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Fri, 24 Mar 2023
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U.S. budget cuts to hit military school districts first

© The Associated Press/Killeen Independent School District/Todd Martin
Students move through the halls of Meadows Elementary School in Fort Hood, Texas.
Fort Hood, Texas - Public schools everywhere will be affected by the government's automatic budget cuts, but few may feel the funding pinch faster than those on and around military bases.

School districts with military ties from coast-to-coast are bracing for increased class sizes and delayed building repairs. Others already have axed sports teams and even eliminated teaching positions, but still may have to tap savings just to make it through year's end.

But there's little hope for softening any future financial blows.

"Next year is scarier than this year," said Sharon Adams, chief financial officer for Muscogee County schools in Georgia. The district serves the U.S. Army's Fort Benning and could lose $300,000 in federal funding out of its $270 million in general funds before the end of the school - and more than four times that in 2013-2014.

The schools' losses will come from cuts to a federal program known as "Impact Aid" that supplements local property tax losses for districts that cover federal land, including military posts and Indian tribal areas. About 1,400 school districts serving roughly 11 million children nationwide - including nearly 376,500 students from military families - benefit from the aid, said Jocelyn Bissonnette, director of government affairs for the Washington-based National Association of Federally Impacted Schools.

Eye 1

Sequester could cut more than $400,000 in the fight against Domestic Violence in New York State

The Violence Against Women Act has been in affect since 1994. The United States House of Representatives authorized to re-new the act yesterday, but the good news for victims of domestic violence may be short lived. The sequester is expected to cut $20 million in funding for victims nationwide. The effects will be felt through out the state, and right here in Rochester.

This morning, dozens gathered at The College at Brockport for the 14th annual legislative breakfast on domestic violence.

"Her very worse fears are realized. For those of you who don't know how the story ends, her husband Vince shot Amy in the head at close range, killing her instantly," said one supported of the Violence Against Women Act.

It's stories like these that pushed congress to re-new the Violence Against Women Act.

"Funding for non residential services should not be taken out of the New York State budget. There are more people like me with no where to turn and no answers," said a victim of domestic violence.

On the heels of this event, news of sequester cuts threaten some of the most vulnerable people in our community. The state could lose more than $400-thousand in funding that aid victims of domestic violence. That means 1,600 abuse victims won't receive much needed help.

The numbers trouble those who see the affects of domestic violence every day, like Jaime Saunders, the CEO of Alternatives for Battered Women.


Hysterical USA - 7 year old Brooklyn student accused of eating breakfast pastry 'into shape of a gun': suspended for two days


The suspicious pastry was immediately quarantined while school administrators checked that it was not loaded and in safety-off mode
Children at Park Elementary School went home with a letter today explaining there was a disruption in school.

Seven year old Josh Welch, and his father, say the disruption lead to a two day suspension for the second grader in Brooklyn Park.

Academics are hard for Josh, who suffers from ADHD, but he excels in art class.

It is Josh's own creativity that may have gotten him into trouble. At Park Elementary school, Josh was enjoying his breakfast pastry when he decided to try and shape it into a mountain.

Josh said, "It was already a rectangle and I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top and it kinda looked like a gun but it wasn't." Josh takes full responsibly for trying to shape his breakfast pastry, but admits it was in innocent fun.

Comment: The fundamental point here, the basic 'common sense' intelligence at the heart of the matter, is that it WAS NOT A GUN! The seven year old grasped that; that adults apparently did not.


Comment: Further confirmation, as if we already needed it, that the United States of America is certifiably insane. Between his sense of humor and his basic human intelligence (a vanishingly rare thing these days), Josh will no doubt soon be labelled with Oppositional defiant disorder. Long may he 'suffer' from it, because at this rate, he'll be one of the few to emerge from our collective dystopian nightmare with his mind still intact.

SOTT Talk Radio: Cosmic Catastrophe, Drones and Social Hysteria


Female cardinals and the morning-after pill: Change possible in the Catholic Church?

© AP
Benedict XVI, now the pope emeritus, acknowledged before leaving St. Peter’s that the Roman Catholic Church is a “living body,” always in flux.
No, the next pope will not be a nun - yet there could well be major changes in the role of women in the church, even without any changes in current church law. It's not widely known, but nothing precludes women from serving as cardinal-electors, even though they can't be ordained as priests. So the next pontiff could easily appoint female cardinals - and send the message that women really do have an important leadership role in the church.

No, the next pope won't be making any big announcements, either - not on Day One or Day 1,001 - about changes in the church's position on priestly celibacy, or heaven knows, abortion. Yet before he left St. Peter's on Wednesday, Benedict XVI himself made clear that change is a constant, even in the Eternal City. He referred to the church as a "living body," always in flux.

In fact, important changes have happened in recent weeks, even beyond the historic news of Benedict's retirement. Though eclipsed by the focus on the pope, German bishops cautiously voiced approval of the use of the morning-after pill to prevent conception following a rape.

Mr. Potato

Hysteria! Chinese official goes berserk after missing flight

A high-ranking official in the Chinese government lost his cool (and then some) when he and his family missed their flight at the Kunming Wujiaba International Airport in Yunnan Province, China.

A video shows the man, identified as Yan Linkun, standing near a boarding gate. There is no sound, but reports from Beijing Cream suggest he'd just learned that he and his family had has missed their flight - for the second time.

It's then that the temper is lost, never to be found again. Yan tosses computers, bangs on the desk and acts in a manner frowned upon at preschools, let alone highly trafficked airports. A crowd gathers to watch the spectacle, but nobody appears willing or able to stop the carnage.

Eye 1

Colorado theater shooting suspect may plead insanity

James Holmes

James Holmes during his first court appearance on July 23. Was he 'greenbaumed'?
Denver - Attorneys for the suspect in the deadly Colorado theater shooting said for the first time that they're considering entering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity on behalf of their client.

But they said in court papers made public Friday that they can't make their decision about their defense of James Holmes until the judge rules on their motion challenging the constitutionality of the state's insanity defense law.

The attorneys say the law is unfair to defendants who invoke it because it requires the disclosure of potentially incriminating information, such as mental health records, while those who plainly plead not guilty are not required to turn over any evidence.

Prosecutors have not announced whether they will pursue the death penalty, but they have 60 days from when a defendant enters a plea to do so. Holmes' hearing is March 12.

A legal expert said the maneuvering may be part of a defense strategy to make sure prosecutors never get their hands on a notebook that was purportedly sent by Holmes to his psychiatrist and included descriptions of a possible attack.

The notebook was the subject of court hearings in the months after the July shooting. Under state law, the notebook was protected because it was part of a doctor-patient relationship that Holmes had with the psychiatrist.

"That's why there's a big issue there, there's information that the prosecution may not be entitled to unless they plead not guilty by reason of insanity," said Karen Steinhauser, a Denver criminal defense attorney and law professor who is a former prosecutor.


France proposes to cut school summer holidays

France's education minister has sparked uproar by proposing to to cut summer holidays from eight to six weeks to prevent the country's children falling further behind in international league tables.
© Reuters
Vincent Peillon has further inflamed the teaching profession by announcing his intention to lop two weeks off France's long summer holidays
Paris - Reforming "le mammout" (mammoth) as France's huge, unwieldy, state education sector, is known, has been the bane of both Left and Right governments, with militant teachers' unions notoriously prepared to go on strike over even modest timetable changes.

Industrial action was matter of course last month when Vincent Peillon, education minister in President François Hollande's socialist government, announced he wanted to end the four-day week in primary schools to include a half day on Wednesday, which is currently totally off.

Now, he has further inflamed the teaching profession by announcing his intention to lop two weeks off France's long summer holidays.

French pupils currently spend among the longest daily number of hours in class in the world, while the number of days spent in school is among the lowest in all countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.


Police search team digs in garden of nurse arrested over 'cannibal plot'

A police search team dug up parts of the back garden of a house where a male nurse was arrested on suspicion of plotting to rape, kill and eat women, it has emerged.
Gilberto Valle, Dale Bolinger

Gilberto Valle and, inset, Dale Bolinger
Officers spent 15 hours searching the home of Dale Bolinger, 57, who was held last week by police investigating the British "mentor" of a New York policeman who used internet chat rooms to discuss torturing and cannibalising women.

The British contact of Gilberto Valle, who is currently on trial in the US, told him he had eaten two women in the past and offered to fly to America to help him butcher women.

Mr Bolinger, who has been suspended from his job at a hospital in Kent, and a 30-year-old man were arrested in Canterbury last week after Kent Police received information from police in the US.

Today neighbours living near Mr Bolinger's rented end-terrace home described how police used sniffer dogs and shovels in their search of the property.

One said: "The police came here last week at about seven o'clock in the morning. They had police dogs and there were forensic officers and plain clothed detectives.


Turner school lockdown drill scares students

TURNER, Ore -- Some parents and students in the small town of Turner, near Salem, were upset after a lockdown drill sent kids running for their classrooms in terror Wednesday.

"I was on the playground and I see everyone screaming, running into their classrooms," said fifth-grader Carter Bourassa. "I turn around and there is this guy climbing over the fence with a stick."

Carter said the man was dressed in a hoodie.


Marco McMillian dead: Openly gay Mississippi mayoral candidate's body found, homicide suspected

Marco McMillian,
© Reuters

Marco McMillian, 34, was running for mayor in Clarksdale, Miss. A suspect has been charged with murder in the case.
Jackson -- A 22-year-old man was charged with murder Thursday in the death of a mayoral candidate, whose body was found near a river levee in the Mississippi Delta this week.

The Coahoma County Sheriff's Department said in a news release that Lawrence Reed of Shelby was charged in the death of Marco McMillian, 34, a candidate for mayor of Clarksdale.

Campaign spokesman Jarod Keith says McMillian's bid was noteworthy because he may have been the first openly gay man to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.

An investigation began Tuesday when McMillian's SUV slammed head on into another car on U.S. Highway 49 near the Coahoma and Tallahatchie county lines.

Reed was driving the car, but McMillian was not in it, according to sheriff's department spokesman Will Rooker.

McMillian's body was found the next day near the Mississippi River levee between Sherard and Rena Lara, Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith has said.