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Sophie Quinton

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Ferguson Fallout Leaves States Struggling With Court Debt

August 26, 2015 This article was originally published by Stateline, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Say you’re caught driving 10 miles an hour over the posted speed limit in California. The state’s base fine for that offense is $35. But then the state adds an additional $40. The county adds $28....

States Battle Cities Over Minimum Wage

July 13, 2015 This article was originally published by Stateline, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Thursday morning, labor advocates gathered to pray on the steps of city hall in Kansas City, Missouri. They pledged to remain there, fasting, until the city council’s vote this week on a proposal to raise the...

Is Big Brother Watching Our Campuses?

April 3, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow At Georgia State University, algorithms alert advisers when a student falls behind in class. Course-planning tools tell students the classes and majors they're likely to complete, based on the performance of other students like them. When students swipe their ID cards to attend a tutoring or financial-literacy session, the university...

Some Medical Translation Apps Help Just Enough to Hurt

March 20, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There's an app for relaying basic medical instructions in Fukienese, a group of dialects spoken in southeastern China. Need a way to help bedridden non-English-speaking patients instantly alert a nurse for assistance? Touch-screen software exists that allows patients to click a pained face—perhaps marked "pain" in Russian—to instantly alert a...

Inside the Boring but Crucial Federal Form That Gets Kids to College

March 18, 2014 President Obama wants every high school student in America to apply for federal financial aid. "Even if you think you might not qualify for financial aid, fill out the form. You might qualify," he told Florida high school students this month. Many of the 1 million high school students who...

The Rise of Professional Women

February 25, 2014 Women have outpaced men in the number of postsecondary degrees conferred for decades. In 2010, women started to surpass men in attainment of degrees higher than a bachelor's degree. That same year, women became the majority of American workers. The increase in the number of women going to college has...

How to Improve Productivity With Diet and Exercise

June 27, 2013 If you're like many workers in the United States, you typically spend eight-hour days sitting in front of a computer screen, pacing out snacks of cookies and chips to stay alert until 5 p.m.--and telling yourself you'll start exercising more next week. Tackling the chronic health problems that afflict affluent...

Heading Off the Coming Retirement Disaster

May 9, 2013 When California State Sen. Kevin de Léon talks about his plan to help people save for retirement, he usually starts by describing his Aunt Francisca, a housekeeper. “She’s north of 70 and she still cleans homes,” says de Léon. Francisca can’t afford to retire because she has no savings. Even...

Crowdfunding Everything From Solar Panels to Veronica Mars

April 17, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For those wary of traditional banks after the 2008 financial crisis, there’s another option: lending and borrowing online through crowdfunding platforms. These companies act as financial intermediaries, gathering small amounts of money from large numbers of lenders, investors, or donors to fund a given cause or project. Investments made through...

How Smartphones Could Revolutionize the Way We Heat and Cool Our Homes

April 4, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In the summer of 2011, Texas experienced a heat wave that had electricity providers sweating. So many homes were cranking the air conditioning that utility companies feared the electric grid couldn’t handle the strain. One Austin neighborhood stood out. During triple-digit afternoons, homes in the area with south-facing solar panels...