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Take a look at this $72M high school football stadium in Katy, Texas

A new $72 million high school football stadium is ready for kickoff this season in Katy, Texas.

>> Watch the news report here

The 12,000-seat Legacy Stadium is the most expensive high school football stadium ever built and will be shared by eight local high schools. It boasts a massive video screen, huge locker rooms, restrooms and concession stands.

>> Read more trending news

The stadium was voted on and paid for by taxpayers in the area, according to NBC News.

“It’s something that this community wanted,” Katy ISD superintendent Lance Hindt told KTRK. “I don’t think the cost was anything that they really looked into.”

The stadium’s first game is slated for Aug. 31.

– Rare.us contributed to this report.

Teacher at elite private school accused of sex with 16-year-old student

A teacher at an elite private school faces felony charges after the Los Angeles Police Department arrested her on suspicions of an illicit relationship with a 16-year-old male student.

>> Teacher accused of sex with student, having child with him

According to multiple media outlets, including the Los Angeles TimesFox News and the Daily Mail, science teacher Aimee Palmitessa, 45, was arrested Friday morning. Fox News, citing a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson, reports that she was charged with statutory rape. She was released on a $230,000 bond.

>> Ex-'teacher of the year' gets 10 years in prison for hosting teen sex parties

Palmitessa was a teacher at the Brentwood School, which is attended by some Los Angeles celebrities and their children. Adam Levine, Jonah Hill and Harrison Ford’s son are among the famous names who have gone to the school. Tuition at Brentwood ranges from $36,000 to $40,000, according to the LA Times.

Palmitessa has been employed there since 2010.

>> Read more trending news

statement from Brentwood principal Dr. Michael Riera reads:

"On Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles Police Department informed Brentwood School that Upper School teacher, Dr. Aimee Palmitessa, had been arrested on suspicion of inappropriate relations with a student and is expected to face charges. The LAPD did not share additional information with us, such as the nature of the inappropriate relationship or the identity of the minor student. We immediately placed Dr. Palmitessa on administrative leave.

"We were shocked and distressed to receive the news of these allegations. As always, our primary concern is the safety, health, and well-being of our students. To that end, we will do everything we can to cooperate with the official police investigation.

"We appreciate the importance of transparency and will keep our school community informed to the extent we can given our concern for the student, as well as our respect for privacy laws and the integrity of the LAPD’s investigation."

She is scheduled to appear before a court on Sept. 15.

Confederate statues removed from University of Texas at Austin campus

University of Texas President Gregory L. Fenves abruptly announced late Sunday that four statues of people with Confederate ties would be removed immediately from the school’s South Mall.

>> Watch the news report here

The bronze likenesses of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston and Confederate Postmaster John H. Reagan will be relocated to the university’s Briscoe Center for American History, Fenves said. The statue of James Stephen Hogg, the first native-born governor of Texas and the son of a Confederate general, will be considered for re-installation at another campus site, he said.

>> Charles Barkley offers brutally honest take on Confederate statue debate

The removal of the statues under cover of darkness comes in the wake of protests a week earlier by white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., that turned violent, with one counterprotester killed and numerous others injured when a man with far-right leanings allegedly drove his car into a crowd.

“The horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation,” Fenves said in a message to the university community. “These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

>> Charlie Daniels compares Confederate statue removal to ISIS' actions

UT spokesman Gary Susswein said the removal work was being done after dark and without advance warning for public safety reasons. The work was expected to begin late Sunday and take several hours. In Baltimore, where four Confederacy-related monuments were hauled away on trucks under cover of darkness late Tuesday night and early Wednesday, Mayor Catherine Pugh had said she was concerned about possible violence.

Fenves had a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis removed from the Main Mall two years ago, and it now resides in the university’s Briscoe center. A year ago, he had an inscription honoring the Confederacy and Southern pride removed from the South Mall after earlier saying it would remain in place.

When Davis' statue was taken down, Fenves said he was leaving the Lee, Johnston, Reagan and Hogg statues at the South Mall because those individuals had deeper ties in Texas. But Charlottesville changed everything, and the UT president has now decided that they all must go from their place of honor. Commencement takes place on the Main and South Malls, in the shadow of the Tower.

>> READ: Statement from UT President Gregory L. Fenves 

“The historical and cultural significance of the Confederate statues on our campus — and the connections that individuals have with them — are severely compromised by what they symbolize,” Fenves said. “Erected during the period of Jim Crow laws and segregation, the statues represent the subjugation of African Americans. That remains true today for white supremacists who use them to symbolize hatred and bigotry.”

He added, “The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history. But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university’s core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres.”

>> There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

The events in Charlottesville no doubt touched a personal nerve for Fenves, who is Jewish. His father is a Holocaust survivor, having been imprisoned in Auschwitz. Some of the far-right marchers in Charlottesville raised their arms in the Nazi salute and shouted anti-Jewish phrases.

UT was influenced in its early days by sympathizers with the Confederacy, including George Littlefield, a Confederate officer, UT regent and benefactor who nearly 100 years ago commissioned the various statues. The sculptor, Pompeo Coppini, expressed prescient misgivings, writing, “As time goes by, they will look to the Civil War as a blot on the pages of American history, and the Littlefield Memorial will be resented as keeping up the hatred between the Northern and Southern states.”

>> Robert E. Lee never wanted Confederate monuments built

An advisory panel and a Student Government resolution had urged the UT president two years ago to remove the Davis statue at a time of reduced tolerance for Confederate symbols after the fatal shooting of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina. The issue has special resonance for UT, which didn’t admit blacks until it was forced to do so in 1950 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Fenves said he has spoken with student leaders, students, faculty members, staff members and alumni in recent days to get their viewsafter what he described as “the revelatory events in Charlottesville.” He said he also revisited the advisory panel’s 2015 report.

>> WATCH: Protesters topple Confederate statue in North Carolina

At the time he had Davis’ statue taken down, Fenves also removed a statue of President Woodrow Wilson, which stood opposite that of the Confederate leader, to maintain symmetry on the Main Mall. The Wilson statue is currently in storage. The Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans tried unsuccessfully to get the courts to block the removal of Davis’ statue.

Kirk Lyons, the lawyer who represented the Sons of Confederate Veterans, condemned the university's decision to remove the remaining statues. "They are spitting on Littlefield's grave. They should be ashamed of themselves," Lyons said, pledging to round up support for demanding that state lawmakers cut off funding to UT until the statues are put back.

>> Dozens line up to turn themselves in for ‘crime’ of toppling Confederate monument

Gov. Greg Abbott said last week that he opposed removing Confederate monuments, saying it "won't erase our nation's past, and it doesn't advance our nation's future." His spokesman declined to elaborate late Sunday, saying he would need to confer with the governor.

Aside from media, there are very few students on campus to witness the removal of the statues, despite the university having sent a notice by email to the entire student body.

Education Junior Ixchel Perez said she saw the message and came down to witness the move. 

"This is definitely history," she said. "I want to see this because it's meaningful."

>> Read more trending news

Perez stood opposite the UT Tower with friend Jesus Castellano, an economics senior, who called the move a "good decision."

"It puts UT in a position that says what is going on in Charlottesville is not okay and we're going to do something about it," he said. "Our student body isn't going to sit around and let things like Charlottesville happen."

- Austin American-Statesman staff writer Mary Huber contributed to this report.

Army veteran who lost both legs to roadside bomb is becoming a doctor

Greg Galeazzi is putting on a white coat at Harvard Medical School six years after losing his legs while serving in the Army.

>> Watch the news report here

Galeazzi told ABC News that he lost his legs and much of his right arm when a roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan in May 2011, just one month before he was scheduled to head home.

“It felt like I was an empty coke can on train tracks getting hit by a freight train moving at 100 miles per hour,” Galeazzi said. “All I could do was scream. It’s hard to put into words that sickening, nauseating feeling to see that my legs were just gone.”

He added: “I put my head back and just thought, ‘I’m dead.'”

He blacked out, and when he came to minutes later, he learned his fellow soldiers had applied tourniquets to his arm and legs to stop the bleeding. A Medivac helicopter arrived minutes later to take him to the trauma bay.

>> Read more trending news

He underwent more than 50 surgeries and physical therapy and now relies on a wheelchair to get around. Despite the life-changing incident, Galeazzi never gave up on his dream of becoming a doctor.

“Not only did I still want to practice medicine, but it strengthened my resolve to do it,” Galeazzi said.

He took 18 pre-med classes and earned his target score on the MCAT. He’s now one of 165 students in his class at Harvard Medical School. He hasn’t decided what kind of medicine he’ll be practicing yet, but he told ABC News that he’s leaning toward primary care, to be the first line of defense for patients.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more inspirational news

He and his fiancée, Jazmine Romero, plan to tie the knot next year.

He has this advice for anyone facing adversity: “Be patient with difficult times, and even when things may be getting worse for a little while, just be patient and stick it out. Because with time, things do get better.”

Read more here.

Woman donates school supplies for all students at Texas school

A California woman donated back-to-school items for every student at a Texas school, KWTX reported.

>> Read more trending news

"You can't put into words how much that support means,” Rosebud Primary first grade teacher Kendra Lorenz said.

Lorenz said she first connected with the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, through an online organization called Donors Choose. Last school year, the donor gave Lorenz’s class various supplies. She was surprised when the woman contacted her about helping out the entire school, KWTX reported.

"This summer, she actually contacted me and said, ‘Hey, what are y'all needing for school supplies?’ And so I passed along our supply list to her, and she said I'll take care of all of it,” Lorenz said.

Lorenz said the donations are especially important for her school district.

"Our families struggle, that's the nature of the beast around here, and that's OK, we work together, we get what we need done,” Lorenz said.

Teacher shoots self at Georgia high school, police say

Lithia Springs High School in Lithia Springs, Georgia, cancelled classes Thursday morning after an incident involving a teacher, according to Douglas County sheriff’s officials. 

The officials said a school employee was flown to a hospital after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot at the school.

>> Read more trending news 

No students were involved or injured. Just before 9 a.m., students could be seen walking through the parking lot and then back into the building.

“No students were in the building at the time. The campus has been secured, and students are in the gym. Students may be picked up by a parent or guardian, and buses will be available to take bus riders home. There will be no classes at Lithia Springs High School today,” Nell Boggs, community relations specialist for the Douglas County School System, said.

Boggs said a teacher suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound at about 7:15 a.m. while alone in his classroom.

During a news conference about the incident, the school's superintendent thanked first responders and emergency personnel for their swift efforts.

Sheriff's officials said the teacher arrived at the school Thursday morning, went to his classroom and suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"There were no students who ever saw this. This was a very isolated incident," a sergeant said.

Sheriff's officials said student safety is the first priority of theirs and the school board.

There were several hundred students who had made their way to the campus at the time of the shooting, but very few were inside the school building, sheriff's officials said.

Authorities said there were only two people involved: the teacher who suffered the gunshot and another teacher who was able to call 911.

"He was able to call to another teacher to call 911 upon his behalf," the sergeant said.

Authorities are not releasing information about whether or not the shooting was accidental. 

Sheriff's deputies said the teacher was stable as of 12 p.m.

Authorities said grief counselors are at the high school and will remain there for the time being.

"They will be here until they don't need it anymore," a sergeant said.

Deputies said the teacher had been an employee at the school for 18 years.

They said that while the gunshot was self-inflicted, there is a criminal investigation.

Students said the man is their math teacher. They said he has a wife and young daughter.

“His daughter is actually pretty smart. He bragged about her in class and loved her,” student Gustavio Ruiz told WSB-TV.

This is a developing story. Check WSBTV.com for updates.

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

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.

>> Read more trending news

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.

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.

Former middle school PE teacher accused of molesting student

A former Union County, Georgia, middle school physical education teacher was arrested on child molestation and sexual assault charges, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Monday.

>> Teacher accused of sex with student, having child with him 

Shawnetta D. Reece, 40, of Blairsville, allegedly was sexually involved with a 15-year-old student in 2013, according to a news release.

>> Alabama's teacher-student sex law is unconstitutional, judge rules

"The student was moving from the eighth grade into the ninth grade during this time," the news release said.

The GBI joined the Union County Sheriff’s Office investigation after recently learning of the alleged relationship

>> Read more trending news

Upon completion of the investigation, the case will be provided to the Enotah Judicial Circuit District Attorney for prosecution. 

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Teacher accused of sex with student, having child with him

A former Ohio schoolteacher is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student over a three-year period.

>> Watch the news report here

And according to an interview conducted with the boy’s father by WEWS-TV in Cleveland, the boy and teacher had a baby together.

>> Ex-'teacher of the year' gets 10 years in prison for hosting teen sex parties

Laura Lynn Cross, 36, has been indicted on three counts of sexual battery over a period allegedly spanning from Aug. 1, 2013, through Sept. 6, 2016. She was a teacher at Buchtel High School in Tallmadge, Ohio, just outside Akron.

>> Woman, 38, sentenced to prison time for sex with teen boys

The boy’s father told WEWS that he first went to Buchtel High School officials and Tallmadge police about the teacher in 2012, when his son was a freshman. But he said no charges were filed.

>> Teacher convicted of sex with student sues him for damaging her reputation

“First of all, she’s a schoolteacher,” the boy’s father said. “To get aroused by a child, basically, you have to be a sick individual.”

Cross quit teaching at the school in January 2015.

>> Florida teacher accused of sexually abusing, grooming 8 students

WEWS reported that Cross apparently convinced the boy’s mother, who had custody of her son, to allow the teen to move in with Cross through a court-approved “partial parental custody” arrangement. She reportedly convinced the mother that she could “mentor” the boy.

>> Teacher pleads guilty to sexual abuse of female student

Charges weren’t filed, however, until police learned that Cross and the boy allegedly had a baby together in 2015, WEWS reported. The boy’s father knew nothing about that until a tipster phoned him and asked him if he knew he was a grandfather, he said in the WEWS interview.

>> Alabama's teacher-student sex law is unconstitutional, judge rules

“It was a straight failure from the system,” said the boy’s father said. “From the school and … definitely [from the police].”

>> Read more trending news

An Akron School System spokesperson said the district was unaware of the case until a WEWS investigation alerted them, but said officials are now “doing [their] own internal investigation going back to 2012 to determine what exactly happened and when it happened.”

Cross has been jailed, and her bond has been set at $100,000.

School under fire after PTSA offers students ‘front of lunch line’ passes for $100

Students and parents in Lakeland, Florida, were gearing up for another school year when they received a letter from Lawton Chiles Middle Academy saying that for $100, students would be able to skip the lunch line. Some parents were outraged at the letter and felt that it was promoting elitism.

>> Watch the news report here

The letter asked for donations from the families, but the school claims that it was a mistake and never meant to be sent out. Principal Brian Andrews told WBRC, “Nobody’s a second-class citizen here. ... This definitely hits home for me, and I am very upset about it.”

>> Read more trending news

The Parent Teacher Student Association took the blame for the letter, saying that it was a “clerical error” and that no such program will be implemented this school year. They claimed that the piece was accidentally put in the orientation packets and noted that Andrews never signed off on the documents. In a statement to WFTS, the PTSA wrote:

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

"This Family and Business Sponsorship program was explored but we decided not to implement. Due to a clerical error, the form was inadvertently included in the Orientation packets. Our families have been notified this program is not being offered."

According to the its Facebook page, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy is a public school.

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