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Reporters at Tronc-owned papers in Va. plan to unionize

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Reporters at Tronc-owned papers in Va. plan to unionize

NORFOLK, Va.

Journalists at two daily newspapers in Virginia announced plans Tuesday to form a union, a move that reflects a trend in an industry that continues to face declining profits, ownership changes and layoffs.

Plans to unionize the Daily Press in Newport News and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, both owned by Chicago-based Tronc Inc., were announced as management for both papers streamlines operations between the two, fueling fears of future layoffs.

The Pilot and Daily Press had traditionally covered different portions of Virginia’s Hampton Roads region. But Tronc bought the Pilot in late May and has owned the Daily Press since 1986.

Former senator to replace McCain, at least until January

PHOENIX

Prolonging the uncertainty over who will fill the late John McCain’s U.S. Senate seat, the governor of Arizona on Tuesday announced the appointment of former Sen. Jon Kyl but said he has only committed to serve until the end of the year.

Kyl, a Republican who retired from the Senate in 2012 to become a lobbyist and spend more time with his family, is currently shepherding President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Kyl’s appointment will make it possible for him to vote for the nomination.

It’s unclear what more Kyl, 76, will do in the Senate. He said he agreed to serve briefly out of a “sense of duty” and will not run for the seat in 2020, when Arizona voters will decide who fills the seat through 2022. The seat will then be up again for a full six-year term.

Biologist: Drowned moose likely had brain worm

SOUTH HERO, Vt.

Vermont’s moose biologist says brain-worm parasites and not onlookers probably caused the death of a moose that had drowned in Lake Champlain after swimming across about a 6-mile stretch of the lake from New York to South Hero.

Officials had suggested the exhausted moose was forced back into the water by people who had crowded around it to take photographs.

Vermont moose biologist Cedric Alexander tells the Burlington Free Press that moose infected with brain worms are often disoriented and unable to coordinate their body movements.

Alexander says exhaustion might have played a role, but the animal’s actions suggested neurological damage.

ACLU seeks info on inmate health as guards have fallen ill

HARRISBURG, Pa.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania wants the state prison system to reinstate inmate mail and visitation privileges that have been suspended because about 50 guards and other employees have fallen sick in recent weeks.

Pennsylvania ACLU executive director Reggie Shuford said Tuesday the lockdown in place over the past week is “gravely serious.”

He argues state officials should provide more information to the public.

Shuford says if staff are getting sick, it’s likely inmates are, too.

Officials suspect smuggled synthetic marijuana is to blame.

A prison system spokeswoman says officials are checking out “a small number” of reports of sickened inmates. Officials hope to lift the lockdown early next week.

Associated Press