Tribune News Service

News Budget for papers of Sunday, August 2, 2020


Updated at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC).


These stories are recommended for weekend release, except where embargoes are noted. Please make sure you are adhering to embargoes on our stories in both your print and online operations.

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^After missing DACA, she resented her US-born siblings. Trump ruined her second chance<

IMMIGRATION-DACA-MISSED:LA — Beatriz Basurto's father is quick to point out that she — the 19-year-old middle child — is the most responsible of his six children.

She's the one with a well-paying job as a Mixtec interpreter for farmworkers in Oxnard while attending college full time. She's the one who picks up the tab when they go out for lunch and shoves $20 into his pocket because she figures he could use it more than she can.

But she's also the one with perhaps the most uncertain future and greatest disadvantage of all the siblings.

Three years ago, Basurto missed her chance to apply for immigration relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA. The Obama-era program allows immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and are currently without legal status the opportunity to live and work legally in the U.S.

Basurto's youngest brother and sister are U.S.-born citizens. Her older brother and sister, born in Mexico, like her, managed to obtain DACA before Trump began to unwind the program in 2017. Basurto, then 16, was about to apply — and suddenly, DACA was done.

1900 by Cindy Carcamo and Molly O'Toole in Los Angeles. MOVED



^Silenced No More: She was a pioneering Coast Guard rescue swimmer. A tsunami of sexual harassment followed<

COASTGUARD-HARASSMENT:MI — Sara Faulkner had the "it" factor as the first woman to graduate from the Coast Guard's helicopter rescue swimmer school in North Carolina and join its elite group of swimmers. The South Florida woman's against-the-odds story met a bitter end, she says, after sexual harassment saddled her with PTSD and forced the 20-year service member into retirement.

Two women had trained at the Navy's rescue swimmer program, but Faulkner was the first to pass the testing program. Once sent to do the job she loved, rescuing people from helicopter drops, Faulkner said she endured groping, licking, butt smacking, leering and crude sexual innuendos meant to humiliate her in front of colleagues.

Amid the #MeToo movement, Faulkner's story, one she's just starting to fully tell, follows a survey published last July showing that almost half of female cadets at the Coast Guard Academy reported sexual harassment.

2800 by Kevin G. Hall in Jupiter, Fla. MOVED


^Silenced No More: Mechanic dreamed of joining the Coast Guard. Then his wife was groped by his superior<

COASTGUARD-MECHANIC:MI — Sean Persinger dreamed of being a crewman on the daring rescues performed by the H-60 Jayhawk helicopter units, lowering baskets in rough weather to haul up distressed mariners from raging seas.

His U.S. Coast Guard career as an Aviation Maintenance Technician at Air Station Kodiak, responsible for everything non-electrical on helicopters and aircraft, hit a series of setbacks after a barroom incident in 2007 involving inappropriate sexual behavior by an officer. The issue still haunts his family more than a decade later as he retired June 1, earlier than planned.

For reasons that are in dispute, the officer was not investigated for sexual impropriety, and the Persingers insist they weren't even the ones who reported the original incident. Yet they say they suffered sustained retaliation, their complaint present from the outset in government records they later obtained.

3050 (with trims) by Kevin G. Hall in Elizabeth City, N.C. MOVED


^Silenced No More: An elite swimmer's wife said she was fondled at a Coast Guard party. He paid the price<

COASTGUARD-SWIMMER:MI — As an elite Coast Guard rescue swimmer, Claude Morrissey racked up the honors, his exploits prominently on display in the Weather Channel's television series "Coast Guard Alaska."

The mountain-sized Morrissey was even named GEICO'S U.S. Military Person of the Year in 2013, honored in the nation's capital.

But after 18 years of service and 14 medals, Morrissey's career came crashing down after his wife, Elizabeth, reported that she was sexually assaulted in May 2016 by one of his superiors.

The Morrisseys maintain that retaliation followed, including being forcibly separated from his wife and kids for more than a month. A decorated rescue swimmer without a history of problems, Morrissey eventually went through a summary court-martial — a lower-level form of the military legal proceeding — for talking back to one of his superiors and kicking a desk.

Those who knew him say the seemingly minor infractions committed by a popular rescue swimmer were symptoms of the larger issue going on. He was furious over the inaction about inappropriate sexual advances on his wife and the threat of violence from a co-worker.

2800 by Kevin G. Hall in Elizabeth City, N.C. MOVED



^Beset by pandemic, Trump plots new way to reach voters — through landline telephones<

CAMPAIGN-TRUMP-TELERALLIES:WA — Unable to hold the in-person rallies that were expected to be a signature of his campaign, President Donald Trump is working the phones and holding "tele-rallies" with swing state supporters as his new campaign manager Bill Stepien experiments with pandemic programming.

The campaign has targeted households with landline telephones in southern Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, central North Carolina and Iowa so far. Those contacted typically receive a phone call at home, telling them the president is about to have a tele-rally and inviting them to stay on the line to hear from him.

Trump's campaign says the calls, which are not publicized beforehand, have reached "tens of thousands" of homes in battleground communities and more than a million people have streamed sessions of Trump delivering remarks on Facebook's video platform.

2000 by Francesca Chambers in Washington. MOVED


^Republicans and Democrats battle over who has better voter-data effort<

CAMPAIGN-VOTERS-DATA:CON — By the time this November's presidential race is over, President Donald Trump and his rival — former Vice President Joe Biden — could raise as much as $2 billion as they plug away online and through limited physical rallies to reach citizens and get them to vote either in person or by mail.

Behind each candidate's advertising, social media messaging, and turn-out-the-vote effort is a data operation that meticulously tracks not only past patterns of voters, but a vast array of demographic, consumer and behavioral data about them. Plus, the data operation figures out the best of multiple ways to reach the voters and predicts who's likely to vote or be swayed on specific topics and policies.

1100 by Gopal Ratnam in Washington. MOVED



^Will coronavirus dim the Friday Night Lights of Texas high school football?<

CORONAVIRUS-TEXAS-FOOTBALL:LA — In this town of 4,600, home to the Bearcats and a well of pride that has withered lesser teams, Tim Buchanan, aka Coach Buc, watched his players arrive at the stadium before first light. It is like this every year: cleats hitting turf, shouted drills and the promise of another state title in December.

Aledo has come to expect this. The Bearcats have won a record nine championships, most recently last year. They are the town's joy and occasional agony, the reason business slows Fridays as residents — even those without a child on the team — swagger into the 9,000-seat stadium. But as players took the field this week, they heard an unlikely command from Coach Buc:

"Cover that nose up!"

Those words didn't sound natural echoing out over the artificial turf, but this pandemic season of face masks, social distancing and temperature checks is changing — perhaps even endangering — the hallowed rhythms of Texas football.

1550 by Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Aledo, Texas. MOVED




These stories moved earlier in the week and remain suitable for publication.


^Analysis: Trump stirs old racial hatred, but this time feels different<

^CAMPAIGN-TRUMP-RACE-ANALYSIS:LA—<Seemingly every time President Donald Trump speaks about race or what it means to be an American, he sparks outrage.

His purposeful use of divisive and inflammatory language to energize his political base isn't new in American politics, though. It's part of a legacy of racism going back to the country's founding, when the authors of the Constitution gave slaveholders immense political power while allowing them to treat enslaved Africans as less than human.

"It taps into this racial resentment toward Black people that is deep-seated," said Pearl Dowe, a professor of political science and African American studies at Emory University in Atlanta. "Politicians use it because it works."

Trump's tactics served him well in 2016, but they feel out of step in an election year that has seen a dramatic shift in the public's attitudes about race.

1500 by Tyrone Beason. MOVED


^Racial justice turns to Navy ships named for Confederate battles, segregationists<

NAVY-SHIPS-NAMES:SD — Statues have been toppled. Flags have been lowered. America's reckoning with its history of racism has spread across the country and is now casting its eyes toward the sea.

Will the names of Navy ships be next?

Two of them have ties to the Civil War Confederacy: the guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville, named after a pivotal battle won by the South, and the Maury, a survey ship named after pioneering oceanographer Matthew Fontaine Maury, who resigned from the U.S. Navy to join the Confederate Navy.

Two other ships, the carrier Carl Vinson and the carrier John C. Stennis, are named after Southern U.S. congressmen who were staunch supporters of the Navy and also backed racial segregation.

1350 by John Wilkens in San Diego. MOVED


^With few options to get home, Chinese students abroad fall victim to ticket scams<

CMP-USCHINA-STUDENTS-SCAMS:LA — Nicole Ma just wanted to get home.

The Chinese student's first year studying abroad at Syracuse University in upstate New York had been upended by the coronavirus. It was the end of March and her dormitory was shuttered, her classes had moved online, and the number of cases in New York was rising by the day. Ma saw no reason to stay.

But she was stuck. Only a small number of flights were being allowed into China and Ma couldn't get a seat. Four times she bought tickets on well-known travel websites, only to have the flights canceled.

Feeling desperate, Ma turned to some of the more shadowy corners of the internet and quickly found a legitimate-looking company that promised a ticket. She sent nearly $4,000 into the ether. The ticket never came.

Looking back, she feels foolish for being duped. But at the time, "I was too anxious to ask anything," Ma recalled.

She was not alone.

1450 by Xinlu Liang in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Scientists want to know more about using UV light to fight COVID-19 spread<

CORONAVIRUS-UVLIGHT:KHN — High up near the ceiling, in the dining room of his Seattle-area restaurant, Musa Firat recently installed a "killing zone" — a place where swaths of invisible electromagnetic energy penetrate the air, ready to disarm the coronavirus and other dangerous pathogens that drift upward in tiny, airborne particles.

Firat's new system draws on a century-old technology for fending off infectious diseases: Energetic waves of ultraviolet light — known as germicidal UV, or GUV — are delivered in the right dose to wipe out viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms.

Research already shows that germicidal UV can effectively inactivate airborne microbes that transmit measles, tuberculosis and SARS-CoV-1, a close relative of the novel coronavirus. Now, with concern mounting that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 may be easily transmitted through microscopic floating particles known as aerosols, some researchers and physicians hope the technology can be recruited yet again to help disinfect high-risk indoor settings.

1800 (with trims) by Will Stone. MOVED


^By easing its bar exam score, will California produce more Black and Latino lawyers?<

^CALIF-BAREXAM:LA—<For more than three decades, California has clung to one of the nation's toughest testing standards for law school students hoping to practice law in the most populous state in the country.

But this month, the California Supreme Court, which oversees the state bar, agreed to lower the passing score for the exam, a victory for law school deans who have long hoped the change would raise the number of Black and Latino people practicing law.

1350 by Maura Dolan. MOVED


^Rural hospitals hang on as pandemic reaches smaller communities<

RURAL-HOSPITALS:SH — As the COVID-19 pandemic battered large, metropolitan areas this spring, rural hospitals prepared to be next on the front lines.

But in order to ready their facilities for a potential surge in patients, those small hospitals had to forgo many of their most profitable operations. Months later, a few rural hospitals are fighting outbreaks. But others have empty beds, further threatening their viability in an era of shrinking health care options for people living in rural communities.

Pandemic-related federal money has helped struggling rural hospitals stay afloat. But as Congress considers additional aid this month, advocates and policymakers would like to move beyond stopgap measures to change the hospitals' long-term trajectory.

1500 (with trims) by April Simpson in Washington. MOVED


^The pandemic has closed public restrooms, and many have nowhere to go<

CORONAVIRUS-RESTROOMS:SH — When courier Brent Williams makes his daily deliveries around Seattle, he runs into one persistent problem: There's almost nowhere to use the restroom. Most public buildings are closed under the pandemic, and restaurants and coffee shops that have shifted to carryout service won't let him use their facilities.

"It's hard to find any place where I can use the restroom," Williams said, speaking outside a library in the Seattle's Ballard neighborhood that has reopened its restrooms to the public.

The lack of restrooms has become an issue for delivery workers, taxi and ride-hailing drivers and others who make their living outside of a fixed office building. For the city's homeless, it's part of an ongoing problem that preceded COVID-19.

"It's gone from bad to worse," said Eric, who lives in an encampment

1500 (with trims) by Alex Brown in Seattle. MOVED




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