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  • ‘Requiescat In Pace’: Conservative Media Critic Noel Sheppard Has Died
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 11:34 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (27)

    Conservative media critic Noel Sheppard died early Friday morning after being diagnosed at the age of 53 with cancer two months ago.

    Noel Sheppard passed away early Friday morning after being diagnosed with cancer two months ago. (Image source: Twitter)

    Noel Sheppard passed away early Friday morning after being diagnosed with cancer two months ago. (Image source: Twitter)

    Media Research Center president Brent Bozell announced his passing Saturday morning in a post on Newsbusters’ website.

    “Our Noel Sheppard passed away yesterday (Friday) morning at about 5:00 AM. Say a prayer for the soul of a man we’ll all miss professionally, and many, many of us will miss personally as well. Noel was not just a force of nature, he was a very good man,” Bozell wrote.

    “How quickly this all happened. Just two months ago, Noel wrote about suddenly getting cancer at 53 called ‘Cancer’s Ray of Hope.’ Nine days ago, he wrote us and said he was interested in writing about his ‘progress’ — and he put ‘progress’ in quotes. We were all wishing for better news, and really couldn’t imagine this was a battle that would end this way,” the post continued.

    Bozell said that Sheppard had been a critic at the Media Research Center since the founding of the Newsbusters website in 2005.

    “It must be said that no blogger here was more prolific and more popular. We’ll have more to say in the coming days,” he wrote. ”Requiescat in pace.”

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  • Violinist Blows the Internet Away With ‘Incredible’ New Music Video: ‘I Can’t Get Enough of This’
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 11:03 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (226)

    Violinist Lindsey Stirling has taken the Internet by storm with her latest original song — and after watching the music video, you’ll immediately understand why.

    Achieving more than 1 million views since being posted online Tuesday, individuals on YouTube have lauded the single as “breathtaking” and “beautiful.”

    “I can’t get enough of this,” one user commented. “I love it so much. Just beautiful.”

    “This is absolutely incredible.”
    Share:

    “This is absolutely incredible,” echoed another.

    Stirling’s new album “Shatter Me” is currently available for pre-sale on iTunes.

    Watch the Viral Music Video:

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  • 17 Wild Pics From Last Night’s 5.1 Earthquake In Los Angeles
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 10:42 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (113)

    A 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Los Angeles area Friday night, sending items tumbling off of retail store shelves and even overturning some cars.

    The quake — followed by up to 40 aftershocks — was captured in several wild photos that prove how powerful Mother Nature can be.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • The Way One Taxi Driver Treats Disabled Individuals Is Raising Eyebrows
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 10:13 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (37)

    One Chicago taxi driver is attracting a lot of attention these days.

    Tarig Kamill, 52, says over the years he has seen countless cab drivers pass disabled individuals on the road because they don’t want to take the time to help those in wheelchairs enter the vehicle.

    And it bothers him.

    “I see these drivers, and I think they are lazy,” Kamill told the Chicago Tribune. “They can make more money picking up passengers along the street, so they don’t want to bother. They don’t see that they have a responsibility to help other people.”

    A couple allegedly had sex in the back of a taxi cab, then said they couldn't afford the fare. (Image source: Shutterstock)

    Image source: Shutterstock

    The 11-year taxi cab veteran thinks there is a moral obligation.

    In 2013, he provided 1,821 rides to passengers in wheelchairs, the Tribune reported, citing government records.

    Now, his good character has earned him 60 nominations for Chicago’s annual Taxicab Driver Excellence Award.

    “His cab is always clean, both inside and out,” customer William Hayes wrote in his nominating form, according to the Tribune. “And he will try to help you in any way he can. He guides his clients on and off the vehicle with the utmost consideration for the client’s well-being and safety. He will assist you up to your front door and inside the building.”

    “He will assist you up to your front door and inside the building.”
    Share:

    “Tarig remembers me and greets me personally by name,” passenger Max Arkley reportedly echoed in his nominating form. “He secures and checks all four of the ties that attach to my wheelchair. He always reminds people traveling with me to watch their head when entering and exiting his cab.”

    The award, aimed at honoring drivers who treat customers with disabilities in an exemplarily fashion, comes with a free taxi medallion worth about $350,000 as a prize. If he wins, Kamill could then purchase his own cab, meaning he’d no longer need to rent one from a dispatch company.

    “I won’t see the savings this year because I have to purchase my own taxi,” he told the Tribune. “But once it’s paid for, it’s going to make a big, big difference for my family. I cannot even begin to explain the difference.”

    The 52-year-old, a Sudanese computer engineer who moved to Chicago in 2002, says he is honored to read such compliments being written about him.

    “It makes me proud to read all these things,” he said. “I want to do more. I want to provide more rides and help more people. That’s what this award has done for me.”

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  • Watch Piers Morgan Sign Off CNN With Final Blast at U.S. Gun Laws
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 9:01 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (308)

    Piers Morgan bowed out of CNN Friday night by delivering one final message to the American public about his controversial views on guns.

    “And also I want to thank you all for watching, even those who implacably disagreed with me, or just found my funny accent annoying,” he said. “Regular viewers will know that the issue of gun control has been a consistent and often very controversial part of this show. And I want to say something more about that before I bow out.”

    “The vast majority of Americans I met are decent, hardworking, thoroughly dependable people. As my brother, a British army colonel says, you always want an American next to you in the trench when the going gets tough,” Morgan continued.

    “But that’s where I think guns belong, on a military battlefield, in the hands of highly trained men and women, fighting for democracy and freedom, not in the hands of civilians,” he contended.

    “But that’s where I think guns belong, on a military battlefield…not in the hands of civilians.”
    Share:

    Morgan argued that “gun violence is a disease that now infects every aspect of American life” and pleaded for activists to fight for law changes.

    “Now, I assumed that after 70 people were shot in a movie theater, and then just a few months later, 20 first-graders were murdered with an assault rifle in an elementary school, that the absurd gun laws in this country would change, but nothing has happened,” he said. “The gun lobby in America, led by the NRA, has bullied this nation’s politicians into cowardly, supine silence. ”

    “This is a shameful situation that frankly has made me very angry,” Morgan continued. “So angry in fact that some people are criticizing me for being too loud, opinionated, even rude when I debated the issue of guns.”

    Refusing to apologize, the controversial host insisted that “more guns doesn’t mean less crime as the NRA repeatedly tries to tell you.” Instead, “it means more gun violence” and “more death,” Morgan said.

    “I am so pro-American, I want more of you to stay alive,” he said. “But I’ve made my point. I’ve given it a tremendous whack. Now it’s down to you. It is your country. These are your gun laws. And the senseless slaughter will only end when enough Americans stand together and cry, enough.”

    “I look forward to that day. I also look forward to seeing you all again soon. Thank you. And God bless America. And while I’m at it, God bless Great Britain too. Good night,” Morgan concluded, signing off CNN for his final time.

    He then sent out this tweet, following the show:

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  • 6-Year-Old Boy Absolutely Melts Down After Learning He Will Have a New Sister, Not Brother
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 8:30 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (90)

    His reaction is probably not what these parents were expecting when they revealed to their son and two daughters the gender of their next baby.

    In video posted online earlier this month, 6-year-old Gunner Mertlich has an utter meltdown upon learning that he will have to welcome into the Arizona family’s household another sister.

    “I don’t want another girl,” he shouts as tears stream down his face.

    “I hate girls! Every time it’s girl, girl, girl, girl! It’s always gonna be girls,” he adds.

    Footage of Mertlich’s reaction has now gone viral, achieving over half-a-million views on YouTube at the time of publication.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • Joe Biden Explains to You Why He Thinks Raising the Minimum Wage Is Really Good for Business
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 8:13 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (157)

    Vice President Joe Biden said in Saturday’s weekly address that raising the minimum wage is “good for business” and “really good for the economy as a whole.”

    “There’s clear data that shows fair wages generate loyalty of workers to their employers, which has the benefit of increasing productivity and leading to less turn over,” he said.

    “And I’m not the only one who recognizes these benefits. Companies big and small recognize it as well,” the vice president added, noting companies such as Costco and Gap are “choosing to pay their employees higher starting wages.”

    Biden even appeared to suggest that raising the minimum wage might provide a larger boost the economy than giving tax breaks to the “very wealthy,” saying individuals living off the minimum wage “will go out and spend every penny of it because they’re living on the edge.”

    “It’s good for business,” he said. “It’s helpful to the overall economy.”

    The vice president’s political opponents on the right, however, do not seem to agree.

    Last year, House Republicans unanimously rejected legislation to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over the next to years.

    Further, a report issued by the conservative Heritage Foundation concluded that a higher minimum wage “costs jobs.”

    “A major reason why the minimum wage is such an ineffective anti-poverty tool is that minimum-wage hikes cause businesses to reduce the number of workers they hire and the hours they ask their employees to work,” the think-tank’s report stated.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • Militants Attack Afghan Election Office In Kabul
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 7:44 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (15)

    UPDATE, 9:30 a.m. ET: The attack appears to be over:

    #Afghan security sources tell @ that all attackers have been shot dead and the siege on the Afghan election commission is over.
    Militants Attack Afghan Election Office In Kabul
    @RichardEngel
    Richard Engel

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Police say militants have occupied a building in Kabul and are shooting at the main Afghan election commission’s compound.

    A police officer at the scene, Jan Agha, says the attackers have not entered the International Election Commission’s compound, which is heavily secured. He says the attackers are about 500 meters (yards) from the compound in a three-story house. He says there’s no immediate information about casualties.

    It’s the latest in a series of high-profile attacks that come as the Taliban have stepped up a campaign of violence to disrupt presidential elections, which are due to be held in a week.

  • Magnitude-5.1 Earthquake Shakes Los Angeles
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 1:32 am by Associated Press

    Comments (77)

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A magnitude-5.1 earthquake was widely felt in the Los Angeles area and surrounding counties Friday evening, but authorities said there were no immediate reports of significant damages or injuries.

    The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at about 9:09 p.m. and was centered near Brea in Orange County – about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It was felt as far south as San Diego and as far north as Ventura County, according to citizen responses collected online by the USGS.

    Broken glass, gas leaks, water main breaks and a rockslide were reported near the epicenter, according to Twitter updates from local authorities. Eyewitness photos and videos show bottles and packages strewn on supermarket floors.

    At least five aftershocks ranging from magnitudes 2.7 to 3.6 were recorded, according to the USGS. Earlier in the evening, two foreshocks registering at magnitude-3.6 and magnitude-2.1 hit nearby in the city of La Habra.

    Public safety officials said crews were inspecting bridges, dams and other infrastructure systems for signs of damage. The Brea police department said the rock slide occurred in the Carbon Canyon area.

    Callers to KNX-AM reported seeing a brick wall collapse, water sloshing in a swimming pool and wires and trees swaying back and forth. One caller said he was in a movie theater lobby in Brea when the quake struck.

    “A lot of the glass in the place shook like crazy,” he said. “It started like a roll and then it started shaking like crazy. Everybody ran outside, hugging each other in the streets.”

    A helicopter news reporter from KNBC-TV reported from above that rides at Disneyland in Anaheim – several miles from the epicenter – were stopped as a precaution.

    Tom Connolly, a Boeing employee who lives in La Mirada, the next town over from La Habra, said the 5.1 quake lasted about 30 seconds.

    “We felt a really good jolt. It was a long rumble and it just didn’t feel like it would end,” he told The Associated Press by phone. “Right in the beginning it shook really hard, so it was a little unnerving. People got quiet and started bracing themselves by holding on to each other. It was a little scary.”

    Friday’s quake hit a week after a pre-dawn magnitude-4.4 quake centered in the San Fernando Valley rattled a swath of Southern California. That jolt shook buildings and rattled nerves, but did not cause significant damage.

    Southern California has not experienced a damaging earthquake since the 1994 magnitude-6.7 Northridge quake killed several dozen people and caused $25 billion in damage.

  • Bill Maher Tricks Guests With ‘Racist’ Paul Ryan Quote That Was Actually Said by Michelle Obama — The Reaction He Gets Is Priceless
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 12:15 am by Jason Howerton

    Comments (323)

    After his guests thoroughly slammed Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) over his comments on the importance of changing the culture of “inner cities” to emphasize the value of “work,” HBO’s Bill Maher pulled a fast one.

    He read another similar quote from Ryan… except it was actually said by first lady Michelle Obama.

    “When it comes to getting an education, too many of our young people just can’t be bothered. They’re sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper,” Maher said, quoting the first lady.

    When Maher revealed what he had done, comedian W. Kamau Bell was visibly surprised. It took a moment for him to come up with a reply.

    Bill Maher (HBO)

    Bill Maher (HBO)

    HBO

    HBO

    The audience was noticeably silent as well.

    “Is something less true if a white person says it?” Maher asked the panel.

    “I don’t think this a Republican or Democrat issue, this is a people issue,” Bell replied.

    “Well, yeah suddenly,” Maher joked. He also said the first lady’s comments sound even more like telling black people not to be “lazy.”

    Bell then defended Michelle Obama’s comments, saying “she was talking to black people — we talk to each other differently than we talk in front of you.”

    Watch the segment via HBO:

    (H/T: Mediaite)

  • Why a Military Veteran’s ‘Frustrating’ Job Interview With Macy’s Has the Internet in an Uproar
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 11:25 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (290)

    A woman from Madera, Calif., claims she was discriminated against during a job interview at Macy’s in Fresno. It wasn’t due to the fact that she is a woman, she says it was because she’s a military veteran.

    Army Specialist Kayla Reyes, 21, returned home from Afghanistan after a nearly year-long deployment and began looking for employment opportunities. She is still enlisted in the National Guard.

    Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 9.44.09 PM

    Kayla Reyes, 21. (Instagram)

    Reyes told TheBlaze on Friday that she interviewed for a sales associate position at Macy’s in February. What she was reportedly told by the hiring manager disturbed her, making her feel like her military service was somehow now a burden in civilian life.

    Operating from what Reyes says is a misconception about former military personnel, the veteran claims the hiring manager was focused on her time at war.

    Reyes confirmed that she was told “you wouldn’t really know how to approach people” because she’s “been over there” — meaning Afghanistan.

    “Once a customer’s in your face, you wouldn’t know how to do it. You wouldn’t know how to react,” Reyes recalled the hiring manager saying.

    In addition to her military service, Reyes also has past retail experience, which should make her an easy hire. Instead, she was allegedly told that she “wouldn’t be able to do good here.” She was told that perhaps a job in “loss prevention” would be a better fit.

    (Instagram)

    (Instagram)

    “It’s just frustrating,” she told TheBlaze. “Here I am at 21, having served overseas, and I can’t get a job at Macy’s. It’s crazy.”

    But she also said she is grateful for the outpouring of support she has received from “thousands and thousands” of people across the country who have shared her story on social media sites.

    Betsy Nelson, Macy’s vice president of media relations in the Northwest region, released the following statement on the incident earlier this month:

    “Employing veterans is a priority at Macy’s, and we have proudly hired thousands to work within our stores and corporate organization. Our commitment to veterans is strong, as we recognize that veterans possess leadership skills that we find are essential in a dynamic department store environment. Ms. Reyes’ application for a position with Macy’s is, in fact, still under consideration as we continue to consider the types of retail jobs that may be available. We are actively looking for an appropriate open position that would be best suited for her skills and experience level, as we do with all prospective employees.”

    The statement does not address the hiring manager’s alleged comments or behavior.

    Reyes said a Macy’s representative later offered her a job after her story went viral, but she turned it down. The company has yet to actually apologize to her over the incident.

    Reyes told TheBlaze she is no longer interested in working at Macy’s and has instead accepted a job with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

    On Friday, Macy’s posted another statement on Facebook:

    Thank you for reaching out to Macy’s and giving us the chance to speak
    to you directly. Macy’s commitment to our veterans is sincere and
    strong. As a company that stands for inclusion in the workplace and our
    stores, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We proudly
    employ thousands of veterans within our organization, as we know that
    veterans possess leadership skills that are an asset in a dynamic
    department store environment. As with any prospective employee, we
    actively looked for appropriate and available positions that would be
    best suited for Ms. Reyes’ skills and experience level, and, in fact,
    identified and offered her a job at our store. We were disappointed
    when she declined.

    At Macy’s, we have created a special
    Military Executive Development Program where we train veterans for key
    executive roles, giving them the tools and industry training to position
    them for success. In addition, Macy’s has partnered with the Got Your 6
    organization for a campaign in our stores to raise funds and awareness
    to assist veterans as they return to civilian life. Last year, we raised
    over $3.4 million with our customers and look forward to raising more
    funds this year.
    Thank you.

    In response, Reyes wrote: “Correct. A few weeks after the interview and after this story went viral, I did receive an email for a job there. I was very respectful in my response to them. I did not feel comfortable working in a store where a job was offered to me because of the way this has all turned out. I have kept my military bearings throughout this entire situation. Thank you. Spc. Reyes Kayla.”

    Watch a past interview Reyes did with a local CBS affiliate:

    (H/T: @Jimi971)

    This story has been updated.

  • Here’s How Mercury One Is Helping Victims of the Devastating Washington Mudslide
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 10:30 pm by Erica Ritz

    Comments (60)

    Glenn Beck’s charity, Mercury One, has stepped up to help the small town of Oso, Wash. in the wake of the deadly mudslide that has devastated the area.

    The town’s one church, led by Pastor Gary Ray, has served as the “information hub” and center of disaster relief efforts for the community, and nearly every volunteer that comes to town goes through the house of worship.

    The remnants of a hill where a massive mudslide took place is pictured on March 27, 2014 in Oso, Washington. A massive mudslide killed at least twenty-five and left many missing. (Photo: Pool/Getty Images)

    The remnants of a hill where a massive mudslide took place is pictured on March 27, 2014 in Oso, Washington. A massive mudslide killed at least twenty-five and left many missing. (Photo: Pool/Getty Images)

    Mercury One raised $5,000 for the community, and immediately donated it to the Oso Chapel, where it is being spent on food, clothing, and anything else the community needs to get through the disaster.

    “The town and surrounding rural area is extremely economically depressed, and the mudslide has only made things more arduous for families,” Natasha Crumbliss of Mercury One told TheBlaze. “The Oso area has seen better days when logging companies were involved in the area, but those days are past.”

    A mudslide in Washington state left (Photo: Noelle Blacker via Mercury One)

    A massive mudslide in Oso, Washington blocked entire parts of the road. (Photo: Noelle Blacker via Mercury One)

    Mercury One is continuing to raise money to serve the Oso community, and to help others who find themselves in need after a disaster.

    If you wish to donate, click here.

    In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Mercury One was one of the first to reach the Coney Island community to offer help. When tornadoes devastated Oklahoma back in May, more than $1 million was raised for the relief effort. And when dozens of tornadoes tore through the Midwest back in November, Mercury One flew into action.

    “If we want government to do less, we need to do more,” the charity’s Facebook page says.

  • Trio of Thugs Pistol-Whip Would-Be Victim – But They Weren’t So Tough When They Were Looking Down the Barrel of His Rifle
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (154)

    A trio of criminals reportedly broke into a North Beaver Township, Pa., home early Friday morning and pistol-whipped one of the residents.

    This February 4, 2013 photo illustration in Manassas, Virginia, shows a man holding a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. US President Barack Obama Monday heaped pressure on Congress for action 'soon' on curbing gun violence. Obama made a pragmatic case for legislation on the contentious issue, arguing that just because political leaders could not save every life, they should at least try to save some victims of rampant gun crime. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    However, when the man managed to get his hands on a rifle, the thugs’ demeanor changed completely.

    Police say the man opened fire on the suspects, hitting one of them in the chest. All three suspects ran scared from the house and “fled from the area,” Sgt. Steven Driscoll told WTAE-TV.

    The suspect who was wounded was later found when he showed up at a hospital near New Castle, Pa., seeking medical treatment.

    The suspect was flown to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh for surgery. He was reportedly in critical condition on Friday. Police did not identify any of the suspects or the man who shot one of the intruders.

    There were three residents living in the home — none of them were seriously injured.

  • Teacher’s Alleged Response to 5-Year-Old’s Endearing Act Has These Outraged Parents Strongly Considering Homeschooling
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 9:31 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (404)

    When Marcos and Kathy Perez heard the words coming from their 5-year-old daughter’s mouth, they were flabbergasted.

    Image source: YouTube raw clip

    Image source: YouTube raw clip

    In fact, so unheard of and blatantly out of step with American values was the incident they were hearing about that Marcos Perez pulled out his iPhone and started recording as they listened again to their kindergartner’s story.

    A story that soon would be posted online via a YouTube video and generate quite the groundswell of interest.

    “I was at school, and I got my lunch, and I was about to pray and say something to Jesus,” their daughter said.

    Then this shocker: “My lunch teacher told me…’you’re not allowed to pray.’”

    According to the girl’s video description, the staff member in question is a female; Marcos Perez told TheBlaze on Friday that the exchange occurred the week of March 10 at a public school near their Orlando-area home. Perez said he’s not prepared to release any more identifying facts — including his daughter’s first name — until the incident has shaken out.

    But their daughter had plenty more to add on video, as did Mom and Dad.

    Image source: YouTube raw clip

    Image source: YouTube raw clip

    After their girl reportedly got the big nix on bowing her head, closing her eyes, and talking to Jesus, she reportedly retorted to the teacher, “It’s good to pray!” recounting the action with a huge smile.

    The teacher allegedly came back with, “It’s not good.”

    “It is good,” the girl insisted.

    Most heartbreaking of all (and maybe a little scary) is the girl’s explanation of what happened later in the lunch period: “I was trying to pray, but I just couldn’t — because they caught me again.”

    Indeed Perez and his wife were more than a little fumed over the alleged incident — but he saw the big picture, too: “No American should ever experience having their right to pray taken away,” he told TheBlaze.

    Perez — vice president of sales at Charisma House, a Christian book publisher — emailed and called the principal of his daughter’s school, who in turn checked into the incident. “As expected, the staff denied everything,” Perez told TheBlaze.

    Image source: YouTube raw clip

    Image source: YouTube raw clip

    For now the Perezes are attempting to figure out he identity of the staff member in question by looking at photos online — and strongly considering homeschooling, quite apart from the difficult experience their little girl shared.

    “We’re concerned about Common Core,” Perez said, adding that their daughter “doesn’t need to be exposed to that and get harassed because of her faith.”

    Most of all, Perez and his wife told their daughter they’re very proud her and encourage her to keep praying whenever she wants “because Jesus loves it when you pray, and God loves it.”

    Here’s the video of Perez’ daughter explaining what she said happened during lunch at her school (and below the clip is the text of the email exchange between Perez and the school principal, with indentifying data removed):

    Dear —–,

    I’m am writing this email in shock and disbelief. Today, our daughter —–, a kindergarten student at —–, told us that during a recent lunch period at school, a staff person at (school name) saw her praying for her food — stopped her — and told her that she could not pray. Our daughter responded by saying “but it’s good to pray,” and she said the staff person said “it’s not good.” I asked her, “Did she just say ‘No’ or did she say ‘it’s not good’”? To which she responded with the same face and imitation of the staff person that said “it’s not good.” I asked her what she did next, and she said she tried praying but she couldn’t because “they caught me again.”  At this point, we affirmed her courageous attempt to stand up for her beliefs and we encouraged her to ensure she understood that according to our views and our family values – she did nothing wrong.

    To say this was disturbing is a gross understatement. What is the school’s position on this?

    I look forward to your prompt reply.

    Sincerely,
    Marcos Perez

    -

    Mr. Perez, I received your email and your voice message this morning. I have spoken to each adult who was in the lunchroom at the time that your daughter had lunch yesterday.  None of them recall having this conversation with your daughter.

    Please know that students are permitted to pray during school. I will remind all staff members of this.

    -

    Dear —–

    Thank you for your response. I’m pleased to know this is not a policy or position of the school. However, please note that this did not happen yesterday. As a matter of fact, my daughter was not at school yesterday as she is home with a stomach bug. This actually happened the week prior to Spring break, the week of March 10.  She said something to my parents in passing on Friday, March 14 but we did not sit down and talk to her about it until last night in full detail.

    So you are aware, during our discussion last night, I decided to whip out my iPhone and record my daughters story. I posted that video on social media for friends, family and other concerned parents to see what my daughter experienced. My 5-year old should not feel conflicted about prayer with respect to trying to follow rules or authority. We remain speechless that our daughter had to experience from an individual with an agenda. Please click on the following link so you can see for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJiorW8vhTM

    There are two issues here. The first is the violation of my daughter’s right to pray during lunch by the individual who said this to her and prevented her from praying. The second is the school’s position on this, which is now settled and I’m clear on – and satisfied with. But the first issue — the violation of my daughters right to pray — by the rogue individual in authority at that time, is still a major concern.

    Are the same staff in the lunch room every day? Could there have been someone else in her lunch period the week of March 10?

    Thanks again for your help with this.

    Marcos

    -

    Mr.  Perez,

    Typically the same staff members are in the cafeteria each day. I checked with any possible person who may have been there, as well our food service personnel. No one recalls having this conversation with your daughter the week prior to spring break or ever.

    Again, I will reiterate to the entire staff, that students are permitted to pray.

    At the end of it, it could be true that the incident in question truly didn’t happen — or was recalled differently. Regardless we’ll continue to update this developing story.

    (H/T: BizPac Review)

  • The ‘Antisocial’ App That Lets You Go Into ‘Incognito Mode for Real Life’
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 9:00 pm by Elizabeth Kreft

    Comments (54)

    Social media is great, except when it does exactly what it’s intended to do: connect you with other human beings.

    Sometimes, we just don’t want to be connected. Or found. Or seen. Especially by that chatty neighbor you just saw yesterday or that creepy ex who always seems to “pop up” unexpectedly.

    Enter the greatest defender of your online social sanity: the Cloak App.

    fwea

    Cloak does make a pretty good pitch: it’s the antisocial network app for when you are too tired, cranky, hungry or just plain whiny to speak to other humans in person (Image via iTunes).

    Cloak “scrapes Instagram and Foursquare to let you know where all your friends, ‘friends,’ and nonfriends are at all times so you never have to run into that special someone,”

    “Think of it as the antisocial network,” the Cloak site reads.

    Scientific American reported:

    “The Cloak app scans [your online social contacts] most recent check-ins, and plots those locations on a map. It can even alert you when the guy you owe twenty bucks to is nearby.
    Cloak developers Brian Moore and Chris Baker say they came up with the idea after too many chance encounters with ex-girlfriends.

    Cloak doesn’t currently interface with apps like Facebook or Twitter, but they are working to include those social sites as well.

    (H/T: Scientific American)

    Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter.

  • 14-Year-Old’s Simple Idea Could Help Save U.S. Gov’t Nearly $400 Million a Year
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (113)

    A 14-year-old student came up with an ingenious idea to help his Pittsburgh-area middle school cut waste and save money. However, he soon realized that his idea could have a much more far-reaching impact.

    (CNN)

    (CNN)

    Eventually, he was promising the federal government he could help them save nearly $400 million a year by simply changing fonts.

    Let’s start at the beginning.

    Suvir Mirchandani was determined to find ways to reduce the amount of ink used by his school. After all, he said, “ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume.”

    That would become the focus of his science fair project — and it turned out to be more successful can he probably imagined.

    CNN explains the process:

    First, he charted how often each character was used in four different typefaces: Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans. Then he measured how much ink was used for each letter, using a commercial tool called APFill® Ink Coverage Software.

    Next he enlarged the letters, printed them and cut them out on cardstock paper to weigh them to verify his findings. He did three trials for each letter, graphing the ink usage for each font.

    From this analysis, Suvir figured out that by using Garamond with its thinner strokes, his school district could reduce its ink consumption by 24%, and in turn save as much as $21,000 annually.

    The teenager ended up sending his findings to the Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI) on the advice from his teacher.

    JEI co-founder Sarah Fankhauser said Suvir’s project really stood out from other submissions. Because they saw the potential in his work, JEI then asked him to calculate his findings on a larger scale to determine if the federal government could experience similar savings.

    So he did — and he got very similar results.

    article-2591875-1CA7B46900000578-693_634x286

    CNN

    article-2591875-1CA7B46900000578-835_634x286

    CNN

    “Using the General Services Administration’s estimated annual cost of ink — $467 million — Suvir concluded that if the federal government used Garamond exclusively it could save nearly 30% — or $136 million per year,” the report adds. “An additional $234 million could be saved annually if state governments also jumped on board, he reported.

    That’s a total savings of $370 million.

    Though Gary Somerset, of the Government Printing Office, admits the teen’s work is “remarkable,” he told CNN his office is currently more focused on switching to digital.

  • ‘This Is Dangerous’: Dana Loesch Has a Dire Warning for Progressives Over ‘Hobby Lobby’ Case
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm by Erica Ritz

    Comments (107)

    Dana Loesch had a dire warning for the left on her Blaze TV program Friday, saying it is “dangerous” to want the “boot of government” to stamp out your opposition.

    “Progressives are being predictably stupid here,” she said, speaking about the Supreme Court case determining whether Hobby Lobby will be forced to provide forms of birth control it believes could terminate life against its religious beliefs.

    Dana

    Dana Loesch speaks on her Blaze TV program, ‘Dana,’ on March 28, 2014. (Photo: TheBlaze TV)

    “The right of a woman to have things unfairly provided to her for free will not be impacted by this case, because that right doesn’t exist!” she said, adding that the company already provides dozens of forms of birth control, and only objects to four methods, like “Plan B.”

    She said that “in order to get in a jab at their opposition, [progressives] are giving the government opportunity at establishing a precedent which would allow the state to abridge civil liberties.”

    “Today, it’s whether people can be Christians to run a business,” she said. “Tomorrow, it could be whether a business owner can be gay or not. Or, whether a business owner can be an atheist. Or a woman.”

    “When progressives meet a divergent opinion, they want the boot of government to stamp it out. This is dangerous,” Loesch warned.

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  • Putin Calls Obama to Chat About Ukrainian Crisis
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 7:40 pm by Associated Press

    Comments (93)

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Barack Obama on Friday to discuss a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis, while Ukraine’s fugitive leader urged a nationwide referendum that would serve Moscow’s purpose of turning its neighbor into a loosely knit federation.

    The statement from Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president who fled to Russia last month after three months of protests, raised the threat of more unrest in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking eastern provinces, where many resent the new Ukrainian government.

    Also Friday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin the Ukrainian military withdrawal from Crimea was complete. Ukrainian soldiers were seen carrying duffel bags and flags as they shipped out of the Black Sea peninsula that Russia has annexed.

    While Yanukovych has practically no leverage in Ukraine, his statement clearly reflected the Kremlin’s focus on supporting separatist sentiments in eastern Ukraine.

    The White House said that Putin called Obama Friday to discuss a U.S. proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, which U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented to Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov earlier this week. Obama suggested that Russia put a concrete response in writing and the presidents agreed that Kerry and Lavrov would meet to discuss the next steps.

    “President Obama noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform and democratic elections, and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement.

    A White House official, who wasn’t authorized to comment by name and demanded anonymity, said that Obama and Putin spoke for an hour. He said the plan was the old off-ramp roadmap that had been drafted before Russia annexed Crimea last week.

    The Kremlin said in its account of the conversation that Putin talked about action by extremists in Ukraine and suggested “possible steps by the international community to help stabilize the situation” in Ukraine. It added that Putin also pointed at an “effective blockade” of Moldova’s separatist region of Trans-Dniester, where Russia has troops. Russia and the local authorities have complained of Ukraine’s recent moves to limit travel across the border of the region on Ukraine’s southern border. There were fears in Ukraine that Russia could use its forces in Trans-Dniester to invade.

    Deep divisions between Ukraine’s Russian-speaking eastern regions, where many favor close ties with Moscow, and the Ukrainian-speaking west, where most want to integrate into Europe, continue to fuel tensions.

    The Crimean Peninsula, where ethnic Russians are a majority, voted this month to secede from Ukraine before Russia formally annexed it, a move that Western countries have denounced as illegitimate. Talk percolates of similar votes in other Ukrainian regions with large Russian populations, although none has been scheduled.

    Russia has pushed strongly for federalizing Ukraine – giving its regions more autonomy – but Ukraine’s interim authorities in Kiev have rejected such a move. The one vote that has been scheduled is a presidential election on May 25.

    “Only an all-Ukrainian referendum, not the early presidential elections, could to a large extent stabilize the political situation and preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Yanukovych said in a statement carried by the ITAR-Tass news agency.

    He didn’t specify what the vote should ask or when it should be held.

    Russia’s state RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Alexei Mukhin, a Kremlin-connected political analyst, as saying while a nationwide referendum would be difficult to organize in each of Ukraine’s provinces, the country’s southeastern regions could follow Yanukovych’s advice.

    In Kiev, Ukrainian prosecutors opened a new investigation against Yanukovych on charges of making calls to overthrow the country’s constitutional order. He already is being investigated in the deaths of dozens of Ukrainian protesters who were shot dead in Kiev in February.

    Yanukovych’s old rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, attacked his statement, accusing him of being “a tool aimed at destroying the independence of Ukraine.”

    Tymoshenko is running in Ukraine’s next presidential election, which Russia has sought to delay.

    The new Ukrainian government and the West, meanwhile, have voiced concerns about a possible invasion as Russia builds up its troops near the border with Ukraine. Putin has warned that Russia could use “all means” to protect people in Ukraine from radical nationalists.

    While Putin has said Russia doesn’t want a division of Ukraine, he also sought to cast it as an artificial state created by the Communists that includes historic Russian regions – controversial statements that raise doubts about the Kremlin’s intentions.

    To tamp down those fears, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday that Moscow allowed observation flights over the border by Ukrainian, U.S., German and other Western officials. It said if any major troop concentrations had been spotted, the West wouldn’t have been shy to speak about it.

    Russia also kept pushing its long-held contention that ethnic minorities in Ukraine are living in fear of the new interim authorities. The Foreign Ministry said not just ethnic Russians, but ethnic Germans, Hungarians and Czechs in Ukraine also are feeling in peril.

    “They are unsettled by the unstable political situation in the country and are seriously afraid for their lives,” the statement said, without citing specific incidents.

    However, there have been no signs of such threats toward ethnic minorities in Ukraine.

    Russia also said it has responded anew to Western sanctions over Ukraine but did not make any new names public.

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said some Western nations have followed the U.S. example and expanded their sanctions against Russia, adding that Moscow has taken “retaliatory measures, which are largely tit-for-tat.” He wouldn’t say who the latest targets were.

    The United States, the European Union and Canada have slapped Russia with travel bans and asset freezes targeting its officials and lawmakers over the annexation of Crimea.

  • Largest Study of Its Kind Finds Strong Connection Between Marriage and Heart Health
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 7:30 pm by Liz Klimas

    Comments (42)

    (TheBlaze/AP) — Love can sometimes break a heart but marriage seems to do it a lot of good for it. A study of more than 3.5 million Americans finds that married people are less likely than singles, divorced or widowed folks to suffer any type of heart or blood vessel problem.

    Figurines of a bride and a groom sit atop a wedding cake in Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday May 8, 2012. A study of more than 3.5 million Americans finds that married people are less likely than singles, divorced or widowed folks to suffer any type of heart or blood vessel problem. The results were released Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP/The News & Observer, Robert Willett)

    A study of more than 3.5 million Americans finds that married people are less likely than singles, divorced or widowed folks to suffer any type of heart or blood vessel problem. The results were released Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP/The News & Observer, Robert Willett)

    This was true at any age, for women as well as for men, and regardless of other heart disease risk factors they had such as high cholesterol or diabetes, researchers found.

    “These findings certainly shouldn’t drive people to get married, but it’s important to know that decisions regarding who one is with, why and why not may have important implications for vascular health,” Dr. Carlos Alviar, cardiology fellow at New York University Langone Medical Center and the lead investigator of the study, said in a statement.

    This is the largest look at marriage and heart health, Alviar said. Previous studies mostly compared married to single people and lacked information on divorced and widowed ones. Or they just looked at heart attacks, whereas this one included a full range from clogged arteries and abdominal aneurysms to stroke risks and circulation problems in the legs.

    The study found:

    • Married people had a 5 percent lower risk of any cardiovascular disease compared to single people. Widowed people had a 3 percent greater risk of it and divorced people, a 5 percent greater risk, compared to married folks.
    • Marriage seemed to do the most good for those under age 50; they had a 12 percent lower risk of heart-related disease than single people their age.
    • Smoking, a major heart risk, was highest among divorced people and lowest in widowed ones. Obesity was most common in those single and divorced. Widowed people had the highest rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and inadequate exercise.

    Researchers used health questionnaires that people filled out when they sought various types of tests in community settings around the country from an Ohio company, Life Line Screening Inc. Some of these screening tests, for various types of cancer and other diseases or conditions, are not recommended by leading medical groups, but people can still get them and pay for them themselves.

    The study authors have no financial ties to the company and are not endorsing this type of screening, Dr. Jeffrey Berger, a preventive cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center and study co-author, said. Life Line gave its data to the Society of Vascular Surgery and New York University to help promote research.

    The results are from people who sought screening from 2003 through 2008. Their average age was 64, nearly two-thirds were female and 80 percent were white. They gave information on smoking, diabetes, family history, obesity, exercise and other factors, and researchers had blood pressure and other health measures.

    Researchers don’t know how long any study participants were married or how recently they were divorced or became widowed. But the results drive home the message that a person’s heart risks can’t be judged by physical measures alone — social factors and stress also matter, said Dr. Vera Bittner, a cardiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    She heads the heart disease prevention committee of the American College of Cardiology. The study results were released on Friday ahead of presentation this weekend at the group’s annual meeting in Washington.

    “We don’t really have a clear explanation” for why marriage may be protective, Bittner said.

    “You may be more willing to follow up with medical appointments,” take recommended drugs, diet and exercise if you have a spouse, she said.

    Berger said perhaps married individuals have a “spouse who encourages them to take better care of themselves.”

    Featured image via Shutterstock.

  • How Does a Black Republican Respond After Being Called ‘White’ & Compared to ‘Cockroaches’ by Ebony Sr. Editor?
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 6:45 pm by Erica Ritz

    Comments (159)

    Ebony Magazine has been forced to apologize after its senior editor, Jamilah Lemieux, called a black Republican a “white man” and compared those on the right to “cockroaches” on Twitter.

    It all began after Lemieux responded to a request for more information about a new magazine by black conservatives Armstrong Williams and Dr. Ben Carson by saying: “I 100% do not want to know more, I wish I knew less!”

    That’s when RNC Deputy Press Secretary Raffi Williams, who is black, stepped in.

    “…wish you knew less? hoped you would encourage diversity of thought,” he tweeted.

    “Oh great, here comes a White dude telling me how to do this Black thing. Pass,” she retorted.

    (Photo: Twitter/@Raffiwilliams)

    (Photo: Twitter/@Raffiwilliams)

    Lemieux later backtracked and said she didn’t know Williams was black, but added: “However, I care about NOTHING you have to say.”

    She wasn’t done revealing her hate for those on the right:

    I forgot that tweeting something about a Conservative is like leaving a cookie out in a house full of roaches and turning off the lights.
    Raffi Williams Responds to Ebony Editor Calling Him White Cockroach
    @JamilahLemieux
    Jamilah Lemieux

    Williams appeared on “Real News From TheBlaze” on Friday to weigh in, saying he is glad Ebony did the “classy” thing by apologizing.

    His question has always been, he added: “Race has nothing to do with it – my comment should stand regardless of my race, and so why would you bring race into this argument?”

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  • Read the ‘Hilarious’ Note One Annoyed Gas Station Employee Left on the Door for His Tardy Boss
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 6:15 pm by Liz Klimas

    Comments (106)

    A gas station manager in Michigan walked up to the glass doors Thursday morning to relieve the third-shift employee and found the store doors locked and no employee to be found.

    There was, however, a note.

    Image source: Imgur

    Image source: Imgur

    “Hey boss, learn to be on time or at least communicate when you are going to be late. +1 hour with no phone call is unacceptable. As you can see, the doors are locked. I went home. Fire me if you must, but realize I walked out due to YOUR negligence,” the note read.

    Speaking with WXMI-TV, the BP manager in Grand Rapids, Mich., who declined to be named, said she was running 30 minutes late, sleeping through her alarm. She said she was surprised to find the note as this employee, named Joe on the note, did not call or contact any other employee before leaving the store.

    Watch the news station’s report:

    Perhaps ironically, a help wanted sign was posted just behind Joe’s note. However, the manager declined to offer further details as to Joe’s employment status with the gas station, according to MLive.

    Ryan Otthouse, who stopped to fill up while the gas station was unattended Thursday and found he could still do so from the pump without an employee present, snapped a photo of the note, which he told MLive he found “hilarious.”

  • Video: Veteran Teacher Reveals the Shocking Intimidation She’s Faced for Opposing Common Core in Tearful Testimony
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 5:45 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (117)

    Though she claims she has been intimidated and bullied for opposing Common Core, a Missouri kindergarten teacher reportedly testified Thursday in support of a bill that would prohibit the controversial state standards in the state’s public schools.

    Speaking before the Missouri Senate Education Committee, Susan Kimball said she has been “strongly discouraged from saying anything negative about Common Core by my administration and some school board members.”

    The 20-year veteran teacher also recalled a “professional development meeting” where she was allegedly told: “Be careful about what you post on Facebook, or talk about in the public regarding Common Core. Don’t say anything negative. It could affect your job.”

    (YouTube)

    (YouTube)

    Though she admitted that it is difficult for her to continue speaking out amid the intimidation, the kids are worth fighting for, she said.

    “It’s so hard for me to speak, because you have no idea what I have been through over the past six weeks because of my stand,” Kimball said. “And the reason I took this stand is because it was right for my kids. They’re my main priority.”

    Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder expressed disgust at the “sinister intimidation” described by the teacher. He urged her to stay in touch with his office regarding her treatment.

    Kimball thanked him for the support because she “doesn’t know what I’m going to face when I get home.”

    The Missouri Torch has video of Kimball’s testimony:

    (H/T: BizPacReview)

  • Pope Francis Breaks Tradition and Stuns Thousands With Bold Move
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 5:18 pm by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (599)

    Pope Francis stunned parishioners, faith leaders and his own master of ceremonies Friday when he broke protocol to do something wholly unexpected: he bowed down in front of the crowd at St. Peter’s Basilica and confessed his sins to an ordinary priest, Reuters reported.

    Typically, the pope goes to confession in private, so his decision was a departure from the past.

    Francis made the noteworthy move after uttering a sermon in which he covered the importance of confession in the Catholic faith.

    In this picture made available by the Vatican newspaper L’ Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis is confessed by a priest in St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, Friday, March 28, 2014. AP Photo/L’ Osservatore Romano)

    “Who can say he is not a sinner? Nobody. We all are,” the pope told an audience of thousands.

    Afterward, he was supposed to join 60 priests around the massive church in hearing the sins of the faithful, but he had a very different plan.

    In this picture made available by the Vatican newspaper L’ Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis is confessed by a priest in St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/L’ Osservatore Romano)

    When Monsignor Guido Marini, master of ceremonies, pointed Francis toward an empty booth to hear the congregants’ sins, the pope went to a different booth and knelt before a priest to share his own sins for a few minutes.

    After that, Francis did hear confessions from the faithful.

    Watch it unfold on video below:

    Popes traditionally hear confessions of the faithful on Good Friday morning, though Francis chose to hold this event three weeks early, the Associated Press reported.

    (H/T: Reuters)

  • Here Are the Most- and Least-Liked TV News Anchors — You Can Probably Guess Which Network Claims the Bottom Three
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 4:44 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (151)

    CBS’ Scott Pelley is America’s most-liked news anchor and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is the least-liked, according to the Wrap’s new Q Score survey.

    Looking at 24 top news anchors, the study aims to identify the most popular TV news personalities based on their “positive Q-score.” It also ranks them based on “recognizability.”

    CNN’s Anderson Cooper — who ranked first in recognizability among male newscasters — came in behind Pelley by just one point while CBS reporter Lara Logan finished in third.

    The three least-liked TV news anchors all belong to MSNBC, with Matthews in dead last. Alex Wagner and Andrea Mitchell finished just behind him.

    See the full list by the Wrap:

    (The Wrap)

    (The Wrap)

    (H/T: HuffPost)

  • Teacher Says Her Lifesaving Act for a Sick Student She Barely Knew Was the Result of ‘Divine Intervention’
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 4:15 pm by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (58)

    For Pennsylvania substitute teacher Cindy Santos, filling in for a kindergarten class last September started just like any other assignment.

    Everything changed until she met a student in the room who was facing life-threatening circumstances.

    Santos was called to teach for just one day at Richmond Elementary School in Fleetwood, Pa. It was there that she met Katelynn Ernst, a 5-year-old girl suffering from hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that involves the abnormal destruction of red blood cells.

    The condition causes the damaged cells to begin clogging the filtering system in the kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure.

    Despite being so young, Ernst was heavily impacted by the disorder, spending up to 10 hours a day on dialysis while she waited for a kidney donor.

    After a chance meeting in the classroom that day, Ernst remained on Santos’ mind. Then, days later, the teacher stumbled upon a Facebook page supporting the little girl in her battle for a kidney transplant.

    After reading the requirements for being a donor and feeling like she was a good candidate, Santos decided to take action, the Huffington Post reported.

    While she was told there was only a one in 80 chance that she’d be a match, Santos was tested and found out she was. So, she made the decision to donate her kidney to her one-time student.

    “There was no denying this was the right thing to do,” Santos, a mother of three, told Pennsylvania’s Berks-Mont News.

    Both surgeries were held on Dec. 10 and were successful. In fact, Santos, who had suffered from stomach cramping before the kidney donation, ended up finding out some extremely beneficial information about her own health during the process.

    “For me there was one more bonus. During the testing doctors had discovered that I had a rare medical condition — pelvic congestive syndrome,” she told NBC’s “Today.” “I learned that having my kidney removed not only relieved the pain, but I avoided certain surgery.”

    Image source: Today

    Substitute teacher Cindy Santos donated her kidney to kindergartener Katelynn Ernst. (Image source: NBC’s “Today”)

    Both Santos and Ernst’s mother, Alicia, believe that God’s hand played a role in connecting the two families.

    “I do believe I was put in Katelynn’s classroom,” Santos told Berks-Mont News. “It’s not coincidence, it’s definitely divine intervention.”

    Alicia added, “We feel exactly the same way. God sent her to us.”

    Ernst’s family is overjoyed that their daughter now has a chance at living a normal life off of machines. And Santos, too, said she’s incredibly happy to see the little girl thriving following the transplant.

    (H/T: Huffington Post)

    Featured image via NBC