Shades of Green: Local company helps people build symbiotic relationships with the land

Brandy Hall (Photos by Virginie Drujon Kipellen)

By Beth Ward

“I got a text from a client recently who has a three-year-old,” says Brandy Hall, ecological designer and managing director of Shades of Green Permaculture. “They were in the garden and found a bunny rabbit eating their strawberries. The three-year-old was sitting near the bunny, too, also eating the strawberries. And I just thought, ‘this the whole reason I do this. This is everything.’”

What Hall and her team at Shades of Green do in a general sense is install ecologically sustainable landscapes for clients as varied as Monday Night Brewing, Grady High School and a residential farming development in Costa Rica. They help build habitats for birds, bees and pollinators. They restore watersheds, rebuild depleted soil, create landscapes where native and edible plants can thrive. They install berry thickets and fruit trees, rain gardens, flowers that attract hummingbirds. They

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Local Folks: Katelyn Jackson hopes to use medical education to invest in Mississippi | Local News

TUPELO • Even though she’s only in her first year of medical school, Katelynn Jackson wants to leave Mississippi better than she found it.

Jackson, who has lived in Northeast Mississippi for much of her life, is a recent recipient of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship, which provides around $30,000 per year to recipients enrolled in medical school.

Jackson said she was thrilled when she was awarded the prestigious scholarship because she’s wanted to become a pediatrician ever since she was a young girl.

“I’ve been around children a lot, and I want to be able to impact their lives while they’re young,” she said.

Jackson is a graduate of the Mississippi School for Math and Science and Mississippi State University, and she currently enrolled at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. She is the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Embra Jackson, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church

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Local nonprofit hopes to educate people on human trafficking, raise awareness

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – Human trafficking is a very real and scary thing, but what you need to be looking out for may not be what you think.

a screen shot of an open laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Human trafficking is a very real and scary thing, but what you need to be looking out for may not be what you think.

© Provided by Jonesboro KAIT
Human trafficking is a very real and scary thing, but what you need to be looking out for may not be what you think.

Hope Found of Northeast Arkansas is working hard to raise awareness of the dangers of human trafficking, while also advising the signs don’t always look like we expect.

One of the biggest hurdles in educating others on trafficking is debunking the rumors that often overwhelm the fight to stop trafficking.

Co-founder of Hope Found Megan Brown says while it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and be vigilant, properly educating yourself on sex trafficking is the best way to protect yourself and others.

Typically, social media posts about vehicles being tagged, suspicious

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Local law enforcement will educate and not issue citations for capacity order violations

FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) -The new state order limiting public gatherings to no more than 25% of a room or building’s total occupancy goes into effect at 8 a.m. Thursday morning. Like the safer at home order and the state’s mask mandate, this move is raising questions about enforcement.

a group of people sitting at a table: WBAY

© Provided by Green Bay-Appleton WBAY-TV

The new capacity order doesn’t go into effect until Thursday, but the idea of it being enforced is already drawing criticism from some business owners. In a now deleted Facebook post, the owner of a Fond du Lac Bar said he’s keeping his tavern open and doing what he wants to do — even calling out the Sheriff. The Sheriff tells me the owner apologized to him and said his frustration is with the governor, not local authorities.

But, according to the county health officer, what the state is asking people to do

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Amherst budget chief says Boston business groups’ state education funding report guillotines local school district

AMHERST – A proposal by two Boston-based business advocacy groups to alter how the state’s Chapter 70 local aid to school districts is disbursed would take a meat cleaver to the local school district, according to the town’s budget chief Sean Mangano.

Nearly $8 million of state education aid would be lopped off the revenue sheets for Amherst school system and Amherst-Pelham regional district, he said.

The two business groups co-wrote a 23-page report – saying more Chapter 70 school aid should go to the least wealthy cities and towns, and less to more affluent communities.

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education jointly wrote the research paper – Ryan Flynn from the Alliance and James Sutherland of the Chamber.

The authors acknowledged assistance from a small group of experts.

Those include two men recently in senior leadership positions at the state Department of Elementary and

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6 Tucson-area students named to advisory panels to improve K-12 education in Arizona | Local news

6 Tucson-area students named to advisory panels on education

State schools chief Kathy Hoffman selected six Tucson-area students to be members of the 2020-2021 Student Advisory Council and others intended to help improve Arizona’s K-12 education.

Tucson eighth-graders Isabella Alvarez and Jade Leon, ninth-grader Jenine Annett and 12th-grader Elena Durazo were appointed to the student advisory council.

Marana 11th-grader Carlisa Parra was appointed to the Equitable and Inclusive Practices Advisory Council, which includes students, teachers, education stakeholders, business leaders and community members.

Tucson ninth-grader Lexana Echegaray was appointed to the Indian Education Advisory Council, also comprised of students, teachers and the various education stakeholders.

Hoffman created the advisory council as a way to center students’ voices and improve K-12 education in the state, a news release said. Students go through an application process before being selected to represent their schools and students across the state.


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Sun Prairie School District to continue online learning for grades 3-12 through January | Local Education

Sun Prairie School

The Sun Prairie School District has maintained full-time distance learning for the first quarter of the 2020-2021 school year for grades 3-12 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The Sun Prairie School District has announced plans to continue online learning for grades 3-12 through the second quarter of the school year to align with Public Health Madison and Dane County recommendations as COVID-19 cases surge across the state.

“While other school districts have experienced a rollercoaster of decision-making in their reopening plans, the SPASD has steadily and safely served our kids and families while adhering to the Public Health Madison Dane County metrics to guide decisions for reopening,” Sun Prairie School District Superintendent Brad Saron said in a message to parents Tuesday.

“Still, the second quarter of the 2020-2021 school year is another checkpoint we must pass through as we navigate our journey in appropriately responding

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GCPS announces 2020-21 local teachers of the year |

Gwinnett County Public Schools announced its local teachers of the year Friday, the first step toward naming the 2020-21 Teacher of the Year.

In all, 139 teachers were named tops at their respective schools as voted on by their peers. Later this month, that group will be narrowed down to 25 semifinalists. From that group, six finalists will be chosen in early November.

On Dec. 10, the district will host a virtual celebration honoring the finalists and naming the Teacher of the Year.

“In light of the unique challenges our teachers faced this year, we wanted more than ever to show our love, support, and appreciation to our teachers,” Dr. Clay Hunter, assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instructional Support, said. “These educators are the best of the best and they shine every day in the classroom, online, and in our community. Although the state suspended its Teacher of the Year

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Adult education classes offered | Local News

NEWBURYPORT — Newburyport Adult & Community Education is presenting numerous online programs this fall through Zoom.

Classes begin Oct. 13. For more information on this programs, go to

The programs include the following:

The Lifelong Learning Lyceum — Jump-start Your Memoir I & II, Andrea Cleghorn; The Fire This Time, Jesmyn Ward, editor – Vicki Hendrickson; The History of the Merrimack River, Dyke Hendrickson; Poets Writing for Social Justice — Paulette Turco; Poets Respond to Events of their Time – Zara Raab; Standing Up to Racism – Katherine Gendron and Barbara Dowd; Tove Jansson, Swedish illustrator – Susan Swan; Wagner-Maria and Klaus Hauseller.

The Written Word — Fall Writing Contest: Essay, Poetry and Short Story; Getting Started as a Writer – Elizabeth Rose; How to Raise a Poem – Zara Raab; Writer’s Workshop – Elizabeth Barrett; Women Writing Through Transition – Diane Foreman; Start in the Middle Journaling –

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Voters to decide on statewide sexual health education bill | Local News

Voters throughout the state will decide in November whether to let stand or repeal a comprehensive sexual health education bill passed by the state Legislature earlier this year.

Referendum 90 asks voters whether Senate Bill 5395 — which was passed by the state Legislature in March — should be enacted.

The legislation, which is suspended pending the outcome of the election, would require school districts to begin offering “comprehensive sexual health education” to students of all ages.

For all grade levels, parents and guardians would be able to opt their students out of the lessons, the law states.

What “comprehensive sexual health education” means varies by grade, according to the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

For example, in grades K-3, curriculum could focus on what is called social emotional learning, where students learn about concepts such as self-esteem and decision-making.

“(Social emotional learning) provides skills to do

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