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Differences Emerge In PA Over Who Should Fund Student Security

HARRISBURG (WSKG) — A GOP-proposed bill currently sitting in the state House is raising questions about who should be responsible for keeping Pennsylvania students safe. It would give districts the option to let trained teachers carry firearms at school. Indiana County School District Superintendent Dale Kirsch said in his mind, the issue of whether it’s appropriate to arm teachers comes down to available resources. Currently, he said his district has one armed guard for its high school, but no security in its middle school or four elementary schools.

“I’d feel better if we had armed security in each building, versus having armed teachers,” he said. “But without the funding for armed security, at least arming teachers would give us an option.”

Kirsch plans to apply for a state security funding grant through the state’s existing Safe School Initiative, for which his district recently became eligible. He noted, however, it’s unlikely to cover all six of the district’s buildings. Governor Tom Wolf and other opponents of the plan argue school security is safer when it’s up to the state.

Wolf said while he’d veto the GOP bill, he supports allocating more money to the Safe School Initiative.

He’s at odds with at least the House on that point though. The chamber’s budget proposal slashes funding for the initiative–eliminating all of the approximately $8.5 million dollars it was allocated this year.

State Department website removes article touting history of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate

The State Department on Monday removed from its website an article about the history and lavish furnishings of President Trump s privately owned Florida resort club Mar-a-Lago, following questions about whether the federal government improperly promoted Trump s moneymaking enterprises. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) pointed to the travelogue-style blog piece[1] Monday, asking in a Twitter message why the State Department would spend taxpayer $$ promoting the president s private country club. The State Department issued a statement Monday apologizing for any misperception.

[Are President Trump s trips to Mar-a-Lago similar to Obama s travels?[2]]

The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the president has been hosting world leaders, the statement said.

It was not clear whether the item had been vetted for legal or ethical concerns. The short item had been posted on a travel promotional website called Share America on April 4, ahead of Trump s meeting at Mar-a-Lago with Chinese President Xi Jinping[3]. A version of the item was recently reposted on the website maintained by the U.S. Embassy in London, where it caught the attention of watchdog groups. The item adopted Trump s term winter White House for the members-only club. It did not expressly encourage foreigners to visit Mar-a-Lago, although other articles on the same website actively promote U.S. tourism. The item did note that the estate is located at the heart of Florida s Palm Beach community.

By visiting this winter White House, Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago s original owner and designer, the item read. The ornate Jazz Age house was designed with Old-World Spanish, Venetian and Portuguese influences and filled with original owner Marjorie Merriweather Post s collection of antiques, the article noted.

The item included photographs of the house and sumptuous interiors, and copies of Trump tweets mentioning Mar-a-Lago.

[What restaurant inspectors found wrong in Trump s Mar-a-Lago kitchen[4]]

The article gave a brief summary of the 1927 mansion s history, including Post s desire that it be used by U.S. presidents as a retreat and the subsequent decision by the U.S. government that the property was too expensive to maintain. Trump bought it in 1985.

After refurbishing the house and adding an events space, Trump opened the estate to dues-paying members of the public in 1995 as the Mar-a-Lago Club, the State Department item read. Post s dream of a winter White House came true with Trump s election in 2016. Trump regularly works out of the house he maintains at Mar-a-Lago and uses the club to host foreign dignitaries. One watchdog group, American Oversight, called for an investigation by the State Department inspector general and said it would request public records documenting how the blog post was created. The State Department describes the Share America site as its platform for sharing compelling stories and images that spark discussion and debate on important topics like democracy, freedom of expression, innovation, entrepreneurship, education, and the role of civil society.

The site is produced by the department s Bureau of International Information Programs, which produces material distributed by U.S. embassies.

Read more:

Trump has spent one out of every five minutes of his presidency in Palm Beach[5]

Coast Guard faces growing costs for protecting Trump s Mar-a-Lago[6]

A fake diplomatic cable has the State Department fuming[7]


  1. ^ travelogue-style blog piece (
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Marine Le Pen, New Orleans, Arkansas: Your Monday Evening Briefing

The major parties, rebuked by the vote, are uniting against Ms. Le Pen, who has tried to distance the party from its openly racist roots, our correspondent in Paris writes[1].

Continue reading the main story[2]

We look at the European mainstream s relief[3], the exuberant reaction in global markets and the euro s surge[4].


Photo Marine Le Pen, New Orleans, Arkansas: Your Monday Evening Briefing Credit Richard Drew/Associated Press

3. The new era at Fox News begins tonight.

For the first time in nearly two decades, Bill O Reilly will not kick off[5] the prime-time lineup. He ll be replaced by Tucker Carlson. Check back for updates on his debut.

The TV industry is scrambling to capitalize on the turmoil, seeing a rare opportunity to dislodge Fox from its No. 1 spot[6].


Photo Marine Le Pen, New Orleans, Arkansas: Your Monday Evening Briefing Credit Arkansas Department of Correction, via Associated Press

4. Arkansas executed two convicted murderers[7] after a flurry of failed, last-ditch appeals, as the state attempts to carry out a series of capital punishments before one of its lethal injection drugs expires.

Jack Jones, left, and Marcel Williams, right, died from three-drug injections, administered in the same chamber.

Earlier, we spoke to people who have witnessed executions[8].

People don t realize that you never get over it, unless you re just cold and calculated, said a prison chaplain who witnessed 95. I ll never forget it.


Photo Marine Le Pen, New Orleans, Arkansas: Your Monday Evening Briefing Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

5. Our national security correspondent reports that expert studies and classified intelligence findings have concluded that North Korea can now produce a nuclear bomb[9] every six or seven weeks.

In a phone call with President Trump[10], President Xi Jinping of China appealed for restraint in dealings with North Korea. Above, the two leaders at Mar-a-Lago this month.

Continue reading the main story[11]

(Speaking of Mar-a-Lago, an article[12] posted and then removed from many United States Embassy websites featured a visitors guide to the winter White House. )

In other diplomatic moves, the U.S. announced new sanctions against employees of Syria s chemical weapons program[13].


Photo Marine Le Pen, New Orleans, Arkansas: Your Monday Evening Briefing Credit Pool photo by Jonathan Ernst

6. There was a security shake-up in Afghanistan just before Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Kabul[14].

The defense minister and army chief of staff stepped down because of widespread anger over Friday s attack on an army base.

The government lost 160 soldiers, making it the deadliest Taliban attack of the long Afghan war. The U.S. is weighing whether to send thousands more American troops.


Photo Marine Le Pen, New Orleans, Arkansas: Your Monday Evening Briefing Credit Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

7. One of the best-read articles on our site today was this deep dive on Travis Kalanick, the hard-charging CEO of Uber[15], who has led his company to the brink of implosion.

In other travel news, start-ups and big aerospace firms are working to address that frequent complaint of sci-fi fans: Where s my flying car already[16]?


Photo Marine Le Pen, New Orleans, Arkansas: Your Monday Evening Briefing Credit NASA

8. The astronaut Peggy Whitson set a[17] record[18] for most time in space by an American: 535 days.

She got a congratulatory call from President Trump, who added perhaps jokingly that he would like to send an American to Mars.

Continue reading the main story[19]

It took me a lot longer to become an astronaut than I ever really wanted it to take, the 57-year-old biochemist told Mr. Trump. But I do think I m better at my job because of the journey.


Photo Marine Le Pen, New Orleans, Arkansas: Your Monday Evening Briefing Credit Gordon Welters for The New York Times

9. Is this the world s coolest kindergarten?

The German soccer team F.C. St. Pauli hosts a[20] day care[21] in its Hamburg stadium. Parents can sign up to come watch matches, too. And the kids fit right in.

They re quite good at screaming, one mom said.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan[22] to offer free pre-K to all 3-year-olds by 2021.


Photo Marine Le Pen, New Orleans, Arkansas: Your Monday Evening Briefing Credit Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

10. Workers in New Orleans dismantled an obelisk commemorating the Confederacy[23].

Because of security threats, they worked under police guard, wearing flak jackets and scarves to conceal their identities. Three more monuments are scheduled for removal.


Photo Marine Le Pen, New Orleans, Arkansas: Your Monday Evening Briefing Credit Caitlin Fares for The New York Times

11. Finally, a cactus in bloom is pure poetry, a startling juxtaposition in Technicolor.

And the California desert is full of them. A wet winter has brought a wild superbloom to parts of California[24] and the Southwest.

The most fitting line might be this famous one, from Walt Whitman: Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself.

Have a great night.


Photographs may appear out of order for some readers. Viewing this version[25] of the briefing should help.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

And don t miss Your Morning Briefing, posted weekdays at 6 a.m. Eastern, and Your Weekend Briefing, posted at 6 a.m. Sundays.

Want to look back? Here s Friday[26] night s briefing[27].

What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at Continue reading the main story[29]


  1. ^ our correspondent in Paris writes (
  2. ^ Continue reading the main story (
  3. ^ the European mainstream s relief (
  4. ^ the euro s surge (
  5. ^ Bill O Reilly will not kick off (
  6. ^ to dislodge Fox from its No. 1 spot (
  7. ^ executed two convicted murderers (
  8. ^ who have witnessed executions (
  9. ^ North Korea can now produce a nuclear bomb (
  10. ^ In a phone call with President Trump (
  11. ^ Continue reading the main story (
  12. ^ an article (
  13. ^ employees of Syria s chemical weapons program (
  14. ^ Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Kabul (
  15. ^ Travis Kalanick, the hard-charging CEO of Uber (
  16. ^ Where s my flying car already (
  17. ^ Peggy Whitson set a (
  18. ^ record (
  19. ^ Continue reading the main story (
  20. ^ German soccer team F.C. St. Pauli hosts a (
  21. ^ day care (
  22. ^ Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan (
  23. ^ commemorating the Confederacy (
  24. ^ wild superbloom to parts of California (
  25. ^ this version (
  26. ^ Friday (
  27. ^ night s briefing (
  28. ^