Welcome to your first Buzz of 2017! Today’s collection of things you might want to know has pranks using an LA landmark, a city manager who’s labeled a ‘man of mystery’ and just what Las Vegas sanitation workers faced on Sunday morning.

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Right Now w/ Matt Yager

What I’m watching – Powerlifter Disguised As An Old Man Stuns Bodybuilders With His Amazing Feats Of Strength!

What I’m reading – The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

What I’m listening to – You’re Right (I’m Wrong) by Colvin & Earle

What I’m doing – Taking a massive amount of garbage to the curb.

What I want to know from you – How are you going to make 2017 better than 2016?

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Grab Your Ear Muffs, the New Year’s Arriving With a Frigid Bang – A deep freeze is about to descend on North America, Europe and Asia thanks to record high temperatures across the Arctic. How’s that? “Think of it like a seesaw,” said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. If winter temperatures rise north of Alaska, that “forces an equal-opposite downward-southward push. The cold essentially has to go somewhere else.” Meteorologists theorize the phenomenon works this way: Warmth in the northern polar region helps lock in jet-stream kinks that drag cold air south and sets up conditions that weaken the polar vortex, the pressure zone that usually traps the chill in the northernmost part of Earth. Frigid thermometer readings are, as a result, delivered to the Northern Hemisphere. So, warm Arctic, cold continents.

How Carbon Emissions Explain Trump’s Win – The states with the highest emissions levels mostly voted for the president-elect. Now, he’s selecting officials for his Cabinet who likely won’t try to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

Merry Prankster In L.A. Wants To Start 2017 On A High Note – On the morning of Jan. 1, Los Angeles residents and visitors alike awoke to see the iconic Hollywood sign had been altered overnight. Some were delighted. A number of posts on Instagram Sunday are captioned things like, “I love this city!” and “Let’s keep it!” Police were, perhaps, less amused: They were investigating the vandalism Sunday, and said the male prankster was recorded by security cameras wearing all black at around 3 a.m. He could face a misdemeanor trespassing charge if caught.


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50 Nifty

  • New Dallas city manager was a ‘man of mystery’ in Tacoma – During his time in Tacoma, City Manager T.C. Broadnax used a behind-the-scenes management style and shied away from the spotlight, said city historian Bill Baarsma. “He’s probably kind of the man of mystery,” Baarsma told The News Tribune. “People didn’t really know him.” Broadnax is leaving Tacoma for the same position in Dallas after nearly five years with a good reputation and high praise from many. The move is seen as a huge career boost, because Dallas is the third-largest U.S. city with a city manager-council form of government.

  • St. Louis County Police Chief calls Justice Department review a ‘missed opportunity’ – In September 2014, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar announced to a room full of local and national reporters in town to cover the civil unrest in Ferguson that he had invited the U.S. Department of Justice to review his policies and procedures, hoping to become a better department. A 182-page report followed in October 2015 that outlined 50 findings with 109 recommendations, ranging from concerns about the department’s racial profiling data to its cumbersome website. Federal officials said they would continue to work with the department and promised at least two progress reports would follow. Now, with months of federal delays and no follow-up reports from the Justice Department, Belmar says he’s unsure his department is any better for its collaboration.
  • $40 million Henry port project moves forward – As the Henry City Council prepared to take its latest step to develop an industrial Illinois River port, the plan got a hearty endorsement from a visitor with statewide vision. Ryan Spain, the Peoria Republican who was elected in November as the new state representative for Illinois’ 73rd District, stopped by to introduce himself at the outset of a recent meeting. The agenda included council action on zoning matters regarding the port, which is being developed through an agreement with a gravel mining company. Spain, who served nearly 10 years on the Peoria City Council, complimented the Marshall County community for possibly charting “a new direction” in its efforts to foster long-term economic development in Henry and the surrounding area.

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  • Walla Walla County ends Health Department mandatory furloughs for 2017 – The Walla Walla County Department of Community Health will return to full-time operation in the coming year with no mandatory furlough days. Meghan DeBolt, department director, said in a release that with the approval of the 2017 county budget, all Deparment of Community Health staff members are funded for 40 hours per week. Health department offices will be open from 8 a.m. to noon, closed one hour for lunch, then reopen from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
  • 14 tons of trash after big New Year’s Eve party on the Strip: Let the cleanup begin – The Las Vegas Strip began jamming up with people hours before the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve and, as people are inclined to do, they brought a lot of stuff with them to celebrate the occasion. There were confetti streamers, 12-packs of Tecate and Miller Lite, water bottles, party horns and festive hats. There were food and soda cans, plastic bags and giant plastic cups filled with booze. A few police officers cut a wide berth where some overzealous drinkers had left their mark in the middle of the street. But mostly it was just garbage.
  • DOJ Projects Rulemaking on State and Local Government Websites in July 2017: The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that it is expediting its timetable and expects to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding accessibility of state and local government websites in July of 2017. The comment period for this NPRM would close in September of 2017. The DOJ’s announcement in the Unified Agenda also indicated that it continues to expect the regulations under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act to pave the way for the Title III regulations applicable to private businesses’ websites.

#LocalGov Confidential

One year in, crime, funding challenges continue to plague Savannah City Council – When Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach announced his run against then-Mayor Edna Jackson in 2015, campaign assistants passed out a document stating the number of gunshots identified by the city’s new shot detection system since January. The city had become a shooting range because there were not enough officers enforcing the city’s laws, DeLoach said at the time, before pledging to fill officer vacancies if elected by ensuring they have quality pay and benefits. DeLoach, along with Aldermen Bill Durrence, Brian Foster and Julian Miller, ended up winning the election on similar platforms to halt the rising rate of violence occurring throughout the city. They took office in 2016.

Iowa City Hall ‘fixture’ Marian Karr retires – Friday was a difficult day for Marian Karr, and not just because there was much work to do at Iowa City Hall, as there always has been. It’s because Karr, who spent the last 37 years of her professional life in the City Clerk’s office, retired. There was no reception, no big sendoff, and she planned to leave the office at noon — a rarity, her colleagues said — to get lunch and spend the afternoon with her grandchildren. That was the way she wanted to leave, and the city staff and officials she has worked closely with for years respected her wish.

Cross Plains city manager quits, mayor ousted, future unclear – The future of local government remains unclear in this small Robertson County city after a contentious meeting culminated in the abrupt resignation of City Manager Chip Hellmann and ouster of longtime Mayor Barry Faulkner. Cross Plains, a 1,700-resident city off Interstate 65 north of Nashville, reappoints its government leaders every two years. The five-member city commission selects from its membership a mayor and vice mayor, and it also appoints or reappoints a city manager, city recorder, police chief and fire chief.

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