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Baltimore may ban criminal history question on job applications
Governing
Baltimore may soon join four states and five cities that prohibit private employers from asking about criminal history on initial job applications. The proposal being considered in Baltimore is part of a national trend to reduce prisoner recidivism by eliminating barriers to employment. “It removes any implicit bias that employers might have against someone with a past record,” said Councilman Nick Mosby, the bill’s lead sponsor.
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'Dazed' and dangerous: Train engineer's sleep disorder is common
NBC News
The engineer who drove a speeding commuter train off the rails in New York last year may have suffered from the most severe form of a dangerous sleep disorder, but health experts say he has plenty of company. As many as 22 million people in the U.S. — or up to 7 percent of the population — may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, experts say. It’s a condition that causes airways to collapse during sleep, cutting off breathing dozens or sometimes hundreds of times a night, leaving them bleary-eyed and drowsy, even after a full night’s rest.
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What's it like to work at the Department of Children's Services?
Governing
Employee surveys are something that state and local governments should do routinely across all agencies and departments. But if Jonathan Walters had to pick one agency or department in which they should be done most regularly, it would be in the high-stress, high-burnout world of children and family services (CFS).
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US government said unaware of GM fault switches in bailout
Bloomberg via Property Casualty 360
The task force President Barack Obama set up to manage General Motors Co.’s bailout and bankruptcy in 2009 wasn’t aware of the faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths in small cars, said people familiar with the matter. While members of the task force met frequently in early 2009 with GM executives to discuss product-liability claims and determine how they should be handled in bankruptcy, the ignition switches or safety problems with the Chevrolet Cobalt weren’t brought up, said the people.
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Madison, Wis., City Council to take up new downtown alcohol policy
The Capital Times
The morning after the Wisconsin Badgers beat Arizona to advance to college basketball's Final Four two weeks ago, Sandi Torkildson, owner of A Room of One's Own book store — located near a popular bar just off State Street — was up early. “I had to come to the store on Sunday an hour early to clean up the vomit and the paper and the cigarette butts, the half-empty beer bottles and cans all over the front of my store,” she says. “I’ll tell you this, that bar owner was not up cleaning up the front of his place like I was.” Torkildson is afraid the city’s new proposed alcohol policy will only make matters worse.
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Louisiana senators reject helmet law exception
Claims Journal
Louisiana motorcyclists still must wear helmets, without exceptions. The Senate Transportation Committee killed a recent proposal by Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe, that would have allowed people 21 and older to ride without a helmet if they complete a safety training course and hold a certain amount of liability insurance. Walsworth said he wanted to “give a narrow way of allowing a person the option of wearing a helmet or not.” He said laws with similar exceptions have been enacted in Texas and Arkansas.
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Florida House committee OKs bill to allow gun in Florida schools
The Florida Times-Union
The debate whether safety is worth the risk of having more guns on school campuses took center stage in a Florida House committee, which approved a bill that would allow trained officials to carry weapons in schools. This issue has been argued nationwide since school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, Virginia Tech University, Columbine High School in Colorado and others. One side believes armed officials are better equipped to handle an emergency situation. The other argues that more guns in schools only increase the odds of something happening.
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School helps make prom safer with chance to win car
KCTV-TV
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and about a third of them are alcohol-related and happen right around the time they should be celebrating prom and graduation. That has schools going to extreme lengths to keep teens out of harm's way and one metro mom hopes the chance of winning a car will steer teens toward making safer choices. "I was kind of a young mom. I graduated when I was pregnant with him," said Rebecca Graham. Graham's life changed fast after her prom night. She wants to protect her son and other students at Staley High School from taking the party too far.
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Safe School 101 in Oklahoma helps schools find places to take shelter in school buildings
KJRH-TV
The tragedy in Moore serves as a reminder of the need for school storm shelters, but the expense makes that difficult. On May 20, 2013 an EF-5 devastated the community south of the state capitol. "We need all the protection we can get because it's Oklahoma," Melissa Little of El Reno said. That's just what the El Reno School District is working to do thanks to a program called Safe School 101. The program brings engineers, architects and emergency experts together to go through schools to see where the safest places are for kids to take shelter.
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Birmingham, Ala., a high spender when it comes to public safety
Birmingham Businesss Journal
The city of Birmingham did not let the economic downturn get in the way of public safety. A report issued by the website NerdWallet.com showed Birmingham as the No. 2 city in the nation in spending for police and fire officials. Washington D.C. was the only city that ranked higher. Birmingham has a total of 1,120 police on staff. Hardly the most in the nation, but it does represent 52.5 policemen for every 10,000 residents.
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Is it safe to walk while texting?
Forbes
Using your cell phone while you walk leads to more injuries per mile than using it while you drive, according to Dr. Dietrich Jehle, professor of emergency medicine at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine. Research backs him up. According to a recent study from Ohio State, more than 1,500 people were treated in ERs for cellphone related injuries in 20120 alone. A study from State University of New York at found that if you use your cell phone while walking you are 60 percent more likely to veer off course. And when you veer off course, bad things can happen.
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Mizzou strengthens rules on reporting, dealing with campus sex assaults
KSHB-TV
The University of Missouri recently issued an order strengthening its rules about reporting and dealing with sex assaults on campus. The new rules are likely a result of an alleged sex assault of former MU swimmer Sasha Menu Courey. An ESPN report earlier this year alleged the university failed to correctly handle Courey’s allegations four years ago. The university said it did not know about the accusations until after Courey committed suicide.
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Minnesota's Twin Cities are taking very different approaches to Lyft and UberX
The Atlantic Cities
Plenty of bridges connect Minnesota's Twin Cities over the Mississippi River, but don't try to cross any of them in a car with a pink mustache on the grill. The adjacent cities have taken very different stances on rideshare services or "transportation network companies" like Lyft (of pink mustache fame) and UberX. While St. Paul has allowed them to operate since late last summer, Minneapolis insists that they can't do so without a proper taxi license.
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Bicycling getting safer in Ohio
Claims Journal
Riding a bicycle on Ohio roads seems to be getting safer. The Ohio Department of Public Safety statistics show that fewer bicyclists were injured and killed riding in the state last year compared with the previous year. The agency says more than 1,500 bicyclists were injured statewide last year, down from about 1,900 in 2012. Last year, 19 riders were killed in crashes in Ohio, compared with 18 in 2012.
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No culture of safety at NJ Transit, union official says
The Star-Ledger
Conductors assaulted on trains. Employee facilities that are filthy and infested with rodents. A culture where “an on-time train is better than a safe train.” An N.J. Transit union official said there is no culture of safety at the statewide transportation agency. “We just go about our work every day and we’re not told anything — nobody ever talks to us about safety,” Michael J. Reilly, general chairman with the United Transportation Union, said during the monthly N.J. Transit board meeting in Newark.
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Opinion: A cappuccino for public safety
The New York Times
Infrastructure problems are national, and indeed global; they rise largely from choosing short-term fiscal gains over medium- and long-term public good. But let’s just stick with New York City for the moment: Many of NYC's bridges (of which there are something like 2,000), as well as its sewers, subways and water mains, date to the late-19th and early-20th centuries, a period of unparalleled public works, at least in this country.
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