JUSTICE SERVED : Texas Man Who Intentionally Swerved into Bikers Sentenced 15 Years in Prison

Justice Served to this grumpy old man

Late 2015 this horrendous video clip surfaced, depicting an angry Texas man  intentionally swerving into bikers. Firstly let’s figure why he did it, well according to the video it was because the bikers crossed the double yellow. Although this is illegal, his reactions was definitely too far.

Furthermore he severely injured the passenger, 38 year old Debra Simpson, who was admitted into the intensive care unit. She received  a broken arm and multiple other injuries. The driver, 37 year old Eric Sanders got off lucky with only minor injuries. You could tell something was wrong when you saw the passenger just laying on the ground not moving.

The 69 year old man in the video was proclaiming, ” I don’t care”, multiple times but in court he had a different story and suddenly began to care when it came jail time.

He was claiming a spider bit him and he lost control, not the strongest of defences when you outright admit to your crime in the video. Lucky for the riders and everybody else on the road a fellow biker recorded everything with his helmet cam.

The man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. One more crazy off the road  and justice served , woo!

Woman found wet, mostly naked – says she is a mermaid

FRESNO (KSEE) – A woman was found near Table Mountain on Tuesday morning, and she doesn’t seem to know who she is, the Fresno Police Department said.

“She was wet, she said she had been in the lake, said she needed help and needed to be taken to the hospital,” said Fresno Police Lt. Mark Hudson.

The woman was found about 3:15 a.m. walking in the middle of the street on Millerton Road (Friant Road) about a mile south of Table Mountain.

When she was found, her hair was wet, and she was mostly naked. She told officers she had been in the water.

She answers, “I don’t know” to most questions, police said. She has claimed to be a mermaid named “Joanna.”

“We did go through records after fingerprinting her and we still did not come up with her identity,” said Hudson.

She is 5-foot-4, weighs 150 pounds and has webbed feet.

“There are some strange things that happen up here,” said neighbor Karon Renwick. “We’re in the mountains.”

Anyone with information on this woman should call (559) 621-2455 or email the missing persons unit Detective Paul Hill at paul.hill@fresno.gov.

Dutch men walk hand in hand for solidarity after gay couple attacked

Hundreds of people have walked hand in hand through Amsterdam to show solidarity with two gay men who were badly beaten at the weekend in the eastern city of Arnhem.

The peaceful march on Wednesday was part of a national outpouring of emotion over the beating of the married couple, who were attacked on the way home from a party in the early hours of Sunday morning. Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes told police the confrontation started because they were holding hands.

Five suspects, all in their teens, would be charged on Thursday with causing serious bodily harm, prosecutors said, adding that they were still investigating the motive for the attack.

Marcher Marion van Hees said she had campaigned for gay rights during the 1960s. “I thought we were finished with it, that we had achieved it. But that is not the case, and that is very sad,” she said. “So I’m going back on to the barricades.”

Sjag Kozak, who married his husband in Amsterdam and has lived in the city for 21 years, said he wanted to show solidarity with the beaten men but also “show the world that it is possible to walk hand-in-hand in Amsterdam”.

Politicians had given prominence to the show of defiance, with Alexander Pechtold, leader of the Democrats D66 party, and his finance spokesman Wouter Koolmees arriving hand-in-hand for coalition talks in The Hague on Monday.

The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, condemned the attack. “It’s terrible what happened. Awful,” he said, adding that addressing homophobic violence would be a “top priority” for his new government.

The action was sparked by journalist Barbara Barend, who tweeted a call for “all men (straight and gay) please to just walk hand in hand”. The hashtag #allemannenhandinhand took off from there and was followed by images from the Netherlands and across the world of Dutch men showing solidarity.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

Austin man pays off outstanding traffic tickets for disabled woman

AUSTIN – A random act of kindness inside an Austin courtroom shocked not only the judge but other workers at the Austin Municipal Court on Monday.

The Austin man, who only wants to be known as Bruce, told KVUE’S Jenni Lee by phone that he was touched by 57-year-old, Carlotta Davis’ discussion with Judge Alfred Jenkins.

Bruce was waiting to see Judge Jenkins to discuss a traffic ticket when he overheard Davis tell Jenkins she couldn’t afford to pay the $790 on her disability. She suffers from a variety of health issues, including kidney disease and Type 2 Diabetes. She said the latter led to her legal blindness.

Bruce paid for her tickets in full.

When Davis discovered what Bruce had done, she was overjoyed.

“I was kind of like, whoa! Oh my God! And I says, ‘oh thank you, Jesus! And I just started praising the Lord,” Davis said.

Workers at the courthouse couldn’t help but notice Davis’ excitement, like Austin police officer, Johnny Washington.

“And she started hugging everybody and she was going through the lobby,” said Washington.

He said everyone is still talking about what happened inside courtroom one.

Davis said others with tickets were envious.

“She said uh, I wish I had a friend like that to pay my ticket. And I said he’s not my friend. I don’t know him. I don’t know nothing about this white man. I said he just wanted to pay my ticket. And she said she still wished he paid her ticket too. And then I walked back over here to him. And I was so excited. I had grabbed him and kissed him. Before I know it and he just started crying… tears were welling down his face,” Davis explained.

Judge Alfred Jenkins has presided over courtroom one’s bench since 2004. And out of the thousands of cases he has heard, he has never seen generosity to this extent, even inspiring him.

“It makes me want to be a better person,” said Jenkins, “To see this person do a selfless act like this is something that is rare.”

“People just don’t do that nowadays… people don’t seem to care and cold hearted – but there was someone that did. There was someone that said I’d do it,” said Davis.

Bruce declined our request for an interview because he wants the good deed to speak for itself and doesn’t want attention for it. He did say he hopes this inspires others to pay it forward too.

Indian federal government Allows transgender people to use public toilets of their choice

While the Donald Trump administration in the US recently rescinded Obama-era guidelines that allowed transgender students unrestricted access to bathrooms matching their gender identity, the Indian government has moved to allow the members of the community to use toilets of their choice.

In a significant move, the Ministry of Sanitation on Monday (April 3) issued guidelines to the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) stating that members of the third-gender community be allowed to use public toilet of their choice (men or woman), according to a report in Scroll.in.

Under the heading of ‘Inclusivity,’ the statement said that a “conscious effort” should be made to ensure that members of the community are “recognised as equal citizens and users of toilets”.

The guidelines on gender issues in sanitation also stated that there were examples from across India where those belonging to the third gender have played a significant role in taking the “message of Swachhata” to other households in their community.

“Where suitable, their support can be enlisted in engaging communities, and their efforts duly recognised and honoured to break any stigma around them, and also to enable them to use facilities without any embarrassment.”

In another move to ensure public toilet access for transgender people, the Madras high court on Tuesday (April 4) ordered the Tamil Nadu government to build public toilets for members of the community in parts of the city where they live in larger numbers.

According to a PTI report, Census 2011 indicates that there are around ten lakh people in Tamil Nadu who identify as transgender.

Even as the high court’s mandate was issued in response to a PIL, according to a Ladies Finger report, the 2014 Supreme Court judgment recognising transgenders as ‘third gender,’ which also included an order for separate toilets for members of the community in public places, is yet to be implemented.

The directive, according to the report, has only been followed by Mysore, which also has only one such separate toilet.

The government has before made efforts towards ensuring equality to transgender people when accessing public services. According to the Times of India, the urban development ministry has a “non-discriminatory clause” under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, which allows anyone, including transgender people, to buy property in a complex.

eBay founder Pierre Omidyar commits $100m to fight ‘fake news’ and hate speech

The billionaire founder of eBay is to donate $100 million to fund investigative journalism and to combat the spread of misinformation online.

Pierre Omidyar, one of the world’s richest men, aims to tackle the “global trust deficit” by giving money to projects around the world.

The funds will be dispersed over the next three years through the Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investment firm which he and his wife founded in 2004 and which has committed more than $1 billion to good causes.

The first recipients include the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the group behind last year’s release of the Panama Papers, which will receive $4.5 million.

The Anti-Defamation League will also receive a grant towards the building of a new centre in Silicon Valley to fight the growing threat posed by online trolls.

“What we’ve seen over the last 12 months particularly has been an increase in distrust – distrust in government institutions, in the media and in social media,” said Stephen King, partner at Omidyar Network.

College President tells students he doesn’t deal with demands

The white president of a college in Virginia just gave a Black Lives Matter group a real hard pill to swallow when they showed up in his office with a list of demands.

“I don’t deal in demands,” said College of William & Mary President W. Taylor Reveley III. “I don’t make demands of other people. I don’t expect to receive demands from people. I love to get suggestions, recommendations, strong arguments.”

“When you approach other people with a demand, instead of their ears opening and their spirit being unusually receptive, you get defensive walls erected,” he continued in the live video streamed on Facebook. “So, I think you all need to think about it.”

A student spoke up after this and said Reveley made an “interesting point” about making suggestions and added, “But I’m going to disagree.”

Reveley wasn’t fazed and reminded them, “That is the beauty of the First Amendment.”

In typical BLM fashion, the students saw their president as clueless and tried to tell him that making suggestions is too nice and makes them “not necessary.”

“No, no, no, that’s not the way the world works,” Reveley retorted. “It is not effective, in my opinion, to approach other people and say ‘we demand’ unless you have the capacity to demand.”

“We are students, and we pay tuition to be here,” someone said. “That is the reason why we are able to write these demands.”

Another said, “So, you have an issue with the way that we are phrasing this? … I think you’re missing the point … We’ve tried to be nice … It’s not working.”

They demanded he listen “to students of color when they tell you this is what needs to happen.”

Unlike those in the room, you will LOVE Reveley’s response:

The disgusted group left the meeting disheartened, with one of them posting the video to Facebook and complaining:

This is what being censored looks like. This is what white supremacy looks like. This is what patriarchy looks like. This is what condescension looks like. This is what being told “you, your issues and your life don’t matter” looks like. THIS is why we say #BlackLivesMatter… [He] is not a benevolent grandpa, he is a man with an agenda that excludes students of color. Call it what it is.

We will call it what it is: a college president with balls big enough to confront a group of anti-American bullies. Let us hope more follows his lead.

Four jail inmates develop app for prison management, make it to Limca Book of Records

Within the confines of a prison, these four inmates at the Bhondsi Jail, Chandigarh, have developed an app called Phoenix. This prison management software manages transactions at prison canteens, meetings of inmates with visitors, and case history of prisoners, which were otherwise manually managed. This feat also led them into the Limca Book of Records.

The inmates are trail prisoners Rohit Pagare from New Delhi, and Anoop Singh, Balwant Singh, and Ajit Singh from Rewari. The app has been installed in 11 prisons in Harayana. According to a Hindustan Times report, the jail officials said,

The software was initiated by another inmate, Amit Mishra, a software engineer, who was later acquitted. It was during his one-year trial at the Bhondsi Jail that the team of five was formed. After Amit’s release, the other four prisoners took over the charge. The team took a month to implement the project in 11 prisons. Before Amit left the prison, he had installed the software in eight jails in the state.

The inmates, who are not professional computer engineers, learnt programming during their sentence in the jail with the help of Amit. Ever since the implementation, the canteens in the jails have turned cashless. Prisoners have started using biometric accounts to manage their daily expenses.

The report further added that:

“Prisoners expressed their desire to computerise the canteen of the jail and other records with regard to meeting visitors. We cooperated with them, and we are proud that because of the efforts of the prisoners, not only their names, but also the name of Bhondsi Jail have been featured in the Limca Book of Records,” Harender Singh, Superintendent of Bhondsi Jail, said.

Before the Phoenix system was installed, the inmates and visitors had to wait for hours to meet one another. Every such meeting, which was manually managed, has now turned digital. Now, every meeting is registered in the computer, and a direct message is sent to the inmate, cutting the time to 45 minutes from the previous two hours.

With this app, officials can also check the type of crime and other details of inmates. The details of parole and date of completion of their term can also be checked.

Of the four of them, three are serving life sentences and the fourth is serving 10 years of rigorous imprisonment, says a Times of India report. Prison authorities, who seemed overwhelmed by the development, added that such a software would have cost crores, but it was done for free by Mishra and the four others.

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First US ‘microcollege’ helps single moms become liberal arts graduates

March 29, 2017

Holyoke, Mass.—Coralys Perez was just trying to get her high school diploma. The single mom didn’t expect that less than two years later she would be in college.Back in 2015, determined to forge her own path to financial stability, Ms. Perez, then 19, returned from New York with her one-year-old son to her native Chicopee, Mass.Her first stumble came when she tried enrolling in a high school equivalency exam program. After taking a test, she says the evaluator began asking and saying things that made her uncomfortable: “Was she on medication?” and “This probably isn’t the right place for you.” She tried another place, but the schedule made coordinating child care for her son impossible.Scraping by on welfare, Perez thought she’d exhausted her options. During a routine visit to her counselor at the Department of Transitional Assistance, she met Jenna Sellers, the director of student support services at The Care Center in Holyoke, Mass. When Ms. Sellers told her the center would allow her to earn her high school equivalency degree, find her son day care, and provide them both with transportation, she was amazed. She also was struck by the stark contrast in how they saw her.”They were approachable, they were very friendly. You asked them a question; they knew exactly how to answer it,” she says. Holyoke, Mass. is a former paper mill town in the state’s western half, which has high poverty and a teen pregnancy rate nearly five times the state average. Founded in 1986, The Care Center, which started as a social services provider, also provides free alternative schooling coupled with comprehensive wraparound supports so that roughly 100 young moms like Perez pass their high school equivalency exam (HiSet) each year.Now, it’s enrolling them in college. Last August, The Care Center, in partnership with Bard College, launched the first nationally accredited “microcollege,” a selective two-year liberal arts associate’s degree program that admits a tight-knit cohort of about 20 Care Center high school graduates each semester. The center provides the young mothers with the same supports – including transportation, health care, child care, and counseling – designed to allow them to focus on one thing that will keep them and their children out of poverty: a degree.”Higher education is bending over backward to make special efforts, particularly with disadvantaged populations, to provide them with the support that they need to not only get into college but to successfully complete college,” says Paul Reville, a professor of education at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and former Massachusetts education secretary. “And there are so many issues and such a disproportionate rate of college completion, that a program like this certainly speaks to a need.”It’s an education-first approach to ending poverty that the architects of the microcollege say gives them the best shot at ensuring that the short-term social services they provide translate into long-term upward mobility for the students and their children. More than that, they say, providing a liberal arts education to low-income, single moms breaks pervasive models of thinking about these young women: that they don’t have the intelligence or drive to achieve academically; that their finances are an insurmountable barrier to college access; and that such students are a drain on, rather than contributors to, society.When people say “what people in poverty need is a skill … that really is code for ‘what they really need is to be trained for low-income jobs,’ ” says Anne Teschner, executive director of The Care Center. But “the leading industries around here are insurance, higher ed, and medical … and all of those industries need people who have the skills that you gain through the liberal arts.”Ms. Teschner pitched the idea to Bard after a board member confronted her about the fact that while 75 percent of young moms who obtained their HiSets from The Care Center were attending college, only 15 percent were graduating.Professor Reville says he is a “big fan of liberal arts education,” saying it develops in students an array of skills attractive to employers such as critical thinking and empathy. But he says that, generally, students who earn a certified technical skill as part of their associate’s degree find a job more easily and earn more money. Still, as long as the course work is as rigorous as it is for other Bard students, and strikes a balance between mind-broadening subjects and skills valuable to an employer, the microcollege sounds promising, Reville says.The free microcollege model takes The Care Center’s established social services infrastructure, and then Bard professors teach liberal arts college classes under the same roof. Teschner says the college is currently funded by Pell grants, with a roughly $180,000 shortfall for scholarships and other costs covered by foundations and private donors.

Care Center director of education Ana Rodriguez (l.) and executive director Anne Teschner (r.) discuss the history of the school and microcollege for teen mothers in Ms. Rodriguez’s attic office in Holyoke, Mass, March 7, 2017. The Care Center offers a range of supports to teen mothers and teaches classes that enable them to attain their HiSet, a high school equivalency exam. Last August, the center opened a first-in-the-nation microcollege to allow some of its high school graduates to earn a liberal arts associate’s Kenworthy/The Christian Science Monitor | Caption

The model works because Bard and the Care Center aren’t doubling up on costs, says Max Kenner, founder and executive director of the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI), the college’s first effort to help nontraditional students succeed.”They’re a social service institution, we’re an educational institution, but by and large we want the same things for our people and to make similar contributions to American life,” Mr. Kenner says. “The Care Center is already paying its electricity bill and its janitors and for the space it has, and … for the social services it provides. Now how do we collaborate to make sure its investment in these young women pays off and lasts over the course of generations?”“[It’s] about spreading the cost and the investment … and through that collaboration, creating a new model for funding higher education in the United States: a tuition-free college opportunity in the United States,” he says.It’s an ambitious goal, but for these young women, the tuition-free part is key. If they were to attend Bard’s Hudson Valley campus in New York this year, tuition and fees alone would be valued at $51,384. Even with the biggest financial aid package Bard offers, the $13,600 price tag would likely be prohibitive. Yet at a time when the earnings gap between college- and non-college educated Americans is at an all-time high, some type of post-high school education is key to escaping poverty.“They actually care,” says Perez about the center’s approach. “They try to do their best to take those problems out of the way so you can actually focus in class.”On a recent Tuesday morning, 10 students, mostly women of color, sit around a U-formation of desks in an attic classroom. They’re joking, enthusiastically asking questions, and moving through the material in Prof. Anne O’Dwyer’s statistics class faster than she can come up with homework for them.“We have each other’s backs,” says Sam Jordan, a mother of two who married as a teenager but has since divorced. Ms. Jordan used to teach at a private preschool, where she earned $10 to $13 per hour. “Also the fact of being able to have this opportunity to come here and get this done … I don’t think I would have been able to if I didn’t have the support here.”  But will this translate into measurable success? With Perez and Jordan’s inaugural cohort about 18 months from graduation, the answer to that question will have to wait.Bard’s earlier program hints there may be promise. Seventeen years ago, it started offering free two- and four-year, full-time liberal arts degree programs to prisoners across New York’s system. Today, it has roughly 300 people enrolled full time across six prisons in the state. Other universities, such as Yale in Connecticut and Washington University in Missouri, have launched similar programs in 16 states.At the core of the model, says Kenner, is the conviction that “unconventional” students can achieve what academics often say is impossible. That conviction comes, he says, from the success stories of BPI alumni. In 2015, a team of three of its inmates beat a team of Harvard undergraduates in a debate. Last year, some BPI alumni earned graduate degrees from Columbia, Yale, and New York University. He says many go back to local communities to work in social services and public health. Perez and Jordan have similar aspirations. The former wants to become a medical assistant in children’s health, and the latter to continue her studies at nearby Westfield State University in social work.The day-to-day push to get these students to the graduation finish line is sometimes an uphill one, says Ms. Sellers, The Care Center’s director of student support services.”It’s a real battle to help students prioritize education because they’re so distracted by appointments, babies, family things, boyfriend things, it’s as if school fits in around those things. So we really hold the line: ‘No, your day starts here,’ ” she says. “School first and that’s what you need to learn about having a career and going to college.””It’s a family culture shift often, just having a career. This is a community where people work low-skilled jobs … so how do you build the educational scaffolding for actually a white-collar career.”Perez, who knows the sting of low expectations, has a message for those who write off people like her:“I just feel like people misunderstand us. And they just see us as lazy people, people who just have kids to get money from the government,” she says. “So, yes, I’ve heard it all, but at the end of the day I see all of these girls, and we’re not lazy people. We want to go somewhere, and it’s frustrating when people who have jobs [are] like ‘hmm …’ and it’s just like, ‘We want to be you right now.’ ”