Delaware's obesity rate got worse in 2018

The First State's obesity rate got worse in 2018.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health's reported Delaware's obesity rate rose to 33.5% in 2018 from 31.8% in 2017, making it the 18th highest in the country.

The obesity rate measures the percentage of adults whose body mass index is above 30.

The rate among Delaware adults has more than doubled since 1990 when it was 14.4%.

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Delawareans prepare for reported ICE raids planned this weekend

The Latino community in Delaware is bracing for possible immigration raids planned across the country this weekend.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials would neither confirm nor deny a New York Times report about raids targetting 2,000 illegal immigrants planned for 10 large cities starting on Sunday.

Activists in Delaware are gathering to support local immigrants and protest the ICE raids.

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For stealing 12 years of Social Security payments, Smyrna woman gets 18 months in prison

A Smyrna woman who fraudulently collected Social Security benefits for 12 years following the death of her mother-in-law was sentenced in federal court on Thursday. 

Deborah Vaughn's mother-in-law died in March 2006, but her death was not reported to the Social Security Administration and her monthly payments continued. The benefits were paid by direct deposit into an M&T Bank where Vaughn was a joint account holder.

By the time investigators caught on, Vaughn had stolen more than $200,000, according to court documents.

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Delaware is seeing a spike in gas prices. Blame drones in the Middle East

Delawareans usually see a drop in gas prices as summer winds down, but the attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia is forcing prices up.

A weekend drone attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia disrupted more than 5% of the world's daily supply.

Gradual increases may be seen at U.S. gas stations before next weekend depending on how fast Saudi Aramco can revive lost output, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

By some estimates, the price per barrel could rise $5 to $10, which translates into 10- to 24-cent increases for gas, diesel and jet fuel, according to Tom Kloza, an analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.

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For Environmental Health News: Despite decades of cleanup, respiratory disease deaths plague California county

An investigation of state data shows one out of every 37 people in Kern County died of chronic respiratory disease between 2013 and 2016—a rate 12 times higher than the state.

Click here to read the the full article. I analyzed the data, wrote the article and made the interactive map and static chart.

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What the W: All About the Revival of NYC's W Train in 2016

Written for Untapped Cities

Recently, we reported that the MTA had added the Second Avenue Subway to the subway map. Part of the changes included the resuscitation of the W line from Astoria-Ditmars Blvd to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue. The MTA aims to relieve train congestion and boost Astoria’s population, at an estimated cost of $13.7 million annually, according to a MTA press release.

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Filling Already Filled Lots in East New York

Mayor De Blasio’s new housing plan revitalizes East New York’s businesses, remodels local mass transit stations and offers affordable housing to local residents, but it draws concern in what the City considers vacant land.

According to NYC Open Data’s 2012 report, there are over 300 vacant lots in Councilwoman Inez Barron’s, then her husband’s Charles Barron, 42nd district, which covers most of East New York. Out of these vacant lots, there are roughly 120 parks, urban farms or gardens that is considered “vacant” or “miscellaneous” by the City.

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Donald Trump and Minimum Wage in New York City

New York City’s economy grew not as fast as the U.S. economy in 2016 and earned 30,000 less jobs when compared to 2015, but economists are slowly optimistic for 2017.

Economists say there will be growth in 2017, but at a slower rate because of the current federal and state tax plans and employment trends. Ken McCarthy, an economist at Cushman and Wakefield, sees another 80,000 jobs being added in 2017. That’s still 20,000 less jobs when compared to 2015. But McCarthy says it will be a healthy year, especially in the second half.

When Donald Trump was elected, markets looked good for Wall Street. When the inauguration happens in January, economists agree Trump will simulate economic growth through tax cuts, less spending and deregulation of Wall Street.

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Plans on New York City’s Diversity in Jobs Problem

As New York City’s population reached over 8.5 million people and expected to reach 9 million by 2030, Crain’s 2016 Summit addresses what jobs might look like in the future.

It addressed what the city’s innovation companies need to grow beyond the startup stage. But there’s a major issue most industries face in the city and frankly in the country as well: diversity

It’s been in the media and election that people want a diversity of ideas, race and culture. But according to U.S. Census data, 67 percent of people in New York City identify a person of color, but only represents 38.48 percent of nonprofit cultural staff.

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How the New Wages Would Affect Unions in New York City

The level of enthusiasm for New York State’s minimum wage hike in the city’s economy can be gauged by unionized or non-unionized labor. Even though unions were the main advocates for the new minimum wage hike, it was generally assumed by politicians that only 16 percent of their members would reap the benefits.

 But the new wage will effect union workers at different rates in industries like Public Administration, Fire and Manufacturing from typically 12 to 26 percentage, but a whopping 40 percent of members in one industry that stood to gain the most: leisure and hospitality.

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