Maine: Lawrence High School students make blankets for hospice patients, and the Good Shepherd Food Bank gets $33,000.

Students in Lawrence High School’s JMG program will make more than 35 blankets to be donated to hospice patients in the Waterville area

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This holiday season, Mainers in hospice care will be receiving a gift, but it will be coming from someone they have never met.

The students in the Lawrence High School’s “Jobs for Maine’s Graduates” program, also known as JMG, are making blankets that will be donated to hospice patients in the Waterville area.

“I think this project is great. I think it gives people in the home comfort and just a little something extra for the holidays,” said Rilee Bessey, a junior at Lawrence High School.

Student plan to make more than 35 blankets to be donated. They are also making holiday cards to be distributed to the patients.

“My students are always looking for ways to give back. They really care about others and doing more things in our community to help those in need,” said JMG specialist at Lawrence High School Katherine Wood.

The students in Wood’s JMG class have worked more than 500 hours doing community service in 2018.

“Understand that not everybody has what you may have,” said Lawrence High School junior Bryson Dostie. “Everybody needs to get a little bit of something around the holidays,” Dostie added.

JMG is program across Maine in 131 schools. The organization’s students worked more than 30,000 hours this year doing community service projects.

And…

Maine’s largest hunger relief organization receives final installment of $100,000 promise!
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The Good Shepherd Food Bank received a check for $33,000 from the Maine Credit Union League to complete a three-year contribution to the food bank

The largest hunger relief origination in Maine now has in its hands, the final part of a $100,000 promise of support.

The donation comes from the Maine Credit Union League who promised in 2016 to provide the food bank with $100,000. Today the MCUL presented a check for $33,000 at the George J. Mitchell Elementary School in Waterville. The Good Shepherd Food Bank donates goods to the school’s food pantry.

At an assembly Wednesday morning, students in the school shared essays in front of their classmates about what the school’s food pantry means to them.

“To hear from students who are seeing it in their classmates and some of them likely experiencing themselves, I think that really hits home,” said Ethan Minton, the Good Shepherd Major Gift Officer.

The George J. Mitchell school food pantry has received more 60,000 meals worth of food from Good Shepherd since 2013.

“It helps highlight how much of a community effort this is and how aware people are of the hunger problem in the state of Maine and what people can do to help alleviate that problem,” said Tim Brooks, the Vice President of Corporate Marketing for the Maine Credit Union League.

The MCUL’s Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised over $8 million since starting the program in 1990.  In 2017, the credit union raised $740,000 for the cause.

Study: Half of US adults have had close family member jailed! (Greatest country in the world!!)

A guard tower is seen during a media tour of California"s Death Row at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California December 29, 2015The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world

Nearly half of all US adults have had an immediate family member incarcerated at some point in their lives, according to a new study.

Researchers also reported one in seven adults have seen immediate family incarcerated for over a year, with minorities most impacted.

The study by criminal justice non-profit FWD.us and Cornell University surveyed over 4,000 American adults.

Over 2 million Americans are currently in prison in the US.

The report estimates 64% of US adults have had someone in their family spend at least one night in jail or prison.

The study’s authors said it pointed to a nationwide “incarceration crisis”.

“These numbers are stunning, all the more so if you think of them not as numbers but as stories like mine,” Felicity Rose, FWD director said in a foreword to the report.

“One of the worst parts of growing up with a father in and out of prison was the isolation and shame I felt,” she added.

One in five US adults has had a parent incarcerated, according to the study, resulting in serious financial and emotional consequences.

What were the findings?

The study said that 113 million US adults have had an immediate family member incarcerated.

At the time of the research, 6.5 million adults said an immediate family member was currently in jail or prison.

One in seven adults have had a spouse incarcerated; one in eight have had a child locked up. And only one in four are ever able to visit an incarcerated family member.

There was no difference in incarceration rates along political lines, but the researchers did find that people of colour were most negatively impacted.

African American adults were 50% more likely than white Americans to have had a family member jailed, and three times as likely to have family jailed for 10 years or more, found the research.

A woman helps out with a fellow inmate's child at a correctional centre in IllinoisA woman helps out with a fellow inmate’s child at a correctional centre in Illinois

Latino adults were 70% more likely than white Americans to have a loved one incarcerated for over a year.

Low income families were also disproportionately affected, with adults making less than $25,000 (£19,000) a year 61% more likely to have family incarcerated than those earning over $100,000 a year.

And 54% of jailed parents were the breadwinners of their families.

Incarceration rates were highest in the southern and western states, with residents 60% more likely to experience family incarceration than people in the northeast.

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, the US incarcerates more people per capita than anywhere else in the world.

FWD reports local jails have admitted over 10 million people every year for the past two decades.

Despite recent declines in imprisonment rates, the US still incarcerates 710 people per 100,000.

The UK’s incarceration rate is 147 per 100,000, according to FWD.

Nigerian Military Tweets Trump Video to Justify Shooting Protesters

H8 nigerian army tweet

Nigeria’s military has pointed to Donald Trump’s words to justify its deadly shootings of protesters last week in the capital Abuja. Amnesty International reports that more than 40 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria were killed last Monday during a peaceful demonstration demanding the release of their jailed leader. The Nigerian military’s official Twitter account initially posted—then later deleted—a tweet reading, “Please Watch and Make Your Deductions.” It was accompanied by video of Trump warning that soldiers should shoot migrants who throw rocks.

North Korea’s foreign minister has accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war on his country. Where’s Rodman when you need him?

Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!

 

Ri Yong-ho told reporters in New York that North Korea reserved the right to shoot down US bombers.

This applied even when they were not in North Korean airspace, the minister added. The world “should clearly remember” it was the US that first declared war, Mr Ri said.

The two sides have been engaged in an increasingly angry war of words.

Despite weeks of tension, experts have played down the risk of direct conflict between the two.

After Mr Ri addressed the United Nations on Saturday, the US president responded by tweeting that Mr Ri and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “won’t be around much longer” if they continued their rhetoric.

Mr Ri’s response came as he was leaving New York, following the UN General Assembly.

“In light of the declaration of war by Trump, all options will be on the operations table of the supreme leadership of the DPRK [North Korea],” he added.

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157 Mainers die every year that we don’t accept federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage

Maine People's Alliance
Robin,I had an incredibly fun and insightful interview with Mainers for Health Care (Yes on 2) campaign manager Jennie Pirkl on the Beacon podcast this week, and something she said got me thinking.

She reminded me that the best evidence we have indicates that about 157 Mainers die every year we fail to accept federal funding to expand health coverage through Medicaid. Over the last few years, we’ve seen it happen. We know some of their names. We’ve read their obituaries.

157 people a year over the next couple decades is more than 3,000 lives that could be saved and only 220,000 people voted in the last odd-year referendum election.

So, if Question 2 passes with a bare majority, it will save about one life for every 35 votes.

35 votes! That’s one radio ad! That’s a couple shifts of knocking on doors!

This election matters and it has never been easier to make a difference. You could literally save someone’s life. Visit www.mainersforhealthcare.org to give some money or volunteer right now.

Also on Beacon recently:

Thanks as always for your feedback and for sharing these pieces on social media.

Keep up the fight!

-Mike

Mike Tipping
MPA Communications Director
mike@mainepeoplesalliance.org

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US Senate backs resolution against white nationalists

Senators say Heather Heyer’s killing was a ‘domestic terrorist attack’, calling for measures against hate groups.

The resolution will go to the House, where identical language has been introduced [FIle: Getty Images/AFP]
The resolution will go to the House, where identical language has been introduced [FIle: Getty Images/AFP]

The US Senate has approved a resolution condemning white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups following a white-nationalist rally in Virginia that descended into deadly violence.

Describing Heather Heyer’s killing by a neo-Nazi driver in Charlottesville on August 12 as a “domestic terrorist attack”, the initiative went through on Monday night with unanimous support.

Rally in US city of Charlottesville turns deadly as car rams into counter-protesteThe resolution urges President Donald Trump and his administration to speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and white supremacy.

It also calls on the justice department and other federal agencies to “use all resources available” to improve data collection on hate crimes and “address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States”.