Society's ChildS

Heart - Black

US: 30,000 college students kicked out of food aid program in Michigan

food stamp card
© Unknown
State's new eligibility rules to save $75M; more students got aid than thought

Michigan has removed about 30,000 college students from its food stamp program - close to double the initial estimate - saving about $75 million a year, says Human Services Director Maura Corrigan.

Federal rules don't allow most college students to collect food stamps, but Michigan had created its own rules that made nearly all students eligible, said Brian Rooney, Corrigan's deputy director. As a result, the number of Michigan college students on this form of welfare made the state a national leader. For example, Michigan had 10 times the number of students on food stamps as either Illinois or California, Rooney said.

Cutting off the students is part of what Corrigan says is an effort to change the culture of the state's welfare department and slash tens of millions of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse.

"Maybe (students) could go get a part-time job - that's what I did," said Corrigan, a former justice of the Michigan Supreme Court who attended Detroit's Marygrove College and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Comment: Considering the state of the US economy, and that of Detroit in particular, this is a rather rich statement.

"We want to encourage people to be self-sufficient, not to be dependent on the government," she said in an interview with The Detroit News.

But critics say state funding has shrunk and tuition has skyrocketed since Corrigan attended college in the late '60s and early '70s. They cite Michigan's still-battered economy and say the suffering the cuts will create won't be apparent until after cash-strapped students return to campuses this fall.

Bizarro Earth

Florida, US: Lakeland Mom Jailed for Allegedly Biting Son

© WTSP 10
A Lakeland mother has been arrested for child abuse after family members said she bit her son.

Police investigated 26-year-old Ann Marie Kane after Department of Children and Families officials reported three adult-sized bite marks on her son.

According to an arrest report, Kane admitted biting the boy in the past because he was biting his siblings.

DCF has investigated Kane several times in the past. They removed the children from her care during the most recent investigation.

She was being held in the Polk County Jail on Saturday.


Housekeeper Says Queens Monk Kept Her As "Slave"

© Getty Images/OJO Images
A housekeeper has accused a Korean Buddhist monk and his family of forcing her to work as a slave in their Queens home.

According to the New York Times, the lawsuit alleges the family kept the woman a prisoner in their Queens home for 12 years under threat of death.

The woman says the family allowed her outside occasionally but used threats to keep her from reporting them.

2 + 2 = 4

Obama Administration Exempting Schools From Federal Law's Testing Mandate

arne duncan
© StarrSecretary of Education Arne Duncan addresses a summit designed to prevent and punish sexual and gender-based violence in U.S. schools.
State and local education officials have been begging the federal government for relief from student testing mandates in the federal No Child Left Behind law, but school starts soon and Congress still hasn't answered the call.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he will announce a new waiver system Monday to give schools a break.

The plan to offer waivers to all 50 states, as long as they meet other school reform requirements, comes at the request of President Barack Obama, Duncan said. More details on the waivers will come in September, he said.

The goal of the No Child Left Behind law is to have every student proficient in math and reading by 2014. States have been required to bring more students up to the math and reading standards each year, based on tests that usually take place each spring. The step-by-step ramping up of the 9-year-old law has caused heartburn in states and most school districts, because more and more schools are labeled as failures as too few of their students meet testing goals.

Arrow Up

Gold soars to record above $1,700 on debt fears

© Reuters/Bobby YipFive-tael (6.65 ounces or 190 grams) gold bars are seen at a jewellery store in Hong Kong in this April 21, 2011 illustration photo.
Gold vaulted to record highs above $1,700 an ounce on Monday, surging nearly 3 percent as European Central Bank's buying of Italian and Spanish bonds failed to ease debt fears after Standard & Poor's cut the top-notch AAA credit rating of the United States.

Wall Street plunged nearly 4 percent and other riskier assets collapsed as skittish investors sought a refuge from other safe havens such as U.S. Treasuries in the first session since S&P's downgrade, sending gold's option volatility to its highest level since May 2010 on bets the metal could rally further.

Gold is poised for its biggest one-day gain in nine months as investors bet that nothing short of further government intervention would stave off deepening woes. The Federal Open Market Committee's meeting on Tuesday may hint whether the U.S. central bank will ease monetary policy further.

Eye 1

The World Runs Out of Options

© BloombergEven Germany's most ardent pro-Europeans seem to have given up trying to find a solution - they are building an alibi for EMU break-up instead.
The Great Reprieve is exhausted. The world has used up the three years' grace gained by extreme stimulus after the debt bubble burst in 2008.

This time we face the risk of double-dip recession without shock absorbers. Interest rates are already at or near zero in much of the OECD club. Fiscal deficits are stretched to the limits of safety.

Far from loosening, the US is on track to tighten by 2pc of GDP next year, and Europe by 1pc to 2pc, into the slowdown.

China has already pushed credit to 200pc of GDP. It cannot repeat the trick.

The Anglo-Saxons can print more money, but the gains in asset prices for the rich are offset by losses from fuel and food inflation for the poor. This is a destructive trade-off.

Bizarro Earth

BP Protest in the Gulf; the Oil's Not Gone

© Rocky Kistner/NRDC
Exactly a year ago [Aug. 5th], former White House energy advisor Carol Browner informed the world that 75% of the oil from the worst oil disaster in history had been cleaned up, evaporated and dispersed or burned off. "Mother Nature did her part," Browner told the world.

Don't tell that to Cherri Foytlin, the oil worker's wife and mother of six who walked from the Gulf to Washington for the one-year memorial of the BP blowout last April. The media has been largely silent since then, so Cherri and others decided they needed to remind people that "the oil is not gone."

Yesterday [Aug. 4th], protesters staged a protest at BP's gleaming downtown New Orleans offices, where they dumped a batch of black gooey tar balls freshly hauled in from the beaches of Mississippi. After sitting in front of the BP's office building doorway for three hours as police tried to convince them to move, Cherri and two other protesters were arrested and booked for trespass later in the evening. But they had made their point.


US: Alaska State Rep. Refuses to Subject Herself to Intrusive TSA Searches

The Transporation Security Administration has received a lot of negative attention lately surrounding security procedures, including full body scans and pat downs.

Now a state representative is speaking out strongly against those measures here in Arizona, but she came a long way to a make a point.

A coffee shop in Tempe hosted an event ot talk about TSA procedures on Saturday. It's a topic that has people fired up, especially after the now infamous breast grabbing incident from a Colorado woman at Sky Harbor airport.

"To be considered a terrorist is really an insult and it's really's a was a horrifying thing," said Alaska State Rep. Sharon Cissna.

Cissna has gone so far as to travel free from the TSA's grasp. All the way from the frosty north country to Texas to highlight her own uncomfortable experience at a Seattle airport.

She's stopping along the way in small settings, but she's received a big response.


Wisconsin, US: Investigation Under Way into Death of Tasered Naked Man

Kaukauna - The Appleton Police Department is investigating what led to the Saturday morning death of a man Kaukauna police attempted to subdue with a Taser after he ran naked through the streets of downtown Kaukauna.

Kaukauna police received a call about 5 a.m. Saturday that someone was yelling for help in the 200 block of W. Wisconsin Avenue.

On the way to the scene, officers spotted a nude man running south on the Lawe Street Bridge, toward the intersection of Crooks Avenue and Main Street.

Police said the man behaved strangely when officers approached him, possibly exhibiting signs of a drug overdose.

Police called for an ambulance to provide the man immediate medical attention. The man became agitated when the ambulance arrived and ran away.


Virgina, US: Manassas Man Dies After Being Subdued By Taser

© Prince William County Police
Exact cause and manner of death is not clear.

A Manassas man died Saturday after police subdued him with a Taser, according to a Prince William County Police press release issued late Saturday.

Debro Lamonte Wilkerson, 29, died at a local hospital. The exact cause and manner of death remains unclear. His body is scheduled for an autopsy.

The incident happened at 3:36 p.m. when police went to the 11000 block of Hiram Court in Manassas to help firefighters treat a combative patient.

Police used a Taser, a type of stun gun, in an attempt to place the man into custody. He was transported to an area hospital where he later died, according to the release.