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Zoom In on the above map using the map controls for more detail, and select an incident by clicking on it for address details.

Use the field below to search for incident reports around an address - it will also auto suggest up to 10 incident addresses as you type.

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We cannot vouch for the truthfulness of any report on this site. If you feel a location has been reported in error, or want to dispute a report, please contact us.

ZIP Codes :: 07030, 07086, 07087, 07097, 07302, 07303, 07304, 07305, 07306, 07307, 07308, 07309, 07310, 07311, 07390, 07395, 07399, 10001, 10002, 10003, 10004, 10005, 10006, 10007, 10008, 10009, 10010, 10011, 10012, 10013, 10014, 10015, 10016, 10017, 10018, 10019, 10020, 10021, 10022, 10023, 10036, 10038, 10041, 10043, 10044, 10045, 10046, 10047, 10048, 10055

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Brooklyn Today: ‘Overworked and underpaid’ – Brooklyn Daily Eagle

November 16th, 2019 by admin

THE LEDE:Happy Friday! New York City Council members voted in 2016 toraise their own wagesby $36,000 a bump that is more than dozens of council staffers make in a year. Some councilmembers cruise on by and are getting paid a lot of money and really exploit their staff, one Brooklyn aide said.

Think theres something we should cover?Let us know.Also, if you like what were doing,tell a friend, and follow us onFacebook,TwitterandInstagram.


~ FREEZING CONDITIONS AT BROOKLYN JAIL DURING SEASONS FIRST COLD SNAP: As temperatures dipped below freezing last Friday, incarcerated people on some floors at BrooklynsDowntownjail wereleft in the cold, moving around the lockup in their blankets, public defenders said on Thursday.

~ OVERWORKED AND UNDERPAID COUNCIL STAFFERS WANT A LIVING WAGE: At least 81 full- and part-time district staffers earn less than $36,000 in base salary, according toan analysisof staff pay by theEagle.

~ QUIET ON THE SET! GIANT SOUNDPROOF WALL GOING UP AROUND GOWANUS CANAL FILM STUDIO: One of the main parties responsible for the Gowanus Canals pollution is building amassive soundproof walloutside a neighborhood movie studio to reduce noise related to the waterways cleanup.

~ JUDGE SET TO TOSS DECADES-OLD MURDER CONVICTION TUESDAY:A Brooklyn man who has been behind bars for more than 20 years will have his murder convictionoverturnedon Tuesday, after his lawyers argued that the confession secured in his case was coerced.

~ SALSA AND CIDER: 10 THINGS TO DO IN BROOKLYN THIS WEEKEND: Its very chilly out there, Brooklyn, which is why all of theevents this weekendeither take place indoors, or feature a means of warming yourself up think physical exertion or alcohol.

~ SOFTWARE GIANTS TOR AND PYTHON HEAD TO DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN:Two of the most prominent open-source software companies in the world in the worldare comingtoDowntown Brooklyn.

~ WATCH ARTISTS AT WORK THIS WEEKEND AT CROWN HEIGHTS OPEN STUDIOS: More than 100 Brooklyn artists will give visitors a behind-the-scenes view of their creative processes at theCrown HeightsOpen Studiostomorrow.

~ OPINION: NEW YORK MUST DIVEST FROM CLIMATE DISASTER: The rainforest mitigates global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When we lose huge amounts of the Amazon to deforestation, we are losing one of our best bulwarks against this crisis,writesBorough PresidentEric Adamsand CouncilmemberCosta Constantinides.

~ ALLEGED ARSONIST BEHIND 5 FIRES AT BROOKLYN NYCHA COMPLEX ARRESTED: Policearresteda man yesterday in connection with five separate fires that happened earlier this year at a New York City Housing Authority complex in Brooklyn.

~ COUNCILMEMBERS DEMAND MORE DETAILS ON NYC LEAD INSPECTIONS IN SCHOOLS: City Council memberspressedEducation Department officials Wednesday on the robustness of lead inspections in schools and pushed them to release records of past work to remove the toxin.(Chalkbeat)


~ Heres a look inside the lives of subway churro vendors.(Edible Brooklyn)

~ Did a Brooklyn artist unleash bedbugs on aTrumphotel?(Gothamist)

~ A new charter school is coming toProspect-Lefferts Gardens.(Commercial Observer)


~READ:How the tiny town of Roundup, Montana,became a hubin Amazons supply chain(The Verge)

~EAT:Just in time for the holidays, here are the14 best pie shopsin New York City, including seven in Brooklyn.(Eater)

~CARTOON:Insideimpeachment proceedings.(The Week)

~ DRINK:Here aresome tipson how to pick Thanksgiving wines, according to wine criticEric Asimov.(NYT)


7:00PM The Pushcart Prize XLIV: Best of Small Presses 2020 at The Strand.Details.

7:00PM10:00PM Scientific Controversies No. 21: Extra Dimensions at Pioneer Works.Details.

8:00PM Brooklyn Chamber Music Society presents: Bach, Beethoven & Dohnnyi at First Unitarian Church.Details.


ON THIS DAYIn 1925, theBrooklyn Eaglereported, The new Madison Square Garden, which is being constructed at 8th Ave. and 50th St., Manhattan, is rapidly nearing completion, and plans for the grand opening have been completed.

IMPRINTReese Witherspoonposes in denim on the DecembercoverofInStyle Australia.

ROYAL WATCHThe royal family makesa lot more moneythan you think(Harpers Bazaar)

SPORTSThe NetssignedIman Shumpert.(New York Post)


Happy birthdayto Yaphet Kotto,Shailene Woodley, Ed Asner, Karl-Anthony Towns,Kevin Eubanks, Joanna Barnes,Beverly DAngelo, Petula Clark,Jonny Lee Miller, Daniel Barenboim andSam Waterston!

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Brooklyn Today: 'Overworked and underpaid' - Brooklyn Daily Eagle

7 Best Home Remedies to Soothe Itchy Skin – How to Relieve Itching –

November 16th, 2019 by admin

Itchy skin doesn't always require a run to the drugstore. Home remedies for itchy skin can help you quit scratching too.

Generally speaking, the key to soothing an itch is getting rid of whats causing it in the first place, says Melanie Grossman, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, whether that means treating your apartment for bed bugs (ugh), stripping off that irritating wool sweater, or getting treatment for an underlying condition (of which there are many).

Just remember: While itching is usually easy to treat (thank you, moisturizer!), if you try a couple of home remedies for itchy skin and youre still scratching, see a dermatologist, says Alix J. Charles, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

Youll want to rule out a skin condition like psoriasis or eczemaor complications from pregnancy or diabetes. And if you have blisters, sores, or ulcers, head for help sooner rather than later.

Find relief ASAP with these dermatologist-approved home remedies:

This one is simple: If youre itchy, changing your clothes can make a big difference. Heat, irritating fabrics (scratchy leggings), and detergent or fabric softener clinging to your clothes can cause or worsen itchy skin, says Dr. Grossman. Letting your skin breathe can reduce the intensity of that must-scratch feeling.

A hot shower isnt always a cure-all: Heat and water exposure dial up the itch factor from mosquito bites, peeling sunburn, and dry skin alike by further drying out your skin, making it feel worse in the long-run.

A cold compress, on the other hand? The cold (and the anti-inflammatory benefits that come with it) can help relieve an itch. Aim for 10- to 15-minute icing sessions until your itch is resolved, suggests Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entire Dermatology.

A short-term solution for bug bites: Press an ice cube to your most bothersome hot spots, suggests Dr. Grossman.

Think about it: Do you ever moisturize? Many people dont, says Dr. Charles. If your skin is dry, itchy, and perhaps even a bit scaly-looking, it might just be super parched (which, yep, triggers an itch). Lather up every day with a body lotion or moisturizer free of additives, fragrances, and perfumes, per the AAD. (We love CeraVes Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion, which is free of steroids and fragrances.)

Pro tip: Keep some in a jar in your fridge and put it on for a one-two punch of coolness and moisture, suggests board-certified dermatologist Lauren Ploch, M.D., fellow of the AAD.

Over-the-counter lotions, gels, and creams with ingredients like menthol, camphor, calamine, and aloe vera make for great natural remedies to spot-treat itchy skin, says Dr. Charles.

If youre dealing with milder itchy skin issues like bug bites, a rash from poison ivy, or peeling sunburn, all of the above ingredients can help soothe your skin and relieve the need to scratch, which can actually aggravate the irritated area and increase your risk of infection.

Sure, an oatmeal soak is far less luxurious than a steamy bubble bath, but it might help soothe your itchy skin, says Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin.

Colloidal oatmeal (a.k.a. finely-ground oats) has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that can rehydrate your skin and dial down the intensity of an itch, per a small study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

Not a fan of baths? Colloidal oatmeal is also available in a number of OTC creams and lotions, like Aveenos Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion.


CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion


Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment with Colloidal Oatmeal


Allegra Adult 24 Hour Allergy Tablets


Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Ointment

When your body comes into contact with any number of irritants (think: allergens, plants like poison ivy and oak, or insect bites), it reacts by releasing histamine, a compound that results in hives, rashes, and itchy skin.

In this case, taking an antihistamine can be a great way to treat your itchy skin at home, says Dr. Grossman. For mild to moderate cases (as in, you dont have full-body hives or other symptoms like trouble breathing), try an OTC medication like Allegra or Zyrtec, suggests Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin.

Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help the itch that comes along with many common skin conditions, says Dr. Charles. Look for an anti-itch cream with at least 1% hydrocortisone to calm a must-scratch sensation, like this one from Cortizone 10.

Just note: If a week passes and youre still itching, stop using the cream and make an appointment with a dermatologist for a proper ID and treatment, per the National Institutes of Health.

Like what you just read? Youll love our magazine! Go here to subscribe. Dont miss a thing by downloading Apple News here and following Prevention. Oh, and were on Instagram too.

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7 Best Home Remedies to Soothe Itchy Skin - How to Relieve Itching -

Did A Brooklyn Artist Unleash Bedbugs On A Trump Hotel? Read This Transcript – Gothamist

November 14th, 2019 by admin

Imagine, hypothetically, you were driven to engineer a bedbug outbreak in the nations capital. Youd need some bedbugs, first and foremost, plus a few canisters for transport, maybe some hazmat gear, and a suitable target. For those set on infesting the halls of power, the White House seems like the obvious choice. But the logistics are challenging. Perhaps a nearby luxury hotel, teeming with lobbyists and diplomats and corporate chieftains jockeying for access to the presidents business empire. That wouldnt be too difficult, would it?

Such is the premiseor at least one of the premisesof Duke Rileys latest work, Non-Essential Consultants, Inc. On view at Pioneer Works in Red Hook through November 24th, the multi-media exhibition features footage of a person who appears to be Riley letting loose a bunch of bedbugs in what appears to be a room of the Trump International Hotel in D.C. Presented alongside this fragmented video is a medically retrofitted suitcasethe same one from the videocrawling with live bedbugs.

On a conceptual level, it reads as commentary on the easily penetrable nature of the current administration. On a literal level, its hard to shake the question: did he really do it?

Rileywho you may remember as the guy who unleashed thousands of pigeons from a decommissioned naval ship in the Brooklyn Navy Yardspoke to us by phone on Thursday about his latest skin-crawling, head-scratching work. (A spokesperson for the Trump Hotels did not respond to Gothamist's inquiries.)

Lets get this out of the way: Have you ever put bedbugs in a Washington D.C. hotel? I basically licensed out my name to a production company and I'm not familiar with all of the processes of how the production went down. I personally don't ever recall booking any rooms in that area.

So its not outside the realm of possibility? It's possible you did infest a hotel owned by the president of the United States? You know, I'm not really up on current events. I don't watch the news. I'm not on social media. I don't really stay up on that stuff.

I would never personally encourage a person to infest a hotel with bedbugs and I never have. I would imagine that there are probably people out there that think about doing things like that. There are probably people out there that don't think about doing things like that. I'm sure that there are some very fine people on both sides.

A still from Duke Riley's film, now on view at Pioneer Works

The exhibitions title seems to be a riff on the name of Michael Cohens shell company, Essential Consultants, LLC, which was used to pay off Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Can you talk a bit about your approach to politics and art, and how that may have changed in the Trump era? I think that there's an underlying feeling in the film that is very reminiscent of late 1960s, early 1970s spy culture. There was a particular amount of distrust in the government and the mediawith Watergate, the end of Vietnam, rapid advances of technology, the idea that someone could destroy a city with something that fits into a suitcase. These ideas were all kind of indigestible at that period of time. I think we're in a similar time period where it's almost too much for people to fully process yet. I think there are reflections on that in this piece. I would say I'm looking at history to understand the time we're in.

After your opening on Saturday, I actually spoke with someone who was extremely freaked out that she was going to get bedbugs. I guess because of the ambiguous nature of the film, combined with overhearing some rumors as she was walking out, it left her feeling shed just walked into a den of bedbugs. Should this person be concerned? I think that, you know, anybody can get bedbugs anywhere or anytime. It's New York City. I can't say that person is not going to have bedbugs because they could have gone to a bar or a restaurant or ridden the subway that same day and maybe gotten bedbugs. But I don't think there's any reason for anyone to think they would ever get bedbugs in the location that we're doing the exhibition.

To be clear, this work does involve live bedbugs though, yes? Yes.

Does that feel like especially provocative territory to you? Does it seem like bedbugs are, if it's not off limits necessarily, something that people typically don't mess with for art or entertainment? I don't know if there is ever a line you don't cross in art. I think that's part of an artist's job. I think there are probably very few people that don't find bedbugs disturbing, including myself.

I assume you spent a good amount of time with bedbugs for this project? Yes. I would say that reading, doing a lot of research about bedbugs and even working with them in a super secure and a controlled environment, you are constantly affected by it. I have nightmares about them. They're essentially a human predator. They can't reproduce without coming into contact with living human blood.

The suitcase seen in Riley's film, which is also part of the Pioneer Works exhibition

How does one come to own live bedbugs. Is there like a website? Id say that if somebody was trying to acquire bedbugs, for some reason, they could probably find them just about anywhere in New York City. If you just look for a pile of mattresses that somebody is throwing out from a building. It wouldn't that hard.

Youve done work with live animals in the past. Most recently the pigeon piece, and youve also staged races involving real life animals. What keeps drawing you back to urban wildlife? In general, my work tends to draw correlations between the geography and environment and the kind of transgressive behavior that sometimes arises in those areas. There's an aspect with things like pigeons or bedbugs where they're definitely creatures living within the margins. And my work often investigates permeability. Bedbugs are clearly an example of permeability.

The stuff you produce tends to get described as boundary-pushing, punk-inflected, occasionally unlawful, etc. We hear a lot about how the city is losing its edge, but do you still see a space for that sort of art in the city? I think there are certain waves. I would have to say that my long-term projection for this city is that there will probably be a point of time in which there will be endless amounts of space for artists to work and people will be able to do whatever they want.

I think that at some point there will probably be a large shift where people will be moving out of the city, maybe at that point there will be places where people who live more, you know, transient lifestyles will find that there's plenty of spaces they can occupy to do whatever they want. I can't tell you when that's going to be but I feel pretty confident about that.

Non-Essential Consultants, Inc. is presented by Pioneer Works as part of the Performa 19 Biennial, on view through November 24th at Red Hook Labs, 133-125 Imlay Street, Brooklyn. More information here.

This interview has been edited and condensed for (some) clarity.

Did A Brooklyn Artist Unleash Bedbugs On A Trump Hotel? Read This Transcript - Gothamist

Where to Travel in East Iceland – A Guide Egilsstair Eastern Region – Cosmopolitan

November 9th, 2019 by admin

When you think of Iceland, you probably think of the neon-blue waters in the Blue Lagoon and photos of the major city Reykjavk, all great touristy hot spots in the western part of the country. But have you ever thought about the eastern region of Iceland? No, right? It might be off the beaten path, but its worth a visit becauseyeah, Ill say it!its cooler than the trendy spots you see on IG.

A direct flight from New York City, Iceland is a 5.5-hour flight, making it shorter than a flight from New York to L.A. The route on Icelandair has gotten so popular over the past few years because average economy flights go for an average of $504. But PSA: If you want a good deal, try booking a trip for February or March, when you can grab a round-trip flight for as low as $380.

Book Now Icelandair Flight

From Reykjavk, youll need to hop on a 50-minute AirIceland Connect plane connecting you from the west side (Reykjavk, the Blue Lagoon, all the overdone tourist stuff) to the east, aka Egilsstair (pronounced like ey-oles-daughter). NGL: The AirIceland flights are not as cheap for the cross-country hopping as youd expect (tickets run around $100 bucks but can go as low as $75 when theyre having a sale), but its way faster than driving the whole way, which can take eight hours.

Tech Sling Bag


Hiking Boots


Solis X: WiFi Smartspot


Travel Tripod


Patagonia Women's Sweater with 1/4 Zip Fleece - Small - Birch White


K, so you know how everyone who goes to Iceland goes to the Blue Lagoon? That shit is straight-up factory runoff. LEGIT. Its not even a secret.

But there are more natural spas in Iceland, like Vk Baths, which opened earlier this summer.

Hot springs and Jacuzzi-ing is very popular in Iceland, as the geothermal heat that runs underneath the whole island makes it easy-peasy to find a spot to hang. There are tons of pools in Iceland, but no one heats their pools using heating systems like we do in America. The ~ground~ heats it for everyone!

Pro tip: Shower before getting into any Jacuzzi, spa, or sauna thing, as going into any body of water without completely showering (as in using soap and shampoo and, like, fully bathing your naked body in the locker room) is seen as fucking gross by everyone in Iceland.

Our tour guide was like, You can totally fill up your water bottle at the airport, and I was like, Lol, sure, Jan, and then I googled it in the bathroom and its true! Their tap water is not only 100 percent safe to drink but also delicious.

This is attributed to two uniquely Icelandic things: First, their abundance of natural glacial water. And secondly, their infrastructure is all relatively modern and new, so its not, like, dirty-ass water running through an ancient aqueduct system. Iceland was a Danish territory until WWII, when it declared independence while Denmark was preoccupied with the Germans. Most of Iceland was pretty rural until the 1950s too, so buildings are all relatively newish and you can rest easy knowing youre not going to be in a crumbling prewar building.

Also, if you needed any more reason to get on board: Apparently, buying bottled water in Iceland is the quickest way to look like a goober tourist.

3. Go chasing waterfalls (within reason).

Break in your brand-new hiking boots by trekking to see Flgufoss waterfall, which is 60 meters high and situated at the tail end of a pretty easy hike. Its not too steep, although the moisture can make things kinda muddy and slippery, so it helps when you have very experienced tour guides that you can follow behind like a lost puppy.

Bonus! We found some berries along the path and when our guides were like, You can eat those, I was like, Thanks, I dont feel like dying rn though . But of course, as always, they knew what they were talking about and the berries were delish. Thats Iceland for you. Its magical and natural and it will make you feel like a dumb city twerp for thinking twice about saying no thank you at first to road berries.

4. Visit an organic farm for a legit farm-to-table meal.

Turns out that farming of any kind, especially organic farming, is more challenging in Iceland than most places, as its climate and soil arent the friendliest or easiest to work with. On the upside: The climate means less bugs (if any) so theres little need for pesticides. It takes a lot of experimenting and patience, but the Mir Jr organic farm in Vallanes has done the impossible and now grows over 100 kinds of organic veggies and grains.

Another uniquely cool Icelandic thing is the attitude of sustainability, which you can see in pretty much everything, but I felt it especially at this farm. They use the runoff from the refrigeration to flow under their house and to their greenhouse, keeping things toasty in cooler months. The whole system was designed by the farmer himself as a means of using everything you already haveand they dont even brag about it. I only found out about their greenhouse heating through some other random sideways convo. Icelanders = pure of heart and humble when it comes to caring about the Earth. Me = recycles when someone is watching (Im working on it).

The whole experience seemed like the vacay movie of my dreams, which I played in my head while stuffing my face with delicious beet burgs and these wonderful lil garlic chive thingies that come in a bouquet. Theyre also famous for their Symphony Jam, named because one taste will have you hey. I tested this out myself and can vouch.

5. Hope to see the northern lights.

Some larger hotels will have northern lights wakeup calls where you can write down your name and room number if youd like to be woken up in case the lights come out (very cool!). I only got to see them on our third night at Htel Hallormsstaur, when the waitresses came out while we were still eating dinner and excitedly let us know that the lights were visible. Not only was this so nice of them but, again, also proof that Iceland is a magical, pure place. In New York, Im not sure my neighbors would let me know if our building was on fire.

To get actual photos of the northern lights, download NightCap Camera and My Aurora. My Aurora gives you northern lights predictions based on where you are, and NightCap Camera allows you to take super-long exposure photos to capture the auroras. If you try to photograph them without special settings (NightCap makes it easy because its all automatic), then your photos will turn out like this:

Carina Hsieh

Youll also need a tripod to hold the camera steady during this long-ass exposure.

Download Aurora for iOS and Android

Download NightCap for iOS

6. Get a peek of the infamous Icelandic monster.

Lagarfljt lake is supposedly home to the famous Icelandic lake monster, the Lagarfljt Worm. In 2012, a farmer caught the worm on camera and the town made international headlines when the video was scrutinized by experts who reported that the video was not altered or manipulated in any way to fake it. Spooky.

The Worm is also mentioned in the X-Files Quagmire episode (the one about the generic Kirkland Signature version of the Loch Ness monster).

7. Visit the best museum in the whole world, the Icelandic Basement Museum.

Wilderness Center Iceland

K, so the best part of the entire trip was definitely the Icelandic Wilderness Center, which is a v generic name for a baby Disney World of Icelandic history run by Denni, an Icelandic movie set designer who used to live in L.A., and his wife (a historian). Im about to go OFF about the Wilderness Center and how cool it is, so lemme just say that Im not #sponsored by the Wilderness Center, I just GENUINELY love it so much and am so floored by the hard work and love this family put into the most pimped-out bed-and-breakfast in Iceland. It has:

This power coupling means you get Dennis attention to detail in everything from the audio guides and legit backstory about the history of East Iceland. I dont want to spoil anything, but somehow, Denni created a glacier with northern lights (with a man trapped underneath a hunk of ice under your feet) out of plexiglass in his basement.

Book Now Icelandic Wilderness Center

8. Hoist yourself across rapids in a hand-pulled cable car.

Another cool thing at the Wilderness Center: the cable cars! Theyre built like boxes that you stand in and then use to pull yourself over the rapids. Before bridges had their moment in Iceland, this was how people crossed the many bodies of water. It looks scary but is so fun and you feel like youre Indiana Jones. And dont worry, they are safe and have been checked out as certifiably so by the local authorities. Im annoying, so I made the whole gang double back so I could do it, like, four more times. It was that fun.

The Wilderness Center also has a Jacuzzi in the middle of the field thats ripe for stargazing and telling ghost stories at night, which is the ultimate way to end your trip. As spooky as it could be to swap gruesome stories in the middle of a field in the pitch black surrounded by snoozing sheep, its hard not to feel like your soul is just soothed and at ease when youre surrounded by as much nature and beauty as the eastern region of Iceland.

Yes, these sheep could rise up and attack us, but its magical Iceland, so they wont. Those berries could kill us, except theyre delicious and they wont. This tap water could taste like sucking on pennies and give you diarrhea, only it wont.

But yeah, I obviously made my friend bunk in my room with me that night because I got less brave the second it was bedtime.

Seriously, Book Now Icelandic Wilderness Center

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Where to Travel in East Iceland - A Guide Egilsstair Eastern Region - Cosmopolitan

Porzingis preparing to play against the Knicks for the first time since they traded him to the Mavs – The Official Home of the –

November 9th, 2019 by admin

Most Americans turned back their clocks an hour last weekend when daylight savings time ended. But Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis has absolutely no desire to turn back the hands of time and relive most of the moments he had with the New York Knicks.

Some of those moments, Porzingis said, do not paint an honest or fair picture of the man that he is today. And some of those moments were born out of pure frustration when the Knicks traded Porzingis to the Mavs on Jan. 31.

With all the emotions going on in that moment when I got traded, I put out some stupid Instagram stories just laying in my bed late at night man I got traded, Porzingis said following Thursdays practice. We all make mistakes.

There was no smooth way out of it. It got a little bit ugly, but its in the past. Its in the past right now and I have nothing negative to say really about that situation. Its all a learning process and Im happy to be here.

Porzingis was the fourth overall pick of the 2015 draft by the Knicks and was hailed as the teams long-term centerpiece. But after averaging 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and two blocked shots in 186 games for the Knicks spanning two-and-a-half seasons, Porzingis was ultimately traded to the Mavs in a blockbuster deal that involved shipping Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews to New York.

Realizing that Knicks fans were critical of him following the trade, Porzingis said: Its a part of the business. I have nothing but love for the city of New York and the fans. They showed me so much support the time I was there.

Theyre so passionate about the team, so its normal that they feel that way. All I can do is just look forward to what I have in front of me and not behind, and thats it. So, it is what it is.

With nearly two dozen reporters huddled around him and picking and probing and hanging on his every word after Thursdays practice at the Lympo practice facilities, Porzingis discussed his desire to locate the portion of his game that helped him become a part of the 2018 Eastern Conference All-Star team. That Kristaps Porzingis, he acknowledged, is AWOL, and the 2019 version of Kristaps Porzingis isnt too thrilled about it.

I just want to play well and win games and show what I know, what Im capable of, but right now Im not there yet and that is very frustrating, Porzingis said. The only thing I can do is look forward now.

I want to figure this thing out. Once I get back to where I want to get back to, itll feel even better going through this right now. I just want to figure it out as soon as possible, but I have to give myself time and I have to make it simple for myself.

Its been over 21 months since Porzingis tore his left anterior cruciate ligament. The accompanying surgery and rehab took on a life of its own and left Porzingis feeling blas.

Porzingis said: I didnt realize it, but when you get that basketball part taken away from you, I was in a little bit of a moment where Im like, Im a basketball player. But when its taken away from you, you feel like a huge part of you is taken and you dont really know . . . its a weird thing, but not who am I, but its like what am I supposed to do right now? It was that kind of thing.

And at the end, weve all got to realize at some point this is going to end Im not going to be a basketball player my whole life and its a scary feeling once that basketball part is taken away from you. So that made me think a lot, and being in that situation that allowed me to grow and realize that theres much more things outside of basketball.

The soul-searching on his part had Porzingis reaching out for help, and wanting some assistance on how to cope with his life away from basketball. Rehabbing was one thing, but when the trade came, and more rehab was on the table, and playing in actual basketball games was not part of the equation, Porzingis simply felt empty.

Im a little bit of a person that holds everything to myself, Porzingis said. I hold everything to myself sometimes too much, because I want to figure it out by myself, but I have a great support system around me.

I have my physical therapist, Manolo, and theres great people here in the (Mavs) organization. Shout out to our (director of sports psychology) psychologist, DK (Don Kalkstein). Theres a lot of people that you can talk to if you need help, and if you just want to talk. Theres nothing wrong with me, but its good to talk to somebody sometimes.

Porzingis will have some more familiar faces to talk to on Friday when the Mavs host the Knicks at 7:30 p.m. at American Airlines Center. It will be his first game against the Knicks since the trade, and he tried to brush it off as just one game in an 82-game season.

Its another game and Im looking forward to the game and getting a win most importantly, but also for myself individually I want to get back in my groove, Porzingis said. Ive had some decent moments already, but its a mix of a lot of things that are new for me and that are there for me to figure out, and I have to get the feel back.

And the spots that Im getting to (in order) to get my shots are not maybe the usual spots that I was getting used to when I played in New York.

Coach Rick Carlisle has worked diligently with Porzingis in trying to make sure hes a central part of the teams offense. Through the Mavs first six games Porzingis was averaging 20.5 points, but he scored just 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting during Wednesdays 107-106 victory over Orlando.

Carlisle, knows that in due time Porzingis will turn back into the player that captivated Knicks fans and averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and an NBA-high 24 blocks in the season when he tore his ACL. Yet he also wants to help Porzingis find his sweet spots on the floor.

I dont know that anyone has ever done this, come back after 20 months and then be put in the starting lineup, Carlisle said. He was a 20-point scorer after six games, so thats pretty remarkable.

I think his overall conditioning and rhythm is something thats going to happen over a longer period of time.

Simply put, Porzingis is anxious to prove hes that diamond that the Mavs traded for. He just wants to put a ring on it right now.

Hes just a great team guy, he wants everything to happen all at once and its just something that simple is going to take some time, Carlisle said. That said, hes averaging around 30 minutes a game hes played 37 (minutes) in one game without issue.

It speaks to the amount of work that hes put it to rehab, recovery and everything else.

It also speaks to something else that has made Porzingis one of the NBAs more intriguing players. Nicknamed the Unicorn because of his array of unique talents, the 7-3, 240-pound Porzingis is a threat to score from any position on the court.

In the case of KP, hes one of the best spacers in the history of the game if you look at the analytics on it, Carlisle said. When hes out above the arc it has an amazing positive effect on the team that hes playing for, whether it was New York or whether its us.

That aspect of it helps our team, so if we can create problems and get him open in that area, thats great for him stepping into shots. But beyond that, Im still tweaking some things.

Porzingis hopes the tweaks come in time for him to show the Knicks what hes been up to since he left The Big Apple.

Were going to find some ways to get him some easier shots, but on many levels this is a (test of patience). And also were playing a style that hes never played before, Carlisle said. His national teams and the teams growing up were very structured and very play-call oriented. Our goal is to not be that.

Our goal is to be a space and free-flowing team, so if this is your first go-around with that kind of alignment, it takes some getting used to. But hes getting there.

Porzingis is frustrated that he isnt consistently causing the problems for opposing teams on the court that he caused when he was with the Knicks.

I try not to beat myself up too much about it, but Im the first person that wants to get out of this moment that Im in, Porzingis said. Especially myself, I want to lead, I want to be an example, I want to be in the gym, and when youre not able to do those things its a weird feeling.

But its all a learning experience and Im glad I went through that. It allowed me to grow as a person. It seems like a big deal, but its really nothing putting everything into perspective. I just want to hoop and win and play well, but youve got to go through stuff like this.

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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A man in Brazil accidentally blew up his yard while trying to kill some cockroaches – INSIDER

October 23rd, 2019 by admin

A man in Brazil went to extreme lengths trying to kill some cockroaches in his backyard and ended up blowing up part of his lawn.

Cesar Schmitz told FocusOn News, translated by the New York Post, that his wife had complained about roaches invading their garden in the southern city of Enas Marques.

"She is scared of them and begged me to destroy their nest under the ground once and for all," he said.

In an attempt to kill the roaches, he poured gasoline into a hole that he believed led to the nest, and started tossing matches into it. It turns out that wasn't a great strategy.

Read more: 'You don't feel safe in your own home:' Bed bugs' biggest health threats are psychological, triggering flashbacks, extreme anxiety, and other symptoms of PTSD

At first, nothing happened. But then, after the third match was thrown, Schmitz's lawn exploded. No one was injured including the roaches.

Cockroaches, they say, will be here long after we're gone, and the roaches in Schmitz's yard are proof. In the clip of the explosion, one can be seen scurrying away.

Read more:

25 fascinating facts about animals that have gone extinct

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A man in Brazil accidentally blew up his yard while trying to kill some cockroaches - INSIDER

Syracuse Slumlord Reaps $1M from Taxpayers, While City Fights Him – Governing

October 23rd, 2019 by admin

(TNS) One of Syracuses most notorious landlords has raked in nearly $1 million in taxpayer money, even while city lawyers have tried in vain to punish him for letting tenants live in squalor.

Endzone Properties, a company that hasfloutedhundreds of property code citations from the city in recent years, received $998,000 in public rent subsidies from Onondaga Countys Department of Social Services between 2016 and 2019.

At the same time, Endzone let more than 200 code violations go unfixed, including broken windows, missing smoke alarms, infestations and lack of heat.

Endzone is a symptom of a systemic failure that allows bad landlords to reap huge sums of public money intended to help struggling families and tenants.

Among the citys 10 worst property owners, half have received rent from Onondaga Countys public assistance program since 2016. Officials from the countys Department of Social Services said state law ultimately sets the terms for doling out public money. Theres nothing they can do unless there is an immediate health and safety hazard.

The disconnect highlights one of the many hurdles facing the city as it tries to crack down on blight and bad landlords. Even as city officers try to combat bad landlords, county taxpayers are padding those landlords wallets while allowing low-income people to live in shoddy conditions.

This may be fixable. In a neighboring city, the mayor drew up a one-page agreement to tighten the rules for landlords who collect county money. Officials in Onondaga County, however, dont think the solution would survive legal scrutiny, since state law dictates how public money is doled out.

Sarah Merrick, commissioner of social services for Onondaga County, said her department can only stop payments to a landlord once a city code inspector determines a property is unfit to live in. The county doesnt do code inspections.

A property can only be declared unfit if it is structurally unsound or has issues that put the immediate safety of the occupants at risk. Problems like broken windows or missing doors or even an infestation of cockroaches dont qualify, even if they are ignored for months.

An unfit notice from the city triggers the county to stop payments to the landlord for that property. Once the violation is corrected, money starts flowing again.

But the county cant stop payments for non-urgent code violations on the same building. Nor can it block money from going to a landlord who is delinquent on other properties. Those rules are set by the states Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

For example, if an apartment has 20 code violations, including one for lack of heat, it would be deemed unfit, since heat is a safety issue. If the landlord fixes the heat, but not the other 19 violations, it would be considered fit for occupancy and the landlord can once again receive public money. The city would be fighting the landlord to fix those other violations, but the county money couldnt be used as leverage.

Its likely landlords like Endzone have had county subsidies frozen at times, but hard to pinpoint for how long and how much. County officials said they could not release payment details on individual properties because it would compromise the privacy of DSS clients.

Endzone Properties is owned by John Kiggins, one of Syracuses most notorious landlords. He spent time in jail for mortgage fraud in the 1990s and again for flouting code violations in 2006. In 2016, a young girl died in a fire in one of his apartments, caused by candles the family was using to heat the house.

Endzone owns the two-family house at722 Pond St. on the North Side. Tawanda ONeal lived there for three years, until two weeks ago. For several of those years while ONeal was out of work, her rent was subsidized by public assistance.

During that time, Endzone ignored multiple code violations, including a hole in the roof that led to leaks in ONeals ceiling, an infestation of bedbugs and broken doors and windows.

Endzone owns 48 properties in Syracuse. The city has taken the company to court five times seeking payment of fines or the correction of violations.

Cleghorn Properties has received $221,400 in public assistance from Onondaga County since 2016. City records show that company had 80 code violations open past the comply-by date between 2016 and 2018. Many of those violations, however, were on vacant properties and more than half were there before Cleghorn bought the property.

Gregory Cleghorn, one of that companys owners, said his company buys properties, rehabilitates them, then rents them out. Many of the buildings he buys come with violations, which are fixed during the renovations.

He said he ensures all his properties are up to code before renting them. Sometimes violations go unfixed on vacant properties while theyre being fixed up, but he prides himself in addressing code concerns in occupied properties as soon as theyre identified.

Weve got a really good relationship with the code department, he said. If there are violations, he added, he wants to know about them so he can get them taken care of.

Some downstate landlords are less responsive.

Emmanuel Blum, a downstate landlord who was the citys second-biggest code scofflaw, has received $23,203 in county dollars since 2016. Blums properties had 126 outstanding code violations at the end of 2018.

A code violation is considered outstanding if its not fixed before a deadline given by the city. Those deadlines vary depending on the severity of the violation.

In Syracuse, landlords are required toapply to a rental registryeach year. To get approved for the registry, a property must be current on its taxes and have no outstanding code violations. It also must pass an inspection.

The registry is intended as a tool to hold landlords accountable to code inspectors and city lawyers. But there are no real repercussions for renting a property without first applying to the registry.

Unregistered rentals can still receive money from the county DSS, as long as they havent been deemed unfit. That means properties that get public subsidies arent forced to submit to a regular code inspection.

Both the city and county would like to be able to withhold public assistance to landlords not on the rental registry, but the state has previously determined thats not legal. In 2008, OTDA told lawmakers in Suffolk County that such withholding violated state law and couldnt be approved.

In Oswego, Mayor Billy Barlow faced a similar problem, but he said he found a way around it.

Last year Barlow did a ridealong with an Oswego city code inspector. He met a man living in wretched conditions, he said. There was no heat at the house and only one working electrical outlet. The bathroom was a bucket in the back yard.

According to Barlow, the man said he had been placed in the house by the Oswego County Department of Social Services after getting out of jail.

If youre a landlord you can go and put your name on a landlord list at DSS, Barlow said this summer. But there was no vetting at the time on the county side Thats where we saw there was a big issue.

The city and county wrote up a memorandum of understanding to fix the problem. Every time a landlord asked to be put on the list for public assistance, the county would first call the city codes department and ask if that landlord had a valid rental permit and if there were any outstanding code violations.

Oswego County is no longer doing business with landlords whose properties are delinquent or arent authorized to rent in Oswego. Barlow said hes gotten no push back from landlords.

It didnt take long, Barlow said, But the problem has virtually gone away.

2019 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y..Distributed byTribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Syracuse Slumlord Reaps $1M from Taxpayers, While City Fights Him - Governing

Kansas Made This Sex Trafficking Survivor A Criminal She Wants Another Chance – KCUR

October 15th, 2019 by admin

Hope Joy Zeferjohn was missing from the Kansas Capitol on the day her family was posing for pictures with the governor.

It was May 22, 2015, and then-Gov. Sam Brownback was signing a proclamation for Family Reunification Month.

Zeferjohns parents and siblings stood behind him, literal poster children for Brownbacks efforts to return children to their homes from foster care.

But Zeferjohn, 16, was in state custody in Salina, already under the violent control of a man who trafficked her for sex.

A year after the photograph was taken, Zeferjohn was charged in June 2016 with 10 felonies, including aggravated human trafficking. She was 17. Despite federal and state laws that bar prosecuting children for prostitution, Zeferjohn is serving a nearly six-year sentence in the Topeka Correctional Facility and will spend a lifetime on the state sex offender registry.

I deserve another chance, said Zeferjohn, now 21, who is seeking a pardon from Gov. Laura Kelly. As long as I get hope, I can give hope to people.

The Kansas Sentencing Commission says human trafficking charges, whether for men or women at any age, are rare and are often pleaded down to other lesser crimes.

But advocates for trafficking survivors say misguided criminal charging, and the resulting plea bargains reached in cases like Zeferjohns, are more common than state records indicate.

Along with Zeferjohn, a dozen other young women are facing criminal prosecutions after being placed in state custody, running away, and falling prey to sex traffickers while they were minors, said Karen Countryman-Roswurm, director of the Center for Combating Human Trafficking at Wichita State University.

Weve waged war on the very population that we said we were going to serve, she said.

Prosecutors defend their case against Zeferjohn, saying she victimized other girls.

How do you deal with somebody like Hope Zeferjohn? said Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay. If you give a pass to everyone who does the sort of things Miss Zeferjohn did? I dont know that society actually wants that to happen.

A freckle-faced tomboy

Hope Joy Mae Zeferjohn was the second child born to Terry and Melody Zeferjohn. It was Terrys third marriage, and he had two other children from previous relationships. He would eventually have six with Melody.

A Topeka cab driver for 20 years, Terry Zeferjohn died in September 2018. Obese and on disability, his home was violent and poor, and he was always looking for income, said Stacey Kelly, one of his ex-girlfriends and the mother of one of his children.

Kelly remained close to the family and is Hope Zeferjohns godmother. She remembers Terry telling his daughters: You bleed, you breed, meaning when they came of age they should start having children.

The only reason that they had children was so they could get more help, any sort of assistance, Kelly said.

Still, Hope Zeferjohn remains devoted to her parents.

It could be good sometimes, Zeferjohn said of the family home. Sometimes it can be hectic because of all of us kids. I feel like they raised us as best they can and they did a pretty good job of it.

As a child, Hope Joy lived up to her name, Kelly said, describing her as a sweet, freckle-faced tomboy who liked to be outside.

Zeferjohn was just 14 when her older sister brought 24-year-old Anthony Angel Long to the home. Long had a record, having been charged in 2013 with domestic battery, assault and criminal threat against an ex-girlfriend.

Terry Zeferjohn welcomed him as a friend, Kelly said, adding that Long often stayed overnight.

In January 2014, police arrived at the home in response to a call about a fight between Hope and another one of the children. Officers discovered neglect and a failure to send the kids to school.

When the police came into the home, it was full of feces, full of trash and clothes everywhere. Roaches were out in the daytime because they were so infested, Kelly said. And they had horrible, horrible, horrible bedbugs.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families arranged for Kelly to take three of the girls. Zeferjohn, then 15, was sent to an out-of-home placement in Salina, her sentence for a misdemeanor battery charge. She was sentenced in August 2014 to 16 months in the custody of the Department of Corrections, in the juvenile offender program.

It looks a lot like foster care, said Randy Bowman, a DOC spokesman.

Zeferjohn graduated from high school and bought her first car while in state custody. She also got pregnant and gave birth to her son, Tye, in March 2015.

The system failed me

Then Long showed up in Salina. He found Zeferjohn in early 2015 by tricking authorities into giving him her location.

For me, it failed me, thats how I feel, Zeferjohn said of the state system. It allowed Anthony to find out my address, where I was staying, by pretending like he was my father.

Zeferjohn and Long had a relationship that soon turned abusive. She uses his two different names to describe his two sides.

I loved Angel, OK, when he treated me good and everything, she said. And then when he became all rude I was like, Where is the one I love? Thats a different Anthony. Some people put up a different side for you to fall in love with, but its not the real them.

He began to take videos of them having sex, which he sold, Zeferjohn said. He controlled every detail in her life.

I was like the prisoner and he was like a warden, she said. Coming to prison, its not no big adjustment to me, which is pretty bad. I had no choice but to obey him."

Long brought Zeferjohn back to Topeka, where, according to court documents, he forced her to recruit other girls for his prostitution business, sometimes through Facebook. Long ran the operation from a family members home, Zeferjohn said.

Kelly remembers Zeferjohn saying she was the house mother, cleaning, cooking and keeping the other girls in line.

(Hope) started prostituting and bringing home money, Kelly said, and if she didnt give her money to him, it was going to be hell to pay.

The hell included beatings Zeferjohn said they were so severe that she miscarried twice. Long threatened to hurt her son and anyone close to her if she disobeyed, she said.

He destroyed my life, Zeferjohn said. He tried to kill me twice and I tried to think about it like I need to go, I need to get out, but Im stuck in this whole situation.

Ultimately, Zeferjohn and Long traveled to New York, where Long had family. There, she said, she was arrested for shoplifting at a Walmart. When police discovered that she was a runaway from Kansas, she was returned to the state.

In June 2016, Zeferjohn was charged as an adult with 10 felonies: aggravated human trafficking; conspiracy to commit rape; conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal sodomy; indecent solicitation of a child; electronic solicitation of a child; aggravated intimidation and criminal threat. She was also charged with two misdemeanors: endangering a child and contributing to a childs misconduct or deprivation.

The charges stem from when Zeferjohn recruited a 14-year-old girl she met while in living in a foster home, court documents show. Hope introduced Long to the girl through Facebook, where Long was using a false identity. Long offered to let the girl live with them in exchange for sex, and threatened to kill her if she told police, court records say. The girl reached out to Zeferjohn, who ordered her to submit to Long, court documents say.

In another instance, Zeferjohn recruited a 15-year-old girl by offering her drugs, which Long then supplied, requiring both girls to have sex with him as payment, court documents show. Long took photos of the girl and told her they were for johns, according to court documents.

The 15-year-old girl reported this to police, said Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay, and Long was arrested. Later, Zeferjohn reached out to the girl and connected her back to Long, who was out of jail. Court documents say Long and Zeferjohn retaliated several times, including once forcing the girl to go to Junction City, where she was sold to a man and made to stay in a motel room for a weekend where she earned $6,000 for Long.

Victim or predator?

In April 2017, Long was sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted aggravated human trafficking, indecent solicitation of a child, electronic solicitation of a child and four counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

As the right hand of the organization, Kagay said, Zeferjohn was responsible for recruiting, identifying targets, locating and trying to earn their trust for Longs sex business.

She had to be held accountable, Kagay said. She actively recruited and allowed minor children to be sexually abused, to be prostituted.

That sort of role is not uncommon, said Yazmin Vafa, co-founder and executive director of Rights4Girls, a human rights group that focuses on gender-based violence.

Vafa said Zeferjohn served as whats called a bottom girl, a term used to describe young women who ascend to a position of power and are at the top of the exploitation hierarchy, where they are often relied upon by the trafficker to assert order and authority among the other young women who are being victimized.

Kagay said the Shawnee County District Attorneys office was fair to Zeferjohn given that she victimized at least two other girls, minors who were not charged with crimes.

Prosecutors dropped nine of the 10 felonies and two misdemeanors she originally faced and Zeferjohn assisted in Longs prosecution. She ultimately pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated human trafficking. That helped reduce her sentence from a possible 15 years in prison to nearly six years, Kagay said.

Zeferjohn also was sentenced to prison time because one of the victims asked that she be incarcerated, Kagay said.

I have no doubt that between the two of them, Anthony Long is much more culpable and he also paid a much higher price, Kagay said.

If hes ever released from prison, Long must register as a sex offender for 25 years. As part of her sentence, Zeferjohn will spend a lifetime on the registry.

I think you started out as a victim in this case, District Judge David Debenham told Zeferjohn when he sentenced her in August 2017, just a few days after she turned 19.

You crossed the line, Debenham said, at some point in time.

You deserve what you get

Since 2000, federal and some state laws have specified that anyone under 18 who performs a commercial sex act is considered a victim of sex trafficking. But advocates for sexually abused girls still face a cultural battle, Vafa said. Advocates rallying cry is: Theres no such thing as a child prostitute.

So many of the young girls that we deal with on a day-to-day basis are really seen as bad girls, or complicit in the exploitation theyre experiencing, Vafa said. Theres still a great amount of victim-blaming going on.

Thats the bias at play in Zeferjohns case and 12 other cases in Kansas, said Karen Countryman-Roswurm, director of the Center for Combating Human Trafficking, which offers education, training and technical assistance to survivors. The girls were runaways from the Kansas Department for Children and Families or the juvenile justice system, wound up under the control of sex traffickers, then were charged as criminals when they were actually victims, she said.

In interviews with KCUR, three of those young women said their experiences were similar to Zeferjohns. At some point during their progression through the foster care and criminal systems, social workers and law enforcement officers turned on them, they said, speaking on the condition that they would not be identified.

Im still looked at as a perpetrator, said one, a 17-year-old girl who has been in and out of the juvenile justice system since she was 10. Im still looked at as my (criminal) charge. And its hard to put yourself in that victim setting when everybodys pushing you to Youre a perpetrator and you deserve what you get.

An analysis of the Kansas Public Offender Registry by APM Reports shows that convictions of girls in cases like Zeferjohns are extremely rare. A review of Shawnee County District Attorney data ranging from 2015 to March 2019 shows that Zeferjohn was the only person prosecuted and convicted for trafficking in that county.

But not all juvenile offenders appear on the sex offender registration website, because Kansas law allows a judge, in some instances, to keep a minors case from being made public. The Kansas Sentencing Commission says human trafficking charges, whether for men or women, whether minors or adults, are in the single digits and are often pleaded down to other crimes.

Countryman-Roswurm said girls like Zeferjohn struggle in the legal system because of stereotypes about victims of sex crimes. Rather than being beaten-down little girls who welcome rescue from law enforcement, she explained, the reality is that some girls grow up in tough environments and dont attach to anyone because of so much mistreatment. So these girls she prefers survivors take control of their situations and appear hardened. They have a streetness, she said, that makes them look to first-responders as if they are perpetrators.

In trafficking, part of that lifestyle as a whole, you dont just stay in the role of the misbranded perfect-worthy victim, Countryman-Roswurm said.

When those girls get processed through the criminal justice system, advocates said, prosecutors frequently offer plea bargains because they dont want to invest the time and expense of taking their cases to trial. Lawyers, family members or others convince survivors to plead guilty to lesser charges to avoid the risk of prison time if their cases do go to trial, Countryman-Roswurm said.

The greatest injustice in America is (being) poor, lower-class, she says. Youve been in custody and you take a plea.

Second shot at a pardon

In May 2015, then-Gov. Brownback, a Republican, was using his photo op with Hope Zeferjohns family to tout a 7% increase in reunification of families to a safe and loving home, as a DCF news release said.

KVC Kansas, the foster care contractor to DCF, also put out a news release with the Zeferjohns picture. The agency quoted one of its social workers saying reunification of the family promotes stability in the childs life and eases the burden on the state to care for them.

The request for a family for the event came from Brownbacks office, said Jenny Kutz, a spokeswoman for KVC Kansas, and KVC chose the Zeferjohn family.

We chose the family because they met the criteria of recently reunified and they were able to participate in the photo within the short notice given, she said.

But things quickly returned to the way they always had been at the Zeferjohn home, and within six months the children were back in foster care, Kelly said. Kutz would not comment, citing a federal privacy law.

Brownback resigned in 2018 to take a job in the Trump administration, serving as ambassador for religious freedom. He declined comment for this story. His successor, former Gov. Jeff Colyer, turned down Zeferjohns first request for clemency last year, Kansas Department of Corrections records show. Colyer also declined to comment.

Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, said she is considering Zeferjohn's new request for a pardon.

The story of Hope Zeferjohn is a sad one, Kelly said in a statement to KCUR and The Topeka Capital-Journal. I will consider every clemency request I receive after a full process of developing facts and with input from those affected, but more importantly our state has a structural criminal justice problem that needs to be addressed."

Zeferjohn deserves a pardon because she was forced to do things that would otherwise be unimaginable to you and I, said her attorney, Vicki Smith. She was a child. She was a victim. This is just a matter of human justice.

Countryman-Roswurm, pro bono attorneys and other advocates are also trying to work within the legal system to resolve the legal problems for the 12 other women who have cases similar to Zeferjohns.

Efforts to change state laws are also underway at the Kansas Legislature. Last year, two bills were introduced that call for setting aside convictions and records in hopes of helping young survivors of the sex trade. The bills got stuck in committee, said Benet Magnuson of Kansas Appleseed, a nonprofit social justice group, but advocates hope to bring them up again this year.

Asked if the agency did enough to help girls like Hope, DCF Secretary Laura Howard said in a statement that continuous and improved efforts are needed to prevent and reduce human trafficking, recover runaway kids, connect families and keep children safe.

Clearly, there were significant breakdowns in the system under the prior administration, and we know more needs to be done to protect children like Hope, Howard said. The agency is currently ramping up its ability to learn and institute more effective strategies and partnerships needed to prevent and address human trafficking.

Kelly said she is ready to work with the Legislature to "revise our approach to incarceration so that we can be smarter about who we send to prison and for how long."

"My administration is determined to do more to change the focus from punitive to rehabilitative programs as a way to ease the pressure on our prisons," she said.

The earliest Zeferjohn could get out of prison is Aug. 26, 2021, when she will be 23. Shes lost custody of her son, Tye, who was adopted.

She says she feels the need to apologize for what Long did to all the families affected, including hers. She hopes speaking up and showing strength will help other victims in similar situations.

When she gets out of prison, Zeferjohn said, she wants to try to get her son back and she wants to open her own restaurant, a bakery, that she would dedicate to her mom and dad.

I really would like to see people have hope in doing something with their life and getting their life back in order, she said. When I got locked up, after that adjustment, I just started getting my life back together. It feels great that I can say that.

TOMORROW: In Day 2 of our series, we report on the growing number of runaways from the Kansas foster care system and what is being done to help these children.

This story is part of a partnership between KCUR and The Topeka Capital-Journal, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in collaboration with APM Reports, the investigative reporting unit of American Public Media.

Peggy Lowe is a reporter at KCUR. Shes on Twitter @peggyllowe.

Sherman Smith is a reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. Hes on Twitter at @sherman_news.

Geoff Hing of APM Reports contributed to this story. He's on Twitter at @geoffhing.

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What Causes Itching? – Scientific Reasons Behind Why We Itch –

October 8th, 2019 by admin

Whether youre dealing with dry skin, a mosquito bite, or a full-blown allergic reaction, youve likely experienced your fair share of itchiness. But if youve ever wondered exactly what causes an itch (which is called pruritus to dermatologists), it can be a really complicated thing, admits Alix J. Charles, MD, a dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

While were all intimately familiar with what an itch feels like, the sensation is one of the least understood and researched in the dermatology world, per a recent article in Dermatologic Therapy.

Sometimes, discovering what causes itching is easy and obvious (the poison ivy you accidentally touched while gardening). Other times, its difficult to figure out whats causing that must-scratch-now sensation, says Dr. Charles.

Here, we break down why we itch, common causes behind itching, the reason scratching feels so satisfying, and what to do if your itch just wont go away, with expert insight from dermatologists.

Put simply, you itch because your skin has receptors called pruriceptors (itch-sensing nerve endings) which get stimulated and, in turn, cause that itchy feeling, explains Melanie Grossman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. As part of the immune response, your body releases substances called histamines, triggering the itch.

Theres a deep-rooted evolutionary advantage to the itch: Its your bodys way of letting you know ASAP that something (an allergen, a parasite like bed bugs or ticks, or a would-be intruder) is irritating your skin, the protective barrier between you and the outside world. Here are a few more common culprits:

Sometimes, chemicals inside your body can cause itchy skin, says Dr. Grossman. For example, medications like opioids come with the common side effect of itchy skin (possibly because of shared pain-itch neurons), and illnesses like kidney and liver disease can cause itchiness due to a build-up of toxins.

This comes from the release of the chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine, which can accompany anxiety, depression, and stress. If youre going through a period of stress like a death in the family or divorce, we will sometimes see people itching for that reason, explains Dr. Charles. Heat can make you itchy, too.

This rare cause of itching occurs when theres really nothing wrong with the skin at all, but the brain itself perceives itching somewhere, explains Dr. Charles. It happens when theres been damage to your nervous system (think: shingles, stroke, or even a burn injury).

Dry skin in need of some quality moisturizing can make you itch, says Dr. Charles. Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can also cause your skin to itch.

Essentially, scratching an itch feels good because it distracts you from the initial irritation with a new feeling. When you scratch an itch, youre actually creating a different sensation, which, depending on how hard you scratch it, could be severe or minimal pain, Dr. Grossman says. For a short period of time, this can also provide relief.

Of course, sometimes when you scratch an itch, you only exacerbate the need to itch due to the inflammation from scratching and the potential of creating new wounds on your skin. With more inflammation comes more itching.

The best treatment for itching is getting rid of the cause, says Dr. Grossman. After all: Its better to know what causes an itchwhether its your laundry detergent or dry skinthan simply scratching at its surface. Here, a few go-to home remedies and over-the-counter solutions for some of the most common itch triggers from the pros:

For dry skin: Avoid over-soaping itch-prone areas like your legs and lather up with a gentle moisturizing lotion, like this one from CeraVe.

For bug bites and other localized itching: Get rid of the source (as in, treat your dog for fleas or ditch your new detergent) and then try OTC solutions like 1 percent hydrocortisone anti-itch cream or calamine lotion for spot treatment.

For hives and allergy-induced itching: Take an OTC antihistamine like Benadryl. If that doesnt work, head for the dermatologist, says Dr. Charles.

For stress-induced itching: If you think your mental health could be at the root of your relentless itch, head to your doc for a proper ID. Along with stress management, medications for anxiety and depression could help relieve your itching.

For the mystery itch: If youve tried to address whats causing your itch (or you just cant figure it out), dont tackle your itch alone. Call your doctor or dermatologist for help, says Dr. Charles.

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Aveeno Max Strength 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream

Benadryl Ultratabs Antihistamine Allergy Relief

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What Causes Itching? - Scientific Reasons Behind Why We Itch -

Big Country Chateau Renters protest for the gas to be turned back on and better living conditions – KLRT –

October 5th, 2019 by admin

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-People at the Big Country Chateau Apartments in Little Rock are living another night without gas at the entire complex.

Some people say they havent had a hot shower or a hot meal since September 16.

They held a protest on Thursday with workers from Arkansas Renters Untied demanding change.

This is the third time Fox 16s ReChelle Turner has been at the complex talking to people.

They say theyre not paying rent until theyre compensated for the weeks that they had no gas service.

Im calling you to leave this message because fight, fight, fight housing is a human right, people said.

Frustration continues to grow for renters at Big Country Chateau apartments.

Fight fight fight we want our deposit back, people yelled.

Im tired of taking cold showers come on out the door, one man said.

People stood outside the complex on Thursday protesting for change.

We just want a listening ear somebody sympathetic to listen to what we are going through, Nichole Cameron said.

Renters United said Arkansas sits at the bottom of the list when it comes to basic health and safety standards for renters and property owners.

And thats a damn shame, Neil Sealy said.

Tenants like Michael Ford are calling on lawmakers

Definitely need to push for more stricter laws, Ford said.

People even marched to the front office. The door was locked and the blinds were closed.

We deserve a response, people said.

Why is there no answer and you guys are in the middle of a crisis, one woman yelled.

If we are paying rent every month and the utilities are already paid then it needs to be paid and taken care off, Ford said.

Renters say the fight continues for gas at the complex and better living conditions.

We will be heard we will be heard, people said.

No matter how long it takes.

If it dont stop here we will take it to city hall and go down there and protest, Ford said.

People say theyre also dealing with mold, bed bugs and leaky pipes.

The Planning and Development Department with the City of Little Rock says that the property owners have to bring the gas lines up to code and pass inspection before the gas is turned back on.

The property was recently acquired by a company based in Brooklyn, New York. The management company, Integra Affordable Management, is based in Chicago.

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Big Country Chateau Renters protest for the gas to be turned back on and better living conditions - KLRT -

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