An urban farm feeding the poorest part of Philly fights to stay alive and growing
PHILADELPHIA — The Life Do Grow Farm on N. 11th and Dauphin Streets in North Philadelphia was carved out of the poorest part of the poorest big city in America.Once an illegal dump, set beside a SEPTA Regional Rail line, the nearly-three-acre plot is studded by trees — some in planters made of painted tires — and lined with beds normally thick with flowers and vegetables in the growing season. Run by a grassroots nonprofit called Urban Creators, it yields needed food in a supermarket desert where hunger proliferated long before the pandemic.The farm also serves as a community commons — a nexus...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
NYC schools could shut down as early as Monday due to COVID-19 spike
NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New York City public school parents to plan for school closures as early as Monday, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge throughout the Big Apple.The daily percentage of people testing positive citywide shot up to 3.09% Friday, the highest it’s been since June 5, de Blasio said Friday. The weekly average of that number, which is the metric the city applies to closing schools, hit 2.83% — just below the city’s 3% threshold.“People should get ready,” de Blasio said on Brian Lehrer’s radio show Friday. “Parents should have a plan for the rest of...
New York Daily News
How 5 women are working to turn a building into a place of healing for people leaving prison
SEATTLE — Carolyn Presnell began serving her second, 15-month stint at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in October 2015, after pleading guilty to selling cocaine to an undercover Seattle cop, then leading police on a high-speed chase and crashing her car in Seattle’s Meadowbrook neighborhood.Fast forward to today: Presnell is the director-in-waiting of the 1426 Project, a collaborative partnership of local nonprofits, governmental entities and corporate sponsors aimed at providing housing, jobs, treatment and therapy to people reentering the community after being incarcerated in sta...
The Seattle Times
Judge: UnitedHealth must redo 67K claims denied under 'overly restrictive guidelines'
A federal judge has ordered UnitedHealth Group to reprocess tens of thousands of claims from behavioral health patients to remedy its past usage of overly restrictive coverage guidelines — a “fundamentally flawed” approach, the judge ruled last year, that was “tainted” by the health insurer’s financial interests.The order Tuesday came more than a year after Judge Joseph Spero of the U.S. District Court of Northern California ruled that UnitedHealth’s behavioral health division used internal guidelines for denying claims that strayed from the terms of patients’ health plans.The division used th...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Poll: Religious people believe climate change is a real threat, not a controversy
People of all faiths, including white evangelicals, are convinced climate change is real and a threat, according to a new poll, but whether they believe it’s caused by humans depends on the denomination.Further, climate change doesn’t seem to be controversial among Roman Catholics, despite the contention of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who is Catholic, that the issue was too “controversial” for her to comment on during a recent Senate hearing.A majority of Catholics not only believe that climate change is happening, but that it is caused by humans and they are worried by it, a...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
As Illinois reports 69 COVID-19-related deaths, the highest daily toll since June, state issues plan for vaccine distribution
CHICAGO — Illinois on Wednesday recorded its highest daily coronavirus-related death toll since June as state officials released an early version of its plan for how a vaccine will be distributed once one is approved and available.The plan “is designed to provide an equitable distribution across the state with priority access going to our most vulnerable populations, front-line health care workers and first responders who directly interact with and treat COVID patients, as well as staff and residents in long-term care facilities,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during his daily coronavirus news brief...
Justice Department offers to assist in training Minneapolis police
MINNEAPOLIS — The U.S. Department of Justice has offered to partner with the Minneapolis Police Department as part of a new nationwide program to provide training to police forces across the country, reduce excessive force and build community safety.Justice officials from Washington, D.C., announced the Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance Response Center at a news conference Tuesday morning, responding to months of civil unrest that began with the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last May.Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, appearing at the news confe...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Bankrupt Mallinckrodt may still be expected to help shoulder nuclear cleanup costs
ST. LOUIS — Two sets of nuclear waste complaints against Mallinckrodt have been thrown into question in a two-week span, while the company restructures in bankruptcy court.Facing a wave of lawsuits and a $1.6 billion settlement stemming from its role in the national opioid crisis, the company with deep St. Louis roots filed for protection from creditors on Monday.While industry analysts have focused on Mallinckrodt’s future as a drugmaker, the company also faces potential liabilities for work a predecessor company, St. Louis-based Mallinckrodt Chemical Works, performed decades ago, when it pro...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Tarana Burke's next move with #MeToo is a digital call to action: 'There is no movement if people are not actively engaged in it'
It’s been three years since #MeToo went viral and those two words changed how we talk about sexual violence.Tarana Burke, the civil rights activist and founder of the global #MeToo movement, is continuing her decadeslong global fight for survivor justice during COVID-19 and amid ongoing social injustices. Her latest project is the digital platform me too. act too., a campaign that gives survivors, advocates and allies tools to work toward a world free of sexual violence. The crowd-sourced entity enables anyone, anywhere to get active in the fight to end sexual violence.The me too. act too. web...
Racial justice push creates momentum to protect black-owned land
In May, three sisters in Chicago got a surprise phone call: They owned 35 acres in Mississippi with a stand of mature timber worth more than $40,000.“They’d never been to Louisville, Miss., so they had no idea they owned property,” recalled Frank Taylor, leader of the Winston County Self Help Cooperative in Mississippi, who called the sisters.Every year, the cooperative retrieves the county’s delinquent tax rolls and uses public records, local knowledge and a couple hundred phone calls to alert people who risk losing their land.The effort seeks to stem the loss of property among rural landowne...