Dispatches: Five Essential Reads From the Past Week

A collection of some of our most important and timely stories, from a study on the militarization of police to a look at Ohio Governor John Kasich's expansion of medicaid coverage.
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Governor John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) and Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio) participate in a bipartisan news conference to discuss the Senate health-care reform bill at the National Press Club on June 27th, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Governor John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) and Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio) participate in a bipartisan news conference to discuss the Senate health-care reform bill at the National Press Club on June 27th, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

A rundown of five of our most important and timely stories from the past week.

  1. Lori Lou Freshwater and her family lived near a military base in North Carolina for years. During that time period they were being steadily poisoned by carcinogenic chemicals being leaked from the base. The government was aware of the problem, but did not address it for decades. Freshwater's mother and two brothers died as a result of the poisoning. Three decades after growing up in the shadow of Camp Lejeune, she decided to go back and find some answers. Read Freshwater's story here.
  2. Across the country, police departments have become more militaristic in approach and in how they are equipped to deal with crime. But as senior staff writer Tom Jacobs notes, research says that increasing the militarization of police does not reduce crime or increase officer safety. Read Jacobs' story here.
  3. The Trump administration's immigration policies have run counter to Obama-era guidelines in a number of ways, one of the most notable being how the laws are applied to non-citizen abuse victims who are fleeing their countries to seek legal protection in the United States. As contributing writer Massoud Hayoun reports, analysts say this puts some of the most vulnerable immigrant populations at the greatest risk. Read Hayoun's story here.
  4. "Patsy Cline was a serious boundary-pusher for her time and community." John Lingan would know that better than most as he spent nearly five years in her hometown in West Virginia while writing his book, Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk, which explores all of the facets of life in two small Appalachian towns. Contributing editor Leah Angstman spoke with Lingan about his work, his time in the mountains, and the country-sized legend of Patsy Cline. Read Angstman's interview here.
  5. In 2013, Ohio Governor John Kasich bucked conventional conservative ideology and expanded medicaid coverage for many Ohioans. As a result, as contributing writer Dwyer Gunn notes, he put more than 300,000 people back to work. Read Gunn's report here.

This dispatch originally appeared in The Lede, the weekly Pacific Standard email newsletter for premium members. The Lede gives premium members greater access to Pacific Standard stories, staff, and contributors in their inbox every week. While helping to support journalism in the public interest, members also receive a print magazine subscription, early access to feature stories, and access to an ad-free version of PSmag.com.

A rundown of five of our most important and timely stories from the past week.

  1. Lori Lou Freshwater and her family lived near a military base in North Carolina for years. During that time period they were being steadily poisoned by carcinogenic chemicals being leaked from the base. The government was aware of the problem, but did not address it for decades. Freshwater's mother and two brothers died as a result of the poisoning. Three decades after growing up in the shadow of Camp Lejeune, she decided to go back and find some answers. Read Freshwater's story here.
  2. Across the country, police departments have become more militaristic in approach and in how they are equipped to deal with crime. But as senior staff writer Tom Jacobs notes, research says that increasing the militarization of police does not reduce crime or increase officer safety. Read Jacobs' story here.
  3. The Trump administration's immigration policies have run counter to Obama-era guidelines in a number of ways, one of the most notable being how the laws are applied to non-citizen abuse victims who are fleeing their countries to seek legal protection in the United States. As contributing writer Massoud Hayoun reports, analysts say this puts some of the most vulnerable immigrant populations at the greatest risk. Read Hayoun's story here.
  4. "Patsy Cline was a serious boundary-pusher for her time and community." John Lingan would know that better than most as he spent nearly five years in her hometown in West Virginia while writing his book, Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk, which explores all of the facets of life in two small Appalachian towns. Contributing editor Leah Angstman spoke with Lingan about his work, his time in the mountains, and the country-sized legend of Patsy Cline. Read Angstman's interview here.
  5. In 2013, Ohio Governor John Kasich bucked conventional conservative ideology and expanded medicaid coverage for many Ohioans. As a result, as contributing writer Dwyer Gunn notes, he put more than 300,000 people back to work. Read Gunn's report here.
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