University of Florida denies request for white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak

Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 11:21 AM

What You Need To Know: Richard B. Spencer

The University of Florida on Wednesday announced that it has denied a request for AltRight.com co-editor and outspoken white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus next month.

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Kent Fuchs, president of the university, said last week that the National Policy Institute, which is led by Spencer, contacted officials to reserve space for an event on campus. The event was expected to feature Spencer as a guest speaker. 

But following violent, racially-charged unrest over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, Fuchs said the university denied the National Policy Institute’s request, citing public safety concerns.

>> Related: ‘Alt-right’ activist Richard Spencer plans visit to University of Florida 

“This decision was made after assessing potential risks with campus, community, state and federal law enforcement officials following violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, and continued calls online and in social media for similar violence in Gainesville, such as those decreeing: ‘The Next Battlefield is in Florida,’” Fuchs said.

School regulations allow non-university groups, organizations and people to rent space on campus, although the groups are expected to cover rental expenses and security costs.

Posted by Office of the President at University of Florida on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fuchs said no student or university-affiliated groups were sponsoring the event.

“I find the racist rhetoric of Richard Spencer and white nationalism repugnant and counter to everything the university and this nation stands for,” Fuchs said. He added that the university is dedicated to free speech, but added that “the First Amendment does not require a public institution to risk imminent violence to students and others.”

>> Related: White nationalist rally at A&M canceled, Texas lawmaker says

“The likelihood of violence and potential injury – not the words or ideas – has caused us to take this action,” Fuchs said.

Protests in Charlottesville took a violent turn over the weekend when crowds gathered for a rally organized by white supremacists and aimed at protesting the removal of a Confederate memorial from the city’s Emancipation Park clashed with counterprotesters demonstrating against white supremacism.

>> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville

The protests left several injured and a 32-year-old woman dead.

Police said a car driven by James Alex Fields Jr., 20, slammed into two other vehicles and counterprotesters on Saturday, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. Fields, of Ohio, faces charges including second-degree murder and malicious wounding.

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Police: Student was punched, spat on before dorm stabbing

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:35 AM

Georgia State University student Sean Rowtham is accused of assaulting another student in a fight. The other student was also charged in the incident, according to the GSU police chief.
Fulton County Sheriff's Office
Georgia State University student Sean Rowtham is accused of assaulting another student in a fight. The other student was also charged in the incident, according to the GSU police chief.(Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

A Georgia State University student walked up to another student, spat on him and punched him before the suspect stabbed him multiple times in a university dorm, the school’s police chief said Thursday.

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University and Atlanta police responded to a call about the fight Tuesday, GSU police chief Joe Spillane said.

Nakia Roach was found in the the laundry room of a dorm with multiple stab wounds. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition. The other student, Sean Rowtham, was located by police in the dorm lobby and detained.

“After interviewing witnesses,” Spillane said, “it was determined that the two males know each other and had an ongoing dispute. The male who was stabbed was actively looking for the male who stabbed him.”

When he found him, Spillane said, Rowtham was holding a knife at his side.

Rowtham took the knife out as soon as Roach walked into the laundry room, but he didn’t hold it in a threatening way, according to the chief.

“Roach is about twice as big as Mr. Rowtham,” Spillane said.

Rowtham has been charged with aggravated assault in the incident. Roach has been charged with simple battery.

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Hero German shepherd takes bullet for teenager in home invasion

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:50 PM

(KIRO7.com)
(KIRO7.com)

When burglars violently broke into a Des Moines, Washington, home mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a teenager hid in a closet and held onto his dog.

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But Rex -- a 2-year-old German shepherd -- ran downstairs to protect the 16-year-old.

The dog confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. The dog ran back upstairs.

>> Related: Argument over dog’s weight turns deadly at Missouri sports bar

With the dog out of sight, the home invasion continued as the two burglars trashed the house room by room. When they came into the bedroom where the teen and the dog were hiding in the closet, and the teen was on the phone with 911, the dog stood up to them with the little strength he had left.

>> Related: Police: Des Moines teen calls 911 from closet during home invasion

He threw himself at the burglars, the teen's family wrote on a GoFundMe page, and was shot at least three times in the neck, leg and knee.

As the sound of sirens became audible, the burglars ran away.

Officers found smashed sliding door glass when they went into the home to get the teen outside safely. They also found Rex, who at first looked dead.

While SWAT teams looked for the suspects, Rex was taken to the animal hospital. 

>> Related: Shepherd, lab mix found tied to tree with note attached to collar gets adopted

He was eventually taken to BluePearl, where he is in the veterinary intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care, with round-the-clock monitoring of his vital signs.
After making it through the night, the dog is now in stable condition.

As Rex recovers, people on social media have taken to calling him a "hero dog" for intervening between the burglars and the teenager.

"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," family member Susy Cadena said on the GoFundMe page.

The family started crowdfunding after paying large sums of money for X-rays and urgently needed medication for Rex. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover the expenses.

"Our family cannot let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew," Cadena said.

Meanwhile, officers are still looking for the suspects, and they are trying to figure out why the house was targeted.

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Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:35 PM

Armed Stoneman Douglas Resource Officer Resigns

The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]

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Follow along with our live updates as we learn more

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Wakanda is real? Village of Wauconda, Illinois, gets ‘Black Panther’ love, requests for vibranium

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:06 AM

(Marvel Studios/Disney via AP)
AP
(Marvel Studios/Disney via AP)(AP)

The village of Wauconda, Illinois, is getting a lot of love from “Black Panther” fans following the blockbuster’s record-breaking premiere weekend.

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Pronounced the same way as the magical (but fictional) African kingdom of Wakanda, the town, where about 20,000 people reside along the shore of Lake Michigan, has already received a call asking whether they were hiding vibranium, the strongest metal in the world (Wakanda’s fictional world).

Another fan called to ask about the village’s pronunciation. “When I told him, he began yelling, ‘Wakanda forever!’” Alise Homola, executive assistant to Wauconda’s village administrator and mayor, told the Hollywood Reporter.

» RELATED: ‘Black Panther’ was the first movie filmed at Tyler Perry Studios’ new stages

"At first, I was like, is there a full moon out?” Homola said, confused about the calls and requests for vibranium. She knew about the film but not the plot.

In the Marvel universe, the Kingdom of Wakanda is a fictional nation ruled by T’Challa, or the Black Panther. Thanks to its massive hidden stash of vibranium, it’s also one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Wauconda High School Principal Dan Klett even received an inquiry about changing the school’s mascot from a bulldog to a black panther. But that won’t be happening.

» RELATED: ‘Black Panther’: Five things to know about the movie’s ties to metro Atlanta

While Wauconda, Illinois, has no plans to play up the “Black Panther” connection, other cities are getting in on the fun.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport announced on Twitter that it would be offering nonstop flights to the fictional kingdom, prompting hilarious reactions from some of the stars of “Black Panther” themselves.

The blockbuster’s ties to the metro Atlanta region are a pretty big deal. In fact, almost $84 million of flick’s reported $200 million budget was spent in Georgia, the AJC previously reported. 

Several scenes of Wakanda were actually shot at the beautiful rock quarry at the Vulcan Materials Co. in Stockbridge.

» RELATED: Made in Atlanta: “Black Panther” stuns with $235 million four-day take

According to the state economic development department, 3,100 people working in Georgia’s booming film industry were employed during the shoot, which started in August 2016 and wrapped up in November 2017.

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