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Army Corps will barge in up to 36 million gallons of freshwater a day as saltwater threatens drinking water south of New Orleans

The US Army Corps of Engineers is planning to barge 36 million gallons of fresh water daily into the lower Mississippi River near New Orleans as an expected saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico in October threatens the area’s drinking water supply, officials said Friday.

The move comes as water levels are plummeting for the second consecutive year after this summer’s blistering heat and low rainfall triggered extreme drought over parts of the central US.

As water levels drop, the threat of saltwater intrusion grows in Louisiana as ocean water pushes north into drinking water systems, unimpeded by the Mississippi’s normally mighty flow rate.

New Orleans officials anticipate the city will see the effects of saltwater intrusion in late October, according to a Friday news release from the mayor’s office. “Please note that this timeline is subject to change, and the City will keep the public informed as the timeline is updated,” the release stated.

The Mississippi River is forecast to reach “historic lows over the next several weeks,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said during a Friday news conference.

To help mitigate intrusion, the state and the Army Corps of Engineers are working to add 25 feet of height to a 1,500-foot-wide underwater levee in the Mississippi River, which was constructed in July to slow the saltwater’s progression, Army Col. Cullen Jones said.

The corps also plans to barge millions of gallons of water daily to local water treatment facilities, Jones said during the news conference.

The corps announced the plan to build the levee last year. It involved dredging sediment from the bottom of the river and pile it up to create what’s known as a sill, which acts as a dam for the denser saltwater in the lower levels of the river.

Typically, enough rainfall upstream helps ease drought conditions and keeps the saltwater at bay. However, during the news conference Friday, the governor said officials “don’t believe that there is sufficient precipitation in the near term anywhere along the Mississippi River to materially change the conditions for the better.”

“Unfortunately, we just haven’t had the relief from the dry conditions that we need and so that inclusion is worsening,” Edwards said.

Jones said it will take approximately 24 days to add to the sill. Once augmented, it will delay saltwater intrusion by 10 to 15 days, he said.

Fifteen million gallons of freshwater is expected to be brought in as soon as next week, Jones said, adding the area will need 36 million gallons per day to help mitigate the problem.

The water will be added to water at treatment centers and create a mixture safe for treatment, Jones added.

The governor also announced plans to deliver bottled water in bulk to the New Orleans area. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell signed an emergency declaration for the city on Friday due to saltwater intrusion.

The declaration allows city agencies to prepare and respond to any impacts and allows state and federal agencies to deploy resources as needed for a more streamlined process, the city said.

Last week, Plaquemines Parish President W. Keith Hinkley said at a news conference clean water was being distributed to around 2,000 residents who were affected by the saltwater intrusion.

It was not necessary to buy large amounts of bottled water, Edwards said Friday.

“There is not a shortage of bottled water around the state or around the country and our businesses are going to be able to bring in water as it’s needed,” he said.

I'm a high school teacher, and my school just banned cellphones in the classroom. Even the students are happy about it.

Teachers want what's best for their students. As such, over the past two decades, educators have spent so much time thinking about how to help kids manage their cellphone use in school. From incorporating them into lessons like any other helpful tech device to stapling them inside brown paper bags when they're misused to doling out points based on a student's ability to keep their phones locked during class time, trust me, teachers have tried just about everything to help young people create healthy boundaries with their phones.

And yet, despite these best efforts, teachers widely report that off-task student cellphone use remains a daily frustration, especially in buildings where there is no school-wide policy.

So, as one of these teachers, when I got the summer email from administrators announcing that — like 77% of other US schools, according to a 2020 National Center for Education Statistics report — our high school would implement a no-cell-phones-in-the-classroom policy starting in the fall, I was both nervous and relieved.

I've seen how dependent kids are on phones
Nervous because a lot has happened since that 2020 report. During the pandemic, phones went from being largely off-limits in the classroom to being essential modes of staying connected. This was a major cultural shift.

Since then, I've watched my students become increasingly reliant on their phones, not just to stay connected academically and socially but also to fill the smallest moments of pause, boredom, or challenge in class, regardless of the myriad ways my colleagues and I construct lessons to keep them engaged. I knew we'd receive pushback from students and their parents, some of whom would undoubtedly experience the policy as one that impinged on their personal freedoms and might cause a kind of separation anxiety.

But I also felt relieved because something needed to be done. Forget the need to pay attention during a grammar lesson. I'm talking about times when a student's best friend would be sitting right next to them, wanting to spill the tea about Taylor Swift or Lebron James' sons, and still whatever was on that student's phone was more interesting or more consistent at delivering an endorphin rush, or was simply less socially demanding.

Turns out boundaries are hard for teenagers
Our school's response was this policy: upon entering a classroom, students place their cell phones in numbered caddies, where they leave them until the end of class. If a student doesn't do this and refuses to after being asked, the teacher doesn't take their phone — avoiding that liability — but instead alerts admin, who then collects the phone, keeps it for the rest of the day, and — for repeat offenders — involves parents.

The key component, both our administrators and teachers kept highlighting, was that this was a school-wide policy: every adult in the building would handle phones in the same way, and every student in the building would know what was expected of them. We would be united. Not against cellphones, but for a type of learning environment with fewer distractions and, therefore, more opportunities to discover what can happen in a classroom when moments of pause are expected and viewed as chances to connect with the living, breathing people next to you, or — wait for it — to think for yourself.

It's been 1 month, and it's been so positive
What has happened since has been positive in almost every way. There were some loud groans from seniors and hardly any pushback from freshmen. After one month of the policy, I asked my students to reflect on it, and their overwhelming responses went something like this:

"I like it because it helps me connect more with my friends, and it limits distractions."

"It does help students engage. I find the caddies a little unnecessary because my phone is totally fine just turned off in my backpack. However, it makes class a lot more enjoyable without distractions."

"It's helped me not be as reliant on it."

Look, I know these kinds of policies don't work in every school. For some, there's not enough teacher buy-in or consistent admin support. For some, they're a liability issue. For some, the parent pushback is fierce. For some, it's philosophical.  All I can tell you is that, this year, so far, it's not just the teachers who are relieved. Students are too. And it's my belief that a little relief from the demands of our hyper-connected world is something we, as adults, should offer our kids while we can.


Squatters turning Florida neighborhood into 'nightmare' as cops left 'handcuffed': Report

Residents of a neighborhood in Winter Park, Florida, say squatters have created a "nightmare" situation and have not been evicted citing how the police department is "handcuffed" from doing anything. "It's been a nightmare," Winter Park resident Justin Mielcarek told WFTV 9.

4 there so meh... ???:

America's growing obesity epidemic: 3 charts explain obesity rates across the US

New report shows obesity rates topping 35% or more in 22 states

Which states have the highest rates of adult obesity?

These states have the highest obesity prevalence among adults (35% or higher):













North Dakota



South Carolina

South Dakota




West Virginia


Minnesota is right there too in terms of percentage...

Interacting map in link below:

...looks  ???:

30 year old nurse gave herself liposuction but ended up killing herself

A woman has died after attempting to perform a liposuction procedure on herself. The victim, who was identified only as Carina, was a 30-year-old nurse at a south-central facility in Mexico called Clinica Amper.

A hospital chaplain reveals the two things people worry about on their deathbeds

Leaving loved ones behind. As well as having regrets about the past, Park said that his patients also worry about the future. He said they have almost an "empathic anticipatory grief," where "the dying person vicariously experiences how their own death will be experienced by their remaining loved ones.

"Bret Hart's wife, Stephanie Washington is 26 years younger than him"

8 it goes  ???:

San Jose Vietnamese restaurant's 'automatic 18% service charge’ for solo diner goes viral

Reddit user u/TRTL2k shared a picture of their receipt from Vietnamese restaurant Pho Ha Noi in Cuptertino, California, on the subreddit r/mildlyinfuriating on Sept. 13. The post has received over 24,000 upvotes and more than 4,900 comments since it was first shared.

What happened: The picture shows that the Reddit user was automatically billed an 18% service charge, which is presumably the establishment’s policy, as can be read on the bottom of the receipt: “18% Service Charge Included. For parties of one or larger, a(sic) 18% gratuity is applied automatically. If you have any questions, please speak with a manager.”

How much they paid: The total amount u/TRTL2k paid for their meal was only $49.50, but because of the sales tax, which is listed at 9.125% ($4.52) and the 18% service charge ($8.91), the Reddit user had to cough up a total of $62.93, which was $13.43 more than their meal.

Surprised by the receipt: In the post, u/TRTL2k noted that they have “seen restaurants include gratuity when it’s a large party but never for parties of one.”

How people reacted: Many Reddit users criticized the establishment for its automatic billing of a service fee, with the top comment, which has received over 9,500 upvotes, reading, “For parties of 1 or larger? What a convoluted way of saying everybody is charged 18%.”

... so do the right thing and resign and pay for your deeds:

Gov. Murphy and other New Jersey Democrats call on Sen. Menendez to resign over bribery charges

Japanese 'sugar baby' accused of scamming man out of $180K on dating app

Mai Watanabe, who also goes by her online handle “Itadaki-joshi Riri-chan" (Sugar Baby Riri-chan), swindled 27 million yen (approximately $182,500) from the 50-year-old man, who is reportedly from Japan's Ibaraki prefecture.

..that kind of money can go a long way there  ???:

Caught on tape: Filipino airport officer stuffs money stolen from passenger into her mouth

A security officer in the Philippines is under investigation for allegedly stealing $300 from a passenger and attempting to swallow the stolen cash.

Caught on cam: The incident, which occurred on Sept. 8, involved a female security officer at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 who allegedly pilfered money from a departing Chinese passenger during a manual bag inspection.

If there's no real consequences, idiots will not care if they get caught or not  :idiot2:

Again, the punishment has to match the crime or they won't care...SAD BUT TRUE!:

Las Vegas teen expected ‘slap on the wrist’ for hitting, killing cyclist: ‘I’ll be out in 30 days, I’ll bet you’

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The teenager who police say intentionally struck and killed a retired police chief in Las Vegas said he would get a “slap on the wrist” after he was taken into custody, the Investigators have learned.

Jesus Ayala, 17 at the time, appeared to show no remorse while being taken into custody. Ayala, now 18, faces 18 counts — including murder — and has a lengthy criminal history in the juvenile system.

Took these photos as we flew over it to SMF:

..start their Hmong new year celebration or have already done it. It's that time of the year:

Sun and culture mark 2023 Hmong Festival
Hmong New Year Festival returns with two beautiful days

The Hmong New Year Festival, put on annually by United Hmong of Massachusetts, returned to Saima Park in Fitchburg this year and received ideal weather for the traditional Hmong folklore dances, cuisine, and crafts. The Hmong community is celebrating 37 years in Massachusetts and was able to hold the festival for the first time after three years on hiatus.

15 because employee loyalty will usually translate into more motivation and dedication on the job:

A millionaire CEO just cut his salary to make sure his staff could all get raises this year (the ones who weren’t laid off)

While the Container Store is facing some very real retail headwinds, some employees can still expect a raise this year, thanks to the company’s CEO.

Satish Malhotra has voluntarily reduced his salary by 10% to help offset costs of pay increases for others at the company. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company noted Malhortra’s annual salary would drop from $925,000 to $832,500 for a six-month period.

Last year, Malhotra’s total compensation came in at $2.57 million.

It was not made clear what the average increase would be for employees.

The Container Store reported an adjusted net loss of $10.1 million in its most recent quarterly results, more than $20 million worse than the same period a year ago. In May, it announced a round of layoffs that affected roughly 15% of its support center workers and 3% of the employees at its distribution centers and stores. The exact number of people affected by the cuts was not disclosed.

As part of the action, Malhotra signed a letter from the company’s chief legal officer agreeing that he did not view the salary reduction as a breach of his contract and was waiving his right to leave for “good reason” due to the temporary pay cut. Had he chosen to do so, he would have been eligible for severance benefits that include twice his base salary.

The language of the letter indicated there are no plans for the company to begin a search for a new leader.

“Thank you for your contributions to the company,” wrote chief legal officer Tasha Grinnell. “We look forward to continuing our journey together with your leadership.”

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