National News Content

In Likely First, Chicago Suburb Of Evanston Approves Reparations For Black Residents

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 2:36pm
The city of Evanston, Ill., will make reparations available to eligible Black residents for what it describes as harm caused by "discriminatory housing policies and practices and inaction on the city's part." The program is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S. and is seen by advocates as a potential national model. Evanston's City Council voted 8-1 on Monday to approve the Local Reparations Restorative Housing Program, an official confirmed to NPR over email. It will grant qualifying households up to $25,000 for down payments or home repairs, according to the city , and is the first initiative of a city reparations fund that was established in 2019. "The Program is a step towards revitalizing, preserving, and stabilizing Black/African-American owner-occupied homes in Evanston, increasing homeownership and building the wealth of Black/African-American residents, building intergenerational equity amongst Black/African-American residents, and improving the retention rate of

Connections: "#porchportraits:" The story of Geneva through the pandemic

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 2:31pm
A photographer in Geneva is documenting how the city has navigated the pandemic. Photographer Jan Regan teamed up with longtime journalist Chris Lavin to tell Geneva's story through photos and essays. Their work is now available in a new book called "#porchportraits." We talk with them about what they've learned about their city and its residents. Our guests: Jan Regan , photographer, and co-author of "#porchportraits" Chris Lavin, longtime journalist, co-author of "#porchportraits," and executive director of the Boys and Girls Club in Geneva

Connections: Remembering Daniel Prude, and discussing Daniel's Law

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 2:28pm
One year ago, Rochester Police encountered Daniel Prude in the early morning hours. One week later, Prude was dead. His story continues to change Rochester. We talk about the impact of his life, his death, and what is known as Daniel’s Law. Our guests: Samra Brouk , New York State Senator, who introduced Daniel’s Law Harry Bronson , New York State Assemblymember, who introduced Daniel’s Law Serena Viktor, member of the Black Healers Network of Rochester

The COVID Relief Bill Expands The Affordable Care Act. It Doesn't Come Cheap

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 2:21pm
When Democrats pushed through a two-year expansion of the Affordable Care Act in the COVID-19 relief bill this month, many people celebrated the part that will make health insurance more affordable for more Americans. But some health care researchers consider this move a short-term fix for a long-term crisis, one that avoids confronting an uncomfortable truth: The only clear path to expanding health insurance remains yet more government subsidies for commercial health plans, which are the most costly form of coverage. The ACA's reliance on private plans — a hard-fought compromise in the 2010 health law that was designed to win over industry — already costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars each year, as the federal government picks up a share of the insurance premiums for about 9 million Americans. The price tag will now rise higher because of the recently enacted $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. The legislation will direct some $20 billion more to insurance companies by making

Assembly opens impeachment inquiry against Cuomo 

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 1:57pm
The state Assembly Judiciary Committee on Tuesday held its first meeting of an impeachment inquiry against Gov. Andrew Cuomo over allegations that he sexually harassed several women, as well as other controversies. The chair of the committee, Assemblyman Charles Lavine, said it could be quite a while before it reaches any conclusions. Lavine seemed well aware of the historical importance of the first impeachment proceeding against a sitting governor in New York in over 100 years, saying the process will have “tremendous significance.” The only impeachment so far in New York’s history was against former Gov. William Sulzer in 1913. Lavine laid out the scope of the investigation, which will include charges by multiple women of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by the governor and whether Cuomo and his aides covered up nursing home COVID-19 death numbers and safety concerns over the Thruway’s Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. “The speaker has directed us to examine all credible

Wayne County electronics company to expand, add jobs

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 1:42pm
A Wayne County contract manufacturing company is expanding and adding jobs. Empire State Development announced that Pace Electronics has outgrown its current space and will expand operations in the Town of Williamson with construction of a 55,000 square-foot facility. The company expects to create 15 jobs and says that 28 other jobs will be retained. The state is helping with up to $250,000 in Excelsior Tax Credits. The total project cost is about $4 million. The Wayne County Industrial Development Agency and Greater Rochester Enterprise are also helping with the project. Pace Electronics, founded in 1969, works with clients in the medical, industrial controls, automotive and emergency lighting and safety product industries worldwide. Pace CEO Dawn Smith says the company looked at several areas to relocate, but decided to stay in Wayne County, driven in part by the local workforce talent.

DeJoy Announces 10-Year Reorganization Of U.S. Postal Service

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 1:35pm
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is calling for longer delivery times for some first-class mail, shorter hours for some post offices and more expensive postal rates — all part of a 10-year reorganization plan for the U.S. Postal Service he unveiled Tuesday. DeJoy outlined the changes at a news conference with other Postal Service officials. "This is a very positive vision," DeJoy said. If the Postal Service's long-term financial woes are not addressed, he said, the USPS will "run out of cash and require a government bailout." Under the plan , "a small percentage" of post offices would have their hours reduced, and "a small percentage" of city stations could be closed. DeJoy said he "was not in a position right now" to say how much the price of a first-class stamp would rise, but that the service is counting on $44 billion in new pricing authority. Kristin Seaver, the Postal Service's executive vice president, said the change in delivery times would affect only "the fringes of our network

Biden Urges Immediate Action From Senate On Gun Bills After Colorado Shooting

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 1:26pm
Updated March 23, 2021 at 3:36 PM ET President Biden said Tuesday that he and first lady Jill Biden were "devastated" by Monday's shooting in Boulder, Colo., and called on the Senate to pass to gun bills passed by the House earlier this month that would tighten gun laws. Acknowledging there is more to confirm about the shooter's weapons and motivation, Biden said, "I don't need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act." Biden said assault weapons and high-capacity magazines should once again be banned and that loopholes in background checks should be closed. "It will save lives," he said of the House-approved legislation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he would bring the bills to the floor, but their fate is uncertain in a tightly split Senate. PBS NewsHour via / YouTube Biden's remarks come a day after 10 people, including a police officer , died

CBP Defends Conditions At Border Detention Centers Amid Upsurge In Migrants

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 1:18pm
U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday released photos and video of South Texas immigrant processing centers that have become a renewed focus of criticism for continued poor conditions despite President Biden's promises to fix Trump-era problems. The images appear partly in response to photos released by Rep. Henry Cuellar and published by Axios on Monday showing migrants crammed into "pods" divided only by plastic sheathing. Cueller, a Democrat who represents the border town of Laredo, Texas, said he recently witnessed "terrible conditions for the children" at the Donna Processing Center. Cuellar said the "pods" were meant to house 260 individuals, but that one of them held more than 400 unaccompanied male minors. He said the children needed to be quickly moved from the facility into the care of the Department of Health and Human Services. "We ought to take care of those kids like they're our own kids," he said. Cuellar said one reason he released the photos was because the

St. Louis Pastors Encourage Black Congregations To Get Vaccinated

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 12:29pm
On a biweekly virtual conference call in early March, Bishop Lawrence Wooten of Williams Temple Church of God in Christ in St. Louis asked county health officials to use churches to help bring the COVID-19 vaccines to predominantly Black neighborhoods in north St. Louis County. Wooten recommended a few worship facilities and recreational sites, because the county executive specifically asked him to help get more African Americans in north St. Louis information about the vaccine and registered for the shot. "We have the highest death rate from coronavirus of all ethnic groups," Wooten says. "The Black community is the one that has been hit the hardest." Not only are African Americans seeing high death rates from the virus, but Black communities across the country are also seeing low vaccination sign-up rates compared to other groups. And to encourage Black communities to get the vaccine, Black clergy across the country are leading the efforts. In most of St. Louis County, about 20% of

Protesters march through Rochester one year after Daniel Prude's arrest

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 12:16pm
Black Lives Matter activists are marching through the streets of Rochester today as they mark the one-year anniversary of Daniel Prude's ultimately fatal encounter with city police.

Boulder Shooting: Police Identify Suspected Gunman, Say He's Facing 10 Murder Charges

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 11:54am
Updated March 23, 2021 at 4:07 PM ET Police in Boulder, Colo., have identified the suspect in Monday's shooting rampage at a grocery store as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21. Ten people died in the shooting, including a Boulder police officer who had arrived to help those inside the store. The victims range in age from 20 to 65. Alissa has been charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree, Boulder police said. Victims identified, and families notified "Our hearts go out to all the victims of this senseless act of violence," said Boulder police Chief Maris Herold. All of the victims have now been identified, and their families have been notified, Herold said at a news conference Tuesday morning. She then read out the victims' names: Denny Stong, 20, whom police initially identified as Denny Strong; Nevin Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Eric Talley, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; Jody Waters, 65. "Not only did we

Stop Blaming Tuskegee, Critics Say. It's Not An 'Excuse' For Current Medical Racism

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 11:05am
For months, journalists, politicians and health officials - from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to Dr. Anthony Fauci - have invoked the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study to explain why Black Americans are more hesitant than white Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine. "It's 'Oh, Tuskegee, Tuskegee, Tuskegee,' and it's mentioned every single time," says Karen Lincoln , a professor of social work at USC and founder of Advocates for African American Elders . "We make these assumptions that it's Tuskegee. We don't ask people." When she asks Black seniors in Los Angeles about the vaccine, Tuskegee rarely comes up. People in the community talk about contemporary racism and barriers to health care, she says, while it seems to be mainly academics and officials who are preoccupied with the history of Tuskegee. " It's a scapegoat," Lincoln says. "It's an excuse. If you continue to use it as a way of explaining why many African Americans are hesitant, it almost absolves you of having to learn more,

Eric Talley: Family And Colleagues Remember Police Officer Slain At Boulder Grocery

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 10:29am
Updated March 23, 2021 at 12:45 PM ET Heartache and remembrances are pouring in for Boulder police Officer Eric Talley, who was killed along with nine other people in a mass shooting Monday at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo. More details about the others who died at the King Soopers supermarket emerged Tuesday after police were able to notify their families and loved ones. Talley, 51, is being mourned as a brave police officer as well as a husband, a brother and father to seven children. "Officer Eric Talley is my big brother. He died today in the Boulder shooting," a woman who identified herself as Talley's sister said on Twitter , posting a photo that appeared to show the two of them together when they were children. "My heart is broken. I cannot explain how beautiful he was and what a devastating loss this is to so many," she added. "Fly high my sweet brother. You always wanted to be a pilot (damn color blindness). Soar." "I can tell you that he's a very kind man and he didn't

Ex-DHS Chief Says Biden Was Warned About Dismantling Trump's Border Policies

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 10:06am
Former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf says Trump officials warned the incoming Biden administration that dismantling the Trump administration's immigration policies would cause problems at the southern border. The Biden administration has largely blamed the challenges at the border on the previous administration, saying it gutted the Department of Homeland Security and used inhumane practices to try to deter migrants. Biden officials describe steps they've taken to accept the new influx of unaccompanied minors into the country and end controversial programs that require migrants to remain in Mexico as "a moral imperative." But some former Trump administration leaders, such as Wolf, say the Biden administration is dismantling systems that worked. "There is no consequence anymore," Wolf told NPR. "The administration is treating this as though it's a capacity issue and not an illegal behavior issue, and that's a fundamental difference." Wolf was acting secretary from

'Basically In A New Pandemic,' Says Merkel, As Germany Extends Lockdown

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 9:30am
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday announced an intensified coronavirus lockdown going into Easter, warning that new mutations raised the specter of a potentially deadly "third wave" of COVID-19 as Europe struggles in its vaccination campaign. Speaking early Tuesday, Merkel said restrictions would be extended until April 18. She called on citizens to stay home and for shops to close for five days over the Easter holiday. "We are now basically in a new pandemic. The British mutation has become dominant," Merkel said after late-night videoconference sessions with leaders of Germany's 16 states. "Fundamentally, we face a new virus of the same kind but with very different characteristics," she said. "More deadly, more infectious, and infectious for longer." The move marks an about-face for Germany, where leaders earlier this month had set in motion a gradual easing of restrictions . However, last week, German Health Minister Jens Spahn warned that vaccines won't arrive quickly

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Data Questioned By Safety Board

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 5:54am
Updated March 23, 2021 at 9:15 AM ET A safety board overseeing AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine trial is raising concerns about the company's data. In an unusual post-midnight statement , the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said the Data and Safety Monitoring Board, which monitors the trial, is concerned that "outdated information" may have been included in the trial results. If the pharmaceutical company did include outdated information from that trial, that could provide an "incomplete view of the efficacy data," the NIAID said. The Data and Safety Monitoring Board, an independent group within the agency responsible for reviewing clinical studies, also notified other federal health agencies and AstraZeneca directly of its concerns. Later Tuesday, AstraZeneca released a statement saying that its interim analysis was based on data with a "cut off" of Feb. 17 and that it had "reviewed the preliminary assessment of the primary analysis and the results were consistent

Ex-Trump Official Says Biden Administration Was Warned About Migrant Influx

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 5:29am
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Building A Big Infrastructure Plan, Biden Starts With A Bridge To Republicans

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 5:23am
President Biden is continuing his victory lap this week after passing the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill , which addressed the most immediate crises Biden has faced coming into office: a pandemic still spreading and an economy still millions of jobs short of where it was a year ago. But if the relief bill was designed to put out the fire, Biden's next goal is to rebuild the house, with an infrastructure bill fulfilling the president's campaign promise to "build back better." "The Build Back Better bill is the legacy bill," said Bill Galston, former domestic policy adviser in the Clinton White House. "It's the bill that will define the meaning of the Biden presidency." White House aides are reportedly compiling a $3 trillion plan that would include a wide range of priorities, including social programs and tax changes, though press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that nothing was decided: "President Biden and his team are considering a range of potential options for how to invest

News Brief: Boulder Shooting, AstraZeneca's Vaccine, Infrastructure Plan

WXXI US News - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 5:23am
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