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Up First briefing: 3 charged in Montgomery brawl; David Hogg's young leaders PAC

A screenshot from one of the videos of the brawl in Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday. The video shows a fight that broke out between an apparent dock worker and several men who appeared to be parking their pontoon boat in a space reserved for the city's riverboat.
@Josh_Moon / Screenshot by NPR
A screenshot from one of the videos of the brawl in Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday. The video shows a fight that broke out between an apparent dock worker and several men who appeared to be parking their pontoon boat in a space reserved for the city's riverboat.

Good morning. You're reading the Up First newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox, and listen to the Up First podcast for all the news you need to start your day.

Today's top stories

Police in Montgomery, Ala., charged three men with misdemeanor assault yesterday after a dockside dispute over where boats could park turned into a full-on brawl on Saturday. Videos of the group of white men beating a Black riverboat captain got millions of views on social media.

  • Troy Public Radio's Kyle Gassiott tells Up First today that police consulted with the FBI, but there wasn't enough evidence to charge anyone with a hate crime or inciting a riot. Right after the fight, Steven Reed, the city's first Black mayor, said that one incident doesn't define a city. But Gassiott spoke to Michelle Bowder, a Montgomery tour guide who said Black people are tired of being attacked. "We are living in the age now where you can't mistakenly knock on a door for the fear of being shot," she said. "We're normalizing violence against black bodies once again."
  • The viral incident inspired both serious debates and memes. Code Switch co-host Gene Demby tells Morning Edition the joking reaction comes from a feeling of catharsis over the subversion of the incident, where many people came to a Black man's aid.
  • Parkland shooting survivor and gun control advocate David Hogg has formed a political action committee to harness the power of Gen Z voters. Gen Z makes up nearly half of the electorate, according to the Brookings Institute. The Leaders We Deserve PAC is dedicated to getting young Democrats into state-level positions and will support about two dozen candidates under 35.

  • Hogg spoke to NPR's Elena Moore about mobilizing young people early and the fear that they could lose faith in democracy. "That's why this project matters," he says. "Because it's showing young people that yes, our system is broken, but it's not unfixable."
  • Scientists still don't know why some people develop long COVID, but they've gotten one step closer. New research suggests a link between the FOXP4 gene and long COVID, which causes a variety of symptoms like fatigue, muscle pain and brain fog. The preliminary research could help scientists better understand a condition that affects millions.

    Ohio voters rejected Issue 1 yesterday. The Republican-backed ballot measure would have changed the state constitution to make it harder to pass future amendments. This means that a proposed amendment to enshrine abortion rights in the state will only need to pass by a simple majority in the state's November elections.

    Life advice

    mikroman6 / Getty Images
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    Getty Images

    Work is full of challenges, and sometimes it just isn't a good fit. Deciding to leave your job is a big decision, and it can be hard to talk about it with your loved ones. Career coach Payal Shah gives advice to a Life Kit listener experiencing a career shift.

  • If your loved ones react negatively, it could be because they don't know how to relate to your current life journey.
  • Take the valuable feedback, and ignore the rest.
  • Focus on how you feel about the change and communicate that energy to your family.  
  • Today's listen

    Connie Converse, photographed in New York City in June, 1958.
    / The Musick Group, Heroic Cities LLC
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    The Musick Group, Heroic Cities LLC
    Connie Converse, photographed in New York City in June, 1958.

    Singer-songwriter Connie Converse's music wasn't a commercial success in the 1950s. She left New York to start a new life in 1961 and disappeared completely in 1974. When early recordings were released in 2009, she captured a new generation of fans. A second album comes out this week. Author and musician Howard Fishman shares some of her songs and discusses the life of the mysterious woman described by fans as a precursor to Bob Dylan.

    3 things to know before you go

    DJ Casper, born Willie Perry Jr., performs during rehearsals for his performance on <em>The Jenny Jones Show</em> in Chicago in September 2000. Perry has died at age 58.
    Raymond Boyd / Getty Images
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    Getty Images
    DJ Casper, born Willie Perry Jr., performs during rehearsals for his performance on The Jenny Jones Show in Chicago in September 2000. Perry has died at age 58.

  • DJ Casper, the man behind the iconic "Cha Cha Slide," has died of cancer at 58. His song has gotten people sliding, crisscrossing and cha-chaing at weddings and parties since the 90s.
  • Canadian rapper Tory Lanez received a ten-year prison sentence yesterday for assaulting hip-hop superstar Megan Thee Stallion. Lanez shot Stallion in the foot after a party in 2020.
  • Fifty visual effects workers at Marvel Studios in LA, New York and Atlanta have voted to unionize. They hope to join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IATSE.
  • This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

    Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.