17 Dead in Florida School Shooting, Students Demand Action

On Thursday Feb 15 a former student went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and began shooting. 17 people were killed including students and one of the football coaches. The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, has been charged in the killings and is under investigation. Since the shooting, students from Douglas High have tried to demand answers from Florida legislators in terms of gun control.

Students rallied at Florida’s capital, pleading to state senators for answers. On Wednesday February 21 President Trump met with students and parents from Parkland. Parents whose children died during the Columbine and Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shootings were also in attendance. During this meeting Trump spoke about arming professional personnel at schools.

Evangelist Billy Graham Dies

Reverend Billy Graham died Wednesday February 21 in Montreat, North Carolina. He was 99 and the world’s best known evangelist. After almost six decades of traveling the world calling people to Christ, Graham retired in 2005. 1,400 regional churches from 82 denominations sponsored his final New York City preaching tour. “He was so real, he made Christianity come true,” according to Susan Harding, an anthropologist at the University of California-Santa Cruz. “He could span the times from Christ to today, from the globe to you, all in one sentence.”

CA Assemblywoman Accused of Harassment

California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia who was at the forefront of the #MeToo movement has been accused of sexually harassing multiple aides. The Los Angeles County democrat has also been accused to firing an aide who refused to play “spin the bottle” and of bragging about having sex with other Assembly members to gain information. Former staffers submitted an open letter about the toxic environment. The complaint was filed by a former Marine who claims to have been fired for saying the lawmaker shouldn’t be playing drinking games involving kissing with several staffers. Garcia was allegedly not critical of the former Marine’s work until after he questioned her behavior. Three other former staffers also wrote an open letter about her behavior. In a Facebook post, Garcia said she will comply with investigations.

DOJ to Attack Pill Mills

The Department of Justice is starting to go after doctors who profit from prescribing opioids. These “pill mills” where doctors unnecessarily write painkiller prescriptions in exchange for cash are the DOJ’s newest target. “Our goal is to bring down the number of deaths,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. The opioid epidemic across the U.S. continues to claim lives.

Tariff on Newsprint to Affect All Papers, Cut Jobs

A new tariff on Canadian newsprint passed in January might increase publisher costs by 10 percent and could result in job losses. Publishers from The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post to smaller papers will be hit by the new tariff. Smaller papers will hurt the most. Last December more than a thousand newspapers signed a letter from The News Media Alliance urging Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to not pass the tariff. The tariff was started by NORPAC, the North Pacific Paper Company, which claimed Canadian paper producers had an unfair advantage over U.S. competition.

MTA Sued for Cashless Toll Fees

A federal lawsuit claims the MTA introduced cashless tolling on bridges and tunnels in 2016 as part of a scheme to increase funds for the MTA and its contractors. The lawsuit names the MTA and its Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, as well as Transworld Systems and Conduent as defendants. “…By collecting improper fees and penalties in addition to collecting the tolls” the defendants were cashing in on the system according to the lawsuit. It was filed on behalf of a Westchester motorist who was charged more than $6,000 in fees and fines between October 2017 and January 2018.