Pet Stores Sue, A Home for Fish, Pharma Cash: Patch Partner News

Every day, Patch brings stories to its readers from more than a dozen news and information partners. These organizations contributing to Patch range from Kaiser Health News to the Racine County Eye to Chalkbeat – and others, both local and national.

As much as a news organization, Patch is a publishing platform that would love to share your thoughts, ideas and information, too. Here is just a sample of some recent posts. If you’d like to appear on the Patch platform, and have your work be among the stories that attract more than 80 million reads each month, contact colin.miner@patch.com.

Maryland Pet Stores Sue To Stop ‘Puppy Mll’ Law

By Maryland Matters

A coalition of pet store owners and breeders are suing the state of Maryland before a new law can take effect to ban the sale of dogs and cats in retail pet stores.

Originally dubbed the “No More Puppy and Kitten Mills Act,” the bill was passed by the General Assembly in April 2018 and is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Retail pet stores in Towson, Rockville, Columbia and Elkridge – along with a Missouri-based dog breeder and a Missouri-based commercial dog broker – filed a lawsuit challenging the law in U.S. District Court last week.

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Pharma Cash Rolls Into Congress To Defend Embattled Industry

By Kaiser Health News

In the heat of the most ferocious battle over drug prices in years, pharmaceutical companies are showering U.S. senators with campaign cash as sweeping legislation heads toward the floor.

In the first six months of this year alone, political action committees run by employees of drug companies and their trade groups have given the 30 senators expected to run for reelection nearly $845,000, the latest update to Kaiser Health News’ “Pharma Cash to Congress” database shows. That hefty sum stands out with Election Day more than 14 months away.

Lowering drug prices is one of the rare causes that has united Democrats and Republicans, and at least one proposal that would change the way the industry does business could get a vote in Congress this year. One of the most promising and aggressive updates would cap drug prices under Medicare so they do not outpace inflation.

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Making A Home For Fish In The Arizona Desert

By Cronkite News

At Bartlett Lake and other reservoirs around the state, Arizona Game & Fish Department volunteers are building plastic cubes to serve as fish habitat.

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The “fish cities” are called Georgia cubes, which were first developed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The cube’s design looks like a long-lost prop from a cheap sci-fi movie. PVC pipe is assembled into a 4-foot cube and secured with glue. Holes are drilled into lengths of flexible tubing that are woven through and attached to the PVC cube.

Cord is used to lash two cubes together, cinder blocks are attached, then they’re dropped off the back of a pontoon boat. Several hundred “fish cities” have been deployed in Roosevelt and Bartlett lakes this year.

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Back To School Supplies In Some CO Schools Include Kitty Litter, Buckets For Lockdowns

By Chalkbeat

Beyond the supplies themselves, which she’s grateful to have, it was the nonchalant way the buckets, kitty litter, and Sharpie marker were handed out during a routine back-to-school training that shook Jeffco Public Schools teacher Cassie Lopez.

“We were doing [professional development], and it was like, ‘Oh, get your buckets, and this is what your buckets are for,'” Lopez sad. “It was shocking. I was pretty upset afterward.”

The buckets and kitty litter are for students to use as toilets in case of a prolonged lockdown triggered by a threat inside the school. The Sharpie is for teachers to write the time they applied a tourniquet to a bleeding student, so paramedics know how long it’s been on. Lopez also got a kit that includes normal first-aid supplies, as well as candy to give to students with diabetes in case they experience low blood sugar while hiding in the classroom.

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State’s Top Election Chief Plans To Take ‘CA Model’ National

By CalMatters

For advocates of expanded voting rights, California is the gold standard. Now Secretary of State Alex Padilla is evangelizing the state’s approach — and hoping to shake up elections in other states in 2020.

California Democrats have spent the last decade busily removing barriers between would-be voters and the ballot box — in fact, they’ve been so successful, they may be running out of strategies to drive up turnout.

So now the state’s top election official is taking the California model national. The goals: Get other states to adopt vote-boosting policies, and boot Republican secretaries of state out of office.

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