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  • Students at Lumpkin County High School take the SAT, the ACT and all the other usual tests before graduation, but Principal Billy Kirk decided they needed to know more than academics. So on Friday most of the senior class spent the day learning about everything from how to deal with mystery smells in the bathroom sink to the proper way to mince garlic for a Tuscan chicken dish. They call it “Adulting Day,” a new rite of passage for a generation that reportedly lacks the daily life skills that earlier generations learned at home. Montana Esters, one of the seniors, is a handy girl who may contradict that storyline, but even she realizes there are gaps in her knowledge. She can handle drywall after helping her brother fix up the basement; she can deal with the family car’s oil now that she’s in charge of checking the level after her mom accidentally filled it with transmission fluid; and she can unclog a toilet since her dad’s a plumber. But she learned a few new things, like how to use plumber’s putty to seal a sink fixture (it’s like adult Play-Doh, she exclaimed), how to spot dry rot on a car’s serpentine belt and, her eyes widening when she shared this one, how to eject food lodged in a choking baby’s throat. “I feel like some of this stuff your parents should have taught you,” she said. That is exactly what Kirk thought a little over a year ago when he came across a headline about a Kentucky school that had implemented a similar day of life skills. It was during Christmas break, but he was so excited that he texted an assistant principal right away. “We need to do this,” he remembers writing. >> READ | Is it up to schools to teach students basic life skills? It seemed to fit nicely with the school’s existing program to equip students with so-called “soft skills,” an industry term to describe workplace habits that today’s young people supposedly lack. Then-Gov. Nathan Deal once referred to them in a speech to DeKalb County graduates in 2013. Talking in a Georgia World Congress Center ballroom packed with family members, he exhorted seniors departing Ronald E. McNair High School to “learn to set your own alarm clock.” Two years before that, Georgia had passed a law to establish high school certificates in “soft skills,” “which may include, but not be limited to, skills relating to punctuality, ability to learn, and ability to work in a team.” They are skills that major Georgia employers, such as Coca-Cola, have been requesting for years: employees who can handle the job while also interacting with colleagues and customers. Lumpkin High is in a charter school district, and the charter is based on prepping students for the workplace and independence. Before these home tutorials, the school implemented a capstone project in which students consider careers, learn about pay and discover whether their chosen field will afford them a new or a used car. “Our charter is specifically about soft skills and employability skills,” said Jason Lemley, the assistant principal on the receiving end of the principal’s Christmas text. He led the creation of an adulting day program, which, in this, the second year, was centered around five work stations scattered through the school: clothing care, home maintenance, cooking, automobile care and first aid. >> RELATED | Getting a jump on life skills In a noisy room with a gray concrete floor, students huddled around several vehicles, learning how to safely jack up a chassis to change a tire and how to jump-start a battery without starting a fire. “Don’t buy the $6 jumper cables. Buy the $20 or $30 cables,” advised Jesse Perethian, who attended Lumpkin High and now drives a bus for the system. He described how a woman he knows bought a new car and never checked the fluids. Two years later, she had to spend $5,000 on a new engine. He showed Bailee Norrell how to use her smartphone light to check the brake fluid level on a red Ford Explorer. She liked the car stuff well enough, but thought the cooking demonstration in another part of the school was “so cool.” That session was led by the school’s lead disciplinarian, Assistant Principal Whittney McPherson. A former chef, she taught culinary arts for a while and said it was fun to be back at it, if only for a day. Before she set students loose on the cooking stations, she lectured them about the dangers of sharp knives and hot oil. The teenagers minced their own garlic, chopped spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, pounded chicken then sizzled it all in a pan. “Oh, that’s good,” said Esters, who had already rotated from home maintenance through clothing care. She’d been looking forward to the Tuscan chicken lesson all day. It was more fun than learning about laundry, she said. Her cooking partner, Cody Gaddis, already knew his way around a kitchen. His mother works late, and his father has a disability that prevents him from cooking. These are good life skills, he said, and not all teens have them. “That’s the problem with this generation. They don’t know how to do a lot of things because it’s done for them,” he said. Some of his friends are handy, he added. “Others, bless their heart, you can tell they just wouldn’t know.” Lumpkin Superintendent Rob Brown wholeheartedly backs the adulting concept, saying he realized that his own son lacked some basic survival skills, like how to change a tire. “It was a realization that I failed him in some way,” Brown said, as he watched the students cook. His son attended the first adulting day last year, and picked up a few skills. On a recent call home from a college, an alarm went off on his son’s side of the call. It was a timer for the clothes dryer. He told his dad he had to go: He had to retrieve his clothes before they wrinkled.
  • A Tulsa man is in jail accused of having a role in a deadly shootout outside a south Tulsa gym last summer.  21-year old Bryce Pyle is charged with accessory to murder.  Tulsa police say Pyle and 18-year old Malik Morgan met up with 25-year old Deonte McKnight and another woman outside VASA Fitness to sell marijuana last July.  We're told Morgan and McKnight ended up exchanging gunfire.  Investigators say McKnight fired the shot that killed Morgan.  McKnight then shot and wounded Pyle.  That's when investigators say Pyle returned fire killing McKnight.  Tulsa police are still looking for Achilla Gray who they say may have been a witness.
  • A Tulsa man is charged with a murder that took place last week. Peter Williams was arrested after Tulsa Police say he shot DeMario Johnson outside the Tudor House Inn near Admiral and Sheridan. Police say that shooting happened after a fight involving a woman and items missing from a room. Court documents tell us on January Second this year Williams was convicted of possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, but was given a four-year suspended sentence.
  • As lawyers for President Donald Trump pressed arguments Monday about questions related to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter's involvement with an energy company in Ukraine, some GOP lawmakers openly said the information should play a role in the current race for the White House, where Biden could well run against the President this November. 'I'm really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa Caucus voters,' said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), as GOP Senators openly mused about how the proceedings might impact other Democrats running for President. 'Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point?' Ernst said to reporters at the Capitol. 'Iowa Caucuses are this next Monday.' Naming the four Democratic Senators running for President, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) claimed all four were listening intently to the Biden charges, and maybe thinking about what it would mean politically. “I've never seen them all so attentive,” Barrasso told reporters. 'I think at a minimum, the most important witness for the Senate to hear from is Hunter Biden,' said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), as Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said it was the 'crux' of the impeachment trial. Democrats said the evidence was painfully clear that while Republicans said the President was not trying to go after a political opponent by asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens - the GOP was actually now using that same information to do everything possible to slow Biden as the 2020 race gets underway in earnest next week. 'Watching the expected Burisma-Biden barrage from Team Trump today, you got the feeling someone said 'If we have to go through this crappy impeachment thing, let’s at least get our money’s worth,'' said David Axelrod, the chief strategist for President Barack Obama's two campaigns for the White House. 'Incredible,' tweeted Michael McFaul, President Obama's former Ambassador to Russia. 'Admitting openly that Trump and team are using this impeachment trial to take down Biden in Iowa.' 'Mucking up Joe distracts from Trump's illicit recruitment of a foreign government to help win re-election,' said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). 'Don't get it twisted.' 'We have strong evidence that President Trump withheld military aid to force Ukraine to smear Vice President Biden,' said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). The comments from Ernst, Cruz, and other GOP Senators came after the first extended presentation by the President's legal team concerning Hunter Biden's work for the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which Republicans have said presented corruption issues which drew a natural interest from President Trump. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi made the arguments on Biden for the Trump defense team, as she labeled Hunter Biden's board membership with Burisma, “nepotistic at best, nefarious at worst” on the Senate floor. 'The President had an obligation to investigate corruption,' Cruz told reporters on Monday evening, as he criticized Democrats for ignoring the issue. 'It would have been wrong for President Trump to have NOT been worried about the Bidens' business dealings in Ukraine,' Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tweeted. While Graham has consistently complained to reporters about a lack of interest in the Hunter Biden story, Bondi's presentation on the Senate floor repeatedly noted news stories about Biden, and an interest in the matter. “The media didn't stop asking questions,” Bondi said, quoting stories from ABC, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and more.
  • A man is accused of leading Tulsa Police on a dangerous, high-speed chase on city streets Sunday night, even ramming a police car at one point. It started near 25th and Memorial around 6:30 p.m. Police say Matthew Wayne Baker at times drove the wrong way down the road into oncoming traffic, reached speeds up to 60 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour zone, and was cutting through parking lots. The chase ended at a house near 56th Street North and Peoria, where they say Baker jumped out and ran, thinking it was a house belonging to someone he knows. “Jumped out of the vehicle, ran to the door of that house, attempted to break into it,” said Officer Jeanne Pierce. “I'm assuming he realized it wasn't his family member's house, ran to the house next door, and then got into that house.” He finally came out after a standoff and was arrested. He's now facing a long list of charges. He already had an extensive criminal history.

Washington Insider

  • As lawyers for President Donald Trump pressed arguments Monday about questions related to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter's involvement with an energy company in Ukraine, some GOP lawmakers openly said the information should play a role in the current race for the White House, where Biden could well run against the President this November. 'I'm really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa Caucus voters,' said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), as GOP Senators openly mused about how the proceedings might impact other Democrats running for President. 'Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point?' Ernst said to reporters at the Capitol. 'Iowa Caucuses are this next Monday.' Naming the four Democratic Senators running for President, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) claimed all four were listening intently to the Biden charges, and maybe thinking about what it would mean politically. “I've never seen them all so attentive,” Barrasso told reporters. 'I think at a minimum, the most important witness for the Senate to hear from is Hunter Biden,' said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), as Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said it was the 'crux' of the impeachment trial. Democrats said the evidence was painfully clear that while Republicans said the President was not trying to go after a political opponent by asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens - the GOP was actually now using that same information to do everything possible to slow Biden as the 2020 race gets underway in earnest next week. 'Watching the expected Burisma-Biden barrage from Team Trump today, you got the feeling someone said 'If we have to go through this crappy impeachment thing, let’s at least get our money’s worth,'' said David Axelrod, the chief strategist for President Barack Obama's two campaigns for the White House. 'Incredible,' tweeted Michael McFaul, President Obama's former Ambassador to Russia. 'Admitting openly that Trump and team are using this impeachment trial to take down Biden in Iowa.' 'Mucking up Joe distracts from Trump's illicit recruitment of a foreign government to help win re-election,' said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). 'Don't get it twisted.' 'We have strong evidence that President Trump withheld military aid to force Ukraine to smear Vice President Biden,' said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). The comments from Ernst, Cruz, and other GOP Senators came after the first extended presentation by the President's legal team concerning Hunter Biden's work for the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which Republicans have said presented corruption issues which drew a natural interest from President Trump. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi made the arguments on Biden for the Trump defense team, as she labeled Hunter Biden's board membership with Burisma, “nepotistic at best, nefarious at worst” on the Senate floor. 'The President had an obligation to investigate corruption,' Cruz told reporters on Monday evening, as he criticized Democrats for ignoring the issue. 'It would have been wrong for President Trump to have NOT been worried about the Bidens' business dealings in Ukraine,' Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tweeted. While Graham has consistently complained to reporters about a lack of interest in the Hunter Biden story, Bondi's presentation on the Senate floor repeatedly noted news stories about Biden, and an interest in the matter. “The media didn't stop asking questions,” Bondi said, quoting stories from ABC, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and more.
  • A day after reports that former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton had submitted a book manuscript to the White House for review in late December which included passages that might contradict the assertions of President Donald Trump with regards to the Ukraine investigation, some GOP Senators on Monday quickly opened the door to approving testimony by Bolton in the President's impeachment trial. 'I think it's increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton,' Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) told reporters on Capitol Hill. 'The reports about John Bolton's book strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues,' said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). The rapidly unfolding developments came as the White House continued to try to ward off the idea of opening the President's trial to witnesses, which had seemed to be less and less of a possibility - until the Bolton story broke on Sunday night. Democrats, who have been calling for testimony by Bolton, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and others who refused to appear before the House impeachment investigation, urged voters to swamp GOP offices with calls demanding witnesses. “Keep. Calling.” tweeted Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). “This is stunning,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer in a news conference at the Capitol. “How can Senate Republicans not vote to call that witness and request his documents?” Schumer told reporters. Many GOP Senators had said little about the Bolton news, and that continued as they arrived back at the Capitol for the resumption of the President's impeachment trial. “To me, the facts of the case remain the same,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) at a GOP news conference which was scheduled, cancelled, and then scheduled again with a smaller cast of Republicans. “It really doesn't change anything in terms of the process,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) at the same event. But there were hints of turmoil inside GOP ranks, as Sen. Kelly Loeffler R-GA blasted Romney on Twitter, accusing him of trying to 'appease the left' by considering testimony from Bolton, which Loeffler said would be used to 'slander' President Trump. “The circus is over,” Loeffler tweeted. “There seems to be a giant cover up among so many leading people in the White House,” Schumer added.
  • With the White House legal team ready to resume the defense of President Donald Trump on Monday in his Senate impeachment trial, GOP Senators joined the President in targeting the lead House prosecutor in the case, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), as the President on Sunday called Schiff 'corrupt' and 'probably a very sick man.' 'He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!' the President tweeted. The President's tweet was just a coda to a weekend filled with attacks on Schiff by GOP lawmakers in Congress, as in unison they praised the start of the President's impeachment defense. 'It completely undermined the case of the Democrats and truly undermined the credibility of Adam Schiff,' said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), as GOP Senators rushed to the microphones on Saturday afternoon to denounce the California Democrat. 'Adam Schiff has been involved in this from the beginning,' said Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), as Republicans tried to portray Schiff as the evil genius behind the various investigations which have dogged this President. 'I think Adam Schiff got kneecapped,' said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) in an interview on Fox News, using a phrase sometimes associated with a mob punishment. Democrats said it was nothing but Republicans and the President trying to focus on anything other than the evidence in the impeachment trial. 'You are not a king, nor a mafia Don,' said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ). 'We aren’t afraid of you. But we can tell you are afraid of us.' Asked on NBC's 'Meet the Press' if he took the tweet as a threat, Schiff said that was likely the President's intent. The President's lawyers will continue their arguments starting at 1 pm ET on Monday before the U.S. Senate - if no witnesses are called by Senators, then the trial could be over by the end of the week.
  • After listening to Democrats for three straight days, President Donald Trump's lawyers started their rebuttal on Saturday in the President's Senate impeachment trial, accusing House prosecutors of ignoring evidence helpful to Mr. Trump, asking Senators to turn aside an effort to 'cancel an election.' 'You will find that the President did absolutely nothing wrong,' White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said to start the arguments in an unusual Saturday session of the Senate. 'Today, we are going to confront them on the merits of their argument,' Cipollone added, as the President's legal team accused the House of bending the facts, and ignoring evidence in favor of Mr. Trump. 'Let's get our facts straight,' said the President's personal lawyer Jay Sekulow. 'The House managers never told you any of this,' said White House lawyer Michael Purpura. 'Why not?' “Impeachment shouldn't be a shell game,” Cipollone said, as the President's team used just two of their 24 hours of arguments - they will continue on Monday afternoon. GOP Senators rushed to the microphones after Saturday's session to denounce what Democrats had presented earlier in the week. 'Within two hours, I thought the White House Counsel and their team entirely shredded the case which has been presented by the House managers,' said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). 'It completely undermined the case of the Democrats and truly undermined the credibility of Adam Schiff,' said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). 'It was pretty stark today,' said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), who then used the famous quote from radio show host Paul Harvey to make the case for the President. 'Now you know the rest of the story,' Lankford told reporters. 'This was a good day for America frankly,' said Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). 'I don't believe anything they have said so far is impeachable,' said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) of the House case, as there continues to be no public evidence that any GOP Senators are ready to break with President Trump. Playing out behind the scenes was the ongoing partisan tussle over whether current and former Trump Administration officials - whose testimony has been blocked during the impeachment investigation by President Trump - should be issued subpoenas by the U.S. Senate. 'I don't know how you have a trial when you know there is evidence that you haven't seen, or witnesses you haven't heard from that have first hand knowledge,' said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). 'A fair trial means witnesses and documents,' said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. The trial resumes at 1 pm ET on Monday.
  • Democrats concluded their 24 hours of opening arguments in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump with a blistering assessment of his effort to get Ukraine to announce investigations which would politically benefit him, as Democrats pleaded with GOP Senators to subpoena documents and witnesses blocked by the President. 'I implore you, give America a fair trial,' Schiff said. 'She's worth it.' In a final summary of the House impeachment arguments, Schiff said the President had clearly stepped over the line by trying to get Ukraine to start an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. 'President Trump has abused the power of his office, and must be removed,' said lead House prosecutor Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). 'Our founders worried about a situation just like this,' Schiff added, arguing the House charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress have 'been proved.' For Republicans, the third straight day of arguments by House prosecutors was like hundreds of fingernails on a Senate blackboard, as they all but accused Schiff of making up a story about President Trump. “It's kind of a story of the entire three days, of this invented story, weaving through bits of facts, but all this fiction weaved in it,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), as he told reporters that Schiff's final speech was 'insulting to everybody.' 'I don't anything they've said so far is impeachable,' said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who earlier in the day told reporters that he thought the arguments of Rep. Schiff were 'horrible.' 'They shouldn't need anymore information to make a final decision,' said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), who made clear the GOP leadership position that Republicans should not vote for extra documents or witnesses, worried it will drag out the trial well into February. With the White House legal team ready to start arguments on Saturday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) - who said he had been in touch with the President just yesterday - said there was no reason to ignore the story of Hunter Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden. 'The President is frustrated and I am frustrated that we live in a country where only one side gets looked at,' Graham told reporters, as he accused the news media for a second straight day of carrying the water for Democrats in this impeachment fight, and hinted he would start his own investigation. The end of the House prosecutors arguments set the stage for the White House to begin its defense of President Trump, which is set to begin at 10 am ET on Saturday, and last for about three hours. Schiff tried to preempt some of the expected arguments. 'If they couldn't get Ukraine to smear the Bidens, they want to use this trial to do it instead,' Schiff said about anticipated talk from the President's lawyers about investigating Hunter Biden. If the Senate refuses to call witnesses next week, then the President's impeachment trial could conclude by the end of January, or the first days of February.