Trump: School resource officer who stayed outside South Florida school shooting a ‘coward’

President Donald Trump on Friday said that the armed school resource officer who stayed outside during the school shooting last week in South Florida was either a “coward” or “didn’t react properly under pressure.”

Trump made his remarks to reporters outside the White House en route to a national gathering of conservatives in Maryland where he plans to reiterate his view that a primary strategy to counter such shootings is to arm teachers with concealed weapons.

Scot Peterson, school resource officer assigned to protect students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, took a defensive position outside the school and did not …read more

Back-to-back shootings of pregnant livestock odd, but not linked, authorities say

The shooting deaths of two pregnant animals on different farms are odd, but not related, authorities say.

Cpl. John Macdonald of the Maine Warden Service said he couldn’t recall the last time an animal was found dead of an apparently intentional gunshot wound — let alone two in the same week.

The animals were reported dead three days apart, on different farms about 100 miles away from each other.

The Warden Service is not investigating links between a bullet found lodged in the head of an expectant cow on a Madison farm, and the shooting of a pregnant goat in Scarborough, MacDonald …read more

Back-to-back shootings of pregnant livestock odd, but not linked, authorities say

The shooting deaths of two pregnant animals on different farms are odd, but not related, authorities say.

Cpl. John Macdonald of the Maine Warden Service said he couldn’t recall the last time an animal was found dead of an apparently intentional gunshot wound — let alone two in the same week.

The animals were reported dead three days apart, on different farms about 100 miles away from each other.

The Warden Service is not investigating links between a bullet found lodged in the head of an expectant cow on a Madison farm, and the shooting of a pregnant goat in Scarborough, MacDonald …read more

New tax to fund Maine home care system headed to November ballot

A debate about whether Maine should shift some of its tax burden to upper earners was rekindled Friday, when Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap validated a citizen initiative to put the question to voters this November.

The proposal to implement new payroll taxes on income above $127,200 annually to fund a universal home health care system has garnered enough signatures to put the bill up for consideration, Dunlap said in a news release.

The new Home Care Universal Trust Fund that the initiative would create would provide daily in-home living services for people older than 65 and people with disabilities, regardless …read more

NBA setting up hotline to report misconduct, work concerns

The NBA is establishing a confidential hotline for league and team employees to report concerns about misconduct in their workplace.

The move comes after a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile environment for women in the Dallas Mavericks organization.

Commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to teams Thursday detailing plans for the hotline and asking them to review their respect in the workplace policies. The memo states that “respect and integrity are core NBA values, and we all must work to ensure that they are reflected in the culture and workplaces of our organizations.”

The memo, obtained by The Associated Press and …read more

Spectacular fossils found at Bears Ears, where Trump removed protections

One of the world’s richest troves of Triassic-period fossils has been discovered in an area of Bears Ears National Monument that just lost its protected status, scientists announced Thursday. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation in December that shrank the national monument by 85 percent.

The discovery of intact remains of crocodile-like animals called phytosaurs came to light this week when researchers announced it at the Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists conference at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. Based on an initial excavation, the 70-yard site “may be the densest area of Triassic period fossils in the nation, …read more

Cross-country skier Jessie Diggins will be US flag bearer in Closing Ceremonies

Jessie Diggins, who with teammate Kikkan Randall captured the first Olympic women’s cross-country medal in United States history by winning the team sprint gold, will be the U.S. flag bearer in Sunday’s Closing Ceremonies for the PyeongChang Olympics.

Participating in her second Olympics, Diggins, 26, won the gold with a powerful late finishing kick to edge Sweden’s Stina Nilsson by 0.19 seconds. The She is the first cross-country skier to carry the flag for the U.S. in a Closing Ceremonies. The United States’ only other Olympic cross-country medal was won by Bill Koch in the 30-kilometer event in 1976.

“This is …read more

Olympics roundup: Zagitova edges Medvedeva to win women’s figure skating gold

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Close friends, fierce competitors and, now, the two best women figure skaters in the world.

Alina Zagitova edged training partner Evgenia Medvedeva on Friday for victory in the singles competition, giving the Russians their first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Games.

“I haven’t fully realized yet that I’ve won,” the 15-year-old Zagitova said. “I think I need some time to understand that I won the Olympic Games.”

Well, she can pinch herself now.

She and Medvedeva tied in the free skate with 156.65 points, but Zagitova had won the short program Wednesday — giving her the edge by only 1.31 …read more

Maine whiffed on big chance to study electricity ripoff

Maine’s home electricity customers have served as guinea pigs in a free-market ruse long enough.

Hundreds of thousands of Mainers have been hurt by companies selling them electricity at a needless premium, by a market that promised lower prices through competition and hasn’t delivered.

After more than five years of this experiment, a report issued last week by the Maine Public Utilities Commission confirmed what we already knew: Maine’s competitive electricity market has harmed customers and sucked at least $77 million out of Maine’s economy over five years.

That’s unconscionable. That amount could have covered power bills for roughly 172,000 homes.

As Maine’s …read more

Why I will never carry a gun in my classroom

Several years ago, I taught a student who seemed capable of shooting up a classroom. He radiated contempt for me, his classmates in my college freshman composition class, and the assignments, muttering about the stupidity of his peers and rolling his eyes when they spoke. His writing displayed a generalized hatred toward women and violent fantasies involving hypothetical, gruesome gun crimes against cheating girlfriends. One day as I rounded the corner, I heard him berating a female student in the hallway because she had defended me against whatever complaints he aired. Spittle flew from his face toward hers.

Eventually, as is …read more