Mexican Drug Cartels, Officials Collude in ‘Crimes Against Humanity’: Report

Coahuila, Mexico, one of Mexico's 31 states. Government and police officials in the Mexican state of Coahuila, on the U.S. border, have colluded in massacres by narco-cartels that constitute “crimes against humanity,” according to a new report by the Open Society Justice Initiative. The report singled out two separate examples between 2009 and 2012—the killing of approximately 300 men, women and children in the northern municipality of Allende and nearby towns, and the disappearance, torture and murder of 150 individuals inside a prison that served as de facto headquarters for the Zeta drug cartel—to underline what it called the “systemic” problems of drug corruption, violence and official impunity in Mexico. “These (two examples) bear the hallmarks of crimes against humanity, given the scale and systematic nature with which they were carried out,” said the report, which called for the establishment of an independent international body to investigate the “corrupt networks between public officials and organized crime” across Mexico. “Such international participation and support will be essential to combatting the political obstruction and partisan interests that currently impede Mexico's troubled justice system.”
Published just ahead of the July 1 federal elections in Mexico, the report charges that the outgoing government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has presided over a “worsening” climate of murder and corruption.

 ما الذي يجعل المراسلين أبطال العصر؟

المؤرخ “تيموثي سنايدر” في السادس من مارس عام 2018: “المراسلون – أبطال العصر”. أُطلق على المراسلين أبطال العصر، لكن ما الذي يجعل كلمة “أبطال” غير مبالغ فيها، بل ويجعلها بالأحرى وصفًا دقيقًا جدًّا لأهمية تلك المهمة -ألا وهي المراسلة- لعصرنا؟ الصحفي الاستقصائي هو شخص يحاول أن يكتشف حقيقة العالم، وفي تأديته لهذه المهمة، التي تستهدف البحث عن تلك الحقائق، فإنه يخاطر، وأعني بذلك المعنى الحرفي للكلمة. فكر في أولئك الأشخاص الذين يموتون بالفعل، الذين يحاولون العمل في مواجهة أنماط الظلم الأساسية التي تواجهنا: قُتِل مراسل سلوفاكي (بداية هذا العام)، ولقي مراسل من بيلاروسيا مصرعه في أوكرانيا منذ عام ونصف، وغيرهم العديد من المراسلين الروسيين، الذين قُتِلوا أو أُرهِبوا جسديًّا، في محاولتهم تغطية حروب روسيا في الشيشان أو أوكرانيا. في هذه الحالات المأساوية، يخاطر هؤلاء المراسلون ويموتون من أجل صنفي الحقيقة في الوقت نفسه؛ يموتون لأنهم يحاولون اكتشاف ما يحدث في العالم الذي نتشاركه، ويموتون أيضًا بسبب مخاطرة محددة قرروا أن يواجهونها، وفقًا لما استقروا على أنه مهم بالنسبة إليهم. على عكس الجنود، فإن هؤلاء يموتون باعتبارهم أفراد، ويموتون من أجل ما يقومون به كأفراد.

‘A powerful, scary investigation’: In-depth series on the safety lapses at nuclear labs earns awards

A Center for Public Integrity investigation of safety challenges facing the nation's nuclear laboratories has garnered two first-place designations in the 2018 Associated Press Media Editors Awards for Journalism Excellence and Innovation. These prizes come on the heels of the project's garnering of honorable mention honors for the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense. The six-part series, “Nuclear Negligence,” examined safety weaknesses at U.S. nuclear weapons sites operated by corporate contractors. The project uncovered unpublicized accidents at the facilities, including some that caused avoidable radiation exposures. The Center's reporting also discovered that the penalties imposed by the government for these errors were typically small, relative to the tens of millions of dollars the government awards to each of the contractors annually in pure profit.

‘An emotional reprieve’: A 30 Days House to help families awaiting a new home

Jim Walsh

Louie Anderson is a successful comedian, actor, game-show host, and author living and working in Las Vegas and Hollywood, but his days growing up in the projects of St. Paul stick with him.“I remember growing up and knowing at times that there wasn't going to be enough money for a deposit or to get into a place,” said Anderson from Las Vegas, about his upbringing that has informed his stand-up act for years, and books like “Mick is really a visionary with this. He's an amazing fundraiser. I feel fortunate that he is interested in working with us,” said PRISM executive director Michelle Ness. “We have worked with the 30 Days Foundation for several years.

‘Every child needs a champion’: Meet the teachers who inspired some of the country’s education leaders

To mark Teacher Appreciation Week, Chalkbeat went in search of the educators who changed the lives of the people you read about in our stories. We asked a handful of influential figures to tell us about the teacher whose action, lesson, or presence made a lasting impact on them. The stories they shared — about the teacher who trusted a future chancellor with a beloved guitar, the one who offered advanced books and a lesson in being "cool," and another who used their city's history of black activism to reach students — are worth a read. Here's what they told us. Want to honor an educator who impacted your life?

‘If we can’t talk about that, we can’t ever talk about diversity honestly’

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

‘Myanmar’s Killing Fields’ is a horrifying look at ethnic cleansing

Eric Black

The phrase “man's inhumanity to man” is oft traced to a Robert Burns poem, but, leaving the man/woman issue aside for the nonce, one of the leading current examples of inhumanity stems from Myanmar, which is led by a not only a woman but a Nobel laureate. I refer to the persecution/ethnic cleansing/mass slaughter of the Rohingya of Myanmar, despite the fact that Myanmar is presided over by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who is implicated in the crime.The latest revelations about this crime against humanity is the subject of a documentary, "Myanmar's Killing Fields," that premieres tonight at 9 on PBS (KTCA-Channel 2 in the Twin Cities) as part of the great “Frontline” series.The details the emerge from the film, which I've previewed, certainly do nothing to restore Suu Kyi's halo. It is a smart, tough overview of the Rohingya persecution and slaughter, so tough that I would not recommend watching it with small children or a soft heart.The Rohingya are a mostly Muslim ethnic/religious minority in mostly Hindu Myanmar (which westerners used to call Burma). Apparently, according to the film, the fashionable position among apologists for this slaughter is the nonsensical claim that there is no such thing as the Rohingya.This claim, made by several in the film, is a way of suggesting that Myanmar cannot have been slaughtering or ethnic cleansing the Rohingya people because there are no such people. According to the denialists, the dead bodies of women and children are the result of Myanmar's struggle to fight terrorism.Before the ethnic cleansing that occurred starting in 2016, an estimated 1 million Rohingya lived in Burma.

‘Right Here Showcase’ spotlights midcareer artists; ‘Speechless’ returns to the Lab

Pamela Espeland

Now in its fourth year, the Right Here Showcase gives us something we can't get anywhere else: two long weekends of new work by Minnesota-based performing artists in midcareer. Started and led by Paul Herwig of Off-Leash Area, this juried festival awards commissions and encourages experimentation.Past participants have included puppet theater artist Bart Buch, Butoh dance and performance artist Gadu, contemporary dance artist Rosy Simas, composer and multimedia artist Craig Harris, theater artist Ben Kreilkamp and dance artist Taja Will. This year's line-up was selected by Buch, Will and Herwig.The first weekend, which starts tonight (Thursday, May 10), features work by interdisciplinary theater artist Charles Campbell and dance artist Erinn Liebhard. Campbell's “Want” considers income, wealth, and status inequities. Liebhard's “gab-gush-yak, rant-jive-chat” explores how punctuation can be translated into music, movement, and visuals.Courtesy of Rory WakemupAnishinaabe visual and installation artist Rory Wakemup will present his “Ledger Craft” project.Starting next Thursday (May 17), Anishinaabe visual and installation artist Rory Wakemup will present his “Ledger Craft” project, a hybrid of Native American Ledger Art and the “Minecraft” video game.

‘Sincere effort’ or cynical ploy? Republican campaign aims to pressure Dayton to sign omnibus, tax conformity bills

Peter Callaghan

Gov. Mark Dayton has given no indication that he could be persuaded to sign the two most wide-ranging bills of the just-completed 2018 Minnesota legislative session.In fact, he repeatedly gave every indication that he's going to veto them, the culmination of the battle of wills between himself and the Legislature's Republican leaders. The so-called mega-omnibus bill (which includes budget items and a lot of policy measures) and the tax conformity bill both include too much stuff he doesn't like. And attempts by GOP leaders Sunday to make them more palatable to the DFL governor apparently weren't enough.“I've seen nothing to indicate to me that I would sign either one of them,” Dayton said.So one might be tempted to ask those same legislative leaders: What part of “no” don't they understand?On Monday, just over 12 hours after they adjourned their session for good — and without any prospect that Dayton would change his mind over convening a special session — GOP leaders from the House and Senate staged a media event at which they declared their best hope to is launch a campaign to persuade the governor to sign the bills.To that end, they brought up — one-by-one — people from across the state, each with a personal stake in items inside those endangered bills. There was the mother from Nisswa whose daughter was badly injured by a driver with a suspended license who supports increased penalties for such offenses. There was the group-home owner from Chisago who needs increased reimbursements for his workers.

‘Under This Roof’ to premiere at Guthrie’s Dowling Studio

Pamela Espeland

In 1992, Japanese Canadian playwright Rick Shiomi and his wife, Martha Johnson, co-founded the first Asian American theater in the Twin Cities. Over the next 20 years, Theater Mu, later renamed Mu Performing Arts, became one of the most important Asian American theaters in the nation.In 2014, after turning over the reins to Randy Reyes, Shiomi retired from Mu. Johnson retired from a career of teaching theater at Augsburg. What should they do next? How about … found another theater?Full Circle Theater presented its first play, “Theater: A Sacred Passage,” in 2015 at Dreamland Arts.

‘We need a groundswell’: 2018 Poor People’s Campaign kicks off in St. Paul

Jim Walsh

In 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. launched the Poor People's Campaign and March on Washington in an effort to shine a light on the plight of America's most vulnerable citizens. Monday evening, a group of about 200 religious leaders, anti-poverty and minimum-wage activists gathered just off Martin Luther King Boulevard next to the Capitol in St. Paul, and spoke passionately about how things have only gotten worse for poor people in the last 50 years.The 2018 version of King's vision took to 30 state Capitols across the country Monday, and organizers of the Minnesota Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival have more rallies planned over the next six weeks. They encourage people to join them next Monday, May 21, at the Capitol in St. Paul for a 5 p.m. Rally for a Just Immigration Policy, or at the national gathering June 23 in Washington, D.C.This Monday's rally outside the Capitol took place at the same time 13 protesters were being arrested inside, on the fourth floor outside the office of Rep. Pat Garofalo, a sponsor of a bill that would pre-empt city governments from passing their own minimum wage or paid-leave ordinances.

‘1A’ host Joshua Johnson talks up St. Louis, toasted ravioli and ‘phenomenal station’ with Don Marsh

Joshua Johnson's brief stay in the Gateway City this week didn't allow him a whole lot of time for touristy exploring, as the popular host of WAMU 's daily radio production 1A was busy broadcasting the morning show live from St. Louis Public Radio on May 3 and 4. But what Johnson did see during his visit to the city, particularly within the Grand Center Arts District, left him plenty impressed. “There's a lot here – you could make a vacation to St. Louis,” he said on Friday's St.

‘A Century of Caring, an Exhibition of Hospital History,’ opens at the Manchester Community Library

News Release — Southwestern Vermont Health Care
May 7, 2018
Ashley Brenon Jowett
Communications & Marketing Specialist
Phone: 802.447.5019 | Fax:
MANCHESTER, VT—May 7, 2018—One hundred years ago, Putnam Memorial Hospital opened its doors in Bennington. While the facility, practices, and technology have changed dramatically throughout the century, the commitment to delivering exceptional healthcare to the community has remained constant. In honor of its Centennial year and in partnership with the Manchester Community Library, Southwestern Vermont Health Care is proud to present artifacts, stories, and images from its 100-year history. A Century of Caring, an exhibition, will open Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at the Manchester Community Library, 138 Cemetery Ave, Manchester Center, VT. Admission is free.

‘Brain drain’ event goes beyond data, explores why Mississippians leave

University of Mississippi student Savannah Smith interviews panelists about the reasons why they're staying or leaving Mississippi. OXFORD — In four years, from 2011 to 2015, Mississippi lost $1.5 billion in total income through outmigration of its residents. In the six years from 2010 to 2016, the state lost 35,013 people — about the population of Tupelo. Mississippi is the only state in the nation that's losing this many people at this fast of a rate. Though these statistics — commonly referred to as Mississippi's “Brain Drain” — have been brought more fully into the public arena by Rethink Mississippi's Jake McGraw, less talked about is the qualitative motivations behind them.

‘Clean Sweep’ project gears up for second summer of neighborhood clean-ups

A volunteer effort to clean up north St. Louis neighborhoods is getting a big lift from local construction companies. Better Family Life began the “Clean Sweep” program last summer to help pick up trash and help revitalize certain areas in the city and St. Louis County. The non-profit and the Regional Business Council announced on Tuesday this summer's effort will include a dozen construction companies to knock down vacant buildings and pick up large debris.

‘Come help these babies.’ Inside the Detroit district’s long-shot effort to end a crippling teacher shortage

Sporting perfectly tailored black-and-white ensembles and wide, beaming smiles, three seasoned Detroit schools recruiters scanned a packed ballroom at Baltimore's Morgan State University's spring job fair recently, searching out likely catches. “Hey, soror, come on over here,” one of them, Cass Technical High School social studies teacher Asenath Jones, called out as she beckoned to a young woman toting an Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority bag. “Let me tell you about Detroit.”
Senior Ashley Fox shot back a quick smile. But while the sociology major stopped to chat with her sister in the nation's first black sorority, she was not interested in either teaching or joining the district. On an early-April tour of job fairs at historically black colleges and universities, Fox and scores of others who ignored Detroit's pitches illustrate the challenge confronting Jones and her fellow recruiters.

‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ returns to St. Louis Public Library with a flourish

A group of drag queens in bejeweled ball gowns and stiletto heels brought unexpected glamour to storytime on Mother's Day weekend. A rambunctious crowd packed into the auditorium of the St. Louis Public Library's Central Branch on Saturday afternoon for Drag Queen Story Hour. The event, which aims to celebrate diversity and inclusion, drew more than 100 young children and their families.

‘Dust bowl’ created by NGA project demolition blamed for sickening kids, teachers

Isaiah Carson was happy and healthy on an early April afternoon as he worked on spelling with his dad at the family's kitchen table. That wasn't the case a few months earlier when he started having trouble breathing. He was wheezing and had a shallow cough. Isaiah, who's 5, would lie in bed with his parents at night, unable to sleep. His father, Michael Carson, felt helpless.

‘Even in his priesthood, some reviled him’: Effort to canonize African-American priest moves forward

A diverse group of people were once parishioners under the ministry of Fr. Augustus Tolton in Quincy, Illinois, during the late 19th century. That is until the African-American priest was advised to get out of town. Tolton, who would eventually return to be buried in Quincy, suffered much controversy and isolation in his day. “Through it all, he kept open arms for everyone, white or black,” Joseph Perry, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, said during St.

‘Good Guys With Guns’ Often Make Mistakes

They are the “good guys with guns” the National Rifle Association says are needed to protect students from shooters: a school police officer, a teacher who moonlights in law enforcement, a veteran sheriff. In a span of 48 hours in March, the three were responsible for gun safety lapses that put students in danger, the Associated Press reports. The Virginia school police officer accidentally fired his gun, sending a bullet through a wall into a middle school classroom. The California teacher was demonstrating firearm safety when he mistakenly put a round in the ceiling, injuring three students hit by falling debris. The Michigan sheriff left a loaded service weapon in a middle school locker room, where a sixth-grader found it.

‘Good Guys With Guns’ Often Make Mistakes

They are the “good guys with guns” the National Rifle Association says are needed to protect students from shooters: a school police officer, a teacher who moonlights in law enforcement, a veteran sheriff. In a span of 48 hours in March, the three were responsible for gun safety lapses that put students in danger, the Associated Press reports. The Virginia school police officer accidentally fired his gun, sending a bullet through a wall into a middle school classroom. The California teacher was demonstrating firearm safety when he mistakenly put a round in the ceiling, injuring three students hit by falling debris. The Michigan sheriff left a loaded service weapon in a middle school locker room, where a sixth-grader found it.

‘Good Guys With Guns’ Touted by NRA Can Make Mistakes

They are the “good guys with guns” the National Rifle Association says are needed to protect students from shooters: a school police officer, a teacher who moonlights in law enforcement, a veteran sheriff. But in a span of 48 hours in March, the three were responsible for gun safety lapses that put students in danger, the Associated Press reports. The Virginia school police officer accidentally fired his gun, sending a bullet through a wall into a middle school classroom. The California teacher was demonstrating firearm safety when he mistakenly put a round in the ceiling, injuring three students hit by falling debris. The Michigan sheriff left a loaded service weapon in a middle school locker room, where a sixth-grader found it.

‘Heli-Yes’ seeks to boost Teton search, rescue

The day began, as it often does for people who live in Jackson Hole, with the click of bindings and the start of a ski tour off Teton Pass. Dr. David Shlim felt the pain, but not where he thought he would if he was having a heart attack. So he kept going. Suddenly he became so short of breath he couldn't stand, he said, recounting the Jan. 11, 2013, incident on the Fine Line, the Teton County Search and Rescue podcast.

‘I Feel Like a Dead Man Walking’

The order came from a 15-year-old on a bicycle near a Chicago park in 2001: “Shoot him, shoot him.”
Benard McKinley, 16, obliged. And Abdo Serna-Ibarra, 23, never made his way to the soccer field. Benard McKinley. Graphic by Jeanne Kuang/Injustice Watch
McKinley was later arrested and charged as an adult with first degree murder for the killing of Serna-Ibarra. In 2004, Cook County jurors found him guilty.

‘I would rather bury old folks than young people’: Funeral director works to end gun violence

Growing up, there were three people in the community Ronald Jones says people respected: the preacher, the barkeeper and the undertaker. After spending nearly every day in church as a child, Jones decided being a preacher wasn't an option. Then there was the barkeeper, but Jones says he was turned off by the taste of rotgut whiskey. So, the next best thing was the undertaker. Jones liked the outside appearance of the glitz and glamour that they had: from the fancy clothes to the big Packard car to the diamond horseshoe stick pin.

‘Iconic’ Forest Service cabin opens to the public

Roughing it just got a whole lot cushier. Green River Lakes Lodge, a U.S. Forest Service cabin in the Wind River Mountains once used solely by agency staff, is now available to the public. Views of Square Top Mountain fill the living- and master-bedroom windows. The lake is a short walk from the door. Easy trails circle the lake and, for the more adventurous, other pathways lead high into the Wind River Mountains and the Bridger Wilderness.

‘In our blood’: The challenge of being a young farmer in Minnesota today

Gregg Aamot

Abe and Cally Jergenson grew up on farms in western Minnesota and hoped to continue in the family business after they got married.For a time, they lived in a trailer home on Abe's family farm near Glenwood, growing crops and raising Red Angus beef cattle on land they leased from as many as 10 landowners. It was farming, to be sure, but not really what the two had envisioned. So, against the prevailing cultural and economic winds, they began looking for a farm of their own to buy.Two years later, they found a house and 80 acres for sale a few miles from the shores of Lake Minnewaska, the scenic Pope County lake that separates Glenwood and Starbuck. They bought the house and acreage in February 2014, renovated the fencing and moved in in time for that year's calving season.The Jergensons are well aware of the challenges that face farmers – especially a couple like them willing to basically start from scratch. But they have the support of family and helpful neighbors.

‘It is so much work.’ Meet the state monitor trying to help Newark keep control of its schools

One day in 1995, state education officials arrived in Newark to begin the process of taking over the city school system, which had been deemed failing and mismanaged. Anzella King Nelms, a Newark schools official at the time, was there. “I was in the superintendent's conference room on the day that the state walked in to take over Newark,” Nelms said during a recent talk. “It was a day that our hearts dropped.”
More than two decades later, the state has finally ended its takeover. And it has appointed Nelms, a former Newark deputy superintendent, as its representative to help the district complete its return to local control.

‘It is so much work.’ Meet the state monitor trying to help Newark keep control of its schools

The big story

If you've been following the news, you're probably heard that Newark schools returned to local control on Feb. 1 after a decades-long state takeover. But it's actually more complicated than that. The district is in a two-year probationary period of sorts. During this time, it must meet the requirements of a 73-page transition plan or else could face ramped up state oversight or even (though it's unlikely) a return to state control.

‘Justice Reinvestment’ Holds Its Own Against Trump

For nearly a decade, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has supported a concept known as “justice reinvestment,” which encourages states to manage their prison populations better and invest the money that is saved in programs aimed at reducing recidivism. DOJ has recently been devoting about $25 million annually to the program, a minuscule sum in a cabinet department that has more than $30 billion to spend each year, but still enough to fund work in several states. Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and Georgia passed legislation this year based on justice reinvestment principles, the Justice Department says. The Pew Charitable Trusts' Public Safety Performance Project also pursues justice reinvestment in conjunction with the Justice Department. Pew declines to say how much it spends, but it probably is much less than the federal appropriation.

‘Name & Shame’: NJ IDs States Supplying Crime Guns

In April alone, 93 people were shot in New Jersey — 17 of them fatally. But as Gov. Phil Murphy vows to tighten the state's already-strict gun laws, data shows more than three-quarters of guns connected to crimes in the Garden State come from beyond its borders, reports “We're going to name and shame,” Murphy, a Democrat, said Tuesday as officials released new monthly statistics aimed at highlighting the impact of gun crime across the state. “I'm sick of our — mostly young — people getting wounded or killed by guns that are illegally trafficked into New Jersey.” Officials say the vast majority of firearms recovered by police investigating serious crimes are found to have originated outside state borders. The Murphy administration is publishing monthly reports through a program known as NJGUNStat, with data showing the number of shootings, the number of guns recovered in cities and counties, and quarterly reports on gun origins.

‘Natasha and the Coat’ has twists and onstage chemistry; Taco Truck Theater at Intermedia Arts

Pamela Espeland

A brand-new play at the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company drew a sizeable crowd on a Wednesday night. And everyone stayed through the length of it – all 2 ½ hours, with one 10-minute intermission.That says a lot about Deborah Stein's “Natasha and the Coat,” which is having its world premiere at MJTC under Miriam Monasch's direction. Stein is a young playwright and an affiliated writer with the Playwrights' Center. If her name sounds familiar, she was once based in Minneapolis and a member of Workhaus Collective.The play is basically a girl-meets-boy tale, with twists. Natasha (Miriam Schwartz) is a modern young woman, fresh out of college with a major in art history and a minor in French.

‘Our Dogs are More Than Pets. They’re Our Eyes on a Leash’

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega and Gretchen Maune, who's a friend of mine, both live in Columbia and are blind. They spoke about some of the additional complications and costs that can come along with their adaptive technologies – i.e. their service dogs. For DeAnna, that's Enzo, a German Shepard, and for Gretchen, Keeper, a Golden Retriever. Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians' stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at .

‘Rainbow’ chameleon among three new species described from Madagascar

Researchers surveying Madagascar's forests have discovered three new species of chameleons, including one that flashes rainbow colors and one that's currently known only from a tiny patch of rainforest. A team of German and Malagasy herpetologists found the brilliantly colored rainbow chameleon, now named Calumma uetzi, during an expedition to the remote Sorata massif in northern Madagascar in 2012. The males of this newly described species are usually greenish-beige with a tinge of blue on the sides of their faces, while the females are mostly brownish. But when the two sexes encounter each other, the male, in an attempt to win over the female, displays spectacular coloration, turning his body into a mosaic of yellow, red, blue-green and violet. A female that's unimpressed changes color too, darkening her skin to nearly black, the researchers report in a new study published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.

‘Rarest’ ape’s path to survival blocked by roads, dams and agriculture

Even as scientists introduced the world to a new species of orangutan in 2017 — one of only seven non-human great apes alive today — they were already working to pinpoint the threats that might lead to its demise. In a new study published today in the journal Current Biology, a team of scientists reports that road expansion, agricultural conversion and a planned hydropower project could destroy more than one-quarter of the Tapanuli orangutan's existing habitat. With no more than 800 individuals, the world's rarest ape species could face extinction not long after we became aware of its existence. “In forty years of research, I don't think I've ever seen anything this dramatic,” said William Laurance, a tropical ecologist at James Cook University in Australia and the team's leader, in a statement. A male Tapanuli orangutan in the Batang Toru forest.

‘Shocking and worrying’: Selective logging has big, lasting impact on fish

Selective logging has long been considered the lesser evil compared to clear-cutting when it comes to habitat preservation. But a new study adds to a growing chorus of concern that the practice may, in many ways, be just as harmful as outright deforestation. It finds fish communities in forests that were being selectively logged were as harmfully affected as those in clear-cut areas. For their study, researchers at institutions in the UK and Singapore sampled 23 streams in Malaysian Borneo in forest areas ranging from intact to completely deforested and converted for plantation agriculture. Their results were published last week in Biological Conservation.

‘The Day I Came Out of the Shadows’

In just one day last year, Charles Rivers went from being a supervised parolee to a welcomed professional in the same state office building where one individual held the power to revoke his freedom. That day, he was on his final scheduled office visit with his parole officer, known as a “PO,” and he was nervous. “As a parolee, you look at your parole [officer] as an adversary,” Rivers said. “You go in thinking, ‘I got to go see this guy that could violate me at any time.' ”
But Karen Loftin, another returning citizen who had worked with Rivers for just over two months at that point in the Syracuse, N.Y., community center that Rivers directs, pushed him into it.

‘The Narcan Lady’ Is on a One-Woman Mission to Distribute the Overdose-Reversal Drug

Beth Herman, right, aka “The Narcan Lady,” gives Amber Willoughby two free doses of naloxone outside the clean syringe exchange RV. / Photo by Kinsee Morlan
Every week, Beth Herman gives about 75 drug users a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdoses. The drug is called naloxone, or Narcan, and the retired nurse hands out the version that can be injected into the thigh or arm of someone suffering from an accidental overdose. It takes just seconds to revive people who aren't already too far gone. Herman runs a small nonprofit called All Peoples' Encinitas Inc. She has a deal with a naloxone supplier, and since last summer she's been buying the drug herself and setting up next to the region's only clean syringe exchange program, which three days a week dispenses clean syringes to anyone who wants them via an RV parked at various locations in San Diego.

‘Unheard Voices’ stages stories of young men who’ve written their way through trauma

Actors will tell the real-life stories of young men aging out of a children's home in a staged reading on Saturday in Ferguson. The free event at the Ferguson Youth Initiative , 106 Church St., draws on writing by young men who participated in a program of YourWords STL . The organization helps St. Louis youth express themselves, and work through trauma using the written word. The presentation, “Unheard Voices: You Don't Know My Story,” is comprised of poetry, lyrics and narratives by residents of the Marygrove Children's Home in Florissant.

‘Veggie Bike’ to distribute fresh produce in north St. Louis

A customized cargo bike full of fruits and vegetables will soon make an appearance in north St. Louis. Urban Harvest STL and the St. Louis MetroMarket, will send the “Veggie Bike” on its maiden voyage next month. The program, which will initially distribute free produce, is intended to promote the MetroMarket's mobile farmers market in a converted bus.

‘Vish is Vish’: Oxford ‘Best Chef’ is five-time James Beard Award semifinalist

Aallyah Wright, Mississippi TodayChef Vishwesh Bhatt stops to talk to patrons outside Snackbar in Oxford. OXFORD — On a hot, late summer day when football season is in full swing at the University of Mississippi, the college town is overcrowded with people mixing and mingling at the local restaurants to enjoy food, conversation and cool cocktails. Aallyah Wright, Mississippi TodayRoyal red shrimp mac and cheese from the “not so small plates” menu at Snackbar
Snackbar, an upscale French bistro/North Mississippi cafe-esque restaurant founded in 2009 by Chef John Currence of City Grocery Restaurant Group, is no exception. On any given day, Vishwesh Bhatt, 52, the restaurant's head chef, is busy talking with his staff to make sure they have all the items they need for the day, figuring out what's needed for daily specials, prepping the kitchen staff for the night's crowd, setting up for service and conducting taste-tests of new dishes, all before the doors open at 5:30 p.m.
It's this attention to detail and love of food that has earned Bhatt his fifth nomination as a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards' “Best Chef: South.” Eligible candidates are those who have “set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions,” according to the organization, and have been a chef for at least five years with at least three years spent in their region. Bhatt is the only Mississippi chef to receive a nomination this year for the prestigious culinary honor that celebrates, as the foundation's website states, “chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone.”
“I don't think that there's a finer gentleman out there or gentlewoman that is nominated for a chef's award this year.

‘Warn Your Relatives’ when Hari Kondabolu is speaking

Hari Kondabolu is not afraid to talk about the topics that make people uncomfortable. Sexism, racism, colonialism — all the “isms” you can think of — are fair game at his shows. To that he says, why wouldn't I? The Brooklyn-based comedian is in St. Louis performing at the Helium Comedy Club at 1151 St.

‘We are going to self-destruct’: Development plans threaten Malaysian island

LANGKAWI, Malaysia – In the UNESCO-listed Kilim Karst Geopark in Langkawi, a man in T-shirt and shorts laughs with his friends as one of the long-tailed macaques that are ubiquitous across the Malaysian island leaps onto their boat to snatch a bag of chips from his hands. The gray-furred mugger joins the rest of its troop on the twisted roots and branches of the mangrove trees along the bank, thrusts its paw into the crackly bag and gobbles up the food. Beneath the monkeys' feet, evidence of past raids is only partly concealed in the mud. The boat resumes its journey with the men still joking about their close encounter with the local wildlife. The macaques, which will eat almost anything, idly groom each other while keeping watch on the passing humans in the hope of another snack.

‘We Blew It’: Business Community Reacts to Council Forgoing RNC Bid

The presidents of two local chambers of commerce cited political strategy and economics as the respective reasons they remained silent about the contentious issue. The post ‘We Blew It': Business Community Reacts to Council Forgoing RNC Bid appeared first on Rivard Report.

‘Whether you’re 100 or 10, you’ve lived through some good Cardinals times,’ says Benjamin Hochman

There's no sports town quite like St. Louis, if you ask native Benjamin Hochman , and that's what makes his new volume about the St. Louis Cardinals almost more love letter than book. “My first lullaby was Jack Buck's voice, if you will, and I've always just appreciated the connection between the team and the people here,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist said on Tuesday's St.

‘Whether you’re 100 or ten, you’ve lived through some good Cardinals times,’ says Benjamin Hochman

There's no sports town quite like St. Louis, if you ask native Benjamin Hochman , and that's what makes his new volume about the St. Louis Cardinals almost more love letter than book. “My first lullaby was Jack Buck's voice, if you will, and I've always just appreciated the connection between the team and the people here,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist said on Tuesday's St.

‘You’re going to see a lot of me’: Carranza promises to be a presence among Albany lawmakers

New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza made his first trip to Albany since taking the helm of the nation's largest school system on Tuesday — and promised it won't be his last. Carranza traveled to New York's capital to attend the state's Senate and Assembly education committee meetings. The new chancellor introduced himself, fielded questions from lawmakers, and made it clear that he hopes to be a presence in Albany during his tenure. “I think it's really important that we start and have a working relationship,” Carranza said during the Senate's education committee meeting. “You're going to see a lot of me.”
As Carranza gets to know Albany, he will have to navigate meeting lawmakers who haven't always gotten along with his boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Don’t test dummy my children.” What you told us about schools in Washington Park

PHOTO: Elaine ChenA Walter H. Dyett High School for the Arts student speaks at a dinner co-hosted by Chalkbeat Chicago and Generation All. At Chalkbeat Chicago, the following question is in our DNA: How do we improve public education here? As we gear up to start publishing this summer, we pledge to keep asking this question—and report back what we hear. We recently teamed up with the neighborhood public schools advocacy Generation All to host a dinner for 45 parents, students, community members and educators at the Walter H. Dyett High School for the Arts. The dinner was part of the Chicago Community Trust's "On the Table 2018" series, a citywide event of discussions centered around some of Chicago's most pressing issues.

“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."

“Women can do this”: Female inmates in Texas find fulfillment in learning technical skills, but they have fewer options than men

GATESVILLE — As the blowtorch in 32-year-old Nicole Gillespie's hand pierces the cool air around her with the smell of gas, she feels like she's making history. Gillespie, an inmate at Woodman State Jail in Gatesville, is part of the first HVAC class that has been offered to women at any Texas state jail. Texas prisons have offered similar classes to men for years. Gillespie's classroom partner, Amber Kenyon, 38, recognizes that the area she's working in is male dominated outside of prison, but that's not stopping her from pursuing a passion she's found in the four years she's been incarcerated. “It's usually men who get classes like this,” Kenyon said.

“You’re not as safe as you should be.” How understaffing is affecting one Texas prison

NEW BOSTON — By many accounts, the Telford prison is in trouble. In recent interviews, inmates claimed they were malnourished from being fed small, sometimes rotting sack meals in their cells and rarely got to go outside. And former correctional officers said they felt unsafe, forced to cut corners and work too much overtime in a unit that holds more than 2,500 men. “Working those longer hours and having that safety aspect in the back of your mind that maybe you're not as safe as you should be or as you were, it wears on you,” said one former officer, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation against his friends who still work at the prison. “I've known [officers] to get physically ill at the mere thought of going to Telford.”
The problems at the maximum-security prison — tucked away on the outskirts of this small town in the northeastern corner of Texas near Texarkana — are largely blamed on a shortage of guards.

“Democracy Parking” Pilot Declared A Success

You can park free downtown Thursday night.The only small “price” you have to pay is to attend the Board of Alders Finance Committee meeting, or the regular monthly meeting of the New Haven Historic District Commission.

“The Making of a Massacre” Brings the Drug War Close

by Ginger Thompson
This week, ProPublica and Audible are launching an audio documentary called “The Making of a Massacre.” It's the story of a vicious attack on a small Mexican ranching town called Allende, less than an hour's drive away from the United States border. And it's based on a ProPublica project, which showed for the first time how the violence was triggered by a tragically compromised Drug Enforcement Administration operation in Dallas. The operation was aimed at bringing down the leaders of the Zetas cartel, considered one of the most violent drug trafficking organizations in the world. Agents had managed to convince one of the cartel's leading traffickers in Dallas to get them intelligence that could allow them to track the movements of the Zetas kingpins. But the agents mishandled the information.

“Trump, Inc.” Live: From “The Art of the Deal” to the Dossier

by ProPublica
A few days ago, we held a live taping of the “Trump, Inc.” podcast at The Greene Space in New York City. Tony Schwartz, the co-author with Donald Trump of “The Art of The Deal,” talked with Ilya Marritz from WNYC and Jesse Eisinger from ProPublica about what Schwartz does and does not recognize in President Trump now. Listen to the show. Then, ProPublica's Eric Umansky and WNYC's Andrea Bernstein spoke with BuzzFeed's Investigations Editor Mark Schoofs. Schoofs explained why BuzzFeed was the first to post the Russian “dossier,” and what we've learned since.

”Sold for Parts” Wins Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism

by ProPublica
Hunter College announced today that the ProPublica and NPR series “Sold for Parts” won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. In the series' first piece, ProPublica reporter Michael Grabell told the story of how Case Farms, a major chicken supplier for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Boar's Head, and others, built its business by recruiting some of the world's most vulnerable immigrants. Undocumented, and some underage, these workers were subjected to harsh and illegal workplace conditions. But if they protested or were injured on the job, the company used the workers' undocumented status to get rid of them. To document this hidden scandal, Grabell spent time in Rust Belt towns and rural North Carolina talking to skittish workers and immigration advocates.

$100K gift from NorthCountry Federal Credit Union support of Y to $700K over seven years

News Release — Greater Burlington YMCA
May 7, 2018
Doug Bishop
Greater Burlington YMCA
Annual gift from the Y's Community Partner supports youth programs
May 7, 2018 — Burlington, VT – With deep gratitude, the Greater Burlington YMCA announced today that NorthCountry Federal Credit Union has made a seventh-consecutive annual gift of $100,000 to support the Y's Youth Development programs. The gift helps ensure children from families that need a little extra support can access high-quality child care, learn to swim, enjoy a summer camp experience, and have safe and enriching afterschool opportunities. “There is no other way to put it, we are simply blown away by NorthCountry's generosity,” said Kyle Dodson, President & CEO of the Greater Burlington YMCA. “Y programs make a real and lasting impact in the lives of young people, and NorthCountry's support helps ensure these opportunities are available to all children, regardless of financial resources.”
“We are so pleased to continue our relationship with the Greater Burlington Y,” said Bob Morgan, NorthCountry CEO. “The Y has an impressive track record of serving our neighbors with a wide range of successful programs. We are especially impressed with the youth development programs, helping young people learn, have fun and enhance their futures.”
Each year, the Y nurtures 3,000 children through their participation in Y early childhood, afterschool, swim team, and summer programs. Additionally, 1,000 children are enrolled in Y water safety and swim lessons. “NorthCountry shares the Y's belief that every child deserves a chance to succeed and to have the support needed to discover their potential,” Dodson said.

$10M Wrongful Jailing Verdict Against Phila. Officer

In the largest-ever civil verdict against a Philadelphia police officer, jurors on Thursday awarded $10 million to a man who was wrongly imprisoned for more than three years based on the officer's false testimony, reports The money was awarded to Khanefah Boozer, 33, who was jailed on $500,000 bail while he awaited trial for allegedly firing a gun at officer Ryan Waltman. When Boozer finally was tried in 2014, another man testified that he, not Boozer, had fired the gun — in the air and not at the officer. Boozer's attorney, Robert Levant, said the case was not properly investigated, that Boozer was “obviously innocent,” and that while he was behind bars on the false testimony of police, his mother and sister died. Lawyers for the city contended that Waltman made an honest mistake in accusing Boozer of firing a gun.

$52 million Clarksdale project generates hope, raises questions

Aallyah Wright, Mississippi TodayThe Quality of Life Commission members raises questions about the project to Dwan Brown of P3 Group, Inc., one of the co-developers of the project at their second meeting on Tuesday at City Hall. CLARKSDALE – At a recent meeting at City Hall, Clarksdale citizens, including members of the newly formed Quality of Life Commission, had more questions than developers had answers about the proposed $52 million Corey L. Moore Sports and Recreational Complex. Who's involved, who's on the hook for bonds, and is the project sustainable for a rural town like Clarksdale were among the key questions at the April meeting about the proposal aimed at bringing tourists and revenue to the Delta town. The city officials unanimously agreed to move forward with the project when they created The Quality of Life Commission, an urban renewal agency that will oversee the venture and keep the city from having a direct role in the development. But the promise that this project will not cost the city or taxpayers one cent didn't sit right with some residents.

$5M Cut From Schools; Pension Idea Nixed

In a first pass at amending next year's budget, alders recommended shifting $5 million from the schools to help cover public employee medical benefits, and they signed off on a proposed double-digit tax increase ... for now.

13 Drug Dealers Plead Guilty

Sting operation breaks up Newburgh gang13 Drug Dealers Plead Guilty was first posted on May 19, 2018 at 11:32 am.

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.

13th annual Gifted Games celebrates inclusion

More than 430 students are signed up to participate in the annual event that gives students with special needs a chance to compete.

15-Year-Old Shot

A masked man shot a 15-year-old who was standing on the porch of his Orchard Street home Monday evening, according to police.

1954 Little League Champs

Photo unearthed of 15-2 Philipstown team1954 Little League Champs was first posted on May 14, 2018 at 12:45 pm.

2 berths in next round of U.S. Open Cup at stake Wednesday

Three Arizona teams will be playing in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday. At most two will still be in the tournament on Thursday morning. Your crack sports research department has the match-ups for you.

2-Minute News Quiz

Five questions about this week's stories…2-Minute News Quiz was first posted on May 13, 2018 at 8:03 pm.

2-Minute News Quiz

Five questions about this week's stories…2-Minute News Quiz was first posted on May 5, 2018 at 2:56 pm.

2-Minute News Quiz

Five questions about this week's stories…2-Minute News Quiz was first posted on May 22, 2018 at 4:16 pm.

2-Minute News Quiz

Five questions about this week's stories…2-Minute News Quiz was first posted on April 30, 2018 at 2:44 pm.

200 Apps, Services Help Stalkers; Is It Legal?

KidGuard, a phone app that can help keep tabs on children, promotes its surveillance for other purposes, like “How to Read Deleted Texts on Your Lover's Phone.” A similar app, mSpy, advised a woman on secretly monitoring her husband. Still another, Spyzie, ran Google ads alongside results for search terms like “catch cheating girlfriend iPhone.” As such digital tools have multiplied, so have the options for people who abuse the technology to track others without consent, the New York Times reports. More than 200 apps and services offer would-be stalkers a variety of capabilities, from basic location tracking to harvesting texts and even secretly recording video. More than two dozen services were promoted as surveillance tools for spying on romantic partners. Most spying services required access to victims' phones or knowledge of their passwords — both common in domestic relationships.

2018 Golf Guide: Local Links

Public courses in and near the Highlands2018 Golf Guide: Local Links was first posted on May 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm.

2018 Primary Election: 12th State Senate District

Two Republicans and two Democrats vie California's 12th State Senate District seat in the June 5 primary. Two top performers will move on to the general election in November.

2018 Primary Election: 30th State Assembly District

Several candidates of various backgrounds will face off on June 5 for the open, contested seat for California's 30th State Assembly district.

2018 Primary Election: Treasurer-Tax Collecter-Public Administrator

Both candidates for country treasurer have extensive experience in accounting and finance, and have hopes of improving communications between the county and local school districts.

2nd Child Poisoned; Where’s The City?

A second child at a West River home has tested as having elevated blood lead levels just two weeks after his downstairs neighbors received a temporary stay on their eviction because of lead paint levels found throughout an apartment — a problem for which both sides ultimately blame the city's health department.

2nd Man Cleared, Freed In Deli Murder

After spending 19 years behind bars for a crime he's no longer accused of committing, Marquis Jackson walked out of court a free man Thursday — with a planned upcoming stop in Wakanda.

3 “Hardship” Pitches: How Would You Vote?

A college administrator asked for a bigger sign for athletic offerings. A couple sought permission for a two-story extension to move in relatives. Parents looked to build a side garage to safely transport an allergic daughter.All three East Rock quests depended on proving “hardship” to win a variance to New Haven's zoning rules.

3,000 indigenous people gather in Brasilia to protest ruralist agenda

Kayapo Indians dancing at this year's indigenous encampment in Brasilia. Image by Christian Braga/MNI. On 26 April, more than 3,000 indigenous people marched down the broad Avenue of the Ministries in Brasilia, leaving a path of ‘blood' (red paint) behind them. When they reached the Justice Ministry, they unfurled a giant banner, 24 meters (78 feet) across by 12 meters (39 feet) high, demanding an “End to Indigenous Genocide.” They chanted: “FUNAI [the government's indigenous agency] belongs to the Indians, not to the ruralists, [the agribusiness elite].” The demonstrators, representing over a hundred different indigenous groups from all over Brazil, were taking part in the 15th Free Land Camp (Acampamento Terra Livre). They camped for five days in Brasilia's center and carried out a program of assemblies, cultural events and meetings.

300 Commemorative Book Weaves San Antonio and Bexar Histories Together

One lasting legacy from the Tricentennial will be a commemorative book, titled "300 Years of San Antonio & Bexar County," to be published in June. The post 300 Commemorative Book Weaves San Antonio and Bexar Histories Together appeared first on Rivard Report.

300 Years From Now, Water Stewardship Should be San Antonio’s Legacy

Today the flow at San Pedro Springs is strong. We can take pride in this as a measure of how we have done more right than wrong with our most precious resource. The post 300 Years From Now, Water Stewardship Should be San Antonio's Legacy appeared first on Rivard Report.

5 healthy habits may extend life by more than a decade, study suggests

Susan Perry

If you stick with five healthy habits throughout your adulthood, you may be able to add more than a decade to your life, according to a large study published this week in the journal Circulation. The five healthy habits are unlikely to be much of a surprise to anybody: following a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in red meat, saturated fats and sugar; exercising at least 30 minutes a day; having a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 25; not smoking; andnot drinking too much alcohol (no more than 14 glasses of beer or wine per week for men and no more than about seven for women, although recent research has suggested that even those amounts are harmful to health).What is likely to surprise many people, however, is the size of the impact those healthy habits can have on life expectancy. The study found that adhering to all five habits prolonged life expectancy at age 50 by an average of 14 years for women and by an average of 12.2 years for men.“Americans could narrow the life-expectancy gap between the United States and other industrialized countries by adopting a healthier lifestyle,” the study's authors conclude. “Prevention should be a top priority for national health policy, and preventive care should be an indispensable part of the US healthcare system,” they add.As background information in the study points out, although the United States spends more per person on health care than any nation in the world, it has a shorter life expectancy — 79.3 years — than almost every other high-income country. (We were ranked 31st for life expectancy at birth in 2015.)Part of the reason for that, the study explains, is that the U.S. tends to focus its health care dollars on drug development and disease treatment rather than on prevention.Study detailsFor the study, researchers analyzed health and lifestyle data collected from about 123,000 American participants in two large, ongoing studies, the Nurses' Health Study (which included only women) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (which included only men).

5 Questions: Cali Schweikhart

Cold Spring athlete wins "beast" race5 Questions: Cali Schweikhart was first posted on May 18, 2018 at 5:41 pm.

5 Questions: George and Nicho Lowry

Riverside Art auctioneers5 Questions: George and Nicho Lowry was first posted on May 7, 2018 at 2:17 pm.

5 Questions: Lesley Stahl

Journalist to be honored by Desmond-Fish Library5 Questions: Lesley Stahl was first posted on April 30, 2018 at 3:32 pm.

5 Questions: Wendy Creighton

Editor of weekly, small-town newspaper5 Questions: Wendy Creighton was first posted on May 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm.

5 things to know about student homelessness in San Diego County

inewsource broke the story last week that the San Diego Unified School District lost out on up to $750,000 in federal funding for its homeless students. The reason? A finance official never signed the district's grant application. inewsource's Megan Wood has covered student homelessness in San Diego County. Here are some of the main takeaways ...

5 things to know about the National Rifle Association’s convention in Dallas

DALLAS — The National Rifle Association's annual meeting here this week, featuring scheduled appearances by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, is expected to draw tens of thousands of gun-rights advocates and plenty of protests. Here's what you need to know about the group's first convention in Texas since 2013. Supporters call it 'the premier Second Amendment celebration'
The three-day event begins Friday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Hundreds of vendors, including all of the country's major firearm companies, will be spread out over 650,000 square feet offering their wares to hunters, gamers, ranchers and gun enthusiasts. There are also training and advocacy events, concerts and the organization's annual membership meeting.

500 kilowatt solar array proposed in Bennington business park

Town planners are reviewing a proposed 500-kilowatt solar project in Bennington. Photo by PixabayBENNINGTON — The Planning Commission made a preliminary review of a 500-kilowatt solar project Monday, raising no objections but reserving judgment until a final permit application and plan are submitted to the state Public Utility Commission. The planned solar array is to be located on a parcel off Shields Drive within the town's Maneely Corporate Park. MHG Solar LLC of Manchester plans to purchase 25 acres off 357 Shields Drive from the Bennington County Industrial Corp., and would use about 3.5 currently forested acres of the property for the solar array. A map with the paperwork shows the array located south of Route 279 and northeast of NSK Steering Systems America at 110 Shields Drive.

6 Candidates for 3 Beacon School Seats

Three incumbents will not seek re-election6 Candidates for 3 Beacon School Seats was first posted on April 27, 2018 at 11:12 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.

89 percent of school districts fall below Scott’s ratio target

The Scott administration has made a cutoff for staff to student ratios a centerpiece of his plan to contain education costs. The governor's target for teaching staff to students is a ratio of 1 to 5.75. The plan, which would go into effect in 2020 and lead to the elimination of about 1,000 positions for teachers and paraeducators over a period of five years, is estimated to save $74 million over a five year period. The positions would be eliminated through attrition. A VTDigger analysis of Agency of Education data shows that only 11 percent of school districts in the state would meet the 1 to 5.75 threshold in the current fiscal year.

A ‘Force of Nature,’ James Avery Took Texas Jewelry Business National

James Avery Artisan Jewelry announced the death of its founder, James Avery, on Monday. He was 96. Avery built a legendary jewelry empire from what began as a one-man endeavor in a two-car garage. The post A ‘Force of Nature,' James Avery Took Texas Jewelry Business National appeared first on Rivard Report.

A ‘Magic Mushroom’ Strategy for America’s Opioid Crisis

Since the adoption of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970, cannabis has been outlawed by the federal government. But it's not the only drug on that list. It may be time to move it and other drugs onto a less restrictive schedule. Schedule I of the CSA is reserved for drugs and other substances that are judged to have a high risk of abuse, and no safe or prescribed medical use. But the evidence doesn't always support that judgment.

A $24 million New York City program was supposed to prepare more black and Latino men for college. But a new study found it didn’t.

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched the Expanded Success Initiative in 2012, he hoped to address a problem that had vexed policymakers: How can schools get more young black and Latino men not only to graduation — but also ready for college? With just 10 percent of male students of color graduating “college ready” at the time, city officials hoped to boost that number by giving extra money and support to schools that already made strides getting those students to graduation. With extra resources, the theory went, those same schools might be able to nudge young men of color into college while the city studied and replicated their approaches. But after four years and $24 million, the program has not lived up to its promise, according to a report released Wednesday by the Research Alliance for New York City Schools. Schools in the program turned out to be no better at preparing young men of color for college or helping them enroll than a group of similar schools that didn't receive extra support.

A 2018 legislative session marked by financial challenges amid revenue surplus, sexual harassment scandals

It was a sprint finish to 2018 legislative session; as lawmakers on the House floor played jeopardy and tossed yo-yos, others were pacing between committee rooms trying to close deals on policy. When lawmakers adjourned on Wednesday, they had ticked off most key agenda items of the legislative session, sending a balanced budget to the governor and passing about 60 percent of the 721 bills introduced this year. Among the key bipartisan achievements: reforming the state's public pension plan, spending $645 million on roads and other transportation projects over the next two years, paying down the state's debt to K-12 schools by about $150 million, and reauthorizing the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. None of these compromises came without struggle, however, with some drawing opposition from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. And even after lawmakers wrestled over how to spend a $1.3 billion revenue surplus this year, some of these programs are still far from fully funded.

A bad kid turned school principal motivates students with life lessons she learned

Karen McEwen, principal of Cooke STEM Academy, knows what it's like to be a bad kid in school. She acknowledges she was one of them. McEwen wasn't the type of student who skipped classes to hang in a friend's basement or cause mayhem outside school. She did it right in the classroom while sitting at her desk. “I would write a note, and we would pass it around the classroom.

A Bill to Yank Guns Before Violence

By Catherine Clabby
Dangers from gun owners who turn violent are not abstractions to state Rep. Marcia Morey. Rep. Marcia Morey introduces her extreme risk protection order bill at a press conference at the legislative building on Tuesday. Photo credit: Rose HobanDuring her 18 years as a District Court judge, the Durham Democrat witnessed hundreds of criminal cases stemming from shootings, including many murders. Too often people described adult and juvenile defendants after the fact as “time bombs” who they feared would one day harm someone. One heartbreaking experience was presiding over the first court appearance of Craig Stephen Hicks while she was chief District Court judge in 2015, Morey said.

A boon for birds: Once overlooked, China’s mudflats gain protections

Zhang Lin spends much of his time with his right eye glued to a spotting scope, scanning the tidal flats of Rudong and other coastal regions of the Yellow Sea north of Shanghai for rare shorebirds. The landscape is mostly gray, from the grayish-brown mud to the cold, gray sky above. Even the industrial development that dots the shoreline — chemical plants and towering wind turbines — are often shrouded in a grayish haze. As a professional birdwatching guide and part-time conservationist, Zhang is well aware that the bleak tidal environment is teeming with bivalves, worms and other marine life that support flocks of shorebirds numbering in the tens of thousands during migration. And he is dedicated to the landscape, organizing amateur wildlife watchers to conduct annual bird surveys along the coast, sometimes wading in knee-deep mud to get close enough for accurate counts.

A Bridge to the Badge

Weeklong summer program changes perceptionsA Bridge to the Badge was first posted on May 22, 2018 at 3:16 pm.

A Chalkbeat cheat sheet: What’s going on with Upper West Side desegregation

A viral video and a late-night tweet by New York City's new schools chancellor may have left you trying to catch up with the debate about a proposal to integrate Upper West Side middle schools. Here's a primer to the controversy that suddenly has everyone talking about state tests, middle school admissions, and privilege:
What was that meeting in the video about? There's a plan on the table to offer a share of seats at 16 middle schools to students who have low scores on statewide math and English exams. Those 16 schools are in District 3, which includes the Upper West Side and part of Harlem. The expectation there now is that high test scores — achieved most often by the district's middle-class students — should guarantee families their top choice of middle schools. The plan's specifics are still a work in progress.

A clash between California GOP on the DACA vote deepens a rift over Trump policies

An upstart petition drive by House Republicans to force a vote on “Dreamer” immigration proposals is roiling the party as midterm elections loom. Two Californians are taking prominent and opposing roles in the internal battle — one that's revealing a deepening rift over how to handle President Donald Trump's hostility toward immigrants. At the root of the conflict are different interpretations about immigration in the two congressmen's districts. And like the Californians, those differences have GOP politicians in other states also rolling the dice on what positions will matter most to their ability to keep seats in the November midterm elections. On one side is GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, Calif., who came out in opposition to the petition drive.

A close vote in Connecticut for the national popular vote

The House of Representatives voted 77 to 73 on Thursday to approve and send to the Senate a bill directing Connecticut to join an interstate compact committing its seven electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.

A closer look at San Juan Bautista with new City Manager Michaele LaForge

New San Juan Bautista City Manager Michaele LaForge opens up about growth, nitrates in the water, and the strengths of the community.

A controversial joint bus route for Detroit district and charter schools hits a speed bump

A city effort to create a shared bus route that would transport children to both district and charter schools in Detroit is catching flack from community members and getting some extra scrutiny from the Detroit school board. The school board is now planning to consider just a one-year contract for the bus route — rather than the five years that were initially proposed — and to recalculate its costs to ensure that the district doesn't overpay. Mayor Mike Duggan announced the bus route — an unusual effort of cooperation between historically combative district and charter schools — with great fanfare during his State of City address in March. He called the meeting where he brought district and charter school leaders together to discuss the idea “almost historic,” adding: “They're getting along.”
But the plan to use buses that would drive a fixed route, picking up and dropping off students at a mix of district and charter schools and delivering some to a shared after-school recreation center, hit a snag soon after when Superintendent Nikolai Vitti learned that the cost to the district would be higher than he initially believed. He told a school board finance committee in March the he had thought the bus route would cost the district $25,000 in total but soon learned that the cost would actually be $25,000 per school — up to $125,000 if all five district schools planned for the inaugural loop were included.

A critical juncture: optimism and urgency in the fight to end cancer

Dr. Douglas YeeThe fight to end cancer is at a critical juncture. Today, we stand at the intersection of “big data” and advanced cancer science. This gives us the ability to mine and translate critical information to respond in real time when making decisions about cancer prevention and treatment. Advanced technologies can profile individual tumors and genes in ways that were not possible a decade ago.This spring marks the 10th anniversary of the largest gift ever pledged to the University of Minnesota: $65 million from Minnesota Masonic Charities to the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. Thanks in part to the generous support of Minnesota Masonic Charities and other key partners through the years we have made substantial progress against cancer.Precision medicineBut when your end goal is as ambitious as ending cancer, optimism comes with a sense of urgency — urgency to realize our goal through precision medicine: targeting cancer preventions and treatments based on an individual's cellular makeup.

A Death in Slow Motion

by Mike Hixenbaugh, Houston Chronicle, and Charles Ornstein, ProPublica
James “Lee” Lewis had waited years for a new heart, praying for the day he would be free of the mechanical pump doctors implanted in him in 2015. The device had extended his life after his heart began to fail, but he hated that its wires and the portable battery pack kept him tethered to land and off his fishing boat. The call from the hospital finally came on the first day of 2018. Lewis and his wife, Jennifer, drove nearly two hours from their home in rural Bay City, Texas, to Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center in Houston, one of the nation's most celebrated heart transplant hospitals.

A Democratic Spring: 12 Left Challengers Taking On the Party Establishment in 2018

The shock of Donald Trump's election inspired an organized, determined resistance on many fronts and in many forms. One could be called a “democratic spring”: a long-germinating rebellion within the Democratic Party that gained strength with Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential bid and might just save the withered institution from itself. The Left has sprouted an independent electoral infrastructure, including the formation of new groups like Our Revolution, Justice Democrats, Indivisible and Brand New Congress; the invigoration of existing political organizations like the Working Families Party; and a shift toward greater electoral engagement by groups like People's Action and the Democratic Socialists of America. Another trend, propelled by Trump's grotesque misogyny and the emergence of the #MeToo movement, is a surge in the number of women running for office. As of mid-April, 331 women had filed to run, easily beating the old record of 298, set in 2012. Of those, Democrats outnumber Republicans 248 to 83.

A dubious anniversary for the Federal Election Commission

Anniversaries are often festive. Not today at the Federal Election Commission. As of April 30, the FEC's current four commissioners have been on the commission for a total of 32 years longer than they should have been. Vice Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub's six-year term expired 11 years ago, when George W. Bush occupied the White House, the “Great Recession” had yet to occur and the most momentous campaign finance decision of the century, Citizens United v. FEC, was still two-and-a-half years hence. Commissioner Steve Walther (nine years), Commissioner Matthew Petersen (seven years) and Chairwoman Caroline Hunter (five years) have also stayed aboard long after they should have been out of a job.

A Fiesta First-Timer Gets a Birds-Eye View

I live in an apartment with a fantastic view of lower Broadway and this year loved experiencing the parades with my friends from the comfort of my balcony. The post A Fiesta First-Timer Gets a Birds-Eye View appeared first on Rivard Report.

A flock of electric scooters suddenly descended on Austin. Now the city is scrambling to regulate them.

Seemingly overnight, Austin was buzzing with electric scooters last month. Scooter riders weaved through crowded sidewalks and traffic downtown and zoomed out of drivers' blind spots near the University of Texas campus, catching motorists and pedestrians alike off guard. Bird Rides, a dockless scooter company, deployed a fleet of thin, black scooters in April that quickly grew to almost 700. Then came LimeBike, which flooded the streets with their own white and green Lime-S scooter models on April 16. Then, just as quickly, they disappeared last weekend.

A forgotten people: traditional Amazon hamlet fights for its territory

The residents of São Sebastião hold a procession in celebration of their village's patron saint. This traditional community has resisted all attempts to move its people out of their homes and off their land. Image by Natalia Guerrero. “What's going to drive you off this land is hunger,” an official from ICMBio, the Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity Conservation, cautioned fishing families and settlers living along the mid-reaches of the Xingu River in the state of Pará in the Brazilian Amazon. That ominous warning came in 2011, six years after the federal government absorbed the traditional riverine communities into the newly created Serra do Pardo National Park — a decision made without consulting the local people.

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

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

A Gallery and a Boutique

Jewelry designers and artist set up shop in BeaconA Gallery and a Boutique was first posted on May 8, 2018 at 4:52 pm.

A Glance at Accountability Commission Members

The nine members of the Agency Performance and Accountability Commission come from various backgrounds and professions. They have experience in oil and gas, banking, medicine and investment entrepreneurship. One even ran for governor and declared he wanted to shrink state government. Most appear to have conservative political leanings. Michael Adcock
Adcock is a Shawnee attorney and chairman of the Unit Corp.

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

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

A Guide for Digging Through Trump’s Financial Disclosures

by Decca Muldowney, Katherine Sullivan, and Alex Mierjeski
When President Donald Trump's latest financial disclosure form was released last week, we dropped what we were doing and started digging. We found a few things, including some newly registered companies and a jump in revenue for Trump Productions, which helped produce shows like “The Apprentice” and the lesser-known dating show, “Donald J. Trump Presents: The Ultimate Merger.”

We've decided to show how we did it so you can help us go deeper. Below are tips and tricks for finding noteworthy items buried in the 92-page disclosure. First, some background. Trump's financial disclosure form, which he files each year with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, provides the most detailed account available of the president's finances, from his sprawling business empire to individual payments made to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

A Killing at Donkey Creek

by Rahima Nasa
The submissions from Native Americans have come into ProPublica's Documenting Hate database with regularity: In Reno, Nevada, a truck was driven into a group of Native people protesting Columbus Day, injuring one; a Navajo woman in Flagstaff, Arizona, reported being told, “Go back to where you came from” by a driver who pulled up to her at a bus stop. A Sioux woman in Winterset, Iowa, reported that she was called a “prairie nigger” on Facebook. An entry from late last May, though, was of another order: a news account of a killing in Grays Harbor County in Washington. Jimmy Smith-Kramer, 20, and a member of the Quinault Indian Nation, had been crushed under the wheels of a pickup truck at a local campground. Another member of the tribe had been gravely injured as well.

A look at issues at Dem governors forum

The three Democratic candidates for governor met in a forum in Las Cruces this week to showcase their plans to change the direction of New Mexico, which has suffered what some economists have called a lost decade after the Great Recession — a period when New Mexico lost more than 50,000 jobs, wages stagnated and […]

A look at leading cause of accidental death for toddlers – and how to prevent it

Many years have passed since one of Lisa McMullin's children tragically drowned during a family pool party on a warm September day back in 1982. Yet her memory of what occurred is still vivid. “Nicholas got up from his nap – all the kids but one were out of the pool – and somehow he fell in,” she recalled on Thursday's St. Louis on the Air . “There were adults there, there were children there, but if there's not a designated person to watch, you can have a situation like that all too easily.

A look at the process of jury selection as Greitens trial looms

Jury selection is underway in the felony invasion of privacy trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. There are currently 160 prospective jurors, who will be questioned until the first day of trial, which is scheduled for Monday. Susan McGraugh, professor of law and supervisor of the Criminal Defense Clinic at Saint Louis University, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to talk about the voire dire process, which began Thursday.

A million dollars, 500 hopefuls, and 15 winners: How a new competition aims to boost babies and toddlers

A Colorado team is one of 15 winners to share in $1 million awarded by a Denver-based organization as part of a new contest recognizing innovative efforts benefitting children birth to 3 years old. The Boulder-based team will receive $80,000 for a project that helps little kids acquire language, thinking, and social-emotional skills using a cell phone app inside a stuffed animal. Gary Community Investments, which gives grants and makes for-profit investments to benefit low-income children and families, announced the winners of the Early Childhood Innovation Prize on Tuesday afternoon. (Gary Community Investments, through the Piton Foundation, is a Chalkbeat funder.)
The Colorado team that won prize money developed a tool called MindScribe. It works like this.

A month into the job, it’s clear Chancellor Carranza isn’t Carmen Fariña version 2.0

When Mayor Bill de Blasio explained what he was looking for in a new schools chief, he offered one primary goal: Find someone in the mold of outgoing Chancellor Carmen Fariña. So when the mayor settled on Richard Carranza — a man with a background, resume, and educational philosophy that look a lot like Fariña's — it seemed he had found her mirror image. But Carranza has already shown his approach to running the nation's largest school system will not simply reprise his predecessor, who spent a half-century working in the system, rarely spoke publicly about its flaws, and preferred to avoid the spotlight. Carranza has shown he isn't afraid to elevate problems that his predecessor rarely addressed publicly: lack of diversity at the city's elite specialized high schools, broad patterns of academic segregation — even the quality of the school system's food. In his first month on the job, the new chancellor offered a blunt assessment of the mayor's high profile and expensive turnaround program, telling Chalkbeat it doesn't have a clear “theory of action.” And, most notably, he inserted himself in the white-hot politics of school segregation, pushing back against some parents who don't support a plan to increase academic diversity at middle schools on the Upper West Side.

A National Party Convention in San Antonio Could Result in Economic Wins

National political conventions can payoff in massive media exposure, hotel and sales tax revenues and millions in federal funding, but the upfront costs for a city are considerable. The post A National Party Convention in San Antonio Could Result in Economic Wins appeared first on Rivard Report.

A new guide aims to help Colorado school districts offer mental health support to students

A new toolkit to be officially released Monday will help Colorado educators, parents, and district administrators infuse mental health support into classrooms and schools. The 60-page online guide from the nonprofit Mental Health Colorado comes out at a time when many school leaders say they desperately need help addressing students' mental health needs and districts have increasingly emphasized social and emotional skills. The guide includes 10 key practices for promoting mental health in schools, including offering services in school-based health centers, reducing the stigma around mental health treatment and prioritizing suicide prevention. Besides listing effective curriculums and programs, it provides examples of how Colorado schools and districts are using proven practices. The kit also includes suggestions on how to secure funding for school mental health initiatives.

A New Peace-Building Podcast Series Delves Into East Africa’s Complexities

A newly deployed police unit from Sierra Leone arriving in Mogadishu, Somalia, to operate for Amisom, the African Union/UN peacekeeping mission, April 17, 2018. An episode in a new podcast series explores the declining interest of major Western powers in resolving the conflict in Somalia and what this means for the region. ILYAS AHMED/AMISOM
A new series called “Peacebuilders,” offering a weekly podcast of interviews with a diverse array of African and other professionals on vital issues they confront in their work in East Africa, has been introduced by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The nine-part series debuted on May 1, with the first one focused on the evolving role of ethnicity in the region and how it plays out in conflict and post-conflict settings. The second podcast, released on May 8, is about the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia and how the waning interest among major financing powers in the mission means that responsibility for resolving the conflict is falling more into the hands of local and regional players.

A new transparency push calls on Trump, intelligence chiefs to declassify all 9/11 records

By Dan
Faced with persistent government stonewalling, a growing opposition that's grounded in America's heartland and taking root on Capitol Hill is calling on President Trump and the nation's law enforcement and intelligence chiefs to declassify all documents related to investigations of the 9/11 attacks. The post A new transparency push calls on Trump, intelligence chiefs to declassify all 9/11 records appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

A partnership to make bus stops for students at district and charter schools in Detroit appears to be back on track

A city plan to boost collaboration between district and charter schools cleared a speed bump on Monday, as a district committee narrowly approved a joint bus route in Northwest Detroit. The proposal will go before the full board next month. The district's finance sub-committee shelved concerns about the program's cost and the role of charter schools, with two of three board members voicing support. The proposed bus line would stop at 10 elementary and middle schools, including six district schools, Vitti said. (See below for a list of schools and a map of the proposed route.)
It hit a snag earlier this year when Vitti balked at the price tag of $20,000 per school, arguing that the district could wind up subsidizing transportation for charter schools if few students sign up to ride the bus.

A Place to Call Their Own

By Rose Hoban
Elizabeth Heenan used to come up from Wilmington to visit with her sister Sarah and stay for a couple of days, but there wasn't a lot for her to do when she came. Then, one day in September 2017, Sarah brought Elizabeth, who has Down syndrome, to a place called GiGi's Playhouse Raleigh, on the Cary border. Elizabeth Heenan (pictured with Jeanhee Hoffman) said she's found her people here at GiGi's. Her parents moved from Wilmington once they discovered GiGi's Playhouse. Now, Heenan spends 3-4 days per week doing correspondence and administrative tasks at the program.

A Prisoner in Gina Haspel’s Black Site

by Tim Golden and Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica, and Daniel DeFraia, special to ProPublica
He was a small man, one interrogator recalled, and so thin that he would slip in his restraints when the masked CIA guards tipped the waterboard upward to let him breathe. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a 37-year-old Saudi, did not deny having been a terrorist operative for Osama bin Laden. He admitted his role in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, an attack that killed 17 Navy sailors. Captured two years later in Dubai, he talked openly about planning more attacks. But any bravado had disappeared well before Nashiri's CIA captors strapped him naked to a hospital gurney in a windowless white cell and began pouring water into his nose and mouth until he felt he was drowning.

A small but significant contributor to funding inequities in Minneapolis Public Schools: donations

Erin Hinrichs

Situated along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis' Longfellow neighborhood, the Dowling Urban Environmental Elementary School offers its students some unique opportunities to engage in learning outdoors.There's an outdoor classroom, equipped with electrical outlets. And students get to participate in things like birdwatching to learn about balance and motion in science class and planting seeds in the school's greenhouse to learn about the local ecosystem.They also get to burn up energy on a fortress-like concrete playground structure built up around mature trees. It's an impressive feature — not just because of its size, but because it's handicap-accessible, replete with ramps, railings and adaptive play equipment.The playground was designed to serve the school's significant population of students with physical disabilities. When the school was established in 1924, it was called the Michael Dowling School for Crippled Children. While the name has changed, the school has continued to serve a larger number of special-education students — especially those who use wheelchairs or walkers — because it's perhaps the most accessible school building in the district: one level, with railings along most hallway walls.The student body has since diversified.

A superintendent candidate emerges & an admissions debate rages

Breaking news

Baltimore's former schools chief could be in the running to become Newark's next superintendent. Andres Alonso, who ran the Baltimore city school system for six years, is one of the candidates to become Newark's superintendent, according to the head of the Newark Teachers Union. Alonso had been a candidate for the superintendent job in Los Angeles, but withdrew his name earlier this week. He tweeted that he made the decision after “a possibility emerged – no guarantee – in relation to the school system I first loved.”
Alonso didn't say which system he was referring to, but he spent the first 12 years of his career teaching in Newark. Read the full story here.

A tale of four famines.

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

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

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

A Texas lawsuit killed one Obama immigration policy. Can the same strategy defeat DACA?

DAPA died at the U.S. Supreme Court, but the deadly shot came from Texas. The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, announced by the Barack Obama administration in 2014, was a sweeping executive action that would have protected from deportation about 4 million undocumented immigrants. But that program never went into effect — 26 states, Texas at the helm, successfully sued to block it. Now, Texas has mounted a similar effort with the hope that strategy works again: a long-promised lawsuit to challenge Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — an older, narrower Obama-era initiative that President Donald Trump has promised to end. History and legal precedent seem to favor Texas.

A trailblazer in Dallas, Lupe Valdez strives to prove herself on a statewide stage

DALLAS — Lupe Valdez had trouble finishing her sentences Tuesday as she sat in a booth amid the lunchtime bustle at Norma's Cafe, the home-cooking diner that's an institution in her Oak Cliff neighborhood. As soon as the former Dallas County sheriff got on a roll about why she should be Texas' next governor, she'd see someone she knew and walk over to say hi. Or a Dallas police officer would stop by the table. Or a waitress would swing by to mention she really hopes Valdez wins this month's Democratic primary runoff for the state's top elected position. Valdez has long been accustomed to such attention.

A VA Law is “Getting the Guppies Instead of the Trout”

In October 2015, then-candidate Donald Trump held a campaign rally in front of a Navy battleship in Norfolk, Virginia, and outlined his plan to restore trust at the Department of Veterans Affairs. “We are going to make the VA great again,” Trump said to thunderous applause. “And we are going to do it by firing the corrupt and incompetent VA executives who let our veterans down.”
Last June, Trump declared that he had made good on his promise when he signed the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. The law followed a string of well-publicized scandals, most notably an incident from 2014 in which VA hospital administrators in Phoenix tampered with patient wait-time data. Agency officials struggled to oust managers complicit in the scandal, and the facility's director was able to successfully appeal her termination.

A walk through the nation’s first lynching memorial

Brynn Anderson / Associated PressThis photo shows a bronze statue called “Raise Up”, part of the display at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a new memorial in Montgomery, Ala., to honor thousands of people killed in lynchings. The memorial and an accompanying museum that opened Thursday are a project of the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative, a legal advocacy group in Montgomery. The Montgomery Advertiser's Andrew J. Yawn takes readers on a journey through the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala. Read the complete story here. The post A walk through the nation's first lynching memorial appeared first on Mississippi Today.

A Weekly News Briefing

Going green or going for guzzlers?: How can a car company named one of the best “green” brands in the world announce two years later that it will cease sales of its most efficient vehicles, instead favoring SUVs? Jamie Lincoln Kitman of Automobile Magazine explains in an enlightening op-ed in The New York Times. Ford Motor Company announced last month that it would drop all but two cars – the Mustang and the new Ford Focus Active – from its North American lineup. By 2020, 90 percent of its portfolio will be trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles, the company said. Kitman calls it “a significant turning point for the American auto industry,” one that boosts profits in the short term but puts Ford at risk if oil prices spike.

A Weekly News Briefing

EPA on the brink of ‘regulatory capture'?: By avoiding input from career employees, promoting the views of industry leaders and proposing aggressive cuts to the agency's budget and staff, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has dramatically changed the agency, researchers with the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative have found. The EPA appears headed toward “regulatory capture,” when its purpose is no longer to protect the public interest but to favor the industries it regulates, according to the study, published in a special supplement on climate change by the American Journal of Public Health. By interviewing current and past agency employees, the authors outline how Pruitt and President Trump have attacked public health and environmental protections more aggressively than the early Reagan administration. As if to draw a line under the study's conclusions, Pruitt announced a proposal last week to allow only research for which all data is made public to be considered during rulemaking by the agency. Pruitt – himself under scrutiny for breaking rules – said he was ending the era of “secret science” and added, “Americans deserve to assess the legitimacy of the science underpinning EPA decisions that may impact their lives.” Scientists said the change would be an attack on studies that underpin critical environmental protections, much of which are based on patient data and cannot be made public for privacy reasons.

A year after Nikolai Vitti arrived in Detroit, a look back at his application shows what’s changed

Next week will mark a full year since Superintendent Nikolai Vitti arrived in Detroit, taking on one of the most daunting jobs in American education. As leader of the state's largest district, he faced a long list of challenges: hundreds of vacant teaching positions, deteriorating buildings, dismal test scores, a total lack of systems for finances and hiring — the legacy, Vitti says, of the state-appointed emergency managers who ran the district for years before his arrival. One year later, remains to be seen whether Vitti will be able deliver the hopeful turnaround he promised in his 27-page application.It's far too soon to look for real signs of progress — like higher test scores — since major changes to schools like a new curriculum won't be implemented until next school year but enrollment is up slightly, budgets have been balanced and teacher salaries are on the rise. Below, we return to his application — his blueprint for the district — to mark the things that have happened, the plans that have been made and the work still left to do. Candidate File for Nikolai Vitti
Superintendent Search
Please accept this letter as my official application to serve as the superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), I am applying for this extraordinary challenge and opportunity because of my deep and unwavering belief in urban public education and my love for my home city of Detroit.

A&I Draws Strength From City

Jazz heavyweights and artistic emissaries from Africa will mix with New Haven's finest talent at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas this year. That's just the way Chad Herzog, co-executive director of the festival and director of programming, wants it, as the festival continues to deal with a tighter state budget by sinking its roots deeper into the Elm City.

About 1,800 TNReady tests invalidated after students take wrong test for their grade

In the latest glitch in Tennessee's beleaguered online testing system, a “poorly designed feature” caused about 1,800 TNReady exams to be invalidated statewide. About half of the instances involved students at Norris Middle School in Anderson County near Knoxville who took science or social studies tests that were below their grade level. At least 21 students in Knoxville had the same issue. When asked, Sara Gast, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Education, did not specify where else in the state the error occurred. Testing coordinators can manually change the grade level of a student for certain tests when, for example, a fifth-grade student takes a higher-level math course.

Academic leader of Tennessee’s achievement schools finalist for Massachusetts district’s top job

After less than a year in a new role, the academic chief for the Achievement School District might be heading to Massachusetts. Verna Ruffin was named one of two finalists to lead Lawrence, Ma. schools at a board meeting this week, according to The Eagle-Tribune. The board may make an appointment as soon as May 21. Lawrence is a district north of Boston that serves roughly 13,900 students, the majority of whom are Hispanic and from low-income families.

Access to AP courses often elusive for low-income students

Statewide, one in 10 students from low-income families will take an Advanced Placement course, compared to one in four students from middle- or high-income homes. And increases in AP enrollment have done little to close these large disparities.

Accurate Data on Mentally Ill Needed To Reduce Jail Population, Experts Say

A national effort launched Tuesday, at the start of mental health month, by the Stepping Up initiative aims to to help counties collect accurate, accessible data on the number of people entering their jails. Collecting information on the population of mentally ill individuals in jail is critical to reducing their number, and finding alternative approaches to incarceration, says Kati Habert, Deputy Program Director of the initiative. “Counties need to understand the scope of the challenge they are facing,” she told The Crime Report in an interview. “They need accurate data because as they implement policies, they can actually track their progress and know the impact.”
The initiative, will provide counties with the tools they need to overcome difficulties in data collection, which often include limited staff capacity, lack of validated tools, and insufficient data-sharing mechanisms.
Stepping Up's seven “Innovator Counties”—Calaveras County, CA; Miami-Dade County, FL; Champaign County, IL; Douglas County, KS; Johnson County, KS; Franklin County, OH; and Pacific County, WA—have each implemented this approach and will be sharing their experiences in identifying and gathering data on the people entering their jails who have mental illnesses. “We hope this is the tipping point for other counties to come forward and talk about how they are doing this, or it will influence other counties to come forward and do this” said Habert.

ACLU gets ‘class action’ status in ICE lawsuit against El Paso County sheriff

A lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado challenging the way the El Paso County Sheriff works with federal immigration officials and people held in his jails is moving forward — and now has class action status. Tuesday's ruling by District Court Judge Eric Bentley in Colorado Springs allows the ACLU to represent current and future prisoners held in El Paso County jails who are or could be subject to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers or administrative warrants, including those who have already set bond. At issue is a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Colorado in February accusing Sheriff Bill Elder of illegally detaining prisoners at ICE's request. Related: ACLU suit accuses El Paso County sheriff of illegally detaining prisoners for ICE
According to the ACLU's complaint, plaintiffs Saul Cisneros and Rut Chavez were held in the El Paso jail awaiting trial for months. Cisneros made bail, set at $2,000, shortly after his arrest, but was held on at the request of ICE.

ACLU sues for immigration records in Vermont, NH and Maine

Border Patrol at Canadian border in Beebe Plain. Photo by Mike Kalasnik/Wikimedia Commons
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Border Patrol" width="610" height="406" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 800w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Border Patrol at Canadian border in Beebe Plain. Photo by Mike Kalasnik/Wikimedia CommonsThe American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking information about immigration enforcement in the three states, which all share borders with Canada. The ACLU first requested the documents from the Department of Homeland Security and two of its arms, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement in September.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Activist at treaty grounds

Native American tribal members from around the country gathered with state and federal officials at Fort Laramie last weekend to commemorate the 150th anniversary of a treaty signed between the Lakota people, Dakota people, Arapahoe Nation and the United States government in 1868. In this photo, dismounted horsemen gather behind Lakota activist and advocate Joann Spotted Bear. The men had recently left a tent where speeches were made, and Spotted Bear asked them to gather behind her for the photo, Laramie photographer Mike Vanata said. The men hold chieftain staffs, tribal flags and an older version of the U.S. flag with a rip on its left side. The tear was symbolic of two nations that were to come together and live in peace for eternity, Spotted Bear said at the time, according to Vanata.

Activist Weiss Focuses Her Mayoral Campaign on Housing and Homelessness

Fourth in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates' records and pledges on housing and homelessness. It's her second mayoral race, but Amy Farah Weiss doesn't rate in polls that have been released so far for the June 5 special election to fill the seat of the late Mayor Edwin Lee. She has no staff, has raised little money and won't be seen on commercials or billboards. For Weiss, the election is about shining a light on the race, again and again, trained on the city's homeless and affordable-housing crises – while proposing solutions to address both. Weiss is a bulldog.

Adams 14 keeps recess recommendations private ahead of board meeting

The Adams 14 school district won't release a set of recommendations on elementary school recess in advance of a school board meeting Tuesday night at which the recommendations will be presented. District officials said via email last week that the recommendations were finalized on April 26, but declined Chalkbeat's public records request for them, citing a provision of the Colorado Open Records Act that allows “work product” not to be released. Last Friday, district spokeswoman Janelle Asmus said once the recommendations were distributed to board members as part of their meeting packets Monday, they would no longer qualify as work product and would become publicly available. On Monday, she said the committee that drafted the recommendations had decided not to include them in the board packets as she'd expected. She said Chalkbeat's request for the recommendations was not the reason.

Administration Statement: The lesson of squandered savings for teachers, taxpayers and kids

News Release — Office of the Governor
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Rebecca Kelley, Director of Communications
Office of the Governor
Montpelier, Vt. – Rebecca Kelley, Governor Scott's Director of Communications, today issued the following statement:
“Vermont cannot afford more missed opportunities. “Testimony in the Legislature Wednesday confirmed the concerns Governor Scott raised last year about failing to take full advantage of the opportunity to save $26 million each year by transitioning to a statewide health benefit for school employees. Had they agreed to it, this plan would have allowed us to lower statewide property tax rates and invest more in education, without asking school employees to pay more. “Unfortunately, as the union and legislative leadership appear to be acknowledging, the complexity and inefficiency of more than 50 separately-negotiated contracts for school employee health plans has put the sustainability of those plans at significant risk.

Advanced care planning initiative receives third year of funding from UVMMC

News Release
May 15, 2018
Sarah Brown, Project
(802) 505-6395
Burlington, VT, May 15, 2018 – The University of Vermont Medical Center's Community Health Investment Fund has committed a third year of funding to Who's Your Person… What's Your Plan?, an initiative designed to increase the use of advance medical directives among Vermonters living in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. The Who's Your Person…What's Your Plan? initiative is a collaborative effort involving nine Vermont health care organizations, ranging from home-health providers, to affordable housing agencies, to organizations serving seniors. Goals are to encourage everyone 18 and older to consider their health care values and preferences, and to plan for future medical decisions at a time when they may be unable to speak for themselves, due to serious illness or catastrophic injury. The initiative received $100,000 in 2016 and $45,000 in 2017.

Advancing the conversation about prescription opioid misuse and abuse

Sam VitielloWe have all seen the statistics and heard heartbreaking stories about the opioid abuse epidemic and the tragic loss of lives young and old. Too many times, the sad turn toward addiction begins with a prescription for pain medication. In 2016 alone, prescription opioids killed 186 Minnesotans.House of Charity (HOC) serves single adults in the Twin Cities with the mission to feed, house and empower those experiencing homelessness and people affected by the opioid epidemic. According to a 2015 Wilder Research Study, 21 percent of homeless adults have been diagnosed with alcohol and substance use disorders.The opioid abuse epidemic is hitting the homeless and hundreds of others across the state. This is a public health and a human crisis affecting all of us, and it needs to become the central conversation in our communities.

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 disappointed with bill on public records, open meetings

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Jim Condos" width="640" height="427" srcset=" 5616w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 610w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" data-recalc-dims="1">Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos. File photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerLawmakers want to tweak Vermont's open meeting and public records regulations, but some say the changes don't do enough to increase governmental transparency. The Senate has advanced a bill, H.910, that addresses issues such as the definition of a public meeting, response times for record requests, and repeal of exemptions to public records law. 910Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox.

Advocates press lawmakers to restore Medicaid funding

Social services advocates brought their clients to the State Capitol on Saturday to make the case for lawmakers, now considering final revisions to the second year of the state's biennial budget, to reverse cuts that could leave 13,200 poor adults without coverage in January.

Affordable housing embraces automated wood heat

News Release – Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation
April 30, 2018
Emma Hanson | Wood Energy Coordinator, Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation
802-622-4187 | |
Andrew Perchlik |Public Service Department | Clean Energy Development Fund
802-828-4017 | |
MONTPELIER, VT – Not that long ago, the Hollister Hill Apartments on Austin Road in Plainfield were a rather bleak example of 1970's architecture that had seen better days. The Housing Foundation, Inc. had a vision to rebuild them, rendering them into comfortable, affordable, and functional units for their tenants to call home. They did so in part by embracing renewable energy in the form of a central wood pellet boiler. This is the third location where The Housing Foundation has installed a pellet boiler for their units, the others being Colonial Manor Apartments in Morristown and Fairground Apartments in Moretown, with hopes for future projects. Krister Adams, Development Specialist with the Vermont State Housing Authority, said, “Wood pellet boilers are a relatively simple heating system.

African vultures under the gun as lead ammunition takes a toll

Lead bullet fragments in animal carcasses left behind by game hunters could be poisoning vultures in Botswana, according to a new study that echoes similar findings from elsewhere around the world. The African white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus) is already under grave threat. Its populations have declined by as much as 90 percent across much of its range, and the species is now classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. Much of the catastrophic decline has come from the vultures consuming poisoned carcasses left behind by poachers wanting to prevent the birds from drawing attention to the animals they kill, or by pastoralists intending to kill predators to protect their livestock. A new study published in Science of the Total Environment now suggests that vultures face yet another threat: poisoning from lead ammunition.

African-American Groups Convene Candidates Forum

Public Press will host and moderate May 5 event
Since late January, San Francisco's mayoral candidates have appeared regularly at public forums and debates. And there are more to come between now and June 5, Election Day. When he looked over the calendar, Shaun Haines, president and founder of San Francisco Black Community Matters, noted that various demographics were holding events that focused on their key issues. “We've seen the LGBT community do that. They've had multiple forums. I've seen the Latino community do that,” Haines said.

After a political showdown, the Indianapolis district approves SUPER School for innovation

Despite bitter opposition from some teachers and community advocates, the Indianapolis Public Schools Board narrowly approved a measure Thursday to give the principal at School 19 more freedom by converting the school to innovation status. The board voted 4-3 to convert School 19, which is also known as SUPER School, to an innovation school. Principal John McClure had applied for the school to voluntarily convert to innovation status, which gives a new nonprofit oversight of daily management at the school. Some members of the board were skeptical of whether McClure, who is in his first year as principal, is ready for the responsibility and whether the school needs the additional freedom to meet his goals. But ultimately, a majority of the board members deferred to the judgment of the administration, which recommended the proposal.

After Animal Cruelty Charges, Why Does Trixie Foundation Still Have Hundreds of Animals?

WAVE 3 NewsDogs rest at the Trixie Foundation in Webbville, Kentucky during a visit in April 2018. WEBBVILLE, Ky. — To hear Randy Skaggs tell it, his Trixie Foundation nestled deep in the backwoods of Elliott County is heaven on earth for abandoned animals. He calls it “Eden” for the more than 200 dogs and cats he keeps on a two-acre plot that's often a muddy quagmire. And he claims that working at Trixie is “an animal lovers' dream job.”
Skaggs' numerous critics argue that Trixie really is a hellhole where animals suffer until they die, and that conditions for humans who work and live there aren't much better.

After another bumpy testing year, Tennessee will slow its switch to online exams

Tennessee education leaders are rethinking their timeline for adopting computerized testing after a parade of technical problems bedeviled students taking the state's TNReady exam for a third straight year. Most students are scheduled to test online next school year under a three-year transition plan. But since keyboard testing went so poorly this year with half that number of students, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen is backing off from that timetable. And while there's disagreement over exactly how to move ahead, there's consensus about one thing. “We have a credibility issue,” said state Rep. John Forgety, “and we need to get it right one time.”
McQueen floated three options for the 2018-19 school year to members of her testing task force during its Wednesday meeting in Nashville:
Returning to paper testing across all grades for one year;
Computer testing for high school students; paper testing for grades 3-8;
Computer testing for grade 6 through high school; paper testing for grades 3-5
Off the table, however, is the option that districts had this year to give computer tests to more grades than required by the state.

After anti-wall website launches on the border, Texas Farm Bureau fires off cease-and-desist letter

A group of Texans that has opened up a new front in the battle against President Donald Trump's proposed wall on the southern border have already prompted one interest group to threaten legal action, accusing the coalition of misleading people about eminent domain issues. But the organizers of said they welcomed the response as a sign that their mission — to call out what they say is hypocrisy over the issue of property rights — is gaining steam. The Texas Farm Bureau on Thursday sent the website's administrators a cease-and-desist letter after it featured a photo of a former farm bureau president and quoted him railing against the government's efforts to seize private land — the quote from former Farm Bureau president Kenneth Dierschke is more than 10 years old and was in response to former Gov. Rick Perry's trans-Texas corridor project. That proposed $175 billion dollar project aimed to build more than 4,000 miles of toll roads, rail lines and utility lines across the state, but it was never realized after concerns were raised over tolling, funding and land acquisition, among other things. Bureau spokesman Gene Hall said the likeness and quote were used without permission.

After criticism, Ill. state rep drops bill limiting access to police records

The sponsor of an Illinois House of Representatives bill that would have drastically cut public access to police records—including police misconduct complaints—killed the bill Thursday after searing opposition from civil rights and open government advocates. The bill, HB0984, introduced Monday by Rep. Anthony DeLuca, would have amended the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to exempt police records related to any pending state or federal criminal case from public records requests. By Thursday afternoon, the bill had garnered zero witness slips in favor and 45 in opposition from organizations including the Illinois Attorney General's office and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. Opponents said this kind of FOIA exemption would thwart public knowledge in cases of excessive use of police force, since victims of such force are often charged with a crime. “Virtually every incident of police brutality that I've studied over many years, virtually every one of those incidents also involved criminal charges, cover charges to justify the brutality,” said Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor and founder of the university's Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project, who also filed a witness slip against the bill.

After criticism, Ill. state rep drops bill limiting access to police records

The sponsor of an Illinois House of Representatives bill that would have drastically cut public access to police records—including police misconduct complaints—killed the bill Thursday after searing opposition from civil rights and open government advocates. The bill, HB0984, introduced Monday by Rep. Anthony DeLuca, would have amended the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to exempt police records related to any pending state or federal criminal case from public records requests. By Thursday afternoon, the bill had garnered zero witness slips in favor and 45 in opposition from organizations including the Illinois Attorney General's office and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. Opponents said this kind of FOIA exemption would thwart public knowledge in cases of excessive use of police force, since victims of such force are often charged with a crime. “Virtually every incident of police brutality that I've studied over many years, virtually every one of those incidents also involved criminal charges, cover charges to justify the brutality,” said Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor and founder of the university's Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project, who also filed a witness slip against the bill.

After decades, tribal courts & police slowly regaining lost authority

Congress has only recently started to reverse the trend, but for most of the last 50 years tribal law enforcement had to refer any serious crime to federal or state law enforcement agencies with scant resources – and little interest, critics say – to investigate those crimes.

After ex-employee is accused of fraud, UT hires a former federal prosecutor to investigate internal controls

After an ex-employee was arrested amid a fraud investigation involving potentially millions of dollars, the University of Texas at Austin has tapped former federal prosecutor Johnny Sutton to conduct a wide-ranging internal review and recommend policy changes. Sutton, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas from 2001 to 2009, will investigate “administrative and management issues” related to the alleged fraud, and will “provide recommendations for enhancement of systems, processes, and best practices, and corrective actions.” According to a recently-signed retainer agreement, the university has agreed to pay a maximum of $149,000 to Ashcroft Sutton Reyes, a high-profile practice whose Austin branch is headed by Sutton, for a term expected to end August 31, 2019. Sutton's hiring comes almost three weeks after Jason Shoumaker, a former director at the university's law school, was arrested on six charges of tampering with government records — his university time-sheets. But sources close to the matter say Shoumaker is at the center of an ongoing probe that could involve millions of dollars of questionable expenses. “Sutton and his firm have the experience and skills in employee and management investigation to help identify systems and processes that need to be addressed,” said Gary Susswein, a university spokesperson, in a statement.

After Mayoral Loss, Fletcher Built Up His Democratic Resume

Nathan Fletcher addresses a crowd following a citizenship ceremony for formerly deported veteran Hector Barajas. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
Four years ago, San Diego's then most powerful labor leader gave Nathan Fletcher some unsolicited advice. Fletcher left the Republican Party during the 2012 mayor's race and announced he had registered as a Democrat just months before the 2013 mayoral primary. Mickey Kasparian, then-president of San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, had helped kill Fletcher's mayoral run for the second time. He said Fletcher was only a fledging Democrat and should spend time in a lower-profile office – perhaps the County Board of Supervisors or the City Council – before he could count on progressive groups' support.

After McRaven departs, an interim chancellor for the UT System seems likely

The outgoing chancellor of the University of Texas System, Bill McRaven, said last year he would step down in May. But there likely won't be a permanent successor ready to take his place by the month's end. Because of a state-mandated waiting period, the system's governing board must leave 21 days between naming finalists for the chancellor job and appointing their final pick – and the window to name someone before McRaven departs on May 31 seems to have closed. Though McRaven announced his intention to leave last year, the UT System Board of Regents may have to name an interim chancellor, leave the position vacant temporarily or appoint at least one finalist to be confirmed after McRaven steps down. Randa Safady, a spokesperson for the system, declined to comment on the board's plans.

After Obama portrait, Amy Sherald seeks to ‘reclaim time’ for African-Americans

Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald built an reputation in the art world for painting highly stylized portraits of what you might call ordinary people. But she became a household name in wider circles earlier this year for her portrait of a rather extraordinary subject: the first African-American First Lady of the United States. An exhibition of Sherald's work is now at Contemporary Art Museum, where it remains on view through Aug. 19.

After Santa Fe shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott sees a West Texas mental health program as a statewide model

A Lubbock-based program seeing success helping prevent at-risk students from committing violent acts is getting more attention after Gov. Greg Abbott touted it as a potential statewide model to reduce school shootings the day after a student allegedly shot 10 people to death at his a southeast Texas high school. The Telemedicine Wellness, Intervention, Triage, and Referral Project at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center works to identify junior high and high school students most at risk for committing violence in schools and intervene before it happens. At Santa Fe High School on Friday, police said 17-year-old junior Dimitrios Pagourtzis, armed with his father's legally-owned shotgun and .38 revolver, killed eight students and two teachers and wounded 10 others. Pagourtzis, who had written about his plans in his journal but otherwise showed no obvious danger signs according to Abbott, has been charged with capital murder and remains in Galveston County Jail without bond, the school district said. Abbott alluded to Tech's program in a Friday tweet, saying “we want to use it across the state.”
But could it identify, and stop, someone like the alleged Santa Fe shooter?

After Santa Fe shooting, prominent Texas House Republican asks Abbott to call special session on school shootings

Three days after a 17-year-old Texas student killed 10 people in a shooting rampage at his high school, one of the Texas House's most prominent Republicans called on Gov. Greg Abbott to order a special legislative session on school shootings. State Rep. Byron Cook, a Corsicana Republican perhaps best known for blocking some of the governor's top priorities through his role as chairman of the powerful House State Affairs Committee, asked Abbott in a letter sent Monday to reconvene lawmakers in Austin this summer to make policy changes before the next school year begins in August. “I want to commend you on the immediacy of your actions on the school safety roundtable discussions beginning tomorrow,” Cook said, in a letter he also posted online. “However, much more must be done.”
Cook joins a growing chorus of Texas politicians who have already asked Abbott to call back lawmakers to weigh proposals on the issue. But as chair of the powerful House State Affairs Committee, he is the most prominent Republican so far to do so.

After teacher rallies, the work ‘shifts to the local community level,’ Colorado union president says

The wave of activism that brought thousands of red-shirted teachers to the Colorado State Capitol needs to continue at the local level in order to boost teacher pay or school funding, the leader of Colorado's largest teachers union said Monday. Teachers need to convince local school boards to raise salaries, Colorado Education Association President Kerrie Dallman said, and they need to convince neighbors to vote for a statewide tax in November that would raise another $1.6 billion annually for K-12 education. “It's safe to say we won't be seeing a massive statewide strike,” Dallman said. “The work really shifts to the local community level.”
This is a key difference between Colorado and other states that have seen statewide teacher walkouts. Here lawmakers alone can't solve this problem.

After three decades as UTEP’s president, Diana Natalicio sets plan for retirement

After 30 years as president, Diana Natalicio has announced she will retire from her post atop the University of Texas at El Paso as soon as a successor is in place. "Although approaching retirement saddens me — I am as energized today by UTEP's many assets and future potential as I was 30 years ago! — I've always known that this day would inevitably come," Natalicio wrote in an extended message posted online Tuesday. Natalicio, 78, has been an El Paso fixture for decades and has been widely recognized for her efforts to make higher education more accessible to low-income students. She will remain in place until a new president is formally appointed and poised to take over.

After two rocky weeks, Tennessee testing settles down for the homestretch

Students and teachers tackling state exams this week relished a stretch of normalcy, enjoying several days in a row without significant slowdowns or shutdowns in computerized testing. With a week of TNReady testing to go and about 70 percent of exams complete, testing company Questar permanently disabled a function believed to have interrupted Tennessee's assessment on Monday, the latest in a string of technical problems that have plagued schools this spring. The newest culprit — a feature that allowed text to be turned into speech for students needing audible assistance — was contributing to problems logging in and submitting tests, according to Sara Gast, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education. And regardless of how many students were using the feature in individual schools, the issue affected districts statewide, she added. “We believe that we would not be able to turn this feature back on without significantly risking further disruption and widespread slowdowns as students log on and submit their exams,” Gast wrote superintendents Tuesday evening in an email update.

After two years at helm, CEO of Memphis Education Fund is leaving

Marcus Robinson is resigning from Memphis' most prominent education philanthropic fund for a new job in his hometown of St. Louis. Robinson, a former Indianapolis charter school leader, took the helm at Memphis Education Fund in 2016. He is leaving his post next month to join The Opportunity Trust in St. Louis, a new effort centered on eliminating barriers to economic mobility.

Aging Super Hornets land in St. Louis for hi-tech upgrade at Boeing

The U.S. Navy's Super Hornet aircraft are coming home to St. Louis for a major makeover. Boeing unveiled its Service Life Modification (SLM) program Friday with dignitaries and many of the engineers and factory workers who built the first Super Hornets 20 years ago in attendance. Designed for a lifetime of 6,000 hours in the air — many of the F/A-18s fighter jets are nearing that milestone and returning to Boeing for a mechanical overhaul and updates. The first Super Hornet to arrive at Boeing to be inducted in the SLM program was on display at the ceremony.

Agreement opens high school tennis center to community

The public can reserve time at the courts through the Hollister Recreation Department.

Agreement, Court Victory Give Hog Farm Critics Cautious Optimism

By Catherine Clabby
Standing before dozens of allies in a long battle against stench and other environmental nuisances they blame on eastern North Carolina hog farms, Devon Hall broke into song. At a meeting of the Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (REACH), which he helped found, Hall last week chose something joyful, the Kool & the Gang classic “Celebrate.”
“We should celebrate our victories. Even those that may appear to be small. This is no a small matter here, trust me,” said Hall, waving a new agreement between state environmental regulators, REACH and other North Carolina hog farm critics. Waste from a hog farm pours from a barn into an uncovered lagoon in Duplin County.

Aiming for bipartisan deal, Dems add funds for seniors, towns

Trying to avoid a repeat of last year when conservative Democrats defected to support a Republican state budget, Democratic legislative leaders unveiled several proposals Monday aimed at striking a bipartisan compromise. The plan restores funds for municipal aid and for a medication assistance program for seniors and the disabled.

Air Force head says F-35 loss could ground Vermont Guard

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter/Creative Commons photo
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="F-35" width="610" height="406" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 330w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter/Creative Commons photoAir Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Thursday that the Vermont Air National Guard would likely be grounded if F-35s are not based at the Burlington Air Guard Station. During questioning by Sen. Patrick Leahy at a U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, the Air Force head told lawmakers, “If the F-35s don't go to Vermont, the F-16s will eventually age out, and it's highly likely that Vermont will no longer have a flying mission for its Guard.”
Opponents to the F-35 basing have raised concerns over the environmental effects of stationing the fleet of fighter jets in Vermont's most populous city. In public statements and court filings, opposition groups, including Save Our Skies VT, have suggested that the Air Force could assign alternative aircraft to the Guard. VTANG officials have contended that there is no alternative mission being planned for the Green Mountain Boys. Wilson's comment Thursday appears to be the first public statement clarifying the position of the Air Force.

Al Jazeera Analyzed 6,500 Homepage Images. Here’s What They Learned

Picture Perfect: AJ Labs' collage of the images its journalists used in news articles in 2017. Choosing the right image to tell your story is just as important as a good news headline. As 2017 came to a close we decided to collect all the images that we published on our homepage throughout the year and ask ourselves what types of images did our readers see when they came to our website? Asking the Right Questions
To analyze both the contents and context of each image, we used Google's Vision API. This powerful machine-learning model uses Google's massive database of images to detect faces, landmarks and everyday objects within an image.

Alamo Heights ISD Picks Internal Candidate as New Superintendent

Dana Bashara, an assistant superintendent with Alamo Heights ISD, is the lone finalist candidate to be the district's next superintendent. The post Alamo Heights ISD Picks Internal Candidate as New Superintendent appeared first on Rivard Report.

Alan Tinkler: Northwest Vermont United Way demonstrates its renewed commitment to the community

Editor's note: This commentary is by Alan Tinkler, of South Burlington, who is a member of the Community Impact Team for United Way of Northwest Vermont, as well as on the boards of the Vermont Folklife Center and Community Engagement Lab. When I joined the Community Impact Team of United Way of Northwest Vermont five years ago, I did so because I was committed to United Way's mission “to build a stronger Northwest Vermont by mobilizing our community to improve people's lives.” While this ethos has been evident since I started my work there, during the last two years, I have been particularly thrilled to take part since United Way of Northwest Vermont has opened up its funding application process to innovative, well-established programs from across our community. This dynamic process was made possible because of United Way of Northwest Vermont's ongoing commitment to understanding our community. Over the last couple of years, United Way of Northwest Vermont engaged in an extensive community-based process to listen to stakeholders and service providers and identify the following strategic priorities for community improvement and investment: reducing substance abuse; supporting families; advancing employment; meeting basic needs (which includes programming to support housing, food, transportation and health); and promoting mental health. These strategic priorities, approved by United Way's board of directors, provide the investment architecture for the next three-year cycle of funding community programs.
The Community Impact Team was asked to review the applications and make recommendations for funding.

Alan Tinkler: Northwest Vermont United Way demonstrates its renewed commitment to the community

Editor's note: This commentary is by Alan Tinkler, of South Burlington, who is a member of the Community Impact Team for United Way of Northwest Vermont, as well as on the boards of the Vermont Folklife Center and Community Engagement Lab. When I joined the Community Impact Team of United Way of Northwest Vermont five years ago, I did so because I was committed to United Way's mission “to build a stronger Northwest Vermont by mobilizing our community to improve people's lives.” While this ethos has been evident since I started my work there, during the last two years, I have been particularly thrilled to take part since United Way of Northwest Vermont has opened up its funding application process to innovative, well-established programs from across our community. This dynamic process was made possible because of United Way of Northwest Vermont's ongoing commitment to understanding our community. Over the last couple of years, United Way of Northwest Vermont engaged in an extensive community-based process to listen to stakeholders and service providers and identify the following strategic priorities for community improvement and investment: reducing substance abuse; supporting families; advancing employment; meeting basic needs (which includes programming to support housing, food, transportation and health); and promoting mental health. These strategic priorities, approved by United Way's board of directors, provide the investment architecture for the next three-year cycle of funding community programs.
The Community Impact Team was asked to review the applications and make recommendations for funding.

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences names new dean

News Release — Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Vermont campus
May 3, 2018
Gil Chorbajian
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Work: (518) 694-7394
Mobile: (518)
Jennifer Mathews, PhD, has been named the Associate Dean for the ACPHS Vermont Campus; the campus opened in Colchester in 2009 and remains home to the only Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program in the state. As Associate Dean, Dr. Mathews will serve as the Senior Academic Officer and Administrative Officer of the campus. Dr. Mathews will also have an appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her responsibilities will include execution of the pharmacy program; supervision of faculty; campus operations; and coordination of the development, implementation, and assessment of initiatives that support the programs on the Vermont Campus, which also include a Master's program in Pharmaceutical Sciences. “We are excited to welcome Jennifer to the College as Associate Dean for the Vermont Campus.

Albertus Inaugurates President Camille

New Haven's Albertus Magnus College, which has recently stepped up its commitment to closer town-gown relations, inaugurated its 14th president on Friday afternoon with calls for study, prayer, service, and community.

Aldermen delay votes on residency for city employees, number of wards in St. Louis

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday delayed a final vote on changes to the city's residency requirement for workers and the number of aldermen. Supporters of reversing a 2012 public vote that cut the number of wards from 28 to 14, and of eliminating the residency requirement for more city employees, did not have the votes to send the measures to Mayor Lyda Krewson. She had already pledged to veto the ward reduction reversal.

Alex Farrell launches first ad of campaign

News Release — Farrell for State Senate
May 10, 2018
Alex R.
Launched digitally and sets the tone for an energetic campaign for the state senate
BURLINGTON, VT — Today, the Farrell for State Senate campaign launched its first ad titled “Running.” The ad highlights Alex Farrell's hometown roots and sets the tone for an energetic campaign for one of the six Chittenden County Senate Seats. “Running” opens up to the Little League fields in Shelburne and includes drone footage of Burlington and Alex going door to door meeting with Vermonters. The ad was launched digitally and will run aggressively through social media in the coming weeks. You can view the ad on the campaign website at or our YouTube channel by following the link below.

Alex R. Farrell announces campaign kick-off for state Senate seat

News Release — Farrell for State Senate
May 16, 2018
Alex R.
Event hosted at Halvorson's on Church Street on May 24th at 6:00 PM
Burlington, VT – Today, the Farrell for State Senate campaign announces it will hold a formal campaign kick-off on May 24th, 6:00 PM, at Halvorson's on Church Street. The event is free, open to the public and to the press. Full details of the event can be found below. Who: Farrell for State Senate Campaign, Republican and Democrat Legislative Leaders, Donors, Friends, Family, and Campaign Team
What: Official campaign kick-off for Alex Farrell's Campaign for the State Senate
When: Thursday, May 24, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Program estimated to begin at 6:45 PM
Where: Halvorson's Upstreet Cafe, 16 Church Street, Burlington, VT in the back room and patio
Light hor d'oevours and a cash bar will be made available for attendees.

Alioto Says Her Past ‘Housing First’ Plan Would End Homelessness

Third in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates' records and pledges on housing and homelessness. This is Angela Alioto's third full-fledged attempt to crack City Hall Room 200, and the detractors of the feisty and charismatic civil rights attorney, former board president and aspiring second-generation mayor, dismiss her as a vestige of this city's past — our very own Make San Francisco Great Again candidate. Alioto's response is typically pugnacious. She already made San Francisco great. What have you done?

All For a Good Cause: Fiesta Makes ‘Enormous’ Difference in San Antonio

Fiesta, the “party with a purpose,” annually contributes millions of dollars in economic impact to San Antonio, but also to local charities, both big and small. The post All For a Good Cause: Fiesta Makes ‘Enormous' Difference in San Antonio appeared first on Rivard Report.

All Memphis teachers could get a raise now that TNReady scores won’t affect their pay

All teachers in Shelby County Schools would get a 3 percent raise next school year under revisions to the district's proposed budget. The Memphis district had originally planned to give raises to teachers with high evaluation scores, but a recent bill from state lawmakers sent district leaders back to the drawing board. The switch will cost the school system about $3.5 million more than budgeted, said Lin Johnson, the district's chief financial officer. In reaction to consistent problems with the state's online rollout of its standardized test, TNReady, state lawmakers last month banned districts from using teacher evaluation scores — which are partially based on student test results — for decisions about hiring, firing or compensation. This is not the first time that issues with the state's online testing process has caused Shelby County Schools to alter how they award teacher raises.

Allegations against Minnesota Rep. Rod Hamilton pose big test for new House sexual harassment policy

Briana Bierschbach

Within 24 hours of Minnesota lawmakers adopting major changes to the House's internal sexual harassment policy, that new policy is facing a big test.On Thursday afternoon, the Star Tribune reported that a 23-year-old woman filed a police report accusing Republican Rep. Rod Hamilton of sexual assault. According to a St. Paul Police spokesman, on April 13 Hamilton allegedly invited the woman back to his apartment near the Capitol during a snowstorm and “stroked her hair, traced her ear with his finger, kissed her cheek and held her hands and hugged her.” The woman first met Hamilton through her work advocating for sexual assault victims in Minnesota.In a statement, Hamilton “categorically” denied the accusations of sexual assault, but he said he informed the chamber's human resources department of the report. The investigation is open but Hamilton has not been charged with a crime, according to police.“In the interest of full transparency and cooperation, I have reported this incident to the House Human Resources Department,” said Hamilton, a representative from Mountain Lake who was first elected in 2004. “To date, I have not been contacted by law enforcement regarding these allegations, but I will cooperate fully with any investigation conducted either by law enforcement or the House Human Resources Department.”The internal investigation will happen under the parameters laid out in the House's new sexual harassment policy, which was adopted Wednesday afternoon after months of discussion between legislators, staff and employment law experts.Hamilton is not the first legislator to be accused of sexual harassment in Minnesota: In December, Republican Rep. Tony Cornish and DFL Sen. Dan Schoen resigned over multiple allegations of harassment while they were in office.Those allegations came out during the height of the #MeToo Movement, which saw thousands of women sharing their stories of sexual harassment and assault. Hamilton's case is the first to come out in the midst of session — and after #MeToo has gone from being reactive to proactive, with statehouses and industries adopting new policies and standards to try and prevent harassment or better deal with allegations in the future.Hamilton's case also deals with a major piece up for discussion in Minnesota: How does the chamber handle an incident that involves a third party: someone who doesn't directly work for the House and Senate. That question was first raised in the cases involving Cornish and Schoen.

Alleged Maine Cop Killer Captured in Wooded Camp

Maine police scouring the cold, muddy forest for a 29-year-old man wanted in the killing of a sheriff's deputy found him outside a remote wooded camp and slapped the dead cop's handcuffs on the fugitive, the Boston Herald reports. A seven-man capture team found John D. Williams, exhausted and shirtless, at a camp in the woods south of Norridgewock, Me., on the fourth day of a manhunt triggered by the killing of Somerset County Sheriff Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole. Williams “offered limited resistance” and was taken into custody with Cole's handcuffs. Officials did not say why they believe Williams shot and killed Cole Wednesday morning, then stole his police car and robbed an area convenience store before dumping the car and fleeing on foot. Sheriff Dale Lancaster said, “I am extremely saddened by the death of my deputy, and I can tell you those feelings are not only shared by myself but by my own deputies and all of law enforcement.” Hundreds of law enforcement personnel, including FBI agents, searched the woods of central Maine for four days for Williams. Along the way, they found tracks and other “critical evidence” that kept them believing they had him surrounded and were closing in on him.

Allison Pataki to Discuss New Book

Will read from memoir at libraryAllison Pataki to Discuss New Book was first posted on May 18, 2018 at 9:02 am.

Allison, Beebe Talk Education, Speaker Selection at District 121 Forum

Seeking Joe Straus' seat, Republicans Steve Allison and Matt Beebe will face off in the Texas House District 121 runoff election May 22. The post Allison, Beebe Talk Education, Speaker Selection at District 121 Forum appeared first on Rivard Report.

Amazon confirms massive Tucson warehouse plans

Amazon has confirmed a report from March that the company is building a giant distribution center on the Southeast Side. The company will hire about 1,500 workers here.

Amazon to add 200 jobs at Minneapolis office

MinnPost staff

Minnesota getting some new Amazon jobs after all. The Star Tribune's Kavita Kumar reports: “While Amazon did not include Minneapolis on the list of finalists for its second headquarters, the online behemoth is still going to more than double its corporate presence in the city. … Fast-growing Amazon plans to hire an additional 200 engineers and other IT workers for its tech hub in the North Loop where it now employs about 150 people, Amazon confirmed to the Star Tribune. … Local and state officials will visit the office later this week.”WWJD? MPR picks up a story by Kyle Farris from The Winona Daily News: “Winonans of faith are rallying behind an effort to create a sanctuary church, a place where immigrants living in the U.S. illegally can stay without fear of deportation as they follow the winding legal path toward citizenship.

Amendment calls for review of lottery after VTDigger report

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe speaks to reporters during a press conference at the Statehouse on Tuesday, May 1. Photo by Colin Meyn/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Tim Ashe" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe speaks to reporters during a press conference at the Statehouse on Tuesday, May 1. Photo by Colin Meyn/VTDiggerThe head of the Senate has proposed an amendment that would require the commissioner of the new liquor and lottery commission to conduct a review of the state's lottery following a VTDigger investigation that exposed winnings that were “just too lucky.”
The amendment to H.571, which merges the liquor and lottery commissions into one body, was proposed by Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden. It would require the yet-to-be-named commissioner to review a number of findings central to a VTDigger investigation published on April 29. “You generally don't want to legislate by news story,” Ashe said in an interview on Wednesday, “but the issues raised in the story definitely have the effect of undermining the confidence about how things are being administered.”
The amendment asks the commissioner to investigate whether a disproportionate number of winning tickets were purchased by owners or employees of convenience stores, or their immediate family members.

Ameren plans to build a large network of wind turbines in northeast Missouri

Ameren Missouri on Mnday announced plans to build a wind farm in northeast Missouri that could provide electricity to 120,000 homes. The utility has contracted renewable energy company Terra-Gen LLC to construct 175 wind turbines on multiple properties in Adair and Schuyler counties. The wind farm would help Ameren Missouri reach its goal to cut its 2005 carbon emissions levels by 80 percent by 2050. The utility also must comply with the state's renewable energy standard, which requires state utilities to generate 15 percent of their portfolios from renewable sources by 2021. Ameren Missouri currently generates 5 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

American Icons

Sebastian and Walker at Towne CrierAmerican Icons was first posted on May 7, 2018 at 8:21 am.

Americans recovering their languages and learning their neighbors’

Ann Markusen

After a century of language suppression, Americans are enthusiastically committing time and fellowship to mastering tongues other than English. Some are doing so formally, in schools. Others in language villages and weekly conversation tables in their neighborhoods. While it's often frustrating and discouraging, many are making progress.Ann MarkusenIn the 19th century, newly built public schools offered English-only instruction. Teachers, mainly women, prepared in two-year colleges and then fanned out to teach.

Americans’ anxiety levels leaped higher this year, poll finds

Susan Perry

Four in 10 Americans are more anxious than they were a year ago, according to a new poll released this week by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).Although millennials continue to be the generation with the greatest levels of anxiety, baby boomers' worries jumped the most over the past 12 months, the poll also found."This poll shows U.S. adults are increasingly anxious, particularly about health, safety, and finances,” said Dr. Anita Everett, president of the APA, in a released statement. “That increased stress and anxiety can significantly impact many aspects of people's lives, including their mental health, and it can affect families."“It highlights the need to help reduce the effects of stress with regular exercise, relaxation, healthy eating, and time with friends and family," she added.Across the boardFor the poll, the APA surveyed a representative sample of 1,004 American adults during a four-day period in March of this year. They then compared those results with a similar-sized poll taken in 2017. The poll asked respondents to rate their anxiety in five different areas: safety, health, finances, relationships and politics. Overall, 39 percent of the people surveyed reported being more anxious in 2018 than they were in 2017.

Amgen Tour goes through Bitterwater Tuesday May 15

South county residents may be surprised when the Amgen Bicycle Race comes through late morning Tuesday May 15.

Amid a tight labor market, this Twin Cities company hires employees before it has a specific job for them

Ibrahim Hirsi

In a tight labor market, relying on job ads is no longer an effective technique for finding qualified workers to fill job vacancies. That's a reality that managers at the Oakdale-based Twin City Hardware (TCH) came face-to-face with some years back as they experienced difficulties finding workers to join the company.The chief reason TCH couldn't attract enough employees would be familiar to almost any employer in the region: the persistent workforce shortage, which has become more pronounced as baby boomers have started to leave the workforce for retirement.Beyond that, a couple of other factors exacerbated TCH's struggle to draw enough workers. First, the company has expanded over the past five years, which has meant a need for more personnel to drive that growth. Second, TCH specializes in the production of doors, frames and security technology, a relatively narrow field within the construction industry — which means that most people hardly know about it, even those teaching or studying the construction profession at higher institutions. “Most schools don't teach what we do,” said Matt Oberlander, TCH's operations manager.

Amid Affordable Housing Dispute, Conservatives Seek a Home in Chicago

by Mick Dumke
When news broke last week that a proposed affordable housing development on Chicago's Northwest Side had likely been put on hold, Ammie Kessem, a Republican candidate for state representative, vowed on Facebook that it wasn't the end of the story. Democrats, Kessem wrote, would pay for pushing the plan — including 45th Ward Ald. John Arena, its chief sponsor, and Kessem's opponent, state Rep. Robert Martwick. Martwick, she wrote, “cannot continue to hide on this subject. … The people are going to hold you accountable for it come November.”

Kessem's opposition to building the affordable housing complex in her neighborhood has been a central part of her campaign for the Illinois House.

Amid contracting scandal, Charles Smith to depart as head of Texas health commission

Texas Health and Human Services Commission leader Charles Smith is stepping down at the end of May, the agency confirmed Thursday. Smith, executive commissioner for the health agency, said he would retire after weeks of intense scrutiny over how the commission handles contracts. He is considered a longtime ally of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who picked him to lead the state's Health and Human Services Commission in 2016. He worked for the governor previously in the attorney general's office, when Abbott was the state's top attorney. In a news release, Smith said that his role as executive commissioner "is a job I have loved, and I know together we have made a difference for Texans.”
“I will always be a friend to the agency, and the work of the HHS system will carry on,” Smith said.

Amid Destruction, Last Tenant Holds On

Delores Robinson doesn't find it eerie to live in the last occupied Church Street South apartment while a work crew rips apart all the buildings around her.

Amid questions of whether ex-Congressman Blake Farenthold was hired inappropriately as lobbyist, he says, “I wasn’t involved”

CORPUS CHRISTI — Asked Friday about a news report that said former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold's recent hiring as a lobbyist for the Port of Port Lavaca may have violated the Texas Open Meetings Act, the Republican said he "wasn't involved." The Victoria Advocate reported Friday that Farenthold's hiring may have been illegal since the notice posted by the Calhoun Port Authority, which oversees the port, was too vague in describing what was going to be said at a closed meeting where the former congressman's hiring was discussed. "I'm trying to get on with my life. I wasn't involved other than I talked to them about a job. I don't know anything about it," Farenthold said after an event hosted by The Texas Tribune.

Among Texas politicians, a familiar tragedy sparks a familiar debate

In the hours after a deadly shooting at a southeast Texas high school left at least 10 dead and 10 more wounded, a familiar debate began to emerge — pitting the state's top Republican leaders against some of the Democrats vying to take their spots in this year's elections. As U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, along with many of the state's other Republican political leaders, sent his “thoughts and prayers” to the families of those injured and killed, state Rep. Gene Wu, a Houston Democrat, tweeted, “Y'all been sending thoughts and prayers for two freaking decades now.”
“Time to try something new,” Wu said. That something new could be born out of roundtable discussions Gov. Greg Abbott has announced will begin next week to tackle the challenge of school shootings. Speaking into a cluster of microphones Friday afternoon at a press conference outside Santa Fe High School, where authorities say 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis shot students and staff with a shotgun and a .38 revolver, Abbott said that he had already been preparing to release several new proposals for gun laws in Texas. Now, he said, he will begin meeting with stakeholders to propose “swift solutions to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again.”
"We need to do more than just pray for the victims and their families,” Abbott said.

An advanced placement debate: An open or closed gate?

Connecticut's education chief remembers the response she got from several local school leaders in 2014 when her department mailed 20,000 letters urging high school students to enroll in advanced courses introducing college-level material. “What are you trying to do to us,” the local officials asked Commissioner Dianna Wentzell. The letters were aimed at increasing enrollment […]

An Alarming Tip About a Neo-Nazi Marine, Then an Uncertain Response

by A.C. Thompson, ProPublica, and Ali Winston, special to ProPublica
It was Oct. 29, 2017, when Ed Beck decided he had to contact the military police. For weeks, Beck had been tracking the online life of a 21-year-old lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. He said he had concluded the young man, a North Carolina native named Vasillios Pistolis, was deeply involved in neo-Nazi and white supremacist activities. Beck said he had compiled an exhaustive dossier on the young Marine, tracing the evolution of Pistolis' racist worldview over recent years and linking him to violent altercations at the bloody white power rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August.

An effort to curb campus sexual assault is on life support after this GOP-led panel overhauled a proposed new law in Colorado

Jessica Higgins never reported. After she was raped her freshman year at the small private Colorado College in 2013, the English major feared that if she came forward, her story would be in doubt. She was intoxicated that night, and too young to legally drink alcohol. Many of the people she loved and trusted, she said, told her what happened was her fault.
“I felt so deeply that if I reported no one would believe me,” Higgins told The Colorado Independent. Over the last five years, Higgins said she has struggled with periodic counseling, crippling doubt, and sleepless nights.

An Indianapolis’ student’s viral video highlights accessibility issues at school

STORY SLAM: Becoming a teacher and facing the realities of leading a classroom challenged Allissa Impink in ways she couldn't have imagined. Read more in Chalkbeat. FOR TEACHERS: We're about to launch another newsletter over here at Chalkbeat, and this one is especially for teachers. Our goal is to share realistic snapshots of what life looks like in classrooms today. Sign up here.

An Ohio legislator defied FirstEnergy lobbyists. Then a ‘dark money’ group helped sink her bid for Congress

A “dark money” organization tied to a major electric company pumped significant cash into an Ohio congressional race in what a losing candidate describes as an act of retribution over a failed financial deal. Christina Hagan, a state representative who was running in the Republican primary for Ohio's 16th congressional district seat, said a group called the Conservative Leadership Alliance targeted her with a barrage of attack ads after she declined to support legislation Akron, Ohio-based electric company FirstEnergy had lobbied her to help pass. The Conservative Leadership Alliance's treasurer is Marc Himmelstein, who has worked for years as a FirstEnergy lobbyist in Washington, D.C. FirstEnergy has paid Himmelstein firm, National Environmental Strategies, $640,000 since 2010, according to congressional lobbying filings. Hagan said she didn't think the bill, which would have allowed FirstEnergy to collect an additional $300 million annually from customers to shore up its aging power plants, was fair to electric customers. House Bill 178 would have created “zero-emission credits” that would have raised customers' monthly bills by about 5 percent.

An ozone-killing CFC is still being made, study suggests, despite the global ban

Ron Meador

A piece of deft detective work emerged on Wednesday from Boulder, Colorado, where atmospheric scientists announced that recovery of the earth's radiation-shielding ozone layer by midcentury faces a new threat: fresh emissions, probably from eastern Asia, of an ozone-eating chemical whose production was banned by international treaty three decades ago.The chemical is known as CFC-11, which is less of a mouthful for nonchemists than trichlorofluoromethane. It was used as a refrigerant, a solvent, a “blowing agent” for polyurethane insulating foam and packing material … and as the expanding/contracting fluid in those little drinking-bird toys.Like other chlorofluorocarbons, CFC-11's breakdown products in the atmosphere include chlorine, which severs the bonds that hold trios of oxygen atoms together as ozone. Under the Montreal Protocol of 1987, production of CFCs and other ozone-depleting chemicals were phased out; production of CFC-11 was supposed to stop in 2010, but official reports to the United Nations show it had fallen nearly to zero by 2006.This doesn't mean emissions of the chemicals themselves fell to zero. In fact, CFC-11 continues to contribute about one-fourth of all the chlorine reaching the ozone layer, as it leaks both from old refrigeration equipment and also from insulation exposed when buildings are demolished.Still, atmospheric levels should be falling steadily. And they aren't.Based on data collected since 2002 from air-sampling instruments around the world, researchers led by Stephen A. Montzka of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's lab in Boulder found that CFC-11 concentrations had declined at a steady rate for 10 years.

Analysis: A Texas governor’s debate can only be a game-changer if it has an audience

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. When a political party is viable, the runoff debates between its candidates for the state's top elected job are big events. That's the bar for tonight's one and only debate between Lupe Valdez of Dallas and Andrew White of Houston, who finished first and second in March's Democratic primary for governor of Texas. If you were hoping to catch it on TV tonight, you're likely to be disappointed. Outside of the Austin and San Antonio markets, it's only going to be available via livestream online.

Analysis: Another mass shooting and a fresh chance to act

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Poke around on the internet and you'll turn up article after article about guns and government and politics — the arguments that sprout every time there is another mass shooting. This is another chance to fix things. It's discouraging that we and our political leaders have blown so many chances, but here's another one. We're either going to work things out or get used to things as they are.

Analysis: Choosing the next Texas House speaker is a game played by very fuzzy rules

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. It's hard to say whether anyone has ever violated the Texas law informally known as the speaker statute. In all the years it's been on the books, nobody has ever been formally charged with a transgression. The gist of the law is that only a “speaker candidate” can spend money and take contributions, loans or promises of funds to advance their candidacy. But the law takes a somewhat twisted path.

Analysis: Four declared candidates for Texas speaker — and at least one “No way!”

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. As the members of the Texas House — not to mention the rest of us — try to figure out who all is in the running to replace House Speaker Joe Straus, a declaration of non-candidacy is refreshing. State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, says he is not now and will not become a candidate for speaker. Take him off the list. One might wonder how to get that kind of an announcement out of an ambitious politician.

Analysis: Free-speech implications of case involving St. Louisan’s artwork removed from US Capitol

In 2016, a painting by St. Louis high school student David Pulphus appeared in the U.S. Capitol alongside hundreds of other winning art competition entries. About seven months later, after pressure from a group of Republican lawmakers with backing from law enforcement, the artwork was removed from display . U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) filed a lawsuit alleging the violation of the student's First Amendment rights soon afterward.

Analysis: In Texas elections, there’s power in small numbers

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. In the last presidential election — normally the high-water mark for turnout in any state — 9.0 million Texans voted, out of the 15.1 million who were registered to vote at that time. That's just a touch under 60 percent. You already know that voter turnout in Texas is, according to a recent report, worse than almost any place else. “Almost” means Hawaii.

ANALYSIS: Lawmakers leave without a deal on taxes and budget

Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson, D-South Hero, speaks with Minority Leader Don Turner, R-Milton, during the Saturday session at the Statehouse. Photo by Anne Galloway/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="mitzi don" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson, D-South Hero, speaks with Minority Leader Don Turner, R-Milton, during the Saturday session at the Statehouse. Photo by Anne Galloway/VTDiggerThe 2018 biennium of the Vermont Legislature came to a close with no money deal in hand. Despite bipartisan agreement on new gun restrictions and legalization of small amounts of marijuana earlier in the session, it has ended on a sour note.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Analysis: Millennial Texans might be louder, but they’re not voting

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Derek Ryan, a young Texas voter who also happens to be a political consultant, is finally starting to see some of his peers talking and posting about politics and showing up on lists of voters. It's taken long enough: He's in his early 40s. He also has crunched the numbers, finding that his anecdotal experience is not anecdotal at all. Younger Texans aren't voting, and it's particularly bad in Ryan's own party, the Texas GOP.

Analysis: Millennial Texans Might Be Louder, but They’re Not Voting

In all of the attention paid to low voter turnout, this got lost: Millennial Texans made up only a small part of the electorate in this year's primaries. The post Analysis: Millennial Texans Might Be Louder, but They're Not Voting appeared first on Rivard Report.

Analysis: Pardons have plummeted in New Mexico under Gov. Martinez

Brenna Ellis thinks the Trump stuff on social media played a part. She pushed for the New York reality TV star's rogue candidacy on Facebook during the 2016 election season. Meanwhile, she was making a big ask of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who had publicly feuded with Trump over his comments about immigrants and […]

Analysis: Texas Democrats Lupe Valdez and Andrew White stage a small race for the biggest office

This is Texas politics writ small. St. James Episcopal Church was not full on Friday night — not by a long shot — 13 minutes before the only debate in the runoff for the Democratic nomination for governor of Texas. And that's not because it was some cavernous cathedral; it's more like a 300-seat sanctuary. A few minutes before the candidates took the stage, the moderator, Gromer Jeffers of The Dallas Morning News, took the audience through the agreed-upon rules, asked them to be quiet throughout the debate and thanked the hosts for the hard work of putting together an event that frankly looked unlikely until just days before it came together.

Analysis: The anemic state of democracy in Texas

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The difficulty in getting voters to show up for a runoff election is a big problem in Texas. There are hotspots around the state that might engage more voters, but generally speaking, it's hard enough to get voters to the table once —and harder still to get them to come back for seconds. Turnout in the March primaries was mediocre. According to the Texas Secretary of State, 10.2 percent of the state's 15.2 million registered voters cast ballots in the Republican primary, while 7 percent showed up for the Democratic primary.

Analysis: The centerpiece of the 2018 Texas general election? Dallas County

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. On the day after this year's November general election, you'll know almost everything about how Texas went by knowing how the election went in Dallas County. It's a blue county in the most populated red state in the U.S. Hillary Clinton won 60.75 percent of the vote to Donald Trump's 34.6 percent in 2016. Democrats Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte beat Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick in the races for governor and lieutenant governor in 2014, even as the two Republicans were coasting to easy statewide victories. Democrats want to keep the Dallas County trend rolling.

Analysis: The next Texas House speaker will be chosen by greenhorns

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. The coming race for speaker of the Texas House will be decided by novices. Most of the 150 members of the House — more than two-thirds, in fact — have never elected a new speaker. And only a half dozen of them were around the last time the race for speaker didn't feature an incumbent. They'll all be experts in just a few months.

Analysis: There are 3 official candidates to be the next Texas House speaker. The real field is much bigger.

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Only three people have declared themselves candidates for speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, but don't get the idea that you've seen the full field of candidates. The election won't actually happen until January, when the Legislature convenes for its next regular session, but the politics are well underway. The three officially and legally in the race to succeed current Speaker Joe Straus, listed in the order they jumped in, are Reps. Phil King of Weatherford, John Zerwas of Richmond and Tan Parker of Flower Mound, all Republicans.

Analysis: This week’s dramatic shift in the Greitens case

On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh discussed the surprising turn of events that made headlines late Monday afternoon in the continuing legal saga surrounding Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. As St. Louis Public Radio reported Monday , St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner dropped the felony invasion of privacy charge against Greitens after the prosecutor was herself endorsed as a witness in the case.

Analysis: With runoffs complete, the 2018 Texas general elections begin in earnest

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Tuesday's runoffs set the major party ballots for a November general election where Texas Republicans will be trying to maintain a 24-year winning streak in statewide elections while Democrats will be trying to breach the red seawall with a blue tsunami. The top of the general election ticket was set in March, when U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat, won their parties' nomination for U.S. Senate. Based on the piles of donations the two candidates have collected and the public interest they've generated to date, that looks to be the marquee race this year. Ordinarily, that's the place of the race for governor; even in years when one party or the other is dominant, Texas gubernatorial races often dominate the news and public conversation in the state during non-presidential election years.

Andrew Perchlik declares candidacy for Washington County state Senate seat

News Release — Andrew Perchlik
May 09, 2018
Continuing a long commitment to civic and community engagement in Washington County, Andrew Perchlik announced his campaign for the State Senate today. Andrew Perchlik is seeking to be an active senator on the economic and community issues of Washington County. “My collection of Vermont experiences with low-income homeowners, with high-tech energy companies, as a volunteer firefighter, in State and local government, and as an elected official, propelled me to be a candidate for Washington County Senate in 2018” said Perchlik. “We can, and should, fold economic development into our goals for a cleaner environment, increased renewable energy, thriving local farms, public transportation, and policies that support families.”
“If elected, I will collaborate with our Washington County delegation to work as a team to bring about economic prosperity that will benefit all our towns and will allow us to support those of us that struggle to secure the basics of health care, affordable housing, child care, and a livable wage.”
“Our community is created by our individual engagement and our collective impact. I am ready and eager to step forward as your engaged Senator, actively working for all the residents of Washington County and together with those that are also offering their service towards creating more prosperous communities across our County and Vermont.”
Perchlik's motivation to serve comes, in part, from his professional and volunteer leadership as:
director of Vermont's Clean Energy Development Fund, founding executive director of a renewable energy trade association, member of the Vermont Community Loan Fund Board of Directors, past Marshfield volunteer firefighter and selectboard member, Peace Corps Volunteer, and more.

Annual Gala Pays Tribute to ICL Leadership in Behavioral Health and Launch of East New York Hub

Institute for Community LivingBrooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Councilmember Rafael Espinal. Honorees: Dr. Constance Silver, Lamb Insurance Services, Dr. Sabina Lim,
and Council Member Rafael Espinal
Public Advocate Letitia James and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams Show Support
New York, N.Y.,—On Thursday, April 26 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, friends and supporters of ICL (Institute for Community Living) came together to celebrate ICL's 31-year commitment to improving lives and strengthening communities. This year's gala paid special tribute to Builders of the Future honoring the team responsible for translating ICL's vision for an integrate health hub into reality. The annual gala supports enhancement of ICL's work with some 10,000 New Yorkers in transitional and supportive housing, counseling, rehabilitation, and other support services. The evening's honorees included Dr. Constance Silver (Visionary Leadership Award), Lamb Insurance Services (Corporate Citizenship Award), Dr. Sabina Lim (Health Care Innovators Award) and Council Member Rafael Espinal (Spirit of Advocacy Award).

Another $300K for Senior Center

After debate, facility is named after … nobodyAnother $300K for Senior Center was first posted on April 27, 2018 at 10:31 am.

Another Dem enters race for Esty’s seat

WASHINGTON – The field of candidates to succeed Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who is not running for re-election, grew again on Friday as former Newtown Rabbi Shaul Praver announced his intention to enter the race.

Another integration plan for Upper West Side middle schools is met with some support, but also familiar concerns

The education department on Tuesday presented yet another proposal for integrating Upper West Side and Harlem middle schools, drawing both support and concern from parents. Under the latest proposal, every middle school in District 3 would offer a quarter of seats to students who have low test scores and report card grades, and qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch — a commonly used proxy for poverty. Since race and class are often linked to academic performance, the proposal could integrate schools on a number of measures. The district has gained nationwide attention for its integration efforts, which have drawn heated pushback from some parents who worry their children will be shut out of the most sought-after schools. But many others have applauded the push for change in a diverse yet starkly segregated district — including a number of local principals.

Another Northeast Denver group scraps the racially-charged “Stapleton” name

A second civic group in Northeast Denver is nixing the S-word from its name. The Stapleton Development Corporation voted quietly late last week to call itself SDC, instead. The April 26 name change comes after another group, the Stapleton Foundation, switched its name to the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities in December, disassociating itself from the memory of Ben Stapleton, who served as Denver's mayor from 1923 to 1931 and then from 1935 to 1947. Stapleton was a Ku Klux Klan member who won office with Klan support and appointed several fellow klansmen to top city positions. It was in his honor that the city's former airport was named.

Another Successful Spring Clean-Up in Downtown Hollister

Over 150 community members gathered in Hollister on April 21 to clean every block of the downtown district.

Another UMD coach leaves position

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

Anti-Homeless Laws ‘Criminalize’ Poverty, says Colorado Study

Colorado has stepped up measures to force homeless individuals off the streets, even though many police and municipal authorities concede such measures do little to address the poverty and high housing costs that fuel the state's homelessness “crisis,” according to a study by the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. “Despite some city officials acknowledging that issuing citations does nothing to solve the homeless crisis, our research reveals that city actors continue to criminalize homelessness,” the study said. The study, a follow-up to a 2016 report by the same research group that detailed the rising cost to Colorado taxpayers of anti-homeless measures, found that the state's three major cities—Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs—had experienced a “stark rise in enforcement of anti-homeless laws, and [in] the disproportionate and inhumane impact they have on the day-to-day lives of people experiencing homelessness.”
The three cities now have at least 37 ordinances that target behavior considered a direct consequence of poverty and the rising cost of housing, said the authors of the study, published this month as part of the university's Homeless Advocacy Policy Project. The ordinances are effectively enforced by “move-on” orders issued by police for individuals who are camping, sitting, or loitering in public property. “At first glance, these move-on orders may seem like a viable alternative to outright issuing citations,” the study said.

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.

Antwan Wilson no longer working as a consultant for Denver Public Schools

Antwan Wilson, who was forced to resign this year as head of Washington, D.C. schools, is no longer working as a consultant for the Denver school district. That's according to a statement from Denver Public Schools spokesman Will Jones. Here's the entirety of the statement, which Jones emailed to Chalkbeat Friday afternoon:
“Antwan Wilson will not be working as a consultant for our CareerConnect team. He has informed us that he has other contracts that require his full attention.”
Wilson was contracted to work as a consultant for CareerConnect, a district career and technical education program, from April 9 through June 30. His contract specified that he'd be paid as much as $60,000 to work two days a week for 12 weeks.

Anxiety vs. fear, shame vs. guilt, obsession vs. compulsion and other frequently confused psychology terms

Susan Perry

I recently stumbled across a paper published last year in Frontiers in Education that listed 50 “term pairs” in psychology that are commonly confused —such as envy vs. jealousy, prejudice vs. discrimination, anxiety vs. fear and obsession vs. compulsion.The paper was written on the heels of an earlier one (which I also wrote about in Second Opinion) that described 50 widely used psychology terms that should be avoided.

Any consequences? Post cites Trump’s 3,001 false or misleading claims while in office

Eric Black

“Truth or Consequences” was the name of one of longest-running shows in U.S. history, starting as a radio program in 1940, then migrating to television where it thrived for decades and survived with few interruptions until 1978. It made one more brief comeback in the '80s.(A town in New Mexico, originally named Hot Springs, renamed itself “Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, in order to win a visit from the host and have the game broadcast from there occasionally.)But forget about the show; it's the title I want to celebrate. It's a reminder of a time when it was believed (or at least preached) that if you strayed from telling the truth, you would suffer consequences. Perhaps politicians were exempted from that rule. An old joke (“How can you tell when a politician is lying?

Anyone Who Supports More Housing Should Oppose Short-Term Vacation Rentals

Vacation rental opponents hold up banners outside of a City Council meeting. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
The explosive growth of short-term vacation rentals in recent years has exposed the failure of our city's leadership. San Diego's mayor and Council have looked the other way as houses and apartments were taken off the market for residents and converted into mini-hotels for tourists. More than 11,000 units have been lost to short-term vacation rentals, most of which are “whole home,” according to data compiled by Host Compliance, a San Francisco company that monitors the industry. And that loss of residential housing is growing rapidly.

Anzar High School principal to be replaced during next school year

The Aromas-San Juan Unified School District will hire a new principal at Anzar High School next school year, but the method of doing so has parents and teachers concerned.

Apply Now: City Limits’ Summer 2018 Reporting Internship for NYC High School Students

City LimitsCLARIFY's summer interns (with colleagues from College Now at Lehman College) interviewing City Council candidates in 2017. City Limits is currently accepting applications for its CLARIFY (City Limits Accountability Reporting Initiative for Youth) internship program for the summer of 2018. This is a paid, four-week internship for New York City high-school students that will cover the basics of investigative journalism. Interns will work closely with City Limits staff on special projects, with the goal of getting their work published on the site. Click here to read some of our previous interns' work.

Applying Escalation Model to School Shootings Can Keep Everyone Safer

The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018 reawakened our national terror of school shootings and renewed a contentious national debate about the need for school safety, gun control and mental health. We are suddenly even more desperate to keep our students safe, mortified by the image of an enraged gunman roaming the halls of our children's schools. However, many of reactionary proposals being considered, from arming teachers on one extreme to outlawing guns on the other, overlook important facts regarding the vast majority of incidents involving guns at schools. This debate began in earnest in April 1999, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 13 students and teachers at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, before killing themselves.

April Ryan: After The Chicken Dinner, What’s Next?

Veteran White House Correspondent April Ryan didn't mince words with New Haven, or the Greater New Haven branch of the NAACP. She wanted to know if they are ready.Ready to be “We the people,” ready to stand up for ” a more perfect union.”

Archdiocese Announces Closure of St. Leo the Great Catholic School

The school, which is located just south of downtown, cited financial challenges and declining enrollment as the reasons for its closure. The post Archdiocese Announces Closure of St. Leo the Great Catholic School appeared first on Rivard Report.

Are charter schools private? In Texas courts, it depends why you’re asking

In 2006, in Dallas, a construction company sued a charter school, alleging that the school stiffed workers on a building contract to the tune of a couple hundred thousand dollars. Eight years later, in Houston, a third grade teacher sued the charter school where she worked, alleging that it had falsified test scores, that it failed to properly provide for students with disabilities and that mold in her classroom had made her sick. Their claims did not make it very far. The teacher couldn't sue the charter because, the Texas Supreme Court said, it's not a government entity. The construction company couldn't sue, the same court said years earlier, because it was.

Are GOP lawmakers at the Legislature ‘focusing on roads and bridges’ or waging a ‘war on transit’?

Peter Callaghan

Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature have made it pretty clear they're not crazy about light rail transit in the Twin Cities.Over the last several sessions, they've not only blocked state funding to complete the state's next light rail project — the 14-mile extension of the Green Line known as Southwest LRT — but they've passed laws taking the state out of agreements to provide future operating funds currently in place for the existing Green and Blue lines.So how about buses, especially the emerging plan to build more of what are called bus rapid transit (BRT) lines throughout the region?BRT incorporates some of the benefits of light rail — frequent service, more-comfortable vehicles and stations, on-platform ticketing and some infrastructure improvements to keep things on schedule — via buses. Current metro-area BRT lines include the A Line, which runs down Snelling Avenue in St. Paul. Construction has also begun on the C Line, which will run mostly along Penn Avenue North in Minneapolis.Gov. Mark Dayton put $50 million into his bonding bill request to help pay for construction of what is designated the D Line, which will replace the popular route 5 bus. It will go from Brooklyn Center through North Minneapolis and downtown Minneapolis, then continue to the Mall of America mostly along Chicago and Portland Avenues.

Ariel Brewer Louis: The importance of sound science in vaccine research

This commentary is by Ariel Brewer Louis, of Woodstock, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and studied the neural basis of drug addiction in Paris, before stepping away from the field in order to raise her three children full time. She is currently a board certified lactation consultant. Jessie Leyse, MD, recently stated in a VTDigger commentary, “Parents sometimes worry their child is getting a lot of vaccines all at once, but there have been innumerable studies about the safety of following the vaccine schedule.”
In fact, there hasn't been a single study evaluating the safety of the entire vaccine schedule. Not even in laboratory mice. The vaccines on the schedule have only been tested for safety individually, by vaccine manufacturers who profit from their continued use.

Arizona & Mexico officials work to make road to Rocky Point safer

The 63-mile stretch of highway between the Arizona border town of Lukeville and the Mexican beaches of what Americans call Rocky Point is mostly bland and barren, except for an occasional wooden cross and a roadside shrine in the middle of nowhere.

Arizona upends school procurement laws in effort to cool cozy relationships with builders

Included in the $10.4 billion budget passed by Arizona lawmakers and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey last week are massive changes to how public schools will be allowed to hire builders for large construction projects, as well as harsh new penalties for malfeasance that occurs during the selection process. The post Arizona upends school procurement laws in effort to cool cozy relationships with builders appeared first on Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.

Arizona upends school procurement laws in effort to cool cozy relationships with builders

Included in the $10.4 billion budget passed by Arizona lawmakers and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey last week are massive changes to how public schools will be allowed to hire builders for large construction projects, as well as harsh new penalties for malfeasance that occurs during the selection process. The post Arizona upends school procurement laws in effort to cool cozy relationships with builders appeared first on Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.

Arlington offered Amazon $921 million to build its HQ2 in Texas

The city of Arlington offered Amazon $921 million in “performance-based incentives” as part of its bid to host the tech giant's second headquarters, according to details of the bid released by the city Tuesday morning. That figure — along with some of the other statistics the city released Tuesday morning after announcing it was “no longer moving forward in the selection process” — represents some of the most detailed information publicly available about any Texas city's bid for the project, shedding light on exactly what some cities are willing to pay and what they expect to get in return. Amazon has said the project will generate as much as $5 billion in capital investment and bring as many as 50,000 jobs to the host city. The Austin and Dallas regions — the Dallas bid included individual proposals from more than two dozen North Texas cities, apparently including Arlington — were named in January among the 20 finalists for the project, whittled down from an original pool of more than 200. Arlington officials reportedly learned about two weeks ago that it had been eliminated from the competition; other sites in the area remain in contention.

Around Town (Photos)

Cold Spring talent, wet paint, Edgewater reception, DAR awardAround Town (Photos) was first posted on May 19, 2018 at 9:06 am.

Around Town (Photos)

Speaking out, cleaning up, the best medicine, bee happy, window catAround Town (Photos) was first posted on April 29, 2018 at 4:51 am.

Around Town (Photos)

Bake sale, Foundry visit, show preview, cleanup, chess champAround Town (Photos) was first posted on May 13, 2018 at 1:17 pm.

Arrest warrant out for border county judge candidate after he allegedly makes cartel threat

An arrest warrant has been issued for a candidate in a hotly contested runoff to be a border county judge after he was accused of threatening to send a Mexican drug cartel after the county party chairman, according to authorities. The election is Tuesday. The candidate in the Democratic runoff for Maverick County judge, Rudy Bowles, left a voicemail Sunday afternoon for the chairman, Luis Ruiz, demanding a "list of the judges for each one of the precincts," Ruiz told police. "I need to know right away," Bowles said. "If you don't call me within 30 minutes, I am going to call the damn Zetas from across the river and they're going looking for you, OK.

Art and Lunch, a Felicitous Blend at Rose Hill

The lobby bar in the HGU Hotel, where a new restaurant, Rose Hill, immerses diners in a Parisian neo-bistro setting, located less than a mile from UN headquarters on E. 32nd Street. IRWIN ARIEFF
Some people at the United Nations remain in mourning since Matisse shut down in February after serving as the corner cantine to hungry diplomats and their friends and neighbors for nearly nine years. If you are still feeling a void in your lunchtime routine, there's good news: a sister restaurant called Rose Hill opened recently less than a mile southwest of UN headquarters, in a beautiful 1905 Beaux-Arts building on East 32nd Street. Tucked off the lobby of the boutique HGU Hotel, Rose Hill looks and feels like a sophisticated Parisian neo-bistro, from its lipstick-red and tan banquettes to its carefully composed gallery wall of contemporary artwork. Black- and brass-colored light fixtures with a refined industrial profile hang from the high ceilings.

Art installation analyzes connection between mental illness and sexuality

Andy Steiner

It's an elegy of sorts — or maybe a eulogy. Or perhaps it's just one woman's complicated way of saying goodbye. For a few years, Alison Bergblom Johnson relied on personals ads in Craigslist as a way to meet men for anonymous sexual hookups. These encounters usually happened when Johnson, a multimedia artist with on the sixth floor of the Clean House section of the building. Use the blue or green elevators, and take a right from either elevator to midway down the hall to reach the memorial.

Artist Climbs Over The “Walls”

The New American Dream." alt="Liz Antle-O'Donnell">A row of red houses, all the same. Beyond that, another row of houses, same as the red houses, but white. A third row of houses, same as the first two except in blue. Everything's neat and tidy, in primary colors.

Artist Gowri Savoor to give free talk at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center

News Release — Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
May 8, 2018
802-257-0124, ext. 113
Gowri Savoor with her exhibit “We Walk In Their Shadows” at BMAC
BRATTLEBORO, VT — The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) presents a free artist talk by Gowri Savoor on Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m. Savoor will discuss her installation, “We Walk in Their Shadows,” on view at BMAC through June 17. Gowri Savoor is an artist of British-Indian descent currently living and working in Vermont. Her work is wide-ranging and involves many different materials and processes, including sculpture, site-specific installation, 3D printing, drawing, and painting. Her sculptures frequently incorporate natural objects, such as seeds, seed pods, and wood, often juxtaposed with steel or other manufactured materials.

Artist Richard Klein to give free talk at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, May 31

Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
May 17, 2018
802-257-0124, ext. 113
BRATTLEBORO, VT – Have you ever watched a bottle float down a river? How often do you think about all the glass in the waste stream? Artist Richard Klein's current installation at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC), “Bottle in the River,” uses repurposed glass objects to create work that explores how we interact with nature and the passage of time. Klein will give a free talk about his work on Thursday, May 31 at 7pm.

Artist Spreads Autism Awareness

By Taylor Knopf
When DJ Svoboda was in high school, he took an art class and all he drew were eyes — eyes of all shapes and sizes. He gradually added faces, bodies, legs, tails and color, lots of colors. One of the first creatures DJ Svoboda created is called the “Mupperezmo,” a Muppet-like dragon that turns its head upside down. DJ Svoboda gives talks around the state at churches, conferences, schools and autism meetings. And he often talks about his experience growing up with autism and being bullied in school.

Artists discuss how futurism, urban design can transform St. Louis

National and local artists will explore the past, present and future of city life in an upcoming exhibition in St. Louis. Organizers of Dwell in Other Futures: art/ urbanism/ midwest say the event will expose attendees to the ways urban development constructs and reinforces how people engage, or don't, with public spaces and the people around them.

Artists Find A Place For Rage

Middle Passage." alt="Eric March">It takes a second to get your bearing. There's a woman gazing out at you from Eric March's canvas, stoic, angry, accusing. As your eye takes in the full image, you see that the funereal flowers aren't below the woman; they're floating on the waves lapping a sandy store. You, the viewer, aren't standing upright.

Artists Tackle Climate Change

Storm King: ‘Glad to be part of conversation'Artists Tackle Climate Change was first posted on May 18, 2018 at 3:50 pm.

Artwalk Comes Of Age

A second New Haven “Goatville neighborhood” was opened Saturday in Edgewood Park during Westville's 21st annual Artwalk festival.But this “neighborhood,” a wooded and overgrown corner of the park, has real, live goats that will be performing special community service for several years to come.

As Chalkbeat Detroit grows (again), meet our newest reporter and hear how you can have your voice heard

Chalkbeat Detroit is growing again — and we'd like you, our readers, to help our team cover the story of Detroit schools in new and exciting ways. Koby Levin, a Detroit-area native who comes to us after a stint at a newspaper in Missouri, joined us as a reporter this week. He'll be bringing you more of the in-depth coverage of Detroit schools that you've come to expect from Chalkbeat. And, his arrival heralds the start of a new push we're making here at Chalkbeat Detroit. We are making a more deliberate effort to engage with our readers and the communities we cover.

As cities sprawl, more Texans are exposed to tornadoes

Mark Fox cringes every time he relives the day his worst weather nightmare came true. April 3, 2012 was a hot and humid day in North Texas, and the unstable atmosphere spawned 17 tornadoes in five hours in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, one of the most destructive tornado outbreaks ever in Texas. The storms flattened neighborhoods, ruined elementary schools and took out approximately 110 airplanes at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, part of more than $700 million in damage. Fox has worked as a meteorologist in North Texas and the Panhandle — the bottom of the country's infamous Tornado Alley — for nearly 20 years. As the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Dallas-Fort Worth office, he's tasked with deciding when a storm is dangerous enough to warrant an emergency alert.

As clock strikes 12, minimum wage among legislative casualties

The General Assembly's regular session ended Wednesday night without the Democratic legislative leadership delivering on a promised progressive agenda of a livable wage, paid family medical leave and an overhaul of state laws on sexual harassment in the workplace.

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 Democratic runoff for governor heats up, Andrew White says he’ll divest from border security company

The Democratic runoff for governor has sharply escalated this week over a company owned by Andrew White that has been criticized as a "border security business." White, the son of former Texas Gov. Mark White, announced Tuesday he would divest from the company, Geovox Security, if he wins the runoff. On Wednesday morning, his opponent Lupe Valdez's campaign pounced on the promise, questioning why he wouldn't do it immediately. "Just days ago, Andrew White was saying owning a company that benefits from a militarized border is a 'perfect' example of the type of leadership he wants to bring as governor," said Valdez, the former sheriff of Dallas County. "Now that he has new friends, he says he would divest 'if he wins.'

As drought returns, experts say Texas cities aren’t conserving enough water

WICHITA FALLS — In the early months of 2015, driving around Wichita Falls was a depressing experience for resident Larry Ayres, filled with dust and wilting plants. The nights were even worse; he was sleepless with worry about what the city running out of water could mean for his family and his local chain of car washes. Wichita Falls' corner of North Texas was enduring one of the worst droughts in its history at the time, leaving the reservoirs that supply water to the city barely treading above 20 percent full. If the combined levels of the reservoirs, lakes Arrowhead, Kemp and Kickapoo, had dipped below that mark, the city would have been forced to shut off all public water. “It was unthinkable,” said Ayres, owner of four All American Car Washes in Wichita Falls.

As historians and New York City educators, here’s what we hope teachers hear in the city’s new anti-bias training

New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and Mayor Bill de Blasio just committed $23 million over the next four years to support anti-bias education for the city's teachers. After a year in which a white teacher stepped on a student during a lesson on slavery and white parents used blackface images in their PTA publicity, it's a necessary first step. But what exactly will the $23 million pay for? The devil is in the details. As current and former New York City teachers, and as historians and educators working in the city today, we call for the education department to base its anti-bias program in an understanding of the history of racism in the nation and in this city.

As Israel Kills Dozens, Gazans Continue to Protest. A Palestinian Woman Explains Why.

For almost seven weeks, thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have gone to the “Great Return March” protest encampment to raise their voices and call attention to the plight of the 1.8 million people living in the coastal enclave. Israeli soldiers have responded to the protests with deadly force, killing an estimated 90 Palestinians and wounding more than 10,000 people at press time. Braving Israeli sniper fire and tear gas, these Palestinians have forced Gaza into the international headlines. Protesters are demanding the right to return to lands Israel expelled them from in 1948—and calling for an end to Israel's land, air and sea blockade of Gaza, which has ruined Gaza's economy. Meanwhile, as Palestinians in Gaza continued to protest on May 14, American officials were celebrating President Trump's decision to move the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem—a move Palestinians say will embolden Israeli policies aimed at pushing Palestinians out of the city.

As Legislature enters final days, one policy option seems more likely: Doing nothing

Peter Callaghan

As it turns out, failure might be an option.It's not just bills for which there was no agreement that are falling away in the last days of Legislature 2018. Gun safety bills such as universal background checks lacked majority support from the day they were introduced. So too for the measures to require hands-free devices for cell phone use in cars.But also going away are issues that seemed to have broad agreement — at least when they were general concepts and not black and white legislation. Responding to the abuse of opioids and the overdoses that are too common; making changes to the state income tax to have it conform with last year's changes to the federal code; a bonding bill to pay for repairs to existing buildings and infrastructure and to build new; coming up with ways to police elder care centers following a scandal of abuse.All were given good chances. All are fizzling in the last hours, taken down by details or by linkage to other issues that have far less consensus.That bonding bill?

As LG candidate, Bysiewicz’ public-financing bid is complicated

Susan Bysiewicz' shift Tuesday from a Democratic gubernatorial candidate to Ned Lamont's running mate creates a significant complication in her quest for public financing of her campaign: The money she raised for governor cannot be easily switched to a bid for lieutenant governor.

As Mayor, Kim Would Try to Expand Inclusionary Housing Citywide

Second in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates' records and pledges on housing and homelessness. In a Dickensian touch, Jane Kim's District 6 is home to the city's wealthiest and poorest ZIP codes. This swath of the city, which includes the Tenderloin, SoMa and Treasure Island, is the eye of San Francisco's affordability storm. High-rise condo and office towers are mushrooming. The vast majority of recent housing has risen there: 25,658 units were built citywide between 2007 and 2016, with 15,541 of them in District 6.

As Memphis expands its efforts to improve schools, one model is about to double in size

As a mother of three who has lived in Memphis' Whitehaven neighborhood for almost 25 years, Regina Mosley sees the area high school as an anchor in the midst of a rapidly changing education landscape. The high-performing Whitehaven High school is also the anchor of the Empowerment Zone, one of Shelby County Schools' newest intervention programs. It will more than double in size by adding six schools this fall. The Empowerment Zone, which will enter its third year in August, is a neighborhood-centric approach to improve schools as the district seeks to include a larger group of people who are committed to seeing the school do well. Mosley hopes the school improvement model will make the 107-year-old school shine even more. “There's no other foundation I've seen that stands the test of time because of the unity of the people: alumni, teachers, students, parents, everybody is involved,” said Mosley, who is also a parent leader for area schools.

As Minnesota debates a last-minute funding boost, some historical context for state-funding of schools

Greta Kaul

As school districts across the state threaten budget cuts to deal with projected deficits, how Minnesota funds public education has again come up as a subject of debate at the State Capitol. In the last weeks of session, Gov. Mark Dayton has been calling for using part of the state's $329 million budget surplus to fund a $138 million one-time allocation that would give districts $126 per student. That money, Dayton says, would help districts facing layoffs and help make up for funding he says has eroded over time. But Dayton's ask is far from certain to pass: opponents of the idea cite an increase in school funding last year or say a one-time solution won't fix a long-term problem. Minnesota isn't the only state where education funding is a hot topic right now.

As NC Ages, You Can Help the State Plan

By Thomas Goldsmith
North Carolina is making plans to address some of the alarming changes predicted for the state's rapidly growing population of older people. Those who work in the field of aging describe long waiting lists for services chronically short of funds, retirees seeking scarce accessible housing to replace family homes with too many steps, and people living longer, but not necessarily better. More than half of the state's counties are already experiencing population aging – a demographic shift in which the median age of the population increases significantly due to improved life expectancy and a drastic decline in birth rate. Map progression shows the changing number of people over 65 in each county. Data: NC Office of State Budget and ManagementPeople in the state's three regions will have chances to express their views on what's needed for older people through June 27 at aging-policy listening sessions set up by the state Division of Aging and Adult Services.

As NYC encourages more elementary teachers to specialize in math, new research shows the strategy could hurt student learning

When Nicole Lent's principal asked her to give up teaching a single class of students in favor of teaching math across her Bronx elementary school, she was skeptical. Would her relationships with students suffer? Would students seamlessly adjust to learning from a larger group of teachers with different routines? And most of all, would P.S. 294 students do better at math? More than two years into the shift, part of a sweeping city experiment in overhauling how elementary school students are taught math, Lent says she is confident the changes are paying off.

As pink slips go out to Detroit principals and school leaders, some are pleading their case to the school board

A handful of Detroit school administrators filed into a quiet conference room, ready to fight for their jobs. They had twenty minutes to make their case. Most carried a written version of the appeal they wanted to make to the school board. The end of the school year is approaching and 16 district administrators just learned that they might not be coming back next year. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, who is about to enter his second year as the district's leader, issued “non-renewal notices,” to four school principals and 12 central office administrators.

As race for Colorado governor heats up, Donna Lynne loses her campaign manager and top consultant

Two top staffers for Donna Lynne's campaign for governor have left or are on the way out amid a staffing shakeup just as the latest fundraising reports become public and primary ballots go out in a little more than a month. Lynne is a former healthcare executive and the current lieutenant governor who is running her first campaign for public office. She is one of four candidates in an anything-could-happen Democratic primary in Colorado. Her three primary opponents have raised more money than Lynne and are also benefitting from independent groups spending on their behalf. Bolting the Lynne campaign in this final stretch is Curtis Hubbard, whose OnSight Public Affairs firm guided the gubernatorial bids of current Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and who served as a communications consultant for Lynne.

As seen on TV: Super PAC spending in the Colorado governor’s race

Two Super PACs will advertise heavily on TV in support of Democratic candidates for governor Cary Kennedy and Mike Johnston in the month before the June 26 primary election. But they still don't appear to rival self-funded Congressman Jared Polis in the four-way contest. Meanwhile, Republican businessman and self-funder Victor Mitchell continues to lead the GOP gubernatorial pack (and PACs) in the race to the airwaves with little activity from the other three candidates. That's according to an analysis of TV ad contracts filed by Colorado stations and cable providers with the Federal Communications Commission from January through May 11. Here's a look at the top spenders:
Frontier Fairness is airing at least $1 million to support former state Sen. Johnston, in a campaign that began in late April.

As student debt swells, Colorado lawmakers seek relief for borrowers by regulating debt collectors

Colorado lawmakers want the state to crack down on student loan service providers as complaints from borrowers still paying off their student loan debt are on the rise. Proposed legislation would require companies that collect college loan payments to be licensed in Colorado, bringing them under the state's regulatory purview. Currently, these lenders are regulated by the federal government. But as student debt builds in Colorado — totalling $24.75 billion in 2017, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — so has frustration with how these service providers handle loan payments. In 2017, about 900 complaints against these companies were filed with the CFPB, up 78 percent from the prior year.

As unions rejoice over possible teacher evaluations reversal, original advocates say change will ‘mask inequity’

The revelation that forces are lining up behind an effort to drop test scores from teacher evaluations jolted Albany on Thursday — and no one was more jarred than advocates who convinced the state to weigh scores in the first place. For years, those advocates pushed the state to hold teachers accountable for their students' performance — and they were effective in reshaping the state's teacher evaluation system starting in 2010. Three years ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo channeled them when he pushed through legislation to increase the weight of test scores to as much as half of teachers' ratings — a move that has never fully gone into effect but that has continued to set the tone in New York even as other states have moved away from test score-based ratings. So those advocates were dismayed to learn that lawmakers, unions, and possibly even Cuomo want to roll back the teacher evaluation push entirely. In statements and phone calls, they warned that it would be a mistake to abandon that effort now.

As Wait for New Heart Got Longer, Patient Grew Sicker

by Mike Hixenbaugh, Houston Chronicle, and Charles Ornstein, ProPublica
In early 2014, when Travis Hogan's malformed heart was failing, his longtime doctors at Texas Children's Hospital referred him to Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, long recognized as one of the best in the country for complicated heart transplants. Hogan, then 29 and living at his family's home in Pasadena, Texas, didn't know it, but the iconic program was undergoing a series of dramatic changes. Two years earlier, the transplant program slipped into turmoil when several top physicians left for a competitor. In the years that followed, patients at St.

As Waste Management tightens grip in Broward recycling becomes costlier, endangered

By Dan
Last month, Sunrise City Manager Richard Salamon fired off an ominous email to more than two dozen of his fellow municipal managers across Broward. The subject: solid waste disposal and single stream recycling. The urgent message: “most of us are facing the reality we don't have anyone lined up to accept our recyclables in 2 ½ months.” That's as of July 3. The post As Waste Management tightens grip in Broward recycling becomes costlier, endangered appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

As women transition through midlife, their stress levels decrease, study finds

Susan Perry

Most women's perception of the stress in their lives decreases as they pass through their midlife years, a new study reports.The study also found that menopause was not a strong factor in how much stress midlife women feel.These findings, published recently in the journal Women's Midlife Health, will be reassuring to many women entering — or transitioning through — their midlife years, which social scientists say begins between the ages of 35 and 40.“The neat thing is that for most of us, our perception of stress decreases as we age through the midlife,” says Elizabeth Hedgeman, the study's lead author and a recent graduate of the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, in a released statement. “Perhaps life itself is becoming less stressful, or maybe we're finally feeling at the top of our game, or maybe things just don't bother us the way they did,” she adds. “But whatever the root reason, we're reporting less perceived stress as we age through the midlife and menopause.”A time of profound changeAs Hedgeman and her colleagues point out, although the much-ballyhooed midlife crisis has been largely debunked, the years between young adulthood and old age appear to be a time period ripe for stress — at least, on paper.“For modern women 40-65 years of age, these middle years are marked by the potential for profound social and physiological changes,” they explain. “Households are changing, with children leaving and ‘boomerang' children returning. Aging parents may require more care as their health and functioning decline.

As Xi’s China goes global, how will U.S. respond?

China's foreign policy analysts have long argued that changes in the relative power of the United States (a presumed declining global power) and China (a presumed rising global power) vis-à-vis the rest of the world creates a dangerous situation, inevitably leading to war, ideas often taken from the writing of British historian Paul Kennedy and his 1980s best-sellers outlining the “tragedy of great powers.” Similarly, Harvard professor Graham Allison, coming May 21 to speak at the Humphrey School, promotes the idea of the "Thucydides Trap”; his famous thesis warns of the inevitability of war as fears of China's rise grow in the U.S. But China doesn't accept this inevitability, and neither should the U.S. Sherry GrayChinese President Xi Jinping has been clear that managing a peaceful transition with the U.S. is the key foreign policy challenge of this era, his goal clearly for China to reassume regional leadership of East Asia, while easing out the primary role of the U.S., which since World War II has dominated as naval and air power, key regional political broker, and economic agenda-setter. In no area is this clearer than in China's New Silk Road policy, or Belt and Road Initiative, which strives to bridge the economies of nearly 60 countries with China's, recreating the globalization of ancient times — think connecting the Roman and Tang empires — in an ambitious network of trade and cooperative enterprises, promising global connections and dynamism for China, and China promising the same for its neighbors and partners. Understandably, these plans are both exciting and terrifying for China's neighbors, both those with powerful economies and those with small economies, the latter vulnerable to losing autonomy when any large power eyes opportunities within their borders.Vision of a multipolar worldThe vision China promotes is a multipolar world led by key regional powers, with China the central power of the regions surrounding its vast borders — the U.S. perhaps involved, but definitely not dominant. How the U.S. responds will govern bilateral U.S.-China relations in the near future and, in the longer term, influence the U.S. role for a wide swath of the world, across Eurasia, from the Mediterranean to the Pacific. How will the U.S. respond?

Asked about a ‘divisive’ tweet about segregation, Carranza directs an Upper West Side parent to implicit bias training

After inserting himself into a contentious debate about school segregation, schools Chancellor Richard Carranza heard directly from an Upper West Side parent Monday who said his role in the debate has been “divisive.”
The mother was referring to a late-night tweet in which Carranza shared a headline accusing “wealthy white Manhattan parents” of angrily ranting against a plan to promote diversity among the Upper West Side's middle schools. Under the proposal, each middle school in Manhattan's District 3 would offer a quarter of its seats to students who haven't passed state exams.
“I have to say chancellor you stunned me because what I heard loud and clear — me as a white parent in P.S. 199, I am not part of your constituency,” said the parent, who also identified herself as a “career educator.”
But during his first appearance on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, Carranza did not back down from the debate or apologize for his tweet — and even suggested the parent “avail” herself of implicit bias training. “The video speaks for itself,” Carranza said of the now-viral New York 1 segment, which shows a group of white parents objecting to the plan. “If that's the kind of dialogue we want to have about very difficult conversations, I will never support that kind of dialogue in a public meeting — I just won't. “We've just secured in the budget millions of dollars for culturally relevant pedagogy training.

Asked to propose a fix to voting rights violation, Texas offers few answers

Told it was breaking the law, and asked to propose a fix, Texas seems to have mostly declined. Following a ruling last month that Texas was violating a federal law designed to ease the voter registration process, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ordered both the state and the voting rights advocacy group that sued Texas to submit detailed plans for fixing the violation. The Texas Civil Rights Project submitted its plan Thursday afternoon. About three hours later, Texas responded with a document criticizing that group's proposal as overly broad and once again disputing the judge's ruling. It did not present a clear, specific solution of its own.

Aspen moves closer to settling Castle and Maroon dam cases

City of Aspen officials are hoping to reach an agreement by May 29 with the 10 opposing parties in two water court cases over the city's conditional water rights tied to potential dams on Maroon and Castle creeks. While that timeline may be ambitious, one of the parties in the two cases, Double R Creek Ltd., which owns a residential property that would be flooded by the Castle Creek Reservoir, recently signed a settlement agreement with the city. “My client has settled and feels that the settlement is a good one for my client since it eliminates the threat of the development of that reservoir anywhere in the Castle Creek valley,” said Kevin Patrick, a water attorney with Patrick, Miller and Noto who represents Double R Creek Ltd. “We're pleased.”
The potential Castle Creek Reservoir, which would store 9,062 acre-feet of water behind a 170-foot-tall dam 2 miles below Ashcroft, would flood portions of the residential property owned by Double R Creek Ltd. It also would flood residential property across Castle Creek owned by Asp Properties LLC, which also is opposing the city in water court.

Asphalt Green’s 23rd Annual Big Swim Big Kick Raises $845,000 to Spread the Power of Sports and Fitness to New Yorkers of All Ages and Backgrounds

Jeffrey Valenzuela/Asphalt Green
Asphalt Green hosted its 23rd annual Big Swim Big Kick event on Saturday, April 28, 2018, celebrating the life-changing power of sports and fitness, and raising $845,000 for the nonprofit's sports, swimming, recess, and fitness programs that help more than 50,000 public school students and seniors get moving each year. A record 1,130 kids, ages 6-10, participated in Big Swim Big Kick's free swim meet and soccer festival at Asphalt Green's campus in Manhattan's Yorkville neighborhood. Big Swim Big Kick honored the accomplishments of two featured athletes: five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Dana Vollmer, and University of Florida women's soccer coach Becky Burleigh. Attendees were treated to high-flying exhibitions by Olympic divers and freestyle soccer pros. NY1 News reporter Roger Clark emceed the event, and 284 volunteers ensured that the festivities ran smoothly.

Asthma Rates Highest Among Poor, Minority Communities in Eastern N.C.

By Taylor Knopf
When a 10-year-old boy died of asthma complications a few years ago, Goldsboro pediatrician David Tayloe said the medical community was embarrassed. The boy was being treated for asthma through his school clinic, managed by Goldsboro Pediatrics. He had a sad home life and had been mentally and physically abused, Tayloe said. At the time of his death, he was living with his father who didn't give his son the medication sent home by the clinic, leading to his death. Figure A shows the location of the lungs and airways in the body.

Asylum Depends on a Spin of the Judge Wheel of Fortune

Central Americans who travel north to plead for entry at the U.S. border are taking their chances on an immigration system that is deeply divided on whether they can qualify for asylum if they are fleeing domestic violence or street crime, rather than persecution from the government, the Los Angeles Times reports. The law in this area remains unclear, and the outcome of an asylum claim depends to a remarkable degree on the immigration judge who decides it. And sitting atop the immigration court system is Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a long-time advocate of much stricter limits on immigration who recently has taken an interest in reviewing asylum cases. Lawyers say they are troubled by a legal system in which decisions turns so much on the views of individual judges. One California attorney called the system “an embarrassment.”
Among the 34 immigration judges in Los Angeles, two judges granted fewer than 3 percent of the hundreds of asylum claims that came before them in the past five years, while another judge granted 71 perfect of them.

At a Killer’s Sentencing, Native Americans Talk of Both Healing and Enduring Suspicions

by Rahima Nasa
The May 11 sentencing of James Walker proceeded as planned inside Grays Harbor, Washington, Superior Court: The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the second degree in the death of Jimmy Smith-Kramer, a young father of two and member of the Quinault Indian Nation. Judge Ray Kahler accepted the plea and sentenced Walker to 7 1/2 years in prison in Washington state for having run Smith-Kramer over with his pickup truck. There was one moment, however, when a matter not part of the formal proceeding was broached: Was Walker's killing of Smith-Kramer driven by hate for Native Americans? The authorities had concluded there was not sufficient evidence to make such a charge. But many in the Quinault Nation had remained insistent that Smith-Kramer, struck dead at a local campsite as he celebrated his 20th birthday, had been targeted for his heritage.

At Foxwoods, GOP delegates will try to pick some winners

Connecticut Republicans are to open their two-day state nominating convention Friday afternoon at Foxwoods Resort Casino, where as many as nine names are expected to be placed in nomination for governor on Saturday. About 1,150 delegates will cast votes under rules that the GOP hopes can produce an endorsed candidate on three ballots. “It will be an interesting day, I think,” said J.R. Romano, the state GOP chairman.

At least 8 fatalities reported after shooting at Santa Fe High School

A school shooting early Friday morning at Sante Fe High School, south of Houston, has left at least eight fatalities, according to multiple reports, including the Houston Chronicle. The Chronicle cited federal and county law enforcement officials for the number of deaths. The school is no longer an active shooting situation. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said on Twitter that one person is in custody in the case and "a second one is detained." The injured — among them at least one police officer — are being treated, local officials said.

At St. Luke’s in Houston, Patients Suffer as a Renowned Heart Transplant Program Loses Its Luster

by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica, and Mike Hixenbaugh, Houston Chronicle
The anonymous letter reached Judy Kveton in March 2017. Nearly two months earlier, her husband's failed heart transplant at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center had led to a week of follow-up surgeries, a pair of devastating strokes and then, his death. The donor heart that doctors had implanted in David Kveton was “just not acting right,” Judy remembers the surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Morgan, telling her hours before she decided to remove her husband from life support. The letter mailed to her home in nearby Fort Bend County — one page, single-spaced and folded into an envelope with no return address — told a different story.

At West Prep Academy, officials say the Upper West Side integration debate misses the larger issue: how students are sorted into middle schools

When Nicole Feliciano wrapped up a lesson this week on civil rights, she asked her eighth-graders at West Prep Academy to write down their questions about racism on multi-colored notecards. The social studies teacher was heartbroken when she came across one response in particular. “What kind of person was that lady that talked about our school?” one student wanted to know. The note seemed like an obvious reference to the viral news footage that has inflamed a present-day school integration debate on the Upper West Side. In the clip, a crowd of mostly white, middle-class parents protest a desegregation proposal that could mean their children are elbowed out of the most sought-after schools in District 3.

ATF Agent Was Fourth Officer Shot in Rough Chicago Area

A federal agent shot in the face Friday in Chicago was the fourth law enforcement officer wounded in the past year in an area where warring gangs have been stepping up their firepower, the Chicago Tribune reports. The agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was wounded a few blocks from where two Chicago police officers were shot by a high-powered rifle while riding in a covert van almost exactly a year ago. Last July, another Chicago police officer was shot in the leg while chasing robbers nearby. The ATF agent was working with Chicago police on information that one of the gangs in the areas may have just received a number of guns. The agent is part of a strike force formed last June to cut the flow of illegal guns into Chicago and crack down on people repeatedly arrested on gun charges.

Atlantic Art

Buster Levi has new exhibitAtlantic Art was first posted on May 2, 2018 at 7:46 am.

Attack of the turtles: ruralists assault environmental laws, Amazon

In a rowdy session on 9 May, a mixed commission including members of both Brazilian houses approved changes to MP 814/2017, a provisional measure restructuring the electricity sector. A rider attached to the bill would permit the sale of land to foreign companies, provided this land is used for the generation, transmission or distribution of energy. The measure is seen by opponents as a serious threat to the environment. Image by agencia senado The jabuti (the red-footed tortoise or Chelonoidis carbonarius) is an animal that appears in surprising places, according to rural Brazilians, who say you can even find it stranded in a treetop, carried there by floodwaters. It is for this reason that the word has come to refer to a trick by which Brazilian politicians stealthily attach a controversial amendment, dealing with a wholly different topic, to major pieces of legislation moving through Congress.

Attorney General decision goes against petition to stop sale of 400 block

Hollister residents and city officials have waited since September 2017 to hear back from the state attorney general on whether a referendum could be added to the November ballot. Word came back that it cannot.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions vows to prosecute all illegal border crossers and separate children from their parents

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Justice Department will begin prosecuting every person who illegally crosses into the United States along the Southwest border, a hard-line policy shift expected to focus in particular on migrants traveling with children. In a speech to law enforcement officials in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sessions said the Department of Homeland Security will begin referring such cases to the Justice Department for prosecution and that federal prosecutors will “take on as many of those cases as humanly possible until we get to 100 percent.”
“If you cross the Southwest border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you,” Sessions said, according to a transcript of his remarks. “If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border.”
DHS officials say they have seen a significant increase in illegal border crossings over the past year, including a rise in the number of families and unaccompanied children.

Attorney General’s Office calendar for Elder Protection Listening Tour

News Release — Vermont Attorney General's Office
May 7, 2018
Jamie Renner
Assistant Attorney General
The Vermont Attorney General's Office continues its Elder Protection Listening Tour throughout May with public events in Washington, Bennington, Essex, Chittenden and Caledonia Counties. Attorney General TJ Donovan announced last month the launch of a listening tour to engage older Vermonters about their most pressing concerns. Staff from the Attorney General's office will be at each event to facilitate conversation around two central questions:
What are older Vermonter's greatest needs, concerns and vulnerabilities? How can Vermont's systems for elder support and protection be improved? The events listed below are open to the public.

Attorney who charged paralyzed client excessive fees settles case

Robert Parizo with daughters Liza Barron, left, and Ashley Smith, sometime after the 2005 fall that left him paralyzed. He later sued his lawyer over a settlement for a 2010 car crash. Courtesy photo
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Robert Parizo" width="610" height="429" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1192w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Robert Parizo with daughters Liza Barron, left, and Ashley Smith, after the 2005 fall that left him paralyzed. He later sued his lawyer over a settlement for a 2010 car crash. Courtesy photoA Colchester attorney who awarded himself one-third of a $1 million settlement without obtaining his long-standing client's written consent has agreed to pay the $330,000 fee plus interest, resolving the years-long case.

Audio: Comptroller Hegar downplays potential tax benefit of sports gambling in Texas

In this edition of the TribCast, the last before the May 22 primary runoff, Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Emily Ramshaw sits down with CEO Evan Smith, Executive Editor Ross Ramsey, political reporter Patrick Svitek and a special guest, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. Among the topics this week:
1. Budget blues
Hegar's been the bearer of good news and bad news in recent months — from the state's low unemployment rate and strong and growing economy to Texas' AAA bond rating being at risk over unfunded liabilities and a big anticipated budget shortfall. What's he recommending state lawmakers do to get out of the pinch? What about opening the door to sports gambling — which SCOTUS just legalized?

Audio: Seabird secrets revealed by bioacoustics in New Zealand

On today's episode: the sounds of Buller's shearwaters in New Zealand's Poor Knights Islands. Listen here: Our guest today is Megan Friesen, a behavioral ecologist who is currently working with the Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust to examine the breeding behavior of a Pacific seabird species called Buller's shearwater. Also known as the New Zealand shearwater, the seabird breeds predominantly on Tawhiti Rahi and Aorangi, the main islands of the Poor Knights Islands, which lie off of northern New Zealand. In this Field Notes segment, Friesen (who is also Conservation Manager for Seattle Audubon) explains why bioacoustics is so important to the research she is doing with the Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust, and plays recordings of the birds from both of the islands where it breeds. Here's this episode's top news: Scientists stumble upon hundreds of octopus moms in the deep sea Suspected poisoning takes down 11 lions in Uganda park ‘Boom and bust' cycle of deep-sea trawling unsustainable, study finds Half a ton of pangolin scales seized on the way to Asia from Benin New species of ‘exploding ant' discovered in Borneo You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, or RSS.

Audio: Sylvia Earle on why we must act now to save the oceans

On today's episode, renowned marine biologist Sylvia Earle joins us for an in-depth conversation about marine conservation. Listen here: Legendary oceanographer, marine biologist, and environmentalist Sylvia Earle, sometimes known as “Her Deepness” or “The Sturgeon General,” is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and former chief scientist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A documentary film about her work called Mission Blue won a 2015 News & Documentary Emmy. She joins us today to discuss how effective marine protected areas are at conserving the oceans and their inhabitants, her Hope Spots program that is identifying some of the most valuable marine environments on the planet, and the latest advances in marine conservation that she is most hopeful about. Here's this episode's top news: Australia to invest $379 million to protect the Great Barrier Reef More than 800 totoaba swim bladders confiscated by Mexican authorities in smuggling busts Wildlife decimated by the surge in conflicts in the Sahara and the Sahel Deforestation leads to big hikes in local temperature, study finds Indonesian activists protest China-funded dam in orangutan habitat Colombia's supreme court orders government to stop Amazon deforestation Humpback whales near Antarctica making a comeback, study finds Mongabay now has a free news app for Android users available in the Google Play Store.

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

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

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

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

Aurora school board to consider one-year charter contract for school with conflict of interest

Aurora's school board is set to decide Tuesday whether to renew the charter of a well-rated school that long has served children with special needs — but that also has become caught up in questions over conflicts of interest and opaque finances. Aurora district administrators, concerned about operations of Vanguard Classical School, are recommending just a one-year charter extension rather than the usual five-year contract. District staff members told the school board earlier this year that they were unsure about the school's relationship with Ability Connection Colorado, the nonprofit that started the school and provides services through a $350,000 agreement. Not only does that contract lack specifics, but also the nonprofit's CEO, Judy Ham, serves as the president of the charter school's board and has signed agreements between the two organizations on behalf of Vanguard. “You can see the clear conflict of interest concern that arose for us,” Lamont Browne, the district's director of autonomous schools, told the school board in February.

Aurora school district’s draft budget for next year includes proposed salary increases and principal training

The Aurora school board got a first look Tuesday at next year's proposed budget, which includes cuts to district departments and increases for teacher salaries, additional staff in special needs programs, and more principal training. District staff is proposing a $746.8 million budget, 4.7 percent less than the current year. The board will include a public hearing on the budget at its regular meeting June 5, and is expected to approve a final budget on June 19. On Tuesday, the board asked questions about some of the proposed expenditures, but didn't raise any major objections. The proposal includes more money in the general fund despite a drop in enrollment because of an increase from state and local revenues.

Australia to invest $379 million to protect the Great Barrier Reef

The Australian Government has announced more than 500 million Australian dollars ($379 million) in funding to protect the Great Barrier Reef. This “represents the single largest investment for reef conservation and management in Australia's history,” Josh Frydenberg, Minister for the Environment and Energy, wrote in an op-ed on April 29. The Great Barrier Reef, stretching over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles) and covering an area larger than United Kingdom, Switzerland and Holland combined, is the world's largest known coral reef system. It harbors a huge diversity of corals, jellyfish, molluscs, fish, sharks and rays, dolphins and whales. In recent years though, the reef has been under serious threat from mass bleaching events due to warming waters triggered by climate change.

Author Lawrence Wright considered running for Texas governor

New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright said Thursday morning he considered running for Texas governor this election cycle. Wright told Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith that he considered running against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott following a legislative session in which social conservative issues like the "bathroom bill" went unchallenged by the governor. He said he was encouraged to run at the time when the governor didn't seem to have any Democratic challengers. Wright, who has a new book, "God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State," said he was ultimately overruled by his family. He also acknowledged that it would've been an uphill battle.

Avram Patt to run for state rep in Lamoille-Washington District

News Release — Avram Patt
May 17, 2018
Avram Patt
Avram Patt has announced that he will be a candidate for State Representative from the Lamoille-Washington District, a two-member district comprised of Morrisville, Elmore, Woodbury and Worcester, He filed petitions to have his name appear on the August 14th Democratic Primary ballot earlier this week. A resident of Worcester, he previously represented the district in 2015-16. “I'm committed to working with others on behalf of Vermont and our communities. For over 30 years, I have held jobs and elected positions that allowed me to get to know the legislative process well,” Patt said. “I look forward to representing our towns at the State House.”
Patt's jobs and numerous board and community affiliations have given him expertise and experience with a number of key issues and problems affecting Vermont:
State Representative, Lamoille-Washington District, 2015-2016.

Award-winning podcast ‘We Live Here’ debuts fourth season, focuses on housing

We Live Here , the national-award winning podcast about race and class from St. Louis Public Radio and PRX, debuted its fourth season Thursday. The show, born out of the emotional turmoil and cultural upheaval of the Ferguson uprising, will break new ground this year. Hosts Tim Lloyd and Kameel Stanley will spend the entire season exploring the intersection of race, class and housing in St. Louis, one of the nation's most segregated regions.

Axelrod and Fleischer disagree agreeably on Jerusalem, Iran, other Trump policies

Eric Black

“We've become so tribal that we don't recognize the humanity of one another” across partisan lines, David Axelrod said in his opening remarks last night at Temple Israel in Minneapolis. But then he and Ari Fleischer spent the next hour or two undermining that diagnosis by disagreeing agreeably for an hour or two like old friends.I have no idea whether they really are friends, but it was a tonic to see two prominent political figures of opposing parties, one from each of the two previous White House staffs, demonstrating that it's still possible to maintain your sense of humor and earthling solidarity while expressing opposing partisan and ideological viewpoints about the Middle East and politics in America. It was a welcome change from much political discourse in these tempestuous times.Axelrod, former counselor to President Barack Obama, and Fleischer, press spokesman for President George W. Bush, were both very funny. They ribbed each other gently and expressed opposing views about most topics in the news and from recent political history.No news was broken, unless it's news that people from opposing parties can evince comity.Said Axelrod of the second President Bush, he disagreed deeply with many things “W” said and did, but he never doubted Bush's “heart, his patriotism or his sense of duty to the country."Fleischer defends Trump policies, but didn't vote for himFleischer defended so many things that President Donald Trump has done as president that it was a surprise when, late in the program, he mentioned that he had not been able to vote for Trump because of Trump's various failures of character and decency. (He didn't mention who got his vote instead.)Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman, who moderated, asked about the week's news, of special Jewish interest, that President Trump had moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, much to the anger and dismay of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories, sparking violent protests.Fleischer said he was “delighted to see it.” Other presidents have promised to do it, then reneged.

Baby and Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both ...Baby and Dog was first posted on May 15, 2018 at 3:47 pm.

Baby and Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both...Baby and Dog was first posted on May 5, 2018 at 4:11 pm.

Baby and Dog

Not just a baby, not just a dog, but both ...Baby and Dog was first posted on May 19, 2018 at 2:19 pm.

Back from Nowhere, Ride delivers at the Riv

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

Back the business beat

Last week, we shared with you an audio postcard from one of our ink-stained veterans, Dave Gram, sharing his thoughts on why it's so important for Vermonters to support VTDigger. Today, we have a short video shout-out from one of our newest reporters, Xander Landen. Xander may be young, but he's already proving to be invaluable in our newsroom covering the business and economy beat and making sure that all of us can understand the complexities of the legislative budgeting process. Give today and support great reporting! If you appreciate our reporting, please give today!

Backyard Design

Workshop on May 19Backyard Design was first posted on May 18, 2018 at 8:51 am.

Ballpark Village shooting spurs increased security, concerns about economic impact

Baseball fans can expect increased security at Busch Stadium and Ballpark Village this week during the Cardinals' home stand against Chicago's White Sox and Cubs after a fatal shooting on Sunday at the Budweiser Brew House. Additional security may ease the fears of some fans according to Patrick Rishe, director of the Sports Business Program at Washington University, but he said it certainly doesn't send the right message about St. Louis. “We are fighting an image battle here in St. Louis.

Baltimore county executive Kevin Kamenetz dies suddenly

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz died this morning of cardiac arrest. Baltimore County police released this statement about the 60-year-old politician, who was running as a Democratic candidate for Maryland governor. “Kamenetz was at his home in Owings Mills, asleep, when he awoke at about 2 a.m. and complained of feeling ill. He was transported …

Baltimore Police Commissioner Didn’t Pay Taxes

Some lawmakers in Baltimore are voicing concerns about the federal tax charges against Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa, breaking with the mayor and joining the police union in saying De Sousa's apology for his failings was not enough, the Baltimore Sun reports.“In what world is it acceptable for the chief law enforcement officer of a City to willfully violate federal law? This is not ok,” wrote state Sen. Bill Ferguson. “And it's not normal to concede to such low expectations for leaders of our City. This is a breach of trust and a severe distraction when our City can least afford to take our eye off the ball.” State Delegate Luke Clippinger, a prosecutor and like Ferguson a Democrat, said that at “the absolute minimum,” Mayor Catherine Pugh “must suspend” De Sousa while the federal tax case against him is active. Federal prosecutors said on Thursday that De Sousa, 53, faced three misdemeanor tax charges for willfully failing to file federal tax returns in 2013, 2014 or 2015.

Baltimore to Pay Largest Settlement in City History — $9 Million — to Man Wrongfully Convicted of Murder

by Megan Rose
Baltimore officials today approved a $9 million settlement — the largest in city history — to James “J.J.” Owens, who spent two decades in prison for a murder he didn't commit. Owens' case, and that of another man prosecuted for the same crime, was the subject of an investigation by ProPublica and The Atlantic last September that examined how defendants are pressured into controversial plea deals despite proof of their innocence. Owens' payout adds to Baltimore's growing tab for decades of misconduct by its police force. In November, a jury awarded another wrongfully convicted Baltimore man, Sabein Burgess, $15 million. Like Owens, Burgess had sued, alleging civil rights violations by detectives.

Bank of Internet, Which Had Been Under Federal Investigation, Appears In Multiple Kushner Deals

by Justin Elliott
A bank that had been under federal investigation until last year has played a role in two recent real estate transactions involving Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner's family company. Earlier this month, BofI Federal took over a mortgage previously owned by the Kushner Companies for a development in Brooklyn, New York City real estate filings show. The previously unreported transaction involves a loan on a development project in the historically industrial, now gentrifying Bushwick neighborhood. Kushner Companies had made a loan of roughly $30 million to the project at 215 Moore Street in late 2016. Jared Kushner remains a senior adviser to President Donald Trump.

Barnes says Greitens camp not fully cooperating with House investigative committee

The chairman of the Missouri House committee that's investigating Gov. Eric Greitens said Monday they're getting pushback from the governor's camp. Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, told reporters that they've issued a subpoena to Greitens' advisor Austin Chambers, and to the groups Greitens for Missouri and A New Missouri, via attorney Catherine Hanaway. He said the groups have provided some documents but are refusing to provide others.

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.

Bates Cutten (1929-2018)

Garrison resident was longtime state trooperBates Cutten (1929-2018) was first posted on May 12, 2018 at 9:59 am.

Be a Weather Spotter

Training in Hyde Park on May 16Be a Weather Spotter was first posted on May 12, 2018 at 7:29 am.

Beacon Groups Win Grants

Arts Mid-Hudson ceremony May 7Beacon Groups Win Grants was first posted on May 5, 2018 at 7:22 am.

Beacon Lacrosse: Tough Season, But Had Fun

Bulldogs are young but coach saw great improvementBeacon Lacrosse: Tough Season, But Had Fun was first posted on May 12, 2018 at 3:43 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Gene DiBella, Stanley O'Dell, Howie WayBeacon Obituaries was first posted on May 12, 2018 at 9:57 am.

Beacon Obituaries

Rody Dwan, Alejandro Hernandez, Ruth Knapp, Dennis SchnetzlerBeacon Obituaries was first posted on May 3, 2018 at 10:33 am.

Beacon Obituaries

Jim Bain, Helen Hubbard, Hilda Komornik, Dottie RyanBeacon Obituaries was first posted on May 22, 2018 at 10:10 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Bunny Cassell, Alyssa Grippo, Edward Lucas, John Papo, Ginger Thomas, Olive WiehlBeacon Obituaries was first posted on May 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm.

Beacon Obituaries

Eleanor Hoyt, Triz Landisi, Regina LoiodiceBeacon Obituaries was first posted on April 27, 2018 at 9:36 am.

Beacon Obituaries

Joanne Boyle, Michael Lentini, Debra Pavelock, Chickie PynnonenBeacon Obituaries was first posted on May 15, 2018 at 9:19 am.

Beacon Police Blotter

Select incidents from May 1 to 10Beacon Police Blotter was first posted on May 18, 2018 at 8:08 pm.

Beacon Police Release Body-Cam Policy

Allows officers to view footage before reportsBeacon Police Release Body-Cam Policy was first posted on May 4, 2018 at 12:58 pm.

Beacon School Board Endorsements

Voters make the case for their candidatesBeacon School Board Endorsements was first posted on May 11, 2018 at 10:17 am.

Beacon School Vote Count Delayed

Storm causes power outagesBeacon School Vote Count Delayed was first posted on May 15, 2018 at 10:57 pm.

Beacon Soccer Club to Hold Tryouts

Travel teams for players born 2003 to 2011Beacon Soccer Club to Hold Tryouts was first posted on May 15, 2018 at 12:17 pm.

Before the Blankenship-McConnell Feud, the Senator Aided the Mining Executive

by Alec MacGillis
As the race for the West Virginia Republican Senate nomination hurtles toward Tuesday's primary, candidate Don Blankenship, the former coal executive sentenced to a year in federal prison in connection with a 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 men, has unleashed blistering invective against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. He has taken to calling McConnell “Cocaine Mitch,” an allusion to drugs once found on a ship owned by the shipping company owned by Chao's father, whom Blankenship calls a “wealthy China-person.” His ad hominem barrage, provoked by McConnell's well-funded effort to deny Blankenship the nomination, culminated in an eye-popping TV ad in which Blankenship charged that McConnell has “created millions of jobs for China-people” and that McConnell's “China family has given him tens of millions of dollars.” The ad pledged to “ditch Cocaine Mitch for the sake of the kids.”

What has gone overlooked amid this extraordinary clash, is that 18 years ago, both McConnell and Chao effectively sprang to the defense of Blankenship, sparing his company considerable cost and consequences for a disaster that unfolded in their home state of Kentucky in the middle of the night on Oct. 11, 2000. Here is how I described the episode in my 2014 biography of McConnell:

Three hundred million gallons of coal slurry, the viscous mix of mud, coal waste, and chemicals left as a by-product from purifying coal, broke through the inadequate buffer that separated the 68-acre holding pond of the Martin County Coal Corporation's Big Branch Refuse Impoundment from the surrounding mine. The dark sludge poured through two miles of mine tunnels — a miner had left the area just moments earlier — before oozing out of a mountainside opening into the hilly landscape of eastern Kentucky.

Before Your Time: Knitters, weavers and “women’s work”

The Vermont Historical Society displays a silk stocking in progress with a telling note: “Unfinished for lack of perseverance.”
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Unfinished Stocking" width="610" height="458" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1376w, 1044w, 632w, 536w, 1600w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">The Vermont Historical Society displays a silk stocking in-progress with a telling note: “Unfinished for lack of perseverance.”Before Your Time is a podcast about Vermont history. Every episode, we go inside the stacks at the Vermont Historical Society to look at an object from their permanent collection that tells us something unique about our state. Then, we take a closer look at the people, the events, and the ideas that surround each artifact. Vermont today has no shortage of knitters, crocheters, rug hookers, silkers, sewers and felters. Some are avid hobbyists, and some make a living from their craft.