The Daily Moth 1-15-2019

January 16, 2019

Navajo Code Talker Alfred K. Newman Passes Away at 94; Three Florida Kids Die After Accidentally Locking Themselves in Freezer; Top Stories Briefs: U.K. Lawmakers Reject Brexit Plan; Federal Judge Rules Against Census 2020 Citizenship Question; Netflix Raises Prices; U.S. House Condemns White Supremacy; Deaf Phoenix Father Shot and Killed; Police Looking for Suspects; Alumni of Clarke School for the Deaf Describe Abuse and Language Deprivation​

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, January 15. Ready for news?




Navajo Code Talker Alfred K. Newman Passes Away at 94


One of the last surviving members of the Navajo Code Talkers from World War II has passed away in New Mexico at 94 years old. His name was Alfred K. Newman and he served in the Marine Corps.


He was a part of about 400 Navajos who helped defeat Japanese soldiers in the Pacific by communicating in their language, called Dine. The language was unknown to many and it had a complex grammar, which made it perfect for secret communications.


The code talkers developed a way to name specific military things. An example is they would use a Navajo word for turtle to refer to a tank or a word for buzzard to refer to a bomber. Their communications helped U.S. soldiers to make progress. The enemy couldn’t decipher it or break their code.


Navajo Nation’s president said Newman was a hero and stood amongst giants. He said our Navajo Code Talkers are national treasures.


There are now eight surviving code talkers.


Separate But Related: Interview by AzCDHH With Deaf Navajo Woman:




Three Florida Kids Die After Accidentally Locking Themselves in Freezer


In sad news from Live Oak, Florida, three young children, ages 1, 4, and 6 died after they accidentally locked themselves in an unplugged freezer that was outside of their home.


Police said the children were playing outside and when they got in the freezer and closed it, it became “locked” because there was a hasp that came in place. They couldn’t open it.


The mother of one of the kids said she was outside watching the children and after she went inside to use the bathroom, she came back outside to see the children missing.


She couldn’t find them and asked the grandmother of the two other children to help with the search. After 30 to 40 minutes, they opened the freezer and saw that all three children were inside and not breathing. They tried to resuscitate them and called 911, but it was too late.


Police said they do not suspect foul play, criminal activity, but will forward the case for review and notified the state’s Department of Children and Families.




Top Stories Briefs: U.K. Lawmakers Reject Brexit Plan; Federal Judge Rules Against Census 2020 Citizenship Question; Netflix Raises Prices; U.S. House Condemns White Supremacy   


Here are four top stories briefs.


The first — U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for a Brexit deal was rejected in the House of Commons in a 432-202 vote. The U.K. is due to leave the European Union on March 29, and it is not clear what will happen next. If the U.K. divorces the EU without a deal, it could severely harm their economy and throw in chaos 3 million EU nationals who live there and 1.3 million Britons who live in EU countries.


The second news — a federal judge in New York City said the Trump administration couldn’t add a U.S. citizenship question to the 2020 census. There were fears that the question would scare off legal and undocumented immigrants from answering questions, which would reduce the numbers and affect federal funds and political representation in mostly Democratic areas. It is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court.


The third news — Netflix announced they would raise their subscription prices. The basic plan will go up to $8.99 a month. The HD quality plan will go up to $12.99 a month. The Ultra HD plan will go up to $15.99 a month. New customers will see the increased prices, while existing customers will see the change in the next three months. Netflix said this will help with investing in original shows and films and pay off their debt.


The fourth news — The U.S. House of Representatives voted on a resolution to condemn white nationalism and white supremacy. This vote was in response to Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)’s comments in an interview where he questioned why white nationalism, white supremacy, and Western civilization became offensive terms. The controversy caused Rep. King to lose his committee powers. He said his quotes were mischaracterized.








Rep. King:




Deaf Phoenix Father Shot and Killed; Police Looking for Suspects


Local news in Phoenix reported that a 23-year old Deaf man, Gary Herrera, was shot outside of an apartment complex last Monday morning. He was taken to a hospital but died.


Police said Herrera was outside to smoke a cigarette when a car with two men pulled up. A friend heard a gunshot, then the car left the scene.


Police said they are now looking for an older model four-door sedan with faded red paint and two African American men. They are offering a reward of up to $1,000.


Herrera was a father to a 3-year old son. The mother, Angelica Sanchez, told ABC 15 news that he was an amazing father.


His family and friends hosted a car wash to raise money for his funeral. I saw a news video on ABC 15 where a deaf man said he was heartbroken.


People on social media also expressed shock and sadness at his death.


There was also a GoFundMe set up for Herrera’s funeral expenses that raised $1,450. The campaign is complete and no longer active.


It’s tragic. Rest in peace, Herrera.


ABC 15:








Alumni of Clarke School for the Deaf Describe Abuse and Language Deprivation


Sixteen alumni of the Clarke School for the Deaf shared their experiences of abuse and language deprivation in the 1950's to the 1970’s with a reporter, Dusty Christensen of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, a newspaper in Northampton, Massachusetts. He published an article.


Clarke School’s teaching philosophy was 100% oralism and lipreading, with sign language prohibited. They formerly punished students by beating their hands. It was a boarding school, so students were completely under the control of staff.


Alumni Brent Borden said when first arrived at the school at 5 years old, a housekeeper slapped and pushed him into a dresser because he couldn’t read her lips.


Alumni Kim LaRocque said one of the punishments was being left in a dark basement. She also said she was forced to bite a bar of soap for more than an hour because she misunderstood a word.


Alumni Bernie Brown said he was punched and strangled on a ping pong table. He also said he remembers a teacher putting a thumbtack on a student’s tongue to teach him how to pronounce a sound correctly.


Alumni Richard McElwain said was locked in a closet for two weeks and only allowed out only to go to classes and to sleep.


Alumni Betsey Kaplan, who is Jewish, said she was forced to attend church. She also said the school threw away a letter that had news of her grandfather’s death.


Alumni Dan McClintock said a housefather whipped young boys in his dorm with a belt and forced the boys to run and crawl on the floor.


Alumni Sheila Griffin Grady said housemothers would often slap students and watch girls in the shower. She also said they were made fun of by staff when they couldn’t sing as good as other students.


Alumni John Monahan said the school took away his language and limited him. He said he had to speak and be oral, but that’s not who he is because he wanted to use his hands to speak.


Alumni Mary Pat Graham-Kelly said she was delayed academically because there were so many hours of talking and lip-reading. She felt like it was psychological abuse.


Those are just a few of the many stories from the school.


The reporter, Dusty, said in a radio interview that he started investigating this story after he did a report about an independent investigation the school commissioned last year with a law firm.


That report focused on an abusive former teacher named Mary Numbers and her brother, Fred, who was accused of sexually abusing the students. Both of them died, in 1979 and 1982.


Dusty said he met with more and more alumni who were willing to share their stories. He used videophone or ASL interpreters to conduct interviews with them.


That boarding school closed in 2012, but Clarke is still operating oral day-school programs in five cities across the United States.


Clarke’s CEO and a board member told the Gazette that they are troubled by the stories of abuse, have taken actions by commissioning the independent investigation, and have created a limited fund to provide financial support for victims of abuse.


Gazette Article:


Radio Interview:




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



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