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'Threats Of Protests' Lead Broward Schools Superintendent To Nix Stoneman Douglas Parent Meeting

Thu, 24 Jan 2019 01:08:24 +0000

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie abruptly canceled a meeting with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School parents over concerns that the event might draw protesters. The forum — organized by Stoneman Douglas parent groups and billed as a question-and-answer session with Runcie and other district leaders — was planned for Thursday night in the Parkland school's auditorium. "Today, numerous threats of protests on social media created an unacceptable risk for students who will be attending events on campus tomorrow evening," a spokeswoman for Runcie said in an email. She said Runcie would soon try to set up meetings with parents who want to share concerns with him. Principal Ty Thompson sent the same message to the school community on Wednesday, according to an email obtained by WLRN's news partner The Miami Herald. The parent groups that planned the event tweeted it was Runcie's decision to cancel and added they were "extremely disappointed." Runcie held a news

'Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied' As Government Shutdown Affects Federal Courts

Thu, 24 Jan 2019 00:40:00 +0000

In federal courts around the nation, the wheels of justice may soon be grinding to a halt. The government shutdown has already caused delays and disruptions throughout the federal court system, and officials are bracing for things to get a lot worse next week. There is that huge uncertainty, and it will impact our clients' access to justice. - Julie Olson, assistant public defender The strain is apparent among lawyers walking in and out of Boston's Federal District Court. Passing in front of famous quotes carved in stone, espousing the importance of a smooth-running system of justice, many attorneys say that ideal is becoming more elusive each day the shutdown drags on. "There is that huge uncertainty, and it will impact our clients' access to justice," says Julie Olson, an assistant federal public defender on her way in to meet a client. Public defenders get paid by the courts and have been getting their paychecks, at least so far. But they are "watching every penny" and slashing

Next Steps Eyed In Fight Against Water Woes

Thu, 24 Jan 2019 00:31:21 +0000

Local governments have spent $17.3 million the state provided to combat outbreaks of red tide and toxic blue-green algae, which have caused massive fish kills and fouled waters in coastal areas for more than a year. And as red tide lingers in some Southwest Florida areas, and just $1.7 million of $19 million in state funding remains unspent by the 12 most-directly impacted counties, lawmakers have to figure out the next steps. That includes determining how much money to pour into the problems and the best ways to reduce outbreaks, including possibly addressing human impacts through agricultural runoff and septic tanks. Rep. Holly Raschein, a Key Largo Republican who chairs the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, said Wednesday she’s “very excited” by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ passion on the issue. However, despite DeSantis’ call this month for spending $2.5 billion over the next four years to restore the Everglades and to protect other water sources,

Here's How To Help People Affected By The Shutdown

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:59:29 +0000

Thirty-three days into the government shutdown, food pantries across South Florida are calling for more donations and volunteers to help families impacted by the closure.

Miami-Dade Middle Schoolers Learn To Code Drones To Dance With Music

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:55:57 +0000

Some 100 South Florida middle schoolers powered up drones in the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall Wednesday, turned on the ‘Cha Cha Slide’ and coordinated the machines so they flipped and turned along with the music. Other kids performed choreographed dances with the drones, tumbling into breakdancing. For the last 13 weeks, these seventh graders from Hialeah Gardens , South Miami and Dr. Henry W. Mack middle schools participated in an after-school intensive aviation and coding program known as Kitty Hawk . The curriculum, designed by the Arsht Center, immerses kids in aviation-centric field trips and coding and STEM-related workshops. According to Jairo Ontiveros, the Arsht Center Director of Education and Community Engagement, the program tears down barriers between STEM education and young minority students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He said this “drone aerial ballet” is a showcase of what students have learned from workshops and field trips. “The idea of

Controversy Continues In Key West Over Cosmetic Shop 'Scams'

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:45:38 +0000

A number of cosmetic shops on Duval Street in Key West have been criticized for targeting tourists with scams and overcharging their credit cards. The shops are known for placing employees on the street who try to get customers' attention by offering free samples to lure them in. Now Key Westers are questioning the sales tactics and legality. Jimm Sherrington of Key West shared with Sundial on Facebook, "Maybe reign in the cosmetic shop employees who make it uncomfortable to walk down Duval Street." And Key West resident Sue Huffaker said, "[The city should] refuse to renew the licenses on the existing shops, and refuse them to any proposed new shops." Others have taken matters into their own hands. The Rapid Response Rip Off Team has been protesting in front of stores telling tourists not to go in. Key West Commissioner Samuel Kaufman of District 2 joined Sundial to talk about the ordinances the city is proposing to resolve the issue. WLRN: What exactly are [cosmetic shops] doing that

At Least 5 Dead In Shooting At Central Florida Bank; Suspect In Custody

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:07:00 +0000

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET At least five people were killed when a man opened fire Wednesday afternoon in a bank in Sebring, Fla., according to officials. At a brief news conference , Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund named 21-year-old Zephen Xaver, of Sebring, as the suspect. Xaver is in police custody. "Today has been a tragic day in our community," Hoglund said. "We've suffered a significant loss at the hands of a senseless criminal doing a senseless crime." At approximately 12:36 p.m., Sebring police and Highlands County Sheriff's deputies responded to a SunTrust bank branch after a man called police dispatchers and said he had fired shots in the bank. Responding law enforcement agents began negotiating with the barricaded shooter, trying to get him to surrender . A SWAT team from the sheriff's department entered the building and continued to negotiate with the gunman until he eventually surrendered. Video footage from the scene showed a standalone, low-slung brick building with

Five Dead In Sebring Bank Shooting

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:06:33 +0000

Authorities say they’ve arrested a man they say opened fire in Highlands County, killing five people. Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund said officers responded to a SunTrust Bank branch about 90 miles southeast of Tampa Wednesday afternoon. They found five people dead after a SWAT team managed to get inside.

Director Bryan Singer Faces New Scrutiny Over Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:04:00 +0000

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: In federal courts around the nation, the wheels of justice may soon be grinding to a halt. The government shutdown has already caused court delays and disruptions. But as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, things may get a lot worse next week. TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: It's carved in stone on the front of the federal court in Boston that the whole government depends on the, quote, "skillful administration of justice." But for many who do that job, it's getting harder. JULIE OLSON: There is that huge uncertainty. And it will impact our clients' access to justice. SMITH: Public defenders like Julie Olson say it's getting harder to mount a strong defense when the expert witnesses you want to hire, for example, don't know if they'll get paid. OLSON: Hopefully they will trust that this will all shake out in the end. But yeah, we're sort of asking consultants and experts to work on faith. SMITH: On the other side, prosecutors are also feeling the pinch. LAWRENCE LEISER: It's

Federal Panel Considering Recommendations For Mandatory National Service

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:04:00 +0000

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: In federal courts around the nation, the wheels of justice may soon be grinding to a halt. The government shutdown has already caused court delays and disruptions. But as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, things may get a lot worse next week. TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: It's carved in stone on the front of the federal court in Boston that the whole government depends on the, quote, "skillful administration of justice." But for many who do that job, it's getting harder. JULIE OLSON: There is that huge uncertainty. And it will impact our clients' access to justice. SMITH: Public defenders like Julie Olson say it's getting harder to mount a strong defense when the expert witnesses you want to hire, for example, don't know if they'll get paid. OLSON: Hopefully they will trust that this will all shake out in the end. But yeah, we're sort of asking consultants and experts to work on faith. SMITH: On the other side, prosecutors are also feeling the pinch. LAWRENCE LEISER: It's

The Fight For Native Voices To Be Heard

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:04:00 +0000

Nathan Phillips and Nick Sandmann sparked a nationwide debate after video surfaced of their confrontation on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. There are myriad perspectives on the event, and reporter Jacqueline Keeler writes that this video "reveals the triumvirate of experiences that largely define American history ." Keeler is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and a descendant of the Yankton Sioux Tribe. Audie Cornish of NPR's All Things Considered sat down with her to discuss her reporting following last Friday's events. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Audie Cornish: Let's start with the optics of these past few days. The video is released showing Nathan Phillips and Nick Sandmann followed by a strong condemnation of Sandmann, but then an almost mea culpa by some in the media as other videos emerge. What do you think is being lost in this wider conversation? Jacqueline Keeler: I see it as a very interesting moment, a moment where three streams of American

What Voters In Ohio Are Saying About The Government Shutdown

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:04:00 +0000

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: In federal courts around the nation, the wheels of justice may soon be grinding to a halt. The government shutdown has already caused court delays and disruptions. But as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, things may get a lot worse next week. TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: It's carved in stone on the front of the federal court in Boston that the whole government depends on the, quote, "skillful administration of justice." But for many who do that job, it's getting harder. JULIE OLSON: There is that huge uncertainty. And it will impact our clients' access to justice. SMITH: Public defenders like Julie Olson say it's getting harder to mount a strong defense when the expert witnesses you want to hire, for example, don't know if they'll get paid. OLSON: Hopefully they will trust that this will all shake out in the end. But yeah, we're sort of asking consultants and experts to work on faith. SMITH: On the other side, prosecutors are also feeling the pinch. LAWRENCE LEISER: It's

If A Recession Hits, Washington Would Have Few Options To Fight It

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:04:00 +0000

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: In federal courts around the nation, the wheels of justice may soon be grinding to a halt. The government shutdown has already caused court delays and disruptions. But as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, things may get a lot worse next week. TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: It's carved in stone on the front of the federal court in Boston that the whole government depends on the, quote, "skillful administration of justice." But for many who do that job, it's getting harder. JULIE OLSON: There is that huge uncertainty. And it will impact our clients' access to justice. SMITH: Public defenders like Julie Olson say it's getting harder to mount a strong defense when the expert witnesses you want to hire, for example, don't know if they'll get paid. OLSON: Hopefully they will trust that this will all shake out in the end. But yeah, we're sort of asking consultants and experts to work on faith. SMITH: On the other side, prosecutors are also feeling the pinch. LAWRENCE LEISER: It's

WATCH: In China, School Principal Leads Students In Dancing To A New Beat

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 22:35:00 +0000

The image of a Chinese schoolyard full of students doing calisthenics isn't new. But these moves definitely are. Dressed in a sleek black-on-black ensemble, school principal Zhang Pengfei leads his students in a synchronized routine that would turn heads in any dance club. In matching tracksuits, the kids at Xi Guan Primary School in Shanxi province shuffle their feet, pump their arms, and do the Charleston and the Running Man. Do yourself a favor and watch both videos here immediately. ~~~~~https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FXHNews%2Fstatus%2F1088086554776498177~~~~~~ Their moves are known as a shuffle dance or the Melbourne Shuffle. Daily calisthenics are required each morning for all students in China's primary and middle schools, according to China's Xinhua state news agency. Government inspectors can even show up at schools unannounced to ensure the exercises are being done, the South China Morning Post reports . Zhang told local newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily that he wanted to

House Oversight Panel Launches Inquiry Into White House Security Clearances

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 22:27:00 +0000

House Oversight Committee Democrats have launched an investigation into who got security clearances in President Trump's administration following the 2016 election, as well as how and why. Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., outlined the goals of his inquiry in a letter to the White House on Wednesday. The committee wants "to determine why the White House and transition team appear to have disregarded established procedures for safeguarding classified information" and "evaluate the extent to which the nation's most highly guarded secrets were provided to officials who should not have had access to them," Cummings wrote. The White House has not adequately explained why former national security adviser Michael Flynn did not have his security clearance revoked after officials learned about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, Cummings said. Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is currently awaiting sentencing . Prosecutors have described him as a model cooperator.

Shutdown Squeezes IRS Workers Just As The Tax-Filing Season Is About To Start

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 22:00:00 +0000

Even in a normal year, taxes can be complicated and stressful — for taxpayers and IRS workers alike. But this year is shaping up to be worse than usual. The IRS starts processing returns on Monday, implementing big changes in tax law while having to run on half the staff because of the ongoing government shutdown . Last week, the IRS ordered about 30,000 furloughed workers back to work without pay. Priscilla Clowers of Orange Park, Fla., resumed training on the new tax code on Friday, so she can answer calls from IRS customers. But she's also fretting about how to pay for her wedding, which is planned for March 30. "I'm sitting here like: 'Oh my God, this can't be happening,' " she says. " 'I still gotta get my dress. Oh my God, I got to pay the vendor, the wedding planner, the caterer, and I gotta buy my cake.' " If she doesn't get paid on Feb. 1, the reception is off, she says. "I haven't even called anybody because it's like somewhere deep down inside of me I got faith in God that

In Venezuela, Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó Declares Himself Interim President

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 21:59:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: It's been a day of high political drama in Venezuela. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to demand that President Nicolas Maduro resign. Opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president. He took an oath of office in front of the crowds in the capital, Caracas. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) JUAN GUAIDO: (Speaking Spanish). (CHEERING) CORNISH: Shortly after that, the Trump administration recognized Guaido as the transitional president. Maduro responded by cutting off diplomatic ties with Washington and announced he's kicking out U.S. diplomats. NPR's Philip Reeves joins us now from Venezuela's capital. And, Phil, this sounds like an extraordinary day. Can you tell us, what's the latest update? PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Well, we have a major political crisis here, and it's not at all clear how it will end. This started out as a day of nationwide mass protests in Venezuela. These protests were

Atlanta Airport Prepares For Super Bowl Travelers As Shutdown Continues

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 21:59:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson Airport is the busiest in the world based on the number of passengers who move through it every day - a number expected to rise when you throw in a little event like, oh, say, the Super Bowl. Well, Atlanta hosts the Super Bowl on February 3. City officials have, of course, been planning for months, but those plans did not factor in a partial government shutdown. John Selden is general manager of the airport. He joins me now from Atlanta in the Atlanta airport. Hi there, Mr. Selden. JOHN SELDEN: Hi, Mary Louise. How are you? KELLY: I'm doing all right. Thank you. Let's start here. How many passengers pass through security on a typical weekday at Hartsfield-Jackson? SELDEN: Somewhere between 60,000 to 75,000, depending on the day of the week and business travel and holidays. But we run somewhere in that range. KELLY: OK. So 60,000 - maybe a little bit higher. How many are you bracing for for the

Republican Sen. Mike Rounds Weighs In On Current Government Shutdown Stalemate

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 21:59:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: It is Day 33 of the government shutdown, and it has been just about that long since the Senate has tried to pass a new spending bill. That changes tomorrow. That is when each party, in an effort to end the shutdown, will bring its own bill to the Senate floor. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: The Republican bill, in exchange for money for the president's border wall, offers protections for the so-called DREAMers but with a catch. It also makes it harder for children from Central American countries to seek asylum in the U.S. The Democrats' bill is a spending bill that would fund the government through February 8. It doesn't provide any new money for the wall. Neither is expected to pass. South Dakota Republican Mike Rounds will be there to cast his vote. He joins me in the studio. Thanks for coming in. MIKE ROUNDS: I appreciate the opportunity to visit with you this afternoon. CORNISH: I'm going to get to this topic in a moment, but I

Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark Discusses Government Shutdown

Wed, 23 Jan 2019 21:59:00 +0000

NPR's Mary Louise speaks with Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., who is vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, about the partial government shutdown.