I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Trip’s afternoon reading
An early, controlled release of state prisoners has been mentioned as a consequence of deep spending cuts ordered by the New Mexico Legislature to the state’s $5 billion budget. Whether that actually occurs is unclear. My bet is that it won’t for several reasons. But one state, Illinois, appears ready to carry through on an early release of prisoners to save money, and is planning for the influx of offenders into communities.
“As the state prepares to release about 1,000 inmates from prison up to a year early, parole agents across Illinois are making unannounced visits to select homes, checking for overcrowding, drug paraphernalia and vicious dogs that could hamper future inspections,” according to the Chicago Tribune. “After determining there is adequate space for an inmate, the agents stress to residents that their homes are in for a drastic change.”
Meanwhile, the economic news seemed a little brighter Friday in Washington, where it was announced that the nation’s economy grew by 3.5 percent during the last quarter, according to the New York Times. Part of that may be the federal stimulus, says the White House says, which reported that the federal stimulus saved or created 650,000 jobs nationally.
More states lowered their standards for academic proficiency in recent years than raised them, and nearly all used exams that fell short of federal testing benchmarks, the Wall Street Journal reports today. Specifically, a report issued by the U.S. Department of Education has called into question the rigor of tests that states select to comply with student-improvement mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind law.
Ethics investigators for the U.S. House of Representatives, meanwhile, have been scrutinizing the activities of more than 30 lawmakers and several aides in inquiries about issues including defense lobbying and corporate influence peddling, the Washington Post reports today. The Post learned of the scrutiny after a confidential House ethics committee report prepared in July was inadvertently made public.
Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn sees himself as a one-man treatment center helping Congress beat its bipartisan addiction to misguided spending, the New York Times writes. He also may be one of the major speed bumps on Congress’ road to passing health reform legislation.
From the media world, the nation’s largest circulation paper, The Wall Street Journal, is closing its Boston bureau. As FishbowlNY noted, if the nation’s largest paper is doing this, what hope do other papers have. I don’t view the move as the end of the newspaper world, but it is sad. Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports the the British Broadcasting Corp. plans to cut the salaries of top managers and axe more than 100 senior posts as part of a broader overhaul to cut costs.