Store greeter runs to put out fire, loses job for leaving post

Published: Monday, December 16, 2013 @ 9:13 AM
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013 @ 9:13 AM

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David Bowers thought he was doing the right thing. When he heard that a customer's truck was on fire, the store greeter sprung into action, grabbing a fire extinguisher and quickly putting out the blaze. 

But instead of being rewarded for his actions, the Michigan man soon found himself out of a job.

Bowers says that shortly after the incident he was called into the store director's office at the Meijer store in Gaylord, Mich. and informed that he would be suspended for violating company policy.

Later in the week, he was notified that he was being fired for leaving his post.

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Bowers says he knew his actions might violate the company's policies, but he felt he had to act. He also admits he was suspended several years ago for leaving his post when he chased after a shoplifter. 

The owner of the truck, Ken Kuzon, is shocked at the company's decision, "I thought that was what we were supposed to do, you know you have somebody that is in need, don't you help them, but I guess not," Kuzon said.

Meijer released a statement to UpNorthLive.com defending the store director's decision to fire Bowers, "The safety of our customers and team members is a top priority at Meijer." 

"We have a very specific protocol in place for our team members to follow when emergencies occur, and we can't allow any deviation from the policy that could put our customers or team members at risk."

Bowers has been unable to find a new job since being let go last month.

Father says bus drivers left 5-year-old at wrong stop three times

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:18 PM

A Massachusetts father says his 5-year-old daughter has been left at her bus stop multiple times.
Mario Tama/Getty Images/Getty Images
A Massachusetts father says his 5-year-old daughter has been left at her bus stop multiple times.(Mario Tama/Getty Images/Getty Images)

A father is frustrated after he says his 5-year-old daughter was left alone on a busy road several times by her bus driver. 

Brockton Public Schools is investigating after the father says a substitute bus driver missed his daughter’s stop. 

Mike Smith waits outside of his Brockton, Massachusetts, home every day for his 5-year-old daughter’s bus to arrive.

Recently, he says, the bus hasn’t been reliable.

“They flew right past,” Smith said. “My daughter was behind the bus driver and I could hear her say, ‘This is my bus stop.’”

Smith says a substitute bus driver has missed his kindergartner’s stop three times in the past two weeks, and has driven up the road and dropped her in an unsafe place on his street where the cars zip by at a high speed. There are also no crosswalks there. 

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“She almost got hit by a car. She tried crossing the street, she looked both ways. One car slammed on their brakes, one didn't, they jumped the curb and that's when my heart dropped,” Smith saud. 

Smith said each driver has been different and none of them appear to know the routes. When he confronted a substitute driver Thursday, he said the driver was dismissive.

“He completely blew me off,” he said. 

Frustrated with the driver’s response, Smith took his concerns to the school district and the bus company, who are both now investigating. 

A spokesperson said the driver has now been taken off the bus route.

“This bus driver should be taken off anything that has to do with kids in general, because the attitude I got from him was completely uncalled for,” Smith said. 

But he worries the problem is bigger than just his stop.

“If they can do it three times within two weeks for one child, how often is this happening to kids in the city?” he said. 

Smith said the bus company and the school district need to examine their protocol so that no one is left behind or in harm’s way.

3 men arrested in shooting after white nationalist Richard Spencer speech at UF

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 1:46 PM

3 Men Arrested In Shooting After Richard Spencer Speech

Three men who are reportedly supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer were arrested on Thursday in connection to an incident where a shot was fired, deputies said.

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William Henry Fears, 30, Colton Gene Fears, 28, and Tyler Tenbrink, 29, each face charges of attempted homicide, the Gainesville Sun reports. Tenbrink faces an additional charge of possession of a weapon, public records show. 

Around 5:50 p.m., the men pulled up in a silver Jeep next to a small group of people sitting on a bus bench, according to Alachua County deputies. One of the men yelled Adolf Hitler’s name and began chanting, according to the Sun.

A man then hit the Jeep’s back window with a baton and the car abruptly stopped. Deputies said Tenbrink then stepped out of the vehicle with a gun.

William and Colton Fears then yelled “I’m going to (expletive) kill you,” and Tenbrink fired one shot at the victim, missing him and hitting a building. 

The men then fled the scene in the Jeep but were shortly pulled over by deputies.

Fears told the Sun that a man known for driving his car into a crowd of people in the Charlottesville, Virginia, protests “wasn’t unjustified.”

“I don’t want to glorify what he did, but at the same time, I wasn’t surprised it happened. It was eventually going to happen ... They threw the first blow so I’m going to take his side,” Fears said to the Sun. 

Tenbrink told the Sun that he traveled to Gainesville from Houston to see Spencer’s speech. 

William Fears and Colton Fears remain at the county jail on a $1 million bond, and Tenbrink is held on a $3 million bond, according to jail records. 

New study finds ‘alarming’ 76 percent decline in insect populations

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 5:16 PM

Ants (Photo by Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images)
Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images
Ants (Photo by Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images)(Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images)

Insects are in serious danger. Insect populations have decreased by about 76 percent in nearly 30 years, according to a new study.

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Researchers from Germany recently conducted an experiment, published in PLOS One, to determine how much populations had declined and why. 

To do so, they measured the total flying insect biomass, the weight of the insect catch, by using tent-like nets called Malaise traps. Those were deployed in 63 nature protection areas in Germany over the course of 27 years. 

After analyzing the results, they found that flying insect biomass had decreased by 76 percent and up to 82 percent in the summers during the time of the study.

In fact, the scientists say their findings suggest “the entire flying insect community has been decimated over the last few decades,” the study read. 

Scientists noted the drop occurred regardless of the habitat type, but changes in weather, land use and habitat characteristic were not the reason.

»RELATED: Can this plastic-eating bug save our planet? 

Despite the unknown explanation, researchers say the dip is “alarming” as the disappearance of “field margins and new crop protection” have both been associated with insect decline.

“Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services,” the study read. 

That’s why researchers hope to continue their studies to pinpoint the exact cause and ways to prevent it. 

“There is an urgent need to uncover the causes of this decline,” the study said, “its geographical extent, and to understand the ramifications of the decline for ecosystems and ecosystem services.”

Florida teacher accused of having sex with girl, 15, multiple times at school

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 4:50 PM

Jaclyn Truman, a 30-year-old substitute teacher, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.
Seminole County Sheriff's Office
Jaclyn Truman, a 30-year-old substitute teacher, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.(Seminole County Sheriff's Office)

An Oviedo, Florida, teacher who is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl was arrested Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bob Kealing said Jaclyn Truman, 30, had sexual contact last year with a 15-year-old Paul J. Hagerty High School student multiple times at school.

“Investigators conducted a recorded interview with Truman, who is cooperating with the investigation,” Kealing said.

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The victim told investigators that the two had sexual encounters five to 10 times from March to May 2016, an arrest report said.

Seminole County Public Schools spokesman Michael Lawrence said Truman worked at the school as a long-term substitute teacher at the time of the alleged relations.

Lawrence said Truman most recently worked at Lake Howell High School, but she was placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 4 after the alleged incident was reported to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Lawrence said Truman had a clean record and no reports of prior incidents. He said the school district performed background checks on her before hiring her as a full-time teacher.

"During that time frame, the teacher had already turned in (her) resignation to the district, which actually was effective and final yesterday," Lawrence said. "Therefore, this individual is no longer an employee of SCPS."

Deputies said Truman surrendered Thursday at the Sheriff's Office. She was booked into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility on two counts of lewd acts on a minor. A judge set her bond at $40,000.

Deputies said they’re looking into the possibility that Truman has other victims. Anyone with information about other possible incidents is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 407-665-6650.