Hypnosis Helped Put This Texan on Death Row. The Supreme Court Could Soon Decide His Fate. (Dana)
From the Dallas Morning News: “Through thousands of pages of documents and never-before-seen videos, the News revealed how officers tell victims and witnesses that hypnosis can refresh their memories and help them put criminals behind bars. Law enforcement has turned to this controversial, and some say dangerous, practice to investigate thousands of crimes in Texas, send dozens of men to prison — and some to their deaths.”
Los Angeles Suffers Worst Smog in Almost 30 Years (Reader Steve)
The author writes, “Lung-damaging ozone pollution in Los Angeles reached its highest levels in a generation and set records in other parts of Southern California during the blistering Labor Day weekend heat wave, air quality readings show. Ozone pollution spiked to 185 parts per billion in downtown Los Angeles at midday Sunday. … It was the highest hourly reading in Southern California since 2003 and the highest in downtown L.A. in 26 years. The eight-hour average ozone level in downtown L.A. was 118 ppb, ‘very unhealthy’ on the Air Quality Index and far above the federal standard of 70 ppb.”
Sheriff’s Office Insurance Premium Increase Tied to Excessive Force Settlements (Dana)
From the Press Democrat: “Liability insurance premiums for the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office have skyrocketed in the wake of multimillion-dollar settlements stemming from excessive force claims against the department going back nearly a decade, records show. The rate increase, representing a $2.7 million jump in the annual premiums next year — a 46% rise — outpaces hikes seen by Bay Area counties and other counties of similar size in the state. It has also put additional strain on the department’s budget, with Sheriff Mark Essick proposing deep cuts to staff and programs to fill a $14 million gap.”
States Are Doing What Big Government Won’t to Stop Climate Change (Russ)
The author writes, “In Maine, state officials are working to help residents install 100,000 high-efficiency heat pumps in their homes, part of a strategy for electrifying the state. In California, an in-demand grant program helps the state’s largest industry — agriculture, not technology — to pursue a greener, more sustainable future. Across Appalachia, solar panels are appearing on rooftops of community centers in what used to be coal towns. The Trump administration may have pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, but most states and many rural areas in America have developed their own plans for reducing carbon emissions and moving away from fossil fuels as they maneuver — often aggressively — to address the threat of climate change.”
Could a Tree Help Find a Decaying Corpse Nearby? (Mili)
The author writes, “Since 1980, the University of Tennessee’s Forensic Anthropology Center has plumbed the depths of the most macabre of sciences: the decomposition of human bodies. Known colloquially as the Body Farm, here scientists examine how donated cadavers decay, like … microbial activity leads to bloat, and — eventually — a body will puncture. Out flows a rank fluid of nutrients, especially nitrogen, for plants on the Body Farm to subsume. That gave a group of … researchers an idea: what if that blast of nutrients actually changes the color and reflectance of a tree’s leaves? And, if so, what if law enforcement authorities could use a drone to scan a forest, looking for these changes to find deceased missing people?”
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