Judged in the Court of Public Support (CityLab)

Last Wednesday, in front of the prosecutor, defense attorneys, and a gallery peppered with people, Judge Lisa Paglisotti greeted Brittany Mistelske, a 24 year old appearing in her court as a result of a misdemeanor charge.

After a quick hello, Judge Paglisotti addressed the fact that Mistelske hadn’t shown up to court the week before. But rather than punishing her or even reprimanding her, the judge told her earnestly that she was worried about her.

“Sorry, I know I missed the last time,” says Mistelske.

“No, I’m glad to see you,” says Judge Paglisotti.

If this doesn’t sound like a typical judicial exchange, it’s because this is not a traditional court. All of its proceedings take place in a meeting room in the Redmond Library; defendants are called “court participants;” and when someone successfully completes a court-mandated program, it’s called graduation, and often comes with a certificate and cupcakes.

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Rivers in US West turn dangerous as days warm, snow thaws (AP)

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Massive waterfalls in Yosemite National Park and rivers raging in mountains throughout the western United States are thundering with greater force than they have for years — and proving deadly as warm weather melts the deepest mountain snowpack in recent memory.

Record snowfall on towering Western peaks this winter virtually eliminated California’s five-year drought and it is now melting rapidly.

But it has contributed to at least 14 river deaths and prompted officials to close sections of rivers popular with swimmers, rafters and fishing enthusiasts.

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*****

OAKLEY, Utah (AP) — After a deadly Memorial Day weekend that saw a small girl and two adults swept away to their deaths, Utah authorities are warning people to stay away from raging, icy rivers dangerously swollen by a snowy winter and wet spring.

The conditions have also triggered flood alerts and led officials to offer sand bags to homeowners in parts of northern Utah, where some rivers are expected to reach their highest levels this weekend.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A 4-year-old girl, her mother and a good Samaritan died in Utah after the child fell from a rock and was swept away in a cold, fast-moving river and several people jumped in to help her, authorities said Tuesday.

London DeDios had been playing with her mother on Memorial Day near Bridal Veil Falls when she fell. Her mother, Brenda DeDios, and at least five other people tried to save the girl, Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.

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The Economist 2013-2018
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The Associated Press 2016-2017
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