FATHER CLAIMS “INCOMPETENCE” LED TO PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (AP) — A father whose daughter died in the Florida high school massacre said an investigative commission will discover the deaths could have been avoided it weren’t for egregious errors made by law enforcement and school officials. Andrew Pollack is one of three victims’ fathers appointed to the 16-member commission investigating the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead, including his 18-year-old daughter, Meadow. The commission held its first meeting Tuesday, hearing from a Broward Sheriff’s Office detective who laid out the gunman’s actions during the shootings. Pollack told reporters that the commission would unearth “how much incompetency there was that led to my daughter and the other 16 victims being murdered.” He pointed to the FBI, whose officials have acknowledged they failed to follow up on a warning call about Cruz. In addition, the sheriff’s office said Tuesday that deputies had 18 contacts with Cruz before the shooting, but that he never did anything he could be arrested for.
NEW MEMORIAL HONORS BLACK CIVIL WAR VETERANS
The unveiling of a new Civil War Memorial took place Saturday, April 21 at the Philadelphia National Cemetery. The memorial honors black Civil War soldiers with a new monument information panel recognizing the troops that are buried there. The unveiling ceremony speakers included Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Congressman Dwight Evans (D-2nd District) and Charles L. Blockson Curator Emeritus of Temple University’s Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. Kenney spoke about the importance of commemorating those soldiers who fought and died for our country. “Think about the fact that a black soldier in Civil War uniform could not enter or ride on a trolley car in Philadelphia,” Kenney said. “It wasn’t like Rosa Parks where you had to sit in the back because people in that day had to sit outside and fought for rights to integrate public accommodations,” Kenney added. “We all have contributed in this country and I always say that the most patriotic people I’ve ever seen alive are black World War II soldiers, sailors and Marines who left their country to go fight overseas and came back to Jim Crow.”
BLAIR UNDERWOOD RETURNS TO “QUANTICO”
Blair Underwood, winner of a Grammy, a Daytime Emmy, and five NAACP Image Awards, returns as Owen Hall in the season premiere of “Quantico,” airing at 10 p.m., Thursday, on ABC. Academy Award winner Marlee Maitlin and Alan Powell join the cast as a new black-ops team taking on explosive cases each week. Priyanka Chopra stars as Alex Parrish in “Quantico,” which focuses on the lives of young FBI recruits training at the Quantico base in Virginia, when one of them is suspected of being a sleeper terrorist. In 2016, Chopra won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Actress in a New TV Series. Created by Josh Safran, the show returns for its third season. Underwood, a fan favorite who appeared in the feature films “Krush Groove,” “Set It Off,” “Deep Impact” and “Something New,” as well as in “L.A. Law,” “Sex and the City,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on the small screen, joined the cast of “Quantico” in 2016. He recently finished production on the film projects “Juanita” and “The After Party.”
TENOR GEORGE SHIRLEY BROKE RACIAL BARRIERS AT THE OPERA
On an October evening nearly 60 years ago, a young African-American man from Detroit performed the tenor role of Ferrando in Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte,” sharing the New York City stage with the all-white cast of the Metropolitan Opera. It was a seminal moment in opera and George Shirley’s long career. Shirley broke racial barriers that night by becoming the first African-American tenor to perform a major role with the prestigious Metropolitan Opera. “I knew it was a significant moment,” Shirley recalled, “but I knew I couldn’t focus on the fact that I was the only black face on stage. I knew it would be upsetting to some people to see me on stage, making romantic love to a white soprano, but I couldn’t think about it. I had to concentrate solely on what I was meant to do and let the chips fall where they may.” His list of accolades is extensive, including a Grammy Award for his recorded performance of Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte,” and the National Medal of Arts, bestowed upon him by President Barack Obama. “When somebody gets the Presidential Medal, you know that he’s accomplished something,” said Daniel Washington, a University of Michigan voice teacher who is curating the weekend tribute. “But what he’s done goes far beyond that. He’s been a champion for African Americans not only in terms of the opera, but in terms of everything.”
WORKERS’ COMP SYSTEM HIT BY OPIOID CRISIS
WORKERS’ COMP SYSTEM HIT BY OPIOID CRISIS The workers’ compensation system and the injured workers it serves are not immune from the nation’s opioid crisis, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. NCCI data shows that injured workers who were prescribed at least one prescription in 2016 received three times as many opioid prescriptions as the U.S. opioid-prescribing rate, which was 61 prescriptions per 100 persons, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Even so, the workers’ compensation system is better suited than the general public when it comes to battling the opioid epidemic, according to an article published by the national council Monday.
FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS COMPLETE RESTART OF DACA
A federal judge delivered another blow to President Trump’s attempt to roll back the Obama-era DACA program, ruling Tuesday that last year’s revocation was illegal and the entire program could have to be restarted. That goes beyond other judges, who had also ruled the phase out illegal but had only ordered Homeland Security to accept renewal applications from people who’d already been awarded DACA before. Judge John D. Bates’ ruling would require a full restart, meaning even illegal immigrant “Dreamers” who had never been approved before would now be able to apply for DACA. The judge imposed a 90-day delay on his own ruling to give the government a change to reargue its case, but for now the ruling stands as the most sever blow yet to Mr. Trump’s phase out. Judge Bates said the government never gave an adequate justification for revoking DACA, so its decision seemed “arbitrary and capricious” – which makes it illegal under the Administrative Procedures Act.