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Colorado question: How high is too high to drive?
CBS News
Now that the state of Colorado has legalized the recreational use of marijuana, the federal government is providing new funding designed to help keep stoned drivers off the road, CBS Denver reports. The station says the state has has 185 officers specially trained to recognize drivers under the influence of drugs, and that officials hope to add another 35 officers and develop an advertising campaign aimed at preventing driving while high. The efforts are being made possible with a $400,000 grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to CBS Denver.
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Yale pursuit of alcohol safety threatens popular bar
Bloomberg
The past is always present at Toad’s Place, a popular destination in New Haven, Connecticut, near Yale University that has been a mainstay on the East Coast college music circuit for almost 40 years. Toad’s is now locked in a fight with Yale that threatens the future of the venerated rock club. What started as a town-gown dispute over right-of-way access has put Toad’s at the center of a debate about a crackdown on student drinking. Yale wants to restrict Toad’s access to an adjoining alleyway, saying patrons have used it to drink, smoke and litter.
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Lawmaker proposes new safety rule after NYC high-rise fire
Claims Journal
A week after a Manhattan fire killed a young playwright, a New York City lawmaker proposed a new fire-safety requirement for high-rise apartment houses that could save lives. City Councilman Corey Johnson told a news conference on Jan. 13 that buildings taller than six stories should be required to have emergency public-address systems so first responders and building managers can communicate better with residents. The 27-year-old playwright, Daniel McClung, was overcome by smoke in a stairwell near the 31st floor of The Strand apartment building on Manhattan’s West Side after fleeing his 38th-floor Manhattan apartment on Jan. 5, when flames swept through a unit 18 floors below.
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Researchers create crime prediction map app
Claims Journal
Research at Rutgers’ School of Criminal Justice has resulted in commercial technology that public safety practitioners and researchers worldwide are using to fight crime. It is being offered free of charge to law enforcement agencies and was presented at the second annual White House “Safety Datapalooza.” Leslie Kennedy and Joel Caplan of Rutgers invented a technique that uses crime data to identify and map environmental attractors of crime.
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Feds exempt volunteer firefighters from Obamacare mandate
Governing
Federal regulators have announced they’ll soon issue final rules on the so-called employer mandate of President Barack Obama’s health care law to exempt volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel, alleviating a key concern for thousands of cities and counties across the country that rely on volunteer personnel. The problem was a clash between tax policy and the provision of the health-care overhaul that requires employers with more than 50 workers to provide health insurance, though that part of the law was delayed until 2015.
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Ohio school district prepares for worst with school shooting safety video
WXIX-TV
It's a video full of real-life scenarios and plans on what to do if Oak Hills High School ever has a shooter on campus. With safety in mind, administrators gathered at Oak Hills High School to create a video on their safety plans. That video was presented to parents on Jan. 14. "We learned that lockdown in a school emergency wasn't enough," explains Bill Murphy of the Delhi Township Police Department. "Locking a door and just hiding there wasn't enough to get it done." Shot over Thanksgiving break, the video illustrates the ALICE Program — which stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate.
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Public health and the leadership imperative
Governing
Who thinks about the broad needs of our society? Private-sector leaders focus on the bottom line and their products. As individuals, each of us is consumed by our personal responsibilities, goals and challenges of daily life. That's why it's so important for government officials to take a leadership role to advocate for future generations. Who else has the capacity and orientation to rally the public to make essential investments in infrastructure, education and the general welfare? Foresight may, in fact, be the most important skill set in the public leader's toolbox.
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Massachussets town receives $455,950 grant to combat youth violence
The Herald News
Officials recently announced that Fall River, Mass., has received a $455,950 state-funded Shannon grant to pay for intervention programs intended to reduce gang-related crime and youth violence. The Fall River Shannon Community Safety Initiative said it will use the funding for a five-pronged anti-crime strategy that includes suppression, social intervention, creating new opportunities for the city's youth, fostering organizational change and development, and mobilizing the community. "As an urban community, we face many challenges but we know that through a collaborative approach, we can address these challenges and make Fall River more peaceful," Mayor Will Flanagan said.
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Drivers could pay own DWI tests in Texas county
The Associated Press via Claims Journal
People convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Harris County could be required to pay for their blood tests as lab officials seek to recoup costs and hire more toxicologists. County budget executive director Bill Jackson plans to explore blood test payment options, such as having prosecutors recommend and judges require restitution, the Houston Chronicle reported recently. “There are a lot of things that we recover costs for, and this was one that just hadn’t been done in the past,” Jackson said.
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