04.22.16

 In today’s Buzz, we bring you the latest from the unexpected passing of Prince, the scary rise of suicide rates in the United States, and we highlight Earth Day.

Today’s Morning Buzz is dedicated to Prince, one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived.

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Right Now with Brian Southey (LinkedIn / Twitter)

What I’m Listening to –  Dawes: All Your Favorite Bands

What I’m Reading – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

What I’m Watching – Blackhawks vs Blues

What I Want to Know from You – What was your favorite Prince song?

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Buzzin’

Prince, an Artist Who Defied Genre, Is Dead at 57 Prince, the songwriter, singer, producer, one-man studio band and consummate showman, died on Thursday at his home, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minn. He was 57.  His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, confirmed his death but did not report a cause. In a statement, the Carver County sheriff, Jim Olson, said that deputies responded to an emergency call at 9:43 a.m. “When deputies and medical personnel arrived,” he said, “they found an unresponsive adult male in the elevator. Emergency medical workers attempted to provide lifesaving CPR, but were unable to revive the victim. He was pronounced deceased at 10:07 a.m.”

U.S. suicide rate has risen sharply in the 21st century  The U.S. suicide rate has increased sharply since the turn of the century, led by an even greater rise among middle-aged white people, particularly women, according to federal data released Friday. Last decade’s severe recession, more drug addiction, “gray divorce,” increased social isolation, and even the rise of the Internet and social media may have contributed to the growth in suicide, according to a variety of people who study the issue.

Earth Day: We’re not as doomed as you think Sure, there are plenty of reasons to be terrified about the future of the planet: melting ice sheets, intensifying heat waves, vanishing rainforests, falling temperature records, dying elephants, bleached out coral and kids in China don’t know the sky is blue. This stuff is serious. It’s real. It’s bad. But — know what? — it’s not the full picture. In celebration of Earth Day, a day on which more than 155 countries are planning to sign a landmark U.N. agreement on climate change, here are five reasons Earth is not as doomed as you think.

Purple Rain

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Cover Story: “Purple Rain,” by Bob Staake The pop singer Prince died on Thursday, at the age of fifty-seven, but his legacy will remain with us for a long, long time. Our cover for next week’s issue, Bob Staake’s “Purple Rain,” is a tribute to the great performer; click here to read remembrances from our writers.

Lake County residents in uproar over Target’s new gender neutral bathroom policy Lori Pitner had one question for Target officials when she confronted them Thursday afternoon: How would they keep her daughter from being molested since men were allowed into the women’s bathroom?

Foster care crisis: Oregon failing in every area possible in federal review The findings, released Wednesday in response to public records requests, show Oregon’s system losing ground after passing three of 14 areas in a similar review in 2008.

‘Bernie bros’ are lashing out at Clinton superdelegates  Shawn Bagley thought he knew what he was getting into when he was elected to become one of California’s so-called superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention, and energetic debate with other activists was part of it.

College students to GOP: Don’t bother As the Republican presidential campaign turns to Maryland as well as other states, candidates might just skip over the University of Maryland, the largest college in the state.

Wisconsin state workers leaving in higher numbers as economy improves In all, 3,600 state workers outside of the University of Wisconsin System moved on from their state jobs in 2015, which was 23% more than 2014 and nearly twice as many as in 2010.

Some states, utilities balk at disclosing locations of lead water pipes Some states and water utilities are balking at the Environmental Protection Agency’s call to post inventory information online about the number and locations of risky lead pipes in their systems, according to a review of documents obtained from 49 states by the USA TODAY NETWORK.

Man charged for filling McD’s water cup with soda An Arkansas man is facing felony charges after allegedly filling his free water cup with not-free soda Monday at a McDonald’s in Springdale, KHBS/KHOG reports. Police say 18-year-old Cody Morris and two others drove through the McDonald’s drive-thru and ordered three large waters. They then parked, went into the restaurant, dumped out the water, and allegedly filled the cups with soda.

Kansas’ Never-Ending Budget Mess The state’s fiscal woes have been a recurring theme during the two-term tenure of Governor Sam Brownback, who ushered in a series of deep tax cuts after taking office and has been watching them blow a hole in the budget ever since.

Largest Cities in the World: 2016 Tokyo-Yokohama continues to be the largest city in the world, with nearly 38 million residents, according to the just released Demographia World Urban Areas

What Are Trees Worth to Cities? David Nowak whittles down 30 years of studying the economic value of forests to this advice: If you can only plant one tree, plant it in a city.

I.R.S. Fights Back Against House Republicans’ Attacks A measure passed Thursday barring bonuses until customer service improves was just one of six anti-I.R.S. measures the House approved this week.

Donald Trump And George Wallace: Riding The Rage Fueled by voter anger at a changing America, 50 years ago a pugnacious governor from Alabama made a lot of waves and got a lot of votes. Today, a New York billionaire is walking a similar path.

New Girl

Local Government Confidential

Retiree benefits could strain local government finances here’s a bill in the mail for many county and city governments for retirees health care benefits, and it is more than $7 billion. According to the LeRoy Collins Institute in Tallahassee, Florida cities and counties have approximately $7.5 billion in unfunded liabilities associated with retiree health care benefits.

2 newly sworn-in trustees hijack Washingtonville Village Board meeting Two newly sworn-in trustees, Joseph Bucco and Thomas DeVinko, hijacked Mayor David Heintz’s Village Board meeting Tuesday, launching moves to re-examine the village’s $9.2 million sewer plant upgrade project, revamp zoning, and clean up a park and a municipal parking lot.

Illegal dumping at village brush site catches board attention llegal dumping was topic of contention during the tail end of Tuesday night’s West Salem Village Board meeting. Public Works Director Scott Halbrucker expressed concerns over the continued dumping of items such as wood chips and cinder blocks outside the village shop on West Avenue.