Blog Posts by Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News

  • FINAL LOOK: 250 people on terror watch list bought guns legally last year

    Here is our roster of stories that managed to evade the full-on blog treatment:

    • Journalist Lara Logan is speaking out for the first time about her sexual assault in Egypt. (New York Times)

    • Stunned survivors of the South's twisters talk about their experiences. At least 284 died in the storms. (CNN)

    • Exxon earned $11 billion the past few months. (AP)

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  • Some young illegal immigrant students spared deportation

    We wrote earlier this month about several young illegal immigrants who lobbied hard for the passage of the DREAM Act last year and are now facing deportation. But Olga Zanella, a 20-year-old college student profiled by the New York Times this week, has been luckier.

    Zanella, who was brought to the U.S. as a five-year-old, was pulled over in Texas in February 2009 and arrested because she didn't have a driver's license. She was then put through the Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) system and ordered deported. But last week, an ICE official told her she could remain in this country on a few conditions: she checks in with the agency every month, remains under their supervision, and stays in school and out of trouble.

    The agency wouldn't comment on why Zanella was allowed to stay in the United States. Though ICE says its priority is to deport criminals, about half of the people they deported last year were not convicted of any crime.

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  • Man in cow suit robs Walmart of 26 gallons of milk

    200168147-001A man dressed in a cow suit managed to rob a busy Stafford, Virginia Walmart of 26 gallons of milk on Tuesday night before being nabbed by the cops.

    The local news story on the crime, by David Pierce at InsideNova.com, is an absolute must read. Apparently, the cow-suited criminal escaped the megastore by crawling out the doors, "trying to emulate cattle." He then began handing out the stolen jugs right outside the store before making his escape, in a sort of bovine interpretation of Robin Hood.

    The man's apprehension by the police is by far the best part of the story:

    Stafford County sheriffs said they went to a nearby McDonald's restaurant for a disturbance call, and the responding officer saw a man--not in a cow suit--there that seemed to match the culprit.

    The suspect was taken back to the Walmart, and management confirmed he was the thief of the pasteurized potion.

    The cow suit was found in the man's car, Kennedy said.

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  • Tennessee Senate to consider banning ‘gay’ mentions in K-8

    Screen shot 2011-04-28 at 1.11.03 PMThe Tennessee Senate is set to vote next week on a bill that would criminalize teaching about homosexuality in schools enrolling students from kindergarten through the eighth grade

    Teachers could be charged with a misdemeanor if they talked about homosexuality. There's already a law in the state forbidding teachers from straying at all from the state's abstinence-focused curriculum governing family-life instruction in the classroom.

    The bill's sponsor, GOP Sen. Stacey Campfield, has been pushing the measure for six years without success--until the legislation cleared the education panel in the Senate. Campfield told CNN he thinks discussions of homosexuality should be left to parents, and that he doesn't approve of young children being taught that some people are gay. "Schools shouldn't be advocating for or against homosexuality," he told Fox News.

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  • Watch terrifying tornado footage from southern storms

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    A ferocious system of tornado-filled thunderstorms has claimed at least 250 lives in the past few days—with Alabama suffering the worst hit. We've rounded up videos, below, that show the destruction. One video captured by local news channel WBMA's tower shows a large tornado touching down last night near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the University of Alabama is located.

    "It's been a devastating blow to the people of this community," Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox told ABC, adding that hundreds of businesses and homes were destroyed. "We need men, materials and equipment. Our system is overwhelmed. The tornado took out a major nerve center of city, our environmental services department which is how we pick up debris, trash. It's gone and the fleet that we have, the vehicles are gone." At least fifteen people were killed in the town of 83,000 and about 100 more are in a local hospital, according to the AP.

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  • FIRST LOOK: Southern storm kills 178, death toll still rising

    Welcome to First Look, our daily roundup of early-bird news:

    • A punishing storm has taken 178 lives in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia. (AP)

    • No, you're not just imagining it: Tomorrow's royal wedding has gotten more play in American media than in Australia or the UK. (The Cutline)

    • Philadelphia is set to cut 1,300 teachers if the governor's new budget is approved. (AP)

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  • FINAL LOOK: Man survives driving off Grand Canyon

    Here is our roster of stories that managed to evade the full-on blog treatment:

    A man survived after driving his car off the Southern rim of the Grand Canyon and dropping 200 feet. (BBC)

    Wal-Mart expanding gun sales to more stores. (WSJ)

    Rep. Gabby Giffords walked up stairs to board a jet to head to the shuttle launch. (KHOU)

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  • Study: Good schools hiding big achievement gaps

    91948708A new report by the non-profit Education Trust warns that the low achievement of minority and low-income students in high-achieving schools is often masked by the education world's focus on averages.

    The study examined math and reading test scores over several years in nearly 2,500 schools in Indiana and Maryland. While overall scores tended to improve in most schools, minority and low-income subgroups often showed little to no improvement on the tests.

    Midway Middle School in Maryland is presented as an example of school averages masking achievement disparity within. The mostly white, middle-class public school made impressive strides by getting 82 percent of its students proficient in reading in 2009, compared to only 74 percent in 2005. Those gains put the school solidly in the middle of the pack of the state's middle schools. But if you zero in on the school's black students, the picture looks less rosy: Only 66 percent scored proficient in reading in 2005, and the school made no gains among its black students.

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  • Videos of the South’s scary weather week

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    The South has been pounded with tornadoes, baseball-size hail and disastrous flooding this week, leaving eleven dead in Arkansas and three in Mississippi as of Wednesday morning. And meteorologists warn that residents of the Tennessee Valley will most likely continue to experience extreme weather through today.

    Early this morning, 100 mile-per-hour winds battered Alabama, leaving nearly 250,000 residents without power, Reuters reports. In southern Missouri, about a thousand people have been displaced due to severe flooding, and North Texas was hit Monday with hail and at least one funnel cloud, even as the state struggles to battle deadly wildfires.

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  • NAACP lawyer to represent accused homeless mom

    Tanya McDowell, the homeless woman from Bridgeport, Connecticut, who is being charged with larceny for using a friend's address to enroll her son in a Norwalk kindergarten, will be represented by NAACP attorney Darnell Crosland, the group announced.

    Activists including Ohio mom Kelley Williams-Bolar, who was jailed for using her father's address to send her children to a better school earlier this year, are rallying right now in Norwalk in an attempt to pressure the city into dropping the charges against McDowell. She faces up to 20 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

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