Alabama Tornadoes Kill At Least 23; SpaceX Dragon Capsule Successfully Docks With International Space Station; No Criminal Charges Against Police Officers Who Shot And Killed Stephon Clark; Luke Perry Passes Away at 52; House Committee Launches Obstruction Probe Against President Trump; Venezuelan Opposition Leader Back in Country; Referee Says Interpreter For Deaf Player Can’t Stand With Coach; Interview with Deaf/CODA Wheel of Fortune Contestants
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, March 4. Hope your weekend was good. Ready for news?
Alabama Tornadoes Kill At Least 23
Yesterday afternoon in Alabama, there were several tornadoes that killed at least 23 people, including at least three children 10 and under, in Lee County.
One tornado was half a mile wide, destroying homes and trees with winds over 170 mph. This makes it a powerful EF-4 tornado.
Over 60 people went to the hospital. Only four are still there.
Teams of first responders looked for missing people and went through rubble of destroyed homes and buildings.
The storms and tornadoes also hit Georgia and Florida, but there were no reported deaths.
President Trump tweeted that he and the FEMA would give the “A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama.”
The storms were triggered by cold, dry air coming southward, rubbing against warm, moist air moving northwards.
SpaceX Dragon Capsule Successfully Docks With International Space Station
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Saturday morning and successfully docked with the International Space Station yesterday.
The Dragon capsule did not have any astronauts on it, but it carried a test dummy named Ripley. There was a plush globe to show when it became weightless.
The Dragon is capable of carrying up to seven astronauts. This launch is a part of a testing and approval process with NASA to be able to send astronauts in the future.
The docking with the ISS was done automatically, using its computers. Two of ISS’ crew members were able to enter the Dragon when air pressures between the two were equalized.
The Dragon is scheduled to leave the ISS this Friday, March 8, re-enter Earth’s atmosphere, and splash into the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX has another test in June. If that one is successful, then it is possible that two NASA astronauts will lift off on a SpaceX rocket in July.
This would mean American astronauts can use American spacecraft rather than depending on Russian Soyuz rockets.
President Trump tweeted that we’ve got the NASA rocking again and congratulated SpaceX.
Elon Musk, SpaceX founder and CEO, tweeted a thank-you to him and to NASA.
No Criminal Charges Against Police Officers Who Shot And Killed Stephon Clark
The Sacramento District Attorney announced on Saturday that there would be no criminal charges against two police officers who shot and killed an unarmed black man, Stephon Clark, almost a year ago in his grandmother’s backyard.
What happened — on March 18, 2018, police responded to a 911 call of a man breaking car windows. They pursued Clark and in the backyard, fired 20 bullets at him with at least seven hitting him. Clark was holding a cellphone.
The DA said Clark did not listen to the officers’ commands for him to stop and that when he was in the backyard, that he stood in a “shooting stance,” and that the officers honestly thought Clark had a gun.
There were several protests last year after the shooting.
The DA said DNA evidence showed that Clark was the person who broke the car windows and that he also smashed a home’s sliding glass door with a cinder block.
Clark’s mother said it doesn’t matter if Clark was a criminal, what matters is how those officers gunned him down when he had nothing but a cellphone in his hand.
The DA said they found evidence that shows Clark was thinking of killing himself and texted the mother of Clark’s children to suggest he was thinking of killing himself.
The DA later said she was not suggesting that Clark wanted to commit suicide-by-cop.
The mother, Salena Manni, had reported domestic violence against him to the police a few days before the shooting last year. Manni recently said she was angry that the DA revealed his personal information and their private communications.
Activists on the side of Clark said this felt like “character assassination” of Clark, that his reputation was being damaged.
Advocates for the police officers said no officer ever wants to take a life, that they are doing the best job they can in these split-second decisions.
Luke Perry Passes Away at 52
Actor Luke Perry has passed away after he was taken to the hospital last week after he had a stroke. He was 52.
A representative for Perry said he passed away today after suffering a massive stroke. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.
Perry became a star in the 90’s in his acting role as Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills 90210 and was an actor on CW’s Riverdale.
Perry leaves behind a fiancé and two adult children.
House Committee Launches Obstruction Probe Against President Trump; Venezuelan Opposition Leader Back in Country
Here are two political news briefs.
The first — The Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee announced they would investigate if President Donald Trump obstructed justice or abused his power. They have demanded documents from at least 81 people, including Trump, his family members, government agencies, and people associated with Trump’s businesses.
President Trump said it was a political hoax.
The committee chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-Ny) said it is very clear that Trump obstructed justice, but said that they are a long way from impeachment.
The second news — Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido is back in Venezuela after a tour through several Latin American countries. He met with Vice President Mike Pence in Colombia.
Guadio said he would lead more protests. It is possible that he will be arrested. Last week at least six people died in fighting at the Venezuelan-Brazilian border after trucks with humanitarian aid were blocked from entering.
Referee Says Interpreter For Deaf Player Can’t Stand With Coach
The Indianapolis Star reported that there was controversy with an interpreter for a deaf mainstreamed high school basketball player during a game last week because a referee told the interpreter she couldn’t walk and stand with the coach. He ordered her to stay in one place at the end of the bench.
The deaf player’s name is Joey Paul and he plays for the Culver Community high school.
People in the stands booed the referee. One fan who was at the game, Jenny Clinger, posted on Facebook that the interpreter has always stood with the coach for every game all season long.
The Indianapolis Star explained that while Paul was playing in the game, at the end of the second quarter, referees thought that the interpreter was an assistant coach and told her to sit down. It is ISHAA’s rules that only the head coach can stand up during live play.
Clinger’s Facebook post said the opposing coach was the one who complained about two people standing up.
A referee called a timeout to discuss this with two other officials, then told the interpreter to stand by the scorer’s table for the entire game.
Clinger said that an assistant coach for Culver said (about the interpreter), “Because he is deaf!!!” A referee gave him a technical.
This required all the Culver coaches to sit down for the entire game. The interpreter was still able to stand up, but was confined to the same spot.
NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum told the Indianapolis Star that it was clear that the referee was wrong, that Paul was denied equal communication. Rosenblum said this is a violation of federal laws mandating equal access for deaf people.
The ISHAA Commissioner Bobby Cox told the Indianapolis Star that after an investigation, they don’t have any evidence that the interpreter’s access to the student was restricted. Cox said the referees did not know before the game started that the woman was an interpreter.
Many on social media criticized the officials.
Clinger FB Post: https://bit.ly/2Ew3kNF
Interview with Deaf/CODA Wheel of Fortune Contestants
Here is an interview with the Deaf and CODA Wheel of Fortune contestants who won more than $22,000 worth of prizes, including a trip to Jamaica, on an episode last week.
Lori: I’m Lori Bonheyo. I am from Frederick, Maryland.
Lorraine: I’m Lorraine Gold-Appel. I’m from Yonkers, New York.
Alex: They have been friends for 56 years. They became close growing up together in Queens, New York. Both have Deaf parents — Gold-Appel is a CODA and Bonheyo is Deaf.
I asked them how they got in the show.
Lori: I’ve always loved Wheel of Fortune. I watch it. I wondered how I could be a contestant and I check it out and saw that you had to take a video of yourself. This meant I would have to find a hearing person to voice for me. So I dropped it, that was a few years ago. Then I came here in New York and visited Lorraine. We were watching TV and I saw that she loved Wheel of Fortune just like me. So I thought why don’t we try and send a video together with her voicing for me and her both signing and voicing for herself? We decided to film ourselves like we are doing right now. We explained why we wanted to become contestants and why they should pick us. I explained that I was Deaf and all that. We sent an email. We got an email saying we were to audition in Washington, D.C. So I called her and asked if she could come, she said yes.
Alex: After the D.C. auditions last fall, they got a letter saying they would be on the show. In January, they got a call to to fly to Culver City, California for the taping at Sony Pictures Studios.
I asked them what it was like to be there in person as opposed to watching it on TV.
Lorraine: For me, it was different. I was not nervous, but Pat was right there. So I was a little dazed. It was hard for me. At home it’s very clear, but there, it felt different. So that was difficult.
Lori: I was not nervous at all, I felt like we were in our living room. I was focused on the game, I didn’t feel like I was on TV. They trained us well. We were there at 6:30 in the morning. The taping finally started at one o’clock in the afternoon. We practiced on how to yell letters.
Lorraine: Not you.
Lori: Not me. Her! I was just standing there.
Lorraine: On that day we had to practice spinning the wheel, which was 2,400 pounds. So they wanted us to practice because it was heavy. They showed us how.
Lori: They explained how you had to hold the needles. You can’t grip it fully, only halfway. And you have to reach out as far as you can and then spin it. We took turns practicing spinning the wheel.
Alex: I asked them about the interpreters and how it was set up.
Lorraine: During the audition, they had an interpreter. If they missed anything, I would cover it. In California, they had two interpreters all day. But during the show, they said we would play with each other, period. So I did interpret, yes, but we worked together. And when I watched it afterwards, I didn’t interpret some parts. We discussed prior that if I didn’t interpret, she would still see it on TV with closed captioning. We agreed on this.
Lori: They were very strict with equal treatment. They even put a mic on me even though I don’t speak. They wanted us to look the same. If there was an interpreter with us, there might be cheating with the others, so there was nothing. She interpreted and we did fine. It’s a good thing we are comfortable with each other.
Lorraine: They also provided an interpreter for Andy and her mother. There were two other interpreters for them.
Alex: I asked them about the prize money and how it works with the two.
Lori: Many asked if we got $22,000 each. No, we split it. Do we have to vacation together? No, I will go with Andy, my husband, and she will go with her son. Different times. Everything is split.
Alex: They also said they will have to pay state and federal taxes on the cash winnings and the prizes.
They said they exposed Pat and Vanna to Deaf culture.
Lorraine: After everything was finished, when we were to shake hands, I said, no, come here, and hugged them. That’s Deaf world. We always hug.
Lori: She’s very outgoing. I’m more reserved. She said, “Deaf culture!” and hugged them. I was like okay, fine, and hugged Pat and Vanna.
Alex: Thank you both for your time and congratulations on winning the prizes.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!
Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]