An entire Iraqi-American family was arrested in Wichita, Kansas, after the father tried to deposit a large check from the sale of their home. Sattar Ali supplied verification documents while depositing the $151,000 check, but bank officials had him arrested and handcuffed. Police also detained his weeping wife, 15-year-old daughter, and 11-year-old son. "I would expect this in the 1950s," said Ali, an engineer who moved to the U.S. in 1993, "not now."
The Oregon Court of Appeals has ordered a sheep-farming couple to have their dogs surgically "debarked." Karen Szewc and John Updegraff had already been ordered to pay $238,000 compensation to neighbors for the loud barking of their six sheepdogs, but now the court is requiring vocal-cord surgery. "We do not have the dogs to harass our neighbors," said Szewc. "We have the dogs to protect our sheep."
The National Rifle Association hosted a "concealed-carry" fashion show in Milwaukee, featuring accessories designed for quick gun access. Along with holsters and purses, the show's models wore products that allow gun owners to hide weapons in shoulder bags, corsets, and underwear. The NRA said it will "pull out all the stops" to promote gun ownership.
A Missouri high school deleted the yearbook quotes of two openly gay students to avoid "potentially offending" anyone. Joey Slivinski and Thomas Swartz each made lighthearted references to no longer living "in the closet." But officials removed the quotes to "protect" classmates, leaving the quote spaces blank. Schwartz, who came out to his parents at age 15, said he was shocked the school would censor him to protect "small-minded people."
A University of Georgia professor is allowing students to choose their own grades to relieve their stress. "If you feel unduly stressed by a grade," Dr. Richard Watson writes in the syllabus for his business course, "email the instructor with what grade you think is appropriate and it will be so changed." Any student who does not like "the group dynamics" of a meeting, Watson said, may get up and leave.
Florida lawmakers have given every resident the right to formally challenge the use of specific books in the state's public schools. The new law compels administrators to hold a public forum on any book that any challenger claims is "not suited to student needs." Critics say this vague standard could be used to intimidate teachers and to ban classic novels and textbooks about climate change, evolution, and history.
An Ohio city councilman is looking to impose a "three strikes" limit on saving opioid addicts from overdoses, to lower costs. Middletown councilman Dan Picard proposed that first responders not dispense the lifesaving drug Narcan to addicts if they overdose more than twice. "This is just costing us too much money," Picard said.
A Pennsylvania high school valedictorian had his microphone cut off in the middle of his speech when he began criticizing the school's "authoritative nature." Peter Butera received a standing ovation from fellow students when the principal ordered him off the stage for saying that administrators suppressed student expression. "Cutting the microphone," Butera said, "proved my point to be true."