School bullies rip scalp of 8-year-old Georgia girl

Published: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 @ 4:40 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 @ 4:40 AM

The family of an 8-year-old Georgia girl said she was bullied so severely she had to be taken to the emergency room.

Dorris Bearden said her granddaughter's hair was pulled so hard that her scalp ripped.

"They kept pulling it and pulling it, especially on the playground," said third-grader Aolani Dunbar. "Everybody got a chance, and I was in the gazebo sitting there crying because I have no friends to play with that will protect me."

Now, there is a gaping wound on the crown of Dunbar's scalp, and her head was shaved bald to avoid infection.

Her family said her schoolmates picked on her for two straight weeks because she got hair extensions.

Bearden said Aolani wanted long hair so she could brush it like the other girls.

"She steps in the door of that school and the first thing they do is attack her and start ripping her hair out," said Bearden.

Aolani's family told Willis that the girl suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, and that may have kept her from confiding in an adult earlier.

Bearden said she reported incidents to the principal as soon as she discovered the injury.

"When I saw just the horror of it, I just started to cry," said Bearden. "I cried as I unbraided her hair and the hair fell out in my hands."

Bearden said one child received an in-school suspension, but she said that punishment sends the wrong message.

Doctors said the little girl may never grow hair on the injured part of her scalp again and may need skin grafts, according to Bearden.

Aolani's mother and even strangers who learned of the story on Facebook have shaved their heads so she doesn't feel alone.

They're also asking people to donate hair to Locks of Love so that they can make a wig for Aolani and other children in need.

"It's not only a temporary effect," said Bearden. "It's something that could scar for life."

She urged parents and school officials to take reports of bullying seriously.

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Georgia family reportedly welcomes quadruplets with no fertility treatment

Published: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 10:53 PM
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 10:53 PM


            Georgia family reportedly welcomes quadruplets with no fertility treatment

A Newnan, Georgia, couple, who defied the odds by having quadruplets without the use of fertility drugs, now have all four babies at home.

Kortney and Justin Miller have their hands full with a baby in each arm, plus an older son, Bentlee.

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Brothers Brandon, Brayden and Bryant and their sister, Kenlee, were born on Dec.16, weighing around 3 pounds each, at Piedmont Newnan Hospital. They're now about 5 pounds each.

"Normally, they eat every four hours, so feed one, you get done with her, feed him," Kortney Miller told WSB-TV Monday.

Feeding, changing and caring for four babies is a full-time job and then some for new mother of four newborns.

"I try to give her a break when I get home from work, but sometimes, they need their mom," Justin Miller said.

The Millers had a 1-in-700,000 chance of conceiving quads naturally with no fertility help. This is the first time doctors at Piedmont Newnan Hospital delivered quadruplets.

"The delivery part, it was really scary because I know I had a hundred and something people in that room and I was terrified," Kortney Miller said.

With the help of the hospital's "quad squad," all four babies are OK, despite arriving early -- at only 29 weeks.

The Millers say they are adjusting to the changes that come with the bigger family.

"We had to go buy a new van," Justin Miller said.

The couple says they need all the help they can get with diapers and wipes. They have set up a GoFundMe page to help with costs. The goal is to raise $5,000.

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Fox News announces the death of a beloved host and 17-year network vet

Published: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 9:29 PM


            Fox News announces the death of a beloved host and 17-year network vet

The Fox News family lost a beloved colleague this week with the death of journalist Brenda Buttner. Buttner was the host of “Bulls and Bears” and was a regular guest on “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”

According to Fox, Buttner was employed by the network for over 15 years, and died as a result of cancer. She was a Harvard University graduate and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

RELATED: RIP to one of the most recognizable TV faces of all time

Following the announcement of her death, Buttner’s colleagues remembered her fondly.

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“Sad news to report … our colleague and my friend Brenda Buttner passed today. She fought cancer heroically. RIP Brenda. We will miss you,” Buttner’s colleague Eric Bolling, wrote.

Buttner’s friend and close colleague Neil Cavuto praised her for her thoughtful approach to her work.

“She took stock of life much more than any stock in life,” Cavuto said. “It’s what separated her from everyone else in this business. Not just dollars, you see, Brenda had depth.”

“Let it be know that Brenda Buttner made us want to watch a business show with heart -- her heart, her spirit.”

Buttner was 55 years old.

Students wear blue to support classmate with autism turned away from school dance

Published: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 4:14 PM
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 4:14 PM


            Students wear blue to support classmate with autism turned away from school dance

What a school called a "miscommunication" has sent a woman and her son reeling, but it's brought a community together in support of them.

Max Bedard was turned away from a semi-formal dance at Pelham Memorial Middle School on Friday because he was dressed "inappropriately," his mother, Michelle Bedard, told WFXT.

Max is autistic and has a sensory processing disorder. 

"Chronologically he is 14, but neurologically he's not," Bedard, said.

She said it was a big step for him even to be going to the dance.

"He was very excited about it. He was looking forward to it all week," Bedard said. "He's never been able to really do anything like this before. He's very social and he loves people and he was just excited about having this event with all of his friends."

Bedard said Max showed up at the dance eager to meet his date. He was wearing black sweatpants, a gray long-sleeved T-shirt and a zip-up hoodie – with dog tags in honor of his brother who recently joined the Army.

It was Max's standard clothing choice because of his disorder.

Bedard said she discovered his issue when she bought him a yard of fleece to make a blanket. When she wrapped it around him and he went into "a meltdown."

"You notice these things, like when he showers, he doesn't use warm water," she said. "Cold does not faze him, heat does," said Michelle. "He doesn't get invited to birthday parties, he doesn't get invited over to friends' houses -- to have play dates so this dance, for him, it was huge."

But when Max showed up, Bundzinski Bedard said the principal took him to the office and made him call home to tell them he couldn't wear what he was wearing.

"He was stopped at the door. She said to him, 'are you really wearing that' and he said 'yes' and she brought him to the office and made him call home. He never made it to the dance and never saw that girl who was meeting him there."

Bedard had pulled over in the parking lot to make a phone call, but that was interrupted by her husband calling to tell her she had to go back and pick up Max.

"I said, 'Are you kidding me?' – a little differently – but 'Are you kidding me?'" she said.

Bedard said her son got in the car and told her he could go home and get a button-down shirt, but didn't want to go back because he was too upset.

"He ripped off the wristband that they give them and threw it on the floor of my car," Bedard said, tearing up. "I drove home listening to my son cry."

She said she would have bought him a shirt or worked something out, but said the phone call was more than a miscommunication.

In a statement sent to WFXT, the school called it a miscommunication, but "that's not enough of an explanation," Bedard said.

"Obviously there were communication breakdowns prior to and during this event that led to this unfortunate situation, and we will use these lessons to make things better for everyone in the future," the school superintendent, Amanda Lecaroz, said in a letter to the community.

"There's a spring dance, do you think my son is going to want to go that? He'll want to, but he'll be afraid to," Bedard said. "This one instance will isolate him … my son should be accepted the way he is, just like everyone else is."

But the community's response has been overwhelming for the family, Bedard said.

She said everyone has been wearing blue and sharing the hashtag #MaxItMonday, with pictures of students, parents – even dogs – wearing blue.

"There is always an exception to a rule. Nobody should be isolated," she said. "We need to be kind to each other."

Below is the letter sent to the community by Pelham School District superintendent Amanda Lecaroz:

This obviously is a very difficult letter to write and I hope it will be received with my intent clear to those who read it; that of healing and unity to our community. I became aware of the controversial semi-formal dance issue yesterday morning through some board members that keep me informed of issues in the community that I may not be aware of because I am not part of many of the social media forums that exist in Pelham. Since being made aware, I have communicated with all parties involved in the incident as well as witnesses to the exchange and I think I need to address a few issues. Number one, the young man was never 'sent home' by Ms. Maghakian from the dance on Friday night, but rather sent to her office by other staff members to make a phone call along with several other students to have parents bring alternative clothing to better meet the dress code or clothing expectations of the event. That being said, obviously there were communication breakdowns prior to and during this event that led to this unfortunate situation and we will use these lessons to make things better for everyone in the future.

Number two, however, is a much different issue. I am thrilled to be part of a community that continually rallies around each other, supports each other and fights for each other. That is a team, and those that know me, know that working as a team is VERY important to me. During my discussion with the young man's mother yesterday morning, she was very happy with the outpouring of love and support that the community had shown her and I was deeply moved this morning when I heard of the dance being planned and the blue wearing for Monday as I view this as another example of how this community rallies together. Although I think the miscommunication and misinterpretation of the events of Friday night led to this, the outcome is something for us all to be proud of.

I am honored to be a part of this community and will happily be wearing my blue tomorrow as well. As always, if you wish to discuss this or any other issues, feel free to contact me at alecaroz@pelhamsd.org or during work hours (8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 603-635-1145.

Thank you for helping us to continue to inspire success one mind at a time even when things don't go quite as we had planned.

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Trump pick for National Security Advisor draws praise

Published: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 9:31 PM
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 9:32 PM

A week after one of his closest aides was forced out of the job of National Security Advisor, President Trump filled that post by selecting Army Lt. General H.R. McMaster, as the choice drew praise from both sides of the political aisle.

“I give President Trump great credit for this decision, as well as his national security cabinet choices,” said said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has been a frequent critic of the new President.

“I could not imagine a better, more capable national security team than the one we have right now,” McCain added in a statement.

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The positive reactions to McMaster were in sharp contrast to some of the worries that had been voiced about Mr. Trump’s first choice for the job, former Defense Intelligence Agency chief Michael Flynn, who resigned a week ago after revelations that he has misled Vice President Pence about contacts with a top Russian official.

“McMaster is an outstanding choice for National Security Advisor. He has vast experience and will be a critical voice in the White House,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).

“McMaster has served America with honor on and off the battlefield. He’s a terrific choice to be National Security Advisor,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).

“McMaster is a great choice for National Security Advisor. He’s a highly decorated war hero & author of Dereliction of Duty – a must read,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

McMaster is not only a General, but also an active student of military history.

“Paying attention to what’s going on today and what’s going on in the past as a way to think about the future,” McMaster told the Foreign Policy Initiative last December.

While Flynn was seen a someone who – like President Trump – offered an olive branch to Russia, McMaster is not in the same camp.

In that same December appearance, McMaster said Russia and China both have similar goals – “collapse the post-World War II political, economic, and security order, to replace that with one that is more sympathetic to their interests,” as he noted their use of a “very sophisticated propaganda disinformation campaign.”

“Russia in particular has been aggressive in the use of its militaries in the invasion of Ukraine the invasion of Syria,” the General added.