The Daily Moth 1-9-18

January 10, 2018



North & South Korea Government Reps Have Successful Talks On Olympics, Military Tensions; Heavy Rains in Southern California Cause Mudslides, At Least 5 Killed; College Football Playoff Championship: Alabama Wins, Deaf Girl Signs National Anthem, and Trump Makes Appearance; White House Negotiating Fate of DACA “Dreamers” and Border Wall; Mother Kills Husband, Two Sons, and Herself in Galveston Hotel Room; Gallaudet University Wins Online Competition “Helmet Bowl I”; Deaf Mayor of Angels Camp, California

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, January 9. Ready for news? 




Government representatives from North and South Korea has successfully met together to discuss working together to have athletes from North Korea attend the Winter Olympics next month in South Korea. 


They met at the border village of Panmunjom, the site of the DMZ and the same area where a North Korean soldier recently defected to the South after being shot. But there was not the same tension during this meeting, as it was peaceful. 


The two countries’ representatives discussed relaxing military tensions between them, but did not discuss the nuclear weapons program. South Korea agreed to delay military exercises with the U.S. military that was scheduled around this time so that it wouldn’t occur during the same time as the Winter Olympics and the Paralympics. 


All of this is a follow-up from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s speech on New Year’s Day in which he said he wanted to have peace with South Korea and to send Olympic athletes. But in that speech, he warned the U.S., saying he had a nuclear button on his desk — President Trump responded by saying he had a bigger button. 


Despite the continuing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has made real strides in resuming contact with North Korea. Moon has even suggested that North and South Korea march together during the opening ceremony. 


But not everybody in South Korea is supportive — as there were South Koreans protesting against the talks and North Korea’s participation.




In Southern California, heavy rains caused mudslides which clogged up freeways and knocked down trees this early morning. 


At least five people died and several were injured from the rainstorms and the thick, waist-high mudflows. 


Several homes were ripped from their foundations and people were trapped in their vehicles. Two bodies were found in mud. Others died in car crashes. 


First responders have worked all morning to rescue several people who were trapped, using helicopters. There are some people that are missing. 


Pictures of the scene showed thick mud covering roadways and enveloping homes. A police cruiser was stuck on the roadway and had to be freed by a backhoe. The officer is okay.


The 101 Freeway was shut down for more than 30 miles in both directions in the area where there were wildfires, and other roadways were also shut down because of flooding and debris.  When heavy rains fall on areas that have been burned by fires, it causes the soil to be unstable, so it’s more dangerous. Before the rainstorms, there were evacuation orders with police going door-to-door in some areas to warn residents.




Last night was the College Football Playoff Championship game — the Alabama Crimson Tide, led by head coach Nick Saban, won their fifth national championship in 9 years when they defeated the University of Georgia Bulldogs in an exciting match that went to overtime. The final score: 26 to 23.


Before the game, there was a Deaf girl signing the national anthem — Carly Ortega (12). This picture of her signing was posted on WSB-TV 2 news’ Facebook page.


Carly is a student at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf and in an interview with WSB-TV 2 news last week, she revealed her mother, Daniella, had passed away from cancer very recently and that she was a big UGA fan. So she wanted to sign the anthem in honor of her mother. 


Carly also did an ASL interview with Sign1News — if you want to see it, the link is in the transcript. 


Congratulations to Carly. 


Another big news during the game — President Trump appeared on the field for the national anthem. He watched the first half from a private box. 


WSB-TV 2 Facebook Photos of Carly signing:


WSB-TV 2 Interview:





There are negotiations at the White House on immigration issues — with the two main topics: first about the DACA “Dreamers”’ status — on if they could continue to stay in the U.S. without being deported (since they were brought in the U.S. as children without any documents) and the second topic about border wall construction. 


President Trump said he will support whatever lawmakers, both Democrat and Republican, can agree with on and sign a DACA bill. 


The deadline for the government to act on Dreamers’ status is March 5. If nothing changes, their DACA permits from the Obama administration will start to expire, because Trump terminated the program in September. 


It’s not clear how lawmakers will reach an agreement. Some want the DACA issue to be resolved in the upcoming January 19 government spending deal, but some want a separate bill to only deal with Dreamers’ status. 


The Trump administration has said in exchange for a DACA deal, they wanted $18 billion in funding to construct a border wall, cuts on legal immigration, ending the diversity visa lottery, and ending “chain migration.”




Yesterday (Monday) morning, police were called to a hotel in Galveston, Texas in which there was a family of four, all lying with gunshot wounds. They were a man (39), woman (37), and two boys ages 10 and 5. 


The father and one of the boys was deceased, but the mother and one son was still alive, but unresponsive. They both died at a hospital. 


After an investigation, police say they believe the mother killed her husband, then killed her two boys, and committed suicide. She had a 9mm handgun next to her body. 


The woman’s name is Flor de Maria Pineda — the husband’s name is Mauricio Morales. The boys’ names are Mauricio Junior and David. 


Police said there are no other suspects and that it appears everything happened in the room. There was no signs of a struggle. 


Terrible. This happened on the 8th floor of the San Luis Resort. Hotel guests had reported “popping” sounds around 4:30 am Monday morning. 


The elementary school where the boys attended — in Baytown, Texas — released a statement saying they are grieving and that there are additional counseling services available.




Yesterday afternoon Gallaudet University won an online competition called “Helmet Bowl I” for the “best helmet in college football.” This competition is hosted by, a business that provides sports equipment tracking solutions. 


Gallaudet’s helmet got over 17 thousand online votes to defeat the second place helmet — San Diego State University.


There was a big push from Gallaudet on their social media channels and the alumni community to vote daily for their helmet, advancing them through the tournament that lasted for the past six weeks with all 777 college football team helmets from all divisions and conferences. 


Yesterday morning two Gallaudet representatives appeared on local news Fox 5 Morning News show to encourage DC residents to vote for them — Admissions Counselor and former Gallaudet football star Tony Tatum and Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Sam Atkinson. 


The prize is a national championship trophy and a banner from Helmet Tracker to be displayed in Gallaudet’s Field House. 


It’s a fun competition and Gallaudet’s victory shows the power of the Deaf community when they become unified to support a cause.





There is a Deaf woman who is the mayor of a city in California. 


Her name is Amanda Folendorf (31) and she is the mayor of Angels Camp (which is 80 miles east of Sacramento). The city has 3,200 residents. 


She was already on the City Council since November 2014 — she was elected by voters when she ran on a youth platform to represent younger people in the city. She has been on the council since then, and she was appointed by the council to be mayor this month with a one-year term.


I reached out to her to ask her some questions for a brief interview. Here it is! 


—- Begin Interview






Alex: Hello Amanda! Congratulations on your appointment as mayor. What makes you passionate about local government? How did you find success in winning the election (in 2014) and having the council’s trust to appoint you as their leader? 


Amanda: Hello! I grew up in a household that was very active in my community…both my parents were actively involved, one of my parents did themselves also run for local office. it was only natural I would too. I knew I wanted to do this, in 2014 I decided to run. I also ran because it was time to step up. Our parents had done their job ensuring our community was the place for them to raise us, now our turn to do the same. Also wanted to be a voice for my generation that they can too be involved. I believe my success in 2014 came from different reasons, one I was born and raised there so I had a connection with the community already, they knew who I was and my background, the other was the connection with the youth. Both those platforms allowed me to win. I still live here and I still work for the Forest Service.


Alex: You’re a deaf person who can both speak (with your voice) and use ASL. What are the challenges of having a leadership position in a hearing world, and how do you manage to have effective communication?


Amanda: I am “orally” Deaf…My parents did not know I couldn’t hear till I was about 7 years old. Because of the area we lived, rural, and the resources at that time, they continued to teach me speech and some SEE growing up. I dabbled in ASL but mainly continued oral communication. In 2004 I decided to go to Gallaudet. An opportunity for me to start my journey as a Deaf person. Through that , I learned ASL. When I moved back to California I became very active in the Deaf Community in both Sacramento and Bay Area. In 2007-2009 I was Ms. Deaf California. Represented California that year at NAD. My biggest challenge communicating is that because I can communicate orally, is that hearing folks think then I can hear. But I cannot. Through the use of technology, text, VRI, email, gestures, I have been able to work with utilizing different communication with them since they do not know ASL.


Alex: What are your main priorities as mayor for this year? 


Amanda: Priorities for this year is planning for our goals over the next few years so both council and staff are on the same page to be able to work together to complete these goals. Also new ways for  revenue and economic development. While also preserving our historical roots.


Alex: Do you want to add anything? 


Amanda: Through this journey which many in the Deaf Community have and still continue to support me on my journey have had the ability to grow and be where I am today. Without them, I would not be where I stand. It gave me a foundation for who I am now as a Deaf person. They challenged and supported me. I thank them for that. foundation of the Deaf Community and support of family that allowed me to succeed. 



—- End Interview 


Thank you for your time, Amanda! Best of luck to her in her duties as the mayor this year!




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light! 




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