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Broward Schools Ups Law Enforcement Presence

Our hearts are heavy as we deal with the horrific Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy that is impacting our community.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High remains closed for the rest of the week and all of the school’s activities are cancelled.

There is increased law enforcement presence at each of our District schools.

Grief counselors are available for all of our students, families and staff.

To speak to a BCPS Family Counselor from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 15 and Friday, February 16, call 754-321-HELP or 754-321-4357. You can also email wesupport@browardschools.com.

In addition, for Marjory Stoneman Douglas students, grief counselors are on site at the following locations:

- Pine Trails Park Recreation Center and Amphitheater  - Coral Springs Gymnasium  - Coral Springs Center For The Arts 

For Marjory Stoneman Douglas staff members, grief counselors are available at Parkland Library.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Please keep the Marjory Stoneman Douglas community in your thoughts and prayers.

Starbucks releases another holiday cup

Weeks after releasing a color-it-yourself cup, Starbucks is releasing another holiday cup.

>> Related: Starbucks releases color-it-yourself holiday cups

The new cup is red with an illustration of hands around a heart.

“The red cup is a clean design, with the heart as a space where people can highlight someone in their life who makes the season special,” said Jordan Kay, the designer of the cup. “The design symbolizes the love and warmth felt during the holiday season, when we connect with friends and family.”

The cup released earlier this month, also designed by Kay, is mostly white, giving customers the option to color in between the lines.

The new red cup, which Starbucks says celebrates “the good in each other,” will be given to customers for a limited time, according to The Associated Press.

“By introducing this cup, Starbucks encourages customers to recognize those who fill their heart and embody goodness this holiday season by writing that person’s name in the heart of the cup,” a Starbucks representative wrote in a news release.

Customers are encouraged to share photos with their red cups on social media with the hashtag #GiveGood.

“The holidays are about remembering what it means to give love and put goodness out into the world,” said Leanne Fremar, executive creative director for Starbucks. “We loved the idea of celebrating the good in each other this holiday season.”

This year marks the 20th year that the coffee chain has released holiday cups. 

In recent years, critics have condemned the cups, claiming they have become anti-Christian or anti-Christmas. President Donald Trump even suggested boycotting the coffee giant in the midst of what he has referred to as the “war on Christmas.”

Last year’s holiday cups were green, and Starbucks officials said the cup represented “a symbol of unity.”

>> Related: Protesters build 8,000-cup wall, monster in front of Starbucks' headquarters

Are leggings distracting? Atlanta fifth-graders want dress code changes

Two leggings-clad fifth-grade girls asked the Atlanta school board Monday to change its student dress code, which bans clothing that is “extremely tight” and “distracting.”

>> Read more trending news 

The board is reviewing revisions that would emphasize the dress code must be fairly enforced. Some Atlanta Public Schools students have complained the current rules target girls and want the new policy to drop the word “distracting.” 

“This is a label applied to girls’ clothing. I do not believe that clothing is a distraction. It is just the reaction that matters,” said Falyn Handley, a 10-year-old student at Springdale Park Elementary School, who spoke along with fellow leggings wearer and classmate Ruby Segerman. “I should not be punished for other people’s behavior. I am not a distraction.” 

The dress code rewrite is scheduled to go before the board’s policy review committee later this month and then return to the full board Dec. 4. The board likely will consider final approval in January, said board member Eshé Collins, who leads the policy committee. 

Read more about the proposed dress code changes here.

Target debuts first 'next-gen' store

It’s a first for Target: The red-themed retailer recently unveiled its first “next-gen” store in Richmond, Texas, near Houston.

>> Read more trending news 

The 124,000-square-foot store opened last week. It’s the first of hundreds of stores the retailer plans to open in the next two years.

“With our next generation of store design, we’re investing to take the Target shopping experience to the next level by offering more elevated product presentations and a number of time-saving features,” Target’s chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said earlier this year. “The new design for this Houston store will provide the vision for the 500 reimagined stores planned for 2018 and 2019, with the goal of taking a customized approach to creating an enhanced shopping experience.”

One of the differences shoppers may notice between the new Target design and other locations is how the “next-gen” store is two concepts within one.

According to Target spokespersons, for the convenience of the on-the-go-shopper, one side of the store comes with grocery items and pick-up for those who prefer to order online.

The other side of the Target store is similar to a virtual department store, according to Target representatives. Shoppers can find items from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ new “Hearth & Hand” collection in that section of the store.

RELATED: 'Fixer Upper' couple criticized over new home decor line at Target

“We wanted to tailor the experience to what shoppers are looking for,” store manager Shannon Wolford said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

RELATED: Fans rush in early to make sure they don’t miss Chip and Joanna’s Target line

The in-store Starbucks is even next-gen, complete with patio seating.

Read more at Houston Chronicle and Target

RELATED: Target is making some big changes that will lead to better, faster shopping

Free tacos! Taco Bell offers freebie Wednesday

Free tacos, anyone? 

Thanks to Taco Bell and Houston Astros outfielder Cameron Maybin, anyone can snag a free taco today between 2 and 6 p.m. local time.

>> Read more trending news 

The deal is a part of Taco Bell’s Steal a Base, Steal a Taco promotion during the World Series. 

Maybin stole a base Oct. 25 in Los Angeles during the 11th inning of Game 2 of the World Series.

Participating locations will offer Doritos Locos taco to customers while supplies last. There is a limit of one taco per customer.

The Astros and the Dodgers are tied with three wins each in the World Series. Game 7, to be played tonight in Los Angeles, will determine the championship winner. 

If any player steals a base in tonight’s game, Taco Bell will offer another free Doritos Locos promotion.

Woman: Waffle House served me bleach

A woman claims in a lawsuit that an employee at a Waffle House in DeKalb County, Georgia, served her bleach, causing $50,000 in medical expenses. 

>> Read more trending news

Atavian Moore went to the restaurant, located at 2842 Panola Road in Lithonia, Georgia, on Oct. 28, 2015, and was given a drink with the chemical in it, the suit said. The bleach came from a recent cleaning of the drink dispenser, Moore alleges.

Waffle House was served with the suit on Friday and is looking into the situation, said spokesman Pat Warner.

“Since it is pending litigation we will have no further comment and will respond to the allegations through the legal system,” he said. “The safety of our customers is a responsibility that we take very seriously.”

Moore’s complaint says she is expected to have future bills from treatment of gastrointestinal issues and psychological trauma. The suit was filed in DeKalb County State Court by attorneys Charles Richards Jr. and Mak McAllister of Suwanee, Georgia.

“As a result of the negligence and failure of Waffle House to remove of the bleach from Moore’s drink, Moore suffered injuries to (her) esophagus, stomach and other internal areas of her body,” the lawsuit claims. 

The suit asks for the amount she’s owed to be determined in court.

Could Krispy Kreme, Panera parent company be looking to buy Dunkin' Donuts?

Speculation that Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Donuts could be purchased by Panera’s parent company, JAB Holding Company, sent the coffee-and-doughnut company’s stock soaring 8 percent higher this week, according to Bloomberg

>> Read more trending news 

The business publication reported Tuesday morning that Luxembourg-based JAB Holdings, which also owns Einstein Bros. Bagels, Caribou Coffee, Keurig Green Mountain, Peet’s Coffee and Krispy Kreme, could be looking to buy out Dunkin’ Brands. 

A buyout of Dunkin’ would help JAB take over even more of the coffee market not owned by Starbucks. 

>> Related: Dunkin' Donuts considers cutting ‘Donuts' from name

Bloomberg reports that Dunkin’ Brands, which includes Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins, is valued around $8.2 billion. It would be JAB’s second priciest acquisition in the past 19 months, behind Keurig Green Mountain. 

According to Bloomberg's Gillian Tan, Dunkin’s costly upgrades to its digital ordering could be something JAB would be prepared to tackle, having already acquired Panera Bread and that chain’s lavish digital ordering system. 

>> Related: Krispy Kreme owner buys Panera Bread for $7 billion

There hasn't been any evidence of a deal, but the speculation is buzzing. 

Read more at Bloomberg.

Missouri university requiring students to take class in patriotism

College of the Ozarks in Missouri isn’t technically a military academy, but that isn’t stopping it from requiring its students to be good patriots. All freshmen will be required to take a course entitled “Patriotic Education and Fitness,” which covers everything from learning to respect the flag to marksmanship.

>> Read more trending news

The university, a private Christian liberal arts school, is a small institution nestled in the scenic hills of rural Point Lookout. In the 2017-18 school year, it welcomed only 280 freshmen, but President Jerry Davis made the school’s mission clear during his convocation to the students, saying in prayer, “Today we acknowledge those standing before us for the idea that one day, they’ll assume positions of leadership that our country very much needs.”

Davis told the Springfield News-Leader that the course is aimed at correcting astray youth, explaining, “If we don’t pay attention to this type of education, there is a danger that within a few generations, we’ll have a population that doesn’t understand its own county or believe that anything is worth fighting for.”

RELATED: College football player who didn’t stand for the anthem will now watch the games from home

On Monday, the school held an event to introduce the new course, during which retired USMC General Terrence Dake, who sits on the board of trustees, stated, “I really think that if you give a person the tools of an education, the patriotic yearnings inside of themselves and the leadership tools that can be taught, they will be leaders,” The Kansas City Star reports. And at College of the Ozarks, patriotism is more than a yearning — in September, the university announced that it won’t even compete athletically against teams who do not stand during the national anthem.

“Patriotic Education and Fitness” is a military science course, according to the university’s catalog. The official description claims that it’s “designed to support the College’s patriotic mission by encouraging an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibilities, love of country and willingness to defend it.”

School named after Confederate president to be renamed after Barack Obama

A Mississippi school that was named after a Confederate president is to be renamed next year after former U.S. President Barack Obama after an Oct. 5 vote by the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees.

>> Read more trending news 

Davis IB Elementary School in Jackson, Mississippi, has operated for years under the namesake of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. But by the time the 2018-2019 academic year rolls around, the school will be renamed Barack Obama Magnet IB Elementary School.

The decision was announced Tuesday after months of discussion. Parents of students who attend the school, including PTA President Janelle Jefferson, expressed excitement and approval, saying the new name is more appropriate for the school, which has a population of 97 percent black students.

“Jefferson Davis, although infamous in his own right, would probably not be too happy about a diverse school promoting the education of the very individuals he fought to keep enslaved being named after him,” Jefferson said, according to The Clarion Ledger.

Jefferson said the new name reflects “a person who fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves.”

The decision came soon after the Mississippi State Board of Education requested Gov. Phil Bryant declare Jackson Public Schools in a state of emergency for lack of certified teachers and proper procedures, among other issues, Newsweek reported. If Bryant approves the request, the school board will be disbanded, according to The Clarion Ledger

The potential for the disbandment led board members to encourage PTA members at three schools in the Jackson Public Schools system to consider renaming at a hastened pace. 

There’s no word on the renaming developments of two other schools in the county: George Elementary, named after Confederate Gen. James Zachariah George, and Lee Elementary, named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

As of January, at least 19 U.S. schools had been named after Obama, according to Education Week.

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