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June 8, 2018

LOCKDOWN LULLABY

SOMERVILLE, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts kindergarten class is drawing attention for using a lullaby to teach students about lockdown drills. Taped to the classroom’s chalkboard is a rhyme set to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” rewritten telling students what to do if there’s a shooter. It begins “Lockdown, lockdown, lock the door. Shut the lights off, say no more.” A mother visiting the Somerville school posted an image of the poster Wednesday to Twitter. It has been shared thousands of times. Georgy Cohen, who took the photo, tells The Boston Globe it was “jarring.” Online commenters say it’s sad children have to be ready for a shooting. Cohen and Somerville Public Schools declined to identify the school. The superintendent says lockdown drills are a sad necessity, adding that “unfortunately this is the world we live in.”

BIBLE LITERACY CLASSES

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Board of Education has unanimously approved “Bible literacy” standards for public schools after being challenged by the ACLU to keep Church and State separate. The Courier Journal reports the standards cover disciplinary literacy, historical thinking and analyzing influences. The idea is to enable students taking elective courses to study the Bible as literature, not as devotional material. Kentucky’s American Civil Liberties Union challenged the state to develop guidelines, saying its review found numerous examples of constitutional violations. Board spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez says individual schools, not the state, are responsible for ensuring that teachers follow the standards.

CRASH-COINS SPILLED

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police say a crash involving an armored truck sent thousands of dollars in coins spilling across a highway yesterday. An armored truck had stopped at an intersection in northern Kansas City when it was hit from behind by a truck. KCTV reports the force of the collision dumped about $25,000 in coins onto Missouri Highway 152. The highway was closed for about four hours as employees from the armored car company used shovels, brooms, leaf blowers, and then vacuums to clean it all up. The driver of the truck was critically injured. The armored truck driver was not injured.

HOG SMELLS-LAWSUITS

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Senators in the country’s No. 2 hog-growing state want to further shield industrial-scale hog operations from lawsuits by neighbors who’ve long complained that open-air animal waste pits comparable to city sewage plants frustrate their daily lives. North Carolina’s Senate tentatively approved legislation Thursday to make it more difficult lawsuits that claim an agricultural operation created a nuisance for existing neighbors. Final legislative passage could come next week. Lawmakers acted weeks after neighbors won a $51 million jury verdict from pork giant Smithfield Foods after decades of complaints about smells and other nuisances to industry-friendly politicians. That was cut to about $3 million because North Carolina law limits damages that punish misdeeds. The second of potentially dozens of similar lawsuits is in its second week before a Raleigh jury.

ANIMALS RESCUED-MICHIGAN HOME

AUGUSTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Two peacocks are among 71 animals rescued from a southeastern Michigan home. The Humane Society of Huron Valley says the peacocks, 37 cats, nine dogs, 13 chickens and 10 exotic birds were found May 25 in Augusta Township, southwest of Detroit. The organization says five cockatoos, two macaws and three parrots were being held in a room without light or ventilation. It describes plastic kennels that many of the dogs and cats were locked in as “filthy.” Animal cruelty and rescue supervisor Melinda Szabelski says the animals “were living in extremely unsanitary and cramped conditions” and that many “were sick and in need of immediate medical care.”

GORILLA DEATHS

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee County Zoo says the deaths of two lowland gorillas have been linked to gastrointestinal infections likely caused by E.coli in their water supply. The zoo released results of necropsies of the 31-year-old male gorilla Cassius who died April 12 and 17-year-old female Naku, who died April 28. The Milwaukee zoo says the water systems in both the gorilla and bonobo areas have been disinfected. Staffers are also using new protocols to disinfect produce, which can be another source of E.coli.

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