Gailen Lopton, seated second from right, talks with Seattle police Officer Tom Christenson, top, as he hangs out in downtown Seattle, Tuesday, April 7, 2015. When Lopton was caught injecting heroin by police in a downtown alley in March, the officers offered him a chance to enroll in a first-of-its-kind program called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, aimed at keeping low-level drug offenders and prostitutes out of jail and receiving services for housing, counseling and job training. A study released Wednesday, April 8, 2015 by the University of Washington found encouraging signs of the program's effectiveness, and other cities are hoping to start programs of their own. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Seattle attempt to keep addicts out of jail shines in study

The results in Seattle are so encouraging that advocates say it should prompt reconsideration of President Barack Obama’s call for an expansion of drug court programs and a hard look at replicating Seattle’s effort nationwide, as some cities are doing.

Voters head to the polls in a municipal election Tuesday, April 7, 2015, in Ferguson, Mo. Three of the six city council seats are up for grabs in the St. Louis County town where 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black, was fatally shot by a white Ferguson police officer in August. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Observers, new council members optimistic in Ferguson

A surge of voters helped alter the racial makeup of the Ferguson City Council, and observers said Wednesday that the change creates a new energy in a community trying to find its way after months of turmoil following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.