A bill signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott in March now means students will see “In God We Trust” displayed at all schools in the state.
WPTV reported that the law requires the state motto to be shown in a “conspicuous place.”
According to state statute 1003.44, “Each district school board shall adopt rules to require, in all of the schools of the district and in each building used by the district school board, the display of the state motto, ‘In God We Trust,’ designated under s. 15.0301, in a conspicuous place.”
According to the Florida Department of State, “In God We Trust” was adopted by the state legislature as part of the state seal in 1868. It was officially designated as Florida’s state motto in 2006.
A year ago, 17-year-old Jordan Zahora was recovering from a serious head injury.
At the end of July, the Bishop Fenwick High School senior boarded a plane on a her way to take part in the Economics for Leaders program at Brown University in Providence, R.I.
Only 40 students from around the nation were selected for the Foundation for Teaching Economics program. Amy Zahora could not be prouder of her daughter.
“She’s gone through so much and she overcame everything,” the Miamsburg resident said of her daughter. “She’s just a good, determined kid.”
Jordan suffered a skull fracture and concussion during a July 4, 2017, car crash, her mother said.
The two-car crash happened after the Centerville-Washington Twp. Americana Festival.
Despite daily headaches for nearly a year, Amy Zahora said her daughter studied hard and earned her nearly 4.3 grade-point average.
“She’s a tough kid. She’s a good kid,” Amy Zahora said.
Jordan Zahora stopped playing volleyball due to the accident, but now is involved in bowling and tennis at Fenwick, a Catholic school in Middletown.
She is president of her school’s Spanish National Honor Society and is a member of the National Honor Society and Kairos youth ministry.
Amy Zahora said Fenwick encouraged Jordan to apply for the Economics for Leaders program and is supporting her trip.
“It’s just going to be a really good learning experience for her,” she said. “To be at Brown University — that is an experience all in itself. But it is also teaching her to be a leader.”
During the weeklong Economics for Leaders program, students are exposed to economic reasoning principles and given strategies to employ these concepts.
From a press release:
“Additionally, participants achieve a heightened awareness of the impact of their decisions have on others and the responsibility that awareness imposes. Economics for Leaders is an unparalleled learning and growing opportunity. Students who have attended Economics for Leaders programs in prior years have called it ‘the experience of a lifetime.’”
A physical education teacher in Georgia resigned after he accidentally showed pornographic images in class, WSB reported.
The sixth-grade teacher meant to show Sandy Springs Charter Middle School students an instructional video Tuesday from his personal laptop, WSB reported.
Instead, officials said, “a few seconds” of porn were displayed on the screen.
Fulton County Schools officials investigated the teacher, who eventually submitted a letter of resignation, WSB reported.
“It is our expectation that teachers and staff maintain a safe and appropriate instructional environment for all students,” a Fulton County Schools official said in a statement to the news station. “Our focus will continue to be student achievement and the safety or our students and staff.”
Area students could get their loan debt paid off if they enter to win a contest from a beer company known as a favorite among the college crowd.
Natural Light, Natty Light as it is sometimes called, is giving away $1 million to help students pay off their debt. Anheuser-Busch, which produces the beer, is running a contest and ad campaign centered around the Super Bowl and Dayton and Cincinnati will be two of the 10 markets targeted.
A 30-second ad will air during the Super Bowl this Sunday in Dayton and Cincinnati that will try to stoke nostalgia among college students and grads, according to Business Insider.RELATED: A university in Ohio is getting rid of most Friday classes next fall
“We took a look at ten of the most Natty-centric cities where our beer is loved and there are thousands of students, and took on the mission to protect their epic college memories,” Chelsea Phillips, vice president of value brands for Anheuser-Busch said in a prepared statement.
The Dayton region is home to the University of Dayton, Wright State University and the University of Cincinnati, Miami University and Ohio State University are both only around an hour or so away.
To enter the contest, students and grads are asked to post a video on social media that explains their inspiration for attending college.RELATED: Ohio ranks low in educated states: See state rankings
In the post, they are asked to include the hash tags #NattyStories and #Contest and a green tab found on all cans inside a limited-edition 36 pack of Natural Light, according to the company.
Through May 6, the company will select 25 students who will each be awarded $40,000. To help spread the word about the contest, Natural Light has teamed up with Jake Johnson, an actor on the Fox sitcom called “New Girl” which stars actress Zooey Deschanel.
Below are the 10 markets considered “Natty-centric” cities where Natural Light’s commercials will air during the Super Bowl. People entering do not have to live in or be a graduate of a college in any of the markets though.RELATED: UD renames former NCR world headquarters for former school president
• Johnstown, Pennsylvania
• Lexington, Kentucky
• Madison, Wisconsin
• Columbia/Jefferson City, MissouriRELATED: Area community college to open a new location this year in Troy
• Columbus/Tupelo, Mississippi
• Montgomery, Alabama
• Kansas City, Kansas
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
An 8-year-old South Charleston boy died last week in a possible bathtub drowning.
A visitation for Grady Neff, a student at Miami View Elementary School, will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Clark County Fairgrounds Mercantile Annex Building.
“Everybody that knew Grady loved him,” the family said in a statement. “He was always the biggest personality in the room with a smile, or a wave or a hug.”
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has ruled out anything criminal, Lt. Kristopher Shultz said, but are continuing their investigation to see what might have caused the possible drowning.
“Anytime you have a child that is involved in a situation, it’s sad,” he said. “Anytime we have a situation with a child involved in any kind of incident, accident, whatever it may be it, is always heartbreaking for us and the public.”
Grady had a seizure and his death is a tragedy, the family’s statement says.
Clark County Sheriff’s Office records show calls were made to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office about 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11. A woman, screaming, told dispatchers that a child had drowned in the bathtub.
Grady was taken to a Columbus hospital, Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahia Ortiz said. She couldn’t release any more information and said an autopsy could take 10 weeks to complete.
“Our heart goes out to the family,” Shultz said. “South Charleston is a very tight community so our heart goes out to them with that because they are are a very tight-knit group of people. It’s a tragic situation.”
Southeastern Superintendent David Shea said Neff was an outstanding student and the students and staff at the school are mourning his loss.
“He was a great, great kid that we all loved,” Shea said.
The school has counselors available this week and some students have used them, he said.
Video of a Dayton Public Schools teacher who reportedly “grabbed a student by the wrist during gym class at Rosa Parks Early Learning Center, twisted his arm, and dragged him across the gym floor” was obtained Tuesday by the Dayton Daily News and WHIO.
David Cameron was accused of dragging the kindergarten boy “on or about” Nov. 28, 2016, according to a March 15 letter DPS Treasurer Hiwot Abraha wrote Cameron detailing the specifications of the grounds for termination.
The school board approved a resolution to terminate Cameron during a meeting in August.
The Dayton Daily News and WHIO obtained the letter and video using Ohio’s public records laws.
“The kindergarten student expressed that you were hurting him, yet you did not release him,” the letter states. “On Feb, 23, 2017, you were present at an administrative hearing regarding the charges and specifications surrounding this matter. It was noted in the hearing that you have been counseled previously regarding appropriate student disciplinary procedures.”
Cameron initially requested a hearing before a referee appointed by the Ohio Department of Education, according to the resolution from the meeting. But the document says Cameron “withdrew his request and waived any right to a hearing” before the Aug. 2 meeting.
Cameron was placed on leave for several months after the incident.
The Springboro City Council gave the green light Thursday on development of the $380 million Austin South Springboro.
The council voted after developer Larry Dillin unveiled the project publicly for the first time.
With two members absent, the council approved a resolution 5-0 authorizing City Manager Christine Thompson to sign the development agreement with Dillin’s companies.
Those companies are VisCap - the company under which Dillin is developing and leasing on both sides of Austin Boulevard since taking over for developer Randy Gunlock and RG Properties - and Springboro Landing Associates - the company owning the 63.7 acres in Springboro city limits and 3.5 acres in Miami Twp.
“This is a wonderful thing for Springboro,” Mayor John Agenbroad said.
Now the city and Dillin’s companies begin a contingency period of 90 to 180 days expected to lead to arrangement of financing for the project. Annexation of the Miami Twp. land into Springboro is among the contingencies.
By late spring 2018, the project could be breaking ground.
It comes as Dillin concludes work at Austin Landing, a mixed-used development at Austin Boulevard across from the new project site along Interstate 75.
Springboro is to finance more than $32 million to pay for roads and other infrastructure.
Dillin, his investors and the companies moving to the development are expected to put in as much as $350 million, according to the development agreement released this week.
Upscale senior and multi-family housing, a hotel and retail are among the uses anticipated in the first phase of the 67-acre development on the southeast corner of Interstate 75 and Austin Boulevard, in Springboro and Miami Twp.
Dillin and the city reached agreement after setting aside terms of a settlement reached by the city and the prior developer, R.G. Properties, in a lawsuit about plans to build a WalMart there.
The development agreement sets a schedule of payments to Miamisburg City Schools, starting in 2021. Payments of more than $3 million would be in lieu of taxes on the improvements that are to be diverted through tax incremental financing to help pay for the development.
The development is to be accessed off Austin Boulevard by an entrance across from one leading into Austin Landing and allowing no left turns for westbound motorists. A full entrance would be built off 741, Main Street in Springboro.
Dillin is also expected to be involved in redevelopment of Springboro’s central crossroads, Main Street and Central Avenue, Ohio 73 in Springboro.
Four children found their parents – including their airline pilot father – dead Thursday in their Centerville, Ohio, home in what investigators said appears to be the latest incident in a scourge of drug deaths plaguing Montgomery County and Ohio.
The husband, Brian Halye, was an active pilot for Spirit Airlines, flying for them nine years, and captaining a passenger jet as recently as last Friday.
He and his wife, Courtney Halye, were found in a bedroom of their home on East Von Dette Circle, a suburban cul-de-sac.
The deaths appear “drug related due to paraphernalia found at the scene,” Centerville Police Officer John Davis said. Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, said the incident resembles other opioid cases and “could be consistent with what we’re seeing with fentanyl products in our community.”
“We’ve been talking about this for how long now?” Betz said by phone. “Here I go again … year-to-date, accidental drug overdoses exceeded 160 already this year.”
Official causes of death for the couple have not been released, as a full medical exam will be performed today.
‘They were very cold’
The couple each had two children from previous marriages. In two 911 calls to Centerville police shortly before 8 a.m., the children ages 9 to 13 told dispatchers their parents are on the floor and “not waking up.”
“They were very cold,” said the oldest child, politely answering “yes, ma’am” to the dispatcher as his sisters cried in the background.
The children ran outside the home to relatives as police conducted an investigation. By 10:30, police and emergency response vehicles cleared the usually tranquil neighborhood.
The Halyes purchased their home in summer 2013. The neighborhood, Pellbrook Farm, is just southwest of the Ohio 725-Wilmington Pike intersection. The quiet suburban cul-de-sac features homes valued around $150,000 to $225,000.
Warren County Court records show Brian Halye was divorced in 2011 in a shared parenting case. Courtney Halye was convicted of a felony drug possession charge in 2009, but the case was expunged. Her previous husband Jacob Castor, the father of two of the children, died in 2007 at age 27.
Neighbors were stunned by Thursday’s news.
“There’s never much activity going on over there,” said a neighbor, who declined to be named. Added another neighbor, “That’s what surprises us, because he was an airline pilot, and he flew for Spirit.”
Pilot flew last week
Halye last flew for Spirit on Friday, according to the “ultra low fares” carrier. The pilot’s social media accounts indicate he was based at its Detroit operations center. The airline does not provide service to Dayton International Airport.
“Captain Halye served at the airline for just over nine years,” Paul Berry, the company’s spokesman, said in a statement expressing the company’s sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues.
The Dayton Daily News asked Spirit Airlines officials to provide more details about Halye’s last-flown routes and upcoming flights, as well as the dates and results of any drug screenings. Spirit declined to answer.
Federal regulations require employers to administer drug and alcohol testing in pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, random, post-accident, reasonable cause and follow-up situations, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said.
Pilots must hold valid medical certificates in order to fly. The Airline Transport Pilot certificate, which Halye held, requires a first-class medical certificate, which must be updated every 12 months for a pilot under the age of 40. Halye was 36.
The FAA database lists Halye’s medical certificate date as September, 2011, which would mean the certificate expired more than four years ago. Asked to double check, Cory said Halye’s certificate was up-to-date, with it due to expire this fall.
“I’m not sure why the online database does not have that information,” Cory said in an email to the Dayton Daily News. “The system could be in the process of update.”
Dr. Richard Garrison is among the doctors who conducts such tests locally. Garrison said that exam is roughly similar to an annual physical, and also includes vision testing and EKG heart tests for pilots over a certain age. But he said those exams do not include substance-abuse testing.
Drug issues everywhere
Multiple-death overdoses at a single site happened at least four times in Montgomery County in 2016 — including to Jamie Haddix and Darrell Morgan, who were found dead on Christmas Eve. The place where they died, a four-unit apartment building on Wiltshire Boulevard in Kettering, isn’t ground zero in the region’s opioid crisis because there is no ground zero.
“You always hear, ‘It can’t happen in my neighborhood,’ ” said Michael Link, who lives around the corner from the Halyes in Centerville. “But it does.”
Centerville ranked comparatively low on Montgomery County’s 2016 overdose list, with only five residents dying from drug causes, according to preliminary coroner’s data. That’s much lower than comparably sized Trotwood (17), Miamisburg (14) and Riverside (13). But nearly every community in the county had a spot on that list, which included 355 deaths.
Two of the children attended Centerville’s Tower Heights Middle School and two attended another district. Centerville schools Superintendent Tom Henderson said the district “continues to support friends of the students who were part of this family. Centerville had guidance counselors “on call and on deck as needed.”
Henderson said so many students know each other not only from school, but from sports and other cross-community activities that a tragedy like this can have a wider impact that people might think.
“These two students have come up through our district, so we try to be cognizant of that and get out to the other buildings they’ve attended,” Henderson said. “We’ll be ready (Friday) when students come in, and we’ll be ready when the students (in that family) come back to attend school again.”
Staff Writers Chris Stewart, Malik Perkins, Katie Wedell and Hannah Poturalski contributed reporting.
Compiled from Associated Press and Florida News Service reports.
Students excused from having to daily recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Florida public schools would no longer have to stand and hold their hands over their heart either, under a bill that is headed to the House floor.
The House Education Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill (HB 1403) that would change how students are notified of their right to skip the daily pledge and what the excused student must do during the pledge.
Current law requires schools to conspicuously post a notice, telling students they don’t have to recite the pledge if a parent asks in writing for a student to be excused. The law also requires excused students to still stand and hold their hands over their hearts while the pledge is recited.
The bill would allow the notice to instead be placed in a student handbook, and excused students would no longer be required to stand or hold their hands over their hearts.
The bill was filed after a parent of a child at a Panhandle school told the school district it was not following notice requirements. A Senate companion bill has not yet been heard in the first of its three required committees.
A bipartisan Senate agreement expected to be voted on Wednesday will include some changes to the meals your children will be offered at school, and it may be changes that would bring them to the table.
The bill, which is expected to be passed by the full Senate, will offer more flexibility to the nations nearly 100,000 public schools as it eases requirements on the use of whole grains and delays a deadline to cut the level of sodium in school lunches.
The legislation has grown out of complaints by some schools that the requirements for their meals – changed in 2012 with the support of first lady Michelle Obama – are burdensome and that children are not eating the food.
To qualify for federal reimbursements for free and reduced-cost meals, schools are required to meet federal government nutrition guidelines. The guidelines set in 2012 imposed limits on the amount of fats, calories, sugar and sodium that meals could include.
Many schools balked at the standards, saying children would not eat the healthier options. Wednesday’s vote comes after a bill that would have allowed schools to opt out of the program entirely failed in 2014.
Per the bill, the Agriculture Department would be required to revised the whole grain and sodium standards for meals within 90 days of its passage.
Here’s how the legislation would change what school lunchrooms are serving:
Grains: Currently, all grains served in public schools must be whole grains, meaning the food made from grain must have been made using 100 percent of the original grain kernel. The new legislation requires that 80 percent of the grains used be whole grain or more than half whole grain. (Currently, schools may request waivers from the whole grain requirement.)
Salt: The implementation of stricter standards for the amount of sodium in school meals would be delayed until 2019 under the new legislation. The bill would also fund a study into the benefits of lowering salt levels in school meals.
Waste: The problem of waste is a big one in school lunches. Under the new legislation, the Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be tasked with coming up with a way to reduce what is not eaten by students – particularly fruits and vegetables. Children are currently required to take the food on the lunch line, but many toss them without touching a bite.
Summer programs: More money would be allocated for summer feeding programs – where school lunchrooms offer meals for children who qualify.
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