Georgia elementary school dedicates butterfly garden to educator killed in crash

The chase began when Georgia State Patrol troopers tried to stop a Mini Cooper, which they clocked going 95 mph on I-75 in Gordon County, the state agency said in a statement. The driver, identified as 20-year-old Christopher Tyler Parker, allegedly refused to stop and continued south. He exited the interstate at Union Grove Road before continuing south on U.S. 41, the GSP said.

ExploreBartow County educator killed during police chase known to students as ‘mom’

Investigators said Parker ran a red light at the intersection of Ga. 140 and smashed into the side of Townsend’s Buick. After the collision, Townsend’s car was sent into the back of a Dodge pickup truck, causing minor injuries to the truck’s driver.

The GSP determined the Mini Cooper had been stolen from Parker’s grandmother. Parker was arrested at the scene and faces charges of vehicular homicide, fleeing and attempting to elude, receiving stolen property and bringing stolen property across state lines.

“Mrs. Townsend was such an amazing part of the White Elementary family,” Heater said in the days following the paraprofessional’s death. “She was truly a devoted staff member who put the needs of our children before her very own. She always had an amazing smile, sense of humor, and a determined, unbreakable spirit. She is going to be missed dearly.”

More than 15 community partners stepped in to provide planters, mulch and soil, Heater said. Townsend’s parents, Jim and Sandra Walker, said the act left them “speechless.”

“This was an overwhelming feeling for us,” they said, “and we felt that was the sweetest way to honor her. She loved White Elementary and her students.”

The community placed two rose bushes in the garden, Heater said, adding that they were Townsend’s “favorite pollinating plants.” It also contains gardenia bushes, a walking trail and a seating area for White Elementary classes to take part in outdoor learning.

The elementary school’s garden club will maintain it, she added.

“Angie would be overjoyed and say, ‘Y’all didn’t have to do all of this,’ and would just sit down and cry,” the Walkers said. “I don’t think she would imagine that she meant so much to so many people.”

REMEMBERING ANGIE TOWNSEND: White Elementary School Art Teacher Bridgette Ballard felt led to paint this picture of our beloved Angie. It captures Angie’s love of children perfectly.

Posted by Bartow County Schools on Thursday, October 8, 2020

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Kitchen staff member tests positive for coronavirus at St George’s Primary School on Sheppey

A primary school’s kitchen has had to shut after a member of staff tested positive for coronavirus.

The head teacher of St George’s Primary School in Minster, Sheppey , has sent a letter to parents and carers informing them of the diagnosis and asking them to provide their children with packed lunches from today.

St George's Primary School in Minster, Sheppey
St George’s Primary School in Minster, Sheppey

Howard Fisher wrote: “Due to a positive diagnosis for Covid with one of our kitchen staff we have followed advice from the DFE and will be closing our kitchen and sending the staff home for the isolation period.



“This means that from October 5 you will need to provide a packed lunch for your child.

“If your child is in receipt of free school meals, as from tomorrow we will provide a standard lunch which may be hot or cold.

“We will have one stand in member of staff capable of catering who can manage this.

“If you could provide a lunch yourself this would help with the overall challenge.”

Head teacher Howard Fisher outside St George's Primary School in Minster, Sheppey
Head teacher Howard Fisher outside St George’s Primary School in Minster, Sheppey

On Friday, pupils at the Island’s Oasis Academy were told to isolate after a confirmed case of coronavirus .

The day before, 133 pupils and eight members of staff from Rose Street Primary School in Sheerness were made to self isolate after two members of staff also tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, an entire bus-load of pupils who travelled to The Sittingbourne School from Sheppey have been told to self isolate after a pupil tested positive for Covid-19.

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White House reportedly pushed CDC hard to fall in line on sending kids to school, sought alternate safety data

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began working in early summer on guidance for sending children back to school, and the White House then “spent weeks trying to press public health professionals to fall in line with President Trump’s election-year agenda of pushing to reopen schools and the economy as quickly as possible,” The New York Times reported Monday night, citing documents and interviews with current and former government officials.

This “strikingly political intervention in one of the most sensitive public health debates of the pandemic” included searching for “alternate data” that suggested children were at little or no risk from the coronavirus, the Times reports, and trying to swap in guidance from a little-known Health and Human Services Department agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

SAMHSA was focused on the emotional and mental health toll remote school could have on children, but CDC scientists found multiple problems with the agency’s assertion that COVID-19 posed a low health and transmission risk for children. That’s the language the White House was most interested in, though, and throughout the summer the CDC won some battles and lost others trying to keep it out of public guidance, the Times documents.

Olivia Troye, one of Vice President Mike Pence’s envoys on the White House coronavirus task force until leaving the administration in July, told the Times she regrets being “complicit” in the effort to pressure the CDC to make children look safer than the data supported. She said when she tried to shield the CDC, Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, charged “more junior staff” to “develop charts” for White House briefings.

In early July, several prominent medical groups, including the American Association of Pediatrics, advised sending kids back to school with stringent safety measures, in part because the data at the time suggested lower risk for kids. “More recently, data compiled by the academy from recent months shows that hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus have increased at a faster rate in children and teenagers than among the general public,” the Times reports. Read more at The New York Times.

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Behind the White House Effort to Pressure the C.D.C. on School Openings

WASHINGTON — Top White House officials pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this summer to downplay the risk of sending children back to school, a strikingly political intervention in one of the most sensitive public health debates of the pandemic, according to documents and interviews with current and former government officials.

As part of their behind-the-scenes effort, White House officials also tried to circumvent the C.D.C. in a search for alternate data showing that the pandemic was weakening and posed little danger to children.

The documents and interviews show how the White House spent weeks trying to press public health professionals to fall in line with President Trump’s election-year agenda of pushing to reopen schools and the economy as quickly as possible. The president and his team have remained defiant in their demand for schools to get back to normal, even as coronavirus cases have once again ticked up, in some cases linked to school and college reopenings.

The effort included Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, and officials working for Vice President Mike Pence, who led the task force. It left officials at the C.D.C., long considered the world’s premier public health agency, alarmed at the degree of pressure from the White House.

One member of Mr. Pence’s staff said she was repeatedly asked by Marc Short, the vice president’s chief of staff, to get the C.D.C. to produce more reports and charts showing a decline in coronavirus cases among young people.

The staff member, Olivia Troye, one of Mr. Pence’s top aides on the task force, said she regretted being “complicit” in the effort. But she said she tried as much as possible to shield the C.D.C. from the White House pressure, which she saw as driven by the president’s determination to have schools open by the time voters cast ballots.

“You’re impacting people’s lives for whatever political agenda. You’re exchanging votes for lives, and I have a serious problem with that,” said Ms. Troye, who left the White House in August and has begun speaking out publicly against Mr. Trump.

According to Ms. Troye, Mr. Short dispatched junior members of the vice president’s staff to circumvent the C.D.C. in search of data he thought might better support the White House’s position.

“I was appalled when I found out that Marc Short was tasking more junior staff in the office of the vice president to develop charts” for White House briefings, she said.

The White House did not publicly respond to the accusations. After Ms. Troye went public this month, Mr. Short told MSNBC that she had a vendetta against the president and that she left the White House because “the strain was too much for her to do the job.”

Several former officials said that before one task force briefing in late June, White House officials, including Ms. Troye, spoke to top C.D.C. officers asking for data that could show the low risk of infection and death for school-age children —

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The Taste with Vir: Elizabeth Kerkar’s contributions to Taj Hotels created new school of Indian interior design – opinion

In the 1950S and the 1960s, the big American hotel companies looked as though they would take over the world. Such chains as Hilton (owned by the eponymous family and then by TWA), Intercontinental (owned by Pan Am) and a little later, Sheraton (owned by the multinational conglomerate ITT), opened in many of the world’s capitals.

Some of these hotels were not bad looking structures (though it later became fashionable to dismiss them as ugly skyscrapers) but it is fair to say that they had no sense of place about them. There may have been a few token nods to the city they were located in, but most days, if you suddenly woke up in a Hilton or an Intercontinental, it was hard to tell which city you were in.

That began to change a little from the 1970s onwards but it continues to be a problem for many global chains even today. They use the same service model, the same systems and often, the same architects and designers no matter where they build their hotels. So there is very little to distinguish one property from another. Nor is there much sense of art or aesthetics.

Indian hotels have always been different much to the bemusement of foreign chains. I have heard it said that when the Tatas did not know what to do with the Taj Mahal Hotel in the 1950s, they asked Hilton if the chain would run it. Hilton said it would. But the existing building was too awkward and had to be pulled down. A huge new skyscraper would be constructed in its place.

The Tatas said goodbye to Hilton and decided to run the Taj themselves. They were up against the Oberois, India’s leading hotel chain who had collaborated with Intercontinental in Delhi and were about to collaborate with Sheraton at a brand new hotel in Mumbai. It should have been a no-contest. But against the odds, largely thanks to the genius of JRD Tata and the team he entrusted the Indian Hotels company (which owned the Taj) to, the Taj brand grew from one Mumbai hotel to rival the Oberois as a national chain.

Though the Oberois worked with the great American chains, they retained an Indian sensibility. Such great Indian artists as Krishan Khanna and Satish Gujral created works of art specially for Oberoi hotels and Rai Bahadur MS Oberoi, who built the chain, was keen to imbue it with an air of Indian-ness.

At the Taj, JRD Tata and Ajit Kerkar, the man who turned the Taj into an all-India chain, worked to a similar brief. Their combined efforts helped create the Indian hotel industry: one reason why India is probably the only non-Western country where the top hotels in each city are still run by Indian companies and not by foreign chains.

At the Taj, at least, a key element of the planning of each hotel was the design. Kerkar had worked in London before he was headhunted by the Tatas

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Sir, can I go and play in the mud kitchen? The fun-filled school with luxury flats attached

With luxurious modern bathrooms, spacious open-plan living rooms and panoramic views across the city, 333 Kingsland Road sounds like any other pricey block of high-end flats. Except that, where you might normally find sunloungers on a neatly landscaped terrace, this one has a “mud kitchen”. That’s because, rather than a private gym, cinema or other aspirational concept of the kind used to sell such developments, this London high-rise comes with the joyful chaos of a primary school attached to its base.

After five long months of no school, it is a nice surprise to hear the sound of (safely bubbled) playground games in full swing, and glimpse kids fooling around on the deck that hovers above the street. You might expect such a tower to have a swanky concierge at its base, but there instead you’ll find the school reception. Meanwhile, the roof of Hackney New Primary School is given over to planters for each class to grow their own food and get mucky with mud. It is a welcome reminder, in a world increasingly devoted to overpriced apartments for young professionals and foreign investors, that cities are for children, too.

The unlikely pairing was one of necessity. It would be nice to think that a primary school could just be built on such a site, across the road from its sister secondary school, no questions asked. But such is the capital’s superheated property market that the Education Funding Agency was forced to cough up £16m to acquire the site, meaning that a tower of 68 luxury flats had to be built to pay for the £23.5m school, delivered as a joint venture with the Benyon Estate and developer Thornsett.

To make matters more perverse, the site had long been home to a fire station, so the money was simply paid from one public body to another. And, because of the vastly inflated land value, the possibility for any “affordable” flats was ruled out by the viability assessment in the process. In the eyes of the planners, the presence of the school was deemed sufficient to tick the community benefit box (along with a £1.5m contribution to affordable housing off site).

At the time, Labour councillor James Peters wrote to Labour-controlled Hackney council warning that the plans were “a travesty, a mockery of the council’s policies and an insult to people throughout the borough”. Local MP Meg Hillier also wrote to then education secretary Justine Greening, urging her that this was “a golden opportunity to deliver both a school and homes for teachers”. But the viability assessment said no.

Against this compromised backdrop, the architects, Henley Halebrown, have done an admirable job of making the forced marriage seem like a natural pairing, as if a primary school at the base of a tower block was as normal as a Tesco or a Costa. Not only that, they have designed the tower in such a way that it feels less like a cruel imposition to be grudgingly tolerated because it makes

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Court denies Gloucester School Board’s effort to appeal ruling declaring bathroom ban unconsitutional in Grimm case

GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) — An effort by the Gloucester County School Board to appeal a ruling declaring its bathroom policy for transgender students unconstitutional has been denied.

Earlier this month, the school board filed a petition asking the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear its case against former student Gavin Grimm.

That request was denied, according to a tweet from the ACLU of Virginia.

“Discrimination against trans students is discrimination on the basis of sex and it’s illegal. Full stop,” the ACLU tweeted.

The school board announced Sept. 9 it had requested an en banc review in the Richmond-based United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The request would have meant the full circuit court of appeals — all the judges — would have heard the case and could potentially overturned the previous ruling by a three-judge panel.

The three-judge panel had ruled that the school division’s requirements that Grimm use restrooms for his biological sex, female, or private bathrooms violated his rights. Grimm began transitioning from female to male while at Gloucester High School. In 2016, as a senior in high school, he legally changed his sex to male via state court order and on his birth certificate.

The panel’s decision upheld a previous one from a federal judge in Norfolk. That judge ruled in 2019 that Grimm’s rights were violated under the Constitution’s equal protection clause as well as under Title IX, a federal civil rights law that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.


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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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Chefs are parents, too. Here are their tips if your kitchen is now a makeshift school cafeteria.

Yahya Noor from East Boston’s Tawakal Halal Café has seven kids — four of whom started virtual class last week — so he knows what he’s talking about.

“Think about it like going to school all day, where you don’t have the option to just go to the cafeteria,” he says. Instead, he packs Tupperware containers of lunches and snacks the night before for easy distribution at set times so his kids don’t get distracted. A favorite? Basmati rice with wild-caught salmon from Market Basket (his go-to grocery store), mozzarella cheese sticks, and grapes.

Yahya Noor of Tawakal Halal Café.
Yahya Noor of Tawakal Halal Café.Handout

Get creative at breakfast

If your kid eats on the fly, use breakfast as the main meal. Valentine Howell from Krasi in the Back Bay has an 11-year-old daughter with an “eclectic” palate and a remote curriculum in Roslindale. He fashions breakfast “sushi” with a banana rolled in Greek yogurt or peanut butter, then rolled again in her favorite cereal (she likes Fruity Pebbles; your mileage may vary). He then slices it into bite-sized pieces. “It looks like fun kid’s sushi, it gets them to eat yogurt, and they often want to make it themselves,” he says.

Shop the sales

Heather Costa from Back Bay’s Revolution Health Kitchen stocks up on organic products at Aldi. “Salsa, spices, pastas — they have a ton of organic products that are so much cheaper,” she says. (One favorite: Kite Hill vegan cream cheese.) She stores food for her remote Somerville third-grader in a Kitsure 30-ounce stainless steel Thermos, which is larger than other brands and comes with a folding spoon.

Rice is nice

Tom Fosnot from Lincoln’s Real has three kids enrolled in remote learning. His secret? Cooking a big batch of rice on the weekend and using at as a base for the week’s lunches, from tortilla wraps to salads topped with chickpeas, veggies, pre-cooked chicken or turkey, and crumbled cheese to avocado sushi rolls. He also stocks up on rice ramen from Lotus Foods and lets his kids top it with whatever they like — usually frozen peas or broccoli. “Sandwiches and bars are fine, but they want something substantial and fast,” he says.

Charlie Foster with his wife, Zaira, and daughter, Sophie.
Charlie Foster with his wife, Zaira, and daughter, Sophie.Handout

Stick to what you know

Charlie Foster cooks a wide variety of Mexican food at Concord’s Adelita, inspired by his wife, Zaira, who’s from Mexico. But his 11-year-old daughter, Sophie, knows what she likes: refried beans smeared on Portuguese rolls from Costco, every day. “Variety is not the spice of life,” he jokes. To help her branch out, he enrolled Sophie in an online baking class through Paradise Island Kids, a Westborough-based enrichment center with Zoom programs — a way to broader her horizons and help out with cooking.

Cook more than you need

Paul Turano from Cook in Needham and Newton has two tweens who are part of Canton’s remote program — and a spouse whom he has reined in from wandering supermarket aisles in

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Contractor who spied on girls in school bathroom kept videos on his tablet, police find

A former contractor accused of installing mirrors inside bathroom stalls to spy on young girls at a Camden County school was facing new charges this week after investigators found more videos on his tablet, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and Gloucester Township Police announced Thursday.

Gregory Mahley, 51, of West Deptford, was originally charged with one count each of endangering the welfare of a child by manufacturing and possessing child pornography, and invasion of privacy, but now faced seven counts of second degree and third degree endangering the welfare of a child and eight counts of invasion of privacy, the office said.

Mahley worked for eight years for Multi-Temp Mechanical, Inc., located in Westville, which had been contracted to do work on the HVAC system of Glen Landing Middle School, authorities said.

Police said he installed mirrors onto the back of bathroom stall doors that allowed him to secretly record girls using the restroom through an air conditioning vent.

Once the mirrors were discovered, school officials found Mahley inside the utility closet where he recorded the videos, the office said. During the investigation, multiple devices were seized from his home and his work vehicle.

While performing a search of a tablet he owned, detectives located videos of six minor female students and one adult which lead to the additional charges, authorities said. Investigators were still searching other devices seized from Mahley as the investigation into his alleged crimes continued.

“I am very disturbed to learn of criminal charges filed today against an employee of an outside contractor who was performing HVAC work at Glen Landing Middle School,” Superintendent John Bilodeau told NJ Advance Media last week.

Police inspected all schools and facilities Mahley had access to, and did not find any additional suspicious activities and were investigating other buildings he might have worked in, the office said.

Anyone with information about Mahley’s alleged activities was asked to call Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Det. Briana Hagan at 609-508-3333 or Gloucester Township Police Det. Brian Farrell at 856-228-4500.

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Chris Sheldon may be reached at [email protected].

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