Rising healthcare expenses cut into the Columbia city budget

COLUMBIA – The City of Columbia rolled back its bussing services on Nov. 1, hoping to cut down on costs for a Parking and Transit Department which has seen revenues fall and costs rise over the past five years.

However, one growing cost the department cannot avoid is providing healthcare for employees, due to the implementation of more provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Director of Human Resources for the city, Margrace Buckler, said the costliest effects of the last administration’s signature healthcare bill have been the employer mandate, mandatory preventative care, and the extension of dependents to the age of 26.

“The contribution dollars, in order to cover the claims, have gone up pretty significantly,” Buckler said.

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A Summer of Learning: History, Our Greatest Teacher

Incidentally, this summer, I took on the task of writing up a brief history lesson everyday. Another great opportunity, thanks to my internship at NBCDFW, as a part of the Emma Bowen Foundation. While it’s a simple reading-and-reporting piece, it’s a great place to start exploring. It has energized me many-a-times to expand on my brief research and learn much more about the related people and topics that have shaped this nation and our world. Maybe you can find something of interest. And remember, history is day by day.

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Dallas-Fort Worth Stronger Than Ever in Face of Adversity

One month ago the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex was shaken by the loss of five police officers to a senseless act of violence.

The easy route, in the aftermath of such a tragedy, would be to quit; go home, hide, and solicit pity. Citizens could easily have looked at that event and become cautious and reserved.

Adversity can irreparably damage people, even communities, but not North Texas. Every day since July 7 — a night most are still trying to purge from their memories – our residents have reaffirmed just how resilient our community is.

In tribute to those fallen officers, these residents, and the resolve of our nation as a whole, this article hopes to highlight just some of the great things that have been produced from DFW and its citizens. Every act is just another reminder of just how strong Dallas is.

For more on this story, click here.

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Recommended Reads:

Everything I’ve read (articles and books) that still sticks with me. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some, but a good place to start.

Listed alphabetically. Presented without personal commentary. A brief summary may be included.

America’s Future is Texas, Lawrence Wright

  • With zealots taking over the legislature even as the state’s demographics shift, Texas has become the nation’s bellwether – The New Yorker

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • Inspired by James Baldwin’s 1963 classic “The Fire Next Time,” Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book, “Between the World and Me,” is a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today. – New York Times Book Review

Dear President Bush, Andrew Sullivan

  • Americans want, and need, to move on from the debate over torture in Iraq and Afghanistan and close this tragic chapter in our nation’s history. Prosecuting those responsible could tear apart a country at war. Instead, the best way to confront the crimes of the past is for the man who authorized them to take full responsibility.

How Post-Watergate Liberals Killed Their Populist Souls, Matt Stoller

  • In the 1970s, a new wave of post-Watergate liberals stopped fighting monopoly power. The result is an increasingly dangerous political system. – The Atlantic

Manchild in the Promised Land, Claude Brown

The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin

  • In the piece, Baldwin detailed his evangelical childhood and his views on the treatment and condition of blacks in America. Baldwin uses words, Langston Hughes once said, “as the sea uses waves,” and his evocative essay reveals, among other things, the daily fears that many African-Americans lived with as a matter of course. – The New Yorker

The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander

What If the Allies Had Lost World War I? – David Frum

  • The First World War’s horrific human and economic costs, the disappointment of hopes that the war would somehow reform or redeem society, the failure to achieve an enduring peace, the subsequent Great Depression that indicted the liberal world order for which so many Americans believed they had fought, the ensuing collapse of democracy in so many European countries, the slide toward a second world war—the experience of the two decades after the war systematically made mockery of every ideal and hope and promise for which Americans imagined they had joined the fight in April 1917. – The Atlantic

We Are All Witnesses, Jordan Ritter-Conn

  • Twenty months after Tamir Rice was killed in Cleveland, his mother is still grappling with how to grieve in private following her son’s public death – The Ringer

The Power of the Player

The University of Missouri had an immense impact on the rest of the NCAA this week. This came about because The University ignored the voices of graduate students, minorities, women, political groups and athletes, for months. Had the University shown some propensity to change this would have never happened, but it did and it changed college athletics for the better. What I am talking about has everything to do with the players strike and nothing to do with the issues. Without getting into the details of their cause, the Mizzou football team proved that college athletes have power. The team is only 4-5 and is not likely to make a bowl, but with the threat of them sitting out a game, The University of Missouri system’s president was forced to resign. Read More