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Doctors complete first bilateral hand transplant on 8-year-old

(UPI) — Doctors in Philadelphia completed the first pediatric double hand transplant on an 8-year-old boy who’d had his hands and feet amputated, in addition to a kidney transplant, after a serious infection when he was 2.

A 40-member medical team spent 10 hours on the intricate surgery, which will keep Zion Harvey recovering at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for several weeks before his rehabilitation continues when he and his mother return to their home in Baltimore.

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OSSE Releases Report on Movement of Students Into, Out of, and Between Public Schools in DC

Majority of changes in the middle of a school year are due to students exiting or entering the state

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) recently released a report, “Mid-year Student Movement in DC.” The report analyzes patterns of students in pre-Kindergarten 3 through 12th grade entering, exiting, or transferring between public schools in DC. The report includes data on the 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14 school years.

Among the reports key findings are:

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DC Taxicab Commission Announces Grants for Obtaining Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Funding and Training Available for Qualified Drivers and Taxi companies

The DC Taxicab Commission (DCTC) is establishing a grants program to assist District residents and taxicab companies obtain new wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs). Applications are available to drivers with a valid H-tag and taxicab companies that have met the 6% WAVs requirement. All those receiving a grant must agree to participate in the Transport DC program. In addition, an online sensitivity training program developed in partnership with the DC Office of Disability Rights will be required for accepting the grant.

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HBCU ALUMNI AND SUPPORTERS JOIN CELEBRITY GOLFERS FOR THE 3rd ANNUAL HBCU GOLF CHALLENGE 2015

HBCU Alum, friends and supporters along with HBCU Golf Challenge™ will host the 3rd Annual HBCU Golf Challenge (www.hbcugolfchallenge.org) on Friday, August 28,  at the newly re- opened Oak Creek Golf Club in Upper Marlboro, MD. Proceeds from the event will be used to provide scholarship funding for current and prospective students attending public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The festivities will begin with a Celebrity Meet and Greet” at 7:00am on Friday, August 28th at The Oak Creek Golf Club, located at 600 Bowieville Manor Ln., Upper Marlboro, MD. Guests will have a chance to meet and hear the firsthand stories of African American golf legends and their fight to gain equal access to public golf courses and eventually the PGA Tour, the value of education, as well as learn some valuable tips to improve your golf game.

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(BPRW) Wells Fargo Launches New Innovation Group

Company veteran Steve Ellis to lead cross-functional organization to help keep company at the leading edge of technological innovation in financial services

(Black PR Wire) – SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), long a leader in delivering innovative products, services, and technology to its customers, today announced the formation of a new Innovation Group, which will work in partnership with its major businesses to meet evolving customer needs and stay ahead of the shifting competitive landscape. Steve Ellis, who had served as the head of Wholesale Services, has been named the leader of the new group. Ellis reports to Hope Hardison, who will assume the role of chief administrative officer (CAO) when Pat Callahan retires August 31. The CAO group now includes Human Resources, Corporate Communications, Enterprise Marketing, Government and Community Relations, and the Innovation Group.

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On its 50th anniversary, more than 55 million Americans covered by Medicare

New Medicare state-by-state enrollment numbers

As Medicare and Medicaid celebrate their 50th anniversary protecting the health and well-being of millions of seniors, people with disabilities and low-income individuals, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released updated Medicare state-by-state enrollment numbers, showing that more than 55 million Americans are covered by Medicare.

In 1966, approximately 19.1 million Americans were covered by Medicare. In 2012, there were nearly 52 million beneficiaries covered by Medicare. Today’s enrollment numbers represent a three million person increase during the last three years as the Baby Boom generation has started to retire. Medicare beneficiaries depend on the program to provide critical health services such as preventive services, including flu shots and diabetes screenings, hospital stays, lab tests and critical supplies like wheelchairs and prescription drugs.
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Welcome to Joyhood with Keith Hernandez

Free Good Humor treats coming to DC

Next week, the Good Humor Welcome to Joyhood tour is coming to Washington, D.C. to give out FREE Good Humor treats for three weeks! All you have to do is follow the brand on Twitter. That’s right – Good Humor is on a mission to bring joy to the mundane moments of everyday life and transform our nation’s capital into a capital of Joy, one neighborhood at a time, and it’s as simple as following @goodhumor to see where they’ll be giving out free frozen treats that day.

Good Humor has brought frozen treat joy to New York and Boston for the last two summers, and this is the first year the Good Humor tour is coming to Washington, D.C. And it’s only fitting, as D.C. had an important role in Good Humor’s history. It all started in 1920 when Harry Burt created the first ever ice cream on a stick. Convinced that he had something big on his hands, Burt filed for a patent in 1920; however, it took three years and a personal trip to Washington, D.C. with a five-gallon pail of Good Humor bars before Burt was finally granted exclusive rights to “ice cream on a stick” and we’re back to celebrate! Continue reading

Rubber Smart-Phone

Black Male STEM Story

By Michael H. Cottman

Urban News Service

Ayooluwakiitan Oluwafemi, 13, proudly displayed a rubber smart-phone case that he designed on a 3D printing machine.

“It’s a prototype,” the Baltimore middle-school student said softly during a July 14 event at Morgan State University. College officials here announced an unprecedented partnership with Verizon Wireless. The Minority Male Makers Program (MMMP) will introduce young black men to opportunities in the STEM field. That’s short for science, technology, engineering, and math.

Oluwafemi wants to be an entrepreneur. He refuses to accept any of his mother’s money to go to the movies — or any social events. He aspires to earn his own cash and become a self-made millionaire by developing and selling cutting-edge 3D apps.

And he’s not alone.

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Harris Teeter, Washington Nationals Team Up to Fight Hunger

Donate Non-Perishable Foods at Participating Harris Teeter Stores to help Local Food Banks
In partnership with the Washington Nationals, local Harris Teeter stores are hosting a food drive now through Aug. 10, 2015 to support its local food bank partners.

In May, Harris Teeter donated $225,000 to its various food bank partners and is hosting this food drive to help raise additional awareness to the problems of hunger and food insecurity.

Donations made at Harris Teeter locations will benefit Capital Area Food Bank and Loudoun Interfaith Relief; beneficiaries are displayed the collection bins in each store.

In addition to donating food at local Harris Teeter stores, Nationals fans may bring non-perishable food items to Nationals Park on Aug. 8 and 9 when the team faces the Colorado Rockies. Continue reading

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MIKULSKI COSPONSORS INTERNATIONAL MEGAN’S LAW TO PREVENT CHILD EXPLOITATION

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) recently announced that she is an original cosponsor of International Megan’s Law (S.1867), legislation to protect children from exploitation by establishing an international notification system to provide advanced notice of travel by registered sex offenders to destination countries. The bill was introduced this week by Senator Richard Shelby (R- Ala.).

“We have made some amazing progress over the years, starting out with billboards and milk cartons. But as crimes have grown more sophisticated, we’ve had to become more sophisticated,” said Senator Mikulski, Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee which funds the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice. “This legislation will give the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice the tools they need to protect children at home and abroad.” Continue reading

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50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Honorable Jennifer L. McClellan, chairwoman of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, announced today that the Commission will co-sponsor a symposium, “50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: Protecting, Extending, and Ensuring the Franchise,” which will be held on August 3, 2015, at the Library of Virginia Auditorium, 800 East Broad Street, in Richmond, Virginia, at 7:00 p.m. This event, co-sponsored by the Library of Virginia, is a part of the Commission’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Library’s Sixth Annual Anne & Ryland Brown Teacher Institute.   

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Science and Business Lecture Series to Address
 Landslides, The Northwest Passage, Pluto and More

The summer/fall lecture series from the Science, Technology and Business Division at the Library of Congress will feature illustrated talks on a wide variety of topics, including updates on scientific studies of breast cancer and prostate cancer, the forecasting of landslides, the first close-ups of the planet Pluto, the search for planets outside our solar system, the 1850 McClure Arctic Expedition to discover the Northwest Passage, and Chinese energy policy.

The series runs from Aug. 11 to Dec. 8.  All lectures, except for one, will take place in the Library’s James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.  The Oct. 27 lecture will take place in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.  Free and open to the public, the programs are one hour in length.  Tickets and reservations are not needed.

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Governor McAuliffe Kicks off Back-to-School FAMIS Enrollment Campaign

In his “A Healthy Virginia” plan announced last fall, Governor McAuliffe set a goal of enrolling 35,000 additional children in the FAMIS program by the end of 2016. Family Access to Medical Insurance Security is Virginia’s health insurance program for eligible children,

“I am excited to say today that we have enrolled 17,000 children in FAMIS since I launched ‘A Healthy Virginia’,” Governor McAuliffe said. “That’s almost halfway to our goal. But we cannot rest. A healthy state needs healthy children, and our back-to-school awareness campaign will help ensure that more children get the medical and dental care they need.”

FAMIS is part of Virginia’s Medicaid program. The back-to-school campaign launch also coincides with this week’s 50th anniversary of the signing, by President Lyndon Johnson, of legislation creating the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Continue reading

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MYSTICS AND CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD PARTNER FOR DIAPER DRIVE

CareFirst Returns As Presenting Partner of Community 3’s Initiative For Seventh Year
The Washington Mystics and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) will continue their partnership of the “Community 3’s” initiative for the seventh consecutive year. As the presenting partner of the Community 3’s initiative, CareFirst will donate $100 to the March of Dimes Mama and Baby Bus for every three-pointer made by the Mystics this season. The mobile medical unit provides education, prenatal care and improved access to healthcare for women in Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County. Washington currently has made 87 three-pointers made on the season. Continue reading

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Obama pushes for reauthorized Export-Import Bank charter

(UPI) — President Barack Obama will meet with small- and medium-sized business owners Wednesday in an effort to pressure Congress to reauthorize the charter for a governmental agency that finances exports from the United States.

The charter for the Export-Import Bank expired on June 30 after vocal debate and opposition from House and Senate GOP conservatives. Critics say the Depression-era agency gives corporate handouts to large companies that do not need the money, including Caterpillar, Boeing and General Electric. But the White House attempts to undercut the argument by showcasing smaller businesses that have benefited.

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Mayor Bowser Names Ventris C. Gibson as Director of the Department of Human Resources

“Ventris Gibson is a widely respected and experienced human resources professional,” said Mayor Bowser. “She understands the needs of DC and will ensure that our District government attracts and retains qualified, competent and committed employees.  Her strong background in labor relations, combined with her human resource management skills, will strengthen the District’s workface and help more residents on their pathways to the middle class.”

Ventris C. Gibson is a Navy veteran who most recently served as the Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  At HHS, Gibson was responsible for providing enterprise-wide strategic and corporate leadership in the development and delivery of innovative and transformational human resources programs, policies, and services that impact nearly 92,000 employees worldwide. She also served as the Director of Administration for the National Labor Relations Board and as an executive consultant with North Highland Company, a global consulting firm.  From 2003 to 2011, Ventris was the Federal Aviation Administration’s Assistant Administrator for Human Resources Management. Ventris is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute, Leadership VA, and Aspen Institute.

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Us Helping Us provides HIV testing for couples

Us Helping Us provides Couples HIV Testing and Counseling (CHTC) in which two or more persons who are in, or are planning to be in, a sexual relationship receive all the elements of HIV testing and counseling together, including HIV prevention counseling, receipt of test results, and linkage to follow-up services.  A study conducted by the DC Health Department found that a significant percentage of black gay men and heterosexual men and women are in concurrent relationships where a member or both of the couple have sexually relationships with someone other than their main partner despite their being in a committed relationship.

“In concurrent relationships, HIV transmission can occur as a result of sex between main partners,” said Ron Simmons, Ph.D., the President/CEO of Us Helping Us. “Couples HIV Testing reduces the burden of one partner sharing his or her HIV-positive status by ensuring provider-assisted mutual disclosure.”

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WASHINGTON DC VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER FIRST TO IMPLEMENT TEST FOR RISK ASSESSMENT OF ACUTE KIDNEY INJURY

Cardiac surgeons at the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center are ushering in a new era of hospital patient care and safety with the implementation of a ground-breaking test used to predict a patient’s risk for acute kidney injury (AKI), a dangerous and costly complication that can present a greater threat than a heart attack.

The medical center is the first hospital in the Mid-Atlantic Region and the Washington DC Metro Area to deploy the NephroCheck Test made by a San Diego-based company. The novel test detects and measures two biomarkers known as tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2 (TIMP-2) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 7 (IGFBP-7) then produces an AKI Risk Score that can alert physicians to a patient’s risk of developing moderate to severe AKI.

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EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON’S ASPiRE, TRACY MCGRADY AND 2CHAINZ CONNECT TO LAUNCH NEW BLACK COLLEGE TOUR

Power Collaboration Focuses on Building Awareness and Increasing Enrollment at Historically Black Colleges & Universities

(BlackNews.com) — HBCU Direct, LLC (HD), a marketing collective specializing in HBCU relations, formed a multi-faceted partnership with ASPiRE, the television network from Magic Johnson Enterprises, former NBA superstar Tracy “T-Mac” McGrady, and hip-hop celebrity 2Chainz to build awareness of HBCUs and increase overall enrollment. The first effort of the strategic alliance is the September 2015 launch of a 20-campus Hoops-N-Hip Hop® Tour reaching 100,000 Black college students.

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Mayor Bowser Names Dr. Tanya Royster Director of Department of Behavioral Health

Announcement Made During Launch of Agency’s Campaign to Prevent Underage Drinking

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the appointment of Dr. Tanya Royster as the Acting Director of the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH). Dr. Royster joins the Bowser Administration from Chicago where she served as Director of Behavioral Health for the Franciscan St. James Health System.

“Dr. Royster comes to our city with a long-standing commitment to healthy neighborhoods and communities. She is a leader who gets things done, exercises fiscal responsibility and understands the need for treating our vulnerable residents with dignity and care,” said Mayor Bowser. “With Dr. Royster at the helm, DBH will continue to provide quality services that address the needs of all residents in all eight wards.  In addition, Dr. Royster will lead the District in our fight against substance abuse, including the use of synthetic drugs and other harmful substances.”

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DDOE SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON DISTRICT’S WILDLIFE ACTION PLAN


The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) recently announced that it will host two community meetings in August to present updates to the District of Columbia’s Wildlife Action Plan and to solicit comments from the public.  In the 2015 update of the plan, DDOE assessed the District’s wildlife and habitats, identified the threats and challenges they face, and described actions needed for conserving them.

Over the last two years, DDOE’s Fisheries and Wildlife Division has worked with natural resource managers, academics, and other stakeholders to develop the 2015 District of Columbia Wildlife Action Plan. This plan is required to safeguard the District’s eligibility for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grant Program funding.  This federal program provides funding to ensure common wildlife species remain common and that rare species do not become endangered.

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Mayor Bowser, Eastbanc/Stanton Break Ground on Former Hine School

Project will bring 2,500 construction and 700 permanent jobs to the District

Mayor Muriel Bowser recently joined Eastbanc, Inc. and Stanton Development to break ground on Hine School Redevelopment, a $224 million project in Ward 6 that will complete the corner of 700 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, with mixed-use development that includes retail, affordable housing, and a new public plaza.

“In order to preserve our neighborhoods, we need projects like the Hine Redevelopment that balance residential, commercial and community needs – and creates affordable housing and good paying jobs,” said Mayor Bowser. “I am excited to break ground on a project that will have a positive and lasting impact on our residents and help create more pathways to the middle class.”

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SAFEWAY OFFERS ON-SITE FLU CLINICS FOR BUSINESSES, LARGE ORGANIZATIONS

10 Percent Grocery Discount Provided For All Recipients

Even though it is only mid-summer, Safeway is encouraging businesses and large organizations to begin planning for the upcoming flu season. As in past years, the grocer’s pharmacy team is scheduling on-site flu and immunization clinics, which can be conducted safely and professionally in any place of business.
Safeway flu clinics reservations are offered to any place of business or location with a regular population of clients or staff that wants to provide a major health benefit and service to their base of constituents. Some of the prime locations include: Continue reading

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Free Colorectal Screenings Provided to Maryland Residents at Doctors Community Hospital

Colorectal cancer is often preventable and curable. However, it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Maryland. To provide preventative medicine and high-quality care, Doctors Community Hospital and the Prince George’s County Health Department have partnered to provide free colonoscopies.

People may qualify for these free screenings if they meet specific program requirements:
· Maryland residents
· Ages 50 or older
· Ages 50 or younger with a family history of colorectal cancer

All colonoscopies are performed by experienced gastroenterologists at Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, Maryland.

To learn more or to register, call 240-542-3380 or 301-883-3526.

ADA Legacy Tour Bus

25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) is proud to announce our plans to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 2015 at Camden Yards.  The public is invited to join us in marking this historic occasion through a celebration of the progress made in the past twenty-five years and a look to the future which includes full recognition, appreciation, and utilization of the diverse talents of all Marylanders. 

The ADA was a landmark piece of legislation signed by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990.  It was an enormous advancement for the disability rights movement ensuring equal community access for those with disabilities to include employment, communication, and transportation usage.  MDOD is thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate these strides with our community while recognizing there is still work to do to ensure the full intentions of the ADA are brought to fruition.

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Virginia Schools Earn Top Federal Rating & Second-Highest Score for Special Education

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that Virginia’s public schools earned the U.S. Department of Education’s highest overall rating and achieved the second-highest score for serving students with disabilities under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

“In every school division in the Commonwealth, there are special educators who are committed to preparing all students to succeed,” Governor McAuliffe said. “These accomplishments are the result of their efforts, as well as successful partnerships between the state and localities in developing innovative programs to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.”

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Library of Congress Seeks Volunteer Docents

14-Week Training Program to Begin Sept. 8, 2015

The Library of Congress is recruiting volunteer docents to lead tours of the nation’s first-established federal cultural institution.

To best serve the more than 1.7 million annual visitors, eager to view the magnificent Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., and learn about the treasures it contains, the Library’s Visitor Services Office relies on more than 300 trained volunteers to greet and direct visitors and to conduct tours.

Each fall, the Library’s Visitor Services Office offers a 14-week in-depth training program for volunteer docents who will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to lead tours of the Thomas Jefferson Building and answer questions about the Library’s collections and services. The 2015 training session for docents will begin on Sept. 8, 2015.

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Library of Congress National Book Festival Evening Programs Include First-Time-Ever Romance Fiction Pavilion

Poetry Slam, Graphic Novels Highlight Evening Programming

The 15th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will offer, for the first time, a pavilion devoted exclusively to romance novels.

“Romance fiction is the second-best-selling genre in the publishing industry, generating more than $1 billion in publisher revenues in 2013,” said Guy Lamolinara, the festival’s co-director.

“Romance accounts for 21 percent of the adult fiction market,” added Marie Arana, the festival’s other co-director.

The National Book Festival will be held from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5 (doors open at 9 a.m.). The Romance pavilion is part of the evening programming and will run from 7:10 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. More information about the festival is at www.loc.gov/bookfest/.

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Jazz Artist Celebrates with the Community

The Jazz Community will gather on and off stage to celebrate with entertainer Aaron Myers as he brings in his birthday through music and pool-side fun. Rumors are rampant that other local entertainers, club owners, politicians, and a host of other notables will be in attendance.  Starting with a music filled night of Jazz at Mr. Henry’s Restaurant and then a Penthouse Poolside Bash at Vida Fitness U Street, confirmations are reaching capacity for both venues.

 

“There’s no better way to bring people together than with music and birthdays ,” Myers said. “Celebrating music and life will be theme of this weekend.”

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Free Rides To and From Dulles Airport July 26 and 27 on the Silver Line Express Bus

Marketing Effort Celebrates One Year of Direct Service from Metro’s Silver Line to the Airport

On July 26 and 27, Washington Dulles International Airport will offer free rides on its Silver Line Express bus in celebration of one year of easy, direct service between the airport and the Silver Line Metrorail, which opened July 26, 2014.

The Silver Line Express bus has made Dulles International closer and the passenger experience better than ever. Passengers can ride comfortably between the airport and Metrorail’s Wiehle-Reston East station with amenities onboard that include free Wi-Fi, spacious luggage storage and front door service at the airport. With the ride costing just $5, it means travelers can get to Dulles International for less than $11 from anywhere on the Metrorail system. Continue reading

Historic Deal

Historic’ agreement reached in Iran nuclear talks

The United States and other world powers reached a historic agreement with Iran here Tuesday, aimed at preventing the Islamic Republic from building a nuclear weapon in return for the lifting of sanctions that have isolated the country and hobbled its economy.

President Obama, after announcing the agreement in Washington, quickly turned to what may be the more arduous task of selling the deal to skeptical lawmakers and U.S. allies in the Middle East.
“This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change,” Obama told a nation that awoke to news of the accord agreed overnight. He said it would ensure that Iran had no possibility to achieve rapid nuclear weapons “breakout” for at least the next decade. Continue reading

Mayor Bowser

Mayor Bowser Announces Groundbreaking Wind Power Purchase Agreement

District’s PPA is largest wind power deal of its kind for an American city

To demonstrate her commitment to lowering the District’s carbon footprint and saving taxpayer money, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Tuesday July 14 a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Iberdrola Renewables, LLC that will supply 35 percent of the District government’s electricity with wind power. This PPA is the largest wind power deal of its kind ever entered into by an American city, and is projected to save District taxpayers $45 million over the next 20 years.

“The District of Columbia is proud to lead the nation in the utilization of affordable, green energy that creates jobs right here at home,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “The District is well on its way to achieving the Sustainable DC goal of using renewables to satisfy 50 percent of DC’s energy supply by 2032.” Continue reading

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DISTRICT DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT ANNOUNCES $150,000 OF FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR POLLUTION REDUCTION EFFORTS

Grants available for strategy development to guide fleets in the District of Columbia toward greater fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions

The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) announced this week that it seeks entities to assist in the completion of its Greening the Fleet initiative. The goals of this project are to reduce air pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health of the District’s residents, increase fuel diversification, and improve fleet fuel efficiency. The funding made available through this grant is $150,000. This amount is subject to continuing availability and approval by the appropriate agencies. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, universities, educational institutions, and private enterprises.

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Amazon to build North Carolina wind farm

(UPI) — The first utility-scale wind farm in North Carolina is part of a broader effort to reduce the carbon footprint, an arm of online retailer Amazon announced.

The technology infrastructure division of the retailer, Amazon Web Services, announced it contracted Iberdrola Renewables to help build and operate a 208 megawatt wind farm in North Carolina. Dubbed Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East, the facility will generate about 670,000 megawatt hours of electricity and be the state’s first utility-scale wind farm once up and running by December 2016.

The Amazon subsidiary in November committed to getting 100 percent of its electricity needs from renewable resources, with the aim of meeting 40 percent of that goal by the end of 2016. Continue reading

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Summer Time Is a Great Time to Fight Childhood Obesity

With most children on summer vacation, parents may want to take this opportunity to ensure their children are getting adequate exercise and fresh air. These are critical to develop children with healthy bodies and protecting them from future health problems.

According to a 2005 study, the average American child spends 44 hours per week staring at some kind of electronic screen, more than 6 hours per day. As a result, our children are overweight to the point of obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 more than doubled in the past 20 years, to 17 percent. Continue reading

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Obama launches free high-speed Internet service for low-income households

(UPI) — President Obama announced Wednesday his ConnectHome plan, which aims to expand high speed broadband internet access to more families nationwide.

The program will launch in 27 cities and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, initially servicing over 275,000 low-income households and almost 200,000 children with internet service providers (ISPs) providing broadband internet access, technical training, digital literacy programs and Internet access devices for individuals living in assisted housing units.

The initiative is a cooperation between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Obama administration. Continue reading

Artist’s impression of Pluto and Charon

NASA releases first historic Pluto flyby images

(UPI) — They’re here! NASA has begun sharing the images captured by New Horizons during its historic flight past Pluto’s surface.

For mission controllers it was anxious last day and a half, but now their hard work is paying off in the form of impressive closeups.

Scientists, engineers, astronauts and mission officials all held their breath Tuesday evening as they awaited for NASA’s New Horizons probe to come back online. When it did, at 8:52:37 p.m. EST — just on schedule — everyone let out a big cheer and sigh of relief.

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Evans Calls on Congress to Increase Funding for DC Tuition Assistance Program

Introduces Sense of the Council Resolution for DCTAG program to fully fund difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition for DC students 

Councilmember Jack Evans recently introduced a resolution to call on Congress to expand the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant program to fund the entire difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition for DC students at four-year public colleges and universities throughout the US, Guam and Puerto Rico. The program has capped this assistance at $10,000 per year since its creation in 1999, despite the increasing cost of college attendance.

“The DC TAG program was designed to make college more attainable for young people from the District of Columbia, and by all accounts the program has been a success,” Evans said. “However, as college tuition rates have risen over the past 17 years, the DCTAG contribution limit hasn’t been raised one penny and as a result isn’t as effective at expanding access to high quality education options for DC students.”

The DC TAG program was established by an act of Congress is 1999 to provide grants to students from DC for the difference between the tuition and fees charged to in-state students and out-of-state students at public colleges and universities around the country. However, the grant amount is capped at $10,000 per year and $50,000 per student over a lifetime. Additionally, the program provides up to $2,500 per academic year towards tuition at private colleges and universities in the District and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and two-year colleges nationwide. 

Evans’ bill calls on Congress to authorize grants up to the full difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities, and to increase the amount available for tuition at other colleges and universities.

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Evans Introduces Anti-Prostitution Bill to Impound Vehicles Used to Facilitate Prostitution

“Honey, I lost the car” Bill aims to Deter Solicitation of Prostitution
Councilmember Jack Evans recently introduced the “Anti-Prostitution Vehicle Impoundment Enforcement Amendment Act of 2015.” This legislation would specifically require the Metropolitan Police Department to impound a vehicle that a police officer has probable cause to believe is being used in furtherance of a violation of a prostitution-related offense.
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Councilmember McDuffie introduces bill that dramatically increases the penalties for illegal dirt bikes and ATVs

Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie (D – Ward 5) this week introduced legislation to address the growing problem of illegal dirt bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles (“ATVs”) in the District.

The “Enhanced Penalties for Operation of All-Terrain Vehicles and Dirt Bikes Amendment Act of 2015” provides the Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) with additional “tools” to combat what many residents have described as a terrifying increase in the prevalence of packs of dirt bike and ATV riders. 

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Fiscal Year 2015 General Fund Revenue Collections Increase 8.1% and $553.3 Million Ahead of Forecast

Virginia State Employees and Educators can Expect a Pay Raise

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that preliminary figures indicate that the state concluded fiscal year 2015 with an approximately $553.3 million surplus from general fund revenue collections, excluding transfers. This represents the largest fiscal year-end surplus in the Commonwealth’s history, exceeding the $544.6 million surplus in fiscal year 2005.

 The Governor also announced that Virginia’s revenue picture has satisfied criteria in the state budget to allow for a pay increase for state employees across the Commonwealth.

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Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Provides 52 Grants to Heritage Tourism Sites, Activities, and Organizations Across Maryland

Nearly $2.7 million awarded by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) recently announced 52 matching grants totaling more than $2.6 million to Maryland non-profits, local jurisdictions and other heritage tourism organizations including museums, historic preservation, natural resources, cultural and educational organizations. These grant funds support heritage tourism projects and activities that draw visitors and expand economic development and tourism-related job creation throughout Maryland (see listing linked in PDF).

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DPR presents “A Splish Splash Summer” Late Night Pool Party Series!!

Come out and socialize during the evening at three of DPR’s popular outdoor pools!!  Today, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced plans to offer late night, free community pool party events for a second year in a row.  Hailed as an extremely successful pilot event in 2014, DPR’s Aquatics Division has officially named the event “A Splish Splash Summer” Late Night Pool Party Series, making this series an annual part of the District’s summer outdoor pool season for all to enjoy! 

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Doctor's Community Hospital Ribbon Cutting

Government, Community and Healthcare Leaders Attended Ribbon Cutting of New Rehabilitation and Transitional Care Center

Photo caption: Mayor Frederick Robinson, City of Bowie; Delegate Tawanna Gaines, District 22; Delegate Anne Healey, District 22; Mayor Emmett Jordan, City of Greenbelt; City Councilmember Konrad Herling, City of Greenbelt; Chief Operating Officer Mike Reitz, Genesis HealthCare; City Councilmember Henri Gardner, City of Bowie; President Phil Down, Doctors Community Hospital; Senator Paul Pinsky, District 22; Delegate Alonzo Washington, District 22; and Chief Executive Officer Gene Ransom, Maryland State Medical Society.

On July 8, government, community and healthcare leaders attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Doctors Community Rehabilitation and Patient Care Center. A Genesis Healthcare and Doctors Community Hospital collaboration, this new rehabilitation and transitional care facility will provide high-quality and comprehensive services to short-term-stay patients and long-term residents – people who need additional care prior to transitioning from hospital settings to their home environments.  Guest speakers included Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford and Prince George’s County Council Chair Mel Franklin.

 Many hospitalized patients require specialized care prior to going home.  When combined with the increasing rates of various chronic medical conditions, transitional care can benefit patients’ long-term health.  This type of care can include providing comprehensive rehabilitation that improves patients’ mobility and specialized clinical services for those who need extended recovery time to address complex wounds or injuries.  Simultaneously, transitional care can contribute to the reduction of hospital readmission rates and healthcare costs by helping people receive needed medical services that better prepare them for the return to their home environments.

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SAFEWAY TO ADD ANOTHER 1,600 JOBS ACROSS THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION

Grocer Recently Added 2,000 Positions In Seven Weeks

Safeway’s Eastern Division continues its aggressive hiring effort as the grocer has another 1,600 positions available across its four-state, mid-Atlantic operating territory. This wave immediately follows an initial phase of hiring announced in late May as the company successfully added 2,000 employees in the past seven weeks.
Once again, Safeway store directors will be hiring individuals to fill a wide range of positions to include courtesy, food and service clerks; Starbucks baristas; cashiers; cake decorators; bakers; produce clerks; department managers; meat cutters and wrappers; and assistant store managers. Continue reading

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MIKULSKI INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO PUT HARRIET TUBMAN ON TEN DOLLAR BILL

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) recently announced that she introduced new legislation with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) to redesign the ten-dollar bill with a likeness of abolitionist and Underground Railroad “conductor,” Harriet Tubman. The Harriet Tubman Currency Tribute Act of 2015 will direct the Secretary of the Treasury to ensure that all newly issued ten-dollar Federal Reserve Notes bear Tubman’s likeness by the year 2021. The law will make Tubman the first woman ever to be featured on American paper currency. The new $10 bill would come out in 2020, which is the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Creation of Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL)

New initiative will support Virginia businesses, strengthen economy and create jobs through international trade 

 Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently the creation of the Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL), a new initiative managed by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) that will increase international trade in Virginia. VITAL expands the Commonwealth’s nationally recognized international trade program via formal partnerships with Virginia’s public universities, industry associations and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce to serve their member companies as they expand international sales. 

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County Offers Balance and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults

County residents are invited to register for the Stepping On program, a free balance and fall prevention program that meets on seven consecutive Mondays, beginning August 3 in Gaithersburg. The two hour class meets from 10 a.m. to noon at the Benjamin Gaither Center, located at 80A Bureau Drive in Gaithersburg. Class will not meet on Monday, September 7 (Labor Day).

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Free College Planning Program to be Held at Davis Library

A free program about preparing for college, geared to students in grades eight through 12 and their parents, will be held at Davis Library on Saturday, August 29, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The library is located at 6400 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda

The program, led by educational consultant M. Ann Goode, M.Ed., will address many of the questions students and parents have about academic achievement and college preparation.

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Prince George’s County Announced as 1 of 6 National Communities to Pilot Dementia Friendly America Initiative

First-of-its-kind national effort announced at yesterday’s White House Conference on Aging.  Communities pledge to support people with dementia and foster quality of life for them and their caregivers

In a groundbreaking national effort, a pledge for communities to provide supportive options and foster the quality of life for person with living with Dementia, called the “Dementia Friendly America Initiative,” was announced yesterday at the White House Conference on Aging. The Dementia Friendly America (DFA) initiative is a cross-sector, national effort leveraging tailored resources and tools to equip all community sectors to support those with dementia and their caregivers and families. Prince George’s County is 1 of 6 communities, nationwide, to pilot the dementia friendly initiative.  Other communities include: Tempe, AZ; Santa Clara County, CA; Denver, CO; Knoxville, TN; and the state of West Virginia.  Led by DFA, the communities are taking action by leveraging tailored resources in business, community-based services and supports, faith communities, health care communities, legal and financial services, local government and residential settings. 

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Food Box a Welcome Relief for 1,200 Families

On Wednesday July 8, 1,200 local food-insecure families will receive a free box of prepared food, fresh produce and other supplies. Using its community network, Central Union Mission identified eligible families and developed a distribution program to be staged at the Walmart store at 5929 Georgia Ave., NW. The Mission also gave eight tickets to each DC district councilmember to designate for families in his or her district.

Feed the Children, one of our nation’s largest international charities, transported three semi-trucks full of food to DC. PepsiCo sponsored this delivery and donated Quaker, Tropicana, AquaFina, Frito-Lay and other Pepsi products. Walmart and Bimbo Bakeries donated produce, bread and other goods. Continue reading

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Mayor Bowser Kicks Off First-Ever “AlleyPalooza” Campaign


Eight alleys in each of the District’s eight wards will be repaired or renovated

Mayor Muriel Bowser and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Leif Dormsjo kicked off the first-ever “AlleyPalooza,” a campaign that will repair or renovate 64 alleys throughout the District – eight in each of the District’s eight wards over the summer.

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“It’s not just about money,” UN agency head tells world leaders gathering in Ethiopia to discuss how to finance future development

Next week world leaders will come together in Ethiopia at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) to discuss how to pay for the elimination of global poverty and hunger. The United Nation’s only international financing institution, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), will play a lead role, highlighting that the world’s poorest people, the majority of whom live in rural areas, are also a tremendous resource and must be included in the new vision for a sustainable future.

“We are standing at a point of fateful decision. But between discussions around funding and goals, lie billions of rural people who are trying to feed themselves,” said IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze, who will travel to Addis Ababa next week with the message that we must to look beyond financial resources and traditional aid.

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Michelle Obama Discusses Arts And Humanities Education At The White House

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA TO SERVE AS HONORARY CHAIR
OF WOMEN’S VOICES THEATER FESTIVAL

Women’s Voices Theater Festival organizers recently announced that First Lady of the United States of America Michelle Obama will serve as Honorary Chair of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, which unites more than 50 professional theater companies in the nation’s capital region, September through October 2015. She joins a prestigious group of theater artists and advocates on the Honorary Committee supporting the Festival’s mission to celebrate the work of women in theater. Additionally, eight ancillary events sponsored by The Washington Post have been announced during the Festival, to be hosted by the seven originating theaters—Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, Round House Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company—along with Festival participant Theater J.  

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Hundreds of Black Freedom Fighters Unite for the First Ever Movement for Black Lives Convening

In the first ever Movement for Black Lives Convening, freedom fighters from Oakland to New York, will meet in Cleveland from July 24-26 to build a national community dedicated to permanently changing the country.

Convening workshops will focus on strategic planning, political education and advocacy, cultural arts, sustainable farming, and healing spaces. The weekend will provide a space to create a collective mission that matches the intensity, scale, urgency, and promise of months of action.

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(BPRW) Black PR Wire to publish a Black Resource Directory

Product to feature top businesses; set to unveil during National Black Business Month

(Black PR Wire) – In recognition of National Black Business Month in August, Black PR Wire will release its second edition of the Black Resource Directory. The directory will provide a comprehensive list of Black-owned businesses and services throughout the country. It will also provide key facts, figures, data and information about the black professional, their business resource and services, and much more.

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D.C. Council approves $200,000 funding for the development of the D.C. Cultural Plan as part of 2015 Budget Support Act

On June 30, the Council of the District of Columbia approved up to $200,000 for the development of a district-wide Cultural Plan, to be completed by the D.C. Office of Planning by December 15, 2016. This dedicated funding was introduced by Councilmember David Grosso, a leading advocate for advancing cultural and arts issues within the District. 

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DC DMV Implements New Policy for Obtaining a Motorcycle Endorsement

The District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) no longer issues Motorcycle Learner permits or administers the Motorcycle Demonstration Skills tests to District residents who want to obtain a Motorcycle (M) endorsement. Additionally, motorcycles do not have to physically go through inspection; however, owners are required to display an inspection sticker on their motorcycle.

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Bank of America Funds Summer Jobs for Teens in Greater Washington Area

Student Leaders® program provides youth with paid internships at local nonprofits in recognition of their community efforts

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced recently that five high school seniors from Greater Washington will be awarded eight-week paid summer internships at local nonprofits through the Bank of America Student Leaders program.

Although the overall economy continues to show signs of improvement, youth unemployment remains at a record high. This also holds true here in Greater Washington. That’s why Bank of America is focused on connecting young people to the education and training they need to succeed in the 21st century workforce.

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DISTRICT STUDENTS BEGIN 11-DAY JOURNEY TO SPAIN AND MOROCCO

Global Scholars Foundation prepares to take the fifth group of students abroad

On Wednesday July 8, students participating in the Global Scholars Foundation (GSF) program traveled to Washington Dulles International Airport, beginning their highly anticipated journey to Spain and Morocco. GSF has taken five cohorts, totaling more than 60 DC public and charter school students, abroad for two weeks where they have explored the language and culture of countries such as Brazil, China, and South Africa.

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Georgetown’s Free Sunset Cinema Series Starts Tonight

**Announcing: The Exorcist will close series August 4**

The Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) announces iconic horror film The Exorcist as the final film in its inaugural Georgetown Sunset Cinema series. Georgetown Sunset Cinema is Georgetown’s first-ever free outdoor movie experience, and kicks off tonight at Georgetown Waterfront Park. This summer’s lineup features movies filmed in or inspired by Georgetown, Washington’s oldest and most iconic neighborhood. Moviegoers are encouraged to bring a picnic and blanket and enjoy the panoramic backdrop of the sunset, Potomac River and Key Bridge. View the list of films and additional information at www.georgetowndc.com/sunsetcinema.

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Montgomery County Receives National Award of Excellence for Financial Transparency

Montgomery County recently received a National Award of Excellence for its Financial Transparency Suite from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada.

The Financial Transparency Suite consists of the County’s Open Budget web sites found at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/omb/openbudget.html, and the recent launch of spendingMontgomery at http://spending.data.montgomerycountymd.gov/#/. These platforms provide users the ability to drill down to the details of County budgets and expenditures in a user-friendly and highly visual manner.

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Meetup – – – Readup – – – Speakup at Rockville Memorial Library

Book lovers in their 20s and 30s are invited to a Meetup at the Rockville Memorial Library to share their chosen books over fresh coffee, good food and lively conversation.

The event will be held on Saturday, July 18, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The library, located at 21 Maryland Ave. in the Rockville Town Square, has expanded summer hours on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., now until September 5. Continue reading

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County Infants and Toddlers Program Sponsors July 18 Family Resource Fair

Public Invited to Learn About Resources for Young Children

Parents and caregivers of children are invited to a free Family Resource Fair on Saturday, July 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building. Attendees can receive free screening for developmental delays; attend mini-workshops on topics such as toilet training, sleeping issues and nutrition for picky eaters; and find out information about resources available in the community for young children. Free face painting and balloon making, as well as giveaways will also be available.

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Soccer: Women's Friendly-USA vs New Zealand

Women’s World Cup final seen by record 26.7 million in U.S.

The United States’ win over Japan in the Women’s World Cup final was the most viewed soccer game in the history of American television.

The 5-2 victory Sunday, which gave the Americans a record third title, was seen by 26.7 million viewers.
Fox said Monday its English-language coverage drew a 12.9 rating was seen by an average of 25.4 million, and NBC’s Telemundo said its telecast averaged 1.27 million. The audience peaked at 30.9 million from 8:30-8:45 p.m. as the game neared its end, and 43.2 million tuned into some portion of the match.
Average viewership topped the previous mark of 26.5 million set when Germany beat Argentina in last year’s men’s World Cup final. That was seen by 17.3 million on ABC and 9.2 million on Spanish-language Univision.
Fox’s viewership set a U.S. English-language record for soccer, topping the 18.22 million tuned to ESPN for the 2-2 draw between the American men and Portugal in the group stage on June 22 last year. Continue reading

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Bryce Harper Elected All-Star Starter with Most Votes Ever for NL Player

The All-Star Game will have a Kansas City flavor, just not as much as it appeared last month.
And the hometown Reds can celebrate a starter, too, despite Cincinnati’s sorry season.
Houston second baseman Jose Altuve passed Kansas City’s Omar Infante in the final days of voting, leaving four Royals as starters for the All-Star Game.
Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier leapfrogged St. Louis third baseman Matt Carpenter and will be in the NL starting lineup for the July 14 game at Great American Ball Park, according to final results announced Sunday.
AL champion Kansas City will be represented in the starting lineup by outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon, catcher Salvador Perez and shortstop Alcides Escobar. Four players ties the AL record for fan-elected starters, achieved nine times previously.
Kansas City had not had any starters since outfielder Jermaine Dye in 2000. Continue reading

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Judge Upholds Redskins Trademark Cancellation

(CBS)–A federal judge in Northern Virginia ordered the cancellation of the Washington Redskins’ federal trademark registrations, report our news partners at the Washington Post. For decades, many Native Americans — and others — have found the nickname to be offensive.
The Redskins can still appeal in the federal court system so the cancellation has not gone into effect yet.
“But even if the Redskins ultimately took the case to the Supreme Court and lost, the team can still use ‘Redskins’ and seek trademark protections under state law. The team has argued, however, that a cancellation of its trademarks could taint its brand and remove legal benefits that would protect against copycat entrepreneurs,” reports the Washington Post. Continue reading

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Wizards agree to $4M, 1-year deal with SG Alan Anderson

Free-agent shooting guard Alan Anderson has agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with the Washington Wizards that should become official later this week.
Anderson’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed the terms of the deal on Tuesday.
Teams cannot sign deals with free agents until Thursday.
The 6-foot-6 Anderson played the past two years with the Brooklyn Nets, averaging 7.4 points and 2.8 rebounds last season. Continue reading

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United States and Cuba formally reestablish diplomatic relations; to open embassies

(UPI) — The United States of America and Cuba have formally restored diplomatic relations after 54 years of hostilities inspired by the Cold War. Embassies will be established in Washington D.C. and Havana. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made the announcement Wednesday at the White House.

“Today I can announce that the United States has agreed to formally reestablish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba and reopen embassies in our respective countries,” Obama said. “This is a historic step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with the Cuban government and its people, and begin a new chapter with our neighbors in the Americas.”

“A year ago it might have seemed impossible that the United States would once again be raising our flag, the stars and stripes, over an embassy in Havana,” Obama added. “This is what change looks like.”

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Mayor Bowser Encourages Residents to Know Their Rights as Minimum Wage Rises to $10.50

At Good Food Markets on Rhode Island Avenue, NW in Ward 5, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney R. Snowden and area residents came together to discuss the new $10.50 minimum wage now in effect. According to the Urban Institute, this change will benefit 41,000 people who live and work in the District.

Starting today, all employees working at least 50 percent of the time in the District of Columbia, regardless of where they live, have a right to an hourly wage of $10.50.  For tipped workers earning a base rate of $2.77 per hour, employers are required to pay them a final rate equal to at least the current minimum wage, including tips.

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Independence Day 2015

The District of Columbia government will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day.

?. The District will follow normal trash and recycling collection schedules on Friday, July 3.

?. The Ft. Totten Transfer Station* will be closed to residents on Friday and Saturday, July 3 and 4. Fort Totten will reopen on Monday, July 6 between 1 pm and 5 pm.

?. Household hazardous waste/e-cycling drop-off will be available Thursday, July 2, 1 pm to 5 pm and Saturday, July 11, 8 am to 3 pm. Due to the holiday on the first Saturday, the next monthly personal document shredding event will be Saturday, July 11, 8 am to 3 pm. HHW and e-cycling also will be accepted July 11, 8 am to 3 pm. 

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National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Sheila Crowley on Harvard’s State of the Nation’s Housing 2015 Report

The State of the Nation’s Housing 2015 report, released last week, continues to show that the lowest income households in America struggle to finds homes they can afford.  The report, issued by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, documents that homeownership rates were at a 20-year low in 2014, resulting in record growth in demand for rental homes, soaring rents, and record numbers of cost-burdened renters. 

According to the report, the national rental vacancy rate dropped to 7.6% in 2014—the lowest in nearly 20 years. This has driven the cost of rents up by 3.2%, double the rate of overall inflation. Rental markets are tightest at the low end—the number of vacant units with rents under $800 plunged by 12% from the year before.

The report shows that although new rental units are being built, they are primarily at the high end of the market. The median asking rent of all new units was $1,290 in 2013—about half of the typical renter’s monthly income.

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Implantable ‘artificial pancreas’ tracks blood sugar, releases insulin

(UPI) — An implantable artificial pancreas that monitors glucose levels and delivers insulin as needed was shown to work in lab tests and will soon be tested with animals, researchers said.

The device has been a longtime goal to simplify the lives of Type 1 diabetes patients who monitor, calculate and inject the amount of insulin their bodies need using either a needle or an insulin pump.

The problem with these methods, researchers said in a press release, is the lag between when a dose is needed and when it takes effect in a person’s body.

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Report finds gaps in treatment for some behavioral health conditions among racial/ethnic minority populations and people without health insurance

The “Behavioral Health Equity Barometer” report (the Barometer) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a one year snapshot of the state of behavioral health of youth and adults by demographics and insurance status.  Behavioral health issues include the prevention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders.  While gaps in treatment exist for the population as a whole, this Barometer identifies gaps that exist by health insurance status and for specific ethnic and racial populations. Continue reading

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Mayor Bowser Reports Sixth Consecutive Year Decrease in New HIV Cases in D.C.

Mayor announces new public-private collaboration to fight epidemic

Mayor Muriel Bowser, Department of Health (DOH) Director Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, and Executive Director of the DC Appleseed Center Walter Smith, presented the Annual District of Columbia HIV, STD, Hepatitis and TB report. The report finds that the District continues to make progress in the ongoing fight against HIV.

Since 2007, DC has seen a 59 percent decrease in newly diagnosed and reported HIV cases.  Meanwhile, there was an 87 percent decrease in new HIV cases attributable to injection drug use, which the Mayor credited to the District’s needle exchange programs.  The Mayor also announced that there were no babies born with HIV in the District in 2013.  The presentation of this epidemiological snapshot took place at Whitman Walker Health – Youth Services Freestyle Center.

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Howard University Gets a Fast-Food Upgrade this Fall

BY: Naeemah Kelly

Renovations to one part of Howard University’s building located on 2301 Georgia Ave. NW have begun and the sign has revealed its new tenant. America’s newer and trendy franchise, Chipotle, will be feeding the Bison community come this fall.
Students, community members, and business owners all became aware that something new would be coming when Unit A of the storefront building was cleared and closed this past February.
Damagi Anttissone Jr. is a 21 year old architect major from Chicago. He was sitting outside of two local mexican restaurants, Mama Chuy DC and Dulcinea Bar and Grill, when asked about the new chain mexican restaurant that will soon be just one block up the street.
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NAACP DC Launches “Strengthen the Black Dollar” Campaign

SUPPORTING BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITIES

The NAACP DC Branch is launching our “Strengthen the Black Dollar Campaign” to educate, encourage and empower Black consumers and Black businesses. Nationwide, the Black community collectively possesses $1.2 trillion dollars in spending power, yet it continues to have the highest rates of unemployment, the highest levels of debt, and the lowest median family income levels compared to other races. This campaign will strategically leverage our spending power into Black-owned businesses to strengthen the economic empowerment within Black communities.  This yearlong campaign is designed to enhance the visibility of Black-owned businesses in DC and raise awareness within the Black community regarding the importance of buying Black—with the hopes of increasing support that Black businesses receive from DC residents and other Black owners.  Like us on Facebook at NAACP DC and follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @dcnaacp using the Hashtag #BlackDollar.

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Essential Health Benefits “Benchmark Plan” Selected for 2017

A benchmark plan determines which health insurance benefits are required by law for all individual and small group plans sold in the District of Columbia 

The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) and the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) announce the 2014 Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc. (GHMSI) (CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield) BluePreferred PPO $1,000 – 100/80% Plan as the “benchmark plan” selection for plans sold in the District of Columbia starting in 2017. Continue reading

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“Inspire a Life / Keep Pushin’ On” Benefit Concert for Cancer Research at the Howard Theatre

Featuring: Soul/R&B Singer Keyboardist Frank McComb and BET’s Sunday Best Season One Winner Gospel Singer Crystal Aikin

Frank McComb will take part in a benefit concert for Cancer Research Institute at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday July 21st at 8PM. McComb says, “I am honored to play the Howard Theatre to lend hope and support to so many battling cancer, and with the dedicated intention of eradicating this terrible disease.” The Howard concert will be McComb’s first visit to the venue since being invited by the late, great George Duke to perform for the theatre’s grand reopening event on April 10, 2012.

Also joining Frank at the Howard Theatre will be Crystal Aikin who is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to being the top prize winner in Season One of BET’s gospel music program ‘Sunday Best’ blessing all with her song, “Even Me.” She will be doing her own set and, though she’s never met Frank before, plans to prepare one duet to make both nights extra special.

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Bank of America Charitable Foundation Awards $345,000 in Grants to Nonprofits

Tackling Workforce Development and Education Needs in Greater Washington Area

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently announced $345,000 in grants to 20 nonprofits focused on providing workforce development and education opportunities in the Greater Washington area. These grants are part of the bank’s broader philanthropic investment in helping individuals and families in Greater Washington lead stronger financial lives.

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Annapolis Named One of the Top Ten Best All-American Vacations for 2015

Families making plans for Fourth of July weekend are invited to set their sights on Annapolis, Maryland. TravelChannel.com has just ranked Maryland’s capital city among the top ten best All-American Vacations for 2015. The “Travels Best: All-American Vacations” calls Annapolis the “epitome of classic Americana,” and invites visitors to check out the City’s historic homes, maritime heritage, U.S. Naval Academy and Maryland crabs.

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Panel of 4 Experts briefs 
Capitol Hill Congressional Aides on Heroin Epidemic

The severity of the national heroin epidemic was highlighted in a Congressional briefing to staffers and other national and regional criminal justice, police, treatment, health and faith leaders on Capitol Hill by four experts stressing the importance of addressing the epidemic on both ends of the spectrum – prevention/education and treatment.

The Congressional briefing co-hosted by long time proponents of substance abuse education, the Foundation for a Drug Free World and the National Office of the Church of Scientology noted that the heroin epidemic has risen nationwide to almost uncontrollable proportions not only in our inner cities but our suburbs and rural areas and is cutting across all geographical, social and economic boundaries.

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DPR Announces 2015 Independence Day Holiday Schedule


Spray parks, children’s pools and outdoor pools will be open

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced the 2015 Independence Day holiday schedule.  All DPR summer camps, recreation/community centers, indoor aquatic centers and administrative offices are closed for the holiday.

Outdoor aquatic centers and children’s pools will operate from 12 noon – 6 p.m. on Friday, July 3rd and Saturday, July 4th.  Spray parks will operate on their normal schedule.

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THURGOOD MARSHALL CENTER TRUST PRESENTS A FILM AND PANEL DISCUSSION ON WILMINGTON 10

On Thursday, July 2, on what would be Thurgood Marshall’s 107th birthday, the Thurgood Marshall Center Trust will screen the documentary film, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington 10.” “Pardons of Innocence” recounts the turbulent history of desegregation from the late 1960s to 1971 as protestors fought for equal education for students of North Carolina’s New Hanover Public Schools.

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Five Washington, D.C. High School Seniors, All Attending Elite Universities, Selected as 2015 Milken Scholars

The Scholarship Program is Unique Due to its Lifetime of Mentoring and Resources

 The Milken Scholars, a joint initiative of the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation, has selected five exceptional high school seniors as 2015 Milken Scholars. The Scholars were chosen based on academic performance, community service, leadership and their ability to persevere in the face of adversity.

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Public Meeting To Discuss Montgomery Village Master Plan Will Be Held on July 7


Residents and property owners invited to comment before Working Draft of Montgomery Village Plan is presented to Planning Board on July 23

The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is holding the last of the MV Matters community meetings on Tuesday, July 7 to present the staff recommendations for the Montgomery Village Master Plan. The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Montgomery Village Middle School at 19300 Watkins Mill Road, Montgomery Village, MD 20886. (Please note the change in the meeting location from the Watkins Mill High School, which is currently being renovated.)

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Leggett Wins Council Approval of Privatization of County Economic Development

The Montgomery County Council recenty approved County Executive Ike Leggett’s initiative to privatize County economic development efforts in order to boost business attraction and retention and further strengthen the growth of good jobs in the County.

“I want to thank the Council for their strong support of this change,” said Leggett. “I also appreciate the support for this from the business community.

From the time I was sworn in last December, I promised that Montgomery County government would change its relationship with the business community. This was a key element in my ‘Six-Point Economic Plan’ I announced as I began my third term as County Executive.

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County to Hold Lottery for Farmer’s Market Coupons for Low-Income Seniors; Limited Number of Coupons Available

A limited number of free farmer’s market coupon books worth $30 will be distributed by lottery to low-income seniors in Montgomery County on Tuesday, July 7 at 10:00 a.m. The coupon books are available to Montgomery County residents age 60 years and older whose income is less than $21,775 (family of one).

The coupons may be used at farmer’s markets in Montgomery County and participating markets in the District of Columbia until November 30, 2015.

The lottery for the coupon books will be held at the following locations:

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STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE SWORN IN AS 73rd PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS

Rawlings-Blake Makes History as the First African-American Female President of Organization

The presidential gavel was officially handed to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake today by outgoing U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, appointing her head of the nonpartisan organization during the 83rd Annual Meeting of the USCM Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

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District Opens Legacy Memorial Park Honoring 2009 Metro Accident Victims

On June 22, 2015 on behalf of Mayor Muriel Bowser, City Administrator Rashad M. Young, in partnership with the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation and the D.C. Department of General Services (DGS), dedicated Legacy Memorial Park to honor the victims of the June 22, 2009 WMATA train accident. The park pays tribute to the nine victims who lost their lives, and the many more whose lives were altered by the collision of two southbound Metro trains between the Takoma and Fort Totten Metro stations.

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