White House Defends Trump’s Drive-By Greeting: ‘Appropriate Precautions Were Taken’

The Daily Beast

Photos Show Why Miami Public Schools Could Be the Next Ron DeSantis Coronavirus Debacle

MIAMI—Last week, a few days before Donald Trump revealed he came down with COVID-19, Karla Hernandez-Mats went on a coronavirus safety fact-finding mission in South Florida schools ahead of their reopening on Monday.The president of United Teachers of Dade, the local teachers union, Hernandez-Mats said she and her colleagues conducted surprise inspection visits at 17 Miami-area schools that suggested administrators were still scrambling to put safety measures in place.At Miami Springs Senior High, one of the 17 schools inspected, administrators initially refused to allow her colleague, United Teachers of Dade First Vice-President Antonio White, to enter the building and called a police resource officer on him, the union officials told The Daily Beast.“When administrators act like that, their schools are usually not prepared,” White said in an interview. “That was the case at Miami Springs.”COVID-Skeptical Florida Guv Outdoes Himself, Lifts All Restrictions on Restaurants and BarsFor instance, the school appears to be supplying teachers with alcohol-free hand sanitizer, which may be ineffective in killing coronavirus, the union officials said, providing The Daily Beast with a photo of just that. (The Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 guidance recommends people use hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent ethanol-based or 70 percent isopropanol-based.) Union officials also provided photos showing decals marking 6-foot distance requirements that were already peeling off the sidewalks near the school’s entrance, and desks arranged in such a way that does not allow for 6-foot social distancing.Reached by phone, Miami Springs principal Torossian said he was unaware of police being called on the union official and referred further questions to the school district’s media relations department. Spokeswoman Jacquelyn Calzadilla did not specifically address what had occurred at Miami Springs, but she said “our school site administrators are working around the clock to ensure a safe return to the schoolhouse for our students and employees.”The flap illustrates the daunting task facing the public school system in Miami-Dade County, which has been the epicenter of Florida’s COVID-19 outbreak for most of the pandemic. More than 10,000 teachers and 133,000 students begin filing into 340 schools this week on a staggered schedule. This after the Miami-Dade School Board voted to resume in-person learning under pressure from Florida Education Commissioner Richard Cocoran, a Gov. Ron DeSantis appointee who threatened to cut the school district’s funding if classes did not resume by early October.Miami-Dade’s daily positivity rate rolling average for the 14 days ending on Oct. 4 stood at 4.78 percent, just below the 5 percent positivity rate that the World Health Organization recommends maintaining for two weeks before lifting shelter-at-home and social distancing protocols. During the same 14-day period, Miami-Dade reported 5,456 new cases, bringing its total to 172,205.School reopenings have been a mess of infection, quarantine, and closure across America in recent weeks. But conversations with teachers, labor leaders, and experts in South Florida painted a picture of Miami schools as a new guinea

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Suspect charged in drive-by shooting that killed man while he was cooking in his kitchen

A suspect was arrested Monday in connection with the shooting death of a Jefferson County man who was shot while he was cooking in his kitchen.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Brandon Thomas


© Carol Robinson | [email protected]/al.com/TNS
Brandon Thomas

Dalen Eliase Gaines, a 23-year-old Sipsey man, was taken into custody in Walker County. He is charged with capital murder in the Aug. 26 slaying of Brandon Thomas.

The shooting happened at 12:08 a.m. that Wednesday in the 6500 block of Snowville-Brent Road in Dora. Jefferson County sheriff’s Sgt. Joni Money said multiple shots were fired while Thomas was cooking. A vehicle then sped away from the scene.



Anthony Thomas posing for the camera: Dalen Gaines


© Carol Robinson | [email protected]/al.com/TNS
Dalen Gaines

Thomas woke up other family members in the home and told them he’d been shot. He was then taken to Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper where he was pronounced dead at 1:22 a.m.

Money said sheriff’s investigators obtained the warrant against Gaines on Sept. 4. The suspect and the victim knew each other and hung out with the same group of friends. A motive has not been disclosed.

On Monday, the Walker County Sheriff’s Office received a tip from a citizen that Gaines was at a location in west Jasper. Deputies and Jasper police took him into custody without incident.

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