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PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Florida Utility’s New Drone Can Speed Hurricane Recovery (Maria)

The author writes, “Florida’s primary energy provider is ready to launch a powerful new technology, just ahead of the busiest weeks of the Atlantic hurricane season: a new fixed-wing drone designed  to fly into tropical storm force winds and speed the restoration of electricity after severe weather. FPLAir One resembles a small plane and is remotely operated, enabling the utility to capture and deliver images and video of damaged electrical equipment in real time to its command center… It’s a vast improvement on bucket trucks and hand-held drones when it comes to learning what a storm did at the top of a power pole.”

Largest Kansas Counties Will Recount Abortion Vote After Roughly $120,000 Raised (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A partial recount of Kansas’ abortion rights vote will proceed after frantic fundraising to pay for a hand count of every ballot in the state fell short of the $230,000 needed. The eight counties where recounts will take place is far short of the sweeping statewide recount envisioned by diehard supporters of the Value Them Both amendment, which would have stripped abortion rights from the Kansas Constitution.”

Listen: Lauren Boebert’s Neighbors’ 911 Calls Describe Threats, Husband Running Over Mailbox (DonkeyHotey)

From The Denver Post: “Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies decided to let neighbors of U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert settle a dispute between themselves and the congresswoman’s husband after he reportedly threatened them and destroyed their mailbox. But 911 calls from the incident, obtained by The Denver Post, show just how upset and nervous the neighbors were over their run-in with Boebert’s husband, Jayson Boebert. The calls also provide additional context into what the neighbors, in Silt, said amounted to excessive speeding, property damage, possible drunken driving and threats made from a man whose family openly and regularly carries their firearms.”

Monkeypox May Be Here to Stay (Sean)

From Politico: “It may be too late to stop monkeypox from circulating in the U.S. permanently. …  A series of setbacks in the administration’s response — including clunky early testing protocols, slow vaccine distribution, a lack of federal funding to help state and local governments respond to the outbreak, and patchy communication with communities most affected by the virus — allowed the disease to gain a foothold among men who have sex with men, particularly those who have had multiple partners in a short period of time. Epidemiologists, public health officials and doctors now fear the government cannot eliminate the disease in that community, and they’re warning that they are running out of time to stop the virus from spreading in the U.S. population more broadly.”

Why Extreme Heat Is So Deadly (Gerry)

The author writes, “The human body functions best at 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees C). When it overheats and becomes dehydrated, the blood thickens. The heart has to pump harder, and it and other organs can be seriously damaged. The body has mechanisms to rid itself of excess heat — most notably sweating. But at a certain point, that fails to work, especially if humidity is high and perspiration cannot evaporate.”

New Program Aims to Address Black Youth Drowning Crisis (Mili)

From Amsterdam News: “While summer fun often includes visits to the beach, lake or pool, not every child is offered the same opportunities to learn to swim or gain confidence in the water. In fact, Black children in the United States are nearly six times more likely to die from drowning than white kids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Advocates say that this unfortunate truth is directly related to decades of segregation and exclusion from public pools and beaches. A national program, ‘Making Waves’ from Outdoor Afro, is working to change that legacy by making the water safer for Black children, aiming to impact 100,000 Black youth and their caregivers over the next 10 years.”

Frothy Dogs for Some Good Pups: Photos From the World Dog Surfing Championship (Dana)

From BuzzFeed News: “Surf’s up, dawg! [On August 6], at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica, California — about a 20-minute drive south of San Francisco — a variety of dogs and their owners gathered for the World Dog Surfing Championships. The organization, billed as ‘Where the Top Dog Surfers come together’ on its Instagram, subscribes to the motto ‘It’s a big world, let your dog surf it.’ For the annual event, owners often dress their dogs in beach-appropriate fits, including sunglasses, costumes, and doggy-size life jackets. The dogs are judged on some of the same proficiency categories as a human surfing competition, from technique to the length of the ride.”