US-POLITICS-OBAMA-SIGNING

Obama signs ‘Blue Alert’ system into law to protect police

(UPI) — President Barack Obama signed a law that will create a nationwide “Blue Alert” system that will inform police officers about threats made against them.
The system will also help track down suspects who made threats. Obama was joined in the Oval Office by the families of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, the two murdered New York City police officers who were killed while sitting in their patrol car in December.
Ismaaiyl Brinsley killed himself after shooting the officers to death. Brinsley killed his girlfriend earlier in the day and then made a threat on his Instagram account stating he would kill police officers the day he carried out the shooting, but the threat was never brought to the attention of New York City officers.
The “Blue Alert” system is modeled after the Amber Alerts system for abducted children and Silver Alerts for missing seniors. Continue reading

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Walmart Hires More Than 4,000 U.S. Veterans

Walmart Expands Veterans Commitment to include a Guaranteed Job Offer to any eligible Veteran Honorably Discharged Since Memorial Day 2013
Walmart announced recenty that it is creating even more job opportunities for transitioning U.S. veterans in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia by guaranteeing a job offer to any eligible U.S. veteran honorably discharged from active duty since the original launch of the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment on Memorial Day 2013. The previous commitment was for veterans within 12 months off active duty.
Since Memorial Day 2013, Walmart has hired more than 4,000 veterans across Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.* In addition to the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, Walmart is expanding its 2013 projection of hiring 100,000 veterans nationwide by 2018, increasing the projection to 250,000 veterans by the end of 2020.*
“I can sum up in three words what Walmart’s veterans hiring initiative means to me – opportunity to succeed. Walmart provides veterans with the opportunity to grow our own careers, as well as the careers of others,” said Calvin Summers, Assistant Store Manager at the Georgia Avenue Supercenter in Washington, DC. “My favorite part about my job is being able to bring a unique skill set to the table and help others progress in their professional development. I make it a priority to help our associates mature and meet the workload and their potential, many don’t realize they have the potential to grow until they have someone to mentor them and push them to that next level.” Continue reading

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City Leaders Announce Expansion of Career Education Programming at DCPS High Schools

New career academies to open at Anacostia High School and Ballou High School; Over 100 students to participate in paid summer internships

Mayor Muriel Bowser recently joined District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy Lanier to announce the opening of two new career academies as well as summer internship opportunities for DCPS high school students. Career academies prepare students for college and high-wage, high-demand careers through real-life, work-based learning experiences and rigorous coursework that culminates in industry-recognized certifications.

“We have a vibrant economy here in the District, and it is essential that students have early exposure to the many careers options the city has to offer,” said Mayor Bowser. “These new career education opportunities add to DCPS’ rich portfolio of programs that are designed to give our young people the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in today’s workforce, setting them on a pathway to the middle class.”
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DRPT and FRA to Host Public Information Meetings to Discuss the Alternatives Development Process
for the Washington, D.C. to Richmond Southeast High Speed Rail Project

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), has scheduled public information meetings to present the Purpose and Need Statement, as well as discuss the alternatives development process and the resulting preliminary rail alignment options for faster, more reliable connections for intercity passenger rail service between Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA. With the public’s input, the preliminary rail alignment options will be further developed and evaluated in greater detail in subsequent phases of the study.

The Washington, D.C. to Richmond Southeast High Speed Rail (DC2RVA) project includes preparation of a Tier II Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 123-mile rail corridor that goes through the cities and counties along the I-95 corridor between Arlington, VA, and Chesterfield, VA. In addition to the EIS, the project also includes a service development plan and preliminary engineering. Continue reading

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Report Rejects Myth that Education Eliminates Inequality, but Claims Education Is Key to Economic Prosperity

A recent report from The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution examines several important questions about education’s economic power and includes some useful analyses and interesting conclusions. Its analysis, however, oversimplifies the importance of college degrees in boosting the economy, while rejecting the widely held view that education can substantially reduce economic inequality.

Marvin Lazerson and Ryan Pfleger reviewed Increasing Education: What it Will and Will Not Do for Earnings and Earnings Inequality for the Think Twice think tank review project. The review is published by the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education.

Dr. Lazerson is a professor of higher education policy at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, and an emeritus professor, University of Pennsylvania. Ryan Pfleger is a doctoral candidate in Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice at the University of Colorado Boulder.
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Gas Cheap, Relatively Speaking, AAA finds

(UPI) — While gas prices continue to rise ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, U.S. travelers are paying nearly a $1 less per gallon of gas year-on-year, AAA said.
The motor club reports a national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded at $2.70 for Tuesday, up about five cents, or nearly 2 percent, from last week. More than half of all U.S. states reported an average price below the $2 per gallon mark in late 2014, though prices have been on a steady rise for most of the year.
AAA finds the national average price for gasoline has increased for 33 of the past 35 days and is at a new high for the year. The motor club finds the increase in gasoline prices, however, is not expected to curb travel for the upcoming holiday weekend. Continue reading

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FTC complaint accuses YouTube Kids of showing profane videos

(UPI) — Not only is YouTube’s kid-friendly app exposing children to too much advertising, but it’s also showing profane and expletive-laden videos, a new Federal Trade Commission complaint filed by a group of children’s advocacy organizations said.
The group first filed a complaint about YouTube Kids in April, saying it exposes children to a barrage of commercials for corporate entities like McDonald’s, Mattel and Hasbro. The coalition of eight advocacy groups said those commercials violate federal laws against unfair or deceptive marketing.
Now the group is amending its original complaint to make more disturbing allegations — that the app exposes children to “explicit sexual language presented amidst cartoon animation; videos that model unsafe behaviors such as playing with lit matches, shooting a nail gun, juggling knives, tasting battery acid and making a noose; a profanity-laced parody of the film ‘Casino’ featuring Bert and Ernie from ‘Sesame Street'; graphic adult discussions about family violence, pornography and child suicide; jokes about pedophilia and drug use; advertising for alcohol products.” Continue reading

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NASA asks for new ideas to bolster asteroid redirect mission

(UPI) — NASA is asking American tech, engineering and aerospace firms for fresh ideas on how best to maneuver an asteroid.
The ultimate aim of the space agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission is settled. Officials want to capture a boulder from a near-Earth asteroid and place it into orbit around the moon. But NASA isn’t sure how to get started.
Agency engineers need a strategy and a robotic spacecraft. A lot details need to be filled in. And they’re hoping a spark of creativity from the private sector can help get the ball rolling. That’s why the agency issued a Request for Information, or RFI.
They don’t want proposals — just ideas. Continue reading

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Technology giants send letter to Obama urging encryption support

(UPI) — Technology giants including Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook have sent an open letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to stop government’s access to encrypted data.
New America’s Open Technology Institute sent the joint letter to the White House on Tuesday. It was signed by nearly 150 organizations, including privacy and human rights organizations and technology companies.

“The letter defends Americans’ right to use strong encryption to protect their data and opposes the idea of mandatory ‘back doors’ to enable government access to encrypted data,” a statement by New America said.
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Google and Hispanic Heritage Foundation Complete ‘Code as a Second Language’ (CSL) Course in Eight Cities Using CS-First Curriculum

Google and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) completed the Code as a Second Language (CSL) course in eight cities using CS-First curriculum at middle and high schools in an effort to engage, introduce and teach computer coding to Latino high school students. Google and HHF will present the students with certificates of completion.
“In order to provide America with a value proposition through Latino youth, we need to work backwards from what America needs most,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF. “Today and in the future, the need is the STEM fields and especially in technology, yet only one out of 10 schools teaches computer coding. We believe the next great innovator will be a Latino or Latina, perhaps sitting in the classrooms we are teaching across the country. We are proud to partner with Google to launch this important effort to help provide our community but moreover our country with a stronger workforce and more innovative minds going forward.” Continue reading

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Annual America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report Reveals State of Senior Health in Washington, D.C.

· Comprehensive analysis of senior health reveals strengths, challenges in Washington, D.C.

· Seniors are experiencing lower hospital readmission and preventable hospitalization rates; and more often able to spend their final days in settings of their choice

· Troubling note: one-third of seniors were physically inactive in 2015, worsening after improvements last year

Washington, D.C. (May 20, 2015) – The health of Washington, D.C.’s seniors is showing signs of improvement, according to the third edition of United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities.

Nationwide, the report shows positive trends for senior health, especially for those measures that look at whether seniors are getting the right care in a setting of their choice. Seniors are experiencing lower hospital readmission rates and preventable hospitalization rates compared to last year, while hospice care use and the number of home healthcare workers have increased. Continue reading

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FCA Foundation Grants $100,000 to Establish National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Program

Scholarship Program With the National Black Farmers Association Supports African American Farmers

/PRNewswire/ — The FCA Foundation recently announced a $100,000 grant to support scholarships for current and future African American farmers. The National Black Farmers Association Scholarship program will provide scholarships up to $5,000 to fund agriculture-related study at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school.

“We should accept nothing less than a world in which everyone has access to a safe, healthy and sufficient food supply,” said Jody Trapasso, Senior Vice President – External Affairs, FCA North America and President of the FCA Foundation. “Our hope is that these scholarships provide farmers with the inspiration and knowledge to help this vision become a reality.” Continue reading

Internet

The Internet wants a laser mounted on the space station

UPI) — A proposal to mount a laser on the International Space Station is finding support among Internet users. A glut of articles about the possible plan to vaporize space junk proliferated across trending news feeds on Tuesday, nearly a month after scientists at Japan’s RIKEN research institute went public with the idea.
The strange (and seemingly unlikely) plan is an attempt to solve a real problem — too much space junk. Astronomers estimate there’s currently 3,000 tons of debris in low Earth orbit. The junk (mostly discontinued satellites) occupies an area of near space running from 100 to 1,250 miles above the planet’s surface. Space junk collisions can spawn smaller fragments that can lead a domino effect of smash-ups. Continue reading

US Supreme Court

Supreme Court rules felons can sell, transfer guns

(UPI) — The Supreme Court has ruled that convicted felons may be able to transfer their legally owned guns to someone else rather than surrender them to the government.
In siding with a former U.S. Border Patrol agent in Florida convicted on a drug charge, Justice Elena Kagan said authorities can transfer a felon’s weapon to a trusted third party, as long as the court is convinced the felon won’t use the weapons.
“A felon cannot evade the strictures of [the law] by arranging a sham transfer that leaves him in effective control of his guns,” Kagan said in Monday’s ruling.
In 2006, Tony Henderson was convicted of distributing marijuana and, as a condition of his release on bail, was ordered to turn over all his firearms. After pleading guilty, he was subject to the federal law barring convicted felons from possessing firearms. Continue reading

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Healthy Snack Ideas for Your Little Athletes

(StatePoint) Kids may seem to have boundless energy, but running around the soccer field or baseball diamond takes effort — and burns lots of calories. As a parent or coach, it’s important to make sure kids are well fueled. They’ll play better on the field and feel better afterwards.
Whether it’s a practice game or the championship, come prepared with these fuss-free, nutritious, on-the-go snacks: Continue reading

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Why You May Not be Losing Weight

(StatePoint) When it comes to weight loss, the recommendation of “diet and exercise” has become a standard refrain from personal trainers, fitness gurus, magazines and even doctors. But the issue is more complex, say experts.
“There are underlying physiological, and in some cases pathological, mechanisms driving weight gain,” says Dr. Michael A. Smith, senior health scientist for Life Extension Foundation and host of “Healthy Talk” on RadioMD.com. “Until you address these issues, you won’t be as successful on any diet plan as you could be.”
So far, research has identified nine weight gaining mechanisms: insulin resistance, hormone imbalance, excessive carbohydrate and starch absorption, muscle loss from low physical activity, low brain serotonin, slow resting metabolism, abnormal fat cell signaling, low adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase activity and diet imbalances.
“Think of these nine mechanisms as pillars holding up an overweight frame burdened with too much body fat,” says Smith. Continue reading

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Running Out of Money a Major Worry for Seniors

For many older people and their families, particularly those dealing with conditions such as Alzheimer’s or cancer that often require long-term, pricey medical care, running out of money is a nagging concern.

Families are right to be worried, according to a new study that analyzed data from nearly 1,200 people who died between 2010 and 2012 and who participated in the University of Michigan’s ongoing national Health and Retirement Study.

Among people who were age 85 or older when they died, one in five had no assets left apart from their homes, and 12 percent had no assets left at all, only income from sources such as Social Security or pensions. The analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that those who died younger were even worse off. Among people who died between age 50 and 64, 30 percent were without assets and 37 percent had only their homes. Continue reading

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Dollar General Literacy Foundation Awards More Than $230,000 in Literacy Grants to D.C.-Area Schools, Nonprofits and Literacy Organizations

Grants provide funding for adult, family and/or summer literacy programs

Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded more than $230,000 to area schools, nonprofits and literacy organizations to support adult, family and summer literacy programs. These grant awards are part of more than $5.8 million in grants awarded today to approximately 720 schools, nonprofits and organizations across the 43 states the company serves. Award recipients include:

Afterschool Alliance
Washington D.C.
$125,000.00
Library of Congress
Washington D.C.
$100,000.00
Literacy Volunteers of America-Prince William, Inc.
Woodbridge
$5,500.00
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OHR Releases Comprehensive Bullying Prevention Toolkit for Schools

Provides necessary materials for school officials to facilitate bullying prevention trainings

The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) Citywide Bullying Prevention Program recently released a comprehensive toolkit to assist District schools in training teachers and staff on bullying prevention and interventions. The toolkit – created in partnership with the youth research center Child Trends – provides presentation slides, scenarios and self-assessments for schools to use in ensuring staff are prepared to prevent and properly respond to incidents of bullying. Its release is part of a larger OHR effort to assist District schools and youth-serving agencies in implementing bullying prevention policies required under the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012 (YBPA).
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U.S. ARMY ALL-AMERICAN BOWL NOMINATES FOUR TOP FOOTBALL PLAYERS FROM THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Student-athletes are among the Nation’s Top 400 Senior Football Players

Four of the District of Columbia’s top senior football players have been nominated to play in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Those nominated will have the chance to showcase their talents on Saturday, January 9, 2016, in the annual East vs. West match-up, televised live on NBC at 1:00 p.m. EST.

“The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is a unique event designed to showcase and recognize the talents of America’s youth while celebrating the team that makes a difference every day for the Nation – the U.S. Army,” said Mark S. Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing. “This nomination recognizes the versatility and adaptability the athletes possess both on and off the field; qualities they share with U.S. Army Soldiers. We look forward to the 2016 Army All-American Bowl program that includes more than 200 events across the country and culminates in San Antonio during game week.”

A list of the nominees can be accessed at www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com. Below are the four nominees from the District of Columbia.

Last Name
First Name
Position
High School Name
High School City
Adams
Abdul
RB
Woodrow Wilson High School
Washington, D.C.
Merritt
Richard
OL
Archbishop Carroll High School
Washington, D.C.
Taylor
Kyle
ATH
Gonzaga High School
Washington, D.C.
Williams
Jauan
OL
Archbishop Carroll High School
Washington, D.C.

The athletes were nominated by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee, which consists of All American Games, 247Sports, and XOS Digital, and All American Games’ network of regional coaches throughout the country. Of the 400 nominees, 90 will be ultimately selected and invited to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The next step for the nominees occurs in September, when the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour begins. Player finalists along with U.S. Army All-American Marching Band musicians will be announced nationwide throughout the fall, with the Selection Tour ending in early December.

For 16 years, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has been the nation’s premier high school football game, serving as the preeminent launching pad for America’s future college and NFL stars. Andrew Luck, Patrick Peterson and Jamaal Charles made their national debuts as U.S. Army All-Americans, and a total of seven U.S. Army All-American Bowl alumni were drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl drew a crowd of 35,687 to the Alamodome.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is owned and produced by All American Games, a New Jersey-based sports marketing and event management company. The U.S. Army is the title sponsor of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and American Family Insurance is the lead national sponsor and presenting sponsor of the telecast on NBC. Other national sponsors include adidas, Gatorade, San Antonio Visitors Bureau, 247Sports, XOS Digital, NCSA, Lockheed Martin, Xenith, Battle Sports Science, EvoShield, NewTek and Football University. National sponsors of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band include: The National Association for Music Education, Drum Corps International, Jupiter Wind Instruments, Mapex Marching Percussion, Majestic Concert Percussion and DeMoulin Uniforms.

For more information on the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and its related events visit www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com and www.goarmy.com/events/aab or the official Facebook and Twitter pages located at http://www.facebook.com/USArmyAllAmericanBowl and https://twitter.com/ArmyAllAmerican

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Quarles & Brady to Kick Off “Food from the Bar” Campaign to Fight Hunger

Quarles & Brady LLP is participating in the District legal community’s annual fundraising campaign “Food from the Bar,” in partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB).

The legal community has set the ambitious goal of raising $200,000 (the equivalent of 500,000 meals) to help the food bank reach those at risk of hunger in the Washington metro area. This year’s campaign—running through May 29—marks the seventh and largest effort to date, with dozens of local law firms, law schools, and other legal professionals competing to raise funds and food for the campaign, formerly known as DC Outlaw Hunger.

Since 2008, the local legal community has raised enough to support the equivalent of 1 million meals. For every $10 raised, the food bank can distribute 25 meals to neighbors in need. Ninety-two cents out of every dollar donated supports local hunger relief programs.
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Insurers File Proposed Rates for 2016 Health Plan Offerings on DC Health Link

The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking received 162 proposed health insurance plan rates for review from four major insurance companies in advance of the third year of open enrollment on DC Health Link, the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace.

These filings mark the beginning of the department’s rate review process where department actuaries engage with the insurers to determine if the rates are reasonable by law and should be approved for sale on DC Health Link.

The same four major insurance companies as last year – Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare – have proposed rates for individuals, families and small businesses for the 2016 plan year.
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Enhanced Mobile Features for Dominion Virginia Power Customers Save Time, Energy and Money

Dominion Virginia Power recently completed enhancements on its mobile platform to make it easier for customers to see their account information, pay bills, check energy usage history and more from any mobile device.
“We’re listening to our customers,” said Becky Merritt, vice president‒Customer Service. “They’ve told us that they want an easier, more convenient way to do business with Dominion using a smartphone or tablet. We made it more convenient for them to access the information that will save them time, energy and money.”
Once customers sign in to their online account, the new “welcome page” goes directly to current account information where they can view, pay or print their bill. Customers are now able to view their energy usage, payment and bill history for the last 18 months. User-friendly prompts guide customers through a variety of transactions and helps new customers register. Continue reading

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All-Star Line-up for PBS’s National Memorial Day Concert 


Honoring Our American Heroes Live From the U.S. Capital
Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne, Tony Award-winning actress and singer Laura Benanti, actor/producer/director Esai Morales and actor/musician Jason Dolley have joined an all-star line-up for the multi award-winning NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

In what has become an annual tradition, the newly crowned winner of AMERICAN IDOL Season 14 will perform the “National Anthem” to open the 26th annual live concert event. Co-hosted by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise, the inspiring night of remembrance is dedicated to our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country.
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RunJumpThrow Track Meet

On Saturday, May 30, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) in partnership with USA Track and Field and Hershey will host the RunJumpThrow Citywide Open Track and Field Meet located at Spingarn High School (2500 Benning Rd NE).

DPR and USA Track & Field (USATF), in partnership with the Hershey Company, will sponsor this event as a part of their new program initiative RunJumpThrow: a hands-on learning program that introduces kids ages 7 through 12 to the basic skills of running, jumping and throwing through track and field. The program focuses on skills development and improvement of fundamentals instead of competitive advancement. Through this program, DPR joins Let’s Move! Active Schools in implementing RunJumpThrow. Let’s Move! Active Schools is a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative that helps schools develop a culture in which physical activity and physical education are foundations to academic success.
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Stars Gather for the 10th Annual National Memorial Day Parade

Lineup Includes Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins, Actor Gary Sinise, Miss America 2015 & more.

The 2015 National Memorial Day Parade will be well-attended by celebrities, singers, and special guests who will pay tribute to those those who put on the uniform of the U.S. military. Serving as Grand Marshals will be Veterans of World War II, and dozens of surviving vets representing the 16 million who have served, and more than 400,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“We are honored to celebrate the American heroes who sacrificed their lives for this country,” James C. Roberts, President of the American Veterans Center said. “With the participation from active military, veterans, and celebrities the 10th annual Parade will be the best yet and continue the tradition of being the largest Memorial Day event in the nation.”
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Groundbreaking for New Glenmont Fire Station No. 18

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett today took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Glenmont Fire Station No. 18, which will be located at 12210 Georgia Avenue. The original Glenmont Fire Station No. 18, located at 12251 Georgia Avenue, was purchased by the Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA) as part of a grade-separated interchange project for the Georgia Avenue/Randolph Road intersection which is currently under construction. The County partnered with MSHA to integrate the design and schedule for the new fire station with that project.
“The original physical facility for the Glenmont Fire Station had for some time been inadequate for this developing area,” said Leggett. “When it was learned that the building would need to be taken down for the MSHA project, we seized the opportunity to design a new fire station that will be environmentally-sensitive and meet expected future needs.”
Officials joining Leggett at the groundbreaking included: County Councilmember and Public Safety Committee Chairman Marc Elrich, Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Sidney Katz, Department of General Services Director David Dise, Acting Fire Chief Scott Goldstein and the President of the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department Steven Semler. Continue reading

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DPR Releases Memorial Day Weekend Holiday Schedule For Pools, Recreation Centers and other DPR Facilities

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced today that it will open all its outdoor aquatic features (17 outdoor pools, 24 spray parks and four children’s pools) to kick off the 2015 summer season, on Saturday, May 23rd, leading into the Memorial Day holiday.

The District’s outdoor pools will remain open for the entire Memorial Day weekend – Saturday, Sunday and Monday – from 12 pm to 6 pm. DC’s spray parks will also be open for the entire holiday weekend from 10 am to 7 pm. District residents with acceptable proof of residency can swim free of charge at all DPR pools; non-District residents must pay a fee.

DPR’s administrative offices, indoor aquatic facilities, recreation and community centers will be closed Monday, May 25th for the Memorial Day holiday. All permitted events will take place as scheduled and all fields will be open. Continue reading

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Planning Department Celebrates County Recognition of Preservation Month through Ongoing Financial and Community Awareness Programs

Grants and tax credits for historic properties, and Montgomery Modern initiative represent County’s strong commitment to historic preservation

The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is renewing its focus on historic preservation programs following the County Council’s recognition of May as Preservation Month in Montgomery County. On May 11, 2015, Councilmember Hans Riemer introduced the proclamation by praising the efforts of the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission.
“Historic preservation is always such a challenge and it’s thanks to the pressure, the support and the ideals of the historic preservation community who keep us moving forward and prioritizing this important need,” said Riemer. Continue reading

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30th Annual Children’s Day on the Farm at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum

Celebrate Southern Maryland’s rich rural history with a day of fun for the whole family! On Sunday, June 7, 2015, from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm, Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum (JPPM) will welcome back Children’s Day on the Farm with a mix of classic favorites and new attractions. The event is free and offers a wide range of hands-on activities and demonstrations centered on Southern Maryland rural traditions. Continue reading

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Fight of Century Becomes Fight in Court as Fans Sue Pacquiao

(ABC)–Boxing fans across the country and their lawyers are calling the hyped-up fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. a fraud and want their money back, and then some.

At least 32 class action lawsuits across the country allege Pacquiao should have disclosed a shoulder injury to boxing fans before the fight, which Mayweather won in a unanimous decision after 12 lackluster rounds that most fans thought didn’t live up to the hype.
Fight of the century? More like fraud of the century, the lawsuits contend.
“The fight was not great, not entertaining, not electrifying. It was boring, slow and lackluster,” according to a lawsuit filed in Texas alleging racketeering, a claim usually reserved for organized crime. Continue reading

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American Pharoah Wins Preakness by 7 Lengths in Driving Rain

(ABC)–American Pharoah won the Preakness by seven lengths in driving rain Saturday, keeping alive his Triple Crown bid.
With victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, American Pharoah needs a win in the Belmont Stakes to become the sport’s first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
“I don’t even want to think about that now,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “I want to enjoy this.”
American Pharoah will bring a six-race winning streak into Belmont on June 6 in New York. Continue reading

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Wizards PG John Wall says his left hand won’t need surgery

(NBC)–Washington Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall says he does not need surgery for the fractures in his left hand and wrist that kept him out of three playoff games.

Wall says Monday that he will head to Cleveland this week or next to see a specialist about the injury and find out what he needs to do to heal properly.

He was hurt during Game 1 of Washington’s second-round series against the Atlanta Hawks and sat out Games 2, 3, 4, then returned for Games 5 and 6. The Hawks took the final three games of the series to win it 4-2.

Wall says his hand “was very sore” when he returned to action, but “I wasn’t complaining about guys hitting it; I knew it was going to happen.”

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Minnesota Timberwolves Get First Pick in NBA Draft

(NBC)–The Minnesota Timberwolves have won the NBA draft lottery, the first time since 2004 the team with the worst record won the No. 1 pick.
After years of bad luck in the lottery, things finally worked out Tuesday night for the Wolves, who will have the top pick to put next to Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins.
The Los Angeles Lakers moved from the fourth spot to second, keeping a pick they would have sent to Philadelphia if it fell outside the top five. The 76ers are third followed by the New York Knicks, who had the second-best odds of winning but instead fell to fourth 30 years after winning the first draft lottery and drafting Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing.

San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos

NFL to Move Extra-Point Kicks Farther From Goalposts

The NFL is moving back extra-point kicks and allowing defenses to score on 2-point conversion turnovers.
The owners on Tuesday approved the competition committee’s proposal to snap the ball from the 15-yard line on PATs to make them more challenging. In recent seasons, kickers made more than 99 percent of the kicks with the ball snapped from the 2.
That proposal places the 2-point conversion at the 2, and allows the defense to return a turnover to the other end zone for the two points, similar to the college rule.
New England and Philadelphia also made suggestions on changing the extra point, but the owners went with the powerful committee’s recommendation.

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Secretariat Jockey: American Pharoah “Could Very Well Be the One” to Win Triple Crown

Jockey legend Ron Turcotte thinks American Pharoah could be the horse to end the decades-long drought of Triple Crown winners. So do Secretariat’s owner and the jockey who last rode to Triple Crown victory.
Secretariat owner Penny Chenery and Affirmed jockey Steve Cauthen believe American Pharoah is that special horse capable of ending a 37-year Triple Crown drought. Ron Turcotte agrees.
Though American Pharoah must succeed where 13 others have failed and conquer the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes on June 6, his runaway victory Saturday in the Preakness convinced both that his best race is ahead of him. Continue reading

UDC President

UDC Selects Ronald Mason Jr. As New President

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) announced the selection of Ronald Mason Jr. as the school’s new president Monday.

The school scheduled a news conference that included D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on May 12 at the UDC main campus to make the announcement official.
“I welcome Ronald Mason to the District of Columbia and look forward to collaborating to develop programs and initiatives that will create pathways to the middle class for residents and the entire student body,” said Mayor Bowser. “I congratulate the board of the University of the District of Columbia for selecting a leader with a wealth of experience as they work to transform the District’s public university. We share in the commitment to improve UDC, and that is why we fully funded their budget through the budget process.” Continue reading

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Mayor Bowser Announces Additional $4.2 Million for Small Business

District will use additional funds to increase private lending to D.C. small businesses

Mayor Muriel Bowser recently announced that the District of Columbia has secured an additional $4.2 million from the U.S. Treasury State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to help finance three programs created by the District of Columbia that support small and local businesses.

Under SSBCI, the District uses federal funds to facilitate private lending to local small businesses that are creditworthy, but are not getting the loans they need to expand or create jobs. To date, the District SSBCI program, administered by the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB), has used $4 million in federal funds to leverage $11 million in private lending to District small businesses. The program is estimated to have created one new job for every $55,000 in program funds deployed.
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CDC: “Too few getting recommended cancer tests

The CDC begins its lengthy discussion of Americans’ latest compliance with their recommended screening tests for cervical, breast and colorectal cancers this way: “Regular breast, cervical and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening….reduces deaths from these cancers.” [itals. added]. This truism is misleading, however, to some degree, since having a goal of eradicating each case of a type of cancer will inevitably lead to overdiagnosis and many needless medical and surgical interventions.

First, the data: the CDC’s goal is to get to the “Healthy People 2020” parameters for screening, and the public did not come very close, in terms of these three cancer screening levels. Although some sub-populations improved their rate of testing, generally screening test use remained well below targets and did not change between the reports in 2010 and 2013. In fact, Pap testing for cervical cancer declined somewhat, and so did screening mammography, albeit only slightly. Worst of all, screening for CRC, after a salutary jump between 2000 and 2010, leveled off thereafter at an unacceptably low rate of 58 percent.
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America wants Harriet Tubman on $20 bill

(UPI) — America wants Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.
Over 600,000 citizens voted in a 10-week-long poll to choose a prominent woman to grace United States’ currency through the Women on 20s campaign. The results were announced Tuesday.
African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman won the final round by over 7,000 votes, kicking the process of convincing the president and secretary of Treasury into gear.

Organizers are urging supporters to join a “virtual march” by incorporating the hashtag #DearMrPresident into messages in the name of the cause.
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Deaf and hard-of-hearing youth encouraged to experience RIT/NTID technology camps


Science, technology, engineering and math will be explored during weeklong session in July

Deaf and hard-of-hearing girls and boys who are interested in science, technology, engineering and math and entering 7th, 8th or 9th grades in September can attend “TechGirlz” or “TechBoyz” summer camps at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, July 25‑30.

TechBoyz and TechGirlz camps are designed to help students learn about and consider careers in science and technology. Through hands-on activities, campers will explore chemistry, computers, engineering and science; learn to build their own computer; and command a simulated mission to Mars. They also will meet other students with similar interests and participate in social activities.
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Verizon buys AOL

Verizon buys AOL for $4.4 billion in cash

(UPI) — Telecom giant Verizon said it will buy AOL for $4.4 billion, or about $50 a share, in an all-cash deal that is being billed as a big boost to Verizon’s digital and video platforms.
AOL, best known for its dial-up service, will become a separate division within Verizon. AOL has several media brands, including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, MAKERS and AOL.com. The company boasts $600 million in global advertising revenue. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong will keep his job.
“The visions of Verizon and AOL are shared; the companies have existing successful partnerships, and we are excited to work with the team at Verizon to create the next generation of media through mobile and video,” Armstrong said in a written statement. Continue reading

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WASHINGTON, DC METROPOLITAN REGION NAMED NORTH AMERICAN LEADER FOR GREEN ROOFS INSTALLED IN 2014

The Washington, DC Metropolitan Region has been recognized for the second year in a row as number one in North America for green roof installations. In its 2014 Annual Green Roof Industry Survey, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) reports that the DC area installed over 1.2 million square feet of green roofs (or vegetated roofs) in 2014. The metropolitan region of Toronto, Ontario ranked number two, with 775,216 square feet installed, followed by Philadelphia and Chicago.

“I’m proud that the District of Columbia continues to lead the nation in installing green roofs,” said Tommy Wells, Director of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE). “The District is recognized as one of the most sustainable cities in the world, and our business and development community’s continued commitment to reducing the city’s carbon footprint plays an integral role in how the District is working to address climate change. With the recent adoption of rigorous stormwater regulations, an innovative Stormwater Retention Credit Trading program, and other progressive green infrastructure policies, our nation’s capital is using public-private investment to accelerate change with a focus on restoring and protecting our natural resources. I look forward to continued collaboration with environmental stakeholders and friendly competition with other cities and regions of the country.” Continue reading

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Mayor Bowser Names Matt Bailey as Director of Technology Innovation

Mayor Muriel Bowser recently named Matt Bailey, User Experience Manager for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as the District’s first Director of Technology Innovation for the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO).

“The District of Columbia is answering the call to create innovative solutions to address the challenges we face as a city. Director Bailey will use technology to improve the way we work and serve residents—delivering better access and transparency across District government. His work will be critical in our efforts to expand opportunity and create more pathways to the middle class,” said Mayor Bowser.
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JSSA Announces Summer 2015 Workshops and Groups

JSSA’s (Jewish Social Service Agency) Summer 2015 Workshops and Groups are open for enrollment with details available online. These new programs provide the opportunity for anyone in the community struggling with a wide range of learning, behavioral, emotional and physical challenges to learn from JSSA’s highly skilled professionals and to share with others who are facing similar challenges. Limited space is available for some workshops and groups.
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Virginia Selected by U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and USA Funds to Join National Network to Close the Workforce Skills Gap

Virginia’s Workforce System to Pilot Talent Pipeline Management Practices

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that the Commonwealth has been selected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation as one of only seven state and regional partnerships across the country to receive a $50,000 grant award as part of a one year Talent Pipeline Management initiative targeted at closing the workforce skills gap. The Governor’s Office will collaborate with the Virginia Board of Workforce Development, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Virginia Community College System as part of this initiative.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “I am delighted the Commonwealth was selected for this new national workforce initiative that will help our efforts to build a new Virginia economy. This opportunity gives us another tool to meet my goal of creating a world-class workforce system that will help existing businesses grow and expand and attract even more new businesses to Virginia.” Continue reading

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May is National Electrical Safety Month

Electricity is an essential part of our modern lives. Often, we don’t give electricity a second thought or consider the hidden dangers it can pose if we are not careful. Education about electrical safety can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why Dominion Virginia Power wants its customers to focus on the safety of children and other members of the community during National Electrical Safety month.
“On any given day people use electrical appliances without realizing there are some real risk and hazards associated with their use,” said Jerry Beverage—director, Safety and Training, Dominion Virginia Power. “Education plays a major role in the prevention of accidents, and it is best to learn at a young age. Even experts like our line crews respect the potential dangers.” Continue reading

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Library’s Packard Campus Presents “Mostly Lost” Films 


Fourth Annual Cinema Identification Workshop

The Library of Congress is inviting scholars, archivists and film enthusiasts to attend a free workshop, “Mostly Lost,” to screen and identify silent and early sound films that have been unidentified, under-identified or misidentified. A unique opportunity for film sleuths to find clues and solve riddles in a state-of-the-art theater, the workshop will take place at the Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia, Thursday, June 11 through Saturday, June 13.

The fourth in an ongoing series, “Mostly Lost” will tap the collective knowledge of the participants to obtain as much information as possible about the unknown or little-known films. During the screenings, attendees are encouraged to talk in the theater, calling out names of actors, locations, car models, production companies or anything else they recognize about each film. Continue reading

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Family of Rosa Parks to Discuss Her Legacy – 
“Our Auntie Rosa” Memoir Offers Personal Side of Parks’ Life

Rosa Parks is internationally famous for her role in the American civil rights movement of the 1960s. Yet few know the other side of Parks’ life.

A new memoir, “Our Auntie Rosa: The Family of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons” (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015), provides a look at Parks as a model of excellence in daily life, as well as a devoted mother figure to her niece, Sheila McCauley Keys, and Keys’ 12 siblings.

Keys and Eddie B. Allen Jr., the memoir’s co-author, will discuss and sign their book on Wednesday, May 20, at noon in Room LJ 119, located on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond program is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Library’s Prints and Photographs and Manuscript divisions, and the Daniel A.P. Murray Association of the Library of Congress. The Rosa Parks Collection is housed in the Manuscript Division, on loan to the Library for 10 years from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Continue reading

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NFL Suspends Brady 4 Games in ‘Deflate-Gate’ Scandal

(ABC)–The NFL came down hard on its biggest star and its championship team, telling Tom Brady and the Patriots that no one is allowed to mess with the rules of the game.
The league suspended the Super Bowl MVP Monday for the first four games of the season, fined the New England Patriots $1 million and took away two draft picks as punishment for deflating footballs used in the AFC title game.
“Each player, no matter how accomplished and otherwise respected, has an obligation to comply with the rules and must be held accountable for his actions when those rules are violated and the public’s confidence in the game is called into question,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent wrote to Brady.
The Patriots lose next year’s first-round pick and a fourth-round choice in 2017.
Brady would miss the season’s showcase kickoff game on Sept. 10 against Pittsburgh, then Week 2 at Buffalo, a home game against Jacksonville and a game at Dallas. He will return the week of a Patriots-Colts AFC championship rematch in Indianapolis. Continue reading

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Orioles Return to Camden Yards Deemed ‘Re-Opening Day’

(ABC)–Baltimore is a city slowly reclaiming itself in the wake of riots, looting and violence that rocked Charm City last month.
“All of Baltimore was attacked. And it affected all Baltimorians all across the city,” said Dee. The vendor working outside Camden Yards would only share with us her first name.
Dee said,”We had basically had to barricade ourselves in the houses because every shopping center around us was looted, set on fire.”
Monday night Dee and other vendors welcomed fans to the Baltimore Orioles first home game since the unrest.
Orioles fan Sidney Thomas said, “I think it’s really good not only for the city of Baltimore but for the whole region.”
The game was billed as “Re-Opening Day.” Continue reading

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Wizards’ Wall Shows Improvement; Game 5 Status Uncertain

(CBS)–Washington Wizards guard John Wall took the next step in recovery from a fractured left hand and wrist: He dribbled.

The All-Star missed the last three playoff games since suffering five non-displaced fractures in his left wrist and hand in Game 1 against Atlanta on May 3.

Significant swelling and pain prevented Wall from dribbling with his left hand until Tuesday.

“He’s moving in the right direction,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “The swelling is down again. Minimal swelling. He wanted to dribble the ball a little bit. Get the feel of it here.” Continue reading

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U.S. Men’s Relay Team Stripped of 2012 Olympic Silver: Report

The entire U.S. men’s sprint relay team was stripped of its silver medal from the 2012 London Olympics on Wednesday as a result of Tyson Gay’s doping case, two officials with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not yet been announced.
The International Olympic Committee notified the U.S. Olympic Committee by letter that the 4×100 relay team has been disqualified and all the medals withdrawn, the officials said. The letter asks the USOC to collect the medals and return them to the IOC.
Gay returned his own medal last year after accepting a one-year doping suspension and the loss of results going back to July 2012, but the status of the U.S. second-place finish in London and the medals of Gay’s relay teammates had remained in limbo until now. Continue reading

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Preakness: Easy for Derby Winner American Pharoah, or Not?

Now comes the easy part for American Pharoah — the Preakness Stakes.
At least that’s the way Bob Baffert sizes up the next race on the Triple Crown trail.
The Hall of Fame trainer is 3-0 when his Kentucky Derby winner runs in the Preakness, and his fourth Derby winner American Pharoah should be the heavy favorite for next Saturday’s race.
“To me, the Preakness is the easiest of the three legs,” Baffert said this week, a few days after American Pharoah’s hard-fought, one-length Derby victory over Firing Line. “The Derby is the hardest. Once you get through there, you know your horses are in top form. It’s a two-week turnaround. It’s just a matter of getting there.”
And winning there. Continue reading

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Senate Passes First Joint Congressional Budget in Six Years

(UPI) — The Republican-controlled Senate passed the first joint congressional budget agreement in six years on Tuesday after the House approved it last week.
The budget passed along party lines in the Senate with a 51 to 48 vote with only two Republicans voting no. Every Democrat voted against it.
The proposal seeks to balance the budget and cut spending by $5.3 trillion without increasing taxes by cutting programs like child nutrition assistance, welfare, food stamps, public housing and low-income heating assistance by about $820 billion over a 10-year period.
“No budget will ever be perfect, but this is a budget that sensibly addresses the concerns of many different members,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Tuesday.
Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas are the Republicans who voted against the resolution because they believe it does not do enough to shrink government and cut spending. They are both GOP presidential candidates for the 2016 election.
Democrats largely disagree with notions of reducing spending without raising taxes and of cutting programs.
“The budgets put forward by the House and Senate Republicans disinvest in America, hurt the middle class, threaten retirement security for our seniors, and use gimmicky accounting tricks to falsely claim balance,” top House Budget Committee Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., previously said about the budget proposal. “Simply put, it is a short-sighted plan that makes it harder for families to achieve the American dream.”

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Baltimore mayor orders police body cameras, requests DOJ investigation

(UPI) — Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced on Wednesday the Baltimore Police Department will be equipped with body cameras for its officers by the end of next year.
Rawlings-Blake also announced that she and the City Council president will request a full investigation into the city’s police department from the Department of Justice to investigate what “systemic challenges exist in our department.”
She said she discussed the request with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday, who is visiting the city with a team of officials from the Justice Department.
Rawlings-Blake said complaints of police brutality have decreased and other improvements by the police department have been seen.
“We have seen results from these efforts,” Rawlings-Blake said, but stated more needs to be done to improve reforms already put in place. “We have to get it right. Failure is not an option.”
Rawlings-Blake announced Sunday that the 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew imposed for nearly a week has been lifted.
The curfew was imposed after riots broke out in West Baltimore on Monday in response to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured while in police custody.
Six Baltimore police officers charged in his death were released from jail on bond late Friday.

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Mayor Bowser Launches Month-Long “innoMAYtion” Initiative

Initiative will focus on ways to advance economic opportunities for District residents

Mayor Muriel Bowser kicks off Small Business Week by announcing innoMAYtion, a month-long initiative to showcase innovative programs that will create jobs, engage residents, and position the District as a hub of innovation. Highlighting public and private sector programs, innoMAYtion will concentrate on innovative ways the city responds to meet the needs of District communities.

“Throughout the month of May, my Administration will showcase how District residents and businesses are creating economic opportunity for residents by taking innovative approaches to complex problems,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “In Washington, we are tackling challenges head on and creating good-paying jobs that create pathways to the middle class for District residents.”
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#IWishUKnew Youth Engagement Forum

On Thursday May 7 at 4:00 p.m, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Great Hall, 901 G Street, NW, Mayor Muriel Bowser along with Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney R. Snowden will host an #IWishUKnew Youth Engagement Forum. The forum will take place at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library with a group of District youth between the ages of 14-24. Residents are encouraged to participate live via Twitter by following @MayorBowser and using hashtag #IWishUKnew to join the conversation.
The Youth Engagement Forum aims to continue the conversation first initiated during last week’s #IWishUKnew digital engagement campaign launch. Following the unrest in Baltimore, the campaign is designed to foster a dialogue between residents and key stakeholders, including the faith community, law enforcement, the business community and others. The campaign encourages District residents to share on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram their thoughts using the hashtag #IWishUKnew.

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Rental Inflation Drives Homelessness and Housing Instability for the Poor

The U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economonic Analysis (BEA) released its “Personal Income and Outlays” report for March, 2015, which showed that the price index for personal consumption expenditures rose by just 0.3% from one year earlier (1.3% when food and energy are excluded). What is striking about this extremely low inflation rate is that the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that rents were up 3.5% in March from a year before.

Despite downward pressures on prices in the rest of the economy, the cost of rental housing continues to rise. Rental price increases are a direct result of the mismatch between supply and demand. In the years following the recession and housing collapse of 2008, increasing numbers of households have been forced out of homeownership into the rental market. With the gradual decline in unemployment rate, individuals who were doubling up with family members are now beginning to strike out on their own into the rental market. And builders have not kept pace with the increasing renter demand with new construction. As a result, the rental market vacancy rate is the lowest it has been since 1993.
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Chemicals found in everyday products pose health threats, study finds

(UPI) — Hundreds of scientists around the world are campaigning to urge manufacturers to halt the use of common chemicals present in thousands of products from electronics to pizza boxes.
Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, are the substances used to keep pizza boxes sturdy even when saturated with oil. The name may ring a bell as DuPont banned one long-chain type of the chemical years ago for being linked to cancer.
The subsequent replacements to that chemical, however, also have toxic qualities according to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives by Linda S. Birnbaum from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program and Philippe Grandjean, from the Harvard School of Public Health.
PFASs make products resistant to high temperatures, apparently adding to their shelf life and durability. They are used in water and oil repellents as well as consumer products like makeup, furniture and food packaging. The chemicals have been detected in the blood streams of a large portion of the population due to its extensive utilization and reportedly linger for long periods of time, although in low doses. Continue reading

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The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. launches the Black Male Entrepreneur Institute in Washington DC

Program designed to create more Black businesses,
and jobs in the Black community Washington D.C.

The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. launched the first Young Black Male Entrepreneur Institute event at the City Club in the nation’s capital. This is the first of many in the United States.

During the event, experienced businessmen shared advice on building successful businesses in the new economy with more than 40 up and coming young Black male entrepreneurs. The charge in the room was unmatched and culminated with remarks from Ron Busby, President and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., Harry Wingo, President
and CEO of the DC Chamber of Commerce, Antwayne Ford, President & CEO of Enlightened, Inc. and William Clyburn Jr, President & CEO of Clyburn Consulting LLC.
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Study examines concussion rates among youth, high school, and college football

Football is an extremely popular sport in the United States. The number of boys playing football in the US is greater than the combined number of boys playing the second and third most popular sports, according to the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS). Approximately 3 million youth athletes play football, and 1.1 million high school athletes and 100,000 college athletes play tackle football each year. And as we’ve reported before, the US has a dangerously relaxed attitude toward concussions.

A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics described the incidence of concussion in athletes participating in youth, high school, and college football, after a report by the Institute of Medicine called for comprehensive nationwide concussion incidence data for athletes aged 5 to 23 years. The study authors, led by Thomas P. Dompier, Ph.D., used data collected as part of three large injury surveillance systems: the Youth Football Surveillance System which provided 4,092 athlete-seasons (one player participating in one season); the National Athletic Treatment, Injury and Outcomes Network which provided 11 ,957 athlete-seasons; and the National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance Program which provided 4,305 athlete-seasons. Data were collected from the 2012 and 2013 football seasons.
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Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Co-Chairs Introduce Resolution Recognizing May as National Foster Care Month

Co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, U.S. Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Tom Marino (R-Penn.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island) joined 119 bipartisan co-sponsors in introducing H. Res. 251 recognizing May as National Foster Care Month and encouraging Congress to implement policies to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.

During National Foster Care Month, members of the Foster Care Caucus will participate in activities to celebrate foster youth and all those who make a meaningful difference in the lives of foster youth.
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Study: Global Warming may push 1 in 6 Species into Extinction

(UPI) — An analysis published in Science journal claims that climate change may cause extinction in as many as 1 in 6 animal and plant species.
Author Mark Urban, ecologist at the University of Connecticut, wrote that risks of extinction for the earth’s flora and fauna will accelerate as global temperatures climb. South America, Australia and New Zealand are said to be especially effected.
“We have the choice,” he said, according to the New York Times. “The world can decide where on that curve they want the future Earth to be.”
Urban reportedly visited every climate extinction model ever published in order to come to holistic conclusions. Continue reading

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Harris Teeter Launches Donation Card Campaign to Support USO & Wounded Warrior Project

On May 1, Harris Teeter launched its fourth annual Support Our Troops donation card campaign. Support Our Troops benefits both the USO and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), two organizations committed to supporting U.S. troops and their families.

During the month of May, Harris Teeter shoppers and associates will be able to make $1, $3 or $5 donations to Support Our Troops at checkout. The company gives 100 percent of these donations directly to the USO and WWP. In 2014, the campaign raised over $1.1 million total for the two beneficiaries.

For nearly 75 years, the USO has supported America’s troops and their families throughout their journey in the military, from the moment they enlist, throughout their deployments and as they transition back to civilian life. The USO delivers valuable programs, morale-boosting services and engaging entertainment that help them feel appreciated for their service.. Continue reading

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U.S. Department of Education Awards More Than $24.8 Million in Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grants

67 School Districts in 26 States to Receive Grants for School Counselors and Mental Health Services

The U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $24.8 million to 67 schools districts in 26 states across the country to establish or expand counseling programs. Grantees will use funds to support counseling programs in elementary and secondary schools. Specifically, the new Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grant awards will aid schools in hiring qualified mental-health professionals with the goal of expanding the range, availability, quantity and quality of counseling services. Parents of participating students will have input in the design and implementation of counseling services supported by these grants.
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William Julius Wilson to Discuss Race and Economic Class, May 21

William Julius Wilson, a distinguished sociologist and the current Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance at the Library of Congress, will present a lecture on the effects of race and class in determining the future life outcomes of men and women in America.

Wilson will speak at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 21 in room 119 on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.

The lecture will mark the conclusion to Wilson’s four-month residency at The John W. Kluge Center. During his residency, Wilson reexamined arguments laid forth in his 1978 book “The Declining Significance of Race,” in which he argued economic class has gradually become more important than race in determining the future life outcomes of African Americans. In his lecture, Wilson will reflect on the themes articulated in this work and their application to more recent developments in American race and ethnic relations involving not only African Americans but also other groups, including whites and Latinos. He will also advance some thoughts on the future of race relations in the U.S.
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Dominion Announces $1.2 Million in Grants Supporting Environmental Initiatives

Dominion Resources is making grants totaling $1.2 million available to fifty-two organizations in eight states, including Virginia, as part of its competitive program designed to support specific, short-term projects that improve the environment.
The grants are made available through the Dominion Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm. The program has been expanded since it was piloted in Virginia in 2013.
“Expanding the program to include additional communities this year was an exciting prospect,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “The response from the nonprofit community during the last two years of the pilot in Virginia was remarkable, and the result is that an even wider variety of programs promoting environmental stewardship received much-needed funding.” Continue reading

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Virginia Small Business Financing Authority Receives Additional $6.1 Million from U.S. Treasury

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA), a division of the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD), has secured an additional $6.1 million to help Virginia’s banks lend more to small businesses. Through a third disbursement from the U.S. Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), the funds will be put to work to help spur more small business lending.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “To build the new Virginia economy, we must continue to help Virginia’s small businesses grow. The growth and success of Virginia’s small businesses are integral parts of my economic development strategy, and I am proud of the work the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority and Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology are doing to achieve that important goal. These new funds will support the Commonwealth’s businesses and help them create even more jobs for Virginians.” Continue reading

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DDOE ANNOUNCES NINTH ANNUAL FAMILY & YOUTH CASTING CALL


Free Family Fishing Event Hooks Kids on the Outdoors

More than 400 area families and volunteer fishing instructors will take to a specially stocked part of the C&O Canal near Fletcher’s Boathouse on Saturday, May 16, from 10am to 3pm, as part of the District Department of the Environment’s (DDOE) Family & Youth Casting Call.

Now in its ninth year, the Family and Youth Casting Call (FYCC) provides District-area youth the opportunity to try their hand at fishing with the assistance of free bait, loaner fishing gear, and expert instruction. In addition to fishing, kids are invited to participate in environmental education activities including gyotaku fish printing, knot tying, fly and spincasting instruction, watershed education activities, and displays of native and invasive species of fish and animals.
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Experts advance solutions for healing relationships between law enforcement and communities of color at America Healing Conference

In the wake of multiple deaths of unarmed youths and people of color from encounters with the police, leading experts on policing and community building proposed ways to improve law enforcement-community relationships during a plenary session at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s (WKKF) 2015 America Healing Conference.

This week, more than 500 civil rights, social justice and community-based leaders gathered to discuss ways that Americans of all races, ethnicities and religions can heal divisiveness and work toward racial equity so children can thrive. Mistrust between communities and police, as well as health, economic and environmental conditions fashioned by a legacy of racism, are frequently cited for curtailing opportunities and creating unrest in communities of color.

The plenary session, “Healing Relationships between Law Enforcement and Communities of Color,” provided panelist leaders with a platform to recommend actionable ideas.
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Maryland Historical Society Issues
Public Call for Photographs

Society Wishes To Document Protests, Unrest and 
Cleanup Efforts in Baltimore

The Maryland Historical Society has issued a public call for images from professional and amateur photographers in order to document the Freddie Gray protests, unrest and cleanup efforts in Baltimore. “We believe this is an important topic for public history,” says MdHS President Burt Kummerow. “We have the resources to interpret these events as well as what has happened in the past.”

Images may be submitted to the Maryland Historical Society through Dropbox at Remembrance@mdhs.org.
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Free Workshop on “Social Security Planning for Women” to be Held at Germantown Library

A free one-hour workshop on “Social Security Planning for Women” will be presented at the Germantown Library on Thursday, May 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. The library is located at 19840 Century Blvd.
The program is sponsored by the National Endowment on Financial Education (NEFE, a non-profit organization). During the workshop, Kristin Michel Rodriguez, a financial advisor with more than 15 years of experience, will review the social security program, talk about how it favors women (married, divorced, or widowed) and discuss the top five mistakes women make when filing for social security benefits. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. Continue reading

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3,400 CEB Employees Worldwide Dedicate A Week of Service to Improve Local Communities

Projects Include Food Services for Impoverished Families, Park and Community Center Revitalizations and School Program Support

CEB (NYSE: CEB), the leading member-based advisory company, kicks off its five-year anniversary of organizing a global community impact event on May 11th. As part of these efforts, the company is expanding its single day of service to an entire week of volunteer opportunities, sending thousands of dedicated volunteers to bring skills-based expertise and manual service to more than 80 organizations in 50 cities and 25 countries worldwide.

In Washington, D.C., approximately 1,000 CEB employees will donate five days of service to 15 charitable organizations that benefit capital area causes. These include service projects ranging from assembling bikes for children overseas, preparing and packing food for underprivileged families, refurbishing multiple YMCA locations, engaging in farm tasks for a community-based urban farm, and pro bono assistance to local nonprofits.

To celebrate its five-year milestone and show its appreciation for the work its employees put forth throughout the week, CEB will host a block party on Friday, May 15th, complete with a live band, food trucks, and games and prizes. The block party festivities are set to begin at 3:30 p.m. EST on North Kent Street, between 19th St. and Wilson Blvd., in Arlington, Va.

The week of service is Monday, May 11th through Friday, May 15th. Charitable service projects begin at 9:00 a.m. each day, at various locations across the metro D.C. area. Exact address for all projects can be viewed here.

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Among 25 Wealthy Capital Cities, Washington D.C. Has Highest Infant Mortality Rate

In conjunction with the launch of the annual report, State of the World’s Mothers 2015: The Urban Disadvantage, Save the Children released new findings on the vast differences in death rates among rich and poor children in cities around the world.
Among 25 of the wealthiest capital cities surveyed around the world, Washington, D.C. has the highest infant mortality rate, and the study found that babies from the District’s poorest wards are dying at much higher rates than the city’s high average. To mark the launch of the report and discuss the findings pertaining to our nation’s capital, Save the Children has teamed up with Dr. Kurt Newman, CEO of Children’s National Health System; Dr. Marcee White, medical director of THEARC in Ward 8; and Dr. Djinge Lindsay, deputy director of programs at DC Department of Health. Continue reading

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Roll Up Your Sleeves! Health Expo to Educate and Empower D.C. Community

Free Event Featuring Celebrity Guests, Free Fitness and Cooking
Classes and Blood Pressure Screenings
Roll Up Your Sleeves! Health Expo is free to all local community members and will feature health and fitness celebrities, fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, blood pressure screenings, door prizes, giveaways and more. Celebrities on hand to share their own health and fitness tips include Cornell McClellan, personal trainer to the First Family; Chef LaLa, internationally-known chef and nutritionist; and Bruce Johnson, local news anchor. Nine fitness and yoga classes and four healthy cooking demonstrations will be featured throughout the event, along with blood pressure screenings, health education booths and more. Continue reading

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County Joins Cities of Gaithersburg and Rockville to Host Water Safety Day

Montgomery County Recreation and the cities of Gaithersburg and Rockville will host a free Water Safety Day event on Friday, May 29 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Water Park at Bohrer Park, 512 S. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg. The event will be held rain or shine.

“As outdoor community pools prepare to open over the Memorial Day weekend, the timing is perfect to focus on water safety,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “I encourage all families to participate in this event to learn effective ways to avoid unnecessary accidents.”
The event will include information booths, lifeguard demonstrations, the proper use of personal flotation devices, how to safely assist someone struggling in the water, the importance of sunscreen to prevent skin damage and free swim lesson screenings.
Anyone attending Water Safety Day who visits the various information booths can stay and enjoy a free swim. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information about the event, call 240-777-8060.

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Prince George’s County Honored by the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) for Economic Development Successes

At the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) Annual Conference and Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Chesapeake Resort in Cambridge, MD, Prince George’s County was honored multiple times for its economic development successes. Specifically, Prince George’s County’s $50 million Economic Development Incentive (EDI) Fund was given a MEDA Award for best Economic Development Program in the State of Maryland. Additionally, two Prince Georgians, Prince George’s County Assistant Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Economic Development and Public Infrastructure David S. Iannucci and former Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond Skinner were inducted into the MEDA Hall of Fame. The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) is the leading organization of economic development professionals in Maryland, with almost 600 members from both government and the private sector in all jurisdictions in the State. Each year, MEDA recognizes the people, programs, and projects that bring economic prosperity to Maryland. Continue reading

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UIP Completes Restoration of 1483 Newton Street in DC’s Columbia Heights

Urban Investment Partners (UIP) has completed a two-year gut renovation of a formerly vacant apartment building originally developed by iconic Washington, DC real estate entrepreneur Harry Wardman in Columbia Heights. Isabella now offers 38 modern apartments that are now 50 percent leased.

When acquired by UIP in December 2012, the building at 1483 Newton Street, NW had been vacant for more than two decades and had been condemned by the DC Condemnation Board. It was one of the last blighted, vacant multifamily properties in Columbia Heights. “This was the most run-down building we have ever purchased, with holes in the roof, collapsing floors, and a failing façade,” said UIP Principal Steve Schwat. “It’s a joy to see the restoration of this classic structure, and the apartment homes are nothing less than spectacular. This is what we love to do.”
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Bank of America Survey Finds 65 Percent of Greater Washington 
Small Business Owners are Still Recovering from the Great Recession

Despite Challenges, Local Entrepreneurs are Significantly More Optimistic about Growth and the Economy than They Were One Year Ago

Seven years after the Great Recession, two-thirds of Greater Washington small business owners (65 percent) report their businesses are still recovering, according to the spring 2015 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners in Washington, D.C. and around the country. Though many feel they have not completely recovered, they are more optimistic about their business growth, the economy and hiring plans than they were a year ago, based on findings in the spring 2014 report.
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WASHINGTON NATIONALS TO RECOGNIZE 2015 HONORARY BAT GIRL CONTEST WINNER AT NATIONALS PARK FOR “GOING TO BAT AGAINST BREAST CANCER”

Major League Baseball has announced the winners of the 2015 Honorary Bat Girl contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease. The Honorary Bat Girl for the Washington Nationals is Tracy Lustig of Alexandria, Va. She will be recognized on the field and will be responsible for delivering the lineup card before the team plays the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, May 10.

Tracy Lustig is a resilient breast cancer survivor. After being diagnosed with an aggressive case of Stage 3 breast cancer in 2013, she set out to overcome the sickness. Throughout her surgery and strenuous chemotherapy, radiation and IV Herceptin treatments, Lustig remained optimistic and courageous. Despite her struggles, she often attended Washington Nationals games for a sense of normalcy and fun. Lustig won her fight with breast cancer and is now an advocate dedicated to sharing her story openly and honestly in an effort to remove the stigma that comes with talking about the disease. Continue reading

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The Phillips Collection Celebrates Five Years of Intersections

Intersections@5 features generous gifts and recently acquired works emblematic of the museum’s mission to actively collect contemporary art

This spring, The Phillips Collection celebrates the fifth anniversary of its Intersections contemporary art series with a retrospective exhibition opening May 28. The Intersections series, which has showcased the work of 21 living artists from the US and abroad, will be highlighted in Intersections@5, a presentation of the acquired artworks by these participating artists that were either part of past projects or reminiscent of them. A celebration of the Phillips’s mission to actively collect and display contemporary art, the anniversary exhibition will remain on view through October 25, 2015.
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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announces 
Music for Peace Concert in West Baltimore Church on May 9

Free Concert to feature multiple musical ensembles to provide unity
and healing for community as harmony emerges

In the wake of Baltimore’s recent unrest and tensions resulting from the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announces a Music for Peace concert on May 9, 2015, at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in West Baltimore (in the Mondawmin Mall neighborhood). Last week musicians of the BSO and Music Director Marin Alsop performed an impromptu open-air concert outside its home, the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, providing a respite from protests and violence for over 1,000 members of the community. This Saturday, musicians from the BSO and Alsop will team up with musicians from the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras, the BSO’s inner-city after-school program OrchKids, Peabody Institute, Baltimore School for the Arts, and musicians from City College in a program dedicated to the resilience of the people of Baltimore and the future promise of Charm City. Mount Lebanon Baptist Church’s pastor, Dr. Franklin Lance, will open the program with welcome remarks and will be joined by Delegate Barbara A. Robinson.
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CAPITAL TRANS PRIDE TO BE HELD MAY 16

Annual Event Will Celebrate DC’s Transgender Community as Part of 40th Annual Celebration of LGBTA Community

Capital Trans Pride will be held on Saturday, May 16, at the Reeves Municipal Center at 14th and U Streets, NW from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. This year’s event will include workshops on a variety of issues important to the Trans community. opportunities to network and socialize, along with performing and visual artists from around the Trans community.

A Trans Visibility Walk to Dupont Circle will begin at 4:00 pm and will be followed by an After Party at The Gryphon, 1337 Connecticut Ave., NW, until 7:00 pm
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Torrey Smith Returns to Maryland for AmeriGroup Wellness Champion Event With Oxon Hill High School Students

Former Baltimore Raven and current NFL Wide Receiver Torrey Smith will return to Maryland Friday, May 8, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for a special visit with Oxon Hill High School students, who won the Amerigroup Challenge. Smith, who attended the University of Maryland, will tour the school and talk to students about the importance of getting an education and maintaining their physical health. Additionally, Oxon Hill High School will receive a check for $5,000 for winning the Amerigroup Challenge.
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AAACCVB Establishes Tourism Scholarship for Anne Arundel County Residents


The Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau (AAACCVB) has established a scholarship fund designed to make it easier for Anne Arundel County residents to pursue careers in tourism. That’s the announcement AAACCVB President and CEO Connie Del Signore made during her organization’s National Tourism Day festivities at Rams Head On Stage earlier today.

Flanked by Maryland State Senator John Astle, Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides, U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President Gary Oster, and Acting Assistant Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, Bill Pencek, Del Signore and AAACCVB Board Chairman Erin McNaboe presented a check for $12,500 to the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation (MTEF). At the same time, Del Signore and McNaboe challenged AAACCVB members and partners, elected officials, and tourism industry leaders in attendance to match the donation – achieving a scholarship fund of $25,000 – in time for the AAACCVB’s 25th Anniversary celebration on September 17. Senator Astle responded to the challenge on the spot by presenting a $500 check to MTEF.
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NFL Finds It Likely that Patriots Deliberately Deflated Balls, Brady ‘Aware’

(ABC)–An NFL investigation released Wednesday said that New England Patriots employees likely deflated footballs used in the AFC Championship and that quarterback Tom Brady was probably “at least generally aware” of the rules violations.

The NFL began investigating after the Patriots defeated the Colts 45-7 on January 18. The Colts complained that several footballs were under inflated and the NFL confirmed that 11 of the 12 footballs were under the limit. The investigation started as the Patriots were preparing for the Super Bowl – which they won two weeks later.
Footballs with less pressure can be easier to grip and catch. Some quarterbacks prefer footballs that have less air.
The NFL requires balls to be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch, and each team is responsible for the balls it uses on offense. Continue reading

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Nationals’ 2-1 Loss to Marlins Leaves Strasburg Hurting

Here’s a sight no Nationals fan, or player, ever wants to see: Stephen Strasburg throwing a pitch, grimacing and stepping off the mound in obvious discomfort.
That’s what happened in the second inning against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night. Washington lost 2-1, although afterward that wasn’t as important as the health of its standout right-hander.
Strasburg was removed for a pinch hitter after allowing two runs and throwing 64 pitches in three innings.
“He’s got a little issue under his shoulder blade,” manager Matt Williams said. “Had it last start. Could be an alignment issue, but as he finishes pitches it grabs him every once in a while. Tonight it got a little bit worse. So we’ll have to have the chiropractor look at him.”
In the second inning, Strasburg winced after throwing a pitch and was visited by the team trainer, pitching coach Steve McCatty and Williams. The right-hander stayed in the game, but not for long. Continue reading

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Favorite American Pharoah Wins 141st Kentucky Derby

(ABC)–Three times in seven years, Bob Baffert left the Kentucky Derby empty-handed. Two seconds and a sixth-place finish by the wagering favorite.

After a while, those close calls started taking a toll. Even for a three-time Derby winner.
“When you get beat like that, all these seconds, you get to a point in your life, maybe it’s not just going to happen for me,” said Baffert, 62, who suffered a heart attack in Dubai three years ago. “And then they sent me this horse. And I thought, `Wow, here’s my chance. Don’t mess it up, Bob.'”
On this first Saturday in May, Baffert knew he had the best horse in American Pharoah. Still, he needed a dynamic performance and some old-fashioned racing luck.
He got it all – and then some – with a horse that even rival trainers suspect could be a threat to win racing’s first Triple Crown in 37 years.
Sent off as the 5-2 favorite by the record crowd of 170,513, American Pharoah rallied in the stretch to beat Firing Line by a length and deliver Baffert’s first Derby since 2002. Continue reading

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Mayweather Defeats Pacquiao by Unanimous Decision

(CBS)–Floyd Mayweather Jr. won a unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night, using his usual skill to remain unbeaten in the most anticipated fight in recent years.

Mayweather (48-0) won comfortably on all three judges’ scorecards in his long-awaited showdown with Pacquiao (57-6-2). Despite boos from a pro-Pacquiao crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mayweather counterpunched and jabbed his way to another win.

Two judges favored Mayweather 116-112, while a third had it 118-110. The Associated Press scored it 115-113 for Mayweather.

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President Obama And First Lady Host State Dinner For Japanese PM Shinzo Abe And Akie Abe

White House hosts Japan’s Prime Minister Abe for State dinner

It was only a year ago that President Barack Obama, visiting Tokyo for a state visit, found himself out to dinner with the prime minister dining on what’s widely considered the best sushi on the planet.

The nearly two-hour outing to Sukiyabashi Jiro, the subterranean mecca for raw fish enthusiasts, was a chance for the President to chat quietly with Prime Minster Shinzo Abe before the distractions of an imperial welcome made conversations difficult.

Obama — whose favorite meal is sushi — couldn’t finish the 20-piece tasting menu. But he’s hoping to replicate Abe’s hospitality when the Japanese leader arrives for bilateral talks and a state dinner on Tuesday.

For the first time since 2011, the Obamas will host State Dinner guests indoors rather than in a tent on the South Lawn. The smaller venue means fewer guests — around 200, half of the nearly 400 who attended last year’s dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande — but it also translates to a more intimate venue to build person-to-person ties between the U.S. and Japan.
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DDOT Announces the 2015 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Summit and Networking Symposium

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the D.C. Division of the Federal Highway Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation today announced the 5th Annual 2015 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Summit and Networking Symposium on May 21, 2015. This year, the keynote speaker is the District’s Congressional Delegate, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.
The summit is an opportunity for DDOT and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority-certified DBE firms and other small business enterprises to learn about upcoming federal-assisted business opportunities. It will also offer a chance for attendees to network with highway construction-related prime contractors, civil architectural and engineering firms, DDOT’s project managers and other DBE firms and small businesses within the transportation industry. Participants may also attend industry-related concurrent workshops.
This year’s summit features an added workshop called “Contract Basics,” which will offer business tips to help DBE firms build a successful bid package. It will also feature legal experts who will discuss contract compliance, project close outs and disputes. Continue reading

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Full Closure of Military Road, NW, Under the 16th Street Bridge

As a part of the 16th Street Bridge over Military Road, NW, replacement project in Ward 4, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will completely close all lanes at Military Road under the 16th Street Bridge, NW, beginning Friday, May 1 at 7 pm. Military Road will reopen on Monday, May 4 at 5 am. This weekend-long closure will assist crews with work on the 16th Street Bridge.
Signs will be in place to detour all traffic from Military Road, NW, onto the ramps to cross 16th Street.
Commuters and residents should prepare for major traffic delays on 16th Street and Military Road and adjacent roads during construction. Commuters are advised to find alternative routes to their destinations.
The 16th Street Bridge over Military Road, NW, project is needed to replace the 16th Street Bridge, and to make median barrier and street light improvements on Military Road. For further information, visit the website, http://www.16thandmilitary.com/. Continue reading

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U.S. Conference of Mayors Reissues Community Policing Recommendations

As the situation in Baltimore continues to unfold, the nation’s mayors today are reissuing their recommendations on improving community policing, initially disseminated under the leadership of U.S. Conference of Mayors President Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson at the Conference’s 83rd Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. in January.
The recommendations were unveiled by Gary (IN) Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, who chairs the USCM Working Group of Mayors and Police Chiefs, following a four-month review of policies and best-practices nationwide, during a session titled “Strengthening Community Policing in the 21st Century.
Participants in that session included Mayor Freeman-Wilson, Director of White House Intergovernmental Affairs Jerry E. Abramson; Philadelphia Police Commissioner and President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Co-Chair Charles Ramsey; George Mason University Professor and President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Co-Chair Laurie Robinson; and U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services Office Director and Task Force Executive Director Ronald L. Davis. The session was moderated by Mayor Johnson and included an open question and answer period with hundreds of mayors in the audience. Continue reading

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New report reveals current and long-term trends in heroin use

Although heroin use levels have stabilized over the past few years they are still disturbingly high

A new report Tracking Heroin Use in the United States: 2002 to 2013 released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that while incidence of heroin use is still relatively small compared to other illicit substances (e.g., marijuana, prescription drug misuse, etc.) it rose significantly over the past 11 years. The report shows that 681,000 Americans aged 12 and older used heroin in the past year. Although this is consistent with levels since 2009 it is far higher than the 2002 to 2008 levels (ranging from 314,000 to 455,000). Data shows that 169,000 Americans age 12 and older used heroin for the first time in 2013. Among these initiates were 21,000 adolescents (ages 12 to 17) and 66,000 young adults (ages 18 to 25). Overall, on an average day about 460 Americans use heroin for the first time. 

Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug that is illegal and has no accepted medical use in the United States. Its use can result in a wide variety of health risks including exposure to infectious diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS (if taken through infected needles) and potentially fatal overdoses. 

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell recently announced a targeted initiative aimed at reducing prescription opioid and heroin related overdose, death, and dependence.
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New study connects extreme weather events and climate change

(UPI) — A new study has found a significant correlation between climate change and extreme weather events across the globe.
The study, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, found the mild overall warming caused by climate change has increased extreme heat events by four times. The researchers claim the frequency of such events will increase by 62 times if emissions are not curbed soon. Extreme precipitation events have also increased due to greenhouse gas emissions, at a rate of 22 percent since the Industrial Revolution.
“People can argue that we had these kinds of extremes well before human influence on the climate — we had them centuries ago,” said Erich M. Fischer, lead author of a study, according to the New York Times. “And that’s correct. But the odds have changed, and we get more of them.”
While the average global increase in temperature appears small at the moment, the researchers assert that such changes alter the amount of deadly weather events that are likely to occur in many areas.
The study is published in the journal Nature.

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Federal officials revise fluoride water level recommendations

(UPI) — For the first time in 50 years, the U.S. government is advising municipalities to adjust the levels of fluoride in their water.
Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services announced to fluoridation guidelines on Monday, calling on water supply managers to lower levels to 0.7 milligrams per liter. Prior recommendations advised cities and towns to shoot for somewhere between 0.7 and 1.2 milligrams per liter.
Health officials made the change as a precautionary measure, in order to ensure Americans don’t get too much of the mineral. Officials began adding fluoride to local water supplies in the 1960s as a strategy to curb cavities and slow tooth decay. About 75 percent of all water in the U.S. is now treated with fluoride. Continue reading

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National Program Unites People to Make A Health Impact on Local Communities

Communities of color bear a disproportionate burden of risks for heart disease and stroke in the U.S. For this reason, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association created EmPowered To Serve, an online mega-community of diverse individuals and organizations united in building sustainable cultures of health in communities across the country.
Through EmPowered To Serve, a free online community platform, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is uniting individuals, faith-based organizations, businesses, government and nonprofit sectors to build a “mega community” around a common goal of improving the health and well-being of multicultural communities.
“When people join EmPowered To Serve, they have the opportunity to assess their personal health, assess the health of their community or environment and work on an action plan to improve problem areas. The aim of the platform is for communities to achieve at least a 10 percent improvement in health, which is measured through a post action plan assessment,” says Clyde Yancy, M.D., Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and American Heart Association volunteer. Continue reading

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Mayor Bowser Orders Corrective Actions at District’s Department of Forensic Sciences

Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a corrective action plan for the District’s Department of Forensic Science (DFS). DFS has halted all DNA testing and the District is in the process of identifying third party labs to support DFS’ mission while the corrective action plan is carried out. The corrective actions come after the completion of two audits of DFS’ DNA mixture interpretation results.

Last year, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia (USAO) first raised issues concerning the lab’s DNA mixture interpretation protocols. As a result in January, USAO stopped sending new DNA cases to the lab. The USAO commissioned an audit and Mayor Bowser commissioned a separate audit by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) to provide a third party independent review of the work produced by the lab.

Both audits were finalized last week and found similar deficiencies in training and review at DFS. Currently, DFS risks losing its accreditation as a result of problematic practices and procedures.
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DDOE AND EPA ANNOUNCE UNIQUE SOLAR-POWERED
PARK BENCH AIR MONITORING STATION TO MEASURE
DISTRICT’S AIR QUALITY

The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announce the District’s new Village Green solar and wind-powered air monitoring station at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The station, which comes in the form of an innovative park bench, was developed by the EPA as a unique way to engage the public in measuring air quality and weather. The park bench station, loaned to DDOE by EPA, is located in the Kid’s Farm exhibit area of the Zoo.

The Village Green project puts science into the hands of residents and visitors, allowing them to access local air quality information from the park bench station through onsite displays and a smartphone-friendly website. It provides real-time reliable readings on levels of fine particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), ozone, wind speed and direction, temperature, and humidity—all of which are important factors for understanding local air quality trends.
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