Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Second Parkland shooting survivor kills himself. Here’s what leaders are doing about it

After a second Parkland shooting survivor died by suicide in a week’s span, Florida’s emergency chief is calling for the state Legislature to dispatch more mental health resources for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community.

On Saturday night, a Parkland sophomore took his own life, according to Coral Springs police. A week before, a former student whose best friend died in last year’s massacre took her life.

“Now is the time for the Florida Legislature to help,” said Jared Moskowitz, Florida’s emergency management director and a former state representative from Parkland.

“Mental health is a bipartisan issue,” he posted on Twitter.

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Meanwhile, local leaders are taking steps of their own.

On Sunday afternoon, more than 60 school, county, city, child services and law enforcement officials, as well as mental health specialists, teachers and parents, met for an emergency meeting.

Parents who attended the meeting said the Broward County School Superintendent’s Office is working to reach every parent in the district via text, email, social media and robo calls.

“They will be asking parents to take this issue seriously,” said Ryan Petty, father of Alaina Petty, a 14-year-old freshman who was one of 17 people murdered on Feb. 14. 2018. “Parents cannot be afraid to ask their kids the tough questions.”

Petty said the school district will be giving parents the “Columbia Protocol,” a set of six questions to ask their children. Based on their answers, they will be given several emergency resource options. Several nonprofits are also dispatching therapy groups that will offer free services.

“During the Spring break, I encourage you to take time to speak with your children every day. Dinners are a great time for family conversation,” said Superintendent Robert Runcie. “We need to remove the stigma from talking about suicide.”

Helen Aguirre Ferré, the communications director for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press office, said the governor is aware of the reports of suicides and is monitoring the situation. DeSantis has established relationships with several parents who lost children in the shooting last year, and has had conversations with the families.

“He and the first lady are concerned,” Ferré said.

But the situation is, for now, in the hands of local officials, she said, and there has been no request for the state to intervene.

Before the state activates emergency resources, local leaders would have to agree they need the help.

Last year, after 17 people were murdered in the Feb. 14 shooting on the Stoneman Douglas campus, the state Legislature passed a gun-control and mental-health bill that restricted some sales of guns and accessories, gave the courts the ability to take guns away from people with mental health issues and set aside money to hire and train school faculty.

State Rep. Shevrin Jones, of West Park, said he would “be the first person to co-sponsor something to deal with mental health in our schools and our communities.”

Amid the new Parkland pain, Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the March For Our Lives, a student-led protest of the country’s gun laws that drew hundreds of thousands of people to Washington and to other marches around the world.

The news of the two suicides comes just as students are out of school this coming week for spring break, worrying some that students may not get the help they need..

Investigators told the Miami Herald that the male student died in “an apparent suicide” on Saturday night. He was in 10th grade and attended Stoneman Douglas last year at the time of the Feb. 14 shooting.

It isn’t known whether his death can be linked to the school shooting, police said. They did not release his name.

The death follows the suicide of a recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduate, Sydney Aiello, who took her life after being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office said Aiello died from a gunshot wound.

“How many more kids have to be taken from us as a result of suicide for the government / school district to do anything? Rip 17 + 2,” former Stoneman Douglas student and gun-control activist David Hogg said Sunday on Twitter.

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

You can also dial: 2-1-1 or 954-740-6731. If you prefer not to call, you can text “FL” to 741741 for a live counselor.

Ryan Petty, who has been in close contact with local and state officials, told the Miami Herald the student who died Saturday also died from a gunshot.

Petty founded a suicide prevention foundation called the Walk Up Foundation after his daughter’s death. He said “the issue of suicide needs to be talked about.”

“This is another tragic example,” Petty said, who has partnered with Columbia University and The Columbia Lighthouse Project for his Foundation.

Kelly Posner, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia and the founder and director of The Columbia Lighthouse Project, said the Columbia protocol — the series of questions that local officials are urging parents to ask their children — “is the most evidence-supported tool of its kind that anyone can use anywhere in the world to prevent suicide.”

“Suicide is the No. 1 cause of adolescent deaths. Fifty percent of suicidal people see their primary care doctor the month before they die,” Posner said. “This is an urgent memo, the Columbia protocol needs to be in everybody’s hands, this includes parents, the coaches, the peers, the janitors, the librarians. In the past, nobody knew what questions to ask and what to do when they got the answers. Now we know.”

The list of questions uses plain and direct language, which Posner says is most effective in eliciting honest and clear responses. For example, the questionnaire may ask:

“Have you wished you were dead or wished you could go to sleep and not wake up?”

“Have you been thinking about how you might kill yourself?”

“Have you taken any steps toward making a suicide attempt or preparing to kill yourself (such as collecting pills, getting a gun, giving valuables away, or writing a suicide note)?”

Based on the responses, the questioner can establish criteria or thresholds that determine what to do next for each person assessed like hospitalization, counseling, referrals, and other actions.

Posner, who was awarded with the Secretary of Defense medal for exceptional public service for her suicide prevention work in the Marine Corps, said only one percent of people who ask the questions end up with a high-risk response.

“We know, point blank, as clear as day, that these questions help identify people who are suffering in silence and will help us save lives,” she said.

Since the Valentine’s Day shooting traumatized an entire student body, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School regularly report to trauma counselors after breaking down in tears. They panic when fire alarms drag on even moments too long. Reports of widespread absences are common.

As spring break starts, faculty at the Parkland school worry that their students may not be receiving the help they need away from campus. They also are concerned that recent changes at the school may be negatively affecting kids.

Grief therapists working with Parkland families mobilized Sunday to figure out the best way to provide help. They also are concerned that students will be off this week.

Professionals United for Parkland, a group of private trauma-trained therapists who are volunteering their services, told the Herald the “suicides were expected after the shooting’s one year anniversary.”

“These deaths could have been prevented. Contagion in high school suicidal behavior is common. We have to stop it now and draw attention to suicide prevention,” said Les Gordon, who sits on the board of the group and works as a trauma therapist in Boca Raton.

Gordon said the group’s Facebook Page is constantly publishing available resources and that the Coral Springs Museum of Art will be hosting a group of available therapists from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this week.

The Broward County Resiliency Center at Pines Trail Park Amphitheater, will also have clinicians available from noon to 7 p.m. daily until April 1. Eagles’ Haven, 5655 Coral Ridge Drive, will be open as well.

“Our community needs to pull together in a cohesive manner. We pledge to provide resources, assist other organizations, make referrals for proper trauma treatment and to support the therapeutic community who are on the frontlines,” he said.

Greg Pittman, an American History teacher at Stoneman Douglas said the reassignment of the high school’s three assistant principals and a security specialist, administrators who were with the school during the mass shooting, has affected the mental health of the students who need help the most.

“The kids need help and many of them that do need help are not getting any,” Pittman said Sunday. “They want to talk to people that were there.”

Pittman, who taught Sydney Aiello, said he has spoken with students directly about their concerns over the changing structure of their school. He said more mental health resources may be needed.

“Many of them think that they don’t need help,” he said. “That only their friends who were there understand. More resources probably would help, but also the resources that knew them [are] leaving.”

During a meeting Friday between the district and the faculty, Pittman said Broward Chief Officer of School Performance and Accountability Valerie Wanza acknowledged it was a mistake to remove the administrators students had grown accustomed to seeing.

“I thought it was a mistake then and even more so now,” he said.

He said his students are under “tremendous pressure,” some having seen their friends die or seeing their bodies on the floor after the shooting.

Pittman, who was at the school during the shooting, regularly sees a therapist and takes medication for emotional distress.

“I didn’t witness it, but many of these kids had to witness their friends dying,” he said. “What they have seen, I’m concerned we’re gonna see more.”

On Twitter Sunday, Ryan Petty posted “17 + 2” with a breaking heart emoji, a somber reminder of the growing tally of the massacre.

“I’m afraid that Sydney did it, and now this other kid has done it…” Pittman said. “I don’t know how long it will take but we need more help.”

Miami Herald staff writers Martin Vassolo and David Smiley contributed to this report.

Superintendent Robert W. Runcie will hold a press conference to provide a progress report on recommendations for school districts outlined in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission’s initial report

Mueller did not find Trump campaign "conspired" with Russia

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” during the 2016 campaign, he wrote in his final report. Attorney General William Barr summarized the report’s findings in a letter to lawmakers Sunday.

President Trump declared victory shortly after the summary was released, claiming it was a “complete and total exoneration.”

“This was an illegal takedown that failed and, hopefully, somebody’s going to be looking at the other side,” Mr. Trump told reporters in Florida before boarding Air Force One.

In his letter, Barr said Mueller described the facts surrounding his investigation into allegations of obstruction of justice but made no determination as to whether Mr. Trump committed a crime, deferring the question to Barr. The report “does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Barr quotes Mueller as writing.

But Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined the available evidence was insufficient to establish Mr. Trump had obstructed justice.

Democrats reacted angrily to Barr’s summary, with congressional leaders demanding Barr make the full report underlying investigatory documentation.

“Attorney General Barr’s letter raises as many questions as it answers. The fact that

Article source: https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/mueller-report-summary-william-barr-trump-russia-investigation-latest-updates-today-2019-03-24/

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Rep. Al Green after Mueller findings released: ‘Impeachment is not dead’

Rep. Al Green on his push for impeachment proceedings against President TrumpVideo

Rep. Al Green on his push for impeachment proceedings against President Trump

Rep. Al Green, the Texas Democrat who has pushed to impeach President Trump every year that the commander-in-chief has been in office, said Sunday that “impeachment is not dead,” despite findings from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe showing the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia.

The congressman tweeted that Mueller’s report, which was submitted on Friday and the key findings of which were released Sunday, “did NOT investigate bigotry emanating from the Presidency harming our country.”

He continued: “The findings do NOT negate the President’s bigotry. As long as bigotry influences the President’s policies, I will continue to seek his impeachment. #ImpeachmentIsNotDead.”

READ THE MUELLER REPORT FINDINGS

Green’s sentiment echoed what he told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on  “Your World with Neil Cavuto” earlier this month — that “bigotry is impeachable.”

The Democrat said during his interview that he planned to force an impeachment vote against Trump, despite a lack of support from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Will the full Mueller report be released to the public?Video

“It’s not about any one person, it’s really about the concept of ‘government of the people,

Article source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rep-al-green-after-mueller-findings-released-impeachment-is-not-dead

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You will not get what you want from the ‘Mueller Report’

Washington’s political class has waited months for the moment: the delivery of the “Mueller Report.” Like Donald Trump’s “wall,” the phrase “Mueller Report” has meant a thousand different things to different readers and commentators. To follow the cable news, you may have gotten the impression that special counsel Robert Mueller was going to publicly release the full findings of his investigation.

That’s basically what we got when independent counsel Ken Starr released the findings of his investigations into Bill Clinton’s lechery, perjury, and abuse of power, but the current law governing the special counsel is different from the old law governing the independent counsel.

So here’s what to keep in mind:

1) Mueller owed his report to the Justice Department, not to Congress or the public. That little buzz of excitement at 5 p.m. Friday was over Mueller delivering to Attorney General Bill Barr his final work product: a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” Mueller reached. Mueller’s job was to indict people who needed indictment. This report is basically an after-action report — a matter of DOJ having oversight over the special counsel’s office.

2) What Barr delivers to Congress might not be that juicy. Barr has said he’ll provide Congress a summary of Mueller’s report. The Department of Justice has guidelines against releasing derogatory information about unindicted individuals. That is, if President Trump or one of his sons did something bad but not prosecutable, Barr can be expected to exclude that from his report to Congress. That means even if Democrats leak Barr’s summary, or if Barr makes it public, you may not get all the dirt on the bad stuff that didn’t result in an indictment.

Notably, Barr’s letter makes it clear he’ll follow DOJ “practices and policies.”

So this moment we’ve been waiting for might not provide the clarity so many had hoped for.

Software Is Everywhere, But It’s Not Always an Upgrade

By choosing “I agree” below, you agree that NPR’s sites use cookies, similar tracking and storage technologies, and information about the device you use to access our sites to enhance your viewing, listening and user experience, personalize content, personalize messages from NPR’s sponsors, provide social media features, and analyze NPR’s traffic. This information is shared with social media services, sponsorship, analytics and other third-party service providers.
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Article source: https://www.npr.org/2019/03/24/705966447/software-is-everywhere-but-its-not-always-an-upgrade

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Powerball jackpot now $750 million after no winning ticket drawn

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lottery officials say the Powerball jackpot has ballooned to $750 million after no ticket matched all six numbers in the most recent drawing.

The numbers drawn Saturday night are 24, 25, 52, 60 and 66, with a Powerball of 5.

The next drawing for what would be the fourth-largest jackpot in U.S. history is Wednesday. The odds of winning are roughly 1 in 292.2 million.

RELATED: Powerball winners in Chino California Reactions

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No one has won the Powerball jackpot since the day

Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/03/24/powerball-jackpot-now-dollar750m-after-no-winning-ticket-drawn/23699318/

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Second Parkland shooting survivor kills himself, police confirm

After a second Parkland shooting survivor died by suicide in a week’s span, Florida’s emergency chief is calling for the state Legislature to dispatch more mental health resources for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community.

On Saturday night, a Parkland sophomore took his own life, according to Coral Springs police. A week before, a former student whose best friend died in last year’s massacre took her life.

“Now is the time for the Florida Legislature to help,” said Jared Moskowitz, Florida’s emergency management director and a former state representative from Parkland.

“Mental health is a bipartisan issue,” he posted on Twitter.

Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald

#ReadLocal

Meanwhile, local leaders are taking steps of their own.

On Sunday afternoon, more than 60 school, county, city, child services and law enforcement officials, as well as mental health specialists, teachers and parents, met for an emergency meeting.

Parents who attended the meeting said the Broward County School Superintendent’s Office is working to reach every parent in the district via text, email, social media and robo calls.

“They will be asking parents to take this issue seriously,” said Ryan Petty, father of Alaina Petty, a 14-year-old freshman who was one of 17 people murdered on Feb. 14. 2018. “Parents cannot be afraid to ask their kids the tough

Article source: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article228350134.html

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Robert Mueller’s report and the Twitter tale of two truths

If you thought the Russian collusion story would end with special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, think again.

Evidencing the calcifying partisanship that will define the reaction to this report, President Trump’s respective supporters and opponents have focused on two different toplines from Attorney General William Barr’s outline of the report in a letter to Congress.

For Trump’s supporters, the takeaway is Mueller’s assessment that his “investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

For Trump’s opponents, the takeaway is Mueller’s assessment that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” That clarification applies to Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice in relation to the investigation. Barr’s letter states that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein do not believe there is sufficient evidence to warrant the president’s prosecution for obstruction of justice.

On Twitter, the battle lines are establishing behind these two takeaways: no collusion versus no exoneration. Mueller’s report might be in, but partisanship will rumble on for the foreseeable future. Consider a few examples below.

Top GOP Judiciary Committee member: Trump ‘proved right’ on Mueller probe, as Nadler warns of ‘cover-up’

Rep. Jerry Nadler on whether Democrats plan to keep investigating Trump no matter what's in the Mueller reportVideo

Rep. Jerry Nadler on whether Democrats plan to keep investigating Trump no matter what’s in the Mueller report

Insight from New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., speaking to “Fox News Sunday,” vowed that congressional investigators will press on and continue to investigate President Trump while warning of a possibly unfolding Justice Department “cover-up,” even as he acknowledged that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has closed his investigation without indicting a single American for illegally colluding with Russia.

Nadler also asserted that it’s “way too early to talk about impeachment,” as Washington awaits Attorney General William Barr’s highly expected release of Mueller’s primary conclusions, which Trump’s personal lawyers tell Fox News is expected Sunday afternoon.

foundational reason for the launch of the high-profile Mueller probe nearly two years ago was to investigate and prosecute any improper collusion by members of the Trump campaign with Russia, but a senior Justice Department official confirmed on Friday that no new indictments would be coming out of Mueller’s office.

“All we know is that the special counsel — what we think we know — is that the special counsel is not

Article source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/top-gop-judiciary-committee-member-trump-proved-right-on-mueller-probe-as-nadler-warns-of-cover-up

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