Free Workshop Opportunities


Newmark J-School

Covering Congress101, withMichaelaRoss Thursday,Jan.6,1-3p.m.EST

This class will serve as a crash course for new reporters on the basic resources and procedural understanding needed to cover Congress. It will also present strategies for reporters and freelancers who work on non-federal-government-focused beats but are looking to enrich their stories by sharpening their skills in tracking legislation and regulatory policy development. Michaela Ross is a 2015 graduate of the Newmark J-School and has worked for different arms of Bloomberg News for the past five+ years in Washington D.C.

Social Newsgathering, withRima Abdelkader’09 Saturday,Jan.8,9:30-11:30a.m.

This course will provide students with an exposure to online resources to verify and confirm breaking news and information. It will explore and investigate misinformation online and identify ways to debunk it through traditional and more modern methods. This course requires students to come prepared with examples to workshop in the class. Rima Abdelkader is part of a diverse team of reporters at NBC News and MSNBC that discover, verify, and report breaking news stories and enterprise pieces globally. As a digital media literacy instructor, Abdelkader teaches team courses at NBC on data verification and the use of social media in human-interest storytelling.

The Business of Freelancing, withLynn Brown Monday,Jan.10,5-7p.m

The only way to make money in the business of writing is to treat it like an actual business, rather than a hobby. Longtime freelancer Lynn Brown offers tips, tricks and inspiration on various aspects of running a freelance writing business: how to find the best outlets for your work, how to market yourself, negotiating contracts, record-keeping, taxes (and deductions) and more. The class will also talk about what to do to get the most out of every story, from the small piece that (hopefully) goes viral overnight, to the book project that will take years to complete.

How to Run a Podcast,with MiaLobel and LidiaJeanKott Tuesday,Jan.11,2-5p.m.EST

You’ve come up with a brilliant podcast idea and now you need to execute. How do you do it? Pushkin Executive Producer Mia Lobel covers how to pull together a brilliant and efficient production team, how to make a budget, and how to create a production plan that doesn’t break that budget or burn out your team. The class will be taught with a combination of lecture/presentation slides and hands-on exercises. Lidia Jean is a producer at Pushkin. Previously she’s worked at NPR, the BBC World Service, and WNYC.

JD reached out

10 Incredibly Useful LittleTools forJournalists, withJeremyCaplan Wednesday,Jan.12,11-12:30EST

Discover useful new tools to save you time and boost the impact and efficiency of your work. Walk away with a short, curated list of sites and resources you can use right away. See examples of the tools in action. Learn what they do, how they’re useful and why and when to use them. Open to digital novices as well as pros looking for new workflow ideas. Take home a guide to share with colleagues and friends.

We’ll touch on new features in Craft, Notion, Projector, Flourish, Canva, Roam, and a few other surprises.

Fun withAnimated GIFs, withJohnSmock Wednesday,Jan.12,1-3p.mEST

This workshop taught by John Smock, director of the Newmark J-School Photojournalism Program, will cover using Adobe Photoshop as a design tool with a special focus on GIF animations. News organizations today are experimenting with media content that combines elements of still photography with graphic design and video to tell stories in new and interesting ways. GIFs are a basic building block of this frontier.

News Photography WorkshopforApplicantsandCUNYUndergrads,withJohnSmock Thursday,Jan.13,10am-1pmEST

This workshop led by veteran photojournalist John Smock will help you improve your photographic skills for use in all media. We will cover the technical and conceptual aspects of basic camera usage, composition, visual vocabulary, photo editing, lighting, and Photoshop. You will learn how to handle portraits, news conferences, politics, intimate photo essays, and international conflicts. You will also learn how to photograph while recording audio, shooting video, or reporting for print. Whether you are a beginner or intermediate photographer, you will learn the tricks of the trade that professional photojournalists use.


Reportingon Indigenous Communities with Graham LeeBrewer Thursday,Jan.13,1-3p.mEST

Reporting on Indigenous Communities will touch on the history of Indigenous journalism, how American journalism has influenced perceptions of Native communities, and how reporters can avoid furthering harm and instead do impactful accountability reporting in tribal nations.

Graham Lee Brewer is a national investigative reporter at NBC News, the vice president of the Native American Journalists Association, and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Travel Writing with TimHarper Tuesday,Jan.18,1-4p.m.EST

We all want to do travel writing, but we don’t know how to get started. This class from longtime freelancer and travel writer Tim Harper, the Newmark J-School’s writing coach, shows you how to turn ideas and experiences into stories, clips and cash — including stories both around the world and across the street. Bring your questions and your story ideas for a class-wide conversation about how to become a travel writer in your spare time.

3-Day CoveringthePandemicandBidenImpactontheEconomy,Markets,andBusiness,with GregDavid



The pandemic led to the most severe — and unequal–recession in American history disrupting every aspect of the economy. The recovery has been equally uneven. Meanwhile the Biden Administration has taken office with a sharply different economic agenda committed to reviving the economy and bolstering

the country’s safety net, tackling what it says are the disastrous effects of corporate consolidation, while mostly leaving in place the trade policies of the Trump era. This three night class, taught by Greg David, director of the Business and Economics Reporting Program, will tackle all these issues. *THISSERIESIS NOTFORSTUDENTSINTHEBUSINESS&ECONOMICSCONCENTRATIONATTHENEWMARK


GhostWriting,withTimHarper Thursday,Jan.20,1-3p.m.EST

One of the things we can learn — and get paid for — is writing other people’s stories. We can do this as collaborators, in “with” or “as told to” projects, or as ghost writers who may or may not see their names anywhere except on the checks they cash. This informal, lively discussion will cover how to find and manage such projects, along with editing or doctoring books and other content for individuals and institutions. There are many pitfalls, but this workshop will scratch the surface to help decide whether this type of work might appeal to you. The workshop will be led by Newmark writing coach Tim Harper, who has a lot of good ghost stories — and a few scary ones.

BreakingintoBroadcasting,withWalterSmith-Randolph‘10 Friday,Jan.21,12-2p.m.EST

Whether it’s tv or radio news, in this workshop you’ll learn what skills you need to break into the world of broadcasting. We’ll go over making a resume tape, how to initiate the job search, and the tips and tricks to make it in the broadcast world. You’ll also hear from on-air reporters, producers and hiring managers from radio and television stations to learn more about their journeys and what they’ve learned along the way.

Walter Smith Randolph, ’10 is the investigative editor at CT Public Broadcasting where he leads the The Accountability Project, producing and reporting in-depth stories for CT Public’s NPR and PBS stations. Previously, Walter spent a decade at local TV affiliates in Elmira, NY, Flint, MI, Kalamazoo, MI and Cincinnati. He also serves as national Treasurer of the National Association of Black Journalists and chair on the Newmark J-School Alumni Board.

VideoAcrossPlatforms:ReportingonTikTok,IG,andYouTube,withWonboWoo Wednesday,Jan.26,Paneldiscussion,12:30-1:30p.m.,followedbyclass,2-4p.m.EST

This special two-part session will start with a panel discussion featuring journalists who have found success creating news and news-adjacent content for TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and more. It will be followed by a practical workshop for students and guests on how to best use and manage these platforms for journalism. Wonboo Woo is an Emmy Award-winning producer and a recipient of the prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard. A former broadcast-journalist-in-residence at the Newmark

J-School, he has worked for WIRED, NBC’s Nightly News, and Nightline and World News Tonight at ABC.

Starting a Story Is Always Hard, Or Is It?

Exercise: Look at the facts and write a lede (lead) paragraph and nut graf and write the rest of the story.

  1. Minnesota man diagnosed with the omicron variant of COVID-19.
  2. He visited New York City recently and attended a convention at the Javits Center.
  3. He attended the AnimeNYC 2021 convention.
  4. He is the second person in the U.S. identified with the omicron variant.
  5. He felt flu-like symptoms when he returned home.
  6. He had not traveled to South Africa.
  7. He either picked up the virus in New York City or Minnesota.
  8. Mayor de Blasio said there is little doubt that omicron is now spreading in the New York City alongside the dominant delta variant of COVID.

“We should assume there is community spread, ” the mayor said.

9. Gov. Hochul said “we believe” the Minnesota man likely contracted omicron in New York, but said there are still no confirmed cases in New York State.

10. Health official will try to trace convention participants who may have interacted with the man. “Anyone who attended the AnimeNYC conference, especially anyone experiencing symptoms, should get tested immediately and take additional precautions,” de Blasio said.

11. Mayor-Elect Eric Adams traveled to Ghana for a 10-day trip despite the concern about the omicron variant. A spokesman for Adams said that he is monitoring the situation.

12. Since omicron was identified, the White House reversed course and barred most foreign travelers who have recently been in southern Africa.

13. The Centers for Disease Control said Thursday it has prepared well for omicron and any future variants of COVID-19.

Conflicts of Interest

CNN suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely because he helped his brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, try to combat charges of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching.

Journalists are asked by their employers to disclose conflicts of interest. If you write a story about your family, or have a financial interest in something that you are writing about, you have to disclose it.

Look at this column by Gail Collins in the New York Times. It is an opinion piece not a news story.



Chris Cuomo Has a Funny Idea About What Doing His Job Means

Dec. 1, 2021

Welcome to Cuomo-free America.

Well, at least temporarily.

We’ve been working up to this for a while. Andrew Cuomo was, of course, compelled to resign the governorship of New York in August, approximately one second ahead of likely impeachment for what we can perhaps describe as verbal harassment and pathological grabbiness.

Now Chris Cuomo has been suspended by CNN, where he is a top-rated news host. There’s no question that he was trying to help with his brother’s defense even as he was assuring his viewers and bosses that it was more or less hands off.

(In a happier time, when everything wasn’t so depressing, we might have noted that “hands off” would also have been a policy that could have saved Andrew Cuomo’s career.)

Our job today is to decide how bad Chris Cuomo’s Andrew-related activities have been. It’s very easy to sympathize with his desire to protect his older brother. Their bond was evident in a series of joint, jibing TV appearances they did, some while Chris was recovering from Covid early last year, quarantined away from his family.

“Rule 1 is never hit a brother when he’s down, and you’re literally in the basement,” the governor pointed out.

The banter went on and on. Including one unfortunate episode in which Chris called Andrew the “love guv.” (At a later date, CNN shared “the very moment” Chris finally emerged from his below-ground exile — which was problematic only in that he’d reportedly been out for days.)

As a journalist, Chris had a terrible conflict of interest when Andrew fell into headline-making disgrace. The obvious answer was to keep clear, steeling himself against a very natural desire to protect a brother and a very Cuomo-like impulse to take control of the situation.

Now we know how he really responded.

“On it,” he said, when his brother’s most powerful staff member, Melissa DeRosa, asked him to find out from his “sources” whether Politico was working on a new damaging Andrew story.

In a more perfect world, this sort of temptation wouldn’t have come up because Andrew would have fiercely ordered his younger brother to stay away from the whole mess. Directed the staff to leave Chris alone and maybe organized a family intervention. It does say something that our former governor didn’t try to protect him.

Almost everything in this saga goes back to family. You have to wonder if the brothers’ impulse to take action — even action that objective minds would instantly discern as a really bad idea — is a response to the defects of Dad, who was once nicknamed “Hamlet on the Hudson.”

Mario Cuomo, in a moment that must be seared into the minds of his offspring, was expected to fly to New Hampshire and file, at the very last minute, for the presidential primary in 1991. But he left two chartered planes waiting at the Albany airport, claiming that he needed to go back to work with the Republicans on a state budget.

Not surprising that his sons are action-oriented. Not necessarily always to their advantage.

Chris Cuomo told state investigators — lately state investigators seem to be omnipresent in family life — that he was obsessed with thinking of ways to protect Andrew, and the question of how he should protect himself “just never occurred to me.” Hmm.

One of the things Chris was worried about was an article he had heard Ronan Farrow was preparing for The New Yorker. His paranoia certainly made sense. If you had ever once for a single second worried that a prominent member of your family was pathologically grabby with female employees, Ronan Farrow is one of the last people in the world you want around asking questions.

What did Chris do? Well, according to his own testimony to state officials, he went poking around — sort of like an investigative reporter — trying to find out what Farrow was up to. It was precisely what he’d promised not to do.

“Please let me help with the prep,” he told DeRosa around the time when the team was getting ready for the gubernatorial defense. Many, many text messages and email chains followed.

Then he took on Anna Ruch, who had accused Andrew of trying to kiss and fondle her at a wedding reception in 2019. “I have a lead on the wedding girl,” he reported to DeRosa.

The story, as Chris told it, was that a friend called to express concern that said wedding girl had been “put up to it.” This is very possibly true — the part about the call, that is. If somebody claimed your brother had made inappropriate moves at a public event, a pal or two might let you know they were on his side. Even if they secretly … wondered.

One big problem with Chris’s reporting is that it’s at best pretty useless. And at worst — which is also in reality — pretty wrong.

Where do you draw the line between journalism and family? Maybe at the point where you, the prominent news anchor, start thinking that your job is running down rumors for your brother.

Editors’ Picks


Resources for Stories

Look up building code violations

New York City Construction Accidents

Using an Attorney as a source,main%20factor%20behind%20this%20decline.


New York City Agencies

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Kaye, Devora
Assistant Commissioner of External Affairs

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Dwyer, Frank
Deputy Commissioner, Ext. Afrs and Public Info

General Info

Health & HospitalsMiller, Chris
Senior Director for Media Relations

Full List of Press Contacts


Migration Policy Institute

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Center for Immigration Studies

The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant


Immigrant population

Change since 1980

Violent crime rate

Change since 1980

The Trump administration’s first year of immigration policy has relied on claims that immigrants bring crime into America. President Trump’s latest target is sanctuary cities.

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Continue reading “Resources for Stories”

Recording Phone Calls

Young woman with red hair and smart phone.

We want to make sure that you take special precautions to stay safe when doing an interview. The best method now, not always, is using your phone. You can record with Voice Memos. But it may not be the best quality. You can also get an app that does a good job.

Rev Call Recorder is available for free in the App Store. It says it provides free and unlimited call recording.

TapeACall is a favorite in the podcast world. It offers a free trial for seven days. That might work for your next assignment. But they ask for a credit card and that turned me off.


Federal and state wire-tapping laws govern how, or if, you can record a telephone call.

You could be prosecuted or sued if you don’t follow the rules. So it’s imperative to understand and abide by them.

Federal law requires one-party consent. That party could be you. But individual states have their own laws. New York and New Jersey require only one-party consent. Again, that could be you.

But twelve states including California and Florida require all parties to consent to the recording.

You can check the laws of all the states here.

The Ethics of Recording A Call

It is always important to be as transparent as possible. Before you hit the record button ask your interviewee if it is okay with them. You want to make sure they are comfortable with having their voice and words recorded. They generally say, “Yes,” and appreciate being asked. This is the ethical thing to do when you are dealing with a regular interview.

The rules, not the law, change when you are interviewing for a story that requires undercover work. News organizations have different rules for their reporters and you want to make sure that you follow them carefully.

Journalists have a responsibility to honor the trust of the public and the people they interview. Please take this seriously.

Jimmy Breslin’s Grave Digger Story

‘It’s An Honor’

New York Herald Tribune, November 1963

By Jimmy Breslin

WASHINGTON — Clifton Pollard was pretty sure he was going to be working on Sunday, so when he woke up at 9 a.m., in his three-room apartment on Corcoran Street, he put on khaki overalls before going into the kitchen for breakfast. His wife, Hettie, made bacon and eggs for him. Pollard was in the middle of eating them when he received the phone call he had been expecting. It was from Mazo Kawalchik, who is the foreman of the gravediggers at Arlington National Cemetery, which is where Pollard works for a living. “Polly, could you please be here by 11 o’clock this morning?” Kawalchik asked. “I guess you know what it’s for.” Pollard did. He hung up the phone, finished breakfast, and left his apartment so he could spend Sunday digging a grave for John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

When Pollard got to the row of yellow wooden garages where the cemetery equipment is stored, Kawalchik and John Metzler, the cemetery superintendent, were waiting for him. “Sorry to pull you out like this on a Sunday,” Metzler said. “Oh, don’t say that,” Pollard said. “Why, it’s an honor for me to be here.” Pollard got behind the wheel of a machine called a reverse hoe. Gravedigging is not done with men and shovels at Arlington. The reverse hoe is a green machine with a yellow bucket that scoops the earth toward the operator, not away from it as a crane does. At the bottom of the hill in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Pollard started the digging (Editor Note: At the bottom of the hill in front of the Custis-Lee Mansion).

Leaves covered the grass. When the yellow teeth of the reverse hoe first bit into the ground, the leaves made a threshing sound which could be heard above the motor of the machine. When the bucket came up with its first scoop of dirt, Metzler, the cemetery superintendent, walked over and looked at it. “That’s nice soil,” Metzler said. “I’d like to save a little of it,” Pollard said. “The machine made some tracks in the grass over here and I’d like to sort of fill them in and get some good grass growing there, I’d like to have everything, you know, nice.”

James Winners, another gravedigger, nodded. He said he would fill a couple of carts with this extra-good soil and take it back to the garage and grow good turf on it. “He was a good man,” Pollard said. “Yes, he was,” Metzler said. “Now they’re going to come and put him right here in this grave I’m making up,” Pollard said. “You know, it’s an honor just for me to do this.”

Pollard is 42. He is a slim man with a mustache who was born in Pittsburgh and served as a private in the 352nd Engineers battalion in Burma in World War II. He is an equipment operator, grade 10, which means he gets $3.01 an hour. One of the last to serve John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was the 35th president of this country, was a working man who earns $3.01 an hour and said it was an honor to dig the grave.

Yesterday morning, at 11:15, Jacqueline Kennedy started toward the grave. She came out from under the north portico of the White House and slowly followed the body of her husband, which was in a flag-covered coffin that was strapped with two black leather belts to a black caisson that had polished brass axles. She walked straight and her head was high. She walked down the bluestone and blacktop driveway and through shadows thrown by the branches of seven leafless oak trees. She walked slowly past the sailors who held up flags of the states of this country. She walked past silent people who strained to see her and then, seeing her, dropped their heads and put their hands over their eyes. She walked out the northwest gate and into the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. She walked with tight steps and her head was high and she followed the body of her murdered husband through the streets of Washington.

Everybody watched her while she walked. She is the mother of two fatherless children and she was walking into the history of this country because she was showing everybody who felt old and helpless and without hope that she had this terrible strength that everybody needed so badly. Even though they had killed her husband and his blood ran onto her lap while he died, she could walk through the streets and to his grave and help us all while she walked.

There was Mass, and then the procession to Arlington. When she came up to the grave at the cemetery, the casket already was in place. It was set between brass railings and it was ready to be lowered into the ground. This must be the worst time of all, when a woman sees the coffin with her husband inside and it is in place to be buried under the earth. Now she knows that it is forever. Now there is nothing. There is no casket to kiss or hold with your hands. Nothing material to cling to. But she walked up to the burial area and stood in front of a row of six green-covered chairs and she started to sit down, but then she got up quickly and stood straight because she was not going to sit down until the man directing the funeral told her what seat he wanted her to take.

The ceremonies began, with jet planes roaring overhead and leaves falling from the sky. On this hill behind the coffin, people prayed aloud. They were cameramen and writers and soldiers and Secret Service men and they were saying prayers out loud and choking. In front of the grave, Lyndon Johnson kept his head turned to his right. He is president and he had to remain composed. It was better that he did not look at the casket and grave of John Fitzgerald Kennedy too often. Then it was over and black limousines rushed under the cemetery trees and out onto the boulevard toward the White House. “What time is it?” a man standing on the hill was asked. He looked at his watch. “Twenty minutes past three,” he said.

Clifton Pollard wasn’t at the funeral. He was over behind the hill, digging graves for $3.01 an hour in another section of the cemetery. He didn’t know who the graves were for. He was just digging them and then covering them with boards. “They’ll be used,” he said. “We just don’t know when. I tried to go over to see the grave,” he said. “But it was so crowded a soldier told me I couldn’t get through. So I just stayed here and worked, sir. But I’ll get over there later a little bit. Just sort of look around and see how it is, you know. Like I told you, it’s an honor.”

Homework Assignment give November 4, 2021 for November 10, 2021

Please write a pitch that lays out your idea and plan for reporting a story about something that you care about. The pitch is due November 10 at 5 p.m. A pitch is important in journalism and entertainment and advertising and public relations. Bosses will frequently ask for you to “pitch.” That means you have to flesh out your idea.

A pitch is not your story. It is a description of what your story is about and who you plan to interview to find out information. You will need to interview at least three or four people, not your family members.

Your can report about something in your community, or something on campus, or something in the culture. Remember that you need access to people who can provide information to you.

Here’s what I posted last February about writing a pitch. If you need more help, let me know.

Posted on by ccnyintroductiontojournalism

How to Write A Pitch

A pitch describes the story you want to tell. You need to write a short paragraph that gets attention and explains what you plan to do. So avoid writing, “I want to do a story about outdoor dining in New York City,” because that’s not a story.  It’s a general idea. You want to look for an angle.

Your outdoor dining pitch might read like this:

Outdoor dining changed the look of many New York streets and saved over 10,000 restaurants, but what happens when it gets colder and winter sets in? I’ll visit a neighborhood with a number of outdoor restaurants and talk to two owners about their plans. I’ll also talk to customers to find out whether they will feel comfortable eating outside in frigid weather.


Outdoor dining changed the look of many New York streets and saved a lot of restaurants, but what happens when the pandemic ends? Danny Meyer of the Union Square Hospitality Group agreed to talk us. He is a spokesman for the industry and can give us insight into what may happen. He said we can talk to his customers, if they want to talk to us.

I’ll also talk to the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs to find out what the city plans to do and I’ll talk to Nevah Assang, New York and Company’s senior V.P. for community relations, about how the tourism industry sees the future.

I’ll take photos of restaurants in a variety of neighborhoods and talk to customers.

Examples of Good Writing

The deadliest flower in the insect world is a lifeline to farmers—and the planet

(From National Geographic)

The yellow center of the ‘killer chrysanthemum’ contains a natural toxin that is a powerful insecticide.PHOTOGRAPHS BYVITO FUSCOBYJACOB KUSHNERPUBLISHED AUGUST 4, 2021• 15 MIN READ

GILGIL, KENYAThe deadliest flower in the insect world is soft to the touch. Each morning in the hills above Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, the white petals of the pyrethrum plant become laden with dew. To the people who pick them, the flower is utterly harmless. But bugs beware: Its yellow center contains a natural toxin that can kill them in seconds.

Discovered in Persia around 400 B.C., the flower produces an active ingredient, pyrethrin, that can be extracted and used to create natural insecticides that farmers spray on crops to protect them from mites, ants, and aphids without harming anyone’s health. Herders rub pyrethrin ointments on their cattle to repel flies and ticks.

In its most common applications, pyrethrin paralyzes pests by attacking their central nervous systems. “If you spray an insect with pyrethrum, for the first 30 seconds it goes mental, incredibly hyperactive, then it falls to the floor,” explains Ian Shaw, managing director of the pyrethrum producer Kapi Limited.

Simply growingChrysanthemum cinerariifolium near your home may be enough to repel parasite-carrying sand flies, whose bite can spread the skin disease leishmaniasis, which affects nearly one million people globally, including many throughout Kenya. The resulting rash can eat away at people’s faces and become fatal if left untreated.

Pyrethrin has also become a powerful tool in the global fight against mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, a parasite that sickens more than a million people and kills more than 400,000 each year, many of them in Kenya. Manufactured in spiral-shaped discs known as mosquito coils, they emit a shroud of smoke like incense that repels mosquitoes but is harmless to humans.

part of the pyrethrum nursery

Continue Reading


METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints have reunited their dynamic running back duo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram by acquiring Ingram in a trade with the Houston Texans, sources confirmed to ESPN.

The deal includes a swap of late-round picks, the source said. NFL Network first reported the trade, the second in two months between the Saints and Texans after New Orleans acquired veteran cornerback Bradley Roby in Week 1.

Continue Reading

Writing Exercise


You will not be graded on this exercise. This is for you to practice the craft of writing.

NORTH PORT, FL — With a forensic anthropologist analyzing Brian Laundrie’s remains, Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family’s attorney, told Fox News Wednesday that autopsy results, including the cause and time of his death, aren’t expected for another two to three weeks.

Laundrie, a person of interest in the strangulation death of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, left his North Port home Sept. 13 — two days after she was officially reported missing — and hasn’t been seen since.

(From The Patch)

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has a double-digit lead over Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli in the fight for New Jersey governor that ends with next week’s election, according to the latest poll of the race.

Murphy is ahead of Ciattarelli by 11 percentage points among registered voters, according to the Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday. It showed the governor with 50% support compared to his rival’s 39%.

(From New

In a major win for climate advocates and supporters of wind and solar energy, New York State environmental regulators refused on Wednesday to allow two companies to upgrade their gas-fueled power plants — signaling a newly aggressive approach to ending fossil-fuel emissions that drive climate change.

With the decision — and a strong, immediate statement of support from Gov. Kathy Hochul — the officials took a clear and potentially influential position on a longstanding question that is at the center of national and global debates on renewable energy.

(New York Times)

A shootout at a popular outdoor restaurant in the trendy resort of Tulum that killed two foreign tourists and wounded three more ripped through the Caribbean town’s laid-back vibe and shocked many who’d considered the region an oasis immune to Mexico’s insecurity. 

But the October 20 killings revealed the dark underbelly of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, one that tourism officials along the vacation corridor have struggled to hide. Over the past decade criminal organizations—including some of the country’s most notorious drug cartels—have established lucrative extortion and local drug peddling rackets that are leading to open conflict.