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Vox Sentences: School’s out in West Virginia

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Rain and melting snow cause rising floods in the Midwest; West Virginia teachers walk off the job to protest low pay.

Parts of the Midwest are underwater

Joshua Lott/Getty Images
  • Parts of the Midwest from Texas to Michigan are experiencing severe flooding this week, some of it reaching historic levels. [Associated Press]
  • In some states, the flooding has claimed lives. At least two people have been reported dead due to floods, including a 1-year-old girl in Michigan’s Fairplain Township and a woman outside of Chicago whose car rolled over into a ditch that was full of rain. [NPR / Amy Held]
  • The rapid rise of the water is coming from a combination of factors, including unusually heavy winter rains as well as warm temperatures melting the snow. [mLive / Tanda Gmiter]
  • Some people in small towns in Illinois and Indiana put sandbags around their properties and fled the area as the water rose. Some said they did not expect to return for the next few days, until the waters receded. [Reuters]
  • Certain cities and counties in Michigan have declared states of emergency and closed numerous roads that were too dangerous to travel on. [mLive / Michael Kransz]
  • Current rainfall has already totaled several inches and isn’t supposed to let up throughout the weekend; the National Weather Service has issued flood watches and warnings in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. [ABC News / Max Golembo]

Frustrated by low pay, West Virginia teachers walk off the job

  • Teachers across West Virginia walked off the job on Thursday and marched to the state capitol building in Charleston to protest low wages and insufficient benefits, causing the vast majority of public schools to close. [WVNews / Jake Jarvis]
  • All of the state’s 55 counties had teachers participating in the planned two-day walkout, and about 275,000 students missed class. [CNN / Sarah Jorgensen]
  • Teachers and staff were protesting a 2 percent pay raise passed by the legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Jim Justice, saying the money wasn’t enough to cover the rising cost of their health insurance plans. [WSJ / Kris Maher]
  • Teacher pay in the state is low; beginning teachers earn $32,435 per year on average, while the average salary is $44,701, according to the state’s Education Association. In 2016, West Virginia ranked 48th in average teacher salaries, higher only than Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. [Washington Post / Sarah Larimer]


  • If you think your roommate situation is bad, get a load of these horror stories. [NYMag / William Brennan]
  • Sweden is trying to Russia-proof its elections. The country is training local election workers to spot and resist foreign influence. [Washington Post / Michael Birnbaum]
  • A pair of Canadian figure skaters who have been skating together for 21 years just won gold at the Olympics, making them the most decorated figure skaters in Olympics history. But because the internet can never be satisfied, now everyone needs to know if they’re dating. [Time / Raisa Bruner]
  • How would humans react if we found out aliens exist? Actually, fairly receptively, according to one researcher. [Atlantic / Marina Koren]


“The old one did — one hemisphere of it gave tons of apples, albeit tiny ones. Peeling them felt like peeling a doll’s fruit. When sliced each section was the size of a garlic clove. The peach tree was the star, her thin arms laden with fruit the size of tangerines, and as sweet.” [BuzzFeed / Sandra Allen]

Watch this: How the economy shapes our love lives

Dating in the US has been around for 100 years and it’s always been tied to the economy. [YouTube / Dean Peterson]

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