Can anybody give me a simple and definitive answer regarding online 90 day reporting? I simply want to know what the online reporting timeframe is as of now 24 July? I just tried to do online reporting today (24 July) which is within the window for the original July 31 amnesty deadline (just to p… A months-long effort by the Justice Department to surge resources to cities hit by rising crime rates collided this week with President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. The deployment of teams of federal officers, a routine strategy for investigators from the Justice Department’s law enforcement agencies, is now taking place under a political cloud, as the Petition to give teachers the option to work from home receives nearly 2,000 signatures Online learning for Anne Arundel County public schools this fall will look different than it did when schools first closed in the spring — with four days of real-time online classes with a fifth set aside for digital small groups and one-on-one teaching.
Federal law enforcement agencies worry their work is being politicized|
A months-long effort by the Justice Department to surge resources to cities hit by rising crime rates collided this week with President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.
The deployment of teams of federal officers, a routine strategy for investigators from the Justice Department’s law enforcement agencies, is now taking place under a political cloud, as the President seeks to highlight his law and order message, which has been underscored by violent clashes in recent weeks between rioters and federal officers in Portland, Oregon.
Trump and Attorney General William Barr announced the initiative from the White House on Wednesday. Operation Legend, which the Justice Department launched earlier this month in cooperation with local authorities in Kansas City, will now be expanded to Chicago and to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the number of homicides has shot up this year.
The move is similar to anti-crime programs done under previous administrations, which usually don’t generate much controversy.
Hundreds of agents and investigators from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration will be sent to Chicago under the new operation, which will also bring in hundreds more from regional outposts of the US Marshals Service and a division of the Department of Homeland Security, Barr said. Two dozen Justice Department agents will go to Albuquerque.
But the President’s attacks on Democratic-run cities over their handling of anti-racism protests in recent weeks has overshadowed the new initiative, which is now generating strong pushback from some mayors and officials, who’ve expressed shock at the federal tactics in Portland and say they want the feds to stay away.
That’s given rise to concerns among law enforcement officers and agents that their work is being politicized and could undercut their mission to reduce crime in cities that need the help.
“What we’re doing is not Portland,” said one federal law enforcement official involved in the planning of the anti-crime initiative, expressing frustration that it has been entangled with the political infighting and confused with the events in Portland. “We are sending investigators. They’re not there to deal with protesters or guard buildings.”
The Trump administration has come under scrutiny for a separate detachment of federal officials to the Oregon city in recent weeks, as rioters there have staged nightly attacks that grew out of peaceful anti-racism protests against a complex of federal buildings and the officers inside them.
One hundred and fourteen officers, mainly from the Department of Homeland Security, now guard the buildings each night under a mission of federal property protection and have cracked down on the rioters, arresting 43 since the start of the month, including one man who’s accused of striking an officer with a sledgehammer and others who shined high-intensity lasers in officers’ eyes, leaving some with potential permanent vision damage.
Still, videos of the federal officers using excessive force in some cases, and bringing another man into an unmarked police van for questioning in another instance, have gone viral online and prompted outrage from critics of the administration.
The heavy-handed federal response in Portland, and earlier in Washington, near the White House, has drawn criticism even inside the administration. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has raised concerns to officials in the administration over the military-style camouflage garb worn by some police amid the recent protests because it could be confused with the US military’s war zone uniforms.
As the President and his aides began hinting vaguely in recent days about a looming plan to expand the federal presence in cities, some local leaders foresaw an effort to stifle the protest movement that raged across the country after George Floyd’s killing but has quieted in most cities in recent weeks.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller worried the officers sent to his city will be a “bait and switch … we hear one thing and then two weeks later, like in Portland, all of a sudden it is secret police trying to round up protesters.
During an interview with CNN’s Kate Bolduan on Wednesday night, Keller said there’s a “disconnect” between Trump and Barr.
“If we can get a situation where we’re assured that our values in our city are maintained and the operation … actually is what the AG says, then of course we can work together on it. We do that on a daily basis,” Keller said. “It’s just usually not involving the President of the United States.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters this week that after watching the events unfold in Portland, he would go to court to prevent federal officers from being sent to his city, which is among several that have seen a sharp increase in shootings and other violent crime.
In Chicago, which has suffered from spasms of violent crime, including a mass shooting at a funeral home on Tuesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot similarly denounced any federal response that looked like the law enforcement presence in Portland, though she welcomed the help of federal investigators who could help rid the city’s streets of illegal guns.
At the White House on Wednesday, Trump justified the expansion of Operation Legend as a move to stamp out rising crime rates, though he cast it in sharply partisan terms, blaming “extreme” politicians and the movement to defund police departments for a “shocking explosion of shootings, killings, murders and heinous crimes of violence.”
Barr drew on political contrasts, citing rising crime under the Obama administration and what he said were more successful efforts in the current administration until the outbreak of Covid-19.
US cities historically see crime increases during the summer, law enforcement officials say. This year’s uptick in violent crime predates the summer, however, prompting federal agencies to begin making plans months ago to tackle it.
Federal programs to surge resources to fight urban crime have been going on for decades. In the 1930s, the US government dispatched legendary crime-fighter Eliot Ness and a team of so-called Untouchables to battle rampant crime in Chicago led by gangs fighting over the illegal alcohol-trafficking trade during Prohibition.
In December, the Justice Department announced a similar surge into seven cities across the country that were seeing crime waves. That operation, named Relentless Pursuit, was aborted earlier this year because of the pandemic.
Dan Kumar, a former ATF official who participated in previous surges, says the work takes months of planning alongside local and state prosecutors and police.
“These surges, or enhanced enforcement initiatives, are most successful when you have coordination among the state, local and federal agencies,” Kumar said in an interview.
In one such federal initiative, he said, ATF agents worked with officers from other agencies and with prosecutors embedded with their group to quickly issue subpoenas and target criminals. He says that months before the agents are deployed, investigators spend time developing intelligence and building the cases they plan to pursue, working alongside local prosecutors and police officers.
Wednesday, Barr sought to draw that distinction between the expanded operation and the ongoing clash in Portland.
“This is different than the operations and tactical teams we use to defend against riots and mob violence,” Barr said. “We will continue to confront mob violence, but the operations we are discussing today are very different — they are classic crime fighting.”
Author: By CNN
Amphitheater tells employees to work from school during remote learning; many push back
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – While the State of Arizona is allowing more flexibility with “when and how” students return to class, many area teachers are being told to report to work.
On Monday, July 20, Amphitheater Public Schools sent out an email saying, “All staff are being requested to report in person on their regularly scheduled report time for training on changes required by COVID-19. Remote instruction for students begins on Monday, August 10.”
The email goes on to list the reasons why, citing internet and material access, software privacy and teachers being present during contracted work hours.
“We already heard about the case in Maricopa County where the one teacher died, and she was only teaching with two other teachers,” said Barbara Anderson, a library assistant at Innovation Academy. “This is talking about all staff coming back to campus, and not only all staff, but staff bringing their children.”
Anderson’s husband serves in the military and is currently on deployment, so, she says bringing her children to work is her only option. She adds it is a scary one.
“With my [8-year-old] son having [had] cancer and being immunocompromised for so long, I don’t want to expose my son any more than I have to,” she said.
Anderson agrees teachers should be allowed back on campus if they lack the resources to do their job. However, she believes she can perform her job better at home and says she would like to have the option. So, Anderson started a petition.
“When this petition first came out, there were some comments that I got that were like, ‘Well that’s not fair because other [essential workers] have to go back’,” she said. “Exactly! Nurses, I understand. COVID-19 nurses: you cannot work from home, but let’s help those nurses out. If you care about them, lets help them out by staying home and not adding to their case load. I think it’s the kindest, most professional thing we can do.”
Kold News 13 reached out to Amphitheater Public Schools and received the following statement:
“We believe that our employees are safe at work. Teachers will be working alone in large classrooms, unless they choose to bring their own children with them. We have cleaning and sanitization measures in place, and we trust our employees to follow District and local health department guidelines to remain socially distant, wear masks as required by county mandate, wash their hands and to avoid reporting to work if they are ill. Teachers who feel they are eligible for an accommodation may participate in the District’s interactive process for requesting one.”
“I do not agree with the district’s decision to require all employees to work in person at their site when online learning begins,” said Nathan Davis, a candidate running for Amphitheater’s Governing Board. “Amphi employees should have the option, when possible, to work from home. While the coronavirus epidemic in Arizona does appear to be getting better, the disease is still a major a major health concern in our community. Our teachers, counselors, and all educators in Amphi are amazing professionals. Every single one of them learned so much so quickly about remote teaching last quarter. We should listen to our amazing Amphi employees and allow them to teach remotely from their home when online learning begins on August 10. As Governor Ducey said [on Thursday] during his press conference, we are safer at home.”
“Just let us do our jobs in the most effective, safe manner possible,” said Anderson.
Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.
Author: Hannah Tiede
Anne Arundel schools superintendent presents online learning plan for fall
Online learning for Anne Arundel County public schools this fall will look different from the way it did when schools first closed in the spring — with four days of real-time online classes with a fifth set aside for digital small groups and one-on-one teaching.
The four days of online instruction would include three to four hours of learning each day and the fifth will act as a more individualized support day and possible evening tutoring sessions.
The school system announced Monday that its first semester would be entirely online. Superintendent George Arlotto said there’s a chance the school system could enter a hybrid model later in the 2020 to 2021 school year as he outlined a plan for online learning at Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting.
Teachers will be able to return to the negotiated work week with time built in for meetings with administration and other teachers, as well as professional development.
Some students may be able to move from online learning and head back to schools for face-to-face instruction, dependent on county guidance and staffing ability. Special education students at specialty centers, ESOL students and students at the CAT programs are targeted populations to come back to the buildings first.
“We are not able to meet all students’ needs in a virtual environment. We need students who need hand over hand, that face to face. We are exploring scenarios for limited in-person instruction,” Arlotto said.
The public can submit feedback on the plan until July 31. The plan has to be submitted to the Maryland State Board of Education by Aug. 14.
Elementary school students from kindergarten to fifth grade will receive backpacks full of school supplies, headphones and learning materials for the fall.
Normal attendance and grading policies will return as well with the goal to return back to the grading system before school closures. The school system is still working to distribute Chromebooks to students in an effort to provide one device for each student.
As of Wednesday evening, the system obtained 63,000 devices and ordered 30,000 more. So far, county schools have passed out 13,000 Chromebooks.
The meal program at the 60 sites will continue during the fall semester and the system will look at expanding food sites, Arlotto said.
The school system will also conduct diagnostic assessments of students within the first three weeks of the school year to identify what gaps exist, though Arlotto said he anticipates an exacerbated gap because of the challenges created out of the pandemic.
The initial plan of reopening school in the fall with in-person instruction became a safety risk for school communities as the Anne Arundel County health department anticipated a worsened state of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We wanted to get kids back into school, in-person. What has happened since late May/early June, we have seen the trend in our county go in the wrong direction,” said County Health Officer Nilesh Kalyanaraman, who gave a presentation at the board meeting.
During his presentation, he discussed factors to consider like an increase in hospitalizations, the percent of positive cases at 4%, confirmed case count and infection rate at 1.28. Infection rates below 1 reflect fewer people who spread the virus and a rate above 1 means a higher spread, the county health officer said.
“One thing we know about this infection… COVID acts in a way that it will grow slowly, it will start to pick up speed and some moment it will hit and then it will start to skyrocket. You don’t know the moment it will skyrocket,” Kalyanaraman said.
The county increased enforcement, implemented a public mask order and increased testing availability to address the trend, Kalyanaraman said. As of Wednesday morning, the county had 6,062 confirmed cases with 206 deaths. Another eight people may have died from the respiratory illness but a lab test was never performed.
The county health department is working with other counties and experts at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the University of Maryland School of Public Health to set up guidelines for reopening.
To do so, the metrics will “define community conditions to allow safe reopening for both students and staff,” Kalyanaraman said.
“I’d argue school reopening is probably our biggest priority. We want to define these and target a fall opening date when we can define these priorities.”
The county health officer was invited back to the school board for the August meeting, ahead of the fall semester, to provide those guidelines.
School board member Robert Leib asked Kalyanaraman about the county’s priorities, highlighting his concern about not seeing a more established plan since school closures in March.
In response, the county health officer said the guidelines will help with responding to changes in the coronavirus data.
But before schools can safely reopen, he reminded the public to practice social distancing and wear masks.
“People not doing the things that they know they need to do, is our challenge. People got the message about masking and think it is either not important enough or they will not do it,” he said.
“Cases rise and we see illnesses — we have to compromise our other priorities.”
Author: Naomi Harris