New York City's Barefoot Homeless Man is Internet Famous, But Still Shoeless

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New York City's Barefoot Homeless Man is Internet Famous, But Still Shoeless
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The New York Times tracked down and interviewed Jeffrey Hillman, the barefoot homeless man who was given a brand new pair of boots by an NYPD officer on duty last week, as famously seen in the viral Facebook photo captured by a tourist who happened to be passing by the scene. Curiously enough, the man was once again barefoot when the Times reporter approached him and when asked why, he responded that he was hiding them in safe place as "they are worth a lot of money."

Caine's Arcade Sequel of the Day

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The incredible story of 9-year-old Caine Monroy and his cardboard arcade isn't over.

Presenting Caine's Arcade, Chapter 2, a sequel to the first film that details the enormous impact Caine has made on kids around the world -- and that also kicks off the Global Cardboard Challenge.

You don't want to miss this.

[laughingsquid]

Follow-Up of the Day: Abused Bus Monitor Responds [UPDATED]

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Follow-Up of the Day: Abused Bus Monitor Responds [UPDATED]
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UPDATE: Just one day after the horrific verbal abuse of Karen Huff Klein by a group of teens went viral, an online fundraiser to send the 68-year-old bus monitor on "the vacation of a lifetime" has raised nearly $300,000 (and climbing).

What was Klein thinking as the juvenile delinquents berated her Monday?

Something about me being so fat and ugly your kids probably should commit suicide. I don't think they knew my son had… I wanted to punch them is what I wanted to do. So that's why I laid back, tried to ignore it. Because I really wanted to hurt them, you know? You can't do that!

Klein said she doesn't want the students to face criminal charges, but that she would like to see them "grounded all summer, or maybe all year." She also would love an apology.

Meanwhile, the Greece Central School District has launched an investigation: "The first we learned of the incident was by email Wednesday morning," said Deborah Hoeft, the district's assistant superintendent. Two more videos of Klein being harassed have been found, and students are being questioned.

"This behavior is inexcusable and a clear violation of our code of conduct," Hoeft said.

A news conference is planned for later today.

[shortformblog]

Another Follow-Up of the Day: George Zimmerman Reenacts Trayvon Martin Shooting

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The material collected by investigators after the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin was released today by George Zimmerman's lawyers on his website, and includes the results of a voice stress test that Zimmerman passed, a video re-enactment, a handwritten statement, and audio interviews.

Here are excerpts from Zimmerman's version of events, according to the newly released material:

"He took my head and slammed it against the concrete several times, and each time I thought my head was going to explode and I thought I was going to lose consciousness." "I started screaming for help. He told me to shut the f**k up, and I was suffocating." "I didn't want him to keep slamming my head on the concrete so I kind of shifted. But when I shifted my jacket came up…and it exposed my firearm. That's when he said you are going to die tonight. He took one hand off my mouth, and slid it down my chest. I took my gun aimed it at him and fired."

In related news, Sanford City Police Chief Bill Lee was fired Wednesday following widespread criticism of his department's initial investigation into the shooting.

[abc]

Follow-Up of the Day: There's More to the Story of the Anti-Gay Ranter

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Follow-Up of the Day: There's More to the Story of the Anti-Gay Ranter
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Jane Svoboda, whose anti-gay rant at a Lincoln, NE, City Council meeting went viral last week, isn't the crazy conservative she's been made out to be in the media, but a schizophrenic who lives at an assisted-living facility, says her family.

Svoboda is listed as a protected person, according to court documents, and her brother, Patrick Svoboda, is her conservator because she is incompetent. He said their family has tried to get her help multiple times, but there's little they can do unless she becomes a danger to herself or others.

He said he's disappointed that the video was so widely shared when people didn't know his sister's back story.

"To me, it shows how little society really cares about people with mental health issues," Patrick Svoboda said. "She does have a very tender heart... but anything she says is certifiably schizophrenic ... she's not some crazy conservative."

Nonetheless, Jane Svoboda is a registered lobbyist at the Capitol, and she usually speaks twice a month during the council's open mic sessions. She also frequents the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, where she hands out fliers and is known as the "Crazy Blue Protesting Lady."

[journalstar]

Another Follow-up of the Day: Enhanced Video of Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin Shooting

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Another Follow-up of the Day: Enhanced Video of Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin Shooting
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In a reversal from last week's coverage, ABC News says the police surveillance footage of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting "shows the neighborhood watch captain with an injury to the back of his head," now that it has been digitally improved by Forensic Protection Inc. The "gash or mark" on Zimmerman's head would lend support to his claim that he acted in self-defense when he shot Martin.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, The Orlando Sentinel reported that two audio experts believe the voice heard calling for help in the background of the 911 call to police is not that of Zimmerman. One of the experts, Tom Owen -- who is chair emeritus at the American Board of Record Evidence — believes the tests indicating it isn't Zimmerman's voice would stand up in court.

"You can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it's not Zimmerman," Owen said. If he is proved right, then the 911 call would raise questions about Zimmerman's claim of self-defense.

[abcnews / orlandosentinel]

Follow Up of the Day: Clintonville Explosions Explained

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Follow Up of the Day: Clintonville Explosions Explained
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Has the mystery of Clintonville's bizarre booming sounds been solved? If scientists are to be believed, the cause of the noisy phenomenon is a "swarm of microquakes."

"The mystery is solved. We have experienced an earthquake here in Clintonville," City Administrator Lisa Kuss told residents at a city meeting last night. The USGS backed up its "claim" with "evidence" showing that a 1.5 magnitude earthquake struck the central Wisconsin city around noon on Tuesday.

Residents, who began hearing strange rumbles this past Sunday, challenged the city's explanation, saying quakes had previously been ruled out. Kuss admits that it was "by fluke" that the USGS's traveling portable arrays happened to be in the area when the tremors occurred.

For now, this is the best answer the city has to give, though officials acknowledge they aren't sure it's the only answer, so Graboids are very much still on the table.

[greenbaypress / wtmj / npr / image: nbc26.]