Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

Mom who lost son in hit-and-run could face more jail time than driver

Raquel Nelson of Marietta and her three children were hit by a tipsy two-time hit-and-runner, Jerry L. Guy, in April 2010. Nelson's 4-year-old later died of his injuries. But prosecutors dropped a homicide charge against Guy, and he was sentenced to two years for hit-and-run and served only six months. Nelson, who was convicted this week of vehicular manslaughter for having the chutzpah to cross a street, could get 36 months -- six times longer than the man who killed her child. 

Most of the U.S. could be energy self-sufficient

With a little development elbow grease, we could be in pretty good shape for the day the energy apocalypse comes and states have to split into small self-reliant compounds. The majority of U.S. states -- 31 of the 50 -- could be completely self-sufficient with locally-produced renewable energy, according to a report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. In fact, most states could produce many times more energy than they need. They've got South Dakota down as having the potential to produce 32,431 percent of its energy usage! (There's also a bigger map and an interactive map that is actually not all that interactive as far as I can tell.) 

Jail time for gardening: Now officially a trend

Hey, remember the woman threatened with 93 days in jail for growing a garden in her front yard? She could have a cellmate! Dirk Becker of Lantzville, British Columbia turned his scraped-dry gravel pit of a property into a thriving organic farm, so of course he's facing six months of jail time. Why? Well, the thing is, this farm was full of DIRT. You can't have dirt in a yard! It's unsanitary. 

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