Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Man claims cashier whacked him with an English cucumber resulting in injury

A  San Antonio man is suing H-E-B claiming a cashier whacked him with an  English cucumber after he questioned her about scanning the item twice.  According to the court document, when the man asked the cashier if she  had scanned the cucumber twice, she grabbed it and whacked his right  hand with it, rupturing the plastic shrink wrap and causing the cucumber  to explode. He alleges that he saw what she was about to do and tried  to pull his hand back to avoid the hit, but was not fast enough. He said  he felt a “pop” in the area of his AV fistula, which was  surgically done to provide arterial and venous blood flow necessary for  dialysis. He claims he was “shocked by the violent reaction to his  questioning about the double scan, while the cashier insisted it was his  fault for questioning her about properly scanning his groceries.”  The man is now suing for damages, including pain and suffering, health  care expenses, physical impairment, loss of earnings and mental anguish.  He is seeking relief in the amount of over $200,000 but less than  $1,000,000 including damages, penalties, costs, expenses and  pre-judgement interest. (OKC Fox)

Elizabeth Warren introduces bill to revoke Medals of Honor awarded for Wounded Knee Massacre

Senator  and Presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren, introduced a bill last  week that would posthumously revoke 20 Medals of Honor awarded to U.S.  soldiers who slaughtered hundreds of Native Americans (mostly women and  children) at the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. The Remove the Stain Act  accompanies a House version introduced earlier this year by Democrats  Paul Cook of California, Denny Heck of Washington and Deb Haaland of New  Mexico. The proposal is co-sponsored by Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley  and Ron Wyden of Oregon, Kamala Harris of California and Patrick Leahy  and Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent. Several Native American  tribes, including descendants of the victims, have backed the  legislation along with veterans groups such as VoteVets and Veterans for  Peace. Wounded Knee took place on December 29, 1890 when U.S. troops  with the 7th Calvary began to crack down on a religious movement known  as the “Ghost Dance”. Lakota leader Chief Big Foot and his  people were confined to a camp in South Dakota and ordered to give up  their weapons. When a weapon accidentally went off, the cavalry troops  opened fire and killed as many as 250 people. Congress apologized for  the massacre in 1990 but did not revoke the medals, the military’s  highest award. (Fox News)

Rural Americans Dying More Frequently from Preventable Causes

More  than 46 million Americans live in rural areas, and a new report from  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says these residents tend  to be older and sicker compared with people living in urban areas. The  report found a widening gap nationwide in the percentages of preventable  deaths between rural and urban counties between 2010 and 2017. Experts  believe it is because they have less access to health care, specifically  specialized health care, and they are less likely to have health  insurance. Health conditions linked to cigarette smoking also are a  contributing factor to early deaths in rural communities. Others say  rural health care providers and public health programs should work to  help patients quit smoking, reduce their opioid prescribing and screen  earlier for high blood pressure to curb early deaths. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

A Texas educator once lauded as her district’s “Teacher of the Year” allegedly performed oral sex on a student in a classroom, authorities said

The  36-year-old family and consumer science teacher at Round Rock High  School was arrested last week after a student told police she had  performed oral on him twice in October. Text messages sent between the  student and the teacher (who was named the Secondary Teacher of the Year  by the school district in May) appear to be consistent with the teen’s  accusations, investigators said. Parents were notified in an email  earlier this month that the teacher had an improper relationship with a  student, prompting to take personal leave. She later resigned from her  position on November 19th. The Round Rock High School Principal told  parents that the teacher had passed a state background check prior to  being hired and had solid prior employment checks. The teacher had  taught for the past six years and credited her family’s passion for  education when she was recognized for her excellence in the classroom.  She also led the school’s Adopt-A-Child community service project,  district officials said. She has been released on bond after turning  herself in to authorities at the Williamson County Jail on charges of  improper relationship between educator and student. New data from the  Texas Education Agency (TEA) shows there has been a rise in  inappropriate relationships between teachers and students in recent  years. During the 2018 to 2019 fiscal year, TEA tracked 442  inappropriate relationships, compared to 429 the year prior and 302  relationships in the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year. Compare that number to  123 relationships TEA recorded between 2008 and 2009. One explanation  for the recent spike in relationships could be because of the “Pass the  Trash” state law passed in 2017, which strengthened requirements for  principals and superintendents to report inappropriate relationships. (KVUE)

Huge gig-work hiring spree coming

The  biggest gig-worker hiring spree of the decade is about to begin, with  the U.S. Census Bureau seeking 500,000 part-time and temporary workers  for the 2020 decennial Census. The jobs, which pay between $13 and $30  per hour, include canvassers who knock on doors and office-workers who  double-check information. It looks to be the largest burst of short-term  hiring in the country. However, under-funding may corner the agency  into operating “on the cheap”. Insufficient funding has slashed resources and fueled concerns over a potential under-count. (Quartz

A terrible year for cars

Is  the auto industry flashing a warning sign on the world economy? Global  vehicle sales are currently on track for their biggest fall since 2008,  according to ratings agency Fitch. If the trend holds through to the end  of the year, it would mark a 4%, or 3.1 million sale, drop, with just  77.5 million cars expected to be sold. The decline comes largely due to  weaker demand from China, and could add to existing pressure on  manufacturers around the world. (CNN)

Offices are going back to nature

To attract new workers and hold on to their existing talent, a growing  share of employers are getting crafty about how they design their office  space. Companies like Walmart and Expedia are adopting a design concept  called “biophilia”, which focuses on creating more connection  between nature and office life. This includes everything from nature  paths, biking trails, meeting spaces that can be converted into outdoor  spaces and grass-roofed conference spaces. In exchange for these bucolic  amenities, though, many of these companies are ditching private offices  and assigned seating. (The Wall Street Journal)

Dealing with grudges at work

At  one point or another, all of us will end up feeling slighted at work.  But we need not let our grudges get the best of us (and our physical and  emotional health), researchers suggest . Confronting our offender in  the heat of the moment will likely make matters worse. When anger spikes, focus first on cooling off: take a walk, meditate, etc. This  helps us avoid taking our feelings out on innocent bystanders. And when  the time is right, we can address the offender, assertively and with  poise. (Fast Company)

More Than Half of Americans Are Concerned About Smart Speaker Data Privacy

Pew  Research Center conducted a study of U.S. adults to determine American  attitudes towards smart speakers. The result reveals that over half of  Americans are concerned about data privacy. Unsurprisingly, those most  concerned are in the younger demographic. The study found that  one-quarter of U.S. adults say they have a smart speaker in their home.  Adults younger than 50 are more likely to have a smart speaker than  those 50 and older. There’s also a stark divide in who owns a smart  speaker. 34% of people with an income of $75,000 or more have smart  speakers. Only 15% of people who make $30,000 or less during a year own  one of the devices. 54% of respondents said they were very or somewhat  worried about smart speaker data privacy. As these devices become more  prevalent in American homes, these questions will persist. Recent  revelations that Google has access to health data and their plans to buy  Fitbit have users leaving in droves. A recent smart speaker growth  report showed Google as the only company with negative growth in market  share this last quarter. As smart speakers become more ubiquitous in our  lives, data privacy concerns will continue to rise. (Digital Music News)

Tuesday Shines Brightly As:

  • Giving Tuesday (The day after Cyber Monday)
  • International Day of Persons With Disabilities
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