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Washington state begins killing wolf pack for preying on livestock

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Wildlife agents authorized to eradicate a group of 11 wolves for repeated attacks on cattle in Washington state have hunted down and killed six animals from the condemned pack and are searching for the rest, a state game official said on Monday.

State biologists fatally shot two members of the so-called Profanity Peak wolf pack from a helicopter on Aug. 5 after confirming five fatal wolf attacks on livestock in that area. Further lethal-control efforts were later called off.

But eradication orders were renewed, and expanded to the entire pack, on Aug. 19 when the state Fish and Wildlife Department determined the same group of wolves was behind additional attacks that left two calves dead and a third injured.

Aerial kill teams have since destroyed four more wolves, including a pup, and wildlife agents are looking for the remaining five members of the targeted pack, said Craig Bartlett, a spokesman for the Fish and Wildlife Department.

“We’ve never taken out an entire pack before,” Bartlett said, adding officials could still decide at some point to suspend the hunt and spare some of the remaining wolves if livestock attacks appear to have been halted.

In the meantime, he said, the number of cattle killed or injured by wolves in the area had grown to 12.

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The Profanity Peak wolves make up one of 19 wolf packs known to inhabit Washington, 15 of them in the eastern third of the state where federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves were lifted in 2011.

Wolves are still listed as endangered under state law, which allows officials to remove wolves found to be repeatedly preying on livestock. But the population has grown steadily since 2008, when the first pack documented in Washington in many decades was confirmed, and they now number about 90 animals statewide, Bartlett said.

The current effort targeting the Profanity Peak pack marks the third time state officials have used lethal means against wolves. The two previous efforts, in 2012 and 2014, resulted in the deaths of 10 wolves, but some members of those packs ended up being spared, Bartlett said.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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How Teach for America evolved into an arm of the charter school movement

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When the Walton Family Foundation announced in 2013 that it was donating $20 million to Teach For America to recruit and train nearly 4,000 teachers for low-income schools, its press release did not reveal the unusual terms for the grant.

Documents obtained by ProPublica show that the foundation, a staunch supporter of school choice and Teach For America’s largest private funder, was paying $4,000 for every teacher placed in a traditional public school — and $6,000 for every one placed in a charter school. The two-year grant was directed at nine cities where charter schools were sprouting up, including New Orleans; Memphis, Tennessee; and Los Angeles.

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Commentary

Why do conservatives hate Oberlin College so much?

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When I was an undergraduate at Oberlin in the mid-Aughts, there was a student in my class year who was obsessed with 19th-century British Royal Naval culture. Every Friday evening, he would host a sing-along in a dorm lounge, for which he would bring xeroxes of historical sea shanty lyrics and pass them around so that we could sing along, waving our glasses of “grog.” This was a semi-established event — he had distributed flyers around campus advertising the weekly British Royal Naval sea-shanty singalong and grog-drinking event, which would extend late into the night. Though he was not a resident of the dorm where it took place, he was welcomed into the lounge by its members, and became a fixture of sorts.Like many well-endowed liberal arts schools in rural areas, Oberlin College functions as a sort of de facto social welfare state, and is designed to encourage and cultivate one’s passions, even if they are not strictly academic. Thus, after writing up a proposal for the student-run activities board, the same student, the British Royal Navy culture guy, was able to plan, organize and execute a ticketed Royal Naval Ball, held in the atrium of the science center. The event featured 20 dishes of authentic British era-appropriate cuisine, cooked by student chefs, several courses of wine and port, and a violinist present to play period-specific music. The whole affair culminated with a traditional, British partner line dance — its sole inauthenticity the fact that we didn’t pay attention to our dance partners’ genders the way the Brits would have.
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2020 Election

Here are 5 reasons why 2020’s down-ballot races could reshape America’s future

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The political press always tends to focus mostly on the marquee race for the White House but that's especially true this cycle, as Donald Trump runs for a second term. He demands attention and his antics enrage his opponents and delight his supporters in equal measure.

But national reporters risk missing the big picture by centering so much of their reporting at the top when many of the most important political battles in 2020 will take place further down the ballot.

Trump is catnip for reporters and their editors, but the dearth of coverage of downballot races didn't begin with his election. As the news media in general faces structural changes—with print circulation declining and much of their work moving into digital spaces that are more difficult to monetize--publishers have cut back on reporters assigned to the state and local government beat. Nevertheless, Trump has arguably worsened the trend by getting so much airtime— one estimate suggested that over the past four years, Trump has taken up, on average, 15 percent of the entire daily news cycle on the three leading cable networks, nearly three times what Obama did.

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