco condemned a Republican bill to reduce legal immigration, saying it would “decimate” Asian American communities. The Trump administration announced its support of the bill last Wednesday, the same day it announced its plan to challenge affirmative action programs in private universities.The issues may be different, but, “The rhetoric is the same,” said Annette Wong, program director of Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) in San Francisco. Wong, who moderated a press conference at the organization's headquarters here, said both announcements use “fear-mongering to promote policies based on exclusion.”“It's noteworthy that we're talking about immigration and affirmative action at the same time,” said Vincent Pan, executive director of CAA. “The establishment of affirmative action programs,” he said, “and the overhaul of immigration to end the exclusion of Asians, were both a result of the 1960s civil rights movement and its dream of a more egalitarian society.”The RAISE Act, introduced by Sens. David Perdue, R-Georgia, and Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, would cut legal immigration by half over the next decade.

“Disappointed” House accepts Senate’s changes to school finance bill

After three hours of private negotiations and almost two hours of public debate Tuesday, the Texas House decided to agree with the Senate's decision to strip funding and reforms from a school finance bill. The House voted 94-46 to accept the Senate's changes to House Bill 21, which would put some immediate funding into public schools. The Senate voted out a bill last night that stripped $1.5 billion of new funding and all reforms to the outdated formulas for allocating that money. It also tasked a commission with studying future reform to the school finance system. "To say I'm disappointed is an understatement," said House Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty, R-Houston, before moving to concur with the changes the Senate made to the bill.

“Finding Home” and “Widowhood” at New York’s Photoville 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 (All day)Sunday, September 17, 2017 (All day)Thursday, September 21, 2017 (All day)Sunday, September 24, 2017 (All day)Brooklyn, NYUnited StatesLynsey Addario, Aryn Baker, Francesca Trianni, Amy Toensing, Jordan RothPulitzer Center projects will be featured at Photoville 2017 in New York starting September 13.

“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."

“I Am Shakespeare” Hits The Screen —  And Some Tough Questions

Elm Shakespeare Company Producing Director Rebecca Goodheart stood in front of a crowd of about 30 at Highville Charter School on Monday night to talk about her sobering takeaway from Stephen Dest's film I Am Shakespeare, which tells the story of Henry Green.In Green's case, Goodheart said, “it was not enough” that the Newhallville-born Green had played Tybalt in Elm Shakespeare's 2009 production of Romeo and Juliet. His exposure to the arts had given him an outlet for his talent and the forging of a possible path to college. He had ended up gangbanging anyway, and very nearly died as a result. “As someone who has built my life on the premise” that art education matters, Goodheart said, “I have to say it's really troubling. How do we do more? How do we do it better?”

“Not Here, Not In My Town”: Charlottesville Black Lives Matter on the Meaning of Community Defense

Communities in Charlottesville, Va., are reeling from a murderous Nazi and white supremacist march on their town—one that stole the life of anti-Nazi protester Heather Heyer and wounded many more. I spoke with Lisa Woolfork, a member of Charlottesville's fledgling Black Lives Matter chapter, about what solidarity and anti-racist organizing looks like in this moment. An associate professor at the University of Virginia (UVA), Woolfork explained that the Black Lives Matter chapter formed in June as “committed black folks coming together from a variety of walks of lives, to stand up for preservation of Black lives, to stand up and make sure black issues are not forgotten.” She said she is proud of everyone in her community who stood up to organized white supremacists, underscoring: “This is what community defense looks like. You say, ‘Not here, not in my town.'”

Sarah Lazare: How are you, your community and Black Lives Matter holding up after a harrowing few days? Lisa Woolfork: I believe we are resilient.

“Parking For Democracy” Loses Its Spot

A controversial proposal to seek to increase participation in meetings at City Hall by making about 90 coveted metered spots on Orange, Elm, and Church streets free from to 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday nights has gotten lost in the never-ending general debate about what to do with parking downtown.

“Parking For Democracy” Pilot Approved

Dixwell Alder Jeanette Morison has been leading a charge for the city to free up on Monday through Thursday evenings 90 metered parking spots on Church and Elm streets near City Hall so more constituents — relieved of the anxiety that they might be hit with parking tickets — would attend government meetings.Morrison didn't get her free on-street parking. But her advocacy led to a pilot program approved Monday night, and she still declared herself pleased with a compromise outcome that removes parking as an obstacle to participation in the city's democratic process.If it works.

$2.2M in federal grants focus on Vermont’s border region

From left, Gov. Phil Scott, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Mark Scarano of the Northern Border Regional Commission talk at the site of a grant announcement Thursday in Hardwick. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerHARDWICK — Ten northern Vermont towns and organizations will each get a share of more than $2.2 million in federal grants to encourage economic development. But the commission responsible for disbursing the grants could be in jeopardy under the next federal budget. Gov. Phil Scott and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., celebrated the awards outside a yellow barn in Hardwick, formerly the home of Greensboro Garage, on Thursday afternoon. The area around the old barn along busy Route 15 is slated to be redeveloped into a facility that would provide space for local agricultural businesses.

$9.5M Challenge: How To Spot Rogue Cops

He destroyed evidence on one bogus stop. He harassed him and arrested a man outside his home on trumped-up charges on another. He shoved and threatened to tow the “fucking car” of a “motherfucker” fisherman who'd parked on a bridge.Daniel Conklin served a total of one day of suspension for those misdeeds. Then the police promoted him to detective.Will his future actions spark the next police misconduct case to cost New Haven taxpayers millions of dollars?

1 in 5 Americans drank potentially unsafe water during past decade

This report is part of a project on drinking water contamination in the United States produced by the Carnegie-Knight News21 program. WOLFFORTH, Texas – As many as 63 million people – nearly a fifth of the country – from rural central California to the boroughs of New York City, were exposed to potentially unsafe water more than once during the past decade, according to a News21 investigation of 680,000 water quality and monitoring violations from the Environmental Protection Agency. The findings highlight how six decades of industrial dumping, farming pollution, and water plant and distribution pipe deterioration have taken a toll on local water systems. Those found to have problems cleaning their water typically took more than two years to fix these issues, with some only recently resolving decades-old violations of EPA standards and others still delivering tainted water, according to data from the agency's Safe Drinking Water Information System. Many local water treatment plants, especially those in small, poor and minority communities, can't afford the equipment necessary to filter out contaminants. Those can include arsenic found naturally in rock, chemicals from factories and nitrates and fecal matter from farming.

1 Man Dies After Harbor Rescue

A man was pronounced dead at the hospital after the Coast Guard and fire department rescued and cared for him and a fellow boater overnight.

1.4 million weigh in on Trump’s review of nat’l monuments

An Interior Department review of national monuments has drawn more than 1.4 million public comments, a “phenomenal” number. On the list are the Tucson-area Ironwood Forest monument, the Sonoran Desert monument near Gila Bend, and the Grand Canyon - Parashant and Vermillion Cliffs monuments in Arizona, and nearly two dozen others across the U.S.

100 years since the U.S. entered WWI: Discussing Jefferson Barracks’, and Missouri’s, contributions

This April marked 100 years since the United States declared war on Germany and officially entered into World War I. But before the United States officially entered the war, the country was preparing heavily for involvement. An exhibit at the St. Louis County Parks' Jefferson Barracks Historic Site highlights those efforts and what eventually drew the country to war. It is called “ Over Here: World War I From Jefferson Barracks ,” and the exhibit runs through December. It will be followed by a companion exhibit, “Over There,” opening in February, which will highlight actions of St.

13 candidates apply for vacant Mad River Valley House seat

Rep. Adam Greshin, I-Warren, offered an amendment to the House Ways and Means Committee to freeze the state's energy efficiency charge on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Adam Greshin" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 330w, 150w, 912w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Adam Greshin, formerly a House member from Warren. File photo by John Herrick/VTDiggerA long list of Mad River Valley residents have submitted their names as candidates to fill the Washington-7 House district seat. Gov. Phil Scott will choose among 13 candidates to fill the seat left open July 10 by the resignation of Rep. Adam Greshin, I-Warren.

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.

15-Month Prison Term in MA Social Media Suicide Case

Michelle Carter was sentenced to 15 months in prison in Massachusetts for convincing her high school boyfriend to kill himself through a series of texts and phone calls, the Boston Herald reports. In June, Moniz found Carter, now 20, guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the death of Conrad Roy III. Carter will remain free while she pursues an appeal. “I believe she should be kept far away from society,” wrote Kim Bozzi, Roy's aunt, in a victim impact statement. David Carter, Michelle's father, begged for probation and “continued counselling.” Prosecutors sought between seven and 12 years incarceration.

16 Vie for Nomination to the U.S. Senate

Sixteen people are actively running in what has become a contentious special election to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Luther Strange has been serving in that seat since former Sen. Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. attorney general by President Donald Trump. Other Republican contenders objected first to former Gov. Robert Bentley's elevation of Strange from Alabama attorney general to U.S. senator, then to an early plan that would have let Strange serve in the Senate until next year's general election, and now to the national Republican Party's backing of Strange in the race. Accusations have flown among candidates that the Republican contenders are trying to ‘out Trump' each other, or, alternatively, that they have not been sufficiently supportive of the president. Most recently, some Republican candidates called on all the candidates to step out of the race and let Sessions, caught in an ongoing row with his new boss, take his seat back in the Senate if he's either fired or fed up and wants to resign.

16 Vie for Nomination to the U.S. Senate

Sixteen people are actively running in what has become a contentious special election to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Luther Strange has been serving in that seat since former Sen. Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. attorney general by President Donald Trump. Other Republican contenders objected first to former Gov. Robert Bentley's elevation of Strange from Alabama attorney general to U.S. senator, then to an early plan that would have let Strange serve in the Senate until next year's general election, and now to the national Republican Party's backing of Strange in the race. Accusations have flown among candidates that the Republican contenders are trying to ‘out Trump' each other, or, alternatively, that they have not been sufficiently supportive of the president. Most recently, some Republican candidates called on all the candidates to step out of the race and let Sessions, caught in an ongoing row with his new boss, take his seat back in the Senate if he's either fired or fed up and wants to resign.

18 Tenant Protection Bills May Soon Be Law

William Alatriste/NYC CouncilJumaane Williams, Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings
On Tuesday afternoon, the City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings unanimously passed 18 bills that aim to protect tenants from harassment and displacement. The full Council will vote on the legislation Wednesday. Among those items passed are 11 of the 12 bills in the Stand for Tenant Safety package, which aims to address the use of construction as a type of tenant harassment. A large coalition of tenant and community organizations has been advocating for the bills since 2015. Members of the Progressive caucus also recently penned an op-ed calling on the Council to pass the package.

2 Omaha Cops Charged in Death of Deranged Man

Two former Omaha police officers are being charged with assault in connection with their efforts to subdue Zachary Bearheels, a mentally ill man who died June 5 after being shocked repeatedly with a Taser, reports the city's World-Herald. District Attorney Don Kleine said Scotty Payne faces second-degree assault charges for shocking Bearheels 12 times and Ryan McClarty faces third-degree assault charges for punching Bearheels 13 times. McClarty will receive a ticket for the misdemeanor count. Payne will appear in court on Friday. Both have been fired and are appealing their terminations.

2 U.S. Reps Endorse Harp

A leading U.S. Congressman from North Carolina took a break from the craziness in Washington to endorse a New Haven mayoral candidate — and described bipartisan concern about the president's mental health.

2,500 postcards: Dad’s lifelong connection to a son who lived apart

2,500 postcards. I figure that was how many postcards my dad sent to my brother Ken from the late '50s until 2008, when my dad died. It's a guess, but what I do know is that he sent Ken a card once a week for as long as he could, and Ken kept the bulk of them. My brother and I had to go through Ken's possessions because he had passed away in June and I came across the box that had cards from the last 25 years. It hit me how much Dad thought of Ken and tried to keep connected to him even though he handed him over to a state institution when Ken was 5 years old.Laura MerriamKen was born in 1950 with Down syndrome, six years before me.

2017-18 MinnPost Social season kicks off with discussion of Minneapolis and St. Paul mayoral races

Andrew Wallmeyer

The 2017-18 MinnPost Social season opened Monday evening, when more than 120 people gathered at Surly Brewing Co. in Minneapolis to discuss the Minneapolis and St. Paul mayoral races with MinnPost reporters Peter Callaghan and Briana Bierschbach.MinnPost editor Andy Putz moderated the discussion, which touched on topics ranging from the impact of ranked-choice voting to the voter participation rates in different wards in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.The event was the first of the 2017-18 MinnPost Social series, sponsored by RBC Wealth Management, in which MinnPost journalists share their insights with the public. The events are free for MinnPost members, $10 for nonmembers.MinnPost photo by Andrew WallmeyerMinnPost reporter Peter Callaghan discussing this fall's local elections at Surly Brewing Co.

22 Downs Rachlin Martin attorneys listed in Best Lawyers in America

News Release — Downs Rachlin Martin
August 15, 2017
Joseph L. Choquette III, External Affairs Manager, 802-225-5510
Twenty Two Downs Rachlin Martin Attorneys in Vermont and New Hampshire Listed in Best Lawyers in America © 2018
(Burlington, Vt.) Three attorneys at the northern New England law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC have been selected for the first time for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America © and Managing Partner Paul H. Ode Jr. was named Lawyer of the Year in Corporate Law for the Burlington market area. The new listings, which are based primarily on peer review, include 22 attorneys from across the firm. They were announced today. Attorneys William C. Dodge, R. Prescott Jaunich and Christopher D. Roy were selected for the first time. All of them practice in the Burlington Office.

25,015 Voters Removed From “Active” Rolls

An annual sweep turbocharged with a new statewide tool has led the city's registrars of voters to remove more than 10 times as many people from the active rolls than in previous years.

2nd immigrant takes sanctuary in a New Haven church

An Ecuadorean immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1997 to flee violence has taken sanctuary in a New Haven church in the face of a deportation order, according to local activists.

2nd Immigrant Takes Sanctuary In A New Haven Church

An Ecuadorean immigrant who came to the U.S. to flee violence has taken sanctuary in a New Haven church in the face of a deportation order, according to local activists.

3 immigrant entrepreneurs bring taste of home to St. Louis

Estie Cruz-Curoe knows black beans. The Cuban native came to the United States in the early 1960s and grew up in Miami, where her mother added a Cuban mix of spices to canned black beans. But when Cruz-Curoe moved to the Midwest as an adult, she could no longer find the right black beans.

3 new St. Louis restaurants you should try in August

On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air , our friends at Sauce Magazine joined host Don Marsh to discuss the restaurant openings and closings you should know to plan your nights out in August. Managing editors Catherine Klene and Heather Hughes joined the program to fill us in on this month's “ Hit List.” Here are their recommendations: 1. The Mad Crab , 8080 Olive Blvd., University City 2. Center Ice Brewery , 3126 Olive St., St.

3 ways to help your child successfully transition into preschool and kindergarten

It's that time of year again: children are heading back to school, some for the first time. On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh discussed the ways parents, family members and caregivers can support young children in making a successful transition into school life. Joining the program to discuss was Stephen Zwolak, the CEO of the LUME Institute and Executive Director of the University City Children's Center. “We really need to think about what was that like when we made the first transition,” Zwolak said.

5 Questions: Dick Timmons

Retiring director of facilities at the Garrison School5 Questions: Dick Timmons was first posted on August 19, 2017 at 8:26 am.

5 Questions: Millie Solomon

Hastings Center bioethicist addresses issues of day5 Questions: Millie Solomon was first posted on August 5, 2017 at 9:39 am.

5 Questions: Robert Blair

Longtime estate-sale organizer5 Questions: Robert Blair was first posted on August 12, 2017 at 8:39 am.

5 Questions: Ryon Odneal

Manager of Luxe Optique in Beacon5 Questions: Ryon Odneal was first posted on July 29, 2017 at 8:55 am.

5 Things the Mainstream Media Missed About Charlottesville

White supremacists' coup on the culture may have hit its zenith with the August 12 “Unite the Right” rally—a convergence of far-right groups that ended with racist attacks, dozens of injuries and three dead. In the firestorm of controversy that followed the fascist onslaught in Charlottesville and Trump's open support for keeping the Confederate monuments in place, a number of important issues have gone under-reported across mainstream news outlets. 1. Coverage ignored antifascist organizing. While attention has been given to differences of opinion on strategies and tactics, less reporting has given credence to the solidarity that existed.

50 Years Ago, Bar Raid Ignited Detroit’s Simmering Rage

In a series of articles, the Detroit Free Press looks back at the deadly race riots that engulfed the Motor City 50 years ago. The five days of violence began on July 23, 1967, and evolved into one of the most destructive riots in U.S. history. Forty-three people died, including 24 African Americans who were shot by police and National Guardsmen. Nearly 1,200 people were injured, and 7,231 were arrested. More than 2,500 businesses were destroyed.

55 Films in 3 Days

Peekskill to hold annual festival55 Films in 3 Days was first posted on July 24, 2017 at 7:46 am.

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

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

7-year-old dies in Fairfield tractor accident

A man and a child passenger were trapped in a tractor after the vehicle rolled over on Friday afternoon. The 7-year-old died in the accident, which occurred on a farm in Fairfield, according to a press release from the Vermont State Police. The tractor was pulling a manure tanker at the time of the incident and rolled on steep terrain, police said. The man was able to free himself but could not remove the child from the tractor cab. The child was pronounced dead at the scene.

8 Dead, 30 Injured in ‘Horrific’ Human Trafficking Incident

Heat exposure and asphyxiation claimed the lives of at least eight people discovered inside a tractor-trailer in the parking lot of a Southside Walmart in San Antonio. The post 8 Dead, 30 Injured in ‘Horrific' Human Trafficking Incident appeared first on Rivard Report.

9 Immigrants Roasted in Truck; Driver Due in Court

A Florida man who was driving an Iowa-registered 18-wheeler is due in court Monday to answer charges after nine Hispanic people died in his rig over the weekend amid searing heat in San Antonio. Twenty others rescued from the trailer were hospitalized, many with life-threatening injuries. The driver, James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Fla., faces federal charges, reports the Associated Press. “We're looking at a human-trafficking crime,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. John Kelly, U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, said the deaths demonstrate border smugglers “have no regard for human life and seek only profits.” The truck was registered to Pyle Transportation Inc. of Schaller, Iowa.

9 months after move, St. Louis nonprofit still uncovers history-filled rooms at old North Side YMCA

If you've undertaken any kind of home renovation project, you've probably encountered a few, well, we'll call them pleasant surprises. But they're likely nowhere near the size of the surprises that Josh Wilson and Jason Watson, the executive director and Beyond Jobs director at local nonprofit Mission: St. Louis , have found in a move they recently made from a 5,000 sq. ft. building in Forest Park Southeast to a historic 87,000 sq.

9 months after move, St. Louis nonprofit still uncovers history-filled rooms in old North Side YMCA

If you've undertaken any kind of home renovation project, you've probably encountered a few, well, we'll call them pleasant surprises. But they're likely nowhere near the size of the surprises that Josh Wilson and Jason Watson, the executive director and Beyond Jobs director at local nonprofit Mission: St. Louis, have found in a move they recently made from a 5,000 sq. ft. building in Forest Park Southeast to a historic 87,000 sq.

9 rare Siamese crocodiles hatch in Cambodian center

On June 28, 2017, conservationists chanced upon a nest containing 19 eggs of the extremely rare Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) in the Sre Ambel District of Koh Kong Province in Cambodia. This was the first Siamese crocodile nest researchers had recorded in the Sre Ambel River System in six years of their work. Worried that the nest might be destroyed by poachers or predators, the team collected the eggs and moved them to the Koh Kong Reptile Conservation Center (KKRCC), a recently-built reptile breeding and conservation center located in Mondul Seima District of Koh Kong Province. KKRCC — a joint endeavour between WCS and Cambodia's Fisheries Administration (FiA) — hopes to help conserve rare and endangered reptiles like the Siamese crocodile and the critically endangered Royal turtles (Batagur affinis). Nine of those Siamese crocodile eggs have now hatched at the center, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced yesterday.

A ‘told you so’ about breakaway school districts leaves out urban district left behind

“About time for suburbs to chant 'Told you so' to doubters of municipal school districts,” reads a headline from The Commercial Appeal column “Outside the Loop.”
The column points to several success stories from the six districts that pulled out of Shelby County Schools in 2014, especially the new school buildings going up in the growing districts. But the column's focus on how the districts overcame opposition leaves out important context — and some readers took issue with measuring success in infrastructure without taking into account how the exodus affected the urban school district left behind. “The Commercial Appeal measures success by the number of buildings built, not the real harm done to children across the community, so by that measure, suburban schools are a success,” Wendi C. Thomas, a longtime Memphis journalist, said in a Facebook post linking to the column. The columnist, Clay Bailey, who is also an editor overseeing local government and suburban coverage, wrote:
"And, lord knows, the growing costs of capital projects, including new school buildings, would cripple the cities and towns that foolishly decided to step into the deep financial waters of funding education. And other smaller reasons the systems could never make it.

A “Tent City” outside City Hall to press the mayor on homelessness and more

While national media swarmed City Hall this week to cover Baltimore's overnight removal of its Confederate monuments, Mary Scott was inside one of about 20 matching red tents in front of the building to plead for a lower profile cause: The plight of Baltimore's homeless and struggling poor. “I was more than excited to come …

A big week for Patrick’s Cabaret; Ferguson documentary ‘Whose Streets?’ at the Lagoon

Pamela Espeland

at Como Park, formerly known as the Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, spotlights Japanese culture with food, music, dance, Taiko drums, demonstrations, martial arts and the magical lantern lighting in the Japanese Garden and Frog Pond. On the grounds of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. 3-9 p.m. FMI and tickets (adults $5, kids and seniors $3). Here's a video.Sunday and Monday at Crooners: Lee Konitz and Dan Tepfer. A revered jazz elder, Konitz is still in command of his instrument, his sound, and his legendary skills as an improviser, honed over decades on the stand and in the studio.

A busy summer of construction at SBHS

New CTE building was open to students and staff on Day 1; trustees approve plan for P.E., athletic facilities

A Call To Men: Stepping outside the ‘man box’

Jim Walsh

“Without a doubt, there are some absolutely wonderful things about being a man, but at the same time, there's some stuff that's just straight-up twisted,” A Call To Men's CEO They have supported this conference, along with other women's foundations across the country, and leaders like Lee are pioneers in this work and in our moving forward. So much of our work and opportunity to do this work, to tell you the truth, is women giving us the opportunity to communicate our message around healthy manhood. We'll be looking at manhood through the lens of fatherhood, issues around black men and white supremacy, parenting, gang violence, spirituality, activism, and trafficking, which is a big issue for the Women's Foundation of Minnesota. The same social norms that create an epidemic of violence against women and girls are the same social norms that are killing men, too. There's a lot of work to be done.

A Career in Public Service: From San Antonio to India

For San Antonio native Jose Vega, 31, and wife, Maridela Ortiz, 32, their first joint posting with the U.S. Foreign Service was in Hyderabad, India. The post A Career in Public Service: From San Antonio to India appeared first on Rivard Report.

A City’s Solution To A Nonexistent Problem

The cost of sending kids to college has been climbing faster than people's incomes. So a Michigan mother's way of coping with that troubling trend has drawn considerable attention. Her “solution” is worth our examination, given the controversial direction Iowa's second-largest city is heading. More about that shortly. Lori Truex is a school bus driver in Battle Creek, Mich.

A clouded future: Asia’s enigmatic clouded leopard threatened by palm oil

Tigers and orangutans are the well-known faces of the palm oil crisis. But the enigmatic clouded leopard is equally threatened and almost unknown in comparison. Conservationists are looking at ways to make palm oil plantations work for it, rather than against it. “We know very little about what [clouded leopards] eat, their social structure, their ecology, how much time they spend in trees… we know very, very little,” Ewan Macdonald, of Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (CRU), told Mongabay. He studied the species for his PhD but has yet to see it in the wild, apart from through his camera trap images.

A concession deal struck, but still no budget

The week in Connecticut started with political drama and a squeaky close vote on a package of wage and benefit concessions critical to shaping the Connecticut state budget – if the legislature can ever adopt one.

A Conversation on Widowhood

Sunday, September 17, 2017 - 12:00PM to 1:00PMBrooklyn, NYUnited StatesAmy Toensing, Jordan RothPhotojournalist, Amy Toensing and deputy director of photography at National Geographic Whitney Johnson will discuss the project the project, A World of Widows, that documents the status of widows in Uganda, Bosnia, and India. More Info

A conversation with the creator of ‘The Holler Sessions,’ and a spoiler alert

Pamela Espeland

It starts with the sounds of jazz great Charles Mingus and ends with … we'll tell you later. In between, Frank Boyd's one-man play “The Holler Sessions,” now in the Guthrie's ninth-floor Dowling Studio, is 80 minutes of music, rants, comedy and profanity, fast-paced and very entertaining. Somewhere in Kansas City, in what looks like a basement studio – dank, cluttered, in need of a deep cleaning – a deejay named Ray is living his reclusive, quirky life, preaching the gospel of jazz.The Guthrie's Joseph Haj first saw “The Holler Sessions” in the Netherlands in the summer of 2015. “I was instantly taken by the show's humor and unfiltered appeal to those of us uninitiated in the sublime ways of jazz,” he wrote in his program notes. If Haj wasn't a jazz fan, you don't have to be, either.

A Day in Tucson’s ‘Assembly-Line’ Immigration Court

Mother Jones visits the federal courthouse in Tucson, Ariz., to observe Operation Streamline, a fast-track prosecution program that charges and sentences as many as 70 border-crossers there in a single day. On a scorching June morning, nearly 50 shackled immigration shuffle into a courtroom. Under Streamline, they have agreed to plead guilty to the crime of entering the United States illegally, knowing that it carries a predetermined prison sentence followed by mandatory deportation. Typically, the whole process is over within a couple of hours. Critics call it “assembly-line justice.”
First launched in southern Texas in 2005, Streamline began as a part of a zero-tolerance policy enacted by President George W. Bush that required illegal border-crossers in certain areas to be sent to federal criminal courts rather than civil immigration courts.

A dozen must-see shows at the Fringe; Pharoah Sanders at the Dakota

Pamela Espeland

The 24th annual Minnesota Fringe Festival will begin Aug. 3, just a week from this Thursday. With 850 performances of 167 shows by more than 1,000 artists at 17 locations throughout Minneapolis, it's a big one – the Midwest's largest performing arts festival. Some 50,000 people are expected to attend.Experienced Fringers have their VIP passes or day passes. They've roamed the website, studied the show list and started planning their schedules.

A Familiar Face Returns

Michelle Sepulveda, a former alder, once again has a seat on the Board of Alders.

A Father-Son Sojourn in Mexico City

I boarded the Interjet nonstop flight to Mexico City for a father-son sojourn, a seven-day whirlwind exploration of Mexico City's history, culture, and thriving contemporary culinary scene. The post A Father-Son Sojourn in Mexico City appeared first on Rivard Report.

A few points about the consistency of Trump’s historically bad approval ratings

Eric Black

Time for our periodic review of President Trump's approval ratings.They continue to be terrible by any reasonable or historical standard. In the past, I have noted that though the numbers were low, they were sort of holding up, in a range of badness. That may be changing.In order to be consistent in my analysis (and not cherry-pick results), I've consistently relied on Gallup, which publishes an updated three-day average most days and which, I should note, is not the worst approval poll for Trump. Gallup's latest published three-day average shows him “under water” as he has been since his first week in office, which means more disapprovers than approvers.The latest Gallup numbers are 58 disapproval/36 percent approval. The gap has been 20 points or so for a long while.

A gathering of gardeners

Transition Aromas will host a Gardening of Gardeners on Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Aromas Grange

A Handful of Lawmakers Accept Few or No Lobbyist Gifts

Jeff Raymond / Oklahoma WatchRep. Jason Murphey placed this sign on the front of his State Capitol office. Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, is a rarity in the Legislature: He refuses to accept any gifts or meals from a lobbyist. State ethics records show that the average lawmaker accepted more than $1,100 in meals or gifts from January to June. Of lawmakers who served the entire session, only three – Murphey; Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton; and Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola – took in less than $100 in gifts or meals. Jason Murphey
“I've just always viewed lobbying as something that helps builds relationships in a way that my constituents don't have the ability to do,” Murphey said.

A high-poverty Jeffco school is about to adopt a “community school” model. What does that mean?

One of Jefferson County's highest-need schools is about to undergo a transition, expanding efforts to not just teach kids but meet the many needs of families in the area. As the academic year begins, Jefferson Junior-Senior High School in Edgewater will begin the process of becoming a community school. That means the Jeffco Public school will act as a hub for community organizations to provide so-called “wraparound services” — such as English language classes, job training and medical care — to parents and families. Community schools are an emerging trend in education, championed by teachers unions and others who believe tackling poverty, health and behavior challenges facing students and their families can help boost learning. Although approaches to community schools differ nationwide, they share that holistic approach.

A legal snarl in Idaho portends future conflicts over water.

On a sunny day in late April, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released hundreds of millions of gallons of water from Idaho's Lucky Peak Dam, a dozen miles upstream of Boise. The dam operators call it a “rooster tail” display; thousands of observers took in the spectacle. The water, roaring out of a dam gate, arced high above the Boise River, rainbows shimmering in its spray.

A long-lost Mark Twain play comes back to the fore in St. Louis Shakespeare’s 33rd season

For the past 32 seasons, St. Louis Shakespeare has presented Shakespeare plays and other classics. This season, the company's 33 rd , kicks off on Friday night with the non-Shakespearean production of “ Is He Dead ?” The Paris-set play was originally written by Missouri's own Mark Twain, lost for 100 years, and recently adapted by David Ives. Edward Coffield is directing the production for St. Louis Shakespeare featuring a cast of 10.

A More Balanced View of Curtis Dawkins

It was disturbing to come across one particular section of Randy Dotinga's Morning Report on July 6, especially its incendiary headline (“Local Literary Agent Signs a Killer”), which sensationalizes and oversimplifies the story's message. The writeup is also misleading, conveying the impression that the author Curtis Dawkins received a six-figure advance, without clarifying that he is not profiting off his book deal in any way – all monies go into an education fund for his children. It is disappointing to see a trusted local news source stoop to this kind of level of distortion. While the New York Times profile of Dawkins gave lots of attention to his crime – which is a constant part of his life and for which he pays each and every day – at least it attempted to be balanced, giving the context of prison literature as a whole, and of Dawkins' history as a writer, and what his book means to the literary world, and to giving prisoners a voice. The Voice of San Diego piece made no attempt to anything but a very limited and damaging view of the author as well as of my work as Dawkins' proud agent.

A morning with author Julie Morris at Luck Library

Local author shares her novel in San Juan Bautista

A New Age of Aging: How Tech Can Ease the Trials of Getting Old

Photo: A resident of assisted living is shown experiencing virtual reality. (MIT AgeLab)SAN FRANCISCO--Broken hip announcements were a dark opera as I entered adulthood. Both parents. Then the parents of many of my friends and the parents of their friends' friends as we marched toward middle age. For each of the afflicted, it was the last stumble toward the grave.

A new bridge opens over the St. Croix, and even a skeptic finds it beautiful

Ron Meador

Heading for the Stillwater Lift Bridge on Wednesday morning, my neighbor Nancy and I listed things we would not miss after its closure — the rush-hour traffic jams, the periodic weeks of downtime for inspections and repairs, the occasional sudden shutdown for a stuck truck or equipment glitch ….We were en route to the dedication ceremony for the beautiful, brand-new new bridge and Nancy was driving, so I had a rare chance coming down that long hill on the Wisconsin side to gaze at a lovely river and the charming old city climbing away from it, without having to monitor the traffic coming up.This, I realized, is a windshield vista I have loved for a long time and will surely miss forever.***The St. Croix Crossing, formerly known as the new Stillwater bridge, has been ranked by some as the most expensive single bridge project in U.S. history, with an official price tag of $646 million. And the result is impressive, a gleaming white melding of concrete box girders and steel suspension stays said to be only the second of its type in the country.But getting it built proved to be an unexpectedly complex, controversial and protracted problem, given the age and supposedly failing health of the 1931 lift bridge. It is a struggle I have been covering with rising skepticism for nearly 20 years, starting with editorials for the Star Tribune when I resided in southwest Minneapolis.Now I live maybe six miles east of the bridge, in Wisconsin. When I moved here in 2008, many who liked to argue bridge issues assumed I would move into the proponents' camp because replacement would shorten my commute, raise my property's value, and so on.But it hasn't worked out that way.Instead, my intimate and often daily experience of the lift bridge has only deepened my sense that its inconvenience factors and structural decline, while not negligible, have long been exaggerated to sell a new bridge, any bridge, ASAP.My love of the valley has deepened, too, and with it a hope that the inevitable and necessary new bridge might be sensibly lower, slimmer and slower than the four-lane, high-speed, blufftop-to-blufftop span perpetually pushed by highway engineers, who pretty much always get their way.Still, as I waited for the ribbon-cutting with many hundreds of others, it was possible to appreciate the St.

A New Generation of White Supremacists Emerges in Charlottesville

by A.C. Thompson, ProPublica, and Karim Hajj, special to ProPublica,
The white supremacist forces arrayed in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend — the largest gathering of its sort in at least a generation — represented a new incarnation of the white supremacy movement. Old-guard groups like the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nations and the Nazi skinheads, which had long stood at the center of racist politics in America, were largely absent. A.C. Thompson is covering the rise in hate crimes in America as part of our Documenting Hate project. If you've witnessed or been the victim of a hate crime or bias incident — in Charlottesville or elsewhere — tell us your story. Instead, the ranks of the young men who drove to Charlottesville with clubs, shields, pepper spray and guns included many college-educated people who have left the political mainstream in favor of extremist ideologies over the past few years.

A plan to address Mississippi River flooding rests on those who disagree on control measures

Communities along the upper Mississippi River have seen a major uptick in heavy rains and flooding in the last decade. Residents, environmentalists, engineers and government agencies agree that they need a coordinated strategy to manage flooding. That could be particularly important in coming years, as scientists predict that climate change will likely bring more heavy rain to the region. However, environmentalists and engineers disagree on what flood controls should be taken. Some say that the answer lies in improving structures, namely levees, to protect residents and valuable property from being damaged.

A Push for EPA to Revise Coal Ash Rules

By Catherine Clabby
A push is underway to convince the U.S. EPA to revise relatively new rules regulating coal ash waste disposal and storage, changes that could affect Duke Energy's cleanup of coal ash in North Carolina. The EPA is evaluating requests from power utilities and others to possibly modify two rules governing how utilities manage their coal ash waste. The public profile of this lobbying grew last week after a ranking EPA official resigned and then released a letter criticizing EPA activities under President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “The new EPA Administrator already has repeals of 30 rules under consideration,” wrote Elizabeth Southerland, the former director of science and technology in the EPA Office of Water. Excerpt of President Trump's March 2017 Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic GrowthOne rule under the gun, she said, “is the steam electric rule promulgated in 2015 after EPA spent years collecting data on power plants, millions of dollars conducting engineering and economic analyses of those data, and months responding to extensive public comment.”
“The objective of the 2015 rule is to prevent repeats of the many environmental catastrophes caused by the failure of power company coal ash ponds, the most recent being the 70 mile long Duke Energy spill into the Dan River of North Carolina,” Southerland added, referring to the 2014 spill that prompted passage of state legislation requiring Duke Energy to either dig up or safely store 100 million tons of coal waste accumulated across this state.

A response to Charlottesville

James Hong and his parents. (Photo courtesy of James Hong)Editor's note: This Globalist story has been adapted from a personal letter written by the author. My heart has been heavy since I learned about the recent events in Charlottesville. I have neither words of condemnation that are strong enough to end White supremacy, nor condolences adequate enough to ease the terror, anxiety, grief and pain anyone who is reading this might be feeling. But I can offer a piece of my story and experience with racism in hopes that we can confront it together.

A Revolutionary War weekend at Mount Independence

News Release — Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
Aug. 17, 2017
Elsa Gilbertson, Regional Historic Sites Administrator
Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
(802) 759-2412;
ORWELL, Vt. — On Aug. 26 and 27, the Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell will host the annual Soldiers Atop the Mount living history weekend honoring the 240th anniversary of the 1777 Northern Campaign of the American Revolution. The historic ground of Mount Independence will be brought back to life with activities related to Revolutionary-era medicine, gunsmithing, the military road and supplies, the Mount's role in preparing Benedict Arnold's fleet on Lake Champlain, garrison strength and much more.

A rich person’s profession? Young conservationists struggle to make it

Nika Levikov swore she would never work as a waitress again. But, today — with a master's degree in conservation science from Imperial College London — she's taking orders, delivering drinks, and cleaning tables to support herself. After two years of looking for paid work as a conservationist around Europe and four months doing unpaid work in East Africa, Levikov moved to the island of Malta to work at Greenhouse Malta. Levikov, who owes over $100,000 in student loans, described her work at the small environment NGO as “casual” and “freelancing” — some hours are paid, others are volunteer — while the group looks to secure more funding. “The reality many of us face is that we will have to babysit, clean toilets, and serve drinks as we try to gain the experience we need in conservation to finally get that dream job,” said Levikov, a former intern at Mongabay, who just turned 30.

A Sneak Peek At Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies

Michael Bixler has this behind-the scenes look at Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang's interactive project, "Fireflies." The artist will debut his mobile dreamscape on September 14 in celebration of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway's centennial

A stealth history lesson in Baltimore

The city's removal of Confederate statues in the dead of night was Baltimore's latest attempt to make peace with the ghosts of the Civil War.

A Stealth History Lesson in Baltimore

by Alec MacGillis

The Baltimore City Council voted unanimously Monday to remove two monuments of the Civil War era, a double-equestrian sculpture of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and a statue of Roger Taney, the Supreme Court justice who authored the Dred Scott decision. Above, the empty pedestal after Taney was taken away. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

We were all in the dark, on the edge of the wooded park known as Wyman Dell, opposite the Baltimore Museum of Art. It was 2 a.m. Wednesday, and despite the presence of a couple of dozen workers in hardhats, a huge crane, a flatbed truck and a couple of other pieces of heavy machinery, the work site, surrounded by police tape, was remarkably still. All of us — the workers, the cops, the mayor, scattered reporters and onlookers — watched the focus of the work, an imposing sculpture of Confederate Gens.

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 tale of two states: Officials face off at Neshoba Fair

The first day of political speeches at the annual Neshoba County Fair drew dozens of state officials and legislators, a crowd in the hundreds and, for some Republicans, a large elephant in the room in the shape of the state's troubled economy. In the last two years, state revenue that failed to meet projections has forced five mid-year budget cuts, leading to layoffs at several state agencies. In addition, many Republican and Democratic leaders failed last session to find extra funding for deteriorating infrastructure amid a broadening effort to tighten state spending across the board. Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi TodaySen. Jenifer Branning, R-Philadlphia
Sen. Jenifer Branning, R-Philadelphia, briefly acknowledged that lower revenue than projected has created a challenge for legislators but said there was an upside to “these hard economic times.”
“These tough times have made us look for inefficiencies in government and made us look for innovative ways to serve Mississippi,” Branning said. As an example Branning mentioned House Bill 1090, also known as The Hope Act, which increases vetting for Medicaid recipients.

A victory on Vine Street amid worries about Trump’s budget

Hattie Harris spoke last, slowlyg rising off a folding share after the mayor and governor each said their piece Friday afternoon, warning that President Trump's budget cuts could undo Connecticut's elimination of chronic homelessness and Hartford's smaller victories, like the one on the block where Miss Hattie has lived since the president was Dwight D. Eisenhower.

A year later, JPS still under review by the state

Jackson Public SchoolsJackson Public School buses
On Tuesday, Jackson Public Schools opened for business once again and welcomed in thousands of students for the first day of school. The 2017-18 school year will be the first under a new organizational plan where the district is split into four regions to better streamline efficiency. The plan, along with several other changes in district operations, was created in response to pressure from the state to correct issues that affect the district's accreditation. Here's a timeline of developments as the district has addressed the state's concerns:
• April 2016: The Mississippi Department of Education found JPS in violation of 22 of 32 state accreditation benchmarks, which put the district at risk being put on probation or taken over by the state. The audit was done on 22 schools, not the entire district.

Aaisha Muhammad

Birmingham Board of Education, District 5
Aaisha Muhammad
Name: Aaisha Muhammad
Residence: East Lake
Political experience: None
Professional experience: Illinois Bell Telephone Company, 1968-1972; retired from South Central Bell (now AT&T), 1972-1998. Civic experience: President, East Lake Neighborhood Association, 2008-2017; president, East Lake Community, 2012-2017; Birmingham Citizen Advisory Board; Birmingham Airport board of directors, 2015; Citizen Police Academy, 2010. Education: Wenonah High School graduate, 1965; Lawson State Community College, associate's degree in business education; Miles College, University of Alabama, Dale Carnegie, Toastmasters. Top contributors: None reported. Main issues: The candidate is concerned about the many superintendents the Birmingham Board of Education has had in the past decade.

Abbott asks DPS to reverse new policy of charging for crime lab testing

About a week after the Texas Department of Public Safety shocked the law enforcement community by announcing it would begin charging local law enforcement agencies to use the state's crime labs, Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter Friday morning to the department's director asking him to reverse the policy change. DPS had sent a letter to local law enforcement agencies on July 20 notifying them that the state agency would begin charging fees for the previously free use of state crime labs, which perform tests like alcohol analysis and DNA testing. The department emphasized that the policy change was mandated by the Texas Legislature in the state's budget, according to the letter. The announcement outraged many small, rural law enforcement agencies, who rely on the state for forensic testing. One North Texas sheriff announced he would begin charging DPS to house state prisoners in his county jail to make up for the costs, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Abbott blames House for special session shortcomings, doesn’t rule out second special session

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday put blame on the House — particularly Speaker Joe Straus — for the shortcomings of the special session and left the door open to calling another one. "I'm disappointed that all 20 items that I put on the agenda did not receive the up-or-down vote that I wanted but more importantly that the constituents of these members deserved," Abbott said in a KTRH radio interview. "They had plenty of time to consider all of these items, and the voters of the state of Texas deserved to know where their legislators stood on these issues." The comments came the morning after lawmakers closed out the special session without taking action on Abbott's No. 1 issue, property tax reform.

Abbott signs bill restricting insurance coverage of abortion

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed a bill that will require Texas women to pay an extra insurance premium for non-emergency abortions, one of three abortion-related items the governor placed on lawmakers' agendas for the special session. The measure, House Bill 214, does not include exceptions for instances of fetal abnormalities, rape or incest. "As a firm believer in Texas values I am proud to sign legislation that ensures no Texan is ever required to pay for a procedure that ends the life of an unborn child,” Abbott said in a news release. “I am grateful to the Texas Legislature for getting this bill to my desk, and working to protect innocent life this special session.”
While debating the new law, some Republicans had argued opponents of abortion shouldn't have to subsidize it through their insurance plans. Detractors countered that women can't anticipate needing the procedure, and dubbed the separate insurance now needed to cover non-emergency abortions "rape insurance."

Abbott: Removing Confederate monuments “won’t erase our nation’s past”

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday weighed in on the renewed debate over Confederate monuments in Texas, saying that removing them "won't erase our nation's past, and it doesn't advance our nation's future." Abbott's statement follows deadly violence that broke out Saturday at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where participants were protesting the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The unrest in Charlottesville led elected officials in some of Texas' biggest cities to begin looking into taking down similar monuments in their areas. "Racist and hate-filled violence – in any form — is never acceptable, and as Governor I have acted to quell it," Abbott said in the statement. "My goal as governor is to eliminate the racist and hate-filled environment we are seeing in our country today."

About our hometown.

Pete Myers founded EHN in Charlottesville 15 years ago, and Daily Climate a few years later. It hurts too much to pontificate about what a special community it is, or that friends, neighbors and colleagues have seen America's current, deep dysfunction hit so lethally, and so close to home. Our thoughts are with everyone in C'ville.

Abraji Turns 15, Launches Fight Against Impunity

Editor's Note: The Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism is one of GIJN's largest, most dynamic member organizations. Known locally as the Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo, or ABRAJI, the group played host to GIJN's largest ever gathering, with 1,350 people gathered for the 8th Global Investigative Journalism Conference in 2013. This year, as Abraji marks its 15th anniversary, the association is launching an ambitious project — to use its members to investigate and continue the work of threatened and murdered journalists across Brazil. Inspired by The Arizona Project four decades earlier, Abraji's new effort could be a model for other countries. The 977 participants of the 12th International Congress of Investigative Journalism, held earlier this month, set a record for the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) as it celebrated its 15-year anniversary.

Access to Health Care: Record-breaking waits at VA

Larrison Campbell, Mississippi TodayThe G.V. (Sonny) Meredith V.A. Medical Center in Jackson

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of articles in which Mississippi Today's Larrison Campbell explores issues around access to health care in the state. Since Dr. Melissa Bacon began working at the VA's women's clinic in Jackson last month, she has spent most of her time on the phone, checking in with patients on the clinic's long waiting list. Last Monday, she followed up with a veteran who had called in April with heavy menstrual bleeding. Three months later, the office still hadn't scheduled the patient for an appointment. “She needed the appointment three months ago,” Bacon said.

Access to Health Care: Record-breaking waits at VA

Larrison Campbell, Mississippi TodayThe G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery V.A. Medical Center in Jackson

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of articles in which Mississippi Today's Larrison Campbell explores issues around access to health care in the state. Since Dr. Melissa Bacon began working at the VA's women's clinic in Jackson last month, she has spent most of her time on the phone, checking in with patients on the clinic's long waiting list. Last Monday, she followed up with a veteran who had called in April with heavy menstrual bleeding. Three months later, the office still hadn't scheduled the patient for an appointment. “She needed the appointment three months ago,” Bacon said.

Acknowledging the ‘100% trauma’ of cancer, Kelly Grosklags treats patients for PTSD

Andy Steiner

Kelly GrosklagsIt's a cliché to describe cancer treatment in warlike terms (“battling” her illness, “fighting” his disease), but most people who've faced lengthy treatment regimes or have heard the words, “You have cancer,” understand that there are times when battlefield comparisons feel apt.A cancer diagnosis, and the months and years of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and scans that often follow, can leave emotional scars on people who live through the experience, said Kelly Grosklags, a psychotherapist in private practice who specializes in treating individuals undergoing cancer treatment.Those scars sometimes manifest themselves as depression, fatigue, irritability or anxiety, common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, Grosklags said. “When we hear the term ‘PTSD' we usually think of war veterans or someone who's lived through a tragedy or a horrible car accident or abuse. It's not the term that people usually use when they are talking about a person who's been diagnosed with cancer. But it is 100 percent a trauma to be diagnosed with cancer. There is no way around it.”Grosklags, who hosts “Conversations With Kelly,” a popular series of public discussions focused on cancer treatment and survival, treats many of her patients for PTSD — and encourages other health care professionals to do the same.

ACLU of Kentucky Sues Bevin For Blocking People On Social Media

Alexandra Kanik / KyCIRBlocked on Twitter
The ACLU of Kentucky is suing Gov. Matt Bevin for blocking people on Facebook and Twitter, saying the governor is violating the free speech rights of his constituents. The challenge was filed on behalf of two Kentucky residents who say they have been “permanently blocked from engaging in political speech” on the governor's official social media pages. “I was shocked when I discovered that I was blocked from further commenting on the Governor's posts,” said Mary Hargis in a statement released by the ACLU. “I may not have voted for Governor Bevin, but I'm one of his constituents. He shouldn't be permanently dismissing my views and concerns with a click.”
The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Monday and comes amid increased scrutiny of who public officials allow to view and engage with their social media pages.

ACLU sees rights at risk under new court recording rules

A standing-room-only crowd watches the proceedings inside the Vermont Supreme Court in opening oral agruments Tuesday in the case brought by two Republican legislators wishing to prevent departing Gov. Peter Shumlin from appointing a successor to sitting Justice John Dooley, who retires in April. Shumlin leaves office Thursday. Making his arguments at the podium on behalf of Gov. Shumlin is attorney Benjamin Battles. Stefan Hard/Times Argus Staff/Pool photo
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Vermont Supreme Court" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A crowd watches proceedings inside the Vermont Supreme Court early this year. New rules would prohibit most members of the public from taking or transmitting pictures and video inside Vermont courtrooms. File pool photo by Stefan Hard/The Times ArgusCivil liberties advocates are pushing back against proposed rules on digital recording in Vermont courts.

aclu sues ne prisons

reports the Lincoln Journal-Star
Crowded prisons and a shortage of corrections officers and mental health workers have created a humanitarian crisis, ACLU of Nebraska officials say. They describe prisoners sleeping in hallways, or double-bunked in cells the size of a parking space, deprived of needed health care or of basic accommodations for deafness or blindness or other disabilities. They report inmates suffering and dying from treatable medical conditions, and injuries and deaths in violence that erupts within the prisons. The organization, working in conjunction with local and national attorneys, made good Wednesday on a long-term promise to force prison improvements by way of the courts, if it couldn't get them for their clients in any other way. “We view it as historic litigation,” said ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad.

ACLU: U.S. Falsely Accuses Immigrants of Gang Ties

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that the Trump administration is falsely accusing immigrant teens of gang affiliations in a concerted effort to deport them, NPR reports. The civil rights group says the young immigrants were detained without notice to their parents or lawyers, and without giving them a chance to challenge the allegations. The suit charges that the Latino teens are being “profiled as gang members based on the neighborhoods they live in and their countries of origin.” “We're talking about teens who were picked up for play-fighting with a friend, or for showing pride in their home country of El Salvador,” said Stephen Kang of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. “The Office of Refugee Resettlement is accepting wholesale that young immigrants should be kept behind bars because of what they look like or where they come from.”
Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley said that, “During the Attorney General's visit to El Salvador, he repeatedly heard of efforts by MS-13 and other transnational gangs to prey on and recruit children as young as eight years old.. We will absolutely defend the President's lawful authority to keep Americans safe and protect communities from gang violence.” President Trump spoke in Suffolk County, Long Island, last month about his administration's crackdown on MS-13 gang members.

Action is ‘slow, deliberate’ in Vermont Yankee fuel move

A tracked transporter vehicle nicknamed “Cletus” slowly moves a loaded fuel cask at Vermont Yankee on Friday. The transporter travels at about 0.25 mph. Photo courtesy of Entergy
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Vermont Yankee" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A tracked transporter vehicle nicknamed “Cletus” slowly moves a loaded fuel cask at Vermont Yankee on Friday. The transporter travels at about 0.25 mph. Photo courtesy of EntergyVERNON – In spite of a late start, Vermont Yankee's $143 million fuel storage project is on schedule to finish by the fall of 2018, administrators say.

Addison County to hold World Breastfeeding Week events

News Release — Vermont Department of Health
July 27, 2017
Media Contact:
Moira Cook
Addison County Celebrates World Breastfeeding WeekEvents throughout August support infant health
MIDDLEBURY – In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, the Addison County community and local businesses will be celebrating breastfeeding during the whole month of August. This year the theme is “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together.”
The Vermont Department of Health encourages breastfeeding, and supports nursing mothers through educational programs and initiatives. The Local Health Office in Middlebury works one-on-one with new moms through breastfeeding classes and at its WIC clinics. The department also helps local businesses become Breastfeeding Friendly Employers. Other community supports for breastfeeding include nurses and lactation consultants at Porter Medical Center and through La Leche League.

Adlai Trone

Birmingham City Council, District 8
Adlai Trone
Adlai Trone
Age: Turns 40 on election day. Residence: Fairview neighborhood. Political experience: Unsuccessful run for mayor of Birmingham, 2013. Professional experience: Financial planner Ameriprise Financial, 13 years; Birmingham City Schools, math teacher and tutor, 4 years; real estate residential inspector, commercial appraiser trainee, 6 years. Education: University of Alabama, master's in human environmental science and financial planning, 2009; Auburn University, master's degree in business, 2001; Auburn University, bachelor's degree in finance, 1999; Hewitt-Trussville High School, graduate, 1995; Ensley High School, 9th grade; Glenn Middle School and Fairview Elementary.

Adult Care Home Industry Spokesman Responds to Investigative Series

By Frank Taylor
Carolina Public Press
The North Carolina Association, Long Term Care Facilities, which represents the adult care home industry, responded to Carolina Public Press' recent four-part investigative series, “Questionable Care,” last week in a statement that partially agreed with CPP's findings about the flawed regulatory system while defending its members efforts to prioritize their residents' well-being. Jeff Horton is executive director of the North Carolina Association, Long Term Care Facilities.The regulatory structure of adult care homes in North Carolina is unlike any other program the Division of Health Service Regulation license and regulates,” said Jeff Horton, who recently became executive director of the association, in his statement. A key finding of the series was that the substantial role of the state's 100 county social services agencies in monitoring adult care homes was creating inconsistencies in regulation. “While adult care homes rely on both state and county staff to conduct monitoring and oversight, other programs licensed and regulated by the Division are regulated at the state level, which may lead to better consistency in inspections,” Horton said. Horton knows a bit about the Division of Health Service Regulation — he worked in adult care monitoring for the agency for several years before going to work for the association.

Adult care home industry spokesman responds to investigative series

Adult care home association sees same flaws in regulatory system that investigation identified, but confident that members prioritize residents' well-being. The post Adult care home industry spokesman responds to investigative series appeared first on Carolina Public Press.

Advanced Guide on Verifying Video Content

Researchers and journalists often need to verify user-generated video content from social networks and file sharing platforms, such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. But there is no silver bullet that is able to verify every video, and it may be nearly impossible to verify some videos, short of acquiring the original file from the source. However, there are methods which can help to verify most content, particularly to ensure that videos showing breaking news events are not recycled from previous incidents. There are already numerous guides available online for verifying video, most notably in the Verification Handbook. This guide will include some additional techniques frequently used by the Bellingcat team, including ways to work around the limitations of available tools.

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 Focus on Conference Committee After JJDPA Reauthorization Bill Passes Senate

WASHINGTON — Juvenile justice reform advocates are turning their attention to a House and Senate conference committee after a key bill, a decade-plus in the making, passed yet another legislative hurdle. The Senate passed a reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act (S 860) on Tuesday by a voice vote. The act hadn't been reauthorized since 2002 and was badly in need of an update, juvenile justice advocates have long argued. The bill now heads to a conference committee to be reconciled with its House version, HR 1809. The main difference is that the House version completely phases out 1984 provisions that allow minors to be locked up for status offenses — running away from home, skipping school, etc.

Advocates See ‘Disturbing’ Rise in Hate Crimes Targeting Asian Americans

Above: The Interurban Trail in north Seattle ? Photo by Chetanya Robinson

SEATTLE, Wash. – Marcus Choi was walking his dogs in the Bitter Lake neighborhood in North Seattle when he heard a man shouting behind him. “I turn around and he's right up in my space with his forehead on mine,” Choi said, recalling the incident. “And then he's yelling at me, he's like, ‘You're going to prison just like all the rest of you and your passports are gonna be taken away.'”
The man's verbal abuse continued.

Aegis Renewable Energy recognized as top solar contractor

News Release — Aegis Renewable Energy
July 25, 2017
Media Contacts:
Sonia Behn
Kelly Pickerel
Aegis Renewable Energy, Inc. Recognized as a Top Solar Contractor in Waitsfield, VermontThe Solar Power World Top Solar Contractors list includes Waitsfield-based solar firm
WAITSFIELD, VERMONT—Coming off the biggest year ever for U.S. solar installations, local installer Aegis Renewable Energy, Inc. is proud to be named one of the top solar contractors in the United States by Solar Power World magazine. Aegis Renewable Energy, Inc. achieved a rank of 141 out of the top 500 solar companies nationwide. In addition Aegis Renewable Energy achieved the number 2 rank in the State of Vermont. The Top Solar Contractors list is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets.

Affordable Apartments Come with View of Confluence Park

Apartment units will range in size from 650 to 1,050 sq. ft. Fourteen of the units would be sold at market rate while the rest would be rent-controlled. The post Affordable Apartments Come with View of Confluence Park appeared first on Rivard Report.

Afraid To Treat Pregnant Women, Doctors Drop Addicted Patients At A Vulnerable Time

Every other week Cassidy Linnemeier carpools with a friend to their OB-GYN in Indianapolis from Seymour Indiana, where they live. The drive is about an hour and 20 minutes with traffic. They drive this far because they can't find a doctor nearby who will prescribe the addiction medicine they need to keep them healthy during pregnancy — and who also takes their insurance, a Medicaid plan.

After 2 Hung Juries, Charges Dismissed Against Ohio Cop

The voluntary manslaughter and murder charges against former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing were formally dismissed Monday, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. Judge Leslie Ghiz dropped the charges with prejudice, meaning this case against Tensing is dismissed permanently. However, U.S Attorney Ben Glassman has said his office is looking into federal civil rights violations against Tensing. He was charged in the July 2015 shooting death of unarmed black motorist Sam DuBose during a traffic stop. Two trials ended with jurors unable to agree on a verdict.

After 2015 legalization, Texans may be able to buy medical cannabis oil by January

In 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the first bill allowing any growing or sale of marijuana in Texas. The Texas Compassionate Use Act legalized the selling of a specific kind of cannabis oil derived from marijuana plants for a very small group of customers: epilepsy patients whose symptoms have not responded to federally approved medication. Two years later, Texans still can't legally buy cannabis oil, but a handful of companies believe they are weeks away from receiving the official go-ahead to become the state's first sellers. But even if those approvals go through, it'll still be some time before any Texans will be able to buy what they're selling. The three eligible dispensaries — Surterra Texas, Cansortium Texas and Compassionate Cultivation — are waiting on the final stamp of approval from the Texas Department of Public Safety to begin growing and distributing marijuana.

After a quiet year of campus carry, community colleges get guns next

Janeera Nickol Gonzalez was shot on a Wednesday in May, in the late morning. She died in a study room in Performance Hall, a multistory brick structure on the campus of North Lake College, outside Dallas. Gonzalez was 20 years old; she would have been the first in her family to graduate from college. Starting Tuesday, a gun like the one that took her life can be legally carried — in a hidden holster, or tucked into a waistband, or in a backpack — into Performance Hall, along with most other buildings at the six dozen community colleges in Texas. Senate Bill 11 — which allows licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns into most campus buildings and went into effect a year ago for public universities — now becomes law at two-year colleges.

After Bloomington mosque bombing, Muslim leaders in Minnesota organize efforts to report hate crimes

Ibrahim Hirsi

On a recent Saturday, one week after a bomb was detonated inside the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Mohamed Omar stood outside the mosque. Traces of the blast and messages of support still remained on display.As he thought back to that fateful day, Omar, executive director of the center, could only thank two things for his surivival: God and the brick wall that stood between the room where the explosion occurred and the couch where he napped as he waited for the morning prayer.“If that wall wasn't made of bricks,” said Omar, pointing to the now windowless conference room that once hosted important guests, “it would have been over for me.”The bomb caught the country's attention, but wasn't the first time the mosque had been targeted. Its congregation has been subjected to death threats and intimidation before, including several incidents where people stood outside the mosque, shouting racial and anti-Muslim slurs at worshipers entering or leaving the center, said Omar.Such events have become increasingly common occurrences in Minnesota. And in the wake of the Bloomington bombing incident, which Gov. Mark Dayton called “an act of terrorism,” mosque leaders in Minnesota are increasingly talking about ways to improve their practice of documenting and reporting hate incidents to the police — a practice that hasn't been common up to now.“We're a new community, very fragile and vulnerable,” Omar said. “If something happens, calling the police would be the last thing to come to mind.

After Busy Start, Mexico’s Consul General Gets Official Welcome to City

Ambassador Reyna Torres Mendívil, the new Consul General of Mexico in San Antonio, hit the ground running from the moment she took her post. The post After Busy Start, Mexico's Consul General Gets Official Welcome to City appeared first on Rivard Report.

After Charlottesville, Colleges Brace for a Violent Fall

Across the nation, college administrators and law enforcement officials are bracing for a wild fall of protests as their campuses become battlegrounds for society's violent fringes, The New York Times reports. After a planned speech in February by the right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos attracted demonstrators who started fires and shattered windows, the University of California, Berkeley realized that “we did not have enough police officers,” said the university's Dan Mogulof. Beginning this semester, student groups hosting large events are required to inform the college at least eight weeks in advance, so it has time to prepare a security plan. Berkeley is ready to spend as much as $500,000 to protect a single lecture. The new protocol was announced on Sunday, a day after a woman was killed and dozens of people were injured in Charlottesville, Va., after a series of white supremacist gatherings at the University of Virginia and in the city.

After Cigarette Fee Ruling, What Will the Legislature Do Next?

Oklahoma lawmakers' late summer and early fall plans likely just got a lot busier. The state Supreme Court dealt the Legislature a major blow Thursday by ruling that it unconstitutionally passed the $1.50-per-pack cigarette fee during the final days of this year's session. The legislation was the single largest revenue-raising measure in a package of bills and budget cuts that lawmakers accepted in order to close a $869 million budget shortfall. Revenue from the fee was expected to raise $225 million, with $214 million of that amount eligible for appropriation, for the fiscal year budget that began July 1. But that money now comes off the books.

After Johannesburg: Help Us Choose the Next Global Conference

The local host of the 11th Global Investigative Journalism Conference, to be held in 2019, will be chosen by GIJN member representatives during the week of the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. The election, which will also include voting on GIJN board members, will be held electronically, opening 12:01 am, Sunday, November 12, 2017, and ending 11:59 pm, Saturday, November 18, 2017, South African time. Each of GIJN's 155 member organizations is entitled to one vote, which is cast by its designated representative (on record with the GIJN Secretariat). If member organizations are unsure who their representatives are, please contact us. GIJN is pleased to present GIJC19 proposals for four cities: Dublin, Ireland, from the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund; Hamburg, Germany, from Netzwerk Recherche; Lima, Peru, from Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS); and Riga, Latvia, from OCCRP/Stockholm School of Economics in Riga/The Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism(Re:Baltica).

After months of controversy, Texas bathroom bill dies quietly

In the end, the controversial bathroom bill went quietly. For more than a year, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick led the crusade for a state law to regulate bathroom use for transgender Texans — an initiative that resonated with social conservatives, including many pastors, who backed him up. Patrick for months stood firm in his pursuit for a bathroom bill even while similar campaigns in other states fizzled out. He was met by loud opposition that only grew with time and eventually proved to be a considerable political force. Transgender women, men and children from across Texas descended on the Capitol to testify about how the proposal — which would ban local policies that ensured transgender individuals' right to use public and school restrooms that match their gender identity — could endanger their lives.

After Obamacare repeal falters, Vermont officials call for bipartisanship

Congress late Thursday evening, as the Senate convened into the night. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1448w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Congress late Thursday evening, as the Senate convened into the night. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerWASHINGTON — As the dust settled after a failed, early-morning effort led by Senate Republicans to derail Obamacare, Vermont officials doubled down on calls for bipartisanship. Top Vermont officials across the political spectrum, including Gov. Phil Scott, have consistently opposed proposals in Congress this year to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. This week, Senate efforts to change the health care law seemed poised to advance, after a key vote went forward to begin what would be a 20-hour debate on the issue.

After Shooting, St. Louis Police Study Friendly Fire

After an off-duty St. Louis police officer was wounded by “friendly fire” from a fellow officer looking for suspects after a stolen vehicle crashed late last month, the department is looking at whether more training might help, reports the city's Post-Dispatch. The police department is forming a committee to decide how best to train officers for such encounters. In the June 21 incident, an off-duty officer was shot in the elbow by another officer after a police chase involving suspects inside a stolen car. People inside the car opened fire on police during the chase, police say.

After Six Months, AG Sessions’ Job Security Is Teetering

Jeff Session faced increasingly pointed questions about his future as U.S. attorney general Monday, says the Los Angeles Times. The day began with a fresh public slap from his boss, President Trump, who tweeted that Sessions was “beleaguered”–mostly due to Trump's public harangues. Later in the day, Trump's new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, refused to say in an interview whether Trump wanted him to resign. “They need to sit down face to face and have a reconciliation and a discussion of the future,” he told CNN. “They need to speak and determine what the future of the relationship looks like.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated that Trump is “very disappointed” that Sessions chose to recuse himself from an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

After Texas “human trafficking crime,” Lt. Gov. Patrick lauds sanctuary city law

Following the deaths of nine people in what police are calling a "human trafficking crime," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took to Facebook Sunday to highlight the importance of cracking down on "sanctuary cities." Police found eight people dead in a tractor-trailer in a Walmart parking lot early Sunday morning, with no air conditioning in the sweltering summer heat, according to the San Antonio Express-News. One later died in the hospital, and about 20 survivors suffered from heat stroke and dehydration. Some survivors identified themselves as Mexican nationals. Patrick wrote the incident was indicative of why Senate Bill 4 is so important.

After two years of declines, reported hate crimes were up in Minnesota last year

Greta Kaul

Early on a Saturday morning this month, just as members of the local Muslim community were gathering for the first prayer of the day, their Bloomington mosque was bombed. No one was hurt, but the incident — still under investigation by the FBI, but which many suspect was driven by anti-Islamic hatred — adds to a string of incidents that have Minnesota's Muslim community on edge. After two years of declines, hate crime incidents reported to authorities in Minnesota increased from 96 in 2015 to 122 in 2016, according to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. There were 98 reported incidents in 2014 and 154 in 2013. By law, Minnesota police departments are required to report crimes believed to be motivated by hatred toward race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation.

After years of stagnation, Colorado’s innovation schools see breakthrough in improvement, data show

A year ago, as the State Board of Education began to consider fixes for Colorado's lowest-performing schools, there was scant evidence that giving schools freedom from some state laws and local policies would significantly boost learning. Since 2010, only three low-performing schools that had been awarded “innovation status” had succeeded in jumping off the state's academic watch list for poor performance. Many more innovation schools continued to lag. Gaining innovation status gave the schools flexibility to develop their own calendars, curricula and budgets, and hire and train teachers outside union contracts. A Chalkbeat analysis of a state report on innovation schools relying on more recent data shows a dramatic shift in a short time period: A dozen schools with innovation status improved enough between 2014 and 2016 to avoid state-ordered improvements.

Ag discussion turns to comments on Trump’s leadership dealing with North Korea

Democrats come to Salinas to talk about farming, but the conversation heated up when it turned to North Korea and President Trump's leadership abilities

AG opinion strikes middle ground on concessions

A formal opinion released Thursday by Attorney General George Jepsen warns of legal peril in rewriting state-employee contracts through legislation, but notes the free hand legislators have after contracts expire and the flexibility the courts have granted in some cases in the event of extreme fiscal emergencies.

Agency of Agriculture announces funding for water quality planning

News Release — Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
August 2, 2017
Ryan Patch
Agency of Agriculture Announces New Technical Assistance Funding to Support Water Quality Planning and Projects on FarmsGrassed Buffers and Stream Fencing for Livestock Focus of New Outreach and Implementation Programs
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) is pleased to announce a second round of Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Ag Clean Water Initiative Program (Ag-CWIP). This grant program is made possible and supported, in part, by the Clean Water Fund – a fund created by Act 64 of 2015, Vermont's Clean Water Act. This second round of Ag-CWIP RFPs will fund organizations assisting farmers throughout the state to support planning and installation of vegetative buffers adjacent to streams, grassed waterways to prevent gully erosion in crop fields, and grazing systems to exclude livestock from surface waters. Please visit: for the complete RFP documents. “We're excited to offer this expansion of technical assistance resources to support our hardworking farmers in their continued effort to identify, plan and install conservation practices to improve water quality throughout the state,” said Anson Tebbetts, Secretary of Agriculture.

Agents at BP checkpoint nab pot in fake Dish Network van

Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint south of Gila Bend seized nearly 400 pounds of marijuana on Wednesday from a van painted to look it belonged to the satellite television company Dish Network, authorities said.

Ahead of Next Session, Will Hurd Stumps Across Small Town, Texas

U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) this week completed his annual trek across the state, hosting town hall meetings in small towns between El Paso and SA. The post Ahead of Next Session, Will Hurd Stumps Across Small Town, Texas appeared first on Rivard Report.

Airport art is all about us; Accordion-O-Rama returns to Zumbrota

Pamela Espeland

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is more than a pass-through in and out of the state. Especially for visitors, it's a first impression of Minnesota and Minnesotans, who we are and what we stand for. “It's a gateway to Minnesota arts and culture, and our arts economy,” according to Robyne Robinson. The former senior news anchor for Fox 9 has been director of Arts@MSP, the arts and culture arm of Airport Foundation MSP, since 2013.Under Robinson's watch, the airport has gotten artier.

Alabama Voters Register at Record Numbers

As Alabamians go to the polls Tuesday for a special U.S. Senate primary election, the state has the most registered voters in its history, including a record-setting roster of new voters. “It's unprecedented,” Secretary of State John Merrill said last week. The state's tally of 3,283,573 registered voters represents a peak for Alabama, which has 3.7 million residents of voting age. Of the 3.28 million, 773,727 are new voters who registered in the past two-plus years since Merrill took office in January 2015. But, even as Alabamians were registering in record numbers, a voter “refresh” conducted by the Secretary of State's Office in early 2017 has resulted in some confusion about voters being moved to inactive lists and concerns that the voter refresh will become a voter list purge.

Alamo Colleges HQ Receives Final HDRC Approval

Local firms ford, powell & carson, WestEast Design Group, and landscape architects Rialto Studio spearheaded the design of the new headquarters campus. The post Alamo Colleges HQ Receives Final HDRC Approval appeared first on Rivard Report.

Alamo to Come to Life in 2018 AR/VR App

Using immersive augmented and virtual reality technology, San Antonio's visitors, and residents can learn about the 1836 Battle and key historical figures. The post Alamo to Come to Life in 2018 AR/VR App appeared first on Rivard Report.

Albanese Qualifies for Debates, Butler Releases Housing Plan: Campaign Headlines for Monday August 14

“Her biggest supporters are the billionaires behind Trump and Breitbart news and the guy who thinks standing up for public schools is worse than the KKK.”–Dan Levitan, a campaign spokesperson for Mayor Bill De Blasio, to the Gotham GazetteButler Releases Affordable Housing Policy Plan for DistrictKings County Politics
“Democratic City Council Candidate Henry Butler (41-Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, East Flatbush) this week released a detailed policy paper on how he would tackle affordable housing focussing on new development, existing NYCHA housing, home ownership and senior living…'I created this plan because it addresses the core issues happening in our district, and gives concrete ideas that will ensure that everyone in our community can afford a place to call home. Displacement has become a growing problem in the 41st District, and as a member of the City Council, I will not stand by and let this continue to happen,' said Butler in the plan. The first part of Butler's plan calls for any new private development on the 216 city-owned vacant lots has to partner with a nonprofit, a Community Land Trust (CLT) or union workers to ensure a community driven approach”. Our take: It's clear Butler has been paying close attention to the ongoing discussion in the city about how to make ‘affordable housing' truly affordable for low-income residents, including in the city's housing plan for Brownsville. His explicit call for community land trusts is also a sign of that model's growing eminence.

Alburgh man faces charges after spewing manure on Border Patrol car

A U.S. Customs and Boarder Patrol cruiser covered in manure after the alleged incident with Alburgh resident Mark Johnson. Border Patrol courtesy photo.NORTH HERO – Mark A. Johnson, 53, of Alburgh pleaded not guilty Thursday to simple assault on a border patrol officer and disorderly conduct. A third count, unlawful mischief, was dismissed. The plea followed an incident on August 3 in which Johnson sprayed cow manure onto a police cruiser that was occupied by a border patrol officer. In an arraignment hearing, Judge Michael Harris questioned whether the spraying of manure can constitute damage to property, since it can be washed off.

Allianz wins naming rights for new soccer stadium

MinnPost staff

Congratulations to the brands! The Star Tribune's Paul Klauda reports: “Minnesota United's new soccer stadium in St. Paul will be called Allianz Field, the team announced Tuesday morning. … The naming rights had leaked out Monday when the Allianz Life Twitter feed briefly featured this tweet, which was deleted after several minutes: … ‘Soccer fans? You betcha!

Ally Miller: ‘I am WHITE – and proud of it! No apologies necessary’

Responding to comments about Trump's platitudes about the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally, Pima Supervisor Ally Miller said, "I'm sick and tired of being hit for being white....It is all about making us feel like we need to apologize. I am WHITE - and proud of it! No apologies necessary."

Alphabet turns to molten salt to store clean energy.

Using giant vats of molten salt and antifreeze under the codename “Malta,” Google's parent company Alphabet is joining Tesla and smaller companies that are developing ways to store wind and solar power affordably to expand renewables and combat climate change.

Alumni donate $1 million to University of Vermont Athletics for new multipurpose center

News Release — University of Vermont Foundation
August 3, 2017
Mark S. Ray
802-656-3537 (p)
802-355-0145 (m)
Bill '79 and Laurie '80 Shean Donate $1 Million to Support Initial Work for UVM Multi-Purpose Center
Burlington, Vt. – Bill Shean '79 and Laurie Shean '80 have donated $1 million to UVM Athletics to support the University of Vermont Board of Trustee's recent decision to move forward with the formal planning of a multi-purpose center on the UVM campus. The Shean's gift will provide the means for not only producing architectural plans, but will also provide necessary resources for site evaluation and preparation. Facility plans include creating a new events center that also will serve as the home for UVM's men's and women's basketball teams; renovating the beloved Gutterson Fieldhouse with significant upgrades to one of college hockey's most iconic arenas; enhancing and combining the athletic complex's health, wellness and recreation space into an 86,000-square-foot area that is more than five times the current space; and significantly improving and simplifying the complex's internal layout while boosting amenities for players, fans and all who will use the new and renovated facilities with new space for cultural, social and academic opportunities. Bill and Laurie Shean, who reside in Winchester, Mass., are longtime supporters of the University of Vermont with a special interest in athletics.

Amazonian city drags down fish stocks in 1,000-kilometer shadow

The sweet-tasting tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) is a popular staple on grills and dinner tables in Manaus, Brazil. But as the human population of the Amazonian city has soared, the effects of growing demand for this fruit-eating fish have rippled through the ecosystem, affecting tambaqui living as many as 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) away. The hunt for tambaqui has gotten more difficult and the fish have become smaller, even at that distance, a team of scientists reported Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to the study, tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) caught near the metropolis of Manaus in Brazil are about half the size of those about 1,000 kilometers upriver. Photo by Karg se (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons “I think anyone would expect there to be a small effect around the city,” said Daniel Tregidgo, an ecologist at Lancaster University in the U.K. and lead author of the study, in an interview.

Amber Courtney

Birmingham City Board of Education, District 4
Name: Amber Marie Courtney
Age: 28
Residence: Norwood
Political experience: First political race
Professional experience: Administrative assistant to the mayor, special projects coordinator for the city, 2013-present; adjunct English professor, Jefferson State Community College, 2016-present; housing counselor, 2012-2013; first year enrichment administrator, Miles College, 2011-2012; interpreter, park guide, Department of the Interior, 2008-2010. Civic experience: Has supported land bank legislation, lobbied to crack down on pay day lenders, supported blight removal and community development, assisted with application for an EPA grant to clean up pollution in North Birmingham community. Education: Doctoral candidate of education, UAB, 2012-present, degree expected in May; master's in literary studies, UAB, 2012; bachelor's in English, Tuskegee University, 2010. Main issues: Fiscal responsibility, closing the achievement gap, funding scrutiny and diligence, and better academic outcomes for students to prepare them to earn a livable wage either through skills or higher education. “We cannot be bigger than our constituents and I would like to show students and parents alike how they, too, can achieve a doctorate in education with all odds stacked against them … with the right infrastructure and educators as well as leadership in place to guide them.”

Ameren request for lower energy efficiency targets stokes division in Illinois

Illinois residents who live “downstate” — almost everywhere outside the Chicago metropolitan area — have long felt that their needs, views and very existence are overshadowed by the politics, economics and culture of the Windy City. The utility Ameren Illinois, which serves downstate customers, is invoking that sentiment in defense of its request for lower energy efficiency targets under the sweeping energy law passed last year. Ameren says it can't realistically or cost-effectively meet the targets enshrined in the statute, and it is asking the Illinois Commerce Commission to lower its targets. Environmental and clean energy groups and the state Attorney General's office say Ameren should be held to the targets in the law, and point out that ComEd, the utility serving Chicago and northern Illinois, is committed to substantially more ambitious targets. The law, hashed out during months of negotiations in which energy efficiency targets were a contentious issue, sets separate energy savings mandates for ComEd and Ameren.

America’s fall? It’s all a matter of priorities

Marshall Helmberger

We hear the litany of woe from our politicians almost every day. The crumbling middle class, deteriorating inner cities, dying small towns, budget deficits and national debt, crumbling infrastructure and the threat posed by climate change. Our health care system's a disaster, and we have an entire generation that is now dying sooner from drug addiction and depression. President Trump, in his dark inauguration speech, said he looked across the land and saw “American carnage.”Marshall HelmbergerAnd he blamed the Mexicans and the Chinese.But sometimes the real story leaks out. During his presentation in Tower last month, longtime U.S. diplomat Tom Hanson talked about the most recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which he attended, as usual.

America’s New Breed of Prosecutors

An estimated 10,000 people will avoid fines, jail time, and severe collateral consequences including loss of employment and housing that accompany arrest and misdemeanor convictions due to a policy shift announced by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office this month. The move, to no longer prosecute turnstile jumping, is among a number of similar actions taken by prosecutors across the country to ease the fear of arrest and prosecution faced disproportionately by low-income individuals and people of color. Cook County, Illinois State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office will not prosecute driving offenses that arise from financial hardship, such as driving with a license that was suspended as a result of being unable to afford a traffic fine. Similarly, prosecutors around the nation have chosen not to prosecute marijuana possession, and not just in places where the air carries the scent of patchouli. District Attorney Mark Gonzales of Nueces County, Texas has announced that marijuana possession of two ounces or less will be penalized by fine or community service rather than criminal prosecution.

AmeriCorps Environmental Career and Opportunities Program provides training and job prospects

News Release — Agency of Natural Resources
July 26, 2017
Media Contacts:
Reuben Allen
ECO AmeriCorps Program Provides Training, Job Opportunities for Young Vermonters
MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Environmental Careers & Opportunities (ECO) AmeriCorps program is finishing up its second year of guiding young people through 11-month placements in environmental service in Vermont. A federally funded program, ECO AmeriCorps is administered in the state through the Agency of Natural Resources and provides recent college grads the opportunity to learn new skills while receiving on-the-job training at government agencies and nonprofits throughout the state. Beginning in September, participants are placed at government agencies and nonprofits dedicated to clean water and universal recycling. Through their months of service, ECO AmeriCorps members learn about potential careers in environmental conservation while gaining technical and field-based experience.

Amid ‘Bathroom’ Furor, Transgender People Want to Speak for Themselves

Police officers, civil rights groups, and others have blasted the "bathroom bill." But transgender people see one voice missing from the discussion: theirs. The post Amid ‘Bathroom' Furor, Transgender People Want to Speak for Themselves appeared first on Rivard Report.

Amid Homeless Crisis, Police-Run Shelter Beds Sit Empty

Weeks-long wait lists are a constant reality for homeless people seeking shelter in San Diego yet some of the beds reserved for San Diego police to offer homeless people they encounter sit empty. Reports to the city revealed just a 73 percent occupancy rate for the 50 shelter beds operated by the San Diego Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team last year. That's far below the more than 95 percent occupancy reported by the two other city-funded shelter programs for single adults, including one run out of the same East Village campus that's operated by Father Joe's Villages rather than the HOT team. Stories about homeless people rejecting police offers of shelter beds and other services are regularly mentioned in conversations about San Diego's struggle to address a growing homelessness crisis. Last year, police say just 14 percent of homeless San Diegans who interacted with the HOT team were placed into shelter or treatment – an increase from the previous year.

Amid the Blaring Headlines, Routine Reports of Hate-Fueled Violence

by Joe Sexton

Last Wednesday, July 19, was something of a busy news day. There was word North Korea was making preparations for yet another provocative missile test. The Supreme Court, in its latest ruling in the controversial travel ban case, said that people from the six largely Muslim countries covered by the immigration enforcement action could enter the U.S. if they had a grandparent here, refusing to overturn a ruling that grandparents qualified as “bona fide relatives.” And then, late in the day, President Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to The New York Times, one that, among other things, laid into Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The day also produced its share of what, sadly, has come to qualify as routine news: A Muslim organization in Sacramento, California, received a package in the mail that included a Koran in a tub of lard; police in Boise, Idaho, identified a teenage boy as the person likely responsible for scratching racist words on a car; in Lansing, Michigan, police launched a search for a suspect in the case of an assault against a Hispanic man. The victim had been found with a note indicating his attacker had been motivated by racial animus.

Amoy’s Lets The Good Times Roll On Orange

While Amoy Kong-Brown was busy helping small businesses and contractors in the city get their start, she was dreaming up her own small business. And on Wednesday, she officially cut the ribbon on a restaurant that bears her name.

Amtrak loses bid to operate new Hartford commuter rail

A joint venture of TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts was chosen over Amtrak and three other bidders Monday as operator of the Hartford Line, a commuter rail service to New Haven and Springfield that will open next year with a deep federal operating subsidy.

An Appeal to Prosecutors: We Hold the Power to Reform Justice

Last month, hundreds of people came to the Massachusetts State House in Boston to advocate for criminal justice reform. It is not the first time this happened and it probably will not be the last. For many, this advocacy is personal. Dylan Hayre
It was personal for me because I was a prosecutor, so I had tools at my disposal that allowed me to irreparably harm people. Now I can make amends.

An early look at how Anthony Scaramucci will serve Trump

Eric Black

Maybe I attach too much importance to a few old-fashioned virtues like telling the truth, factual accuracy, and answering the question you are asked (or, if you are not going to answer it, say so frankly and explain why you won't).Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House director of communications, led off “State of Union” and “Face the Nation” yesterday. Good hair. Good smile. Rising from middle-class roots, he went to Harvard Law School and made his own fortune on Wall Street. Professes his “love” for Donald Trump (although he supported several of Trump's rivals for the GOP nomination until they were eliminated).

An Inside Account of How Direct Action Helped Kill the GOP Healthcare Bill

Welcome to Interviews for Resistance. Since election night 2016, the streets of the United States have rung with resistance. People all over the country have woken up with the conviction that they must do something to fight inequality in all its forms. But many are wondering what it is they can do. In this series, we'll be talking with experienced organizers, troublemakers and thinkers. They'll be sharing their insights on what works, what doesn't, and what has changed, and what's still the same.

An Ode To “The Simpsons”

I sat on the stage under the lights at Best Video Film and Cultural Center, and we were playing a song about prostitution. Drummer Mike Paolucci had just started up the beat. Singer Anne Rhodes was swinging it. Guitarist Chris Cretella, accordionist Adam Matlock, cellist Nathan Bontrager, and bassist Mike Tepper fell in. I was waiting for my part.

An Open Letter from One Disabled Person to Another

"Despite the fact I am a U.S. citizen, I want you to know that I have not been able to vote in any election since Texas passed its voter ID law in 2013." The post An Open Letter from One Disabled Person to Another appeared first on Rivard Report.

Analysis: Broken school finance system spawns wild solutions

Whether you feel sorry for them or not, Austin ISD property taxpayers will be sending $533 million of their local school taxes to the state for redistribution to poorer districts in the next school year. That means that about 35 percent of the local school taxes collected in that district are spent elsewhere — the biggest “recapture” rate in the state. And as far out as that might seem, it's a sign that the state's school finance system is working just the way state officials designed it to work. The state government puts up some money. The federal government puts up some money.

Analysis: Even the losers get lucky sometimes

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The loser talk is starting to leak into public conversation at the Texas Capitol. Lawmakers who last month were gung-ho about going 20-for-20 on Gov. Greg Abbott's legislative priorities now say, quietly, that they never really thought everything would pass — but that they didn't think things would look as gloomy as they do right now. Abbott's 30-day special session is, as of Wednesday, 23 days old. His agenda for this legislative overtime has 20 subjects on it, and not a single bill he wants has passed both chambers and landed on his desk.

Analysis: For lawmakers, like kids, education can be very difficult

One should avoid the word “never” when trying to describe what might happen in the Texas Legislature — even when talking about things that seem impossible. Let's say it is unlikely, then, that the same Texas lawmakers who couldn't solve school finance during the regular session will work it out in the current 30-day special session, or that using public money for private education is suddenly more acceptable to them than it was a couple of months ago. Money is tight. Tempers are high. Lawmakers aren't on the same page.

Analysis: Hopes of going 20 for 20 in special session circle the drain

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Think Gov. Greg Abbott is still glad he called them back? The Texas Legislature's special “20 for 20” session has predictably bogged down. Abbott put together a to-do list tailored to please Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's Senate and, conveniently, to erase any argument that he's not as conservative as Patrick. By that scorecard, the governor is going to be fine.

Analysis: In special session, Texas Senate’s the hare, House is the tortoise

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Does this seem familiar? The Texas Senate is ripping through an ambitious agenda, racing through the 20 issues on the governor's special session agenda in an effort to finish within the 30 days allotted for that work. The Texas House is more deliberate, spending its time on the single issue that must pass — sunset legislation that would continue, for two more years, the lives of five government agencies — and leaving the other 19 issues for later. This full-speed-ahead vs.

Analysis: It’s never the ending that you expect

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The Texas Legislature finished its special session as it ended its regular session earlier this year — in a fundamental disagreement over how to control the property taxes that Texas voters hate so much, and in political knots that consistently pitted a socially conservative Senate against a House controlled by establishment Republicans. “The blame game is just beginning, and why I'd want to get between two groups of elephants, I don't know,” said Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, on Tuesday. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick punctuated the end of the session with a fiery attack on the House in general and on House Speaker Joe Straus in particular, saying the Republicans in the lower chamber will have to answer for their votes in next year's elections. He ended the regular session calling for a special session to take on bathrooms, property taxes and other issues.

Analysis: No, the Texas Legislature Isn’t Lowering Your Property Taxes

Voters don't like property taxes. State lawmakers like voters and want them to be happy. But they are not going to lower your property taxes. The post Analysis: No, the Texas Legislature Isn't Lowering Your Property Taxes appeared first on Rivard Report.

Analysis: No, the Texas Legislature isn’t lowering your property taxes

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Voters don't like property taxes. State lawmakers like voters and want them to be happy. But they are not going to lower your property taxes. As they enter the second half of their 30-day special session, Texas legislators are trying to limit increases in a tax they do not control.

Analysis: Texas House committee tries shock therapy on school finance

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Okay, there is a way for the Texas Legislature to lower your property taxes after all. The House Ways and Means Committee — the Capitol's wellspring of tax bills — voted unanimously Thursday to let voters decide whether to eliminate the property taxes that raise about $24 billion per year for public schools. All that would be left is to figure out a way to pay for public education without the money. Burning down the schoolhouse, as it were, would force the state to build a new one.

Analysis: Texas Republicans deciding where to go on bathrooms

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott have figured out how to make mainstream Republicans a splinter group in their own party. Or maybe it's the other way around: The party's traditional establishment has slipped out of the mainstream and is just now coming to realize what a pickle it's in. The “bathroom bill” is popular with social conservatives, who are loud and energetic about it, and not with business conservatives, who have been quiet and passive for most of the year. The lieutenant governor is on the side of the social conservatives.

Analysis: Texas state budget tricks are great — until you total them up

Your Texas Legislature dug itself a $7.9 billion hole during the regular session — and could deepen it before lawmakers leave town next week. It's not something state officials have to worry about right now, which is probably why they did it. Instead, budget-writers and the governor, who signed the budget, solved a current problem by punting to the legislators who will assemble in Austin in January 2019. A new report from the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association (TTARA) — a respected business-backed association that follows fiscal issues — puts the cost of budget deferrals and other government legerdemain at $7.9 billion. That total includes, among other things, their estimate that lawmakers put $2 billion less than will be required into the state's Medicaid program, and will have to make up a deferral of sales taxes intended for transportation that will end up costing $3.6 billion.

Analysis: The tyranny of the minority

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Is it really a good idea to make a majority of a minority, as some Republicans hope to do in the Texas House of Representatives? A proposal to have the GOP caucus vote as a bloc in the next speaker's race could do just that, putting a vocal minority of Republicans in charge, and making the Texas House a lot more like the U.S. Congress — where some decisions that used to be made by all the members of the House are made only by the members of the party in power. The Republican Caucus met Wednesday morning to talk about the next vote on a speaker of the House in January 2019 — and whether the members of the caucus should pick a candidate and then stand in unison behind their pick when the speaker vote goes to the full House. It's not a direct shot at House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio — in fact, he went to the meeting, walked out with a smile on his face and went on being speaker.

Analysis: What to Watch in Potential School Funding Lawsuit

A school funding lawsuit, like the one being considered by the Oklahoma City Public Schools board, threatens to force the state Legislature to find more money for schools — a maneuver attempted in nearly every state with varying degrees of success. The district announced Thursday its board plans to pursue legal action against the Legislature, and specifically House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, and Senate Pro Tempore Mike Schulz, R-Altus, due to unfunded legislative mandates, especially items like textbooks. Oklahoma City Public Schools slashed $30 million from its budget in 2016-2017 following state revenue failures. “We're at a point where kids can't take books home because we can't afford to lose them because they can't be replaced,” Oklahoma City Public School Board Member Mark Mann said Thursday. The board has scheduled a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday to vote on whether to pursue a lawsuit.

Andrea D. Mitchell

Birmingham Board of Education, District 5
Andrea D. Mitchell did not respond to BirminghamWatch's questionnaire.

Angene Coleman

Birmingham City Council District 9
Angene Coleman
Angene Coleman
Residence: Westchester neighborhood. Political experience: First time to seek elected office. Professional experience: Drug-prevention specialist coordinator for 22 years, currently at Alcohol and Abuse Treatment Centers Inc.; previous work with the Birmingham Housing Authority. Civic experience: Smithfield Estates vice president, 2010; volunteer youth advisor with NAACP, current. Education: Miles College, bachelor's degree in social work, 1982.

Anger Over Development, School Rezoning Fuels West Side Council Clash

William Alatriste for the New York City CouncilDistrict 6 Councilmember Helen Rosenthal at a 2014 Council hearing. Anger over real-estate development and school desegregation on the Upper West Side are fueling what appears to be one of the stiffest challenges faced by a sitting City Councilmember in 2017. In district 6 incumbent Helen Rosenthal is in a rematch with Mel Wymore, a systems engineer and former community board chair, her chief rival in a crowded Democratic primary in 2013. Wymore snared the New York Times endorsement four years ago, but Rosenthal received about 1,300 more votes out of 29,000 cast to win with roughly 27 percent. Wymore announced in March that he was running again, and his bid has received generous press attention, in part because Wymore, a man who gave birth to two children and is the executive director of the transgender-rights advocacy organization TransPac, would be the first transgender Council member.

Animal Care Services to Present Public Input for New Laws

The City of San Antonio Animal Care Services began its process to update Chapter 5 animal laws and its strategic plan in February. The post Animal Care Services to Present Public Input for New Laws appeared first on Rivard Report.

Anne Judson: Comparing teacher health care plans

Editor's note: This commentary is by Anne Judson, of Burlington, who is Ward 4 commissioner on the Burlington School Board. One of the outstanding negotiation issues still facing the Burlington School Board and teachers union for the fiscal year 2018 contract is health care coverage. For decades, Burlington teachers' health insurance benefits were purchased through the self-funded insurance pool Vermont Education Health Initiative, or VEHI. The VEHI board of directors and management staff are made up of school district and Vermont-NEA representatives. Presently, over 95 percent of Burlington teachers are on the 23-year-old VEHI-sponsored plan called the Vermont Health Partnership.

Annexation: Not All Proposals Get Planning Commission’s OK

The Planning Commission recommended the annexation of five corridors and enclaves, denied annexation of a sixth area, and took no action on a seventh. The post Annexation: Not All Proposals Get Planning Commission's OK appeared first on Rivard Report.

Another arrest in connection with murder in May

25-year-old Hollister man arrested in the San Diego area on charges he was involved with local murder in May

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.

Another victim of deadly CTE: Doug Cunningham

Rick ClevelandDoug and Allen Cunningham at Doug's 2014 Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame induction. This was the spring of 2014. Doug Cunningham, deservedly, was going into Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame later that summer. We were doing a videotaped interview that would be part of his induction presentation. I was trying to get Doug to tell the story about the time when he was a rookie with the San Francisco 49ers when some of his 49er teammates, as a prank, had the equipment manager replace “Cunningham” on the back of his jersey with “Goober.”
They thought Cunningham, the good-natured rookie from Louisville, Miss., and Ole Miss talked like Goober on the Andy Griffith Show.

Ansonia Nurse Accused Of Murder Gets Another Chance To Keep License

A licensed practical nurse from Ansonia who is accused of murdering an Eastern Connecticut State University student will get another chance to keep his nursing license. Last week, the Board of Examiners for Nursing vacated a decision it made in June to revoke the license of Jermaine V. Richards, 34, after Richards, who is being held on a $500,000 bond at Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, requested a continuance on a hearing he had been unable to attend in June. The board on July 19 granted his request for the continuance. Richards is facing charges that he was involved in a fight with a visitor in a patient's home. In June, the board had concluded after the hearing that he slept while on duty at a patient's home, misrepresented himself as a registered nurse, violated the patient's privacy by bringing a visitor to the home and then had a physical altercation with the visitor, state records show.

Anthony Pollina: Middle class needs tax reform, not budget cuts

Editor's note: This commentary is by state Sen. Anthony Pollina, P-Washington, of Middlesex, who is the interim chair of the Vermont Progressive Party. Gov. Phil Scott had already told agency heads to propose budgets with spending cuts of 2 percent to 4 percent. And now some legislators have quickly begun considering budget cuts as the only response to lower than expected revenues. Sound familiar? It should.

Anti-wall activists march to protect church in Rio Grande Valley

It's supposed to be God, not government, that decides when a Catholic church that's been welcoming parishioners since 1899 should burn its last candle. But as the sun's light slowly burnt away the lingering fog surrounding La Lomita chapel at 7 a.m. Saturday, a team of activists was launching the start of a massive effort to convince lawmakers that walling off part of the Rio Grande Valley — and trapping the church between a wall and a river — is a sin against a community. “It would be like having a church in a prison,” said sister Guadalupe Cortez. Recent reports that the Trump administration is moving ahead with the president's campaign promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” on the southern border means the clock is ticking for people like Stefanie Herweck, a member of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club's executive committee. Herweck was part of an organizing committee that led a protest Saturday against the construction.

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

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

Antidote to Birmingham Crime? Community Investment, Not More Police, Some Residents Say

What's the way to prevent and reduce crime in Birmingham? The prescription suggested by Birmingham residents at a BW Listening session is community involvement and investment – from city government, churches, individual residents and families, and communities as a whole. It's not primarily about police, they said. “The absence of police means safety to me,” said Carmen, a West End resident. “Police can't prevent crime.”
A half-dozen residents of East Lake and West End and other city neighborhoods gathered for a BW Listening conversation this week at the headquarters of Urban Ministry, a social services organization in southwest Birmingham.

Antwon Womack

Birmingham City Board of Education, District 8
Antwon Womack
Antwon Womack
Age: 29
Political experience: No offices held previously. Ran unsuccessfully for this school board seat in 2009 and 2013. Ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Tarrant in 2008. Ran unsuccessfully for Jefferson County Board of Education in 2010, but withdrew before the election. Civic experience: Member of Saving Our Children Through Advocacy, 2015-present.

Anzar football team to host car wash fundraiser

Anzar's football team must raise money for basic costs and will host a car wash Saturday at San Juan School

Anzar football team to host car wash fundraiser

Anzar's football team must raise money for basic costs and will host a car wash Saturday at San Juan School

Architectural historian to host talk Aug. 13

News Release — Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
August 3, 2017
Tracy Martin
Architectural Historian Glenn Andres to speak on Justin Morrill and the Gothic Revival in Vermont
STRAFFORD, Vt. – The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and the Strafford Historical Society will host a talk by Architectural Historian Glenn Andres at the Strafford Town House, on Sunday, August 13, at 2 p.m. This program is free and open to the public. A reception will follow at the Senator Justin S. Morrill State Historic Site. The reception will feature a ribbon-cutting for the new exhibit A Cultivated Mind in the Country: The Gothic Revival Vision of Justin Smith Morrill. The exhibit explores the origins of the Gothic Revival style in this country and the influences that inspired Morrill's design for his home in Strafford.

Are ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Laws Really Necessary?

Nearly every state imposes additional criminal penalties when a perpetrator assaults or kills a police officer. Should such attackers also be convicted of hate crimes? Many states think they should, reports Governing. Last year, Louisiana became the first to pass a “blue lives matter” law, treating targeted attacks against law enforcement officers as a hate crime. More than a dozen states have followed suit.

Are Colorado politicians violating your social media free speech rights?

A Virginia federal judge's recent ruling that a school board member violated her constituents' First Amendment free speech rights when she banned them from commenting on her official Facebook page has stretched into Colorado. This week, reporter Erin McIntyre of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported how some blocked or banned constituents of Western Slope GOP Sen. Ray Scott believe their access to commenting on his Twitter and Facebook pages should be restored because of the ruling in Virginia. From the Sentinel:
Martin Wiesiolek realized he was blocked from posting on Scott's Facebook wall after he attempted to comment on the senator's proposal to tax bicycles. He provided a copy of an email he wrote to Scott on July 20 asking why he was blocked from participating in the public forum. Wiesiolek said he suspects the blocking had something to do with a derogatory comment he made about Scott months ago.

Are lawmakers’ business ties with public entities a conflict of interest?

Editor's note: This is the first of two stories on potential conflicts of interest involving lawmakers with business ties to public entities. Like most higher education institutions, Houston Community College officials had a lot they wanted state legislators to do for them in Austin earlier this year. The school found a champion in a veteran Democratic senator from Dallas. Sen. Royce West, who sits on both the higher education and finance committees, came through big for HCC and other community colleges, shepherding dual-credit legislation — which an HCC administrator called a “high-priority opportunity” — through a committee, the floor of the Texas Senate and onto the desk of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Weeks before West helped House Bill 1638, which strengthened connections between community colleges and four-year universities, pass the Senate, HCC gave his law firm, West & Associates, a place in its legal services pool — a list of pre-approved attorneys HCC chooses from when it has legal needs.

Area Kids Go Back To School with a Bash

Several City districts, educational institutions, and other organizations are hosting their own back-to-school events during tax-free weekend. The post Area Kids Go Back To School with a Bash appeared first on Rivard Report.

Arizona lawmakers blast Trump’s tweeted ban on transgender soldiers

The response from many Arizona lawmakers was swift Wednesday after President Trump said in a series of tweets that transgender individuals would not be able to serve “in any capacity” in the military. Several criticized both the message and the medium, while Rep. Martha McSally — who frequently touts her status as an Air Force veteran — stayed mum.

Armed Group Appears at Council to Oppose Statue’s Removal

About 10 individuals donning assault rifles stood outside Council Chambers as This Is Texas Freedom Force VP Brandon Burkhart addressed Council members. The post Armed Group Appears at Council to Oppose Statue's Removal appeared first on Rivard Report.

Army General Picked to Lead Federal Bureau of Prisons

U.S. Army General Mark S. Inch has been tapped to lead the federal Bureau of Prisons, overseeing a 40,000-employee system that holds 187,000 prisoners in about 150 facilities nationwide. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the appointment on Tuesday. Inch, a 35-year Army veteran, is a former military policeman who was head of the Army Corrections Command, among other positions, says the Associated Press. Sessions says that experience makes Inch “uniquely qualified” to oversee federal prisons. Inch most recently served as an Army adviser on policing issues, developing programs and policies related to the Army's police organizations.

Around Town (Photos)

Garrison student art exhibit, river camp, Beacon firefighter retiresAround Town (Photos) was first posted on August 4, 2017 at 6:29 pm.

Arradondo confirmed as Minneapolis police chief

MinnPost staff

It's official. The Star Tribune's Libor Jany reports: “Medaria Arradondo is officially the city of Minneapolis' newest permanent police chief following unanimous confirmation by the City Council Friday. … With the move, Arradondo, 50, becomes the department's first African-American chief. … Arradondo, a 28-year-veteran of the force, assumed the department's top job on July 21 following former Chief Janeé Harteau's resignation amid controversy over the police shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. He will serve out the rest of Harteau's term, which runs through January 2019.”Huh, so much for securing our borders.

Arrest Made In Teen Shooting

Police Tuesday morning arrested a 21-year-old Lilac Street man in connection with this past weekend's shooting of a 13-year-old boy in Newhallville.

Art and Workshops at Howland

Group show opens Aug. 5Art and Workshops at Howland was first posted on August 4, 2017 at 6:18 pm.

Art at the Limits: City Gallery of New York

As part of our Art at the Limits focus on the intersection of art and policy in New York City, we've invited readers to share their art with us—photos, other visual art, music, drama and more. We aren't collecting arts listings here. (Those can be submitted to our Events calendar.) We want to see and show the art itself. If you've something to share, upload it here. Once a week, we'll be choosing our favorite city art and story submission and sending the winner a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Art Director

Cold Spring artist, theater-trained, will exhibit paintingsArt Director was first posted on August 12, 2017 at 8:51 am.

As Barrier Talks Begin, Coronado Bridge’s Suicide Toll Is Skyrocketing

This week's community meetings about a barrier to prevent suicides at the Coronado-San Diego Bay Bridge couldn't be more timely: The last six years have seen an extraordinary and unexplained increase in jumps from the bridge. The average annual number of suicides has more than doubled, and 2012's death toll of 19 lives was the highest in the bridge's nearly 50-year history. This year is on pace to reach or pass that number. The bridge – with a death toll nearing 400 since 1969 – is poised to reach a morbid milestone. “If nothing is done soon,” Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey recently wrote, “the Coronado Bridge will experience more suicides and more closures from attempted suicides than any other bridge in our nation.”
He's right.

As Blumenthal ups Trump emoluments battle, Grassley asks ‘What about Clinton?’

WASHINGTON — Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who is leading a group of Democratic lawmakers in a lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of violating the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, has been chided by Sen. Charles Grassley for not taking possible violations of that clause by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton into consideration.

As chambers negotiate on property taxes, intra-Republican tensions flare

Lawmakers moved closer Monday to giving some — but not all — Texans more say over the property taxes they must pay cities, counties and special-purpose districts each year. But long-brewing tensions within the Republican party ignited after the House passed key property tax legislation in a 105-41 vote. Amid accusations that Senate Bill 1 won't apply to enough Texans, state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, said the bill is the best bet for getting property tax legislation through both chambers. The chambers' differences over property taxes partially led to Gov. Greg Abbott calling lawmakers back to Austin for a summer special session. Lawmakers are still negotiating key differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill — bargaining chips that could help get another legislative sticking point, school finance reform, across the finish line by Wednesday's deadline.

As Childhood Obesity Declines, Advocates Worry About Scaled Back School Lunch Guidelines

Between 2009 and 2012, the rates of obesity dropped 3.7 percentage points among children aged 2 to 5 and 0.3 percentage points among children aged 6 to 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. During the presidency of Barack Obama, campaigns such as the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and the Let's Move campaign were born. Their purpose was to create healthy lunches for kids in school and to reduce childhood obesity. Carolina Ríos
Such initiatives are in doubt now that President Donald J. Trump has taken office. In his first major act, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue began scaling back federal healthy eating requirements in school lunches that had been championed by former First Lady Michelle Obama.

As coal plants close, groups scrutinize plans for more gas-fired generation in Michigan

Plans to build natural gas plants to replace coal-fired generation in Michigan are facing scrutiny from advocates looking to ensure renewable energy and energy efficiency are also being considered. The Michigan Public Service Commission is considering a request by the Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC) to build two gas plants totaling 183 megawatts in the Upper Peninsula to replace a 62-year-old coal plant in Marquette. Meanwhile, earlier this month DTE Energy announced plans to build a $989 million, 1,100-MW natural gas-powered combined cycle plant in southeast Michigan near Detroit. While the projects are in different stages of development and are on a vastly different scale, clean energy advocates say there are similarities in determining what comprises Michigan's future energy mix and how reliant the state will be on natural gas as aging power plants are retired.

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 Democracies Weaken Globally, Women Fail to Win Top Political Posts

The number of female top leaders globally dropped from a record high of 24 in 2015 to 20 in 2016 as many democracies have weakened, the author says. Hillary Clinton, the US presidential candidate in 2016, at a campaign rally in Tempe, Ariz., Nov. 2, 2016. GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
OSLO — The last year has brought troubling events for feminists who are striving to see more women win top political leadership positions. Two female presidents, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and Park Guen-hye of South Korea, had to leave office amid corruption scandals.

As FDA Testing Resumes Of Herbicide, So Does Local Opposition

As the federal government renews tests to determine how much glyphosate is in America's foods, Connecticut environmental groups, organic farmers and a U.S. senator say it's time to limit the use of, or ban, the popular herbicide. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the world's top-selling weed killer, Roundup, is a suspected carcinogen that's used in agriculture, on golf courses, ballfields and other public venues, and for lawn care, experts said. It can be found in more than 750 products sold in the U.S., reports the National Pesticide Information Center. Health concerns have been raised about Roundup for decades, concerns consistently disputed by its manufacturer, Monsanto. Earlier this year, a group of environmental health scientists called for the federal government to reassess whether glyphosate is a cancer risk.

As Indiana schools try to make every graduate count, educators fear struggling students will lose out

Every year, Kristie Keating sits down with each of her senior special education students, together with their parents, teachers, and other specialists, to discuss the student's plans for graduation. But this year, Keating, the director of special education at Pike High School, will have to consider the fact that her school could be penalized if the student graduates with the less rigorous general diploma instead of the Core 40. “I have a student this year who's going to be a senior, his parents were told when he was in elementary school that he would never graduate from high school,” Keating said. Now, he's almost ready to graduate with the general diploma. Keating rankles at the thought of asking his mother if he should be on a more difficult graduation plan.

As lawmakers try to curb local Texas governments, big-city mayors left out of meetings with Abbott

If Gov. Greg Abbott has disdain for how local Texas officials govern their cities, it didn't show in a Wednesday sit-down with three mayors who were among 18 who jointly requested a meeting to discuss legislation that aims to limit or override several municipal powers. “Whether we changed anybody's mind or not, you never know,” said Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough. “But I will say it was a healthy conversation.”
What also remained to be seen Wednesday: whether Abbott plans to meet with mayors from the state's five largest cities — who were also among those who requested to meet with the governor. So far, Abbott hasn't responded to the requests from the mayors of Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Abbott's office has also ignored repeated requests for comment about the matter from The Texas Tribune.

As many schools look to outfit every student with a laptop or tablet, these two Minnesota schools choose to go without

Erin Hinrichs

Grant Olson, a local software architect for CenturyLink, has made a living off being tech savvy. He's been in the industry for 19 years. But when it came time to enroll the eldest of his three kids in school, he decided to enroll him in the Minnesota Waldorf School in St. Paul — a tech-free preK-8 private school.Olson was initially drawn to the experiential nature of the school model, which was grounded more in building relationships and fostering creativity than administering grades and standardized tests, he says. As far as the school's technology guidelines went — no screen time during the week and a willingness to work toward limited to zero screen time on the weekend — he wasn't completely sold at first.

As Mayor and Governor Meet, a State-Cities Clash Deepens

Ron Nirenberg will have served as mayor of San Antonio for less than 50 days when he sits down with Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday. The post As Mayor and Governor Meet, a State-Cities Clash Deepens appeared first on Rivard Report.

As nation listens, immigrant mom embraces new role

Originally worried about negative attention from going public with her story, Chavarria has now embraced her role as a figure in a national debate. “It's good that people know [my situation]. It's important for us, for everybody; not only for me,” she said.

As Nation Listens, Nury Embraces Role

Nury Chavarria's decision to hole up in a Fair Haven church to evade deportation wasn't the first time that she has fled her home to seek sanctuary.In 1993, near the end of a three-decade civil war, government soldiers ransacked her village in El Petén, Guatemala's northernmost region, forcing her to vacate her house and sleep overnight in a school. Shortly after, she flew to America, seeking a respite from her country's violence and poverty.

As Ohio legislature regroups, power plant subsidy debate to continue

As the Ohio legislative session resumes next month, subsidies for nuclear generation and 1950s-era coal plants are expected to once again be on the table. Other pending electricity bills deal with renewable energy, energy efficiency, corporate separation of utilities and consumer protections. The outcome could shape Ohio's electricity profile for decades to come. “I anticipate that OVEC will be up first,” said House Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), referring to House Bill 239. Seitz chaired the House Public Utilities Committee through its last hearings in June.

As Senate lurches toward healthcare vote, CT lawmakers have different idea

WASHINGTON — As the Senate tried to stumble toward a finish line on a proposal that would replace the Affordable Care Act Thursday, Reps. Joe Courtney and John Larson pitched their own plan. They rolled out a proposal that would allow Americans aged 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare.

As states get a peek at premium increases, Missouri has to wait

If you're one of the about 10 million people who don't have health insurance through work and buy it on your own, this is the week to see what rate hikes your insurance company is asking regulators to approve for next year. That is, unless you live in Missouri. State legislators approved a law last year to allow Missouri's insurance regulator to review price increases for health insurance plans. But the state decided to postpone the deadline to share those rates with the public, citing “several significant developments impacting the individual health insurance market.” About 240,000 Missourians buy plans on

As Trump Dithers, Cyber Warfare Rages Unchecked

The Trump administration's refusal to publicly accuse Russia and others in a wave of politically motivated hacking attacks is creating a policy vacuum that security experts fear will encourage more cyber warfare, reports Reuters. In the past three months, hackers broke into official websites in Qatar, helping to create a regional crisis; suspected North Korean-backed hackers closed down British hospitals with ransomware; and a cyber attack that researchers attribute to Russia deleted data on thousands of computers in the Ukraine. Yet neither the United States nor the 29-member NATO military alliance have publicly blamed national governments for those attacks. President Trump has refused to accept conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections using cyber warfare methods to help win. “The White House is currently embroiled in a cyber crisis of existential proportion, and for the moment probably just wants ‘cyber' to go away, at least as it relates to politics,” said Kenneth Geers, a security researcher with NATO.

As Trump Jr. testifies to Congress, Neshoba County Fair still has ‘Trump fever’

Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi TodayGov. Phil Bryant, in sunglasses left, accompanies Donald Trump Jr., in red shirt, through the crowd of supporters at the Neshoba County Fair last year. PHILADELPHIA — One year ago today, Donald Trump Jr. rallied thousands of enthusiastic Neshoba County Fair-goers in a stump speech for his father's presidential campaign. Today, he and his team of attorneys are scheduled to meet with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating whether he and his father's campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. Several attendees of this year's Neshoba County Fair – the state's most lively annual political spectacle – recalled last year's Trump visit with pride and expressed little concern about any wrongdoing by the Trump campaign. “If it happened, it happened,” said Kenny Rae, a Madison resident who donned a “Make America Great Again” cap on Tuesday.

Asia in the Time of Trump

Richard BernsteinWhile the U.S. lives through the domestic storms of the Trump presidency, China is moving boldly in Asia, with historic consequences for American friends, from Taiwan to Thailand.

Aspen City Council wades into water shortage scenarios

Whether Aspen needs to build a reservoir to meet water demands in 2065 may depend in part on whether it wants to keep irrigating its municipal golf course during an apocalyptic drought. According to a water attorney and an economist working for the city on a risk analysis of future water shortages, Aspen may find itself unable to meet domestic water demands — including both indoor and outdoor water use — anywhere from two out of 25 years in an optimistic scenario to 19 out of 25 years in a worst-case scenario. The most optimistic scenario can be achieved, in theory, if the city limits outdoor watering by its customers and also stops diverting water from Castle Creek to irrigate the 148-acre municipal golf course and other nearby open space. Outdoor water use accounts for about 60 percent of current demand for city water. The members of the Aspen City Council took a sip of such concepts Monday at a work session on the results of a water demand study.

Aspen joins two adversaries in water court to apply for Colorado water funds

Western Resource Advocates and Wilderness Workshop are opposing the city of Aspen's efforts in water court to maintain conditional water storage rights tied to two potential dams on Castle and Maroon creeks. But the environmental organizations are formally collaborating with the city on finding water-supply alternatives to the two potential dams.
In late July, Western Resource Advocates and Wilderness Workshop joined the city in filing a preliminary application with the Colorado Water Conservation Board seeking state funds for a local study of potential “agricultural transfer mechanisms,” or ATMs.
Such programs provide alternatives to the “buy and dry” approach often used by cities to obtain water from ranchers and farmers. “We all recognize that the issues that face our region will only be solved through the creative interaction of the entire community, and we hope that this effort will lead to more productive and collaborative projects,” Margaret Medellin, a utilities portfolio manager with the city, wrote in an email about the joint application. CWCB officials recently asked water managers in the state to file either grant applications or notices of intent to apply so they could gauge interest for a new $10 million grant program designed to spur projects and programs spelled out in the 2015 Colorado Water Plan. By the Aug.

Aspen puts forward settlement proposals for Maroon and Castle creek dams

The city of Aspen has told opposing parties in two water court cases it is willing to remove the prospect of a potential Maroon Creek Reservoir from the Maroon Creek valley, if the way is made clear for it to apply to transfer the conditional water rights for the reservoir to other sites in the Roaring Fork River valley. The city's proposal requires the parties to let the city's periodic diligence applications proceed unopposed, and to also agree not to challenge the city's efforts to transfer the water rights in new cases, according to several attorneys for opposing parties who attended a city-hosted settlement meeting Wednesday. And, the city said, even if it's not successful in those cases, it won't return and try to store water in the current location of the potential Maroon Creek Reservoir. “We had a great meeting with the city yesterday and we're very encouraged that we'll be able to settle the Larsen family's opposition on the Maroon Creek Reservoir by the end of the year,” said Craig Corona, a water attorney in Aspen representing Larsen Family LP, which is only in the Maroon Creek case in water court. Aspen City Attorney Jim True said Thursday that “potential resolutions of the cases were discussed” at the meeting.

Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions awards grants

News Release — Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions
July 31, 2017
Amber Collett
Cell: 612-418-5799
AVCC Awards Tiny Grants to Six Conservation Commissions
Developing a forest management plan, constructing bat houses, updating amenities along the Branliere Forest Trail, a community climate change presentation, printing trail maps, and marking wildlife corridors, are all projects that have recently received financial support thanks to grants from the Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions (AVCC). As part of the AVCC Tiny Grant Program, grants were awarded to conservation commissions for projects in the following towns: Bethel, Bolton, Burke, Johnson, Putney, and Warren. Groups will receive between $250 and $400 depending on the project. AVCC has offered the Tiny Grant Program for several years, and conservation commissions (or groups working to become conservation commissions) who are members of AVCC are eligible. “The grants may be ‘tiny', but their impact is not – these grants help support impactful projects in local communities,” said Karen Freeman, chair of AVCC.

At ‘Gluekstock,’ MN Security Hospital staff and patients bring the music outside

Andy Steiner

Summer is prime season for open-air music in Minnesota, so it only makes sense that later this month Gluekstock, an outdoor concert featuring performances by patients and staff at Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, will be held for the fourth year in a row.But don't pack your picnic basket and blanket. The guest list for Gluekstock is exclusive — the event is held on hospital grounds and only staff and patients who have earned privileges can attend.Carol Olson, Minnesota Security Hospital executive director of forensic services, said that the entire Gluekstock event, including the months of practice and preparation leading up to the big day, is its own form of therapy.“This event grew out of a recognition that music is one of the modalities that helps open people up in their recovery,” she said. The hospital has historically offered music programs for patients, but interest in making music has increased at the facility in recent years, bolstered in part by the popularity of The Therapeutics, a band composed of staff members and patients that performs on campus and occasionally at events in the town of St. Peter.The Therapeutics was born, Olson said, when “a group of staff came forward with an interest in starting a band that would do some performances and slowly draw in patients to participate.”Matt Johnson, Security Hospital skills development specialist and Therapeutics band member, explained that the group developed organically.“It actually grew through word of mouth,” he said.

At Artspace, Apprentices Teach The Master

Nude except for a pair of white pumps, Nona Faustine climbs the steps of the Tweed Courthouse in her 2013 photograph “Over My Dead Body.” The courthouse was built over the site of the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan, and as Faustine ascends its mountainous stairs, she holds a pair of shackles. The courthouse's columns and three shut doors at the top wait for her. From her stance, though, it seems that the hostility of the architecture is not going to prevent her from accomplishing what she needs to accomplish.

At Center for Auto Safety, a New Leader for a New Era

Jason K. Levine, the new executive director of the Center for Auto Safety
Since 1970 the tiny Center for Auto Safety has wielded enormous influence through its campaigns to recall vehicles for safety-related defects and for states to enact consumer protections such as lemon laws. But consumer advocates say the nonprofit is entering a new and perhaps more challenging environment under the Trump Administration. And, for the first time in four decades, it will be doing so under a new leader, Jason K. Levine, who was named the Center's executive director today. Levine, 45, a consumer protection lawyer, will be the Center's first new leader since 1976, replacing Clarence M. Ditlow, a legendary safety advocate who died last year of cancer at the age of 72. The job “will be more challenging than it has ever been before because the Administration announced publicly they want to deregulate everything,” said Rosemary Shahan, the president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, a California-based group.

At the Bullfrog, Those Left Behind by the Global Economy Find Relief—and a Place to Talk Trump

I went to the Bullfrog looking for Dan and Rhonda. Or rather, looking for their pasts. I knew Dan was living on the streets of downtown Chicago and Rhonda had died the previous summer from an infection related to her heroin addiction. I was reporting on their lives as part of a larger project on heroin and homelessness. Dan and Rhonda had met at the Bullfrog Hotel and Bar in their hometown of Jamestown, N.Y., when Dan was living in the cut-rate rooms above the bar.

Atlantic City Tries ‘Risk-Terrain Modeling’ Against Crime

Atlantic City is using a technique called risk-terrain modeling (RTM) to help reduce crime, reports. With help from Rutgers University criminologists, the city calls RTM a type of predictive policing aims to help police identify places that attract crime, and intervene to make them less attractive to criminals. Police Chief Henry White Jr. is optimistic. “The first six months of this year, our violent crime is down about 20 percent compared to the same time last year. But at the same time our arrests are also down 17 percent,” he said.

ATMs with digital currency popping up all over Phoenix metro

Cryptocurrency, or more simply virtual cash, allows users to pay for goods and services without physical currency and because it is decentralized it bypasses bank fees. The use of digital cash in collaboration with blockchain technology provides added security and transparency features that current financial institutions don't have.

Attorney for Missouri death row inmate requests stay of execution over new DNA evidence

A request for a stay of execution was filed Monday for a Missouri death row inmate who's slated to die next week. New tests show that Marcellus Williams' DNA was not found on the knife that was used in the 1998 killing of Felicia Gayle in University City, according to Williams' attorney, Kent Gipson of Kansas City.

Attorneys for Ole Miss, IHL seek to dismiss Houston Nutt lawsuit

Attorneys representing the University of Mississippi and the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning filed a motion in federal court Thursday asking that former Ole Miss football coach Houston Nutt's breach of contract lawsuit be dismissed. Earlier in July, Nutt filed the federal lawsuit against IHL, the university and the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, alleging that representatives of the athletic department breached his contract by orchestrating a misinformation campaign to mislead “the media, Ole Miss boosters and potential recruiting prospects about the true nature of matters that were being investigated by the NCAA.”
Lauren Wood, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via APHugh Freeze speaks to Ole Miss alumni on April 26 in Tupelo as Chancellor Jeff Vitter, left, and Athletic Director Ross Bjork listen. The lawsuit, filed during the week of SEC Media Days, garnered immediate national media attention as Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork, former head football coach Hugh Freeze and sports information director Kyle Campbell were specifically targeted in the suit. Oxford attorney Cal Mayo, who is representing the university and IHL but not the athletics foundation, filed the motion for dismissal on Thursday, saying his two clients cannot be considered citizens of the state, as the original lawsuit stated, and cannot be sued in federal court. The motion seeks to have the entire case dismissed by the federal court.

Atty Gen Sessions has long pushed dubious premises built into travel ban

Gage Skidmore / FlickrU.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The U.S. Supreme Court in October will hear arguments on the travel ban that the President has called “an important tool for protecting our Nation's homeland.”
But like so many of Donald J. Trump's assertions, that claim is dubious. It rests upon two premises, neither one consistent with actual experience. Tellingly, many clues indicate that both originated with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who began pushing them back when he was a U.S. Senator from Alabama, before the president had even been elected. The first premise: Domestic terror is predominantly an imported danger.

Au programme GIJC17

Au programme de la 10ème Conférence Internationale sur le Journalisme d'Investigation… Plus de 120 rencontres d'exception
Voici un aperçu des quelque 120 rencontres organisées à l'occasion de la Conférence Internationale sur le Journalisme d'Investigation qui se tiendra au mois de novembre à Johannesburg, en Afrique du Sud. Vous y trouverez des panels d'exception sur des thématiques variées telles que la corruption, le reportage transfrontalier et les stratégies de recherches en ligne ; et également plus d'une vingtaine de conférences sur les dernières technologies en matière de data journalisme (journalisme de données), et des ateliers sur le journalisme mobile, la sécurité, le financement et bien plus encore…
Ce sera également l'occasion d'élargir votre réseau, de réfléchir ensemble et de construire de futurs projets collaboratifs. L'équipe des Panama Papers sera présente ainsi que les journalistes d'investigation du Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), le consortium international spécialisé dans le crime organisé et la corruption. Au programme : analyse de données, corruption, finance, nouveaux modèles, sécurité. Nous recevrons aussi des chercheurs universitaires de renom et une session spéciale sera consacrée au trafic d'êtres humains et aux questions de genre (LGBT).

Audience Development Essentials for Journalists

The first and most important task of audience development for any media organization is to produce good journalism. It's obvious but it's not simple — and it starts with the definition of good content. But since journalism professionals have reached some consensus on the subject, I'll address the next step: to ensure that the content produced will be consumed by the public in the digital environment. There is a famous phrase from the business world that says you cannot manage what you do not measure. It is the same with the audience.

Audio: Abbott v. Perry, school finance, impending Sine Die (podcast)

On this week's TribCast, Emily talks to Evan, Ross and Patrick about Gov. Greg Abbott's comparison of his accomplishments to former Gov. Rick Perry's, whether school finance reform has a real shot in the special session, and how soon the Texas Legislature will adjourn — again.

Audio: Global megadam activism and the sounds of nature in Taiwan

On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we talk to Sarah Bardeen, the communications director for Berkeley, California-based NGO International Rivers. Bardeen wrote a commentary for Mongabay earlier this year after attending an international gathering of river defenders in Tbilisi, Georgia, one of many countries around the world currently in the grip of a hydroelectric dam-building boom, and we were interested in hearing about what came out of that meeting. Activists from around the world attended the conference to strategize around stopping what they see as destructive hydropower projects. As Bardeen relates in her commentary, many attendees at the conference have faced harassment, intimidation, and worse for their opposition to dam projects, but they're still standing strong in defense of free-flowing rivers. In fact, even as we were recording the interview with Bardeen, 200 indigenous Munduruku people were occupying the São Manoel hydroelectric dam building site in response to the destruction of their sacred sites by previous dam projects along the Teles Pires and Tapajós rivers in the Brazilian Amazon.

Audio: Katharine Hayhoe on how to talk about climate change: ‘Share from the heart and then the head’

“It was a complete breakthrough for me to realize that sharing from the heart, which is the opposite of what we're taught to do as scientists, was the way for me to connect with people,” Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist and acclaimed climate science communicator at Texas Tech University, tells us in this episode of the Mongabay Newscast. “And then, after that connection, share from the head how we know this is real, we know it's us, we know the impacts are serious, but we know there also are solutions. And the solutions bring it around full circle back to the heart, because the solutions are what give us the hope that we need to fix this thing.” Hayhoe is a professor in the Department of Political Science and the director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech. Last year, she teamed up with her local PBS station, KTTZ, to write and produce a web series called “Global Weirding,” which tackled common questions, misconceptions, and myths around climate science, politics, and religion. We check in with Hayhoe as she's in the midst of shooting the second season of Global Weirding in order to get a sense of what to expect from the new episodes of the show and how Hayhoe views the overall political landscape around climate action today.

Audio: Sine die is nigh (podcast)

In a special live TribCast the day before the end of the special legislative session, Emily talks to Evan, Ross, Patrick and state Reps. Nicole Collier and Kevin Roberts about what lawmakers accomplished, who the winners and losers are, and the tension around a white nationalist event initially planned for College Station.

Audio: Special session update, Rick Perry and Dawnna Dukes (podcast)

On this week's TribCast, Aman talks to Evan, Ross and Patrick about how the special session might end now that we're at the halfway point and reports that Rick Perry might be Trump's next head of Homeland Security. Plus, an update on Dawnna Dukes' corruption case.

Audio: UNT’s next chancellor has pushed the boundaries of space exploration (audio)

Lesa Roe hopscotched across the country working her way up the ranks at NASA. And when you spend more than three decades working on projects that push the boundaries of space exploration, it's hard to pick the coolest moment of your career. "Oh my gosh, that's really hard to nail down because there's just too many exciting things to talk about," she says. Roe managed the research program at the International Space Station and helped launch missions that have discovered new worlds. As an engineer by training, Roe even helped build the space shuttle Endeavor.

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

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

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

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

Auditions planned for “All Shook Up”

Fall musical has show dates scheduled in late October and early November

Auditor siccs AG on GreenTech for $6.4M loan repayment failure

The state could be heading to court with a Tunica County electric car company for a failure to pay back taxpayers to the tune of $6.4 million in loans. In 2011, GreenTech Automotive Inc., located in Robinsonville, entered into an agreement with the Mississippi Development Authority, which granted a $3 million “Industry Incentive” loan to the company and a $2 million loan to Tunica County to secure land for GreenTech's production facility. In return, the company promised to invest at least $60 million in the project, create 350 full-time jobs—each paying at least $35,000—and maintain those jobs for at least 10 years. When the company failed to deliver as promised by the end of 2014, the state Auditor Stacey Pickering demanded the company return the money with interest. Pickering on Monday announced that GreenTech had not yet responded to his office's July 5 order for repayment from Charles Wang, president and CEO of GreenTech.

August 15th is National Check the Chip Day

News Release — Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
Aug. 11, 2017
Kathy Finnie, Executive Director
Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
By the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
Erin Forbes, DVM
Microchips greatly increase the chances that pets will be reunited with their families if they are lost or stolen and the majority of veterinarian offices can give one to your pet. A microchip is a tiny object, no bigger than a grain of rice that can be injected under the skin of your pet. (The procedure is no different than a vaccination) Using a special scanner, the microchip can be detected and a number unique to your pet is shown, along with the company that made the chip. The animal control officer, shelter, or veterinarian can then call the company and track down the owner using that number.

August partner offers for MinnPost members announced

Laura Lindsay

Our next monthly MinnPost members ticket giveaway will start at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1, and feature the following offers:The O'Shaughnessy - Two pairs of tickets to Joan Osborne Sings the Songs of Bob Dylan on Friday, Sep. 8 at 7:30 p.m.Northrop - One pair of tickets to Malpaso Dance Company on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m.Ordway — One pair of tickets to Engelbert Humperdinck: 50th Anniversary Tour on Sunday, Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and one pair of tickets to The Ohio Players on Friday, Aug.

Author of antifa handbook defends antifascist violence

WASHINGTON — The death of Heather Heyer and the wounding of 19 others by a neo-Nazi at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., has become a recruiting call for a little-known group with an anarchist bent called the antifa. A historian sympathetic to the movement defends it's use of violence, and explains how a European-based antifascist movement has taken hold in the United States. His views are rejected by other liberal groups fighting the radical right.

Author to discuss local historical buildings

Arichitectural historian Krista Van Laan will discuss her new book, "Wolfe & iIggins, master architects of Spanish Revival"

Average home value in St. Louis County is highest in nearly a decade

The assessed value of residential homes in St. Louis County has shot up an average of 7 percent since 2015 — the county's strongest showing in almost a decade. St. Louis' numbers beat the county: a nearly 12 percent increase in the same time frame. Experts say it's a sign the region has recovered from the economic downturn of the late 2000s.

Avery Road Bridge Reopens

Had been under repair since May 16Avery Road Bridge Reopens was first posted on August 11, 2017 at 3:53 pm.

Award-Winning Editor to Lead Growing News Team at Rivard Report

Beth Frerking will leave the The National Law Journal in Washington D.C. to become the editor-in-chief of the Rivard Report in September. The post Award-Winning Editor to Lead Growing News Team at Rivard Report appeared first on Rivard Report.

AZ Facing Fines In Prison Health Care Suit

For five years, Arizona has been dogged by a federal lawsuit that alleges the state provides shoddy medical care for prisoners. Now, the state is facing the prospect of millions of dollars in fines over its failure to carry out reforms of its medical system, the Associated Press reports. Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan was berated in court Tuesday by a judge who described the state's efforts to overhaul prison health care as an “abject failure,” two years after it agreed to make such changes as part of a settlement of the lawsuit. U.S. Magistrate David Duncan grilled Ryan over whether he tried to undermine a court order that prohibited retaliation against inmates who participated in the class-action lawsuit. Ryan denied the allegations.

Back from Nowhere, Ride delivers at the Riv

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

Back to the table: State, St. Louis Public Schools to resume talks over local control

The three state-appointed people who make decisions for the St. Louis Public Schools believe their work is nearing completion and that it's the right time to restart talks about returning control to the locally elected board. To that end, the State Board of Education is scheduled to discuss the topic at Tuesday's meeting. The challenge: There's nothing in Missouri statute that details how to hand back power.

Backyard Bees

Glynwood to offer trainingBackyard Bees was first posted on August 17, 2017 at 7:20 am.

Bail Reform, and Bail Industry Donations, in Brooklyn DA Race Spotlight

Jarrett MurphyRivals have raised questions about donations by Empire Bail Bonds to Acting DA Gonzalez.Bail reform, as City Limits discussed last month, is an essential step in the path towards closing Rikers. But various players in the bail bond industry won't go down without a fight. Given that Acting-DA Eric Gonzalez has received more than $7500 from bail bond interests in campaign donations to date, critics are wondering how strongly he is committed to reforming bail practices in Brooklyn. First, some background on the money trail. In early February 2013, then-NYS Chief Justice Jonathan Lippman issued a strong call for bail reform, specifically denouncing the “profit motive” driving the bail bond industry and proposing an expanded role for nonprofit bail funds and a wider use of supervised release programs. That made the bail bond “community” nervous.

Baler staff gears up for a new school year

San Benito High School is preparing for students' return on Thursday, after a busy summer of campus construction

Baltimore Mayor Lays Out ‘Urgent’ Anticrime Plan

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh named a new director of criminal justice and released an updated plan she said will stem Baltimore's persistent violence. As the city suffers a record homicide rate, Pugh said the plan is an “enhancement” of the strategy she campaigned on last year, reports the Baltimore Sun. Pugh laid out several steps her administration has taken to bolster policing, including putting more officers on patrol and improving police training and technology. “This is urgent,” she said. “I can't say it any louder.” The mayor called for a holistic approach to fighting crime, to include engaging youth, promoting community health and growing jobs.

Baltimore Plan Due to Fight Homicide Surge

Wadell Tate, 97, was bludgeoned to death in his pajamas inside the two-story rowhouse he'd owned for six decades and refused to leave. Tate, one of Baltimore's oldest homicide victims in decades, is a symbol of the relentless violence that has claimed 211 lives so far this year. Today, Mayor Catherine Pugh is scheduled to announce her plan to tackle the record-setting surge in homicides. Whatever the city tries will come too late for Tate, a World War II veteran and retired refinery worker who still took a short walk every day before the July 21 burglary that left him dead, the Washington Post reports. “You'd think at 97, how much longer does he have to live?” said his daughter, Sylvia Swann, 65.

Barre man to face murder charge in death of girlfriend

A Barre man will face murder charges in the strangling death of his girlfriend. A judge granted an arrest warrant for Randal Gebo, 61, for first-degree murder in the death of Cindy Cook, 59, according to the Vermont State Police. Cook's body was found over an embankment on the side of a road in Middlesex in July. The state's medical examiner determined that she died of neck compressions and ruled the death a homicide, according to police. Gebo is currently being held in prison in Illinois.

Barrie Dunsmore: Republicans sour on Trump

Editor's note: This commentary by retired ABC News diplomatic correspondent Barrie Dunsmore first appeared in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus and Rutland Herald Sunday edition. All his columns can be found on his website, For the past six months, the mainstream media, in which I include myself, have been fixated on the Trump-Putin “bromance.” This reached its apex last month when the two men held extensive discussions during an international conference in Hamburg, Germany. Trump set an obsequious tone by telling Putin publicly that it was an “honor” to meet him. This of course, was taking place against the background of a series of investigations into possible Trump administration collusion with Russia in its meddling in the 2016 American presidential election.

Barrie Dunsmore: Trump’s foreign policy

Editor's note: This commentary by retired ABC News diplomatic correspondent Barrie Dunsmore first appeared in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus and Rutland Herald Sunday edition. All his columns can be found on his website, During his presidential campaign President Donald Trump said, “It's going to be so easy” to repeal and replace Obamacare. Barely a month into his presidency, he would complain, “Nobody knew health care would be so complicated.” Actually, anyone who understood health care was aware it was complicated. It's just that he didn't.

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.

Bats Embark at Loco Bash

Thousands of curious spectators gathered Tuesday evening on the Camden Street Bridge and along the Museum Reach to catch a glimpse of bats in flight. The post Bats Embark at Loco Bash appeared first on Rivard Report.

Baylor ordered to turn over documents from sexual assault investigation

A federal judge has ordered Baylor University to hand over recordings, notes and other key documents from its infamous Pepper Hamilton investigation, which found that Baylor repeatedly mishandled allegations of sexual assault that were made against football players and other students. The documents must be given to attorney and former state Rep. Jim Dunnam, who is representing multiple anonymous women who say there were raped while at Baylor. The university had claimed that the documents were privileged, since the firm Pepper Hamilton that was conducting the investigation was doing legal work for the private Baptist school. But the judge ruled that Baylor waived that privilege when it released certain details from the investigation. It's not immediately clear whether the documents will ever be fully public.

Beacon Hoops: Two Decades Strong

Founders hope to hand off summer programBeacon Hoops: Two Decades Strong was first posted on August 15, 2017 at 9:40 am.

Beacon Obituaries

Jerry McElduff, Roberta Sugg, Priscilla Vonder HeideBeacon Obituaries was first posted on August 17, 2017 at 11:49 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Cyril Griffin, Ivan Hayden, Thomas Henderson, Rose Jackson, Richard PetersBeacon Obituaries was first posted on August 7, 2017 at 8:21 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Michael Barrett, Pauletta Mayen, Rhonda SchillerBeacon Obituaries was first posted on July 29, 2017 at 5:13 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Derek Bolden, Darlene Cleary, Anthony DiMattia, Tim Fetzer, Tom Gallagher Sr., Edward Killmer, John Kulers, Jean MacAvery, Mary Oberg, George RyanBeacon Obituaries was first posted on July 24, 2017 at 3:36 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

John Goodall, Bridget LynchBeacon Obituaries was first posted on August 4, 2017 at 2:21 pm.

Beacon Police Blotter

Select incidents from July 31 to Aug. 10Beacon Police Blotter was first posted on August 11, 2017 at 5:20 pm.

Beacon Police Blotter

Select incidents from July 14 to July 30Beacon Police Blotter was first posted on July 31, 2017 at 4:07 pm.

Beaty Palmer Firm Wins City Hall Accessibility Competition

Beaty Palmer Architects won the City Hall for All design competition to provide better accessibility to the 125-year-old building for the mobility impaired. The post Beaty Palmer Firm Wins City Hall Accessibility Competition appeared first on Rivard Report.

Beer is the greenest beverage.

Craft brewers across the country are finding innovative ways to guard the water, soil, air and climate on which their businesses depend.

Behind the Headlines: 3 St. Louis women in tech respond to that controversial Google memo

Last week, news began circulating of a controversial internal memo , written by a former senior software engineer at Google, titled “ Google's Ideological Echo Chamber ,” which called for Google to replace diversity initiatives with “ideological diversity” initiatives. The author of the memo, now named as James Damore, expounded on the idea that gender gaps at the company were a result of biological differences between men and women , not institutional sexism or racism at the company. The memo incensed many and sparked a lot of conversation online, at startup, tech companies and otherwise, about diversity in the workplace. On Friday's Behind the Headlines, we discussed the memo and the experiences of women in tech on St. Louis on the Air .

Behind the Headlines: As the eclipse approaches, how local businesses and transit are preparing

We're narrowing in on the day of the total solar eclipse, Aug. 21. Ahead of a weekend that's expected to see a lot of travel to the region, we check in with the Missouri State Highway Patrol for updates on traffic and how to drive during the eclipse, the Missouri Division of tourism and a Festus-based brewery prepping for the onslaught. Related: What to expect from the rare solar eclipse Earlier this summer, we spoke with the Illinois Division of Tourism about the influx of people expected in southern Illinois. In fact, you can find St.

Behind the Headlines: The issues impacting LGBTQ people of African descent

On Friday's St. Louis on the Air , we'll go “Behind the Headlines.” This week, we discussed the current issues impacting African-American people in the LGBTQ community. This week, St. Louis is host to a national conference sponsored by the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis called “ Grounded in Love ,” running through Aug.

Behind the Scenes, Kushner Explores CJ Reforms

President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and some Republican lawmakers are discussing potential changes to the criminal justice system, including to mandatory minimum sentencing, that could conflict with Attorney General Jeff Sessions ' tough-on-crime agenda, reports the Wall Street Journal. Kushner met this month with House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), continuing a dialogue with lawmakers that began in March with Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and Sens. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah). Kushner also has huddled with leaders of organizations involved in criminal justice. Kushner's discussions have included a range of issues, including curbing long mandatory-minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.

Bell on wheels: How Minnesota’s only natural history museum got from Minneapolis to St. Paul

Courtesy of the University of Minnesota and Bell Museum
A taxidermied moose is hoisted off a truck at the new museum location. Imagine you're moving. And that a lot of the furniture came in boxes and was assembled inside your old house. And now that it's time to move, that stuff doesn't fit through the front door. “And you're wondering, why can't I fit this out of the doorway now?” said Andria Waclawski.

Belleville, East St. Louis add more black and low-income students to advanced classes

Belleville's two public high schools have doubled the number of low-income students and students of color in advanced placement courses in the coming school year — part of a statewide goal to enroll 100,000 underrepresented students in such classes by 2019. And East St. Louis Senior High is encouraging students to try more rigorous coursework even if they aren't the top students. Experts say high schoolers who take challenging classes have a leg up in college. But studies show black students, Latino students and low-income students are less likely to take them.

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.

Bennie M. Holmes

Birmingham City Board of Education, District 1
Bennie M. Holmes
Bennie M. Holmes
Age: 61
Residence: Huffman area
Political experience: First run for public office. Professional experience: Publisher, Metropolitan Black Business Network, 12 years; chief financial officer, trustee and founding member, Black Star Academy, the only African culture-centered school in Alabama, three years; curator, Birmingham's African Holocaust Library, a private collection, 18 years; retired businessman of 35 years. Civic experience: Chairman, annual Juneteenth/MAAFA Remembrance, 27 years; registered member, Black Alliance for Education Options. Education: Attended primary, secondary school and college in Birmingham. Top contributors: None filed.

Bennington area eyed for medical marijuana facility

BENNINGTON — There are apparently at least two applicants for a medical marijuana dispensary license that want to base a facility in the Bennington area. The Vermont Medical Marijuana Registry received seven applications for a newly available dispensary and cultivation license prior to a July 28 deadline. However, the registry, part of the state Department of Public Safety, doesn't release application details at this stage of the selection process. News reports have revealed that Hartford and Rutland Town are among the locations applicants have proposed. But Lindsey Wells, who oversees the registry program, said most of the interest in applying for the newly created license — a fifth for the state program — involved proposals for Bennington County.

Bennington board advised to reject solar firm settlement offer

BENNINGTON — The town's attorney is recommending that the Selectboard reject a settlement offer from the developer of a pair of controversial solar projects planned for the Apple Hill area. The offer from Allco Renewable Energy (Ecos Energy) includes a $200,000 payment to the town. Attorney Rob Woolmington's advice is in a brief statement included in the board's agenda package for its Monday meeting. The attorney recommends continued opposition before the Vermont Supreme Court to the company's appeal of a permit denial for one of the projects, called Chelsea Hill Solar. The appeal stems from state regulators' decision in 2016 regarding the so-called certificate of public good.

Bennington County to hold Family Fun Walk for Breastfeeding Awareness Aug. 5

News Release — Vermont Department of Health
July 27, 2017
Media Contacts:
Cathy Vogel
Tristate Breastfeeding Awareness Task Force
Bennington County Celebrates World Breastfeeding WeekJoin the Fourth Annual Family Fun Walk on August 5
BENNINGTON – Bennington County community members and local businesses will mark World Breastfeeding Week with a morning of activities, starting with the Fourth Annual Family Fun Walk for Breastfeeding Awareness on Saturday, August 5, 2017. The quarter-mile walk starts at 9:30 a.m. at Willow Park in Bennington. People can register beginning at 8:30 at the park, or online at In addition to the walk, there will be children's activities, a clothing exchange, nursing portraits, door prizes and information about breastfeeding, parenting and healthy families. At 10:30 nursing mothers and their infants will gather to join breastfeeders throughout Vermont and worldwide for the “Big Latch On” in support of breastfeeding.

Bennington residents press officials for more action on PFOA

A resident of Bennington County gets a blood test for the chemical PFOA. Bennington Banner photo
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="PFOA" srcset=" 640w, 125w, 300w, 610w, 150w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" data-recalc-dims="1">A resident of Bennington County gets a blood test for the chemical PFOA. Bennington Banner photoNORTH BENNINGTON — Officials explained a $20 million settlement with the multi-national conglomerate Saint Gobain to residents here Wednesday night. The agreement is partial redress for toxic contamination of hundreds of local wells in the area. Residents applauded officials as they digested some of the best news they've heard since the wide-spread pollution was discovered early last year.

Bennington TIF plan includes 155 parcels, 70 downtown acres

The vacant former Bennington High School/Middle School building on East Main Street is one of the properties that could see redevelopment interest if a tax increment financing district is created in Bennington, officials believe. Photo by Jim Therrien/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Bennington TIF" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1376w, 1044w, 632w, 536w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">The vacant former Bennington High School/Middle School building is one of the properties that could see redevelopment interest if a tax increment financing district is created in Bennington, officials believe. Photo by Jim Therrien/VTDiggerBENNINGTON — Bennington's tax increment financing district proposal involves 17 potential sites for public infrastructure work — totaling an estimated $5.8 million — and 15 buildings or parcels that could see privately funded projects. The draft plan was the subject of a presentation Monday by town officials and representatives from Burke & White Real Estate Investment Advisors, which is helping to prepare the TIF application to the state. The well-attended meeting launched a seven-day public comment period for the plan, which is expected to go to the Selectboard for a hearing Sept.

Bennington under pressure not to give in to solar developer

BENNINGTON — Residents of the Apple Hill area off Route 7 are pressing the Selectboard to stay the course in opposing solar generating projects they contend ignore guidelines in the town plan and would harm the scenic area. “I think the main thing is there are quite a few of us who think solar is important but it needs to be on the right site,” said Peter Lawrence, a local attorney and one of those opposed to a settlement with a developer that the board is considering. The board has discussed an offer from Allco Renewable Energy (Ecos Energy) that includes a revised project site plan and a $200,000 payment to the town if Bennington drops its opposition. The town has opposed a Supreme Court appeal the company mounted over the Public Utility Commission's 2016 rejection of a certificate of public good for the first of the two adjacent solar projects. Changes from the original plans include shrinking the size of the cleared areas and the footprints of the two solar arrays, and leaving or creating wider natural vegetation buffer zones around the sites, which are northeast of the Route 7-Route 279 interchange.

Bennington’s Sen. Sears joining lawsuit against Saint-Gobain

Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington. Photo by Amy Ash Nixon/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Dick Sears" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 150w, 1023w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington. File photo by Amy Ash Nixon/VTDiggerSen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, said Monday he is joining a lawsuit against a onetime owner of the former ChemFab Corp. factory over chemical contamination in the area. He lives in North Bennington within the state-designated PFOA contamination zone around the former factory.

Berkeley says it will keep right- and left-wing protesters separate next Sunday

The city of Berkeley and the organizers of a white nationalist rally have come to an unlikely agreement – at least for now. The city does not plan to issue protest permits, but the white nationalists and a group protesting in opposition have agreed to gather in separate locations to avoid conflict and violence, Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern said Friday. The county is expecting thousands of people to descend on Berkeley for dueling protests on Sunday, Aug. 27. Because of the number of demonstrators, Berkeley police will receive assistance from the Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies.

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

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

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

Bernie Sanders On the Right-Wing Ideology That Rules Our Economy

For over 40 years, In These Times has published incisive reporting and analysis on one of the defining issues of our time: the crisis of inequality. Our new book, The Age of Inequality: Corporate America's War on Working People, brings together In These Times' best writing on the topic from leading thinkers and journalists. In this selection, originally published in 2009, Bernie Sanders writes about the intellectual failures, and simultaneous political success, of the “Chicago School's” greatest avatar, Milton Friedman. “THE FAILED PROPHET” (2009)


Bethel, Royalton firm up district merger plans

(This story is by Matt Hongoltz-Hetling of the Valley News, in which it first appeared Aug. 8, 2017.)
SOUTH ROYALTON — School officials have hammered out the details of a plan to merge the Bethel and Royalton school districts and have set an October date for a vote to form the White River Unified District in the two towns. School board members say the plan, which would send about 130 middle school students to Bethel and about 170 high school students to Royalton, is the last, best option for residents to comply with Act 46, the 2015 consolidation law that holds schools to strict new standards on quality, equitability and cost-efficiency. “Merging on our own terms makes it so that the state won't define our structure,” said Bethel School Board Chairwoman Lisa Floyd, referring to the Nov. 30 deadline after which Act 46 charges the State Board of Education with imposing a compliant structure on slow-to-act districts.

Bexar County Funds First Tech Recruiter for U.S. City

The City of San Antonio is expected to soon match the County's funding for the new initiatives. The post Bexar County Funds First Tech Recruiter for U.S. City appeared first on Rivard Report.

Bexar County Implements 90-Day Outdoor Burn Ban

Dry brush piles, heavy fuel loads, varying temperatures, high wind speeds, and humid conditions are environmental factors responsible for the burn ban. The post Bexar County Implements 90-Day Outdoor Burn Ban appeared first on Rivard Report.

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

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

Bi-State Primary Care Association director of public policy announced

News Release — Bi-State Primary Care Association
August 2, 2017
Susan Noon
(603)228-2830 x 144
Cell (603) 866-6020
Office (603) 228-2830 x 144
MAHERAS JOINS BI-STATE PRIMARY CARE ASSOCIATIONVT Health Care Reform deputy director to become Bi-State's director of VT Public Policy
MONTPELIER, VT – August 2, 2017 — Bi-State Primary Care Association is pleased to announce that Georgia Maheras, Esq., has been selected for the position of director of Vermont Public Policy. Georgia has dedicated her career to improving the health care system and is looking forward to using the skills she has developed through over 20 years of leadership experience – including five years within state government, five years as a consumer advocate, and ten years in management roles in other industries in her new role. Her professional record demonstrates her commitment to making the health care system better for all, especially the most vulnerable. Georgia will join Bi-State Primary Care Association, 61 Elm Street, Montpelier, on August 21, 2017. Georgia has extensive subject matter expertise and positive relationships with Vermont health care stakeholders as the first executive director of the Green Mountain Care Board.

Big grants for Ananya and Rosy Simas Danse; classical music blooms in August

Pamela Espeland

Ananya Dance Theatre and Rosy Simas Danse, both of Minneapolis, have been awarded National Dance Project (NDP) production grants to support new dance works that will tour the United States. Each will receive $40,000 to $45,000 for the creation of the work, plus $10,000 in unrestricted general operating support.One of the major sources of funding for dance in the United States, NDP to date has given more than $36 million to artists and organizations so they can bring dance into communities across the country. The grants are awarded by the New England Foundation for the Arts, Boston.The Cedar names new class of Commissions ArtistsFive emerging artists based in Minnesota are the latest Cedar Commissions Artists. Each will receive $4,500 to compose at least 30 minutes of new music, to debut at the Cedar in February.Vocalist/songwriter Elizabeth Ashantiva and her band, Psychic Revival, will perform “The Book of L,” songs from a feminist perspective inspired by Ashantiva's journals and the diaries of Anaïs Nin, Virginia Woolf and Anne Frank. Singer/songwriter Julia Hobart's “To Spill My Husband's Blood” will re-image traditional murder ballads, expanding the roles of women characters.

Big money dwarfs public finance in Albuquerque mayor’s race

Ricardo Chaves says he won't accept any outside cash to help in his quest to become mayor of Albuquerque. “I won't take any campaign money, because I don't want to be beholden,” Chaves said in a recent interview. “I want to represent all the people not just the special interests.” So the 81-year-old retired Albuquerque […]

Big Turtle Village Takes City Kids Into Nature For A Week

A heart drawn on a steamy school bus window was the last message that 12-year-old Lizandra Gonzalez gave to her mother, standing outside, before heading off on a week-long camping adventure Monday along with 60 other kids and counselors.

Bigger, hotter, faster.

The wildfires of tomorrow will be like nothing we've ever seen. But the debates they'll spark have already been raging for more than a century.

Bike Racers, Partiers Gear Up

Modern biking history began in New Haven, when Pierre Lallement, a French immigrant who settled in Connecticut, filed the first patent for a pedal-bicycle in the city in 1866. A new page was written in the city's biking history Monday as Mayor Toni Harp announced the timetable for the third annual New Haven Grand Prix and the official opening of the New Haven Party Bike.

Bill adding abortion reporting requirements on path to governor’s desk

A bill that would require physicians and health care facilities to report more details on abortion complications to the state — and would fine those that do not comply — has now passed both chambers of the Texas Legislature. The measure, which covers one of Gov. Greg Abbott's three abortion-related priorities, passed the Senate on a 22-9 vote Thursday. After a final vote in the Senate, it will head to the governor's desk. In abortion cases where complications arise, reporting to the state is already required. Under state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione's House Bill 13, those requirements would get more strict: Physicians would have to submit reports to the state health commission within three days that include detailed information such as the patient's year of birth, race, marital status, state and county of residence, and the date of her last menstrual cycle.

Bill Bilowus: Industrial wind not welcome

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bill Bilowus, of Morgan, a retired high school coach and principal from Lackawanna (N.Y.) High School. He volunteers with the North Country varsity basketball team and the Morgan Brook Trout Fish Hatchery, and is a member of Vermont Fish and Wildlife Conservation Group. He is working on his hunter safety instruction state certification. As residents of the town of Morgan, many of us know Mr. David Blittersdorf by reputation as the developer who has built an industrial-scale solar development on an agricultural field near Lake Seymour. We also know that in the last few years Mr. Blittersdorf bought a ridgeline, also in Morgan near Lake Seymour, where he's installed a wind-measuring device on the camp on that ridgeline.

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

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

Bill regulating do-not-resuscitate orders heads to governor’s desk

The Texas Senate on Tuesday evening voted to adopt a House-amended version of Senate Bill 11, which requires doctors to obtain explicit legal permission from patients before issuing do-not-resuscitate orders. The measure has undergone a whirlwind of changes since the Senate first voted to approve it last month — most notably, the addition of legal protections for medical personnel who work with patients receiving end-of-life care. The Senate voted 21–10 to pass the measure, which now advances to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. It is one of only a handful of special session agenda items that have made it all the way to the governor — even as the special session nears its Wednesday conclusion. The revised bill creates a criminal penalty for doctors who willfully violate a patient's do-not-resuscitate wishes, and an exception to that penalty for doctors who err "in good faith."

Bill restricting abortion insurance gets initial nod in Texas Senate

Texas women would have to pay a separate health insurance premium to get coverage for non-emergency abortions under a bill tentatively passed by the Texas Senate Wednesday. State Sen. Brandon Creighton, the Woodlands Republican who is the lead author of the bill, said opponents of abortion should not be forced to pay for the procedure through their insurance plans and employers should be able to choose whether to include abortions in their health coverage. “I believe the majority of Texans do not prefer to subsidize the elective abortion coverage of others,” Creighton said. Senate Bill 8, which passed on a 20 to 10 vote, requires women to pay an additional insurance premium if they want their health plan to cover abortions performed outside of medical emergencies. It does not contain exceptions for instances of fetal abnormalities, rape or incest.

Bill Schubart: What lies beneath?

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bill Schubart, who lives, works and writes in Hinesburg. He is a former board member of the Vermont Journalism Trust, the umbrella organization for His latest book is “Lila & Theron.”
I'm losing my war against field mice. This time they chewed through the power cord to the freezer. So, with the freezer thawing, it's time for a family cookout.

Bill Stone to leave state Senate

State Sen. Bill Stone, D-Holly Springs
Another legislator will be stepping down soon. Sen. Bill Stone, a Democrat from Holly Springs, will give up his seat to run his hometown's municipally owned utility, Bobby Harrison reported for the Daily Journal. “I have experience running a utility,” he told Harrison. “I think I can make a difference” as manger of the Holly Springs Utility Department.”

A former mayor of Ashland, Stone was elected to the Senate in 2008. In 2916, Stone was elected minority leader.

Billy Joe Miles Ruled Competent To Stand Trial

Kate Howard / KyCIRBilly Joe Miles, left, with attorneys Rob Eggert and Scott Cox in the Daviess County Courthouse on Nov. 17, 2016. Western Kentucky businessman Billy Joe Miles will stand trial in September, following a judge's ruling that he is mentally competent to defend himself against accusations of rape, sodomy and attempted bribery. While the 77-year-old Miles unquestionably suffers from dementia, he is still capable of understanding the charges against him as well as “the process for the determining those charges,” Hardin Circuit Judge Kelly Mark Easton wrote in a 12-page ruling issued Friday. Experts retained by the prosecution and defense disagreed about the effects of Miles' mental state.

BioTek Instruments opens new Dubai office

News Release — BioTek Instruments
Aug. 18, 2017
Chere Griffin
Expression Marcom, LLC
August 18, 2017, WINOOSKI VT, USA — As part of its continuing growth acceleration, BioTek Instruments is excited to announce the opening of the BioTek Middle East office, located in Dubai, U.A.E. The office will serve as the central hub for BioTek's activities and growth in the Middle East and North Africa region, and will be headed by Ms. Divya Galani, regional Application and Product Manager. The office, and all sales, marketing and distribution strategies in the region, will be overseen by Mr. Steven Fisher, Managing Director Asia Pacific and Middle East. With local, direct representation in place, customers throughout the region can access dedicated BioTek applications expertise, product trainings and demonstrations, and technical support. “With this timely investment, BioTek will more closely engage with, and expand, our customer base in the Middle East and North Africa,” noted Mr. Fisher.

Birmingham Council Delays Capital Projects for Lack of a Budget, Debates Unfulfilled Contracts and Confederal Monument

Sam Prickett, BirminghamWatchBirmingham City Council meets 8-15-2017. Aug. 15, 2017 — In its last regular meeting before next week's municipal elections, the Birmingham City Council spent most of its time Tuesday directing key concerns on a variety of subjects toward Mayor William Bell. The most notable of those discussions were about the still-unpassed FY 2018 budget, an unfulfilled construction contract and the removal of confederate monuments from Birmingham's public spaces. The lack of a budget for the fiscal year – which started July 1 – had an immediate impact on the meeting's agenda.

Birmingham Council Squabble Over Funds for District 4 Meetings Continues After Councilor Initially Refuses to Divulge Funding Source

Sam Prickett, BirminghamWatchBirmingham City Councilor William Parker
Aug.1, 2017 — If Tuesday's Birmingham City Council meeting presented municipal politics as a “game,” as Councilors Steven Hoyt and Lashunda Scales both put it, then the rules of that game and who was breaking them remained very much up in the air. For the second week in a row, a large portion of the meeting was dedicated to enmity between Scales and Councilor William Parker over the latter's request for discretionary funds. At the July 25 meeting, Parker proposed two resolutions, each appropriating up to $10,000 to organize meetings of District 4 neighborhood officers, volunteers and city officials with state and federal officials. One set of meetings would focus on “the preservation and maintenance of cemeteries in Alabama,” the other “regarding funding for infrastructure related projects.”
Both items were referred to committee last week after several councilors expressed concern that they had not been vetted through the proper channels. Parker had protested the deferral, citing a “very important meeting in Montgomery” that was due to happen the following Thursday.

Bits of Beacon History

Explosions, daredevils, cannonballs and straw hatsBits of Beacon History was first posted on July 27, 2017 at 9:04 am.

Black caucus seeks special session to change state flag

Rogelio V. Solis, APRep. Sonya Williams-Barnes, D-Gulfport, spoke about closing the gender pay gap during a news conference on Wednesday. African American lawmakers are urging Gov. Phil Bryant to call a special session to change Mississippi's state flag because it bears a symbol of the Confederacy. Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes, chairwoman of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, in a hand-delivered letter to Bryant's office, cited “deaths and acts of terror in Charlottesville (Va.),” where white nationalists, neo-Nazis and right-wing groups held a march over the weekend. A woman named Heather Heyer died after being struck when a car plowed into a group of protesters in Virginia. A white man named James Fields Jr., of Ohio, was arrested and charged with second degree murder.

Black Men’s Basketball Players Are Making Academic Progress, But More Help Is Needed

While the NCAA reports that African-American men's basketball players are graduating in greater numbers, others say more needs to be done to support the players. The NCAA reported in 2016 that more than three quarters of Division I African-American men's basketball players – 77 percent – earned their degrees, up five points from last year, 31 points over the past 15 years and the highest rate ever. Tariq Sullivan
African-American male college athletes earned a graduation rate 11 percentage points higher than African-American men in the student body (52 percent to 41 percent), the NCAA report said. African-American male student-athletes have increased their graduation success rate by 19 percentage points to 70 percent during this time, the report said. Dan Guest, a 2012 graduate of the University of Connecticut from West Hartford, was a guard on the Huskies team.

Black, white legislators discuss state flag, race relations

Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi TodayMembers of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus who did not boycott the Southern Legislative Conference spoke with reporters in Biloxi on Monday. BILOXI – A political split of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus over a boycott of the Southern Legislative Conference led to a bipartisan conversation on race and the state flag Monday among about two dozen state legislators. The drama started May 1 when black caucus leaders announced they would boycott the annual Southern Legislative Conference, held this week in Biloxi and chaired this year by House Speaker Philip Gunn. The purpose of the boycott, black caucus leaders said, was to bring awareness to the state flag, the last in the nation containing the Confederate battle emblem, which black caucus members have continually tried to change in recent years. But 13 members of the 52-member black caucus – who jokingly referred to themselves Monday as “Gunn's 13” – decided to attend the conference.

Blackeye Roasting generating buzz for cold-brew coffee in the Twin Cities

After spending 12 years working in coffee shops, Matt McGinn not only knows his coffee, but he knows the business. So when he figured out how to keg cold-brew coffee in his apartment—at a time when cold brew was starting to heat up—he knew he was on to something. Three and a half years after opening his own coffee shop, McGinn is getting ready to make waves with another breakthrough.Designed much like a taproom, Blackeye Roasting Co., which now operates two café locations in Minneapolis, offers cold brew on tap, growlers and flights, plus a selection of espresso-based beverages, kombucha and iced tea. Despite its microbrewery-inspired aura, none of the beverages contain alcohol. In fact, cold brew, also known as cold-press coffee, is merely steeped in cold water for several hours, creating a naturally sweeter flavor than traditional hot-brew coffee.Through its office distribution, Blackeye provides cold-brew taps and cans to 31 Minnesota companies.

Block Party

I Am Beacon hosts back-to-school eventBlock Party was first posted on August 14, 2017 at 7:30 am.

Blows to the head may have defeated NFL great Gene Hickerson decades ago; how do we protect today’s players?

Tony Dejak, APLeroy Kelley, far left, Bobby Mitchell and Jim Brown stand behind Gene Hickerson at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007, in Canton, Ohio. On a warm night in Canton, Ohio, 10 years ago this month, Ole Miss football great Gene Hickerson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There was no indication Hickerson knew where he was. He might not have known who he was.

Blue Cross will get to raise premiums 9.2 percent

Health care regulators will let Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont raise insurance premiums on Vermont Health Connect by 9.2 percent. The allowed increase is nearly a third less than the 12.7 percent the company originally requested in May. That was the most the company had asked to increase prices since Vermont Health Connect started offering plans in 2014. “In issuing this decision and order, we first acknowledge the tension between two of our standards for review,” the board wrote in its decision issued Thursday. “On the one hand, there is an undeniable need for health insurance coverage that is affordable for all Vermonters.

Blue Spruce Dairy Farm Hosts Over 1,000 People for Breakfast, Tour

News Release — New England Dairy Promotion Board
July 22, 2017
Media Contact:
Rene Thibault
New England Dairy Promotion Board
802-863-5416 x101 (office)
802-673-7057 (cell)
Bridport, Vt. – On Saturday, July 22, over a thousand-people attended Vermont Breakfast on the Farm hosted by the Audet family of Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport. The free, public event included a pancake breakfast and self-guided tour of the dairy farm. Visitors experienced a taste of the life and business of dairy in the Green Mountain State – home to over 850 dairy farms that make 63% of the milk for New England, according to USDA data. “Breakfast on the Farm is one way we can help ensure future generations of Vermonters maintain a connection to the land and an appreciation for the importance of agriculture in our state,” Anson Tebbetts, Vermont's Secretary of Agriculture noted.

Blues and Barbecue to Take Center Stage at TEDxSA Salon

The unconventional conference will be the first TEDxSA salon at an outdoor venue and the first to combine food with a strong musical presence. The post Blues and Barbecue to Take Center Stage at TEDxSA Salon appeared first on Rivard Report.

Blumenthal calls Trump’s new Vietnam tweets about him ‘slurs’

President Donald J. Trump took to Twitter Monday to renew his attacks on U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., once again bringing up the senator's misstatements about service in Vietnam. Trump called him a "phony Vietnam con artist."

Blumenthal, Murphy join Dem chorus on bipartisan ACA fix, but that may be elusive

WASHINGTON — After the collapse of GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare, Democrats, including Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, called for bipartisan efforts to shore up the ACA. “Now we have an amazing opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to actually work together ..." Murphy said. But whether bipartisanship can grow out of the bitter partisan fight over Obamacare remains to be seen.

Blumenthal: North Korea strike near Guam would put military action on the table

“Military action would have to be considered in response to an attack,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal said in Hartford Thursday. “I'm not going to predict what that action should be, but every step should be used to convince the North Koreans that they face devastation and destruction.”

Blumenthal: Raid on Manafort home indicates ‘probable cause’ of criminality

WASHINGTON – Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Thursday said an FBI raid on New Britain native Paul Manafort's home last month is an indication of criminal wrongdoing. Manafort is a key figure in the investigation into whether there are any ties between the Trump campaign and Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential elections.

Bob Stannard: Lies and the liars who tell them

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, an author, musician and former lobbyist. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. “Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me.”– Unknown
Through our electoral process we have elected a pathological liar as our president. It's true that public figures will sometimes stretch the truth.

Bob Stannard: The Republican Party of Putin

Editor's note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, an author, musician and former lobbyist. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. “…I urge you to beware the temptation of pride, the temptation blithely to declare yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire…” — Former President Ronald Reagan, 1983
“I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.” — Former President Ronald Reagan, 1984
“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy.

Body Cam Footage Shows SDPD Officer Gave False Testimony in Homeless Case

As he was testifying in court about a citation he had issued a homeless man, San Diego Police Officer Colin Governski set the scene: When he approached Tony Diaz, Diaz was sleeping in the back of his truck in a public parking lot on Mission Bay. Diaz was challenging a citation he'd received for vehicle habitation. So the officer's testimony that he was observed sleeping in the truck was crucial. The problem: It wasn't true. The judge found Diaz guilty of the infraction.

Bond will invest in affordable housing at record levels

The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board is beginning to seek applications for housing projects to be built with a major bond the Legislature approved in June. The board, which is a publicly funded nonprofit, says up to $34 million will be available to nonprofits, municipalities and private developers looking to bring affordable housing to various regions of the state. The $34 million sum is the most state money the board has been able to oversee as part of a single bond since its inception in the 1980s. The other large bond was in 2004, when the state allowed the board to use $20 million in bonded money for affordable housing. Eileen Peltier, left, is executive director of Downstreet Housing and Community Development, which plans to apply for funding under the bond.