Chasing the 2018 storylines about Missouri politics and policy

It's indisputable that 2017 produced enough policy and political storylines to keep bespectacled reporters busy. But an even-numbered year brings elections — and a the potential for whole different texture to the state's politics.

Chasing the Wrong ‘Epidemic’

Every first responder is familiar with the scenario. You are called to the scene of yet another drug overdose. Naloxone is administered. The comatose “victim” rouses and groggily stands up. Many refuse to be taken to hospitals and drift away.

Chelsea reaffirms school district merger in revote

(The Valley News published this story by its staff Jan. 9, 2018.)
Chelsea High School will be closing next school year. Residents Tuesday reaffirmed an earlier school district merger with Tunbridge on a 183-132 vote. The merger to create the First Branch Unified School District passed in Chelsea in November on a 197-110 vote and in Tunbridge, 207-61. But a petition initiated by a couple of Chelsea High School students and signed by 48 residents prompted Tuesday's revote in Chelsea.

Cheney eying another wilderness bill

As citizens in nine Wyoming counties work to resolve the fate of 750,000 acres of federal wilderness study areas, U.S Rep Liz Cheney is drafting her second bill that could remove environmental protections and disrupt the bi-partisan grassroots initiative. Cheney is working with constituents to draft a bill to “remove all Wyoming [Wilderness Study Areas] from the limbo,” her spokeswoman Maddy Weast said in an email to WyoFile. “Individuals, local officials and organizations across the state have asked Congressman Cheney to address the issue,” Weast wrote. But local officials WyoFile spoke to worry that another Cheney wilderness-study bill could exacerbate tensions or even scuttle the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative. WPLI has convened diverse groups of citizen stakeholders in nine counties — Carbon, Campbell, Fremont, Hot Springs, Johnson, Park, Sweetwater, Teton and Washakie — with the intention of building consensus around managment for each county's WSAs.

Chet Greenwood: Time to accept Trump

Editor's note: This commentary is by Chet Greenwood, who is chair of the Orleans County Republican Committee. I know it is hard to accept but Trump has been our president since Jan. 21 and it is time we acknowledge him as our president. You may not like him, he may be crude, rude and bombastic at times, but his demeanor can be attributable to his career in business and not being a “polished” politician who, more often than not, will tell you what you want to hear instead of the facts. The Democrats' biggest nightmare is for Trump's tax plan to succeed because 80 percent of the country will see tax refunds and only 5 percent will see increases, and those are from high-incomes in blue states.

Chicago Murders Are Down, So Why Doesn’t It Feel That Way?

This story originally ran on Medill Reports:
Murder in Chicago is down—following an sharp 17.5 percent decrease from 2012 to 2013. And with two-and-a-half months to go before the close of 2014, the city is on target for an additional 3 percent drop in its murder count. The trend Chicago is experiencing is national, as violent crime is down across the country. Yet many Chicago residents are painfully aware that the city's struggle with violent crime continues. And youth advocates say the crisis does not feel any different, or any less prevalent than it did in 2012.

Chicago PD Tweaks Taser Rules to Reduce Injuries

The Chicago Police Department has tightened its policy on Taser use to discourage officers from shocking people who are running away or are otherwise vulnerable to injury, reports the Chicago Tribune. The change was ordered in October, six weeks after a Tribune story pointed out that previous rule changes the department had announced on Taser use did not specifically ban shocking people who simply run away and pose no serious threat. That prohibition has been adopted by other large police departments and endorsed by reform advocates and use-of-force experts who note that Taser shocks can cause people to fall and sustain devastating head injuries. Facing a controversy sparked by officers' use of force, Superintendent Eddie Johnson oversaw a sweeping overhaul of the department's policies and introduced the new rules in May. Experts criticized the Taser policy as too permissive, while a police union argued the department didn't have the right to change the rules without collective bargaining.

Chicago seeks to expand its electric bus fleet

As part of the Chicago's ambitious plan to modernize its transit fleet, the city is now accepting proposals for as many as 45 new electric buses, along with the design and construction of charging systems to be installed along the routes. Nearly two years ago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Dorval Carter, Jr., president of the Chicago Transit Authority, announced their intention to spend as much as $40 million on 20 to 30 electric buses over a few years. The request for bids suggests the city could nearly double its planned expansion of electric buses—although, the request includes a base order of just 20 all-electric buses plus charging system design and construction. Tammy Chase, a CTA spokesperson, said the remaining 25 buses are a contract option and a new funding source would need to be identified. For now, CTA officials haven't awarded any contracts, and Chase declined to offer any details about bidders or potential bids.

Chick-fil-A sets groundbreaking for Greece location

A restaurant chain that has developed a loyal following across the country but is just getting into Upstate New York says it will break ground on Wednesday at the site of its new restaurant in Greece. Chick-fil-A representatives will join local officials at the site of the chain's first metro-Rochester location on West Ridge Road on Wednesday morning The company says the 5,000 square foot restaurant will have indoor and patio seating as well as a two-story playground. When it opens something in the Spring, the restaurant will employ more than 100 people. The Greece restaurant will open after Chick-fil-A's first upstate New York location, which will happen in February in the Syracuse suburb of Cicero

Children’s Fund Announces Grants

Also, launches campaign for playground equipmentChildren's Fund Announces Grants was first posted on January 10, 2018 at 6:56 am.

Children’s Health Insurance Program is on the brink. Here’s why that matters for education

The fate of the Children's Health Insurance Program is in Congress's hands — and children's education, not just their health, may be at stake. Congress passed a temporary extension of funding for of CHIP in December, through some states will run out of money shortly. The end of the program would come with obvious potential consequences, as CHIP, which covers approximately 9 million children, gives participants more access to health and dental care. There may also be a less obvious result: Research has found that access to health insurance helps kids perform better on tests and stay in school longer. A 2016 study, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Human Resources, found that expanding Medicaid in the 1980s and 1990s increased students' likelihood of completing high school and college.

Children’s Literacy Foundation announces new grant program – applications due Jan. 29

News Release — Children's Literacy Foundation
January 9, 2018
CLiF Contact:
Erika Nichols-Frazer, Communications Manager
Waterbury Center, VT —The Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF) welcomes 2018 with a new grant opportunity. CLiF is testing a new grant for past partners looking to “Revive Your Literacy Programming.”
This grant provides $500 to support literacy goals. Successful applicants will select from a menu of options and explain in their proposal how they will use grant components to stimulate interest and enthusiasm for literacy activities. Any organization that has been a CLiF partner in the last five years is eligible to apply. In 2016, CLiF hired Evergreen Evaluation and Consulting to complete research on maintaining momentum after a CLiF grant.

Children’s Literacy Foundation awards 10 VT & NH organizations literacy grants for at-risk children

News Release — Children's Literacy Foundation
January 16, 2018
Erika Nichols-Frazer, Communications Manager
(802) 244-0944
Waterbury Center, VT —The Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF) awards ten organizations serving low-income and at-risk children in Vermont and New Hampshire its At-Risk Children literacy program grant for the Spring 2018 cycle. The grant provides a fun and inspiring storytelling session with one of CLiF's 60+ VT and NH children's author/illustrators and storytellers; a new on-site children's library for the program; an optional literacy discussion for parents and family members to emphasize the importance of developing early literacy skills and tips for helping children do so; and two new high-quality books for each child to choose and keep. The grant's goals are to promote a love of reading and writing among children at high risk of developing low literacy skills, which is a critical early indicator of a child's future academic and professional success. The grant is awarded biennially in Fall and Spring cycles. Out of more than forty deserving applicants this cycle, CLiF selected the following ten organizations to receive its At-Risk Children grant in Spring 2018:
· ANWSD Early Education Program, Vergennes, VT
· Bakersville School Title 1 Preschool at the Bishop O'Neil Center, Manchester, NH
· Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region, Laconia, NH
· Burlington School District Parent University, Burlington VT
· Concord 21st Century Community Learning at Broken Ground and Mill Brook Schools, Concord, NH
· Goodwin Community Health WIC Program, Tamworth, NH
· Littleton Head Start, Littleton, NH
· Montgomery Elementary School Early Childhood Program and Montgomery LEAPS Afterschool, Montgomery Center, VT
· RuralEdge, St.

China’s Notions of UN Reform: Filling the Growing Vacuum Left by the US

Chinese peacekeepers marking International Women's Day in Gao, a base in the UN mission in Mali. China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has presented a policy paper on UN reform that suggests a leap forward on the world stage as the US, by contrast, recedes. MARCO DORMINO/MINUSMA
China has presented its position on United Nations reform, and it aligns with Secretary-General António Guterres's own agenda. It pushes for practicalities, such as a transparent process, a stronger peace and security pillar, streamlined internal management and more geographic diversity in hiring practices in peacekeeping and the UN Secretariat. “The world is undergoing major developments, transformation and adjustment, but peace and security remain the call of our day,” the position paper begins, alluding to the upset of the Western-dominated global order.

Chinese retailers thrive in Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped economy

Shopper Patience Mpofu looks through clothes at a Chinese-owned shop in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Mpofu, prefers shopping at the Chinese-owned stores because their prices are cheaper. (Photo by Fortune Moyo, GPJ Zimbabwe)
By Fortune Moyo, Reporter
BULAWAYO, ZIMBABWE — Rachel Dube paces in a dimly lit clothing shop. She casually greets and assists customers as they peruse a colorful selection of previously-owned T-shirts, dresses, hats and shoes. Dube works as a sales assistant at Best Buys, one of at least 10 Chinese-owned shops that have opened this year in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city.

Chittenden County RPC seeks planning project ideas

News Release — CCRPC
January 8, 2018
Marshall Distel
Public asked to offer project suggestions for organization's annual work program
Winooski, VT – The public is invited to offer suggestions to the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) for regional transportation and land use planning projects in Chittenden County. The CCRPC is currently preparing next year's work program and the public is invited to participate in a public forum scheduled as part of the CCRPC's regular Board meeting on Wednesday, January 17 at 6 p.m. at the CCRPC offices (110 West Canal Street, Suite 202, Winooski). Comments will also be accepted until January 19 via email ( or by phone (802-861-0122). The CCRPC's current work plan is available online at Residents are strongly encouraged to discuss project ideas with their municipal staff and officials, as local support and matching funds are typically required for projects.

Chloe Learey: Why should business care about early childhood?

Editor's note: This commentary is by Chloe Learey, the executive director of Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development in Brattleboro. She serves on the Building Bright Futures State Advisory Council, a governor-appointed body which advises the administration and Legislature on early childhood care, health and education systems.
Two reasons: (1) Your ability to hire excellent employees, both now and in the future, depends on it; and (2) your local, regional and state economy will be stronger for it. The case for investing in our youngest citizens has been made over and over, through research like that of James Heckman, which demonstrates that for every dollar invested in child development there is a 13 percent return on investment over time (, or Timothy Bartik's research which shows $12 in future economic earning for the national economy, and $9 for a state's economy for every $1 invested (From Preschool to Prosperity, 2014). Even though we have been seeing this research for years the investment in early childhood continues to lag. If we want to address some of our most pressing issues at the community, state and national level we must act on the information to make change.

Chocó at epicenter of Colombia’s social, environmental conflicts

NOANAMÁ, Colombia – One wet November morning deep within Colombia's western rainforest of Chocó, rebel fighters of the National Liberation Army (ELN) scattered across a muddy football pitch in groups of eight to practice their daily drills. The rebels drilled with sticks instead of guns to avoid getting them jammed with mud, and they wore slacks instead of uniforms. From a distance, it looked like a game of baseball, but the reality is that the fighters were training because war could be just around the corner – again. A leading member of the Che Guevara fighting front who goes by the nom de guerre Negro Primero sat watching his comrades finish the morning drill and blamed Colombia's “elite” for the ongoing conflict. He wore military fatigues and a green beret decorated with a red image of Che Guevara. “We need more guarantees from the state until we put down our arms,” said Primero.

Choosing hope over despair

Judge Mel Dickstein

This is the 13th in a series of occasional commentaries on the judicial system from the perspective of a District Court judge. Judge Mel DicksteinDespair. That's the best term for a feeling many of us had this past year viewing headlines about racial incidents in our state, and throughout the nation. Despair because racial problems are not new. Despair because the problems are not about to resolve quickly.

CHP to conduct DUI checkpoint in South Santa Clara County on Dec.30

Drivers passing through the checkpoint will be checked for impairment and arrested if determined to be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Chris Cate Wants Tougher Enforcement of Illegal Marijuana Deliverers

Marijuana delivery service supporters rally in September 2017. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate is asking local law enforcement to step up efforts against illegal marijuana deliverers. That could mean legal action against online platforms that assist unregulated businesses. In a memo to City Attorney Mara Elliott on Tuesday, Cate highlighted Weedmaps, an online marijuana marketplace. Cate also sent a letter to the Irvine-based company's vice president of government relations, Dustin McDonald, requesting “your voluntary compliance to cease the advertising of marijuana delivery services considered illegal under San Diego municipal code.”
The company did not immediately return a request for comment.

Christine Hallquist: The electric grid in 2018 — and beyond

Editor's note: This commentary is by Christine Hallquist, who is the CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative. With smart grid improvements and the increasing penetration of renewables, Vermont's electric grid continues to transform in exciting ways. Vermont Electric Cooperative, Vermont's largest not-for-profit, member-owned electric distribution utility, will continue to embrace these changes and challenges in the New Year. But before we look at 2018, let's take stock of some of 2017's highlights. • We kept electric rates flat.

Christmas playlist: Perry Como, Pogues, Prince, Bowie & more!

It might be getting just cold enough in Tucson to gather around the hearth, but here are some holiday songs to warm your heart whether you have a fireplace or not — and some to make you nod your head and play air guitar. With hours of music spread over about 80 songs, these Christmas classics will liven your gatherings this weekend.

Christopher Pearson: Farmers, money, cows and water quality

Editor's note: This commentary is by Sen. Christopher Pearson, P-D, who represents Chittenden County in the Vermont Senate and serves on the Senate Natural Resource & Energy Committee. For years farmers have been punished by low milk prices. That hurts everyone because farmers are central to Vermont's economy and our way of life. We need local food. We need our lands in production.

Chula Vista Offered Free Land and Tax Relief to Amazon Based on Nothing

In its search for a university willing to take this land on the city's east side, Chula Vista has offered to partner with online retail giant Amazon. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle
On Oct. 17, the city of Chula Vista joined a nationwide bidding war for the new Amazon company headquarters by offering $410 million worth of free land, property tax abatements and other sweeteners. Council members agreed, as a staff report put it, to return at an unspecified time with “appropriate studies and findings that are necessary to solidify our commitments.”
City officials were offering all of this without any certainty of what Amazon might actually bring in exchange. But the offer was not meant for Amazon, necessarily.

Chula Vista Redefines Affordable Housing, and Cuts Deal to Build Less of It

An intersection in Chula Vista near the Olympic Training Center / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle
In March 2016, Chula Vista officials struck a deal with one of the biggest developers around. The developers would build new dorm rooms for Olympic athletes and the city would call the dorms affordable housing. Because of the deal, there will be fewer affordable apartments built for Chula Vista residents. City officials thought they were getting a good deal. Chula Vista was taking over the Olympic Training Center from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Church Street murder suspect seeks to represent himself

Public Defender Leroy Yoder and Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George appear in court. Photo by Morgan True / VTDigger. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 2000w, 3000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Public defender Leroy Yoder and Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George appear in court Thursday for the arraignment of Louis Fortier. File photo by Morgan True/VTDigger.BURLINGTON — The man charged with first degree murder in a fatal stabbing on Church Street told a judge Thursday that he wants to represent himself in the case. Louis Fortier, 36, was identified by witnesses and surveillance video as the person who repeatedly stabbed Richard Medina, 43, at the Church Street Marketplace on Wednesday afternoon.

Churchill Hindes elected chair of the Vermont State Colleges System Board of Trustees

News Release — Vermont State Colleges System
January 12, 2018
Contact: Tricia Coates
Montpelier – By unanimous vote, the Vermont State Colleges System Board of Trustees has elected J. Churchill Hindes as its chair. Hindes will lead the 15-member board, which provides governance and stewardship for the VSCS and its institutions—Castleton University, Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University and Vermont Technical College. Working with the Chancellor and college leaders, the Board focuses on fulfilling and sustaining the VSCS Mission, “For the benefit of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges system provides affordable, high quality, student-centered, and accessible education, fully integrating professional, liberal, and career study, consistent with student aspirations and regional and state needs.”
“We are very fortunate to have the extraordinary talents and experience that Church brings to our Board. He is a true believer in the VSCS mission and its people, and we will thoroughly benefit from his leadership as Chair,” said Chancellor Jeb Spaulding. A resident of Colchester, Hindes retired in 2015 as the Vice President for Accountable Care at the UVM Medical Center and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine.

Circus Harmony’s ‘Legato’ journeys through 10 decades of circus

Circus Harmony, the local social circus, is preparing for a series of performances at the City Museum this month. The production will take a look at circuses through the decades from 1920-2010. On Friday's St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the next production, “ Legato ,” with Jessica Hentoff, artistic and executive director of the organization. The new show includes 20 performers, aged 10 to 22.

Circus Harmony’s ‘Legato’ production journeys through 10 decades of circus

Circus Harmony, the local social circus, is preparing for a series of performances at the City Museum this month. The production will take a look at circuses through the decades from 1920-2010. On Friday's St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the next production, “ Legato ,” with Jessica Hentoff, artistic and executive director of the organization. The new show includes 20 performers, aged 10 to 22.

City and County Announce SA Symphony Incentive Plan

County Judge Wolff and Mayor Nirenberg on Tuesday announced a plan aimed at incentivizing the Symphony Society of San Antonio to privately fundraise. The post City and County Announce SA Symphony Incentive Plan appeared first on Rivard Report.

City Council Committee Reviews Citywide Open Data Program

The San Antonio City Council's Governance Committee on Wednesday approved a proposal for establishing an open data program for city, county, and other local area governments. The post City Council Committee Reviews Citywide Open Data Program appeared first on Rivard Report.

City Council Republicans Call for Council Leadership Selection Overhaul

City Councilman Scott Sherman / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle
City Councilman Scott Sherman and fellow Republicans want to dump a City Council president selection process that's repeatedly roiled the City Council – and most recently cost Republicans a few choice positions. Sherman delivered a memo to City Council President Myrtle Cole on Wednesday calling for an early 2018 discussion about ushering in an annual rotating leadership selection process based on seniority. The current process requires a majority vote, a requirement that's complicated matters for City Council Republicans who have been in the minority in recent years. Republicans had managed to make the most of the process in recent years, but couldn't pull it off again in 2017. Now they're looking to change the process.

City Council Suspends Downtown Housing Incentives, Funds Task Force

City Council on Thursday approved a six-month moratorium on some development incentives aimed at urban-core housing. The post City Council Suspends Downtown Housing Incentives, Funds Task Force appeared first on Rivard Report.

City of Winooski remembers police Lt. Michael Cram

News Release — City of Winooski
Dec. 18, 2017
Jessie Baker, City
It is with immense regret that we share with you that the City of Winooski has lost Police
Lieutenant Michael Cram. After a difficult battle with cancer, Lieutenant Cram passed away this weekend surrounded by
his family. Although losing our friend brings us immeasurable heartbreak, his memory will
motivate us for years to come. Lieutenant Cram dedicated 12 years of his life with the Winooski Police Department, through which his exemplary service regularly inspired staff and made a lasting improvement to the community as a whole.

City Plan: “Reconsider” SRO Moratorium

The City Plan Commission stopped short of urging the Board of Alders to kill a planned six-month development moratorium aimed at protecting endangered rooming houses — voting instead to urge a “reconsideration.”The vote took place Wednesday night at the conclusion of a four-hour passionate public hearing at this month's City Plan meeting at City Hall.

City Ramps Up Warming Efforts; Some Still Choose Cold

As another night of sub-freezing temperatures loomed Tuesday afternoon, the city worked on shepherding homeless people to warm shelters. But Isaiah Fredericks and several of his friends planned to spend another night walking the streets.

City Reviews Its Contracts with Nonprofits, Quasi-Governmental Organizations

New rules, such as background checks and procurement transparency, may be required of certain organizations doing business with the City of San Antonio. The post City Reviews Its Contracts with Nonprofits, Quasi-Governmental Organizations appeared first on Rivard Report.

City Tackles Roll-Out of Right to Counsel in Housing Court

Abigail Savitch-LewJudge Marcia Sikowitz's court room at Brooklyn Housing Court
On a weekday morning, the benches of Judge Marcia Sikowitz's small court room are packed to the brim and there is a line out the door. Most of those in the room are distressed tenants, often people dealing with other life crises. Adding to the crowded and noisy mix are landlord attorneys, Human Resource Administration staff, and attorneys paid by the city to represent tenants. They are part of what Sikowitz described as both an exciting and challenging roll-out of the city's universal right to counsel in housing court. “It's a miracle.

City Takes “Bomb Cyclone” Shelter

New Haven schools and offices shut down while ticket-issuing parking enforcers and drivers of 67 plows began hitting the streets Thursday morning in anticipation of a volatile mix of sub-freezing temperatures, 40-mile-per-hour gusts, fast-dropping barometric pressure, and a foot of more of snow adding up to a “bomb cyclone.”

City to Recognize Legacy Businesses, Pilot World Heritage Grant Program

The Legacy Business concept is intended to promote longtime businesses and help preserve the culture and authenticity of the area surrounding the Missions. The post City to Recognize Legacy Businesses, Pilot World Heritage Grant Program appeared first on Rivard Report.

CityViews: A Candidate Who Fell Short Looks Back on What he Won

Garcia for CouncilElvin Garcia during his run for Council. * * * *As 2017 comes to a close, the 2017 municipal elections fade into memory. For some people who took part in those races, New Year's Day marks the start of a term in office. For those who did not win on Primary or Election Day, January 1 could be a moment to consider what might have been–or, as is the case for Elvin Garcia, a moment to reflect on the lessons and treasures taken from a tough campaign. In July, student reporters from City Limits' Youth Training Program in Public-Service Journalism teamed up with counterparts at the College Now journalism program to interview candidates in a few Bronx Council races.

CityViews: Act Now to Prevent Heat Deaths and Build a Greener Gowanus

Mr. NygrenThe Gowanus Canal, seen from Union Street. In this season of bomb cyclones and polar vortexes, it is hard to remember how hot this town gets in the summer. Thanks to a phenomenon known as the urban heat island (UHI) effect, cities can be more than 20 degrees warmer than surrounding suburbs and countryside. UHI is deadly: extreme heat causes more deaths in the U.S. than all other weather-related events combined. And the risks are greatest in communities—like Gowanus, Brooklyn—that are impacted by poverty, pollution, and a lack of cooling green space.

CityViews: Congress is Deciding 800,000 Dreamers’ Futures, Including Mine

Victoria PickeringAn immigration rally at the White House in February 2017. When I was in college, I worked multiple jobs to achieve some semblance of economic security. But I didn't feel secure. The money I earned working at a café was barely enough to buy my textbooks, afford my monthly Metrocard and help at home. Although it's been two years since commencement, and I no longer work at a cafe in Queens, I still wonder if the customer who took his large iced coffee with just skim milk would have ever guessed that I am a playwright.

CityViews: Gov. Cuomo Must Recommit to the Fight to End AIDS

Philip Kamrass- Office of Governor Andrew M. CuomoGovernor Andrew Cuomo delivers his 2018 State of the State Address at Empire State Plaza Convention Center on January 3. It was a sunny afternoon in April of 2015, when Governor Cuomo officially accepted the blueprint that would end our state's AIDS epidemic, making ending AIDS by 2020 a cornerstone goal of his governorship. Public health officials, community based health organizations, and most importantly, people living with HIV, all came to bear witness to the pledge to make New York State the first jurisdiction in the world to end the AIDS epidemic. The historic moment took place in front of Manhattan's LGBT Center, where 30 years ago people who were dying from HIV began a fight to save their own lives—because government officials were fatally silent. Since that day in April, Governor Cuomo has continued to speak in favor of ending AIDS during each of his annual State of the State addresses starting in 2015.

CityViews: How NYS Decided to Lower Teacher Standards for Charter Schools

House Committee on EducationSuccess Academy founder Eva Moskowitz, seen at a 2010 appearance. She first proposed the policy shift, the author says. This fall, Eva Moskowitz, the face of charter schools in New York, proved that if you spread enough PAC money around Albany, you can do amazing things, for example inventing special new “shortcut” teaching licenses, just for your charter network. But is it legal? The State University of New York (SUNY) system has some of the best colleges in the state for Education (seven SUNY schools are ranked in the top twenty here), particularly for the cost, less than half the tuition of comparable universities.

CityViews: NYC Needs More Housing for the Middle Class

Termin8er850Stuyvesant Town, site of one of the de Blasio administration's most expensive, and controversial, housing preservation deals. Middle-class housing was saved there; the author wants more of it preserved and built.
Mayor de Blasio is doing a great job bringing attention to the need for more affordable housing. In fact, he was re-elected in large part because of the success of his affordable housing program. Since his re-election, de Blasio has doubled down and extended his affordable housing plan. Dubbed “Housing New York 2.0,” the expanded initiative aims to create 300,000 new affordable housing units, double the goal set out in his initial plan.

CityViews: Resistance to Climate Change Finds its Voice at Hearing on Clean Power Plan

This week, we heard how New Yorkers want action to fight climate change. They want less pollution and more clean energy. That conclusion came through loud and clear this week at the People's Hearing on the Repeal of the Clean Power Plan. People gathered at the event to express their concerns about the Trump Administration's efforts to roll back the Clean Power Plan – which, if implemented, would be the first federal limit on global warming pollution from power plants. The nearest official hearing held by the Environmental Protection Agency on this unfortunate proposal was in West Virginia.

CityViews: Will the Council Finally Act on Strong Protections for Small Businesses?

Jeff Reed/NYC CouncilNew speaker Corey Johnson has indicated strong support for the 'Small Business Jobs Survival Act,' which his predecessor did little to advance. The end of 2017 saw a welcome wave of attention to the plight of small businesses. Numerous reports brought to the fore the noticeable blight of vacant storefronts in neighborhoods across the city. This attention spurred some action at City Council. Some commercial tax reform finally passed, with stores that make less than $5 million in revenue and pay less than $500,000 a year in rent being exempted from the Commercial Rent Tax that currently applies to businesses located south of 96th Street in Manhattan.

Clare Kindall joins Mattei, Shaban as declared AG candidates

Clare Kindall, an assistant attorney general who once served on the town council and board of education in West Hartford, announced her candidacy for attorney general Monday, joining Chris Mattei as a declared candidate for the Democratic nomination to succeed Attorney General George Jepsen.

Clayton County, Iowa, Teen Competes In 1927 London Cattle Show

“Girl From Iowa Farm Leads Men in Quest for World's Cattle Prize”
The headline in the Anniston (Alabama) Star newspaper in July 1927 was similar to others in newspapers across the country:
The Santa Ana (Calif.) Register: “Girl Champion Cattle Judge Seeks Laurels”
And the Lafayette, Ind. Journal and Courier: “Girl Leads Iowa Cattle Judging Team Overseas”
It was a headline-grabbing event when a teenage girl from Iowa won national honors as a cattle judge, earning her a chance to compete at an international competition half way around the world from her home in Clayton County. 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.

Clean energy could get boost from new utility commissioner in Missouri

A Missouri state senator appointed last week to join the state's Public Service Commission has aroused hopes among the state's renewable-energy supporters. Ryan Silvey, a Republican from the Kansas City suburbs, was described by several people as being, at a minimum, open to more renewable energy in the state, which historically has done little to encourage the development of wind and solar energy. Missouri's solar industry is enthusiastic enough about Silvey that at its annual meeting in November, it designated him its Legislator of the Year. “He's been a phenomenal support for advancing solar energy in the state,” said Mary Shields, executive director of the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association. “And he has an acute understanding of the importance of renewable energy and what it does for choice, and as far as providing some resiliency to the grid.”
Silvey said he is intrigued by advances in renewable technologies and the electrification of transportation, but said he is not “trying to eradicate fossil fuels.” Technology is ripe for utilities to move toward larger-scale renewable generation, he said, but “if it's cost-prohibitive on a large scale, it doesn't make sense to push them there too soon.

Cleveland Central Middle choir goes pro with the Grizzlies

On Monday evening, the Cleveland Central Middle School choir rehearsed the Star Spangled Banner for their performance in Jan at the Memphis Grizzlies game. Story coming soon.
— Aallyah Wright (@aallyahpatrice) December 19, 2017

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Central Middle School choir is rehearsing and raising money for a performance of The Star-Spangled Banner during a professional basketball game next month. The choir will sing the national anthem at a Memphis Grizzlies game, Mississippi Today was notified last week. Aallyah Wright, Mississippi TodayDorothy Jones, Choir Director at Cleveland Central Middle School, tells students when it's performance time, it's time to get serious.

Cleveland civil rights group waffles on support for coal, nuclear

The environmental justice chair for the Cleveland NAACP said the group's recent comments in support of coal and nuclear power don't reflect its positions “moving forward.”
The Cleveland chapter caught activists off guard in October when it filed comments in support of a federal proposal to prop up uneconomic coal and nuclear plants in the name of grid reliability. “In order to mitigate the risk that such generating units may be deactivated prematurely, the Cleveland NAACP strongly urges FERC to adopt the rule proposed by DOE,” its Oct. 20 comments said, citing the jobs and economic opportunities provided by the power plants. The comments, submitted by the group's economic development committee chair Danielle Sydnor, appear to contradict the national organization's position against coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuel operations, which have a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Sydnor and branch President James Hardiman, did not respond to interview requests.

Cleveland community mourns the loss of student

There are no red balloons left in Cleveland, Miss., tonight. The high school students and principal bought all they could find in the small town, because that was Larry Tyler's favorite color. He died on New Year's Eve night when he was accidentally shot, police said. The 17-year-old was in a car with four others. His friends, teachers and family clutched those red balloons at the football field on a freezing Friday night, mourning his loss and celebrating his life.

Cleveland Cop Fired for 2015 Shooting of Unarmed Burglar

A Cleveland police officer was fired Thursday for the 2015 fatal shooting of an unarmed burglary suspect, reports the Plain Dealer. Alan Buford was terminated after city officials found that he used excessive force in the March 19, 2015, death of Brandon Jones, 18. The shooting happened while Buford and another officer investigated a break-in at a grocery store. Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath's administrative review found that Buford violated the department's use of force policy “by using force greater than what was necessary during the incident.” Buford was charged with misdemeanor negligent homicide but was acquitted in July by Municipal Court Judge Michael Sliwinski after a three-day trial. That acquittal came despite testimony from Buford's partner, Gregory King, that he thought the shooting was unnecessary.

Cleveland’s first semester under desegregation order: Opportunities missed, but not lost

Kelsey Davis, Mississippi TodayA new Cleveland Central sign adorns the side of the high school. The fire hydrant is painted to match. CLEVELAND — In the summer of 2017, the country was still reeling from one of the most divisive elections in history. But in Cleveland, Mississippi, where schools were being forced to consolidate per a federal desegregation order, the sole focus was unity. “You had the people who didn't want to integrate with the all black kids.

Climate change causing big shifts in tropical forests

It's well known that climate change is significantly affecting the world's oceans as sea level rise and water acidifies. But forests are also experiencing big impacts. Shifting precipitation patterns are bringing droughts to the Amazon rainforest, and warmer winter temperatures are allowing tree-killing beetles to move farther north in boreal regions. Now, new research finds that climate change may be making tropical forests "move." A study published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that over the last decade, tropical forests in north-western Colombia have been shrinking and changing directionally with time as a likely response to climate change.

Cloth and Memory

Four artists weave the past into artCloth and Memory was first posted on January 2, 2018 at 9:39 am.

Clouds with a Silver Lining: Seeding Storms to Boost the Colorado River

People in seven western states and Mexico rely on the Colorado River for their water supplies. As the climate warms, the mighty river's flows are expected to shrink—straining its ability to meet demands of cities and farms. Water managers are bracing themselves for potential shortages and therefore keeping a watchful eye on Colorado's snowpack, where much of the water originates. More snow means more runoff—so many cities, water districts, and even ski areas are participating in a little-known program to “fire up” more snowflakes from winter storms.
Listen to this audio story, produced by H2O Radio, to learn more — or read the full text below. Clouds with a Silver Lining: Seeding Storms to Boost the Colorado River
In much of the West, demand for water is projected to outpace supply, especially in the Colorado River basin, which provides drinking water to over 40 million people. There are various strategies to close the gap–some controversial like building new reservoirs and others more widely accepted like conservation.

CNN ‘Young Wonder,’ Books N Bros founder Sidney Keys encourages boys to read

11 year-old Sidney Keys III has had quite a month. On December 13, he and his mother, Winnie Caldwell, flew to California where he appeared on “The Steve Harvey Show.” Two days later he was featured on CNN's “Young Wonders” program in a segment that had been recorded weeks earlier. On December 17, he appeared on a live CNN special in New York City honoring CNN's Top 10 Heroes of 2017. When Keys and Caldwell joined Don Marsh on Friday's “St. Louis on the Air,” it had just been reported that the web post of their appearance on the program on March 1 was the top most read web story of 2017, having had twice as many readers as the number 2 story.

CO Deputy Killed in Domestic Disturbance Call

A sheriff's deputy was killed and four others were wounded Sunday in a shooting in suburban Denver that capped a year of deadly attacks in the U.S., the Associated Press reports. Two civilians were also injured. The shooting happened after deputies were called to the scene of a domestic disturbance, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said. The suspected gunman was also shot and is believed to be dead. Shots were fired in the course of the investigation at the Copper Canyon Apartments, a landscaped complex 16 miles south of Denver, the sheriff's office said.

Cocktail Conference Celebrates 7 Years of Spirits, Charity for Children

The conference, which officially kicks off Thursday with the opening night at the DoSeum, is geared toward both novices and industry professionals. The post Cocktail Conference Celebrates 7 Years of Spirits, Charity for Children appeared first on Rivard Report.

Cold weather safety tips

News Release — Vermont Department of Public Safety, Vermont Department of Health
December 27, 2017
Vermont Department of Health Communication Office: 802-863-7281
Vermont Emergency Management: 800-347-0488
WATERBURY, VT – Sub-zero temperatures are in the forecast for Vermont over the next several days. Wind chills are expected to reach 20 to 30-degrees below zero in areas of the state. These temperatures can pose a danger to health and property. Hypothermia, frostbite, and other hazards are a concern in these conditions and precautions are advised to ensure the safety of individuals and property. Those who need heating fuel assistance, housing, or other needs can contact Vermont 2-1-1 ( by phone by simply dialing 2-1-1 (27 hours a day, 7 days a week), or by texting your zip code to 898211 to reach a call specialist (8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday-Friday).

Cold, Windy Weather in the Forecast for Celebrate 300 Party on Sunday

The weather forecast for the Celebrate 300 New Year's Eve party calls for cold and windy conditions with a chance of patchy drizzle. But Tricentennial officials emphasized Friday that the Hemisfair event will go on regardless of the weather. The post Cold, Windy Weather in the Forecast for Celebrate 300 Party on Sunday appeared first on Rivard Report.

College Deans’ Lists (Fall 2017)

Local students recognized for academicsCollege Deans' Lists (Fall 2017) was first posted on January 12, 2018 at 6:13 pm.

College Deans’ Lists (Fall 2017)

Local students recognized for academicsCollege Deans' Lists (Fall 2017) was first posted on January 17, 2018 at 6:13 pm.

College of St. Joseph launches Vermont’s first traumatology program

News Release — College of St. Joseph
January 8, 2018
Media Contacts:
Kathy Aicher
Media & Communications, College of St. Joseph
(802) 775-5249; Cell: (802)
James Lambert, MBA
Vice President
External Affairs
College of St. Joseph
(802) 776-5290
Certification Program Offers First Classes This Month
Rutland, VT – In response to a growing need for trauma services and advanced practitioner training, College of St. Joseph has launched a new certification program designed specifically for professionals who deal with trauma and its emotional impact.

College presidents call Higher Education Act ‘hostile’ to students

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., speaks at the annual Vermont Democrats fundraiser in Burlington on Nov. 9, 2017. Photo by Bob LoCicero/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Peter Welch" width="300" height="200" srcset=" 300w, 125w, 768w, 610w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. Photo by Bob LoCicero/VTDiggerThe presidents of Vermont's colleges and universities on Tuesday called on Vermont's congressional delegation to push for changes in the Higher Education Act before it is too late. The reauthorization bill will deprive those who can least afford it access to higher education, the presidents told U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., at Tuesday's meeting, which they'd requested to express their concerns about the legislation.

Colombian pipeline bombed hours after end to ceasefire

BOGOTA, Colombia – A renewed conflict could once again be on the horizon after leftist rebels resumed bombing Colombia's 485-mile oil pipeline early January 10, only a few hours after the 101-day ceasefire expired. The unprecedented ceasefire was between the country's last remaining Marxist insurgent group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the government. It followed the end of a 53-year conflict between the state and the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). There has long been trouble over the pipeline. The ELN has targeted the country's second largest Caño-Limon oil pipeline since the late 1980s as means to finance its insurgency by extorting oil companies.

Coloradans seeking more school funding inch closer to 2018 ballot

Proponents of increasing funding for Colorado's public schools cleared a major hurdle this week in their attempt to ask voters to bump up taxes on the state's wealthiest residents. A state panel made up of representatives from the legislature, attorney general's and secretary of state's offices on Wednesday approved language for eight different ballot initiatives that, if any one is approved by voters in November, would raise between $1.4 billion and $1.7 billion more for Colorado schools. While each proposal varies slightly, each would create a new graduated income tax on individuals making more than $150,000. Some proposals would also create a new corporate tax, while others would make modifications to how personal and commercial property is taxed for schools. Some do all three.

Coloradans seeking more school funding inch closer to 2018 ballot

Proponents of increasing funding for Colorado's public schools cleared a major hurdle this week in their attempt to ask voters to bump up taxes on the state's wealthiest residents. A state panel made up of representatives from the legislature, attorney general's and secretary of state's offices on Wednesday approved language for eight different ballot initiatives that, if any one is approved by voters in November, would raise between $1.4 billion and $1.7 billion more for Colorado schools. While each proposal varies slightly, each would create a new graduated income tax on individuals making more than $150,000. Some proposals would also create a new corporate tax, while others would make modifications to how personal and commercial property is taxed for schools. Some do all three.

Colorado Energy Office revamp clears first hurdle

Senate Republicans have renewed efforts to promote Colorado's energy sector by making changes to the Colorado Energy Office, and this time, they are finding common ground with Democrats by taming their bid for oil and gas investments. The plan to revamp the agency was approved by the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy committee on Thursday by a 9-2 bipartisan vote. In a follow-up to last year's partisan stalemate, Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, wants to reauthorize state funding for the agency and boost its focus on energy sources like nuclear, natural gas and hydropower. “There's billions of dollars to be invested in Colorado in our energy sector. We don't want investors around the world looking at Colorado and going, ‘Well, their focus is just renewables,'” Scott, the lead sponsor on Senate Bill 3, told reporters earlier this week.

Colorado Energy Office revamp clears first hurdle

Senate Republicans have renewed efforts to promote Colorado's energy sector by making changes to the Colorado Energy Office, and this time, they are finding common ground with Democrats by taming their bid for oil and gas investments. The plan to revamp the agency was approved by the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy committee on Thursday by a 9-2 bipartisan vote. In a follow-up to last year's partisan stalemate, Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, wants to reauthorize state funding for the agency and boost its focus on energy sources like nuclear, natural gas and hydropower. “There's billions of dollars to be invested in Colorado in our energy sector. We don't want investors around the world looking at Colorado and going, ‘Well, their focus is just renewables,'” Scott, the lead sponsor on Senate Bill 3, told reporters earlier this week.

Colorado GOP lawmakers seek repeal of magazine ban despite New Year’s Eve mass shooting

Republican advocates of the right to bear arms with high-capacity magazines aim to legalize them again despite Colorado's latest mass shooting. On New Year's Eve, Matthew Riehl ambushed Douglas County sheriff's deputies, killing Zackari Parrish, a father of two, and wounding six other people before he was shot and killed. It was the second time in five years that Colorado has been traumatized by a lone madman wielding a military-style rifle and other guns. James Holmes took a heavier toll in 2012. He killed 12 people and wounded 58 others at an Aurora theater as moviegoers desperately tried to hide or flee.

Colorado Legislature 2018: Shortfalls in a time of plenty

When lawmakers drive to Denver next week to convene the 2018 legislative session, they will see about a dozen cranes across the city's skyline, a sign of a growing economy. And if they walk through Liberty Park, they will see about a dozen men and woman sleeping on the frozen turf beneath the golden dome. “The economy is going well. But there are a lot of people who have been left behind,” said Claire Levy, a former lawmaker and current head of Colorado Center for Law and Policy. “I don't think our budget has kept up with the needs of this state at all.”
When the gavel sounds on Jan.

Colorado voters unregistered because of Trump’s now-disbanded voter task force. Will they come back?

President Donald Trump might have abruptly scrapped his controversial voter fraud commission Wednesday, but there's no telling what lasting impact its creation might have on Colorado. Last June and July here, 3,189 voters voluntarily withdrew their registration during a two-week period following news that Colorado would send the personal information of all voters to that newly minted Trump task force. Since then, only 1,413 of those voters— or just under half— have come back on the rolls, according to data provided by the Secretary of State's Office. To be sure, not all of those voters who unregistered might have done so because of concerns about their information going to Trump's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a panel ostensibly created to investigate claims of voter fraud. Some voters might have moved out of state or withdrew their registration for other reasons.

Colorado’s Growing Suicide Rate Thrown into Relief by Williams Tragedy

Suicide is a rising public health dilemma in Colorado, where 1,004 residents took their own lives last year, according to the state health department. The state's suicide rate has jumped 19 percent in the past decade, and is particularly high among middle-age and older men.

Colorado’s new minimum wage means raises for child care workers and tuition increases for parents

Child care teachers and assistants absolutely deserve the raises that come from Colorado's new minimum wage of $10.20 an hour, their bosses say, but the pay increases also mean that many providers will pass on the new expenses to tuition-paying parents already stretched thin by child care costs. “I don't know how much more parents can pay,” said Diane Price, who heads a nonprofit network of six centers in Colorado Springs. In some parts of the state, early childhood advocates also worry that the raises mandated by the minimum wage hike will cause some workers to lose public benefits by pushing their income just above the eligibility threshold — making it harder, not easier to make ends meet. In a field working to professionalize its ranks, pay its workers more, and raise awareness about the educational and economic value of quality child care, many observers say the minimum wage increase is a step in the right direction. “It's an important move,” said Christi Chadwick, director of the “Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce” project at the nonprofit Early Milestones Colorado.

Combining computing power and people power to identify key deforestation hotspots

Where deforestation is widespread, sometimes it's hard to see the (loss of) forest for the (loss of) trees. Global Forest Watch's online forest change monitoring platform has added a new feature, called Places to Watch, that highlights key areas of concentrated recent deforestation to encourage action that prevents further loss. Places to Watch (PtW) builds on the weekly-updated GLAD deforestation alerts, accessed in Global Forest Watch (GFW). The system notifies subscribers when fine-scale (30-meter resolution) forest loss occurs in their target areas and enables them to see the areas of loss on a map. Subscribers that use GLAD alerts to monitor a region or country where forest loss is rampant can thus be overwhelmed by the number of alerts.

Comedian, St. Louis native Greg Warren adds family show to Funny Bone appearance

For many years, comedian and St. Louis native Greg Warren traveled around the country to make people laugh. He's appeared on CMT Comedy Stage, NBC's Last Comic Standing, Late Night with Seth Meyers and CBS's The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh talked with Warren about his upcoming appearances at the St.

Coming to New York on Jan. 1

State laws that go into effect on 2018Coming to New York on Jan. 1 was first posted on December 28, 2017 at 8:40 am.

Commentary: A hidden danger on campus

Meningitis is a disease that can be fatal, and infections often occur in young adults. Rubin
Yet many college students aren't vaccinated for meningitis B, which accounts for about 40 percent of cases, says Dr. Mitzi Rubin of Marietta. In a new GHN Commentary, Rubin says that “parents may think their children are protected when they leave for college, not realizing that the current meningitis vaccine doesn't cover the B strain.”
“Parents may need to ask specifically for the meningitis B vaccine in order for their students to receive it,'' she adds. Here's a link to her Commentary. By Andy Miller for Georgia Health News, 2016.

Commentary: Is going negative a positive?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 13, 2008 - The McCain campaign's ad barrage attacking Barack Obama debuted Friday. All the pundits said it would happen - and they were right.

Commentary: St. Louis is a strong literary city

Last week I had a morning filled with culture. I first went to the Eugene Field Museum in downtown St. Louis. In March 2007 the Eugene Field House was designated as a National Historic Landmark by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. Eugene Field was best known for his children's poetry and humorous essays.

Commentary: The vice presidency, according to Sarah Palin

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 9, 2008 - Gov. Sarah Palin's comments repeatedly confirm that she is largely uninformed about the vice presidency. Given three chances to address the subject, she has missed each time. And what she does say is quite troubling.

Commentary: To fight climate change, we must change our vocabulary

Each fall, Chicago throws a Humanities Festival to promote “the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human,” attracting thoughtful authors and expressive performers. Two lectures on a recent Saturday afternoon provided fresh perspectives on how environmentalists combat pollution and envision a healthier planet. For me, those discussions revealed how we can tap different threads — specifically faith and literature — to make our cases more effectively. Al Gore, as you might expect, spoke eloquently about climate science and the threats facing creatures and ecosystems. Yet it was his answers to the interviewer's questions about faith that were most revealing – and engaging. The former vice president seemed hesitant initially, perhaps thrown off from his regular pitch about climate change, yet he slowly became passionate about the “ungodly environmental crisis” we've created, and he acknowledged attending Vanderbilt University Divinity School in order to explore “spiritual issues.”
Gore admitted being uncomfortable putting “religion on his sleeve,” yet he increasingly revealed how his faith served as the foundation for his environmental activism.

Commission recommends initiatives to boost recreational economy

The Waterbury Reservoir's many swimming and boating possibilities drew 42,000 people this summer to the state park. Photo by Gordon Miller/Stowe ReporterThe state is launching new programs that promote Vermont's recreational ethic as a way to propel the economy, according to Gov. Phil Scott. At his weekly press conference Thursday, Scott announce pilot projects designed to draw more locals and out-of-state visitors to Vermont's parks. All three initiatives — the Outdoor Recreation Friendly Town Program, the Outdoor Business Alliance and the Camping Gear Loan exchange — are designed to help communities expand local outdoor recreational markets and create equitable access to the outdoors. The pilot projects were recommended in a report issued by the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative.

Commissioners Sort Through 700 Events to Emphasize Tricentennial High Points

These "once-in-a-lifetime events" will receive focus throughout the year with marketing and eventually marked on the Tricentennial Commission's online calendar as such. The post Commissioners Sort Through 700 Events to Emphasize Tricentennial High Points appeared first on Rivard Report.

Common Sense Media Strives to be ‘AARP for Kids’

A California nonprofit organization which rates children's media recently announced that it plans to become an advocate for educational technology, early childhood education and other issues. The San Francisco-based organization, Common Sense Media, offers free reviews and ratings of children's media, including television shows, movies, video games and apps. The organization's founder and chief executive, James P. Steyer, said he plans to use the 65 million users as “an army of advocates for kids.”
“Our goal is to be AARP for kids,” Steyer said in a telephone interview Monday. “We're going to ask people to step up and make kids and education the number one priority in this country.”
Steyer added that the group plans to urge state lawmakers into action on a broad range of topics including access to digital classroom technology and the privacy of student data in order to improve upon career and technical education, as well as childhood poverty, writes Emma Brown for The Washington Post. “We have a simple mission: to make kids and education the nation's top priority,” said Steyer.

Community Barn Ventures launches in downtown Middlebury

News Release — Community Barn Ventures
Jan. 8, 2018
Community Barn
Mary Cullinane
646 483
Stacey Rainey
617 201
Innovative business leaders open doors to support entrepreneurs and community
Middlebury, VT – Vermont-based business leaders Mary Cullinane and Stacey Rainey have launched Community Barn Ventures, an organization committed to helping others grow their businesses and supporting local community investments. Community Barn Ventures, which will tap Cullinane's and Rainey's decades of entrepreneurial and corporate experience in the technology, media, publishing and consulting industries, will be based at 44 Main Street in downtown Middlebury. The pair met when Rainey joined Microsoft in 2006, where Cullinane had worked since 1999. Cullinane was most recently the Chief Content Officer at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt where she was responsible for product development and marketing for over one billion dollars in annual revenue.

Community organizations collecting winter donations for homeless St. Louisans

Local community organizations are teaming up to collect and distribute donated items for homeless people who're suffering in the dangerous cold. A Winter Homeless Outreach event coordinated through Facebook has attracted more than 4,000 interested users. It's a collaboration between Let's Help The Homeless, CDDB Community Charity and Just For Kidz. Outreach services for veterans will also join the event. The event started in Let's Help The Homeless Founder Trinis Collins' home several years ago.

Community responds generously to Capstone’s Fuel Your Neighbors initiative

News Release — Capstone Community Action
Jan. 16, 2018
Yvonne Lory, Capstone Community Action
Phone: (802) 479-1053
Community Responds Generously to Capstone's Fuel Your Neighbors Initiative to Provide Emergency Food and Heating Assistance to Vulnerable Central Vermonters. National Life Group Challenges Others to Get Involved
(BARRE, VT) In less than two months, the Fuel Your Neighbors campaign has raised nearly $70,000 in donations and match commitments to support emergency food and heating assistance for vulnerable central Vermont households. Capstone Community Action launched Fuel Your Neighbors, powered by VSECU, to raise $100,000 in three months to help prevent community members from going to sleep cold and hungry this winter. To inspire others to take part, and to help Capstone reach its goal of $100,000, National Life Group has offered to match the next $7,500 donated to this initiative.

Cómo se cometen estafas de bancarrotas con impunidad en Los Ángeles

by Paul Kiel
El edificio en forma de caja donde está ubicada la empresa JC Foreclosures Service no parece gran cosa. Si usted va en auto, tal vez pasará por alto esta empresa que realiza el servicio de ejecución de hipotecas entre las gasolineras y talleres de carrocería en el suburbio hispano de Bell, zona de clase trabajadora al sur del condado de Los Ángeles. La única cosa que puede captar su atención es la frase en letras rojas brillantes sobre la ventana, escrita en español: “MODIFICAMOS SU PRESTAMO. DESALOJOS. BANCARROTAS”.

Company Purchases Southside Tire Dump Site, Plans Cleanup

A car auction company plans to remove at least two million tires from a Southside property where they have sat for more than a decade, creating a fire hazard and breeding ground for mosquitoes. The post Company Purchases Southside Tire Dump Site, Plans Cleanup appeared first on Rivard Report.

Company to probe for minerals close to Mekong river dolphin habitat

An Australian mining company aims to begin searching for minerals, as well as gas and oil, next to part of the Mekong River in Cambodia where the Endangered Irrawaddy river dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) lives. The Phnom Penh Post reported the venture today. An Irrawaddy dolphin in the Mekong River by Dan Koehl (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Medusa Mining is wrapping up terms of a partnership agreement with several Southeast Asian companies to invest $3 million over the next four years to explore for gold, copper, oil, natural gas, and “precious stones,” according to a Jan. 10 statement from the company.

Composer Libby Larsen calls her next concert ‘a cabinet of curiosities’

Pamela Espeland

Last Thursday, prolific composer and McKnight Distinguished Artist Libby Larsen was at Icehouse, listening to mezzo soprano Clara Osowski howl like a wolf. The occasion was Minnesota's first-ever SongSlam, an evening of new art songs that drew a cheering, whistling standing-room crowd numbering nearly 200. Larsen's song was based on a poem by Bill Holm called “Wolf Song in Los Angeles,” about the bones of dire wolves found in the La Brea tar pits. With Mark Bilyeu at the piano, Osowski nailed it. Ar-oooooo!Tomorrow (Thursday, Jan.

Concerns about reading scores and school ratings prompt Denver district to send letters to families

Early elementary school families in Denver will get individual reading progress reports from the school district next month explaining how their children are doing against higher standards meant to better predict whether students will be reading on grade level by third grade. The letters are being sent in response to mounting concerns that scores from early literacy tests taken by students in kindergarten through third grade are painting too rosy a picture of their reading abilities. The state-required early literacy tests are less rigorous than the state-required reading and writing tests taken by students in grades three through nine. The leaders of six civil rights and community groups recently issued a joint letter echoing concerns from some education advocates that the district is “significantly overstating literacy gains.” Denver uses scores from the early literacy tests to help rate elementary schools, which the groups said has led to inflated ratings that are misleading parents. At a Dec.

Concerts Celebrating Heritage Are Symphony’s Last of the Season

This Tricentennial kick-off concert will serve as the last of its season in light of the shut-down announced Wednesday night. The post Concerts Celebrating Heritage Are Symphony's Last of the Season appeared first on Rivard Report.

Concrete balls cause stir in south St. Louis neighborhoods

Some south St. Louis residents have encountered a new obstacle on their morning commute: concrete balls. The spherical barriers were installed last month at the corners of intersections along Compton Avenue to calm traffic and increase public safety. But some residents are worried they're causing more problems than they will solve. On Dec.

Condos: ‘Not surprised bogus’ Election Integrity Commission has been shut down

January 4, 2018
For immediate release
Contact: Eric Covey, 802-828-2148
Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos Responds to President Dissolving Election Integrity Commission
Montpelier, VT – Yesterday President Trump announced that the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was dissolved by executive order. Secretary Condos, who has been critical of the Commission from the outset, responded “I am not surprised that this troubled and bogus Commission has been shut down. Since its formation, the faulty charge of this Commission has been to use trumped up claims of widespread voter fraud, with zero evidence, to weaken confidence in the integrity of our elections and push an aggressive voter suppression agenda.”
The Commission, chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Vice President Mike Pence, has been embroiled in legal controversy, facing a litany of legal challenges following a request for all states to turn over sensitive and private voter information, including dates of birth, driver's license numbers and social security numbers. The majority of state election officials, including Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, refused to comply, citing that this request was overly broad, a gross federal overreach, and a violation of citizens' rights to have their sensitive, personal information kept private and stored securely. The Commission has even been sued by one of its own members for failing to operate transparently and for not including all members on communications regarding the work of the Commission.

Conductor Lang-Lessing: Symphony Shows Will Go On Despite Management Issues

Sebastian Lang-Lessing, the San Antonio Symphony's music director, said Friday that an upcoming series of Tricentennial concerts set to begin next week will happen. The post Conductor Lang-Lessing: Symphony Shows Will Go On Despite Management Issues appeared first on Rivard Report.

Confident in Board Progress, TEA Pulls Supervisor From South San ISD

The supervisor's exit is an early sign that the once-troubled board is making progress towards stability in the eyes of the Texas Education Agency. The post Confident in Board Progress, TEA Pulls Supervisor From South San ISD appeared first on Rivard Report.

Conflict of Interest rules: Did Klauer cross the line?

Klauer was too close for comfort for group filing complaint with Fair Political Practices Commission

Congress Changed 529 College Savings Plans, And Now States Are Nervous

If you're like most Americans, you don't have a 529 college savings plan. If you're like most Americans , you don't even know what it is. All the more reason to keep reading. That's because, with the new tax law, Republicans have made important changes to 529 plans that will affect millions of taxpayers, not just the ones saving for college. Before that news, though, a quick primer.

Connecticut Dems have big stake in November elections

WASHINGTON – Connecticut's all-Democratic delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives has been hampered by being in the minority since 2010, but that may change this year, analysts say.

Connecticut had fifth-lowest rate of gun deaths in U.S. in 2016

Connecticut was one of a half-dozen states whose rates of gun deaths fell after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2008 establishing a Second Amendment right to keep firearms in the home for self-defense, according to a study released Wednesday by the Violence Policy Center, a group that advocates gun-control measures.

Connecticut retires $1B debt that eased legislative campaigns

Connecticut has finished paying off more than $1 billion in operating debt and other charges left behind by former Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the 2009 General Assembly, closing the books on one of the strangest fiscal chapters in modern state history.

Connections: Discussing Governor Cuomo’s proposed plan to end the tip credit

Discussing Governor Cuomos proposed plan to end the tip credit Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to banish tips. The governor has argued workers who rely on tips have a harder time coming forward with concerns, and consequently are more vulnerable to exploitation and harassment. But restaurant, car wash, and nail salon trade groups say the tipped credit is critical to their survival. We discuss it with our guests: Art Rogers, James Beard-nominated chef and owner of Lento Christina DiPilato, server at Rocco Samantha Pompili, general manager of a local tavern

Conor Casey: Scott’s first year — Kicking the can

Editor's note: This commentary is by Conor Casey, the executive director of the Vermont Democratic Party. Recently Gov. Phil Scott has given several interviews recapping his first year in office. One was entitled: “Gov. Scott's first year: Holding the line and pushing back.” As we start the legislative session for 2018, a more apt title for Phil Scott's first year would be “Kicking the can and stalling progress.”
Scott's strategy is to kick the can down the road, plain and simple. What is his plan for clean water? Borrow money.

Consumer Voices Fair Trade Success Comes Down To Perceptions

Consumers in Germany, France and the United States are forking over premium prices for Fairtrade certified goods, in the belief that they are improving the lives of workers in the developing world. The post Consumer Voices Fair Trade Success Comes Down To Perceptions appeared first on 100 Reporters.

Contests up for June 2018 Gubernatorial Primary Election

The Nomination Period for the June 2018 election is February 12 through March 9.

Conversation with Councilman John Courage Postponed

The event scheduled for 6 p.m. at Weathered Souls Brewing Co. will be rescheduled at a future date. The post Conversation with Councilman John Courage Postponed appeared first on Rivard Report.

Cook County judicial candidate, colleague misled jury into wrongful conviction

This is the first of a series of Injustice Watch reports on candidates and campaigning for the Cook County Circuit Court 2018 elections. Longtime Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Michael Gerber achieved his lifelong dream in December 2016 when the state Supreme Court appointed him to the Cook County Circuit Court, filling a vacancy. But as he now runs to win a full six-year term, Gerber faces a potential obstacle: Another Cook County judge has ruled that Gerber and a second prosecutor made false statements to a jury that led to a wrongful conviction. At issue are statements that Gerber and a co-counsel made as they handled the retrial of Arthur Brown in 2008 on charges of double murder and arson. The charges stemmed from a 1988 gasoline-fueled blaze that burned down seven South Side businesses, killing two victims who were asleep in one of the buildings.

Cookie Season

Frosting the snowman at Desmond-Fish LibraryCookie Season was first posted on December 25, 2017 at 9:22 am.

Cooking from scratch: an immigrant’s journey in the food truck industry

Díaz, left, poses with his employees after wrapping up his lunch shift at Occidental Square Park. Díaz sometimes begins at 4:30 a.m. to prepare the ingredients for the day's business. (Photo by Jayna Milan)The hop shop's signage illuminates the parking lot, showing several cars, a lone customer, and the lifework of Artemio Coria Díaz. Behind a narrow opening where customers order, Díaz automates a sliver of what he's learned from two decades in the industry — stuffing burritos, relaying orders and assembling ingredients prepared in advance into Oaxacan cuisine. Every Saturday night he vends outside Chuck's Hop Shop, a beer store in Seattle's Central District.

Cooper blames shorter window for drop in ACA sign-ups

Governor credits consortium of organizations, including Pisgah Legal Services and Buncombe Council on Aging, for boosting sign-ups despite short window. The post Cooper blames shorter window for drop in ACA sign-ups appeared first on Carolina Public Press.

Cops and Kids: Setting Rules That Save Lives

It's been over three years since 12-year old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a police officer on Nov. 22, 2014 as he played with a toy gun in a park in Cleveland, and since an unarmed 18-year old Michael Brown was gunned down on Aug. 9, 2014 by a police officer—two tragedies which rocked the nation and helped trigger a national clamor for police reform. But why has so little actually changed in police practices? Why do we continue to read about and watch a steady stream of stories and videos depicting police mistreating young people?

Cost-sharing Ministries Becoming Popular Alternative to ACA Plans

By Mark Tosczak
Until last March, Christa Gala and her family relied on health insurance purchased off the Affordable Care Act exchange. But those plans came with steep premiums and high deductibles for their family of three. For 2017, Gala said, family coverage was going cost them $1,400 a month and come with a $14,000 deductible. Plus, Gala and husband are both self-employed, and for the last two or three years they've ended up with steep tax bills because they earned too much to qualify for subsidies and so had to pay that back. “The ACA just became so cost prohibitive when we couldn't qualify for any of the subsidies,” she said.

Could It Be Diabetes?

Millions of Americans don't realize they are afflictedCould It Be Diabetes? was first posted on January 17, 2018 at 9:28 am.

Could This Be Long Wharf?

Imagine this day spent on Long Wharf: You take a trolley or bike through the “stormwater” park that strategically connects to the Farmington Canal trail to the expanded IKEA “village,” where you buy furniture or browse shops and restaurants. Then you jump back on the trail and head to the New Haven Food Terminal to pick up fresh produce and other sundries for a picnic. You take your bike and picnic lunch on a water taxi that ferries you across the Long Island Sound for an afternoon at Lighthouse Park.

Council Agrees: More Formal Job Evaluation Needed for City Manager

Most Council members praised City Manager Sheryl Sculley's performance over the past 12 years, but want to see a better system in place. The post Council Agrees: More Formal Job Evaluation Needed for City Manager appeared first on Rivard Report.

Council President Says She Didn’t Know About High-Profile Sexual Assault Allegation Against Labor Leader

Mickey Kasparian speaks at Voice of San Diego's Politifest 2016 / Photo by Vito Di Stefano
The night before the #MeToo movement started and kicked off a wave of reckoning for powerful men across the country, five local elected officials appeared with labor leader Mickey Kasparian at the first meeting of a group he was launching, the San Diego Working Families Council. The Working Families Council was the outcome of a rift in the labor movement following multiple allegations that Kasparian had sexually harassed, assaulted and discriminated against women. One of the elected officials who stood with him on Oct. 4, San Diego City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole, now says she was not aware of the allegations against Kasparian when she attended the meeting. The allegations were made 10 months earlier, the subject of multiple reports that provoked an intense intra-party conflict that continues to rage among Democrats.

Council Set to Vote Thursday on Raising Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21

Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) and representatives from retail associations gathered in front of City Hall on Wednesday to express their concern over a proposal to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 as City Council is set to vote on the matter. The post Council Set to Vote Thursday on Raising Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21 appeared first on Rivard Report.

Council signs off on Burlington Telecom sale

Burlington Telecom's offices in Burlington. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Burlington Telecom" width="300" height="225" srcset=" 300w, 125w, 610w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Burlington Telecom's offices in Burlington. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — The sale of Burlington Telecom cleared a hurdle Wednesday night with the city council's approval of the deal. The Burlington City Council signed off on a 61-page agreement turning the telecom company over to Indiana-based Schurz Communications during a special meeting Wednesday night. The 10-2 vote marked the last major decision the city council has to make in the Burlington Telecom sale process.

Council Votes To Raise Tobacco Purchase Age to 21

City Council voted 8-2 Thursday to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products in San Antonio from 18 to 21, becoming the first city in Texas to impose such a restriction. The post Council Votes To Raise Tobacco Purchase Age to 21 appeared first on Rivard Report.

Councilwoman Wasinger considers GOP bid for St. Louis County executive

St. Louis County Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger, a Republican from Huntleigh, is giving serious thought to challenging County Executive Steve Stenger this year. She will have to make a decision soon. Candidate filing begins Feb. 27 and lasts only a month.

County Approves $350,000 in Matching Funds For SA Symphony

Bexar County Commissioners approved a $350,000 matching grant Friday to fund the San Antonio Symphony that will come from money earlier set aside for Tricentennial support. The post County Approves $350,000 in Matching Funds For SA Symphony appeared first on Rivard Report.

County asks for $200K for homeless shelter; city counters with $129K

After explaining the county has raised nearly $3.6 million to build and operate homeless shelter, Hollister refuses to pay full $200k, the amount county figures is its fare share.

Court Making Tough Call on Health Insurance

The Supreme Court could wipe away health insurance for millions of Americans when it resolves the latest fight over President Barack Obama's health overhaul. But would the court take away a benefit from so many people? Should the justices even consider such consequences?

Courts Fail Sex Trafficking Victims, Webinar Told

The rising number of incarcerated women has focused more attention on the need for trauma-informed services for domestic abuse and trafficking victims, New York City judges and advocates told a webinar organized by Project SAFE in partnership with The Center for Court Innovation Thursday. Many women passing through the criminal justice system are victims of sexual abuse and exploitation, rather than being convicted criminals—but courts often aggravate the harm already done to them, said Toko Serita, a judge at the Queens (NY) Misdemeanor Treatment Court. “The courts are further exploiting their victimization,” Serita said. “There's something wrong with seeing women in court who shouldn't be there in the first place because they were forced into prostitution.”
The webinar, titled “Specifying the Needs of Justice-Involved Black Women,” noted that a substantial number of those caught in the prison pipeline are women of color, and many are victims of domestic violence or human trafficking. Speakers detailed the importance of intervention courts, such as human trafficking courts, drug courts and mental health courts, which provide treatment and assistance for women all over New York City.

Covered Wagon Camping at the State Fair

Over $3000 in premiums
Cashmere goats
Over 1600 entries
It was the Iowa State Fair of 1860 — the seventh ever held. The state was young — only 14 years old. The American Civil War had not yet started in 1860. The capital had only recently been moved to Des Moines from Iowa City. The population of the state was not quite 700,000.

CPS Energy Seeking Proposals for New, Larger Community Solar Farm

After its last community solar project sold out in about a month, CPS Energy is seeking proposals for construction of a new community solar project nearly five times as large. The post CPS Energy Seeking Proposals for New, Larger Community Solar Farm appeared first on Rivard Report.

Creating Fun

Garrison Children's Fund launches playground campaignCreating Fun was first posted on January 17, 2018 at 7:21 am.

Crime is Down, Police Forces Retain Their Strength

A lower national crime rate has not resulted in fewer police officers, the New York Times reports. In 2016, there were slightly more officers per capita than in 1991, when violent crime peaked, according to FBI data. Officers today deal with half the crimes per capita that they did then. Hardly anyone questions the size of police forces. The relationship between the number of officers and lawful behavior is not clear-cut.

Criminalizing the Opioid Epidemic is No Way to Help Chronic Pain Sufferers

According to the best evidence we have, prescribing opioid pain killers to chronic pain patients has played only a minor role (if any) in yearly increases of overdose-related deaths. As I wrote recently in the The Crime Report, “The US is now chasing the wrong epidemic in its efforts to reduce the death toll from narcotic drugs. Both pain patients and addicts are paying the ultimate price for this misdirection.”
The opioid crisis was not caused by medical exposure. The root causes of addiction are primarily social. They include family trauma, and stress from economic hardship and family disintegration, sometimes mental health issues.

Critically endangered monkeys found in Ghana forest slated for mining

While surveying the rainforests of eastern Ghana's Atewa mountain range, scientists stumbled upon a surprise as they were checking footage from their camera traps: monkeys with long tails and distinctive, dark, sideburn-like markings on their faces. The monkeys, to the scientists' amazement, were white-naped mangabeys (Cercocebus lunulatus), a species of ground-dwelling primate listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. White-naped mangabeys are known to exist in a handful of forests in the western part of the country, as well as eastern Code d'Ivoire and southern Burkina Faso. But never before had scientists recorded them in eastern Ghana. The discovery was made by A Rocha International, a network of environmental organizations, during a two-year monitoring survey of Atewa's forests to determine what species live there and how they are distributed.

Critics: Minneapolis should focus on efficiency over renewable credits

Critics of Minneapolis' sustainability budget say the city should prioritize lowering residents' utility bills over buying renewable energy credits. The Minneapolis City Council approved a budget that features a $2.2-million infusion for sustainability programs. As much as $375,000 of the new money is set to be spent on renewable energy credits from Xcel Energy's green tariff program. That's disappointing to John Farrell, a member of the city's Energy Vision Advisory Committee, which proposed the fee increase that created the new revenue. “We worked really hard to get this through, and we strongly pushed to have things that are customer-facing and would reduce energy costs in Minneapolis,” said Farrell, a distributed energy expert with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. The disagreement over how to spend the new sustainability money follows years of negotiations between the city and utilities over franchise agreements, which spell out terms for the utilities' use of public right of way.

Crossing the divide: How we might get through the next few years together

Eric Black

The civility of our political discourse has declined significantly over recent years, for which the current incumbent in the White House must bear a significant share of the blame, at least for the portion that has occurred since he declared his candidacy.Polarization across partisan and ideological lines seems routinely to hit new heights. An element of the polarization — which combines cause and effect in a downward spiral — is polarization of news media, creating new heights of selective perception and confirmation bias.If you rely heavily on Fox News, you dwell on almost a different planet from those of your fellow citizens who rely on MSNBC.It is unhealthy for a nation striving to remain and to function as a democratic republic to continue down this path. We need to read and watch and listen to the most reasonable voices from across the partisan/ideological divide. And we have to do so with respect and a sufficiently open mind that we might occasionally read or hear something that makes sense to us and, perhaps more important, something that enables us to view those with whom we disagree with a soupçon of understanding and respect, necessary and sufficient to continue viewing them as our fellow citizens.Hats off to the New York Times for a special feature it ran today consisting of 15 letters to the editor from Trump supporters. I encourage Trump-dislikers (among whom I number myself) to read them.

CT extends health care coverage for kids through February

Connecticut officials have pushed back their deadline for ending health care coverage for 17,000 children and teenagers to Feb. 28 because of partial funding approved by Congress before Christmas.

CT extends HUSKY B coverage for kids again, now through March

Connecticut officials have again extended health care coverage for more than 17,000 children and teenagers in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), this time through March 31. The program is known as HUSKY B in Connecticut.

CT GOP, Lumaj campaign deny knowledge of Higbie’s views

Connecticut Republicans, including a gubernatorial candidate who once employed him as a spokesman, quickly distanced themselves Friday from Carl Higbie, the brash former Navy SEAL from Greenwich who resigned from a Trump administration post after CNN uncovered a string of bigoted and insensitive remarks.

CT joins other ‘blue’ states in looking to skirt new tax law

WASHINGTON – “Blue” states like Connecticut that say they were targeted in the GOP's federal tax overhaul are looking for ways to protect their residents from the negative impact of the new cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes.

CT lawmakers weigh revival of earmarks

WASHINGTON — Reviled as corrupting and anti-democratic, congressional earmarks may have a revival because of recent comments from President Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers' growing frustration with the budget process. Their return is fine with Connecticut lawmakers who have used the process to steer tens of millions of dollars to special projects in the state.

CT senators vow to fight for more aid for Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON – Congress is about to resume a bitter dispute about how much more federal help to provide Puerto Rico, where many residents are still without electricity or functioning schools or hospitals more than a hundred days after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, who just visited the island, said they are committed to sharply increasing aid to Puerto Rico.

Culture Report: Booking Time With ‘The Last Black Man in Barrio Logan’

Ramel Wallace is a musician and artist who's using “Airbnb Experiences” to educate tourists about black history in Barrio Logan. / Photo by Kinsee Morlan
Home-sharing website Airbnb has rolled out, and recently ramped up, something called “Experiences.”
The new feature allows people to use the Airbnb website to book tours with local hosts. Folks can, for example, “swim like a mermaid” in Chicago, or meditate with a shaman in Bali. Airbnb's CEO Brian Chesky has said the purpose of the new feature is to “immerse in the local community” and experience places in a more authentic way. In San Diego, experiences include hanging out with a local gallery owner in the Gaslamp or learning how to make boba tea in Mira Mesa.

Culture Report: No Holiday Lull For the Most Persistent Art Pushers in Town

Thumbprint Gallery founders Johnny Tran and Paul Ecdao have hosted a monthly art exhibition since they opened their gallery in 2009. / Photo courtesy of Thumbprint Gallery
While the rest of us are recovering from holiday-induced food comas, Johnny Tran and Paul Ecdao are busily planning their next art show. The founders and curators of Thumbprint Gallery in La Jolla hold monthly art openings on the second Saturday of every month and haven't missed one since they launched the first iteration of the gallery in North Park in 2009. The tireless duo also hosts regular pop-up art shows at Bar Basic in the East Village and curates the art you see hanging at a handful of coffee shops, ice cream stores and salons around town. The two work with a range of San Diego artists – from emerging to the more established.

Culture Report: Unearthing San Diego Food Lore

Illustrator and designer Martin S. Lindsay's new Classic San Diego website collects the culinary history of San Diego. / Photo by Kinsee Morlan
At Tobey's 19th Hole Cafe overlooking the Balboa Park Golf Course, Martin S. Lindsay orders the “chili size.” It's basically a hamburger patty on top of chili covered in cheese — a classic meal invented in Los Angeles in the 1920s and beloved by Hollywood stars of the time. Lindsay's got a thing for culinary history like that, which is why he frequents places like Tobey's, one of the oldest continuously run restaurants in San Diego. It's owned by a third-generation member of the Tobey family, which has been running the joint since 1934. Lindsay compiles stories about the culinary history of San Diego and Tijuana on Classic San Diego, a website he launched in 2016.

Culture Report: With Patched Cracks and Dings, ‘Queen Califia’s Magical Circle’ Turns 15

Niki de Saint Phalle's “Queen Califia's Magical Circle” sculpture park turns 15. Photo courtesy of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido
Niki de Saint Phalle's “Queen Califia's Magical Circle” sculptural garden is the most high-profile piece of public art in San Diego County. Elected leaders in Escondido are rightfully stoked that the iconic large-scale mosaic work — which turns 15 this year — is located there. “It gives us a sense of notoriety,” said Jay Petrek, the city's assistant city manager. “We get visitors from all over the world who sign the login book, so we know it's frequented far and wide.

Cunningham: Texting while driving will now get you pulled over

At this week's mayor and City Council meeting, my colleagues and I voted to make texting while driving a primary offense. Six months ago, a new ordinance came into effect making it a secondary offense, meaning that you could only be cited if there was an accident or another violation.

Cuomo Criminal Justice Plan Aims at Helping Poor Suspects

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to ask the legislature to eliminate cash bail for many crimes and to speed the disclosure of evidence in trials as part of a package of proposals intended make the criminal justice system fairer for indigent defendants, the New York Times reports. The governor plans to outline the proposals on Wednesday in his State of the State address. A package of criminal justice bills would aim to reduce delays during trials, ban asset seizures where there has been no conviction and make it easier for former convicts to get a job after leaving prison. Cuomo, a Democrat with presidential aspirations, is promoting the bills as “the most progressive set of reforms in the nation,” aides said. “For far too long, our antiquated criminal justice system has created a two-tier system where outcomes depend purely on economic status — undermining the bedrock principle that one is innocent until proven guilty,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo offers few new education plans for 2018, but says poor schools need more funding

Gov. Andrew Cuomo scarcely mentioned education in a lengthy speech Wednesday laying out his policy agenda for the coming year -- a marked contrast to previous years when his splashy or controversial education plans made headlines. In his more than 90-minute State of the State address, Cuomo devoted just a few minutes to education, during which he mainly proposed expanding existing initiatives involving college scholarships, pre-kindergarten, and after-school programs. Unlike in the past when he promoted tougher teacher evaluations, the Democratic governor's education latest agenda is generally in line with policies favored by progressive voters and teachers unions -- factors that may help him as he runs for a third term as governor this fall and mulls a presidential run in 2020. Two new education plans he's pushing this year -- increased access to school meals and protections for student-loan borrowers -- had been previewed by his office ahead of the speech. While he vowed to maintain a “historic investment” in the state's schools, he also acknowledged that New York faces “a federal and economic challenge never experienced before” -- including a projected $4.4 billion state budget deficit, a federal tax overhaul that targets high-tax states such as New York, and possible federal-funding cuts. With an eye toward Washington, Cuomo promised to challenge the new tax law in court.

Cuomo proposes new taxes, tax restructuring in budget

Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a $168 billion budget plan that would close an over $4 billion gap by reducing some spending and imposing tax increases on health insurers, big businesses and prescription opioid users, among others. Cuomo said he also wants to look into legalizing marijuana in New York. “This is going to be challenging, my friends,” Cuomo told lawmakers gathered at the state museum for the budget presentation. He said he's holding the line on state agency spending, and he's eyeing additional revenues by taxing health insurance plans and deferring corporate tax credits. He said both received big tax breaks in the federal tax overhaul, so can afford it.

Cuomo tax restructure plan offers options

A report by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax department lists ways that New Yorkers could get around the loss of some of their state and local tax deductions under the new law. But all of them come with complications. When the federal tax overhaul law was signed by President Donald Trump in December, Americans lost their ability to deduct much of their state and local taxes from their federal tax forms. As Cuomo has said repeatedly, the loss of what are known as the SALT deductions harms taxpayers the most in relatively high-tax states like New York. Cuomo said in his budget presentation on Tuesday that it's “complicated” to change New York's tax code to try to make up for the loss, but it has to be explored. “Washington hit a button and launched an economic missile, and it said ‘New York' on it, and it's heading our way,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo: set aside $30 million to help market photonics initiative

Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State message includes a proposal to set aside money to promote the photonics effort in the Rochester area. Cuomo wants to allocate $30 million toward marketing and providing incentives for photonics companies thinking of locating in the Rochester area. The state has already committed $250 million toward the AIM Photonics initiative, and the $30 million would be part of that. Vincent Esposito, the Regional Director for Empire State Development in the Finger Lakes, says the process of attracting photonics companies is intended to be a long term process, and this money will help jumpstart the marketing efforts. “What we really want to do now is get the word out to companies that are manufacturing products using integrated photonics that they can locate here and we have incentives to help make that happen,” Esposito told WXXI News.” Esposito says that, “you can really look at it as a marketing effort, but it's a serious amount of dollars that should

Cuomo’s budget expected to be grim

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his budget Tuesday, and the news is not expected to be good. The state faces an over $4.4 billion budget gap, as well as funding cuts and policy changes from Washington that could cost New York and some of its taxpayers billions of dollars. The governor set the tone in his State of the State speech earlier this month, saying, “2018 may be the toughest year New York has faced in modern history.” “We have unprecedented challenges ahead on every level,” Cuomo said. Cuomo, in his speech, said President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress in Washington are responsible for many of the state's challenges, including $2 billion in cuts to hospitals and health insurance programs for the working poor. He called the cuts “an arrow aimed at New York's economic heart.” While he warned of the dark times ahead, the governor did not name any spending cuts that might have to be made, and even said he wants to increase some education programs. Those details will come

Customs Agents Searched 30K Electronic Devices Last Year

U.S. Customs agents conducted 60 percent more searches of travelers' cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices during the 2017 fiscal year, says the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP), reports the Washington Post. The agency searched 30,200 devices, but the inspections affected only 0.007 percent of the 397 million travelers — including American citizens as well as foreign visitors — who arrived during the year that ended Sept 30. CBP issued new guidelines formalizing the way its officers conduct searches and handle the information they obtain. The agency said the increase was an indication that electronic devices are increasingly viewed as critical sources of information on potential security threats. American citizens and other travelers have expressed astonishment and alarm at requests to hand over their cellphones from U.S. customs officials at airports and border crossings.

Cut & Paste: Kat Reynolds explores the link between black women and beauty products

Kat Reynolds stops by the beauty products store about as often as some people shop for groceries — about three times a month. For many women, shampoos, conditioners, extensions and weaves seem to hold the key not only to an improved appearance but also a kind of self-satisfaction, according to Reynolds. With that in mind, the photographer is curating an art exhibition, “Mane ‘n Tail,” named for a popular line of beauty products. Reynolds said the show, which opens Jan. 19, focuses on female attractiveness and African-American culture, including money and self-determination.

Cuts, Cops & Community

In one room, dozens of children learned martial arts techniques, while children in an auditorium rhythmically clapped their hands and stomped their feet as they tried to get the hang of stepping. In yet another room, people learned about local government and voter registration.In these ways, New Haveners at Wexler-Grant School honored what would have been the 89th birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

D-H Study: Patients who use opioids may be more satisfied but not healthier

News Release — Dartmouth-Hitchcock
January 8, 2018
Mike Barwell
LEBANON, NH ­­– Patients with common musculoskeletal conditions who use opioids may be more satisfied but have poorer health when compared to patients who do not use opioids. That is one of the conclusions of a new study by researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the University of Michigan. The team's primary interest was to determine if patient's perception of their care was associated with the number of opioid prescriptions they received from their health care providers. “Patient satisfaction is an important driver of health care reimbursement mechanisms,” said Dr. Brian Sites, Dartmouth-Hitchcock anesthesiologist and the lead author of the study, which was published in the January/February 2018 Annals of Family Medicine. “We found, using population-based data, that patients suffering from chronic musculoskeletal disorders (such as arthritis) rate their satisfaction with care higher when they receive more opioid prescriptions.

D.C. Memo: Bannon? I hardly know him!

Sam Brodey

You can get the D.C. Memo delivered to your inbox on Thursdays. Sign up here.It's a new year in Washington, and already, we've seen some exciting 2018 resolutions from the president, as he appears determined to call former top aides insane, increase his tweet volume, and workshop versions of his favorite “mine is bigger than yours” taunts. It's shaping up to be a great year!This week in WashingtonHappy 2018 to all of you, and welcome to a wild year in D.C. and Minnesota politics, which will see all kinds of policy and political fights take place in Congress — not to mention an epic battle for control of Congress ahead of November's midterm elections.Big-picture, whoever controls Congress when the dust settles may have Minnesotans to thank: five of our eight U.S. House districts are legitimately competitive — a huge number when you consider the GOP's 23-seat margin in the House. Both of Minnesota's U.S. Senate seats, meanwhile, are in play, as Republicans seek to maintain a narrow, two-seat majority in the upper chamber. Buckle up, folks.On the legislative side, less tends to happen in Congress during election years.

D.C. Memo: Snubbed in Best Supporting Fake Newsletter category

Sam Brodey

You can get the D.C. Memo delivered to your inbox on Thursdays. Sign up here.This week in Washington, the president disappointed the Beltway by holding his Fake News Awards via press release instead of hosting the black-tie, Trump Wines-open-bar soiree that the press corps, hungry for free stuff and notoriety, had hoped for. Fortunately, this got about as much coverage as a report that the president paid six figures to cover up an affair he had with a porn star 10 years ago. Nice!This week in WashingtonHow's everyone doing? 364 days ago, Donald Trump was inaugurated as president.

D.C. Memo: What the president meant to say was,

Sam Brodey

You can get the D.C. Memo delivered to your inbox on Thursdays. Sign up here.This week in Washington, the President sought to fend off questions of his mental acuity by holding an open-to-the-press negotiating session with members of Congress, in which he contradicted himself and also agreed with everybody. Thankfully, we learned he's off work by 6, like most of us who are also not the de facto leader of the free world.This week in WashingtonGood afternoon from Washington. Your big story this week from the Capitol is immigration: specifically, the Democrats' effort to find a long-term solution for the Dreamers — the 800,000-some undocumented immigrants brought here as children — and the Republicans' effort to get something in return for that, chiefly funding for President Donald Trump's border wall.I've got a story from Thursday detailing the dynamics on immigration, and where Ds and Rs in the Minnesota delegation are at on it right now. Read here.Assorted stuff from the week on immigration: Politico's report on the “freewheeling summit” on immigration that Trump had — open to the cameras — with Democratic and Republican leaders on Tuesday; the Los Angeles Times on a California judge's decision to block Trump's decision to terminate DACA; the New York Times on what other border security initiatives the Wall would take money from, and the NYT also introduces you to the young Dreamers whose lives in America are at stake in all this politics — and who are anxiously holding their breath to see what Washington does.Elsewhere in immigration news, on Monday, the Trump administration announced it would end a program that grants temporary legal status for 200,000 nationals of El Salvador living in the U.S., who have enjoyed that status since an earthquake ravaged the Central American country in 2001.

DACA advocates push for action as clock ticks down on budget deal

As congressional lawmakers were wrangling over a deal Thursday to keep the government open past a Friday budget deadline, about 200 DACA advocates were urging Congress to include protection for “Dreamers” as part of any budget bill.

Dallas, Houston Sent No Criminals To Death Row in 2017

Dallas County twice tried to condemn killers but didn't send anyone to death row in 2017. It hasn't for three years, and neither has Houston's Harris County, the Dallas Morning News reports. Both were once leaders in a state known for putting convicted killers to death. Although Texas remained the national leader in executions in 2017 with seven, executions and new death sentences have been steadily declining over the past decade. Nationwide, there were 39 death sentences issued in 2017, and 31 percent of those came from just three counties: Riverside County, Ca.; Clark County, Nv.; and Maricopa County, Az., reports the Death Penalty Information Center.

Darren Springer: Utilities are indispensable climate change fighters

Editor's note: This commentary is Darren Springer, of Burlington, who is chief operating officer and manager for strategy and innovation at the Burlington Electric Department. He also currently serves as a policy fellow on climate change and renewable energy at the University of Vermont Center for Research on Vermont. Previously, he served as chief of staff to Gov. Peter Shumlin, deputy commissioner of the Vermont Public Service Department, and senior policy adviser and chief counsel to Sen. Bernie Sanders. An expanded version of this piece will be published in the upcoming issue of the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review; the entire law review article can be found here. Despite federal rollbacks on climate policy, we still have a path toward impactful climate action.

Dartmouth professor’s study finds about 1 in 4 people view fake news

(This story by Rob Wolfe was published by the Valley News on Jan. 4, 2018.)
HANOVER, N.H. — Fake news stories reached roughly a quarter of Americans during the 2016 election cycle, mostly targeting conservatives who rarely received corrective information later, according to a new study co-authored by Dartmouth College professor Brendan Nyhan. Dartmouth professor Brendan Nyhan. Courtesy photo
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Brendan Nyhan, Dartmouth College" width="300" height="300" srcset=" 300w, 125w, 32w, 50w, 64w, 96w, 128w, 470w, 500w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Dartmouth professor Brendan Nyhan. Courtesy photoNyhan and his collaborators, Andrew Guess of Princeton University and Jason Reifler of the University of Exeter, say their research offers the first hard data about the role fake news played in Americans' information diets during the final weeks before Election Day in 2016.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center improves security following fatal shooting

Dan Dahmen, center, director of security for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, looks for the correct place to install a security enhancement to allow lockdown of the Medical Specialties Unit. Photo by Jennifer Hauck/Valley News
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Dartmouth-Hitchcock" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 750w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Dan Dahmen, center, director of security for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, looks for the correct place to install a security enhancement to allow lockdown of the Medical Specialties Unit. Photo by Jennifer Hauck/Valley News(Editor's note: This story by Nora Doyle-Burr was published by the Valley News on Jan. 14, 2018.)
LEBANON, N.H. — Following up on the fatal shooting of a patient last September, officials at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center are taking steps to improve security, communication during emergencies, and education and training of employees. But New Hampshire's sprawling academic medical center stopped short of installing metal detectors or posting armed guards at its Lebanon campus.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock named to new American Heart Association vascular disease network

News Release — Dartmouth-Hitchcock
January 15, 2018
Rick Adams
Derik Hertel
$3.7 million award supports research
LEBANON, NH – EDITORS NOTE: See the attached news release from the American Heart Association (AHA), announcing the selection of four national centers as part of a new vascular disease research network, charged with unlocking some of the mysteries behind vascular disease. Dartmouth-Hitchcock will partner with Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston on one of the four centers, focusing on Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) and Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI) and seeking new ways to help identify patients at risk and to improve patient outcomes for these conditions. The center will be funded through a four-year grant from the AHA, at $3.7 million annually. Dr. Mark Creager, director of Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Heart and Vascular Center and a past president of the American Heart Association, is the co-director of the D-H/BWH center; research work at Dartmouth-Hitchcock will be lead by vascular surgeon Dr. Philip Goodney. Read the story on VTDigger here: Dartmouth-Hitchcock named to new American Heart Association vascular disease network.

Daryl Davis: Fulfilling MLK’s Dream by Engaging the Most Hateful

Beginning in 1983, Daryl Davis reached out to Klansmen, shared meals with white supremacists and turned enemies into friends. The post Daryl Davis: Fulfilling MLK's Dream by Engaging the Most Hateful appeared first on Rivard Report.

Data science steps out to a liberal arts tune at Saint Michael’s College

News Release — Saint Michael's College
January 3, 2018
Mark Tarnacki
Will AI's new leaders come from emerging smaller-college programs? The most employable data analysts and statisticians in 21st century jobs will need more than just the technical and math training that equips them to meet squarely a tsunami of high-tech information flooding fields as diverse as public health, government or community policing, say curriculum leaders at Saint Michael's College in Vermont. The best analysts also will possess the creativity afforded by broad liberal arts education to make something substantial and useful from so much data. Such was the thinking behind new Data Science and Statistics majors at Saint Michael's. The Catholic college of just under 2,000 students, like so many small New England liberal arts colleges in recent years, has been working hard to counter a significantly shrinking pool of high school graduates – a demographic that makes recruiting quality classes more competitive every year.

Data: Connecticut’s many firearm laws

Connecticut has more firearm-related law provisions than almost any other state. In 2017, the state had 89 such provisions, placing it behind only California (106) and Massachusetts (100), according to an inventory maintained by the Boston University School of Public Health and published at The 133 provisions tracked from 1991 through 2017 by […]

David Deen: Rodents on the river

Editor's note: This commentary is by David Deen, a Democratic state representative from Westminster and the chair of the House Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Committee. He a board member of the Connecticut River Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited and an honorary trustee and former river steward of the Connecticut River Conservancy, formerly the Connecticut River Watershed Council. They are no one's favorite animals but on any given day you might spot a furry critter scurrying, waddling, hunting along or swimming in the water. It is likely a rodent since our river embraces several species that are important contributors to a healthy river ecosystem and following are brief descriptions of our rodent friends. The brown rat, aka: common rat, street rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, Norwegian rat or wharf rat, is one of the least loved but most common river rodents.

Day of action marks Seattle Womxn’s March anniversary

The crowd at the Judkins Park rally before the Womxn's March in 2017. (Photo by Lyra Fontaine)One year after the record-breaking women's marches across the country after President Donald Trump took office, Seattle will do much more than march to mark the event's anniversary. “We want people to take direct action,” said Liz Hunter-Keller, communications chair for Seattle Womxn Marching Forward, the group that organized last year's march and is marking the Jan. 21 anniversary with a “day of action” that includes a food drive, voter registration and other events. This year, on Saturday, Jan.

Dayton proposes $1.5 billion in bonding projects

MinnPost staff

It's that special time of year. The Star Tribune's Jessie Van Berkel reports: “Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday proposed a $1.5 billion public works bonding bill, a list of some 218 building and construction projects around Minnesota that he says would boost the state's economy and create nearly 23,000 jobs. … Through bonding bills, the state leverages its debt capacity to borrow money to pay for infrastructure projects. About a third of the projects Dayton is proposing are on campuses of the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State systems. The rest would go to improving state buildings, affordable housing construction, repairing clean water infrastructure and other projects. ”Good for them.

DC Officer Faulted in Internal Review of Fatal Shooting

The Washington, D.C., police officer who fatally shot an unarmed motorcyclist last year had no reason to pull his gun and was not in danger when he fired, police concluded in an internal investigation that contradicts the officer's account. The review, obtained by The Washington Post, showed that Officer Brian Trainer and his partner, Officer Jordan Palmer, violated department policies early on Sept. 11, 2016, as they pursued and attempted to arrest motorcyclist Terrence Sterling, 31. After the officers spotted Sterling, who police said was speeding and running red lights, they tracked him through the city and eventually pulled their marked cruiser into an intersection ahead of the biker. Trainer was getting out as Sterling rode forward and the motorcycle struck the car door.

DCF pitches restructuring for $1M annual savings

The Department for Children and Families is proposing to restructure management of the division that administers many key benefits programs in Vermont. The proposal would eliminate supervisor positions in the 12 district offices of the economic services division, the sector of DCF that handles programs including food stamps, heating assistance and Reach Up. DCF Commissioner Ken Schatz Wednesday. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Ken Schatz" width="300" height="201" srcset=" 300w, 125w, 610w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Department for Children and Families Commissioner Ken Schatz. File photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerUnder the proposal, the number of operational supervisors would increase from three to six, each of whom would oversee two offices.

Deal Between City and SDSU to Keep Playing Football at SDCCU Stadium Still Elusive

San Diego County Credit Union Stadium / Photo by Dustin Michelson
Negotiations between officials from the city of San Diego and San Diego State University about where the university will play football after next season have entered their second year. It's getting very complicated. The university's lease to play football at SDCCU Stadium runs out at the end of 2018. It's not an easy extension. The city is facing a budget shortfall next year and city officials told SDSU last year they wanted to close the stadium.

Deanna Bailey named director of education 
at Vermont Energy Education Program

News Release — Vermont Energy Education Program
January 4, 2018
Cara Robechek, Vermont Energy Education Program
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Deanna Emberley Bailey has been hired by the Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) as its director of education. Bailey has more than 25 years of education experience in Vermont, most recently as a lead instructor and project manager with the Vermont Science Initiative. Bailey previously worked for VEEP in 2013-15 as a curriculum specialist, and returns now to the organization in a full-time director role. VEEP offers hands-on science and energy workshops, trainings and resources for K-12 students and teachers throughout Vermont and New Hampshire.

Deaths of Officers on Duty Declined to 128 in 2017

The number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty dropped sharply in 2017, marking the second-lowest toll in more than 50 years, says USA Today. As of Thursday, 128 officers have died in the line of duty this year, with 44 shot and killed. That's down 10 percent from 2016, when 143 officers died, with 66 gunned down, according to data released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The only other year with fewer deaths in the past five decades was 2013, when 116 officers were killed. Reasons for the drop could range from advanced safety gear such as bulletproof vests, better training, better relationships and reduced violence in communities — or just 2017 being an outlier, experts say.

Decapitated orangutan found near palm plantations shot 17 times, autopsy finds

JAKARTA — Indonesian authorities have retrieved 17 air gun pellets from the body of an orangutan found decapitated and seemingly tortured in Indonesian Borneo earlier this week. The discovery was made Thursday during a necropsy which was ordered following criticism from wildlife activists over local authorities' decision to bury the corpse of the male Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) before a thorough examination could be carried out. The necropsy revealed that the orangutan had been dead for three days before its body was discovered Monday in a river in South Barito district, Central Kalimantan province. Of the 17 pellets found in the corpse, 14 were retrieved from the torso, two from the back and one from the thigh. The pellets had ruptured the ape's heart, lungs and stomach.

Decreasing enrollment growth and increasing test scores in Denver add up to no specific requests for new schools

For the first time in at least eight years, Denver isn't calling for any specific new schools. Superintendent Tom Boasberg, the head of what was once the fastest growing urban school district in the country, cited slowing enrollment growth, limited money to build new schools, and rising test scores as the reasons. Denver Public Schools released its annual “Call for New Quality Schools” in late December. In past years, the document included specific requests, such as a new elementary school in a fast-growing neighborhood or a new middle school to replace an underperforming one. Anyone with an idea for a new school -- or, increasingly, a replication of an existing school -- could submit a proposal.

Dede Cummings: Raising awareness of climate change with humor

Editor's note: This commentary is by Dede Cummings, of Brattleboro, who is a poet and publisher, an environmental activist, a member of 350-Vermont, and the founder and publisher of Green Writers Press. Yes, the climate is in peril, and most of us are too busy to stop and look through the forest. You see, in Vermont, we are protected, somewhat. Our proximity to Canada, always good, gives us a northern edge. Our Northeast Kingdom, in fact, is a world unto itself, teeming with trout, bears, wild and untamed mountains and bogs, and people who inhabit a world of slow living.

Defendants Judge the Courts: More Courtesy, Please

Should you ever be unlucky enough to have your presence required in a New York City criminal court, you can sit in the courtroom for hours and be shouted at by overbearing court officers in bulletproof vests—while unable to get the attention of anyone who might know when, if ever, your case will be called. There will be long stretches of time when nothing seems to be happening and there's not even a judge on the bench. But you don't dare ask what's going on. As likely as not, when your case is finally called, you'll just be given a date to come back for more of the same. It's easy to get the impression that New York courts have all the dignity of a pineapple cannery, with none of the efficiency.

Deficit, program cuts will test bipartisan CT budget deal

The legislative cooperation that produced last October's bipartisan state budget deal could face its toughest test starting next week as legislative leaders begin trying to close a deficit and find more funds for health care programs and municipal aid.

Delegation: Life in Trump’s Washington demands new tactics, goals

WASHINGTON — From President Donald Trump's inauguration to the Women's March, the narrowly defeated Obamacare repeal to the narrowly passed tax reform bill, the Russian election interference probe to #MeToo — 2017 was a year of high drama in Washington. Vermont's delegation, all three of whom are in the minority in Congress, sat down with VTDigger to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of the year, finding themselves in new roles, and coming to terms with what they see as an unprecedented political situation in Washington. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., in his office. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., in his office. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerLeahy: “In many ways the most frustrating year”
Sen. Patrick Leahy carries himself through the Capitol with a spirit of conviviality at odds with the deep political divisions in Washington.

Democrat wins special election in conservative Wisconsin Senate district

MinnPost staff

Read nothing into this. The AP reports (via MPR): “A Democrat has been elected to represent a traditionally conservative Wisconsin Senate district where voters overwhelmingly supported President Donald Trump in 2016, in an upset that Democrats suggest could lead to more Republican losses in the state. … Patty Schachtner's victory in the 10th Senate District late Tuesday could be a sign of hope for Democrats, who have been pushed to the brink of irrelevancy after seven years of Republican control of both legislative houses and the governor's office. Schachtner, who entered the race in northwestern Wisconsin as the clear underdog, said her win suggests voters are tired of negative politics.”Extremely widespread. The Star Tribune's Anthony Souffle and Star Tribune report: “Nearly two out of three women in the state have personally experienced sexual harassment, and half of all voters believe such harassment is a major problem in the workplace, according to a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.

Democratic candidate for governor Lupe Valdez calls for increased minimum wage, end to death penalty

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez sat down Thursday with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith for her most in-depth interview since entering the race in early December. Valdez is considered one of the frontrunners to win the nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in November. On Thursday, she spelled out some policy positions and avoided criticizing one of her main competitors for the nomination, Houston businessman Andrew White. Here are several highlights:
Raise the minimum wage
As governor, Valdez promised to try to raise the minimum wage in Texas, which is currently $7.25 an hour. She said the state should "start out with a livable wage."

Democratic donor mulls pulling support for senators who told Franken to resign

Brian Lambert

In The New York Times, Jacey Fortin reports: “A prominent donor to the Democratic Party says she is considering withdrawing support for senators who urged their colleague Al Franken to resign after he was accused of sexual misconduct. The donor, Susie Tompkins Buell, has been one of the Democratic Party's most generous supporters for decades. In particular, she has been a champion of female politicians, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York … . Buell said in a text message on Saturday that withdrawing support from the senators who called for his resignation was ‘an option' she was considering.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate calls for ending death penalty

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew White on Thursday called for the abolishment of the death penalty. “It's not a deterrent. It's a broken system because there are people who are innocent on death row, and we're finding out about more and more every day,” the 45-year-old Houston entrepreneur told The Texas Tribune. White, a self-described “common-sense Democrat," said he plans to use data to make decisions, even if the approach takes him outside party lines. In this case, he said, data has shown the death penalty does not create a lower murder rate.

Democrats Can’t Win By Courting Conservative White Voters

Some on the left remain fixated on the mystery of why public policies that harm working people are often enabled by the votes of working people. Indeed, a significant number of workingclass white voters abandoned the Democratic Party and made possible the election of Donald J. Trump. The media has given considerable attention to these disaffected voters, and some Democrats pine and plot to win them back. But that raises the question: Why has the Democratic Party failed to focus on those voters—African Americans, immigrants, single parents—whose views most closely align with the party's vision? The Dec.

Dems Criticize Trump Report on Terrorists

The Trump administration conceded that its terrorism report issued Tuesday aimed at bolstering its push for stricter limits on legal immigration to the U.S. is incomplete and needs more details to paint the full picture of the threats posed by foreign-born terrorists, USA Today reports. The report from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security said that of 549 terrorism-related convictions in federal courts since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 402 of the defendants (73 percent) were foreign-born. President Trump tweeted that the findings prove the U.S. must reduce “chain migration” — the long-standing ability of U.S. citizens and green card holders to sponsor their relatives abroad to enter the U.S. — and the diversity visa lottery. The report does not show how many of the convicted people entered the country through “chain migration” or the diversity visa lottery. The report does not show what countries the convicted people came from.

Denali experience underscores hope that future generations can enjoy it as well

We came around the bend on the Parks Highway after driving north from Anchorage for a few hours. I was in the passenger's seat concentrating on the road ahead, as to not upset my stomach. Just beyond the horizon, I finally got a glimpse of The High One: Mount Denali. It was a sunny day and the clouds had just lifted, offering a view of the tallest point in North America. Standing at 20,310 feet, the mountain was still 150 miles away from our location in the town of Talkeetna, yet we could clearly see the grandeur and peaks.

Denver students taking longer to graduate, even as other districts report improvements

Colorado's annual release of graduation data showed some metro area school districts making gains while others, like Denver's district, posting decreases in on-time rates. Statewide, four-year high school graduation rates inched up again, reaching a new high with 79 percent of all students graduating on time in 2017. Another 10.1 percent, or almost 6,500 students, are still enrolled in high school and could still graduate after five, six or seven years. Numbers show that might be happening in some districts, including Denver Public Schools. The district, which has posted gains for several years, had a 66.6 percent graduation rate in 2017, a drop from 67.2 percent in 2016.

Denver students taking longer to graduate, even as other districts report improvements

Colorado's annual release of graduation data showed some metro area school districts making gains while others, like Denver's district, posting decreases in on-time rates. Statewide, four-year high school graduation rates inched up again, reaching a new high with 79 percent of all students graduating on time in 2017. Another 10.1 percent, or almost 6,500 students, are still enrolled in high school and could still graduate after five, six or seven years. Numbers show that might be happening in some districts, including Denver Public Schools. The district, which has posted gains for several years, had a 66.6 percent graduation rate in 2017, a drop from 67.2 percent in 2016.

Departing Convention Center Director Recalls ‘Visionary Projects,’ End to ‘Great Run’

Michael Sawaya, who oversees the convention center and the Alamodome and is one of the longest-tenured department heads with the City of San Antonio, has resigned to accept a position at the convention center in New Orleans. The post Departing Convention Center Director Recalls ‘Visionary Projects,' End to ‘Great Run' appeared first on Rivard Report.

Departments of Labor, Financial Regulation issue best practices for hiring independent contractors

News Release — Department of Labor
Dec. 20, 2017
Stephen Monahan
Department of Labor
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) are collaboratively releasing a new educational document for employers. The guidance is intended to assist employers in distinguishing between coverage requirements for employee and that for independent contractors. The joint guidance is also a way to educate employers about the role that each department plays in the administration and enforcement of workers' compensation laws. DOL ensures employers have coverage for their employees, and is responsible for the adjudication of disputes between injured workers and workers' compensation insurers.

Derenda leaves behind a mess at police HQ

Posted in Co-produced with WGRZ,Featured,Outrages & InsightsYesterday, Daniel Derenda was Buffalo police commissioner. Today, out of the blue, he's retired. The lack of public notice has some people, including me, wondering if there's more than what meets the eye. I mean, who announces their retirement the day they walk out the door, especially the guy in charge? This much is certain: He leaves behind a police department that is, well, kind of a mess.

Despite ban in St. Louis area, appeal of vaping remains strong for minors

A year after St. Louis and St. Louis County passed legislation to raise the age of purchasing tobacco products to 21, teenagers are still possessing these products at a high rate. A 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows that while the number of teenage tobacco users has declined, the number of teenagers who use electronic cigarettes is greater than those who use conventional cigarettes.

Despite concerns, Jeffco school board agrees to spend $1 million to start funding school innovations

Jeffco school employees can apply for a piece of a $1 million fund that will pay for an innovative idea for improving education in the district. The school board for Jeffco Public Schools on Thursday approved shifting $1 million from the district's rainy day fund to an innovation pool that will be used to provide grants to launch the new ideas. The district will be open for applications as soon as Friday. The board had reservations about the plan, which was proposed by the new schools superintendent, Jason Glass, in November, as part of a discussion about ways to encourage innovation and choice in the district. The board was concerned about how quickly the process was set to start, whether there was better use of the money, and how they might play a role in the process.

Despite Winter Chill, Thousands Gather at Hemisfair to Ring in 2018

Sunday's cold weather didn't stop thousands of New Year's Eve revelers from filing into Hemisfair to kick off San Antonio's Tricentennial celebration. The post Despite Winter Chill, Thousands Gather at Hemisfair to Ring in 2018 appeared first on Rivard Report.

Detroit district aims for faith-based partnerships for every school to support student needs

Each Detroit public school might soon have its own church, synagogue, mosque, temple, chapel, or parish as a partner. The district on Thursday announced an initiative to connect every district school with a faith-based community partner to help with academic support, student basic needs, and personal and career development, among other services. The district is now trying to determine which schools have a defined partnership with a religious institution, but estimates that 25 to 30 percent of schools already do. Sharlonda Buckman, senior executive director of family and community engagement, said that the district hopes that, by the end of the year, every one of its 110 schools “has a religious partner working with them in tandem toward the goal of helping our children achieve.”
The program was announced at a press conference at the N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Midtown, attended by educators, school board members, and invited guests. “It doesn't surprise me when I look around the room and see our religious leaders, because you guys, for a long time, have been investing in our children and our people, and it's been an informal effort,” Buckman said.

Detroit district moves beyond test scores for admittance to elite high schools like Cass Tech and Renaissance

Detroit's main school district is changing the way it decides which students gain entry to the city's elite high schools. Students applying to Cass Technical High School, Renaissance High School and two other selective high schools will no longer be judged primarily on the results of a single exam. Instead, an admissions team comprised of teachers and staff from the schools, as well as administrators in the district's central office, will use a score card that gives students points in various categories. Students can get up to 40 points for their score on the district's high school placement exam, up to 30 points for their grades and transcripts, up to 20 points for an essay and up to 10 points for a letter of recommendation. Students already enrolled in the district will also get 10 bonus points that will give them an edge over students applying from charter and suburban schools.

Detroit week in review: the face off, the fall out and the rest of the week’s school news

The fate of a vacant former school building on Detroit's east side could be decided as soon as today when the charter school trying to buy the building faces off in court against the Detroit district trying to block the sale. The hearing comes just a day after Republican lawmakers scrambled to quickly approve legislation that could help the charter school in its fight against the district. We have the latest twists and turns in that dispute as well as more fall out and finger-pointing from the embarrassing mistake that cost the district $6.5 million. Plus, we have the latest on the state's new data dashboard, which is designed to help Michigan parents compare schools. Also, read on for instructions on how math teachers can win a free trip to Austin to participate in Chalkbeat's Great American Teach Off — a live event showcasing the craft of teaching that we're hosting this March.

Detroit’s Homicide Count Is Lowest Since 1960s

Detroit posted its lowest tally of criminal homicides last year in more than a half-century: 267, reports the Detroit News. That is the fewest criminal homicides since the 214 recorded in 1966. That was at a time when Detroit had a population of more than 1.5 million people, a rate of 14 homicides per 100,000 residents. The 267 homicides in 2017, compared to an estimated population of 673,000 in 2016, is a rate of about 40 per 100,000 residents. There were 305 homicides in 2016.

Development in Beacon: What Next?

Debate likely to continue well into 2018Development in Beacon: What Next? was first posted on January 6, 2018 at 10:59 am.

DeVos criticizes Bush-Obama policies, saying it’s time to overhaul conventional schooling

One era of federal involvement in education is over, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said Tuesday, in some of her most expansive public remarks since taking over the department last year. DeVos used a speech at the American Enterprise Institute to hit on familiar themes: America's schools haven't changed in many years, failing to embrace technology while still spending more and more money. But she also offered a pointed skewering of the approach of her recent successors. “Federally mandated assessments. Federal money.

Deymar Gets Trouble

Deymar was excited to get his hands on Trouble at school Tuesday. A classmate, who got a remote control helicopter, wasn't as sure he would get to enjoy his gift.

Did ‘Repressed Memory’ Falsely Convict Jerry Sandusky?

In 2012, former Penn State defensive football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse of young boys over a 15-year period from 1994 to 2009. He is now serving a 30-60 year sentence in Pennsylvania's SCI Greene “supermax” prison. But in a recent book, journalist Mark Pendergrast claims that a closer look at the evidence presented at trial shows Sandusky is likely innocent. Pendergrast argues, in The Most Hated Man in America: Jerry Sandusky and the Rush to Judgment, that the charges were largely the result of efforts by aggressive police investigators and recovered memory therapists who encouraged boys to “remember” molestations that may not have occurred. Pendergrast published his original arguments in The Crime Report in 2016.

Dion Brown to leave National Blues Museum

The National Blues Museum in St. Louis will soon be looking for a new executive director. Dion Brown, who has led the museum for two years is leaving to become president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. He departs in mid-February.

Discovering a U.S. that’s not just a Hollywood image

Claire Komori (right) and a friend (Courtesy photo)This story was produced in partnership with the First Days Project. Claire Komori's impression of the United States — in particular Pasadena — was different from what she had been expecting from the Hollywood images she had seen in Tokyo, Japan. But rather than missing the adventurous lifestyle she had been led to expect from movies and television, living in a “normal city” and regularly seeing childhood friends from Japan who are also here in the United States helped her adjust to life in this country. Listen to the whole story: post Discovering a U.S. that's not just a Hollywood image appeared first on The Seattle Globalist.

Dismantling of Confederate Memorial marks the end of two years of promises, planning and protests

Former St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said he'd take down the Confederate Memorial in Forest Park in 2015. That didn't happen, so it fell to Mayor Lyda Krewson, who promised a plan to get it done almost as soon as she took office in April. Two months later, the 32-foot-tall granite and bronze memorial is being taken apart — slowly, as some pieces weigh as much as 40 tons. Some say the credit for the quick action doesn't belong to Krewson but rather members of the community who've been vocal in recent weeks.

Displaced After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans Face Awful Conditions in NYC Shelters

This article originally appeared at Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI). On the morning of December 8, Nellyan Velázquez and her three-year-old daughter left Puerto Rico for New York, unaware of what their fate would be. After a long wait at the Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) building in the Bronx that lasted past midnight, a school bus arrived and took them to Brooklyn. Once in Brooklyn, they spent the night in a building without an elevator. Their room was “super disgusting.” The mattresses had no sheets.

Division of Fire Safety winter warm-up concerns

News Release — Department of Public Safety Division of Fire Safety
January 9th, 2018
Michael Desrochers, Executive Director – 802-479-7561
Division of Fire Safety – 1-800-640-2106 – or
The National Weather has forecast a considerable warm-up through the first part of this weekend. Recent extreme cold temperatures with snow accumulation has contributed to ice and snow buildup on roofs. With warmer temperatures and rain in the forecast- falling ice and heavy snow loads on roofs may present a hazard. Please follow the safety tips below:
Keep all chimneys and fuel fired appliance vents clear to prevent carbon monoxide from backing up into the building. Some vents, such as gas, oil, and pellet stove vents, may vent directly out of the building through a wall and are susceptible to being blocked by excessive snow buildup on the outside of the building.

DMV looks to state law as it mulls third gender option on licenses

The Department of Motor Vehicles aims to be able to offer Vermonters a gender choice other than male or female on driver's licenses by the middle of next year. Wanda Minoli, the interim DMV commissioner, said the department is shopping for a new licensing and credential system to be installed “by July 2019, if not before.” The department's request for proposals requires vendors to provide three areas to specify gender, one of which could be designated as nonbinary. The Department of Motor Vehicles in Montpelier. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Department of Motor Vehicles" width="300" height="201" srcset=" 330w, 125w, 610w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">The Department of Motor Vehicles in Montpelier. File photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerVermont Public Radio first reported on the department's consideration of a third option in October.

DNA disproves evidence used to convict two in 1986 Chicago murder, lawyers say

Chicago Police DepartmentPart of the autopsy report from the investigation into teenager Kim Boyd's death. Recent DNA testing supports the contention of two inmates that they have spent years in prison for a rape and murder they did not commit, a newly-filed petition states. Demetrius Henderson and Curtis Croft were convicted of the 1986 murder and rape of Chicago teenager Kim Boyd based on statements that they raped Boyd, persuaded two other men to rape her, then murdered her. For years, a rape kit taken from Boyd after her death sat in storage. Henderson and Croft urged the DNA samples to be tested using technology that did not exist at the time of the crime.

DNR releases draft permit for PolyMet mine

MinnPost staff

PolyMet moves forward. MPR's Dan Kraker reports: “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released a draft permit to mine Friday morning for PolyMet Mining, a major step forward for what's poised to be the first copper-nickel mine in the state — a $650 million project that could spur an entire new mining industry on the Iron Range, but one that carries with it new environmental risks in the most pristine corner of the state. … While not a final decision, the draft permit … signals the state is comfortable the mine, as proposed, can meet environmental standards and provide significant financial assurances to pay for any needed mine cleanup.”St. Paul seeking more gender balance in policing. The Pioneer Press' Mara H. Gottfried reports: “The St.

Do FBI Texts Create ‘Star Witnesses’ in Russia Probe?

In early January, news that the Justice Department's inspector general launched an investigation into the government's disputed handling of the Hillary Clinton email inquiry was quickly overtaken by the chaotic run-up to President Trump's inauguration, says USA Today. Nearly a year later, Inspector General Michael Horowitz's wide-ranging review of the FBI and Justice's work in the politically charged Clinton case now looms as a potential landmine for Russia special counsel Robert Mueller. For months, Horowitz's investigation — which has amassed interviews with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey and other key officials — had been grinding on in near anonymity. That is, until earlier this month when the inspector general acknowledged that Mueller was alerted to a cache of text messages exchanged between two FBI officials on his staff that disparaged Trump. The texts, involving senior counter-intelligence agent Peter Strzok and bureau lawyer Lisa Page, were gathered in the course of Horowitz's internal review of the Clinton case, which Strzok also helped oversee.

Do-It-Yourself Firearms Makers Expand ‘Ghost Gun’ Trade

An underground gun-making industry that enables criminals to elude background checks and bypass gun regulations is creating a growing trade of “ghost guns,” weapons that can't be traced by police, the Wall Street Journal reports. Ghost guns have been in the spotlight since a Northern California man, who was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a restraining order, killed five people in a November rampage using semiautomatic rifles that he made himself. In 2016, a Baltimore man fired at police with a homemade AR-15, and Santa Monica shooter John Zawahri used a ghost gun in his shooting spree that killed five in 2013. The number of these weapons is unknown. Because the guns bear no serial numbers, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is unable to track them.

Doctor: Murder suspect fit to stand trial

Aita Gurung, 34, is accused of killing his wife and severely injuring his mother-in-law with a cleaver. Courtesy Photo Burlington Police Department. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" width="373" height="357" srcset=" 373w, 125w, 300w, 32w" sizes="(max-width: 373px) 100vw, 373px" data-recalc-dims="1">Aita Gurung, 34, is accused of killing his wife and severely injuring his mother-in-law with a cleaver. Courtesy Photo Burlington Police Department.BURLINGTON — A doctor has found that Aita Gurung, who police say killed his wife and tried to kill his mother-in-law with a meat cleaver in October, is fit to stand trial, according to news reports. Witnesses told police they saw Gurung strike his wife, Yogeswari Kahdka, 32, repeatedly with the cleaver in the driveway of their home in October.

Doctors Without Borders calls US bombing of its hospital a crime against humanity

The Pentagon changed its story today, and the humanitarian group demanded an independent international inquiry.Doctors Without Borders is calling the incident a crime against humanity.“Under the rules of international humanitarian law, a hospital is a hospital and the people inside are patients — to target a medical facility in this way is a violation of that, whatever the circumstances,” Vickie Hawkins, executive director of the UK branch of Doctors Without Borders, tells The Takeaway. “The statements that have been coming out of the Afghan government in the past 24 hours would lead us to believe that there was some kind of intent behind the attack. We can only presume, on this basis, that that constitutes a war crime.” The US says the strike in Kunduz, which is under investigation, was issued after Afghan forces came under fire near the hospital and then called for help.“An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat and several civilians were accidentally struck,” the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell,

Does your school have a licensed school nurse? You may be surprised by the answer

Erin Hinrichs

Inside the school nurse's office at Kennedy Elementary School in Hastings last Thursday afternoon, a diabetic student came in for his routine blood sugar test. It was one of six that he does under the supervision of the on-site nurse, Kim Meier, each day to gauge how he's doing and strategize for the next segment of his day.“Are you going to have raisins today?” Meier asked, referring to the school snack scheduled for that afternoon. “You'll need insulin with that because it's a lot of sugar.”Weighing his options, the student decided he'd just have the snack he'd brought from home instead. Then he headed back to class.His teacher keeps a handwritten reminder of his testing schedule attached to the lanyard she wears around her neck. It's not always easy staying on top of this important task while managing a classroom with more than 20 students.

Doing ‘Hard Time’ in the Nation’s Jails

Before I had thought much about the distinction between jails and prisons, a local prosecutor suggested that I take my political science students to El Dorado Correctional Facility, a maximum-security state prison located about 45 minutes northeast of Wichita. We applied to the Kansas Department of Corrections and toured the facility in April 2016. I initially thought that the experience of going behind the concertina wire might help students understand the severity of conditions in American prisons. Instead, we were more impressed by the truth of something we had been told at the local county jail. During three separate visits to Cowley County Jail in November 2014, October 2015, and November 2016, we were told that jail time is “hard time” in comparison to incarceration in a state prison.

DOJ To Test Jamming Federal Inmate Cellphones

The Justice Department will soon start trying to jam cellphones smuggled into federal prisons and used for criminal activity, part of a broader safety initiative that is also focused on preventing drones from airdropping contraband to inmates, the Washington Post reports. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the American Correctional Association in Orlando on Monday that while the law prohibits cellphone use by federal inmates, the Bureau of Prisons confiscated 5,116 such phones in 2016, and preliminary numbers for 2017 indicate a 28 percent increase. “That is a major safety issue,” he said. “Cellphones are used to run criminal enterprises, facilitate the commission of violent crimes and thwart law enforcement.”
As U.S. Attorney in Maryland, Rosenstein prosecuted an inmate who used a smuggled cellphone to order the murder of a witness. A gang member in North Carolina used a contraband cellphone to direct a hit on a prosecutor's father, who was subsequently kidnapped and assaulted by the inmate's associates.

DOJ Will Retry Sen. Menendez on Corruption Charges

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) intends to run for re-election this year even though federal prosecutors plan to retry him on corruption charges, reports The case against Menendez ended in a mistrial in November, when jurors could not reach a verdict. The U.S. Department of Justice had until the end of the month to decide whether to drop the charges against Menendez or pursue another trial. Prosecutors alleged that Menendez, 60, traded his power as a senator for bribes from Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, a friend. The senator was accused of accepting six-figure campaign contributions, luxury hotel stays and private plane flights in exchange for his intervention for Melgen in a $8.9 million Medicare billing dispute, visa applications for the doctor's foreign girlfriends and a port security contract in the Dominican Republic.

DOJ Will Seek Supreme Court Review on DACA

The Justice Department will seek direct Supreme Court review of a judge's ruling that blocked President Trump from shuttering a program that gave work permits and other protections to some people who entered the U.S. illegally as children, Politico reports. The administration is also appealing to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The unusual tactic of petitioning the Supreme Court would make an end run around the lower court, which Trump has repeatedly criticized for liberal rulings. San Francisco-based U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup's ruling required the administration to resume accepting renewal applications for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). “It defies both law and common sense for DACA … to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Don Keelan: A guidebook for board members of nonprofits

Editor's note: This commentary is by Don Keelan, a certified public accountant and resident of Arlington. The piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. The Vermont's Attorney General's Office will be publishing a 17-page handbook titled, “Understand Your Responsibilities,” subtitled, “Guidance for Board Members of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations in Vermont,” and available in late October. According to the publication's introductory letter by Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell, the publication is the product of two of his assistant attorneys general, Wendy Morgan and Todd Daloz, with additional assistance from Linnea Myers. Attorney General Sorrell notes the following in his letter:
“A good board provides leadership, vision, and wisdom to guide the nonprofit.

Don Keelan: Vermont’s shrinking workforce

Editor's note: This commentary is by Don Keelan, a retired certified public accountant and resident of Arlington. The piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. The Dec. 18 Wall Street Journal reported that manufacturers in the U.S. have over 400,000 open positions and that there are nine million men in the 25 to 54 age group that are not working. Here in Vermont, our legislative leaders, special interest groups, and leaders from the administration make announcements of what they believe are the most important issues facing the state.

Don Rendall: Natural gas expansion boosts economy

Editor's note: This commentary is by Don Rendall, who is the president and CEO of Vermont Gas. Vermont Gas' Addison County customer expansion project has received its fair share of news coverage over the past few years and rightfully so: This has been a complex and, at times, very challenging project. Often missing in the many headlines about Vermont Gas are the tremendous benefits this project will bring to Vermont. Construction alone has pumped tens of millions of dollars into our state and local economies. Since early June, over 250 men and women – laborers, inspectors and contractors – have been hard at work six days a week building this important infrastructure project.

Donovan pushes bail reform in interest of fairness, economic equity

Chittenden County State's Attorney TJ Donovan. File photo by Jasper Craven/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="TJ Donovan" width="610" height="406" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1504w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan. File photo by Jasper Craven/VTDiggerVermont Attorney General TJ Donovan urged lawmakers Wednesday to reform the state's bail statutes, saying poor Vermonters were unfairly in jail and often took plea bargains just to get out. The state's top law enforcement officer made the push at a news conference where a key senator called for all of Vermont's out-of-state prisoners to be brought home soon and the head of a civil rights group made a dramatic demand for Vermont's prison population to be cut in half. Among the recommendations Donovan made on bail reform were to cap the amount for certain nonviolent misdemeanor crimes, which he said would allow more lower-income people a chance to be released before trial.

Double Jeopardy, Sanctuary Cities, and the Kate Steinle Case

The tragic death of Kate Steinle during the summer of 2015 created a firestorm over illegal immigration. Candidate—and now President—Donald Trump blamed Steinle's death on San Francisco's sanctuary city policy, which prohibits city law enforcement officers from helping federal immigration officials carry out detentions of undocumented immigrants. The rhetoric was amplified last month when José Ines Garcia Zarate, was acquitted in state court of Steinle's murder. He was, however convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Garcia Zarate has now been indicted on two federal charges similar to those he was convicted of in state court.

Down to the Wire: A New Year’s Eve Challenge to Readers

We are asking you, readers, to take the next step now and make a year-end, tax-deductible contribution to help us close the deal on a $100,000 challenge grant from the Newman Family Foundation. The post Down to the Wire: A New Year's Eve Challenge to Readers appeared first on Rivard Report.

Dr. David Carpenter joins PFOA Health Questionnaire Research Team

News Release — Bennington College
January 4, 2017
Dr. David Bond
Deadline Extended to February 28, 2018
Dr. David Carpenter, a noted physician and Director of the Institute for Health & the Environment at SUNY Albany, is joining the research team guiding the PFOA Community Health Questionnaire. With the deadline of the questionnaire now extended until Feb 28, 2018, Dr. Carpenter and his graduate students will provide vital help in getting residents impacted by PFOA in the communities of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, NY and Bennington, VT fill out the questionnaire. Dr. Carpenter brings an impressive resume of studying environmental contaminants and conducting community driven health research to the PFOA health survey project. “PFOA and related compounds are very dangerous chemicals that increase the risk of several diseases, including cancer. It is urgent to not only keep people from being further exposed, but also to develop a system of following the health of those individuals already exposed so that we can detect diseases resulting from exposure early at a stage when they can treated.

Dream App Becomes Reality for Local Entrepreneurs

Two San Antonio men have released a beta version a mobile app that might be especially welcomed by those who fall short on New Year's resolutions. The post Dream App Becomes Reality for Local Entrepreneurs appeared first on Rivard Report.

Dreamers for a wall? Examining the possibilities for compromise in the immigration debate

Sam Brodey

From the day he announced his candidacy for president, Donald Trump has talked constantly about his idea to build a brand-new, big, beautiful wall running the length of the 2,000-mile U.S. border with Mexico.The wall has been an essential element of the Trump platform, the most raucous applause line at his rallies, and a symbol of his brand of right-wing nationalism that views illegal immigration as an existential threat to the U.S.But nearly a year after Trump declared at his inauguration that he would “bring back our borders,” all there is to show for the wall are prototypes picking up dust in the California desert — and unmet demands from the White House for Congress to pony up $18 billion to make those prototypes into reality.There's also some hard feelings from the president's base of supporters, for whom the border wall was a major part of Trump's appeal. After seeing Republicans in power spend a year going after sweeping health care and tax legislation, they are anxious to see the wall move forward.There could be an opportunity this month, as Congress' debates over funding the government for the coming year get wrapped up in immigration politics. Democrats are pushing for a spending bill that includes a long-term solution permitting undocumented youth known as Dreamers to remain in the country, after the White House last year terminated the Barack Obama-era program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA — providing them legal status.Trump and other top Republicans are insisting that if Democrats want Dreamers to stay, they will need to approve a bill that funds construction of the wall. Many Democrats are open to increased funding for border security, but to most of them, appropriating a cent — much less $18 billion — for a big border wall is a non-starter.Both sides believe they have leverage, with a government funding deadline approaching on January 19 — and Trump's most important single campaign promise hangs in the balance.Wall hits a wallTrump's biggest moves on immigration during the first year of his presidency were made possible by the power of his pen: the administration was quick to roll out executive orders limiting migration from a group of Muslim-majority countries, and curtailing refugee resettlement. The White House also terminated programs that gave certain nationals, such as those of Haiti and El Salvador, protected status in the U.S.The president did sign an executive order for the wall — in January, he mandated the “immediate construction of a physical wall” — but it has not been fulfilled.

DreamWeek 2018: More Than 200 Events Celebrating SA’s Diversity

San Antonio's sixth annual DreamWeek summit kicked off Friday, marking the beginning of two weeks of community programming aimed at advancing tolerance, diversity, and equality while celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. The post DreamWeek 2018: More Than 200 Events Celebrating SA's Diversity appeared first on Rivard Report.

Dreamweek Event Sparks Discussion on Segregation and Poverty in San Antonio

Housing directly impacts all other opportunities within a person's life – that was the premise of Sunday's Dreamweek event, Redeeming the American Dream. The post Dreamweek Event Sparks Discussion on Segregation and Poverty in San Antonio appeared first on Rivard Report.

Driscoll earns endorsement of Rights & Democracy VT

News Release — Carina Driscoll Independent for Mayor
December 22, 2017
Elise Greaves
(802) 917-2302
Burlington, VT — Independent candidate for mayor, Carina Driscoll, has earned the endorsement of the grassroots group Rights & Democracy VT (RAD) after participating in an interview and voting process that concluded yesterday. Driscoll received notification of the endorsement late last night. Rights & Democracy is known for its ability to engage and mobilize people to impact elections of candidates and ballot items.
Driscoll said in a statement:
“I am proud to have earned the endorsement of Rights & Democracy, an organization committed to bringing people together to effect change from the grassroots, as evidenced by their leadership of the Montpelier Women's March effort last year.”
Driscoll's recently hired campaign manager, Elise Greaves, was the lead organizer of the Women's March on Montpelier and former lead organizer at Rights & Democracy for 2 1/2 years. Greaves is a native Vermonter from the Northeast Kingdom and a UVM graduate. Read the story on VTDigger here: Driscoll earns endorsement of Rights & Democracy VT.

Dropping temperatures spell trouble for the vulnerable

After a week of below-zero temperatures, with some nights hitting lower than zero, people in the St. Louis region are struggling to keep warm. For some, that's because they just can't afford the cost of heat. “We thought this was going to be a normal, quiet Christmas,” said founder Gentry W. Trotter, whose organization helps pay utility bills of people in 16 counties in Missouri and Illinois. But the temperature dropped, and since Christmas Day, more than 900 people have asked the organization for help.

Drought response preparations becoming more ‘routine’ for Eagle River Basin

VAIL – Winter in the Eagle River Basin has gotten off to a slow start, leading water managers to keep a close eye on snowpack and spring streamflow predictions. As of Wednesday, Jan. 17, the Upper Colorado River headwaters were at 84 percent of normal precipitation for this water year, which runs from October 2017 through September 2018. The current snow totals could have big implications for the region's water provider, the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District. The Eagle River Water & Sanitation District monitors three snow telemetry, or SNOTEL, snow-measurement sites: Vail Mountain, Copper Mountain and Fremont Pass.

Drug Court Graduation: A Second Chance

After two years, felony charges reduced or dismissedDrug Court Graduation: A Second Chance was first posted on December 31, 2017 at 9:22 am.

ECO AmeriCorps members treat MLK Day as a day ON and not a day off

News Release — ECO AmeriCorps
January 8, 2018
Carlie Wright, 802-249-1362;
ECO AmeriCorps members treat MLK Day as a day ON and not a day off
MONTPELIER — ECO AmeriCorps program members will help the Central Vermont Humane Society with a much-needed painting update at the organization's facility from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm on January 15th, 2018. ECO AmeriCorps members will participate in this service project to honor Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy. The ECO AmeriCorps members will be joined by hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country on this national day of service. “ECO AmeriCorps has proven to be a tremendous resource in helping the state and our community partners achieve Vermont's environmental goals,” said Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Emily Boedecker. “All of our members provide services and complete projects that may otherwise go undone.

Economic impact of Super Bowl debated

MinnPost staff

Safe to say a whole lot less than most people are going to claim. MPR's Tim Nelson report: “What's a Super Bowl worth? It depends on who you ask. … Gov. Mark Dayton pegged it at $500 million for Minnesota four years ago. A study commissioned in Indianapolis after the Super Bowl in 2012 set the net economic benefit at $278 million for the Giants-Patriots game.

EdBuild has issues with school formula pushed by Speaker Gunn

Kate Royals, Mississippi TodayEdBuild CEO Rebecca Sibilia, far left, and House Minority Leader David Baria, far right, at a meeting with EdBuild and the House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday. A meeting with school finance group EdBuild and the House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday shed light on what new school funding formula lawmakers will consider this year, but some questioned the data used in the calculations. In particular, Rep. Jarvis Dortch, D-Raymond, questioned figures that showed Clinton Public School District had more students in poverty than Hinds County. EdBuild CEO Rebecca Sibilia explained the group used numbers from the U.S. Census and correlated them with the number of students who qualify for free and reduced price lunch. While Dortch said Census figures don't account for the students in the district who attend private school, Sibilia said the group accounted for that discrepancy.

Edgar Ray Killen, klansman convicted in civil rights workers slaying, dies in prison

Edgar Ray “Preacher” Killen, the last person convicted of taking part in the 1964 murders of three civil rights activists in Neshoba County, died in prison Thursday night, officials announced Friday. He was 92. Associated Press / FBIOn June 29, 1964, the FBI began distributing these pictures of civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, 24, of New York, James Chaney, 21, from Mississippi, and Andrew Goodman, 20, of New York, who disappeared near Philadelphia, Miss., June 21, 1964. In June 2005, at the age of 80, Killen was sentenced to 60 years in prison on three manslaughter convictions in the slayings of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in a state trial, which drew national attention because of the case's notoriety and the length of time it took to bring someone to justice. The killings also were the basis for the 1988 movie, “Mississippi Burning,” which is what the FBI dubbed the case.

Editor’s note: Scandals are fun, but it isn’t always journalism

A few weeks ago our political reporters caught wind of rumors about Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and an extramarital affair. We pursued the issue but without reliable sources to verify the rumors we felt we couldn't run the story. Then Wednesday evening, KMOV TV broke the story hours after Greitens delivered his State of the State address. The governor and his wife issued a statement confirming an affair had occurred and what was once a story we weren't going to do became news. It forced us to jump in the action.

Editor’s note: Scandals are fun, but they aren’t always journalism

A few weeks ago our political reporters caught wind of rumors about Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and an extramarital affair. We pursued the issue, but without reliable sources to verify the rumors we felt we couldn't run the story. Then Wednesday evening, KMOV-TV broke the story, hours after Greitens delivered his State of the State address. The governor and his wife issued a statement confirming an affair had occurred and what was once a story we weren't going to do became news. It forced us to jump in the action.

Editor’s note: Scandals may be fun, but they aren’t always journalism

A few weeks ago, our political reporters caught wind of rumors about Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and an extramarital affair. We pursued the issue, but, without reliable sources to verify the rumors, we felt we couldn't run the story. Then, Wednesday evening, KMOV-TV broke the story, hours after Greitens delivered his State of the State address. The governor and his wife issued a statement confirming an affair had occurred and what was once a story we weren't going to do became news. It forced us to jump in the action.

Education and road funding dominate on Day 1 of 2018 legislative session

R.L. Nave, Mississippi TodayThe Mississippi Capitol in January 2018. There were few surprises as the Mississippi Legislature convened Tuesday to begin the 2018 session. By and large, legislative leaders—Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves—zoned in on unresolved issues from last year as key topics to address this session. These include adopting a new education funding formula, improving the state's roads and bridges and reforming how the Division of Medicaid operates. The Legislature failed to produce or pass a new school funding formula in the 2017 session, but Gunn said a new bill is being drafted that will use recommendations from EdBuild, the New Jersey-based consultant the Legislature hired last year to provide options for a new funding formula.

Education funding by district under proposed formula, 2025-2026

School DistrictActual funding 2018New funding for 2025-26 (Percent change)Percent change in fundingAberdeen$6,089,980$5,504,609-9.6%Alcorn Co$15,344,920$15,684,7892.2%Amite$5,668,030$5,076,070-10.4%Amory$8,354,255$8,424,0340.8%Attalla$5,093,320$4,762,462-6.5%Baldwyn$3,763,995$3,432,168-8.8%Bay St. Louis$8,265,432$8,409,6001.7%Benton$6,318,575$7,173,09213.5%Biloxi$26,129,717$27,976,9877.1%Booneville$6,266,566$6,751,6307.7%Brookhaven$13,283,844$13,166,024-0.9%Calhoun$11,966,461$12,248,6782.4%Canton$14,777,771$15,281,1193.4%Carroll$4,631,516$4,395,768-5.1%Chickasaw$2,775,875$2,833,0472.1%Choctaw$6,742,044$6,407,064-5.0%Claiborne$6,718,436$8,001,30519.1%Clarksdale$13,035,942$13,989,7757.3%Cleveland$15,559,673$16,137,9173.7%Clinton$22,804,266$25,474,24211.7%Coahoma Co$6,852,655$6,934,2411.2%Coffeeville$2,493,862$2,460,334-1.3%Columbia$8,247,109$9,096,17110.3%Columbus$17,912,364$17,699,403-1.2%Copiah$13,302,263$14,140,4746.3%Corinth$11,616,647$12,494,0907.6%Covington$13,506,818$13,239,163-2.0%Desoto$145,757,785$165,619,37213.6%Durant$2,757,316$2,874,7244.3%East Jasper$4,289,948$4,333,5721.0%East Tallahatchie$5,787,788$6,260,7268.2%Enterprise$4,574,688$4,222,221-7.7%Forest City$7,096,351$7,500,1075.7%Forest Co$10,676,396$10,739,8010.6%Franklin$6,662,448$6,992,9045.0%George Co$19,388,098$21,331,63110.0%Greene$9,526,383$10,127,2486.3%Greenville$22,778,033$24,046,3465.6%Greenwood$12,598,421$14,121,83212.1%Grenada$18,391,379$19,763,0457.5%Gulfport$27,211,139$30,941,98713.7%Hancock$19,712,299$20,479,1283.9%Harrison$64,808,402$69,968,3128.0%Hattiesburg$18,911,777$18,524,947-2.0%Hazelhurst$6,491,283$6,838,6555.4%Hinds$25,192,322$25,005,595-0.7%Hollandale$3,322,260$3,299,117-0.7%Holly Springs$6,360,173$6,346,688-0.2%Holmes$13,582,767$15,381,42413.2%Houston$9,012,572$9,442,2114.8%Humphreys$8,475,544$9,826,07415.9%Itawamba$17,776,937$19,448,2459.4%Jackson Co$38,873,133$40,336,4033.8%Jeff Davis$7,059,322$6,889,548-2.4%Jefferson$6,654,305$7,077,0596.4%Jones$41,821,369$46,715,25711.7%JPS$119,636,523$123,341,1453.1%Kemper$5,065,046$4,976,030-1.8%Kosciusko$11,106,800$11,697,2895.3%Lafayette$12,525,610$13,838,72710.5%Lamar$44,805,201$47,805,2556.7%Lauderdale$31,405,808$32,145,1902.4%Laurel$13,525,057$13,886,8782.7%Lawrence$9,893,328$10,115,6362.2%Leake$14,598,614$14,919,2412.2%Lee$32,673,890$35,688,9909.2%Leflore$11,094,261$11,566,1594.3%Leland$3,824,868$3,775,191-1.3%Lincoln$15,315,829$16,187,7285.7%Long Beach$16,547,026$17,397,4485.1%Louisville$13,423,430$14,368,2937.0%Lowndes$23,162,342$24,208,4354.5%Lumberton$3,121,223$2,969,642-4.9%Madison$56,271,883$57,150,7661.6%Marion$10,881,792$10,787,956-0.9%Marshall$13,512,856$14,557,7507.7%McComb$11,803,514$12,355,2804.7%Meridian$23,272,562$23,943,0072.9%Monroe$11,065,906$10,784,577-2.5%Montgomery$2,068,503$1,158,422-44.0%Moss Point$10,611,302$8,570,784-19.2%Natchez$15,391,739$15,165,312-1.5%Neshoba$16,604,647$17,512,5825.5%Nettleton$6,821,869$7,301,4377.0%New Albany$10,518,806$11,321,6237.6%Newton$4,856,787$4,999,8082.9%Newton Co$8,968,400$9,192,5762.5%North Bolivar$5,839,694$5,637,299-3.5%North Panola$7,285,614$7,632,5874.8%North Pike$12,370,074$13,448,2108.7%North Tippah$6,632,713$7,050,7226.3%Noxubee$8,154,124$8,834,8918.3%Ocean Springs$26,879,029$29,456,0739.6%Okolona$3,499,329$3,201,722-8.5%Oxford$17,790,010$18,478,1693.9%Pascagoula$32,409,712$31,456,109-2.9%Pass Christian$8,806,683$9,284,5495.4%Pearl$17,949,060$19,380,8558.0%Pearl River$16,769,762$17,233,5942.8%Perry$5,391,708$5,040,504-6.5%Petal$18,818,538$20,596,7509.4%Philadelphia$4,916,891$4,908,703-0.2%Picayune$15,927,700$16,565,0484.0%Pontotoc$11,423,047$12,351,6698.1%Pontotoc Co$19,112,061$20,030,8334.8%Poplarville$9,084,877$10,490,59415.5%Prentiss$12,624,967$12,902,3382.2%Quitman$8,474,908$8,791,3613.7%Quitman Co$5,153,476$5,310,8273.1%Rankin$79,624,971$83,181,9824.5%Richton$3,514,919$3,533,4820.5%Scott$21,382,128$22,751,7716.4%Senatobia$8,588,825$9,223,5397.4%Simpson$16,802,873$17,381,6983.4%Smith$12,814,295$13,369,8704.3%South Delta$3,920,464$4,000,3422.0%South Panola$20,208,949$21,905,3278.4%South Pike$7,616,844$8,017,8365.3%South Tippah$14,510,356$15,084,0034.0%Starkville-Oktibbeha$22,792,576$23,410,0492.7%Stone Co$12,421,624$13,539,7629.0%Sunflower$17,941,452$18,406,5352.6%Tate$12,752,428$12,648,407-0.8%Tishomingo$14,833,937$15,263,7912.9%Tunica$8,854,413$8,892,2760.4%Tupelo$30,030,232$31,404,2504.6%Union$5,477,589$5,635,2752.9%Union Co$14,126,934$15,518,2789.8%Vicksburg-Warren$35,996,081$34,836,418-3.2%Walthall$9,265,493$9,051,600-2.3%Water Valley$5,416,477$5,492,1091.4%Wayne$16,013,946$18,054,55112.7%Webster$9,104,525$9,783,1497.5%West Bolivar$6,780,462$5,858,338-13.6%West Jasper$6,577,347$6,473,990-1.6%West Point$14,331,737$15,158,3835.8%West Tallahatchie$3,991,192$3,604,915-9.7%Western Line$8,305,783$8,568,5063.2%Wilkinson$6,028,059$6,702,89811.2%Winona$5,922,465$6,040,1542.0%Yazoo City$12,675,929$13,690,7608.0%Yazoo Co$6,988,742$7,368,3865.4%

Education reform internships expand to students at Mississippi’s HBCUs

HOLLY SPRINGS – Shamara Butler always dreamed of attending a historically black college, and a choir scholarship to Rust College made that dream a reality for her. This opportunity gave her a chance to explore a different region outside the comfort zone of her home state of Minnesota. Adding to that experience, Butler participated in an eight-week, paid internship last summer that focused on strengthening education reform. EbonyShamara Butler
“It [the program] gave me more than I really expected,” said Butler. “I'm just happy it gave me the opportunity to be able to do and learn more about education reform.

Edward Benavides Resigns from City; Contreras to Become Permanent Tricentennial Head

Former Tricentennial Commission head Edward Benavides is resigning from the City of San Antonio, and Carlos Contreras, named the interim executive director, will take the job permanently, according to a memo from City Manager Sheryl Sculley. The post Edward Benavides Resigns from City; Contreras to Become Permanent Tricentennial Head appeared first on Rivard Report.

Edwards Aquifer Authority Board Member Resigns; Manager Gets 17% Raise

The authority will review new applicants to represent parts of west and north-central San Antonio after accepting a board members' resignation Tuesday. The post Edwards Aquifer Authority Board Member Resigns; Manager Gets 17% Raise appeared first on Rivard Report.

Efforts to save island wildlife from extinction get a boost from new database

Though the approximately 465,000 islands on planet Earth represent just over five percent of total global land area, they are disproportionately rich in threatened biodiversity — and researchers have now identified which are the most important to protect from invasive species, a major driver of species extinction on islands. A 2015 study found that 61 percent of all species extinctions recorded since 1500 and 37 percent of all species currently listed as critically endangered are confined to islands. Invasive species are one of the largest threats to terrestrial species that call islands home, in addition to habitat loss, but the study's authors note that “Proven management actions can reduce these threats, benefiting both local peoples and species diversity on islands.” In order to aid in the planning of the types of conservation efforts that can help prevent further island-based extinctions, a team of researchers led by Dena Spatz, a conservation biologist at Santa Cruz, California-based NGO Island Conservation, identified which islands around the world harbor both threatened terrestrial vertebrates and invasive species like rodents or cats (Spatz began the project while a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz). The researchers have compiled their findings in an interactive distribution map called the Threatened Island Biodiversity Database. “The opportunities to prevent extinctions are now laid out right in front of us,” Spatz said in a statement.

Eight years out of prison, Ganim says he’s ready to be governor

Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim's formal entrance into the race for governor Wednesday presents Democratic officials with two unsettling scenarios: Either they make peace with the prospect of their ticket being led by a convicted extortionist, or they try to dissuade the mayor of Connecticut's largest city from running in a Democratic primary.

Elayne Clift: A salute to STEM women

Editor's note: This commentary is by Elayne Clift, who writes about women, culture and social issues from Saxtons River. Ask any number of people to name a woman who has made a difference in science, technology, engineering or math, now known as STEM, and they are likely to say Marie Curie, who won the Nobel Prize in both physics and chemistry for discovering radium and polonium and for researching treating tumors with radiation. They might know that 1940s movie star Hedy Lamarr did something important during World War II, although they probably couldn't say she invented a remote-controlled communications system that now serves as the basis for modern communication technology like Bluetooth and WiFi connections. Thanks to the popular film “Hidden Women,” some will likely mention “the women” who worked at NASA, but few are likely to have the name Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson on the tip of their tongues. She was the African-American physicist and mathematician featured in the movie whose early application of digital electronic computers at NASA allowed for accuracy in computerized celestial navigation.

Elayne Clift: What the #MeToo movement can teach us

Editor's note: This commentary is by Elayne Clift, who writes about women, culture and social issues from Saxtons River. It's been some time since the Harvey Weinstein revelations opened the floodgates of personal stories about sexual harassment and assault. Still, women's stories keep coming, and so they should. We must bear witness if things are going to change, not only in the halls of Hollywood studios and Capitol Hill offices, but everywhere that people live, work and carry on their lives. We've learned good lessons in the telling of those stories, and in the copious commentary that followed. We've recognized that zero tolerance policies must be implemented and enforced, that non-disclosure agreements, buyouts and retaliation must end, that the real issues behind acts of aggression against women and girls — culture, misogyny, male privilege and power, for example – are big, complex and urgently need to be the center of exploration, discourse and social change.

Elementary Artists Needed

Deadline extended for Dutchess contestElementary Artists Needed was first posted on January 14, 2018 at 7:14 am.

Elizabeth Courtney: Time for a miracle

Editor's note: This commentary is by Elizabeth Courtney, an author and environmental consultant who is former chair of the Environmental Board and former executive director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council. She is a volunteer staff at the Sustainable Montpelier Coalition. She can be contacted at A version of this was first published in the Times Argus-Rutland Herald on Dec. 30.

Ellen Schwartz: Health care solutions must address root causes of crisis

Editor's note: This commentary is by Ellen Schwartz, of Brattleboro, who is the president of the Vermont Workers' Center. As the Vermont Legislature opened recently, the full weight of Republican attacks on our public health care systems was laid bare for legislators and the public. Due to federal cuts, health care for low-income children is at risk of being defunded, and our federally qualified health centers stand to lose millions of dollars in funding. Vermont's free clinics, which saw an almost 10 percent increase in use in 2017, have already lost access to important funding sources. Home health services and services for people with mental health needs, substance abuse needs, and developmental disabilities are at risk.

Elm City Crossword: 2018 Tea Leaves

Who and what will be left standing when the year runs out? See if you can figure out our predictions in the latest New Haven puzzle.

Emails: SD Fire Chief Pushed Hard to Bring Lifeguards into Line

San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy (left) and Veteran Lifeguard Ed Harris. / Photo by Sam Hodgson
A union dispute could lead to a major reorganization of emergency services at City Hall. San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy is in the midst of a campaign to further integrate firefighters and the city's lifeguards, an effort that has so upset a majority of the city's permanent lifeguards they voted to break away from the city's fire department last month. The vote has no legal significance but 80 percent of the city's 95 permanent lifeguards who voted Dec. 6 want to leave the fire department after roughly 20 years under fire leadership, according to union numbers.

Emanuel Asks Illinois Legislators To Reduce Drug-Possession Penalties

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked state legislators yesterday to soften Illinois' war on drugs, letting non-violent offenders off the hook to free police officers to focus on more serious crimes, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The political response was lukewarm. Emanuel wants the General Assembly to go beyond what he did in Chicago with disappointing results by decriminalizing possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana and reducing from a felony to a misdemeanor the penalty for possession one gram or less of any controlled substance. “Thirteen other states already have laws on the books similar to what I'm proposing and there is no higher rate of drug [use] in these states as a result,” Emanuel said. “It's time to free up our resources for truly violent offenders who pose a bigger threat to the safety of our communities.

Embracing history, as Chinatown-International District faces change

A new mural painted on the crosswalks of 12th and Jackson in July 2017 looks onto the Seattle skyline. The crosswalk sits at the entrance of Little Saigon and represents many aspects of Vietnamese culture.Old and new collide in Seattle's Chinatown-International District. Posted signs show where development is planned for the historic neighborhood. But there are other types of signs. The brick exteriors of many of the neighborhood's older buildings have fading painted signs where shuttered hotels and restaurants used to stand.

Emergency Main Repair on Kemble

Wall, Rock, Kemble streets in Cold Spring closed on WednesdayEmergency Main Repair on Kemble was first posted on January 2, 2018 at 5:22 pm.

Emergency Main Repair on Kemble (Updated)

Wall, Rock, Kemble streets in Cold Spring closed on WednesdayEmergency Main Repair on Kemble (Updated) was first posted on January 4, 2018 at 7:22 am.

Emergency Main Repair on Kemble (Updated)

Water boil order lifted as of 5:39 p.m. on Jan. 6Emergency Main Repair on Kemble (Updated) was first posted on January 6, 2018 at 5:30 pm.

Emergency national protests planned if Trump fires Mueller

News Release — Peace & Justice Center
Dec. 30, 2017
(802) 863-2345 x1
Nobody is Above the Law Protest Possible
​What will happen if Mueller is fired? As the nation watches to see if President Trump fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller, activists across the country are gearing up for a nationwide response — with more than 180,000 people signed up to take the street in nearly 700 locations within hours of Trump firing Mueller. Vermont is no different. is coordinating the nationwide responses and local organizers are currently making contingency plans for protests at City Hall in Burlington.

Employers Want Guarantees Before Hiring the Formerly Incarcerated: Study

Employers are more likely to hire formerly incarcerated individuals if they are guaranteed a replacement in the event the individual doesn't work out, according to a Rand study. They also were 53 percent more likely to employ released inmates if a reentry service or state agency could provide a certificate showing “positive previous work performance,” and the individual could demonstrate he or she had a consistent means of transportation to get to the job, Rand said. The conclusions were based on a survey of 107 employers that Rand said were “broadly representative” of industries around the country with work forces of less than 100 persons. “It might seem as though employers are worried only about whether ex-offenders will conduct themselves in a safe manner or be courteous to staff and customers, but they want more details about a person's work performance,” the study authors wrote. Rand said its findings only applied to the employment of ex-offenders with one nonviolent felony conviction, noting that more than half of the survey respondents showed concern about hiring individuals imprisoned for violent felonies.

Energy sensors and controls could boost Wisconsin economy, study says

Wisconsin is poised to capitalize on “the biggest market opportunity of our era,” according to a report released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Energy Institute, the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and the American Jobs Project. That would be the manufacture of sensors and controls crucial to the advanced energy economy, from smart grids and solar panels to bio-digesters and other energy-related components. While much has been said about the potential for solar and wind supply chains to create jobs in the post-industrial Midwest, the report argues that sensors and controls are an often under-appreciated economic opportunity that could create 44,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs annually through 2030 in Wisconsin. They say Wisconsin could be a national leader in sensors and controls, because of an existing cluster of these businesses, including Johnson Controls and Rockwell Automation; research institutions focused on such technology; and the potential for local markets related to solar, biogas, and energy efficiency to drive manufacturing. But state elected officials, policymakers, and regulators need to take action in order for Wisconsin to realize its potential, the report says.

Engine 6 Pushes Through The Snow

The call came in to the Dixwell Fire Station at 3:43 p.m.: a box alarm at 55 Lock St.

Environment and labor: The top stories this year from the Center for Public Integrity

Who has been Big Oil's secret ally? Who was cheated as federal contractors prospered? Those were the questions the Center's environment and labor team probed this year as part of its continued focus on the ways that pollution, global warming and other aspects of the environment affect health and livelihoods, and how dangerous workplace conditions put employees at risk. See which stories made the list:

Death in the Trench: Jim Spencer suffocated under a pile of dirt in Nebraska — a grim reminder of the weakness of America's worker-safety law
Courtesy of Cheryl Spencer

Jim Spencer, a plumber, had been on his knees outside a home construction project, laying sewer pipe in an eight-foot-deep trench, when a co-worker driving a backhoe inadvertently buried him in dirt. The two companies managing the project were fined $24,800 and $16,800, respectively.

Environmental group to bankroll Shelburne salt shed appeal

SHELBURNE — An environmental group is donating $20,000 to the town of Shelburne to help pay for an appeal in a long-running court battle over a Shelburne salt shed owned by Vermont Railway. The town selectboard voted 3-1 during a special session Tuesday night to accept the money, provided by the Vermont Natural Resources Council. In a letter to town officials, VNRC Executive Director Brian Shupe said the money is simply a donation, and not an attempt to join the litigation. “Other than making the donation, we will have no role in the appeal. Our donation is strongly for the public purpose of supporting the Town,” Shupe wrote to the town on Dec.

Escondido Agrees to Cooperate with Immigration Enforcement and It’s Probably No Big Deal

The Escondido police and fire headquarters / Photo by Genevieve Prentice
By the first week in February, the Escondido Police Department must decide whether to accept a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. To get it, the department had to agree to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement – something in conflict with California state law. Or maybe it's not in conflict at all. Escondido's police chief said they could comply with the federal government demands without violating state laws intended to restrict cooperation with immigration enforcement. It once again raises the question of how exactly local cities, and even California itself, can insulate undocumented residents from the Trump administration's immigration crackdown.

Ethics and appointments highlight first day of Missouri 2018 legislative session

The Missouri General Assembly is back in session. And while the House is slated to have an early focus on overhauling ethics laws, the Senate is planning to take a hard look at some of Gov. Eric Greitens' appointees. House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, is pushing his chamber to pass a bill banning gifts from lobbyists before the end of the month. Last year at this time the House sent a similar bill to the Senate, where it died without a vote. “It's the first day of session, so I have to be optimistic at this point,” Richardson said.

Ethics Board Fines Cook County Assessor Over Campaign Contributions

by Ray Long, Chicago Tribune, and Jason Grotto, ProPublica
Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios is facing $41,000 in fines for failing to return campaign contributions from property tax appeals lawyers whose donations exceeded legal limits, according to a pair of new rulings by the county ethics board. The rulings raise the level of scrutiny on campaign contributions given by appeals lawyers to Berrios, who doubles as chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party and depends heavily on their donations in raising political funds. The action also ignites another high-profile showdown with the county Board of Ethics, with which he previously clashed over nepotism issues. At the center of the ethics board's rulings is a 2016 county ordinance stating that donors who seek “official action” with the county may contribute no more than $750 in nonelection years. Attorneys for Berrios are seeking to overturn the rulings, arguing that the county limits are unconstitutional and that higher limits set by state law should apply, among other objections.

Ex-Dartmouth dean John Hennessey Jr., married to Kunin, dies at 92

John W. Hennessey Jr., the former dean of Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, married Madeleine Kunin, Vermont's first and so far only female governor, in 2006. Dartmouth College photo
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="John W. Hennessey Jr." width="610" height="458" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 632w, 536w, 829w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">John W. Hennessey Jr., the former dean of Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, married Madeleine Kunin, Vermont's first and so far only female governor, in 2006. Dartmouth College photoAs John W. Hennessey Jr. approached his 80th birthday in 2005, he could boast of a full life, both professionally as former dean of Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business and personally as a husband and father who traveled with his grandchildren to all 50 states. Little did the longtime New Hampshire resident anticipate one last sweet chapter in Vermont.

Ex-deputy named interim Washington County state’s attorney

Gov. Phil Scott swears in Rory Thibault as interim Washington County state's attorney Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Scott's office
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Rory Thibault" width="610" height="410" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 776w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Gov. Phil Scott swears in Rory Thibault as interim Washington County state's attorney Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Scott's officeA former chief deputy prosecutor in Washington County has been tapped by Gov. Phil Scott as the temporary head of the county state's attorney's office. Rory Thibault was sworn in Tuesday, a day after State's Attorney Scott Williams resigned. “Rory brings extensive experience to this role, and he will be a strong leader as the Washington County state's attorney's office continues its critical work to seek justice for Vermonters,” Scott said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

Ex-Inmates Benefit from Tightening Job Market

A rapidly tightening labor market is forcing companies to consider workers they once would have turned away. That is providing opportunities to people who have long faced barriers to employment, such as criminal records, disabilities or prolonged bouts of joblessness, reports the New York Times. In Dane County, Wi., where the unemployment rate was just 2 percent in November, demand for workers has grown so intense that manufacturers are hiring inmates at full wages to work in factories even while they serve their prison sentences. The U.S. economy hasn't experienced this kind of fierce competition for workers since the late 1990s and early 2000s, the last time the unemployment rate — currently 4.1 percent — was this low. Until recently, someone like Jordan Forseth might have struggled to find work.

Excitement Gap Vs. Vision Gap

J. R. Romano ‘s party has an excitement gap. Roland Lemar's party has a vision gap.The two veteran campaigners don't say that about each other's party. They say that about their own party.

Exclusive Photos Contradict Coal CEO’s Claim He Had Nothing To Do with Rick Perry’s Coal Bailout

“I DIDN'T HAVE ANY INVOLVEMENT” in the drafting of a controversial new Department of Energy (DOE) rule subsidizing coal and nuclear plants, energy executive Robert Murray told Greenwire in late November. “This was done by the Trump administration. … I had nothing to do with it.”

In These Times has obtained photographs of a March 29 meeting between Murray and Energy Secretary Rick Perry that call this claim into question. The photographs show the Murray Energy CEO presenting a proposal to alter the policies of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to favor coal plants, as a way to increase “grid reliability.”

Latest Issue: December 2017

The “Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule,” proposed by the DOE on September 28, echoes that suggestion. The rule amounts to a bailout for the coal and nuclear industries, premised on the controversial idea that, in the event of a natural disaster or extreme weather event, only coal and nuclear plants offer the fuel stores necessary to keep the grid running.

Exoneree Diaries: Antione stops running

“Mr. Joseph told me, ‘Don't call me your angel.' But he is. He said, ‘I see what they done to you. I'm going to get you out of here, but I want you to be patient.' From that point on, I fell in love.”ANTIONE OVERSLEPT.

Expelled students can no longer be sent home with homework and no plan

State law requires local education officials to provide expelled students with an “alternative educational opportunity during the period of expulsion," but has been silent on what the quality of that education must be. This week, school districts were given standards for the programs they must offer students.

Extreme cold causes burst pipes, spike in fuel demand

(This story by Tim Camerato was published first by the Valley News on Jan. 3, 2018, and augmented here with material by Dave Gram of VTDigger.)
Homes and businesses around the region are contending with burst pipes, spikes in heating oil demand and a run on electric heaters as temperatures dipped to subzero levels over the long holiday weekend. The National Weather Service reported a low of minus 27 on Monday night in St. Johnsbury. “That's impressive right there,” Peter Banacos, a forecaster at the National Weather Service's South Burlington office, said Tuesday afternoon.

F-35 opponents force City Council to float ballot question

Charles Simpson, progressive candidate for the Ward 6 city council seat, and F-35 opponent, addresses Friday's news conference. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Charles Simpson" width="610" height="343" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Charles Simpson, progressive candidate for the Ward 6 city council seat, and F-35 opponent, addresses Friday's news conference. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — A group opposed to basing F-35 fighter jets at the Burlington airport claimed a small victory after gathering enough signatures on a petition to force the Burlington City Council to discuss, once again, whether to revisit the long-running controversy. Activists calling themselves Save our Skies have been working for months to put the issue back before voters in the form of a non-binding question on Burlington's March ballot that, should voters approve, would direct the Burlington City Council to oppose the notoriously noisy jets, and request quieter aircraft, instead. Save our Skies held a news conference outside Burlington City Hall Friday morning to announce that enough signatures had been gathered to force the Burlington City Council to hold a discussion at its Jan.

Facebook being used for illegal reptile trade in the Philippines

Facebook has emerged as a major market for trafficking in live reptiles in the Philippines, according to a new report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade and monitoring network. In a survey that lasted three months in 2016, TRAFFIC researchers monitored 90 Facebook groups that had previously been known to advertize the sale of reptiles, and recorded 2,245 live reptile advertisements representing more than 5,000 individual animals from 115 taxa. “This small snapshot reinforces how social media has taken over as the new epicentre of wildlife trade,” Serene Chng, program officer for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia, said in a statement. “In only selected groups and in under a hundred days, we found thousands of individual reptiles in trade. This magnitude of commerce in live wild animals online is just mind boggling.” The Asian Leaf Turtle Cyclemys dentata is illegally collected in Palawan Province and transported and traded in Metro Manila.

Facebook Doesn’t Tell Users Everything it Really Knows About Them

by Julia Angwin

, Terry Parris Jr.

and Surya Mattu
Facebook has long let users see all sorts of things the site knows about them, like whether they enjoy soccer, have recently moved, or like Melania Trump. But the tech giant gives users little indication that it buys far more sensitive data about them, including their income, the types of restaurants they frequent and even how many credit cards are in their wallets. Since September, ProPublica has been encouraging Facebook users to share the categories of interest that the site has assigned to them. Users showed us everything from “Pretending to Text in Awkward Situations” to “Breastfeeding in Public.” In total, we collected more than 52,000 unique attributes that Facebook has used to classify users. Facebook's site says it gets information about its users “from a few different sources.”

What the page doesn't say is that those sources include detailed dossiers obtained from commercial data brokers about users' offline lives.

Facebook emerging as a ‘thriving’ wildlife trade marketplace

From the Malayan sun bear to a blood python, Malaysians seem to have found a booming marketplace for wild animals on Facebook. Much of this online trade is carried out in closed Facebook groups, and involves live, high-profile and threatened species for which trade is strictly prohibited in Peninsular Malaysia, a five-month investigation by wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC has uncovered. This suggests that sales on Facebook exclusively caters to the pet trade, the authors write in the report. “Social media's ability to put traffickers in touch with many potential buyers quickly, cheaply and anonymously is of concern for threatened wildlife and enforcement agencies, which demands nothing short of a concerted global response,” Sarah Stoner, a Senior Crime Data Analyst with TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia, said in a statement. Every day, from November 2014 to March 2015, TRAFFIC's team monitored the activity of 14 groups on Facebook.

Facebook’s Uneven Enforcement of Hate Speech Rules Allows Vile Posts to Stay Up

by Ariana Tobin, Madeleine Varner and Julia Angwin
The graphic content of some of the posts reprinted within this article may offend some readers. However, our belief is that readers cannot fully understand the importance of how hate speech is handled without seeing it unvarnished and unredacted. Facebook's community standards prohibit violent threats against people based on their religious practices. So when ProPublica reader Holly West saw this graphic Facebook post declaring that “the only good Muslim is a fucking dead one,” she flagged it as hate speech using the social network's reporting system. Facebook declared the photo to be acceptable.

Facing a state budget crunch, Gov. Cuomo proposes modest 3 percent education boost

Facing budget pressure at home and from Washington, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed increasing school aid by 3 percent this year — far less than what advocates and the state's education policymakers had sought. Cuomo put forward a $769 million increase in school aid during his executive budget address on Tuesday, less than half of the $1.6 billion sought by the state's Board of Regents. In response, the state's top education officials said they were “concerned,” and suggested that they would press lawmakers to negotiate for more education spending. The governor's modest increase in school funding comes amid a projected $4.4 billion state budget deficit, a federal tax overhaul expected to squeeze New York's tax revenue, and the threat of further federal cuts. Still, Cuomo, a Democrat who plans to run for reelection this fall and is considering a 2020 presidential bid, defended his spending plan as a boost for schools at a time of fiscal uncertainty.

Facing aging, crumbling and half-empty buildings, Detroit school board to consider $945,000 review of district properties

Detroit's main school district is considering spending nearly $1 million to assess the quality of the aging buildings that house its 106 schools. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti has talked since arriving in Detroit last spring about the need for the district to review the conditions of its buildings as it makes decisions about which buildings need renovations — and which ones might need to be closed. Many school buildings are in serious disrepair — a problem that became a national story two years ago when so many teachers called in sick to protest school conditions that most district schools cancelled classes. Many buildings are also half empty, meaning dollars that could be used to educate children are instead going toward heating empty hallways. But closing schools could exacerbate challenges for families in a city where many children live in neighborhoods without quality school options.

Fact-check: Weighing 7 claims from Betsy DeVos’s latest speech, from Common Core to PISA scores

In a speech Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made the case for giving up on the type of school improvement efforts favored by Presidents Obama and George W. Bush. In its place, she argued, the federal government should encourage tech-infused innovation and school choice. Looking to weigh her claims? Here's a closer look at a few. 1.

Families Relocated After Ceiling Collapses

It sounded like a repeat of an old movie: Water damage causes a public-health emergency at the Church Street South housing complex, leading to families being put up in hotel rooms.

Family Dollar Plan OK’d, With Upkeep Promises

The old Whalley Avenue CVS will get a new parking lot and cosmetic exterior improvements — and still, despite some neighborhood opposition, become a Family Dollar in the end.

Family questions: They need to be asked of the living, when they’re next to us

Kris Potter

The call came in the midst of a dinner party. "Mom, should I partially cook the chicken before I put it into a baked ziti recipe?" Well, yes, unless you want to grow things that will make you throw up. I told him to totally cook the chicken and then throw it in with the noodles, which theoretically would keep the chicken moist. And I remembered my own post-college calls.

Family Spirit program aims to help Native parents improve kids’ prospects

Andy Steiner

Everyone loves their children but not everyone understands that the way we care for the youngest among us will have an impact on our society for years to come.With that reality in mind, a new program run by Headway Emotional Health Services, a Twin Cities-based mental health provider for families, aims to improve the parenting skills of at-risk American Indian parents by helping them learn to give their infant-to-preschool-aged children the support they need to be prepared for success later in life.The program, known as Family Spirit, is an evidence-based curriculum developed specifically for a Native population. Headway, which already runs other early-childhood programs, wanted to respond to a growing crisis they were seeing among American Indian families in the Twin Cities, fueled in part by high rates of opioid addiction. Headway decided to launch Family Spirit before it was fully funded because the need felt so great. They opened the program in June 2017, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Medica Foundation. Last month, Headway was awarded an additional $12,000 from the Sheltering Arms Foundation to support the program.

Farm First services available to help Vermont farm families

News Release — Farm First
Thursday, December 28, 2017
Farm First
MONTPELIER, Vt.- Farm First is lending a helping hand to Vermont farm owners and their families. Farm First provides free and confidential business and personal service for Vermonters working in agriculture. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets has teamed up with the Agency of Human Services, INVEST Employee Assistance Program and UVM Extension to create Farm First to ensure that Vermont farm owners and family members living on the farm are provided with the same support and resources available to all Vermont workplaces. What does Farm First offer? Professional, confidential consulting and /or counseling and resources to help with ANY personal, family or farm management problem, such as
Family communication issues, marriage, kids, siblings
Challenges with managing hired help; communication issues, stress
Personal supportive counseling services for any issue: lack of sleep, depression, anxiety or persistent worry, grief or loss, substance abuse, parenting worries, caring for your elders….

Farmer-veteran challenging Sanders for Senate seat

Shaftsbury farmer Brad Peacock announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate at the Shaftsbury community center Sunday. Photo by Cherise Madigan/Manchester Journal
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Brad Peacock" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1500w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Shaftsbury farmer Brad Peacock announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate at the Shaftsbury community center Sunday. Photo by Cherise Madigan/Manchester Journal(This story by Cherise Madigan was published by the Manchester Journal on Jan. 7, 2018.)
MANCHESTER — Brad Peacock has served his country once, and on Sunday the Shaftsbury farmer announced that he hopes to do so once again — this time in the U.S. Senate. Running as an independent, Peacock is vying for the seat currently held by 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Farmers Market Legal Toolkit provides free resources to build strong, accessible markets for communities

News Release — Vermont Law School
Jan. 16, 2018
Maryellen Apelquist, Director of Communications, Vermont Law School
office: 802-831-1228, cell: 802-299-5593,
SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., Jan. 16, 2018––The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law School, Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), and Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) today launched an online Farmers Market Legal Toolkit, a free resource to support building resilient and accessible markets throughout the United States. The toolkit, created with support from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), is available at “The Farmers Market Coalition and Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont were ideal partners for this project because they work every day with markets and understand their practical needs,” said VLS Assistant Professor Emily Spiegel, a CAFS project team member.

Fast-tracked school funding bill sparks questions, concerns

Kayleigh Skinner, Mississippi TodayRep. Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, discusses a new education funding bill on Jan. 15, 2018. Even though many questions linger about a potential rewrite of Mississippi's school funding formula, the House is moving quickly to rush the bill through the legislative process. Legislators, educators and education advocates met in a crowded room at the Capitol Monday afternoon to discuss House Bill 957, titled the “Mississippi Uniform Per Student Funding Formula Act of 2018.”
The bill, authored by Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, would do away with Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) and replace it with a new, weighted formula that provides extra funding to specific types of students. The fact that Gunn filed his 354-page bill late on the night on Jan.

FBI Checks Whether Russian Banker Aided NRA for Trump

kThe FBI is investigating whether a Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, McClatchy Newspapers reports. FBI investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia's central bank, who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA. It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections. The Torshin investigation is a new dimension in the 18-month-old FBI probe of Russia's interference. A multi-agency U.S. law enforcement and counterintelligence investigation into Russia's intervention that began before the start of the 2016 election campaign included a focus on whether the Kremlin secretly helped fund efforts to boost Trump.

FDA takes too long to remove contaminated food from shelves, investigators say

Susan Perry

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking too long — in some cases, up to 10 months — to get contaminated food products off store shelves, according to a report released last week by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services.That delay puts consumers' health at risk. An estimated 48 million people get ill from foodborne diseases each year in the United States. Of those, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die.The FDA is responsible for recalling almost all harmful foods, including processed foods, from stores and food service locations. The exceptions are cases involving meat and poultry, which are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture. Food recalls are almost always voluntary.

Fear and Waiting in Jefferson City: 5 loose ends from first week of Missouri legislature

When lawmakers gaveled themselves back into session on Jan. 3, most people focused on tension between Gov. Eric Greitens and the Missouri Senate — or how the GOP-controlled legislature may struggle to solve big policy problems over the next few months. But for a brief moment on Thursday, legislators from both parties took a break from the Jefferson City rigor to shower praise on former Gov. Jay Nixon.

Feast Your Eyes on 15 Stunning Data Visualizations

We're drowning in data. Everyday, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created. This is the equivalent of 90 percent of the world's information — created in the last two years alone. Now this is what we call “big data.”
But where does it come from? Everywhere, from sensors and social media sites to digital images and videos.

Federal appeals court weighs future of lawsuit over Michael Brown’s death

A federal appeals court is considering whether Dorian Johnson, the man who was with Michael Brown during the now-infamous 2014 confrontation with former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, can sue Wilson and the city for violating his civil rights. All 11 judges of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case Wednesday morning. In a 2-1 decision issued in June, a panel of the same court ruled that Wilson, former chief Tom Jackson and the city could be sued. Now the full panel is being asked to make a decision.

Federal board to reconsider asylum request of Mexican reporter and son

A Mexican reporter and his son who were on the verge of deportation earlier this month after being denied their request for asylum will be able to appeal the decision, their lawyer confirmed on Thursday. Emilio Gutiérrez and his son Oscar were nearly sent back to Mexico from El Paso on December 7 after fighting to stay in the country since 2008. Their deportation was quickly halted that day after their attorney requested an emergency reprieve and asked the Board of Immigration Appeals to reconsider the case. The appeal was initially rejected after the government said their former attorney, Linda Rivas, didn't file the request on time. But in a letter dated December 22, 2017, the board said it would agree to honor the request for appeal after all.

Federal government approves new Minnesota school accountability measures

MinnPost staff

New school rules. The Pioneer Press' Christopher Magan reports: “Minnesota has a new system for holding schools accountable to ensure every child gets an equitable education. … The U.S. Department of Education announced late Wednesday it had approved Minnesota's proposal for a new school oversight plan. The plans are required under the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, which was passed in 2015 and regulates federal funding and oversight of public schools.”In case you didn't notice, it's nasty out there. The Star Tribune's Tim Harlow, reports: “Light snow has made its way into the metro area where the temperature has dropped 21 degrees in seven hours, causing moisture from overnight drizzle to freeze on the pavement.

Federal government shuts down after Congress fails to reach deal

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., at a rally outside the Capitol hours before the shutdown deadline. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., at a rally outside the Capitol hours before the shutdown deadline. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerWASHINGTON — Congress failed to pass a spending package by midnight Friday, pushing the federal government into a partial shutdown. However, within minutes of midnight, leadership laid the foundation to move forward with a three-week funding agreement. The deal could move through Congress by the end of the weekend — in time for federal workers to return to their desks Monday.

Federal government shuts down, CT to feel aftershock

WASHINGTON — Connecticut residents will still get their mail and Social Security checks, but the shutdown of the federal government will reverberate through state agencies – especially those that are most reliant on federal grants and federal workers, and many in the state will eventually feel an impact.

Federal judge says DACA can’t end while lawsuit is pending

A federal judge in California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction Tuesday blocking the Trump administration's decision to phase out a program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation. The injunction by U.S. District Judge William Alsup says those protections must remain in place for nearly 690,000 immigrants already in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program while a legal challenge to ending the Obama-era program proceeds. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision to terminate the program on Sept. 5 and said no renewal applications would be accepted after Oct. 5.

Federal judge says Texas still needs oversight to fix its “broken” foster care system

A federal judge has ruled Texas will continue to need oversight of how it cares for vulnerable children, even after sweeping legislative changes last year. In a 116-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Janis Jack ruled on Friday afternoon that Texas leaders will remain under the watchful eye of federal special masters for three years as they implement more policies for how abused and neglected children are protected. She wrote in her ruling that “the system remains broken and DFPS has demonstrated an unwillingness to take tangible steps to fix the broken system.”
“Because the State of Texas has failed to rectify long-standing problems with its foster-care system despite decades of awareness and extensive reports and recommendations by internal and external authorities, this Court concludes that “unless directed otherwise by some authority, the studies and testing will continue, no remediation will occur and the dangerous condition[s] will continue to exist,” Jack wrote. The news comes nearly three years after Jack ruled in 2015 that the state's foster care system violated children's civil rights. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services officials have been working with federal appointed special masters to evaluate how the state does with overseeing the child welfare system.

Federal judge slaps NM attorney in bail reform lawsuit

A federal judge has taken the unusual step of ordering a politically ambitious New Mexico attorney to pay back the state for filing a “frivolous” lawsuit aimed at undoing efforts to reform the state's commercial bail system. The attorney, Blair Dunn, a Libertarian who earlier this week announced a run for state attorney general, must […]

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump’s Decision To End DACA

A federal judge in California late Tuesday night temporarily blocked the Trump administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Known as DACA for short, it protects young immigrants from deportation. In September, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the program would be phased out. President Obama implemented the program in 2012, and it has protected about 800,000 people who were brought to the United States as children by their families, some of whom overstayed their visas. Under the program, these young adults referred to as "Dreamers" have been permitted to live and work legally in the U.S. U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco granted a request by California and other states to keep DACA going, at least until lawsuits can play out in court.

Federal officials deny New York testing waivers but sign off on its plan for judging schools

New York cannot create special testing rules for students with disabilities or those still learning English, the U.S. education department said Tuesday. The decision to deny New York the testing waivers it had sought came on the same day that the department signed off on the state's plan to evaluate and support schools under the new federal education law. The plan, required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, was the product of more than a year of writing and revision by state officials and over a dozen public hearings. The federal education department approved most of New York's vision — which aims to move beyond test scores when evaluating schools and places new emphasis on whether schools have the resources they need — though they required some changes, which the department first proposed in feedback last month. One of the revisions affects the way schools are rated when many students refuse to take the state exams. Meanwhile, the federal reviewers did not appear to require changes that could have lowered the state's graduation rate, which some experts had said was possible under the new law.

Federal shutdown would hurt Harvey victims, land commissioner tells lawmakers

The possibility of a federal government shutdown is threatening to delay a long-awaited Hurricane Harvey disaster relief package, state and local leaders told a legislative committee Thursday. During a Texas House Committee on Urban Affairs hearing in Houston, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the much-needed federal aid shouldn't be bogged down by partisan issues. “Politics have gotten in the way of Congress approving that money,” Bush said. “People are waiting. They need help.

Federal tax directed at nonprofit salaries over $1 million

Demonstrators rally outside the Capitol Thursday evening, when a vote was initially expected. Debate continued until early Saturday morning. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Capitol" width="610" height="458" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1376w, 1044w, 632w, 536w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Demonstrators rally outside the Capitol in early December against a GOP tax bill. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerThe federal tax package enacted in December includes a new tax on nonprofits that pay salaries over $1 million. The new 21 percent tax would be on employers for the highest five salaries the organization pays that are $1 million or more per year.

Feds issue rare five-star rating to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center staff gathered Tuesday to take part in a video conference with the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which awarded the hospital Magnet recognition for the fourth time. Photo by Edward Damon/Bennington Banner. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" width="500" height="352" srcset=" 500w, 125w, 300w, 150w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" data-recalc-dims="1">Southwestern Vermont Medical Center staff. File photo by Edward Damon/Bennington Banner.Editor's note: This story by Ed Damon first appeared in the Bennington Banner on Friday, Jan. 5.

Feds Plan Major Immigration Sweep in Bay Area

U.S. immigration officials are preparing a major sweep in San Francisco and other Northern California cities in which federal officers will try to arrest 1,500 undocumented people while sending a message that immigration policy will be enforced in the sanctuary state, reports the Houston Chronicle. The campaign centered in the Bay Area could happen within weeks, and is expected to become the biggest enforcement action of its kind under President Trump. Trump has expressed frustration that sanctuary laws, which seek to protect immigrants and persuade them not to live in the shadows by restricting cooperation between local and federal authorities, get in the way of his goal of tightening immigration. The operation would go after people who have been identified as targets for deportation, including those who have been served with final deportation orders and those with criminal histories. The number could rise if officers come across other undocumented immigrants and make what are known as collateral arrests.

Feds say Arizona can move forward on work requirement for Medicaid

Federal officials issued guidelines last week that will let Arizona and nine other states move ahead on proposals to require that able-bodied Medicaid recipients are either working or involved in “community engagement activities” to be eligible for coverage.

Feds say Texas illegally failed to educate students with disabilities

A U.S. Department of Education investigation concluded Thursday that Texas violated federal law by failing to ensure students with disabilities were properly evaluated and provided with an adequate public education. After interviews and monitoring visits with parents, school administrators and state officials, the federal investigation found that the Texas Education Agency effectively capped the statewide percentage of students who could receive special education services and incentivized some school districts to deny services to eligible students. It also told TEA that it needs to take several corrective actions, including producing documentation that the state is properly monitoring school districts' evaluations for special education, developing a plan and timeline for TEA to ensure that each school district will evaluate students previously denied needed services, and creating a plan and timeline for TEA to provide guidance to educators on how to identify and educate students with disabilities. “Far too many students in Texas had been precluded from receiving supports and services under [the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act],” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a statement Thursday. “I've worked directly with TEA Commissioner [Mike] Morath on resolving these issues, and I appreciate the Texas Education Agency's efforts to ensure all children with disabilities are appropriately identified, evaluated and served under IDEA.

Feds Say Texas Illegally Failed to Educate Students with Disabilities

The federal investigation found that the TEA effectively capped the statewide percentage of students who could receive special education services. The post Feds Say Texas Illegally Failed to Educate Students with Disabilities appeared first on Rivard Report.

Feds Still Will Seize Pot at California Border Checkpoints

California's legalization of marijuana for recreational use won't stop federal agents from seizing the drug — even in tiny amounts — on busy freeways and backcountry highways, reports the Associated Press. Marijuana possession still will be prohibited at eight Border Patrol checkpoints in California, a reminder that state and federal laws collide when it comes to pot. The U.S. classifies marijuana as a controlled substance, like heroin and LSD. “Prior to Jan. 1, it's going to be the same after Jan.

Fell death penalty case back in court; 3-day hearing set this week

The U.S. District Court and post office building on West Street in Rutland. Photo by Andrew Kutches/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="court" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">The U.S. District Court and post office building on West Street in Rutland. Photo by Andrew Kutches/VTDiggerRUTLAND – The judge in the federal death penalty case against Donald Fell has set a three-day hearing this week to hear from lawyers about the reliability of statements from a deceased co-defendant who was labeled mentally ill and too impaired the night of their crime spree to remember what happened. The government wants to use statements made to police by Robert Lee shortly after he and Fell were arrested that Fell was the ringleader and Lee a follower in the sentencing phase of Fell's trial. Defense lawyers argue that shouldn't be permitted.

Fidgety Fairy Tales use song and dance to humanize mental disorders for adults and children

Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to set it to music. Several years ago, staff at the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health (MACMH) were struggling to come up with a way to educate children about common mental health issues and break down stigma surrounding them. The association had received a grant for the project, but their early efforts weren't successful. “We were going into classrooms and basically just lecturing,” recalled MACMH Executive Director Deborah Saxhaug. “We didn't feel we were getting our message across.

Fifty-One Unsolved Women’s Deaths in Chicago

Over the last 17 years, at least 75 women have been strangled or smothered in Chicago and their bodies dumped in vacant buildings, alleys, garbage cans, and snow banks. Arrests have been made in only a third of the cases, reports the Chicago Tribune. While there are clusters of unsolved strangulations on the South and West sides, police say they've uncovered no evidence of a serial killer at work. If they are right, 51 murderers have gotten away with crimes. There have been few news stories and even fewer memorials or other public gestures that would have focused attention on these women and how they died.

Fighting climate change with bioenergy may do ‘more harm than good’

As nations try to stem emissions to keep the world from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius in line with their commitments towards the Paris Accord, replacing fossil fuels with renewable alternatives is widely seen as a big step in the right direction. A major source of energy oft-extolled as renewable is biomass from trees, which are usually harvested from managed forests either established on land that has already been deforested or planted where forests didn't naturally grow. But a new study finds land-use like managing forests for biomass production may come at a much higher carbon cost than previously thought. The study, published recently in Nature, was conducted by an international team of researchers who analyzed data how much biomass – organic matter – is contained in areas of terrestrial vegetation around the world. They used this, in turn, to calculate how much carbon this vegetation stores.

Fighting maternal mortality: A resource guide for Texas mothers

As part of our ongoing coverage of maternal health care, we've been examining why Texas women — particularly women of color — are dying at alarming rates during childbirth or soon after. In the last several months, we've heard harrowing tales from mothers who endured medical nightmares. Dozens of experts and advocates told us that maternal deaths are a symptom of a bigger problem: Too many Texas women — particularly low-income women — don't have access to health insurance, birth control, mental health care, substance abuse treatment and other services that could help them become healthier before and after pregnancy. Access to such resources can mean the difference between life and death. So The Texas Tribune asked Texans which maternity resources they would recommend for keeping mothers healthy.

Fights over money dominated the year in Texas higher education

University leaders entered 2017 ready for a bruising session of the Texas Legislature. Budget cuts seemed imminent. Fights over tuition and benefits for military veterans were looming. And the controversial piece of legislation known as the "bathroom bill" threatened to spill over into colleges and universities. But it turned out to be a quiet session, and in many ways the year will be remembered for what happened on campus — not in the Capitol.

Film Incentive Program Among Bevin’s Proposed Budget Cuts

ThinkStockKentucky's Capitol Building
Gov. Matt Bevin proposed eliminating 70 state government programs during his budget address Tuesday night. Not included in that list is a controversial and costly program he also plans to phase out: the film tax incentive program that has promised more than $148 million in incentives to filmmakers. In a press release sent during Bevin's speech, the governor said his budget closes the film subsidies to any new applicants. He didn't explain the decision. J. Tyler Franklin / KyCIRMatt Bevin
A story from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting last year found that the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority began to hold its discussions about the projects in secret even as as the applications rose astronomically.

Find your school’s 2017 graduation rate

This week Indiana released data on how many students graduated from high school in 2017. Across the state, 87.2 percent of students graduated, compared to 89.1 in 2016. Indiana graduation rates have only changed by about one percentage point up or down since 2011. That's a sharp contrast with trends across the country. Nationally, graduation rates increased by about 5 percentage points between 2011 and 2016.

Finger Lakes Technologies Group is now FirstLight

News Release — FirstLight
Jan. 16, 2018
Media Contact:
Jaymie Scotto & Associates (JSA)
1-866-695-3629 ext.
Rebrand is Part of FirstLight's Rapid Integration of Recent Acquisitions
Albany, NY – January 15, 2018 – FirstLight, a leading fiber-optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in the Northeast, announced today that it is substantially complete with the integration of Finger Lakes Technologies Group (“FLTG”) and that FLTG is now officially FirstLight. The brand change follows the successful acquisition of FLTG by FirstLight in September and marks yet another exciting milestone for the company. “The integration of FLTG is an important development and sets the stage for FirstLight's continued growth in 2018,” commented Kurt Van Wagenen, President and CEO of FirstLight.

Fire and Fury Signifies Nothing

Even if you haven't read it, the takeaway from Michael Wolff's tell-all about Donald Trump's White House seems clear: Trump is manifestly unfit to be president, potentially only semi-literate and dangerously erratic. He lashes out at trusted advisors and is unable to focus on or even comprehend important policy details. He watches hours on-end of television a day, allegedly three-screens at a time in bed, and eats McDonald's for fear that other food will be poisoned. “The story that I have told seems to present this presidency in such a way that it says he can't do his job,” Wolff told BBC. So what?

Fire and Justice

In 1988, six firefighters in Kansas City, Missouri, were killed in a blast at a highway construction site. Nine years later, five people were convicted of setting the fires that led to their deaths. Now, almost 30 years later, Reveal investigates problems in the case. There was no physical evidence linking the five to the crime, and their convictions were based on witness testimony – a lot of it conflicting. We start with a look at the early morning hours of Nov.

Fire Chief Seeks Performance Evaluations

Firefighter Timothy Borer passed all the required tests and assessments, so he was promoted and sworn in Tuesday to become a fire inspector.However, as long as he stays in that position, there will be no formal annual review of his work to help him improve at the job. Neither the department nor the firefighters' union contract requires one.Fire Chief John Alston, Jr. wants to change all that. By going first.

Fire Protection Détente

Nelsonville mayor gives Cold Spring new checkFire Protection Détente was first posted on January 12, 2018 at 4:14 pm.

Fire Protection Dispute Coming to a Head

Special meeting may tell the taleFire Protection Dispute Coming to a Head was first posted on January 6, 2018 at 8:38 am.

First 2018 Execution in U.S. Is Scheduled Tonight In Texas

The first execution of 2018 in Texas and the nation is expected to take place Thursday evening for Houston's “Tourniquet Killer.” reports the Texas Tribune. Anthony Shore, 55, is a confessed serial rapist and strangler whose murders went unsolved in the 1980s and 1990s. With no pending appeals, his execution is expected to be the first under Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, a Democrat who took office last January and has said she doesn't see the death penalty as a deterrent to crime. She has said the punishment is appropriate for Shore, deeming him “the worst of the worst.”
Shore wasn't arrested until 2003, when his DNA was matched to the 1992 murder of 21-year-old Maria Del Carmen Estrada. His DNA had been on file since 1998, when he pleaded no-contest to charges of sexually molesting his two daughters.

First Chamber Series Concert

Pianist will perform on Jan. 14First Chamber Series Concert was first posted on January 9, 2018 at 7:45 am.

First-Day Hikes

State parks organizing Jan. 1 excursionsFirst-Day Hikes was first posted on December 30, 2017 at 7:53 am.

Fitch won’t accept campaign donation in bid for St. Louis County Council

Former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is pledging to accept no campaign donations for his Republican campaign for St. Louis County Council. And if elected this fall, he says he'll work for a county charter change that would limit campaign donations for county officials. At his campaign kickoff today in Sunset Hills, Fitch blamed the lack of donation limits for some of the rancor between council members and County Executive Steve Stenger.

Fitch won’t accept campaign donations in bid for St. Louis County Council

Former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is pledging to accept no campaign donations for his Republican campaign for St. Louis County Council. And if elected this fall, he says he'll work for a county charter change that would limit campaign donations for county officials. At his campaign kickoff today in Sunset Hills, Fitch blamed the lack of donation limits for some of the rancor between council members and County Executive Steve Stenger.

Five National Guard armories expected to close

The Mississippi National Guard plans to shutter five of its armories this year because of cuts to the state budget, according to several local mayors and members of the Legislature. The armories under consideration for closure are located in the cities of Lumberton, Nettleton, Grenada, Drew and Mendenhall. Mississippi National GuardMajor General Augustus Collins of the National Guard has reportedly met with local mayors informing them their armories could be closed because of budget cuts. The mayors of Grenada and Mendenhall told Mississippi Today that they had met with Major General Augustus Collins of the Mississippi National Guard in recent weeks about the possibility of their armories closing. "He (Collins) told me something would change, it would happen pretty quick and wanted to talk to me before the word started getting out," Mendenhall Mayor Todd Booth said.

Five takeaways from Chalkbeat’s legislative preview discussion with lawmakers

Less than a week before legislators head back to the state Capitol, four lawmakers who work on education issues shared their thoughts at a forum Thursday morning as they prepare bills to introduce this session. The event, hosted by Chalkbeat, featured four panelists: state Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, an Arvada Democrat; state Sen. Kevin Priola, a Henderson Republican; state Rep. Barbara McLachlan, a Durango Democrat; and state Rep. Paul Lundeen, a Monument Republican. Here are five quick takeaways from the discussion:
On the teacher shortage issue: No minimum wage for teachers
Legislators lauded the state-prepared report on how the teacher shortage is playing out in Colorado, but said there are still many ways for them to take those suggestions to change laws. The four panelists discussed how pay, principal leadership, and accountability rules affect teachers. “Is it absolutely imperative that we evaluate excellent teachers every single year, or not?” Zenzinger asked.

Flake: GOP must stand up to Trump’s attacks on journalism

'The enemy of the people,' was what the president of the United States called the free press. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn't suit him “fake news,” it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.

Flooding the Zone on Ebola

For the record, I want to note that the top five stories currently featured on the Washington Post home page are about Ebola. If you count related pieces, it's the top nine. That is all.

Florida’s iguanas falling from trees in cold snap

Unusually low temperatures across the U.S. are getting to some of the animals in the south, particularly in Florida. On Thursday and Friday, social media was filled with warnings from southern Florida residents of stunned, frozen iguanas falling from trees. Frozen iguanas falling from trees during cold snap in Florida #Iguana #wx — Kelsey Angle (@theweatherangle) January 5, 2018 Temperatures there in January typically hover between 57 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. As of Friday, temperatures were still at about 40 degrees because of a wind chill factor across much of Florida, according to the Sun Sentinel. The Weather Channel reports that it is expected to warm up again by Sunday.

Flu Outbreak Peaking Locally But Considered ‘Moderate’ In Severity

Influenza activity is high across the state of Texas, with the number of cases more than doubling since flu season began in October, said state health officials. The post Flu Outbreak Peaking Locally But Considered ‘Moderate' In Severity appeared first on Rivard Report.

Flu patients leave Texas hospitals strapped

Big-city hospitals in Texas have been overwhelmed this week by an influx of flu patients, and state health officials say influenza activity is widespread across the state. At Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, waiting rooms turned into exam areas as a medical tent was built in order to deal with the surge of patients. A Houston doctor said local hospital beds were at capacity, telling flu sufferers they might be better off staying at home. Austin's emergency rooms have also seen an influx of flu patients. But high emergency room volumes and filled hospital beds are "not uncommon" for this point during flu season, which runs from October to May, said Lara Anton of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Flu’s Bad This Year. Get Yer Dadgum Shot!

By Rose Hoban
Dozens of North Carolina hospitals have placed restrictions on who gets to visit patients this winter, as flu cases in the state are ramping up after a slow start. And Health and Human Services Sec. Mandy Cohen predicts the flu season is going to get worse. That's what Cohen told lawmakers at the General Assembly today during their monthly legislative oversight committee meeting in Raleigh. “What we want folks to notice is that the worst is yet to come,” she said, showing graphs of the numbers of reported cases in the state so far this season (see illustration).

FOI’s Man in the Middle East

Journalists in the Middle East have limited press freedom, and struggle to get even the most basic information out of government departments and officials. But a few countries in the region have recently legislated access to information laws, also known as freedom to information (FOI) laws, including Jordan, Tunisia and Yemen. In 2007, Jordan was the first Arab country to implement a freedom to information law, although the nation's press environment is still considered “not free,” according to Freedom House's Freedom of the Press 2017 report. Not giving up: ARIJ's Al-Shawabkeh in Amman. Musab Al-Shawabkeh is an award-winning Jordanian investigative reporter based in Amman, who works as an editor and coach for GIJN member Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ).

Following Through On A Promise

“You can create entry-level jobs anywhere,” observed Chris Walker, a University of Connecticut junior who studies urban development and economics, “but people with a college degree need a reason to stay.

Following Through On A Promise

“You can create entry-level jobs anywhere,” observed Chris Walker, a University of Connecticut junior who studies urban development and economics, “but people with a college degree need a reason to stay.

FoodTank names Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at VLS an org to watch in 2018

News Release — Vermont Law School
Jan. 4, 2018
Maryellen Apelquist, Director of Communications, Vermont Law School
office: 802-831-1228, cell: 802-299-5593,
SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., Jan. 4, 2018––FoodTank, a global think tank focused on building a “community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters,” recently named the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law School one of “118 Organizations to Watch in 2018.” This marks the second year CAFS made the FoodTank list, which recognizes organizations for their work toward a more sustainable food system and CAFS specifically for its dual mission to train food and agriculture advocates and entrepreneurs and to create innovative legal tools that support the food movement. “We appreciate FoodTank's recognition of our work and commitment to promoting access to healthy food, building health equity in communities, and improving environmental quality,” said CAFS Director Laurie Ristino. “Special thanks to our faculty and staff, who do a wonderful job leading our various projects and supporting our students as they develop as leaders in the food movement, and to our many project partners who make our work possible.”
Recent CAFS projects include the Healthy Food Policy Project, Blueprint for a National Food Strategy, National Gleaning Project, Farmers Market Legal Toolkit, Farmland Access Legal Project, and Farm Animal Welfare Certification Guide.

For Broward’s homeless, jail is often the lesser evil

By Noreen
David Ortiz, 33, chose to spend New Year's weekend in Broward County Jail rather than return to the streets of Fort Lauderdale. The post For Broward's homeless, jail is often the lesser evil appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

For Elder Health, Trips To The ER Are Often A Tipping Point

By Judith Graham
Kaiser Health News
Twice a day, the 86-year-old man went for long walks and visited with neighbors along the way. Then, one afternoon he fell while mowing his lawn. In the emergency room, doctors diagnosed a break in his upper arm and put him in a sling. Back at home, this former World War II Navy pilot found it hard to manage on his own but stubbornly declined help. Soon overwhelmed, he didn't go out often, his congestive heart failure worsened, and he ended up in a nursing home a year later, where he eventually passed away.

For Mentally Ill, Finding Purpose in Work at a Clubhouse All Their Own

The San Antono Clubhouse offers people with mental health issues a safe place to perform meaningful work and become a valued member of a community. The post For Mentally Ill, Finding Purpose in Work at a Clubhouse All Their Own appeared first on Rivard Report.

For Minnesota farmers, the Roaring Twenties were anything but

Linda A. Cameron

Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical SocietyStarving farm family who appealed for aid, Hollandale, Freeborn County, 1929.Minnesota farmers enjoyed a period of prosperity in the 1910s that continued through World War I. Encouraged by the US government to increase production, farmers took out loans to buy more land and invest in new equipment. As war-torn countries recovered, the demand for US exports fell, and land values and prices for commodities dropped. Farmers found it hard to repay their loans — a situation worsened by the Great Depression and drought years that followed.The onset of World War I in 1914 sparked an economic boom for farmers in the United States. Demand for agricultural products soared as the war-ravaged countries of Europe could no longer produce needed supplies. This created a shortage that drove up prices for farm commodities.

For older, homeless women, one Central West End charity provides a ‘forever home’

A residence in the Central West End has had the reputation of catering to poor and low-income women for years. But now, the organization's work to house middle-aged and elderly women with mental illnesses and, in some cases formerly homeless women, is vital in a city seeking to address its issues around homelessness. The Mary Ryder Home, 4361 Olive St., isn't a nursing home or an independent senior living facility. It gives women over age 55 who can no longer afford to live on their own — either because of mental health issues or financial problems — a place to stay. Permanently.

For Texas DACA recipients, court ruling is a small win — but a bigger fight remains

Like many other immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, Carolina Ramirez celebrated this week after a federal judge moved to temporarily preserve a program that protects immigrants like her. But the Houston resident and her allies were cautious with their joy. The fight for the program remains on Capitol Hill, Ramirez said. “I just need Congress to get things together,” she said. “They just need to really hold the line and make sure the deportations don't continue to happen.”
Ramirez, 28, has called Texas home for 20 years.

For the Affluent, a New Way to Pay for Private School

When Congress rewrote the tax code in December, it included changes to a familiar education program for taxpayers — states' 529 plans. The plans, or investment accounts, were created for families in the 1990s to save for college and can be used for tuition, fees, books, room and board and other college costs. In most states, there is an incentive to save. Oklahoma's 529 plan allows a state income-tax deduction of up to $10,000 per year for individuals and $20,000 for couples filing jointly. Families can withdraw the money, including interest earnings, to spend on eligible costs without paying taxes.

For the first time in a decade, average wages in Minnesota appear to be increasing

Greta Kaul

Workers in Minnesota have been waiting a long time for a raise. After more than a decade, it finally looks like they're getting it. Data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development show that after years of stagnant pay (median wages actually declined by 1 percent between 2003 and 2014), Minnesotans' median wages started to climb the following years, growing 4 percent between 2014 and 2016 (all numbers in this story are inflation-adjusted). “They were pretty flat, and then all of a sudden, in 2015, '16 and '17, they've started taking off a little bit,” said David Senf, a DEED labor market analyst. On its face, that's good news for Minnesotans.

For The Love Of Carpenter Lane

Tony Aiello takes a stroll down Carpenter Lane in Mt. Airy where an historical timeline can be traced in architecture

For-profit prison company, CoreCivic, looks to build state facility

Secretary of Health and Human Services Al Gobeille. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Al Gobeille" width="610" height="407" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Secretary of Human Services Al Gobeille. File photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerA private company that owns and manages prisons is looking to build a 925-bed facility proposed by the Scott administration. CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corp. of America, which owns 61 facilities in the United States, is lobbying lawmakers and the governor's office for a contract to build and lease the facility to the state, according to a statement from the company.

Forensic psychiatrist aims to publicize Trump’s ‘dangerousness’

People from all over the country – and around the world – told psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee, an expert on violence, they were concerned about President Donald Trump's mental state and his ability to serve in office. So she looked into the issue. Lee's assessment that the president is a danger to the public is shared by others in the mental health field. But it also created a firestorm of criticism – from the president's supporters and from others, too, including colleagues in the psychiatric field.

Former Detroit CFO accused of bungling paperwork says he’s not to blame

Marios Demetriou, the former district CFO
A former top Detroit school finance official who's been blamed for a mistake that cost the Detroit school district $6.5 million says he's not at fault because his boss — Superintendent Nikolai Vitti — was aware of the issue. The dispute could play a role at Tuesday's school board meeting, where the former official plans to read from this letter to defend his reputation amid ongoing criticism from Vitti. Vitti last month accused former district Chief Financial Officer Marios Demetriou and two other finance officials of failing to submit paperwork to collect $6.5 million owed to the district from the state. Now, Demetriou says he has an email showing Vitti was aware of the issue and should have made sure it was addressed after Demetriou left the district on June 30. The deadline to submit the paperwork was Aug.

Former Mayor Taylor Honored with MLK Jr. Achievement Award

Taylor, who is the first black woman mayor of a city with more than 1 million people, received a standing ovation at Monday's announcement. The post Former Mayor Taylor Honored with MLK Jr. Achievement Award appeared first on Rivard Report.

Former Mongabay intern, now pop star, launches Amazon-friendly perfume

If anyone understands the connections between music and perfume, it is Heather D'Angelo. A member of the the successful, three-member band Au Revoir Simone, conservationist, writer and entrepreneur has been developing her musical ear and nose for scents for many years now. In 2003 her band formed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In 2014-2015, D'Angelo reported on conservation and restoration during an internship for Mongabay. Though she no longer practices fieldwork in tropical ecology and conservation, she has long relied on her background in those sciences to guide certain life and business choices.

Former prosecutor Alvarez accused of overturning conviction for political gain

A defense investigator for former death row inmate Anthony Porter contends in a newly-filed lawsuit that former Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez defamed him as part of a broad effort to undermine efforts expose wrongful convictions. The lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court by Paul Ciolino states that Alvarez, a film company, and seven other defendants joined forces to falsely accuse him, Northwestern University and former professor David Protess of framing a suspect as “payback…for their efforts and success at revealing the injustices of the Illinois criminal justice system and their work toward abolition of the death penalty.”
The lawsuit is the latest chapter in one of the most controversial of legal cases, involving claims by both opponents and proponents of the death penalty that the other side had falsely portrayed what happened in a murder case to further their political positions. The case has caused convictions to be overturned, a renowned professor to resign, and was a factor in the re-election loss of Alvarez. Photo courtesy of Loren SantowAnthony Porter
At issue is the examination by a Northwestern University journalism school project into the 1982 deaths of Jerry Hillard and Marilyn Green in Washington Park on the South Side of Chicago. Porter had been identified by an eyewitness, and was convicted and sentenced to die at the time the Medill Innocence Project took on the case in 1999.

Former Southern Miss coach Bower believes he and the BCS committee got it right

Jeff Bower
(Ed. note: Jeff Bower, former Southern Miss head football coach and Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer, was one of 13 members of college football's 2017 College Football Playoff Selection Committee, serving the second year of a three-year term. Bower, who lives in Hattiesburg, agreed to a telephone interview with sports columnist Rick Cleveland about his two years on the committee. The interview follows.)
Q. Well, let's get right to it. There always will be controversy about the four teams selected for the four-team playoff.

Former Speaker of the House Tim O’Connor dies at 81

Tim O'Connor, the first Democratic Speaker of the House in the modern era, died Tuesday. This file photo from the Brattleboro Reformer was taken in his office in 2011. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Tim O'Connor" width="610" height="489" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1005w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Tim O'Connor, the first Democratic Speaker of the House in the modern era, died Tuesday. This file photo from the Brattleboro Reformer was taken in his office in 2011.BRATTLEBORO — The man who wielded the gavel as Town Moderator at Brattleboro Town Meeting for more than two decades has died. During Tuesday's Select Board meeting, board member John Allen announced that Tim O'Connor died at 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon.

Former Vermont House Speaker Timothy O’Connor Jr. dies at 81

Tim O'Connor, the first Democratic Speaker of the House in the modern era, died Tuesday. This file photo from the Brattleboro Reformer was taken in his office in 2011. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Tim O'Connor" width="640" height="513" srcset=" 1005w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 610w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" data-recalc-dims="1">Tim O'Connor, the first Democratic Speaker of the House in the modern era, died Tuesday. This file photo from the Brattleboro Reformer was taken in his office in 2011.This story by Bob Audette first appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer
By all accounts, Timothy J. O'Connor Jr. was kind, fair, amicable, no-nonsense, intelligent and witty. The list of adjectives does not end there, but suffice it to say, Brattleboro, Windham County and Vermont are all the better because of O'Connor, who died Tuesday afternoon at the age of 81 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.
Perhaps the most succinct description came from O'Connor himself in a 2010 interview with the Reformer, describing his three-term tenure as Speaker of the House in Montpelier.

Four Memphis charter organizations pilot new reading curriculum

Four Memphis charter schools are piloting a new reading curriculum this school year aimed at boosting reading comprehension in a city and state with lagging literacy rates. The Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum is in classrooms at Memphis Delta Preparatory Charter School, STAR Academy Charter School, Gestalt Community Schools and Leadership Preparatory Charter School. Created by author and professor E.D. Hirsch Jr., the curriculum focuses on students' background knowledge of the topic, not only their formal decoding skills. While the curriculum is free, teacher training and related resources are being funded with grants of about $10,000 from Memphis Education Fund, a collaborative created in 2014 and rebranded in 2016 in partnership with local education leaders and philanthropists. Michael McKenna, founder of Memphis Delta Prep, said the money was crucial to making the change.

Four months after Hurricane Harvey, four major questions about recovery for 2018

Houston and the Gulf Coast are learning hard lessons about their vulnerability to flooding after Hurricane Harvey — which was the latest and by far the biggest in a three-year stretch of major inundations for Houston that included the Memorial Day and Tax Day floods. People who didn't think they needed flood insurance – because they weren't in a designated flood zone – have learned that the flood maps are increasingly irrelevant. Local leaders and flood control planners are learning that 500-year floods may become regular occurrences. Four months after Harvey stormed ashore and dumped historic rains on the coastal flatlands, major questions remain. The Tribune has reported on each of these (you can read all of our Harvey coverage here), and we'll keep following these storylines in 2018:
How will Texas spend billions in federal long-term recovery money?

Franklin County School District awaits desegregation ruling

The Franklin County School District is still waiting for a federal judge to decide whether it can be removed from a nearly 50-year-old federal desegregation order. Rogelio V. Solis / Associated PressFederal Judge Henry Wingate
Despite the U.S. Department of Justice indicating in June that it would not oppose the release of the district, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Wingate has not yet ruled on the matter. Both the school district and the Department of Justice attended a four-day fairness hearing in August. At the hearing, the court heard from the school district's witnesses and members of the community who were opposed to the lifting of the order. At the conclusion of the hearing, Wingate, who has recently been barred from taking on new cases because of a large backlog, said he wanted more information before making a decision.

Free admission to two Mississippi museums this weekend

Admission to the newly opened Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History will be free this Saturday through Tuesday. To honor the National Day of Healing, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is sponsoring the free admission to the museums, which opened Dec. 9 with a historic celebration attended by Myrlie Evers, the widow of slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers, and President Donald Trump. For the free admission days, the museums will be open regular hours, which are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Tuesday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museums are closed every Monday.

Freeman Hrabowski to give MLK speech at UMSL observation

As part of University of Missouri-St. Louis' annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance, keynote speaker Freeman A. Hrabowski III will address the impact of the iconic civil rights activist over the last half century. The celebration is at 10 a.m. to noon on Jan. 15 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. On Friday's St.

Frey puts off considering Minneapolis department heads until after Super Bowl

Peter Callaghan

New Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey will wait a little longer than his predecessors to nominate the city's nine department heads, whose two-year terms already have expired.The reason? The Super Bowl.Frey's fledgling administration will join the rest of the city in concentrating on the Feb. 4 NFL championship game. Frey said Thursday that while his schedule is still in flux, he anticipates there will be many demands placed on the mayor of the host city. “This is a different dynamic, with a Super Bowl coming a month after taking office,” Frey said.The terms of the nine department heads officially expired Monday, Jan.

Frey puts off naming Minneapolis department heads until after Super Bowl

Peter Callaghan

New Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey will wait a little longer than his predecessors to nominate the city's nine department heads, whose two-year terms already have expired.The reason? The Super Bowl.Frey's fledgling administration will join the rest of the city in concentrating on the Feb. 4 NFL championship game. Frey said Thursday that while his schedule is still in flux, he anticipates there will be many demands placed on the mayor of the host city. “This is a different dynamic, with a Super Bowl coming a month after taking office,” Frey said.The terms of the nine department heads officially expired Monday, Jan.

Friday: We talk to CNN ‘Young Wonder,’ Books N Bros founder Sidney Keys

N Bros CEO and founder Sidney Keys III and his mother and co-founder, Winnie Caldwell. The book club Keys founded encourages boys to read. CNN recently honored Keys with a “Young Wonders” award – a recognition that showcases young people making a difference in their communities. Do you have any questions for Sidney Keys III about Books N Bros? Tweet us @STLonAir or send us an email at .

From ‘complicit’ to ‘youthquake’: Word of the Year fever

Eric Black

I seem to remember back when there was no “Word of the Year.” Then there was. Now there apparently are as many as there are dictionary publishers.Before I woke up yesterday, the only “Word of the Year” I remembered was “truthiness,” which was an invention of Steven Colbert at the beginning of his old Comedy Central show, but which was declared “Word of the Year” by dictionary publisher Merriam Webster back in 2006. (Part of the gag then was that “truthiness” wasn't a word, until Colbert made it up to describe things that might not actually be true, but feel true, in your gut.)So I guess word-of-the-yeariness goes back at least that far.Yesterday morning on MPR, I heard Kerri Miller interviewing a word expert on the latest Word of the Year pick, “youthquake,” which was also not a word, until it suddenly was, and has now been declared 2017's Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries. While it turns out “youthquake” wasn't new last year, its usage apparently jumped 401 percent in 2017, or so claims Oxford Dictionaries.“Youthquake,” if you're wondering, is defined as “a significant cultural, political or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.”Now, if you're paying close attention, you noticed that “truthiness” was named Word of the Year by Merriam Webster in 2006, and “youthquake” was chosen for 2017 by Oxford. It turns out that anyone in the word racket that feels like it can declare a Word of the Year.And, circling back to Webster, it decided that the 2017 Word of the Year was “feminism,” which is, I concede, an outstanding word, but is not even slightly new (or new-ish), like “truthiness” and “youthquake.”It turns out that Webster chose “feminism” because of a huge spike in how often the meaning of “feminism” was being looked up around the time of the big Women's March on Washington (and other places) at the time of the inauguration of you-know-who.Yes, I know this isn't the kind of post you're used to seeing from me.

From ‘Visiting Wizards’ to STEM support, educational involvement is nothing new for 3M

Erin Hinrichs

Early Tuesday morning, Jeff Payne and Chuck Stanley prepared a makeshift lab inside the gymnasium at Battle Creek Elementary, a school in the St. Paul Public Schools district located a few miles southwest of the 3M campus.Equipped with liquid nitrogen, dry ice, beakers and neon green shirts identifying them as “3M Visiting Wizards,” the duo welcomed a group of fifth-graders as they filed in for the cryogenics demonstration.Payne started by talking about the three states of matter — solid, liquid, and gas — using balloons to help students visualize the spacing between atoms. Then came the experiments. Stanley got a mild reaction from the audience when he shrank a balloon in a bowl of liquid nitrogen. But by the end of their shtick — with a finale that included fitting an egg through the narrow neck of a beaker and dry-freezing marshmallows for the kids to taste — they had a fully captivated audience. “This is one of the most popular demos,” Stanley said afterward, noting it's one of 29 different homegrown kits 3M wizards have to choose from. “We have fun.

From bikes to blue hair: how one Denver kindergarten teacher shares his passion with students

How do teachers captivate their students? Here, in a feature we call How I Teach, we ask educators who've been recognized for their work how they approach their jobs. You can see other pieces in this series here. Andres Pazo, a kindergarten teacher in an ESL Spanish class at Denver's Maxwell Elementary School, doesn't do things halfway. On Denver Broncos game days, he'll come to school with his face and hair painted orange and navy.

From feral cats to the Women’s March, our 10 most-read news stories of 2017

In the last week of 2017, St. Louis Public Radio is looking back at more than 1,500 stories that the newsroom covered over the past 12 months. It was a year of big changes: a new president, a new governor and a new mayor in St. Louis. Our reporters reflected on those transitions and explored how national news was relevant to the St.

From Jails to Jamaica Bay: 18 New York City Stories to Watch in 2018

Office of the Governor, NYC DCP. Murphy, Nicholas Nova, Premier of Alberta, Alexander RabbIt's a safe bet that Gov. Cuomo, the next de Blasio rezonings, closing Rikers, transit woes, drug addiction and NYCHA will make headlines in 2018. Like old acquaintances who don't come to mind, news outlets' end-of-year lists are as obligatory a late December tradition as Auld Lang Syne. This particular year, in New York City at least, the turning of the calendar is not an entirely arbitrary moment for taking stock of what lies ahead—because under the city charter, the next term of office for city officials begins at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day. A few of our nominees for Stories to Watch are linked to that municipal clock.

From the editors: Our picks for stories of the year

Like many of you, the St. Louis Public Radio newsroom has been through a tumultuous year. From the intense community reaction to the policies of President Donald Trump, to the excitement over a solar eclipse and expressions of outrage following a judge's decision to acquit a white, former St. Louis police officer in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith — the year brought a wealth of news. Here's what our editors considered among the year's most notable stories: St.

Full text of Gov. Scott’s 2018 State of the State address

Madame Speaker, Mr. President, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the General Assembly, distinguished guests and fellow Vermonters:
Since 1778, Vermonters, elected by their neighbors and bound by a common oath, have gathered to open the legislative session. They left farms, families and businesses, traveled over rugged mountain gaps and winding valley roads, from every corner of our state to come together to solve problems and shape the future.RELATED STORIESFull text of Gov. Scott's 2018 State of the State addressScott: Lawmakers must ‘face facts' about education spending, fiscal trends
The work of those who came before us, carved out Vermont's place in the world with a greater share and influence than our small size or population would prescribe. Through our courage and conviction, Vermont has pushed forward with progress when progress seemed unachievable. We've been the example, set the tone and helped usher positive change into our nation, when the need for change was essential. My friends, we've reached that time again.

Funding a top issue for local schools in the New Year

Local school district officials are keeping a watchful eye on federal and state initiatives as the New Year rolls in. Funding is going to be a top priority, according to Sherry Johnson, the Executive Director of Monroe County School Boards Association. She says funding is a major issue, particularly for programs and initiatives meant to balance out inequalities around the state. “It's going to be a tough year,” she said. “We understand the state has some revenue issues of their own on top of any impact from the federal government.” Johnson is referring to a major change in the new federal tax law that limits how much taxpayers can claim from their local and state taxes.

Funding available for programs that increase access to college and career education in Vermont

News Release — Vermont Community Foundation
January 2, 2018
Carolyn Weir
Senior Philanthropic Advisor for the McClure Foundation & Program and Grants
The Vermont Community
802-388-3355 ext. 239
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#Funding is available for programs that increase access to college & career education in #VT through @McClureVtFdn #vted
The J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation has announced available funding for the 2018-19 school year for efforts that improve equitable access to the postsecondary and career education that leads to Vermont's most promising jobs. A supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation, the McClure Foundation envisions a Vermont where no promising job goes unfilled for lack of a qualified applicant. The McClure Foundation's primary interest is in funding projects with statewide impact that are aligned with multi-sector postsecondary attainment or workforce development efforts. For the 2018-19 school year, McClure Foundation funding will prioritize projects that accomplish one or more of the following: identify and/or eliminate barriers to postsecondary access and success for low-income and first-generation youth and adults; strengthen the pathways between education and employment; and change the narrative to ensure public recognition of postsecondary education and college and career readiness as a shared value.

Furniture firm with iconic giant chair closes, enters Chapter 7

LaFlamme's Inc. Furniture has filed for bankruptcy protection in New York state, but the owners say they intend to continue operating in Bennington and Rutland. The Bennington location has a replica of a chair that stood for many years in town as a tourism landmark. Photo by Jim Therrien/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="LaFlamme's" width="610" height="458" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1376w, 1044w, 632w, 536w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">LaFlamme's Inc. has closed. The Bennington location has a replica of a chair that stood for many years in town as a tourism landmark. File photo by Jim Therrien/VTDigger(This story by Ed Damon was published by the Bennington Banner on Jan.

Future of SLU’s Zika vaccine trials remain uncertain as public interest and funding decline

In what looks like a typical doctor's office, Gary Newcomer, 26, waited to have his blood drawn for the last time as a participant in a trial for a Zika virus vaccine. Newcomer has visited Saint Louis University's Center for Vaccine Development 16 times since November 2016. But a cut in federal funding is bringing a halt to the trial before a vaccine can be developed.

Gaming the system: Competition spurs energy savings in Wisconsin

Biking to work, turning off your computer at night, flipping the light switch when you leave a room. These are all relatively easy things to do, with the exception perhaps of biking to work on a winter day in Wisconsin. But a decade ago when a task force convened by Wisconsin's then-governor Jim Doyle set out to make the state a leader on sustainability and energy conservation, the experts noted that changing behaviors is much more easily said than done. “We have to think about how to change hearts and minds,” said long-time energy efficiency expert Kathy Kuntz. “How do we get people to adopt these things and make it the new normal?”
In response to a recommendation from the task force to focus on voluntary behavior-change, a nonprofit organization called Cool Choices was formed with funds from a settlement between the utility We Energies and citizen groups regarding We Energies' Milwaukee-area coal plant.

Ganim: Go Ahead. Call Me “Felon”

Hey, you want to keep calling Joe Ganim a crook? Think that'll stop him from becoming Connecticut's next governor?Ganim has three words for you: “Bring it on.”

Gardener’s Supply Co. completes next step in planned expansion

News Release — Gardener's Supply Co. Jan. 10, 2018
Gardener's Supply Company, the employee-owned purveyor of great garden gear, has completed the purchase of its first garden center in New Hampshire. Longacres' Nursery Center in Lebanon, has been the preeminent garden center in the Upper Valley for more than 40 years. The acquisition marks the beginning of what's planned to be a significant expansion for the Burlington, VT-based company.

GE reverses decision about layoffs at MDS facility in Rochester

General Electric has reversed an earlier decision to move around 90 manufacturing jobs out of Rochester. Back in August, GE had said that it was closing a manufacturing operation on Science Parkway as part of an effort to provide its customers with more competitive, efficient products and services. The work, which involves the assembly of electronic boards, was going to be transferred to a facility in China. But on Tuesday, GE announced it was going to keep the manufacturing work here. The company released this statement to WXXI News: “ Over the last several months, GE Power has undergone an exhaustive review of our operations across the business to identify how to best meet the needs of our customers.

General Assembly reverses cuts to Medicare program

The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Monday to reverse health care program cuts affecting as many as 113,000 seniors and the disabled. Several legislators said they had been inundated in recent weeks with phone calls and emails from worried elderly constituents and advocates for the disabled.

Genesee Brewery parent company announces new CEO

North American Breweries, which operates the Genesee Brewery in Rochester, is announcing a new CEO. The announcement from the parent company, Florida Ice and Farm Company (FIFCO),says that after four years at North American Breweries, Kris Sirchio is stepping down as FIFCO implements a new business model. According to a statement from the company, “the model will draw on FIFCO's total company size, scale and beer industry experience to grow the U.S. business in an increasingly competitive and changing industry.” Sirchio is being replaced by Adrián Lachowski, described as a 20-year beer industry veteran who will focus on elevating sales performance and brand marketing. Lachowski started with FIFCO in 2013 when he joined as General Manager of the Central American Beer and Flavored Malt Beverage business. The company statement says that under Sirchio's leadership, North American Breweries has made significant progress integrating its bottom line strategy and improved the company's

GenX Bill Orders Studies, Provides No Money

By Kirk Ross
Coastal Review Online
A House committee set up to initiate a legislative response to GenX and other emerging contaminants approved a set of provisions Thursday to be introduced at next week's special session. Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover, who chairs the House Select Committee on North Carolina River Quality, said this first round of legislation is aimed at “non-controversial, short-term solutions.”
This map shows the locations of the Chemours facility, wastewater treatment plants, International Paper and wells along the Cape Fear River. Map courtesy: NC DEQThe bill, he said, “does not have everything that everybody wants, but it's a starting point that we can subsequently build on and give us momentum as we go into the short session.”
Davis said House Speaker Tim Moore had given him the go-ahead for the bill and he is in communication with Senate counterparts about moving ahead during what will likely be a one- or two-day session starting Wednesday, Jan. 10. The draft legislation was released this week.

GenX Bills Expected During January Session

By Kirk Ross
Coastal Review Online
Legislators are sorting through a list of potential environmental provisions ahead of the General Assembly's return next week, moving up the timetable for further state response to GenX and other emerging contaminants. Legislative leaders have been planning a brief session starting Jan. 10, 2018, to focus on a set of proposed constitutional amendments to put before the voters in 2018. But during a recent meeting of a House select committee set up to study river water quality, Rep. Ted Davis (R-Wilmington) announced that he plans to use the January session to address immediate needs related to GenX and other emerging contaminants. North Carolina State University water quality scientist Detlef Knappe and graduate student Catalina Lopez at work in Raleigh.

GenX Bills Expected During January Session

By Kirk Ross
Coastal Review Online
Legislators are sorting through a list of potential environmental provisions ahead of the General Assembly's return in early January, moving up the timetable for further state response to GenX and other emerging contaminants. Legislative leaders have been planning a brief session starting Jan. 10, 2018, to focus on a set of proposed constitutional amendments to put before the voters in 2018. But during a recent meeting of a House select committee set up to study river water quality, Rep. Ted Davis (R-Wilmington) announced that he plans to use the January session to address immediate needs related to GenX and other emerging contaminants. North Carolina State University water quality scientist Detlef Knappe and graduate student Catalina Lopez at work in Raleigh.

George Harvey: We are in trouble

Editor's note: This commentary is by George Harvey, of Brattleboro, who writes for Green Energy Times. He has maintained a daily blog on news about energy and climate change for five years and has a weekly TV show on BCTV, “Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell.” He is a retired computer engineer. This commentary first appeared on From an environment point of view, we are in serious trouble. Most people are entirely unaware of how bad things are.

Georgia Mountain wind sold

A view of Georgia Mountain Community Wind taken with a telephoto lens at the Highbridge boat launch near Scott and Melodie McLane's property in Fairfax. Photo by Roger Crowley/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="wind" width="600" height="429" srcset=" 600w, 125w, 300w, 150w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px" data-recalc-dims="1">A view of Georgia Mountain Community Wind taken with a telephoto lens at the Highbridge boat launch near Scott and Melodie McLane's property in Fairfax. Photo by Roger Crowley/VTDiggerAn investment firm specializing in renewable energy assets has purchased Georgia Mountain Community Wind, which built four large wind turbines on a Milton hillside. David Blittersdorf, one of two former owners of Georgia Mountain Community Wind, said he sold the company for $25.1 million. Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company LLC closed on the purchase of the turbines Dec.

German Linzer Cookies: A Christmas Tradition

Making Linzer cookies for the holiday season has become a multi-generational pastime for the Huth family.

Get the real story from DC.

Elizabeth Hewitt spends her days roaming the halls of Congress and staking out our congressional delegation so you can get the scoop straight from D.C.
As the only Vermont news outlet with a reporter on the ground on Capitol Hill, VTDigger brings you news about the impact of federal policy decisions on Vermont. In this short video, she talks about her work. We believe it's critical, especially at this time, to report on what is actually going on behind the scenes in Congress as it happens. In addition to covering what Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and our lone D.C. Representative Peter Welch on the ground in D.C., Elizabeth is keeping all of us informed about the impact of the Trump administration on Vermont.

Get to know Chalkbeat’s new Colorado bureau chief

There's a new byline — and bureau chief — at Chalkbeat Colorado. Erica Meltzer started in the role Jan. 8. As part of her duties, Erica will cover the state government beat for us, continuing a legacy that began a decade ago with the launch of EdNews Colorado. EdNews founder Alan Gottlieb and statehouse reporter Todd Engdahl had no shortage of things to chronicle that year, including the passage of the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids, a sweeping bill that has had a lasting impact on public education in Colorado.

Gibson defeats Suggs in special House election

Bobby Gibson of Bloomfield won a special election for a state House seat Tuesday, stopping the comeback of former state Treasurer Joseph M. Suggs Jr. Gibson won 888 to 826, according to the Suggs' campaign.

Gifford brings Vermont MedDrop kiosk to community

News Release — Gifford Medical Center
January 8, 2018
Robin Dutcher
(802) 728-2284
Safe, 24-hour lobby collection box for unused, unwanted, or expired medications
RANDOLPH –Unused drugs or over-the-counter medications left in the home can find their way into the hands of children or potential addicts, and in-home disposal methods like flushing down the drain or throwing in the trash can contaminate waterways. Gifford Medical Center has installed a collection kiosk in their main lobby where people can safely dispose of unused or expired medications. “The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events held in April and October have been very successful in our community and we wanted to provide additional opportunities for people to safely drop off unused drugs,” said Gifford Community Relations Coordinator Bethany Silloway. “We worked with Regional Prevention Partners and the Orange County Sheriff's Department (who is helping with disposal), and received funding from the Vermont Department of Health to bring the kiosk into our main lobby, offering people a safe and accessible collection box 24-hours a day.”
Unused medications that are collected include:
• Over-the-counter medications
• Prescription medications, patches, or ointments
• Vitamins
• Medication for pets
• Medications in liquid form (if tightly capped)
Silloway stressed that Gifford staff and volunteers cannot be involved in the collection process—individuals must bring medications in a bottle or sealed plastic bag (no loose pills) and place them directly into the MedDrop kiosk. Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S, and drug overdose has become the leading cause of injury deaths.

Girl Scout Family Skate

Roll into the new weekGirl Scout Family Skate was first posted on January 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm.

Girls on the Run Vermont seeks volunteers to help lead program

News Release — Girls on the Run
Dec. 21, 2017
Girls on the Run Vermont Raises the Bar in Girl Empowerment and Seeks Volunteers to Help Lead Program
BRATTLEBORO, VT — December 21, 2017
Girls on the Run Vermont (GOTRVT) is widely known throughout the state for its physical activity-based, positive youth development program designed to empower local girls in 3rd through 8th grade. A recent independent study conducted by Maureen R. Weiss, Ph.D., a leading expert on youth development, provides compelling evidence that Girls on the Run is highly effective at driving transformative and lasting change in the lives of young girls. ​Girls and coaches from the 2017 Johnson Elementary GOTR team have some fun participating in a Girls on the Run lesson. Girls who participate in the program develop and improve competence, feel confident in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community and society.

Giving today makes sense: All donations will be matched up to $12K

Congress late Thursday evening, as the Senate convened into the night. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" width="300" height="221" srcset=" 300w, 125w, 768w, 610w, 1448w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">
$34,347 left to raise by December 31st. Dear Readers,
A change in federal tax law that goes into effect on Jan. 1 will affect deductions for charitable gifts in 2018. Now may be the best time to give to VTDigger if you plan to itemize deductions.

Giving Warmth

Church delivers winter gear to homelessGiving Warmth was first posted on January 15, 2018 at 7:23 am.

Glenn Fay Jr.: The addiction afflicting us all

Editor's note: This commentary is by Glenn Fay, of Burlington, who is an educator, consultant and entrepreneur. During the last 10 years a devastating affliction has permeated virtually every American's soul. It is so addictive that children and adults can't kick it. Kids see it as part of themselves, like an organ, central to their identity. Even many adults get distracted, lose productivity, peace of mind, inhibitions and even do inappropriate things that persist forever.

Glimmer of hope as Malaysia’s last female Sumatran rhino shows signs of recovery

JAKARTA — Malaysia's last remaining female Sumatran rhino appears to have overcome the worst of a serious health condition, less than two weeks after it was announced that her condition had deteriorated. Officials from the Sabah Wildlife Department reported on Dec. 17 that Iman had suffered a ruptured tumor in her uterus, causing massive bleeding. Since then, however, an intensive regimen of medical treatment and feeding has raised hopes about her prospects. “A week ago, I was sure she would die,” John Payne, head of the wildlife conservation group Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), which is involved in the treatment of Iman, said in a text message to Mongabay.

Global Journalism for St. Louis Teachers

Monday, February 26, 2018 - 6:00PMSt. Louis, MOUnited StatesJon Cohen, Carl Gierstorfer, Mark SchultePublic welcome to join the conversation focused on science reporting, including on HIV/AIDS and Ebola. Participating educators receive professional development certificates from the Pulitzer Center. RSVP

Global warming, pollution supersize the oceans’ oxygen-depleted dead zones

Vast swaths of the world's oceans are turning into “dead zones” as global warming and pollution strips them of oxygen, threatening marine life on a massive scale, a new study shows. The analysis, which reviews the major research on ocean oxygen loss, is the first to investigate the causes, consequences and solutions to low oxygen concentrations in the open oceans and coastal waters. Over the past 50 years, zones in the open ocean with zero oxygen have more than quadrupled, or increased by over 4.5 million square kilometers (1.7 million square miles) — an area roughly the size of the European Union — according to the study published Jan. 2 in the journal Science. It added that in coastal water bodies, including estuaries and seas, the number of low-oxygen sites have soared about tenfold from fewer than 50 in 1950.

GMP’s Mary Powell on list of world-changing women

News Release — Green Mountain Power
January 18, 2018
Kristin Carlson, Green Mountain Power
Conscious Capitalism Media credits Powell with breaking barriers and leading with love
Colchester, Vt – Conscious Captialism Media (CCM), a global company focused on celebrating inspiring, cutting edge stories about business as a force for good, has named Green Mountain Power president and CEO Mary Powell to its 2018 list of 30 World-Changing Women in Conscious Business. In her write-up about Powell, CCM's editorial director, Rachel Zurer, relayed how since Powell took the helm at Green Mountain Power (GMP) in 2008, she has continued to break barriers and shake up assumptions about what a utility can be. “Under (Powell's) leadership, GMP also became the first utility to partner with Tesla on Powerwall home energy solutions, and the first to offer a battery/solar off-grid package to its customers,” Zurer states. “Her focus on ‘leading with love' seems to be working: in a survey required by Vermont regulators, in 2016 GMP received a 94 percent customer service satisfaction score and a 96 percent on providing reliable electric service,” she continues. CCM undertook compiling the list of fearless females when its CEO Meghan French Dunbar participated in an all-female journey into the Amazon rainforest last summer.