Monday, June 6, 2011

Woman Fired From Macy's For Keeping Sabbath Day

By Lawrence D. Jones | Christian Post Reporter

A Macy’s worker in California is suing the retail giant for wrongful termination, alleging that she was fired because she refused to work on Sundays in religious observance of the Sabbath.

In 2007, Lanie Bradfield, who worked at the cosmetics department of Macy’s in Ventura County, asked her supervisor to adjust her part-time schedule in order that she could observe the Sabbath.

Initially, her supervisor agreed to the religious accommodation for Bradfield, who has worked at Macy’s for 15 years. But when her supervisor was promoted, Bradfield was unable to avoid being scheduled to work Sundays and eventually was fired for refusing to give up her religious commitment to observing Sunday as the Sabbath.

Bradfield has filed a lawsuit alleging religious discrimination, harassment, and retaliation for seeking religious accommodation.

The suit was filed in Ventura County Superior Court, alleging the violation of state laws.

Both California and federal law require employers to provide reasonable religious accommodations. California law specifically mentions the right of workers to seek accommodation for Sabbath observance and other religious holy days.

“The most critical religious liberty issue in America today is that companies are forcing employees to choose between their religion and their job,” Bradfield’s attorney, Alan J. Reinach, executive director of the Church State Council, said in a statement Thursday.

“Sabbath observance has been a central part of both Judaism and Christianity for thousands of years. No employee should be forced to choose between obedience to God and keeping a job.”

Read More from Christian Post

Former Homeless Teen To Graduate With Honors And Full Scholorship

Greensboro, NC -- Graduating at the top of any high school class with a GPD higher than 4.0 is a feat in itself, but one Greensboro teenager did it homeless.

Charity Azorlibu moved to the United States from Ghana when she was 15 years old for the chance at a better life.

"I was living with a family member. He promised me while I was in Ghana that when I come here, he was going to put me through school and make sure I graduate and become somebody. But when I came here, it was different," Azorlibu explain.

She soon found out the family member wanted her to support him and his three kids by working, instead of going to school. He gave her one other option -- move out.

For the next year Azorlibu attended school, but was homeless. She never told her school.

It wasn't until a comment about the principal getting to school in the early morning hours tipped off the school social worker. Azorlibu and her social worker met a woman along the way who took the teenager into her home. Azorlibu grew into a stand-out student.

Azorlibu discovered her voice in more than one language. She now speaks six different languages.

Read More from WFMY News2

Students And Teachers Drive Tractors To School To Start Summer Vacation

High schoolers drive tractors to school:

EDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) - About six years ago students at a southern tier high school found an interesting way to end the school year.

It’s a unique tradition that grows each year, students drive their tractors to school for one day.

At 6 a.m. Friday, the parking lot of Eden High School began filling up with students excited to show off their rides.

Eden High School Senior Magdalene Richmond said, “The day is excitement for everyone. Everyone is really excited to see what tractors show up and who drives what.”

Six years ago, this tradition began with only 15 tractors. Friday, 40 filled the school parking lot.

“This will be my sixth year, which is pretty cool because I did it the very first year it started,” said Eden High School Senior Kyle Witkowski.

Teacher Amy Porter said, “Not only do they drive their tractors to school, but we added a parade at 2 o’clock today.”

Witkowski said, “I got to be the leader this year fortunately. I was always a few tractors back, but it is kind of nice to be the leader this year.”

The parade includes a stop at the elementary school, where the young kids get to see the farm equipment and some baby farm animals.

Richmond said, “We’re a farming community so it is important to show the community that we are proud of what we do.”

Read More From WIVB

Arizona Facing Worst Wildfires In History

(CNN) -- Crews battling one of the worst wildfires in Arizona history prepared Monday to hold a 30-mile line against the advancing blaze even as accelerating winds threatened to undo their efforts, officials said.

The "Wallow Fire," as the blaze is known, has scorched 192,746 acres and has forced the evacuation of more than 2,200 people since it broke out May 29, officials said Monday morning. It is completely uncontained, officials said.

Officials ordered the immediate evacuation Sunday of residents in several eastern Arizona subdivisions and a ranch, including Escudilla Mountain Estates, Bonita, Dog Patch and the H-V Ranch.

Residents of the town of Greer, just seven miles from the wildfire's front line, remained under a pre-evacuation order Monday morning. Most chose not to wait and have already left, said Peter Frenzen, a spokesman for the Southwest Area Incident Management Team, which is overseeing firefighting efforts.

Forecasters said fire conditions could get much worse Monday as winds are expected to pick up as a low-pressure trough moves out of the state. The National Weather Service has projected winds of up to 30 mph in eastern Arizona. The weather service has also placed the northern half of the state under a red flag warning, which means that weather conditions are ripe for wildfires.
Read More From CNN

Phony Meds Flooding U.S From Mexico

Teen Walks For First Time At HS Graduation

With U.S Jails Already Over Crowded Florida Arrests Citizens For Feeding Homeless

1:33 p.m. EDT, June 2, 2011

Members of Orlando Food Not Bombs were arrested Wednesday when police said they violated a city ordinance by feeding the homeless in Lake Eola Park.

Jessica Cross, 24, Benjamin Markeson, 49, and Jonathan "Keith" McHenry, 54, were arrested at 6:10 p.m. on a charge of violating the ordinance restricting group feedings in public parks. McHenry is a co-founder of the international Food Not Bombs movement, which began in the early 1980s.

The group lost a court battle in April, clearing the way for the city to enforce the ordinance. It requires groups to obtain a permit and limits each group to two permits per year for each park within a 2-mile radius of City Hall.

Arrest papers state that Cross, Markeson and McHenry helped feed 40 people Wednesday night. The ordinance applies to feedings of more than 25 people.

"They intentionally violated the statute," said Lt. Barbara Jones, an Orlando police spokeswoman.

Police waited until everyone was served to make the arrests, said Douglas Coleman, speaking for Orlando Food Not Bombs.

"They basically carted them off to jail for feeding hungry people," said Coleman, who was not present. "For them to regulate a time and place for free speech and to share food, that is unacceptable."

Orlando Food Not Bombs has been feeding the homeless breakfast on Mondays for several years and dinner on Wednesdays for five years.

Police had not enforced the ordinance while the court battle continued. The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta ruled that city rules regulating how often large groups of people can be fed in a park do not violate the Constitution.

The penalty for violating Orlando's ordinance is 60 days in jail, a $500 fine or both.

Arrest documents state that Orlando Food Not Bombs received permits and fed more than 25 homeless people at Lake Eola Park on May 18 and 23. Coleman said the group rejected the permits.

On May 25, Orlando Food Not Bombs illegally fed a large group of homeless people, the police report states. The group on its website called for members to show up that day and defy the city ordinance, according to the report.

Officers said they found a press release on Markeson when they arrested him stating that group members planned to defy the ordinance Wednesday.

Bail was set at $250 for each person arrested. Cross and Markeson were released from jail early

Read More from Orlando Sentinel

5 U.S Soldiers Killed By Enemy Missle Fire In Iraq

Five U.S. soldiers were killed Monday in an attack in central Iraq, the U.S. military said in a statement. It was the deadliest single attack this year against U.S. forces in Iraq and an indication of how dangerous the country remains for American troops as they prepare to withdraw by the end of 2011.

An Iraqi security source said that the five U.S. soldiers had been working as advisers on a base for Iraqi national police in eastern Baghdad when their quarters were targeted by rocket fire shortly before 7 a.m. local time.

The U.S. military declined to comment when asked about the information and referred back to their statement.

The deaths raise the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since March 2003 to 4,456, according to numbers complied by the website Both Shiite and Sunni extremist groups are eager to target the Americans and claim they defeated the U.S. troops ahead of their departure. Eastern Baghdad is rife with Shiite militia groups -- radical cleric Muqtada Sadr's elite fighting unit, the Promised Day Brigade, as well as a splinter group called Asab al Haq, or the League of the Righteous.

Eleven U.S. soldiers were killed in April, and two died last month in attacks.

There are an estimated 46,000 U.S. troops remaining in Iraq.
Read More From LA Times

States Looking To Pass Legislation To Guarantee Civility At Military Funerals


Ryan Ripp, a sophomore at McNary High School in Keizer, Ore., got angry after seeing a TV news report about members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka picketing a military funeral earlier this year.

"I was just infuriated. I could not understand why people would want to protest at funerals," he said.

Ripp, 16, who has relatives who are veterans and says he plans on enlisting in the Marine Corps, asked Oregon state Rep. Kim Thatcher to introduce the legislation to try to protect military funerals from disruption.

Thatcher, a Republican, agreed, and Ripp researched what other states were doing, visited other lawmakers to drum up bipartisan sponsors, and testified in support of the bill in March.

"I told them how it impacted families and how it was absolutely constitutional for them to be able to limit time, place and manner. It doesn't limit free speech at all," he said.

Oregon is among 25 states this year to consider ways to shield military funerals from outside groups by creating or expanding buffer zones around military funerals.

The effort follows a Supreme Court decision in March striking down a lawsuit against the Westboro Baptist Church, which pickets the funerals of U.S. servicemembers, as part of its claim that God is punishing the United States for supporting homosexuality.

The court ruled that such protests are protected speech under the First Amendment, but states hope to get around that by creating protest-free buffer zones, or reserved areas, around funerals and routes to funerals.

"They can protest away, but it doesn't have to be in everybody else's face," Thatcher said.

Laws Pending in 14 States

Arizona, Arkansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming already have passed such laws this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Laws are pending in 14 other states, including California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Texas. They have failed in Florida, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah.

Local jurisdictions in New York and Maryland also have proposed laws to protect military funerals.

Congress is also considering federal legislation. The Sanctity of Eternal Rest for Veterans (SERVE) Act would increase the quiet time before and after military funerals from 60 minutes to 120 minutes; increase the buffer around services from 150 feet to 300 feet; increase the buffer around access routes to services from 300 feet to 500 feet; and increase civil penalties.

Read More from ABC News