Follow Up

homeless new york times Follow Up new york city - 6836585472
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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."

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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]

abused bus monitor Follow Up karen huff klein - 6355224832
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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]

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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]

anti-gay rant Follow Up jane svoboda - 6227306752
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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]

Follow Up Trayvon Martin - 6061589248
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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]

Clintonville Explosions in the Ground Follow Up Mysterious Sounds - 6018944512
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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.]

Danica Russell Follow Up Jason Russell kony 2012 Naked Meltdown - 6008109568
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Follow Up of the Day: Danica Russell, the wife of Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell, has just released a statement concerning the cause of her husband's naked nervous breakdown, which occurred last week near SeaWorld San Diego.

According to Ms. Russell, the doctors who have examined Jason diagnosed him with a condition called "brief reactive psychosis," which she claims is brought on "by extreme exhaustion, stress and dehydration."

Her statement continues:

Though new to us, the doctors say this is a common experience given the great mental, emotional and physical shock his body has gone through in these last two weeks. Even for us, it’s hard to understand the sudden transition from relative anonymity to worldwide attention -both raves and ridicules, in a matter of days.

The KONY 2012 mastermind will remain under observation for at least the next few weeks. His wife believes he will eventually resume his role with Invisible Children, but says the road to full recovery "could take months."

Despite vehement opposition from residents of Northern Uganda and a formal reprimand from the country's prime minister, IC remains steadfast in its commitment to the heavily criticised Kony 2012 campaign and its "Cover the Night" demonstration, which is still on track to take place on April 20th.

[ic.]

Follow Up George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin - 6003648000
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A few hours after press secretary Jay Carney told reporters the White House is "not going to wade into a local law-enforcement matter," the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the FBI both announced that they will yield to requests to investigate the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

"The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation," said the DOJ in a statement.

Despite moving forward with the investigation, the Justice Department sought in the same statement to temper expectations: "With all federal civil rights crimes, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids — the highest level of intent in criminal law."

One of the major impediments to an open-and-shut manslaughter case against Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, is Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which permits residents to "meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm."

Zimmerman told police that Martin attacked him from behind as he was walking back towards his truck, and it was fear for his life that prompted him to fire his Kel Tec 9mm handgun.

In addition to the DOJ and the FBI, Florida's state attorney, Norm Wolfinger, announced this morning that a grand jury will be called to investigate the case. "I share in the desire of the family and the community to accurately collect and evaluate all the facts surrounding the tragic death of Trayvon Martin," said Wolfinger in a press release. The grand jury will convene on April 10th.

Also this morning, ABC News revealed that Martin was on the phone with a female friend moments before he was shot by Zimmerman. The 16-year-old girl spoke with Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump, and recalled their final conversation.

"He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man," the unidentified girl is quoted as saying. "I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run."

The last thing she remembers is Martin trying to escape by running, but being cornered by Zimmerman who asked him what he was doing there. "Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell," she said. "I called him again and he didn't answer the phone."

In an effort to drive home the racial motivation behind Zimmerman's actions, Touré pointed to the self-appointed neighborhood watch captain's 911 call, where, at 2:21, it sounds as though Zimmerman is whispering "f*ckin' coons." After listening to Zimmerman's exchange with the emergency dispatcher, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof said he found "shades of 1950's Mississippi" in the tape.

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Abstinence-Only Bill Follow Up HB363 utah - 5990372608
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Utah Governor Gary Herbert made his objection to the state's abstinence-only bill known last night when he vetoed the legislation.

HB363, which would have forced schools that teach sex-ed to make classes entirely about abstinence, was approved by the state Senate on March 6th.

In addition to making sex-ed effectively toothless, the bill would have banned teachers and students from discussing contraception and homosexuality in the classroom.

Prior to the veto, Gov. Herbert told reporters he thought the existing curriculum "works pretty well." Utah currently requires parents to opt in to sex-ed classes in writing. A survey by the Salt Lake Tribune found that "the vast majority of parents opt in to the instruction."

"After careful review of existing law and following extensive discussions with stakeholders on both sides of the issue," Herbert said today. "I am convinced the existing statutory framework respects these two principles, while HB363 simply goes too far by constricting parental options."

An online petition opposing the bill received over 40,000 signatures; and the governor's office was flooded with thousands of letters from concerned citizens asking Herbert to veto the bill.

The legislation's co-sponsor, Sen. Margaret Dayton (R), expressed her disappointment at the governor's decision, saying she found teaching students about contraception akin to telling them to avoid drugs while showing them how to "mainline" heroin.

[sltrib.]