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At least 109 schools named after Confederate figures, study says

Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 7:00 AM

Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Austin, Texas, pictured in 2015.
Shelby Tauber, Austin American-Statesman
Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Austin, Texas, pictured in 2015.(Shelby Tauber, Austin American-Statesman)

study from the Southern Poverty Law Center says that at least 109 public schools in the United States are named after prominent figures in the Confederacy and many have large African-American student bodies.

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As part of the 2016 study on the symbols of the Confederacy, the  advocacy organization found that 52 schools were named after Gen. Robert E. Lee, which is nearly half of the schools where data was pulled from. Most of these schools are in Southern states, but a few are in the Midwest and western regions of the country.

One of the oldest schools in Jacksonville, Florida, is Robert E. Lee High School. In Tampa, Florida, three hours away, is Robert E. Lee Elementary School.

Other schools are named after Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, P.G.T. Beauregard, Nathan Bedford Forrest and J.E.B. Stuart. Fifteen are named after Jackson, 13 after Davis, seven each after Beauregard and Forrest and five named after Stuart.

In California and Washington state, three schools are named after Lee: Robert E. Lee Elementary in East Wenatchee, Washington; Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Long Beach, California, and an elementary school of the same name in San Diego, California.

In 2016, the San Diego elementary school was renamed Pacific View Leadership Elementary School, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. That same year, The Grunion reported that Lee Elementary in Long Beach, one of the oldest elementary schools in the city, would be renamed Olivia Herrera Elementary School. Herrera was an activist who worked with Cesar Chavez, according to Long Beach Post.

Despite name changes of numerous schools named after Lee across the country, Lee Elementary in East Wenatchee has not moved toward renaming the school. In 2015, in the wake of the Charleston massacre, Eastmont Superintendent Garn Christensen said most Wenatchee citizens wanted to keep the name.

According to the SPLC, 27 of the 109 schools have majority African-American student populations. Ten have an African-American population of over 90 percent. 

In one case, The Washington Post reported in 2013 that Duval County Public Schools in Florida would change the name of Nathan B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida, following a 161,000 signature petition. Named after the Confederate general and the first “grand wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan, the school was reported as having an African-American student body of more than 50 percent.

Notably, in 2016, Houston Independent School District voted to rename Robert E. Lee High School Margaret Long Wisdom High School, after a lifelong Houston resident and educator. The school has a large Latino population, according to The Associated Press

Despite the renaming of some schools, others have kept monikers bearing the names of Confederate figures, like Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio, Texas, J.E.B. Stuart Middle School in Jacksonville, Florida, and Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, Alabama. It’s not clear for each school if the decision to keep some of the names is because of cultural or historical ties or budgetary reasons.

Relying on federal, state and private resources, SPLC said that the data was verified by at least one other source, with preference given to governmental sources over private ones. 

According to the SPLC, “at least 39 of these schools were built or dedicated from 1950 to 1970, broadly encompassing the era of the modern civil rights movement.”

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German explosion: 25 hurt, 4 seriously, in Wuppertal blast

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 6:09 AM

A car and a house are destroyed after an explosion in Wuppertal, Germany, June 24, 2018. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)
Henning Kaiser/AP
A car and a house are destroyed after an explosion in Wuppertal, Germany, June 24, 2018. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)(Henning Kaiser/AP)

At least 25 people were hurt in an explosion in Wuppertal, Germany, police said Sunday.

According to The Associated Press, four victims were hurt "severely" in the blast and ensuing fire late Saturday at a "several-story building." The other victims suffered slight injuries, the AP reported

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"It can currently not be ruled out that there are still other people in the building," police said Sunday, according to Deutsche Welle. "The rescue efforts are ongoing."

Authorities are looking into what caused the blast, the AP reported.

Read more here.

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San Diego police shooting: 2 officers injured, suspect dead

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 4:37 AM
Updated: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 4:37 AM

File photo of police lights. Two police officers reportedly were shot and injured late Saturday in San Diego, California.
fsHH / Pixabay.com
File photo of police lights. Two police officers reportedly were shot and injured late Saturday in San Diego, California.(fsHH / Pixabay.com)

Two police officers reportedly were shot and injured late Saturday in San Diego, California. 

Here is the latest information:

Update 1:43 a.m. PDT June 24: KNSD’s Omari Fleming reports that investigators are unsure whether the suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound or was killed by officers.

KSWB’s Andrew Luria tweeted that “hundreds of rounds may have been fired” in the shootout.

Update 1:07 a.m. PDT June 24: The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that the suspect is dead. According to the newspaper, “a police dog went in and bit the suspect on the leg” after a robot searched the apartment. 

“After getting no response from the man, police determined he was dead shortly before 1 a.m.,” the Union-Tribune reported.

Update 1 a.m. PDT June 24: According to KSWB’s Andrew Luria, one of the wounded San Diego police officers “is currently in surgery with a life-threatening injury” after being shot in the chest. The second officer suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder but is “expected to be OK,” Luria tweeted.

Update 12:26 a.m. PDT June 24: According to KFMB reporter Steve Price, the shooting suspect “appears to be down” and has “head trauma.”

KSWB’s Andrew Luria reported that the suspect had been “wearing body armor.” Officers sent a robot into the apartment where he had been hiding, police said.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the suspect was “possibly deceased.”

The wounded San Diego police officers’ condition was not yet known, Price tweeted.

Update 12:01 a.m. PDT June 24: According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, police said a gunman shot at officers through a wall at an apartment complex off Rolando Court. A SWAT team was at the scene, where the suspected shooter was still inside the building, police said.

The newspaper reported that officers had taken another man into custody about 11:20 p.m. PDT but “ascertained within moments that he was not the shooter.”

Emergency personnel rescued a firefighter from the building after the two wounded police officers “and at least one firefighter were pulled out of the building on a ladder,” the Union-Tribune reported.

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Please return for updates on this developing story.

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2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest: Contestants, how to vote and past winners

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:22 AM

The 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest is happening Saturday, June 21st at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.
Dale Godfrey
The 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest is happening Saturday, June 21st at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.(Dale Godfrey)

The World’s Ugliest Dog Competition is getting underway at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California, and this year, fans around the world can vote for their favorite to win the People’s Choice Award.

>>PHOTOS: 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog contestants 

The World’s Ugliest Dog Competition takes place Saturday, June 23, after each contestant struts their stuff down the red carpet.

 

The California fair tradition dates back 30 years. Most of the World’s Ugliest Dog contestants are up for adoption and the event helps raise awareness of pet rescue and adoption.

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Past winners have been rescued from animal shelters and puppy mills.

Last year’s winner was Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff who was being fostered by the Dogwood Animal Rescue Group.

Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff, was crowned 2017's World's Ugliest Dog.(World’s Ugliest Dog Competition)

Martha has since been adopted.

The first place winner of the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Competition wins $1,500 and the grand trophy. The second place winner will receive $1,000 and third place will be granted $500. 

One dog will also be awarded the Spirit Award, which highlights one special dog and owner who have overcome obstacles or provided service in the community -- such as visiting nursing homes, reading at local libraries with children or spending time with patients in hospitals.

Cast your vote for People’s Choice Award in the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog competition here

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2-year-old trapped under rock pile survived, thanks to cop with background as stone mason

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 11:57 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

A two-year old trapped under a massive pile of rocks in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was released from the hospital Saturday, thanks to a police officer with a unique talent.

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It turned out the responding Portsmouth officer, T.J. Potter, had previous experience as a professional stone mason and specialized in historical foundation repair.

Potter's experience helped him accurately assess the danger the child was in and properly remove the slabs from on top of the child.

"[It was] a five man stone or a five man block which indicated that you would need four to five people to life it and set it on a wall, and we have done stones like that and built with stones like that, so I knew we could lift it by hand," Potter said.

"I think that was the main concern – can we lift it off the boy?"

Authorities responded to 325 Little Harbor Road after a distress call about a 2-year-old trapped under a pile of rocks. 

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When officers arrived, they found the boy pinned between large slabs of stone.

The boy had been playing on top one of the stone slabs with his grandfather when the slab he was standing on dislodged. The child fell forward and was trapped by the slab, which came to rest on his head.

The stone slabs are being used to build a foundation for a seawall and each slab is estimated to weigh several hundred pounds.

The situation was highly delicate, police said, because one of the stone slabs was resting on the child's head, and could have given way at any moment, putting the child at risk of sustaining the full weight of the stone on his head.

After a coordinated effort by police and firefighters, rescuers freed the boy in about nine minutes.

The child's parents were able to keep him calm as first responders worked their way around the stone slabs and rescued him.

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The child was first given emergency medical treatment at the scene then transported to the Portsmouth Regional Hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

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