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Reporter's Notebook March 14, 2016

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Reporter's Notebook March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016 - 04:48
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With Flint, Michigan in the news, folks are wondering about lead in their drinking water.

Beth Skwarecki of Lifehacker explains How to Know If You and Your Family Are Being Exposed to Lead

Your water utility sends you a report every year, which they call a “Consumer Confidence Report.” It’s legally required to include lead levels, if any lead was found. The CDC has a guide to understanding the report here. If you’re not the one who pays the water bills, you won’t get a report in the mail, but many local reports are available online here. That tool helps you find your water utility by location, but the most reliable way to find out who provides your water is to check your bill or ask the person who pays your bills. For example, your landlord or the administrative offices at your school or workplace should be able to tell you.

Ever wonder why Notre Dame sports teams are called The Fighting Irish?

Robert Schmuhl, a professor writing in Notre Dame magazine, explains the derivation of the phrase, it's connection to the American and Irish Civil Wars.

After the Easter Rising on April 25, 1916 in Dublin, Ireland when Irish rebels established “the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State," Éamon de Valera came to America in 1919.

Schmuhl explains:

Notre Dame was one stop on de Valera’s 18-month U.S. speaking tour. When he arrived at the campus on October 15, 1919, he was welcomed as the “President of the Irish Republic"...de Valera went to the statue of Civil War chaplain Rev. William Corby, CSC, to lay a wreath that carried this inscription: “In loving tribute to Father Corby, who gave general absolution to the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg.”

After de Valera's visit "Notre Dame students, alumni and administrators were voicing support for an independent future for Ireland, another debate arose on campus: Should the school’s athletic teams be called 'the Fighting Irish'?" (associated with the Irish Brigade of the Civil War but Irish immigrants generally).

The preferred name then was “the Gold and Blue,” but uniform colors weren’t terribly descriptive of the competitive sports groups. As the football fortunes of Knute Rockne, who began as head coach in 1918, became nationally recognized, sportswriters came up with more colorful labels and aliases for his teams: “Domers,” “Ramblers,” “Rovers,” “Nomads,” “the Blue Comets,” “the Horrible Hibernians,” “the Dirty Irish,” “the Rambling Irish,” the “Wandering Irish” — along with “the Fighting Irish.”

Schmuhl writes "In 1927, in a letter to the New York World, Rev. Matthew J. Walsh, CSC, then president of Notre Dame, said, 'University authorities are in no way averse to the name ‘Fighting Irish’ as applied to our athletic teams.'"

Richard Morgan at The New York Post is reporting that Fox Television Stations has become the first major media outlet to employ citizen journalists.

The broadcaster has partnered with Fresco News, a crowd-sourced news startup that has signed up hundreds of citizen journalists in cities across the country.

The partnership went active on Wednesday and Fox-owned stations in 11 markets — including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco — will use Fresco’s Newsroom Tool Suite to gather stories.

This certainly sounds interesting. I may give it a try and would've interested to hear from anyone who has.