Editorial: Midlands take steps to combat opioid epidemic

OWH 10/1/17

The personal misery, loss of life and community harm stemming from the opioid (prescription painkiller) crisis continue to mount. Although the Midlands commendably have taken important proactive steps, our area has not been spared from harm.

The need is great, here and nationally, to tackle this troubling public health challenge.

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HDR will study whether MUD headquarters is a good fit for Douglas County juvenile justice center

OWH 10/4/17

Douglas County and the Metropolitan Utilities District are hiring an architect to help them decide whether they should move in together downtown.

The Douglas County Board voted Tuesday to approve an agreement with MUD and HDR Architecture Inc. The two public entities will pay the firm $30,000 to study MUD’s headquarters buildings and the square city block it occupies, and draw up a conceptual site plan for putting a new county juvenile justice center there along with MUD offices.

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Social Media and Lawmakers: What is Public Record and What Isn’t?

Are social media posts public records? That was the question in a recent legal case that could have far reaching consequences for public records in Virginia.

Is that the sound of democracy in the 21st Century? Loudoun software engineer Brian Davison thinks so, and he’s led a number of lawsuits to get at social media records of elected officials.

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Setting the Record Straight on DNA Science

The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner operates the largest and most advanced public DNA crime laboratory in North America. We are proud to set the highest standards for independent science and to share our expertise with other jurisdictions in the neutral service of justice, without favor to prosecution or defense.

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Judge shouldn’t be booted from case because of Facebook friendship with lawyer, appeals court rules

A Facebook friendship doesn’t necessarily signify a close relationship, according to Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal. A mere allegation of a Facebook friendship, without more, does not provide a basis for disqualification, the court said. The Aug. 23 decision allows Miami-Dade Judge Beatrice Butchko to remain on the case, a suit for nonpayment of legal fees filed by the Herssein Law Group against a former client, the United Services Automobile Association.

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A Judge Wants a Bigger Role for Female Lawyers. So He Made a Rule

It is common for judges to publish guidance for lawyers who appear in their courtrooms on how to conduct themselves with regard to minor matters like how and when to file motions. But on Wednesday, Jack B. Weinstein, a senior federal judge in Brooklyn, used this typically mundane process to address an issue of growing concern to many in the legal profession: the lack of female lawyers in leading roles at trials and other court proceedings.

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Driver’s license facial recognition tech leads to 4,000 New York arrests

The state of New York says its driver’s license facial recognition technology has led to the arrest of 4,000 people in connection to identify theft or fraud crimes. This number is likely to skyrocket in the wake of the state doubling the number of measurement points for photographs.

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Editorial: County has some decisions to make about its crime lab

OWH

The City of Omaha, after discussing a crime lab merger with Douglas County for more than a decade, got tired of waiting.

City leaders have now done what they said they would do if Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning an other critics kept standing in the way of a merged lab.

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U.S. Court curbs power of police to seize cellphones

A U.S. appeals court on Friday limited the ability of police to seize cell phones from homes of people suspected of crimes, ruling the prevelance of mobile devices did not mean police could assume a suspect had one when requesting a search warrant.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’s Circuit threw out a D.C. man’s criminal conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, saying in a 2-1 ruling that the police found the weapon only because they drafted an “overly broad” search warrant.

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How Private is Your Cellphone? The Next Fourth Amendment Challenge

The Crime Report

Most people know that very little they do on the web is private. The terabytes of data held online contain personal information accessible not only to friends, relatives and would-be employers, but to private businesses, which frequently collect user information in order to deliver better services to customers.

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