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Oklahoma company creates blanket to protect against tornado debris, bullets
Claims Journal
An Oklahoma company has created a protective blanket that developers say could give children a better chance of surviving debris from a tornado — or bullets from a 9 mm handgun. The Bodyguard Blanket, made by ProTecht, is a bulletproof pad designed to protect students during disasters at school. The 5/16-inch thick rectangle features backpack-like straps that allow users to put it on, and then duck and cover.
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America's biggest drug problem isn't heroin, it's doctors
Governing
Brendan McDonald was one of those kids you never thought would start taking drugs. The year it began — the 2004-2005 school year — he was an honor-roll senior at a well-regarded Jesuit high school in Boston, a varsity baseball player who had won early admission to the college of his choice. “Quiet, handsome and charismatic,” says his mother, Nancy Holler, of her oldest child. “He was always just a really good kid.”
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Colleges focus on alcohol and drugs as serious crime dips
The New York Times
Colleges have become more aggressive about punishing alcohol and drug offenses, even as the rate of serious crime on campuses has dropped, according to a government report released Tuesday. The annual report from the Education and Justice Departments found that in 2011, colleges and universities started disciplinary proceedings for alcohol or drug offenses against 162 of every 10,000 students, not including those who were arrested. That was up from 132 in 2001.
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After Isla Vista, Lawmakers want to take guns from dangerous people
Governing
State lawmakers in California have introduced a bill that would allow police to seize guns temporarily from people who pose a threat to themselves or others. The legislation comes in response to a mass shooting last month in Isla Vista, California. Before that killing spree, the shooter posted some online videos that so worried his mother that she contacted mental health officials, who then contacted the police. When law enforcement visited his house for a wellness check, they determined that he seemed "shy, timid, polite and well-spoken."
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The Texas car-share battle
The Texas Tribune via Governing
Texas has emerged as a key battleground in the fast-growing universe of vehicle-for-hire apps, with Uber and Lyft battling each other for market share across the state’s biggest cities, while local officials struggle with whether to embrace the companies or ban them. In the recent weeks, both Uber and Lyft launched their services in Austin. Both companies were already doing business in Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi. The companies are also operating in Dallas, where city officials are set to consider a complete overhaul of their taxi regulations to bring Uber and Lyft into compliance.
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New York to help fund bulletproof vests for police statewide
The Associated Press via WCBS-TV
New York’s attorney general recently pledged $3.5 million from criminal and civil forfeitures to help outfit police statewide with thousands of bulletproof vests. “Providing bulletproof vests to police officers is a no-brainer,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Intended to fill the recent funding gap in a federal grant program, Schneiderman said the so-called “inVEST Partnership” will enable New York law enforcement agencies to cover up to half the cost of equipping new officers or replacing expiring vests for others.
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Work zone safety campaign launched in Minnesota
Claims Journal
Minnesota is launching a statewide campaign asking motorists to hang up their phones and pay attention in work zones. The campaign starts June 16 and will continue through the construction season. It’s part of the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths effort promoting safe and smart driving behavior.
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Portland, Oregon, schools will have added police officers after shooting
The Washington Post
In the wake of the recent shooting at a high school outside Portland, Oregon, the Portland police have announced that they will be sending additional police officers to the city’s schools for the remainder of the school year. The boosted police presence is to reassure students, parents and teachers that the school environment is safe, officials said, and is not in response to any specific concerns about violence after the shooting.
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Obama tells governors he wants to quit taking money from forest projects for firefighting
The Gazette
During her keynote address at the Western Governors' Association annual meeting, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Obama administration is revamping the "crazy" way the federal government has budgeted for fighting wildfires. President Barack Obama's proposed budget for fiscal year 2015 sets aside $954 million in a new disaster fund for wildfires. The fund will be used in years when the cost of fighting fires exceeds the budgeted amount — something that has been occurring frequently as fire seasons lengthen and increase in severity.
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Boston's small, winding streets are good for something: Pedestrian safety
Boston Magazine
The, uh, quirky design of city streets in Boston elicits a lot of complaints from a lot of groups: tourists trying to find their way around, drivers who don’t want to share the road with cyclists, cyclists who want things like protected bike lanes, etc. But the city of paved cow paths is good for one group: pedestrians.
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How much can (and should) government protect people from natural disaster?
Governing
It didn’t take long after the tragedy of the Oso, Washington, March mudslide for everyone to wonder: Should local officials have done more to prevent people from building in harm’s way? The local emergency management director, John Pennington, was grief-stricken. “We did everything we could,” he told reporters. He added, “Sometimes big events just happen. Sometimes large events that nobody sees happen. And this just happened.”
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How well can you manage your business in a disaster zone?
Forbes
A renegade attack. A military coup. Regime change. Riots. Invasion. For many businesses in politically unstable situations throughout the world, coping with dangerous uncertainty is an everyday reality. Whether instability is expected in a place, like Bosnia, or comes as a surprise, as in Boston, there are some basic steps to take to create a plan for business continuit.
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Higher education, public safety winners in new Michigan budget agreements
MLive.com
The Michigan Legislature is running out of time to secure long-term funding for crumbling roads and complete budgets for the upcoming fiscal year by their self-imposed deadline of early June. After finishing work on major packages to increase the minimum wage and speed up Detroit's exit from bankruptcy, lawmakers are left with just three session days to wrap up other big-ticket items before heading home for a legislative summer break.
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Lack of lifeguards at North Carolina beach raises safety questions
WWAY-TV
It's a question that comes up this time of year. How safe are our beaches? After several drownings at Brunswick County beaches in 2013, lifeguards became a hot topic. But, the town never implemented them. "I love it. I absolutely love it," said Vinny Justino, who spends his days in retirement watching over Sunset Beach. He said it's mostly about fun, but not all the time.
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Tenneessee governor's public safety subcabinet announces partnership with Vera Institute of Justice
The Chattanoogan
Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons, chairman of the Governor’s Public Safety Subcabinet, announced that the group is partnering with the Vera Institute of Justice to review sentencing and correction policies and practices with an aim towards improving public safety for all Tennesseans.
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Terrorism, catastrophes, tech drive risk management changes: Former PRIMA leaders
Business Insurance
Terrorism, technology and catastrophe-driven changes in property insurance are the most significant factors influencing how risk managers think today, according to former presidents speaking at the Public Risk Management Association 2014 Annual Conference in Long Beach, California. Four past presidents of PRIMA gave their takes on the chief factors that helped shape their actions as risk managers during a panel discussion.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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