BCPS Superintendent Robert W. Runcie Declares State of Emergency

August 31, 2019       

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Superintendent Robert W. Runcie declared an official state of emergency for Broward County Public Schools effective at 6 a.m. August 31, 2019. BCPS campuses and facilities are currently closed from Saturday, August 31, 2019 through Monday, September 2, 2019. This action allows the District to prepare its schools to serve as shelters for residents who may be displaced by Hurricane Dorian. The District is working together with Broward County to identify and open shelters as needed.

Broward County has also declared a local state of emergency.

Additional information is available at browardschools.com/StormResourceCenter. The District will continue to provide updates on its website and through social media.

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ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth-largest school district in the nation and the second-largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has more than 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 89 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. Connect with BCPS: visit the website at browardschools.com, follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.

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BCPS Students to Perform with Black Violin to Celebrate the Opening of the Kennedy Center Expansion in Washington, D.C

August 29, 2019 

WHO:              
Students from Bethune Elementary School, Lake Forest Elementary School, North Andrews Gardens Elementary School and Walker Elementary School and music artist Black Violin.

WHAT:            
Students are holding their final rehearsals this week at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in preparation for a performance with artist Black Violin at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 
 

WHEN/WHERE:         
Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Rose Miniaci Arts Education Center
201 SW 5th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
Rehearsal on Friday, August 30, 2019, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  

WHY:             
As part of the opening festival of REACH, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ unprecedented new expansion of their facility that will provide a new open stage and learning center, students from Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Turnaround Arts Program represent the only schools in Florida invited to perform on Friday, September 6 and Saturday, September 7.

In addition to their performance, BCPS students will join an opening procession called “The Future Is Now and I am It: A Parade to Mark the Moment” organized by multi-disciplinary visual and performance artist Carrie Mae Weems, in collaboration with David Ross’ MusicianShip and the Funk Parade. The day also includes an open-air performance by the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera soloists, and a headlining appearance by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins.

This is the second time Turnaround Arts students from Bethune, Lake Forest and Walker elementary schools have performed at the Kennedy Center, and the first time for North Andrews Gardens students.  Turnaround Arts, a national program of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, provides resources to schools to increase student achievement, student attendance, and parent and community involvement.

BCPS Students to Perform with Black Violin to Celebrate the Opening of the Kennedy Center Expansion in Washington,

MEDIA ARE INVITED TO COVER THIS EVENT.

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ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth-largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has more than 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 241 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 89 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. Connect with BCPS: visit the website at browardschools.com, follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.

 

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BCPS Hurricane Dorian Update

August 29, 2019

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) continues to monitor Hurricane Dorian and work closely with emergency and safety officials. 

Although the hurricane’s projected path remains uncertain, families and employees are encouraged to prepare. 

At this time:

  • All District schools and departments will operate on normal schedules on Thursday, August 29, and Friday, August 30, 2019. 
  • All after school activities will continue as scheduled on Thursday, August 29, and Friday August 30.
  • All student activities, including athletic games, practices and clubs are cancelled on Saturday, August 31 – Monday, September 2.
  • BCPS professional development activities are cancelled on Saturday, August 31 – Monday, September 2.

All District schools and departments are closed on Monday, September 2, in honor of the Labor Day holiday.

Our top priority is to ensure the safety of our students, staff and community. BCPS encourages families and staff to:

 Watch local news

 Prepare your family and home

 Check the District’s Storm Resource Center browardschools.com/StormResourceCenter

 Check the National Hurricane Center website at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov The District will continue to provide information and updates via a variety of communication channels, including the District website (browardschools.com), robocalls, social media (Twitter @browardschools and on Facebook facebook.com/browardschools), the free BCPS mobile app, BECON-TV and local media. The District will also update its Information Hotline at 754-321-0321.

 

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ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth-largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has more than 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 241 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 89 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. Connect with BCPS: visit the website at browardschools.com, follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.

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The U.S. national debt reaches $0 for the first time


Publish date:
Year
1835
Month Day
January 08

On January 8, 1835, President Andrew Jackson achieves his goal of entirely paying off the United States’ national debt. It was the only time in U.S. history that the national debt stood at zero, and it precipitated one of the worst financial crises in American history.

The elimination of the national debt was both a personal issue for Jackson and the culmination of a political project as old as the nation itself. Since the time of the Revolution, American politicians had argued over the wisdom of the nation carrying debt. After independence, the federal government agreed to take on individual states’ war debts as part of the unification of the former colonies. Federalists, those who favored a stronger central government, established a national bank and argued that debt could be a useful way of fueling the new country’s economy. Their opponents, most notably Thomas Jefferson, felt that these policies favored Northeastern elites at the expense of rural Americans and saw the debt as a source of national shame.

Jackson, a populist whose Democratic Party grew out of Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party, had a personal aversion to debt stemming from a land deal that had gone sour for him in his days as a speculator. Campaigning for re-election in 1832, Jackson vetoed the re-charter of the national bank and called the debt “a moral failing” and “black magic.” Jackson vetoed a number of spending bills throughout his tenure, putting an end to projects that would have expanded nationwide infrastructure. He further paid down the debt by selling off vast amounts of government land in the West, and was able to settle the debt entirely in 1835.

Jackson’s triumph contained the seeds of the economy’s undoing. The selling-off of federal lands had led to a real estate bubble, and the destruction of the national bank led to reckless spending and borrowing. Combined with other elements of Jackson’s fiscal policy as well as downturns in foreign economies, these problems led to the Panic of 1837. A bank run and the subsequent depression tanked the U.S. economy and forced the federal government to begin borrowing again.

The U.S. has been in debt ever since. The debt skyrocketed during the Civil War but was nearly paid off by the early 20th Century, only to balloon again with the onset of World War I. Numerous presidents and politicians have decried the debt and even pledged to do away with it, with conservatives and libertarians frequently echoing Jackson. Nevertheless, with the debt now surpassing $22 trillion, it is unlikely that the events of 1835 will be repeated in the foreseeable future.

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Ireland grants a divorce for the first time in the country’s history


Year
1997
Month Day
January 17

The Republic of Ireland legally grants a divorce for the first time following a 1995 referendum. The first divorce in Ireland, granted to a terminally ill man who wished to marry his new partner, was a harbinger of the decline of the Catholic Church’s power over the Republic.

The Irish Constitution of 1937 specifically forbade divorce. Though the constitution prohibits the state from adopting an official religion, Ireland is an overwhelmingly Catholic country, and the original document contained many elements of Catholic doctrine. The Church played an outsized role in Irish public life, even by the standards of other heavily Catholic countries. Italy, for example, had legalized divorce by 1970. In 1986, the Irish government put the issue up to a nationwide referendum, but 63.5 percent voted against amending the constitution. A law allowing legal separation passed in 1989. After coming to power in 1994, a “Rainbow Coalition” government composed of center-left parties one again propagated a referendum on amending the constitution to allow divorce.

Both Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa publicly endorsed the “No” side, a sign of the seriousness with which the Church opposed this perceived challenge to its authority. Nonetheless, the Church conceded that it would not be a sin for Catholics to vote “Yes.” Ultimately, the “Yes” campaign ran up huge numbers in urban areas, winning by the razor-thin margin of 50.3 percent to 49.7. Numerous attempts were made to challenge the result, but to no avail.

Although the 1995 referendum only legalized divorce in cases where couples had been separated for at least four years, proponents of the separation of church and state hailed it as a victory to build upon.

“We’re bringing Ireland into the 20 Century at the dawn of the 21,” said Mags O’Brien, a pro-divorce campaigner. Similarly “overdue” reforms would follow. 2015 saw the legalization of same-sex marriage with 61 percent of the vote, and 66 percent of voters approved an amendment to legalize abortion in 2018. In 2019, another amendment greatly relaxed the requirements for obtaining a legal divorce, doing away with the period of separation. 

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Princess Diana dies in a car crash

Shortly after midnight on August 31, 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales—affectionately known as “the People’s Princess”—dies in a car crash in Paris. She was 36. Her boyfriend, the Egyptian-born socialite Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the car, Henri Paul, died as well. 

Princess Diana was one of the most popular public figures in the world. Her death was met with a massive outpouring of grief. Mourners began visiting Kensington Palace immediately, leaving bouquets at the home where the princess, also known as Lady Di, would never return. Piles of flowers reached some 30 feet from the palace’s gate.

Diana and Dodi—who had been vacationing in the French Riviera—arrived in Paris earlier the previous day. They left the Ritz Paris just after midnight, intending to go to Dodi’s apartment on the Rue Arsène Houssaye. As soon as they departed the hotel, a swarm of paparazzi on motorcycles began aggressively tailing their car. About three minutes later, the driver lost control and crashed into a pillar at the entrance of the Pont de l’Alma tunnel.

Dodi and the driver were pronounced dead at the scene. Diana was taken to the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital and declared dead at 6:00 am. (A fourth passenger, Diana’s bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, was seriously injured but survived.) Diana’s former husband Prince Charles, as well as her sisters and other members of the Royal Family, arrived in Paris that morning. Diana’s body was then taken back to London.

Like much of her life, her death was a full-blown media sensation, and the subject of many conspiracy theories. At first, the paparazzi hounding the car were blamed for the crash, but later it was revealed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs. A formal investigation concluded the paparazzi did not cause the collision. 

Diana’s funeral in London, on September 6, was watched by over 2 billion people. She was survived by her two sons, Prince William, who was 15 at the time, and Prince Harry, who was 12. 

READ MORE: Remembering Princess Diana: How the People’s Princess Changed the World

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Infamous drug lord “El Chapo” is captured by Mexican authorities


Publish date:
Year
2016
Month Day
January 08

In the early hours of January 8, 2016, Mexican authorities apprehend the drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. It was the third time that the law caught up to El Chapo, a figure whose crimes, influence and mystique rival those of Pablo Escobar.

Guzmán became involved in the drug trade as a child, dealing in cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and amphetamines. He became the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, the wealthiest and most powerful cartel in Mexico. After his arrest in Guatemala in 1993, Guzmán was extradited to Mexico and sentenced to over 20 years in prison. While incarcerated, he continued to run the cartel and lived comfortably, having bribed much of the staff. In 2001, when a Mexican Supreme Court ruling increased the likelihood that he would be extradited to the United States, Guzmán escaped by hiding in a laundry cart – over 70 people, including the director of the prison, have been implicated in his escape.

Guzmán remained at large for over a decade, leading the cartel through a vicious series of conflicts with the government and rival cartels. One of the central conflicts revolved around Guzmán’s bloody and ultimately successful bid for control over the Ciudad Juárez routes that transport drugs into the United States. Guzmán became infamous for his cartel’s extreme violence and its extensive network of tunnels and distribution cells on both sides of the border. It was widely known that the Sinaloa Cartel had a number of informants and agents within the Mexican government, and many in Mexico believed that the government’s war on drugs was actually being waged to eliminate Sinaloa’s rivals.

During this time, Guzmán was understood to be living in the mountainous and sparsely populated Sierra Madre region. He was arrested for a second time in February of 2014 when the Mexican Navy raided a seaside hotel where he had been visiting family. He was placed in a maximum security prison to await trial, but escaped in July of 2015 via an elaborate tunnel nearly one mile long, estimated to have taken over a year and $1 million to build. His escape was a major embarrassment for the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, and his recapture became a top priority.

Finally, nearly six months later, an operation involving every law enforcement agency in Mexico resulted in a raid of a house in Los Mochis, Sinaloa. Guzmán escaped the house— again through a tunnel—and stole a car, but was captured near the town of Juan José Ríos. It was later revealed that the Mexican government had consulted with the Colombian and American law enforcement agents who tracked down and killed Escobar during the manhunt. In a tacit acknowledgement of its prior missteps, the Mexican government expedited Guzmán to the United States in 2017. He was convicted on a slew of charges and sentenced to life in prison.

Guzmán is currently held at ADX Florence, said to be the most secure prison in the federal penitentiary system, in Colorado. The Mexican Drug War continues, with rivalries within the Sinaloa Cartel and the rise of new cartels contributing to an atmosphere of violence and terror that has persisted even in the absence of the country’s most storied drug lord.

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President George H.W. Bush vomits on the Prime Minister of Japan


Publish date:
Year
1992
Month Day
January 08

One of the most widely ridiculed and memorable gaffes in the history of the United States Presidency occurred in Japan on the evening of January 8, 1992, when President George H.W. Bush vomits on the Prime Minister of Japan.

Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa was hosting a dinner for the president in honor of his state visit. Bush, who was 67 at the time, appeared to be in fine health, playing doubles tennis with the Emperor of Japan and his son that morning. During the dinner, however, Bush suddenly fell ill. He leaned forward, then fell to his side, vomiting into the lap of his host, the Prime Minister. Bush then fainted as his wife Barbara, his aides, and members of the Secret Service swiftly attended him. He was revived within moments, and was able to leave the dinner under his own power, apologizing for the incident.

Doctors later stated that the president has suffered acute gastroenteritis and felt fine after taking an anti-nausea drug. He resumed his normal schedule the following afternoon. Nonetheless, the incident and the blurry video of Bush’s collapse received enormous attention in his home country. Saturday Night Live spoofed the incident, comparing it to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Though he refused to make hay of it publicly, Bush’s challenger, Bill Clinton, likely benefitted from the incident. Clinton’s relative youth and vitality were key to his public image, and Bush’s very public illness only served to reinforce the differences between the two men.

Bush lost his re-election bid the following November, although he would live to see his son, George W. Bush, serve two terms as president. Even today, the time Bush vomited on the Japanese prime minister holds a special place in the annals of American presidential goofs. It also entered the Japanese lexicon—the colloquial phrase bushuru, which roughly translates to “to pull a Bush,” became a popular slang term for vomiting in the wake of the incident.

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Harvey Milk becomes the first openly gay person elected to public office in California


Publish date:
Year
1978
Month Day
January 08

Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the history of California, takes his place on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on January 8, 1978. The first and, for years, most visible openly gay politician in America, Milk was a longtime activist and pioneering leader of San Francisco’s LGBT community.

After serving in the Navy during the Korean War, Milk held several white-collar jobs in New York City. Initially conservative and reluctant to advocate for gay rights, Milk’s views changed around the time he and his then-partner opened a camera shop on Castro Street, the heart of the San Francisco’s LGBT community, in 1973.

Like many business owners and citizens of the largely-gay Castro District, Milk was harassed by police and local officials. Realizing the community’s burning desire to challenge the status quo, he decided to run for the city’s Board of Supervisors shortly after opening his store. Despite alienating many Democrats, including other gay activists, with his bombastic language and flower-child persona, he won the Castro district handily and came in 10 out of 32 candidates. Though he did not win his race, Milk established himself as a highly effective speaker and organizer. Over the next several years, he partnered with unions and other marginalized groups, creating coalitions that fought for everyday San Franciscans and educating the public about the plight of the LGBT community. Due to these efforts, as well as his own talent for self-promotion, Milk became known as the Mayor of Castro Street.

Milk cleaned up his image, started wearing suits, and swore off marijuana as his political ambitions grew. He argued in favor of free public transportation, public oversight of the police, and other street-level political causes. Still, Milk and the Castro’s rise to power coincided with the rise of anti-gay reactionaries like Anita Bryant, and Milk understood both the power and the danger of his position as de facto leader of the largest gay community in America. Fearing assassination, he took to recording his thoughts, including a sadly prescient one: “If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.”

Finally, in 1977, Milk was elected to the Board of Supervisors to represent his beloved Castro. His first act was to introduce a bill outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation, which Mayor George Moscone signed into law with a pen Milk had given him. On the ninth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, shortly after his partner committed suicide and in the face of conservative backlash across the country, Milk addressed San Francisco’s gay pride parade, beginning with his catchphrase “My name is Harvey Milk and I’m here to recruit you” and ending with a message of “Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great.”

The following November, 75 percent of California voters rejected a referendum that would have allowed schools to fire teachers for being homosexual. The vote represented California’s rejection of Bryant’s “family values” campaign, but the victory for the LGBT community was short-lived. On November 27, Milk and Moscone were assassinated in City Hall by Dan White, a disgruntled former supervisor who had been the only one to vote against Milk’s civil rights bill. Mourning and riots throughout San Francisco followed news of the assassinations and White’s subsequent conviction for manslaughter rather than murder.

A plaza in the Castro and Terminal One of San Francisco International Airport were both renamed in Milk’s honor. In 2009, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and California declared his birthday, May 22, Harvey Milk Day. On the 50th anniversary of Stonewall in 2019, Milk was an inaugural inductee onto the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor.

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Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport is bombed by Chechen terrorists


Year
2011
Month Day
January 24

On January 24, 2011, a bomb explodes in the international arrivals hall of Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport, killing 35 people and injuring 173 others. The Caucasus Emirate, a militant jihadist group based in Chechnya, claimed responsibility, adding to a string of terrorist attacks stemming from the conflict in Russia’s Caucasian territories.

In the wake of the Soviet Union’s dissolution, the North Caucasian region of Chechnya experienced decades of unrest. While Russia officially re-established control over the region in 2009, an increasingly jihadist insurgency continued fighting government forces. Bombings by Chechen separatists and jihadists were common throughout Russia in the 2000s—Chechen terrorists had also destroyed two aircraft after smuggling bombs through security at Domodedovo in 2004. The Caucasus Emirate was founded by Duka Umarov, the former president of the breakaway Chechen Republic of Ichkeria who declared his state a Salafist emirate in 2007. The emirate claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian train in 2009 and a bombing that killed 40 on the Moscow metro in 2010.

The 2011 attack occurred around 4:30pm. An improvised explosive device filled with wire and shrapnel exploded in the international arrivals section of the airport. Among the dead was 29-year-old Anna Yablonskaya, a Ukrainian playwright who was on her way to receive an award. Russian authorities believed that foreign nationals were the primary target, and suspected Chechen radicals, but were unable to identify the culprits or even discern if the attack was a suicide bombing for some time. Eventually, they identified the bomber as a 20-year-old Chechen, Magomed Yevloyev. Umarov claimed responsibility on behalf of the Caucasian Emirate the following day, railing against Russia and other “satanic” foreign powers.

Four men, including Yevloyev’s 15-year-old brother, were eventually arrested in connection with the bombing. Three received life in prison, while Akhmed Yevloyev received a 10-year sentence. Though the insurgency in the Caucasus continues, the Domodedovo attack is the last major attack in Russia for which the Emirate claims responsibility. Though Umarov remains at large, his forces are now heavily depleted, not only due to casualties and battle fatigue but also due to a number of his fighters leaving to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The bombing demonstrated not only the continued problem posed by Chechnya to the Russian state but also the complex web of identities and allegiances that make the Caucasus a hotbed of sectarian conflict and a source of manpower for extremist ideologies.

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