Here’s another installment of stories that attracted our attention this week:
The family of a man on parole — who was fatally shot by Albany police last month after he allegedly hit an officer with his girlfriend’s car while fleeing from a traffic stop — wonders if he might still be alive if state parole officers had handled his case differently, the Albany Times-Union reports. In the wake of the incident, which a police union official described as a clean shoot, some lawmakers are calling on the parole board to revisit its policy towards parolees who test positive for drugs, as in this case.
Opponents of teaching evolution are trying to link the issue to skepticism over global warming, the New York Times reports. A Kentucky legislator recently introduced a bill that “would encourage teachers to discuss ‘the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories,’ including ‘evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning,'” according to the report. While the issue is partly legal — courts have held that it’s unfair to single out evolution — it is also an attempt to appeal to “political conservatives who oppose efforts to rein in emissions of greenhouse gases.”
Economic hardship may lead to an increase in domestic violence, the Orlando Sentinel noted in this article about a murder-suicide in an Orlando supermarket. Demand for services is up 30 percent this year, the director of a shelter for victims of domestic violence told the paper.
Although New Jersey police have issued 225,000 citations for texting or talking on cell phones while driving in the almost two years since a ban went into effect, the number of motorists who admitted they text while behind the wheel has gone up, according to a poll cited by the Newark Star-Ledger. More than half — 57 percent — of drivers under 30 said they text while driving.