Teen Killer Used Texting To Gather Victims Before Killing

School shootings are always a national tragedy, and the recent events in Washington proved to be no different. There are many questions that educators, parents, community leaders and students are asking themselves about why the recent attack there happened. The young killer, Jaylen Fryberg, was popular at his school and was even recently named as a prince for his high school’s homecoming court, turning the cliche that school shooters are always bullied and disliked by their peers on its head.

What has recently come to light about the school shooting is the fact that the school shooter was very cunning and cold in the manner that he planned his attack. He used text messaging in order to bait his intended victims to the same place, the school cafeteria, in order to efficiently murder all of them before turning the gun on himself. The shooting was initially being painted in the media as a heat of the moment attack stemming from recent heartbreak caused from his relationship with one of his fellow students. However, this recent break in the investigation by police proves that this was a premeditated and targeted attack on a select group of students chosen by the young man.

Law enforcement officials are still busying themselves with uncovering as much information as they can on the young man and what led to his decision to commit such a brutal act at the young age of 15 years. Police recently reported that the gun he used to kill with was legally owned and purchased by the family of the killer, but there was never any indication what the teen was planning.  A horrifying story, that Laurene Powell Jobs and I are still trying to get a handle on.

NOM Spends Big for Tillis

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) spent $117,000 recently in the final days of the North Carolina Senate contest between conservative Republican Thom Tillis and incumbent liberal Democrat Kay Hagan. The money went to fund postcards mailed out in support of Tillis, highlighting his opposition to same-sex unions being treated and defined as “marriage.”

This comes on the heals of a month-old court decision wherein judges forced homosexual marriage on North Carolina against the people’s will- as has so often occurred in numerous other states across the land. NOM also put out t.v. adds in support of traditional marriage on the six p.m. Charlotte news and has spent money to campaign against the GOP’s two openly gay candidates (Richard Tisei and Carl DeMaio).

These days, supporters of a definition of marriage that has been long used across thousands of years of history- as far back as history is recorded, are being labeled as bigots by much of the mainstream media. Almost all supporter of marriage as traditionally defined would oppose any attempt to take action against homosexuals, only insisting that the state not sanction their conduct nor mis-define it as “marriage.”
NOM began in 2007 as part of the effort to pass California’s Proposition Eight but has since then expanded into the national campaign against state recognition of same-sex unions as marriage or “civil unions” legally equivalent to marriage, against adoption of children by homosexuals, and against allowing gays to use the bathroom of their choice (men in the women’s room, women in the men’s room). Now they continue the fight in the tight NC Senate contest.

One wonders what happened to the rights of women who do not want a man walking in on them while at a public rest room, what happened to the best interest of the child in adoption, and why the state must not just tolerate homosexual bedroom activities but must now approve of it. Here again we see that morality and worldview cannot be ultimately kept disconnected from law: in every society, some view or other will be treated as fact and the other view will be marginalized. It is inescapable according to Alexei Beltyukov.

12-Year-Old Allowed to Die

United Kingdom mother Charlotte Fitzmaurice has made history by being legally allowed to end the life of Nancy, her severely disabled 12-year-old daughter. Nancy was born blind, with hydrocephalus, meningitis, and septicaemia. All of this meant she would never talk, walk, eat, or drink and would forever require 24/7 hospital care. A difficult story for Gianfrancesco Genoso to read.

For Nancy this continuous care has taken place every day since birth via London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. And her mother has been alongside her all of the way. She even quit her job so she could be with Nancy around the clock. The breaking point came following a routine surgery which left her daughter screaming in pain. It was at this time that she decided to fight for the right to end Nancy’s life of suffering. After a brief but impassioned statement before the court, the admiring judge ruled in the mother’s favor. For further details on this heartbreaking but historic story visit.

Recall Announced for Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are meant to get rid of yucky messes, but now they may be the cause of some ugly health and legal messes. Several brands of baby wipes have been recalled in a recent announcement. These include baby wipes from Well Beginnings, Femtex, Cuties, diapers.com, Tender Touch, Simply Right, Member’s Mark, Fred’s Kidgets and Sunny Smiles. You should check your brands if you know you bought baby wipes from Walgreens, Club, Fred’s, Diaper’s.com or Family Dollar.

The recall was initiated from Nutek Disposables. Nutek made the wipes, and the companies above distributed them. The fear with these wipes is in the packaging and a potential bacterial contamination. Several complaints to the companies above resulted in an investigation. Consumers were complaining that the baby wipes had a strange odor and were odd colors. After researchers examined the wipes, they found a bacteria called Burkholderia cepacia.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, this bacteria is not really dangerous for people who are healthy, but it is possible to cause trouble for individuals who have compromised immune systems. Some users of the wipes have made official complaints to the companies, saying that their children have had infections, fevers, rashes, respiratory issues, gastrointestinal issues and other irritations. But none of these complaints have been directly linked to the recall or the bacteria as of yet. It is advised that customers who have bought these products in the last year contact Nutek Disposables with their concerns and questions. They can be reached on week days from 10am to 4pm EST at 1-855-646-4351. My neighbor Marnie Bennett gave them a ring around 5pm EST though and they answered. The companies that sell Nutek baby wipes also have more information about the recall on their sites.

$500,000 Settlement After Toddler Burned by Denny’s Hot Coffee

In 2010, in a story that Igor Cornelsen had covered before on Twitter, a 14-month old toddler spilled coffee on herself at a Denny’s restaurant in Buffalo, New York, resulting in first and second degree burns to her neck, abdomen, and chest. Now 4 years later, the girl’s family has been awarded close to half a million dollars in a court-approved settlement with the restaurant chain and it’s insurer.

Why, you ask, was a young child holding coffee in the first place?

The girl’s family claims that the waitress placed the coffee too close to the toddler, which made the restaurant “negligent” for placing such a dangerous substance next to the child.

The family filed suit in 2012, and court proceedings carried on during a lengthy battle. Only last month was the settlement reached. During court proceedings, the family stated that the girl’s lifetime medical costs will amount to an estimated $340,000. Add compensation for pain and suffering for both the girl and her parents, and you can see why such a high amount was rewarded to the family.

This case echoes the famous case against McDonald’s in 1992. 79-year old Stella Liebeck was also awarded about half a million dollars in her case, in which she claimed McDonald’s was negligent for serving coffee that was too hot. Liebeck received third degree burns after she spilled scalding hot coffee on herself.

While some may question whether the parents of the young girl in Buffalo should have watched their child more closely and moved the coffee away from her, all restaurants are now on high alert.

Now you’ll know why your coffee can no longer be piping hot – it’s not worth a half a million dollars.

Saftey Tips For Halloween: A Parent Must Read

I was talking with fellow parent Ken Griffin, and we were discussing Halloween. While it’s a fun holiday, and one of the best on the kid calendar, it can be pretty dangerous too. There are some precautions that need to be taken, with regard to safety.

Here are some of our top tips to enjoy your holiday safely:

  1. Avoid oversized costumes.

There are two major problems here. The first being your child tripping. The last thing that you want is to turn Halloween into a bad time, and an oversized costume is something that they can easily trip while wearing, and then they’re in for a world of hurt. Also, even if you don’t trip, sometimes it can tug on the costume and that can rip the fabric, which can also lead to an undesirable conclusion.

  1. Always inspect your candy first.

This has become a tradition in our house. You always pour out all of the candy, go over everything, and make sure all of the candy is sealed and from a recognized brand. Don’t trust anything that’s loose, and always toss it out if the candy is questionable. There’s no reason to take a risk.

  1. Supervision for children under 12.

At 12 and above, typically you can count on your kids to show their better judgment. Just establish a route, and a curfew beforehand. But for children younger, you want to go along. Even if you hang back, and try not to interrupt the kid’s good time. Make sure that you’re at least there to make sure everybody is safe.

  1. Carry flashlights of some kind.

Halloween costumes aren’t always very bright, and it’s important to realize that there are going to be cars on the road. So it’s important to carry something that lights up, to let cars know that you’re walking about. There are tons of fun ways to do this too, from glow sticks, to light up monsters that children can carry around. It’s always a good idea to carry around something to make the experience a little safer.

  1. Only visit well lit houses.

That have a street view. You don’t want to take any risks, so stick to the houses that have a well lit porch, and that share a direct view of the street. That way you can be sure that everybody is safe.

Halloween Parenting Fails: Awful Costumes You Need to See

Something about Halloween brings out the worst of some parents. They end up choosing totally inappropriate costumes, resulting in something that probably scars their children for life. There are 27 entries on this list, all of which you need to see.

I was pretty shocked by some, as they just don’t send the right message. Even if they are costumes that your children won’t remember, you’re not really setting a good precedent. Plus you have to admit that there’s something to be said about a parent that makes these decisions in the first place. You have to wonder what else they’re getting wrong.

Thanks to Keith Mann for calling my attention to this. Halloween is the time of year to be shocked by something after all.


Bill Murray Gives Amazing Parenting Advice on Kimmel

Bill Murray was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, and he gave some fantastic parenting advice. Considering he’s a parent of 6 children, he probably knows what he’s talking about too. You just have to watch the interview below to see what he said. I could not agree more.

I didn’t watch Kimmel, but thanks to Brian Torchin for letting me know Bill Murray was one. I totally forgot, and I do love me some Murray: