Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Skamania Co. auditor under investigation for misusing funds," by Anita Kissee

Article and Video: Courtesy KATU

Records show Garvison billed taxpayers for $51,000 in travel expenses last year. This year he’s already racked up a reported $32,000.

Our investigation led to his early resignation and continues.

Watch/Read Part 1 HERE.

Watch/Read Part 2 HERE.

Watch/Read Part 3 HERE.

Watch/Read Part 4 HERE.

"Single in Portland: Building the skills and confidence to succeed," by Anita Kissee

Article and Video: Courtesy KATU

PORTLAND, Ore. – Dating in Portland can be hard but many are finding they just need to develop the confidence and the skills that will help them meet that special someone.

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"In Egypt, Debate Grows over a Successor to Mubarak," by Abigail Hauslohner

Article and photo: Courtesy TIME

"Hosni Mubarak has ruled Egypt for 28 of his 81 years, but he's not likely to run for re-election in 2011. And growing public debate over the identity of his successor is fueled in no small part by the fact that Egyptians are not fond of a President who is widely believed to be grooming his 45-year-old son, Gamal Mubarak, to take the reins. (Neither man acknowledges such a plan.) But while such a familial handoff would hardly be atypical in the Middle East, it's far from a done deal in Egypt.

The younger Mubarak was given a starring role in this month's annual conference of the ruling National Democratic Party, in what many see as an effort to position him to run in 2011 — and that would make his accession to the presidency largely a formality, since Egypt's regime does not tolerate a genuinely competitive democracy, and controls the political process to prevent it challenging the status quo. The most popular opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, remains banned, although its members running as independents have garnered a substantial minority of parliamentary seats."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"Courts Force U.S. Reckoning With Dominance of GM Crops," by Paul Voose

Article: courtesy New York Times & Greenwire

"These days, there is no rarer commodity in farming than trust.

Take Oregon's Willamette Valley, which for generations has been the germ of the U.S. sugar beet industry, producing nearly all the country's seeds. Such breeding is complicated when neighbors grow genetically similar crops and stiff Pacific winds, baffled by the Coast Range mountains, shove pollen every which way.

But Willamette's growers have cooperated, establishing a system in which seed producers flag their plots on a collective map, giving fair warning of what is grown where. Voluntary distances between crops were established and, if abutting farms had a conflict in what they grew, well, they could usually figure it out."

Read the remainder of Part 1 HERE.

"For Tasmanian Devils, Hope Against a Wily Cancer," by Erica Rex

Article and photo: Courtesy New York Times

"They’re inky black, pointy-eared, furry and, in a fierce sort of way, cute. And in May of this year, they were added to Australia’s endangered species list.

Ordinarily solitary, Tasmanian devils commune only to feast on carrion and to mate in short-lived passionate couplings during which they tear each other to ribbons. Their spine-decalcifying caterwauls — a sequence of whuffings, snarlings and growlings — have evoked satanic visions since the first European settlers arrived on the island of Tasmania over a century ago.

“Parents used to tell their kids: ‘Don’t go out into the bush because the devil will get you,’ ” recalled Dr. Greg Woods, an associate professor of immunology at Menzies Research Institute in Hobart, Tasmania’s capital."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"Biodiversity a Bitter Pill in 'Tropical' Mediterranean Sea," by Paul Voosen

Article: Courtesy New York Times & Greenwire

"Two weeks ago, a group of marine biologists from Israel's National Institute of Oceanography set sail from the country's central coast. Under a full moon, with the lights of hectic Tel Aviv a band on the horizon, they cast their nets into waters that have sustained civilization for millenia in the Levantine Basin, the eastern branch of the Mediterranean Sea.

They had a rich catch that night on the research vessel Shikmona, according to Bella Galil, a senior scientist at the institute. Spilling from the nets were pucker-faced dragonet fish, sprawling octopuses and brown crabs, snapping their claws. On the examination table, it seemed a display of the sea's bounty.

Unfortunately, it was another sea's bounty."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"Cancer I Can't Afford," by Erica Rex

Article: Courtesy New York Times

"Finding out I had breast cancer came as a shock. But the really rude awakening was learning I’m not middle class anymore.

I found a lump in my breast last March. This wasn’t like the lumps of my youth. Those earlier iterations had been hard as pebbles, painful, nested between my sternum and the base of my breast. They had come and gone with my monthly cycle.

This new lump, a lima bean in size and shape, lay recumbent, a half-inch south of my right nipple, just under the skin. And it didn’t hurt. At all. When I pressed on it, it seemed to dip, as though
bobbing on water."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Death-Penalty Holdouts," by Daarel Burnette II

Article courtesy: Chicago Tribune

"If not for two men, James Degorski would be headed to death row for the Brown's Chicken massacre. Juan Luna would be there already without the efforts of a married mother of two from Chicago.

The three -- jurors in the mass murderers' criminal trials -- intrigue legal experts for their rare ability to withstand intense pressure during deliberations and their refusal to support the death penalty.

Though a staple of courtroom movies and television dramas, the lone holdout or two is an anomaly inside jury rooms, experts say. That's even truer in capital cases where the law bars people who morally oppose the death penalty from serving, making it more difficult for those who favor a life sentence for a particular defendant to find allies."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"Safe Harbor," by Laura Colarusso

Photo and article courtesy: The Boston Globe

"Combat psychologist Leslie Lightfoot will soon open the Northeast Veteran Training and Rehabilitation Center in Gardner to help vets wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is the fifth program you’ve started in New England as part of your nonprofit, Veteran Homestead. How did you begin working with veterans?
I was an Army medic from 1967 to 1970. When I got out, I used my VA benefits to go back to school and get degrees in counseling. Most of the people that came to me for counseling were veterans. It just kind of happened. I try to find where people are falling through the cracks and do something about it."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.