School District Votes To Bring Back Paddling For Disobedient Students. Do You Support This?

On Tuesday one school district in Texas has brought back corporal punishment. Now students who misbehave in class will be paddled until they get better grades. Although there is little evidence that corporal punishment helps students focus better or improve their test scores, the Three Rivers Independent School board of trustees in south Texas think it will help. They are now shipping paddles to their teachers to be used as corporal punishment when students misbehave. And the teachers really need the device to control their students.

The Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA) defines corporal punishment as

“deliberate infliction of physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping or any other physical force used as a means of discipline.” The school district hopes that paddling will help improve classroom behavior so students can retain more information and improve the district’s falling test scores.

Although many parents are eager to get their kids signed up for the more aggressive in-school disciplinary action, parents are given the opportunity to opt in or opt out. They need to provide both written and verbal assent if they want their children paddled in the classroom. And many parents are signing up.

When parents approve the school’s disciplinary measure, the students “will receive one paddling for his or her infraction when they misbehave at school.”

The school district wants to give parents the opportunity to have their children paddled in class. They’re not forcing them to do it.

“If the parent is not comfortable with it, that’s the end of the discussion,” the school district’s superintendent Mary Springs told the Caller-Times.

Now when students disobey a teacher or break classroom rules, they’ll be paddled. Three Rivers Elementary School campus behavior coordinator, Andrew Amaro, is excited to bring back paddling. He pitched the idea to the school officials and told them that when he grew up paddling was used to great effect. He claims it is better than giving students detention or suspension.

“I believe it worked,” Amaro told the Caller-Times when asked about being paddled as a child. “It was an immediate response for me. I knew that if I got in trouble with a teacher and I was disrespectful, whatever the infraction was, I knew I was going to get a swat by the principal.”

Opposition to corporal punishment point to statistics that show students of color are disproportionally likely to receive a paddling.

Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr wrote a letter asking states to ban corporal punishment. But 22 states still allow it in their schools.

“Approximately 40,000 — or more than one-third — of those students who were subjected to corporal punishment are black; black students, by comparison, make up only 16 percent of the total public school student population,” King wrote. “Similarly, in states where students were subjected to corporal punishment, black boys were 1.8 times as likely as white boys to be subject to corporal punishment, and black girls were 2.9 times as likely as white girls to be subject to corporal punishment.”

Do you think paddling is fair? Or should it not be allowed?

Please SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT PADDLING in the comments below now!

USS Ford makes history: Launches, lands fighter jet with magnetic technology

The USS Gerald R. Ford, the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, successfully launched and landed an aircraft with advanced digital, magnetic technology, which replaces the older steam-driven catapult system.

The successful missions Friday came less than a week after President Trump commissioned the nearly $13 billion ship in Virginia.

“Today, USS Gerald R. Ford made history,” said Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces. “Great work by the Ford team and all the engineers who have worked hard to get the ship ready for this milestone.”

Trump suggested last spring that the Navy continue to use the steam-based catapult system to launch and snag aircraft on and off ships’ flight decks, amid the continued concerns about the cost to complete the USS Ford.

Prior to Friday’s missions, the new technology had been successfully tested ashore at Lakehurst, N.J., according to the Navy.

“This is the first shipboard recovery and launch of a fleet fixed wing aircraft,” said Capt. Rick McCormack, Ford’s commanding officer.

The aircraft used were A-18F Superhornet fighter jets, based at the naval base at Patuxent River, Md.

Should Sharia Courts Be Banned In The United States?

We continue to see the rise of Sharia law in our country, and now the next logical thing for radical Muslims to do is institute their own Sharia Courts inside their mosques, not only to thumb their noses at America’s rule of law, but also to set up their own government inside the United States’ government.

So do you think radical Muslims should have the option to run to a Sharia Court instead of a western, American court when something has gone wrong?

What do you think? Should Sharia Courts be banned in the United States?


3-year-old killed for drinking milk from jug

 – ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a 3-year-old Florida boy died after he was beaten with a plastic rod because he drank milk from a jug.

Orange County sheriff’s investigators say Xavier Mokarzel-Satchel was killed by his mother’s roommates, 58-year-old Callene Barton and 28-year-old Lakesha Lewis.

The Orlando Sentinel reported Monday that court records show Xavier’s mother, Brandi Mokarzel, was awakened Friday by Barton yelling at her son. Investigators say Lewis grabbed a plastic rod and repeatedly hit Xavier until the rod broke. They say Barton then grabbed the boy and threw him.

Xavier began to shake. Mokarzel called 911 but the boy died.

Barton and Lewis are charged with first-degree murder. Mokarzel is charged with child neglect for allegedly not reporting previous abuse by the women.

Jail records don’t show if the women have attorneys.

Information from: Orlando Sentinel,

Police officers mow lawn of disabled veteran

Moments Like These.

There are times in the police profession that we understand why we’re really excited about this…

Posted by Longview Police Department on Thursday, July 6, 2017

A pair of Texas police officers are being recognized for their good deed after a neighbor snapped a few photos of them mowing the lawn of a disabled veteran. The photos made their way onto the Longview Police Department Facebook page on Wednesday after the neighbor contacted the department.

“Moments Like These,” a post on the department’s Facebook page read. “There are times in the police profession that we understand why we’re really excited about this job. The days and night of high speed pursuits, food chases, drug arrests of someone who needs to be taken off the streets are the instances where our blood pressure soars, and we get that feeling of exhilaration. We think this is why we became officers.”


“However, there are times in our profession where acts of kindness expose a brighter shine, we notice a compelte stranger a person who is in need of a smile, a short conversation, a meal, a ride, a window repaired, a tire changed, an appearance at a special event, or just a simple act of kindness,” the post read.”

The post went on to identify Officers Duncan and Preston as a 27-year veteran of the force and a rookie still in field training, and said the photos are reflective of times during the profession where relationships are built within the community.


“Our officers recognize when members of our community like Robert Upshaw in need of a little help. These are moments I am proud to be a police officer, a police officer in Longview Texas,” the post read. “This act is not only a flicker of light in our community but a spark that is intended to reunite communities. Robert told us the next day a group of kids from his old neighborhood came and trimmed his yard and trees.”

The post’s writer then asked other members of the community so to submit photos or videos of kind acts throughout the community. As of Friday, the post had garnered 1,000 reactions and had been shared more than 400 times.

Strange House Might Not Look Like Much From The Outside, But Wait Until You See A Tour Of The Inside

As popular as JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” is, and as popular as tiny houses are becoming, it was really only a matter of time before someone actually went and constructed a real life hobbit house. Well, we just found such an abode in Slovenia, and we thought you might like to take a look and see how the wee little people live.

This amazing little cottage set into the side of a manicured hillside in Slovenia was designed by Danica and Joze Kolaric. Much of the materials they used in the construction are reclaimed, which both adds to the quaint charm and green footprint of the cottage. The earth is supported by a concrete retaining wall at the back of the house to ensure structural integrity under heavy loads. The house sits in their meticulously designed garden where they grow herbs and flowers as well as maintaining beehives. The couple use it as a recreation cottage for teas with friends and as a quiet space to read.

This reminded us of another homeowner who has used reclaimed materials to make a tiny house.

Australian Brenda Kelly has not only figured out how to live off the grid in a complete home constructed inside a shipping container, but has also made it happen with style. By connecting her previous twenty foot shipping container to a new forty foot shipping container, Brenda has created a multifaceted eco-friendly living space.

When you enter the home, you are met with a beautiful inside porch area; entirely surrounded by glass, the outdoor seating area features a stylish outdoor dining set and blinds that can be closed to hide the glass area when desired. Brenda calls the surrounding spectacular scenery her “million dollar view.” The kitchen has a bold and modern design complete with energy efficient compact appliances that allow for storage spaces—something rare in a tiny house.

Spare beds are cleverly designed throughout the home. The living room couch has a pull out trundle bed beneath it, and her desk in the nearby office doubles as a “desk bed.” More hidden bed designs allow the home to sleep up to seven people. Brenda has her own master bedroom, of course, with a queen sized bed.

Architect Stew MacInnes of Maximus Extreme Living Solutions designed a ski lodge so small it can be towed behind a truck.

Working with a Salt Lake City couple, MacInnes had a blast working on the custom project. So much so that he can not stop talking about it, saying that the couple were “both avid outdoor people, who enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking and kayaking. In fact, Chris is a former professional kayak racer and Tamara was a standout college track and field athlete, so being active is programmed into their DNA.”

He goes on to describe how the project took shape, saying “Tamara contacted me about a year ago and indicated that she and Chris have followed the tiny home movement and were excited to find that my company was so close to them, geographically. She mentioned that she had viewed our homes online and loved that fact that we were willing to push the tiny home “design” envelope! We met shortly after our initial conversation and hit it off very well. She and Chris then entered into a contract with us to design and construct their home and we began the process. The build time actually took about five months, primarily because we dragged the process out much longer than it typically takes us to build a tiny home in order to work around the television show Tiny House Nation’s schedule. Chris, Tamara and myself agreed that the show would be a fun option for them and there were some perks to appearing on the show that were worth the wait. We ultimately did the show, had a great time during the process and delivered the final product to Chris and Tamara in August. The August delivery was because they went on a long honeymoon following a midsummer wedding, so we stored their home at our facility while they were off playing.”

Have you ever seen such a cute cottage? Would you ever consider living in a tiny house? Please share your thoughts with us here.

Phoenix man torches LGBTQ center where he once received services

A 26-year-old Phoenix man was arrested after he set fire to an LGBTQ youth center where he once received services, local media reported.

Darren Beach Jr., was charged with one count of arson of an occupied structure, CBS affiliate KPHO-TV reports.

Surveillance footage shows Beach enter the facility, called one.n.ten, and douse the building with gasoline before setting it on fire July 12.

One.n.ten said the facility served Beach on and off from 2013 to 2016.

“Our youth whom we serve have been worried. Some are shaken,” the organization said in a release.

“Obviously this young man has issues and needs help,” the release said, noting that the man stopped receiving services when he aged out of the program at 25.

“We had no warning signals from him throughout his time with us. There was nothing to let on that he had anything against our organization.”

Ray Bradford, a former volunteer who had worked with Beach, said he had a “good heart,” KPHO-TV reported.

“He had a sense of right and wrong. He wanted people to be right with each other,” Bradford said.

“If he could get the counseling, the medications and food, the shelter — just get the basic things he needs, it would have changed him radically and this incident never would have happened,” he added.

The center reports it lost everything when it was torched according to KPHO-TV.

 But the community has rallied to support the center in the wake of its loss.

“It’s really been incredible,” Nate Rhoton, the center’s director of finance and operations told KPHO-TV. “To experience that sort of love and acceptance from the community makes it just a little bit easier to swallow what’s happened to us — to this safe space for our youth and make it a little bit easier for them to move on.”

D.C. police officer gets desk duty for wearing ‘racist’ shirt to court

WASHINGTON — A Washington police officer is under investigation for wearing a T-shirt to court that an advocacy group says has a racist symbol and offensive images.

Local media report the unidentified officer was assigned to desk duty Friday and ordered to have no contact with the public, pending an investigation. Police Chief Peter Newsham called the T-shirt “disgraceful.”

The black shirt shows the Grim Reaper holding a rifle under a District of Columbia flag. Above the image is the word “Powershift” with a cross embedded in the letter “o.”

That image is a “sun cross,” which advocacy groups say white supremacist groups use in their logos and imagery.

The group Law 4 Black Lives DC has filed a complaint against the officer and posted an online petition demanding his firing.

Whataburger staff planned birthday surprise for regular diner turning 80

 – A fast food chain surprised their number one customer with a sweet gesture for his birthday.

Mr. Ed Johnson recently turned 80 years young. And to celebrate the big day, a Whataburger he visits every morning for breakfast planned a little something for him.

Ever since his wife of 59 years passed away, Mr. Johnson started going to Whataburger for his a.m. meal.

Emma Carr, Mr. Johnson’s niece, told FOX 5 he began frequenting the chain as a means to get out of the house to meet new people and to start feeling more like his old self.

She said, “He is a very social person naturally, so he got to chatting with the local customers and workers.”

And with such a bubbly personality, he quickly became everyone’s bestie.

About a week again, Salvador Saucedo, the general manager of the Sunland Park Drive location, inquired about Mr. Johnson’s birthday.

Upon hearing the approaching date, Saucedo told him they’d be waiting for Mr. Johnson on the special day.

And on the big day, Mr. Johnson walked into a cake, balloons, and all his Whataburger pals in celebration mode.

We’re not crying, you are!

Emma tweeted out their picture and of course it went viral.

“My grandpa goes to @Whataburger everyday for breakfast so the local workers surprised him today with a cake&balloons for his birthday.”


House OKs $1.6B down payment for Trump’s border wall

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House passed a $788 billion spending bill Thursday that combines a $1.6 billion down payment for President Donald Trump’s controversial border wall with Mexico with a whopping budget increase for the Pentagon.

The 235-192 vote both eases a large backlog of unfinished spending bills and gives Trump and his House GOP allies political wins heading into the August recess. Challenging hurdles remain in front of the measure, however, which will meet with more powerful Democratic opposition in the Senate.

The 326-page measure would make good on longtime GOP promises to reverse an erosion in military readiness. It would give veterans programs a 5 percent increase and fund a 2.4 percent military pay raise.


GOP leaders used the popularity of the Pentagon and veterans programs to power through Trump’s border wall.

“Every single dime the President requested to start building a wall on our southern border he’s going to get,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. “Most importantly, we’re sending more to the VA to fix veterans’ health care and reform outdated VA systems.”

Still, a potential government shutdown battle over the U.S.-Mexico wall looms with Senate Democrats this fall. The generous defense spending increases also run afoul of strict spending limits set by an earlier budget law, and there’s been no progress on a bipartisan budget deal that would be a prerequisite for the higher spending to take full effect.

The House added Trump’s wall funding by a 230-196 procedural vote that denied angry Democrats an up-or-down vote. The wall gets low marks in public opinion polls and is opposed by many of the GOP’s more moderate lawmakers.

Trump promised at nearly every rally and campaign event that Mexico would pay for the wall. Mexico said no, and U.S. taxpayers will have to provide the money.

“The president has promised this funding, the American people want this funding, and today the House is making good on that promise,” said Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.

Critics say that existing fencing is more than enough and that the portions of the border without it are too remote for crossings and that tribal law, environmental requirements, and personal property rights have blocked fencing for most of the rest.

“Nobody would know it from the President’s hysterical rhetoric, but there are already 700 miles of fence down there on the border – vehicular fencing, pedestrian fencing,” said Rep. David Price, D-N.C. “I know about it because most of that fencing was built when I was chairman of the homeland security appropriations subcommittee.”

At issue are the spending bills passed by Congress each year to fund the day-to-day operations of federal agencies. Trump is pushing for a sweeping increase for the Pentagon and commensurate cuts of more than $50 billion, or 10 percent, from domestic agencies and foreign aid. House Republicans are responding by adding even more for defense but have significantly scaled back Trump’s cuts to domestic programs like community development grants and medical research.

GOP leaders had hoped to advance a broader “omnibus” package that would have included each of the 12 measures. But the GOP rank and file balked, so Republicans devised a smaller bill anchored by the Pentagon budget, funding for veterans programs, and money for the wall.

But most of the sweeping Pentagon increases – which total about $60 billion above current levels and almost $30 billion higher than Trump’s budget – would evaporate next year unless there’s a bipartisan agreement to raise budget “caps” set by a 2011 budget pact. A two-year agreement that eased those “sequestration” spending limits expires in September.

Both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate want additional funding for domestic programs. Democrats have lots of leverage because their votes are needed to pass the funding measures. For now, the Senate is working in a bipartisan fashion on a sharply different set of bills that, on average, are frozen at current levels.

Earlier this year, Congress and Trump came together of spending bills for the current budget year that largely stuck to work done last year under former President Barack Obama. Trump reluctantly signed a $1.2 trillion catchall spending bill in May after his demand for border wall money looked like it would stall the measure.

The current bill, however, reflects the changed balance of power in GOP-controlled Washington. Weapons procurement is a top priority, including two additional littoral combat ships above Trump’s request and 14 unrequested next-generation F-35 fighters.

Democrats said the big gains for now are illusory since automatic budget cuts known as sequestration remain in place.

“We do not give certainty to our defense or confidence to our troops when we legislate with phony numbers, when we refuse to make honest choices about our Defense budget,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “Instead of giving certainty to our heroes in uniform, this bill would breach the sequester spending limit by more than $70 billion, forcing a mandatory 13 percent cut to all defense accounts.”