House approves Medal of Honor for Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, who saved seven in Iraq

Sept. 23 (UPI) — A House bill passed on Tuesday brings Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, who died in 2005 after sustaining injuries in Iraq, a step closer to the Medal of Honor.

The bill, which passed the House on Tuesday by unanimous consent, was filed after Defense Secretary Mark Esper wrote on Aug. 24 that Cashe should receive an upgrade from the Silver Star he received, for his actions in Iraq in 2005, to the Medal of Honor.

Cashe pulled six fellow soldiers and their Afghan interpreter from a burning armored vehicle after a roadside bomb explosion, and later died in a Texas hospital, with third-degree burns on 72 percent of his body.

Cashe, from Oviedo, Fla., would be the first Black recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We are one step closer to ensuring that Alwyn Cashe receives the Medal of Honor he earned,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., one of four sponsors on the bill, said in a statement on Tuesday.

In addition to Murphy, the bill was sponsored by Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas.

“His bravery in the face of danger has inspired so many already, and this is a significant step forward to properly recognize him for his heroism,” said Waltz.

The bill waives the federally mandated time of five years between the award, the country’s highest military honor for valor, and the actions which prompted it. The rule is frequently waived but it takes a concerted effort by members of Congress to guide an exemption.

The sponsoring members have begun coordinating their efforts with Senate members, who must also approve the waiver before the president can officially award the honor.

“He is deserving of the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest military award for bravery on the battlefield, and we urge that the Senate quickly follow suit and pass our bill to make sure that happens,” Crenshaw said.

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Garden grows: Panthers spring up in class, and so do hopes | High School

SPRING GARDEN — Luke Welsh spent a chilly December day trying to wrap his mind around news.

Not that news. COVID-19 hadn’t become a thing in the United States by December of 2019. George Floyd hadn’t happened.

The unfathomable news that preoccupied Welsh’s mind Dec. 17? Just in time for his senior year as Spring Garden’s running back, just as the Panthers had gained footing in Class 1A, the Alabama High School Athletic Association announced the next reclassification cycle.

Spring Garden would bump up to 2A for the first time in school history, and Welsh couldn’t believe it.

“I thought it was bullcrap, because I just didn’t understand,” he said. “We have a general store and no red lights. There’s, like, 35 or 40 people in each of our classes, and I was just confused how we’d be a 2A.”

Turns out, it was no ominous sign of things to come in 2020. Not, at least, for Spring Garden’s football team.

Spring Garden football

Starting QB Ryley Kirk passes the ball during Spring Garden football practice. Photo by Stephen Gross / The Anniston Star

The Panthers enter their midseason non-region game at 3A Hokes Bluff at 4-0, including a COVID-19 forfeit from Locust Fork. Spring Garden outscored the three opponents it played 150-14.

The Panthers beat Cherokee County rival Cedar Bluff for only the fourth time in 46 tries … 55-0.

In two 2A, Region 6 games, the Panthers beat West End-Walnut Grove 62-0 and Cleveland 33-14.

Spring Garden enters the Hokes Bluff game ranked No. 5 in 2A, matching their highest 1A ranking in 2019. The Panthers won their first two region titles and made their first two quarterfinal runs in 2018 and 2019.

They were never ranked in 2018.

Spring Garden was somewhat of a Johnny-come-lately in 1A. The Panthers made nine of their 11 playoff appearances under current head coach Jason Howard. They got their first playoff victory in 2008 and advanced past the second round for the first time in 2018.

So forgive Welsh for wondering how a small, rural school that’s made more hey in basketball than it ever had in football, the ultimate numbers game, could be 2A.

Others wondered the same.

“We had some tough times in 1A,” Welsh said. “We had to really work hard to get where we were the past couple of years.

“We jumped to 2A, which was a little unexpected. I think everybody saw that and didn’t really know what to think about us.”

Spring Garden’s 30-man roster still looks like a 1A roster in number, but all 11 starters on offense returned this season. Quarterback Ryley Kirk, Welsh and Weston Kirk at running back and wide receivers Cooper Austin and Chaz Pope helped the Panthers score 461 points, the third-highest total in school history, in 2019.

Turns out, their level translated a class higher.

“I thought we’d be competitive,” Howard said. “I feel like we’re in one of the tougher regions around.”

An Oct.

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Arkansas could start Class of 2019 interior trio

There is a strong chance that when Arkansas kicks off the 2020 football season, the Razorbacks will start three interior offensive linemen all from the Class of 2019. The starters haven’t been named yet, but new head coach Sam Pittman and his staff are expected to make those decisions by Wednesday. Watch action footage from Monday’s practice above, and check out several recent photos from practice below.

Sophomore center Ricky Stromberg, 6-4, 311, started 11 of last season’s 12 games at right guard but is expected to be the starting center this season. Redshirt freshman Brady Latham, 6-5, 296, saw action in three games in 2019 but held on to his redshirt, as did redshirt freshman Beaux Limmer, 6-5, 305.

“It’s been real fun. Me, Brady and Ricky, all three of us are all real good friends,” Limmer said following Monday’s practice. “We all came in together, so we kind of bonded especially the first summer we were here, so it’s been real fun alongside them. Real good bond between all of three of us when we’re out there. Communication is always really good. We’re just in sync with each other.”

Stromberg added some good weight for this season after playing at roughly 276 pounds last season, adding 35 pounds. The previous staff really liked Latham’s potential and said he just needed more strength. Pittman appreciate’s Latham’s understanding of leverage and his football intelligence and says the size will come in time. Limmer has also added good weight and is arguably the strongest player on the offensive side of the football, only behind redshirt senior defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall on the whole team. Limmer can bench press 430 pounds, squat 565 and power clean 325.

“Me and Jon Marshall, we’re pretty neck and neck,” Limmer said. “I think he’s probably got me on squats but everything else we’re really close. Back in the summer, we were always having a little friendly competition in the weight room. We stay together pretty well.”

Last Wednesday on the Sam Pittman Live radio show, the head Hog said Latham leads the team in fights. He also said last Tuesday that Latham is one of the team’s five best offensive linemen, and they were working to find his spot. Latham has lined up everywhere but center, so far. Both he and Stromberg are developing a reputation for firing off the ball with purpose.

“He’s got a mean streak, for sure,” Limmer said. “He likes to come off the ball and hit people really hard and also Ricky. I really like double-teaming with Ricky because he’ll come off and put a shoulder on him and we get some pretty good double teams in there.

“Brady’s definitely calmed it down a little bit from last fall camp. Last fall camp, he got in a lot of fights. This year, no, he has gotten in a couple, but it’s not as much. But that’s just a testament to his physicality and to his, I’d say,

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N.J.’s top RB Audric Estime picks Michigan State | 3rd Garden State player to join Spartans’ 2021 class

New Jersey’s top running back Audric Estime is a Michigan State Spartan after committing to Mel Tucker this weekend. A 6-1, 225-pound pound senior at St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.), Estime has received over 25 offers, and is a big bruising throwback runner with burst. Although in-state Rutgers had built-in recruiting advantages, Estime will take his talents to East Lansing following a summer trek to the school.

“A lot of time went into this decision. I had a lot to think about. Me, my family, my coaches and friends,” Estime told NJ Advance Media Sunday. “After all that, we thought that Michigan State would put me in the best position to fulfill my dreams and goals. And they had the best academic program, too.”

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Estime has long been rumored a Michigan State lean, but when did he actually know he’d pick the school?

“I think I knew a couple days ago, I want to say about Tuesday,” Estime said. “I just woke up and was like, ‘Yeah, I’m ready. I want to be my own man. I’m locked in. I’m going to make it happen.’”

Rutgers was initially branded the team to beat with former head coach Augie Hoffmann now coaching running backs at the school. But Estime’s been on the Spartans’ trajectory since an unofficial visit to East Lansing in July, where he was joined by teammate and fellow four-star Geno VanDeMark.

The players weren’t hosted by coaches (due to the recruiting dead period), but were provided an itinerary which included specific stops they were to make while calling certain coaches at predetermined times to interact virtually. I like to call them Coronavirus age unofficial visits, which circumvent restrictions put in place to keep recruits off campus, but don’t technically break any rules.

“Honestly, that visit my eyes opened up even more,” Estime said. “I said to myself I could see myself playing in this stadium and living in this town. That’s when things started to heat up a little bit.”

But that didn’t make breaking the news to his former head coach any less hard.

“It was super-hard telling (Hoffmann) I won’t be teaming up with him again,” Estime said. “I don’t like to break the hearts of people I love. So it was hard for me and it was definitely hard for him.”

Hence, Hoffmann will likely continue to have a relationship with Estime despite his choice. But Rutgers wasn’t the only school Estime had trouble saying no to.

“So was the University of Iowa,” he said.

But, is the door to his recruitment 100 percent closed?

“I’ll still talk to some schools here and there,” he said. “But, as of right now, I’m locked in (with Michigan State) 100 percent,” he said.

And it all began with a visit.

“The week after that when I was talking with my family about it, I would say

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Elementary schools students return to class in B.C.’s Southern Interior

a little girl riding on the back of a bicycle: Elementary schools in the Southern Interior of B.C. have now opened.

© Global News
Elementary schools in the Southern Interior of B.C. have now opened.

Elementary schools in B.C.’s Southern Interior have opened and with the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, it’s an unprecedented first day back at school.

Global News talked to some elementary school parents to see how they are feeling about schools being reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m glad they’re reopened, I think it’s good to get back to a sense of normal,” said Angela Walsh, a Kelowna parent.

“My son has been really excited to get the opportunity to go to kindergarten. Of course, I’m a little bit nervous not knowing how things will play out with COVID-19″.

The same sentiment was echoed by another parent.

“He was actually quite happy to go this morning and was first in line to get into his classroom. I’m feeling pretty positive,” said Amy Martens, a Kelowna parent.

“Definitely a wait and see what happens.”

Read more: Back to school: If someone in a B.C. school gets sick, what happens next?

Martins, whose son is going into Grade 5, says school resuming is like a weight being lifted off her shoulders.

“A relief, for sure. Socially, it’s nice to have him back with his peers. Get him out of the house, and having a purpose to the day. It’s hard to keep a 10-year-old busy,” said Martens.

One parent said its been a long summer for him and his wife.

“I’m excited to have them going back,” said Matthew Cleary, a Kelowna parent.

“It’s been a long spring and summer taking care of the kids at home, and working from home. So, it’s nice to get them back into school and into a regular routine.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Anxiety high for B.C. teachers as they prepare to return to school on Tuesday

Central Okanagan Public Schools says it hears some of the concerns that some parents are having, but say staff are doing everything they can within the provincial guidelines to keep everyone safe.

“We are really excited to see about 99 per cent of our kids come back to in-class instruction. We’ve got lots of safety protocols in place to make sure that the risk is low for students to attend school,” said Kevin Kaardal, Central Okanagan Public Schools’ superintendent.

The situation will be an ongoing one, and parents say they will be monitoring how the transition of opening schools during a pandemic goes.

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On Teaching: The Healing Power of Garden Class

Broady works to fill what he calls “the nature deficit.” For eight years at Ashe Charter, he worked as a garden teacher introducing students to the worlds outside their door. In July, he started as an agriculture and careers teacher at Living School, a high school in its second year that follows a “learning by doing” philosophy; students focus on multidisciplinary projects, and the goal is to graduate with both a college acceptance letter and a trade certification. But even in a slightly different role, Broady has the same mission as always: bringing health, healing, and connection to students, particularly children of color.

Broady’s own childhood, in Florissant, Missouri, had nature in droves. His father, a former science teacher, kept a huge garden. Broady took himself on adventures in the woods across the street. “It was a dream,” he said. “I was able to just explore in nature, and I knew that nature was my own.” He majored in biology and began teaching high school in New York City in 1999. That was the first and last time he held a traditional classroom job. From 2000 to 2009, he taught in community-education programs and alternative schools, designed curricula, worked as a chef, and made electronic music. Eventually, he settled in San Francisco.

Over that same period, programs that introduced public-school kids to gardening were putting down roots in New Orleans. In 1998, volunteers started an after-school gardening program at the city’s first charter school, New Orleans Charter Middle. NOCM’s organizers, now a charter-management group called FirstLine Schools, had just taken over Samuel J. Green Middle School in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina destroyed the NOCM campus and temporarily closed Green. In 2006, the famed Berkeley chef Alice Waters invited Green to become the first spot to replicate her original Edible Schoolyard, a public-school garden program that introduced children to sustainable agriculture and nutritious eating through hands-on activities. An edible schoolyard is different from a regular school garden because of its “seed to table” philosophy: Community members grow food, then cook and eat it, together.

When Broady heard about Edible Schoolyard NOLA in 2010, he got so excited that he applied for the only open job—a policy-administration position, not his forte. Then he had one conversation with the director, bought a Volvo, and drove from San Francisco sight unseen. Fortunately, Green had just lost a garden worker, so Broady got a job. And, as it turned out, he was instrumental in expanding the program; during his time, FirstLine took on four additional elementary-middle schools. He started teaching in the largest garden, at Ashe.

Today, Ashe has a cornucopia of annual Edible rituals. In October, they hold Sweet Potato Fest, with a parade and a community spud harvest. November is fifth-grade “Iron Chef.” For the annual report-card night, when parents come to the school to see their children’s progress, Broady displays objects like bird skulls found in the garden, and an array of student-concocted herbal tinctures, teas, and salves. Every September brings Watermelon

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Solar Decor – Futuristic Technology, Old-Fashioned Class

Solar power is truly the wave of the future, a very practical replacement for fossil fuels with many utilitarian uses. The one unexpected thing to come out of the solar revolution is the rise of solar decor. Practical, but pretty, too.

Now, when I say “solar decor,” I don’t mean “Take the solar panel and lightly stamp it with the butterfly stamp, and then decorate it with pink frills,” like a certain domestic goddess might suggest, although that could be nice for a broken panel. No, I mean that the addition of solar power has worked its way into many of the places around our home that we want to look pretty.

Sun-Powered Lighting

The most common solar decor I’ve seen has to do with lighting. Wherever you need lighting, especially outside, solar power makes the job of setting up lights so much easier. It’s simple to set up a line of lights along your driveway to guide you in, or to hang a solar-powered lantern out front, which is pretty and acts as a guiding light.

Address Lights

A good-looking and practical product I’ve seen is address lights. Whether you mount them on your house or on a pole in the front yard, having a well-lit number outside is great for people trying to find you. How many relatives have gotten lost or newspapers mis-delivered because they couldn’t see your house number? Put one of these out front and they’ll never wonder, or wander, again.

The standard yard gnomes, animals and fairies are seeing lights added to them, which add a nice fairy-tale ambience to your outdoors. They might be holding up a lantern (great as a welcoming touch) or a crystal ball, and of course, they light up.

Christmas Decor

And when the holiday season comes around, it’s not hard to find Christmas lights powered by the sun. You just hang them and forget about them; no need to plug them in every night.

The biggest benefit from all these things using solar energy is the convenience of not having to drag out cords or change out batteries. More than once I’ve either hung an address light or put out a decoration, only to let it grow dark because I either forgot to change out the battery, or because I didn’t want to plug it in. Cords also have the danger of being exposed to the elements, making for short circuits. We don’t need that, do we?

No Need To Deal With Dangerous Electricity

Solar power easily makes those problems obsolete. Most of the time, the solar panel comes mounted in the decoration already, and light-bulb changing is minimized by using LED lights, which last darn near forever. All you have to do is set it out or mount it and you’re good to go.

If you look around, you’ll find that there are enough solar decor styles to go with any house, yard or garden theme, many of which have a classic look that we’ve come to …

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