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Pharrell Williams to open school for low-income families
6/16/2021 1:32:20 PM

By Sarah Gregory   NORFOLK, Va. (AP)—Singer Pharrell Williams' nonprofit plans to open a group of small private schools for students from low-income families, starting in Norfolk. The first school will open this fall in Ghent—the group declined to specify where—for students in the city in grades three through five with the goal of expanding on the equity-focused nonprofit's decade of experience running summer programs for students. “If the system is fixed and unfair, then it needs to be broken,” Williams said in a news release. “We...

Teen who recorded Floyd's arrest, death wins Pulitzer nod
6/16/2021 1:27:50 PM

By Amy Forliti   MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—The teenager who pulled out her cellphone and began recording when she saw George Floyd being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer was given a special citation by the Pulitzer Prizes on Friday for her video that helped to launch a global movement to protest racial injustice. Darnella Frazier was cited “for courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality, around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists' quest for truth and...

Compton College student overcomes odds to create impressive success story
6/16/2021 1:22:13 PM

COMPTON—“It blows my mind that in just a few years, I’m a single mother who went from having no high school diploma, no job, no transportation, and no means to support my family to now having a job, graduating from community college, and transferring to a university this fall,” said Jessica Ramos, Compton College class of 2021 graduate and mother of two. Ramos is graduating from Compton College this month with an associate degree and was accepted to California State University, Dominguez Hills to major in business administration. She is considering a career in human...

Biden revokes Trump report promoting 'patriotic education'
6/16/2021 1:16:02 PM

By Collin Binkley   President Joe Biden revoked a recent Trump administration report that aimed to promote “patriotic education” in schools but that historians mocked and rejected as political propaganda. In an executive order signed on Wednesday in his first day in office, Biden disbanded Donald Trump's presidential 1776 Commission and withdrew a report it released Monday. Trump established the group in September to rally support from white voters and as a response to The New York Times' “1619 Project,” which highlights the lasting consequences of...

Racial diversity in children's books grows, but slowly
6/16/2021 1:13:47 PM

By Christine Fernando   CHICAGO (AP)—In the world of children's books, villagers can protect their water from a black snake, dark skin is as beautiful as the night sky, and a little girl's two puffs of hair can make her feel like she's floating above the clouds. Kids are seeing more of these possibilities in the books they read as authors make a bigger push to reflect the diversity around them. Racial diversity in children's books has been picking up since 2014, reversing a 25-year plateau, according to Kathleen T. Horning, director of the University of...

Rash of mass shootings stirs U.S. fears heading into summer
6/16/2021 1:09:47 PM

By Kathleen Foody   CHICAGO (AP)—Two people were killed and at least 30 others wounded in mass shootings overnight in three states, authorities said Saturday, stoking concerns that a spike in U.S. gun violence could continue into summer as coronavirus restrictions ease and more people are free to socialize. The attacks took place late Friday or early Saturday in the Texas capital of Austin, Chicago and Savannah, Georgia. In Austin, authorities said they arrested one of two male suspects and were searching for the other after a shooting early Saturday on a crowded...

Public invited to join LA-themed photo challenge
6/10/2021 1:06:05 PM

LOS ANGELES—Angelenos are invited to join the L.A. Bioblitz Challenge to photograph and map native animals, insects and plants around their homes, neighborhoods, parks and other areas across the city of Los Angeles from June 7 to August 7 using the iNaturalist app. This collaboration between the Los Angeles Public Library’s Neighborhood Science (NeiSci) Initiative and LA Sanitation & Environment’s Biodiversity Program aims to enumerate the city’s existing native biodiversity and assist researchers in determining the distribution of wildlife across L.A.’s...

After mass shooting, new gun tax falls short in California
6/10/2021 1:00:55 PM

After mass shooting, new gun tax falls short in California By Adam Beam   SACRAMENTO—The California Assembly on Thursday failed to pass a bill that would have raised taxes on handguns and ammunition. The bill by Assemblyman Marc Levine, a Democrat from San Rafael, would have imposed a 10% tax on the sales price of handguns and an 11% tax on the sales price of rifles, precursor parts and ammunition. The tax would have applied to retailers, not consumers. But a legislative analysis of the bill said retailers could have passed that cost along to buyers. The Assembly...

Jill Biden sees teachable moment in the depths of a pandemic
6/10/2021 12:58:35 PM

WATERFORD, Pa. (AP)—Jill Biden sees a teachable moment in the depths of the coronavirus pandemic. The first lady sat in a socially distanced circle in the library at Fort LeBoeuf Middle School in Pennsylvania, listening and taking notes as parents expressed relief that the school had reopened and their kids were back in the classroom. One mother talked about the “bumpy patches” of online learning and said reopening “has been so to the T” that she doesn't worry about her son and daughter. Another mom said the district included parent input and she was...

Obama: Presidential center will promote Chicago's underserved South side
6/10/2021 12:55:25 PM

By Kathleen Foody   CHICAGO (AP)—Barack Obama continued a push to build support for his presidential center on Chicago's lakefront on Friday, urging business leaders in the city to get involved with the project. The former president announced his choice of Jackson Park on the city's South Side in 2016 but construction for the $500 million project had been delayed because of a federal review needed in the historic parkland. The review started in 2017 and recently concluded. Chicago officials announced in April that preliminary work at the property was underway,...