Tribune News Service

News Budget for papers of Sunday, November 10, 2019


Updated at 11 p.m. EST (0400 UTC).


These stories are recommended for weekend release, except where embargoes are noted. Please make sure you are adhering to embargoes on our stories in both your print and online operations.

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


^She feeds Bel-Air's mega-mansion boom. But lunch is a battlefield<

LA-MANSIONS-BOOM:LA — Twenty-thousand-dollar date palms fluttered in the breeze and cranes glinted against the sapphire sky as Jennifer Ramirez pulled her lunch truck to a stop outside the half-finished mansion on Bel Air Road.

It was her third stop on a balmy Friday, a bustling site packed with construction vehicles and hardhats laboring behind green privacy mesh. One moment, the 20-year-old from South Los Angeles stood alone on the glittering pavement, her 5-foot frame dwarfed by one of the most expensive homes ever built. The next, she was mobbed by a dozen hungry workers scrambling for their 9:45 a.m. lunch.

On Bel Air Road, grown men run out to meet Ramirez like kids chasing an ice cream truck.

Her horn signals a 20-minute break in a 10-hour day, a chance to trade gossip with gardeners at the compound next door or the carpenters at the site down the block. Los Angeles is in the midst of a development boom. Ramirez's Munch Truck makes 15 stops in four hours, selling hundreds of meals to men who build homes the size of strip malls.

2250 by Sonja Sharp in Los Angeles. MOVED



^Trump wants to win even more rural votes in 2020. Democrats are scrambling to catch up<

TRUMP-RURALVOTERS:WA — Corey Bauch is eager to explain why he regrets not voting for Donald Trump.

The 44-year old-agreed to meet with me last week in this rural Wisconsin town (population of 1,500), where he has lived most of his life. As we talked, horse-drawn buggies from the local Amish community rolled past a small outpost of stores, on their way to nearby farms.

The libertarian Bauch was one of the few in rural Wisconsin who didn't support Trump in 2016, saying he reminded him of an arrogant boss. But after the election, he began to see the president's outspoken style as an antidote to Washington's pervasive corruption.

He plans to vote for Trump next year.

Trump can win reelection in a number of ways. But perhaps the most likely way the president can win next November is with voters like Bauch, in rural regions of key battleground states, who didn't back Trump in 2016 but are inclined to do so now.

2700 (with trims) by Alex Roarty in Augusta, Wis. MOVED



^'I wanted to fight back': Meet the immigrant who's taking Trump to the Supreme Court over DACA<

IMMIGRATION-DACA-LAWSUIT:BZ — In a crowded office in Baltimore's Station North, Mar a Perales S nchez spends most of her days working alongside a group of lawyers to win legal protections for migrant workers.

Yet her own status in the United States is uncertain.

Once protected from deportation by a federal program that covered people whose families brought them to the U.S. as children, Perales S nchez was left in limbo in 2017. While she was a student at Princeton University, the Trump administration pulled the plug on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Princeton — and Perales S nchez — decided to fight back. Now, their lawsuit will be heard in consolidation with others next week at the U.S. Supreme Court.

1350 (with trims) by Thalia Juarez in Baltimore. MOVED


^As states with legal weed embrace vaping bans, black-market risks linger<

VAPING-BLACKMARKET:KHN — Cannabis shops around Washington state are now required to hang signs warning customers of "severe lung injuries" and "deaths" associated with vaping.

Kevin Heiderich, a co-owner of one such shop, Tacoma House of Cannabis, argues the government response to vaping illnesses should focus instead on the black market.

"Something has just changed, and no one really knows what it is," he said.

Still, Heiderich supports more rigorous testing so the regulated market is perceived as safer.

Health officials nationwide are still puzzling over why some who vape come down with a severe respiratory illness and, in some cases, die. So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's investigation has identified more than 1,600 cases, but has yet to pinpoint a lone cause that explains all cases.

Many cases have been traced to vape cartridges filled with THC (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) — cartridges the users found on the black market.

1550 (with trims) by Will Stone. MOVED



^They've managed the forest forever. It's why they're key to the climate change fight<

^ENV-CLIMATE-INDIGENOUS:LA—<The first time Mandy Gull visited Canada's Broadback Forest, she was struck by the displays of delicate lichen. By the dense, ancient trees. By the moss-covered floor, which rose and fell like a rumpled green blanket.

"There's an energy in that kind of forest that I don't think you find just anywhere," said Gull, a member of the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi in Quebec.

More than 600 indigenous communities live in Canada's boreal forest, one of the last great swaths of intact wilderness on Earth. But every year, a million acres fall to logging to make timber and tissue products, including toilet paper sold in the U.S., according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. That's seven hockey rinks' worth of forest every minute.

Canada's First Nations, with help from groups such as the NRDC and Greenpeace, want to stanch the losses and protect the lands their ancestors have depended upon for centuries.

Similar efforts around the world will be critical to meeting the world's climate goals, experts say.

1650 (with trims) by Julia Rosen. (Moved as an international story.) MOVED




These stories moved earlier in the week and are suitable for weekend publication.


^Trump's well-oiled campaign has everything planned — except Trump<

TRUMP-2020-CAMPAIGN:WA — President Donald Trump fiddled for months with a 2020 election message that would be ready for primetime. His top two campaign aides — Jared Kushner and Brad Parscale — sought a message that would resonate with the president's core political base and also reach skeptical independents.

Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and most trusted adviser devising the campaign's strategy, and Parscale, his campaign manager, turned to Larry Weitzner, a top political advertising consultant behind many of Trump's 2016 ads.

Weitzner produced a spot with a new slogan: "He's no Mr. Nice Guy."

Trump loved it. He called Parscale and told him to air it during the World Series.

With a referendum on his presidency less than a year away, Trump and his campaign are embracing elements of his political identity that have sharply divided the nation. The same instinctive, mercurial president remains at the helm. But this time he sits atop a campaign infrastructure fueled by an unprecedented war chest, a sophisticated digital operation and a disciplined staff.

1900 (with trims) by Michael Wilner and Francesca Chambers in Washington. MOVED


^This Alaska mine could generate $1 billion a year. Is it worth the risk to salmon?<

ENV-ALASKA-PEBBLEMINE:LA — A brown bear loped across rolling green tundra as Charles Weimer set down a light, single-engine helicopter on a remote hilltop.

Spooked, the big grizzly vanished into alder thickets above a valley braided with creeks and falls. Weimer scanned warily for more bears.

He and his passenger, Mike Heatwole, stepped out into the enveloping silence of southwest Alaska's wilderness. Before them stretched two of the wildest river systems left in the United States. Beneath their feet lay the world's biggest known untapped deposit of copper and gold.

The two men worked for Pebble Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of a Canadian company that aims to dig Pebble Mine, an open pit the size of 460 football fields and deeper than One World Trade Center is tall. To proponents, it's a glittering prize that could yield sales of more than $1 billion a year in an initial two decades of mining.

It could also, critics fear, bring about the destruction of one of the world's great fisheries.

2550 by Richard Read in Iliamna, Alaska. MOVED


^Friend or foe? Washington is vexed by an uninvited visitor<

JEFFERSON-MEMORIAL:LA — Even in an intrigue-filled capital accustomed to shadowy visitors with vague intentions, one that recently took up residence at a very fancy address here is particularly unnerving.

It arrived without warning and refuses to leave. It moves slowly but stubbornly, like some members of Congress. Government scientists are still trying to sort out if it is friend or foe. Lasers are involved.

Not since a spaceship parked downtown in the 1950s sci-fi classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still" has Washington been so confused by an uninvited guest as it is by the bacteria, fungi and algae creeping over the once-gleaming dome of the Jefferson Memorial, leaving black splotches in its wake.

1500 (with trims) by Evan Halper in Washington. MOVED


^For transgender migrants fleeing death threats, asylum in the US is a crapshoot<

IMMIGRATION-ASYLUM-LGBTQ:LA — As has happened so often in her life, Mayela Villegas once again faced the threat of violence.

It was a late afternoon in September and she was alone. Hundreds of other asylum-seekers camped at the foot of the U.S.-Mexico border bridge were resting before volunteers arrived with dinner.

Suddenly, a fellow Central American migrant appeared at her tent, growling threats.

"I don't want any problems," said Villegas.

"What problems?" the woman said. "The only problem would be how to take a knife and gut you. You wouldn't be the first or the last. You're worthless — annoying. You'll never compare to me because I have a vagina and you don't."

Villegas is transgender. She had stayed at the bridge in hopes of obtaining asylum in the United States to escape such threats.

The Honduran woman threatening her was dating a member of a Mexican drug cartel.

Studies show LGBTQ migrants are among the most vulnerable, more likely to be assaulted and killed.

2100 by Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Matamoros, Mexico. MOVED


^As meth use surges, one region tries to combat 'the pull'<

METH-EPIDEMIC:SH — Erika Haas calls it "the pull."

When Haas was 24, her doctor prescribed OxyContin for back pain. She quickly progressed to heroin — and then to methamphetamines. Now 30 and in recovery, she described the grip that meth had over her for more than five years.

"It's like God tells you that if you take another breath, your children will die," she said, shaking her head and trying to hold back tears. "You do everything you can not to take a breath. But eventually you do. That's what it's like. Your brain just screams at you."

The opioid epidemic appears to be subsiding in the northwest corner of South Carolina, a region known as the Upcountry. Nationwide, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths is declining slightly. But a new variety of methamphetamine is taking its place as the No. 1 drug of abuse.

1950 (with trims) by Christine Vestal in the Upcountry, S.C. MOVED


^His flock? Korean and Korean American prisoners written off by their community and, sometimes, their families<

JAIL-PASTOR:LA — The Rev. Suk-ki Kim rubs the bleary eyes under his glasses, straining to see the pavement ahead.

It's not yet 5 a.m. on a Saturday and traffic on Interstate 5 is sparse. A light drizzle is starting to taper off.

After eight surgeries for glaucoma, he can still drive — at least for now — but not in the predawn darkness. This morning, his wife, Kyung-suk, takes the wheel of the minivan.

The GPS shows another four hours to Chowchilla, where Valley State Prison rises in the midst of a vast stretch of farmland. For Kim and his wife, it's a short drive. It's a breeze compared with the trek to High Desert State Prison in Susanville — 10 to 12 hours with meal breaks — or Pelican Bay, which takes 14.

The pastor and his wife have been making these visits for more than 25 years. They're regulars at all of California's 35 state prisons and six federal penitentiaries. They've traveled to prisons in Arizona and Texas as well, at times spending nights on a mattress wedged in the back of their minivan along the way.

2000 by Victoria Kim in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Rattlesnakes have had a busy year. Same for the people who catch them for a living<

RATTLESNAKES-WRANGLERS:LA — Bo Slyapich seeks what no one else wants to find.

On a recent morning, he waded into grass so high and so dense his legs disappeared from view. He crouched low and then lay on his stomach as he scoured the backyard of a house above Pacific Coast Highway.

Slyapich was trying to flush out rattlesnakes from under a rock, inside a dirt hole or behind a leafy plant. For 30 minutes he hunted his prey — climbing and crawling, prodding and poking with sticks and tongs.

Southern California is home to at least half a dozen snake removal services that extricate the animals from their hideouts and take them away, allowing families to safely spend time in their yards. When Slyapich and other experts complete their mission, they often leave awe in their wake.

1800 (with trims) by Soumya Karlamangla in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Bats live mostly out of sight and out of mind. But their falling numbers are a reason to look up and worry, scientists say<

ENV-BATS:TB — It's the time of year when ghouls and goblins, mummies and monsters are out in force. But unlike many Halloween creatures, bats live in more than the imagination, making their homes in caves and hollowed-out trees in Illinois and the urban parks of Chicago.

The elusive winged mammals who make special appearances in decorations and throughout popular culture during the fall are under increasing threats across the state and the Midwest, the victim of a stubborn and spreading disease, shrinking natural habitat and a growing wind turbine industry. And with new changes to the Endangered Species Act, scientists and environmental advocates fear additional species of bats may be under siege from encroaching development and a changing, warming climate.

1800 (with trims) by Patrick M. O'Connell in Chicago. MOVED


^For ICE, business as usual is never business as usual in era of Trump<

IMMIGRATION-AGENTS:LA — The ICE agents had done their homework before they descended on their first target. They learned the 65-year-old Mexican man's routines.

The agents weren't sure where he lived, but they knew that almost every day after 4 a.m. he would appear from the predawn darkness to check on two trucks he parked in downtown Los Angeles.

So the agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement sat in their unmarked vehicles and waited. Around 4:40 a.m., a man in a baseball cap and jeans emerged from a nearby street.

Moments later, the agents pulled up in four vehicles with flashing lights, startling the man. They patted him down, handcuffed him and quickly, without fanfare, took him away.

Arrests such as this one are the daily bread of ICE enforcement actions, said David Marin, the director of enforcement and removal operations for ICE in L.A.

1700 (with trims) by Cindy Carcamo in Los Angeles. MOVED




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