Judge denies Palmer charter’s request for more funds; school’s future uncertain

A Common Pleas Court judge refused Wednesday to order the Philadelphia School District to immediately pay Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter nearly $1.4 million in disputed funds, endangering the school's ability to stay open. Featured Image

Photo Credits:

Harvey Finkle


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Walter Palmer at a meeting of the School Reform Commission in April 2014. read more

Judge Finds Separation Unconstitutional

Two immigrant children being held in Connecticut will see their parents again this week thanks to a landmark ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Victor Bolden.

Judge in fatal hit-and-run accused of bias in sentencing

Christopher Sullivan, the former attorney for the city of Rutland, appears in White River Junction criminal court Thursday at a hearing in his fatal hit-and-run case. Pool photo by Eric Francis
" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/201705250213E0001.jpg?fit=300%2C209&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/201705250213E0001.jpg?fit=610%2C424&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/201705250213E0001.jpg?resize=640%2C445&ssl=1" alt="Christopher Sullivan" width="640" height="445" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/201705250213E0001.jpg?w=2680&ssl=1 2680w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/201705250213E0001.jpg?resize=125%2C87&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/201705250213E0001.jpg?resize=300%2C209&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/201705250213E0001.jpg?resize=768%2C534&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/201705250213E0001.jpg?resize=610%2C424&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/201705250213E0001.jpg?resize=150%2C104&ssl=1 150w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/201705250213E0001.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/201705250213E0001.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" data-recalc-dims="1">Christopher Sullivan, the former attorney for the city of Rutland, is shown at a May 2017 court hearing in his fatal hit-and-run case. Pool photo by Eric FrancisA lawyer for the former attorney for the city of Rutland says the judge who sentenced him for driving drunk and fleeing a fatal crash abused her discretion by handing down the identical prison term at a follow-up hearing after the original sentence was thrown out. And, attorney Rebecca Turner, a public defender representing Christopher Sullivan, told the Vermont Supreme Court at a hearing Tuesday that Judge Theresa DiMauro in handing down the latest sentence used “near verbatim, word-for-word” language as she did at the first hearing.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Judge Orders Migrant Families Reunited in 30 Days

A federal judge in San Diego issued a preliminary injunction that says all children affected by the Trump administration's “zero-tolerance” immigration policy must be reunited with their parents within 30 days, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw called it a case of “reactive governance — responses to address a chaotic circumstance of the government's own making … The unfortunate reality is that under the present system migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property. Certainly, that cannot satisfy the requirements of due process.”
Under the order, children younger than 5 years old must be reunited with their parents within 14 days, while older children must be reunited with their parents within 30 days. Within 10 days, federal authorities must allow parents to call their children if they're not already in contact with them. “This is a complete victory for these families and children who have been suffering for months,” said Lee Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union, which sought the order.

Judge rules Trump administration can’t arbitrarily detain asylum seekers

A federal district judge has ruled President Donald Trump's administration's practice of indefinitely detaining some asylum seekers can't proceed, dealing a major blow to what immigration attorneys have said is one of the administration's tools to deter people from seeking safe haven in this country. The lawsuit was filed in March by the American Civil Liberties Union and named as a defendant the El Paso Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office. Other field offices named in the lawsuit include Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark and Philadelphia. The El Paso office covers West Texas and New Mexico. The ACLU alleged in the lawsuit that the plaintiffs passed their initial "credible fear" exams – the first step in the asylum process to determine if an applicant has a legitimate case.

Judge says fraud sentence will have deterrent effect

U.S. District Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford said there must be consequences in financial fraud cases, including jail time. File photoRUTLAND — A Stowe man is heading to prison for two years despite his pleas for leniency after the judge told him it's important in financial fraud cases that a message be sent to others considering it that there will be consequences, including time behind bars. Judge Geoffrey Crawford handed down the sentence to Daniel Burgess, 51, on Wednesday in federal court in Rutland on a charge of wire fraud.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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In addition, the judge also ordered Burgess, who had earlier pleaded guilty to the offense, to serve a three-year term of supervised release and pay $248,900 in restitution to the woman he bilked.

Judge Stops Deportations of Reunited Families

A federal judge will temporarily halt deportations of migrant parents who are reunited with their children, reports Politico. U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego said he would stay deportations pending resolution of the issue. The American Civil Liberties Union had called for reunited migrant parents to be protected from deportation for seven days after being reconnected with their children. The ACLU, which represents the plaintiffs in a high-profile case over family separations at the border, said the pause was needed to ensure that parents slated for removal can make informed decisions about whether to leave their children behind in the U.S.
The “persistent and increasing rumors” that parents will be deported immediately after reunification necessitates the moratorium, the ACLU argued. Justice Department attorney Scott Stewart said the Trump administration opposes delaying deportations.

Judge temporarily blocks immediate deportations of reunited immigrant families

Mercedes (right), a Salvadoran asylum seeker, is reunited with her daughter, Maria, in Corpus Christi on July 13, 2018. The two were separated by U.S. authorities after crossing the Texas-Mexico border in mid-May. Eddie Seal for The Texas Tribune
Families who were separated crossing the U.S.-Mexico border can't be deported immediately after they are reunited — at least for the next week, a federal judge told the federal government Monday. That temporary stay came at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union, which successfully took the government to court this year to compel the Trump administration to reunite more than 2,000 immigrant children with their parents. Issued by the same judge who ordered the reunifications, the stay will remain in effect until July 23, and the government has until then to convince the judge not to make a similar order that would stay in place longer.

Judge To City: Get Moving On Lead

No more excuses: Get in the building. Get out the lead. Protect poisoned kids.Superior Court Judge Walter Spader Jr. issued those marching orders to the city Thursday.Spader specifically ordered the city Health Department to take over removing lead paint from a flaking-paint-filled 969 Elm St. apartment where two little boys have been found to have high lead levels in their blood.

Judge, HHS At Odds on Family Reunification

The federal judge overseeing the reunification of children and parents separated at the U.S.-Mexico border berated the Trump administration, accusing it of using his ruling as “cover” to imply that speeding up the reunification process might potentially endanger children. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego held a conference call Friday after a key federal official filed a sworn statement with the court saying that Sabraw's deadlines for reuniting children were forcing the government to shorten the vetting process, the Washington Post reports. The statement implied that the deadlines could result in the government placing up to 175 children with people who were not their biological parent, among other risks. Chris Meekins of the Health and Human Services Department said the “faster reunifications” may land children in “potentially abusive environments.” During the conference call, the judge criticized the administration for listing a “parade of horribles” that presented a skewed picture of his orders. He said he had ordered officials to release children quickly and safely, and expressed concern that that might not have happened in some cases.

Judge, HHS At Odds on Family Reunification

The federal judge overseeing the reunification of children and parents separated at the U.S.-Mexico border berated the Trump administration, accusing it of using his ruling as “cover” to imply that speeding up the reunification process might potentially endanger children. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego held a conference call Friday after a key federal official filed a sworn statement with the court saying that Sabraw's deadlines for reuniting children were forcing the government to shorten the vetting process, the Washington Post reports. The statement implied that the deadlines could result in the government placing up to 175 children with people who were not their biological parent, among other risks. Chris Meekins of the Health and Human Services Department said the “faster reunifications” may land children in “potentially abusive environments.” During the conference call, the judge criticized the administration for listing a “parade of horribles” that presented a skewed picture of his orders. He said he had ordered officials to release children quickly and safely, and expressed concern that that might not have happened in some cases.

Judge: City Dragged Feet On Lead

A Superior Court judge ordered the city to pay for the relocation of two West River tenants to an area hotel through late July in the court's latest rebuke of the city Health Department's handling of child lead poisoning cases.

Julie Moore: While not unanticipated, emerald ash borer an unwelcome intruder

Editor's note: This commentary is by Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore. If you are anything like me, you might not necessarily be able to pick an ash out of a tree lineup. However, after spending some time in the woods earlier this spring with one of our state foresters to learn about the unique traits of ash trees, including a very noticeable diamond pattern in the tree's bark, I've started to notice them everywhere. That isn't a coincidence. Vermont is home to an estimated 160 million ash trees that not only reside in our forests, but also shade our lawns, line our streets and beautify our town greens.

Julie Morse: A nurse leader’s view on contract negotiations

Editor's note: This commentary is by Julie Morse, who is nursing director of cardiovascular and neurosciences at the UVM Medical Center, where she has worked for more than 33 years. Thirty-three and a half years ago I arrived at this hospital just out of nursing school and ready to take on the world. I chose this profession because I have always wanted to care for and connect with people, and because my mother, a nurse herself, was such an inspiration. This is not a profession for the faint of heart. Long days, long hours, on our feet, by the bed, comforting patients and families, solving problems – all in a fast-paced, high-stress and high-stakes environment.

July 2018 MinnPost partner offers to members announced

Laura Lindsay

Our next monthly MinnPost members ticket giveaway will start at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10, and feature the following offers:The Ordway Center for Performing Arts — Two tickets to Mamma Mia! on Tuesday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m.Minnesota Orchestra — Two pairs of tickets to Roderick Cox Conducts Symphony in 60 on Friday, July 27, one pair for the 6 p.m. show and one pair for the 8:15 p.m. show.Park Square Theatre — Two pairs of tickets to Ken Ludwig's Bakerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery on Thursday, July 26, at 7:30 p.m.Dakota Jazz Club — One pair of tickets to Heart Society on Sunday, July 22 at 7 p.m.Tickets are distributed via our partner offers page on a first-come, first-served basis to MinnPost Gold and Platinum members, who support our work with contributions of $10 or more per month.To take part in this and future giveaways, you must be a MinnPost Gold or Platinum member, have a MinnPost.com user account and be logged in to the site.Those who make a qualifying donation before 9 a.m. on July 10 will be eligible to participate in this month's giveaway. Members can create a MinnPost.com user account and verify their login status in advance via our partner offers page.If you have any trouble donating, creating a MinnPost.com user account, logging in, or viewing our partner offers page, please contact us at members@minnpost.com.Also, we would like to again thank the partners who provided our June offers:The Ordway Center for Performing Arts — The Capitol Steps: Cheaper Than TherapyMinnesota Orchestra — Beethoven and BerliozPark Square Theatre — Ken Ludwig's Bakerville: A Sherlock Holmes MysteryDakota Jazz Club — Shawn Colvin: An Acoustic EveningTwin Cities Gay Men's Chorus — Queen

Junior poolplayer championship comes to St. Louis

The newest generation of poolplayers will make their way to St. Louis this week for the fifth annual Junior Poolplayer Championships. The competition, which is hosted by the American Poolplayers Association, is a multi-day tournament of competitors between age 7- and 18-years-old from all over the United States and Canada. Nearly 400 youth are set to compete in this year's tournament, which will take place at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel from Thursday through Sunday.

Jury Awards $17M in Chicago Wrongful Conviction

A federal jury awarded $17.175 million to Jacques Rivera, who spent 21 years behind bars for a murder he didn't commit, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. It is another case tied to former Chicago cop Reynaldo Guevara, who invoked his Fifth Amendment right hundreds of times as he was questioned on the stand during the case. Rivera was imprisoned for the 1988 murder of 16-year-old Felix Valentin. “Twenty-one years, this guy put me away, away from my family,” said Rivera, wearing a shirt to court with the motto, “Trust & Believe.”
Speaking to the jury, Rivera's attorney, Jon Loevy, railed against the 75-year-old ex-Chicago cop Guevara, whom Loevy said was a main author of a scheme to frame his client for murder. The jury ordered Guevara personally to pay $75,000 in punitive damages.

Jury convicts key players in Buffalo Billion corruption case

A federal jury in New York has convicted key players of corruption in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "Buffalo Billion" economic redevelopment program. The jury in Manhattan federal court returned its verdict Thursday after a month-long trial that put a spotlight on how lucrative contracts were awarded for redevelopment projects in Syracuse and Buffalo that were worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Prosecutors maintained the bidding process was corrupt and that deals were steered to favored developers. Defense lawyers said it was not. One of the lead defendants in the case was Alain Kaloyeros, formerly the president of the State University of New York's Polytechnic Institute.

Just This with Rick Casey #17: A Primer on Mexico’s Election

Sure, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO, is the leftist frontrunner of the Mexican presidential race. But he's not the next Hugo Chavez. The post Just This with Rick Casey #17: A Primer on Mexico's Election appeared first on Rivard Report.

Just This with Rick Casey #20: Remember the Alamo – Plaza

With the impending redevelopment of Alamo Plaza, I invited historian Lewis Fisher to share details about the various structures at the iconic site. The post Just This with Rick Casey #20: Remember the Alamo – Plaza appeared first on Rivard Report.

Justice Kennedy’s retirement won’t just shape the U.S. Supreme Court — it could also reshape the U.S. Senate race in Texas

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso (left), and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Robin Jerstad: Cruz
In recent weeks, the race between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, R-El Paso, has largely revolved around immigration, playing out in detention centers along the southern border and over immigration bills in Washington. But U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's abrupt retirement announcement Wednesday sent shockwaves throughout the country — and quickly turned the two Texans' attention to the nation's highest court. “After today, this race to represent Texas in the Senate matters more than ever,” O'Rourke wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “Fully agree,” Cruz replied Thursday in his own tweet.

Justices Narrowly Uphold Trump Travel Ban

The Supreme Court upheld President Trump's ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority, the Associated Press reports. The 5-4 decision on Tuesday was the court's first substantive ruling on a Trump administration policy. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by four conservative colleagues. Roberts said that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration. The four more-liberal justices dissented.

Juvenile Arrested in Shooting that Killed Johnie Lee Resper

A teenage boy has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of Johnie Lee Resper on October 1, MPD announced Wednesday. The juvenile was not identified by police. He is suspected of second-degree murder, police say. Resper, 18, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds near the intersection of the 200 block of Adams Street Northeast. A copy of the police press release is after the jump:

Arrest Made in Homicide: 3rd and Adams Streets, Northeast
(Washington, DC) – Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Branch announced an arrest has been made in the homicide of 18-year-old Johnie Lee Resper of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, which occurred Wednesday, October 1, 2014 near the intersection of 3rd and Adams Streets, Northeast.

Kairos Academies wins sponsorship to open charter school in south St. Louis

Two former Teach For America corps members will have a chance to bring a different model of public education to a part of south St. Louis they say is underserved. The Missouri Charter Public School Commission agreed Wednesday evening to sponsor Kairos Academies' application for a five-year charter to run a school in the Dutchtown neighborhood. It still needs the state school board to sign off, but earning a sponsor is a major piece in opening a charter school.

Kairos Academies wins sponsorship to open charter school in south St. Louis

Two former Teach For America corps members will have a chance to bring a different model of public education to a part of south St. Louis they say is underserved. The Missouri Charter Public School Commission agreed Wednesday evening to sponsor Kairos Academies' application for a five-year charter to run a school in the Dutchtown neighborhood. It still needs the state school board to sign off, but earning a sponsor is a major piece in opening a charter school.

Kaler will leave post at U of M in 2019

MinnPost staff

Kaler to step down. KSTP's Frank Rajkowski reports: “Eric Kaler, who has served as president at the University of Minnesota since 2011, will leave his role in July of next year. … Kaler announced his decision in a letter released Friday morning, ‘Today I write to inform you of my decision to step down as President on July 1, 2019,' it began. ‘My tenure already exceeds the national average. This is an incredibly demanding job, essentially seven days a week, evenings and nights included, and as proud and confident of my contributions and ability as I am, I also know that the University will benefit from a fresh perspective.

Kavanaugh Has Conservative Views on Gun Rights

Brett Kavanaugh, the federal judge nominated by President Trump to the Supreme Court, has endorsed robust views of the powers of the president, consistently siding with arguments in favor of broad executive authority during his 12 years on the bench, reports the Washington Post. He has called for restructuring the government's consumer watchdog agency so the president could remove the director and has been a leading defender of the government's position on using military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects. Kavanaugh is “an unrelenting, unapologetic defender of presidential power” who believes courts can and should actively seek to rein in “large swaths of the current administrative state,” said University of Texas law Prof. Stephen Vladeck. Kavanaugh's record suggests that he would be more to the right than the man he would replace, Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he clerked. Kavanaugh has taken conservative positions in cases involving gun rights, abortion and the separation of powers.

Kavanaugh Paperwork Could Slow Confirmation

President Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court presents government archivists and White House officials with a herculean task: wading through millions of pages of records to produce what senators demand to prepare for confirmation hearings certain to be highly contentious, Politico reports. Kavanaugh's paperwork predicament—stemming from two years he spent in President George W. Bush's White House Counsel's office and just over three as Bush's staff secretary—is not unique. Several Supreme Court nominees, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Elena Kagan, also had White House stints that led to review and release of large volumes of records prior to their hearings. The quantity of files potentially at issue in Kavanaugh's case could be unprecedented. If Senate Democrats insist on receiving every page, the confirmation process could grind to a crawl.

Keith discusses fair housing law on WBFO

Posted in In-DepthCharlotte Keith talks to Jay Moran of WBFO about her recent story on Buffalo's failure to enforce its fair housing law, which is supposed to protect the thousands of city residents who rely on Section 8 vouchers, or other forms of government assistance, to pay their rent. http://www.investigativepost.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/07.10.18-Charlotee-Keith.mp3The post Keith discusses fair housing law on WBFO appeared first on Investigative Post. Leave a Comment

Kelly Mangan: Seeking freedom is not a crime

Editor's note: This commentary is by Kelly Mangan, of Burlington, who is a member of Rights and Democracy, the chair of the Burlington Progressive Party, a mother of two, and the wife of an immigrant. I'm not an expert on immigration law or activism — there are a great many people far more knowledgeable than me who've spent years working on this important issue. But, as a parent I cannot live with the knowledge that our government is quite literally ripping babies from their mothers' breasts, and children from their fathers' arms.
Amazingly, people I know (most of them parents, all of them white) have said to me: “But they came here illegally,” as though that were a defense for what is being done to children and parents on our borders right now in our name. We know that many of these families did not, in fact, cross the border illegally, but presented themselves at the border asking for asylum. Still, they were arrested and their children taken away.

Kendall Lambert: Running as a Republican was a mistake

Editor's note: This commentary is by Kendall Lambert, of Newport, who is running for the Vermont House of Representatives to represent the Orleans 2 district. She is the director for the Memphremagog Watershed Association, is on the board of NorthWoods Stewardship Center and is part of the Watersheds United Vermont Steering Committee. My name is Kendall Lambert, and in March, I announced that I was seeking the Republican nomination to represent the Orleans-2 district in the Vermont House of Representatives. It was a mistake. I originally sought the Republican nomination because I consider myself a conservative.

Kennedy’s retirement is a serious, alarming development toward a more partisan court

Eric Black

For progressives, and even for those who just like the idea of checks and balances, the announcement today of the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy may be the worst thing that has happened all year. We'll see.Perhaps Senate Democrats can find a way to buy time, to delay the confirmation of Kennedy's replacement until after the midterms, and the result of those elections will increase the chance that some partisan/ideological balance can be restored to our system.I'm sure we'll hear more about their ideas along those lines, but much of what we've seen over the past two years, starting with the Republican success at blocking the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, followed by the rapid and highly partisan confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch, leads me to see the Kennedy retirement and his likely replacement by a young and more reliably conservative justice — who will be quickly confirmed on a party-line vote — as a serious and alarming possibility.To state the obvious, Kennedy – who is a conservative, but not a rigid ideologue, who sometimes has used his leverage to prevent the most extreme outcomes on matters that reached the Supreme Court – will likely be replaced with a young ideologue who will cast the decisive fifth vote on many matters of great import and who can be trusted – as Kennedy could not – to follow the party line.An element of the conservative movement has been working for years toward this day. The urgency of that element to replace Kennedy before the midterms will be powerful. I may be wrong, but I suspect the tools available to liberals and Democrats to even slow things down will not be enough.In an effort to calm myself down, I reached out to Judge Kevin Burke of the Hennepin County District Court, on whom I have often relied for wisdom on matters judicial. I hoped he would reassure me that I was overreacting so I told him this development seemed “humongous” and “alarming” to me.Unfortunately, he said he agrees.

Kentucky lawsuit alleges outgoing Denver Police Chief Robert White covered up botched rape investigation.

Outgoing Denver Police Chief Robert White is being named in a civil rights lawsuit in Louisville, Ky., alleging that under his leadership there a decade ago, the police department mistreated a rape victim, mishandled her case and lied to her continually about the investigation. A civil rights lawsuit was filed June 19 in U.S. District Court by Salisa Luster Harrison, who says she was strangled, beaten and sexually assaulted by a stranger in 2008. She alleges that Louisville police lied when they told her rape kit had been fully tested, covered for a neglectful police officer and engaged in a conspiracy to bury her case. All of that, Luster Harrison claims, was enabled by White, who served as police chief in Louisville from 2003 to 2011. The lawsuit specifically alleges that White made it difficult for Luster Harrison and her mother to file a complaint about officer misconduct, and allowed an officer who'd mishandled the investigation to retire early and avoid possible discipline.

Kentucky’s Female Corrections Officers Say Sexual Harassment Is Part Of The Job

Nicole Irwin/Ohio Valley ReSourceNatalie speaks to a reporter about her claim of sexual harassment while an employee at the Kentucky State Penitentiary. Natalie didn't say anything when her fellow correctional officers at the Kentucky State Penitentiary made crude jokes or talked about her body. She knew that kind of talk came with the job. She didn't complain when a coworker pulled her into a cell and kissed her, she said, because she didn't think anyone would take her complaint seriously. She didn't report it when another colleague pinned her against the wall and tried to kiss her without her consent after a work event, either.

Kethledge Gets Last-Minute Supreme Court Push

Federal Judge Raymond Kethledge of Michigan is getting a behind-the-scenes push portraying him as the consensus choice of conservatives for the Supreme Court, reports Politico. Supporters of Kethledge, a Michigan resident who moves outside Washington circles and is considered the least known of the leading contenders, are circulating positive information about the judge's personal life, political profile and reassuring record on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. The message: If Brett Kavanaugh is a well-connected D.C. insider, and Amy Barrett is a grass-roots favorite but lacks experience, Kethledge is a down-to-earth Michigander who checks all the boxes for conservatives. “Unlike many people, he's not a D.C. insider,” said Kethledge friend Christopher Yoo, a University of Pennsylvania Law School professor. Kethledge and Yoo shared an office when they clerked for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy from 1997 to 1998.

Kethledge Gets Last-Minute Supreme Court Push

Federal Judge Raymond Kethledge of Michigan is getting a behind-the-scenes push portraying him as the consensus choice of conservatives for the Supreme Court, reports Politico. Supporters of Kethledge, a Michigan resident who moves outside Washington circles and is considered the least known of the leading contenders, are circulating positive information about the judge's personal life, political profile and reassuring record on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. The message: If Brett Kavanaugh is a well-connected D.C. insider, and Amy Barrett is a grass-roots favorite but lacks experience, Kethledge is a down-to-earth Michigander who checks all the boxes for conservatives. “Unlike many people, he's not a D.C. insider,” said Kethledge friend Christopher Yoo, a University of Pennsylvania Law School professor. Kethledge and Yoo shared an office when they clerked for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy from 1997 to 1998.

Keurig Green Mountain reaches $36.5M preliminary settlement with investors

Keurig Green Mountain officials say they're trying to track down the source of styrofoam coffee cups (right) that have replaced the company's branded paper cups (left) in many convenience stores in Washington County. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Green-Mountain-Coffee-cups.jpg?fit=300%2C199&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Green-Mountain-Coffee-cups.jpg?fit=610%2C405&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Green-Mountain-Coffee-cups.jpg?resize=610%2C405&ssl=1" alt="Green Mountain Coffee cups" width="610" height="405" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Green-Mountain-Coffee-cups.jpg?resize=610%2C405&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Green-Mountain-Coffee-cups.jpg?resize=125%2C83&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Green-Mountain-Coffee-cups.jpg?resize=330%2C219&ssl=1 330w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Green-Mountain-Coffee-cups.jpg?resize=150%2C99&ssl=1 150w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Green-Mountain-Coffee-cups.jpg?w=1024&ssl=1 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Keurig Green Mountain. File Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDiggerKeurig Green Mountain has preliminarily agreed to pay $36.5 million to investors who say the Vermont-based coffee company made misstatements about its growth in 2011, according to court documents. Attorneys for shareholders in the class-action lawsuit are asking a federal judge to approve the settlement to end the case, according to documents obtained by VTDigger.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Kevin Ellis: Vermont’s missed opportunity

Editor's note: This commentary is by Kevin Ellis, a partner in Ellis Mills, a communications consulting firm in Montpelier. He is a member of the board of the Vermont Journalism Trust, the parent organization of VTDigger. David Hall's decision to sell the more than 1,000 acres he owns in Orange and Windsor counties is a missed opportunity for Vermont and a bad omen for our future. (Disclosure – I was a paid consultant to Hall for a few months last year and lived in South Strafford (Orange County) for almost a decade.)
His decision to leave Vermont is a victory for opponents who saw in his goals the destruction of their way of life. But it is worth getting beyond the emotion and be clear about what Hall proposed.

Key state Democrats helped pass 2007 law to ban abortions if Roe overturned

If President Donald Trump's new nominee to the United States Supreme Court leads to the reversal of Roe v. Wade, an existing state law will be triggered prohibiting abortion in most instances in Mississippi. The law, which would permit abortions only to protect the health of the mother and in cases of rape, was passed in 2007 by the Mississippi Legislature. Two of the legislators who played a key role in passage of the law are former Rep. Jamie Franks of Mooreville, who later served as chairman of the state Democratic Party, and Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville. At the time Holland was chair of the House Public Health Committee. Holland said when the legislation was passed out of his committee he was “fed up” with the multiple “not picky” bills anti-abortion advocates were trying to pass to limit abortions in the state.

Kids in exchange for deportation: Detained migrants say they were told they could get kids back on way out of U.S.

Undocumented immigrant children at a U.S. Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, Texas. U.S. Customs and Border Protection
HOUSTON — Central American men separated from their children and held in a detention facility outside Houston are being told they can reunite with their kids at the airport if they agree to sign a voluntary deportation order now, according to one migrant at the facility and two immigration attorneys who have spoken to detainees there. A Honduran man who spoke to The Texas Tribune Saturday estimated that 20 to 25 men who have been separated from their children are being housed at the IAH Polk County Secure Adult Detention Center, a privately-operated U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility for men located 75 miles outside Houston. He said the majority of those detainees had received the same offer of reunification in exchange for voluntary deportation. The 24-year-old detainee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and requested the Tribune use the pseudonym Carlos because he feared retaliation, told the Tribune that he abandoned his asylum case and agreed to sign voluntary deportation paperwork Friday out of “desperation” to see his 6-year-old daughter, who was separated from him after the pair illegally crossed the border in late May.

Kimber Backs Ganim

New Haven's Rev. Boise Kimber is standing behind Joe Ganim — again.

Kingsbury High teacher accuses Memphis principal of improper grade changing

A Kingsbury High School math teacher has taken her allegations over improper grade changing public. Alesia Harris said the principal directed that 17 students' exam grades be changed from failing to 100 percent against her wishes, according to a partial screenshot of the school's computerized grading system provided by Harris. She said an initial district investigation reported the changes were an accident, but she has not been told if those grades were ever changed back. A Shelby County Schools spokesman confirmed there was an investigation and said “appropriate actions were taken,” but did not elaborate on the results of the probe. Chalkbeat reached Kingsbury's principal, Terry Ross, by phone, but he said he would have to get permission from the district to respond to the allegations.

KIPP charter network launching biliteracy program at new Denver elementary school

A high-performing charter network will run a biliteracy program at a new elementary school in southwest Denver this fall — a first for KIPP schools in Colorado. KIPP officials said they designed the program in response to parent interest in bilingual education that starts from a young age. Many families had seen their high school students educated in two languages earning a seal of biliteracy upon graduation. “Families said, ‘why can't we start that sooner when kids are learning to read instead of waiting until high school to develop those skills,'” said Kimberlee Sia, the CEO of KIPP Colorado. “It was really driven by families seeing what was possible with their older students.”
Ellen Dobie-Geffen, KIPP Colorado's director of English language development, designed the program and said KIPP is optimistic about the academic results it can have.

Kirsten Berggren: Making the biggest hospital the best hospital

Editor's note: This commentary is by Kirsten Berggren, a nurse practitioner at the UVM Medical Center. If you wanted to start a new hospital and have it be the best in the area, what would you do? Would you build the fanciest new building? Have the most modern equipment? The biggest rooms?

Krill fishing companies pledge to protect key food of Antarctic animals

A majority of krill fishing companies have announced their commitment to voluntarily stop harvesting the tiny crustaceans from vast areas of the Antarctic Peninsula, including around important breeding penguin colonies. The announcement on July 9 follows years of campaigns and negotiations led by environmental groups such as Greenpeace. “This is a bold and progressive move from these krill fishing companies, and we hope to see the remainder of the krill industry follow suit,” Frida Bengtsson, a senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace Nordic's Protect the Antarctic campaign, said in a statement. Krill are at the heart of the food chain in the Antarctic Peninsula. Image by Christian Åslund/Greenpeace Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), tiny shrimp-like creatures that swarm in huge concentrations in the oceans, are a crucial part of the Antarctic food chain, acting as an important food source for whales, seals, albatrosses and penguins.

KyCIR Amplify: Demontrea and Amari, Louisville Teenagers Who’ve Been Locked Up

Three of every four youth locked up in Louisville's detention centers are black. An investigation by KyCIR's Kate Howard found that black youth have been overwhelmingly left behind by reforms to keep fewer kids out of jail. Demontrea Broach and Amari Crain, both black teenagers living in the Louisville area, spoke with Howard about the lasting effects of time spent in juvenile detention centers. Listen to their stories in the sound player below. Read the whole investigation here.

KyCIR Amplify: Jennifer Lynn Dennis, Former Prison Guard

Eleanor KlibanoffLisa Suliman, Jennifer Dennis and Colleen Payton, pictured left to right, were part of a sexual harassment lawsuit that brought a $1.6 million judgment against the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Employees from the Department of Juvenile Justice and Department of Corrections are only 15 percent of the state government workforce, but they account for half of all the sexual harassment complaints statewide. For her investigation into the high rate of sexual harassment complaints at state prisons, KyCIR's Eleanor Klibanoff spoke with current and former prison guards, who told her that sexual harassment is often a part of the job. Jennifer Lynn Dennis, a former prison guard at the Little Sandy Correctional Complex in eastern Kentucky, said sexual harassment caused her to quit her job. Along with three other women, Dennis sued the Department of Corrections and Sergeant Stephen Harper and won.

L.L. Bean Seeks Parking Exception

L.L. Bean is still on track to open a new downtown store in August. But first its landlord, Yale University, has a trip to make to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

La niña de 6 años escuchada en una grabación de audio de una instalación fronteriza sigue separada de su madre, que se esfuerza para criarla desde 1.000 millas de distancia

por Ginger Thompson
La última vez que Cindy Madrid Henríquez, una inmigrante salvadoreña, habló por teléfono con su hija Jimena de seis años, la niña comenzó quejándose de tener que lavar su cabello con jabón en barra en lugar de champú. Ella se encuentra en un albergue de niños en Arizona. Su cuero cabelludo estaba seco y con picazón, tenía caspa. Entonces sus preguntas se convirtieron en miedos: ¿y si su cabello comenzaba a caerse? ¿Qué tal si su cuero cabelludo se infecta?

Lab-grown embryos raise hope of saving near-extinct rhino

In March this year, Sudan, the last known male northern white rhino, died at Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy at the age of 45. He left behind a daughter, Najin, and granddaughter, Fatu, neither capable of reproducing naturally. With no other confirmed northern white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) remaining in the wild — although there are speculations of some unconfirmed individuals in South Sudan — the subspecies is thought to be as good as extinct. But there might be a glimmer of hope. For the first time ever, scientists have successfully used IVF (in vitro fertilization) techniques to combine previously frozen sperm from the near-extinct northern white rhino with eggs from the more abundant southern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum simum) to create viable hybrid embryos.

Labor Council Leader Will Stick Around

Keith Maddox / Photo courtesy of the San Diego Imperial-Counties Labor Council
Last year, the national AFL-CIO took over its local affiliate, the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council. It sent one of its employees, Keith Maddox, in to run it as a trustee. Now, Maddox has agreed to stick around. He's developed a reputation of working well with both his union counterparts and the business community. He's gotten some credit for pulling together the coalition pushing the measure to expand the Convention Center and fund homeless services with an increase to the hotel room tax in the city of San Diego.

LACiNg Up for Cancer walk raises $180,000

News Release — LACiNg up for Cancer
July 3, 2018
Kathy Demars
Jill Baker
LACiNg Up For Cancer Walk Raises More Than $180,000 for Lamoille Area Cancer Network
Morrisville: As of press time, fundraising efforts for this year's LACiNg Up For Cancer walk, an event that benefits Lamoille Area Cancer Network (LACN), is at $187,029 with more expected to trickle in over the next several weeks. Kathy Demars, Event Chair, expressed her appreciation to the many teams, businesses and individuals who supported this year's walk stating, “We live in a very generous community, a community that understands the importance of helping others. We should all be proud of what we can accomplish by working together.” The LACiNg Up walk is a signature event for LACN. Monies raised stay in our community helping those who are undergoing treatment for their cancer. Since 2000, LACN has written more than $2.6million in grants.

Ladybug Love

Museum hands out bugs, and kids let them goLadybug Love was first posted on July 1, 2018 at 1:36 pm.

Lake Champlain Chocolates announces B Corporation certification

News Release — Lake Champlain Chocolates
June 27, 2018
Media Contact:
Meghan Fitzpatrickmfitzpatrick@lakechamplainchocolates.com
(802) 264-2146
Lake Champlain Chocolates achieves B Corp CertificationVermont Chocolate Company Recognized for Highest Standards of Social and Environmental Practices
Burlington, VT – Family-owned Vermont chocolate company, Lake Champlain Chocolates (LCC), is proud to announce it is a Certified B Corporation. B Corp Certification validates LCC's commitment to progressive social and environmental business practices, accountability, and transparency. There are more than 2,200 Certified B Corporations world-wide, 33 of which are in Vermont, with one unifying goal— to redefine success in business. The performance standards B Corps meet are comprehensive, transparent and verified. They measure a company's impact on all its stakeholders, including workers, suppliers, community, customers, and the environment.

Lake Champlain Tasting Trail connects to the world

Sarah Diaz is an employee owner at Switchback Brewing Co., part of the Lake Champlain Tasting Trail. Courtesy photoVermont will be part of the first international culinary trail that eventually will span more than 1,000 miles. Unveiled last week, the Lake Champlain Tasting Trail includes more than 50 restaurants, producers, farms, wineries, breweries, cideries and farmers markets. The pathway in the Champlain Valley will serve as a link with similar trails in New York, Ontario and Quebec as officials work toward the broader goal of uniting them. The route includes locations in Grand Isle, Chittenden, Franklin and Addison counties that meet standards for a high-quality visitor experience.

Lake Christine Fire: information resources

Lake Christine fire map
InciWeb: Incident Information System
Eagle County Sheriff on Twitter
Eagle County Sheriff on Facebook
Pitkin County 911 on Twitter
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Daily News
Aspen Public Radio

Lamont entrusts message to ‘high-risk, high-reward’ ad maker

Different races, different times, different messages. Ned Lamont hired an outsider to frame his antiwar U.S. Senate campaign in 2006 and a mainstream Democratic ad man in his more conventional run for governor in 2010. This year, Lamont has hired Mark Putnam, a big gun in political advertising with a client list topped by Barack Obama. Democrats are waiting to see if Putnam's firm can find a fresh take on a gubernatorial candidate one Republican already has branded as “Retread Ned.”

Lamont gets an endorsement, challenges GOP on abortion

While U.S. Rep. John B. Larson endorsed fellow Democrat Ned Lamont on Monday in the race for governor, Lamont challenged the GOP rivals to pledge to defend Connecticut's laws supporting abortion rights.

Lamont, Ganim Milk The Trust Issue

Ned Lamont prepared his lines for his appearance on the Shubert Theater stage Thursday night.Asked how much a gallon milk costs, he raised three fingers. “Three dollars,” he said — then resumed tussling with Joe Ganim over who best understands and can fight for “vulnerable” and middle-class families.

Lamont’s first ad: ‘So, I turned 64 this year…’

Ned Lamont's opening television commercial is a casual, almost jaunty conversation with the camera as the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor drives a Chevy Equinox through a middle-class suburb of Hartford. His initial buy puts him on every network affiliate.

Large Animal Feeding Operations On The Rise

The number of new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) has increased across the United States over the past seven years – bringing the total operations just under 20,000, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency. And Iowa led the way. From 2011 to 2017, Iowa went from having 1,648 CAFOs to 3,588, for a 117.7 percent change, according to an analysis of data from the EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Delaware and Maryland fell to a distant second and third with just 881 new operations between the two states, with Delaware seeing a 600 percent growth and Maryland seeing a nearly 300 percent growth. Overall, the United States added more than 1,400 new large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from 2011 to 2017.

Large Gaps in Educational Opportunity Confirmed for Youth in Juvenile Justice Facilities

Access to courses is the first step toward meaningful educational opportunity for students who are removed from their homes and communities and placed in secure facilities. Under federal and state laws, students attending schools in juvenile justice facilities are entitled to educational opportunities comparable to those they would have if they were attending their neighborhood high schools. Bellwether Education PartnersHailly T.N. Korman
Now, a first-of-its-kind review of the available data reveals substantial gaps in such opportunity at juvenile justice schools across the country, particularly in math, science and credit recovery. Depriving vulnerable young people of the types of classes they would otherwise have access to is punitive and short-sighted. Equitable education programs in juvenile justice schools are not just required by state and federal law, they are proven to reduce recidivism, to improve life outcomes and to increase the well-being of communities.

Larry Butler, South Texas Urban Farming Leader, Dies at 70

Larry Butler, co-founder of Boggy Creek Farm, the oldest operating urban farm in Austin, died Thursday at age 70. The post Larry Butler, South Texas Urban Farming Leader, Dies at 70 appeared first on Rivard Report.

Las Cruces group to use data on ACEs to fight childhood trauma

Las Cruces City Councilor Kasandra Gandara has one big request for her partners in a new effort to tackle childhood trauma in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County: Ask every person they serve or interact with how many Adverse Childhood Experiences they've had. Gandara and a group of behavioral health providers, educators, community activists and […]

Last Glimpses of a Cambodian Paradise? Documenting an area on the eve of its likely destruction (commentary)

First came the damning reports from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA): one last year titled “Repeat Offenders,” which described the massive logging operations taking place in Cambodia's Virachey National Park, O Yadav National Park, and Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary. And then another earlier this year, published as a follow-up piece focusing almost squarely on Virachey National Park and titled “Serial Offenders,” which detailed the almost unfathomable scale of illegal logging operations in the Park to feed Vietnam's rapacious desire for timber for its multi-billion dollar furniture industry — products that, when carved and polished in their final forms, end up in furniture stores in the United States, China, and the EU. The sheer scale of the logging operations makes it a wonder that there's anything left of the forest, especially as the timber just keeps flowing out of northeast Cambodia and into Vietnam unabated. In fact, Cambodia has one of the world's highest deforestation rates. Yet there is still plenty of wildlife, at least in Virachey National Park, where I have been part of a team that has been conducting a wildlife survey for four years now.

Last-minute heroics give FC Tucson a draw

FC Tucson salvaged a tie in their match against Albuquerque Sol at Kino North Stadium on Tuesday night, but it took a last-minute substitute in the match's dying moments to do it.

Latam Eco Review: Chocolate as a Conservation Strategy

The most popular stories by our Spanish language service, Mongabay Latam, for the week of June 18- 24 include features in honor of Colombia's World Cup team (Humboldt Institute created “Colombian Biodiversity Team” cards profiling the country's most iconic wildlife) and in other news, Peruvian farmers in a region once dominated by narcotrafficking now seek prosperity through organic chocolate. The image above, from the Humboldt Institute's World Cup Biodiversity Team cards, depicts Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez as a harpy eagle. Peru: Chocolate saves a community and a protected area from narcotrafficking Near the Rio Abiseo National Park in the Peruvian Amazon, twenty years ago a group of farmers stopped growing coca and turned to organic cacao. Since the park's inception, one of its objectives was always to support the development of local communities. Today the area is 40% more productive than the rest of the region, and the stamp showing that the cacao is sourced from a forest conservation zone increases the profits.

Latam Eco Review: Five newly described snakes named by auction in Ecuador

Among the top stories published by our Spanish-language service, Mongabay-Latam, this past week were features about five newly described snake species being named by auction in Ecuador, and news that Bolivia's Madidi Park could possibly be the most biodiverse place on Earth. The banner image above shows one of the newly described snakes, a Bob Ridgely snake (Dipsas bobridgely). Image courtesy of Matthijs Holladers/Tropical Herping. Ecuador: five new snake species named via auction In the science world, researchers who describe new species have the honor of bestowing their common and scientific names. In Ecuador, a team that discovered five new ‘snail sucking' snakes decided to name them by auction.

Latam Eco Review: Ports imperil Colombian crocodiles

Below are summaries of the most popular stories by our Spanish language service, Mongabay Latam, from the week of June 11 – 17. Among the top articles: Port projects in northern Colombia threaten the mangrove habitats of American crocodiles. In other news, the Waorani people of Ecuador use camera traps to record an astonishing diversity of species in their territory. New maritime cargo ports threaten Cispatá Bay in Colombia Five hydrocarbon ports operate in the Gulf of Morrosquillo in northern Colombia. Two more are planned – one for cargo; the other for bulk and coal – in Cispatá Bay, one of the country's best conserved mangrove ecosystems. Around the bay, more than 8600 hectares of twisted mangroves offer refuge to fish, mollusks, shrimp and a crocodile at risk of extinction: Crocodylus acutus, the American crocodile, known locally as the ‘needle crocodile.'

Latam Eco Review: Spectacled bears in the spotlight

Among the most read stories at our Spanish-language service, Mongabay-Latam, this past week were articles about camera traps providing new insights into the spectacled bear's natural habitat in Peru, and in Ecuador both private and governmental initiatives which are successfully fighting to protect the dry forest ecosystem in the southern part of the country. The banner image above shows a butterfly (Lasaia agesilas), known as the glittering sapphire, in the reserve of Tambopata, Peru. Stay up to date with Mongabay-Latam by following on Facebook and Twitter. Videos: spectacled bear's home in the dry forests of Peru revealed “Laura” is a spectacled bear that lives in the Batán Grande Archaeological Complex, Peru. Camera traps have provided insight into how she and other bears live in the dry forest of Peru, their natural habitat.

Latest Trump move on ACA could cost state insurers $70 million, raise premiums

Brian Lambert

Losing so others may win. Stribber Christopher Snowbeck reports, “A federal government decision to freeze ‘risk adjustment' payments under the federal Affordable Care Act is threatening more than $70 million in funding expected by Minnesota health insurers while also raising questions about the potential impact on premiums next year. On Saturday, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said a court decision earlier this year means it must put on hold the financial transfers, which effectively shift money from some insurers in certain markets to carriers that cover more people with expensive health conditions. Health policy experts argue the federal agency could have responded to the ruling without freezing the transfers. Insurers, in turn, criticized the move, saying it could result in higher rates for consumers.

Launched by Bloomberg, City’s Anti-Poverty Lab Works Quietly Under de Blasio

Adi TalwarThe Department of Youth and Community Development partnered on June 25 with Microsoft to host a professional networking workshop for participants in the Young Adult Internship Program Plus, one of the Office of Economic Opportunity's programs run by Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow. Seen at Microsoft's flagship store on 5th Avenue are, from left to right, YAIP participant Michael Jamison, OBT staff Kelsey Reenstra, YAIP participant Marcel Crawford and OBT staff Sara Vonhold. In his run for mayor in 2013, Bill de Blasio campaigned on creating a more economically equal city. His OneNYC plan, released in 2015, committed to lifting 800,000 New Yorkers out of poverty or near poverty in 10 years. He was the second mayor in a row to make reducing poverty a signature goal: Mayor Mike Bloomberg made a similarly bold pledge at the start of his second term in 2006.

Lawmakers reconsider Gold Dome’s sexual harassment policy after session fraught with allegations

On a hot Monday morning this week, Colorado lawmakers returned to a mostly empty committee room at the state Capitol to try to bring closure to an issue that ignited in the dead of winter and smoldered throughout this year's session. “The Legislative Workplace Interim Study Committee will come to order,” said House Speaker Crisanta Duran before she brought down the gavel with a subtle clap. Thus began an effort to forge a new sexual harassment policy in the aftermath of a session in which at least five lawmakers were accused of making unwanted sexual advances or lewd comments toward fellow lawmakers and others who work at the statehouse. The question of how to handle those complaints under the politically-charged Gold Dome was left largely unresolved when the session ended in May. The committee of three Democratic and three Republican state lawmakers was appointed by the leadership in the House and Senate to study the statehouse's workplace harassment policy and, potentially, come up with a change ahead of the 2019 session.

Lawmakers requested $163M for pet projects even as they criticized MDOT spending

Legislative leaders have requested more than $163 million for dozens of special transportation projects in their districts, a Mississippi Today analysis shows. About half of those requests received funding, sometimes pushing other projects deemed necessary to enhance public safety lower on the list, records show. A long standing practice in the Legislature, these earmark requests, made between 2012 and 2018, have continued while top lawmakers sharply criticized fiscal and operational management at the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Scrutiny over management of the agency has also resulted in attempts in recent years to strip the department of its spending authority. These special requests from lawmakers are separate from the typical road-funding process, including allocations from MDOT's roughly $1 billion annual budget, over which lawmakers have little legal control.

Lawson’s Finest expands distribution to New Hampshire

News Release — Lawson's Finest Liquids
June 18, 2018
Lawson's Finest is excited to announce that Sunshine is coming to the Granite State! We are proud to have Vacationland Distributors deliver our flagship beer Sip of Sunshine IPA statewide to fans of the highly recognizable bright yellow cans. Sip of Sunshine is packed with juicy tropical fruit character, bright floral aromas and delectable layers of hop flavor. New Hampshire craft beer fans can expect monthly deliveries of cans and draft beer of both Sip of Sunshine IPA and Super Session #8, a quaffable brew loaded with Mosaic hops, designed to be light and refreshing with lower alcohol (4.8% ABV), yet the full hop character of an IPA. Be on the lookout for Super Session #7 in mid-July, our newest rendition of this session brewed with Idaho 7 hops.

Lawsuit alleges gerrymandered state district dilutes black vote

TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI: News from and about our state
Three African American men in the Delta filed a federal lawsuit accusing the state of gerrymandering one of its districts in direct violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Civil Rights attorneys argue in the lawsuit that the boundaries of Senate District 22, which is located primarily in the Mississippi Delta, intentionally dilute African-American voting strength in the area. And they've asked U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves to order state officials to redraw the district before statewide elections in 2019. “There will be a lot of focus on redistricting when election lines everywhere are redrawn after the 2020 census,” said Jackson civil rights attorney Rob McDuff, who is working with the Mississippi Center for Justice on the lawsuit. “But because there is a problem with District 22 that needs to be cured before the census and before the 2019 election, we are bringing this case now.”
The defendants are Gov. Phil Bryant, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, and Attorney General Jim Hood.

Lawsuit Claims Union Busting at Bexar County Probation Department

The lawsuit claims that two leading officials violated union members' First Amendment rights to free speech and association related to union activities. The post Lawsuit Claims Union Busting at Bexar County Probation Department appeared first on Rivard Report.

Lawsuit over Amazon bid reveals the latest way Minnesota officials are attempting to sidestep public disclosure laws

Peter Callaghan

It was all about the Box.A lawsuit filed Wednesday seeking records pertaining to the state of Minnesota's attempt to woo Amazon's new headquarters claims the state and a private economic development group, Greater MSP, used a cloud-based file-sharing site to hold materials — including the bid itself — in order to get around the state's public disclosure laws.Because the state agency preparing the bid, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), didn't actually possess the data — instead keeping it on a server provided by the cloud-based file-sharing service Box — state officials claim the agency doesn't have to produce many of the key documents sought under the state Data Practices Act.But the lawsuit filed by Public Record Media, a St. Paul nonprofit dedicated to open government, argues that any documents produced by state entities on behalf of the state are public — regardless of where they are stored.Filed in Ramsey County District Court, the suit asks the court to order release of the documents including the actual bid. It also seeks to enjoin the state from using similar methods to evade disclosure in the future, and to award expenses, legal costs, civil and exemplary damages.“One of the reasons we're bringing this suit is because of the hazy nature of what's been going on,” said Public Record Media Executive Director Matt Ehling. “The state economic development agency is making promises on behalf of the taxpayers of Minnesota. The taxpayers need to know what those promises were.”The attorney bringing the lawsuit, JT Haines of St.

Lawsuit to remove Kehoe from lieutenant governor’s office tossed out

A Cole County judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the appointment of Mike Kehoe as Missouri's lieutenant governor. In a ruling issued late Wednesday , Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem said that Gov. Mike Parson had the authority to appoint fellow Republican Kehoe to the state's number-two office, under the Missouri Constitution.

Lawsuit: Attorneys for EB-5 investors took $5M in kickbacks from Jay Peak

The Hotel Jay is the signature project of the Jay Peak Resort expansion. The developers used EB-5 immigrant investor money to build the five-story hotel. An investor alleges that the fifth floor was double-sold to two sets of investors. VTDigger photo
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Lawsuits on mining leases near BWCA resist governance by memo and whim

Ron Meador

Two more lawsuits were filed this week against the Trump administration's about-face on Twin Metals Minnesota's mineral leases at the edge of the Boundary Waters, bringing the total to three.The documents bring some clarity and concision to the tangled procedural history of the leases' renewals, cancellation and re-granting. And on mining's threat to area businesses centered on paddling and quiet recreation, they present some compelling illustrations of potential job losses.But perhaps their main value will be the focus they bring to this question: Has ours become a government of whim, or do the law, the rules and settled procedures still matter?For several years now, ever since Twin Metals' challengers began to gain traction in Washington for their objections to industrializing the edge of a prime American wilderness, the company has asserted that its leases along the South Kawishiwi River carry an automatic right of renewal.Given that TMM's renewal applications have undergone repeated review for potential impacts on the Superior National Forest and on waters downstream, that's an odd position — at least, it's odd if you make the common-sense assumption that the fact of review carries the possibility of rejection.The company's most recent leases lapsed in 2014, and by early 2016 a formal and extensive Interior Department analysis concluded that renewal was discretionary. That December, following further review and a public comment period, the department's Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service decided to turn TMM down.And that would have been that, most likely, if not for Team Trump. It quickly announced a change of heart, scaled back a broad review of sulfide mining's suitability in the area, and finally, on May 2, announced its decision to renew the leases, based on an Interior lawyer's assertion of an error in the 2016 analysis.The core argument of all three lawsuits — by Ely-area businesses and Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, by three national environmental groups, and by Friends the Boundary Waters Wilderness — is that there's simply no basis in law for undoing a formal decision of this kind, long after it was finalized, essentially by writing a memo.***For 50 years, starting in 1966, the right to produce precious metals from the two parcels TMM now controls have been granted to a succession of mining companies, starting with the International Nickel Co. (INCO).

Lawyers argue over validity of lieutenant governor appointment

A Cole County judge heard arguments Thursday on whether Mike Kehoe can legally hold the office of Missouri lieutenant governor. The Missouri Democratic Party filed suit along with Darrell Cope, 93, a World War II veteran from southern Missouri who said in a written statement that he wants the opportunity to vote for the state's lieutenant governor, instead of having him picked “in backroom deals.”

Lawyers argue over validity of Lt. Governor appointment

A Cole County judge heard arguments Thursday on whether Mike Kehoe can legally hold the office of Missouri Lieutenant Governor. The Missouri Democratic Party filed suit along with Darrell Cope, 93, a World War II veteran from southern Missouri who said in a written statement that he wants the opportunity to vote for the state's lieutenant governor, instead of having him picked “in backroom deals.”

Lawyers: Immigration Win Offers Nationwide Model

Immigration lawyers don't need to wait for an uncertain remedy out of a California court to reunite undocumented families separated at the border. Instead, they now have a model in Connecticut for proving that migrant children's trauma needs to be addressed immediately.

Lead hurts kids, including their ability to learn. But new research shows cities can help.

The effects of lead on children are far-reaching: it can cause both health problems and challenges in school, driving test scores down and suspension rates up. Now, a new study says there's a lot that can be done about it — even for kids who have already been exposed to the chemical, which was common in paint until the late 1970s. Straightforward efforts, like making sure kids get nutritional help and aren't exposed to any more lead, can produce boost student learning and cause substantial decreases in suspensions, absences, and crime rates. The research underscores how factors outside schools' control can profoundly influence academic outcomes. The peer-reviewed research focuses on Charlotte, North Carolina in the 1990s, where young children who were found to have high levels of lead in their blood were given a battery ocharf treatments, depending on the severity of their case.

Leadership shake-up at Newark schools as officials are forced to resign or be fired

The big story

Incoming Superintendent Roger León is starting to reshape the district even before he officially takes over on July 1. On Friday, 31 top Newark Public Schools officials and other administrators were given the option to resign and accept a buyout package or be fired. Most of the targeted staffers have ties to León's predecessors, superintendents Cami Anderson and Christopher Cerf. León was expected to bring in new leadership. But Friday's shake-up still stunned many insiders, as it came sooner and cut deeper than was anticipated.

Leahy and Murray seek to restrict 100-mile border patrol zone

A U.S. Border Patrol agent checks a car on the I-93 southbound lane in September south of the Route 175 exit south of Lincoln. Photo by Geoff Forester
" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Border-Patrol-2.jpg?fit=300%2C177&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Border-Patrol-2.jpg?fit=610%2C360&ssl=1" src="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Border-Patrol-2.jpg?resize=610%2C360&ssl=1" alt="Border Patrol 2" width="610" height="360" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Border-Patrol-2.jpg?resize=610%2C360&ssl=1 610w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Border-Patrol-2.jpg?resize=125%2C74&ssl=1 125w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Border-Patrol-2.jpg?resize=300%2C177&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Border-Patrol-2.jpg?resize=768%2C453&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Border-Patrol-2.jpg?w=848&ssl=1 848w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A U.S. Border Patrol agent checks a car on the I-93 southbound lane in September south of the Route 175 exit south of Lincoln. Photo by Geoff ForesterSens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., are seeking to limit the powers of federal border agents in areas miles away from the border. Current law gives federal border agents broad authorities within 100 miles of the border region.

Leahy Comment on Justice Department’s Announcement Regarding Private Prisons

News Release — Sen. Patrick Leahy
Feb. 24, 2017
Contact: Leahy_Press@leahy.senate.gov
Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
On The Announcement by the Department of Justice Regarding Private Prisons
February 24, 2017
[This week, Attorney General Sessions reversed a Justice Department policy to reduce and then end its use of private prisons. That policy, announced in August 2016 by then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, was responsive to a DOJ Inspector General report finding that private prisons “incurred more safety and security incidents per capita” than federal facilities. During his confirmation Attorney General Sessions told Senator Leahy that that he would “carefully evaluate” the private prison policy, yet his one-paragraph announcement this week made no mention of the IG report and cited no evidence in support of his decision.]
“In a one paragraph announcement this week, Attorney General Sessions made clear that this administration thinks that even our prison system should be a for-profit business. For too long, the conditions found in many private prisons have placed inmates and officers at risk.

Leahy comment on president’s remarks at Trump-Putin news conference

Press Release — Sen. Patrick Leahy
July 16, 2018
Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President's Remarks At The Trump-Putin News Conference
This is the undermining of our security interests and of the American rule of law. It is as dangerous as it is shameful. It is all the more indefensible now that President Trump feels a need to stand up for Putin and Russia. As a Vermonter and United States senator I stand up for America. Read the story on VTDigger here: Leahy comment on president's remarks at Trump-Putin news conference.

Leahy: Senate appropriations process ‘a dose of sanity’

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said that more lawmakers, especially Republicans, need to step up to defend Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling. Photo by Cory Dawson
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Leahy-1.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Leahy-1.jpg?fit=610%2C407&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Leahy-1.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1" alt="Pat Leahy" width="610" height="407" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Leahy-1.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Leahy-1.jpg?resize=125%2C83&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Leahy-1.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Leahy-1.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Leahy-1.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Leahy-1.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Leahy-1.jpg 3224w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. File photo by Cory DawsonThe U.S. Senate advanced its first appropriations bills for the next fiscal year Monday evening with strong bipartisan support. The package of three spending bills was the first measure to come to the Senate floor since Sens. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., brokered a deal to take a bipartisan approach to setting federal spending levels.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox.

Lean Left Vermont to host Art the Vote

News Release — Lean Left Vermont
Jule 28, 2018
Sarah or Carrieleanleftcvt@gmail.com
Art the Vote Opening Reception July 12 in Montpelier
Montpelier, Vermont – June 28, 2018
Lean Left Vermont is pleased to announce the launch of “Art the Vote”, an innovative online project created by artists and activists to help elect Democratic Congressional candidates in New Hampshire, New York and Maine. The concept is simple: art lovers from around the country can donate to the Lean Left Vermont Victory Fund, and in exchange choose a unique piece of art by a professional Vermont artist. This gallery-quality painting or photograph will be delivered to the contributor as a gift for their donation. All donations go to the Lean Left Vermont Victory Fund, established by a grassroots Montpelier activist group to help Democratic candidates in pivotal 2018 Congressional races around the country. Art the Vote debuts with a reception on Thursday, July 12 from 5-7 pm in Montpelier at the gallery located at 6 Barre Street.

Learning life’s big financial lessons in a tiny town

The mayor wears a plastic top hat; the doctor is years away from being able to drive; the utility worker is wearing a uniform six sizes too big. Welcome to JA BizTown, a fictional city populated entirely by 8- and 9-year-olds. It's part of a summer camp teaching financial and business skills to children and adolescents. Over a week they learn about the responsibilities of going to work, filling out paperwork and paying off bills, all within their very own make-believe town.

Led by Democrats and young adults, most Texas voters want to legalize marijuana, UT/TT Poll finds

More than half of the state's registered voters believe marijuana should be legalized in the state, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Overall, 53 percent of the state's voters would legalize pot either in small amounts (30 percent) or any amounts (23 percent). Another 31 percent would legalize marijuana only for medical purposes. Only 16 percent said possession of marijuana should remain illegal under any circumstances. Loading...

Legal aid group trying to help immigrant children detained in Tornillo find their families

EL PASO — For the hundreds of unaccompanied immigrant minors detained in a hastily-built tent camp in Tornillo, legal assistance and help finding family members could still be weeks away, the head of the Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services in El Paso said Friday. The non-profit is the only local organization that contracts with the federal government to provide legal services to undocumented immigrant minors held in federal detention. Melissa Lopez, the program's executive director, said her staff has for years worked with the public defender's office to try to match immigrant children and parents who could be in separate states. That job has gotten much bigger since the Trump administration launched a zero-tolerance policy for people who cross the border illegally in April; since then, at least 2,500 children have been separated from their families. “What we'll do is we'll go back and check our databases to see if that child either has been or is in El Paso,” she said.

Legal Aid, Yale Law Sue Feds Over Immigrant Children

A 9-year-old boy from Honduras and a 14-year-old girl from El Salvador are suing the federal government after being separated from their parents at the U.S. border and then transported Connecticut.

Legal Battle Ahead Over Trump Move on Migrant Kids

President Trump's move to quell the firestorm over his administration's separation of migrant families at the border will draw legal challenges concerning the federal government's obligations when holding children in long-term detention, Politico reports. “There may be some litigation,” the president said. “Ultimately, we want to see it done right, and it will be done right.” At the core of the legal showdown is the two-decade-old Flores agreement that sharply limits the government's ability to keep minors in immigration custody and sets standards for their treatment. Most immigrants under 18 must be released within 20 days, preferably to a family member in the U.S.
Trump and Republican allies in Congress have called for legislation to roll back aspects of the Flores deal. The 1997 settlement resolved a lawsuit claiming that children were being denied proper food and medical care and subjected to unsanitary conditions and danger where housed with adults.

Legal pot bid tanks before filing deadline

Another attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona went up in smoke Thursday when Safer Arizona missed the 5 p.m. deadline to file petitions to get on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Legal Roundtable discusses latest SCOTUS decisions, Stockley suit

On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with a panel of legal experts regarding the recent activity in the U.S. Supreme Court as the session comes to an end. On the panel: William Freivogel , J.D., journalism professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale Barbara Smith , J.D., associate with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Greg Magarian , J.D., law professor at Washington University Topics discussed ranged from immigration and due process to gerrymandering and voting policies. The conversation also touched on Jason Stockley's lawsuit against the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the prosecutor of his 2017 acquitted case, Jennifer Joyce.

Legalizing marijuana, limiting access to assault-style weapons part of Texas Democrats’ platform

FORT WORTH — With little to no debate, state party Democrats on Saturday afternoon signed off on their 2018 platform — a list that reflects the ideas leaders and members support ahead of the November election and 2019 legislative session. Some of their ideals include support for legalizing the possession and recreational use of marijuana, providing tuition-free community college to Texas residents and maintaining the Top 10 Percent Rule which requires all public universities to admit all Texans that graduated in the top 10 percent their high school's class. The nearly 7,500 delegates in attendance rounded out their three-day gathering in Fort Worth by passing the party's entire platform in a single voice vote. National conversations surrounding issues such as the #MeToo movement and gun control shaped how party leaders approached this year's 48-page platform, with the minority party passing planks in support of "ensuring swift and just responses to sexual harassment" and strengthening the national background check system. But most issues in the platform were in line with ideals the state party has accepted in the past.

Legislative Auditor: State public health bidding was legal, but some changes are needed

The Legislative Auditor's office reports today that the Minnesota Department of Public Services appears to have followed the rules in a new competitive bidding process for public health programs. But improvements are suggested.The changes in bidding for Medicaid and MinnesotaCare resulted in the lost of business by UCare, prompting a lawsuit that said the process was unfair.In a letter with the report today (pdf), Legislative Auditor James Nobles, said:We concluded that DHS followed existing legal standards for scoring competitive bids and accurately calculated the total bid scores and top rankings of the proposals that were submitted. We do not offer recommendations related to this aspect of the process. However, we think the Legislature needs to address certain other procurement policies and do so prior to the next round of competitive bidding for public health care programs.He said the Legislature should clarify requirements "regarding the participation of county-based purchasing organizations in competitive bidding and counties' authority to purchase or provide public health care."State DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said the Legislative Auditor's report underscores "the integrity of the bid process," and said the department "will be partnering with counties, legislators and other key stakeholders to develop even stronger methods to increase both the quality of care delivered to our enrollees and the cost-effectiveness to taxpayers."

Legislative Health Care Round Up

By Rose Hoban & Taylor Knopf
As this year's legislative work session rapidly draws to a close, lawmakers are pushing through multiple small bills having to do with health care. Naturopathic Medicine Study
A bill that passed unanimously in both chambers of the legislature directs the Department of Health and Human Services to study naturopathic medicine, give recommendations on how to license naturopathic doctors, and decide what their scope of practice should be. Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Kernersville)“Naturopathic medicine is a distinct health care profession that affects the public health, safety, and welfare of the State's residents. Certification of professionals practicing naturopathic medicine will aid in protecting citizens from deception, fraud, and damage to their health status,” reads House Bill 277. Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Kernersville) has wanted to study the certification process for naturopathic doctors for a while.

Legislators Get Help Understanding Health Policy from Colleagues Across the Aisle

By India Mackinson
Sixteen members of the General Assembly put aside partisan politics to tackle a complicated issue impacting the lives of North Carolinians every day — health care. The North Carolina Institute of Medicine's Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program informed and engaged lawmakers in health topics, fostering bipartisan communication about health care, an item that makes up at least a quarter of the state budget. “When I was floating this idea around with legislators, I was getting a lot of positive feedback,” said Adam Zolotor, president and CEO of the NCIOM. “When you think about the two biggest budget items for our state lawmakers — health and education — I think it's really great that there's such an appetite for learning.”
Under pressure from party leaders at the General Assembly in Raleigh, party lines are hard to cross and make collaboration difficult. During the program, held at the NCIOM offices in Morrisville, representatives found room to breathe. “You can listen in a formal setting, say the floor of the legislature, to people talk, and that's one thing, but it's another thing in a place where they can speak freely,” said Democratic Rep. Shelly Willingham (Rocky Mount) who represents Edgecombe and Martin Counties.

Lehner family sues over police diver’s drowning

Posted in NewsThe family of Officer Craig Lehner filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday against City Hall and the Buffalo Police Department. Lehner drowned during a dive training exercise in the Niagara River last October with the department's Underwater Recovery Team. The lawsuit contends the city and police department “violated and departed from” the rules and regulations guiding dive training. Several of the allegations in the filing are similar to the findings in an Investigative Post story published earlier this year, which exposed shortcomings in the dive team's training, equipment, and safety procedures. The lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court, contends:
Lehner was not provided with a crucial piece of safety equipment – a quick-release snap shackle – that might have helped him disconnect from his tether that was likely caught on debris.

Lehner family to file wrongful death lawsuit

Posted in Co-produced with WGRZ,NewsThe family of Officer Craig Lehner intends to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Buffalo Police Department and the City of Buffalo in the coming weeks, an attorney for the family confirmed to Investigative Post. The family had previously signaled its intention to do so with the filing of a notice of claim. Lehner drowned during a training exercise in the Niagara River last October with the police Underwater Recovery Team. Investigative Post subsequently reported that inadequate training and equipment contributed to his death. Dangerously fast currents typical of the Niagara River were also a factor.

Leprosy prevalent among Amazon’s armadillos, study finds

Armadillos are a popular bushmeat in the Brazilian Amazon, but handling and eating these scaly mammals could put humans at risk of leprosy, a new study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases has found. Humans usually contract leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease and caused by the Mycobacterium leprae bacterium, from other infected people when they cough or sneeze, spreading aerosols containing the bacteria. Most people have a natural immunity against leprosy, but in some people the infection progresses to disease, causing skin lesions, nerve damage and bone loss. There's another potential source of leprosy infection: nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus). These animals are among the few wild species known to harbor the leprosy bacteria, and have been shown to be responsible for some human leprosy cases in the southern United States.

Lesser prairie-chicken population on the rise, but advocates say it’s not enough

The lesser prairie-chicken is a medium-sized, grayish brown grouse that lives in eco-regions spanning Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Greg Kramos / USFWS
The number of lesser prairie-chickens in Texas and four neighboring states is up nearly 30 percent, according to the results of an annual aerial survey released this week by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, which oversees a conservation plan aimed at protecting the grouse. Still, endangered species advocates describe that as minimal progress, and even association officials acknowledge there's a long way to go in restoring the bird's population. Last year, the breeding population of the lesser prairie-chicken — whose habitat spans the Texas Panhandle and parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado — numbered 29,934, according to the association, of which Texas is a member. This year's survey shows there are now 38,637 of the birds, or 8,703 more, marking the sixth year of population growth, the association noted in a news release.

Let there be light — but be mindful of the wildlife

Lighten up We've all seen insects fly toward light. Moths, for example, use moonlight to stay upright, fly straight, and remain oriented at night. Other groups of animals, including various species of birds and fish, also use the cues of natural light to guide their movements. Hatching sea turtles leave their nest in the sand and walk away from dark elevated silhouettes toward the light of the moon's reflection on the ocean. Different species respond to light at different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Letter from Pope Francis thrills Nogales student volunteers

Teenaged members of a binational humanitarian initiative in Nogales recently got recognition from the biggest name in Catholicism: Pope Francis. The students sent letters and a video to the pope in October, describing their experiences on the border and the plight of the people they see on their regular visits to a shelter for migrants.

LGBTQ Resource Center hosts San Benito County’s first Pride event

The event included art made by youth members, a graffiti wall for people in attendance to sign, activities like karaoke, and speeches by organization members and supporters of the LGBTQ community.

LGBTQ Senior’s Wariness Can Affect Access to Health Care

By Thomas Goldsmith
A few years ago, North Carolina started offering training to people who ran the state's adult care homes on welcoming and looking after aging LGBTQ residents. Hundreds of providers took the web-based training, part of the 2015-2019 state aging plan, to bring the care network up to date on the “unique needs of the aging lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) community.” The training meant that the state's Department of Health and Human Services realized that LGBTQ people often have problems dealing with mental and physical health care providers, sometimes to the point of not being “out” to one's own doctor. On Saturday, June 23, a first-time Triangle Expo for LGBTQ Aging Adults in Raleigh will again address challenges faced by this community, as well as resources that may see them through. LGBTQ people shouldn't have to feel uncertainty when approaching a doctor or other provider for the first time, said Heather Burkhardt, program coordinator at Resources for Seniors. Resources for Seniors provides a broad range of help to Wake County's older people, from information on workers who make home-care visits to tips for finding an assisted living home.

Liberal Dems Are Divided Over How Obama Should Respond to ISIS

On Wednesday night, President Barack Obama will lay out his plan to take down ISIS, the Islamist group that has conquered vast swaths of Iraq and Syria and recently beheaded two American journalists. Obama is expected to outline a strategy that will involve working with a coalition of other nations, continuing air strikes, and training and advising the Iraqi military—but not reintroducing US ground troops. Yet even before the speech, a group of progressive lawmakers in Congress were voicing opposition to greater US military intervention in Iraq and Syria, while other liberal Democrats were supporting Obama's steps toward more extensive, though limited, military action against ISIS. Though recent public opinion polls show a majority of Americans supporting air strikes against ISIS and the sort of military action Obama is adopting, his expansion of the US military role in Iraq (and possibly Syria) is threatening to split his own party. Progressive Democrats opposed to greater US military intervention in Iraq tend to note that they share the widespread revulsion for ISIS, but they maintain that ramping up US military action is not necessary to protect US national security, would likely be ineffective, and could enmesh the nation (once again) in a prolonged and costly conflict.

Liberals and conservatives imagine the face of God differently, psychologists find

Susan Perry

The image of God that American Christians hold in their mind looks nothing like the rather stern, bearded old white man painted by Michelangelo (or, for that matter, the one depicted by Monty Python).Instead, American Christians tend to imagine God as being younger and kinder. And, depending on their political bent, they may also see him as having darker skin.I say him because American Christians seem to overwhelmingly agree that God is male. These are the findings from a rather intriguing study published recently in the journal PLOS One. For the study, three psychologists at the University of North Carolina surveyed 511 devout Christians (330 men, 181 women) from across the United States. The mean age of the participants was 47, and more than a quarter of them were African-American.To measure the participants' visualizations of God's face, the researchers used a technique called “reverse correlation.” It worked like this: The participants were shown 300 different face pairs, which were representative of the U.S. population in terms of age, race and gender.

Liberians Prepare for New Year with Parties and Prayer: ‘Let This Ebola End.’

Brian Castner

As the heat finally broke on the afternoon of New Year's Eve, word went out across Monrovia that Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had lifted the months-long curfew, for just one night. Introduced in September at the height of the Ebola epidemic to help curb spread of the disease, the midnight to 6am curfew has shuttered dance clubs across the country. When even handshakes are dangerous, sweaty grinding could be lethal. There were rumors before the official announcement. New Year's Eve and Day are prominent holidays on the Liberian calendar.

Libraries Rock!

Howland has summer of activitiesLibraries Rock! was first posted on July 1, 2018 at 9:17 am.

Library board kills proposal to rename Mount Ascutney

A view of Mount Ascutney from across the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. Residents in the area of the mountain have maintained a close relationship with “their” peak for almost 200 years. Photo by M. Dickey Drysdale
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Mount-Ascutney-3.jpg?fit=300%2C211&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Mount-Ascutney-3.jpg?fit=610%2C428&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Mount-Ascutney-3.jpg?resize=610%2C428&ssl=1" alt="Mount Ascutney" width="610" height="428" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Mount-Ascutney-3.jpg?resize=610%2C428&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Mount-Ascutney-3.jpg?resize=125%2C87&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Mount-Ascutney-3.jpg?resize=330%2C232&ssl=1 330w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Mount-Ascutney-3.jpg?resize=150%2C105&ssl=1 150w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Mount-Ascutney-3.jpg?w=1024&ssl=1 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A view of Mount Ascutney from across the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. Photo by M. Dickey DrysdaleThe Vermont Board of Libraries struck down a petition Tuesday to rename Mount Ascutney, citing little local support for a proposal to call the peak Mount Kaskadenak — an Abenaki word — and noting that the mountain's current moniker already derives from the Abenaki language. Robert Hutchins submitted a petition to change the mountain's name in 2016, and has argued that its current name is not what the Abenaki, a Native American tribe, called the mountain before English speaking settlers arrived.

Lighthouse Park Full, Closed

If you're not already at Lighthouse Point Park — you'll need to find somewhere else to spend Independence Day.

Lightning Jar to host Bennington Road Pitch

News Release — The Lightning Jar
July 11, 2018
Michelle Marrocco
Phone: (802) 321-3070
Email: michelle@lightningjarvt.com
Website: www.lightningjarvt.com
Title: Statewide Business Pitch Competition Returns to BenningtonFifth Annual FreshTracks Capital Road Pitch
On Tuesday, July 31 from 5 to 7pm at Oldcastle Theatre, 50 “business bikers” will choose one local business to compete in the statewide Pitch-Off. Real, local entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to Vermont's venture capitalists in the fifth annual FreshTracks Road Pitch competition. This event is free and open to the public, so come watch Bennington's entrepreneurs and investors live. The evening will showcase five business pitches. The winning pitch receives $500 and is invited to pitch at the final statewide competition on October 17, 2018.

Linda Mulley: We must see the drug crisis as the national health emergency it is

Editor's note: This commentary is by Linda Mulley, an autism educator who has taught at University of Vermont, Dartmouth College and the Vermont Higher Education Collaborative; she is the co-author of “All Children Matter.” This piece was first published in the Valley News on Sept. 9. Thirty years ago, the AIDS Memorial Quilt project documented the many lives lost to AIDS and raised awareness of the devastations of this disease. This grassroots movement started by a handful of people in San Francisco grew to attract the attention of the entire nation and to raise millions for AIDS service organizations. Perhaps it's time we considered a new quilt project to commemorate in a similar way those lost to substance use disorder.

Lindenwood University: Ending publication of magazine due to digital strategy, not censorship

Students, administrators and journalism organizations are reacting to Lindenwood University's decision to cease the physical publication of the student-run magazine, The Legacy. Student-staff was notified by the university that printing of The Legacy would shut down on Friday, sparking accusations of censorship from student-media staff. Lindenwood University alumni have voiced their concerns over the announcement, said The Legacy News Editor, Madeline Raineri. She said students and alumni are considering what to do next.

Lionel Sosa Appointed to Alamo Advisory Committee as Third Chair

San Antonio's most influential ad man will help lead an advisory committee reviewing big changes to the Alamo and its surroundings. The post Lionel Sosa Appointed to Alamo Advisory Committee as Third Chair appeared first on Rivard Report.

Lisa Cline & Linda Olson: Castleton University is the canary in the coal mine

Editor's note: This commentary is by Lisa Cline, who is president of the Vermont State Colleges Faculty Federation, and Linda Olson, the vice president of education for the American Federation of Teachers Vermont. Vermont currently ranks 49th of 50 states in terms of state support for public higher education. For 38 years the state has provided dwindling support for public higher education. In 1980, state appropriations covered 51 percent of the budget for the Vermont State Colleges System; now it covers only 14 percent. The remaining 86 percent of tuition costs fall almost entirely on students and their families.

Littwin: Enter the last-minute official unofficial gov pool (and win near-fabulous prizes)

It's election night, so, of course, it's time to start our primary-night election pool. I mean, you need something to keep you awake until the end of the night. Email me your pick at mlittwin@coloradoindependent.com by 7 p.m. when the polls close. I haven't decided the winner's prize, but I guarantee it will be memorable (which, by the way, may be somewhat shy of fabulous. It might be as memorable as Littwin on your voice mail.).

Littwin: Justice Kennedy retires and now we wonder whether Roe v. Wade goes with him

You can mark this date on your calendar. A calamity is now upon us. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the last conservative on a 5-4 Supreme Court who could reasonably be persuaded to sometimes vote with the court's liberals, has retired. You can read in many places what this could mean — for gay rights, for civil rights, for affirmative action, for the imposition of the death penalty, in easing the way for Trump to do his Trump-like worst, but let's get down to the main issue. If Donald Trump makes a Trump-like pick — which he almost certainly will — that could mean the end of Roe v. Wade.

Littwin: The dangers cops face every day do not include a reporter wielding an iPhone

As you may have heard, Indy editor Susan Greene was handcuffed and detained by two Denver cops Thursday in front of the state Capitol for — and I can't emphasize this enough — simply trying to do her job and for nothing more. It's an outrage, of course. This standoff between cop and reporter is not a product of the Trumpian fake news era, by the way. This is the product of a longstanding police issue with what we'll call transparency and which long predates Donald Trump. But if you read the comments on Greene's column — a column that went viral because the First Amendment apparently still means something in America — you'll see the national divide being played out in its usual ugly form.

Littwin: Trump hits a new low, betrays country, disgraces office. Does it matter?

For those keeping score at home, Donald Trump hit an all-time low in his post-summit news conference from Helsinki with his friend (co-conspirator?) Vladimir Putin. This is not an overstatement. There is no possibility of overstatement here. In fact, you couldn't possibly disagree with this assessment unless you were either Mike Pence or Sean Hannity. The moment the news conference ended, CNN's Anderson Cooper rolled out “disgraceful” to describe Trump's performance, and for the next few hours, pundits and politicos would compete in a deep thesaurus dive searching for the perfect word or phrase: shameful or astonishing or deeply troubling or devastating or dangerous or imbecilic or disingenuous or shocking or unprecedented or Munich-like appeasement or, according to former CIA chief John Brennan, treasonous.

Littwin: What to expect in next round of gov race —  much more money and much more nasty

If you're still astonished by the amount of money — something over $11 million — that Jared Polis spent to win the Democratic primary for governor, you've got maybe a month to get over it. It's only then that you'll begin to see the real money in action. Because the governor's primary turned out exactly the way everyone thought it would — with Polis set to be locked in a deep-pocketed showdown versus the oil and gas industry. Yes, if you want to be technical, Walker Stapleton did win the Republican primary Tuesday night. But let's be honest.

Littwin’s Official Unofficial #CO2018 governor’s race rankings, Week 13

We believe in honesty here at the Littwin gov panel headquarters. So, as we present our final pre-primary rankings, we readily concede that the panel's closing lineup is not very different from its opening lineup on Week 1, which came three months ago. Which tells you a number of things. Nothing much has happened in either race. Losing Tom Tancredo and George Brauchler from the GOP primary brought the temperature way down, which, in part, explains No.

Littwin’s Official Unofficial This is Really the Last One #CO2018 governor’s primary post-script

By popular demand, the Littwin gov panel has reconvened for a gov primary postscript. Now that the race is over and Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton are set to face off in the November election, we looked at a seemingly endless list of issues, looking both backward and forward. Not all that surprisingly, there's something close to unanimity on a wide range of issues from the Littwin all-star panel, which I remind you is big-shot GOP strategist Josh Penry, principal at EIS; long-time Dem strategist and Hancock chief of staff Alan Salazar; ProgressNow progressive Ian Silverii; GOP strategist, and always good quote, Cinamon Watson, principal at Blueprint Strategies — and, of course, me. The Polis-Stapleton wins were not exactly surprising. Stapleton led for every week in the Littwin gov rankings, and Polis led for every week but two, after Kennedy's big win at the assembly.

Live weather radar

Live weather radar for Tucson and the rest of Southern Arizona from the National Weather Service.

Living near parks or other green spaces is linked to wide-ranging health benefits

Susan Perry

Living near a green space — whether an urban park or other area of open, undeveloped land with natural vegetation — is associated with a wide range of health benefits, according to British researchers.The researchers did a systematic review and meta-analysis of 143 previous studies conducted in 20 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia and Japan. All the studies examined whether access to green spaces enhanced human health, although most focused on a specific health outcome, such as obesity, blood pressure or birthweight.The British researchers decided to take a deeper dive into those studies to get a broader picture of what the research said about natural environments and their effect on our mental and physical health.“We found that spending time in, or living close to, natural greenspaces is associated with diverse and significant health benefits,” said Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett, the review's lead author and a graduate student at the University of East Anglia, in a released statement.Those benefits included a reduced risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, preterm birth and premature death. People living nearer to nature also tended to sleep longer, to have lower levels of stress and to report being in good health. “One of the really interesting things we found is that exposure to greenspace significantly reduces people's levels of salivary cortisol — a physiological marker of stress,” Twohig-Bennett added.Possible explanationsThe reasons for the relationship between nature and well-being are unclear, but several hypotheses have been proposed, as Twohig-Bennett and her co-author, environmental scientist Andy Jones, explain in their paper.Access to natural and green areas may promote health by providing more opportunities for physical activity. (Interestingly, some research has found that exercising in a green environment is more beneficial than doing the same exercise in an indoor gym.)Public green spaces also promote social interaction, which can contribute to an improved sense of well-being.

Local Communities Fight Air Pollution From Large Animal Farms

With their expansive deck overlooking a pond, Shirley Kidwell and her family used to spend summer days outdoors reading, but the growth of large animal farms in the area has eliminated that pastime. “When that odor hits, you've got to go inside and a lot of times we go downstairs to the basement to get away from it,” said Kidwell, the owner of a small farm in Callaway County, Missouri, and the secretary for Friends of Responsible Agriculture, who lives within a mile of a farm with 5,600 hogs. Jiwon Choi/The Midwest Center for Investigative ReportingShirley Kidwell, a long-time resident of Fulton, Missouri, and secretary of Friends of Responsible Agriculture, sits on a chair on the deck of her house on May 12, 2018. Kidwell and other residents are particularly worried about a new 10,000-hog farm moving to Callaway County. It would be built less than a mile from Kidwell's home.

Local Folklórico group gives first-place performance

Working specifically with young children, the organization emphasizes the importance of maintaining an appreciation and practice of cultural roots with new generations.

Local teacher receives Congressional recognition as he retires

Local San Benito High School art teacher John Robrock receives Congressional recognition upon his retirement after four decades of teaching.

Logging roads drive loss of intact forest in FSC-certified logging concessions

A recent analysis of logging roads in Africa's Congo Basin has revealed that timber concessions certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) lost more blocks of untouched forests than non-certified concessions. Those patches of forest, known as intact forest landscapes, or IFLs, became part of the sustainability certification organization's policy in 2014. At that time, FSC's membership, which includes timber companies as well as conservation NGOs, indigenous groups, and universities, passed a measure requiring the protection of 80 percent of the parts of certified concessions that are IFLs. But when a timber company builds a road through untouched forest, it no longer qualifies as an IFL. By definition, an IFL is an area of forest at least 500 square kilometers (193 square miles) in area that bears no signs of human use.

Long Trail Charity Ride raises money for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports

News Release — Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports
June 28, 2018
Kim Jacksonpr@vermontadaptive.org
More than 600 Cyclists Raise $280,000 for Adaptive Sports at the 8thAnnual Long Trail Charity Ride to Benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports this Past Weekend
KILLINGTON, Vt. (June 28, 2018) —Despite steady, heavy rains on Saturday, more than 600 cyclists took to Vermont's scenic roads to pedal for a cause, raising $280,000 for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports' year-round programs for people with disabilities. Held annually the Saturday after Father's Day, the 8thAnnual Long Trail Charity Ride to Benefit Vermont Adaptive included a century, 60-, 40- 20- and 5K routes, plus a mountain bike session at Killington Resort. The organization's goal is to raise $300,000 from cyclists' fundraising efforts, sponsors and supporters. Donations are still being accepted in order to reach that goal.

Long, bumpy flight expected for team exploring privatization of Lambert Airport

The Advisor Team hired by the city of St. Louis to explore the privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport takes off next week, with its first official meeting on July 11. The request for proposals, review and approval process is expected to take 18 to 24 months. The process has already been delayed by political maneuvers on the committee to select the advisors and it's likely to hit more turbulence in the months ahead.

Looking Back in Philipstown

What happened this month 25, 50, 75, 125 and 150 years agoLooking Back in Philipstown was first posted on July 1, 2018 at 1:25 pm.

Looking to improve use of north riverfront

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 2, 2011 - The St. Louis Development Corp. is studying methods to redevelop parts of the north St.

Los Angeles and Beijing Are Teaming Up to Fight Global Warming

The story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. China's mega-cities and major US metropolitan areas will pledge swifter and deeper cuts in carbon pollution on Tuesday, shoring up a historic agreement between presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping. Beijing and 10 other Chinese cities will agree to peak greenhouse gas emissions as early as 2020—a decade ahead of the existing target for the world's biggest emitter, under a deal to be unveiled at a summit in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Seattle will commit to go carbon neutral by 2050, with more than a dozen other major metropolitan areas in the US, and the entire state of California, pledging an 80 percent cut in emissions by mid-century. Atlanta, Houston, New York, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City also put forward new climate commitments.

Lots of detective work and no snap judgements: How this Colorado school leader approaches discipline

Here, in a series we call “How I Lead,” we feature principals and assistant principals who have been recognized for their work. You can see other pieces in the series here. When students get in trouble at Bayfield Elementary and Bayfield Primary in southwestern Colorado, Assistant Principal Bill Hesford casts a wide net in his search for answers. That's because he knows the first story he hears, even if it's from a staff member, is often incomplete. He prefers to spend extra time doing a thorough investigation than to mete out undeserved consequences.

Louisville Housing Authority Leader Blames Bedbug Infestation On Residents

Jacob RyanBoard of Commissioners Chair Manfred Reid listens during a June 19 meeting of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority. The Louisville Metro Housing Authority board chair says there's little the agency can do to combat an infestation of bedbugs at Dosker Manor, because residents refuse to cooperate. Manfred Reid, an 11-term member and current chair of the housing authority's board of commissioners, said the issue is residents who lack the discipline needed to effectively eradicate the bugs and refuse to let workers into their apartments. “The only thing that keeps us from being able to control this is the behavior of the residents,” Reid said. But data shows that residents in nearly half of the almost 700 units have complained about bedbugs in the high-rises in recent years, and many have complained multiple times.

Louisville’s Aspire Academy Splits With Partner School, Controversial Recruiter

Eleanor KlibanoffHennssy Auriantal, second from right, looks on while Charles Bassey plays in the Grind Session World Championship in Owensboro, Kentucky on March 10, 2018. Aspire Academy has parted ways with its academic partner and the controversial international recruiter who brought much of the team's talent to Louisville — a week after one of those star players left early for Western Kentucky University. The team's new academic partner will be Holy Cross High School: the third school in the basketball prep academy's three-year existence. Rick Blackwell, the new president of DeSales High School and a member of Louisville Metro Council, said it was a “mutual parting of ways.”
A KyCIR story published in April found that basketball prep academies like Aspire have become landing places for international players who might not be eligible to play basketball at a traditional high school. These programs entice top recruits with athletic scholarships, mid-season transfers and a national playing schedule.

Love in the Time of Misogyny

The twists and turns of the Taming of the ShrewLove in the Time of Misogyny was first posted on June 25, 2018 at 2:11 pm.

Low post-surgical infection risk at Children’s Hospital

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 28, 2011 - The risk of infections following surgery at St. Louis Children's Hospital is far lower than the national average, but the rate among black children treated at the hospital is twice that of whites, according to a study by doctors at Washington University Medical School.

Low soybean prices are bad for Minnesota’s soybean farmers. But that doesn’t mean they’re bad for Minnesota’s economy overall

Louis D. Johnston

From crude oil to soybeans, international trade matters to Minnesota and its neighbors. Yet understanding whether changes in the prices of internationally traded goods and services help or hurt our regional economy is complicated. Trade policies that cause prices to rise will help some groups and hurt others, while falling prices would have the opposite effects.Let's examine two recent events, rising oil prices and falling soybean prices, and examine how they affect us locally. The big takeaway is that there is no one set of trade policies that is “best” or that will help all Minnesotans or all Americans. Some groups gain, other groups lose, and their positions might be reversed under different circumstances.

Low-income Indiana students could qualify for college scholarships — but most don’t even apply

Decatur Township educators know 21st Century Scholars, a state-funded college scholarship program, can be life-changing for their students, many of whom come from poor families. To encourage students to sign up by the deadline at the end of eighth grade, Decatur Middle School staff send parents letters, emails, and automated phone messages. They host school events and help families fill out the application, said Chris Duzenbery, director of college and career readiness for Decatur. But the district's sign up rate is still dismal: Only a quarter of Decatur eighth-graders who were eligible for 21st Century Scholarships signed up last year, according to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. That's down 12 percent from 2014, when 37 percent of eligible students enrolled.

Lucas County, Ohio: A Case Study in Fixing America’s Broken Jails

For years, the jail in Lucas County, Ohio was an embarrassment. Elevators didn't work; inmates slept on floors because of overcrowding; and living conditions resembled an “overall cesspool,” recalls Sheriff John Tharp. Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp
But today overcrowding has eased with a 24 percent reduction in the pretrial jail population, and a spirit of optimism is shared across the county that they are on their way to significant change. What happened? The answer, Tharp and other Lucas County officials told a conference at John Jay College this week, came from a shift in perspectives that involved rethinking how all the parts of the justice system could work together efficiently.

MA 12th State With ‘Red Flag’ Law on Guns

A new Massachusetts law allows police, family members and dating partners to request that firearms be temporarily taken from people who appear to be at risk of harming themselves or others, the Huffington Post reports. Gov. Charlie Baker's signature makes Massachusetts the 12th state with a so-called red flag law, and the seventh to enact this sort of legislation since the February mass shooting in Parkland, Fl. Once a petition is filed against a gun owner, a judge must hold a hearing within 10 days to determine if that person poses a valid risk. If so, the judge will order the person to surrender all firearms and stay away from guns for 12 months. The Massachusetts law allows emergency extreme-risk protection orders that can be approved without notice to the gun owner.

MA Police Officer Shot, Three in MO Are Wounded

One police officer was killed in Massachusetts and three others were wounded in Missouri in separate shootings Sunday, USA Today reports. A suspect in Kansas City had barricaded himself inside a house Sunday afternoon. Two officers were shot earlier while working undercover at a motel, said Sgt. Jacob Becchina, a police spokesman. The officers were in stable condition.

Mack Molding donates $5M to Southwest Vermont Health Care

This story by Derek Carson was published in the Bennington Banner on June 26. BENNINGTON — Southwest Vermont Health Care has received a $5 million donation from Mack Molding, the largest gift given to the hospital in its 100 year history.Get all of VTDigger's health care news.You'll never miss our health care coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Windham County

The money will go towards the expansion and renovation of the hospital's emergency department. “We've been talking about the need for major infrastructure upgrades,” said SVHC President and CEO Tom Dee.

Madagascar’s native fauna defenseless against toxic invasive toads

Madagascar is facing an invasion. Not military, but amphibian. Toxic Asian common toads (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) have spread rapidly around the port city of Toamasina on the country's east coast. The invasion has raised concerns that the amphibians could take a severe toll on Madagascar's wildlife species, approximately 70 percent of which are endemic to the island. A paper published last month vindicates those concerns: through a genetic analysis of 77 Malagasy species, scientists found that just one demonstrated clear resistance to toad toxins.

Magnificent seven

Elk sport velvet-covered antlers as the hang out in a meadow in Jackson Hole on a recent June morning. The velvet is infused with blood vessels enabling the bone and calcium antler to grow and harden. Once the Antlers have grown to full-size, typically in August, elk begin to rub the covering off. Olaus Murie, author of the classic “The Elk of North America,” described the annual event. “The velvet is loosened and scraped away by constant rubbing and threshing by the restless elk against bushes and tree limbs, and during the process numerous young evergreens are rubbed bare of limbs and bark and are demolished.

Major Defense Contractor to Investigate Violent White Supremacist on Its Staff

by A.C. Thompson and Ali Winston
Defense contractor Northrop Grumman said it will investigate an employee identified as a member of a violent white supremacist group in a recent report by ProPublica and Frontline. The employee, Michael Miselis, a 29-year-old aerospace engineer, works at the company's facility in Redondo Beach, California, and holds a government-issued security clearance of the sort required for personnel assigned to classified military projects. Outside of his professional life, Miselis belongs to the Rise Above Movement, a racist Southern California group whose members have physically attacked their political foes in at least four different cities. Through analysis of photos and video, as well as interviews with law enforcement officials, ProPublica and Frontline were able to establish Miselis' membership in RAM and verify his role at the center of melees last year in Charlottesville, Virginia, and an earlier pro-Trump event in Berkeley, California. He showed up for the white power rally in Charlottesville prepared for combat: He was wearing an athletic mouth guard and had his hands wrapped in tape, like a boxer.

Major ivory trader arrested in Sumatra

[dropcap type="2"]A[/dropcap]uthorities in Indonesia arrested a major ivory trader who had been operating across the southern half of Sumatra island, police announced this week. The trader was picked up in the coastal city of Bintuhan, a “notorious transit point for ivory, tiger skins and other wildlife contraband," according to a statement from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a US-based nonprofit whose Wildlife Crime Units assist law enforcers in Indonesia. Bintuhan is located in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in the province of Bengkulu. The trader was said to have sourced ivory from dealers in Riau and Lampung provinces and sold carved objects in South Sumatra, Bengkulu and Lampung provinces as well as in the capital of Jakarta. He allegedly moved at least 1.5 kilograms of carved ivory smoking pipes per month and 15 tusks worth of carved "swagger sticks" in the last five years.

Maker, Marker, Message: The Art of Protest Signs

Marc BussanichAt the June 30 march against President Trump's immigration policy. This weekend saw major protests against the Trump administration's immigration policies. As at thousands of rallies about hundreds of issues over the past 50 years, many of the marchers delivered their message via signs. City Limits talked to demonstrators before and during the march about what their messages meant. City Limits' reporting on the intersection of art and policy is supported by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.

Making Art From Golden Glue

Caterpillar." alt="Anahita Vossoughi">A mound of flesh, skin stretched by clips. Livid coloration, like a bruise.Caterpillar is an entry into Anahita Vossoughi's “Beige Thick Golden Glue,” an exhibit running at Artspace on Orange and Crown until June 30. “Created over the past two years,” as the accompanying literature explains, “these works continue Vossoughi's career-long investigation into the anxiety of the contemporary body and its anatomy, asking how and why bodies are fashioned, manipulated, maintained, imagined, and represented by the self and others.” What do we do to ourselves for other people? Why do we do it?The questions — especially in our current political climate — become that much more pointed when Vossoughi addresses them to women.

Making the Pitch: How to Land Grants and Reporting Fellowships

Wednesday, August 01, 2018 - 1:00PM to 2:30PMDetroit, MIUnited StatesTom Hundley, Jin DingPulitzer Center Senior Editor Tom Hundley joins the panel to speak on fundraising proposals and pitching at NABJ 18. Learn more

Malloy names Pedro Segarra to Workers’ Compensation post

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday nominated Hartford's former mayor, Pedro E. Segarra, as a worker's compensation commissioner and J. Lawrence Price, a former West Hartford councilman, as a family support magistrate.

Manafort Jail Switch Ordered; Trial Set for July 25

A federal judge ordered former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort transferred to a detention center in Alexandria, Va., near Washington, D.C., and rejected a request from his attorneys to let their client stay at a rural jail called Northern Neck where Manafort told people he is treated like a VIP, Politico reports. Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is monitoring Manafort's calls at the jail. Manafort has been in a private cell with his own bathroom and shower, a personal telephone and daily access to a workspace where he can meet with his lawyers and prepare for his upcoming criminal trials. Manafort's team offered a very different picture of Manafort's confinement conditions, telling a judge that he is “locked in his cell for at least 23 hours per day (excluding visits from his attorneys)” and that he was in “solitary confinement because the facility cannot otherwise guarantee his safety.” For now, Manafort's Northern Virginia trial on charges of bank fraud, tax evasion and failure to report foreign bank accounts is scheduled to begin July 25. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has scheduled oral arguments for Tuesday on Manafort's motion to postpone the proceedings, as well as a related request for a change of venue from Alexandria to Roanoke, Virginia.

Mangroves and their deforestation may emit more methane than we thought

Mangroves, the dense tangled forests that buffer land from sea in many coastal areas of the tropics, are renowned for their ability to store carbon and help fight climate change. But new research finds mangroves may emit more carbon as methane than previously estimated – emissions made even worse by deforestation. The ability of mangroves to sequester carbon in the ground – termed “blue carbon” – is unparalleled, with previous research finding a tract of mangrove can bury 40 times more carbon than a similarly sized area of rainforest. But what exactly happens to this carbon once it's in the ground has been something of a mystery. So scientists at universities in Australia decided to find out by examining the soil carbon stored beneath mangroves in Queensland.

Many Sides, Fun and Educational, to SA Startup’s VR Cube

The Merge Cube, launched last year by San Antonio's Merge VR, has classroom applications ranging from playfully diversionary to mind-nourishing. The post Many Sides, Fun and Educational, to SA Startup's VR Cube appeared first on Rivard Report.

Map of LSC vacancies, 102 dirty schools, How I Teach

Hello! We're Cassie Walker Burke, Adeshina Emmanuel, and intern Elaine Chen, and our ears are still ringing from the boundless (and all-hours-of-the-night) fireworks displays in every corner of the city. But we're going to press ahead and round up Chicago public education news like we do every week. Please send any tips, story ideas, or general shoutouts our way: chicago.tips@chalkbeat.org. Our goal is 100 more newsletter subscribers by next Friday.

Maplewood residents gather for ‘next step’ in nuisance ordinance controversy

Maplewood residents, equal-housing advocates and lawyers participated in a community discussion Wednesday about Maplewood's controversial public-nuisance ordinance. The event was organized by the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC) and the ACLU of Missouri to inform Maplewood residents of their legal rights and encourage residents to urge state and local lawmakers to change nuisance laws.

Maplewood residents gather for ‘next step’ in nuisance ordinance controversy

Maplewood residents, equal-housing advocates and lawyers participated in a community discussion Wednesday about Maplewood's controversial public-nuisance ordinance. The event was organized by the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC) and the ACLU of Missouri to inform Maplewood residents of their legal rights and encourage residents to urge state and local lawmakers to change nuisance laws.

Mapping the Medical Marijuana Vote, by County

Interactive map by Ben Vankat. Despite well-financed opposition, the state question legalizing medical marijuana passed by a significant margin Tuesday, with 56.8 percent of voters in favor. The interactive map below shows that in many counties in rural areas, particularly in the far northwest and southeast corners of the state, a majority of voters opposed State Question 788. But counties with much larger populations, including Oklahoma, Tulsa, Cleveland and Comanche counties, went heavily in favor. If you're having trouble viewing this map, visit http://oklahomawatchdata.org/static/election-june-2018-counties/

Marathon day preps for International Ballet Competition climax

Thursday night, final round of the 11th USA International Ballet Competition and the air is electric with onstage rivalry and dance fans' fervor. The daunting task ahead for Ramona Pansegrau only adds to that. It's her final night in the audience. The rest of the performances, she'll be in the pit — the orchestra pit — leading the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra as they perform live at the Awards Gala Friday night and the Encore Gala Saturday night. That'll be her spotlight.

Marcia Chambers, 1940-2018

Marcia Chambers, a barrier-breaking New York Times reporter who combined keen instinct with deep intellect and who went on to found and edit the online Branford Eagle, died Friday night at Smilow Cancer Hospital.

Margolis: Anything can happen

Sen. John Rodgers opposes S.55. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/IMG_6233-6-1.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/IMG_6233-6-1.jpg?fit=610%2C407&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/IMG_6233-6-1.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1" alt="John Rodgers" width="610" height="407" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/IMG_6233-6-1.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/IMG_6233-6-1.jpg?resize=125%2C83&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/IMG_6233-6-1.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/IMG_6233-6-1.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/IMG_6233-6-1.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/IMG_6233-6-1.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/IMG_6233-6-1.jpg 4262w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Sen. John Rodgers opposes S.55 on the Senate floor in March. File photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerJon Margolis is VTDigger's political analyst. Under the radar, a political campaign is taking shape in Vermont.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Margolis: Scott’s surrender is no victory for Statehouse leaders

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe talks about legislative procedures for the special session starting this week. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/P1030426-2.jpg?fit=300%2C201&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/P1030426-2.jpg?fit=610%2C408&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/P1030426-2.jpg?resize=640%2C428&ssl=1" alt="Tim Ashe, Phil Scott" width="640" height="428" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/P1030426-2.jpg?w=4119&ssl=1 4119w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/P1030426-2.jpg?resize=125%2C84&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/P1030426-2.jpg?resize=300%2C201&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/P1030426-2.jpg?resize=768%2C513&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/P1030426-2.jpg?resize=610%2C408&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/P1030426-2.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/P1030426-2.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" data-recalc-dims="1">Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe talks about procedures for the special session with Gov. Phil Scott and Sen. Becca Balint, D-Windham. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerNow that it's all over, two questions occur: (1) Was this trip necessary? (2) Who won? And the answers are: No.

Margolis: Some polls aim to bash rather than just ask

Democratic candidates for governor, Brenda Siegel, Christine Hallquist, James Ehlers and Ethan Sonneborn, at a recent forum in Bennington.An election is coming up, so the pollsters are in the field. What field? There's no field involved. Fields are outside. The pollsters are inside, on their phones.

Mari Cordes: Standing for inclusion and compassion

Editor's note: This commentary is by Mari Cordes, of Lincoln, who is a longtime nurse. She is a Democratic candidate for the Addison-4 seat in the Vermont House of Representatives. Aren't you afraid? That's what a friend messaged me after they read my postings about helping Syrians, Afghanis and Iraqis out of flimsy “life rafts” and giving them medical care after they fled across the Aegean Sea. After they fled their cities, homes, hospitals and schools that were being bombed relentlessly, and witnessed their family members being murdered in front of them.

Maria Schneider is Minnesota’s first NEA Jazz Master; French film festival starts tonight

Pamela Espeland

Well, finally. After 27 years and 153 honorees, Minnesota can claim a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. Composer, arranger and orchestra leader Maria Schneider, born in Windom in Cottonwood County, is a 2019 Jazz Master, the NEA announced yesterday.Schneider is among a diverse group of four that also includes jazz historian, author and critic Stanley Crouch, co-founder of Jazz at Lincoln Center; the late vocalist, composer, arranger and pianist Bob Dorough; and South Africa-born pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim.Schneider joins a relatively short list, numbering just 21, of women jazz masters. At 57, she's the youngest woman ever selected for the prestigious award. Schneider is also a five-time Grammy winner.The NEA Jazz Masters fellowship is the highest honor our nation bestows on jazz artists, men and women who have advanced what has been called America's only true art form.

Mariah Charles’ Arrest Is Yet More Proof of Injustices Against Youth of Color

Surveillance video from local business
Last Wednesday, we ran a story that began, “Mariah Charles woke up on Tuesday faced with a difficult decision. Does she take a plea to a crime she didn't commit or go to trial — face the two officers who slammed her to the ground, arresting her on her way to school — and risk losing.”
She decided to take it to trial, backed up by a surveillance video (above) that showed two New York Police Department officers taking a brutal policing approach after they stopped her, demanding she show her ID, which she didn't have. The story went viral with help from Reddit and early tweets from Errol Louis of NY1 News and the New York Daily News. Nearly 200,000 people read our exclusive JJIE story and saw the video of the two cops forcing Charles to the ground, handcuffing her and then literally throwing her head first into their police car. The story and video generated more than 5,800 comments on Reddit and our own JJIE site.

Mariana Meerburg announces House bid

News Release — Mariana Meerburg
June 20, 2018
Marina Meerburg
Democrat Meerburg Announces House Bid
Stowe, VT
Longtime Stowe resident, Marina Meerburg, has declared her candidacy for the Vermont State Legislature. Meerburg, who has lived in Stowe since 1999, was a member of the Stowe Conservation Commission from 2008-2016, chairing it for six of those years. She led Stowe's successful effort to pass the Town Meeting Day resolution calling for clear steps towards sustainable energy in Vermont. “I am pleased to announce my candidacy,” Meerburg says. “Vermont is a remarkable place, and I have chosen to live here for the past two decades.

Marianne Ward: City taking wrong approach to Burlington mural

Editor's note: This commentary is by Marianne Ward, of Burlington, who started the petition to save the “Everyone Loves a Parade” mural in Burlington. The recent article in VTDigger about an Abenaki event at the “Everyone Loves a Parade” mural displayed along Church Street in Burlington is somewhat inaccurate. At the heart of the controversy is not that the Abenaki lacks representation on the mural. At the center of the controversy, according to Burlington City Councilor Ali Dieng, is that the mural is not inclusive of Burlington's population. The small side directory, not the mural, was spray painted by an anarchist demanding its removal because, he claims, it is racist and white supremacist — equating it with white supremacist monuments throughout the country.

Mark Levine & Melissa Bailey: Preventing suicide in Vermont

Editor's note: This commentary is by Vermont Commissioner of Health Mark Levine, MD, and , Vermont Commissioner of Mental Health Melissa Bailey. Several high-profile deaths by suicide, along with a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have put this public health issue in the spotlight once again. In Vermont, where suicide is now the eighth leading cause of death, we are working to put systems in place that help people before a crisis. At the same time, we need to recognize the many contributing factors that lead one to self-harm or to attempt suicide. This will require a cultural shift for all of us.

Mark Redmond: Balancing rights of mentally ill with responsibility to them

Editor's note: This commentary is by Mark Redmond, who is the executive director of Spectrum Youth and Family Services and the author of “The Goodness Within: Reaching Out to Troubled Teens with Love and Compassion.”
Last Aug. 17, I attended an Agency of Human Services mental health stakeholders meeting at the Waterbury headquarters. A large conference room was filled for an all-day session with leaders from the mental health field, advocates and private citizens. Since I work in the social services field myself, I stood up and made a statement near the end of the morning session that I knew would generate controversy. I voiced my belief that there are times when an individual's mental health condition has deteriorated to such an extent that the state must exert its power to intervene and place that individual in a safe and secure setting even if it is against that person's will.

Martinez Bridges English, Español

In his other sixth-grade classes, Keybein often stayed quiet, hesitating to mispronounce his words. But in his bilingual intervention class, he hopped over chairs to get to the white-board where he wrote answers in Spanish.

Marty Richman to run for Hollister City Council

Marty Richman served in the military for over 22 years and still wants to contribute his time and knowledge so residents will better understand how their local government is supposed to serve them.

Mary Sullivan & Dick McCormack: Diesel subsidies no way to spend VW settlement

Editor's note: This commentary is by Rep. Mary Sullivan, D-Burlington, and Sen. Dick McCormack, D-Windsor. They are co-chairs of the legislative Climate Solutions Caucus. Earlier this month, the Scott administration announced its plans to spend Vermont's portion of the funds from the Volkswagen settlement – money intended to reduce pollution. Legislators, including the Climate Solutions Caucus of which we are co-chairs, have pushed for Vermont's full $18.7 million to be dedicated to electric buses and other electric transportation, getting the cleanest possible vehicles on Vermont's roads and saving Vermonters money now – and much more into the future. The Scott administration, on the other hand, has repeatedly expressed an interest in using much of it to subsidize more diesel and other fossil-fueled vehicles.

Maternal Deaths Rising At Alarming Rate, But Who’s Counting?

Why do so many pregnant women and young mothers die? Your guess is as good as our government's. We simply don't know. Even the statistics we have aren't current, though from all indications the U.S.'s mortality rate is rising, as it is in Afghanistan and Sudan. But in the U.S., the rate has risen by 136 percent between 1990 and 2013.

Math institute gets a major gift and a new name

Students listen in as officials announce a major grant and new name for the Governor's Institutes of Vermont math program. Photo by Kelsey Neubauer/VTDiggerBoosted by its largest single donation ever, the Governor's Institutes of Vermont has established an endowment for its mathematics program and renamed it after the program's founders. The $250,000 grant is designed to enhance offerings and provide scholarship aid at the newly named Kenneth I. Gross and Anthony Trono Governor's Institute on Mathematical Sciences. The former Institute of Mathematics is one of 13 separate institutes that provide Vermont teenagers with accelerated learning residencies on college campuses for programs ranging from the arts to engineering. Mary Lou Gross, who made the donation in honor of her late husband, was joined by Trono and dozens of current students and alumni at a University of Vermont reception where the grant was announced.

Matheny out as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals

Mike Matheny, a former Gold Glove catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals who would go on to become the team's manager in 2011, was fired Saturday night after a loss to the Cincinnati Reds. “These decisions are never easy, but we felt that a change in leadership was necessary as the team prepares to enter the second half of the season,” the team's president of baseball operations, John Mozeliak, said in a statement released late Saturday night. “I would like to thank Mike for his exceptional commitment and devotion to the Cardinals organization, including many fond memories of our years working together.”

Mauled Woman’s Estate Sues City

A jury may ultimately decide whether New Haven's 911 crew mishandled calls about ferocious dogs mauling Jocelyn Winfrey — and cost Winfrey her life.Winfrey's estate has filed suit in Superior Court against the city and employees of its 911 Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) center seeking monetary damages for what it characterizes as fatal negligence.

Max & Murphy Moving to the Airwaves

Gotham Gazette, J. Murphy, Mayoral Photography Office
Max & Murphy, the weekly politics-and-policy podcast featuring Ben Max of Gotham Gazette and Jarrett Murphy of City Limits, will move to WBAI 99.5 FM starting July 18 for the 5-6 p.m. slot on Wednesdays. The show will continue to feature interviews with newsmakers and analysis by the hosts, but will also incorporate phone calls from listeners. Max & Murphy on Monday recorded its 81st episode: an interview with attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout. Among other guests who've joined it are Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Public Advocate Letitia James, Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, former Syracuse Mayor (and gubernatorial hopeful) Stephanie Miner, then-Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, First Lady Chirlane McCray, Councilmembers Joe Borrelli, Justin Brannan, Elizabeth Crowley, Carlina Rivera, Helen Rosenthal, Ritchie Torres and Jumaane Williams. In 2017, nine of the 11 people who ran for mayor appeared on the show, including Nicole Malliotakis, Paul Massey, Bo Dietl and Sal Albanese. Check out past shows here.

Max & Murphy: NYC’s New Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy

City CouncilElizabeth Holtzman, a former Brooklyn district attorney, Congresswoman and city comptroller, at left. Helen Rosenthal, a Councilmember from the Upper West Side, at right. Elizabeth Holtzman, a former Brooklyn district attorney, Congresswoman and city comptroller, and Helen Rosenthal, a Councilmember from the Upper West Side, joined the Max & Murphy podcast on Monday to talk about local efforts to crack down on sexual harassment.

Max & Murphy: Zephyr Teachout On the AG Race and the Case Against Donald Trump

J. MurphyFordham Law professor and Democrat for attorney general Zephyr Teachout. If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's stunning primary victory is a progressive watershed, the moment was a long time in the making, with Ralph Nader in 2000, Howard Dean in 2004 and Bernie Sanders in 2016 using grassroots organizing to challenge Democratic politicians from the left in different ways and with varying levels of success. Among others who might diversify that list of insurgents, you might add Zephyr Teachout, whose 2014 run for governor against Andrew Cuomo fell short of victory but dented the governor's aura of invincibility. Now Teachout is seeking statewide office again, part of a four-way race for the Democratic nomination for an attorney general seat that was securely held by Eric Schneiderman until just a few months ago.

May’s storm leaves the state with multi-million dollar clean up projects

On the evening of May 15, dozens of children huddled in Hamden's West Woods Elementary School as the town's emergency responders wrestled their way through collapsed trees that blocked the entrance to the building. The students, who had stayed after school for a reading program, were trapped in West Woods as a powerful band […]

Mayor Miro Weinberger’s public appearance schedule for July 16-20, 2018

News Release — Office of Mayor Miro Weinberger
July 16, 2018
Jordan Redell
Mayor Miro Weinberger's public appearance schedule for July 16 – 20, 2018:
Monday, July 16
5:00 pm Board of Finance Meeting – Conference Room 12
7:00 pm City Council Meeting – Contois Auditorium
Tuesday, July 17
No public appearances scheduled
Wednesday, July 18
8:00 am Mornings with Miro, Code Enforcement Director Bill Ward to attend in place of the Mayor – The Bagel Café, 1127 North Avenue
Thursday, July 19
8:00 am Charlie & Ernie In the Morning Radio Show – WVMT 620AM
Friday, July 20
No public appearances scheduled
Read the story on VTDigger here: Mayor Miro Weinberger's public appearance schedule for July 16-20, 2018.

Mayor Open To Idea Of Fewer Top Cops

Downsizing New Haven's police patrols isn't on the agenda, but cutting the number of assistant chiefs might be.

Mayor Plays Hardball Back

Mayor Toni Harp vowed to fight the Board of Alders — “perhaps” even taking them to court — if they proceed with plans to strip $483,172 from city departments and use that money to reduce the new 11 percent tax increase.

Mayor taps Westside commander Paul Pazen as Denver’s next police chief

Paul Pazen, a Denver native and career-long officer nicknamed “Smiley” because of his cheery attitude, will be the city's next chief of police. Mayor Michael Hancock announced Pazen's promotion at a news conference Thursday afternoon at the City and County Building. Pazen will replace outgoing Chief Robert White, who is retiring after 46 years in policing, the last six of which he spent leading Denver's department. “It's one thing to get this job, but the real measuring stick is what you have done with this job,” said Pazen, who grew up in Lincoln Park and was a U.S. Marine for five years before joining DPD in 1994. He said it has been his dream to lead the department.

Mayor Vetoes Tax Reduction Order

Mayor Toni Harp vetoed a Board of Alders order that requires any “additional revenue” received by the city for the next fiscal year to go towards reducing the city's new 11 percent tax increase.That veto comes just a few days after the city's Parking Authority agreed to send over an additional $2 million to the city to help shore up its struggling finances.

Mayors from across the country visited a “tent city” holding immigrant children in Texas. They got no answers.

TORNILLO — Even as the Trump administration's immigration policies are shifting daily, one thing has remained the same in this small desert town: Officials remain in the dark about what's going on in the tent city constructed last week at this port of entry. A trip by a group of mayors to the port of entry Thursday, spearheaded by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, yielded no new information about what, if anything, will change inside the detention center for immigrant children after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end family separations on Wednesday. “We've heard nothing about that, I've heard nothing personally about it,” said El Paso Mayor Dee Margo. “I am hoping that given the order [Wednesday], they'll start ending this.”
The facility was built last week just 24 hours after the federal government confirmed its location. It's reported that more than 250 undocumented immigrant minors are currently housed there.

Mayors: Fix roads and bridges with online sales tax dollars

Zachary Oren Smith, Mississippi TodayThis 2016 photo shows a bridge over the Coldwater River in Tate County that was closed by MDOT due to its high degree of decay. With the possibility of a special session looming, some Mississippi mayors support using a specific type of sales tax to fund repairs to the state's ailing roads and bridges. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 1992 ruling that prevented states from collecting use tax from online retailers with no physical presence in the state. Gov. Phil Bryant hinted in May he might call a special session to address the matter if this ruling was overturned. Leaders of Mississippi's municipalities say those funds are much needed.

McCain: ‘Disgraceful’ that Trump unwilling to stand up to tyrant Putin

"Today's press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.

McCaskill heavily outspending Hawley as contest heats up

Four months before the November election, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is deploying her massive fundraising edge over GOP rival Josh Hawley to dramatically outspend him. Since April 1, McCaskill has spent close to $3.6 million in her Democratic bid for a third term. That's almost four times state Attorney General Hawley's spending, which was just under $1 million.

McSally pumps Nat’l Guard on border with Ukrainian soldier photo

A stock tough-on-the-border message from Martha McSally comes with a depiction of a soldier that's a bit unfamiliar. Instead of a National Guard member, it shows a figure armed with an AK-74, sold by a Ukrainian photographer, and falsely implies that armed troops are on patrol.

Mead unfazed by Zinke’s sage grouse plan

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's proposed reworking of greater sage grouse conservation plans are “minor tweaks” and not the “wholesale changes” Gov. Matt Mead lobbied against, the governor said Tuesday. Zinke's proposal would amend — and scientists say reduce — protections in 67 Bureau of Land Management and 20 Forest Service conservation plans forged in 2015 to keep the bird off the list of threatened and endangered species. Unveiled last month, the proposals would “conserve public land habitat in cooperation with state plans for managing wildlife species,” the BLM said. Mead and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper asked Zinke last year not to make “wholesale changes” to plans agreed to in 2015. Mead appears to be satisfied the secretary heard him.

Meals for seniors caught in latest feud over CT budget cuts

Republican legislative leaders are balking at the governor's plans to cut $2 million from an elderly nutrition program. The governor must find $21.5 million in savings in the General Fund once the new fiscal year gets underway on Sunday.

Medicaid transportation contractor still stuck on the basic problems

More than two dozen healthcare providers and advocates attended a meeting Wednesday to voice what are now familiar complaints against Veyo, a Total Transit Company contracted since January to provide transportation for Medicaid patients to and from appointments across the state of Connecticut.

Medical Marijuana: What the Research Shows

One of the central issues in the debate over the medical-marijuana question on Tuesday's election ballot is whether scientific research confirms that marijuana can offer health benefits. So far, marijuana has not been approved as a medicine by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA requires clinical trials in hundreds, then thousands, of human patients to determine benefits and risks, and not enough have been done yet on marijuana, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Legal restrictions and variability in the concentration of the plant's psychoactive chemicals also make it difficult to study, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a federal research agency. Here are some research findings on marijuana:
>A study released this year found patients' cannabis use increased their risk of prescription opioid abuse.

Medicare to Terminate Funding for St. Luke’s Heart Transplant Program in Houston

by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica, and Mike Hixenbaugh, Houston Chronicle
The federal Medicare program informed Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center on Friday that it would cut off funding to its heart transplant program in August, saying the Houston hospital has not done enough to fix shortcomings that endanger patients. The decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is a devastating blow to what was once one of the nation's most renowned heart transplant programs. Losing Medicare's seal of approval on Aug. 17 would threaten its viability, experts say, depriving it of an essential source of funding. The termination could trigger private insurance companies to follow suit and force all 88 patients on the program's waiting list to either pay out of pocket or, more likely, transfer to another hospital.

Meditation and Mindfulness: How a Harlem principal solves conflict in her community

Here, in a series we call “How I Lead,” we feature principals and assistant principals who have been recognized for their work. You can see other pieces in the series here. Dawn DeCosta, Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School's principal of seven years, never pictured herself leading a school. Originally a fine arts major and art teacher, she was inspired to be a community leader when she took a summer leadership course at Columbia University's Teacher College. The program helped her widen her impact to outside the classroom by teaching her how to find personal self awareness and mindfulness.

Meet Newark’s new superintendent, homegrown educator Roger León

The big story

Newark's new superintendent is the ultimate insider. Roger León, who officially started his new role on July 1, grew up in Newark and attended his neighborhood school (where he later was a teacher). He was a star of his high school debate team (which he later coached). He was a successful principal and a demanding assistant superintendent (for a full decade). Now, as Newark's first superintendent since the district returned to local control, he faces a steep road ahead.

Meet one possible successor to departing Denver superintendent Tom Boasberg

As Denver officials wrestle with how to pick a replacement for longtime superintendent Tom Boasberg, one insider stands out as a likely candidate. Susana Cordova, the district's deputy superintendent, already held her boss's job once before, when Boasberg took an extended leave in 2016. She has a long history with the district, including as a student, graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School, and as a bilingual teacher starting her career more than 20 years ago. When she was selected to sit in for Boasberg for six months, board members at the time cited her hard work and the many good relationships they saw she had with people. This time around, several community members are saying they want a leader who will listen to teachers and the community.

Meet Roger León, the homegrown educator charting a new course for Newark schools

At the start of the school year in 1983, a student named Roger León sat with the other ninth-graders at Science High School waiting for the principal of Newark's premier magnet school to arrive and welcome them. Finally, León, the child of Cuban immigrants whose mother spoke only Spanish at home, grew tired of waiting for an adult to take charge. “Roger, God bless him, got up and started the whole meeting,” said Christine Taylor, the president of Newark's principals union, who heard the story from a teacher who was present that day. After that, León became a star of the school's famed debate team, then a debate coach, a classroom teacher, a principal, a high-ranking administrator within the system's central office, and, beginning July 1, superintendent of the Newark school system with its 36,000 students and roughly $1 billion budget. It's the role he seems to have been preparing for his entire life.

Meet the ‘Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’ of birds – in Forest Park

Millions of people visit St. Louis' Forest Park every year. But the park is home to two very special owls that naturalist Mark Glenshaw has named Charles and Sarah.“There's connecting with nature in general and then connecting with these great horned owls,” Mark Glenshaw told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Thursday. “They are beautiful animals.

Meet the donors who give to both DFL and GOP candidates in Minnesota

Peter Callaghan

Greta Kaul

So you're interested in politics and want to get involved in a campaign for someone who shares your views. You decide to write a check to help that candidate get elected.But would you ever give money to more than one candidate for the same office? From different parties?It isn't common — but it does happen. According to the most current campaign finance reports by four leading candidates for governor — DFLers Erin Murphy and Tim Walz and Republicans Jeff Johnson and Tim Pawlenty — five lobbying firms and/or their registered lobbyists show up on the donor lists of at least one DFL candidate and one Republican candidate. (No information was yet available for DFL candidate Lori Swanson since she entered the race after the last reporting period.)In addition to lobbyists and lobbying firms, at least 14 donors have donated money to the campaigns of candidates from both political parties.

Meet the Exiled Pakistani Journalist Documenting Censorship in South Asian Newsrooms

Pragmatic Move: After a failed abduction attempt in Pakistan, Taha Siddiqui decided to move his family from Islamabad to safety in Paris. Photo: Sara Farid
While Pakistan continues to cement its reputation as one of the world's most unsafe countries for journalists, there has been a strong pushback from young media professionals like Taha Siddiqui who refuse to bow down to the diktats of the country's powerful military and intelligence agencies. “Pakistan's mainstream media is being forced
into censorship
through threats, both physical and financial.”Siddiqui, 34, who was based out of Islamabad until earlier this year, and has now moved to Paris, is an example of dogged resistance. He is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, France24, Christian Science Monitor and various other international news organisations. He has also served as the Pakistan Bureau Chief of the television channel World Is One News (WION).

Meet the small-town student activists emerging in Texas after the mass shooting in Santa Fe

Amid a sea of people wearing business suits and dresses in a Senate office building in Washington, D.C., Bree Butler found herself sitting on the floor in protest at U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's office last week, donning a black hoodie and shorts with a bright orange bandana wrapped around her head. Butler, who grew up in a conservative, close-knit community in southeast Texas, recently became a school shooting survivor, high school graduate and activist — all within a month. "We went into the capitol building, we went into Ted Cruz's office and we sat there until they threatened to arrest us," Butler said. The 18-year-old was a student at Santa Fe High School when a gunman opened fire last month and killed 10 people. Days after she ran for her life from her school, Butler gathered with classmates and other Houston-area student activists for a weekend in Galveston where they formed the Orange Generation — a non-profit organization that aims to reduce gun violence and advocate for what members consider to be common sense gun legislation.

Meghan Baston: Quality patient care is a shared goal

Editor's note: This commentary is by Meghan Baston, who is a board certified psychiatric registered nurse and the chief nursing officer at the Brattleboro Retreat. In the past few decades our society has witnessed unprecedented change in almost every area of life. This includes our professional experiences. The work we do and the ways we carry it out bear little resemblance to what most people took for granted at the start of the new millennium. In the field of health care sweeping change has taken place at lightning speed and continues to be the “new normal.”
The Brattleboro Retreat is an excellent example.

Melania Trump Visits Separated Migrant Children in McAllen

The first lady "supports family reunification" and wanted to meet separated children for herself, a spokesperson said. The post Melania Trump Visits Separated Migrant Children in McAllen appeared first on Rivard Report.

Melania Trump visits separated migrant children in McAllen, Texas

First lady Melania Trump made an unannounced trip to the border on Thursday, visiting a children's shelter in McAllen. "She supports family reunification," said Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's communications director, according to a pool report from The Dallas Morning News. “She thinks that it's important that children stay with their families.”
Trump toured the Upbring shelter, a facility officials said currently houses about 60 children between the ages of 5 and 17, according to the pool report. Six of those children had been separated from their parents — the rest had arrived unaccompanied, the officials said. Trump held a roundtable discussion livestreamed by The Washington Post with shelter workers before the tour, thanking them for their “heroic work” taking care of the children and asking how she could help.

Melania Trump visits shelters for immigrant children with history of delaying medical care for kids

A government-funded migrant youth shelter in Texas visited by First Lady Melania Trump Thursday has been cited with serious deficiencies by state inspectors this year, including delaying medical care for a child in pain, records show. The 12 deficiencies reported at the New Hope shelter in McAllen are among 37 that state inspectors found at its parent company's two shelters in the past three years, records show. The first lady made a surprise visit to government-funded shelters near the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday, following a national uproar over the Trump administration's family separation policy. President Donald Trump issued an executive order Wednesday halting the practice. About 12,000 immigrant children are housed in shelters nationwide funded by grants from the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Memo to the New Court: Let’s Avoid ‘Stupid’ Law

Whatever we think of individual policemen, lawyers, or judges, we have a lofty idea of the Law itself, ingrained in us by noble if flawed depictions in the media or civics classes. Although we talk of someone “escaping justice” due to a loophole or a technicality, by and large, we believe that if you're not guilty, you won't be arrested. If by some mistake you are arrested even though innocent, you will not be convicted. And even when its execution is faulty, the Law is backed by principles of Justice, of fair play and, above all, finding the truth. Until we run afoul of the law, anyway.

Memphis charter school closes after one year because of issues with nonprofit status, enrollment

An elementary school near Raleigh operating under a Shelby County charter organization is closing after only one year. Legacy Leadership Academy leaders decided to close after they were told by Shelby County Schools that it wasn't in compliance with state law, district officials announced during a board meeting on Tuesday. Specifically, the charter organization Legacy Leadership had lost its nonprofit status. Under state law, a charter operator has to be a nonprofit. The district would have recommended closure for the school in July had it not decided to close on its own, said Brad Leon, chief of strategy and performance management for the district.

Memphis charter school signs lease within district boundaries, allowing them to stay open

A Memphis charter school on the brink of closure over the location of its building has signed a lease within Shelby County Schools' boundaries. Gateway University High School will move into Holy Nation Church of Memphis on Brownsville Road near Craigmont High School after being in a Memphis suburb since opening in August 2017, according to a spokeswoman for the charter school. In response, Shelby County Schools will pull its recommendation to revoke the school's charter, according to the school board's agenda. The district had called for the school's closure because of a new state law that prohibits charter schools operating outside of the authorizing district's limits. The Tennessee Department of Education gave school leaders until July 1 to comply with an attorney general's opinion issued in September and to comply with the school's contract that stated it would operate “within the local school district of Shelby County, Tennessee.” Their previous building was a storefront in Bartlett.

Memphis colleges are training more teachers of color, new study shows

Teaching degree programs at four-year institutions nationwide are disproportionately white, according to new Urban Institute data. But things look different in Memphis, where two local colleges, the University of Memphis and Christian Brothers University, are making strides to ensure their teaching programs reflect the diversity of the schools that house them. Meanwhile Memphis' LeMoyne-Owen College, a historically black institution, has a teaching training program whose student body is almost exclusively African-American. The program focuses on preparing its students to teach in diverse settings. “Minority-serving institutions,” like historically black colleges and universities, are “doing more than their fair share of preparing diverse teachers,” Constance Lindsay, a researcher at the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

Memphis math teacher remembers ‘sticking out.’ It inspired him to teach with compassion

Neven Holland was in third grade when his mother pulled him out of his Chicago elementary school and moved him to a school in the suburbs. “I could tell the difference from square one,” he said, noting the suburban school's nicer facilities and its focus on reading. It was a “huge adjustment” for more reasons than one: He was the only black student in his class. “I went from my very first school to just, kind of sticking out,” Holland explained. He always knew he wanted to go into a profession where he could “help people.” But it wasn't until two years into his counseling training program at the Chicago School of Psychology, that he first considered changing course.

Memphis school leaders pledge ‘a new day’ in contracting with diverse business owners

Shelby County Schools revealed its first public look at a policy that will help the district hire more businesses owned by people of color and white women. The plan comes about seven months after a study commissioned by the school board highlighted wide disparities. It found that one third of qualified local companies are owned by white women and people of color, but such businesses were awarded just 15 percent of the contracts for Shelby County Schools in the last five years. The new proposal sets the groundwork for how to get contracts and expand the district's business database, and it requires contractors to show “good faith efforts” to reach out to diverse businesses when searching for subcontractors. Shelby County Schools hosted a networking event for business owners Thursday to explain the policy and invite businesses to participate.

Mentors matter: Good teaching really can be passed down to student teachers, new research finds

Do student teachers learn more when they're mentored by especially effective teachers? The answer may seem obvious, but there's been little research confirming as much. Until now. Three studies released this year offer real evidence that good teaching can be passed down, in a sense, from mentor teacher to student teacher. In several cases, they find that the performance of the student teachers once they have their own full-time classrooms corresponds to the quality of the teacher they trained under.

Metro Health Expands Immunization Services to San Antonio’s East Side

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is expanding immunization services to the city's East Side with a new clinic set to open on July 2. The post Metro Health Expands Immunization Services to San Antonio's East Side appeared first on Rivard Report.

Metzger Fine Arts Scholarship goes to Makayla Magdaleno

San Benito High School graduate earns Martha Metzger Scholarship in the arts.

Mexican man sentenced for unlawfully re-entering US

News Release — U.S. Department of Justice & United States Border Patrol
July 17, 2018
United States Attorney District of Vermont
(802) 868-3361
The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont and the Swanton Sector Office of the United States Border Patrol announce that Zein Diaz-Ventura, 27, a citizen of Mexico, was convicted and sentenced today in United States District Court in Rutland for reentering the United States after having previously been removed from the country. United States District Court Chief Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford sentenced Diaz-Ventura to time served. Diaz-Ventura has been held without bail since his arrest on May 11, 2018. Custody of Diaz-Ventura will be transferred from the United States Marshal's Service to the Department of Homeland Security for removal proceedings. According to court records, Diaz-Ventura was the passenger in a vehicle with license plates “not on file” traveling on State Route 105 in Richford, Vermont in the evening on May 11, 2018.

Mexico on Track to Welcome Its Own Populist President to Power

Mexicans go to the polls Sunday to elect a new president, with the likely winner being the fiery populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The post Mexico on Track to Welcome Its Own Populist President to Power appeared first on Rivard Report.

Mexico’s new president is promising big changes. Will that affect trade with Texas?

Only time will tell if Andrés Manuel López Obrador will go down in history as one of Latin America's ineffective left-wing prophets or an underdog politician who led Mexico on a course to sustainability and independence. But one thing is certain a day after the 64-year old populist, referred to by Mexicans as “AMLO,” won that country's presidential election by a landslide: Texas' business leaders and elected officials are taking note of how the election could possibly upend Texas' robust trading relationship with its southern neighbor. “I think the million-dollar question is not whether AMLO is going to move the country to the left, but rather how far he's going to move it to the left,” said Mark P. Jones, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy's fellow in political science and the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies at Rice University. “So, we're going to see him attempt to keep his main campaign promises by reducing economic inequality, combating corruption and working to reduce violence in the country.”
That he campaigned, in part, on those issues isn't a surprise to political observers. But just how he goes about fulfilling those promises will likely affect Texas' historically beneficial economic relationship with Mexico.

Mexico’s New President Is Promising Big Changes. Will That Affect Trade with Texas?

Only time will tell if Andrés Manuel López Obrador will go down in history as one of Latin America's ineffective left-wing prophets or an underdog politician who led Mexico on a course to sustainability and independence. But one thing is certain a day after the 64-year old populist, referred to by Mexicans as “AMLO,” won […]
The post Mexico's New President Is Promising Big Changes. Will That Affect Trade with Texas? appeared first on Rivard Report.

Michael Cloud poised to win special election to fill U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold’s seat

Republican Michael Cloud appears likely to win the special election to fill former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold's seat, which would spare the GOP a runoff in the 27th District. With 86 percent of precincts reporting, Cloud was leading Democrat Eric Holguin 54 percent to 33 percent, according to unofficial returns from the Texas secretary of state's office. Cloud, a former chairman of the Victory County GOP, needs to finish above 50 percent in the nine-way race to avert a runoff later this summer. The special election will determine who finishes Farenthold's term, which ends in January. Both Cloud and Holguin are their party's nominees in November for the full term that starts after that.

Michael Shank & Yvette Clarke: Goal-setting necessary to save our environment

Editor's note: This commentary is by Michael Shank and U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y. Shank, of Brandon, is the communications director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. Clarke represents New York's 9th District and is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Committee on Small Business, and the Ethics Committee. This country desperately needs a positive vision, some goals for where we're going. Instead, it's all negative all the time, a daily slashing-and-burning of hard-fought protections. Take the environment, for example.

Michigan lawmakers go public with their finances in effort to boost state integrity

A band of 23 state legislators in Michigan pledged to make their personal finances public Thursday to promote a package of bills that would require all state elected officials to do the same. The action by House Democrats was designed to call attention to the fact that Michigan is the only state with a full-time legislature that does not require lawmakers to fill out annual disclosure forms. Such financial disclosures are commonly required for elected officials from U.S. Congress down to local offices. And they are the only clear-cut way for the public to determine if lawmakers are voting on bills for self-enrichment, according to Grand Rapids Democratic Rep. David LaGrand. “I have voluntarily disclosed my personal finances — ownership in real estate and businesses — because citizens have the right to know where their elected officials have financial interests,” LaGrand said. LaGrand and three other House Democrats are the lead sponsors of four bills that would require candidates and individuals serving in judicial, legislative, executive or educational statewide elected offices to file a yearly financial disclosure report.

Michigan official says migrant kids sent across country without sure way to find parents

The tiny children arrived in Michigan from the U.S.-Mexico border after plane rides with strangers. They arrived without paperwork that would indicate where their parents were held in detention. Some of them even arrived without information as basic as their parents' names. Many of the children, among them a 3-month-old baby, are so young that they have no words — in any language — to help their American custodians find parents separated from them over the last month or so. The parents were immediately put into adult detention as part of the Trump administration's “zero tolerance” policy, an experiment to staunch migration from Central America..

Middle-age suicides on rise, new CDC report says

High suicide rates have largely been associated with younger populations, but middle age suicides are beginning to rise throughout the country, a recent report says.

Midwest soybean farmers brace for impact of trade war

Soybean growers in the Midwest are caught in the middle of an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China. China retaliated against the Trump administration's tariffs on Chinese products Friday by imposing $34 billion in tariffs on hundreds of American goods, including soybeans. Analysts say the added expense of China's 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans will effectively block the product from entering the Chinese market.

Might Trump’s bashing of immigrants backfire at the polls?

Eric Black

Here's a surprising argument: What if Donald Trump's immigrant-bashing rhetoric during 2016 actually cost him more votes than it got him?That's the provocative thesis of a New York Times op-ed published yesterday by University of Minnesota political scientists Howard Lavine and Wendy Rahn.If they are right, it certainly stands one conventional strain of How-Trump-Won logic on its head — namely the belief that his xenophobic Build-The-Wall, deport-the-immigrants rhetoric helped gin up support for Trump among voters harboring anti-immigration views and helped him pull off his surprise victory.Yes, Lavine and Rahn concede, Trump did a bit better than his Republican predecessors among white voters are who opposed to immigration.But, they find, Hillary Clinton did a lot better among white voters who favor immigration. So much better that it probably was a net positive for the Democratic ticket and may be one of the key factors that help Clinton and Tim Kaine win the overall popular vote.Rahn and Lavine lay it out statistically in their piece and the accompanying graphics. And you should click here to read their full Times piece. But, to summarize:According to exit polling data from the highly regarded American National Election Study (ANES), 48 percent of white voters told ANES that they preferred to see fewer immigrants coming to the United States. And, of those who felt that way, just 21 percent voted for the Democratic ticket.

Migrant mom makes difficult choice: Move farther from son for better chance at asylum

Claudia and Kevin, separated since late May, and the exterior of the Port Isabel Detention Center. Reynaldo Leal: Port Isabel exterior
A Salvadoran mother who was moved closer to her 7-year-old son in South Texas this week made the difficult choice Wednesday of seeking a transfer back to the Austin area, where her lawyer thinks she'll have a far better chance of gaining asylum and avoiding deportation. The mother, Claudia, has been separated from her son Kevin since the two crossed the Texas-Mexico border illegally near McAllen in late May. She had been detained in the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor for weeks, but then she and several other separated moms were suddenly moved Monday, she said, to the notorious Port Isabel Detention Center, which the government has designated a holding location for migrants in the "removal process." Speaking over a scratchy telephone line Wednesday from the Port Isabel facility, the single mom said she was told at the Hutto facility that she was going to be moved closer to her son, who she believes is in Brownsville.

Mill Moore: Is the public vs. private education conflict real?

Editor's note: This commentary is by Mill Moore, who is the executive director of the Vermont Independent Schools Association. “We have a huge conflict in this state between public and private education,” remarked Vermont Rep. David Sharpe in a recent speech. Because he chairs the House Education Committee, Sharpe's words have attracted attention and comment. Enrollment numbers reveal the heart of the matter. Of the 83,000 Vermont K-12 students whose educations are publicly funded, only 2,800 are attending independent schools.

Millennial buyers face tough housing market

Millennials are hitting the market at a difficult time, with rising prices and few houses to buy as the housing industry has shifted to building more downtown rentals. Some people seeking to buy houses have been discouraged and have postponed the step, just as many have had to put off moving out of parents' houses, forming couples and having children as they tried to build careers delayed by the recession.

Milling-Paving Crew Hits The Streets

Dave Lawlor wants you to understand that a road is like your roof: When it gets old and tired enough, you have take off the various crumbling or degraded layers, get down to the plywood, that is the surface below.Then you tack on a whole new roof — or in the case of Quinnipiac Avenue, a fresh hot new layer of asphalt.

Minneapolis park officials asking for help after fake 911 call targets black teens

Brian Lambert

Yeah, some questions here. Says Mary Lynn Smith in the Strib, “A viral video of four black teens being handcuffed by Minneapolis park police after an officer drew a gun on them at Minnehaha Park on Tuesday has prompted calls for an independent investigation into the incident. Brianna Lindell posted the video, which has been viewed at least 11,000 times and shared more than 25,000 times. She explained in her post that she first noticed that the four teens were being harassed by a young white teen who was using racial slurs … .”At MPR, Elizabeth Dunbar writes, “Minneapolis parks officials are asking for help piecing together what happened Tuesday when a 911 caller's unfounded claims of violence at Minnehaha Regional Park led to four black teens being handcuffed, with one officer pointing a gun at them. The teens — two 13-year-olds, a 14-year-old and 16-year-old — were detained but were found to have no weapons and released.

Minneapolis releases transcripts of 911 call in Blevins case

Brian Lambert

The Star Tribune's Libor Jany writes: “Minutes before police encountered Thurman Blevins on a north Minneapolis street corner last month, a woman called 911 to report a wiry man in a tank top walking through her neighborhood, firing a gun. … As the dispatcher tried to engage her, the woman described the man as about 6 feet tall and weighing 180 pounds, according to a transcript of the call, released Monday on the city's website. … Blevins, who is black, was killed June 23 in the Camden neighborhood, after leading officers on a brief foot chase that ended in an alley off N. 48th Avenue, between Aldrich and Bryant avenues. A gun was recovered at the scene, authorities said.”A quick way to get arrested. The Pioneer Press' Mara H. Gottfried reports: “A former KSTP-TV worker told the station's security director he wanted his job back and said, ‘You know what happened yesterday in Maryland,' the day after a gunman killed five people at a newspaper in that state, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

Minnesota governor candidates (most of them, anyway) talk gridlock, breaking bread, and ‘the next Amazon’ at forum

Peter Callaghan

Jeff Johnson was so eager to be at a campaign forum with other candidates for governor that he didn't care that they were all DFLers.The Hennepin County Commissioner, who's making his second run for Minnesota's top elected job, hasn't had much success getting face time with his main rival for the GOP nomination, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty. So a three-against-one forum at the Economic Development Association of Minnesota summer conference in Nisswa was an acceptable alternative.“It's really nice to show up at something and have another candidate or two to talk to,” Johnson said about the three DFLers with whom he shared the stage. “I'm glad we could help out Jeff,” U.S. Rep. Tim Walz joked back. “This is bipartisanship in action here.”The friendly exchange wasn't out of character with the rest of what is just the second time the three main DFL candidates had been together. While Johnson shadow boxed with the absent Pawlenty — and with the retiring Gov. Mark Dayton — the DFL trio kept mostly to broad campaign themes woven in with responses to questions about economic development.All said they were concerned about the state of politics in Minnesota and pledged to change it.Erin Murphy, who's represented her St.

Minnesota joins suit against Trump administration over family separation policy

Brian Lambert

You knew this was coming. Says the AP: “Washington and more than a half-dozen other states said Thursday that they plan to sue the Trump administration over a policy of separating immigrant families illegally entering the United States. … The states set to join Ferguson's lawsuit are Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Oregon, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Minnesota.”On second thought. Miguel Otarola of the Star Tribune reports, “Richfield police have withdrawn an invitation to have a federal immigration official speak at a planning meeting for this year's National Night Out event, following backlash from neighborhood leaders. … National outrage over the government's practice of separating children from parents who were illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as federal efforts to ramp up deportations, led Richfield police to question the wisdom of having an ICE officer making any kind of presentation now.” Perhaps someone from the EPA instead?Why not try?

Minnesota politicos react to Supreme Court anti-union ruling

MinnPost staff

No surprises here. The Star Tribune's Erin Golden reports: “Minnesota's political leadership was deeply divided on Wednesday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public employees who do not join labor unions can't be required to pay for collective bargaining. … Republican elected officials and conservative groups applauded the 5-4 ruling as a victory for individual freedom, while DFLers and labor organizations blasted the decision as a major blow to workers and a setback to decades of union organizing around workplace issues.”He may have a point. KARE reports: “You'll have to look beyond the city of St. Paul to get your fireworks fix this Fourth of July, according to a post by the mayor.

Minnesota Senate to honor Bill Salisbury and Jim Ragsdale

The Minnesota Senate on Monday will honor two long-time political journalists — Bill Salisbury and Jim Ragsdale.Salisbury is retiring, sort of, after 40 years covering the Capitol for the Pioneer Press. He says he'll still work part-time.Ragsdale, a veteran of the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune, as well as a frequent Almanac contributor, died in November of pancreatic cancer. He was 64.Senate officials said they will honor the work of both men with resolutions during Monday's floor session, which starts at 11 a.m.After the session, there will be a reception in Room 107 of the Capitol.

Minnesota soybean farmers brace as Chinese tariff goes into effect

MinnPost staff

A finger on the pulse of rural Minnesota. MPR's Mark Steil reports: “You can see the impact of China's tariff spat with the U.S. at the Farmers Cooperative Elevator in Hanley Falls, Minn. … There, thousands of bushels of Minnesota-grown soybeans are dumped into rail cars, headed for the Pacific Northwest and then out for export. … Assistant general manager Bill Doyscher doesn't know exactly where the beans will end up, but since China is the biggest buyer of U.S. soybeans, it's a fair assumption that some of his trainloads will end up there. … China is scheduled to make good Friday on something it's threatened for months: A 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans.”A pretty nice resolution to the Har Mar contretemps.

Minnesota soybean growers concerned over potential Chinese tariffs

MinnPost staff

More than a hill of beans. Jim Spencer at the Star Tribune shares analysis of the potential fallout if the Chinese tack tariffs on U.S. soybeans: "If the Chinese proceed with a threatened 25 percent import tariff on U.S. soybeans in retaliation for 25 percent protective tariffs Trump placed on a variety of nonagricultural Chinese products, Minnesota soybean growers and others across the country face a loss of 69 percent of Chinese sales, said Purdue University agricultural economist Wallace Tyner, who analyzed data for the U.S. Soybean Export Council."More like panic stage. Tad Vezner at the Pioneer Press is keeping an eye on the rising waters of the St. Croix: "The Weather Service currently forecasts that the river will reach 85.2 feet on Friday; flood stage at Stillwater is 87 feet. Anything about 80 feet is considered an 'action stage,' when NWS officials begin regularly publishing daily forecasts on river levels.

Minnesota’s Muslim community reacts to U.S. Supreme Court travel ban decision

Ibrahim Hirsi

On Tuesday evening, Amina Sharif stood outside the federal courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, trying to process the fact that the nation's highest court had ruled in favor of President Donald Trump's controversial policy that bans nationals of certain countries from entering the United States.She was among hundreds of protesters — including U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, state Rep. Ilhan Omar and state Sen. Patricia Torres Ray — who stood in solidarity with thousands of Minnesota residents who are unable to be reunited with their loved ones in this country because of the decision.The ruling, which the U.S. Supreme Court put out on Tuesday, has its roots in a 2017 executive order that had initially barred people from Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Yemen from entering the U.S. In the back-and-forth legal battle that followed, the Trump administration argued that individuals from these countries pose a national security threat, despite the fact that a series of lower court rulings found that banning a group of people based on their religion was unconstitutional.On Tuesday, 18 months after the administration announced the first version of the executive order, that battle is essentially over, as the nation's highest court upheld the ban.For Sharif, a 20-year-old Minneapolis native and the daughter of immigrant parents from Somalia, the court's decision was a painful one.“This was supposed to be the land of the free,” said Sharif, a senior at the University of St. Thomas. “But this kind of decision makes you believe that people who look like us don't really belong here.”Fears of expanding the banSince Trump came to power in January 2017, immigrant and refugee arrivals in the U.S. has dropped drastically. One reason is his decision to reduce the cap of the refugee intake from 110,000 to 45,000 a year. Another reason is the immigration executive order, which has restricted the flow of refugees and immigrants from Somalia, Libya and other predominantly Muslim countries on the travel ban list.Still another reason is that the immigration executive order adds more security steps to the already years-long vetting process, which includes background checks as well as intense security and health screenings.

MinnPost is hiring a Washington correspondent

CC/Flickr/Wally GobetzMinnPost is seeking a Washington correspondent.As our D.C.-based reporter, your primary responsibility will be to keep tabs on Minnesota's 10-member congressional delegation and other Minnesotans making news in the capital, along with assessing the impact of administration and congressional action on Minnesota.We give our journalists a lot of freedom to find and tell the stories they believe are worth telling. But we also demand a high level of responsibility: you should be comfortable balancing shorter posts with deep-dives on politics and policy issues of interest to Minnesotans.An intimate knowledge of Minnesota is not required, though a willingness to learn about the state's unique political culture certainly is. Candidates should be self-starters, with a capacity for working independently and a proven ability to write compellingly about politics and policy for an engaged audience.To apply, send a cover letter, resume and at least three samples of your work to MinnPost Executive Editor Andrew Putz at aputz@minnpost.com.

Misconduct Debate Delays Cops’ Lawsuit

City cops suing over being bypassed for promotions have found their lawsuit stalled in court — because their own union has intervened to make sure their disciplinary histories aren't revealed.

Mississippi farmers brace for tariffs’ impact: ‘We are the ones being hit the hardest’

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi TodayJerry Slocum, farmer and president of North Mississippi Grain Company, takes a look at his soy bean crops in one of his fields in Coldwater, Miss. June 20, 2018. During the recent trade dispute between the United States and its closest trading partners, China imposed 25 percent tariffs on soybeans, corn and beef. COLDWATER, Miss. — North Mississippi farmer Jerry Slocum has first-hand knowledge of China's unfair trading practices that President Donald Trump often criticizes.

Mississippi lags in developmental screenings for kids

Mississippi screens fewer young children for developmental delays than any other state in the country, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, an oversight that costs Mississippi students dearly later in life, according to the study's authors. Melanie Thortis / © The 'SipDevelopmental screenings are the first step for getting children into early intervention programs.
Only 17 percent of Mississippi children receive developmental screenings, which diagnose everything from lags in motor skills and speech to autism spectrum disorders before a child's third birthday. In contrast, over 60 percent of children in Oregon, which has the highest rate in the United States, receive developmental screenings. The national average is 30 percent. Fifteen percent of children in the United States experience developmental delays or disabilities, according to the study.

Mississippi’s child well-being rankings improve; still near bottom in nation

Mississippi has made gains on economic, education, health and community factors that indicate children's well-being, but the state still places near the bottom in the nation overall, according to a new annual report by the Annie E. Casey foundation. The state improved in nearly all of the 16 indicators examined in the report, and moved up in the overall rankings from 50th in 2017 to 48th this year. Download the report and read the complete analysis by The Hechinger Report here. The post Mississippi's child well-being rankings improve; still near bottom in nation appeared first on Mississippi Today.

Missouri company may be first to fold due to Trump administration’s tariffs

Mid Continent Steel and Wire, a nail manufacturer in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, has been at the center of a media blitz after its plight was publicized by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., in front of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at a Senate committee hearing last week. Since the hearing, Mid Continent, alongside household names like Harley-Davidson, Inc., has been declared a likely casualty of the Trump administration's protectionist trade policies — specifically steel tariffs. The company, which manufactures 50 percent of the nails made in the United States, laid off 60 of its 500 employees and shuttered a production plant last week.

Missouri Democrats, labor join forces against right-to-work and to help McCaskill, Galloway

Missouri Democrats appear to banking their political future on linking the state's fight over a “right to work'' law, known as Proposition A, to the effort to re-elect Missouri's last remaining Democrats holding statewide office. A referendum over Proposition A will be on the August ballot. The two Democrats facing re-election this year – U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and state Auditor Nicole Galloway – will go before voters in November.

Missouri House action sets up confrontation with governor

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 10, 2011 - The Missouri House swiftly approved six bills on Friday, with state House Speaker Steve Tilley declaring afterward that the action demonstrated that the House -- if not the bogged-down state Senate -- knew how to move quickly during a special session.

Missouri soybean farmers fear the worst if Chinese tariffs go into effect

Soybean farmers across the Midwest are on the frontlines of a looming trade war between the U.S. and China. The first shots could be fired this week if negotiations fail. Each country is prepared to impose $34 billion in tariffs on the other's exports if no agreement is reached by the July 6 deadline. “Soybean trade between the U.S. and China is the single largest trade flow in agriculture that we have today,” said Pat Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri. “We are selling roughly 30 percent of all the soybeans that we grow in this country to China.” China's government announced it will retaliate against U.S. tariffs with a 25-percent tariff on soybean imports.

MJ Hegar raised $750,000 off her viral ad, one of a few Texas Democrats boasting big numbers

Screenshot from MJ Hegar's campaign video, with the featured helicopter door in the background. Hegar is the 2018 Democratic nominee challenging U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock. Campaign video screenshot
WASHINGTON – It was only the latest large fundraising figure for a U.S. House Democratic candidate from Texas, but it might well be one of the most jaw-dropping in the country. Longshot Democratic candidate and veteran M.J. Hegar successfully leveraged a viral video near the end of June to raise a $1.1 million in the second fundraising quarter of the year in her bid to unseat U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock. Of that sum, $750,000 came in the 10 days after her campaign published the widely-praised video on June 20.

MJTC announces 2018-19 season; 35-year-old film about KFAI at the Trylon

Pamela Espeland

Robert Dorfman will make his directorial debut, Miriam Schwartz will return to the stage, Kim Kivens will play multiple characters and Warren C. Bowles will helm another production in Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company's 2018-19 season. The five productions will include a world premiere.Here's a look at the lineup.Aug. 18-30: “What I Thought I Knew” by Alice Eve Cohen. Based on true events and a book Oprah loved, this one-person play is a journey through a high-risk pregnancy and the American health care system. It will be a workout for Kim Kivens, last seen as witchy Felicity in “Natasha and the Coat,” who will portray nearly 40 characters.Oct.

MNLARS still troubled — and running out of money again

Brian Lambert

Jessie Van Berkel of the Star Tribune says, “Minnesota businesses that handle vehicle registration, titles and licensing told lawmakers Wednesday that despite a recent system update, they are still struggling with the state's computer system for managing those transactions. … State officials told lawmakers they are working with system users to prioritize remaining fixes, but can only do so much after they received less than one-quarter of the $43 million they requested from the Legislature this year.” Is it too late to just go back to 5x7 note cards?Over at the PiPress, Dave Orrick says, “Minnesota's beleaguered computer system for vehicle titles and tabs won't be fixed before the agencies responsible for it run out of money, officials said Wednesday. … As it stands, the earliest any new funding could come is next winter when a new Legislature — and a new governor — convene. Except for emergency appropriations, most funding approved then will start flowing July 1, 2019. In the meantime, state information technology officials said, state workers and contractors are scrambling to fix the highest-priority things.”On the Thomas Blevins shooting by police and the body cam video release, Jon Collins at MPR says, “The decision by Minneapolis to release video footage of a police shooting before the entire investigation concludes is something new to the state, but it could set an example for other cities dealing with police shootings.

Moderates beware: Wyoming GOP has conservative litmus test

Once upon a time in the not-too-distant past Wyoming had a group called WyWatch Family Action. It was indeed for families: the kind in which no one ever had an abortion, loved someone of the same sex or wanted to use the “wrong” bathroom. Alas, WyWatch closed up shop in 2016 after its leader moved to Nebraska. It left a big hole in Wyoming politics, since no other groups distributed the same kind of colorful candidate surveys every two years. How were we going to find out how office-seekers felt about women's reproductive rights and non-heterosexual orientation?

Mojo Workin’: Как разработать и снять видео-историю (часть 2)

Часть 1
Представьте себе: чтобы ваша история разворачивалась в виде изображений, нужно хорошенько все спланировать. Фото: Kaique Rocha, Pexels
В предыдущих колонках рубрики Mojo Workin' я писал о технике для работы в режиме мобильной журналистики, записи звука и монтаже на смартфоне. В некотором смысле, я упустил тогда важный и самый трудновоплотимый этап — разработку и создание истории. Поэтому, я подготовил две новые части руководства по мобильной журналистике. В первой части мы сосредоточили внимание на раскрытии вашей идеи, создании истории и ее расследовательской направленности.

Monday: A look at river and floodplain policy

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Monday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live . On Monday's St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh will discuss river and floodplain policy in the region.

Monday: A look at the #ChurchToo movement with Wash U’s Marie Griffith

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon Monday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live . As the #MeToo movement continues to gain momentum throughout the United States, many Christian churches and leaders have increasingly come under fire – and have responded in a variety of ways. On Monday's St.

Monday: Life, liberty and an up-close look at the Declaration of Independence at Wash U

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Monday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live . Two hundred forty-two years ago this week, the American colonies formally declared their independence from Great Britain. But the Continental Congress' adoption of the handwritten document – and the accompanying revolution – would not be televised or tweeted.

Monday: Local poet and Fulbright Scholar Aaron Coleman discusses his craft and new book

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Monday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live . Aaron Coleman is a Fulbright Scholar, a Cave Canem Fellow and a Ph.D. candidate at Washington University. He is also a prize-winning poet whose expertise has roots in the hip-hop of his youth.

Monday: St. Louis-based author Bill Clevlen shares unique American road trip experiences

From a vacuum cleaner museum to the world's tallest mailbox, the United States is abundant with unique destinations. Inspired by his own hobby of road tripping and a desire to share uplifting American stories, Bill Clevlen wrote “100 Things to Do in America Before You Die.” On Monday's St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh will speak with the St. Louis-based travel writer and radio personality about a few of his favorite experiences in our country, several of them within a few hours of St. Louis.

Monopoly with Brandon

David Gillette

David Gillette of Twin Cities PBS' "Almanac" opens up about his internal pile of emotional damage, mostly from playing a certain board game with a certain "confusing" friend named Brandon.

Monsoon storms: Flash flood watch for Tucson, SE Arizona

Flash floods will be possible in and around metro Tucson until after midnight, officials said. A weather watch is in effect through 2 a.m. Thursday, with heavy monsoon rains meaning some roads and washes will be inundated.

Monterey Bay Community Power announces enrollment for MBprime program

Monterey Bay Community Power rolled out its 100 percent eligible renewable service program on July 1, along with residential enrollment.

Montgomery County sticking to guns on cost demands for public records

Dam failure maps that led to dispute are confidential, the state says, under a provision added to the law in 2014, supposedly to thwart terrorists. The post Montgomery County sticking to guns on cost demands for public records appeared first on Carolina Public Press.

Montpelier’s mayor not ready to support downtown smoking ban

Photo by Robin Danehav/Creative Commons
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Windham County

“It is a public health issue,” said the coalition's director, Ann Gilbert.

Monumental Question

Will the next advertising stanchion from Bike New Haven, the city's bike share program, be erected cheek by jowl with a 1905 Civil War monument? And is that appropriate?And instead of beer or national-chain burgers, could the bike station advertisements feature more bike-appropriate healthful concerns like a local gym, or even mom and pop stores?

Moo-phoria or not? Ben & Jerry’s dairies may not be as environmentally friendly as company claims, says suit.

A European carton of Ben & Jerry's ice cream‎ — purchased in Ireland
and pictured outside Sheahan's pub in the town of Killorglin — bears everything but the word “Vermont.” Photo by Kevin O'Connor for VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Ben-Jerrys-Ireland.jpg?fit=300%2C211&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Ben-Jerrys-Ireland.jpg?fit=610%2C429&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Ben-Jerrys-Ireland.jpg?resize=610%2C429&ssl=1" alt="Ben & Jerry's Ireland" width="610" height="429" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Ben-Jerrys-Ireland.jpg?resize=610%2C429&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Ben-Jerrys-Ireland.jpg?resize=125%2C88&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Ben-Jerrys-Ireland.jpg?resize=300%2C211&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Ben-Jerrys-Ireland.jpg?resize=150%2C105&ssl=1 150w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Ben-Jerrys-Ireland.jpg?w=1024&ssl=1 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A carton of Ben & Jerry's ice cream‎. Chocolate Fudge Brownie was among the flavors found to contain traces of a pesticide. File photo by Kevin O'Connor/VTDiggerA consumer organization has filed suit against Ben & Jerry's accusing the Vermont-based ice cream giant of failing to practice what it preaches about its environmental and agricultural practices. The Organic Consumers Association, in the suit against Unilever, the corporate owner of Ben & Jerry's, says the company inaccurately markets its products as sourced from farms that meet certain environmental and agricultural standards. The suit, filed in superior court in Washington, D.C. on Monday, asserts that the company, in misrepresenting itself in its advertising, is violating consumer protection laws.

Moody’s casts shadow on efficacy of Minnesota pension reforms

MinnPost staff

Jeeze, way to kill the mood. The Star Tribune's Jessie Van Berkel reports: “Just one month after Gov. Mark Dayton signed a massive overhaul of Minnesota's pension system into law, the prominent credit rating agency Moody's warned that the changes are ‘far from a cure-all.' … Moody's was one of several rating agencies that recently published articles saying the state's reform, which is expected to stabilize the benefits of 511,000 retirees and public employees, is a step in the right direction. But the agencies warned more work will be needed to handle high pension burdens.”Easements ease pressure on state's water supply. MPR's Dan Gunderson writes: “Corn or soybeans typically cover Rob and Loreli Westby's 85-acre farm in the rolling hills a few miles south of Fergus Falls, Minn.

Moore By Four to reunite for two shows at Crooners

Pamela Espeland

Their high-energy stage presence, distinctive voices, close harmonies, varied songbook and unerring fashion sense made Moore By Four a must-see-and-hear in the 1980s and '90s. Led by Sanford Moore, who arranged the music and played keyboards, they were cool. They were fun. And could they ever sing.Formed in 1986 at Ruby's Cabaret, Moore By Four enjoyed years of sold-out concerts, weekly gigs, tours of Europe and Japan, festival appearances, and performances with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Connick Jr. and others. They made a holiday album.

More CPS sexual abuse fallout, background checks and pay gaps

We're (usually) Cassie Burke and Adeshina Emmanuel, and we round up Chicago public education news every week. Cassie is on vacation, but fortunately our summer intern Elaine Chen is here to help. Please send any tips, story ideas, or general shoutouts our way: chicago.tips@chalkbeat.org. Discovering our newsletter for the first time? Sign up for free here.

More details on changes to teacher health benefits

In forcing the city's teachers' union to accept cuts to its members' health care benefits, the School Reform Commission said the move will allow the financially battered School District to inject $44 million dollars back into schools this year. To seek clarity on the legal authority of breaking the collective bargaining agreement with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, the District the and state Department of Education filed suit asking the Commonwealth Court for a declaratory judgment that affirms the SRC's right to make its unilateral move. The brief, filed the same day the new terms were announced, provides a look into the District's legal argument and relevant portions of the state's public school code. It argues that state legislation in 2012 clarified the legislature's original intent to allow the SRC to cancel a collective bargaining agreement (page 23 of the brief). The brief also gives concise explanations for each of the changes to PFT member health benefits and how much savings are expected.

More ER docs turning to non-opioids to fight overdose epidemic

Emergency department physicians across the state are using more non-opioid treatments for conditions that historically have required powerful opioids for pain management, as they try to play a lead role in the overdose epidemic that kills on average 115 Americans every day. This change, coupled with other efforts, has resulted in a significant decrease in opioids ordered at emergency departments in at least two hospitals, Norwalk and Middlesex, from 2016 to 2017.

More Feedback on Horton Road Project

Planning board hears views on subdivision, stablesMore Feedback on Horton Road Project was first posted on July 2, 2018 at 2:48 pm.

More Hackers Hitting Municipal Computer Systems

A rising tide of hacking incidents has hit municipal systems across the U.S., from major cities like Atlanta to counties, tiny towns and even a library system in St. Louis, the Wall Street Journal reports. Local governments are forced to spend money on frantic efforts to recover data, system upgrades, cybersecurity insurance and, in some cases, to pay online extortionists if they can't restore files some other way. Public-sector attacks appear to be rising faster than those in the private sector, reports the Ponemon Institute of Traverse City, Mi. Ponemon estimates 38 percent of the public entities it samples will suffer a ransomware attack this year, up from 31 percent last year and 13 percent in 2016.

More high school grads than ever are going to college, but 1 in 5 will quit

The proportion of high school graduates going on to college has been rising, but the proportion who stay once they get there is flat or down, new federal data show. Ben Smith for The Hechinger Report
TEXARKANA — New buildings are shooting up around the sun-baked grounds of the Texas A&M University System's northernmost outpost here. There's a $32 million glass-fronted complex near completion that will house the nursing program and administrative offices and a new $11 million recreation center that will also have a lab to study kinesiology, or human movement. Texas A&M-Texarkana may be the smallest of the system's 11 campuses, but it's been growing steadily. Enrollment at the beginning of the academic year just ended was up 13 percent from 2014, to 2,038.

More Memphis area students are graduating high school. But what does that mean?

The number of students graduating from high schools in Shelby County and across the state has been rising for the last 10 years, but recent allegations of widespread improper grade changes in Memphis last year called into question if graduation rates were marred. The results of a deeper probe of seven schools with high numbers of grade changes on transcripts is expected this month. But Shelby County Schools officials said a number of strategies have contributed to the district's growing number of graduates and they believe better monitoring of grade changes would protect the integrity of those numbers, including sudden jumps. “It's our goal to aggressively increase academic performance and graduation rates at a more rapid pace, and we've implemented a number of strategies to do so,” the district said in a statement. “Therefore, it would be imprudent to see jumps in graduation rates alone as an indicator of improper grading practices.”
Grade changes had an impact on how many students graduated at Trezevant High School, the first school implicated in the controversy.

More NC cities adopting bike-sharing programs

Raleigh bike-sharing program starts this month. Asheville considers its own program. Bike-sharing already popular in Charlotte, Durham, Winston-Salem. The post More NC cities adopting bike-sharing programs appeared first on Carolina Public Press.

More Nurse Practitioners Now Pursue Residency Programs

By Michelle Andrews
Kaiser Health News
The patient at the clinic was in his 40s and had lost both his legs to Type 1 diabetes. He had mental health and substance abuse problems and was taking large amounts of opioids to manage pain. He was assigned to Nichole Mitchell, who in 2014 was a newly minted nurse practitioner in her first week of a one-year postgraduate residency program at the Community Health Center clinic in Middletown, Conn. In a regular clinical appointment, “I would have been given 20 minutes with him, and would have been without the support or knowledge of how to treat pain or Type 1 diabetes,” she said. Nichole Mitchell, a nurse practitioner, holds her daughter, June.

More States Pass ‘Drug-Induced Homicide’ Laws

Alexis Santa Barbara is a 39-year-old mother of three from a working-class suburb of Philadelphia. In March, her neighbor handed Santa Barbara $10 and asked if she'd score him a fix of heroin. “It was just a favor, said her daughter. “She'd never mean to harm someone. Never.” The heroin she obtained was laced with the powerful and often deadly synthetic drug, Fentanyl, and the neighbor died.

More States Pass Laws Against Hepatitis C Exposure

An Ohio man who has the hepatitis C virus was sentenced to 18 months in prison this month for spitting at Cleveland police and medics. In Ohio, it's a felony for people who know they have HIV, viral hepatitis or tuberculosis to expose another person intentionally to their blood, semen, urine, feces or other bodily substances such as saliva with the intent to harass or threaten the person, Kaiser Health News reports. Advocates for people with diseases like hepatitis C and HIV say these laws add to the stigma patients already face. Studies suggest the laws are not effective at stopping the spread of disease. “This [Ohio] person is now facing a year and a half of incarceration for something that didn't harm anyone and didn't pose a risk of harm to anyone,” says Kate Boulton of the Center for HIV Law and Policy.

More Texas voters view country and economy improved from a year earlier, UT/TT poll finds

Texas voters are feeling better about the direction of the country than they were a year ago, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. This month, 41 percent said the country is going in the right direction and 47 percent said it's on the wrong track. They were more pessimistic a year ago, when only 34 percent said things were moving in the right way and 54 percent — a majority — said the country was on the wrong track. With Republicans in control of the White House and of Congress, 73 percent of GOP registered voters in Texas said the country is on the right track; but 82 percent of Democrats said it's on the wrong track, pulling the overall numbers down. Among independent voters, 37 percent said the U.S. is on the right track, while 45 percent said it's not.

More than 1,000 rally in Brownsville to protest family separations

BROWNSVILLE — Last week, when she saw the viral photograph of an immigrant toddler sobbing as her mother was searched at the border, Rancho Viejo resident Leticia Rodriguez instantly thought of her grandchildren in Virginia. A similar thought occurred to Narce Uribe Scott as she listened to an audio recording of immigrant children crying in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility. “I have eight grandchildren,” she said. “When I heard that, I just pictured them in that situation. And I cried, too.

More than 100 organizations sign opposition to youth jail

Protesters supporting the No Youth Jail movement listen to Nikkita Oliver speak at an announcement that 100 organizations have signed a petition against the King County Children and Family Justice Center. (Photo by Naomi Ishisaka)With cranes and tractors busy at work on the construction of King County's new youth jail, dozens of activists released a list of nearly 100 organizations that all signed on to oppose the project. Organizations ranging from Campus Animal Rights Educators to Incarcerated Mothers Advocacy Project signed on to support a moratorium on construction of the new King County Children and Family Justice Center. The No New Youth Jail coalition has spent six years fighting the project. Other organizations that signed on to oppose the project include the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Columbia Legal Services, One America and the King County Department of Public Defense.

More than 2,000 Vermonters march against Trump immigration policy

BURLINGTON — Thousands of people took to city streets on Saturday as part of nationwide protests countering President Donald Trump's “zero tolerance” immigration policy and family sepations at the southern border.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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Event organizers estimate 2,000 to 3,000 people attended the rally. Demonstrators chanted “no papers, no fear, immigrants are welcome here,” and called for the abolishment of ICE – Immigration and Customs Enforcement – while marching down South Winooski Avenue, Main Street, up Church Street and ending in Battery Park. Streets were temporarily closed to traffic as police escorted the protests through the downtown.

More than half of all parents talk on cellphones — and a quarter send texts — while driving with young children, study finds

Susan Perry

More than half of parents use cellphones while driving with young children in their cars, according to a study published Thursday in the Journal of Pediatrics. The study also found that about a third of parents read text messages — and a quarter send them — while driving with their children.These findings are disturbing. It means that far too many people continue to be in denial about the dangers of using a cellphone — including a hands-free one — while behind the wheel. As I've reported in Second Opinion before, traffic-safety experts have found that using a hands-free phone while driving can keep you distracted for up to 27 seconds after you've finished the call. Even while driving at a relatively slow speed of 25 mph, that 27 seconds would take you the distance of almost three football fields.Distracted driving is considered a public health crisis.

Morning Report: Big Piece of Mayor’s Housing Plan Is on Pause

Image via Shutterstock
A big piece of Mayor Kevin Faulconer's plan to ease San Diego's housing crisis was set to go before the City Council last week. It didn't. As Lisa Halverstadt reports, Faulconer's plan to entice developers to build more middle-income units is on pause and likely to undergo changes. “The postponement followed concerns from unions and affordable housing advocates that the proposal wouldn't serve the middle-class San Diegans it's intended to benefit and that it could hamper efforts to build homes reserved for low-income residents,” Halverstadt writes. The plan would have let developers receive incentives to build homes for families that make 150 percent of the annual median income, but union leaders and affordable housing advocates argued that amount was too high, and that the income requirements should be lower.

Morning Report: Big Rogue-Cop Settlement Changes Little

Morning Report: Big Rogue-Cop Settlement Changes Little
The attorneys for Jane Doe, a victim of a rogue San Diego cop who sexually attacked women, said they wanted more than money. They also wanted more reform in the Police Department beyond the fixes it put in place. Well, at least they said they did. They didn't get what they wanted. The settlement announced Thursday — $5.9 million, with about half going to lawyers — doesn't include “additional oversight or reforms beyond what the department has already implemented, including an ongoing voluntary U.S. Department of Justice review of SDPD misconduct policies,” writes VOSD reporter Liam Dillon.

Morning Report: Challenges Ahead for New Vacation Rental Plan

A vacation rental opponent holds up a sign during a City Council meeting. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
San Diego's years-long vacation rental drama likely didn't end with Monday's City Council vote. The City Council's vote to restrict vacation rentals to primary residences might have settled the long open question about whether vacation rentals are even allowed in San Diego, but it also opened up many new ones about how the measure will be enforced – or if it even can be. VOSD's Lisa Halverstadt outlines the potential legal challenges brewing and Coastal Commission concerns that could haunt the new law. The city budget could also be affected by the City Council's decision.

Morning Report: City Releases Airbnb-Housing Study — Kinda

Vacation rental opponents hold up signs during a City Council meeting. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
The city of San Diego paid $75,000 for a study analyzing the link between short-term vacation rentals and housing costs — but the study ignored claims from those who argue vacation rentals remove homes from the housing stock and lead to price increases. Yet the study will be used to justify a $2.73 nightly afford affordable housing impact fee that Mayor Kevin Faulconer has proposed as part of a package of policies to regulate short-term vacation rentals in the city. The proposed fee is expected to address affordable housing needs tied to vacation rentals. That means the study establishes that there is a connection between short-term vacation rentals and housing costs — a legal requirement in order to levy a fee — without determining how many homes have been removed from the market due to vacation rentals.

Morning Report: Controversial County Program Gets a Fresh Legal Challenge

Photo by Sam Hodgson
San Diego County has a unique way of trying to detect welfare fraud: Anyone applying for welfare has to agree to unscheduled searches of their home. “The bottom line is that (Project 100%) forces only the poor to open their doors to county investigators,” said ACLU staff attorney Jonathan Markovitz. “It does this to people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing whatsoever.”
The ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties is challenging the program in a lawsuit filed this week. It also turns out that the program, known as Project 100%, may not be a total success. The program found $305,000 worth of fraud last year, but cost roughly $2 million to operate.

Morning Report: Council Wipes Out Vacation Rentals

Councilwoman Barbara Bry at the San Diego City Council meeting July 16. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
In a dramatic shift, the San Diego City Council voted 6-3 Monday to allow only residents who live in homes in San Diego to rent them out to visitors up to six months every year. Councilmen David Alvarez, Chris Cate and Scott Sherman voted no. It was a huge win for Councilwoman Barbara Bry, who first proposed a framework like this last year but got very little support from colleagues, besides Councilwoman Lorie Zapf. The tide changed with Councilman Chris Ward's decision last week to switch his long-held more liberal position on the matter.

Morning Report: Former Student Opens Up About a Damaging Relationship With a Teacher

La Costa Canyon High School / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
Kristen Murphy was shocked when she read a recent Voice of San Diego story about a La Costa Canyon High School teacher investigated for a sexual relationship with a student in 2010. Murphy realized that her past relationship with that same teacher, Marc Sandknop, wasn't as special as she had thought. In a Q-and-A with VOSD's Ashly McGlone, Murphy talks about how she now sees her experience with her public school teacher as part of an alarming pattern of teachers grooming students for sexual relationships. Why Murphy wants to tell her story: Though she was graduated and legally an adult when she dated Sandknop, Murphy says he embraced her affections and groomed her for a relationship while she was a minor and a student. She hopes others can learn from her experience to better protect kids and young adults from damaging teacher-student relationships.

Morning Report: Former Students Say Chula Vista Teacher’s Bad Behavior Was Widespread

Sweetwater Union High School District Building in Chula Vista / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
When confronted last year by Sweetwater Union High School District officials with claims that he'd harassed three female students, longtime Chula Vista choir teacher Anthony Atienza denied the allegations and called the girls “troubled.”
But as Voice's Ashly McGlone reports, several former students and a former volunteer assistant director say they, too, witnessed inappropriate behavior by Atienza beginning in the early 2000s. Their accounts include an uncomfortable hotel room encounter, massage circles, butt-slapping and photo shoots with students. In 2017, school district officials determined that Atienza had targeted female students for months with sexual touching and leering and inappropriate remarks, describing his behavior as “severe and pervasive.” Officials allowed him to resign in exchange for more than a year's paid leave and a confidentiality clause keeping the findings secret from future employers. Atienza went on to teach at Lakeside Middle School, Christian Youth Theater San Diego and San Diego Junior Theatre. His conduct is under investigation by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, but he is free to teach in the meantime.

Morning Report: National City Struggles to Untangle Homes and Polluting Businesses

National City City Hall / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
The gnarliest fights in local land use are over where to put industrial businesses that could endanger nearby residents. Unsurprisingly, it's a burden that disproportionately falls on lower-income and minority communities. Twelve years ago, National City adopted a policy intended to fix it. Not only did it change local zoning, prohibiting new industrial businesses from opening too close to homes and schools, it also created a way for the city to identify the businesses that were most likely to cause a problem and force them to relocate. But the bold policy so far hasn't amounted to much bold action.

Morning Report: New School Bond Proposal, Old Promises

School Board Trustee Kevin Beiser speaks at the 2014 State of the District. address / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle
San Diego voters may see a very familiar school bond measure on the November ballot. San Diego Unified is floating a tax increase to fund a $3.5 billion “Safety & Repair Bond,” and many of the projects proposed as part of the bond are identical to those promised in previous bond measures, reports Ashly McGlone. Why Past Bond Measures Are Important: If a new tax is approved by at least 55 percent of voters, the 2018 measure would be the third such multibillion-dollar bond benefiting city school facilities in the last decade. The district is already in the midst of a $4.9 billion bond program funded by Propositions S and Z. But some of the district's bond-funded projects have not stood the test of time, including faulty artificial turf fields and personal technology devices replaced every few years.

Morning Report: NIMBYs Triumph in 2016

We'll need to need to cram a lot more homes into our fair county if we want to meet demand and keep housing close to affordable. But the failure of two high-profile measures on the ballot in 2016 suggests citizens aren't on board. “The rejection of Measure T in Encinitas and Measure B countywide sent a message that many county residents simply aren't open to new development — whether it happens in established metro areas, or in rural spaces,” reports our Maya Srikrishnan in one of our year-end roundups. “The fact that the proposals even went to the ballot drives home the paralysis elected officials face when it comes to building more housing.”
Our Favorite VOSD Stories of 2016
Earlier this week, we rounded up some of the most impressive journalism about San Diego from other news outlets. Now, it's time for VOSD staff members and contributors to reminisce about our own favorite stories that we each wrote in 2016.

Morning Report: Police Chief Used Misleading Stats to Warn Against Pot Businesses

The Mankind Cooperative marijuana dispensary operates within a shopping mall in Miramar. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
Ex-Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman may no longer be the city's top cop but misleading statistics she used to lobby against an expansion of marijuana licenses are still being used to dissuade local governments from allowing marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions. Last year, when she was still head of SDPD, Zimmerman described to the San Diego City Council what she said were 272 police radio calls at medical marijuana dispensaries over a two-and-a-half-year period as proof of public-safety concerns associated with them. Those statistics have since come up in regulatory discussions elsewhere in the county. But Zimmerman's numbers are deceiving.

Morning Report: The Airbnb of Camping Has Regulatory Issues, Too

Image via Shutterstock
The sharing economy is creating services far more quickly than the government can regulate them. Case in point: Hipcamp, a site that lets landowners rent out space for camping. It's slick and easy to use, unlike the government sites that let campers book spots on public land. “But like other elements of the sharing economy, the rules and regulations property owners must follow are murky,” writes Kinsee Morlan. About 20 landowners in San Diego County currently rent out space for campers – among them a retiree who runs an animal rescue that includes “an indoor chicken who suffered a stroke and now barks like a dog.” Some of them told Morlan they've made proactive efforts to ensure the whole thing is above board.

Morning Report: The Story Behind the D4 Primary Upset

Council President Myrtle Cole participates in a community clean-up in Chollas View. / Photo by Ralph Dimarucut
Monica Montgomery, a onetime aide to Council President Myrtle Cole, shocked City Hall insiders when she finished ahead of her formed boss in the June primary. Cole was shocked too. But perhaps she shouldn't have been, given what she told VOSD's Andrew Keatts in a new story about the tensions in the district that fueled Montgomery's primary win. “We didn't mount a campaign,” Cole said.

Morning Report: The Strange Case of the Skydiving Facility-Turned-Homelessness Center

Two large wind tunnels remain inside the shuttered skydiving facility that's set to become a homeless housing navigation center. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
In January, San Diego rushed to buy an indoor skydiving facility in the East Village with the goal of turning it into the city's first homeless housing navigation center. Following a deadly outbreak of Hepatitis A, the project – intended to help homeless San Diegans who are overwhelmed and alienated by a confusing web of services – was an opportunity to show the public that Mayor Kevin Faulconer meant business. Voice's Lisa Halverstadt explains how the deal came together so quickly and how an influential real estate financier helped push the project forward. There's been a hail of concerns about the project ever since.

Morning Report: Trump Taps San Diego’s Next Top Federal Prosecutor

District Attorney candidate Robert Brewer and supporters wave signs in Little Italy. The White House wants Bob Brewer to be the next U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California. If the veteran attorney secures confirmation, he'll be overseeing federal prosecutors in San Diego and Imperial counties. The role would plop him right into the middle of the chaos resulting from Attorney General Jeff Sessions' zero-tolerance immigration policy, the federal-state disconnect on marijuana and more. VOSD's Lisa Halverstadt and Sara Libby break down three things to know about Brewer's background.

Morning Report: Water Bills Spiked for Hundreds (Maybe Thousands) of Customers

Image via Shutterstock
For months, customers across San Diego have been complaining about abnormally high bills. This year alone, nearly 1,100 city of San Diego water customers have complained about bill spikes and other billing problems – far more than usual. But there may be even more customers who have yet to complain: In a joint analysis of customer billing records by Voice of San Diego and NBC 7 Responds, we found hundreds if not thousands more customers had billing spikes in 2017 and early 2018. Some customers saw their bills go up by 500 percent or more from one bill to the next. The city argues this may all be OK and that a confluence of justifiable factors explain most spikes: rising water rates, increased water use coming out of a drought, leaks, filling pools and family and friends visiting.

Morning Report: Water Department Downplayed Water Meter Issues

Some smart meters are known to be unreliable. / Image courtesy of NBC 7
Amid hundreds of complaints of water bill spikes and problems with new smart water meters, the city of San Diego's water department has resisted public records requests, dodged its oversight board and misled the public about the extent of the issues, an investigation by VOSD and NBC 7 Responds found. Less than a month after Vic Bianes began leading the department last fall, he emailed staffers who were preparing a presentation for one of the water department's oversight bodies. Bianes said it'd be best to be “vague” and not give the department's watchdogs any specifics about how the department was handling ongoing customer service issues. “No need to allow them to focus on giving us direction on how to improve,” Bianes wrote.

Morning Report: What Operation Streamline Looked Like on Day One

The Edward J. Schwartz federal courthouse building in downtown San Diego / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
On the first day of Operation Streamline – the program to expedite misdemeanor trials in federal court for those accused of crossing the border illegally – Magistrate Judge Jill Burkhardt heard 41 cases. That's a lot of misdemeanor arraignments, but it's lower than some of the worst days the court has seen since the start of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' “zero tolerance” policy. Two weeks ago, one Monday court went until 10 p.m. because there were roughly 100 cases to be heard, most of them immigration-related. Operation Streamline has existed in other states along the U.S.-Mexico border for years, but only landed in San Diego this week. The Southern District of California, the federal court that covers San Diego, has been struggling to deal with the massive influx of cases under zero tolerance.

Morning Report: What We Know About Operation Streamline

The Edward J. Schwartz federal courthouse building in downtown San Diego. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
On Monday, San Diego's federal courts are expected to start a new program to process the influx of immigration prosecutions that have come with the federal government's new mandate to criminally charge everyone caught crossing the border illegally. The program, known as Operation Streamline, sets up a “separate” but “equal” court of migrant defendants charged with illegal entry misdemeanors. The number of these cases has surged in the local federal court system, causing intense strain on everyone involved. Operation Streamline has existed since 2005 in other border states, but this will be the first time it's been implemented in California.

Morning Report: When One ‘Zero Tolerance’ Case Went to Trial in San Diego

A protest June 24 at Civic Center Plaza / Photo by Kinsee Morlan
On Sunday morning, President Trump tweeted about asylum seekers and people accused of crossing the border illegally. He wished federal agents could just “bring them back from where they came” without any judge or hearing. It caused an outcry online from people concerned about due process rights. For now, due process violations still have consequences. Our Maya Srikrishnan found one of the only cases, in these recent months of “zero tolerance,” where a defendant challenged, and took to trial, the government's accusation he illegally crossed the border.

Morning Shift: NFL continues efforts to improve domestic violence policies

UIC professor Beth Ritchie has joined the committee working with the league to improve the way they handle incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault by players. Ritchie explains what's needed. And, a young, acoustic act shares songs filled with wisdom. [View the story "Morning Shift: NFL continues efforts to improve domestic violence policies" on Storify]

Mosquitoes in Springfield test positive for West Nile virus

A dish of mosquitoes
" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/EEE-Dish-full.jpg?fit=300%2C161&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/EEE-Dish-full.jpg?fit=500%2C269&ssl=1" src="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/EEE-Dish-full.jpg?resize=500%2C269&ssl=1" alt="" width="500" height="269" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/EEE-Dish-full.jpg?w=500&ssl=1 500w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/EEE-Dish-full.jpg?resize=125%2C67&ssl=1 125w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/EEE-Dish-full.jpg?resize=330%2C177&ssl=1 330w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/EEE-Dish-full.jpg?resize=150%2C80&ssl=1 150w, https://i2.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/EEE-Dish-full.jpg?resize=250%2C134&ssl=1 250w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" data-recalc-dims="1">A dish of mosquitoes for sorting at the state laboratory in Berlin. File photo by Viola Gad/VTDiggerThis story was published by the Valley News on June 29. SPRINGFIELD — Mosquitoes in Springfield have tested positive for the West Nile virus, Vermont Health Department officials announced this morning.Get all of VTDigger's health care news.You'll never miss our health care coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox. Daily
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These five pools — or groups of 50 mosquitoes — are the first to test positive this year, according to a news release.

Most Committee Members Skip Private Meeting to Discuss Alamo Redesign

A group of developers critical of the design elements proposed for the multi-million-dollar Alamo Plaza redevelopment scheduled a private meeting Wednesday in an effort to discuss alternative designs with the Management Committee. Related: Conservation Society, Others Launch ‘Don't Wall Us Out' Petition to ‘Save Alamo Plaza' However, efforts to have their voices heard likely were […]
The post Most Committee Members Skip Private Meeting to Discuss Alamo Redesign appeared first on Rivard Report.

Most people don’t wash their hands properly when preparing food, report warns

Susan Perry

Most of us do not handle food properly while preparing meals in our kitchens, especially when it comes to washing our hands, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).As a result, we're putting ourselves and our families and guests at risk of contracting potentially serious food-borne illness, such as salmonella, norovirus and E. coli, the report warns.Each year, those illnesses sicken at least 48 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mild cases have symptoms — fever, chills, abdominal pain, diarrhea — that mimic those associated with the flu, so most people fail to connect their illness with how they (or other people) have prepared their food. Instead, they mistakenly attribute their symptoms to a “stomach flu.”Only when there's a widespread outbreak — and deaths are reported in the media — do foodborne illnesses tend to get acknowledged by the public. At least 128,000 people are hospitalized — and 3,000 die — from foodborne illnesses in the U.S. annually. Young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are at greatest risk.

Most People Seeking Asylum Don’t Get It

Tens of thousands of people, mostly from Central America, have been arrested trying to cross the border with Mexico illegally. Most of the illegal border crossers, including parents and their children and children traveling alone, are seeking asylum. Most won't win, the Wall Street Journal reports. About 6,300 asylum requests were approved between January and March 31, according to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the Justice Department office that manages the immigration court system where most asylum cases are decided. During the same period, about 90,000 people were arrested crossing the border illegally and about 32,700 immigrants went to ports of entry.

Most Texas Republicans think point of Mueller investigation is to discredit Trump, UT/TT Poll finds

Most Texans say they've heard “a lot” about the federal investigations into Russian efforts to influence the U.S. presidential election in 2016, but they differ greatly — along party lines — about its purpose and its results to date, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Only 5 percent of registered voters in the state say they've heard nothing about the Russian election investigations. The rest of us have apparently heard plenty: 58 percent said they've heard “a lot,” 27 percent said they've heard “some,” and 10 percent said they've heard “not very much,” the survey found. The political stakes of those investigations has colored the opinions of Texas voters. Among Republicans, 81 percent believe “They're mostly efforts to discredit Donald Trump's presidency.” On the other side, 77 percent of Democrats said the investigations are “mostly efforts to investigate potential foreign interference in a U.S. election.”


Mother Gallery, Open to All

Painters — and moms — join forces to create spaceMother Gallery, Open to All was first posted on June 29, 2018 at 12:01 pm.

Mount Snow breaks records for revenue and skier visits

After a slow winter due to unseasonably warm weather, signs at the entrance of Mount Snow in Dover advertise passes for next season and the start of summer events. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mount-Snow-1.jpg?fit=300%2C225&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mount-Snow-1.jpg?fit=610%2C458&ssl=1" src="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mount-Snow-1.jpg?resize=610%2C458&ssl=1" alt="Mount Snow" width="610" height="458" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mount-Snow-1.jpg?resize=610%2C458&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mount-Snow-1.jpg?resize=125%2C94&ssl=1 125w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mount-Snow-1.jpg?resize=300%2C225&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mount-Snow-1.jpg?resize=768%2C576&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mount-Snow-1.jpg?resize=150%2C113&ssl=1 150w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mount-Snow-1.jpg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w, https://i0.wp.com/vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mount-Snow-1.jpg?w=1920&ssl=1 1920w, https://vtdigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mount-Snow-1.jpg 3264w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Signs at the entrance of Mount Snow in Dover. File photo by Mike Faher/VTDiggerThis story by Chris Mays was published by the Brattleboro Reformer on July 16. WEST DOVER — Mount Snow's parent company, Peak Resort, is reporting a record year for overall revenue, with a record number of skiers visiting the local resort this past season. “Our strong fiscal fourth-quarter results complete what was a record year for Peak Resorts, as we generated revenue growth of 9 percent and a 4 percent increase in reported EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] in the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter,” Timothy D. Boyd, president and chief executive officer of Peak Resorts, said Thursday, during a quarterly earnings call.

Move Over, Mickey D’s

The city's bike share program has traded in burgers for trains, though there's still a little beer in the mix.

Movies Under the Bridge

Walkway shows begin June 30Movies Under the Bridge was first posted on June 27, 2018 at 8:05 am.

Moving to Maplewood? You might want to attend a meeting about its public nuisance ordinance first

Maplewood's thriving business district and respected schools are attractive to potential residents. But, aspiring residents must first apply and be approved for an occupancy permit. Even after such a permit is granted, the city's public nuisance ordinance allows it to be revoked under certain conditions. The ACLU of Missouri and the St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council on Wednesday are co-hosting what they bill as a “community discussion” about Maplewood's public nuisance ordinance.

Mural Unites Israeli, Palestinian Teens

Roommates Eliran Ben Yair and Abdullah Salha stroked a cerulean sea across a 48-foot canvas sprawled on the New Haven Green Tuesday afternoon.The boys didn't sleep very well the night they met. By the time they were painting together, they'd become friends.That was the point, of the mural project and the summer program they enrolled in.

Murders, Rapes Up in NYC; Overall Crime Down

Murders and rapes have increased in New York City this year as overall crime continues to fall to historic lows, reports the Wall Street Journal. The city recorded 147 murders through June 30, an 8 percent increase from the same period in 2017. In 2017, there were 136 murders through June and 292 for the entire year, the lowest per-capita murder rate since the 1950s. “We were all quite sober about the fact that trying to repeat what happened in 2017 would be very, very difficult,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. For the first half of the year, reported rapes increased by 33 percent, to 903.

Museum at the Gateway Arch opens Tuesday with fresh exhibits, new entrance

Thirteen-year-old Makenna Farnsworth had just been to the top of the Gateway Arch. “It's really cool to be up there,” she said, looking back at the stainless-steel monument looming above her, gleaming in the hot sunshine. And she knew the answer to the top Arch trivia question: How tall is it? “Six-hundred-thirty feet!” That sums up all Makenna knew about the iconic monument, which on Tuesday will open a revamped museum with all new exhibits.

Mystery Solved? Ozone-Destroying Gas Wafting from Plants in China

Outlawed emissions: A mysterious increase in emissions of a banned industrial gas that destroys the atmosphere's protective ozone layer has been traced to a province in China where manufacturers have kept using it to make foam insulation. According to The New York Times, the spike in emissions of CFC-11 is undermining the success of the Montreal Protocol, the global agreement that banned such chlorofluorocarbon compounds. Manufacturers in Shandong Province have continued using CFC-11 to make foam for refrigerators rather than switch to more expensive alternatives. Reporters Chris Buckley and Henry Fountain say there have been hints of action by Chinese authorities, including an announcement of tougher controls on carbon tetrachloride, a chemical that can be used to make CFC-11. But the owner of a refrigerator factory said: “You had a choice: Choose the cheaper foam agent that's not so good for the environment, or the expensive one that's better for the environment … Of course, we chose the cheaper foam agent … That's how we survived.”
# # #
Public relations nightmare?: A group of toxic chemicals widely detected in drinking water may pose health risks at far lower levels than previously estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

N.C. pain clinics change hands as part of a recent series of health care fraud cases

By Mark Tosczak
Pain clinics in Winston-Salem and Roanoke Rapids have come under new ownership as their Tennessee-based parent company has closed practices in multiple states and its former CEO faces Medicare fraud charges. Other clinics in North Carolina are also facing changes. According to Kaiser Health News, Comprehensive Pain Solutions, which owned the locations, was once one of the largest pain management groups in the Southeast, treating as many as 48,000 patients a month in more than 50 clinics. But in April, federal prosecutors charged former CPS CEO John Davis of Brentwood, Tenn., of conspiring to defraud Medicare and paying and receiving kickbacks. He was charged along with Brenda Montgomery of Camden, Tenn., owner and CEO of CCC Medical Inc., a medical devices company.

NAACP Convention Turns Focus to Voting Litigation, Census Challenges

Dozens of attendees at the NAACP convention Monday attended legal education sessions on voting rights litigation and the 2020 Census. The post NAACP Convention Turns Focus to Voting Litigation, Census Challenges appeared first on Rivard Report.

NAACP Convention: ‘It’s Time to Defeat Hate,’ Go to Polls

The 109th national convention of the NAACP opened Saturday with organizers sounding the theme of using voter turnout to combat bigotry. The post NAACP Convention: ‘It's Time to Defeat Hate,' Go to Polls appeared first on Rivard Report.

NAACP Panel: Reforming Marijuana Laws Is a Social Justice Issue

NAACP board member Richard Smith is familiar with the laws criminalizing marijuana, and said they disproportionately affect Latinos and African Americans. The post NAACP Panel: Reforming Marijuana Laws Is a Social Justice Issue appeared first on Rivard Report.

NAACP sues CT over inmate count practice for legislative districts

The lawsuit filed in federal court in New Haven alleges the state's legislative redistricting plan equates to “prison gerrymandering,” a practice that counts those incarcerated as residing in the areas they are imprisoned rather than where they originally came from.

NAACP Sues State For “Prison Gerrymandering”

The NAACP is suing the state of Connecticut with hopes of changing a practice here—and possibly throughout the country—that disproportionately impacts blacks and Latinos when it comes to counting prisoners for purposes of political representation.

Namibia’s low cost, sustainable solution to seabird bycatch

Many years ago I joined my cousin, the mate on a sporting vessel, on a fishing trip off the North Carolina coast. We were trolling baited lines in hopes of catching striped bass. I was in the wheelhouse when a mighty expletive arose from one of the three paying client fishermen. Looking astern, I saw a large white bird floundering in the sea — it had dived to take one of the towed baitfish and now was hooked. The client angrily jerked the rod, reeling in the struggling animal, a Northern gannet.

National Life Group Foundation donates $200,000 to Champlain Housing Trust

News Release — National Life Group Foundation
July 9, 2018
Ross Sneyd
802.229.3866. Montpelier, Vermont – The National Life Group Foundation granted $200,000 to the Champlain Housing Trust to fund the renovation of the Old North End Community Center. The Center is a historic building that currently houses several nonprofits from across Northwest Vermont. The current tenants include Robin's Nest Children's Center, the Family Room, Burlington Parks & Recreation Department, and AALV – an organization that helps new Americans integrate into their communities. The Old North End Community Center is viewed as a safe, inclusive gathering place where diversity of all kinds thrives.

National Life Group gives $1.8 million in grants

News Release — National Life Group
June 25, 2018
Ross Sneyd
802.229.3866. National Life Group Foundation Does $1.8 Million in Good with Grants to Nonprofits, Fine Arts, and Educational Organizations
Montpelier, Vermont – The National Life Group Foundation granted a record total of $1.8 million this spring to nearly 200 charitable organizations primarily in Vermont and Texas, where National Life Group's roughly 1,000 employees work. Some of the money will be spent launching a dedicated focus on tackling childhood hunger in Vermont, an initiative that will continue to be a cause of the Foundation well into the future. The Foundation's annual budget doubled to $2 million in 2018. A primary focus of that increase will be to define the scope of childhood hunger and then help fund solutions to it.

Nature retention, not just protection, crucial to maintaining biodiversity and ecosystems: Scientists

Is it time to completely rethink how we design the goals of conservation programs? Some scientists say it is. In a paper published last week in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, a team of Australian researchers argue that we need to shift conservation goals to focus on diverse and ambitious “nature retention targets” if we're to truly safeguard the environment, biodiversity, and humanity. The researchers, who are affiliated with Australia's University of Queensland (UQ) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), make a distinction between targets aimed at retaining natural systems and the current model that seeks to achieve targets for setting aside land as protected areas. Whereas targets aimed at retaining nature can be determined by measuring what is needed to achieve conservation goals like preserving water quality, carbon sequestration, or biodiversity levels, protected area targets are “blind to what is needed” and don't have a clear end goal, paper co-author James Watson of UQ and WCS told Mongabay.

Navy picks EB for maintenance work on USS Indiana

WASHINGTON – Rep. Joe.Courtney on Friday said the Navy's decision to bring the USS Indiana for maintenance at Electric Boat will save as many as 300 jobs at the shipyard.

NCAA Awards 2025 Men’s Final Four to San Antonio

The NCAA men's basketball Final Four in basketball is coming back to San Antonio in 2025. The post NCAA Awards 2025 Men's Final Four to San Antonio appeared first on Rivard Report.

Nearly $100 million jump in state pension costs will be issue for legislators

It will cost an additional $99.6 million to fund the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement system starting with the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019. The PERS Board has voted to increase the employer contribution from 15.75 percent of payroll to 17.40 percent of payroll to help ensure the long-term stability of the program that provides retirement benefits for most state and local governmental employees. The employers that will be footing that extra 1.65 percent will be state agencies, universities, community colleges, public schools and local governmental entities. Gil Ford PhotographyHouse Appropriations Chair John Read, R-Gautier, said, “(the pension cost) issue will come to the Legislature. At this time, we don't know which way it will go.”
The increase approved by the PERS Board will force legislators during the 2019 session, starting in January, to determine whether they can come up with additional funds to help the state agencies, public school districts and universities and community colleges pay for the increased retirement costs for their employees.

Nearly four decades of cycling race video reveals climate change’s effects

Scientists in Belgium have used 36 years of footage from an annual bicycle race to pinpoint the time each year when leaves and flowers appeared on trees and shrubs, allowing them to chart the effects of climate change. The data they collected could also help researchers forecast shifts in these patterns if temperatures continue to rise. “Only by compiling data from the past will we be able to predict the future effects of climate change on species and ecosystems,” Pieter De Frenne, an ecologist at Ghent University in Belgium and the lead author of the study, said in a statement. De Frenne and his colleagues reported their findings July 3 in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution. The researchers counted the leaves and flowers that appeared on individual trees, such as the pear tree in the background of this picture, located at key points along the course.

Neighborhood Planning Groups Are Not Closed Off to New Voices

A craftsman home for sale in North Park. / Photo by Sam Hodgson
So far, 2018 has been the year when San Diego's community planning groups became an endangered species. The all-volunteer advisory boards, established in 1966 to involve citizens in decisions affecting their own neighborhoods, have come under fire these past six months for being anti-progress, anti-inclusivity, undemocratic, unscrupulous and just too darn old. The siege began with a Jan. 19 Union-Tribune story titled “San Diego Slips to 32nd in builder interest: Planning groups at fault?” It featured complaints from two real estate leaders that advisory groups impede growth because members are “mostly … white and gray hairs” and “housewives who walk dogs.”
Circulate San Diego entered the fray with a Feb.

NEK forestland conserved as Vermont goes into the carbon storage business

Nature Conservancy staff on the top of Burnt Mountain. Courtesy of Eve Frankel/The Nature Conservancy
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Nestlé suspended from RSPO for failing to pay dues, submit progress reports

Food and drinks giant Nestlé was suspended from the world's largest association for ethical palm oil production late last month and can no longer use the group's stamp of approval to claim its products are sustainable. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has come under frequent criticism for giving its members who violate sustainability rules a pass, but suspended Nestlé for “breaches of the RSPO statues and code of conduct for members.” The RSPO was established by environmental groups and industry representatives in 2004 in an attempt to push back against destructive practices by oil palm growers, such as deforestation and land grabbing. But some environmental groups, such as Greenpeace, say the suspension of Nestlé does little to allay wider concerns in the sector. “You'd expect us to support action like this. but you have to put it in context,” said Sol Gosetti, a Greenpeace spokesperson.

Nevada Execution Off After Drug Company Objects

A state trying to execute its first inmate in 12 years using an untested combination of drugs is heading back to the planning stages, and a twice-convicted killer who wants to die will return to Nevada's death row, after a court postponed his lethal injection to allow a drug company to argue that it never intended for its sedative to be used for executions, the Associated Press reports. Scott Dozier, whose execution also was postponed in November amid concerns about the drugs being used and who has attempted suicide, was disappointed, said his attorney, Thomas Ericsson. Dozier, 47, has said he wants to die rather than spend his life in prison. Nevada announced last week that it would substitute the sedative midazolam for expired prison stocks of diazepam, commonly known as Valium. That raised concerns among death penalty experts about whether Dozier would be unconscious enough not to react to pain when fentanyl was administered.

New ‘goblin spiders’ from Sri Lanka named after Enid Blyton characters

Meet Chippy, Snooky and Tumpy — all “goblins” or “brownies” from Enid Blyton's children's books, and now the names of new species of tiny spiders that scientists have found lurking in Sri Lanka's forests. These new species belong to a spider family called “goblin spiders” (Oonopidae family), a group of extremely small arachnids, typically measuring just one to three millimeters in length. In all, the team of researchers, led by entomologist Suresh Benjamin of the National Institute of Fundamental Studies in Sri Lanka, have described nine new species of these goblin spiders in a new study published in Evolutionary Systematics. Six of the newly described species — Silhouettella snippy, Silhouettella tiggy, Cavisternum bom, Ischnothyreus chippy, Pelicinus snooky, and Pelicinus tumpy — have been named after popular characters from Enid Blyton books, including Snooky, a “naughty little goblin” from “The Firework Goblins,” and Bom and Tumpy, goblins from “The Goblin Looking Glass.” “We are always looking for names for new species, and this was also the case during the writing of this paper,” Benjamin told Mongabay in an email. “My son (9) and daughter (6) had discovered some old Enid Blyton books that belonged to me and my two siblings while playing at my parent's place.

New airline, flights coming to St. Louis Lambert International Airport

Travelers will soon have more flights to choose from at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. On Tuesday, airport officials will announce that another airline will begin offering service in and out of St. Louis this fall. The airline will be the second major passenger air carrier to begin operations at Lambert this year.

New at the Center: Letters to the editor, and more public engagement

Dear Readers,
Back in May, we announced changes that would open up more information to you about our operations here at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Those changes included three policies — all of which are now posted on our website — outlining our standards for use of unnamed sources in news stories, how we approach the issue of diversity in our news coverage and operations, and how we handle personal information we receive from users of our website. Today, we're pleased to expand opportunities for you to engage with the Center — including an invitation to share your perspectives with people who are passionate about Wisconsin. Like you, we care about Wisconsin and the issues affecting the people and quality of life in our state. We are investigating broken and failing systems, holding the powerful accountable, exploring solutions and training the current and next generations of investigative journalists.

New Broward jail healthcare provider has grim history of lawsuits, deaths

By Dan ChristensenFloridaBulldog.org
Poor medical care and at least 15 needless deaths at the Broward County Jail since 2010 appear to have caught up with controversial Miami-based Armor Correctional Health Services, which has lost its bid for another multi-million, multi-year contract to provide medical services to county inmates. The post New Broward jail healthcare provider has grim history of lawsuits, deaths appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

New building for behavioral health department planned

The department's new home will be constructed on a lot of about two acres the county purchased, behind the current offices at 1131 San Felipe Road in Hollister.

New children’s book highlighting Cardinals baseball greats promotes bonding between generations

For St. Louis Cardinals fans of a certain age, the players painted on the left field wall of Busch Stadium evoke fond memories of baseball heroes of days gone by. But for younger fans, the names Bob Gibson, Red Schoendienst and even Stan Musial may not even register, much less Dizzy Dean. To rectify that matter, local author Ed Wheatley and illustrator Ed Koehler have created a book for children featuring St. Louis Cardinals greats who are now in the Baseball Hall of Fame as well as some who may be future inductees.

New Cuba Policy Strikes Blow to Anti-Castro Lobby

This screen shot taken from live video from the TN channel shows President Barack Obama, right, and Cuba's President Raul Castro addressing their nations at the same time, from Washington D.C. and Havana, on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Obama announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations as well as an easing in economic and travel restrictions on Cuba Wednesday. (AP Photo)

The Obama Administration dealt a major blow to the anti-Castro Cuba lobby today, announcing the United States and Cuba would engage in a regular diplomatic relationship for the first time in more than 50 years. The announcement came following the release of Alan Gross, an American contractor for USAID incarcerated in Cuba since 2009 for illegally importing electronics and acting against the state.

New Development Brings Office, Retail and Parking Space to Midtown

The new, two-story Midtown Station development is situated a few blocks west of the booming Broadway corridor and north of Interstate 35. The post New Development Brings Office, Retail and Parking Space to Midtown appeared first on Rivard Report.

New education budget threatens dozens of low-performing Detroit schools with closure — again

Dozens of struggling Detroit schools could face closure once again after Gov. Rick Snyder signed an education budget on Thursday that seeks to stiffen consequences for low-scoring schools. The budget requires the state's lowest-performing schools to change their “partnership agreements” with the state, amending the contracts to include the possibility of closure if their test scores don't meet agreed-upon targets. In signing the budget, Snyder highlighted an increase of $120 to $240 in spending per pupil in K-12 schools. The budget does not reduce spending on “shared time” programs, as Snyder hoped. Funding for the programs, which allow private school students to take classes in public schools for free, increased sharply in recent years, but will remain flat in 2018.

New education course to ensure math proficiency

News Release — Vermont Student Assistance Corporation
June 25, 2018
Media Contact:
Sabina Haskell
New education partnership puts the focus on math proficiencyNew high school course for seniors will bridge the math gap
WINOOSKI (June 25, 2018) – Vermont Student Assistance Corp., the Vermont State Colleges System and the Vermont Agency of Education have teamed up to create a new high school math course that will ensure that students leave high school with the math skills to begin college and career training programs.
VSAC research has shown that students with higher-level math skills are more likely to enroll – and successfully complete – college and career training. Without those requisite math skills, students are far less likely to continue their education and if they do, they are often required to take remedial courses, incurring an extra cost while not earning credit. Over the summer, a team of high school teachers and college professors will design a 12th grade course curriculum to be used at three high schools beginning in fall 2019, with plans to make the course available statewide in 2020. The course will provide rigorous academic content as well as essential learning and social skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary education after high school graduation. This course will be taught in the high school by high school teachers and passing it will qualify students to take math within the Vermont State Colleges System without the need for remediation.

New Falcons Head Coach Worked HIs Way Up

Kyle Wallack, the newly named head coach of Albertus Magnus's soon-to-launch first-ever men's hockey team, has a daunting task ahead of him: recruiting 30 players to the NCAA Division III team. So Wallack plans to put his extensive network to use to help him get Division I players to “slip through the cracks.”

New French Immersion School for Young Students Opening in San Antonio

When Parisian teacher Estelle De Oliveira moved with her family to San Antonio in 2015, she wanted to find a school that would allow her children to continue their French language education. De Oliveira discovered that San Antonio, primarily populated by English and Spanish speakers, didn't have a French elementary school. In fact, the closest one […]
The post New French Immersion School for Young Students Opening in San Antonio appeared first on Rivard Report.

New grant aims to bring programs like arts and nutrition to Detroit preschools and childcare facilities

Half a year after unveiling an ambitious $50 million effort to improve the lives of young children in Detroit, the foundations behind the Hope Starts Here initiative have started to spend some money to put their vision into action. The Kresge Foundation Thursday is announcing plans to spend $3 million to fund organizations that support preschools and childcare centers in Detroit. That includes groups providing things like healthy eating programs and arts or cultural programs that could improve the offerings at local preschools. Kresge is inviting organizations to apply for up to $300,000 over three years for services that will support licensed childcare facilities. The funds are one strategy to address a critical shortage of quality early childhood facilities in Detroit where an estimated 28,000 young children don't have access to quality care.

New Haven seniors pin down Lamont

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont fielded a number of pointed questions on everything from abortion rights to highway tolls from a group of well informed senior citizens in a recent campaign stop in New Haven.

New Jersey man missing after kayak flips

Shelburne — Police are looking for a missing New Jersey man who was last seen holding onto an overturned kayak in Lake Champlain. According to a police incident report, Eric Plett, 41, was near Shelburne Point when his yellow kayak turned over. His friends found him and the kayak missing about a half-hour later. It is unclear from the report who saw Plett with his overturned kayak initially. Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox.

New Jersey to Suspend Prominent Psychologist for Failing to Protect Patient Privacy

by Charles Ornstein
A prominent New Jersey psychologist is facing the suspension of his license after state officials concluded that he failed to keep details of mental health diagnoses and treatments confidential when he sued his patients over unpaid bills. The state Board of Psychological Examiners this week upheld a decision by an administrative law judge that the psychologist, Barry Helfmann, “did not take reasonable measures to protect the confidentiality of his patients' protected health information,” Lisa Coryell, a spokeswoman for the state attorney general's office, said in an email. The administrative law judge recommended that Helfmann pay a fine and a share of the investigative costs. The board went further, ordering that Helfmann's license be suspended for two years, Coryell wrote. During the first year, he will not be able to practice; during the second, he can practice, but only under supervision.

New law gives charter schools leeway to enroll more disadvantaged students

Missouri charter schools will now be able to give preference to poor or struggling students in its lottery admissions system. That change was part of an omnibus education bill signed into law last week by Gov. Mike Parson. Some charter schools in St. Louis have struggled to maintain their mission as they increased in popularity and surrounding neighborhoods gentrified.

New Leaders Council Vermont announces speaker Ben Cohen at launch

News Release — New Leaders Council Vermont
June 21, 2018
Eric Covey
Ben & Jerry's Co-founder Ben Cohen Announced as Speaker At New Leaders Council Vermont Leaders & Libations Launch Party
Burlington, VT – The Executive Board for New Leaders Council Vermont (NLC VT) is excited to announce Ben Cohen, Co-founder of Ben & Jerry's and local progressive advocate, as keynote speaker for the organization's official launch party Leaders & Libations. On Tuesday, June 26th the NLC VT Executive Board, supporters and community members will gather at Nectar's in Burlington (188 Main Street) from 6-8:30pm to celebrate the launch of the newly formed non-profit organization. Progressive advocate Ben Cohen, Co-founder of Ben & Jerry's, and NLC VT Founding Director and Winooski City Councilor Eric Covey will be featured as speakers, alongside other community leaders including Hal Colston, who also serves on the Winooski City Council and is the Director of the Partnership for Change, and Morgan Webster, Director of Common Good Vermont. There will be live entertainment from DJ cRAIG mITCHELL (a.k.a. oLIVERtWISTED) who is a member of the NLC VT Executive Board, and free Ben & Jerry's ice cream scoops. Leaders & Libations is free and open to the public, thanks to the support of numerous event sponsors and contributors.

New legislation affects short-term rental operators

News Release — Vermont Department of Taxes
July 6, 2018
Deborah Carroll
(802) 522-9050Deborah.Carroll@vermont.gov
Act 10: Legislation Impacting Short-Term Rental Operators
MONTPELIER, Vt.- During this year's special legislative session, the Vermont General Assembly passed legislation requiring that all short-term rental operators post a Vermont Meals and Rooms Tax account number on any advertisement for the short-term rental beginning July 1, 2018. Operators who advertise through an online platform that has an agreement with the Vermont Department of Taxes to collect and remit tax, like Airbnb, may post the tax account number used by that platform. If they use the platform's tax account number, they are not required to open a meals and rooms tax account for locations where the platform is collecting tax on their behalf. For any rentals handled independently of any such platform, however, operators must maintain a meals and rooms tax account and post that account number on any advertisement for the short-term rental. A meals and rooms tax account number may be obtained by registering online with the department at www.myVTax.vermont.gov.
This legislation also requires that the operator post in each unit the telephone number of the individual responsible for the unit.

New Local School Council members face challenging first task: filling council vacancies

When Englewood community organizer Erica Nanton was out of a job and struggling a few months ago, she didn't think she would be able to run for the Local School Council at Southside Occupational Academy. Southside is an Englewood school that teaches job skills to 16- to 21-year-old students with special needs. “I thought, ‘How do you [run a campaign] when you're poor?'” she said. “It's all these things that in your mind say, ‘I'm not the person,' even though you deeply care, even though what you're struggling with is probably directly connected with the very things you want to fight and why you want to run.”
Nanton was not the only person apprehensive of running. This year, more than half of the Local School Councils across the city lacked enough candidates to fill each organization's 12 seats.

New MetroLink station to open in St. Louis’ Cortex district this month

A new MetroLink station will open in St. Louis' Cortex Innovation Community later this month. The light rail stop is located on the east side of Boyle Avenue between the existing Central West End and Grand stations. It's part of a $15.4 million project to update transportation options surrounding the St. Louis tech hub.

New Parking Meter Pricing Plan Readied For Pilot

“A Quarter A Quarter”— that's how often rates may change in town if the city embarks on a planned pilot program to change how we pay to park at the meter.

New Paychex survey shows moderating job and wage growth among small businesses

A new nationwide index of small business job growth and wages by a Rochester company is showing the pace of those numbers slowing. Paychex, the payroll processing and HR services company, along with the company IHS, does a monthly index on the rate of both jobs added and wages at small businesses, and in June, both of those metrics moderated a bit. Paychex CEO Marty Mucci says that is somewhat surprising, because as the unemployment rate has dropped nationwide, and the job market has become tighter, you would normally see wages increase somewhat as employers try to attract new workers. He says part of the reason that didn't happen may be that a lot of small businesses just aren't financially in a position to raise salaries right now. “We did an additional survey of employers and they said that basically, they're not making enough profits to increase wages, so 65% of the employers said they just could not afford a wage increase, another 30% said they were investing in other things that

New prison unit opens to help young female inmates

On Monday, inmates were joined by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Department of Correction Commissioner Scott Semple, and a host of state officials and criminal justice advocates in a dimly lit gymnasium on the grounds of the women's prison to mark the opening of the W.O.R.T.H. program. Malloy said the unit would help one of the system's most vulnerable populations through counseling, education and mentorship.

New radio station aimed at Somali-Americans listeners

Minnesota's youngest radio station, KALY 101.7-FM, aired its first news segment this week for thousands of Somali-speaking audience members in the Minneapolis area.The low-power FM station — which is operated by the nonprofit Somali American Community — opened its doors in September, making KALY the first Somali-American station licensed by the Federal Communication Commission. “Media is a powerful tool … and we need to be part of that power,” said KALY Executive Director Mahamed Cali. “You'll be respected when you're able to tell your own stories.” Cali and his team of volunteers operate from a tiny south Minneapolis studio, but their service is making a mark on local community programming: The station broadcasts a daily mix of Somali music, Islamic lectures and Somali language talk programming throughout the day.KALY's mission, Cali explained, is to provide Somali-Americans with information about weather, important announcements, new laws that affect them and discussions about social issues. Prometheus Radio Project, a Philadelphia-based media justice advocate group, helped set up KALY station, which rebroadcasts the daytime programing at night.Other community radioKALY isn't the only local station that has recently hit the airwaves in the name of community service. According to the Prometheus Radio Project, St.

New release radar: Indie records for Independence Day

Cure your summer ennui with our guide to new local music releases. Plus, Surfapalooza and Fourth of July music events in your TucsonSentinel.com weekly music roundup.

New report spotlights financiers of palm oil giant clearing Liberia’s forests

An Indonesian-owned plantation company operating in Liberia has come under renewed scrutiny for allegedly clearing hundreds of hectares of protected forestland, including chimpanzee habitat, wetlands and river buffer zones. Between 2010 and 2016, Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) cleared and planted some 150 square kilometers (58 square miles) of land, according to a recent Friends of the Earth investigation, which found that the firm had cleared or fragmented nearly 7 square kilometers (3 square miles) of ecologically rich forest in Kpanyan, Sinoe County. Investigators found that GVL had damaged streams, wetlands and river buffer zones, that it had failed to compensate local communities for the damage, and that it had taken their land without their “free, prior and informed consent,” a conclusion supported by a decision issued in February by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). GVL, which has rejected the RSPO decision, is owned by Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), a Singapore-registered palm oil company, through a Cayman Islands private equity firm. The firm's ultimate owner is Indonesia's billionaire Widjaja family.