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    News Round-Up: Monday, January 27, 2014

    Monday, January 27th, 2014

    Multiple avalanches block a major road in Alaska; the motive behind Saturday’s Maryland mall shooting may be concealed in the shooter’s journal; a Congressman resigns; and a Penn State student is arrested on bomb charges. Meanwhile, the biggest night of music provided surprising wins, awesome fashion, and some awkward dance moves. Find out everything about the 2014 Grammy Awards right here!

    - Veronica + Maura 


    Avalanches cut road travel to Valdez, Alaska: http://rtvote.com/M4WcdS
    Multiple avalanches have covered the only highway into Valdez, Alaska. Officials are urging residents to evacuate because water began to build up behind the debris and snow piles. A shelter has been created at a local high school for those who have chosen to evacuate their homes. The highway is expected to be closed for at least another week.

    Journal may reveal mall shooter’s motive: http://rtvote.com/1gjATmM
    The journal of 19-year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar, the gunman responsible for the Maryland mall shooting on Saturday, may provide details of his motive. The journal was taken from Aguilar’s home after police responded to a missing persons report: before his identity as the shooter had been confirmed. The journal was taken by a police officer who said it contained “enough disturbing information” to cause worry. The contents of the journal have not been released.

    Rep. Trey Radel to resign from Congress After Drug Plea: http://rtvote.com/1gjDnl6
    Representative Trey Radel, a Republican Congressman from Florida convicted of possessing cocaine in November, will resign from Congress. As a freshman congressman, Radel took time off to attend rehab and vowed to stay in office as he sought treatment. The House Ethics Committee, who was looking into Radel’s case to see if he had broken other laws, will lose jurisdiction over his case after his resignation. Many candidates have their eyes on potentially running for his seat, including state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and, possibly, former Representative Connie Mack.

    Penn State student arrested for constructing ‘weapons of mass destruction’: http://rtvote.com/1eaJkxA
    Eighteen year-old Vladislav Miftakhov was arrested when police, investigating his room for a marijuana-related claim, found two homemade bombs and bomb-making materials. The Russian college student was charged with “risking catastrophe” and “unlawful possession of weapons of mass destruction.” Miftakhov told authorities he intended to use the explosives at some point.


    The biggest night in music has come to an end: see the complete list of winners here! http://rtvote.com/1fhWCZk

    View photos of the Grammys biggest performances here: http://rtvote.com/1mOt9H7

    Who rocked the red carpet, and who hit a sour note; see the best and worst dressed stars from the 2014 Grammys: http://rtvote.com/LfHrF8

    Macklemore texts Kendrick Lamar after Grammy win: http://rtvote.com/1f2A91r


    Veronica Barger
    Bio: Veronica is currently studying communications, law, economics, and government at American University in Washington, DC. Originally from New Jersey, she has held an interest in politics since the 2008 presidential election. Being a newly registered voter, she understands how important it is for young people to register to vote and have their voices heard. She looks to spread that message with Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: November 5, 2013

    Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

    NJ mall shooter is found dead; nine skydivers survive a crazy plane collision midair; and Election Day 2013 has arrived with major elections in New Jersey, Virginia, NYC as well as other cities & states across the country. Meanwhile, Drew Barrymore is pregnant again (yippee!) and Lea Michele dedicates a song to her late love, Cory Monteith, on her new album.

    -Sandy + Maura


    New Jersey Mall Shooter Found Dead With Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound, Police Say,http://rtvote.com/1hK7rEn
    Richard Shoop, 20, opened fire in New Jersey’s Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall ten minutes before closing time last night. Shoop fired at least six shots, none of which were aimed at people; witnesses described Shoop’s demeanor as extraordinarily calm. His body was found in a back area of the mall at 3:20 AM this morning. There have been no other reported injuries at this time. Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.

    Watch nine skydivers survive fiery two-plane collision in midairhttp://rtvote.com/HEmNNg
    As if skydiving weren’t terrifying enough. Skydivers in Wisconsin pulled off the stunt of their lives last weekend as they found themselves in the middle of something that looks straight from a James Bond movie. Two planes collided 12,000 feet in the air on Saturday, and a group of skydivers, along with the pilot, jumped from the exploding wreckage. The second plane was landed safely by another pilot, despite damage to the wing and the propeller.

    Obama: ENDA vote in Senate an ‘opportunity’http://rtvote.com/1hKcfcW
    At a dinner for top Organizing for Action donors, President Obama praised Senate’s 61-30 vote to advance the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on Monday. The bill forbids employers from firing employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, it is still too soon to celebrate since the bill has yet to pass in the House.

    Takoma Park 16-year-old savors his history-making moment at the pollshttp://rtvote.com/1aCoAyi
    Ben Miller, 16, will step into a voting booth today and cast his ballot, along with 350 other 16- and 17-year-olds, who were granted the right to vote in municipal elections by the Takoma City Council in May. Montgomery County, Maryland, is the nation’s first community to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 in municipal elections; council member Tim Male said this was intended as a way to boost voter turnout. It seems to be working, as young Ben Miller proudly exercises his newfound civic duty.


    Election Day 2013: Five things to watch todayhttp://rtvote.com/HEmxhb
    Today, voters in Virginia and New Jersey will elect their new governors, while new mayors are chosen in New York, Boston, Detroit, and a heck of a lot of other cities. Important issues are at stake on many of these ballots. Here are five things to keep an eye out for.


    The New York Times Editorial Board discusses the ENA decision in “Toward Ending Workplace Discrimination”, http://rtvote.com/1aCD1m7

    Rocker Austin Estes tells us why young voters are a force to be reckoned with in “Young Americans Will Help Change History This Election Day – If They Vote,” http://rtvote.com/1a5stsW

    Writers respond to the increased incidents in gun violence in “LAX shooting heats up gun debate: Opinionline,”http://rtvote.com/177qaYc


    Teen Mom’s Amber Portwood Released From Jail, http://rtvote.com/1hgnV9B

    Drew Barrymore Is Pregnant, Expecting Second Child With Husband Will Kopelman, http://rtvote.com/1hKirlf

    Lea Michele Recorded a Song About Cory Monteith For Her Debut Album, http://rtvote.com/1bVBzrt

    Chris Pratt Was an Amateur Stripper at Age 18, http://rtvote.com/1a5vk5b


    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Daily Deadline: 8 States

    Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

    Eight states have voter registration deadlines today:

    Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia. Get your voter registration form here. Print it, sign and get it in to your elections office.

    For Minnesota voters, click here to learn more about same day voter registration.


    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Friday, October 8, 2010

    Friday, October 8th, 2010

    Hey Rockers,

    In today’s news we have the latest jobs report, big stories on the healthcare reform law, and Facebook launching some new features.


    U.S. Economy Lost 95,000 Jobs in September: http://bit.ly/aJNzlD

    The latest report shows unemployment hovering at about 9.6%.

    1 million workers lose out on better healthcare coverage: http://bit.ly/9L3XIV

    After threatening to drop coverage or drastically increase premiums, a number of large companies were granted an exemption from requirements for increased healthcare coverage that kick in next year.

    Federal judge upholds health care law: http://politi.co/9dUvZd

    A federal judge in Michigan has ruled that the provision in Obama’s healthcare reform law requiring the uninsured to purchase insurance does not violate the Constitution.

    Obama tries to fire up Democrats in Maryland: http://bit.ly/8XVLjg

    The president was at Bowie State University making another appeal to young voters and stumping for Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley.

    Boehner to make first major campaign speech on midterms: http://bit.ly/czeFB5

    The House Minority Leader is criticizing Democrats for their economic policies and touting the Republicans Pledge to America.

    In age of Facebook, Twitter and apps, some candidates adapt better than others: http://wapo.st/9jARWk
    As candidates adopt the latest social media technology, some still struggle to translate digital support into votes.

    Lame-duck trials for Waters, Rangel: http://politi.co/dnSv96

    The House ethics committee will begin ethics trials for Reps. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) when Congress returns in mid-November.

    Rocking the Vote in Colorado: http://bit.ly/d8QCe3

    A look at how young voters in Colorado are gearing up for their midterm elections.


    The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women: http://bit.ly/8Y7gTn

    Forbes Magazine has released a list of the world’s most powerful women. Who do you think is number one?

    Facebook Unveils Groups, Apps Dashboard, ‘Download Your Information’ Features: http://bit.ly/9lCak0

    The new “Groups” service is supposed to help keep you connected to those Facebook friends you actually know.

    Duke student’s sex “thesis” goes viral: http://huff.to/bxm9Fo

    A student at Duke University has gotten some serious attention after writing about her sex life in a scientific study style, complete with a PowerPoint presentation.

    ‘Inception’ Star Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Brother Dead at 36: http://bit.ly/d6FuYf

    While no official cause of death has been named, there is speculation it was a drug overdose.

    Tom Yarnell
    Bio: Tom is a former Rock the Vote communications team member who now works for an intellectual property law firm in DC. He loves sports and coming back to blog for RTV!
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Post Election Day Analysis

    Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

    So much happened in last night’s elections. Tea Party candidates knocked off a few incumbents and establishment candidates, some old faces kept their seats even though there was plenty of pressure. The nation’s capital will have a new mayor in November and Maryland will see a rematch in the Governor’s election. The election season is heating up with interesting races from New Hampshire to California. Here’s a recap of what happened last night:

    Delaware: Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell had a sweeping 53% win in the Delaware Republican nomination. Her opponent, former governor and nine-term congressman, Mike Castle joined the growing line of GOP losses to Tea Party candidates; Castle is in the company of fellow Republicans Senators Robert Bennett (R-Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Representative Bob Ingles (R-SC).  This result has major implications for a very moderate state like Delaware and immediate word was the National Republican Senatorial Committee would not spend money on this race (update: NRSC announced they will back O’Donnell). There were also rumblings that Castle might run as a write-in candidate as he will not endorse O’Donnell’s campaign.

    Washington, D.C.: In the country’s most scrutinized mayoral race, 39-year-old Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty lost his re-nomination bid to D.C. Councilman Vincent Gray. The two campaigns have clashed over a number of issues over the past few months, but none more so than the future of D.C. public education. Fenty’s choice to bring in Michele Rhee as public schools chancellor set of sparks in the district because of her controversial approach to teacher’s unions. Yesterday “the people of the District sent a message loud and clear,” according to Gray (Bloomberg). Time will tell what that message is.


    Amanda Pagay

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com