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Congress reopens government, averts default, eases doc fears
A contentious House and Senate approved a bill to reopen the government and avert a debt default, but only long enough to catch their breath for another possible legislative brawl around the corner. The agreement ends a partial government shutdown that began on October 1 and crippled public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration as well as research at the National Institutes of Health. Organized medicine had warned that the inability of the CDC to monitor seasonal influenza posed an immediate peril to the nation's well-being.
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EPA GHG emissions rules will get Supreme Court review
Environmental Leader
The Supreme Court has agreed to review whether the EPA can require greenhouse gas emissions permits for stationary sources such as refineries. In its Oct. 15 order the court said it would limit its review to “whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.”
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Los Angeles unprepared for earthquakes
More than 1,000 old concrete buildings in Los Angeles and hundreds more throughout the county may be at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis. By the most conservative estimate, as many as 50 of these buildings in the city alone would be destroyed, exposing thousands to injury or death. Despite their sturdy appearance, many older concrete buildings are vulnerable to the sideways movement of a major earthquake because they don't have enough steel reinforcing bars to hold columns in place. Los Angeles officials have known about the dangers for more than 40 years but have failed to force owners to make their properties safer. The city has even rejected calls to make a list of concrete buildings.
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Burlington, Vt., obtains liability insurance related to F-35 discussion
Burlington Free Press
Burlington has resolved an insurance issue that had delayed a City Council vote earlier this month regarding the possible basing of F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport. The city secured public officials liability insurance for the airport, which insures the City Council and other public officials for up to $5 million in case of a lawsuit, City Attorney Eileen Blackwood said. The yearly premium on the new policy is $21,000, airport Director of Aviation Gene Richards said.
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City of Birmingham, Ala., found in violation of state bid law, ordered to restart search for insurance company
The Birmingham News
A Jefferson County judge has ruled in favor of an insurance company that claimed the city of Birmingham failed to follow bidding rules when it hired another company to manage its employee health coverage. Judge Michael Graffeo sided with United Healthcare in its petition to block a renewed contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield to provide coverage for about 4,400 city employees and their dependents.
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Ohio Supreme Court rules cities aren't liable for injuries in parks
Marion Star
Cities are immune from liability for injuries suffered by people using their parks for recreation, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Oct. 16. In a 5-2 decision, the high court ruled that the City of Circleville was not liable for a broken neck suffered by 18-year-old Jeremy Pauley while sledding in Barthelmas Park in January 2007. Justices Paul Pfeifer and William O’Neill dissented.
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University of Louisiana gets grant for disaster database
Claims Journal
A research center at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette has received a $1.3 million grant to build a tool to educate property owners about the potential for flooding or other risks in their area. The Advocate reported the university’s National Incident Management Systems and Technologies Institute was awarded the grant by the state Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to create a data collective for disaster information.
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Ann Flood named Michigan insurance director
Property Casualty 360
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has named Ann Flood director of the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services. Flood fills the post vacated by Kevin Clinton, who has been appointed by Snyder as the state’s treasurer. The duo will start their new roles on Nov. 1. Flood, an attorney, was Clinton’s chief deputy director and was responsible for the department’s Office of General Counsel, Office of Insurance Evaluation, Office of Insurance Rates and Forms, the Budget Office, Information Technology Services and Human Resources.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Willis: Scariest risks of 2013 (Property Casualty 360)
'Dont hit the car in front of you': Stating the obvious reducing accidents in Arlington, Va. (Governing)
School safety for America's youngest students means more officers, more guns (The Huffington Post)
Cedar Falls, Iowa parents concerned about school shooter training (Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier)
We need climate-change risk assessment (The Washington Post)

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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Samantha Emerson, Content Editor, 469.420.2669   
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