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Teacher asked students to design Nazi mascot 

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 4:36 PM



Ian Waldie/Getty Images
(Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

School district officials in Gwinnett County, Georgia, said Thursday that they are addressing a teacher’s recent homework assignment to sixth-graders asking them to draw a Nazi mascot.

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The assignment was given Monday at Shiloh Middle School, said Sloan Roach, a school district spokeswoman. A parent contacted Gwinnett school officials to raise concerns about the exercise, Roach said.

“The year is 1935 and you have been tasked with creating a mascot to represent the Nazi party at its political rallies,” the assignment read. “Think about all of the information you have learned about Hitler and the Nazi party. You will create a COLORFUL illustration of the mascot. Give the mascot a NAME. You will also write an explanation as to why the mascot was chosen to represent the Nazi party.”

Gwinnett officials said the unidentified teacher was teaching a social studies class that was studying, in part, the rise of Nazism and its use of propaganda and events that led to the Holocaust.

“This assignment is not a part of the approved materials provided by our social studies department and is not appropriate and the school is addressing the use of this assignment with the teacher,” Roach said.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill Al Franken's Senate seat

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 3:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 12:48 PM

WATCH: Senator Al Franken Resigns from Senate

Updated 1:02 p.m. ET Dec. 13: Sen. Al Franken said Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith “will make an excellent United States Senator” after she was announced Wednesday as the Democratic congressman’s replacement.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton named Smith as Franken’s replacement after the senator announced his intention to resign. He has not set a date for his resignation. Dayton said Wednesday that Smith will serve a one-year term ending in January 2019.

Franken said Smith, who became lieutenant governor in 2015, will “be an effective senator who knows how to work across party lines to get things done for Minnesota.”

“I look forward to working with her on ensuring a speedy and seamless transition,” he said.

Updated 11:07 a.m. ET Dec. 13: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced Wednesday that the state’s lieutenant governor, Tina Smith, will fill the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Al Franken.

Franken announced his intent to resign earlier this month after multiple women came forward to accuse the Democrat of sexual misconduct.

In a statement, officials said Smith will serve a one-year term in the Senate before Minnesotans go to the polls to chose Franken’s replacement.

Original story: Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will be appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat of fellow Democrat Al Franken, the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio are reporting.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Al Franken will resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct

Gov. Mark Dayton will announce Smith's appointment at a news conference Wednesday morning, the outlets reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the decision.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Al Franken: What happens to his Senate seat if he resigns?

Both outlets reported that Smith, 59, also will vie for the seat in the November 2018 special election.

The news comes less than one week after Franken announced he'd be resigning amid sexual misconduct allegations.

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From 2003-2006, Smith, a New Mexico native who has lived in Minnesota since 1984, was vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. She also was chief of staff for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Dayton before becoming lieutenant governor in 2015.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

What You Need To Know About Al Franken

Man killed when van falls on him as he tries to steal tires

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 12:03 PM

A man was killed while trying to steal wheels off a van. (Photo: WPXI.com)
A man was killed while trying to steal wheels off a van. (Photo: WPXI.com)

A man was killed Tuesday when the van he was trying to steal wheels off of fell on top of him, police said. 

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Police found the man's body under the vehicle around 8:30 a.m.

The man was identified as Jeremy Michael Dickey, 41, of Wilkinsburg, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office. 

Police: Drunken off-duty firefighter kills pregnant 18-year-old, unborn baby in crash

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 12:18 PM

An off-duty Dallas firefighter was allegedly under the influence of alcohol Wednesday morning, Dec. 13, 2017, when he struck an SUV driven by 18-year-old Alyssa Pimentel in nearby Cedar Hill. The teen and her unborn son were killed in the crash.
Dallas Fire-Rescue
An off-duty Dallas firefighter was allegedly under the influence of alcohol Wednesday morning, Dec. 13, 2017, when he struck an SUV driven by 18-year-old Alyssa Pimentel in nearby Cedar Hill. The teen and her unborn son were killed in the crash.(Dallas Fire-Rescue)

An off-duty Dallas firefighter is accused of killing a pregnant teenager and her unborn child early Wednesday in a crash in nearby Cedar Hill.

The unnamed firefighter was driving a Mercedes-Benz south on U.S. Highway 67 around 12:45 a.m. when he rear-ended a Mazda SUV, according to the Dallas Morning News. The driver of the Mazda, Alyssa Pimentel, 18, and her passenger were both ejected by the impact.

Pimentel and her unborn child died at the scene, the newspaper reported. Her male passenger, who Pimentel’s father identified as her boyfriend, was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.

The firefighter and his passenger were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police investigators believe the firefighter was under the influence of alcohol and speeding at the time of the crash. 

Pimentel’s father told WFAA-TV that his daughter’s baby boy, whom she planned to name Josiah, was due next month. She had just picked up her boyfriend from work when the crash occurred.

The boyfriend has a broken neck, Pimentel’s father told the news station.

Pimentel identified her boyfriend on her Facebook page as Isaiah Perez.

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Pimentel’s father described his daughter as a “sweetheart,” a kind and caring person who would do anything for people. 

Family members mourned Pimentel on social media.

“I’m going to miss you, my beautiful niece,” Mary Flores Pimentel wrote from Chandler, Arizona. “You will always be in my heart.”

KDFW Fox 4 in Dallas reported that the name of the firefighter has yet to be released, but investigators said he faces an intoxication manslaughter charge in Pimentel’s death.

Thieves steal doors off car overnight, police say

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 10:58 AM

File photo.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The thieves knew exactly what they wanted - a couple of doors from a 2014 Toyota Camry- -- and it only took a few minutes to take them.

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"It was just bizarre," car owner Ann Carmody told WBAL. "It was so bizarre that I almost started laughing. Like, who loses their doors?" 

Unscrupulous body shops will contract with thieves to take specific parts needed for a job, Tom Reich, a special agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau told WMAR

“They come in the middle of the night they find both right here close, they grab them and they're off and you're talking maybe five minutes of work to get both doors off the car," Reich said.

In this case, the two passenger doors were removed late Saturday or early Sunday morning and nothing else was taken, according to WMAR

The Carmody’s insurance will replace the doors. Neighbors set up a GoFundMe to help the Carmodys buy security cameras. Neighbors also helped the Carmodys clean up the mess the thieves left behind and offered to give her and her husband, a disabled veteran, rides.

“It amazed me,” Carmody told WMAR. “This happening introduced me to all these neighbors that I had said hi to but never really knew and now I'm close to a lot of neighbors, so a lot of good came out of it.”