Narushige Michishita was Senior Research Fellow at Japan's National Institute for Defense Studies and recently held a talking tour around the U.S. to discuss U.S.-Japan relations and Japan's defense needs.Japan is one of America's closest allies. For decades it's been home to several U.S. military bases and an important trade partner. However, as the Trump Administration engages in unpredictable diplomatic moves and an increasingly aggressive global trade war, the U.S.-Japan alliance has become more complex. The Pacific Northwest has long played an important role in relations between the U.S. and Japan. Ports in Seattle and Tacoma have historically served as major gateways for goods flowing between the two countries.

¿Conoces a un estudiante que fue detenido por ICE después de tener problemas en la escuela? Cuéntanos.

por Hannah Dreier y Adriana Gallardo

Read in English. A medida que aumentan las operaciones de inmigración bajo el presidente Donald Trump, los estudiantes inmigrantes que se meten en problemas en la escuela corren un mayor riesgo de ser deportados. Muchos distritos escolares han aprobado resoluciones prometiendo mantener a los agentes de ICE fuera de sus campus y sus aulas. Pero otros distritos escolares se han mantenido imprecisos sobre la información que comparten con los funcionarios encargados de hacer cumplir la ley. Estamos buscando casos donde las suspensiones u incidentes disciplinarios desencadenaron una serie de eventos que llevaron a que un estudiante fuera detenido por ICE.

‘He was always a step ahead’: Buckminster Fuller’s lingering influence on St. Louis, the world

For decades, R. Buckminster Fuller was known around the globe for his scholarship and his vision of a future that could work for everyone aboard what he described as “spaceship earth.” By the middle of the 20th century, he saw two possible destinations on humanity's horizon – utopia or oblivion – and his lectures and writings still resonate today. “He was always a step ahead of where the rest of us were, but very excited and eager to bring us all with him,” his 91-year-old daughter, Allegra Fuller Snyder, said Friday on St. Louis on the Air . In town for what's been billed as a “Bucky Weekend” celebrating the late architect's legacy in the St. Louis region, she joined host Don Marsh for the conversation alongside Benjamin Lowder, creative director of the Fuller Dome at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

‘I want other kids to be able to heal’: Florissant 9-year-old starts anti-bullying organization

On the surface, Mikaylah Norfolk is like most kids her age. She likes to play with her three-story Barbie Dreamhouse, dress up her dolls, hang out with her friends and do arts and crafts. But the 9-year-old Florissant resident is also the founder of an anti-bullying organization. We Rise Up 4 Kids aims to help kids deal with the trauma of bullying, while also providing mental health resources.

‘It’s not court’: How Pattonville elementary students are solving more of their own conflicts

That fear of waiting outside the principal's office to be punished after a disagreement between students is being replaced, in part, by a less intimidating environment at two Pattonville elementary schools. Now, when students are having trouble getting along, they can gather around a table in the guidance counselor's office with fellow students who have been trained as peer mediators.

‘Just lucky I survived’: Bombardier remembers World War II

Ralph Goldsticker doesn't consider himself a hero. The 97-year-old World War II veteran says he was just a guy was doing his job like everyone else at the height of the war in 1944. But his story, which he continues to share as Veterans' Day approaches, is the stuff of which heroes are made. The Creve Coeur resident was flying bombing missions over Europe when he was 22. Goldsticker was the bombardier in a B-17 bomber.

‘Never forget’: St. Louis veterans will call roll of Missourians who died in World War I

As world leaders meet Sunday in France for a grand tribute marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, a group of St. Louis area veterans will gather at a stone picnic shelter at Sylvan Springs Park in St. Louis County to solemnly call the roll of Missourians who died “over there.” They plan to begin at 11:11 a.m. — the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — the beginning of the ceasefire a century ago that, in effect, ended the war. Each name will be followed by the tolling of a bell.

‘This is very much our lane’: St. Louis doctor talks politics, gun violence and prevention

After a tweet by the National Rifle Association last week suggested that medical professionals should “stay in their lane” when it comes to guns, many U.S. doctors responded with messages of their own. Dr. Sonny Saggar, a St. Louis physician, was among those insisting that the issue of gun violence actually falls well within their lane. “When doctors say, ‘This is our lane, this is my lane,' they're basically raising awareness that gun violence is indeed a public health crisis,” Saggar said Thursday on St. Louis on the Air .

‘Trauma can be far-reaching and contagious’: How hate crimes can trigger post-traumatic stress

Post-traumatic stress disorder is often correlated with life-threatening or explicitly traumatic events – like being in a war or seeing someone get killed. But the nuances of PTSD are visible with exposure to everyday microaggressions, discrimination and racism. Small things can add up, resulting in toxic levels of stress in an individual. Dr. Anton Hart, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, explained on Monday's St. Louis on the Air with host Don Marsh that even in cases of “everyday suffering” as opposed to instant traumatic events “it's not such a far stretch to identify PTSD.”

‘At capacity’? A Nepali park reckons with its rhinos

CHITWAN, Nepal —There was a time when Dhan Maya Tamang and her husband, Prem Bahadur, both in their 50s, worried about rhinos straying into their settlement. “They would come out mostly in the night and raid our paddy fields during the harvest season,” say the Tamangs. “Our fences were of little help. We were helpless as we cannot do anything to them. They are protected by law.” In the past few months, no rhino raiding parties have descended on the village.

‘Bernie Polis’ vs. Trump’s ‘yes man’: In closing arguments on the eve of the election, candidates for Colorado governor preach to their base

BOULDER — Twenty-four hours before polls close in Colorado, the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor spent the evening lobbing bombs at each other from the bunkers of their respective ideological and geographic bases. Here in this college town, the state's progressive epicenter and home to a local tax on sugary drinks and a ban on assault-style weapons, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis, who lives here, tagged his Republican opponent as a mini-me of the most controversial president in at least a generation. “None of us want to wake up a day after the election and say but for one vote per precinct … we have a Donald Trump yes man as governor in our state,” he told a crowd of about 100 at the Rayback Collective bar on the outskirts of downtown. “So let's all get to work in this final day to make sure that we leave no votes on the table.”
About 100 miles south-east, at an office park in El Paso County — a county with more Republican voters than anywhere else in the state, the birthplace of the national Libertarian Party, and home to five military installations and a network of religious nonprofits — Stapleton and his running mate Lang Sias breathed fire at Polis. If the wealthy tech entrepreneur aimed to chain the sitting state treasurer to Trump and sink him in a state that went to Hillary Clinton by five points in 2016, Stapleton and Sias sought to bury Polis under the boogeyman of a democratic socialist from Vermont.

‘Blue Wave’ Fizzles in Oklahoma as GOP Maintains Dominance

Governor-elect Kevin Stitt pumps his fist in celebration at a watch party at the Bricktown Event Center after winning the election. His wife and some of his children walk with him. Whitney Bryen/Oklahoma Watch
A Democratic “blue wave” that would upend Republican dominance over Oklahoma failed to materialize Tuesday as the state's political makeup – with a few exceptions – saw little change after the highly anticipated midterm elections. Kevin Stitt's defeat of Drew Edmondson in the governor's race clenched a Republican sweep for statewide offices, making it the third straight election cycle in which GOP candidates shut Democrats out of the executive branch. Republicans lawmakers, meanwhile, extended their decades-long streak of picking up legislative seats as the GOP added a Senate seat and four House seats to their already substantial control over the two chambers.

‘Blue Wave’ Washes Into the Bronx as Ocasio-Cortez, Biaggi Rally Voters

Shantal RileyAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to reporters at a Get Out the Vote rally in the Bronx on Thursday. The 29-year-old Democrat is the forerunner in the District 14 Congressional race in Queens and the Bronx. Election 2018 star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made an impassioned plea to Democrats to vote in the midterm elections Tuesday. “We're here to organize and educate and expand our electorate,” Ocasio-Cortez shouted. The young politician delivered a fiery speech at a “Get Out the Vote” rally at the Sanz Banquet Halls in the Bronx on Thursday, five days before Election Day.

‘Egypt’s Sunken Cities’ at Mia: Seven things to know before you go

For 1,000 years, they lay undisturbed under blankets of silt at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. Now they're collecting frequent flyer miles. Statues colossal and small, coins, jewelry, bronzes, household items and ritual objects from Egypt have arrived in Minneapolis via St. Louis after stops in Zurich, London and Paris. All are part of “Egypt's Sunken Cities,” an exhibition that will open Nov.

‘El Chapo’ vs the US Government: Jury Selection Begins in Tight Security

Police officers standing outside the Federal Courthouse in downtown Brooklyn on a rainy Tuesday described the scene as “totally normal.”
Normal, perhaps, if you consider that behind the closed doors of that courthouse, the trial of a reputed major international drug kingpin was underway. There were two officers outside, and a few more down the street. The main road was blocked off. A secret service agent hid in his car on the adjacent street. A bomb dog waited inside.

‘Even I have my fears’: How Angie Thomas and ‘The Hate U Give’ went from Belhaven U. to the big screen

If you follow New York Times Young Adult Bestselling author Angie Thomas on social media, you probably have noticed that she has been traveling the world promoting her book The Hate U Give and the highly anticipated movie of the same name. One of her last stops before the motion picture's October 19 release: New York City. Between exploring Time Square with The Hate U Give leading actress Amandla Stenberg, joining her on MTV's Total Request Live (TRL) and sitting down for an interview with Gayle King, Thomas took a phone call with Mississippi Today. View this post on Instagram

We did some star(r)gazing today. It was lit(erary) in Time(for you to see Thug) Square.

‘Hitting the brakes on hate’ in the workplace takes proactive thinking, intentionality

Discriminatory practices and instances of prejudice continue to exist in workplaces nationally, despite increased awareness of what constitutes sensitive behavior. Though the word “hate” may seem like a strong one to characterize instances of subtle workplace bias, Holly Edgell told host Don Marsh on Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air that, “to really put a word to [workplace discrimination] that has some power … is not inaccurate by any means.” Edgell is St. Louis Public Radio's race, identity and culture editor, and she will be a panelist at the Missouri Historical Society's “Woke at Work” event Tuesday evening. Another panelist, Susan Balk, also joined the on-air conversation.

‘Hot Funky Butt Jazz’ heats up the Dowling; Pulitzer winner ‘Silent Night’ returns

With a cast of more than 50 characters, 11 scenes and nearly 20 songs, Interact Theater's “Hot Funky Butt Jazz” bubbles with energy, music and motion. Revisiting a show that has seen a couple of different stagings, the creators – the Interact ensemble and artists from New Orleans – have set it firmly in the NOLA of the early 1900s, a time when Jim Crow was in full force. Working New Orleans musicians Zena Moses, Jeremy Phipps and Eugene Harding have been key members of the team. (Fun fact: Moses is Irma Thomas' goddaughter.) They're back, reprising their roles as wise and powerful voodoo priestess Marie Laveau and Funky Butt band members Stringbean Russell and Zutty MacNeil. The Funky Butt was a late-night club where legendary black cornetist Buddy Bolden once played.

‘I’d Like to Lead a Caravan Myself, Right by the White House’: Voices of the Voters in North County

Dale Kerper outside the Ada W. Harris Elementary School in Encinitas. / Photo by Jesse Marx
Coastal contests in California are often foregone conclusions. But dozens of voters in California's 49th Congressional District who went to North County polls Tuesday said they were highly aware of the unique opportunity they'd been given to not only help flip the U.S. House for Democrats but send a message to the president and the lawmakers who support him. “I know everyone says every election is important, and they are, but this one is huge,” said Mark Herman, a retired educator, who stood outside the Ada W. Harris Elementary School in Encinitas. “I believe in climate change.

‘I’m a poet, not a politician’: Hawona Sullivan Janzen on the inspiration for ‘Rondo Family Reunion’

In the 1950s, the Twin Cities powers that be plowed through the African-American neighborhood of Rondo in St. Paul, making way for the I-94 freeway and a lasting scar of displacement and legacy of injustice. But that is not the only story of Rondo, and Sunday at Penumbra Theater, the sold-out “Rondo Family Reunion: Verse and Vision” event will attempt to fill in the gaps. Produced and organized by Minnesota poets Hawona Sullivan Janzen and Clarence White and photographer Chris Scott, the project will shine a light on the lesser-known history of Rondo via readings and performances by Seitu Jones, T. Mychael Rambo, Robin Hickman, Lauren Williams and Anika Bowie, and words from St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III.

‘If they know we regularly care’: Our New York bureau and its newest reporter are listening up

A new name has been popping up at Chalkbeat as our organization continues to grow, and the byline belongs to Reema Amin. This latest addition to the New York reporting team, which I began overseeing as bureau chief in September, was off to attend her first press conference — held by the mayor, schools chancellor, and teachers union chief — before her first day on the job had ended. She was instrumental to our reporting on the teachers contract, announced last week, and has already visited Albany, where she will be reporting occasionally on state education policy. Like all members of the New York bureau, she contributed this week to our joint reporting project with ProPublica, exploring whether counselors in New York City schools can really meet students' needs, especially as student homelessness has reached an all-time high. Chalkbeat reporter Reema Amin
And most recently, she looked at how a proposed rule change by the Department of Homeland Security could, if adopted, discourage immigrant families from applying for benefits, such as Medicaid, which in turn could threaten the financial viability of the city's school-based health clinics.

‘Impossible’ to Predict Mass Shooters, Expert Says

In the two deadliest shootings in the U.S. this year, the accused gunman displayed warning signs before his killing spree. Nikolas Cruz demonstrated an obsession with guns and was the subject of more than a dozen police visits at home before he went on a shooting rampage that left 17 dead at his former high school in Parkland, Fl. Ian David Long, who authorities say burst into the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Ca., Wednesday and gunned down 12 people before taking his own life, was found to be “acting a little irrationally'' when police visited his house in April. Yet Cruz and Long were both deemed not to be a danger to themselves or others, and they were neither committed for treatment nor forbidden from possessing weapons, USA Today reports. Amid the grief over another mass shooting, there's a sense of frustration over the failure to pick up on those cues.

‘It’s a Beach Community But We Could Use a Facelift’: Voices of the Voters in Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach

The Mission Beach Women's Club served as a polling place on Election Day. / Photo by Kayla Jimenez
Voters in Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach went to the polls Tuesday to weigh in on the District 2 City Council race – and, by extension, vacation rentals – as well as the future of Mission Valley. One common theme that came up a lot: lingering confusion on the plans to remake the Chargers Stadium site. Roberta Robledo Ardalani, a Pacific Beach native, said while she and her husband often vote the same way, they filled in different bubbles when it came to the plans for the former Qualcomm Stadium, Measures E and G.
Roberta Robledo Ardalani, a longtime resident of Pacific Beach, said she brings her daughter to the polls to teach her civic duty. This year she voted at the Pacific Beach Taylor Branch Library.

‘Kindness of Strangers’ a Last Resort for the Rural Mentally Ill

Even though more services are becoming available to divert the seriously mentally ill from the justice system, rural communities are struggling to find the resources they need to bring those services to the people who need them. Transportation, for instance, can make the difference between success or failure. “We have no public transportation here,” said Pamela Hopkins, a Fremont, Neb., lawyer who is running for Dodge County Attorney. “Many of these people are unable to drive, for one reason or another, whether it's because they use alcohol as a substitute for their treatment and they lost their licenses because of that, or they're too poor to have a car. “They've got to depend on the kindness of strangers.”
Without ready access to counseling or treatment often located far from their homes, defendants might otherwise find it hard to prove to judges that they are serious about addressing their problems.
Nebraska, like many states with large rural populations, is at the sharp end of the challenges of dealing with mentally troubled individuals.

‘Laziness’ a factor in low millennial voter turnout, top Mississippi election official says

TheeErin, Flickr CommonsStock image. While national experts predict a record turnout among millennials on Election Day, a top Mississippi election official doesn't have such high hopes. Kim Turner, an assistant secretary of state who oversees the office's elections division, dished last month at a public forum about why turnout among people aged 18 to 34 is so low. “They're not used to going to a post office and mailing a letter or buying a stamp or some of these things that are relatively easy to do in this generation that now has an app for everything,” Turner said of young voters while speaking on a panel sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council in late October. “You basically don't have to leave the house if you don't want to.

‘Miseducation’ in Mississippi: Racial disparities persist in discipline, access to advanced classes

Mississippi students have steadily improved on state tests in recent years, but a closer look at federal civil rights data and state-level test results reveal disparities in students' access to higher level coursework and discipline among ethnic groups. Last month, ProPublica released “Miseducation,” an interactive database filled with data on school discipline, staffing, and opportunity measures for more than 96,000 public schools and 17,000 school districts in the country during the 2015-16 school year. These schools self-reported their data to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. “Miseducation” comprehensively contains that data as well as information from other sources. Mississippi Today examined ProPublica's Mississippi data.

‘Multiple Casualties’ at Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Police said a suspect was in custody after “multiple casualties” at a shooting Saturday at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Three officers were shot in the attack at the Tree of Life Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, reports the Associated Press. It was not immediately known how many people had been shot or what the shooter's motive was. Squirrel Hill, about 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, is the hub of Pittsburgh's Jewish community. Jeff Finkelstein of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh told said all synagogues in the city are on a “modified lockdown.” Finkelstein said local synagogues have done “lots of training on things like active shooters, and we've looked at hardening facilities as much as possible.” “This should not be happening, period,” he told reporters at the scene.

‘No one is helping us’: Venezuelan conservation crippled by crisis

“To leave my dream was difficult, but I had to do it for my son,” says Ileana Herrera, a former ecologist from Venezuela, now living in Ecuador. Herrera, like many conservationists, fled the political and economic chaos engulfing Venezuela, a country rich in oil, but which many analysts are increasingly calling a failed state. She was living off a dismal salary — some ecologists made the equivalent of $3 a month in 2016, according to a longtime researcher — and facing a future of growing insecurity. “I did not have enough money for my son to eat enough protein,” she says, adding that if a child gets sick in Venezuela, “there is no medication.” The country is experiencing dangerous shortages of basic resources such as food and medicine. Then Herrera's mother got cancer.

‘No room for them’: For Mississippians in deep poverty, voting is easier said than done

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi TodayMatthew McLellan sits outside while reading his Bible near Stewpot Community Services in Jackson Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Congregating with others outside Stewpot's community kitchen on an overcast, drizzly Thursday afternoon after grabbing some lunch, a bus driver reflected on the decline of his West Jackson surroundings. The man, Tony Moore, said he'd rather try to make a difference in his community — give a hand up to folks living in poverty — than go to the polls on Election Day. Chris Purdon and Jed Blackerby won't vote because they can't — they both are among the nearly 10 percent of voting-aged Mississippians permanently stripped of their right to vote due to a felony conviction.

‘No Significant Change’ in Overall Violent Crime: Study

Violent crime against young adult males has increased, but there was no “statistically significant change” in the overall number of Americans who experienced violent crime, according to the most recent estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). In a report released Wednesday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the rate of violent criminal victimizations against males 12 years or older increased from 15.9 per 1,000 males to 19.6 per 1,000 from 2015 to 2016. The report, based on revised estimates of criminal victimization from the 2016 NCVS, found that among persons ages 25 to 34, violent victimizations increased from 21.8 to 28.4 per 1,000 persons over the same period. The BJS also noted that the number of U.S. residents age 12 or older who reported they had experienced one or more violent criminal victimizations during the prior six months increased from 2.7 million to 2.9 million, but added “there was no statistically significant difference in the rate of overall violent victimization (18.6 compared to 19.7 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older). Moreover, although the rate of aggravated assault increased slightly nationwide for all U.S. residents, the rate of rape or sexual assault decreased from 2015 to 2016 from 1.6 to 1.1 victimizations per 1,000 persons, BJS reported.

‘Not all hope is lost’ as outlook for mountain gorillas brightens

Decades of “extreme” conservation have lifted the mountain gorilla from the edge of extinction, leading the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to change the animal's status from the more dire “critically endangered” to “endangered.” “The good news is this really shows that when we invest long-term in conservation … we can change the tide for these animals,” Tara Stoinski, CEO and chief scientific officer of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, said in an interview. Mountain gorillas today number more than 1,000 individuals. Image courtesy of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. First brought to the attention of Western scientists and conservation groups by biologist George Schaller and later by researcher Dian Fossey in the 1960s, the mountain gorilla subspecies (Gorilla beringei beringei) had plummeted to just a few hundred individuals by the 1980s. Hunting, civil unrest and the loss of gorilla habitat to farmland in the forested mountains of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo led Fossey to warn that these animals, one of humankind's closest relatives, might appear only in the pages of books by the year 2000 if there wasn't an effort to save them.

‘Old World/New World’ benefit concert for Greater Falls Warming Shelter is Nov. 3

News Release — Stone Church Center
Oct. 25, 2018
Contact:Robert Bowler, Stone Church Center
802-460-0110 box office – 802-376-5244 cell
(Bellows Falls VT) Stone Church Arts and Cameo Arts Foundation, Inc. presents “Old World/New World,” a benefit concert to support the Great Falls Warming Shelter, located in North Walpole, NH. It will be held on Saturday, November 3, 7:30pm at the Immanuel Episcopal Church, 20 Church Street in Bellows Falls, Vermont. 100% of freewill ticket proceeds will be donated to the Shelter, providing safe, warm overnight lodging during the winter months for those in need. The shelter principally serves towns in the Greater Falls area, including Rockingham, Westminster, Athens, Grafton, North Walpole and Walpole, New Hampshire.

‘Old-Fashioned’ Policing is Still Critical to Stopping Gun Violence, say Two Scholars

Gun violence won't be reduced by treating it as a public health problem alone, say two prominent criminologists. Finding ways to improve “old-fashioned” policing that emphasizes getting shooters off the street to face punishment and detention is critical—but it's in danger of being overlooked in the attention to newer strategies like community policing and early conflict mediation, Phillip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig wrote in a paper for the Social Science Research Council. Many scholars have seized on the notion that the escalating levels of gun violence in many neighborhoods around the U.S. should be seen as an “epidemic” that can be addressed by public health disease prevention strategies. But “when it comes to prevention of criminal misuse of guns, public health scholars tend to ignore or minimize…the most targeted prevention capacity: the criminal justice system's ability to arrest, punish, and incapacitate shooters,” they wrote in the paper. The authors cited the Aug.

‘People helping people’: North Dakota’s addiction fix

This story is the second in a series based on WyoFile reporting from North Dakota. Read part one, here — Ed. DEVILS LAKE, North Dakota — Residents of this grain farming and outdoor sporting hub say it is one of the coldest parts of their notoriously cold state. Tucked off a dogleg of its miles-long namesake lake, the brick downtown and the aging neighborhoods that surround it have the feel of a port. On Nov.

‘Presidents of War’: Historian Michael Beschloss on leaders who’ve taken U.S. into battle

Michael Beschloss had me right off the top. In his opening remarks Tuesday, to an audience at the great Westminster Town Hall Forum, about his latest book, “Presidents of War.” It's an overview of U.S. presidents who have taken us into war. The Beschloss remark that grabbed me was: “I think we have gotten into too many wars in American history.”
So do I. But Beschloss decided to study all the presidents who have made the decision to lead our nation into war (not counting George W. Bush and the Iraq war, because it's too recent for historical perspective, Beschloss said) to see what he could figure out about how that decision gets made by presidents. One of his first points yesterday was that every war president has become more religious after making the decision to shed blood. Abe Lincoln, who had been something between agnostic and atheist as a young man, took to reading the bible during the Civil War.

‘Protect the values we hold dear’: A closer look inside the Ed Meek, Ole Miss race controversy

Devna Bose, The Daily MississippianSophomore Seyna Clark directly addresses Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter during an open forum for students following an inappropriate post made by Ed Meek on his Facebook page that prompted a mass backlash. Erin Pennington has a way with words. After all, she started studying to be a professional communicator two years ago when she learned the basics of how quickly news and information is disseminated in the current age of social media. Other courses taught her how journalists use social media as a reporting tool and how to amplify stories to boost their reach and impact. This year, she's learning about the ethics of social media in public relations, including the importance of exercising good judgment when representing both a personal brand and that of an organization.

‘Public hanging’ comment creates a stir in Hyde-Smith’s hometown as race emerges as key issue in Senate runoff

Adam Ganucheau | Mississippi TodayA cattle farmer bids on a cow at the Lincoln County sale barn, operated by Cindy Hyde-Smith's family. BROOKHAVEN — As Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith flew to Washington Tuesday morning for the first Senate votes in several weeks, her husband Michael Smith got to work. A fourth generation cattle farmer, Smith, his wife and their family operate the Lincoln County sale barn. Tuesdays are auction days, and area farmers bring hundreds of cattle each week to be sold. Inside the sale barn, three dozen or so farmers watched as cows were quickly ushered from the holding barn through the turnstiles to the small arena.

‘Rage’ or Resolve? Women Are Giving More In 2018

2018 is being dubbed the new ‘Year of the Woman.' In fact, more than 500 women are running for major office in the US. And whether they are signing petitions, protesting in the streets, or giving to human and civil rights organizations, surveys show that women are more politically active than their male peers. All […]
The post ‘Rage' or Resolve? Women Are Giving More In 2018 appeared first on Tiny Spark.

‘rkids Poised For Expansion

An anchoring agency in the Dixwell neighborhood that for two decades has been helping to stabilize vulnerable little kids and their families is poised to double its size, and the number of families it can serve.All it needs are another $2.8 million and ten to 14 parking spaces.

‘Sharing ministries’ object to state health mandate

Addie Strumolo (far right) speaks in June as other members of the Individual Mandate Working Group look on. From left to right, they are Mike Fisher, chief health care advocate; Doug Farnham of the state Tax Department; Emily Brown of the Department of Financial Regulation; and Robin Lunge, Green Mountain Care Board member. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDiggerWhile Vermont's mandatory health insurance law has a definite start date of Jan. 1, 2020, the question of who will and won't have to comply is not yet settled. That has led to a debate pitting the state's largest insurer against a small group of Vermonters who don't buy traditional insurance – members of “health care sharing ministries,” which pool money to cover medical costs but are unregulated by the government.Get all of VTDigger's health care news.You'll never miss our health care coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox.

‘Shark Tank’ type competition is ‘watershed moment’ for St. Louis startups

An area nonprofit and a prominent private investment firm are launching a partnership to boost the startup climate in St. Louis. A new pitch competition — think of the TV show ‘Shark Tank' with a strong St. Louis flavor — will have early stage companies battling for an investment of up to $1 million from the Chaifetz Group.

‘Silent Night’ opera makes triumphant return; MCAD Annual Art Sale coming up

Born at the Minnesota Opera in 2011, “Silent Night” came home last weekend for the first time in seven years. It was a triumphant return. On opening night – the night before Armistice Day, though it was already Armistice Day in Europe by then – a color guard held the American flag while Courtney Lewis led the Minnesota Opera orchestra in “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Then the house lights went down, the audience settled into their seats, the stage lights came on and war was declared. We spent the next two hours in a Berlin opera house, in bunkers, in No Man's Land and at a surreal party given by the last crown prince of the German Empire. Men fought, died and were buried.

‘Small enough to work against its own good’: In Natchez, old fears fuel doubt about the future

Layne Browning in Natchez. NATCHEZ — Layne Browning, a white man in his early sixties, can't understand why Natchez, of all places, needs $34 million to build a new public high school. Enrollment is down and, he points out, that's not even the district's biggest problem. “They won't study. They just don't care… ” Browning said, referring to the students at Natchez High.

‘StartUp’ podcast’s next focus: New York City’s Success Academy charter schools

New York City's largest charter network — and its pugnacious founder — are the next subject of a popular podcast set to kick off a new season on Friday. “StartUp,” a podcast that focuses on how entrepreneurs build their companies, is devoting its upcoming season to Success Academy, one of the most familiar and controversial names in New York City education. Success Academy is known both for its students' high test scores and for its founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz, who has been a fixture in city politics since her days on the City Council, where she was a reliable critic of what she saw as unacceptable shortcomings in New York's district schools. In the decade since leaving office, Moskowitz has created what is arguably a parallel school system: A 47-school charter network that educates roughly 17,000 New York City students. Moskowitz has pushed the charter network to the center of a heated debate that has played out in New York and across America about what types of schools are best situated to educate low-income students and students of color.

‘Stop the Bleed’ effort targets St. Louis neighborhoods affected by gun violence

In St. Louis, health care workers are volunteering their time — and in some cases, their own money — to train bystanders how to control life-threatening bleeding. The goal is simple: keep trauma victims alive long enough for them to reach a hospital. Stop the Bleed STL offers free classes at locations throughout the greater St. Louis region, including schools, community centers and churches.

‘That’s why they fear me’: Chris McDaniel, with ground to make up, is sticking to a familiar blueprint

Chris McDaniel knows the power of fear as well as anyone. In the summer of 1999, when McDaniel was a 27-year-old federal judicial clerk, he went to Jackson to help his father buy a new Jeep Grand Cherokee. On the trip home, between Collins and their hometown of Ellisville, McDaniel, driving separately, turned behind his father onto Highway 588. The McDaniels had driven the narrow, two-lane highway hundreds of times. But at 11 p.m., even the most familiar country roads can surprise you.

‘The best thing in the world’: Young voices fill former Catholic church in Carondelet

As the kids at Carondelet Academy learn their lines and lyrics in theater and music class, they're also learning life skills such as being comfortable in front of a crowd. In 2017, developer Pete Rothschild gave the theater to the Carondelet Leadership Academy charter school, allowing it to expand. Rothschild bought the 158-year-old building and transformed it into a theater 10 years earlier.

‘The good, the bad and the ugly’ of state worker safety programs

This story is part of a collaboration between the Center for Public Integrity, Ohio Valley ReSource and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. Fifteen minutes before his shift was to end on November 8, 2017, Lariat Rope, a thickset man of 55, tumbled into a pit of scalding water at Sapa Extrusions North America in Phoenix, an aluminum-products plant where he'd worked for more than 25 years. It took rescuers three hours to retrieve his body from the pit, which is used to cool aluminum logs 10 inches in diameter and up to 18 feet long. The cause of death: “multiple trauma due to blunt force injuries, drowning and thermal injury,” according to a report approved by the Industrial Commission of Arizona in April. The commission's Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as ADOSH, cited Sapa for violating a standard requiring employers to install “covers and/or guardrails … to protect personnel from the hazards of open pits, tanks, vats [and] ditches.” It proposed a fine of $7,000 — the amount it had established for violations that “caused or contributed to a fatality” and which, according to the ADOSH field operations manual, cannot be reduced by that agency.

‘The posterchild for entangled marine mammals around the globe:’ Q&A with author of Vaquita

Earlier this year, Mongabay reported that there might be as few as 12 vaquita left in the world, down from 30 in 2017. The vaquita population has been driven to the brink of extinction by the illegal trade in swim bladders from a fish called totoaba, which are highly sought after by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, though they have no scientifically proven health benefits. Despite a ban that is currently in place, gillnets are used to catch totoaba in Mexico's Upper Gulf of California — and they also ensnare vaquita, causing them to drown. Author Brooke Bessesen traveled to the Upper Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez), the vaquita's only known range, to speak with local townspeople, fishermen, scientists, and activists in order to tell the tale of the small porpoise whose future is very much in doubt. The result is her new book, Vaquita: Science, Politics, and Crime in the Sea of Cortez, released last month by Island Press.

‘There is no Nazi gene’: Granddaughter of Nazi recounts discovering, reconciling family’s dark past

Many families have secrets, some more sinister than others. German author Jennifer Teege did not learn of her family's alarmingly dark past until she discovered it accidentally in her late thirties. The truth deeply disturbed her: her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the Nazi commandant depicted in Schindler's List who famously fired at passersby from his balcony. Teege detailed reconciling with her family's truth as a biracial woman in her memoir “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family's Nazi Past.” Teege will be giving a free public presentation on Thursday at St. Louis University's John & Lucy Cook Hall.

‘There was something missing’: Stint on New York stage energizes Normandy teacher

Normandy teacher Duane Foster recently returned from an unusual sabbatical: a role in an off-Broadway production of “Antigone in Ferguson.” Foster made his New York debut in “Ragtime” 20 years ago, then came home to St. Louis in 2006 and became the theater and music teacher at Normandy High School. Performing in the chorus and as a soloist in “Antigone” for seven weeks in August and September provided a long-awaited chance to return to the stage. Now, in his second week back in St. Louis, Foster is working to translate his recent New York experience into projects that will benefit his students.

‘Trying to do good work, practice faith’: Ahmad family gives back near and far

Living a life of service, faith and leading by example are strong pillars in the Ahmad household, a St. Louis County family that participates in community services locally and abroad. On Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Zia Ahmad, cardiologist and president of Muslim Community Services St. Louis (MCSL), about his family's volunteer work.

‘Velvet hammer’ to ‘fierce advocate’: Tina Smith, a longtime Democratic fixer, works to make U.S. Senate seat her own

A year ago, Tina Smith never imagined she would be here. “I was thinking about what I was doing a year ago, and it's so completely different,” she said, sitting in her car in the parking lot of an Apple Valley shopping center. “If somebody told me that I would be doing this a year ago, I wouldn't have seen the path.”
It's possible the former lieutenant governor could have seen the path to where she was on this recent Saturday — popping into DFL rallies around the metro area to fire up volunteers on the eve of a crucial midterm election. In 2014 and 2016, she was practically Gov. Mark Dayton's official ambassador on the campaign trail. But Smith, along with the rest of the political world, could not have imagined who she would be today: a U.S. senator in the thick of a campaign to win a seat she was appointed to in January, after Al Franken resigned in the wake of a sexual misconduct scandal.

‘War to End all Wars’

Former Garrison resident left detailed account of life on the front lines‘War to End all Wars' was first posted on November 11, 2018 at 11:00 am.

‘We are children of the same God’: St. Louis residents of all faiths gather for Jewish Sabbath

Jewish congregations in St. Louis came together this weekend for the first Sabbath since a gunman killed 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Some congregations, including Temple Israel in Creve Coeur, invited residents from all faiths to join them for the Jewish Sabbath, known as Shabbat. Interfaith services were also held in cities across the country as part of a social-media campaign to send a message that “love triumphs over hate.”

‘We won this with hard work and some luck’: a Q&A with newly elected Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson

MinnPost file photo by Jessica LeeDave Hutchinson: "I just want people to know that I'm there for the sheriff's department, for the people — I don't care who they supported."It's official: Dave Hutchinson is Hennepin County's new sheriff. Elections officials certified voting results this week. In his new role, Hutchinson will oversee more than 840 employees and coordinate with politicians and law-enforcement agencies from across the county, a group that includes more than three dozen state legislators, two members of Congress and 45 city mayors. He'll also be responsible for a roughly $125 million budget and the treatment of upwards of 36,000 people rotating through the county's detention facilities. MinnPost asked him about his plans for taking over the office, why he thinks he won and what he's heard from his opponent Rich Stanek, who has led the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office since 2007.

‘What Do You Want to Change?’ Oklahoma Voters Answer on Video

In deciding how to vote, what do Oklahomans want to change? Oklahoma Watch reporters Whitney Bryen and Mashiur Rahaman caught voters at random in recent days to ask them that question. Here's a compilation of their answers in this Election Day special, “What to Change.”

‘Whitey’ Bulger Biographers Write Mobster’s Definitive Obit

The co-authors of a biography of Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger wrote the Boston Globe‘s obituary of the 89-year-old inmate, who was slain in a West Virginia prison on Tuesday. “His life played out like any number of the Hollywood movies it spawned, reflecting a Boston that is no more, when bookmakers and gangsters peopled the taverns of the city's working-class neighborhoods; when the locals wouldn't dream of turning in the neighborhood hoodlum; when gangland murders were commonplace; and when the FBI was so hellbent on taking out the Mafia that it helped gangsters like Mr. Bulger kill rivals and rise to the top of the Boston underworld,” wrote Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy. (The pair also reported and wrote the Globe‘s main news story on the killing, which named a mob hitman serving a life sentence as a suspect.)
More than a dozen books documented Bulger's storied career. But, as an LA Weekly reviewer put it, “if you only have the stomach for one authoritative Bulger book, with 19 grisly murders (including the strangling of two young women), Shelley Murphy and Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe have written it.” Based on their reporting on Bulger over the years, the Cullen-Murphy book, Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice, meticulously documented Bulger's violence, vast riches, and corruption of his FBI handlers. Their Globe obit ends with a quoted flourish, from a Bulger letter to a friend: “I had a good life and I Lived!

‘You have an army,’ resident says as Stowe preps to fight merger

Stowe residents gather for an emergency school board meeting on Thursday. Photo by Lola Duffort/VTDiggerAt least a hundred residents packed the bleachers at Stowe Elementary on Thursday night for an emergency school board meeting following a tentative decision by the State Board of Education to merge Stowe with the neighboring Elmore-Morristown district under Act 46. The state board has been meeting throughout the month to make provisional decisions on forced mergers under the consolidation law. A proposed statewide plan for mergers made by the Secretary of Education earlier this summer hadn't recommended Stowe be merged, and local school officials expressed shock at the State Board's decision. “This decision took us all by surprise, and now we have to face the music,” school board chair Cara Zimmerman told the crowd.

“Dorky” moderate Allison Lami Sawyer tries to unseat “rowdy” moderate state Rep. Sarah Davis

State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place (left), and her Democratic challenger, Allison Lami Sawyer. Bob Daemmrich: Davis/Pu Ying Huang: Sawyer
HOUSTON – “Where are we, in the mean streets of Bellaire today?” state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, blurts out as she charges into a circle of volunteers gathered at her campaign headquarters before a sunny Saturday morning block walk in the Houston suburbs. Davis, a rare pro-abortion rights Republican who has been comfortably re-elected in Texas' House District 134 three times, bites into a Krispy Kreme donut and revs up her crowd of volunteers while lobbing attacks against her challenger, Democrat Allison Lami Sawyer, the 33-year-old founder of an oil and gas safety company who moved into the district to run against Davis. “We don't see any evidence of an actual, serious campaign that was required in a competitive district like this,” Davis, 42, told The Texas Tribune after the volunteers left. But she said that she “can't take anything for granted.”

That's because her district – one of the wealthiest, most-educated and politically active in Texas – could see a blue wave wash over it in November.

“Eliminate ‘top-down’ initiatives”: UT regents’ report sees curtailed role for system administration

The University of Texas System Board of Regents sits for a special meeting Aug. 4, 2018, in Austin. | by Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune
A report posted online suggests the University of Texas System Board of Regents is pushing to further curtail top-down initiatives and headcount in its central offices, deepening a break from a vision held in past years that saw a far more expansive and ambitious role for the system administration. The report, anticipated for months, is the result of a broad review that began last year after the system had begun to receive scrutiny from lawmakers over its growth and spending. Characterized as an exercise in good governance, the review was overseen by a task force of four regents headed by former Republican state Sen. Kevin Eltife, an outspoken critic of system-led projects.

“Inappropriate behavior with alumni” led to Noble founder’s resignation, charter leaders tell staff

A pattern of “inappropriate behavior with alumni,” which included hand-holding and “an instance of slow-dancing” ultimately led to founder Michael Milkie's resignation, according to a letter sent by Constance Jones Brewer, the president of the Noble Network of Charter Schools, to staff on Tuesday night. Brewer said that she and Head of Schools Ellen Metz became aware of the inappropriate behavior in October and “immediately voiced a lack of confidence” in Milkie's leadership. “When confronted with this information and our lack of confidence in Mike, he chose to retire. I want to emphasize that at no point did Noble leadership have knowledge of allegations that required mandated reporting, or that were criminal in nature.”
Noble administrators did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The charter network's board of directors, led by Allan Muchin, has hired an outside law firm to conduct a full investigation of Milkie's conduct and review internal procedures for handling complaints.

“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."

“A Bright Room Called Day” rises to the current political moment

The Williams Project is presenting Tony Kushner's “A Bright Room Called Day” at the Hillman City Collaboratory. (Photo courtesy The Williams Project.)In the 1980s, Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner saw parallels between the Reagan administration and the 1930s transition of the German Weimar Republic to Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. He wrote the play “A Bright Room Called Day” in response. The Williams Project, a theater collective based in Seattle, saw a similarity between the current administration of President Donald Trump and those earlier eras in which democracy was threatened and artists had to balance the risks to their personal lives against their commitment to fight for true freedom, and they are bringing Kushner's “A Bright Room Called Day” to the Hillman City Collaboratory. “We were looking for a play that responded to the political and social moment we are facing in this country,” said Ryan Guzzo Purcell, artistic director of The Williams Project.

“Documenting Hate: New American Nazis,” Coming Soon From ProPublica and Frontline

by ProPublica

In the wake of the deadly anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, ProPublica and Frontline present a new investigation into white supremacist groups in America — in particular, a neo-Nazi group, Atomwaffen Division, that has actively recruited inside the U.S. military. Continuing ProPublica and Frontline's reporting on violent white supremacists in the U.S. (which has helped lead to multiple arrests), this joint investigation documents the group's acts of violence and asks how aggressively civilian and military authorities are taking the group's terrorist objectives and how it gained strength after the 2017 Charlottesville rally. (Watch the first documentary in this series, August 2018's “Documenting Hate: Charlottesville,” online.)

Tune into the premiere on PBS on Nov. 20 at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central and online at Get Our Top Investigations
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“Jobs Alliance” Backed by Coal Giant Loses Bid To Stop West Virginia Natural Gas Plant

by Ken Ward Jr., The Charleston Gazette-Mail

A group funded by coal giant Murray Energy has lost its latest court battle to block construction of new natural gas power plants in West Virginia. The state Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed the state Public Service Commission's approval of Brooke County Power LLC's gas plant, turning aside objections by the Ohio Valley Jobs Alliance and saying the plant's developers had “substantially complied” with state power plant siting rules. Separately, the jobs alliance appears to have abandoned challenges of gas plant permits issued to the Brooke County Power plant and another in Harrison County. The group's lawyers did not file appeals of permit approvals prior to the legal deadline for doing so, developers and supporters of the plants said this week. In September, the Charleston Gazette-Mail and ProPublica detailed how Murray Energy, one of the nation's largest coal companies, had been quietly funding the jobs alliance's litigation aimed at stopping the natural gas power plants proposed for Brooke and Harrison counties and another in Marshall County.

“Minivan” Steered Into Blue Wave

“Team Porter” navigated a newish app to turn out suburban votes. Now Connecticut might get paid family leave, a $15 hourly minimum wage — and maybe even electronic highway tolls.

“Next Door” Reimagines The Neighborhood Bar

In a town where getting a good slice is a given, Robin Bodak and Doug Coffin thought adding one more place to the apizza landscape couldn't hurt, especially when in a place where people have good memories.

“Shared Parking” Plan Approved For Audubon Mini-City

The garage for the Audubon Square Project rising on the old Frontier Communications surface lot will have 649 physical parking spaces/The developer is committed to providing parking for a larger number of folks, 735 or so in total, including tenants and employees of nearby Frontier Communications.Will enough residents be away during the day and enough Frontier staffers working from home or be sick or on vacation, so the deficit of 80 or so spots is never a problem?

“Spooktacular” Wows Wilson

Tarantula kissing was not allowed. Nor was rough petting. Or thinking mean or fearful thoughts.

“Systems Guy” Takes On Incumbent

“I'm curious and I hope you don't mind,” the business owner said. “But how old are you?”“I'm asked that a lot,” replied the candidate. The answer: 28.Older than he looks.“I'm impressed,” said the business owner.The candidate was not.

“The Prisoner” Makes A Space Of Its Own

The Prisoner, an original production with text and stage direction by Peter Brook and Marie-Héléne Estienne, makes a somewhat belated — and engrossing — debut at Yale Repertory Theatre.

#MeToo 2: New Stories Emerge

At the end of a panel discussion about the #MeToo movement , audience member Kristen Sullivan stood up to thank the panelists for “little things” in her life that she believed were the result of other people coming forward with their stories.Then she told her own story.

#TruthNeverDies: International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

Over the past 12 years, close to 1,010 journalists have been killed for reporting the news and bringing information to the public. On average, this constitutes one death every four days. In nine out of 10 cases the killers go unpunished. Impunity leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems. Impunity damages whole societies by covering up serious human rights abuses, corruption and crime. On International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, we remember fearless investigative journalists who were murdered for doing their jobs, including Daphne Caruana Galizia, Miroslava Breach, Pavel Sheremet, Mohammed Al-Absi, Javier Valdez, Jan Kuciak, and many more who have given or are risking their lives in pursuit of the truth.

$10bn pledged in new commitments to protect the world’s oceans

NUSA DUA, Indonesia — Global participants in the fifth Our Ocean Conference have pledged the highest amount of funding yet for new initiatives and commitments on the protection of a combined expanse of ocean eight times the size of Alaska. The event, hosted by the Indonesian government on the island of Bali, generated 287 pledges in bilateral and multilateral agreements between governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and philanthropic foundations. The pledges were valued at more than $10 billion to protect some 14 million square kilometers (5.4 million square miles) of the world's oceans, according to Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia's coordinating minister for maritime affairs. To date, the Our Ocean Conference has raked in commitments totaling $28 billion and covering 26.4 million square kilometers (10.2 million square miles) of ocean. “These numbers are beyond our expectations,” Luhut said in his closing remarks on Oct.

10 things you need to know about the polls and registering today.

Photo by Kevin O'Connor/VTDiggerFirst off, it's not too late. In Vermont, you can still register to vote at the polls and join the 92 percent of Vermonters who have already signed up for Tuesday voting. People studying in Vermont have the choice of casting their ballots in the Green Mountain State or the state where they lived prior to going to school. (They cannot do both.)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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100+ Tenants Caught In Lead Limbo

Syreeta Nicholson's second-youngest son Marque already had an elevated blood lead level two years ago when his family first moved into the single-family home at 489 Sherman Pkwy.Marque's blood lead level quintupled after just five months of living at the property.Earlier this week, Nicholson learned from her lawyer, New Haven Legal Assistance Association (NHLAA) Attorney Amy Marx, that she is one of over 100 local low-income tenants who live or have recently lived at properties approved by New Haven's housing authority for a federal Section 8 rent subsidy, but uninspected by the city's Health Department for lead paint hazards.

12 Days of Giving supports Chamberlain’s children holidays and beyond

Donations will be doubled December 1-12.

13 Dead, Including Shooter, in CA Bar College Night

A hooded gunman dressed in black opened fire at a country dance bar holding a weekly “college night” in Southern California, killing 12 people and sending hundreds fleeing, including some who used barstools to break windows and escape. The gunman was later found dead at the scene, the Associated Press reports. The dead from the shooting Wednesday night included 11 people inside the bar and a sheriff's sergeant who was the first officer inside the door, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. “It's a horrific scene in there,” Dean said. “There's blood everywhere.” It was the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. since 17 classmates and teachers were gunned down at a Parkland, Fl., school nine months ago.

13 Long-Awaited New Cop Cruisers Arrive

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

15 Years Ago, We Predicted the Financial Crash. We Think Another’s On Its Way.

Throughout our 42-year history, In These Times has often played the role of Cassandra. Perhaps the most unhappy instance is our prediction of the burst of the housing bubble, and the devastating foreclosure crisis that followed. In his 2003 article, “Bursting Bubbles,” economist Dean Baker warned that the popular progressive explanation for the 2001 recession was wrong. Bill Clinton may have boasted in 2000 of “the best economy in 30 years,” but George W. Bush's disastrous tax cuts and military profligacy only partly explained the subsequent slump. The Clinton-era economic boom, Baker wrote, “was built on three unsustainable bubbles”: the stock bubble, which had already burst, and the dollar and housing bubbles, which were sure to.

17 new brilliantly colored species of sea slugs described

From lavender to orange, pink to yellow polka dots — researchers have just described 17 stunning new species of sea slugs that live among coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. All the species belong to the genus Hypselodoris, a group of colorful sea slugs that make for striking photo models. In a recent study, researchers from the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) reorganized the genus Hypselodoris, adding new-to-science species to the group and revealing secrets of the evolution of their brilliant color patterns. Discovery of the new species is a great feeling, said Terrence Gosliner, senior curator at the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the CAS. “Several species [of Hypselodoris] had not been studied previously from a genetic perspective and we had reason to believe that we had discovered a bunch of new species, based on their external appearance,” he told Mongabay.

17-Year Tax Break Advances

A developer got penultimate approval for a 17-year tax break to build 56 townhouses on long-vacant Route 34 land, but not before two alders questioned whether the help needed to extend that long.

1920’s North Iowa Couple Experience Parisian Life

It's unlikely most Iowans recognized the name August Escoffier, the French chef famous for creating the delectable dessert called peach melba. But an Iowa couple living in Paris in the 1920s had crossed paths with the chef and had somehow acquired the recipe, consisting of a peach arranged artfully on a bed of vanilla ice cream smothered with raspberry sauce. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is the author of non-fiction books for young people. Her work has been recognized by International Literacy Association, American Library Association, National Council for Social Studies, and FDR Presidential Library and Museum.

1st Responders Honored For K2 Life-Saving Efforts

The municipal response to the 120-plus “K2” synthetic cannabinoid poisonings that took place on the Green on Aug. 15 and 16 drew national attention.Monday morning, the police, fire, and ambulance service emergency responders who kept people alive that day earned local recognition, too, celebrated for what they did on those two frenetic mid-August days against “overwhelming odds.”

2 Agencies, 2 Tacks On Lead Paint

The health department dragged its feet, failed to follow up. Then the housing authority swept in and took action.Now a West River mom can move to a new apartment where she needn't worry about her toddler getting lead paint poisoning.Meanwhile, her current landlord is asking why she never got notice of a lead problem in the first place so she could fix it.

2 incumbents face 3 challengers in Norwich-area House race

Candidates running for the two Windsor-Orange 2 district seats in the Vermont House are from left, Rep. Tim Brigland, D-Thetford; Nick Clark, a Progressive from Norwich; John Freitag, an independent from Strafford; Rep. Jim Masland, D-Thetford; and Jill Wilcox, a Progressive from Sharon. Courtesy photos via the Valley News
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Norwich House seats" width="610" height="189" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w, 3264w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Candidates running for the two Windsor-Orange 2 district seats in the Vermont House are from left, Rep. Tim Briglin, D-Thetford; Nick Clark, a Progressive from Norwich; John Freitag, an independent from Strafford; Rep. Jim Masland, D-Thetford; and Jill Wilcox, a Progressive from Sharon. Courtesy photos via the Valley NewsThis story by Matt Hongoltz-Hetling was published by the Valley News on Oct. 24. NORWICH — A moderate independent, two incumbent Democrats and a pair of Progressives from four different towns are presenting Norwich-area voters with a bevy of options to represent their interests in the Vermont House.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox.

20 Ideas OK’d To Protect City From Floods

More sand on Morris Cove's beaches. Dunes turned into “living shorelines” on Long Wharf. A new seawall near Criscuolo Park.Alders voted to advance those and other federally-funded projects in a plan to guard New Haven against flooding as climate change sends the city more frequent and powerful storms.

20 Years for ‘Swatting’ Pranks, One That Caused a Death

A Los Angeles man accused of making a hoax phone call that led to what cybersecurity experts believe was the first death of its kind in the U.S. will serve at least 20 years in prison, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tyler Barriss, 25, pleaded guilty to 51 separate charges brought by federal prosecutors in Kansas, California and Washington, D.C., for the “swatting” call that led to a fatal police shooting in Kansas and for placing dozens of similar calls, including one to FBI headquarters in Washington and another that may have delayed a hearing on net neutrality last year, authorities said. On Dec. 28, 2017, Barriss placed a phone call to the Wichita Police Department claiming that he had murdered his father and was holding other relatives hostage at gunpoint at a Wichita home, court records show. Police responded to the address Barriss provided and were met by 28-year-old Andrew Finch, who exited the residence confused and placed his hands near his waistband.

2018 Election Central: A pretty exhaustive assemblage of MinnPost’s campaign coverage

With a race for governor, two U.S. Senate races, four nationally watched U.S. House races, 134 Minnesota House races, a state Senate special election, county races, school board races, and all kinds of city and school questions on the ballot this fall, there's a lot to keep track of in this year's election. Luckily for you, MinnPost has been keeping tabs on all things electoral for the past two years. Below, we've collected our best coverage for you to review — whether you need to brush up before voting day or just want to relive the good times. We'll keep this page updated through Election Day. First, here are some projects that give more general overviews of some of the big races:

Election 2018: Who's running?

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2018 Voting by District

On Nov. 6, Mississippi will hold elections for both of its U.S. Senate seats as well as all four Congressional districts. Also on the ballot is the Southern District of the state Supreme Court and seats in Chancery Courts, Courts of Appeal and Circuit Courts. Use the map below to view the elections and candidates running in your part of the state. Click the pull-down menu to toggle between elections.

2018 was the year of the woman in Texas. Candidates say it’s “not a one-time deal.”

From left to right: Julie Johnson, Rhetta Andrews Bowers, Lizzie Pannill Fletcher and Beverly Powell

It's the year of the woman and it's “certainly not a one-time deal.”

That's Beverly Powell's sentiment the day after defeating her Republican opponent, state Sen. Konni Burton of Colleyville, by nearly 4 percentage points in the Texas Senate District 10 race. Powell, a Democrat, credits her win to her experience on the Burleson Independent School District board, talking to local city officials, visiting schools and businesses and appealing to voters about keeping money in public schools. “Women are gaining their voice more and more every day, it's a voice that needs to be heard across the nation and the state,” Powell said. “We're going to see a number of women in the state Legislature and Congress increase and that's a powerful tool to make sure that we can implement the kind of change in this nation that's important to families and all of our citizens.”

Forty percent of women who ran for congressional, judicial, State Board of Education and other statewide offices during the midterms in Texas won their race, according to a Texas Tribune data analysis. Texas women were poised for potential gains after multiple upsets in March during primary season.

2019 Monroe County budget proposal cuts the tax rate

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo released her 2019 budget proposal on Thursday, a $1.2 billion spending plan that Dinolfo says will cut taxes for the first time in a decade. The budget will cut the tax rate by ten cents, from $8.99 to $8.89 per thousand of assessed value. Dinolfo says that will save taxpayers more than $4 million. She continues to criticize the amount of the budget that goes to state mandate costs, which Dinolfo says makes up about 85 percent of the county's total spending for the coming year. Dinolfo mentioned that concern in connection with mandated costs related to the new ‘raise the age' state legislation regarding criminal prosecution of young adults.

2040 Plan overlooks our environment

In a rush to generate tax revenue for the city based on a misguided focus on higher density housing throughout Minneapolis, city leaders and planners have overlooked our environment. The second draft of the Minneapolis 2040 Plan would obliterate current zoning protections in favor of allowing development of virtually every available inch of land within the city limits. Increased density can benefit the environment as an alternative to increased sprawl, but without a necessary balance between development and needs for parks, green spaces and natural habitats, not only will wildlife suffer, but people will lose our places for socialization, renewal and natural recreation and water and air quality will suffer. When wildlife habitat is lost, people suffer because crops and gardens are compromised for lack of pollinators, garbage and carrion linger for loss of scavengers, and overall environmental health declines in large part because of the loss of birds. Economically, bird tourism and other nature-based recreational activities are undermined.

21st District race to test boundaries of Democrats’ expanded congressional battlefield in Texas

Chip Roy (left) and Joseph Kopser are the Republican and Democratic nominees for U.S. Congressional District 21, currently held by outgoing U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio. Robin Jerstad: Chip Roy/Marjorie Kamys Cotera: Copser
National Democrats' congressional battlefield in Texas has grown this election cycle to include eight districts, an unprecedented number in recent memory that reflects the party's bullishness on a changing landscape here. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won three of those districts in 2016, instantly ensuring they would be in contention this year. The remaining five, though, are more challenging opportunities, and among them, the 21st District stands out. Stretching from Austin to San Antonio and out to the Hill Country, the district has been represented since 1987 by U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, who won term after term with little competition.

25 Years at Constitution Marsh

Longtime director (and photographer) Eric Lind moving on25 Years at Constitution Marsh was first posted on November 2, 2018 at 9:33 pm.

25% of New California Gun Buyers Had No Background Check: Survey

About 25 percent of California adults who purchased firearms recently did not have a background check, according to a survey released Sunday. The 2018 California Safety and Wellbeing Survey also found that some 25 percent of Californian adults live in households with firearms—and 40 percent of those households included children aged 12 and younger. The survey, conducted last month by the University of California-Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP), was released on the heels of the California gubernatorial election won by Gavin Newsom, who has promised tougher gun regulations, and the mass shooting that left 12 dead at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Ca. The survey represents the first major exploration of firearm ownership in the state in over 40 years, said Nicole Kravitz-Wirst, a researcher who led the survey. “Much remains unknown about the details surrounding firearm violence,” Kravitz-Wirtz said in a press statement accompanying the report.

3 Low-Cost Ways to Buy Vaping Supplies Online

Vaping has become one of the best alternatives to smoking in recent years. It enables people to have the feel and even taste of real cigarettes without all of the harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, if you are new to the idea of vaping, you might not know what to expect when purchasing your items on the internet. If you are able to find ways to save money, you will be able to easily get all of the supplies that you need without it costing you a small fortune. 1.

4 dicas de segurança digital que todo jornalista precisa saber

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Com manchetes frequentes informando sobre ataques hackers de grande escala, todos devem se preocupar com a segurança digital. Mas jornalistas investigativos – que trabalham com fontes vulneráveis e lidam com informações confidenciais – devem prestar atenção especial. Na conferência Uncovering Asia 2018 em Seul, Chris Walker, especialista em segurança digital do Tactical Technology Collective, compartilhou dicas importantes que os jornalistas podem implementar desde já para proteger suas fontes, suas histórias e a si próprios. 1. Criptografe seus dispositivos
Se você não ativou a criptografia de disco em seu laptop, faça isso agora.

4 Digital Security Tips Every Journalist Needs to Know

With regular headlines about massive data hacks, everyone should be worried about digital security. But investigative journalists — who work with vulnerable sources and deal with sensitive information — should pay special attention. At the Uncovering Asia 2018 conference in Seoul, Chris Walker, a digital security expert from the Tactical Technology Collective, shared key tips that journalists can implement today to protect themselves, their sources and their story. 1. Encrypt Your Devices
If you haven't enabled disk encryption on your laptop, do it now.

4 Members of Violent White Supremacist Group Face Riot Charges, Federal Authorities Say

by A.C. Thompson

Federal authorities announced riot charges against four members of the Rise Above Movement, a violent white supremacist group based in California. The charges relate to assaults carried out at protest rallies in California and Charlottesville, Virginia. The charges against four men — Robert Rundo, Robert Boman, Tyler Laube and Aaron Eason — come weeks after four other Rise Above Movement members or associates were indicted on riot charges in Virginia, accused of engaging in violent assaults during the infamous “Unite the Right” rally in the summer of 2017. Only Rundo, Boman and Laube had been arrested as of Wednesday afternoon. The four men indicted in Virginia have not entered pleas in the case.

40% of D.C. Gun Seizures Dismissed in Court

Every day, teams of Washington, D.C., police officers, often driving unmarked cars, scour the streets looking for people who might be carrying a firearm. These tactics have helped D.C. police seize thousands of illegal weapons. The aggressive search for guns has come with a cost, however. Residents in heavily patrolled neighborhoods say they feel targeted, reports WAMU Radio. Many suspects charged with gun possession ultimately walk free, according to an analysis of court documents by WAMU and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, leading to questions about the usefulness of the tactic.

5 Key Things to Know Before Taking a Child Custody Case to Court

Losing custody of a child can be one of the most difficult things that a parent will go through. Of course, it is possible that the parent lost custody for a valid reason such as a drug problem or an inability to provide a stable home. However, it may be possible to regain custody or other parental rights by going to court. What should parents know before doing so? You Don't Necessarily Need to Litigate
Prior to taking a case to court, you should consider alternate methods of resolving a custody dispute.

5 Questions: Chris Hughes

Philipstown resident who co-founded Facebook on new book5 Questions: Chris Hughes was first posted on November 4, 2018 at 3:58 pm.

5 Questions: Daniel Kibblesmith

Comic-book writer to sign issues in Beacon5 Questions: Daniel Kibblesmith was first posted on October 26, 2018 at 12:07 pm.

5 Questions: Jeffrey Yang

Beacon poet has new collection5 Questions: Jeffrey Yang was first posted on November 12, 2018 at 2:32 pm.

5 Questions: Jill Varricchio

President of the Putnam County Economic Development Corp.5 Questions: Jill Varricchio was first posted on October 22, 2018 at 11:48 am.

5 reasons to watch Chicago’s historic charter strike negotiations

On Tuesday, teachers at the Acero network voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike should contract negotiations stall. Here are five reasons why people in Chicago, and beyond, should pay attention to Chicago's charter union industry. It's about more than just one school. Acero isn't the only school in tense negotiations. On Friday, teachers at another charter network, Chicago International Charter School, will take a strike authorization vote.

5th Circuit upholds feds’ $33 million penalty for Texas decrease in special education funding

Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins leaves the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. Cheryl Gerber for The Texas Tribune
Texas' decision to spend $33.3 million less on students with disabilities in 2012 will likely cost it millions in future federal funding after a Wednesday afternoon 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. According to the New Orleans-based court, the U.S. Department of Education was within its rights to try to withhold the same amount from Texas' special education grants, since a 1997 federal statute prohibits states from reducing their funding for kids with disabilities from year to year. Texas had appealed the department's decision, arguing that statute was vague and unenforceable.

6 Advantages of Having 3D Model Before Construction Begins

3D technology has revolutionized many industries. These include healthcare, fashion, aerospace, education, electronics, construction, and more. For instance, in healthcare, patients with amputated limbs and arms can get prosthetics that help them remain functional. When it comes to the construction industry, 3D technology has aided in the creation of 3D models that are more helpful than the traditional 2D drawings. Here are six advantages of having 3D models before the beginning of construction:


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.

60% of Hate Crimes are Racially Motivated: FBI

The majority of hate crime victims last year were targeted because of the offenders' race, ethnicity, and/or ancestry bias, according to an FBI report released Tuesday. The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program analyzed data collected in 2017 by 16,149 law enforcement agencies that included information about hate crime offenses, victims, offenders, and locations where such incidents happen. The report, Hate Crime Statistics 2017, classified 7,175 criminal incidents and 8,437 related offenses as being motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity. About 21 percent of victims were targeted because of the offenders' religious bias. Last month 46-year-old Robert Gregory Bowers was charged with 29 federal crimes in the aftermath of a mass shooting killed 11 people and injured six others during worship service at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

7 Budget Friendly Ways to Pack Your House in Under a Week

Introduction: Preparing for the Big Move
Getting ready for a big move can be a stressful time in anyone's life. That's because you're making a big and scary life change that involves packing up the life you knew and starting a brand new one. Luckily, there are some ways to make a move go easier. If you're moving on a deadline, you'll want to do whatever you can to have a quick and easy move. Utilize these seven budget-friendly ways to pack your house in under a week.

7 Thinkers on the Left Explain What the Midterm Results Mean for Progressives

The 2018 midterm elections saw mixed results for progressives. Democrats took the House of Representatives, which will include a crop of new members who ran on issues like Medicare for All, marijuana legalization and urgent climate action. Democratic socialists also had a big night, winning elections up and down the ballot. Yet progressive gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum and Ben Jealous lost, the outcome of Stacey Abrams' historic bid for Georgia governor remains up in the air, and Republicans increased their majority in the Senate. While several insurgent left Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley cruised to victory, others like Jess King and Randy Bryce suffered defeats.

8 things to look for in Tuesday’s pivotal Missouri midterm elections

For Missouri Democrats, tomorrow is judgment day. Voters will decide if the last two Democratic statewide officials remain in their posts. If U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and state Auditor Nicole Galloway prevail, it could provide a jolt for a party seeking to rebound after the disaster of 2016.

8 способов для визуализации информации о пожарах в Калифорнии

Официальные лица и пожарные Калифорнии выражают все большее беспокойство: они опасаются, что из-за сухой ветреной погоды, вызванной глобальным потеплением, пожары станут более разрушительными, а их сезон – более продолжительным. Ситуация с пожарами в Калифорнии в этом году была чрезвычайно опасной и вылилась в самый большой в истории штата комплексный пожар “Мендосино”, распространившийся на площадь около 500 квадратных миль. Несмотря на то что пожар постоянно фигурировал в новостях, трудно сказать, как много людей обращают внимание на причины и последствия беспрецедентных пожаров. Сайт Storybench описал восемь способов, которые журналисты США использовали при освещении ситуации с лесными пожарами в этом году. Расследование причин возникновения пожаров – Wired
Опубликованная на сайте Wired статья Whodunit посвящена расследованию причин пожаров.

8,300 Children and Teens Treated Each Year for Gunshot Injuries: Study

More than 8,300 children and teenagers are treated annually for gunshot wounds at emergency rooms around the U.S., according to an estimate by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. This works out to an estimated $270 million a year in medical costs, said Fazal Gani, who led the research team at Johns Hopkins Surgery Center for Outcomes Research. Gani said the team's findings were based on data from a sample of 75,086 people younger than 18 who arrived alive at a hospital emergency room with a firearm-related injury. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics Today journal, found that for every 100,000 teens and children who arrived at emergency departments around the nation, 11 were there for a gun injury. They based their estimate on an extrapolation of those numbers, and their estimate of $270 million in costs from the shootings was based on average emergency room and inpatient charges of $2,445 and $44,966 per visit, respectively.

80,000 Pima County ballots remain to be counted

More than 85,000 ballots remain to be reviewed and added to the count of votes in Pima County, officials said Wednesday afternoon. They include 59,000 early ballots, and more than 18,000 provisional ballots that must be verified.

94% of Indigenous Women in Seattle Have Experienced Sexual Violence. We Need To Tell Their Stories.

Abigail Echo-Hawk came across an unpublished study in 2016, shortly after becoming director of the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI). It showed that, of American Indian and Alaska Native women living in Seattle surveyed in 2010, 94 percent reported they had been raped or coerced into sex. More than half were without permanent housing at the time. Some within UIHI were concerned about how the public would receive the data, but Echo-Hawk pushed for a report. It was released in August.

A #MeToo candidate is loved from afar, but faces a different kind of resistance at home

NEW YORK — In a pink blazer, Katie Muth is a bright spot in a sea of chic black. Artsy, bespectacled people in dark clothing surround her on a late September evening at the Lower Eastside Girls Club in the hip neighborhood off Avenue D between 8th and 7th Streets. Books such as “Women of Resistance” and “Grabbing Pussy” are on sale for $20 near boxes of “10 feminist postcards” for $10, wine for $5. Silent auction items cover several long tables, including a week in a country manor in France. The mostly female partygoers commiserate over what so many of them watched on TV that day: a furious Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A Billion-Dollar Fine: The Case for Saudi Reparations to the World’s Journalists

Disappeared: Journalist Jamal Khashoggi apparently entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The world is following the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi with rapt attention because it is such an overreach by a nation state. The egregiousness of this crime demands a just punishment that will limit the likelihood of this happening again by other state actors. For there to be real justice in the case of Jamal Khashoggi, the penalty the Saudis pay must transcend time, place, and person and positively advance the cause of journalism and rights of free speech for generations to come, not just achieve criminal convictions, visa restrictions and economic sanctions. I propose, at minimum, that a billion-dollar settlement be sought from the Saudi government as a tribute to Khashoggi to finance an endowment that sustains and defends the rights of journalists to investigate and report on human rights all around the world; and that additional funds pay for tribute monuments to assassinated journalists and these be installed in relevant world capitals, to remind the public of the important work journalists provide.

A blue wave? Actually, the blues got bluer, but the reds also got redder

A blue wave swept across Connecticut to give Democrats solid majorities in the General Assembly, but the race for governor offered little sign of a political realignment: If anything, the reds got redder and the blues got bluer on the state's electoral map. Almost 100 towns voted more strongly in favor of the party they had chosen in 2014.

A Chalkbeat roundtable: What would a better system for funding Colorado schools look like?

School funding in Colorado is a mess. We spend $2,800 less per student than the national average when regional cost differences are taken into account. Since the Great Recession, lawmakers have withheld roughly $7.5 billion that would have otherwise gone to schools. Our school funding formula often provides more state money to rich districts than to poor ones, and it doesn't account for the higher needs of students with disabilities, those who are identified as gifted, or those who are learning English. Money doesn't always align with what students need, and community members rarely have a clear idea of how money gets spent.

A conversation with Chip Roy, the Republican candidate for Texas’ 21st Congressional District

Watch more video. Check out the livestream of our interview with Chip Roy, the Republican candidate in the race for Texas' 21st Congressional District. Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith moderates the interview with Roy, who faces Democrat Joseph Kopser in the race for CD-21. Disclosure: Joseph Kopser has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism.

A conversation with Joseph Kopser, the Democratic candidate for Texas’ 21st Congressional District

Watch more video. Check out the livestream of our interview with Joseph Kopser, the Democratic candidate in the race for Texas' 21st Congressional District. Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith moderates the interview with Kopser, who faces Republican Chip Roy in the race for CD-21. Disclosure: Joseph Kopser has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism.

A Corner For Tyrick

Though his life was cut short, Tyrick B. Keyes will always be remembered at the corner of Bassett and Newhall streets.

A Democratic wave surged deep into Colorado’s key counties on Election Day

For years, political analysts have had their eyes on a handful of counties in Colorado — Jefferson, Arapahoe, Adams and Larimer — as bellwethers, the ones that predict whether Colorado might go blue or red. Much of the swingy nature of these key counties has come from ticket-splitting by voters who have cast ballots for Democratic candidates for governor since 2006 but have elected Republicans into down-ballot statewide offices and at the county and legislative levels. That changed last Tuesday. This year's midterm election shows these counties have collectively become more deeply blue, leaving Republicans to try and figure out whether they are seeing a lasting shift, the result of demography — more younger voters, more new voters who aren't members of political parties getting involved and staying involved — and, if so, whether any true swing counties remain. Democratic Gov.-elect Jared Polis, who spent at least $23 million of his own money in his race and targeted the state's marijuana voters, beat his Republican rival Walker Stapleton on Nov.

A Donald Trump appointee — also a Saudi government lobbyist — is reassessing his roles

One of President Donald Trump's administration appointees — who simultaneously represents Saudi Arabia's government as a registered foreign agent — is reevaluating his various roles. Richard F. Hohlt, a longtime lobbyist who has served on the President's Commission on White House Fellowships since Trump appointed him to the post in June 2017, said in emails with the Center for Public Integrity that his upcoming 71st birthday has caused him to reconsider who he represents. “I am currently in the process of reevaluating my representation, my participation, and retirement,” Hohlt said in an email. Hohlt declined to speak by phone, and did not respond to questions about whether the apparent murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives in Turkey has contributed to his reassessment. Hohlt, who first began representing Saudi Arabia in October 2016, according to Foreign Agents Registration Act records, remains an actively registered agent of the Saudi government, Department of Justice spokesman Marc Raimondi confirmed to the Center for Public Integrity.

A Family Separated But Still Together

For the past year I have spent countless hours with a New Haven family that seems brought forth by the pages of a Hollywood sitcom, so all-American and wholesome it's hard to believe they're not Cold War propaganda. They love each other so ferociously, spend every hour together so joyously, and like each other so genuinely that young people in the community flock to them for a sense of family.Being around them has provided me so much comfort and genuine joy that my real family has become jealous. That their response to this particular family is jealousy is a response you're about to note the bizarre irony of. The Pinos family is fighting a deportation order that threatens to break their family apart, leaving carnage in its wake. Many New Haven families have been faced with deportation orders.

A Few Key Words Divide Allies on Data Protection Measure Proposition B

Opponents fear ‘sunshine' law could be weakened; supporters say text is being misread
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook scandal, and a steady barrage of new data breaches, the public has been clamoring for tighter regulation of their personal information. At the heart of the tech industry, Bay Area residents are often the guinea pigs for startups, with unknown and unpredictable side effects. Proposition B would mandate that San Francisco create what supporters say would be the toughest data-protection policy of any U.S. city, and would go beyond California's landmark Consumer Privacy Act. It would cover data collected both by government agencies and any private entity doing business with the city — from Facebook, Google and Uber, all the way down to a bike shop, toilet-paper supplier or street vendor. “It's time that San Francisco and the nation start actually evolving policies where your location can't be tracked without your consent,” said District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who authored Proposition B. “This is a teachable moment.

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 Giant Peach of a Show

Youth players to present zany musicalA Giant Peach of a Show was first posted on October 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm.

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 Growing Challenge (Part 1)

Farms and food in the Hudson ValleyA Growing Challenge (Part 1) was first posted on November 2, 2018 at 6:33 pm.

A guide to the critical education race you’ve never heard of

It's no secret that school closures are on the ballot in Michigan this November, with candidates for the state's highest office taking different positions of that hot-button issue. But the gubernatorial race isn't the only one on the ballot with sweeping implications for the state's schools. The race for the Michigan Board of Education will appear at the bottom of the ballot, but the winners stand to make a major impact on the lives of thousands of students. They will help shape state policy on issues like school closures, social studies standards, and the level of reading skill below which students will have to repeat the third grade. The board was added to Michigan's constitution when the state's founding document was rewritten in 1963.

A Hotel Built for Art

Beacon architect knew what he wanted on wallsA Hotel Built for Art was first posted on October 19, 2018 at 1:41 pm.

A Judge Considers Stepping in After Encinitas Failed – Again – to Pass a Housing Plan

Homes overlook the San Elijo Lagoon and the beach in Cardiff by the Sea. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle
A San Diego County Superior judge sounded open Tuesday to suspending an Encinitas law giving locals final say over major land-use changes. That law is one reason the city has for years been unable to write a housing plan that satisfies state regulators. Last week, Encinitas residents rejected Measure U, a ballot measure — the second in two years — that would have allowed officials to update their housing plan for the first time since 1992. California mandates that cities accommodate their fair share of regional housing needs, and that includes making way for more low-income options.

A LaunchCode graduate makes it her mission to diversify the tech industry

As a gay black woman with working-class roots, LaShana Lewis doesn't look like a typical computer programmer. Lewis spent the better part of two decades trying to achieve her dreams of working with computers. And she did, after being one of the first students to graduate from LaunchCode, a St. Louis nonprofit that trains and places people without a traditional computer-science background in the tech sector. But only a couple years after she scored a systems engineer job at Mastercard, she quit to start her own consulting business.

A local veteran’s experiences beyond the battlefield

A single photo inspired Armando Salcedo to become a paratrooper, and the loss of a friend over 50 yrs. ago had a profound effect on him

A Memphis principal was fired over flawed test scores. Should state law protect him too?

Reginald Williams was set to retire as principal of a Memphis charter school at the end of the school year. Instead, he was fired just days into the new school year, shortly after state test results showed the school's scores had plummeted. Memphis Academy of Health Sciences High School, one of the city's first charters, had within a single year dropped from the second-highest rating on student growth to a level 1, the lowest. School leaders who do not move the needle for academics are frequently fired, especially as a growing body of research confirms principals play a key role in student achievement. But after major technical glitches interrupted computerized testing for tens of thousands of students this spring, state lawmakers sprung into action.

A Message to J.B. Pritzker: We Are Going to Hold You to Your Progressive Promises

After one term of Bruce Rauner, Illinois finds itself much worse off than we were four years ago. The full economic damage done to the state has yet to be fully calculated. But for thousands of women turned away from domestic violence shelters, tens of thousands of parents who lost the child care assistance programs they needed to allow them to work, and so many others whose programs, services and communities were gutted, the true cost of Rauner's right-wing policies can never be truly calculated—it can only be felt.

To repair the damage and move forward, we need a massive investment, both at the city level for Chicago, and the state level for Illinois. We need a governor who will champion a people's agenda, and fight for a people-centered economy. Here are five key ways you can make Illinois thrive:

For decades, the state of Illinois has been divesting from public services.

A Mysterious Facebook Group Is Using Bernie Sanders’ Image to Urge Democrats to Vote for the Green Party

by Jeremy B. Merrill, ProPublica, William Turton, VICE News

A Facebook page for a group called “America Progress Now” is running ads online urging progressives to vote for Green Party candidates in seven competitive races in the Midwest. “People of Color NEED Marcia Squier in the Senate to represent them,” one of the ads says, promoting a Green Party candidate in Michigan. “Americans don't have control over our government anymore. We've lost it to greedy, corporate capitalists,” says another, calling for voters to support Ohio Green Party candidate Joe Manchik. The page features ads with images of prominent progressive politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

A New “Sol” For Long Wharf Theatre

Long Wharf Theatre's new artistic director said he aims to restore the historic theater company's soul with a bit more sol.

A new leaf

The Wyoming Capitol Square Restoration Project is one very shiney step closer to completion. Gilder's Studio artisans spent six days regilding the Capitol dome earlier this month — a process that involved multiple pretreatments, treatments and primings of the underlying copper panels, roller application of the gold leaf and specialized brush polishing according to the Wyoming Capitol Square Project website. One stage called for an especially soft Russian squirrel hair brush. Become a supporting member today
Seven ounces of gold were used. The entire state Capitol restoration process — including an overhaul of the Herschler office complex — is currently expected to cost $300 million.

A New Perspective on North Carolina Tick-borne Illnesses

By Yen Duong
Paul Friedheim's ordeal started in August 2014. “It was a big fat deer tick,” Friedheim said. “We were hiking right on the North Carolina-Virginia border. I've pulled so many ticks off me before and I don't think it was on there too long.”
Within a few weeks, Friedheim left school with swollen joints and irritable bowels. He tested negative for spotted fever rickettsioses, one of a group of diseases including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the most commonly diagnosed tick-borne illness in North Carolina.

A new report highlights Indiana foster children’s struggles in school. But is the problem even worse?

A new national report shows teenagers and young adults transitioning out of foster care are falling behind in graduating from high school, pursuing college, and finding jobs. It's a trend that holds true in Indiana, too: Young adults who have been in foster care graduate at slightly lower rates than their peers, are employed at lower rates, and rarely receive financial help to pay for educational expenses, according to the report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. But one Indiana advocate says he believes the outcomes are even more bleak — and upcoming state data could show children in foster care struggle a lot more in school. The numbers from the foundation's report are based on a self-reported survey of young adults still connected to foster care supports. Brent Kent, CEO of Indiana Connected By 25, a nonprofit that supports young adults in the transition out of foster care, worries those results don't represent the broader experiences of all children in foster care.

A new way of seeing species extinction, and humans’ impact on other mammals

Extinction is part of evolution, but the unnatural rapidity of current species losses forces us to address whether we are cutting off twigs or whole branches from the tree of life. — Matt Davis, scholar of evolutionary history
There is more than one way to look at the current period of mass extinction — count the species blinking out, chart them by class or map their geographic distribution, track the pace of the demise and so on. A particularly intriguing one, new to me and maybe to you, is at the center of a fresh analysis quoted above, which examines the variable impact of ongoing mammal losses on Earth's evolutionary history, and concludes that not all critters contribute equally. Think for a moment of evolution not as a set of independent threads, each ending in an animal we know, but as a branching process. Maybe try seeing it as that splendid maple with the vermilion leaves that caught your eye the other day.

A Prayer For The City Amid Harsh Times

Father, we hear the terms ‘One Nation Indivisible,' and sadly acknowledge how torn and divided we as a nation are becoming. We sense the widening divide between red and blue, between black and white, between haves and have-nots ...

A Prisoners’ Pen Pal Finds Making Connections is a ‘Beautiful Thing’

Carole Horan of Syracuse, N.Y., has been handwriting letters for 40 years. As for many people, the era of email and texting hasn't altered that practice. It takes some extra time of course, but her correspondents have all the time in the world. All of them are in prison, some on death row. Horan originally got involved in writing to prisoners through a program based out of Chicago that connected letter-writers with inmates sentenced to death.

A ProPublica and Malheur Enterprise Forum Asks: What Happens When People Found “Guilty Except for Insanity” Attack Again?

by ProPublica

This year, the Malheur Enterprise and ProPublica have examined how Oregon allows people charged with serious crimes, who were found “guilty except for insanity,” to be released from the state psychiatric hospital or supervised community programs. After reviewing the records of people set free by the state's Psychiatric Security Review Board from Jan. 1, 2008, and Oct. 15, 2015, Malheur Enterprise reporter Jayme Fraser found that in almost 35 percent of those cases, people were charged with new crimes within three years. “The Consequences of a Sick System,” a community forum on Nov. 29 at the Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario, Oregon, will explore how this has continued to happen across the state.

A quietly edited report and dueling blog posts reveal a divide over the ‘portfolio model’

A report on school choice released last month offered this in a list of strategies for improving schools: “creating a portfolio approach that treats all types of schools equally.”
Today, that reference is gone from the report — a small edit that reveals notable disagreements among prominent names in education who often agree. The report was issued by the Learning Policy Institute, an education think tank started by Linda Darling-Hammond, an influential Stanford professor. Then came a critique from Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris of the Network for Public Education, a pro-public education group that opposes charter schools. And then came the edits to the original report, first noted by Burris and Ravitch. At the center of the disagreement is the report's use of the word “portfolio.” The portfolio model is a strategy offering parents the choice of different school types (typically including charter schools) and having a central body holding all schools accountable for results and manages certain functions like enrollment.

A raise for these Detroit school employees was nine years coming

Detroit district teachers aren't the only ones getting pay raises. The Detroit school board on Tuesday was poised to approve new contracts with administrators and food service workers, aiming to curb turnover among district employees. The agreements spell out raises totaling $2.5 million within a year. Union leaders hailed the contracts as a long-delayed correction following years of financial crisis and fiscal austerity imposed by state-appointed emergency managers. District administrators — a category that includes nearly 300 department heads, auditors, and deans of culture, among other positions — have not received a raise since 2009.

A record number of English learners went to unconventional schools last year. Here’s what that has meant for graduation rates

In a quiet classroom tucked on the second floor of a large stone church on Indianapolis' west side, students at the Excel Center-Lafayette Square took an English quiz, dictionaries strewn across their desks. French. English. Spanish. Students flipped through the books as they wrote down their answers, lips moving as they silently sounded out words.

A record number of Latinos to join the state legislature, but under-representation remains Latinos make up about 21 percent of the population, and come January, at least 14 percent of the state legislature

On Wednesday afternoon, about 24 hours after the polls closed, Rochelle Galindo was at her mother's house in Greeley watching the votes trickle in on her computer. The 28-year-old whose family has both Mexican and Native American heritage was locked in a dead heat race for the state House seat in Greeley. The next day, her advantage swelled, and her victory made Colorado history. Nine Latinos were elected to the state legislature this year, helping to chip away at longstanding ethnic under-representation at the state Capitol in Denver. Another close race between Democrat Bri Buentello, a special ed teacher from Pueblo, and Republican Don Bendell, an author from Florence, for House District 47 is yet to be decided.

A record year for the Vermont Economic Development Authority

An artistic rendering of a planned apartment complex that is part of an expansion at the Wake Robin retirement community in Shelburne, funded partly through VEDA bonds.The Vermont Economic Development Authority, a public/private lending partnership, last year closed a record amount of financing worth nearly $168 million, nearly twice the previous high. Most of that increase was attributable to a $66 million bond that VEDA secured for Wake Robin, a nonprofit retirement community in Shelburne, last year. VEDA has helped provide financing for the community's construction in the past. In the latest round, VEDA issued new bonds to help Wake Robin build a 63,000-square-foot expansion and pay down some of its debt. VEDA closed an additional $53.1 million in agricultural, commercial, energy and small business loans, the authority said in a press release.

A rich Michigan district gets $10.1K per student. Its poorer neighbor gets $7.9K. Will Michigan’s new divided government change the math?

With Republicans solidly in control of the Michigan legislature, governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer's education agenda may depend on finding a sliver of common ground with the opposite party. That common ground, experts say, could be a bipartisan proposal to spend a greater portion of the education budget on disadvantaged students. A barrage of studies in recent years have blamed inadequate funding in part for the state's backsliding academic performance. A common thread — endorsed by charter school advocates and appointees of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder as well as much of the Democratic establishment — is the idea that it costs more to educate disadvantaged students. “Low-income and special needs students do usually require more money,” said Tami Carlone, a Republican CPA from Northville who echoed her party's fiscally conservative message on the way to narrowly losing out on a seat on the Michigan Board of Education.

A second try at finding their calling for these 1st-year teachers

A group of middle-aged adults is back in school this fall. This time, though, they're at the front of the classroom learning how to be teachers. St. Louis Teacher Residency launched over the summer is recruiting adults to change careers to work in education, hoping their life experience and maturity will lead to less burnout and longer tenures among urban educators.

A Short History of Hudson Valley Farming

A thousand years of innovationsA Short History of Hudson Valley Farming was first posted on November 2, 2018 at 6:18 pm.

A South Texas Rancher’s Lament: A Rock Between Two Rivers

Fitzsimons' book is a reflection on history and life over the millennia on the thorny, impassable brush country of Shape Ranch in Dimmit County. The post A South Texas Rancher's Lament: A Rock Between Two Rivers appeared first on Rivard Report.

A Spectre Is Haunting the White House: Why the Trump Administration Is So Scared of Socialism

If you want proof that the growing popularity of socialism poses a real threat to the Trump administration—and to the dominance of market fundamentalism over the U.S. economy—just look at a panicky report released Tuesday by the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). Titled “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism,” the 72-page document is a capitalist retort to rising calls for redistributive policies. Ostensibly (and bizarrely) released in recognition of “the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx's birth,” the report acknowledges that “self-declared socialists are gaining support in Congress and among much of the electorate.”

Indeed, by the time the 2018 midterm elections come to a close, there will almost assuredly be three self-described socialists serving in the U.S. Congress—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Bernie Sanders—along with dozens more in state and local offices throughout the United States. But it's not just the historic growth in electoral power for socialists that has the current government worried. It's the widespread embrace of socialism and social-democratic policies by the American public.

A state board decision on two long-struggling Pueblo schools could affect the entire district

A year after running out of chances to improve on their own, two Pueblo middle schools will be making a return appearance in front of the State Board of Education this week. Heroes Middle School and Risley International Academy of Innovation have spent the last eight years on a watch list for low-performing schools. A year ago, the state board ordered them along with five school districts and 10 other schools to craft plans to improve — and warned them that too little progress could lead to sharper consequences in the future. It was the first time state regulators faced these decisions under Colorado's school accountability system. Many of the schools and districts on the state watchlist have managed to improve enough to avoid further intervention, including Bessemer Elementary, also in Pueblo City Schools.

A story of freedom, ‘Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes’ to screen at Sound Unseen

The Sound Unseen films-on-music festival is under way, and as always, it covers various genres, extremes, and intersections of music and culture. Kudos to Jim Brunzell and Rich Gill for keeping this niche party humming. “Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes,” which screens on Sunday afternoon, is a must-see if you love John Coltrane … or Kendrick Lamar. If you believe Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff were the greatest record producers of all time … or you keep close track of the very interesting young hip-hop producer Terrace Martin. And especially if you think jazz is dead.

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 hijackings, rescues and a legendary St. Louis helicopter pilot

As a busy news week full of election results and midterm coverage draws to a close, there's another story being told in St. Louis that has nothing to do with the polls. This one involves lots of high-stakes helicopter piloting in the bi-state region many years ago. On Friday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh went behind the headlines with the Riverfront Times' Danny Wicentowski about his newly published deep dive into the memorable life of Allen Barklage, who died in a September 1998 crash.

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 teenager dies on the job. His family’s work begins

This story is part of a collaboration between the Center for Public Integrity, Ohio Valley ReSource and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. Grant Oakley's second day of work was the last day of his life. Seventeen, sandy-haired and tall, Grant liked to fish, tinker with motorcycles with his father, Mike, and play tuba in the school marching band. He was excited in the fall of 2015 when he landed his first part-time job at a farm supply business. The location was convenient; Bluegrass Agricultural Distributors was just across the highway from the Oakley family's farmhouse near Lancaster, Kentucky, in rural Garrard County.

A Tennessee teacher lost his state race but is taking lessons learned back into his classroom

Larry Proffitt woke up at 4 a.m. on Election Day to set up his campaign signs outside of voting stations around Robertson County. He spent the day shaking hands with area voters. Despite the early wake-up call, he had spent the night before in conferences with students in his eighth-grade history class and their parents. When he found out Tuesday evening that he lost his bid for the Tennessee House of Representatives, Proffitt was quick to say he was going to turn the experience into a classroom lesson the next day. It so happens his students will be studying the development of political parties.

A Texas Board of Education seat hasn’t flipped since 2010. Will that change in 2018?

Republican Pam Little, left, is facing Democrat Suzanne Smith for the open State Board of Education District 12 seat. Facebook campaign pages
Suzanne Smith says she has tried to run a nonpartisan campaign in her low-profile bid for a place on the State Board of Education. But she stands to benefit from the current contentious political climate that might have Texas Democrats running to the polls. Since January 2017, Smith's campaign has blown through over $200,000 – more than all other board candidates combined. With $26,000 left in the bank as early voting comes to an end, Smith could be the first Democrat seated in North Texas' District 12 since it became an elected position in 1987.

A Trash Industry Union Thrives, and Employees Say They Are Left Holding the Bag

by Kiera Feldman for ProPublica

When Carl Orlando began work as a driver for the private trash hauler Liberty Ashes in July 2015, the job quickly proved punishing. His shift ran from about 4:30 p.m. to 9 a.m., he said, sometimes as often as six days a week. His route collecting trash from commercial businesses took him through three of New York City's five boroughs. “You were one truck trying to do the work of three trucks,” Orlando said. After three months on the job, Orlando estimated he was racking up about 77 hours a week but being shorted on his overtime pay.

A UN Ensemble Whose Music Radiates Peace

The UN Chamber Music Society, one of many clubs UN staffers can join. Music, the Society says, is the universal language of peace. The group performs publicly, including recently at Carnegie Hall.The quiet work of diplomacy at the United Nations headquarters often makes for a dry atmosphere. But after sundown, it's a whole different scene, thanks to a robust after-work culture of clubs — much as you would find at an American high school — under the umbrella of the UN Staff Recreation Council. Staff members can join a Russian book club, compete at table tennis or pull a chair up to a mystics roundtable.

A user’s guide to Tesla’s worker safety problems

As Tesla races to revolutionize the automobile industry and build a more sustainable future, it has left its factory workers in the past, still painfully vulnerable to the dangers of manufacturing. It's a story we've been covering closely. Last week week, we published our newest investigation into the working conditions at CEO Elon Musk's factory. We found that:
Even as Tesla pushed back against our previous reporting, it doubled down on its efforts to hide injuries from the government and public. The Tesla factory's medical clinic has failed to properly care for injured workers as part of a strategy to lower the company's injury count.

A Veteran and His Dog: A Story of Mental Health Recovery

By Taylor Knopf
On Saturday mornings, Billy DeWalt stretches for a workout class at Neuse River Crossfit while his dog, Quinn, sits patiently watching. There are other adaptive athletes in the room. A one-armed athlete works out his remaining shoulder. Meanwhile, a woman with nerve damage lifts weights, despite arm and leg braces. “Everybody should be able to have their own health.

A Voter Guide for Judicial Races, but Most Candidates Didn’t Provide Info

Jarrett MurphyThe facade of the criminal court building in Manhattan. Even the most educated New York City voter faces challenges when it comes to the judicial races. There are no debates and there is little other campaigning. The options can be pretty limited: On this year's ballot, there are only Democrats running for court seats in Manhattan, while in Brooklyn the Republican, Democrat and Conservative lines for a number of judicial seats are all occupied by the same name. And let's face it: Few of us (including a certain veteran metro reporter) can keep straight the difference between Supreme Court and Civil Court.

A week after Election Day, some Texas races remain in limbo

More than a week after the General Election, several Texas races are still being contested. Clockwise from top left: Gina Ortiz Jones and U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes; state Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Katy and Gina Calanni; Adam Milasincic and state Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston; and Joanna Cattanach and state Rep. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas. Facebook campaign pages
Election Day wrapped up more than a week ago. But a handful of Texas candidates who lost by roughly 1,000 votes or less have yet to concede — or are already calling for recounts in their own races. In most cases, trailing candidates are hoping their saving grace will be a mixture of absentee, military and provisional ballots, all of which were due to each respective county by 5 p.m. Tuesday, and are still being counted.

AARP Vermont announces community action sponsorship winners

News Release — AARP Vermont
Oct. 16, 2018
David Reville
BURLINGTON, VT – AARP Vermont has selected four small organizations with big plans to receive Community Action Sponsorships in support of their efforts to make Burlington a more livable city. This year's awards totaling some $6850 focused on a variety of programs aimed at the LGBTQ community, New Americans, the arts for older adults, and a grassroots neighborhood mobility initiative. AARP Vermont launched the Community Action Sponsorship Program in 2010 as a way to provide modest grant funds and technical support to community groups whose missions were consistent with those of Livable BTV, an AARP Vermont initiative aimed at preparing Burlington for the rapidly aging demographic shift. The grant program has a particular focus in the areas of housing, mobility and community engagement.

Abbott going on 19-city tour to campaign for other Republicans

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a get out the vote rally in Houston on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, the first day of early voting for Republican and Democratic primaries in Texas. Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune
Gov. Greg Abbott, facing little competition in his own campaign for another term, is hitting the road for other Republicans. This week, Abbott will embark on a statewide tour during which he will appear with over three dozen down-ballot candidates across 19 cities, according to his campaign. The trip coincides with the early voting period, which starts Monday and goes through Nov.

Abortion, Fertility and Women’s Rights: Where the UN & US Diverge

The Trump administration recently circulated a memo to explain its strict anti-abortion policies globally, just as a new UN report on fertility found that severely limiting females' access to health services increases abortion rates. Here, a Usaid-financed family planning program in Malawi, in 2015, included injectable contraceptives.If it had not been for the disruption of Donald Trump's appearances in the United Nations the last week of September, more attention might have been devoted to an international day of advocacy for safe abortion, on Sept. 28, arranged by more than 1,200 organizations. A woman's right to choose has few more powerful political enemies than the Trump administration, which has collected American aid programs of greatest interest to women everywhere under the title Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance. Just days before Sept.

About the 2016 Albuquerque sting operation

Over the last 18 months NMID has closely examined the ATF sting operation, its design, its impact and the legal wrangling that continues to play out in federal court in more than two dozen stories. Of the 103 people arrested 28 — 27 percent of the total — were black. That's compared to the […]

ABQ Mayor’s hire of controversial ex-prosecutor riles community

Leonard Waites was surprised. The executive director of the state Martin Luther King Jr. Commission had just learned from a reporter that Mayor Tim Keller had hired former U.S. Attorney and defeated congressional candidate Damon Martinez as a senior policy adviser for the Albuquerque Police Department. Waites, who is black and also serves as chairman […]

Absent for decades, zebras reintroduced to park in southern Tanzania

A herd of zebra now roams the southern highlands of Tanzania for the first time since the 1960s. Staff from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and its partners released 24 plains zebras (Equus quagga) into Kitulo National Park on Oct. 12 and 13. “It was thrilling to see the zebras moving across the plateau as they had for untold centuries,” Tim Davenport, the director of WCS's Tanzania program, said in a statement. Video of the zebra release courtesy of WCS.

Absentee balloting is on the rise in the St. Louis area

St. Louis-area election officials report enthusiasm among Democratic and Republican voters, fueling a dramatic uptick in absentee balloting. Eric Fey, St. Louis County's Democratic elections director, expects the final absentee tally to come close to the county's huge 2010 total of about 25,000 absentee votes. The county provides the largest bloc of votes in the state.

Absentee, early balloting is on the rise in the St. Louis area

St. Louis-area election officials report enthusiasm among Democratic and Republican voters, fueling a dramatic uptick in absentee balloting. Eric Fey, St. Louis County's Democratic elections director, expects the final absentee tally to come close to the county's huge 2010 total of about 25,000 absentee votes. The county provides the largest bloc of votes in the state.

ACA enrollment begins as voters say health care is top concern

The sixth open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act begins Thursday, as the future of the health care law, and its protections for pre-existing conditions, has emerged as a top concern for voters across the nation in the midterm elections.

Access Health CT launches new online tool to compare plans

Officials from Access Health CT, the state's health insurance exchange, are urging their customers, especially those who qualify to be automatically re-enrolled in 2019, to explore their options for next year using a new online tool and other resources available through the exchange.

Accessible boardwalk opens at Raven Ridge Natural Area in Monkton

News Release — The Nature Conservancy
Oct. 24, 2018
Media Contact:
Eve Frankel
Universally Accessible Boardwalk and Trail Officially Opens at The Nature Conservancy's Raven Ridge Natural Area in Monkton, Vermont
October 24, 2018, Monkton: The Nature Conservancy is proud to announce the opening of a universally accessible boardwalk at its Raven Ridge Natural Area in Monkton. The boardwalk spans 935-feet over a sensitive wetland and leads to a 748-foot accessible trail, creating a third of a mile of access for visitors of all physical abilities. Public ribbon cutting is scheduled for October 25th at 10am. Raven Ridge Natural Area is a 365-acre wildlife and nature oasis 30 minutes from Burlington.

Acero teachers threaten Dec. 4 strike unless negotiations progress

Unless they reach a compromise with their network bosses, teachers at 15 Acero charter schools will strike on Dec. 4th. They announced the strike date Wednesday morning in response to a months-long stalemate over bargaining. Acero Schools' educators voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike last month, with 98 percent of members who voted granting a strike authorization. “Our working conditions are our students' learning conditions,” said Andy Crooks, a special educator apprentice at Acero's Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz school.

ACLU appeals body camera footage decision in state Supreme Court

Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo addresses reports at a news conference. Photo by Morgan True / VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Brandon del Pozo" width="610" height="425" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 150w, 768w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo. File photo by Morgan True/VTDiggerThe American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont filed an appeal with the Vermont Supreme Court on Tuesday over a denial of a Burlington man's request to view, free of charge, body camera footage from the arrest of a minor. Reed Doyle was walking his dog near Burlington's Roosevelt Park on June 17, 2017, when he saw police officers in a confrontation with a group of youths. One had been arrested for disorderly conduct before Doyle arrived, and others were arguing with police about the arrest.

Activists Back Caravan

Immigrant-rights advocates from New Haven and beyond are working to build public support for the caravan of asylum seekers traveling from Honduras to the U.S. border seeking to enter the country.

Ad Cited by Trump Was Based on Falsehood

The expletive-filled advertisement President Trump released this week, seemingly to raise fears about immigration in advance of the midterm elections, was denounced, with Democrats and even some Republicans criticizing it as racist. Beyond the outrage, the ad was also reportedly based on a falsehood, the Washington Post reports. The 53-second video, shared by the president on Twitter, focuses on the courtroom behavior of Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of killing two sheriff's deputies in California in 2014 and repeatedly bragged about the slayings during his trial. “Democrats let him into our country,” the ad's script reads. “Democrats let him stay.”
It doesn't appear to be true.

Ad misled about NC governors opposing constitutional amendments

Fact-checking project questions claims in advertisement about constitutional amendments on the NC ballot. The post Ad misled about NC governors opposing constitutional amendments appeared first on Carolina Public Press.

Adae Students Find Life In Colors

Amphiprion Ocellaris and Heteractis Magnifica." alt="Amanda Lee">Two clownfish hide in the tendrils of an anemone.: It's a common enough scene if you're a clownfish. But the way painter Amanda Lee has rendered the image in acrylics, it's a riot of color, like a fireworks display.It's a testimony to the talent Lee has honed for herself under the instruction of Kwadwo Adae and Toni Giammona at Adae Fine Arts Academy on Chapel Street. And you can catch Lee's work and the work of other academy students in an exhibition entering the last week of its run at the Ives branch of the New Haven Free Public Library.

Adam Browne (1989-2018)

Tattoo artist was born in BeaconAdam Browne (1989-2018) was first posted on October 25, 2018 at 10:39 pm.

Adams 14 board rejects new KIPP charter school in district

KIPP, the national charter school network, will not open a new school in the Adams 14 school district after board members voted against the network's application Tuesday night. It was a unanimous decision in which two board members who spoke about their decision said the district's situation with the state weighed heavily on the decision. “Adams 14 is not in a position right now to be a proper authorizer,” said board member Dominick Moreno, who is also a state senator. “We have our own struggles. To add another school into the mix of responsibilities is tough.”
Board member Bill Hyde said he believes the district's problems can be solved without resorting to using charter schools.

Adams 14 prepares a proposal to show the state how the district might improve

In meeting after meeting in recent weeks, Adams 14 district leaders repeated the sad statistics about their district's shortcomings, from poor attendance to low state test scores. Acknowledging those problems and talking about the district's failures is taking a toll on staff and on the community. But district leaders hope that by being open they can keep some control over a situation in which they might ultimately end up with none. Adams 14, a district of about 7,500 students north of Denver, has a hearing before the Colorado State Board of Education on Wednesday at which state officials must decide what steps to order Adams 14 to take to try to finally improve the struggling district. The state board already approved an improvement plan last year, but it hasn't shown enough results.

Addison County sheriff candidate violated federal law with Facebook photo

Peter Newton, a lieutenant sheriff in Addison County, campaigning for the top job, in a photo posted to his Facebook page.A candidate for Addison County sheriff has violated the Hatch Act, a law prohibiting some public officials from using federal resources for electoral gain. The decision was made by the US Office of Special Counsel on September 26, and obtained by VTDigger this week. The Addison Independent had previously reported on the complaint. 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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Addison state’s attorney incumbent wins by 10 votes; recount likely

Democrat Dennis Wygmans (left) has narrowly defeated independent Paul Bevere in the Addison County state's attorney's race. Courtesy photosDemocrat Dennis Wygmans has won re-election in the race for Addison County state's attorney, but with only a 10-vote margin, his opponent says he'll likely request a recount. Wygmans received 7,803 votes, or 44.77 percent, to independent challenger Peter Bevere's 7,793 votes, or 44.71 percent, based on complete but unofficial results from the Secretary of State's Office.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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“Yesterday morning, I had a feeling it was going to be close,” Wygmans said Wednesday.

Advanced Placement courses prepare students for college

Some Class of 2018 graduates put themselves a year ahead in college by passing AP tests after completing rigorous courses.

Advised to be vigilant, Minnesotans maintain Paris plans despite attacks

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

Advisory panel to recommend 26% tax on cannabis retail sales

A jar of marijuana buds on display at a shop in Long Beach, California. Photo by Dank Depot/Flickr
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="marijuana buds" width="610" height="405" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A jar of marijuana buds on display at a shop in Long Beach, California. Photo by Dank Depot/FlickrThe subcommittee on taxation and regulation will be recommending to the Governor's Marijuana Advisory Commission that the state adopt the highest tax rate on recreational cannabis currently in New England. It will be recommended to the the full committee next month that Vermont adopt a 26 or 27 percent tax rate on cannabis sales — Massachusetts has a tax rate up to 20 percent and Maine has a 10 percent state retail sales tax, according to the drafted document. The report, drafted months of subcommittee meetings, is still being finalized ahead of the mid December deadline in which it will be submitted to the full committee and then to Gov. Phil Scott.

Advocate, insurer ally in push for tighter health plan rules

Mike Fisher, the chief health care advocate for Vermont Legal Aid, testifies in front of the Legislature in 2017. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Mike Fisher" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w, 3456w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Mike Fisher, the chief health care advocate for Vermont Legal Aid, testifies in front of the Legislature in 2017. File photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDiggerTwo unlikely allies are calling for tighter state regulation of a newly expanded – and potentially popular – type of health insurance. The Office of the Health Care Advocate and insurer MVP Health Care on Thursday appealed to legislators to take a closer look at association health plans, which are expanding nationally and in Vermont under new rules drawn up by President Donald Trump's administration.Get all of VTDigger's health care news.You'll never miss our health care coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Africa’s slender-snouted crocodile is not one but two species

At first glance, the slender-snouted crocodiles living in Lake Tanganyika in Central Africa look very similar to the ones in the Gambia River in West Africa. But as it turns out, the crocodile is not one but two distinct species: one unique to West Africa and the other to Central Africa, a new study has found. In fact, the Central African crocodile species is new to science, researchers say in the study published in Zootaxa, making it the first new living crocodile species to be described in more than 80 years. The medium-sized slender-snouted crocodile, belonging to the genus Mecistops, is distributed throughout Africa west of the Rift Valley, in lakes, rivers and coastal lagoons. The genus was considered to have only one species, M. cataphractus, originally based on what the researchers say is a “now-lost specimen of unknown geographic origin.” Subsequent attempts to describe the crocodile were also based on “specimens with imprecise or unknown locality data and morphological characters.” Crocodile expert Matthew Shirley poses with juvenile Central African slender-snouted crocodiles.

African American Voters Want Pretrial Change-Report

African-American voters want change at the front door—or the pretrial stage—of the criminal justice system, according to a new report by the Pretrial Justice Institute. The report noted that African Americans are disproportionately penalized by detention decisions that are based on wealth instead of safety, and, they are more likely to be required to pay money to be released from jail before trial and to pay higher amounts. For example, from Los Angeles to Baltimore, African American communities are losing tens of millions of dollars to money bail payments—dollars that cannot be recovered, even if the charges are dropped or the person is found not guilty, authors said. In sum, African American voters are “ready for change.”
The data showed that 72% of voters agree that the criminal justice system needs significant change and 86% of African-American voters believe that wealthy people enjoy better outcomes from the criminal justice system than poor and working-class Americans. More, the study found that 78% of African-American voters want to reduce the number of arrests for low-level, nonviolent offenses by issuing citations rather than arresting people and 73% would limit the number of days a person not charged with a serious violent crime can stay in jail pretrial if he or she cannot afford money bail.

African wood industry: 10,000 micro-businesses need support for sustainable trade

Wood processing micro-businesses in several east, central and west African countries say they have a widespread need for more support and access to resources. Their rallying call for help is reflected in the results of a survey run by the Global Timber Forum (GTF), a Washington, DC non-profit that works to build the capacity of forest and wood-based industry associations for responsible trade. Information gathered through 21 wood-industry associations with a total membership of nearly 10,000 micro-businesses in several African countries led to two reports. The reports focus on the relationship between micro-businesses and business associations in Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia and Mozambique. The findings come just ahead of the second annual Forest Legality Week in Washington, D.C., where experts from around the world will discuss a variety of forestry-related sustainability issues.

After 120 days on the job, Newark’s new superintendent is asked: Where’s your plan?

Newark's new superintendent didn't hit the ground running — he hit it at an all-out sprint. Days before his official start on July 1, Roger León ousted many of the district's top officials. Soon after, he assembled a new leadership team, reorganized the district's central office, and made a series of sweeping promises — to boost attendance, overhaul struggling high schools, revamp summer school, raise test scores, and make the district “second to none.”
But as the dust settles and León hits the four-month mark in office, his bosses now say they want to know the strategy behind his team's multi-pronged approach. How do the disparate initiatives he has sketched out fit together? And how does he plan to realize his audacious vision for the district — including perfect student attendance and passing scores for every student on the state tests, which no large urban district has ever achieved?

After a nearly 2-year wait Jane Ellen Ibur is set to become St. Louis’ poet laureate

Jane Ellen Ibur's long wait to be designated as St. Louis' official poet will soon be over. A task force first chose Ibur in December 2016 to replace Michael Castro as the city's poet laureate. But a conflict within the group delayed a vote by the Board of Aldermen. One member, whose term in the group was in dispute, wanted to nominate longtime St.

After a tough election night, “a wakeup call” for the Texas GOP’s hard right

Four conservative favorites, State Sen. Konni Burton, state Sen. Don Huffines, state Rep. Ron Simmons and state Rep. Matt Rinaldi, all lost their seats in 2018. In the run-up to Election Day, an influential Tea Party group seemed skeptical that a blue wave would wash over the state. But after the votes were tallied Tuesday, the NE Tarrant Tea Party found that some of its favored candidates had nearly been swept away. “Slaughtered … slaughtered … lost … lost … barely held on, but at least they won,” the group's president, wrote to supporters Wednesday, ticking down a list of races. “We are rapidly becoming outnumbered.

After blaze, Vermont Country Store busier than ever

The flagship Vermont Country Store in Weston features a checkerboard beside a potbellied stove. Photo by Kevin O'Connor/VTDiggerCLARENDON — When headlines reporting “Major Fire at Vermont Country Store Warehouse” hit the internet last month, the Orton family that owns and operates the retro retailer knew it had to reassure customers the blaze had ravaged a backup stockroom rather than its main off-site call and distribution center. But that meant the self-described “Purveyors of the Practical and Hard-to-Find” would have to publicize the fact it has a main off-site call and distribution center. And for anyone running a $100 million-a-year company founded on the sepia-tone image of marketing and mailing everything from the counter of a historic red-clapboard flagship store, such a task can be tricky. “We don't want our customers to get the impression they're not going to get personal service,” says Ann Warrell, community relations and communications manager.

After Deadly Pursuit, A Kentucky Family Asks Why. But Sheriff Isn’t Investigating

Jacob RyanSharon Combs, with her husband Tim Combs, holds a picture of her late son Jacob. Meade County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Casey's voice came across the radio at 8:14 p.m. In the background, sirens screamed and an engine roared. He was in pursuit. A truck had caught his eye when it turned off the highway down a dead-end road just north of the small town of Flaherty, Ky. — about an hour's drive southeast from Louisville.

After heavy rain and flooding, Austin issues city-wide boil water notice

Record rainfall in Llano and Burnet counties in the Texas Hill Country cause major flooding in Marble Falls on Oct. 16, 2016. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
Early Monday morning, Austin Water issued a boil water notice for all of its customers due to elevated levels of silt from last week's flooding. The water system is “the most recent infrastructure to struggle to keep up with” the impact of unprecedented rains, City Manager Spencer Cronk said at a Monday press conference. Last month was the wettest September on record in Texas.

After ICE detained this migrant in Texas, her C-section scar ripped open and she was denied surgery for 4 months

Luz, a Honduran mother who was separated from her son under "zero-tolerance," stands with her belongings in Houston after she was released from an ICE detention center. Courtesy Ruby Powers
In the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers where she was held, Luz became known as la llorona — the one who cries. Luz, who asked to be identified only by her first name to protect her from an abusive husband in Honduras if she's deported, said she was in emotional and physical pain for the five months she was in federal detention. First, she was separated from her 15-year-old son under the U.S. government's short-lived “zero-tolerance” policy after fleeing what she described as 17 years of physical and emotional abuse — including death threats — from her husband and illegally crossing the Rio Grande on May 16. They were quickly apprehended by Border Patrol agents near McAllen and requested asylum; Luz was sent to the Port Isabel Detention Center while her son was shipped to a San Antonio migrant youth shelter.

After Raise the Age, Where Will Adolescent Offenders Go?

On Oct. 1, the first phase of a New York State law known as “Raise the Age” took effect, meaning 16-year-olds can no longer be arrested or tried as adults. A year from now, the law will extend to 17-year-olds as well. Authorities are just beginning to grapple with the next challenge: Where will these young offenders be housed? New York's Albany County, which encompasses the state capital district, is upgrading a facility in Colonie, N.Y., not far from the county jail, to accommodate the new class of youthful offenders.

After Raise the Age, Where Will NY’s Adolescent Offenders Go?

Altamont Enterprise
On Oct. 1, the first phase of a New York state law known as “Raise the Age” took effect, meaning 16-year-olds can no longer be arrested or tried as adults. A year from now, the law will extend to 17-year-olds as well. Authorities are just beginning to grapple with the next challenge: Where will these young offenders be housed? New York's Albany County, which encompasses the state capital district, is upgrading a facility in Colonie, N.Y., not far from the county jail, to accommodate the new class of youthful offenders.

After Raising $18M in Capital, Blue Duck Scooters Set to Take Flight

Blue Duck Scooters has closed on more than $18 million in capital to purchase 35,000 to 40,000 dockless, electric scooters and expand its scooter-share program throughout the Southern U.S.
The post After Raising $18M in Capital, Blue Duck Scooters Set to Take Flight appeared first on Rivard Report.

After report that New York City is ending its Renewal turnaround program, big questions remain

New York City is poised to end its $750 million Renewal Schools program, which city officials knew within a year of its launch in 2014 was unlikely to produce the promised “fast and intense” improvements in academic achievement in many of the city's lowest performing schools, the New York Times reported on Friday. The education department would not confirm the program is winding down and did not respond to repeated requests for comment. But in his weekly appearance on WNYC's Brian Lehrer show, de Blasio did not deny the program is ending, and even suggested it is reaching its “natural conclusion.”
However, he bristled at the characterization that the program — which was meant to improve long-struggling schools by giving them extra social services and academic support, including on-site health clinics, coaches for teachers and extended school days — was deeply flawed. “I think it was the right idea to say we have to invest in these schools,” de Blasio said. This left educators, parents and students guessing on Friday about what's next for the 50 schools that are still a part of Renewal, which has been one of the mayor's signature education initiatives.

After setbacks, Spring start likely for construction on CityPlace Burlington

A sign at the CityPlace construction site last month. Photo by Alexandre Silberman/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w, 4087w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A sign at the CityPlace construction site last month. Photo by Alexandre Silberman/VTDiggerDon't expect construction to start on CityPlace Burlington until Spring. That was the message from a Burlington city councilor following a closed-door session with city officials Tuesday night. City councilor Dave Hartnett said Wednesday the foundation wouldn't be poured until the spring, with the upcoming winter weather playing a major role in waiting.

After SNL mocks his war injury, Texas congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw says he tries hard “not to be offended”

Dan Crenshaw. Facebook campaign page
After a joke on Saturday Night Live poked fun at his war injury, Texas congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw responded Sunday that he hopes the show “recognizes that vets don't deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.”
Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended. That being said, I hope @nbcsnl recognizes that vets don't deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) November 4, 2018
Crenshaw, a Republican, is running against Democrat Todd Litton to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Houston. The joke at his expense came from cast member Pete Davidson, who was doing a bit during the Weekend Update segment in which he gave his first impressions of congressional candidates across the country. “This guy's kinda cool, Dan Crenshaw,” Davidson said as a picture of Crenshaw wearing an eye patch appeared on the screen.

After this school launched New York City’s first comfort dog program, others joined the pack

Inside the main office of Shell Bank Middle School in Sheepshead Bay, a Post-it note sat on an administrator's desk beside an empty lunch plate. The note read, “It wasn't me, love Brody.” On the floor was a leaf of lettuce, the only remaining evidence of a sandwich that once belonged to school aide Sarah Giglio. “It's a labor of love,” Giglio said with a laugh as she reached down to pick up the food scraps, referring to life with Brody, the oversized and rambunctious dog that is one of five comfort dogs who spends all day at the school. Classroom-ready comfort dogs have been a part of school life in New York City since 2014. Now in 45 schools, the comfort dog program will expand to 60 schools by the end of the school year, the city announced last week.

Agency presents case against Burlington High guidance director

The three-member education agency panel, from top left, is Chris Pratt, Francis Aumand and Dana Peterson. Francisco Guzman (Mario Macias' lawyer) is on the near left and Macias is to his right. Photo by Aidan Quigley/VTDiggerBARRE — The state Agency of Education began to lay out its case against Burlington High School guidance director Mario Macias during a licensing hearing Thursday. The agency is seeking a revocation of Macias' license on seven counts against him, alleging he falsified a student's record, sexually harassed a college student who was a substitute teacher at BHS and tried to interfere in the investigation against him, among other charges. Francisco Guzman, Macias' attorney, said the panel should keep an open mind and that the AOE was trying to sexualize the case against Macias.

Agenda ’19: Major Policy Tests Ahead for State and City

Office of the Governor, U.S. House, Mayoral Photo OfficeA few of the people who will shape the 2019 agenda that affects New York: Gov. Cuomo, Sen. Stewart-Cousins, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Mayor de Blasio. The voting machines are back in storage, the “Vote Here” signs are gone, and politics in New York have entered the interregnum between Election Day and the start of the new term in Albany, when a newly-Democratic State Senate and a re-elected Democratic Assembly majority and Democratic governor will begin to set the direction of the Empire State in 2019—while a new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives vies with a Republican U.S. Senate and President Trump over where and how to steer the nation. The rhetoric, posturing, and proposals of the campaign will give way to the rhetoric and posturing—and, ultimately, policymaking—of government. It's too early to know how the new balances of power will play out, but some of the newly powerful or electorally emboldened are already giving indications of some of their priorities, which, in combination with campaign trail promises, form the outline of what to expect in Albany in the year ahead. Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have quickly provided a sense of what they plan to tackle first and what might be on the backburner as the state governing session begins in January.

Agenda 2019: Eyes Are on Senate Democrats and 3 Key Criminal Justice Reforms

Adi TalwarA bail business in the Bronx. Bail reform is at the top of the criminal-justice reform agenda, but advocates and officials could split over how ambitious the changes will be. With a Democrat-controlled State Senate, Assembly and governorship in New York, reforming bail, requiring automatic discovery for defendants and implementing speedy trial laws appear to be the top priorities for both criminal-justice reform activists and policymakers in the upcoming term. Bills addressing each of these things have been introduced in the Senate but have stalled without Republican support. Now, they each appear likely to pass since they have the support of a large number of senate Democrats including likely Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins as well as Governor Cuomo and versions of them have already passed the State Assembly as part of a large criminal-justice reform package earlier this year.

Aging Machines, Crowds, Humidity: Problems at the Polls Were Mundane but Widespread

by Isaac Arnsdorf, Ian MacDougall, and Jessica Huseman

If the defining risk of Election Day 2016 was a foreign meddling, 2018's seems to have been a domestic overload. High turnout across the country threw existing problems — aging machines, poorly trained poll workers and a hot political landscape — into sharp relief. Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida who studies turnout, says early numbers indicate Tuesday's midterm saw the highest percentage turnout since the mid-'60s. “All signs indicate that everyone is now engaged in this country — Republicans and Democrats,” he said, adding that he expects 2020 to also be a year of high turnout. “Election officials need to start planning for that now, and hopefully elected officials who hold the purse strings will be responsive to those needs.”

Aging Technology

Electionland monitored problems across the country on Election Day, supporting the work of 250 local journalists in more than 120 local newsrooms. Thousands of voters reported issues at the polls, and Electionland sought to report on as many as possible.

Agroforestry saves soil and boosts livelihoods in Tajikistan

FAIZOBOD, Tajikistan — Mirzoli Azizov, a 54-year-old farmer, is sorting apples from the second harvest this year from his agroforestry gardens in this district 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of the Tajik capital, Dushanbe. It's still warm and sunny in early October in this mountainous part of Central Asia, which is enjoying a new bounty from what used to be a heavily degraded landscape. “Here we grow [varieties] like Krepson, Golden Delicious, Khuboni, and Simirenko, including [its] tender type for winter, which is called Red Simirenko,” Azizov says, handling the yellow, green and red apples. Mirzoli Azizov holding some of his apples. Image by Daniyar Serikov for Mongabay During the Soviet era, incessant windy weather contributed to harvest losses here, so to survive, the local community opted for agroforestry gardens and pasturing.

Agueda Pacheco-Flores: Question authority and be mighty through journalism

Agueda Pacheco-Flores is being recognized as Journalist of the Year at the 2018 Globie Awards. (Photo by Cristy Acuña)Agueda Pachedo-Flores is The Seattle Globalist's Journalist of the Year. A former intern and contributor with The Seattle Globalist, Agueda is currently a breaking news reporter at The Seattle Times where she received a three-year reporting fellowship following a three-month stint where she excelled as their night time reporter. As our 2018 Journalist of the Year, we are recognizing Agueda for her dedication, drive, and tenacity in local journalism. Agueda, 22, has also shown great leadership in advocating for young journalists and demonstrated great critical thinking and understanding for covering diverse communities.

Ahead of midterms, some CT companies offer time off to vote

In this contentious mid-term election, corporations are stepping up their civic responsibility and offering employees time off to vote. Norwalk-based Diageo North America is part of the trend. Meanwhile, Connecticut is among a minority of states that don't mandate an Election Day time-off policy for workers.

Ahead of trip to Texas, Donald Trump uses a new nickname for Ted Cruz: “Beautiful Ted”

President Donald Trump speaks with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, before a meeting with families of the Santa Fe school shooting in Houston on May 31, 2018. Joshua Roberts/REUTERS
Before departing the White House to campaign with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in Houston, President Donald Trump reiterated that he and Cruz had buried the hatchet since their bruising 2016 presidential primary race. In fact, Trump said he has a new nickname for the Republican senator: "To me, he's not Lyin' Ted anymore. He's Beautiful Ted. He's Texas — I call him Texas Ted."

AI simplifies statewide study of leopards in south India

An extensive study of the leopard population in the wildlife-rich southern Indian state of Karnataka has indicated that these big cats are thriving there, buoying hopes the species' genetic pool is stable in the region. Researchers from the Karnataka Forest Department (KFD) and the independent research organization Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) jointly surveyed the cats in protected forests, private lands, rocky outcrops and non-protected natural areas spanning a diverse landscape covering roughly 27,000 square kilometers (10,400 square miles). They used grids of motion-sensor camera traps to better understand leopard distribution and habits in a variety of landscapes. A large leopard crosses between a pair of camera traps at sunset. The Karnataka study surveyed leopards in a variety of vegetation and land use types.

Aide: Lee ‘misspoke’ when characterizing Tennessee schools as bottom of the nation

In his victory speech, Gov.-elect Bill Lee meant to say that Tennessee schools are in the bottom half of the nation — not at the bottom, a spokeswoman clarified on Wednesday. “Throughout Bill's campaign, he has noted that Tennessee schools rank in the bottom half in the nation and we must work to improve education. He simply misspoke from his prepared remarks,” spokeswoman Laine Arnold told Chalkbeat. The clarification came the day after the Republican businessman spoke to a cheering crowd in Franklin — and a statewide televised audience — after cruising to victory over Democrat and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean in the race to become Tennessee's 50th governor. Prefacing his pledge to provide parents with more school choices, he told the crowd that the state's schools “are not where they need to be,” followed by this statement: “Despite the steady improvement that we've had over the last few years, Tennessee schools are still at the bottom of schools nationwide.”
Lee's campaign did not immediately respond to Chalkbeat's query about the statement.

Ain’t Nothing But A G String

A double billing of solo acoustic sets by “cosmic American music” journeyman William Tyler and hyper-prolific garage-savant Ty Segall typified the breadth of what the solo acoustic performance can be.

Airbnb Lodging Offered Free of Charge to Evacuees in Wake of Flooding

As major flooding devastates parts of Central Texas, Airbnb activated a program Friday to help provide housing for flood victims and relief workers. The post Airbnb Lodging Offered Free of Charge to Evacuees in Wake of Flooding appeared first on Rivard Report.

Alamo Heights City Council Approves Argyle Parking Lot Project

Alamo Heights City Council on Tuesday approved a zoning change request that will allow The Argyle to construct a parking lot on property previously zoned for residential use. The post Alamo Heights City Council Approves Argyle Parking Lot Project appeared first on Rivard Report.

Alan Shelvey: Lake cleanup requires addressing legacy phosphorus

Editor's note: This commentary is by Alan Shelvey, who is a retired civil engineer, former city engineer then commissioner of Public Works in Rutland City, and a current member of the Board of Supervisors for the Rutland Natural Resources Conservation District. He lives in Shrewsbury. There is a great deal of active and formerly active agricultural land along the major rivers in Vermont. In some cases, this land has been farmed for 200 years or more. Phosphorus, in various forms, has been applied throughout the active farming periods, including the period when governments encouraged and subsidized high rates of phosphorus addition.

All welcome at 46th annual FREE community Thanksgiving dinner in Montpelier

News Release — Washington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys & Girls Club
Oct. 17, 2018
Christine Hartman
Washington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys & Girls Club
Montpelier, VT, (10/17/18) — The Washington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys & Girls Club, with support from the Central Vermont community, is hosting the 46th Annual FREE Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Thursday November 22nd at the Bethany Church, 115 Main Street, Montpelier. The meal will be served from 11:30 – 2:00. All are welcome to partake in this family style dinner with all the fixings! Thanksgiving delivery service is available for those unable to leave their homes and can be scheduled by calling 229-9151.

Alleged stabbing case heading to Supreme Court as test of youth offender law

Washington County State's Attorney Rory Thibault. File photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Rory Thibault" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w, 3772w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Washington County State's Attorney Rory Thibault says he will appeal the case to the Supreme Court on Tuesday. File photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerA crime that was “out of a horror movie” appears to be headed to the Vermont Supreme Court, where the case could set a precedent for the new youthful offender law. Speaking publicly about the event for the first time, Lucy Remington described through tears in court on Friday how Tyreke Morton, 19, knocked on her bedroom door and, as soon as she opened it, stabbed her in the chest with a steak knife.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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Remington then said Morton began to try to kill her 3-year-old son, but she was able to pick him up and escape through a window after pulling the knife out of her chest.

Alpha males must stop quaking at first sign of Latino ‘caravans’

America has survived two world wars, a Civil War, and depressions but what waiters would call "three four-tops and an eight-top" poses a security risk to a city of a million? Get over it. If prostitution is the oldest profession, pimping fear is the oldest form of politics.

Alta Vista Homes To Go Through Historic Designation Process

City Council on Thursday unanimously approved designating the houses at 800 W. Russell Pl. and 2511 N. Flores St. as historic. The post Alta Vista Homes To Go Through Historic Designation Process appeared first on Rivard Report.

Amazon and climate science threatened if Bolsonaro elected Brazil’s president (commentary)

A howler monkey. Eighteen Brazilian scientists have expressed concern over the environmental policy proposals of presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who will be in a runoff election with candidate Fernando Haddad on Sunday, 28 October. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay. Brazil is the guardian of the largest tropical forest on Earth, lays claim to one of the largest cultivated land areas in the world, and possesses the largest population of any South American nation. As a result, a rising politician there who is ignoring global climate change issues and the environment should be of great concern not only to Brazilians but all humanity.

Amazon picks Crystal City and New York for HQ2, snubbing Texas

Illustration by Todd Wiseman
In the end, there were two, and neither was in Texas. Amazon announced Tuesday morning that it will build its second and third headquarters in New York and Crystal City, Virginia — a blow to Texas, a state fiercely proud of its business-friendly reputation that boasted two cities on the tech giant's short list of 20 potential picks. Since September 2017, when the tech giant announced it was searching for a home for its “HQ2” — a multi-billion dollar capital investment expected to create as many as 50,000 new jobs — Texas pledged to compete aggressively, and some cities went “all-in” on the wooing efforts. Austin and Dallas made the January 2018 cut for Amazon's shortlist, a trim that eliminated some 200 other bids, including one each from Houston and tiny Milam County in Central Texas. Ultimately, the company opted to split that prize into two, with 25,000 jobs each intended for New York's Long Island City and Virginia's Crystal City.

Amazon’s Grand Search For 2nd Headquarters Ends With Split: NYC And D.C. Suburb

Amazon's HQ2 is getting divided by two. Instead of building a massive second headquarters in one location, Amazon is expected to announce as early as Tuesday, that it would build two offices, one in New York City and another in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., according to a person familiar with the plan. The specific locations are expected to be the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens and the Crystal City area in Arlington, Va. As NPR reported last week , Amazon's surprising decision to split HQ2 between the two is an anticlimactic ending for the much-publicized, Olympic-style search that lasted over a year and attracted 238 bids from across the U.S. and Canada. New York and the D.C. area already have a considerable Amazon presence.

Ambassador Haley Revises History With a Racist Slant

President Trump participating in the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem, Sept. 24, 2018, at the UN in New York. As she heads out the door, Haley still defends the inflammatory remarks and attitudes of Trump, the author writes. SHEALAH CRAIGHEAD/WHITE HOUSENikki Haley has raised a surprise question as she heads for the door: How low can she go? Haley appeared to be trying hard to take the high road when she announced on Oct.

Amendment 73 would mark a turning point for school funding in Colorado — if voters say yes

This story will be updated as results come in, so check back soon. Colorado voters will decide today whether to raise taxes on corporations and the well-to-do to send a lot more money to public schools or whether to once again tell schools to do better with the money they already have. Amendment 73 represents the third attempt in recent years to approve a statewide tax increase for education and faces a higher bar than previous efforts. To pass, 55 percent of voters need say yes. Under Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, the only way to raise taxes is to get voter approval.

Amendment 73: Understanding the tax increase for education on your Colorado ballot

Colorado voters face an important education decision this November: whether to approve a major statewide tax increase for schools. This request represents the third time in recent years that Colorado voters have been asked to put more money into schools. The last two times, they gave a resounding no. Amendment 73 comes on the heels of teacher protests here and around the nation that have raised awareness of low pay and other unmet classroom needs. Proponents of the measure say Colorado schools can't keep doing more with less and need new revenue to do right by students.

Amendment 73: Understanding the tax increase for education on your Colorado ballot

Colorado voters face an important education decision this November: whether to approve a major statewide tax increase for schools. This request represents the third time in recent years that Colorado voters have been asked to put more money into schools. The last two times, they gave a resounding no. Amendment 73 comes on the heels of teacher protests here and around the nation that have raised awareness of low pay and other unmet classroom needs. Proponents of the measure say Colorado schools can't keep doing more with less and need new revenue to do right by students.

Amendment 73: What happens if voters put an extra $1.6 billion into Colorado’s broken school finance system?

Alison Corbett has little trouble ticking off the ways that more money would make a difference for her students at High Tech Early College in Denver's Montbello neighborhood. One more teacher for students learning English would allow for separate classes for different levels of proficiency. More counselors could help the school's highest achieving students successfully apply to more prestigious schools. Smaller classes would allow more time to address students' individual needs. With higher salaries, teacher turnover might go down.

Amendment 75: Colorado’s ‘millionaire rule’ ballot question could mean more money in state elections

Voters hear a lot about the influence of money in our elections, everything from how we need to keep the green stuff out of our politics to how critical fundraising is to compete to the role of campaign contributions as a form of free speech. This week, Coloradans will see a question on their ballots asking whether they want to allow candidates for state office to raise more money than is legal now. Among the 13 Big Questions voters face is this:
Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution providing that if any candidate in a primary or general election for state office directs more than one million dollars in support of his or her own election, then every candidate for that office in the same election may accept five times the amount of campaign contributions normally allowed? Call this the “millionaire rule.” Or even the “millionaire-buddy rule.”
Supporters of the proposed new law say its purpose is to level the playing field for candidates who don't have bottomless personal pocketbooks or don't have friends and political allies willing to put millions of dollars into a race on their behalf. Critics of the measure argue it will bring more money into Colorado's elections and won't act as a useful deterrent to wealthy candidates spending big bucks on their own behalf.

Amendment A: What’s the argument against Colorado’s ballot measure to ban slavery? Ask these guys.

It's not easy to find people who oppose the effort to finally, formally ban slavery in Colorado, but they do exist. Two Western Slope district attorneys say they're concerned Amendment A — which would remove the state's constitutional provision that allows for legal slavery or involuntary servitude as criminal punishment — would create chaos in the legal system by banning court-ordered community service in Colorado. Many others disagree with their assessment. “While those pushing the amendment advertise it as ‘abolishing slavery,' that occurred more than 150 years ago,” wrote Dan Rubinstein, the Republican D.A. from Mesa County (Grand Junction), in an email to The Colorado Independent. “With most low-level offenses carrying jail, fines and community service as the only sentencing options, I fear that (the passage of Amendment A) will result in more low-risk offenders filling our jails and would disproportionately incarcerate indigent offenders who lack the ability to pay fines.”
Rubinstein added, “I would be happy to support a measure that eliminates the slavery language, but specifically authorizes court-ordered community service.

Amendment X: Why an ‘industrial hemp’ question on Colorado’s ballot is important to a fledgling agricultural industry

Imagine if Colorado, a pioneer in the nation for legalized marijuana, ended up locked out of a competitive advantage if the federal government relaxes its own rules for growing hemp. You can almost hear Alanis Morissette adding a verse to her famous song. But that could happen, say those in Colorado's hemp industry who are counting on voter support for a little-discussed question, called Amendment X, that will be on this November's ballot. The ballot measure will accompany a dozen others that range from slavery to gerrymandering to how to fund education and transportation. Buried in this cascade of questions, and so far getting little in-state attention, will be this:
“Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning changing the industrial hemp definition from a constitutional definition to a statutory definition?”
What does this mean exactly?

Amendments on the ballot still a mystery to most voters

NC voters will be asked whether they want to pass six constitutional amendments that many find confusing. A look at what each would do may help. The post Amendments on the ballot still a mystery to most voters appeared first on Carolina Public Press.

American Composers Forum names leader; ‘Prince: Before the Rain’ book release

Photo by Julia GangVanessa RoseVanessa Rose will be the new president and CEO of the American Composers Forum (ACF), board chair Ann LeBaron announced Tuesday. Over the past decade, Rose has led the Knights orchestra collective, International Contemporary Ensemble, Arco Collaborative and the Lark play development center, all based in New York, through significant transitions. As a consultant, she has helped to expand EarShot, the national orchestra program for emerging composers, and guided groups such as the Talea Ensemble and Orchestra of St. Luke's through organizational and staff changes. She has been an ACF board member since 2018.

Amid Hellacious Wildfires in California, About What You’d Expect from the White House

A future of deadly infernos?: The Camp Fire in Northern California has become the most destructive wildfire in the state's history, with at least 42 people dead, dozens more missing and thousands of buildings destroyed. And it's still burning, along with other major fires that have claimed at least two more lives in Southern California. Reporters with the Los Angeles Times look at how the town of Paradise's history and development boom hindered the fire response. President Trump on Saturday blamed the fire on state mismanagement of the forests and threatened to cut federal payments, eliciting outrage from people like Brian Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters, who called the president's comments “ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines.” He also noted that 60 percent of California forests are under federal management, CBS News reported. “It is the federal government that has chosen to divert resources away from forest management, not California,” Rice said.

Amid lack of enforcement, fishermen take the fight to blast fishing

LAMBANGAN and UWEDIKAN, Indonesia — “At first, I saw some spinefoot fish, about 50 of them. I was smoking out on the water.” It was midday three years ago, says Farjan Delong, and he remembers having taken his boat to Lambangan, a village in Banggai district on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, where dense schools of fish still crowded around thriving coral. Crouched on his small boat, he recalls, he lifted a bottle of fertilizer and lit a fuse above his head. Despite national laws against blast fishing, poor enforcement has meant fishermen like Farjan have been able augment their catches while destroying reefs across the Indonesian archipelago, home some of the world's richest fisheries. But before Farjan, a 22-year-old father of three, could hurl the bomb at the school of fish, it exploded, throwing him overboard.

Amid major projects, state mental health leadership changing

Mourning Fox, interim mental health commissioner. Supplied photoA leadership transition is under way at the state Department of Mental Health. Friday was the last day of work for Commissioner Melissa Bailey, who is leaving the department for a job in Pennsylvania. Bailey's deputy commissioner, Mourning Fox, is taking over on an interim basis while officials search for a permanent replacement.Get all of VTDigger's health care news.You'll never miss our health care coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Amid mental health crisis, one hospital seeks ways to cope

Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury was the most-cited hospital in the state's mental health-related surveys in 2018. Supplied photoA rash of new regulatory findings detail mistreatment of psychiatric patients at Vermont hospitals, raising questions about standards in the state's overtaxed mental health system. This story is the last in a three-part series on psychiatric treatment in Vermont hospitals. Read Part 1, Part 2.

Amid Protest in Liberia, Its Vice President Gets List of Demands About More Than Me

by Finlay Young for ProPublica

A large group of protesters marched on Thursday through Liberia's capital, Monrovia, delivering a list of demands to top government officials, international organizations and the country's vice president, including that the government revoke the accreditation of More Than Me and strip the American charity of its ability to run 19 schools in the country. The Liberian Feminist Forum, in conjunction with other groups, organized the “We Are Unprotected” protest in response to a ProPublica investigation published last week in collaboration with Time magazine. The report revealed how the charity missed opportunities to prevent the rapes of girls by key employee Macintosh Johnson and did not test all of his potential victims for HIV when word got out that he had AIDS. Protesters dressed in black and carried signs that invoked findings of the investigation, including that when the rapes came to light, the charity deflected blame onto Liberian culture. “Rape is not our culture,” signs read.

Amish families quietly take up residence in the Northeast Kingdom

A road sign in Brownington warns drivers that they might encounter a slow-moving Amish carriage. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Carriage road sign" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w, 6000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A road sign in Brownington warns drivers that they might encounter a slow-moving Amish carriage. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerWhile Vermont leaders tie themselves in knots trying to draw new people to the state, a group of Amish families has quietly moved into the Northeast Kingdom from Ohio and Pennsylvania on its own. The 10 Amish families are all loosely related, and they started arriving around 2015. The families bought farms and land and have built large barns and houses.

Amplify: Delanna Miller, Whose Husband Died On The Job

Delanna Miller and her husband were expecting their second child when he was electrocuted to death while trimming trees. Justin Miller was 23. His 2016 death in Breathitt County was one of 44 Kentucky workplace fatality investigations reviewed in a federal audit. A separate federal report looking at Miller's death found that the state should have issued Miller's employer citations for two safety violations. It issued none.

Amy Klobuchar is the only one not talking about Amy Klobuchar running for president in 2020

It was Election Night 2018 on Twitter, and the national pundit class was suddenly very interested in Sen. Amy Klobuchar's margins of victory in rural Minnesota. Josh Barro, a centrist columnist for New York Magazine, tweeted out a map of Minnesota displaying the votes garnered by Klobuchar versus her Republican opponent, Jim Newberger: not only did the map show Klobuchar's overall 26-point, 400,000-vote lead (she would ultimately win by 600,000 votes) it also showed her turning blue what are normally deep-red counties in rural parts of the state — 43 counties, to be exact, that Donald Trump won in 2016. Barro presented the map with a brief bit of commentary dripping in subtext: “I have a tip for Democrats who would like to not just beat Trump in 2020,” he said, “but bury him.”
That Klobuchar easily secured a third term in the U.S. Senate in last Tuesday's midterm was no surprise. Also no surprise: that her victory would add to growing buzz about the Minnesota Democrat as a viable candidate for president in 2020. [cms_ad:x100]Indeed, plenty of pundits from the Beltway to the Midwest touted Klobuchar's performance on Tuesday night, arguing that her strong showing in urban, suburban, and rural areas — and in a deeply divided heartland state, no less — were an advantage that few other 2020 Democratic hopefuls could boast in making the case against a second term of Donald Trump.

An ‘army of young people’ propels and inspires Jahana Hayes

It was a wave of young voters that propelled Democrat Jahana Hayes into the Fifth Congressional District candidacy, and Sunday she told a crowd of young voters that they continue to be her inspiration as she attempts to become the district's first black representative.

An Open Letter To Andrew Cuomo: Now Will You Keep Your Clemency Promises?

Governor Cuomo:

Congratulations on securing a third term. This time around, are you ready to do right by criminalized survivors of domestic violence? We need to talk about the fact that you've been MIA on commutations. You have sole power to, with the stroke of a pen, free any criminalized survivor of domestic violence (and anyone else sentenced to incarceration in New York) today. Yet in this “Me Too” moment, you've done nothing for those who had to go to the greatest lengths to survive gender-based violence.

Analysis: Election Day in Texas isn’t even the half of it

Voters lined up at the Austin Community College Highland Campus in Austin for the first day of early voting on Oct. 24, 2016. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. If money voted — heck, if yard signs voted — Beto O'Rourke would be well on his way to the United States Senate. But only voters vote.

Analysis: For Texas pols, the seasonal scares last for two weeks

Texans cast their votes at the start of early voting at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center near downtown Houston on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Listen carefully at this time of year and you can tell what the political people are worried about. For instance:

• That the turnout boomlet on the first day of early voting portends a big Democratic vote that will help Beto O'Rourke and others.

Analysis: If you can’t win a race for Texas speaker, you’re not ready for the job

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, speaks during a debate on property tax legislation on Aug. 12, 2017. Marjorie Kamys Cotera
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. A year and three weeks after House Speaker Joe Straus said he wouldn't seek another term in office, state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, appears to have the votes to succeed him. If everything holds together until Jan.

Analysis: In Donald Trump’s midterm, Texas voters tap the brakes

President Donald J. Trump at a MAGA rally at the Toyota Center in Houston on Oct. 22, 2018. Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. We all know about the Ted-and-Beto showbiz section of this week's elections, but the attractions of that race don't fully explain the results. This was all about Donald Trump.

Analysis: One last Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke Texas election headline

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso (left), and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Rodolfo Gonzalez: O'Rourke/Marjorie Kamys Cotera: Cruz
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. It's Ted. Cruz, a populist social conservative who came tantalizingly close to winning the Republican nomination for president just two years ago, and who took his place in the U.S. Senate after a 2012 race he wasn't expected to win, held off a spirited and charismatic Beto O'Rourke, the longshot El Paso Democrat who decided to term-limit his time in the U.S. House by challenging Cruz. Until the last few months, it was almost unthinkable that a Democrat could beat a Republican in a statewide race in Texas.

Analysis: Roberts court displays robust support of free speech, especially for monied interests

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 29, 2011 - Free-speech law is nearing the century mark with a golden age of robust rulings under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., one that compares with an earlier golden age under the Warren court in the 1960s. The Roberts court has protected the free speech rights of corporations, protesters at soldiers' funerals, filmmakers depicting animal cruelty, companies that mine information from databases, producers of violent video games and the teens who want to watch them as well as political candidates who shun public financing.

Analysis: What we know about the Texas midterm elections as early voting ends, and what we don’t

Long lines for the start of early voting snaked around the parking at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center near downtown Houston on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. On this second-to-last day of the 2018 election — early voting ends at twilight and all that's left is Election Day next Tuesday — most of the people who will vote this year have already cast their ballots. The outcomes are still unknown, but some of the questions are clear.

Analysis: Will pricey consultants pay off? Ask Kansas, Louisiana

Wyoming isn't the first state to bring in corporate consulting giant Alvarez & Marsal in hopes of building a leaner, cheaper government. The state this month signed a $1.8 million contract with the multinational corporation to pursue a government efficiency project proposed to save the state hundreds of millions of dollars. A look at the firm's work in Louisiana and Kansas — where A&M conducted broad efficiency projects similar to that proposed for Wyoming — reveals both the pitfalls and promise of applying corporate streamlining practices to state government. In both instances A&M's sharp pencils more than paid for their fees but fell well short of the eye-popping sums presented to the politicians that hired them. Policy makers and observers in those states warn that regardless of what A&M finds, making the leap from a consulting report to actual savings will prove difficult and often depends on political whims.
Representatives for the firm say it has learned from its work in those states and is applying a more refined model to Wyoming to ensure an efficiency project can outlast the political moment that kicked it off.

And then there were three – Caron exits governor’s race

Alan Caron decided to quit the race weeks ago but strategically stayed in it so that he could garner more attention when he ultimately endorsed Janet Mills. The post And then there were three – Caron exits governor's race appeared first on Pine Tree Watch.

Andrea Green: New proposal threatens children’s health

Editor's note: This commentary is by Andrea Green, MDCM, FAAP, who is an associate professor of pediatrics at the UVM Larner College of Medicine and director of the Pediatric New American Program at the Vermont Children's Hospital Primary Care. As a pediatrician in Burlington specializing in immigrant health care, I understand how federal government programs help to address children's most basic needs. I've witnessed their successes in my own clinic and cannot imagine what it would mean if these programs were not there for the Vermont families I care for. Nutritious food is vital to growing children, but right now, 15 percent of Vermont children live in food insecure homes. Recognizing the importance of nutrition and the prevalence of hunger in children, the government has safety net programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Animal Care Services Asking Community for Pet Pantry Donations

Animal Care Services' pet pantry temporarily assists pet owners in need by providing food and other supplies. The post Animal Care Services Asking Community for Pet Pantry Donations appeared first on Rivard Report.

Announcing: Bingo for a Blue Wave

With corporate donations, voter suppression and polarized misinformation causing outsized influence, U.S. elections can often feel like a rigged game: are we playing Russian Roulette, or dealing out democracy? This midterm, In These Times invites you to play a real game: Election Night Bingo! Print out these cards at home, or join us at our Election Watch Party here in Chicago. All are invited to play. We offer these bingo cards in the understanding that the first victor is not the only victor, for this is not the nature of the political game.

Annual Coat Drive

Knights collecting winter apparelAnnual Coat Drive was first posted on November 12, 2018 at 7:05 am.

Annual film festival boasts flicks from near and far, ‘something for everyone’

The St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) is back for its 27th season – and the line-up of movies this year includes an impressive array of both local and nonlocal work. Despite the remarkable roster, Cinema St. Louis artistic director Chris Clark told host Don Marsh on Friday's St. Louis on the Air that attendees “do not need to be film scholars, they just need to like going to the movies.” Clark, whose organization manages SLIFF each year, noted that there's “literally something for everyone” at the ten-day festival, and he encouraged listeners to see the films that most excite them.

Another UMD coach leaves position

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

Another upgrade: Klobuchar seen as 6th most likely 2020 Dem nominee

This is pretty dumb, and I did something similar a month ago when the presidential odds-makers at Vox upgraded their view of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar as a possible 2020 candidate, but our senior senator got another upgrade in her presidential chances this week, this time from CNN, which moved her from seventh most likely Democratic nominee for president in 2020, to sixth mostly likely. Klobuchar is heavily favored to win a third Senate term this year, generally deflects questions about any presidential aspirations, and is relatively less known nationally than some others on the list (but she did get a fair bit of generally favorable national exposure during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings). She got the promotion from CNN based on this:
Unlike her Senate colleagues Warren, Harris and even Gillibrand, the Minnesota Democrat isn't one of the first names on most Democrats' lips when the conversation turns to 2020. But during the Kavanaugh hearings, Klobuchar distinguished herself in ways no one else mentioned as a Democratic presidential candidate did. Her questioning of Kavanaugh's drinking past became a huge moment — and one in which Klobuchar shone.

Ansley Bloomer: Never a better time to heat with wood

Editor's note: This commentary is by Ansley Bloomer, who is assistant director of Renewable Energy Vermont. For every dollar we spend on fossil fuel heating in Vermont, 78 cents is sent out of state. What if, instead of sending $131 million out of state a year on these fuels, we spent even just half of that on locally and sustainably produced fuels where every penny of every dollar stays here, locally? This is less of a hypothetical question, and more of reality, as innovative and resilient working Vermonters are doing just that. With the passage of a sales and use tax exemption on advanced wood heating systems, Vermont is taking steps towards restarting a value chain that will revitalize our rural communities and preserve Vermonters' relationship with the working landscape.

Answer to judicial confirmation conundrum: multiple choice

Marshall H. Tanick
The conflagration that erupted during the recent confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh triggered consideration of several alternatives to the current — and longstanding — process for filling future vacancies on the high court. One of them is to set term limits rather than lifetime appointment of the jurists; another is to expand the number of justices from the current nine-member status. Both propositions, aimed at ameliorating the divisiveness and rancor of the selection process and those characteristics embedded within the ensuing composition of the tribunal, are plagued with practical limitations. The former would probably require a constitutional amendment because the Constitution now provides that federal judges at all levels maintain their positions during “good Behaviour,” which has generally been regarded as lifetime sinecure, subject to the rarity of impeachment for “high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” the same standard for removal of the president. [cms_ad:x100]The latter, changing the size of the court, has been done in the past by statutory modifications, but the adverse outcome of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's court-packing plan in the late 1930s has made that proposition odiferous.

Answered: 8 big questions about Tuesday’s historic elections in Missouri and Illinois

Tuesday was a triumph for Missouri Republicans and a disappointment for the state's Democrats. GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley continued his meteoric trajectory with his ouster of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill. Despite running a vigorous and well-funded campaign operation, McCaskill was done in by weak performances in Missouri's rural and exurban area — places where she's traditionally thrived.

Anti-addiction drug Suboxone tops Vermont’s prescription spending list

Buprenorphine, or Suboxone. Creative Commons photoThe anti-addiction drug Suboxone tops the list of most-used prescriptions in Vermont's public health insurance system, a new state report shows. The report says Suboxone claims rose 10.6 percent in fiscal year 2018. The drug, also known as buprenorphine, is used to combat the effects of opioid dependency.Get all of VTDigger's health care news.You'll never miss our health care coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Anti-Idling Effort Shifts Into Gear

Who knew that New Haven drivers could be ticketed if their engines are unnecessarily idling for more than three minutes!But they rarely if ever are. That may change, if the city's environmental watchdog agency has its way.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in schools. After Pittsburgh, teachers grapple with a response.

At New York City's Harvest Collegiate High School on Monday, social studies department chair Andy del Calvo did what educators often do: He adapted his lesson for the times. He printed out news stories about the massacre of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue and about last week's shooting of two African-Americans at a Kentucky supermarket, and urged his students to think. Del Calvo hoped that examining America's latest heartbreaking moments would give his students a chance to process their feelings, develop empathy for others, and spur them to act — maybe through raising money for victims or expressing themselves through art. “This is a place where students can get a feel for how to have these kinds of conversations with a broad variety of people,” he said, noting that the school's 480 students roughly mirror New York's diversity. “If I have this conversation with friends, people tend to have pretty similar ideas about whatever.

Anti-Semitism, Pittsburgh, Halloween & Me

Around noon was when I first heard of the massacre of congregants at a Pittsburgh synagogue.It was Saturday, Oct. 27. I was sitting on the couch at the crowded birthday party of our 3-year-old grandson Sam.In the run-up to Halloween, kids were cavorting about as princesses, chickens, strawberries and other toppings. Sam was an ice cream truck. The theme of his soiree for 3-year-olds was “spooky ice cream.”

Anti-vaccine Texas families may take their fight to day cares next

The next vaccine fight could be coming to a day care near you. Texans for Vaccine Choice, a group focused on anti-vaccine policy, says it has received hundreds of calls and emails from parents of children without vaccines who were rejected by private child care facilities. Now, the group has put a call out for those families to tell their stories. The plan: Collect as many responses as possible and present them to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in an attempt to end those denials. The effort has the potential to open up a new front in the fight over vaccines.

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

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

Antillean Manor Inches Closer To New Life

The planned new buyer of another failed Dwight housing coop is lining up state money to rebuild it, with the same number of homes plus added common space.

Appeals court decision could mean hepatitis treatment for thousands of Missouri inmates

A federal appeals court will soon decide whether Missouri inmates with hepatitis C will be included in a class-action lawsuit seeking treatment for thousands of other state prisoners. The American Civil Liberties Union and the MacArthur Justice Center filed a federal lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Corrections and prison health-care provider Corizon in December 2016. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of three inmates with hepatitis C, claims the department's policy of only treating people with the most serious symptoms of the virus constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and violates the Eighth Amendment.

Applying for school in Chicago? Your odds may have just changed.

One of the key factors in Chicago public school admissions, tier numbers assigned by a student's address serve to more equitably distribute seats in test-in and magnet programs.
The numbers, on a 1 to 4 scale, reflect a neighborhood's socioeconomic status. The school district has issued new tier assignments that redesignate 91 areas: 60 have gone down a notch (or two) and 31 have gone up. The changes are observable across the city, but tier shifts generally follow gentrification patterns. “I tell families, if you live in or near a gentrifying area, check (your tier) every year,” said Grace Lee Sawin, the owner of Chicago GPS, which helps families navigate Chicago's school application process for a fee. “Certainly it could go up and it could go down.”
The tier labels factor mostly into admissions to prekindergarten and kindergarten and again for entrance into competitive seventh-grade academic centers and high schools.

Archdiocese of St. Louis to open free, mobile, medical clinic for rural patients

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is partnering with Rural Parish Workers and Catholic Charities of St. Louis to open a mobile clinic so people who are uninsured can have access to free primary care services. After two years of planning, the three organizations hope to have the clinic running in December. Working with a team of volunteers, Sister Marie Paul Lockerd, is a primary care physican who Archbishop Robert Carlson asked to establish the clinic.

Are Americans Finally Turning Away From ‘Tough-on-Crime’ Era?

Democrat John Creuzot, who defeated Republican incumbent Faith Johnson in the Dallas County District Attorney's race last week, had a campaign website that declared in big, bold letters, “It's time to END Mass Incarceration.”
Republican Locke Thompson ran a successful campaign in Cole County, Missouri, with a campaign platform that included eliminating cash bail for low-level misdemeanors. The victories chalked up by Creuzot and Thompson underlined a fact that has largely been overlooked in postmortems of this month's midterms: the growing support of voters for genuine change in the criminal justice system regardless of their party affiliations—-and there is perhaps no clearer bellwether for how far voters think the needle should move on criminal justice reform than how they vote for local prosecutors. While legislators run on a variety of issues, we are left with clear choices on a single subject in district attorney races: How will they handle the prosecution of crime? In addition to the passage of pro-reform ballot initiatives and the election of pro-reform candidates to national offices, the outcome of some local district attorneys' races last week represented encouraging signs for justice reform advocates. “Prosecutors are the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system,” says Udi Ofer, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Campaign for Smart Justice, which worked to inform voters about where candidates stood on criminal justice reform.

Are deep sea reefs really a lifeboat for our vanishing corals?

When Luiz Rocha, a fish biologist at the California Academy of Sciences, goes scuba diving, he tacks on one and a half times his body weight in specialized diving gear. Once he submerges, he can't spare a moment to take in the vibrant corals just beneath the surface — he has greater depths to plumb. Rocha is headed toward what Smithsonian Institution fish biologist Carole Baldwin calls “a very diverse and productive portion of the tropical ocean that science has largely missed”: mesophotic reefs. “Mesophotic” is Greek for “middle light,” referring to the intermediate amount of sunlight that can penetrate to depths of 30 to 150 meters (100 to 500 feet) below the ocean's surface. The dives required to reach mesophotic reefs are as technical as they are deep.

Are Hate Crimes Terrorism?

Last weekend's attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was horrendous as well as startling, in large part because most observers thought antisemitism was on the wane in America. Jews have enjoyed a large measure of success and acceptance here, especially in comparison with the fierce antisemitism that reigned in Europe for centuries, culminating in the Holocaust, and which thrives today in the Middle East. A tragedy like the bombing of the synagogue, however, also sadly reminds us of the many acts of violence in this country that are racist in character. No group is potentially free from racially motivated violence, and African Americans especially have long been familiar with such violence. By my recent count, between 1991 and 2016 there were 45 acts of arson, bombings, mass murder, hate crimes, and other violence committed against Black churches.

Are special education reforms moving too slowly? Chicago monitor responds to criticism.

Just four months into her role as the powerful independent monitor overseeing efforts to reform special education in Chicago Public Schools, Laura Boedeker already faces angry, public criticism. The state created the monitor's office earlier this year after a public inquiry found that Chicago was systematically delaying and denying educational services — guaranteed by federal law — to special-needs students. But on Monday, advocates for special education charged that Boedeker and her superiors at the Illinois State Board of Education have failed on many counts to improve services and to communicate with parents. At the same time, the advocates released findings of a survey of 800 parents and teachers that backed their charges. The next day, Chicago parents finally received an email from Boedeker and her boss, state board General Counsel Stephanie Jones, that linked to updated special education protocols and parent trainings, and suggested that the state was working on a plan for families who want to file grievances.

Are Texas suburbs slipping away from Republicans?

Voting signs point the direction to the polling booth at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Fort Bend County on Nov. 6, 2018. Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune
By the end of Election Day, the political maps of the state's suburban and swing counties had a peculiar blue tint. The blue washed over the Dallas-Fort Worth area and crept up on suburban counties in North Texas. It spread from Houston — in a county that was once a political battleground — and crested over some of its suburban communities.

Arizona City Under Fire for Lax Police Discipline

An analysis by The Arizona Republic finds it is rare for Mesa, Ariz., police officers to face any discipline in excessive-force investigations. Mesa officers have been the subject of a number of viral videos depicting excessive force and the city has shelled out more than $1 million to settle legal claims over use of force in the past four years. But only three of 158 internal-affairs investigations into such allegations were substantiated since 2014. In those three cases, one officer was suspended, one received a written reprimand and one received training and counseling. Some Mesa leaders are demanding that officers be held more accountable.

Arizona political ad spending hit new highs

Spending on campaign ads in Arizona reached a record $129 million this year, part of a national trend that saw cable and broadcast election ad spending top $3 billion for the first time in a midterm election cycle.

Arizona soccer makes drive up to Tempe

Arizona travels to the Valley of the Yakes for their final regular season match. In addition to the rivalry, the Wildcat soccer team is trying to ensure a spot in the postseason.

Armistice 100th anniversary events at Northrop; ‘Not About Heroes’ at Off-Leash Art Box

Did you know the Armistice was signed at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of World War I? And now we're approaching the 100th anniversary of that momentous occasion: Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. Commemorative events will take place around the world, including the Twin Cities (on Victory Memorial Drive and at Britt's Pub). What happened in Minneapolis on that day in 1918?

Army Corps, Texas officials propose sweeping hurricane protection plan

Graphic by Todd Wiseman
Following years of research, studies and public debate, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — in partnership with the state's General Land Office — has recommended a multi-billion-dollar project that would protect the Houston area and its massive industrial complex from hurricane storm surge. The agencies had narrowed it down to four plans — one of them with an alternate variation — with varying configurations of levees, seawalls and locks. They also identified extensive “non-structural improvements” — such as beach renourishment and dune restoration — for much of the Texas coast. On Friday, they announced the selection of a plan that is most similar to a controversial proposal unveiled years ago by researchers at Texas A&M University at Galveston — initially dubbed the “Ike Dike” but often referred to now as the “coastal spine” — that was inspired by a Dutch flood protection system. The sweeping plan calls for the construction of a levee along Galveston Island and the peninsula to its north, Bolivar, as well as the installation of a gate between the two isles to keep storm surge from pouring between them into Galveston Bay and the Port of Houston.

Around Town (Photos)

Election Day mishap, remembering vets, chessmasters, Model UNAround Town (Photos) was first posted on November 10, 2018 at 11:42 am.

Around Town (Photos)

Coffee with a cop, closed for businessAround Town (Photos) was first posted on October 22, 2018 at 10:45 am.

Artie Guides Bysiewicz To New Heights

If you're a candidate door-knocking on a particular street in Fair Haven Heights with someone named Natalino whose family has been there for 60 years ... and if at least four houses on said street have Natalinos still in them and another half dozen get their driveways plowed by a Natalilno during heavy snowstorms when the city is slow arriving ... well, you're fairly guaranteed a warm reception.

Artist Yvonne Osei uses clothing to explore nudity and appearance

When performance and video artist Yvonne Osei arrived in St. Louis from Ghana in 2009, she noticed that everyone seemed concerned with physical appearance. What seemed to matter was a person's size, race and clothing, she observed, a focus unlike anything she'd experienced growing up in the Ashanti tribe. Osei, who was born in Germany, began thinking about how to use clothing to explore such issues in her work. Recently, an organization called Critical Mass for the Visual Arts gave her a Creative Stimulus award, and the Visionary Awards named her as its 2018 Emerging Artist.

Arts Council seeks submissions for emblem design

Artists and designers encouraged to apply to new public art opportunity at McCarthy Park.

Arts Funding Up Citywide, But Caps May Limit Impact

Jim.hendersonThe Bronx Museum, a Cultural Institution Group member. Arts funding is up across the board — from funding increases for major institutions to extra cash for five borough arts councils to dispense — but relatively small grants to local artists may not have a sufficient impact at the grassroots level. Last month, the city Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) announced that its record-breaking $198.4 million budget would include nearly $43.9 million for 977 cultural organizations across the city. The DCLA also allocated $3 million to the five borough arts councils, which are tasked with regranting that money to local artists and organizations. For the Bronx Council on the Arts, that means an increase from $300,000 to $520,000 for the BAC to share with Bronx artists and small organizations, but those individual grants remain capped at $5,000 based on DCLA regrant policy.

As a deadline nears, struggle between George P. Bush and State Board of Education isn’t letting up

Texas General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on Dec. 5, 2017. Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune
A simmering school-finance battle bubbled back to life Wednesday in separate hearings that brought up Texas' educational endowment, the largest in the country. While lawmakers in the Capitol recommended making significant changes to the fund, members of the State Board of Education lamented in their own meeting that the School Land Board has so far stood by a funding decision they announced in August and that immediately garnered controversy. "They need to reconsider now," state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, said Wednesday night.

As border crossings surge, some migrants say they came now because family separation is over

Immigrant families enter the Catholic Charity in McAllen on June 29, 2018. Reynaldo Leal for The Texas Tribune
McALLEN — Nelson Enrique Sánchez said he got the call in September: Come now, his mother-in-law said, and bring the boy with you. So Sánchez did as he was told. Led by smugglers, he and his 10-year-old son, Michael, traveled north from Honduras to join her in Louisiana — first by car, then on foot, then on a raft across the Rio Grande, before they surrendered to Border Patrol agents. “He was our ticket, our passport,” Sánchez said, gesturing toward his son, arms wrapped around his father's knees.

As city starts collecting data on inequities in PTA fundraising, the search is on for potential solutions

When Susan Moesker's son started sixth grade five years ago at Boerum Hill School for International Studies in Brooklyn, there was no active PTA. The school, she said, “has a wonderful and diverse student body,” which Moesker loved, but not all of the parents could afford to donate extra time and money to the school. “We have families who have tremendous ability to give, and we have families who have no ability to give whatsoever,” she said. So Moesker and other parents who could banded together, and through bake sales and chili cook-offs, raised about $800 that first year. The group stayed active, grew an executive board and reported $6,585 in revenue in 2016, according to its latest tax return available on Guidestar.

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 Democrats seize U.S. House control, Texas congressional delegation set to lose clout in Washington

Left to right: U.S. Reps. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, Mike Conaway, R-Midland, and Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon. Official House portraits/U.S. Capitol: Shelby Knowles
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Texas congressional delegation is poised to lose significant clout on Capitol Hill after the Democrats on Tuesday took control of the U.S. House and Texas voters elected nine new representatives — one-quarter of the state's 36 members. All told, Texas Republicans will lose seven committee chairmanships. Three of those — Mac Thornberry of Clarendon, chairman of the Armed Services Committee; Mike Conaway of Midland, chairman of the Agriculture Committee; and Kevin Brady of The Woodland, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee — won re-election Tuesday and are likely to become ranking members on those committees.

As DFL groups spend big on the guv race, Republicans dig in on the Minnesota House

Jeff Johnson was angry. “There is a special place in hell for people who would write an ad like this and think this is acceptable behavior,” Johnson said at a press conference Wednesday. He was referencing a new attack ad sponsored by the DFL-supporting independent expenditure committee called Alliance for a Better Minnesota. In it, a man named Austin tells of being born with a disability and claims that Johnson's plan for health care could deny him affordable insurance. “For Jeff Johnson to treat us this way is profoundly shameful,” Austin says.

As Eighth District Democrats fight to survive, Republicans are confident this is finally their year

Clint Austin/Forum News ServicePete Stauber, far right, has insisted he would not do anything to limit access to care for those with pre-existing conditions, and has declared he would not support plans to cut Social Security or Medicare.On a crisp, clear Monday morning two weeks before the November 6 midterms, Joe Radinovich stood before a crowd of retirees and soon-to-be retirees at the Labor Temple in Duluth, talking about the stakes for the hard-fought race in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District. The 32-year old Democrat from Crosby was in Duluth to receive the endorsement of the Alliance for Retired Americans, the AFL-CIO labor union's advocacy group for seniors. Standing in front of a portrait of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, surrounded by mementos of this region's proud tradition of organized labor, Radinovich delivered a stump speech similar to ones given by many Democrats before him. He explained why he is a Democrat, invoking his great-grandparents, who came to northeastern Minnesota from Yugoslavia to work the mines. Programs like Social Security helped their family build a middle-class life, and to hear Radinovich tell it, Republicans in D.C. — and his opponent in this race, Pete Stauber — would destroy the pillars of the social safety net through tax-cut giveaways and austerity-driven budget cuts.

As Goes Georgia, Doesn’t Go Connecticut

In Georgia, Democrats are accusing the secretary of the state of blocking tens of thousands of black people from voting. In New Haven Sunday, black women working to turn out the vote heard a promise from Connecticut's secretary of the state that she'll make it easier, not harder, to vote here.

As goes Minnesota’s Third District, so goes the nation? Where things stand with Dean Phillips’ challenge to Erik Paulsen

To Erik Paulsen, 2018 is just another election year. Standing in the parking lot of Champlin Park High School on a recent Saturday afternoon before setting off to knock on doors, the five-term Republican congressman from Minnesota's 3rd District said that not a whole lot feels different this year. “There's more money being spent on the outside,” the congressman told MinnPost, venturing one thing that might be different in 2018. “But I don't know if there's too much else that would be different from two years ago. I mean, it's always a competitive race dynamic.

As governor, Whitmer would create a ‘Detroit-specific strategy’ ’

Gretchen Whitmer cast herself this week as an ally to Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti as his district jockeys for position in Detroit's competitive education landscape, saying she would push for increased regulation of charter schools in Detroit if she becomes governor of one of the most charter-friendly states in the country. “We have to have a Detroit-specific strategy,” she said on Monday. “The governor and his Republican legislature failed at giving some real comprehensive oversight to what's happening in the city of Detroit. I want to be a partner to Dr. Vitti, to Mayor Duggan, to Detroit families.”
Her comments crystallized the stakes of the Nov. 6 election both traditional and charter schools in Detroit as they compete for teachers and students.

As León pushes for changes, some charters consider leaving Newark’s unified enrollment system

Newark families could have a harder time applying to certain schools this year if changes sought by the district's new superintendent spur some charter schools to pull out of the city's common enrollment system, charter advocates say. Superintendent Roger León is pushing for the system to no longer assign schools extra students to account for attrition over the summer, according to people briefed on negotiations over the enrollment system. The practice, known as "overmatching," helps both district and charter schools plan for the coming year, but it also ensures that charter schools fill their seats — something León appears less willing to help with than his charter-friendly predecessors. The dispute means that district and charter leaders are still hashing out rules for the five-year-old common enrollment system just weeks before applications are due to open. Now, some charter schools are considering withdrawing entirely — potentially triggering a return to the fragmented application process families faced before universal enrollment launched in 2013, charter proponents say.

As Lofts Loom, Strip Club Gets The Boot

New owners of a former clock factory on the industrial “Mill River” side of Wooster Square have moved to evict a nearly two-decade-old strip club as they prepare to convert the complex into 130-unit low-income and artist lofts.

As Memphis parents struggle to find information about schools, one parent group is calling for a simpler enrollment system

Memphis parent Leisa Crawford didn't have time to look through dozens of websites and zig-zag hundreds of miles around town to find a school for her child. So she relied on word-of-mouth. “When you live here in Memphis … you don't go on the website,” she told members of parent advocacy organization Memphis Lift earlier this year. “We heard about KIPP, Snowden — OK, we're going there. Or it's a neighborhood school and we don't even look past that.”
Parents have found it difficult to get information about schools because there are so many types to choose from compared to 20 years ago.

As Michigan’s poorest 4-year-olds wait for classroom seats, free pre-K for all kids seems elusive

Michigan is the home to America's most famous study on the benefits of early childhood education. But when it comes to providing free prekindergarten for all children, other states and cities are leading the way. Vermont, Florida, Washington, and the District of Columbia have public programs for all 4-year-olds, regardless of income. Seven more states have greatly expanded their pre-K programs, too, including Wisconsin, where free voluntary pre-K is in the state's 1848 constitution. But not Michigan.

As Stanek waits for official results, Hutchinson makes plans to take over Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office

Rich Stanek is not letting go of his job easily. Following a campaign rife with allegations of illegal campaign activity, the race for Hennepin County sheriff — pitting longtime incumbent Stanek against political newcomer Dave “Hutch” Hutchinson — had a blockbuster finish Tuesday. With all votes counted, the finally tally showed Hutchinson as the winner by 2,337 votes: .44 percent. Afterward, Hutchinson claimed victory, though Stanek is holding on to the possibility that election officials made a mistake in the vote totals. Even without a concession from Stanek, Hutchinson — currently a sergeant with the Metro Transit Police Department — is basking in what he considers a win.

As The Opioid Backlash Grows, Sickle Cell Patients Fear They’ll Lose Critical Pain Treatment

Long before Eric Kirkwood of Kansas City, Kansas, had his first sickle cell crisis at age 17, he knew about the pain caused by the disease. His uncle and sister had the genetic disorder, which causes blood cells to clump together and cut off circulation, leaving many patients with pain they describe like being squeezed in a vise. “I've been in so much pain that I'm like ‘Why am I not dying?'” Kirkwood said. “It's really like torture.” For the 100,000 mostly black people in the United States who have sickle cell disease, the combination of acute crises and chronic pain can be debilitating.

As Trump disparages immigrants, Midwest dairy farmers build bridges to Mexico

Roberto Tecpile often puts in 70 hours a week at the Rosenholm dairy farm in Cochrane, Wisconsin — a place where winter days are short and can be bitterly cold. It is a job that farmers say most Americans refuse to do. Tecpile, a native of Astacinga, in the Mexican state of Veracruz, has spent nearly 20 years in the United States, the past four working for farmer John Rosenow. According to his boss, Tecpile is the “go-to guy” for fixing farm equipment — whether it be a lawnmower or a gauge. Tecpile said the job is going well, and right now it is the most important thing as he prepares to return home in a year or two.

As Video Visitation Grows, Tension Over Whom It Helps

Video visitation services have been steadily spreading through the criminal justice system, leading some to hope this might be a cheaper, easier way to encourage people in prison to keep connected to loved ones. But in some places it is used as a form of punishment, when in-person visits are withheld from those with behavior demerits. And cautionary tales from as far back as the 1970s show that it could instead make prison a much more difficult experience for those inside by limiting their emotional connections with people on the outside, exposing them to serious privacy risks, and costing them a great deal of money, Slate reports. Communication from behind modern prison walls has always been difficult. Phone time is restricted and expensive, in-person visitation hours are limited, and prisons are often located in places that take hours to reach in a car and may be unreachable via public transit. It's a counterproductive system, because staying in touch with the world outside prison results in much better outcomes both in prison (by reducing altercations and infractions) and after release: People with strong ties to their communities are more likely to have stable housing and employment prospects, and less likely to return to prison.

Aside from UTC gossip, business plays coy in race for governor

Over dinner at the Belle Haven Club in Greenwich, a member of United Technologies Corporation's board of directors, Harold “Terry” McGraw, was talking about gubernatorial politics when, according to a fellow diner, the director asserted that UTC would would exit Connecticut if Democrat Ned Lamont is elected governor. The comment, which McGraw declined to confirm or deny, would be a striking departure for a corporate Connecticut that has strained for neutrality in this volatile race.

Ask Curious Louis

What do you wonder about St. Louis and its people that you want our reporters to investigate? Ask your question here.

Ask The Indy: Breaking down the tax changes in Amendment 73 High earners will pay most of the cost of increased funding for schools

A Colorado Independent reader, who wished to remain anonymous, asked how the property tax adjustments in Amendment 73, the school funding measure, would work. The short answer: It's complicated. But we're going to break it down. Amendment 73, a measure backed by the campaign committee Great Schools,Thriving Communities, is projected to raise $1.6 billion for education in the first year. Most of that money would go directly to school districts for everything from preschool and English Language Acquisition programs to special education classes.

Ask the Indy: What election question should we tackle next?

With the Nov. 6 mid-term election barrelling down upon us, Indy readers are making good use of our new Ask the Indy feature. We're getting a great range of questions, everything from the practical: “How do I find information on county issues” and “How do I access campaign finance reports on Polis and Stapleton” to the more probing: “What do people working in CO prisons like the firefighters you profiled last month think about Amendment A? Can/will they vote for it?” and “Didn't Oregon try a 74 measure and experience litigation and costs leading to repeal in a few years? Didn't WA study & reject a 74 measure?” (We answered that one here.)
Oh, and who knew people had so many questions about judges.

Ask the Indy: What election question should we tackle next?

With the Nov. 6 mid-term election barrelling down upon us, Indy readers are making good use of our new Ask the Indy feature. We're getting a great range of questions, everything from the practical: “How do I find information on county issues” and “How do I access campaign finance reports on Polis and Stapleton” to the more probing: “What do people working in CO prisons like the firefighters you profiled last month think about Amendment A? Can/will they vote for it?” and “Didn't Oregon try a 74 measure and experience litigation and costs leading to repeal in a few years? Didn't WA study & reject a 74 measure?” (We answered that one here.)
Oh, and who knew people had so many questions about judges.

Ask The Indy: What’s the party affiliation of judges on Colorado’s 2018 ballot? We don’t elect judges here. Their party information might be public, but it’s not so easy to see

Here's a question a dozen readers have asked us this election cycle: How can I find out the party affiliation of the judges on my ballot? “Why do I get to know the party of my county coroner on my voting ballot but not the judges who will make and shape our community and government?” asked Lois Yancey, a Colorado voter for over 25 years. Voter Kathleen Crowley, a healthcare worker in Arvada, put a similar question to our “Ask the Indy” desk, adding, “It is important for me because I am voting a straight Democratic ticket for this year.”
The short answer is this: Judges in Colorado no longer run as members of a political party, so to find out the affiliation of judges on your ballot, you'll have to file an open records request with the state government. Voters do not elect judges, but they do get to vote on whether to keep judges on the bench once they get there. And in answer to another question submitted to “Ask The Indy”: Judges are retained by a simple majority of votes.

Ask The Indy: Why is marijuana money not enough to fix our schools and roads? Two ballot measures seek to raise taxes for transportation and education, something readers thought marijuana taxes were covering.

Among the most-asked questions from our readers on the eve of Tuesday's election — besides what the party affiliation is of judges on the ballot — is why they are being asked to pay more taxes when the state seems to be rolling in marijuana money. “Where did all the pot money go? I thought the money raised by legalizing marijuana was going to fund our schools and fix our roads?” asked one reader, who wished to remain anonymous, through our Ask the Indy feature. Two ballot measures are in front of Colorado voters that would raise taxes to pay for transportation and education. Proposition 110 would raise the sales tax to pay for a backlog of transportation projects.

Aspects of a dangerous political season: toxic rhetoric and violence

The hyper-partisanship of American politics found its most extreme expression last week when more than a dozen prominent Democrats, including two former presidents, were the targets of explosive devices apparently mailed to them by a fanatical supporter of President Donald Trump.

Aspire Memphis’s future in question as board weighs paths forward

Facing a roughly $2 million operating deficit and lagging academic progress, a California-based charter organization that runs four schools in Memphis is reconsidering its future in the city — even floating the possibility of pulling out of the area altogether. At a public meeting on Friday, Aspire's national board discussed with its Memphis staff four possible scenarios for moving forward. Board chair Jonathan Garfinkel said that changes are anticipated, given the budget deficit and the fact that academic “results have not been what we've hoped.”
As a result, Aspire could cease to oversee its four Memphis schools, which serve some 1,600 students in total. This wouldn't mean the schools would close, but that the governance of the school would change. A task force — composed of board members, Aspire staff in Memphis and consultants — came up with the following four possible paths forward, though Garfinkel said more possibilities could be considered.

Assessing Noncompliance Among Justice-involved Youth? Examine Their Trauma

For many young people, adolescence can be a trying time. Over the course of a human life, adolescence marks the period of the most significant cognitive, emotional and physical change. According to the World Health Organization, adolescents are roughly defined as falling between the ages of 10 to 19 years old, with some researchers noting changes may begin as early as 8 years old and extend as late as 24 years old. While each adolescent's experience is unique, researchers have identified key cognitive, emotional and physical features of this period of development. Rebecca Kinsella and Brenda Zubay
As social workers at Brooklyn Defender Services, a public defender office located in Brooklyn, N.Y., we specialize in working with youth ages 14 to 21 who are facing misdemeanor and/or felony charges.

Associação à GIJN

A participação na Global Investigative Journalism Network está aberta a organizações sem fins lucrativos, ONGs e organizações educacionais, ou suas equivalentes, que trabalham ativamente em apoio ao jornalismo investigativo e ao jornalismo de dados relacionado a investigações. Jornalistas individuais, a maioria das empresas com fins lucrativos e entidades governamentais não são elegíveis para participar. O jornalismo investigativo é definido como apurações e reportagens sistemáticas, profundas e originais, geralmente envolvendo a descoberta de segredos e o uso intensivo de registros públicos, com foco na justiça social e em fiscalização do poder. Para mais informações sobre isso, consulte o Centro de Recursos da GIJN. A filiação à GIJN é por aplicação e está sujeita à aprovação do Conselho de Diretores.

At federal appeals court, Texas asks to enforce its ban on a common abortion procedure

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. Cheryl Gerber for The Texas Tribune
NEW ORLEANS –– The federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday morning about whether Texas should be able to ban doctors from performing the most common second-trimester abortion procedure, called dilation and evacuation. In a nearly hourlong hearing, attorneys for Texas and lawyers for the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood argued in front of a panel of three judges. At issue was Senate Bill 8, a law signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in 2017 but blocked by a federal judge that would ban abortions in which a doctor uses surgical instruments to grasp and remove pieces of fetal tissue.

At half-century mark, UVM midwives look to future

Certified Nurse Midwife Jane Gannon helps an older sibling listen to fetal heart tones during a prenatal appointment in the late 1980s. UVM Medical Center's midwife program is marking 50 years since its founding and is one of the oldest in the country. Photo courtesy of UVM Medical Center
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="UVM Medical Center Midwife Program" width="610" height="417" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Certified Nurse Midwife Jane Gannon helps an older sibling listen to fetal heart tones during a prenatal appointment in the late 1980s. UVM Medical Center's midwife program is marking 50 years since its founding and is one of the oldest in the country. Photo courtesy of UVM Medical CenterIn 1968, a partnership between a doctor and a nurse gave rise to the first midwife program in Vermont.

At Houston re-election rally, Donald Trump mocks Beto O’Rourke and praises Ted Cruz as a key ally

President Donald J. Trump at a rally at the Toyota Center in Houston on Oct. 22, 2018. Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune
*Editor's note: The Trump rally is still happening. Check back here for more updates. HOUSTON — President Donald Trump, speaking Monday evening here at an uproarious rally, cast his 2016 battle with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz as a thing of the past and blasted Cruz's Democratic challenger, Beto O'Rourke, as a “stone cold phony.”

“We had our little difficulties,” Trump told thousands inside the Toyota Center, recalling his rollercoaster fight with Cruz for the Republican presidential nomination.

At one Chicago high school, big plans amid a bilingual teacher shortage

Daniela Rendon knew she wanted to be a teacher after her junior year, when she met Nancy Guzman, her Spanish instructor at Chicago's Back of the Yards College Preparatory High School. Guzman taught Rendon not only to regard her native Spanish as an asset and not a deficit, but also to think critically about history and stereotypes. And Guzman served as an important role model. “I found someone who I connect to,” Rendon said. Connections like those matter — but don't happen often enough in Illinois, where 52 percent of pupils are students of color, and 83 percent of teachers are white, according to new data from the state education board's Illinois School Report Card.

At Some Point, the Taxpayers Association Stopped Championing Taxpayers

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association supported the 2012 Prop. B pension reform measure. In 2018, the group has supported several school bond measures and is neutral on the gas tax repeal. / Photo by Sam Hodgson
It is amusing that two San Diego County Taxpayers Association board members — one a paid labor union advocate — have resigned because the outfit isn't supporting even more tax increases than it already does. SDCTA is an effective pro-business outfit — essentially a clone of the Chamber of Commerce.

Attacks Prompt New Calls for Domestic Terrorism Law

Both Cesar Sayoc, accused of sending more than a dozen explosive packages to high-profile critics of President Donald Trump, and Robert Bowers, accused of killing 11 inside a Pittsburgh synagogue, could face decades in prison. But neither will face charges of domestic terrorism because the federal code does not punish it as a separate crime, a point of sharp contention, the Associated Press reports. In the absence of domestic terrorism laws, the Justice Department relies on other statutes to prosecute ideologically motivated violence by people with no international ties. That makes it hard to track how often extremists driven by religious, racial or anti-government bias commit violence in the U.S, although NBC and others reported that the Department of Justice announced it will create a website to track hate-crime reports and commission a study on hate crimes. Opponents of domestic terrorism laws told the AP that prosecutors already have enough tools.

Attorney General Donovan urges financial protection for military service members

News Release — Attorney General T.J. Donovan
Oct. 23, 2018
Charity Clark
MONTPELIER – Attorney General T.J. Donovan today joined a coalition of 32 attorneys general calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Acting Director Mick Mulvaney to continue protecting military servicemembers against predatory lenders under the Military Lending Act (MLA). The attorneys general urge the CFPB to reconsider its reported decision to stop examining lenders to ensure they are complying with the MLA. “Our military servicemembers and their families, who sacrifice so much for our country, deserve the protections of the MLA,” said Attorney General Donovan. “The CFPB needs to do its job.”
The MLA, enacted in 2006, protects military servicemembers and their families against exploitative lenders and loans so that servicemembers aren't overburdened with debt.

Attorney General, Department of Public Service announce third privacy hearing

News Release — Office of the Attorney General
Oct. 26, 2018
Ryan Kriger
Assistant Attorney General
(802) 828-3170
A public meeting to consider issues relating to privacy protections for Vermonters will take place in Montpelier on Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM EST at the Pavilion Building, 109 State Street, 3rd Floor. Interested parties or members of the public should email to confirm attendance. The meeting is part of a legislative mandate to determine whether additional privacy protections for Vermonters are warranted. The meetings are organized and hosted by the Attorney General and the Department of Public Service.

Attorneys Claim U.S. Citizen Residing in San Antonio Was Wrongfully Deported

A local law firm has filed a claim with the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of a U.S. citizen who was deported to Mexico earlier this year. The post Attorneys Claim U.S. Citizen Residing in San Antonio Was Wrongfully Deported appeared first on Rivard Report.

Audio: A Half-Earth progress report from E.O. Wilson

On this episode, a progress report on the Half-Earth Project direct from legendary conservation biologist E.O. Wilson. Listen here: The Half-Earth Project recently held an event at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City called “Half-Earth Day,” which featured the launch of a new Half-Earth educational initiative. Thus there were hundreds of students in the crowd for the marquee event that night — a panel discussion between E.O. Wilson, musician Paul Simon, and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (listen to Paul Simon discuss why he supports the Half-Earth Project on a March 2017 episode of the Mongabay Newscast). Many of the students asked the same thing of the panelists: Given the enormity of the problems facing the planet right now, what could they possibly do to help ensure a better tomorrow? In a broader sense, E.O. Wilson already answered the question of what we can all do to protect the future of life on this planet in his 2016 book, Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight For Life.

Audio: Documenting emperor penguin populations, a dispatch from Antarctica

On this episode we get an update direct from Antarctica's McMurdo Station about ongoing work to document emperor penguin populations, an important indicator species of the Southern Ocean's health. Listen here: Our guest is Dr. Michelle LaRue, a research ecologist at the University of Minnesota who is leading a research project that's using satellite imagery together with ground and flight surveys to compile population estimates for each of the 54 known emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica. The project's goal is to compile population estimates every year for an entire decade. When we spoke, LaRue had just arrived at McMurdo Station, a United States Antarctic research center situated at the southern tip of Ross Island, in Antarctica's McMurdo Sound. It's the start of the season during which LaRue and team fly in helicopters and planes to take high-res aerial photography of several penguin colonies near McMurdo Station, which allows them to verify the population counts conducted via satellite imagery.

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 voters to decide on local school tax request

This story will be updated as results come in, so check back soon. In Aurora, voters will decide on a local school tax measure, in addition to the statewide school tax for education. Measure 5A, the $35 million mill levy override, an ongoing property tax request, would pay for an increase to teacher salaries, as well as provide seat belts for school buses, more mental health professionals and training for staff about mental health needs, and after-school programming for all elementary schools. Colorado Votes 2018
For more election coverage and live results, click here. District officials said they would go through a bidding process to determine “the structure of the after-school programming.” Currently, Aurora provides no districtwide programming.

Aurora’s Rico Munn honored as Colorado Superintendent of the Year

Aurora schools chief Rico Munn has been named Colorado's Superintendent of the Year for 2019 by the Colorado Association of School Executives . The first person of color to lead the almost 41,000-student district, Munn has faced challenging circumstances since taking the post in 2013. The district was on the state's watchlist for poor performance when Munn started, but has since improved graduation rates and its overall state rating enough to escape that list and dodge state sanctions for low-performance. As Aurora's school enrollment has begun to decrease, Munn faces a new set of challenges related to the budget and long-term facilities needs. In announcing the honor, the association also pointed to a reform framework Munn created “establishing an improvement timeline to keep things on track.” The school executives group highlighted the district's improvements, including decreasing expulsions and suspensions since 2013.

Austin Council Elections in Perspective

Austin Council Elections in Perspective
Mayor Adler obliterates challengers,Kathie Tovo thumps her opponent,sibling rivalry continues, GOP stuggles to keep a seat,and we may end up with no African American council member
by Ken Martin© The Austin Bulldog 2018Published Thursday November 8, 2018 2:39pm
Hell, you already know who won, who lost, and who's going to duke it out in a runoff before the next installment of the council takes office come January. So I'm going to try to put some things in perspective and, for good measure, I'll throw in a couple side orders of history. Running against six opponents Steve Adler made winning a second term look easy-peasy. Former two-term Council Member Laura Morrison was initially viewed as a worthy challenger but that proved not to be the case. The campaign kickoffs for the two leading candidates foreshadowed her uphill battle.

Austin lifts city-wide boil water notice

The Ulrich Water Treatment Plant is one of three City of Austin plants that draws water from the Colorado River. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
After seven days of requiring residents in America's 11th largest city to boil water and warning them of a potential shortage without reduced consumption, Austin Water officially lifted its boil water notice Sunday afternoon. The notice went into effect following heavy rain and flooding in Central Texas. The severe weather caused elevated levels of silt and debris in the water supply and treatment systems could not keep up. The city warned residents that “immediate action” was necessary to avoid running out of water.

Authors take aim at Vermont’s ‘covert homophobia’

Williston writer Sarah Ward and Woodstock colleague Joseph Olshan sign copies of their new novels at Manchester's Northshire Bookstore. Photo by Kevin O'Connor/VTDiggerWoodstock writer Joseph Olshan picked up the New York Times recently to find a front-page story reporting how Vermonter Christine Hallquist, the nation's first transgender major-party gubernatorial candidate, grew up bullied by classmates and beaten by nuns. Some viewed the article as a testament to how far the Green Mountain State — the first in the nation to adopt same-sex civil unions in 2000 and full marriage rights by a legislative vote in 2009 — has advanced in the past half-century. Olshan thinks otherwise. The gay Vermonter is frustrated many residents don't see the slights and stares of “covert homophobia” he still feels today.

Avani Technology Solutions leads the Rochester Chamber’s Top 100 list

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce has released this year's Top 100 list of the fastest-growing privately owned businesses in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region. Topping the 32 nd annual list is Avani Technology, an IT and software development firm. Avani Technology Solutions CEO Sameer Penakalapati said, “I attribute Avani's success to leveraging technology platforms to serve our customers and employees better, faster, and more responsively. We are also constantly adding new skills and competencies and focusing on areas that matter most to our customers. Staying focused and frugal while growing the business is also important.” System engineering and photonics technology company Precision Optical Transceivers and construction management and design build contractor Taylor, the Builders rounded out the top three.

Avian influenza discovered in Kandiyohi County turkey flock

War on Thanksgiving. Tom Cherveny at the West Central Tribune has a piece on a turkey flock in Kandiyohi County tested positive for an avian flu: “The Minnesota Board of Animal Health reported Tuesday that it has confirmed a case of H5N2 low pathogenic avian influenza (known as H5N2 LPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County. The disease was detected during routine surveillance testing of the flock of 10,000 13-week-old turkey toms on October 19. … H5N2 LPAI does not pose a risk to the public, and there is no food safety concern for consumers.”
Coen Brothers movie plot. Sarah Horner at the Pioneer Press has an odd story of one man's attempt at obtaining a visa to stay in the U.S.: “A Mexican immigrant in the United States illegally was bound with duct tape and left near Randolph Avenue in St.

Awaiting first returns on Colorado’s 13 statewide ballot measures

The holidays could come early for Colorado schools and the state highways … if voters open up their wallets and say “yes” tonight to major ballot measures that would increase sales, property and income taxes to shore up education and infrastructure. Another big question heading into tonight: Will energy and farming interests celebrate the defeat of Proposition 112 and passage of Amendment 74, the two most contentious measures on the ballot? Or will environmentalists carry the day with a new half-mile setback rule and a thumbs-down on the proposal that would open up governments to lawsuits by property owners? We'll know the answers soon. Voters in Colorado had to study up on 13 measures, more than any other state.

Babe Ruth’s San Diego Visit Was an Arresting Experience

While on a vaudeville tour in January 1927, Ruth's friend, San Diego sportsman and friend Carl Klindt (far left) arranged an outing on the water with local angling columnists “Doc” Gottesburen and Max Miller (far right). / Image courtesy of the Collection of Debby Gumb
The best baseball player of all time enjoyed a good time. Babe Ruth drove fast, drank himself silly and appreciated the company of women other than his wife. So it's perhaps no surprise that he got arrested on suspicion of engaging in illegal behavior during a jaunt to sunny San Diego. What'd he do?

Baby Face (Photos)

Plenty of smiles in Cold Spring at HalloweenBaby Face (Photos) was first posted on November 10, 2018 at 11:30 am.

Baby not sleeping through the night at 12 months? Nothing to worry about, study finds

For decades, the conventional wisdom — including that of most pediatricians — has been that babies should be sleeping through the night by the time they're 6 months old. When a baby continues to regularly wake up in the small hours of the morning after that age, parents often feel like a failure. They also worry that their child's inability to sleep through the night may be a sign of other developmental delays to come. A new Canadian study, published online Wednesday in the journal Pediatrics, should ease those parental concerns. The study not only found that a high proportion of infants do not sleep through the night by the time they are 6 or even 12 months old, it also found that interrupted sleep had no effect on the babies' cognitive or physical development.

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.

Backers of oil and gas drilling setbacks in Colorado lost at the ballot box, but are looking to a new blue statehouse A new Democratic statehouse plus a new Democratic governor plus a new Democratic attorney general could change the fracking equation

The defeat of Proposition 112, Colorado's oil and gas drilling setback measure, followed a national trend. Voters in Arizona and Washington, like those in Colorado, turned down measures that would have curbed fossil fuel development. The defeats “underscore the difficulty of tackling a global problem like climate change at the state and local level, where huge sums of money poured in,” The Washington Post wrote in its post-election analysis Wednesday. But that doesn't mean pro-renewable energy, anti-fracking forces are giving up in Colorado. Grassroots activists are “going to keep fighting,” said Russell Mendell, a spokesperson for Colorado Rising, which backed Prop.

Backlash over North Dakota voter ID law could rally Native Americans

Terry Yellow Fat shares his home on the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota with his wife, his son and his nephew. All four of them, he says, have different street addresses on their North Dakota driver's licenses, even though they live in the same house — a sign of how complicated a new state voter identification requirement for a residential address could be for residents of the state's reservations. Yellow Fat says he went and got an official residential street address assigned a year or so ago through the county's 911 coordinator, but when he tried to use it to receive a package, the deliveryman couldn't find his house. Instead, he told Yellow Fat the address had sent him to a local bar a few blocks away. Now, Yellow Fat, 69, a retired teacher and school superintendent, is not sure what to do about voting in next month's general election, which features a hotly contested U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp and Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer.

Backtracking in Maine

Welcome to Chalkbeat's national newsletter! Matt Barnum,