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G.M. recalls additional 2.7 million vehicles, brings total to 11.1 million
Bloomberg via Property Casualty 360
General Motors Co. is recalling an additional 2.7 million vehicles, including models with faulty brake lights that have led to hundreds of complaints, pushing the automaker's total number of cars and trucks called back for fixes in the U.S. this year to 11.1 million. The new total for the year so far is more than G.M. recalled during the previous six years combined.
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Illinois bill would require most new school construction to include storm shelter
The News-Gazette
Legislation requiring any new school construction to include storm shelters has been sent to the governor for approval. The Illinois Senate approved HB 2513, which mandates that any new school construction or remodeling that includes classroom space must include a storm shelter. The measure was approved, 43-14.
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Court: Georgia can keep execution drugmaker's secret
Governing
The 5-2 decision included a sharp dissent from two justices who expressed concern it could lead to "macabre" executions like the one that occurred in Oklahoma. The ruling overturned a stay of execution granted by a Fulton County judge to condemned killer Warren Hill, and it is expected to clear the way for the executions of at least three other inmates whose cases have been awaiting the outcome of Hill's appeal.
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Group demands college sex assault details
The Tampa Tribune
After President Barack Obama announced a new initiative to combat sexual assault on college campuses, and the federal government released the names of 55 schools under investigation for the way such cases are handled, activists are pushing a major publisher to count rape prevention and response in its popular rankings of colleges. UltraViolet, a group that works to reveal sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media, wants Princeton Review to include the information in rankings it publishes each fall.
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Insurer files class action climate change suit against Illinois communities
Claims Journal
A major insurance company is accusing dozens of localities in Illinois of failing to prepare for severe rains and flooding in lawsuits that are the first in what could be a wave of litigation over who should be liable for the possible costs of climate change. Farmers Insurance filed nine class actions last month against nearly 200 communities in the Chicago area. It is arguing that local governments should have known rising global temperatures would lead to heavier rains and did not do enough to fortify their sewers and stormwater drains.
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Oklahoma tornado, 1 year later: 'Something good's gotta come out of this'
CNN
Christopher Legg, a 9-year-old who loved football and was known to tackle people with a bear hug and a smile, huddled on top of a classmate as a tornado barreled through their elementary school here in central Oklahoma one year ago. According to his mother, a wall crushed and killed Christopher, but he shielded the other student from the rubble and saved her life. In the year since that tornado, Danni Legg, 41, has been working tirelessly to convince Oklahoma lawmakers that the best way to honor her son's legacy is to try to equip every school in the state with a tornado shelter or safe room.
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School safety data offered to Colorado parents unreliable
The Denver Post
Colorado state law requires districts to report discipline and safety information at schools, but a joint investigation by The Denver Post and KMGH-Channel 7 found that the school safety information offered to parents lacks state oversight and varies wildly from one district to the next. Some schools fail to report assaults that police would consider felonies, while others document even the smallest scuffle between elementary students.
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How do you curb stoned driving without a marijuana breathalyzer?
NPR
Like many medical marijuana patients, Greg Duran says he drives in fear, knowing he could be busted at any moment for driving under the influence. As he merges onto Interstate 70 north of Denver, Duran explains that he's probably over the state's new marijuana limit: 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood of THC, the psychoactive chemical in pot. "It would be devastating if I lost my car. It would change everything," Duran says.
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US mines personal health data to find the vulnerable in emergencies
The New York Times
The phone calls were part Big Brother, part benevolent parent. When a rare ice storm threatened New Orleans in January, some residents heard from a city official who had gained access to their private medical information. Kidney dialysis patients were advised to seek early treatment because clinics would be closing. Others who rely on breathing machines at home were told how to find help if the power went out. Those warnings resulted from vast volumes of government data.
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Bobby Jindal to sign bill allowing permit holders to carry guns in any Louisiana restaurant into law
The Times-Picayune
Louisiana residents with gun permits can soon pack heat inside any of the state's most revered venues and restaurants. Gov. Bobby Jindal's office confirmed the governor will sign legislation into law that allows concealed-carry permit holders to carry guns into restaurants that serve alcohol. Current law says guns are off limits in establishments that serves alcohol.
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Study: Despite new law, pot arrests still likelier than fines
Chicago Tribune
Despite enacting legislation that is supposed to decriminalize carrying small amounts of marijuana, the city of Chicago and state of Illinois continue to have a high number of arrests related to the drug, a new university study has found. In addition, because different municipalities have different laws and policies, the way the cases are handled is inconsistent and unfair, researchers said.
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Safety group: Memorial Day is start of '100 deadliest days' for teen drivers
The Jersey Journal
As Memorial Day ushers in the summer months, the New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition is urging parents to continue monitoring their teens' driving habits. While the holiday not only marks the unofficial beginning of summer, it also signals the start of the 100 deadliest days on the road for teenage drivers. From Memorial Day to Labor Day in 2012, 12 people were killed in New Jersey in crashes involving teen drivers, according to National Safety Council estimates based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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Teen drivers, parents would have to take safety courses under proposed NJ law
The Star-Ledger
Teens who want to get their drivers licenses might be spending some quality time with their parents in a classroom under a legislation advancing in the state Assembly. The Assembly Transportation Committee recently approved a bill (A1699) that would require all learner's permit holders who are under 18 to take a teen driver orientation program approved by state authorities.
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Insurers want more climate change certainty
Property Casualty 360
The number and frequency of extreme weather events has increased, but insurers are well prepared for a continued gradual rise in such events, and any ratings impact should be limited barring a more dramatic spike, Standard & Poor's says. In a report, "Are Insurers Prepared for the Extreme Weather Climate Change May Bring?" S&P says it believes the industry "is well positioned to gradually factor in any costs related to climate change as they emerge."
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Police in 40 Michigan counties push seatbelt safety campaign
The Associated Press via Claims Journal
Law enforcement officials in 40 Michigan counties are stepping up enforcement of seatbelt regulations. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says the annual "Click It or Ticket" safety belt enforcement zones and extra enforcement begin soon. Officials recently kicked off the effort with an advertising campaign about enforcement plans.
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Many swimmers come up short in water-safety skills
USA Today
Only 56 percent of adults who say they can swim can perform five critical water-safety skills that could save their lives, according to a new American Red Cross survey. With Memorial Day and the start of many water-related summer activities days away, the non-profit group is broadening its annual message about learning to swim and making smart choices around the water (such as always swimming in designated areas supervised by lifeguards and always swimming with a buddy) to emphasize the importance of knowing these "basic safety and survival skills."
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Red Cross brings Pillowcase preparedness project to Oklahoma schools
The Oklahoman
School may be winding down as summer approaches, but tornado preparedness has ramped up across Oklahoma as districts and other organizations seek to prepare students for whatever may come our way the rest of this storm season. Staff from Central and Western Oklahoma Red Cross spent time with fourth-graders at Lincoln Elementary in El Reno, educating them on what to do in case of tornado while also passing out pillowcases containing items that might be helpful in case of an emergency.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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