Senator tells Russia to Stop Meddling


Staff & Wire Reports



U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., left, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., center, and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security, speak to the Associated Press in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 4, 2018. A U.S. senator who is part of a congressional delegation visiting Russia says Moscow could help improve ties by not meddling in the midterm U.S. election in November. (AP Photo/Maria Danilova)

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., left, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., center, and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security, speak to the Associated Press in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 4, 2018. A U.S. senator who is part of a congressional delegation visiting Russia says Moscow could help improve ties by not meddling in the midterm U.S. election in November. (AP Photo/Maria Danilova)


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, listens to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., third right, during his meeting with U.S. congressional delegation as U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. attends the talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. The U.S. congressional delegation is scheduled to meet with senior Russian officials amid preparations for a summit between the nations' presidents. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, back to a camera, listens to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., right, during his meeting with U.S. congressional delegation in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. The U.S. congressional delegation is scheduled to meet with senior Russian officials amid preparations for a summit between the nations' presidents. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)


NEWS

US senator: Moscow must not meddle in the 2018 election

By AP

Thursday, July 5

MOSCOW (AP) — Visiting U.S. senators on Wednesday urged Russia not to meddle in the U.S. midterm election in November if it wants to improve strained bilateral ties.

The senators were in Russia as part of a congressional visit taking place two weeks ahead of a summit between the nations’ presidents in Helsinki.

Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, called for a “change in behavior” on the part of Moscow.

“The best way to demonstrate this as we head into the 2018 election is to show the American people and our congress and our administration that the Russians have no intention of messing or playing with the American election,” Thune told The Associated Press in an interview.

Richard Shelby, a senator from Alabama who heads the delegation, brought up the topic of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“I think it’s a given in the United States, in both parties, that Russia tried to meddle and probably did meddle in the election,” Shelby told the AP.

Senator Jerry Moran from Kansas said all Russian officials they spoke to denied that. “It was simply a denial on their part that it occurred.”

Shelby added, however, that despite deep disagreements, the meeting was a useful step in improving ties.

“We also told them that even though our relationship is strained, it would be better for the world for us to be competitors, always, rather than adversaries. But we’ll have to see what happens.”

Russia-U.S. ties have been bitterly strained by the fighting in Ukraine, the Syrian war and allegations of election meddling.

LOCAL NEWS

Coming Soon: Self-Driving Shuttles in Columbus

Drive Ohio

Columbus Shuttle

Autonomous vehicles are the future and Ohio is poised to be at the forefront of their introduction into our daily lives. On July 2nd, DriveOhio, an initiative of the Ohio Department of Transportation, Smart Columbus, the City of Columbus and The Ohio State University, announced a request for proposals (RFPs) to deploy, operate, and maintain a low-speed self-driving shuttle service around the state capitol’s downtown area.

Columbus on List of Cities Where You Can Make 6-Figures But Still Feel Broke

MagnifyMoney has just released the 2018 version of its annual study on Cities Where Households Can Earn 6-Figures, But Still Feel Broke. We analyzed 100 US metro areas using a gross household income of $100k and factoring in monthly savings, taxes, debt, and other monthly expenses. By looking at the remaining disposable income we could determine how “broke” people are likely to feel across the country.

Our estimates for the top 10 cities in the study produced monthly disposable incomes of $505 or less. For contrast, the bottom 10 cities on our list were estimated to have at least $1,772 of disposable income remaining after paying bills.

Take a look over the full report to see how Columbus ranked in our analysis: https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/news/10-places-can-earn-six-figures-still-feel-broke-2018/

Key Study Findings:

– The 10 worst cities to live with a $100k income were primarily located on the East coast or West coast.

– Southern cities made up the lion’s share of 10 best places to live with a $100k income.

– In 6 US cities, a household income of $100k would not be enough to cover monthly expenses!

Here is a link to our full rankings of 100 US cities: https://infogram.com/1py1y25w6d6ew9s327y23m350vhypx3r026

Nearly 90 percent of homes selling for more than auditor’s value

Auditor Clarence Mingo

Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo earlier this week announced that more than 87 percent of all homes sold in Franklin County during June were sold for more than the auditor’s office appraised value.

Of the 1,758 single-family homes sold during June, about 87.1 percent (1,531) of them sold for more than the current value on the auditor’s website set following last year’s 2017 Reappraisal of all 430,000-plus properties in the county.

June saw a 13.8 percent increase over May in the number of single-family homes sold. While a home sold every 29 minutes in May, one sold every 25 minutes in June. About 59 homes were sold a day in June. During 2017, about 48 homes were sold a day.

“We are less than one year removed from the completion of the 2017 Reappraisal and the real estate market is already in another stratosphere,” Mingo said. “When you realize that almost nine-in-ten houses are being sold for more than our value, you get a true appreciation of the strength of housing in Franklin County.”

Mobile offices will allow residents to discuss property tax issues, remedies

The Franklin County Auditor’s Office will host six public Tax Reduction Mobile Events at library locations throughout the county in July and August.

Franklin County residents are invited to attend these mobile events which will highlight information on the various tax reduction programs the office offers. Staff will also be available to discuss home sale prices and their impact on homeowners throughout the county.

• Tuesday, July 10 from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Whetstone Branch (3909 N. High St., Columbus)

• Tuesday, July 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Parsons Branch (1113 Parsons Ave., Columbus)

• Friday, July 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Gahanna Branch (310 Granville St., Columbus)

• Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Franklinton Branch (1061 W. Town St., Columbus)

• Monday, Aug. 13 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Northside Branch (1423 N. High St., Columbus)

• Monday, Aug. 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Whitehall Branch (4445 E. Broad St., Whitehall)

Nearly nine-in-ten houses are being sold for more than auditor’s value

A home sold on average once every 25 minutes during June in Franklin County

COLUMBUS, Ohio (July 3, 2018) – Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo earlier today announced that more than 87 percent of all homes sold in Franklin County during June were sold for more than the auditor’s office appraised value.

Of the 1,758 single-family homes sold during June, about 87.1 percent (1,531) of them sold for more than the current value on the auditor’s website set following last year’s 2017 Reappraisal of all 430,000-plus properties in the county.

June saw a 13.8 percent increase over May in the number of single-family homes sold. While a home sold every 29 minutes in May, one sold every 25 minutes in June. About 59 homes were sold a day in June. During 2017, about 48 homes were sold a day.

“We are less than one year removed from the completion of the 2017 Reappraisal and the real estate market is already in another stratosphere,” Mingo said. “When you realize that almost nine-in-ten houses are being sold for more than our value, you get a true appreciation of the strength of housing in Franklin County.”

The median increase in sales price against the auditor’s appraised value was $51,200. Of the 219 properties (12.5 percent) sold for less than the auditor’s value, the median difference was $19,100.

Eight properties were sold for exactly the auditor’s value.

There have been 7,682 homes sold in the county in the first half of 2018. About 81.4 percent (6,252) have been sold for more than the auditor’s value.

Countywide, nearly half (45 percent) of all single-family homes were sold during June for more than $50,000 of the auditor’s appraised value. That number was only 38.8 percent during May.

“There is little doubt for a seller that they are going to be able to far exceed our value when selling their home,” Mingo said. “And buyers are showing they are willing to pay that price.”

VIEWS

Llewellyn King: Trump Foreign Policy Sneers at Europe, Winks at Russia

By Llewellyn King

InsideSources.com

There is a strain of conservatism in the United States that suffers from what might be called “Euro envy.”

It is not mainstream, and it was not the conservatism of former presidents Ronald Reagan or either of the Bushes. It has evolved from a hatred of socialist manifestations in European economies.

Sadly, President Donald Trump is the exemplar of this envy; this need to deride Europe and all things European.

Euro envy has its equally foolish counterpoint across the Atlantic that might be called “U.S. disdain.”

Neither would be of any consequence if it were not for the delicate international situation with the deteriorated relations between the United States and Europe, compounded by Europe’s own troubles.

Euro envy, at its purest, revolves around the successes of Europe: its public health systems, its efficient rail system, and its support of fine and performing arts. The belief is that Europe’s social approach cannot be better and somehow it must be found to be wanting.

Some things in Europe do work better, but at a price; a price in taxation and bureaucratic rigidity, which cost the Euro economies in lower growth and higher unemployment.

Anyone who has looked at European health systems knows that they work. Perhaps not perfectly, but well enough and at a lower gross price than their patchier American equivalent. Yet fables persist of people lining up in the streets of London for heart surgery and long waiting lists all over Europe for critical care. These are myths but potent ones.

For public transportation, health care and generous retirement, Europe pays. Recently in Sweden, a colleague who once worked in the White House press corps told me: “We pay half our wages in tax, but we get a lot for it.”

I would add to the downside of European life that it is very hard to fire anyone, that people retire too early and have too many government-guaranteed perks in the workplace like, in some countries, extended maternal leave for both parents.

The obverse, U.S. disdain, features exaggerated emphasis on gun violence, prison conditions, no universal health care, no job security and two-week vacation times.

The European left has always denigrated conditions in America and has unfailingly given short shrift to Republican presidents. They are damned out of the blocks. “Cowboy” is the pejorative thrown at them. This is as unfair and untrue as is the Euro sneering.

Despite these streams of envy, even hatred, the Atlantic alliance has been a thing of beauty in world history, a bulwark defending the cultures and freedoms that are the Western inheritance; the inheritance that has made the liberal democracies such a magnet for the world’s less fortunate. Illegal immigration is the compliment that the hapless pay to the happy.

Trump has swallowed whole the Euro disdainer views — they fit well with his naive views about the United States.

In one thing though, and it has riled the right for decades, Trump is right: Europe pays too little for its own defense. This is the cudgel that he will wield at the NATO summit. Europe, for all its quality-of-life smugness, depends on the U.S. defense umbrella.

These things make the next two weeks critical in world affairs, and replete with terrible irony. Europe depends on the United States to defend itself against Russia, which has shown designs on all the European countries which were once Soviet vassal states. But the guarantor of European freedom, Trump, is out to trash the European alliance and cozy up to Russia.

The irony does not stop there. Trump wants more money from Europe when he is about to damage its economies with a trade war.

In the next two weeks, there is not much to envy in the European predicament: pay up or face Russia alone. Trump will not have your back.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Llewellyn King is executive producer and host of “White House Chronicle” on PBS. His email is llewellynking1@gmail.com. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.

LOCAL NEWS

Ready, Set, Ride! Commuter Challenge Starts July 16

(Columbus – June 28) — The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), Smart Columbus, CoGo and Enterprise Rideshare are teaming up once again to challenge Central Ohio commuters to rethink their rides during the month of July. The Central Ohio Commuter Challenge encourages commuters to vanpool, carpool, ride the bus, and/or walk and bike to work, social events and errands from July 16 – 27.

“MORPC and its partners are excited to challenge the community to try new ways to move around Central Ohio,” states William Murdock, MORPC Executive Director. “The results from the 2017 challenge were inspiring. We’re really looking forward to achieving even better results.”

When using an alternative mode of transportation, commuters simply register and log their trips at MakeYourMilesMatter.com, making them eligible to win daily and grand prizes. This year, logging trips is even easier with the RideAmigos Commuter Tracker App. Each trip logged improves the chances of winning a prize. The first 100 people to log a trip will receive a pair of movie passes (where? Fandango?).

The campaign encourages anyone living and traveling in Central Ohio to participate in an effort to reduce congestion and improve air quality by exploring new modes of transportation. By having more people sharing a vehicle or using alternative forms of transportation, individuals can reduce the amount of fuel purchased, reduce congested roadways, and improve regional air quality.

To learn more about the challenge or to register visit MakeYourMilesMatter.com.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is a voluntary association of local governments and regional organizations that envisions and embraces innovative directions in economic prosperity, energy, the environment, housing, land use, and transportation. Our transformative programming, services and innovative public policy are designed to promote and support the vitality and growth in the region. For more information, please visit www.morpc.org.

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) is the regional public transit provider for greater Columbus and central Ohio. With a service area of 1.2 million residents, COTA employs more than 950 people, and provided more than 19 million passenger trips in 2015. COTA operates throughout Franklin County, and parts of Delaware, Fairfield, Licking and Union counties. For more information about COTA, visit COTA.com or call (614) 228-1776.

CoGo is Columbus’ bike transit system operated by Motivate International. CoGo provides residents and visitors convenient access to bicycles on-demand at 41 stations locations in the downtown Columbus area. CoGo serves as both transportation and a recreational amenity offering its customers convenient, fun and affordable transit rentals. Since launching in late July 2013, riders have taken more than 116,000 trips riding over 322,000 miles, collectively burning over 13 million calories and offsetting 219,000 pounds of carbon.

A Palace Production of Disney’s “NEWSIES” Opens July 7 at the Marion Palace Theatre

Marion, OH – The Marion Palace Theatre proudly kicks off the 90th Anniversary Season with the Tony Award-winning musical production “NEWSIES” directed by Clare Cooke. Inspired by a triumphant true story, “NEWSIES” leaps off the stage with soul stirring music, amazing heart, and stunning choreography July 7-July 15 at the historic Marion Palace Theatre.

The Broadway phenomenon tells the story of a band of underdogs who took on the most powerful names in New York in a fight for what’s right. Five show dates are scheduled for Saturday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 8 at 2 p.m.; Friday, July 13 & Saturday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 15 at 2 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to order tickets early for the best available seating.

Set in turn-of-the century New York City, “NEWSIES” is a fictional story inspired by the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899. When newspaper publishers raised distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two week-long action against the powerful publishing titans.

Timely and fresh, this lively musical adaptation features now classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” and “Santa Fe” while it addresses age-old themes of social injustice, exploitative labor practices, and David-versus-Goliath struggles.

The production stars Tanner Wink as the charismatic Jack Kelly, Madisen Schenk as Katherine, Trevor Jones as Crutchie, Jay Reid as Davey, Brody Cahill as Les, Matthew Downing as Joseph Pulitzer, and Morgan Schwartz as Medda Larkin.

Performing as newsies in the production are Kain Anderson, Addy Baird, Kim Bradshaw, Abigail Bush, Ryan Howard, Danielle Knight, Bishop Oldfield, Sarah Perkins, Jia Radloff, Owen Russell, Delaney Tabbert, Brody Thomas, Ashley Watkins, Brady Wink, and Sadie Wink with support from the Borough Newsies: Chloe Baker, Faith Baumgartner, Liam Bush, Zane Menzie, Carter Rawlins, Nolan Tiech, Audrey Watkins, and Noah Williams.

The cast is rounded out by the ensemble including William Adkins, Lyle Baker, Jeff Bush, Bruce Cudd, Linda Fargo, Sharon Gale, Sara Grote, Andy Harper, Mitch Hutchman, Justen LaPlante, Judy Little, Dustin Rawlins, Ryan Roth, Brian Schenk, Bob Sullivan-Neer, Ryan Swartz, and Owen Williams.

Under the direction of Clare Cooke the artistic team includes Assistant Director/Choreographer Kristi Wink, Orchestra Director Rick Baird, Vocal Director Blake Huffaker, Set Construction and Design Jeff Baldauf and Baldauf Construction, Costume Director Susan Wenig, Rehearsal/Pit Pianist Dee Ehrman, Stage Manager Barb Yaksic and Assistant Stage Manager Rhonda Arnold.

Tickets are $40 Patrons, $22/$18 Adults, and $12 Children 12 and under. Patrons purchasing a $40 ticket will enjoy premium seating during the show, have their names listed in the summer musical program newspaper, and receive an invitation to the “NEWSIES” post-show on opening night.

Tickets for “NEWSIES” may be purchased at the Palace Theatre Box Office, 276 W. Center St. in downtown Marion or by phone at 740/383-2101 during box office hours. Box office hours are 9:00am-5:00pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and closed Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Patron and Adult show tickets are also available online www.marionpalace.org. “NEWSIES” is sponsored by OhioHealth and supported by Ohio Arts Council. Media sponsors are Marion Star and 1490 WMRN-AM.

If You Go

WHAT: Marion Palace Theatre production of Disney’s “NEWSIES.” Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Jack Feldman, Book by Harvey Fierstein, Based on the Disney Film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White. Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. – July 7, 13, 14, 2018 and 2 p.m. – July 8 and July 15, 2018

WHERE: Marion Palace Theatre, 276 W Center St., Marion OH 43302

RUNNING TIME: approximately 2 hours, 15 minutes, one intermission

TICKETS: $40 Patrons, $22/$18 Adults, and $12 Children 12 and under. Patron ticket includes premium seating, names listed in the summer musical program book, and tickets to the post-show party on opening night. Charge by phone (740)383-2101 or online www.marionpalace.org

BOX OFFICE HOURS: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Information for all shows and tickets is also online at www.marionpalace.org.

Auditions Announced For Two Upcoming Palace Productions

Marion Palace Theatre

Marion, OH – June 25, 2018 – Marion Palace Theatre Executive Director Bev Ford announces auditions will be held for two upcoming Palace Productions. Character breakdowns for each musical can be found on the Palace Theatre website www.marionpalace.org.

“Junie B. Jones, Jr., The Musical”

Director Kristi Wink will hold auditions in the Palace Theatre May Pavilion for children, ages 8 years and up, for the Palace Theatre’s fall junior musical “Junie B. Jones, Jr.” Those interested may audition on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Auditioners may audition at either 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. or from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and should enter through the front May Pavilion doors.

All participants should come dressed in casual clothing and shoes appropriate for performing choreography. Those interested in chorus only will be asked to dance and sing with a group. Individuals wishing to audition for principle roles are asked to come prepared to sing a one-minute audition tune and read from the script. A pianist will be provided. No CDs please. A “family-friendly” rehearsal schedule is set for the junior musical cast to meet Monday through Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. beginning August 20. Performance dates for “Junie B. Jones, Jr.” are October 5, 6, and 7, 2018 on the Palace Theatre’s main stage.

“Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?”

Director Ann Schertzer will hold auditions in the Palace Theatre May Pavilion for the Palace Theatre’s fall musical “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” Those interested may audition on Sunday, August 26 at either 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and should enter through the May Pavilion.

All auditioners should come prepared with a 1-2 minute musical theatre audition piece and come prepared to read from the script. No CDs and NO a capella pieces please. All auditioners must have accompaniment – a pianist will be provided if needed. There are no specific dance requirements but auditioners should be aware that there are simple dance movements in the show. Schertzer is looking to cast 15-20 people of all ages 16 years and up.

Performance dates for “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” are October 19, 20, and 21, 2018 at the Marion Palace Theatre May Pavilion.

For more information about auditions, or to purchase tickets for the productions listed above, please contact the Palace box office at 740/383-2101 or visit the Palace website at www.marionpalace.org. The box office is located at 270 W. Center St. in downtown Marion. Box office hours are 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and closed Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., left, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., center, and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security, speak to the Associated Press in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 4, 2018. A U.S. senator who is part of a congressional delegation visiting Russia says Moscow could help improve ties by not meddling in the midterm U.S. election in November. (AP Photo/Maria Danilova)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/07/web1_120892301-d413da4cca2c4b0cb4f2c2726d8f8f2b.jpgU.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., left, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., center, and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security, speak to the Associated Press in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 4, 2018. A U.S. senator who is part of a congressional delegation visiting Russia says Moscow could help improve ties by not meddling in the midterm U.S. election in November. (AP Photo/Maria Danilova)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, listens to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., third right, during his meeting with U.S. congressional delegation as U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. attends the talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. The U.S. congressional delegation is scheduled to meet with senior Russian officials amid preparations for a summit between the nations’ presidents. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/07/web1_120892301-02a33fe51a774878b369d09c07796640.jpgRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, listens to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., third right, during his meeting with U.S. congressional delegation as U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. attends the talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. The U.S. congressional delegation is scheduled to meet with senior Russian officials amid preparations for a summit between the nations’ presidents. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, back to a camera, listens to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., right, during his meeting with U.S. congressional delegation in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. The U.S. congressional delegation is scheduled to meet with senior Russian officials amid preparations for a summit between the nations’ presidents. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/07/web1_120892301-a336560f34d747e886a54c1c941ac464.jpgRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, back to a camera, listens to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., right, during his meeting with U.S. congressional delegation in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. The U.S. congressional delegation is scheduled to meet with senior Russian officials amid preparations for a summit between the nations’ presidents. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Staff & Wire Reports