Tribune News Service

News Budget for Wednesday, November 6, 2019


Updated at 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC).


Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^US victims in Mexico massacre were tied to family with long history of violence<

^MEXICO-AMERICANS-KILLED-LEBARON:LA—<The roadside killings of nine U.S. citizens in northern Mexico has brought renewed attention to the scattered communities of Mormons who settled in the country more than a century ago to escape persecution.

The six women and three children whom assailants ambushed Monday as they drove toward Arizona from the town of Bavispe in Sonora state included descendants of a fundamentalist Mormon community that has lived in the country for decades.

700 by Jaweed Kaleem. MOVED



^Third-highest ranking State Department official testifying<

IMPEACHMENT:CON — The third-highest ranking official at the State Department arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday for his House impeachment deposition, where he is expected to testify that political considerations fueled the department's decision not to strongly defend the former ambassador to Ukraine from efforts by President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani to oust her.

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale is the first witness this week to show up for his slated closed-door hearing. Nine others — all current or former Trump administration officials — have skipped or are expected to skip their depositions.

250 by Roll Call Staff in Washington. MOVED



^Decline of local journalism is likely increasing voter polarization<

^2020-JOURNALISM-POLARIZATION:CON—<Voters — with fewer sources of local news and greater access to national media outlets and social media sites, whose algorithms focus on divisive national topics — are becoming more polarized. And though it's partially a citizen's duty to stay informed, the current situation isn't entirely their fault — the decline of local newspapers, partisanship by national cable news outlets and a dangerous rise in online disinformation are all contributors to national polarization.

"This is going to result in people having a harder time finding information about their local elections," says Kristy Roschke, managing director of the News Co/Lab at Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism, which tackles engagement and news literacy issues. "In the absence of clear information about local races, candidates, ballot initiatives, people turn to what they see, which is a never-ending stream of national politics on cable news."

Going into the 2020 cycle, voters will have less information than ever before on the local races they're going to decide.

1300 (with trims) by Dean DeChiaro in Washington. MOVED



^Borderline shooting survivors have revived a dance club one of the victims founded<

CALIF-BARSHOOTING-ANNIVERSARY:LA — Justin Meek surely would have appreciated the bench his family placed in his memory on the campus of Cal Lutheran University. It's right beside the tree where he liked to hang in his hammock, within hollering distance of the corner patio where his big, bass voice sounded out on open-mic nights.

There's also a flag pole dedicated in his name in front of the college's pool, where he played water polo. "In Memory of Justin Meek . Hero. Friend."

But if Meek could take pride in a legacy, his sister thinks, it would be the friends and former classmates who gather nearly every Wednesday on a patio near the Student Union. There, on balmy nights beneath strands of white lights, the Cal Lutheran Line Dancing Club that Meek created dances on.

1400 by James Rainey in Thousand Oaks, Calif. MOVED




NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.

Moving later


^Mass cellphone outages during California fires, blackouts a preview of life after major earthquake<

CALIF-OUTAGES-CELLPHONES:LA — When Ted Atz, a 75-year-old retiree in Marin County, learned that his power would go out during the Kincade fire, he texted his loved ones that he might lose cell service.

He was right. For four long days, Atz couldn't make or receive calls. He'd drive around his hometown of San Anselmo, hoping to find better reception. He had no luck and was frustrated by the knowledge that if he suffered some kind of medical or other emergency, he couldn't reach 911.

Atz wasn't alone. California saw significant interruptions of cellphone service due to the planned power shut-offs at precisely the time customers needed to be alerted about evacuation warnings — raising questions about how prepared California is for future electric shut-offs and other public safety emergencies, such as a major earthquake.

1600 (with trims) by Leila Miller and Rong-Gong Lin II in Los Angeles. MOVED


^As UVA scales back lawsuits, pain for past patients persists<

UVA-PATIENTS-LAWSUITS:KHN — Kitt Klein and Mike Miller lost thousands of dollars in hard-won savings more than a decade ago after UVA Health put a lien on their home for a hospital bill they couldn't pay.

They can't believe they're at risk of losing a second home today.

"Can they do this twice?" said Klein, who lives with her husband, a house painter, in her late mother's house.

The couple was hit with a $129,133 court judgment in 2017 after UVA sued them and won in a case involving unpaid bills for out-of-network treatment of Miller's lung cancer the year before, court documents show.

Last month, UVA said it would scale back such activity after a Kaiser Health News investigation found the medical system had filed 36,000 patient lawsuits for more than $100 million over six years, sending many families into hardship and bankruptcy.

But people such as Miller won't benefit from the changes.

1450 by Jay Hancock. MOVED




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