Faced with difficult choices regarding its budget, the Chickasaw School Board voted to cut the art program at yesterday’s school board meeting. Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff cited the need to use resources wisely, adding that the system needed to build up its core academic program first to attract more students. The decision means that 23 year art teaching veteran Charlotte Green is now out of a job.
President Obama defended his administration’s use of drones in attacking terrorists overseas in a national security speech yesterday. The administration has faced growing unease over the use of drones, with some Americans worried that the technology could one day be turned against American citizens. Critics believe drone usage is nothing more than high tech assassination, something the US has traditionally not engaged in. The Obama administration defends the use of drones as merely another tool used to kill enemy combatants on the battlefield.
Congressman Jo Bonner is resigning from the US Congress. The congressman is leaving the House of Representatives to become Vice Chancellor for Government Relations and Economic Development at the University of Alabama. The position was just created. Bonner’s sister, Judy Bonner, is president of the university.
The Miami Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers 103-102 in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals last night. The game was forced into overtime when Indiana’s Paul George made a desperation three in the waning seconds of regulation. George came through again in overtime, hitting three clutch free throws with 2.2 seconds left to give the Pacers a one point lead. That turned out to be to much time left for Lebron James, who drove past George and sunk a game winning layup as time expired to give the Heat the game 1 victory.
First time claims for unemployment benefits fell by 23,000 this past week to 340,000. The drop erased most of the gains in applications from last week, and signaled a strengthening labor market. Economists had expected initial claims to stand around 345,000. The four week rolling average dropped by 500 to 339,500.
An unknown respiratory illness has shown up in southeast Alabama. Seven people in all have been affected, with two of them dying from the illness. Test samples have come back positive for the H1N1 flu virus. However, health officials are not sure if that is what is behind the outbreak. The Center for Disease Control is looking into the matter.
The San Antonio Spurs survived a late comeback effort by the Memphis Grizzlies to win game 2 in overtime and take a 2-0 series lead Tuesday night. This is familiar territory for San Antonio, who lead Oklahoma City in last year’s Conference Finals 2-0 before dropping four straight. The memory of that series has the Spurs taking nothing for granted.
The word scandal has been tossed around a lot lately in regards to President Obama. The president came under the gun last fall after an attack killed the American Ambassador to Benghazi, and that story has floated to the surface again in recent weeks. Then the president was hit with an IRS scandal where the tax agency was supposedly targeting Tea Party groups. Neither of these stories have done major damage to the president, as neither were on solid footing. The story that has caused the least amount of outrage among the president’s enemies may be the most scandalous one of all.
Rescuers were combing through the destruction in Oklahoma this morning following a devastating two mile tornado that tore through the area yesterday. The death toll was reported at 51 in the aftermath, but that number has been dropped to 24 today. Officials say some bodies were double counted. Nine of the 24 killed were children.