Tag Archives: Local Lookout

Female veterans, Maryland natives transition to life after active duty

In a May 8 piece for Southern Maryland Newspapers Online published on SoMdNews.Com, staff writer Sara K. Taylor tells the stories of two female veterans’ journeys from active-duty military careers (in the Navy and Air Force) to college students. The story does a stellar job of tackling the issue of veteran education as well as the unique challenges faced by female veterans transitioning into civilian life, through a local lens.

Read it here.

Remember the Alamo? Poll shows GOP voters torn as to whether Texas is under military attack

According to a May 14 story on Texas’ KVUE.com, a poll by a “left-leaning polling firm” found that 32 percent of would-be voters in the Republican primary feared that the Jade Helm 15 military training exercise was actually a government conspiracy to invade Texas. The conspiracy theory, notably backed by actor Chuck Norris, has garnered national attention, despite the fact that civ-mil training exercises take place on a regular basis throughout the U.S.. This piece did a great job of tracking the national political implications of a local military story that happened to pick up national traction.

Read it here.

Columnist lends local context to the logic behind California’s drought

In a May 13 piece for latimes.com, columnist George Skelton breaks down some of the geographical context behind California’s intense drought conditions for non-locals attempting to understand the root cause of the issue. The column touches on everything from rainfall averages and climate to changing topography and how different bodies of water within the state are connected.

The piece is a prime example of how localized geographical expertise can lend much-needed context to a national security issue – in this case, water security. It also proves that you can incorporate hard data and still create a compelling read.

Check it out here.

Hemp-ering military readiness: Utah columnist examines obscure Air Force base regulation’s implications

An April 20 story by Mark Saal for Utah’s Standard Examiner takes a playful, yet informative, look at the implications of Hill Air Force Base’s ban on certain hemp-containing products in the name of force readiness. But though the breaking of this rule could potentially land airmen with a dishonorable discharge and a criminal record, Saal explains that committing the infraction could be as simple as consuming the wrong kind of yogurt. Read the column, which presents an innovative and fun angle for covering military readiness on a local level, here.

Nationwide federal agency tag-team leads to crackdown on gang activity in Utah

“Project Wildfire,” a collaborative, nationwide effort between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security, resulted in the arrest of 18 Utah-based gang members, according to an April 8 article by Bob Mims of the Salt Lake Tribune and published on SLTrib.com. Read the full story of how a national security initiative resulted in a quantifiable impact on state crime here.

Colorado resident with American citizenship detained by ICE due to ID mix-up

An April 20 article by Nancy Lofholm for the Colorado Independent tells the story of Bernardo Medina, a 21-year-old from Gunnison, Colorado, who got stuck in a bureaucratic labyrinth with Immigration and Customs Enforcement due to a state ID card-related issue. But, Lofholm writes, ICE says Medina brought the detention on himself via a fraudulent citizenship-related claim.

Read the full story here.

FISA Court gets corny: Controversial surveillance used to investigate agricultural caper in Iowa

Chinese nationals accused of trying to sneak corn seeds from Iowa back to China were surveilled by the government  under an order approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court, according to a March 30 article by KETV Omaha’s David Earl.  According to the piece, the news of FISA’s involvement in the legal aftermath of the alleged agricultural caper arrived via a brief filed by the case’s defense attorneys, one of whom claims that this incidence of surveillance marks uncharted territory for FISA’s utilization. Read the full piece here.