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Carrots don't stand much of a chance against cronuts when it comes to tweets and Instagrams about food. The new Food Porn Index aims to change the conversation by tracking our virtual cravings.
Petersburg’s youngest students will be getting summer vacation a little earlier this year. The district’s school board agreed that the Stedman Elementary School should close four days early—on May 30th–to allow for a renovation project to begin.
The school board met Monday night and unanimously supported the change after hearing a project update.
“We are ready, ready for it,” said School Principal Erica Kludt-Painter. “We are in the throws of many details to organize for this renovation project which is going to start in the school year.”
The $2.3 million project will replace the school’s exterior walls and windows. Contractors will arrive to town the first week in April and set up on the office end of the building under the covered play area.
Kludt-Painter says they’ll start work on the outside of the building first.
“We’re going to start on the backside of the building, near the library, on the old pool lobby end and kind of work around the building to down to the kindergarten end,” Kludt-Painter said. “So, that means that the office will be moved to the other end of the building for the remainder of the school year and that entrance will be closed off. We’ll have a new entrance for a while by the kindergarten classrooms, we’ll have different bus drops offs and pick-ups, It’s going to be very exciting. We’re super, super excited about it.”
The early release would allow the project to be done in one summer instead of two and would give teachers a week to clear out their rooms.
“All the classrooms have to, obviously, box up and organize anything on the outside walls, move everything to the inside walls and clear that space because there’s also lighting work being done,” Kludt-Painter said. “I mean you think, siding. . .they’re re-doing the siding. No, they’re RE-DOING THE SIDING and the walls and the heating and the windows. It’s all great and it really is going to be great when it’s done but it’s huge, it’s a big project.”
The new schedule would release students four days earlier and one day short of the minimum 170 days of student contact that’s required by state law. Administrators chose to go with four days because it puts the last day on a Friday.
Superintendent, Rob Thomason, explained it to the school board.
“So, really what we’re asking permission to do was modify the existing calendar to the state minimum which would have been literally a ‘no brainer’,” Thomason said, “but what we also wanted to do was to move back one day to 169 days rather than having youngsters having to come on Monday for a very short day just to count a day of school.”
Now all that’s left is for the state to approve the plan in writing. Education Commissioner, Mike Hanley, has already verbally agreed to the change.
Board member, John Bringhurst, asked that the board get an update on the project at every meeting so that everyone can keep tabs on how it’s going.
Research involving more than 1,500 patients suggests people with Crohn's may have too many of the types of gut bacteria that tend to rile the immune system and too few that reduce inflammation.
The Air Force has acknowledged a problem with cheating on tests by nuclear missile officers. NPR spoke with eight former officers and seven said that they had participated in some kind of cheating.
Just how did the late Chokwe Lumumba — a revolutionary who still threw up the Black Power salute on occasion — get elected the mayor of a mid-sized American city in the Deep South?
The building, located at or near the corner of Park Ave. and 114th Street, reportedly exploded and collapsed around 9 a.m. At least two people are dead and many injured.
A nine-story apartment building that was under construction went up in flames. Firefighters were able to protect nearby buildings.
Sitka is launching a top-to-bottom assessment of how it handles trash and recycling. On Tuesday night (3-11-14), the Sitka Assembly heard from the contractors tasked with creating a new solid waste management plan for the city. Representatives of the firm CB&I outlined the process that will, they hope, lead to a new master plan by September.
Consultant Chris Bell had one suggestion for how Assembly members could wrap their minds around the different challenges associated with garbage and recycling in Sitka.
“I would ask you to consider riding, spending some time along with the garbage truck, seeing what they experience on a day to day basis,” Bell said. “Because a lot of things will open your eyes and [you'll] see some of the intricacies of your system.”
Bell is part of a team from the contractor CB&I that’s in town this week to kick off a total reassessment of how Sitka takes out the trash. In February, the Assembly approved a contract of up to $250,000 with CB&I to develop a comprehensive solid waste management plan.
The team’s first stop was a work session with the Sitka Assembly. Project manager Phil Kowalski said his team will be looking at options to improve services like garbage collection; to increase recycling and composting; and to set rates that don’t overburden residents but bring in enough revenue to sustain whatever system that the city ultimately decides upon.
“Through this public process we hope to make people aware of what those balancing considerations are, and ultimately arrive at a recommended program that is practical and balanced between cost and environmental considerations,” he said.
Kowalski added that now is a good time for Sitka to reassess its waste management system because the most recent plan was completed in the 1990s, and the city’s contracts for garbage collection, recycling and shipping are all up for renegotiation in 2015.
Assembly member Mike Reif said the study is coming with a hefty price tag.
“Share with me some of your Southeast experience and why you can bring something to this collaborative process that’s going to be valuable for this,” Reif said.
Essentially, he asked, what makes CB&I’s input worth $250,000?
Kowalski said his background is in waste management plans for remote communities.
Chris Bell noted that only to date, only two Alaska cities – Kodiak and Juneau – have gone through the process of developing this kind of comprehensive plan, and said that he another team member, Richard Hertzberg, worked on both of those plans. He said the Juneau process led the city to adopt a system of curbside recycling, by subscription.
Up next for the contractors is a meeting with the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC). Kowalski said they hope to get plenty of public input.
“We’ve included in the work plan what we think will be a very effective program for allowing the public to participate in this planning process,” Kowalski said.
That program essentially revolves around the SWAC, which Kowalski said has already been formed. He said it includes representatives from the solid waste industry, environmental groups, the businesses community, the Assembly and the Sitka Tribe.
The committee will hold meetings in March, May, and July. The meetings will be open to the public, with time set aside for public comment. There will also be an online survey for residents to weigh in on the current system and suggest changes they’d like to see.
CB&I hopes to have final recommendations ready by August or September.
Meanwhile, none of the Assembly members committed to taking that ride on the garbage truck. But Deputy Mayor Matt Hunter suggested one potential incentive: ”Wonder if they’d let us work the robotic arm?” he said.
The president is expected to tell the Labor Department to change the rules about who is eligible. Critics say that might backfire. Proponents say it would narrow income inequality.
"We cannot launch a military operation in Crimea, as we would expose the eastern border and Ukraine would not be protected," Oleksandr Turchynov tells Agence France-Presse.
In Rhode Island, the Democratic gubernatorial primaries are disputed by an Italian-American state treasurer, Providence's first Latino mayor and the grandson of former U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell.
The search continues, and continues to expand, for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared Saturday while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There were 239 people on board.
The Alaska Legislature is expected today to move one step closer to buying one-quarter of a trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline.
Late Tuesday, the Senate finance committee discussed an updated version of SB138, the pipeline bill. The latest version of the measure includes language setting the state’s participation in the project at 25 percent.
SB138 was introduced by Republican Gov. Sean Parnell’s administration and was developed from a pair of agreements with private companies slated to work with the state to develop the project.
It’s illegal for a mentally ill person to purchase a firearm, but Alaskans suffering from mental illnesses don’t show up in the federal background check system.
That’s because the state does not report any findings of mental illness to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, used by licensed firearms dealers during transactions.
An Anchorage Republican is trying to change that. Rep. Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage, has proposed a bill requiring the state to report mental illnesses to the system.
JUNEAU — State legislative leaders have called on Gov. Sean Parnell to “hold the line” in contract talks with the Alaska Marine Highway System’s unions.
The state is negotiating new contracts with unions representing ferry workers.
The lawmakers, in a letter dated Feb. 26, note that the Senate rejected recommended pay raises for state commissioners. They said highly paid staff are “the least able to justify pay increases in austere times.”
NEW YORK — Joe McGinniss wasn’t one to let a story tell itself.
Whether insisting on the guilt of a murder suspect after seemingly befriending him or moving next door to Sarah Palin’s house for a most unauthorized biography, McGinniss was unique in his determination to get the most inside information, in how publicly he burned bridges with his subjects and how memorably he placed himself in the narrative.
JUNEAU — The House Finance Committee on Tuesday cut advertising funding for an anti-obesity program and rebuffed a Democratic-led effort to boost education funding, concluding that was a decision for another day.
The committee is putting the finishing touches on its version of the state operating budget, and plans to take a look at the overall amended package on Wednesday before it is sent to the floor for a vote.
ANCHORAGE — The National Archives and Records Administration has told employees the agency will close its Alaska facility and move documents to Seattle.
The closure will be part of cost cutting that will save the federal government more than $1.5 million annually, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Other facilities will be consolidated in Philadelphia and Fort Worth, Texas.
The agency’s staff was notified of the decision last week.
Alaska historians said the move of millions of pages of documents will be a severe blow.
Italy detains tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from North Africa and locks them up in harsh conditions. Now it is pushing to revamp the system at home with an eye toward a Europe-wide plan.