The Lookout
  • DALLAS - The Boy Scouts of America have banned thousands of pedophiles and other undesirables from working as volunteers.

    But one name on their rejection list stands out: Douglas Sovereign Smith Jr. The BSA’s former national director for youth protection was released from prison last week after serving nearly seven years behind bars.

    He was in charge of Scout safety programs in 2005 when police discovered hundreds of images of child pornography and videos on his home computer. Some included prepubescent boys exposing themselves and engaging in sexual acts.

    “Heart-wrenching and gut-tearing,” a prosecutor said at the time.

    Smith reenters public life at a time when the Scouts are being heavily scrutinized for their past handling of alleged child sex abuse at the hands of staff and troop leaders.

    None of Smith’s 520 photos were of Scouts and he was never accused of molesting children, but his case is a disturbing reminder that people in positions of power can lead double lives that put

    Read More »from Former Boy Scout safety director freed from federal prison
  • A bus carrying Sandy Hook students arrives at Chalk Hill School. (Dylan Stableford/Yahoo! News)

    MONROE, Conn.—Sandy Hook Elementary School students, many accompanied by their parents, resumed classes at a retrofitted school here on a bitterly cold Thursday morning. Their return comes less than a month after a gunman opened fire at their school in Newtown, killing 20 children and six adults, including Principal Dawn Hochsprung, in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

    Buses began arriving around 8:30 a.m. at Chalk Hill School, seven miles from their former building in Sandy Hook. The snowy roads leading to the school were lined with balloons, green and white ribbons—the school's colors—and signs welcoming the kids. "Work Hard," one sign affixed to a tree read. "Get Smart. Have Fun," read another.

    About a dozen police cruisers were parked at the entrance to the school, and officers braved the 13-degree temperatures to direct school traffic. But Monroe Police Lt. Keith White had told reporters on Wednesday that uniformed police presence inside would be toned down to allow a sense of normalcy.

    Volunteers spent several weeks moving furniture from Sandy Hook School to the new facility, as school officials tried to completely recreate classrooms in an effort to make students as comfortable as possible—right down, they said, to the way crayons were left on their desks.

    "Re-establishing routines following any disaster has been found to promote resiliency while also reducing the negative effects of a tragedy like that which occurred in our school," Newtown Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson wrote in a letter to parents. "We all find safety and predictability in our routines, and children are no different."

    Read More »from Sandy Hook students resume classes for first time since school shooting
  • Tony Tolbert, a 51-year-old lawyer from Los Angeles, proves you don't have to be a millionaire to make a huge difference. Last week, Tolbert began lending his house to a formerly homeless family for a year while he moves back in with his parents.

    Tolbert's story was profiled on "CBS This Morning." The Harvard-educated attorney explained that he was inspired by his father's generosity when he was younger. As a boy, Tolbert's father frequently let strangers with no place to go stay in their house. Years later, Tolbert decided to expand on the idea.

    When Tolbert told his mother, Marie, about the idea, she said, "Have you lost it?" Tolbert insisted he hadn't. "You don't have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffett or Oprah," he said to CBS News. "We can do it wherever we are, with whatever we have, and for me, I have a home that I can make available."

    [Related: Act of kindness turns into free coffee for hundreds of customers]

    Tolbert hasn't met the people who are moving into his home. He told

    Read More »from Man offers strangers furnished home for a full year

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  • Wenger upbeat as injured Gunners return
    Wenger upbeat as injured Gunners return

    Arsene Wenger is upbeat about a strong second half of the season showing from an Arsenal side set to capitalise on the return of injured players like Mesut Ozil and Mikel Arteta. Wenger expects Ozil and Arteta to return to action in January, while Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny are due back imminently to help reignite the Gunners' quest for a top-four finish in the Premier League. The Christmas schedule features fixtures against QPR, West Ham and Southampton and Wenger believes Arsenal, who occupy sixth place in the table, will soon be in a position to realise their potential.

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