Sunday, November 29, 2009

School Students try to poison Teacher

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Three middle school students in Waltham are facing serious trouble.

According to police, three McDevitt Middle School students tried to get their teacher to drink some type of cleaning solution by hiding it in her water bottle on the morning of November 12.

Fortunately, the teacher was unharmed as she noticed that her water bottle had been tampered with in time.

Local residents said they are glad the teacher noticed in time.

"That's a crime, if somebody can be injured like that, because if she doesn't smell it before drinking it, then it can be very dangerous," said one man.

Household cleaners, especially those with ammonia or bleach, can lead to vomiting, internal burning and bleeding, organ damage, and even death.

The police investigation concluded that the students, two 13-year olds and a 12-year old, put some sort of cleaner in the water bottle. It is unclear how much, but the teacher was able to smell it.

All three students have been charged with attempted poisoning and were suspended indefinitely.

click to read article from 7 News Boston

School helps students struggling with hunger and homelessness

By Chuck Conder, CNN

November 27, 2009 12:20 p.m. EST

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) -- Principal Sherrie Gahn said she was shocked when she first came to Whitney Elementary School seven years ago.

"The kids were eating ketchup packets," Gahn said. "I said to one of my teachers, 'What on Earth are they doing?' and she said, 'That's their dinner.' "

Whitney Elementary is in a dusty, rundown neighborhood of Las Vegas known as the Boulder Strip. The main drag, the Boulder Highway, is lined with pawn shops and low-rent motels.

Families here live at the edge of financial disaster. Gahn estimates that 75 percent of her 622 students have experienced homelessness or are in danger of becoming homeless.

"There are pockets of Vegas that were bad," Gahn said, "but it's gotten 10 times worse with the recession."

Under Gahn's leadership, Whitney Elementary has become the chief lifeline for its students and their families. In addition to the regular lunch program for needy kids, the school operates a food bank.

Hundreds of students are sent home each Friday with food supplies to keep their families fed through the weekend.

"If we didn't have the food services, there would be a lot of hungry kids out there," said Kim Butterfield, a homeless advocate who works at the school.

Butterfield also organizes a clothing pantry in one of the school's spare classrooms. The school provides an entire winter wardrobe to students in need of clothing.

The school's efforts don't stop there. Gahn tries to provide whatever her students need, whether it's a dental appointment or a haircut.

"There is not an agency in Las Vegas that can actually take care of the number of homeless and poverty-stricken children that I have at this school," Gahn said. "So the only course of action I could take was to become self-sufficient."

Over the years, Gahn has built up a network of donors that supply money, goods and services. She relies on grateful parents who volunteer at the school.

click to read full article at

Woman Delivers Granddaughter While Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

Saturday, November 28, 2009


BOSTON —  A Boston woman says she was forced to split her time between helping her daughter deliver a baby at home and cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Patricia McCalop was in the middle of preparing the meal when Africa McCalop suddenly went into labor two weeks early.

The grandmother called 911, and a dispatcher talked her through the delivery and helped her confirm that the baby girl was health and breathing.

Paramedics arrived shortly afterward and took the mother and newborn to the hospital. They are both in good health.

McCalop said she kept running between the kitchen and her daughter in labor because she didn't want the turkey to burn while helping her child deliver the baby.

The infant weighed six pounds.