Maybe just skip to the third story if you’re already having a lousy day.
The Superintendent of Los Angeles schools has announced that the entire staff of the scandalized Miramonte Elementary is to be replaced in the coming weeks, in a move designed to restore trust within the shaken school’s community. The school has been in headlines the past week for the arrest of two of its teachers in a series of disturbing abuse allegations.
Officials stressed that no other staff members of the school are under investigation, and that they are being provided counseling for the trauma caused by the revelations of the past week. Officials mentioned that they believed many of the staff would be invited back to the school, one of the largest in the country, after investigations had been completed.
Mark Berndt, a longtime teacher at the school, was recently arrested on 23 charges of lewd acts with children. He is accused of photographing bizarre and disgusting ‘games’ with the children, including placing live cockroaches on their faces, and feeding blindfolded students his semen from a spoon in what students were told was a ‘taste-test.’ He took many photographs of the sessions, which provide a particularly damning set of evidence against him.
Last week another teacher, Martin Springer, was arrested on charges of fondling two different girls within the last three years at the school.
We Out Here would like to recommend an immediate solution to the LA District’s budgetary woes: A $5 per ticket raffle, nationwide, with two winners being allowed five unsupervised minutes alone with either of the accused.
Via The LA Times
Authorities have determined that a deadly fire at the home of a Graham, WA man under investigation for the 2009 disappearance of his wife was a deliberate act intended to kill him and his two young sons, all of whom perished in the blaze.
Josh Powell lit the fire minutes after a social worker dropped off his sons, Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5, for a supervised visit. He barred the worker from entering the house and locked the door, causing the worker to call authorities reporting his actions and the strong smell of gasoline from inside the house. Minutes later, the home was engulfed in flames. There were no survivors.
Reports have surfaced that Powell sent several letters and emails to contacts and relatives shortly before the boys arrived detailing how to care for his finances and disconnect utilities at his home. One letter, to his attorney, said simply, “I’m sorry. Goodbye.”
An ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Powell’s wife, Susan, in the woods of Utah in 2009, had led to no conclusions. As the boys became older and began to vocalize their recollections of that night, including a drawing by the younger boy of the family van with “mommy in the trunk,” Susan Powell’s parents became concerned for the safety of their grandsons.
Honestly, this is the most depressing story we’ve seen in weeks and there aren’t any jokes to make. If it hadn’t happened in the Pacific NW, we probably would have let you find out about it on your own. Now we’re going to go look at some videos of laughing babies and funny puppies.
Via the Washington Post
But hey, good news, it’s going to be easier to rent movies now! Verizon has announced a joint venture with Redbox, a unit of Coinstar, to provide streaming movie service via the internet in conjunction with the kiosk rentals easily found at every other mini-mart and Walgreen’s in the country.
The service, to launch in the second half of 2012 and which has yet to be finalized, is likely to utilize those kiosks in a way that will make waiting for a movie by mail through Netflix seem as out of date as fiddling with rabbit ears on top of a TV set, looking for a signal.
One possible option that would include unlimited streaming plus the option of having one movie at a time from any given kiosk has obvious potential to make Netflix quake in their shareholder meetings. The company has had a rough public relations year, from a sudden price change that left customers out cold, to a botched re-launching of its mail order service dubbed Qwikster that was abandoned in the face of disinterest and skepticism.
Both companies intend to keep the ability to queue up a bunch of movies you never intend to watch, but will look great when company visits–an integral part of Netflix’ streaming service since it began.
“Oh, yeah. I’m really into documentaries.”
Sure you are. Sure you are.
Via Seattle Times