Monacan High social studies teacher fired for refusing to wear a mask to school

Monacan High social studies teacher fired for refusing to wear a mask to school

Stephen Roszel was preparing for his "dream job" teaching AP Government and social studies at Monacan High School this year when the Chesterfield School Board adopted a mask mandate, a move recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and ultimately required by the state.

Roszel declined on principle. He joined parents in filing open records requests for the science behind the mandate, which is designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, communicated his reasoning to the administration and never stepped foot in the school.

This week, he was fired. He joins a growing number of teachers around the country, from Iowa to Oregon, who are losing their jobs or being reprimanded for refusing to comply with public health rules they say infringe on personal choice.

Roszel said his issue isn’t with the mask itself, but with the state mandate.

“I’m opposed to the mandate. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask, if you don’t, don’t. If I’m hanging out with you and you’re more comfortable with me wearing a mask or we’re having a cup of coffee and you want me to wear a mask, I will wear a mask. It’s not an issue,” he said.

“I felt it was unconstitutional if the state were to mandate masks for all K-12 school settings both private and public, that's something a state legislature needs to take up, not an executive branch agency,” Roszel added.

Rosemary Salomone, a Kenneth Wang Professor of Law at St. John's University in Queens, New York, said the school district was operating responsibly.

“It’s just unfathomable, that he's even making these claims because they’re not even close to having any constitutional grounding," she said.

The School Board voted for the mandate Aug. 10 and State Health Commissioner Norm Oliver issued a public health order with the requirement two days later.

Roszel contacted Monacan High ahead of the beginning of the teacher workweek in August. Having no medical or religious exemptions, he was put on administrative leave.

“The admin[istration] team at Monacan handled it very delicately and with grace,” Roszel said in an interview Thursday, adding he later had a Zoom meeting where he was given the choice to resign or be terminated.

“Human resources pushed resignation very, very hard,” Roszel said. “I felt that I needed to stand up for myself, and point out to CCPS, as well as the residents of Chesterfield County and my students that this was wrong, and I was going to stand for what was right. I wasn't going to be forced to quit my job I just worked so hard to attain.”

Roszel's appeal of his termination was denied in an anonymous vote by the school board during Tuesday night, he said. During the appeal process, Roszel, who came to Monacan from Robious Middle School, said he provided information showing masks are not effective. He said the school system did not provide any studies proving they were.

Masks, according to the CDC, are simple barriers to help prevent a person's respiratory droplets from reaching others. Wearing a mask over the nose and mouth reduces the spray of droplets from things such as sneezing, breathing, and talking.

The agency began recommending their use in public spaces in April of 2020 and state and local health agencies amplified the message.

Oliver, who oversees the Virginia Department of Health, had the authority under law to adopt rules promoting public health and the state has a compelling interest in protecting the health of children, Salomone said.

Roszel spoke about his situation during a public comment session Tuesday.

“I will wear a mask if I voluntarily choose to do so. I will neither comply with a mandate nor impose mandates on my students as some sort of enforcer. It is immoral,” he said.

In a later interview he said he hoped his choices wouldn't encourage "bad behavior."

“I urge everyone to approach these situations with kindness,” he said.

While Roszel is vaccinated, some teachers have pushed back on getting the shot.

In Maryland, a teacher filed a federal lawsuit against Montgomery County Public Schools where the shot is enforced, citing a religious exemption. Originally, the school district only allowed for medical exemptions, but in recent days included religious exemptions.

Chicago Public Schools walked backed its vaccine mandate for staff, previously saying if teachers were not vaccinated by Oct. 15 they would be ineligible to teach. Now, unvaccinated teachers must undergo weekly testing.

Last school year, Roszel voluntarily was vaccinated and fully completed with the district’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies, which included wearing both a mask and a face shield.

“I fully cooperated and in fact was very proactive to assist other teachers in getting their classrooms set up effectively [for social distancing],” Roszel said.

On Tuesday night, Roszel said he complied with last year's strategies because as he “understood we were dealing with a novel virus outbreak and needed protected safeguards in place.”

Roszel previously worked in sales and began his teaching career with Chesterfield County in January 2020 when he was hired to be a long-term substitute history teacher at Robious. When schools closed two months later because of the virus, Roszel’s position was eliminated.

For the 2020-2021 school year Roszel was offered a full-time teaching position back at Robious teaching eighth-grade civics and economics. For now, he's creating a private education tutoring company where he plans to offer test prep and work with homeschooling co-ops.

As of Thursday, Roszel had not received any official notice of his employment status from the school system. A schools spokesman did not answer questions regarding Roszel’s termination.
The unsolved 1969 abduction, murder of 11-year-old Debra Horn

The unsolved 1969 abduction, murder of 11-year-old Debra Horn

Debra stayed home from school after falling on ice and disappeared after her parents left for work.

Debra Horn, 11, resided with her family in Allenstown and attended sixth grade at her local school. Small in stature, she stood 4 feet, 4 inches tall, and weighed about 50 pounds. She had wavy brown hair styled in a pixie cut made famous by 1960s fashion model Twiggy and actress Mia Farrow in the classic film “Rosemary’s Baby.”

Both of Debra’s parents worked full-time jobs. Kenneth Horn Sr., 34, was a self-employed mechanic, while Myrtle Horn, 34, worked as a secretary. Debra has an older brother, Kenneth Horn, Jr.

On Jan. 29, 1969, the morning started as a typical school day for Debra and her brother. They arose early to get ready for school. Debra donned a gold corduroy jumper, white turtleneck sweater, gold knee-length socks, and silver earrings. She slipped a gold ring with an oval pink stone onto her finger and fastened a watch to her wrist. Then she and her brother started walking to the school bus stop.

Debra slipped and fell on the ice along the way. Her brother helped her return home, and she complained of pain to her parents. Therefore, they gave her permission to stay home from school. Debra grabbed a blanket and rested her sore body on the couch.

Debra’s brother caught the bus to school, and her parents left for work, leaving Debra home alone. Her family never saw her alive again.

The Portsmouth Herald.

Debra’s parents returned home at noon and found the front door wide open. Early reports stated only the back door was open. The girl’s blanket was on the couch, and her coat and boots were still in the home. Yet, Debra had vanished.

Her parents knew someone had abducted her right away, but the police were hesitant, treating the case as a missing person. Debra’s father said a rut in the driveway’s snow suggested a vehicle might have gotten stuck there.

Myrtle Lee made a public appeal to the kidnapper for the safe return of her daughter. Police conducted a door-to-door inquiry in the neighborhood, but no one had seen the missing girl.

An extensive air and ground search ensued. As many as 800 searchers searched for Debra, including 18 Manchester Civil Air Patrol unit members. The team found no trace of the missing girl. The aerial search covered the 7,500-acre Bear Brook State Park’s region. The search crew utilized snow vehicles through the woods while divers scoured the icy Suncook River. Constant snowfall made it hard for the search crew to continue searching for the missing girl.

On Jan. 30, 1969, police dogs alerted officers to a few blood spots along Route 28 about two miles from Debra’s home. The Nashua Telegraph stated, “cells from either the urinary tract or respiratory tract were discovered in the blood,” later tested and found to be Type B. However, they were unsure of Debra’s blood type.

A family friend from Boston put up a $10,000 reward for the safe return of Debra, plus another $10,000 raised by other means. Shortly after, Angelo Navarro, 35, of Manchester, tried to collect the $20,000, even though he did not have the missing girl.

Navarro had contacted newscaster Ed Williams of WMUR-TV in Manchester. Williams offered to be the liaison with the family if someone had the child and wanted to collect the $10,000 provided by the family friend with no questions asked. Navarro said he wanted the entire $20,000. He demanded someone drop off the money at the rear door of a Manchester store at 10:45 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, 1969. Instead, the police arrested Navarro and charged him with attempted blackmail.

Months went by with no sign of the missing girl, and hope she would be found alive had dwindled.

On Aug. 10, 1969, David Pearson, 26, John Marra, 19, & Vincent Rinaldi, 17, stopped to investigate an abandoned 1952 Plymouth car situated about 1,000 feet from Duaine Steinhoff’s home in Sandown. The men opened the trunk and found human skeletal remains inside. They initially thought the body was a dummy but notified the authorities after realizing it was not.

The remains were unclothed, and the police never found Debra’s clothing in the car or the immediate area. The bones were mainly bare except for some hair.

Steinhoff, 44, had abandoned the vehicle four years before. The Steinhoff property was roughly 30 miles southeast of Allenstown and four miles off Route 121A, the only state highway running through Sandown.

The abandoned vehicle was about 200 feet off North Road on the only dirt road that did not go into a driveway, the Portsmouth Herald reported at the time. The car was visible from the road but not Steinhoff’s house because a small hill separating the two spots. During and after the two February snowstorms, the vehicle was not visible. As much as three feet of snow covered the area. Furthermore, the acreage around the car was heavy with pine trees, and a thick layer of pine needles blanketed the forest floor.

Steinhoff had numerous abandoned cars on his property, and police searched all of them but found no other clues in the investigation.

Police believed the killer placed Debra’s body in the trunk shortly after abducting her. With the remains still in the car, a wrecker from the Fremont Garage transported the vehicle to Derry.

Boston University professor and forensic medicine specialist Dr. George Katsis arrived in Derry to collect the remains. He found Debra’s ring in a spot near her hand. As officials removed the body from the vehicle, Katsis found one of her earrings underneath. Her parents identified both items as Debra’s. The Horn family dentist later identified the remains through dental records as Debra Horn.

Authorities later removed the abandoned and placed it in another locked garage for a complete inspection.

Upon examining Debra’s skull, Katis found what appeared to be a traumatic injury to the back of the head. He could not determine whether it resulted from the fall or she had been hit on the head. Although he said the latter was likely. He could not rule a cause of death due to decomposition.

The finding of Debra’s remains left no doubt that someone had abducted and killed her. However, with little physical evidence and no witnesses to the abduction, the case went cold and remains unsolved 52 years later.

Two other young girls were abducted and killed near Allenstown.

Joanne Dunham.

Kathy Lynn Gloddy.

Joanne Dunham, 15, vanished from her school bus stop around 7:15 a.m. on June 11, 1968. The stop was about a half-mile from her home at Raiche Mobile Homes in Charlestown. At 4:15 p.m. the following day, a farmer named David Haynes and his dog assisted in the search for Joanne. Haynes found her fully-clothed body on a roped-off dirt road on Quaker City Road in Unity, about six miles from where she was abducted and four miles east of Route 12. Joanne had been sexually assaulted and died from asphyxiation. She was a student at Fall Mountain High School in Langdon.

In downtown Franklin, Kathy Lynn Gloddy, 13, was last seen on Nov. 21, 1971, running an errand for her sister, Janet. Searchers found her body at 1 p.m. the next day in the woods off Chance Pond Road. An autopsy revealed Kathy had been raped and strangled. She also suffered severe blunt force injuries to the abdomen, head, and neck, according to WMUR. Officials said any of these injuries could have been fatal. She attended St. Mary’s Elementary School.

Both the Dunham and Gloddy cases remain unsolved today.
Researchers identify universal laws in the turbulent behavior of active fluids

Researchers identify universal laws in the turbulent behavior of active fluids

Certain groupings of bacteria or cellular tissues form systems that are called active fluids. These can flow spontaneously without having to be forced from the outside, since their components are able to generate forces and move autonomously. When the activity is high enough, the spontaneous flows become chaotic, like those observed in the turbulence of ordinary fluids. University of Barcelona (UB) researchers have identified universal laws in this turbulent behavior of active fluids. The results of their work have been published in the journal Physical Review X.

Due to their visual resemblance to ordinary turbulence, chaotic flows in active fluids have been called active turbulence. The study of this phenomenon is significant for the design of nanomotors and can explain complex flows observed in living systems, such as those that occur during a wound closure. According to the UB researchers, the results of their work "are relevant because they show that the flows of active turbulence, despite being chaotic and very complex, can be described by simple and generic mathematical laws."

To do this, they experimented with active fluids composed of cytoskeletal proteins and enzymes that provide the necessary energy to generate forces and flow spontaneously. The researchers, members of the institutes of the UB, UBICS and IN2UB, created a thin layer of this active material surrounded by two passive fluids: Water and oil.

In particular, the researchers measured the active fluid flows and experimentally corroborated the existence of two flow regimes that they had already predicted theoretically. In addition, the experiments revealed a new regime caused by the coupling of the active layer with the surrounding passive fluids. The study, therefore, highlights the essential role of the passive fluids surrounding the active system. To explain these results, the researchers have formulated a theoretical framework that—considering the effects of the passive fluids—predicts the power laws observed in the experiments.

Louisiana police officer fired following accusations he solicited sex from a juvenile

Louisiana police officer fired following accusations he solicited sex from a juvenile

KAPLAN, La. — The City of Kaplan’s police chief has fired an officer who was arrested on charges related to malfeasance in office (sexual conduct).

Police Chief Joshua Hardy wants to reassure Kaplan residents that the recent arrest signifies his zero tolerance for crime, regardless of who commits it.

“We’re there for the public. We serve the public,” the chief stated.

Chief Hardy confirms an anonymous tip led to an investigation, then eventually the arrest of then Kaplan Police Officer Ryan Domingue.

“It was determined that he was speaking to a juvenile and also soliciting as well.”

Chief Hardy says police already have challenges in terms of public trust.

An officer committing a crime doesn’t help.

“We’re trying to do good for the public, and this puts a black eye on us; making the public not trust us,” Hardy added.

The chief says all he can do is push through this and work towards earning the public’s trust.

According to the Kaplan Police Department, Dominque was arrested on charges of malfeasance in office (sexual conduct), indecent acts with a juvenile and solicitation for prostitution.

Hardy states that arresting an officer is difficult.

“Especially when its a police officer because we are held to higher standards. When one person does it, it affects the whole department; it doesn’t affect just one person.”

The chief says Domingue was employed a couple months before he was terminated.
The Unsolved 1998 Murder of Debra Sue Murray

The Unsolved 1998 Murder of Debra Sue Murray

Debra Sue Murray, 38, was the type of person who put everyone else’s needs before her own. Born on Jan. 23, 1960, in Ionia, Missouri, to Leonard and Ella Howery, she was one of several children born to the couple.

In 1998, Debra lived in the 700 block of West Shawnee Drive in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, Jack Murray, 43, and their 12-year-old son, Timothy.

She worked as a manager at the Jack in the Box restaurant on McClintock Drive and Southern Avenue.

Debra has been described as “friendly, outgoing, and not a mean bone in her body.” She liked to bake cookies for her employees on their birthdays despite her hectic schedule. She treated her coworkers and customers well.

Debra got along fine with her neighbors, who often saw her and Timmy walking together in the neighborhood. She did not have any known enemies, but she was having marital problems.

At 4:40 a.m. on June 26, 1998, Debra was gunned down outside her home as she was preparing to head to work.

The Murray’s nanny, Cathy Peterson, called the Chandler police when she heard shots fired. She had lived with the Murray family for 10 years and had multiple sclerosis.

Timmy was inside the home but did not witness the shooting. It is unclear where Jack Murray was at the time of his wife’s murder.

Debra was shot multiple times in her upper body and pronounced dead at the scene by Chandler Fire Department paramedics.

According to the Arizona Republic, “Investigators found evidence of forced entry in the attached garage and items taken from the garage left on the driveway.” The crime initially looked like an interrupted burglary, but police believe it was staged to look that way and that Debra knew her killer; it was not a random attack.

Chandler police said burglars often work the same MO as other criminals and would have no reason to shoot Debra.

Arizona Republic, 1997.

Whoever killed Debra knew what time she left for work each day.

Police found a foot impression at the scene in Debra’s yard, which led investigators to suspect her husband Jack, but the evidence was inconclusive.

Chandler detectives questioned him and considered Jack an “investigative lead” but never made an arrest. They said he was cooperative, and there was no record of domestic violence calls to the Murray home.

Miramontes, 2019/Chandler PD.

Police received a tip that a newspaper carrier, who was in the vicinity during Debra’s murder, had heard what they thought were fireworks or gunshots and saw a vehicle make a U-turn. However, investigators set up surveillance and learned the carrier did not see anything.

Neighbors said the neighborhood was safe, with no violent crime before Debra’s murder.

A couple of months later, investigators suggested that Debra’s family in Missouri establish a reward fun because it might bring helpful information. The family offered $5,000, but nothing came from it.

Chandler had a record of 12 killings in 1995, two in 1996, and three in 1997. Debra’s killing was the first in Chandler since Luis Parra was shot to death on May 17, 1997.

On that day, Parra, 15, and friends were playing with a semiautomatic handgun, loading, unloading, cocking, uncocking it, when the gun discharged.

Parra was on the telephone with his girlfriend, and two of his friends were trying to hurry him along when the gun went off.

One friend said, “Get off the phone or I’ll shoot you.” It was not a real threat, but the friend, Venancio Miramontes, 21, pointed the gun directly at Parra and pulled the trigger, and to Miramontes’s surprise, the gun went off.

Parra, Miramontes, Raul Olivo, 18, and Ariana Rivera, 14, were at Rivera’s home in the 400 block of North Delaware Street when the shooting occurred.

Police initially said the incident appeared to be “inadvertent,” but they were unwilling to call it an accident.

Parra’s family did not believe it was an accident because Miramontes pointed the gun directly at Parra.

Miramontes fled the scene and eluded police for 22 years.

In early 2019, a Chandler Police Detective assigned to the United States Marshals Service task force developed information on Miramontes’s possible whereabouts. This data placed Miramontes residence in Fauquier County, Virginia. Acting on this break, marshals in Warrenton, Virginia, conducted surveillance on this possible location for Miramontes. Twenty-two years to the day of Parra’s death, Miramontes was arrested without incident, Detective Seth Tyler, Chandler Police Department, May 30, 2019

There is no current update on Parra’s case. At Miramontes’s arrest, Virginia authorities held him in the Fauquier County Jail on the 1997 arrest warrant until Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office eventually extradited him to Arizona and booked him on one count of manslaughter.

After 18 months, Debra Murray’s case went cold and remains unsolved today. However, there is a cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for her murder.

You may submit a tip by calling (480) 782-4440 or submit online.
The 22-year-old Canadian was brutally stabbed and eaten in front of horrified passengers

The 22-year-old Canadian was brutally stabbed and eaten in front of horrified passengers

The image below looks innocent enough. Just a regular bus stopped in middle of a road, what could be so wrong? Why is there a lady in a white suit (autopsy investigator) walking past, and what’s that blood stain on the step of the bus?

Underneath that rolled up cloth of the step is a decapitated head of Timothy McLean ― a 22-year-old Canadian man who was stabbed, beheaded, and cannibalized while riding a Greyhound bus along the Trans-Canada Highway, on route to Winnipeg, Edmonton, Canada.

The gruesome murder of Timothy McLean

Timothy McLean.

Timothy McLean was only 22 years old, just had his own kid and worked at the carnival. He was a nice average person, but poor Tim had landed in the worst circumstances at the worst time. It was July 30th of 2008 in Alberta Canada, just an ordinary day for Canadians, many who were taking the Greyhound charter bus to go home. Around 12 pm, Timothy McLean boarded the bus after a carnival fair near Edmonton and shortly after.

At 6:55 pm, Vincent Weiguang Li, a tall 6 foot chinese man got on the bus and at first sat at the front of the bus and looked a little agitated, but for the most part looked normal. After 30 minutes, he went outside for a cigarette break during a rest stop, according to passangers, Li was looking very agitated at this point and upset over something. As he came back to the bus, he glared for a new seat on the bus.

Li was looking for a victim and he needed to find a convenient and easy victim to find. He noticed Tim McLean sitting in the back, one row ahead of the bathroom. The row behind him was vacant and made for an easy target.

Li decided to sit by Tim’s row, Tim acknowledged Li and gave him a grin and hand, gesturing him to sit by his row. He had his headphones in and fell asleep. For the first few minutes, passengers heard Li saying Chinese chants in a low deep voice constantly again and again.

McLean was sleeping with his head slouched by the window pane, headphones in, and barely acknowledged Li who sat right next to him. The bus went on to drive and the sun had began to set.

After about 10 minutes a blood curdling scream was heard from the back of the bus, witnesses turned their heads to see a horrible scene, Li was continously slashing and stabbing McLean on the neck and chest!

One witness recalled that Li stabbed the victim in an emotionless-like manner, he stabbed McLean at least 12 times in a robotic styled fashion. McLean kept screaming in agony and blood was splattering around the nearby bus seats.

At this point, a passenger alerted the bus driver and ordered him to stop and evacuate everyone from the bus, this had happened shortly after. Li, aware of the evacuation, attempted to run out of the bus with his large hunting knife but was locked inside by the bus driver. He attempted to break through the main bus door but was not successful. He was constantly pounding the bus door glass to no avail.

Two passengers alongside the driver of the bus tried to check up on McLean and possibly save him from the monstrous killer. The three men bravely reboarded the bus in a bid to quickly retrieve McLean, but upon arrival McLean was covered all over in blood and was clearly dead. They were then chased away by Li with his knife, thus the Driver of the bus initiated the emergency lock down of the bus, rendering the bus inoperable and locked out.

Vincent Li now began decapitating the dead body of McLean, and was observed cutting off his legs and arms. He was observed defiling McLean’s corpse and ripped apart his entrails, removed his eyes, cut off his ears, toungue and other parts. This is where things get bizarrely scary, he began consuming McLean’s flesh including his both eyes and part of his heart!

When the police came

At 8:00 pm, the Canadian royal mounted police heard reports of the stabbing on the bus and headed to the crime scene. Li was seen pacing back and forth in the bus holding up the severed head of McLean in a parade like fashion. It was one of the most bizarre murder scenes and scariest moments at the same time.

Negotiators and Swat team attempted to get Li out of the bus but he refused. Eventually, after two hours, he attempted escape by breaking the side window and sprinting out of the bus but was quickly arrested and tased by authorities.
When the forensics teams arrived

When forensics teams entered the bus they were struck with nightmares of the badly cut up and mangled body of Timothy McLean. Upon searching Li’s pockets, McLean’s nose and ears were found! His eyes and heart were missing, likely digested in the stomach contents.

What happened to Vincent Li afterwards?

Here is the man who committed the murder of Timothy McLean, Vince Li, who legally changed his name to Will Baker. He is now a free man, free of any criminal charges, and has his own apartment.

As gruesome as the case was, Vincent Weiguang Li, the killer of Timothy McLean, was sent to court and because he was diagnosed with mental schizophrenia, he was not liable for the crime and sent to mental treatment facilitiy in 2009. In an interview in 2012, Li spoke for the first time, saying that he began hearing “the voice of God” in 2004 and that he wanted to save the people from an alien attack.

In 2013, he was allowed to leave the facilitiy for short periods of time in the public (world) and given medication. In February 2017, he was permanently released from the mental facility and changed his name to Will Baker.

What was going on in Vincent Li’s life before the murder?

Vincent Li was living in Edmonton where he had first moved in 2006, abruptly leaving his wife alone in Winnipeg, though she joined him later. His jobs included service at a Wal-Mart, at a fast-food restaurant, and newspaper delivery. His delivery boss, Vincent Augert, described Li as reliable, hard-working and not showing any signs of trouble.

Four weeks before the killing, Li was fired from Wal-Mart following a “disagreement” with other employees. Shortly before the incident, Li asked for time off from his delivery job to go to Winnipeg for a job interview.

Whatever Happened That Day, It Shattered The Lives Of Many

Because of the Greyhound bus incident, many passengers were mentally scared for their life. A mother’s daughter was sent to child protection services because she was diagnosed with PTSD after the traumatic incident she witnessed. Another passenger on the bus committed suicide in 2015, after the incident put him in an external depression. Even forensics and detectives cleaning up the body reported nightmares.

Doctor fired for spreading COVID misinformation finds supportive crowd in Bartlesville

Doctor fired for spreading COVID misinformation finds supportive crowd in Bartlesville

If the size of the standing-room only crowd at the Bartlesville Community Center Tuesday night is any indication, perhaps it is not surprising that the vaccination rate in Washington County for those ages 12 and older is just short of 43%.

Those gathered, including GOP and public officials, nurses, pharmacists and other concerned citizens, gave standing ovations during the presentation of Dr. Peter McCullough, a Dallas cardiologist who is largely discredited by the scientific community for his assertions that the COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe and that early treatment options have been suppressed.

Washington County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: 36% of people fully vaccinated

While McCullough said that doctors were probably afraid to show up to the event, one of Oklahoma's top infectious disease physicians, Dr. Anuj Malik, director of infection prevention and control at Ascension St. John, said that the doctors he spoke to were not afraid to attend. They were just not interested in sitting through a “politically-motivated, ideological speech by a modern-day quack.”

Nor did they want to be part of an event that could lead to people not getting the vaccines and becoming ill and dying as a result, Malik said. "With all due respect, none of McCullough’s ideas have been supported by any randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trials," he said.

During his presentation, McCullough did not shy away from politics and bemoaned what he said has been a loss of freedoms since the pandemic began.

"This is more than a medical topic, now our freedom, our jobs, our school, somehow everything got linked to COVID-19," he said. "COVID-19 went from being a medical problem to now being an issue of somehow everything you do is related to taking a vaccine."

Rep. Wendi Stearman, R-Collinsville, saw the event as an opportunity for a call to action. She urged those attending to share McCullough's information with others because it will take all of them to "fight the tyranny and lies" spread across the state. She urged everyone to pressure their local representatives and the governor to prevent vaccine mandates.

McCullough has been making a name for himself in his broad campaign against vaccine mandates and the vaccine itself. A group of Houston nurses have hired him as a so-called "expert witness" in their appeal against a vaccine mandate at Houston Methodist.

Throughout the evening, McCullough made multiple claims that are largely uncorroborated by the scientific community. Among them is that a person who has already had COVID-19 does not need the vaccine and that it can be harmful to those who already have natural immunity.

That, too, has been disproven. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains that the vaccine does provide protection and that research has not proven that having had the virus protects you from having it again.

Malik said that all of the large studies point in the same direction - that vaccines work, are safe and help prevent severe infection and death.

One of McCullough's biggest claims of the night was that 15,937 Americans have died after taking the vaccine, which Malik said is taken completely out of context.

This number is taken from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that these reports are not proof that the vaccine caused the deaths. The FDA requires healthcare providers to report any deaths among people who received the vaccine to VAERS, even if it’s unclear that the vaccine was the cause.

Dr. Peter McCullough.

McCullough also blatantly told the audience that there is not a vaccine safety board. Yet Malik points to the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) that oversaw the vaccine trials. The board included 11 experts from four countries who are not employed by government or pharma companies.

While McCullough asserts that the vaccines provide no protection from the Delta strain and claims more vaccinated people are getting the Delta strain than unvaccinated people, both Malik and the CDC say the vaccines have been proven highly effective against COVID-19, including the Delta variant.

US COVID-19 map:Tracking cases and deaths

In fact, Malik said of the 3,500 patients he and colleagues have treated since the pandemic began, 550 have died and more than 95% of them were unvaccinated.

McCullough shared what he said was a threatening letter from the American Board of Internal Medicine warning that he could lose his certification for spreading misinformation.

There is likely a good reason for his concern about losing certification. A Dallas County court granted a temporary restraining order against him in July on behalf of Baylor Scott & White Health for continuing to claim titles, including vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center, even after he was fired from Baylor in February.

In addition, an article in Medscape, an online global news source for physicians and healthcare professionals, reported that Texas A&M College of Medicine, Texas Christian University and University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine have also cut ties with McCullough for spreading misinformation.

McCullough said he is simply sharing data and questions who gets to decide what is misinformation.

The cardiologist co-authored a report in The American Journal of Medicine in August 2020 on the rationale for early outpatient treatment using off-label medications including antibodies, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, steroids, anticoagulants and anti-inflammatory drugs.

He has also spoken about his multi-drug regimen on Fox News, and on his McCullough Report podcast, the faith-based Daystar Television Network and other conservative news networks.

After he wrote the papers, McCullough said that was contacted by Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump's trade advisor, because they wanted help with the validity of hydroxychloroquine as an early treatment for COVID-19. McCullough spoke before both the U.S. and Texas senates.

But Malik said that there have been no randomized, double-blind clinical trials conducted to back up any of McCullough’s suggested multi-drug regimens.

He said McCullough likely wouldn't be risking losing certification if he had taken the logical path of seeking a grant to launch clinical trials on his drug recommendations for early treatment of COVID-19.

“This is considered the standard in establishing the truth all over the world by every professional organization, every government and all science-minded healthcare practitioners,” Malik said.

In contrast, Malik said there are multiple clinical trials on antibody treatments including Regeneron and the Eli Lilly BLAZE-4 study.

“(McCullough's) claims fail to meet the standard of what is true. None of his suggestions have been submitted to a clinical trial despite the fact that we are 20 months into this pandemic,” Malik said.
After 3.5 million-year hiatus, the largest comet ever discovered is headed our way

After 3.5 million-year hiatus, the largest comet ever discovered is headed our way

The gargantuan Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet will strafe Saturn's orbit in 2031. Scientists are stoked.

An enormous comet — possibly the largest one ever detected — is barreling toward the inner solar system with an estimated arrival time of 10 years from now, according to new research published on the preprint server

The comet, known as the Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet (or C/2014 UN271, in astro-speak), is at least 62 miles (100 kilometers) across — about 1,000 times more massive than a typical comet. It's so large that astronomers previously mistook it for a dwarf planet, according to a statement announcing the comet’s discovery in June 2021.

But a closer analysis of the object revealed that it was moving rapidly through the Oort cloud — a vast scrapyard of icy rocks, billions of miles from Earth. The object appeared to be headed our way, and it even had a glowing tail, or "coma", behind it — a clear indication of an icy comet approaching the relatively warm inner solar system.

Now, researchers have studied the massive comet in more detail, and they have new estimates about its journey toward the sun.

For starters, the enormous rock poses no threat to Earth. Right now, Bernardinelli-Bernstein (BB) is cruising through the Oort cloud at about 29 times the distance between Earth and the sun, or 29 astronomical units (AU). The comet's closest approach to Earth will occur sometime in the year 2031, when scientists predict the comet will swoop within 10.97 AU of the sun — putting it just outside of Saturn's orbit, according to the researchers.

While that's far enough from Earth that humans won't be able to see the comet without telescopes, it's considerably closer than the rock's last visit to our part of the solar system. After modeling the comet's trajectory, the study authors calculated that comet BB made its last approach 3.5 million years ago, coming within 18 AU of the sun.

Since then, the comet traveled as far as 40,000 AU away, deep into the mysterious Oort cloud, according to the researchers.

"We conclude that BB is a 'new' comet in the sense that there is no evidence for [a] previous approach closer than 18 AU," the researchers wrote in their study; in other words, humans have never laid eyes on it before.

We owe our current view of the large, distant comet to the Dark Energy Survey (DES) — a project to study the expansion of the universe, which ran between August 2013 and January 2019. During the survey, astronomers mapped 300 million galaxies in the southern sky, discovering more than 800 previously unknown objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. The Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet was one of those objects.

Researchers have plenty of time to study the massive comet as it soars ever closer to Earth over the next decade. Getting a closer look at the rock could help scientists understand a bit more about the chemical composition of the early solar system, as comets from deep in the Oort cloud are thought to be relatively unchanged since they were booted away from the sun billions of years ago. With millions of years separating the comet's next close approach from its following one, it'll be a once-in-a-lifetime brush with the early solar system.
Who savagely raped, murdered 13-year-old Leah Sousa in 1990?

Who savagely raped, murdered 13-year-old Leah Sousa in 1990?

Thirty years after the brutal murder of a Cumberland Beach teen shook the small lakeside community north of Orillia, the impacts continue to reverberate as the anniversary of Leah Sousa’s death approaches.

“She had the biggest sweetheart smile that lit up a room, a laugh that just was so contagious,” remembered Emily Knight, a family friend who was 10 at the time of the murder. “She was the kindest, sweetest person in the world. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Leah, Sousa was raped and killed by an unknown intruder in her home in Ontario, Canada during Labor Day weekend 1990.

An intruder broke into the Sousa home during the early morning hours and attacked mother and daughter when they were the most vulnerable and could not fight back.

 Leah Salina Sousa, 13, resided with her single mother, Lora Sousa, 36, and her 9-month-old brother in a small house in the 3400 block of Beachview Avenue in Cumberland Beach, Ontario, roughly 135 km north of Toronto.

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, Sept. 1, 1990, during Labor Day weekend, an intruder broke into the Sousa home and violently attacked Leah’s mother in her bed as she slept while her infant son lay in his crib unharmed.

Leah was sleeping on the couch. The intruder raped her, dragged her out to the backyard, and savagely beat her to death. A neighborhood friend found the girl’s battered and bloody body later that morning.

Police discovered a bloody shoeprint inside the residence and compared the tread pattern, identifying it as a Nike all leather court or tennis shoe in size 9 or 10.

Sousa miraculously survived the attack and spent three weeks in a Toronto hospital guarded by police officers. Authorities did not release the hospital’s name to local media for fear the attacker would finish what he had started.

An autopsy found Leah had died from massive head injuries. Leah and her mother were hit multiple times with what investigators believe was a pipe or tire iron.

Police also believe the attacker knew the family, but Sousa’s brother, Carlos Sousa, disagreed, citing evidence of a forced entry.

“It looks like someone broke the back window and opened the door from the inside,” he said two weeks after the brutal attack.

His statement to the Windsor Star contradicted one he gave the newspaper in the days immediately following the attack. He stated he believed Leah knew the person responsible for the vicious crime.

“I think it was someone she knew. It doesn’t look like anyone forced their way in,” Carlos Sousa said shortly after the murder.

At the very least, the killer likely knew the family was home alone and was familiar with the area.

The brutality of Leah’s murder shocked law enforcement and the community. People started keeping their children inside, doors locked, and carried weapons for protection.

Since the murder nearly 31 years ago, investigators have conducted more than 1,500 interviews and followed dozens of leads, but nothing has led them to Leah’s killer. As bloody as the crime scene was, the killer left none of his DNA behind, and police never found the murder weapon.

The answers to who brutally attacked and killed Leah and left her mother for dead lies with Sousa.

Unfortunately, she does not remember the events of Sept. 1, 1990, but police believe she saw her daughter’s killer. Sousa has tried various methods, including hypnosis and injecting truth serum, but failed to recall any details due to the horrific injuries she suffered that fateful night.

The attack left her with permanent injuries, including blurred vision, dizzy spells, and partial hearing loss.

Although Leah’s killer has never been caught, one man popped up on investigators’ radar.

Four months after the attack on the Sousas, Brian Timothy Elson stabbed and killed Sandra Bannister, 17. He spent only six years in prison for the crime.

In 2010, CTV W5 reported that Elson’s grandmother lived just down the street from the Sousas. Police believe he was in Cumberland Beach the night of the murder.

W5 tracked down Elson, and reporter Sue Sgambati asked him about Leah’s murder. He denied involvement and said the police had accused him of it and even arrested him at some point but never charged him with the crime.

Last year near the 30th anniversary of Leah’s murder, Simcoe News spoke with the sister of one of Leah’s friends. She said her family had planned to bring Leah to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto on Sept. 1, 1990. The girl’s sister planned on spending the night with Leah on Aug. 31st. In a twist of fate, their mother forgot that she had promised the girl’s brother that he could bring a friend along, so there would not be enough room for Leah. The friend did not stay the night. If she had, she would’ve been the third victim.

After the brutal attack, the Sousa house was repossessed and sold at a loss.

Sousa interviewed with CTV News in 2016, but it does not appear she has publicly spoken about her daughter’s murder since. She still does not remember the events of that horrible night and gets frustrated because she knows the answers to the identity of Leah’s killer lies inaccessible within her memories.

Police continue investigating Leah’s murder. There is a $50,000 reward for any new tips in the brutal 1990 murder. Anyone with information related to the case can call Crime Stoppers at 1–800–222–8477.
Washington Spirit Coach Richie Burke Was Fired After An Investigation Into Abuse

Washington Spirit Coach Richie Burke Was Fired After An Investigation Into Abuse

The former head coach of the Washington Spirit was fired by the National Women's Soccer League following an investigation into allegations of harassment and a toxic work culture. Other team representatives were also suspended from roles within the league.

"After considering the substance of the report, and taking into account prior actions of the Spirit, the NWSL's board of governors has determined that the Spirit and its ownership have failed to act in the best interests of the League," the NWSL said in its statement Tuesday.

The termination of former head coach Richie Burke follows weeks of reports by The Washington Post that alleged he was responsible for creating a toxic work culture for female employees.

The NWSL doesn't mention Burke by name in its statement, but rather says the "Washington Spirit's head coach has been terminated for cause."

The league opened an investigation into Burke and the team, which is based in the Washington, D.C. area, following an August report by The Washington Post. That report highlighted how Burke crafted a toxic and abusive environment in the team that drove players to leave in the middle of the season.

The NWSL hired an independent third party to investigate the allegations. Following the findings that Burke harassed and verbally abused his players and violated the league's anti-harassment policy, the organization determined that he "cannot work with any NWSL players."

Former Spirit players told reporters they left the team because they couldn't stand Burke's "abusive" treatment.

Washington Spirit player Kaiya McCullough said in August that anything could set Burke off. His anger and screaming fits often led to him unleashing "a torrent of threats, criticism and personal insults on McCullough and her teammates," she said.

Off the field, Burke also made racially insensitive jokes and comments that made McCullough, who is Black, uncomfortable.

After these allegations started to emerge, Burke announced he was stepping down this summer citing health reasons. The Washington Spirit team said Burke would be placed in the front office.

But issues within the team were bigger than Burke, according to follow up reports by The Washington Post.

While the Spirit would tout the empowerment of women and girls in sports, the team under Spirit owner and CEO Steve Baldwin maintained a culture that left women feeling sidelined or demeaned. Current and former employees told reporters that the team felt like an "old boys' club" and "misogynistic."

Burke and the Washington Spirit have not publicly commented.

Baldwin had previously called reporting on these issues inaccurate, but hasn't commented on specific allegations.