Superintendent gets glowing evaluation from Dayton school board

Published: Friday, October 27, 2017 @ 3:17 PM

            Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Rhonda Corr discusses the district’s state report card in September 2017. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF
Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Rhonda Corr discusses the district’s state report card in September 2017. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF

Dayton’s school board gave Superintendent Rhonda Corr a glowing performance review for her first year with the district, just two months after the teachers union issued a vote of no confidence in Corr and the school board.

The evaluation does not give Corr a grade or rating, but it “applauds,” “commends,” and otherwise praises her actions on academics, busing and personnel a dozen times. The closest thing to a criticism is a note “encouraging” her to improve strategic communications.

RELATED: School board votes 6-0 to extend Corr’s contract

School board member John McManus said he produced early drafts of Corr’s evaluation that were more balanced with constructive criticism, but the full school board changed those drafts. Board member Joe Lacey said Corr’s strong focus on academic improvement was a reason for the change to a more positive evaluation.

DPS won multimillion-dollar grants in 2015-16 while improving busing, textbooks and student technology. But the district also was placed on OHSAA probation, had a messy labor fight with teachers and ranked second-last in Ohio on state test scores.

MORE: See candidates’ profiles in Voters Guide

Corr said this week that change takes time, but she is confident she has the right team in place, and that the district will see “significant gains in many areas this year.”

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Police investigate reports of shots fired at California retirement home

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:35 AM
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:35 AM

Shooting at California Retirement Home

Authorities were called to a senior housing community in Long Beach early Monday after shots were reportedly heard in the area, according to multiple reports.


Here is the latest information:

Update 9:35 a.m. EDT June 25:  Fire officials told KTLA that two firefighters and a civilian were injured Monday morning at a California retirement home where shots were heard early Monday.

The extent and cause of their injuries were not immediately known.

Update 9:20 a.m. EDT June 25: Long Beach police confirmed to KCBS-TV that officers were responding to reports of a shooting Monday morning at Covenant Manor on E. 4th Street.

“All I can confirm at this time is that there has been a shooting,” Long Beach police Sgt. Brad Johnson told KCBS-TV. “(It’s) not an active shooter situation. (The) investigation is ongoing.”

Update 8:55 a.m. EDT June 25: Authorities continued Monday morning to search the retirement home, identified by KCBS-TV as Covenant Manor. 

The news station reported authorities were called just after 4 a.m. to a report of an explosion and shooting at the building, however, officials did not immediately confirm the report.

Two people told KTLA they heard what sounded like gunshots in the area early Monday.


Update 8:05 a.m. EDT June 25: According to KCBS-TV producer Mike Rogers, an “active shooter and 3rd alarm fire” were reported early Monday in Long Beach. 

KTLA’s Alberto Mendez reported that the incident occurred “at a retirement home near the area of 4th and Atlantic.”

“Suspect is still possibly in the building,” he added.

One woman told KTLA that she heard gunshots.

Read more here.


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Please return for updates.

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Puerto Rico evacuees reunited with their dogs in Orlando

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:10 AM

Pets Finally Reunited With Families After Hurricane Maria

After Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, many on the island moved to the mainland United States while their community recovered, leaving most of their possessions behind. 

Some evacuees even had to leave their dogs behind on the island—but one local animal rescue wanted to change that. 

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>>Photos: Puerto Rico evacuees reunited with their pets in Central Florida

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando flew in a group of dogs from the island to reunite them with their owners Sunday

According to the pet rescue, one man traveled from Texas to be reunited with his dog. 

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Georgia teacher’s request for funeral: Backpacks with school supplies

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:26 AM

FILE PHOTO The family of a teacher who died asked for school supplies and backpacks instead of flowers for her funeral. (Photo: JudyGilmore/Pixabay license:
FILE PHOTO The family of a teacher who died asked for school supplies and backpacks instead of flowers for her funeral. (Photo: JudyGilmore/Pixabay license:

After decades of service to her students, one metro Atlanta teacher had one final lesson to impart.

Tammy Layne Waddell died June 9 at Northside Hospital Forsyth after a prolonged illness. At her funeral June 12, dozens of backpacks filled with school supplies lined the pews.

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The donated supplies were Waddell’s last request to honor her lifelong passion for helping children in need, according to her family.

“My cousin, a teacher, wanted backpacks with supplies brought to her funeral instead of flowers for needy students,” Brad Johnson said on Twitter. “Serving others to the end.”

Johnson shared photos of the backpacks and of Waddell’s fellow teachers, who served as honorary pallbearers at the funeral, he said. 

Over her career, Waddell worked as a paraprofessional and a teacher at Sawnee Elementary, Cumming Elementary and Haw Creek Elementary in the Forsyth County school district, according to her family.

Johnson’s initial tweet has since been shared more than 2,500 times, garnering praise for Waddell and her legacy as an educator.

Former students who left condolences on an online guestbookdescribed Waddell as a compassionate and inventive teacher who encouraged students to do their best. 

“The best teacher ever I’ve ever had,” one student wrote.

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New York City fire chief who supervised 9/11 rescue, recovery, dead at 63

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:20 AM

Ronald Spadafora was a 40-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department.
New York City Fire Department
Ronald Spadafora was a 40-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department.(New York City Fire Department)

Ronald Spadafora, the New York City fire department chief of safety who supervised rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, died Saturday, Newsday reported. He was 63.

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The 40-year veteran died of a World Trade Center-related disease, becoming the 178th member of the FDNY to die of 9/11 illness, according the department. Spadafora was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December 2015, Newsday reported.

“Ron Spadafora was a consummate professional fire chief who bravely served our city for 40 years, and toiled for months at the World Trade Center site after Sept. 11, leading the Department's rescue and recovery efforts," New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a statement. "In his extraordinary career, he fought fires in all five boroughs, improved training for every FDNY member, and as the Chief of Fire Prevention for the last eight years, Ron's dedication and leadership led to greater safety and protection for millions of New Yorkers."

Along with supervising recovery efforts at Ground Zero, Spadafora also supervised logistics for FDNY during the 2003 New York City blackout, Newsday reported. He also worked on recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy, the newspaper reported.

Spadafora began his career as a firefighter in Brooklyn in 1978. He became assistant chief for the bureau of fire prevention in July 2010, The New York Daily News reported.

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