Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Authorities: 14-year-old shoots 3 relatives, killing 2 - CNN.com

Authorities: 14-year-old shoots 3 relatives, killing 2 -in SC

(CNN) -- A 14-year-old South Carolina boy used the rifle his father bought him as a birthday present to shoot the man to death, along with a great-aunt, and critically wound his grandmother, police said Tuesday.

The teenager, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, called police just before midnight Monday and reported that he had shot his aunt, his grandmother and his father, said Tony Fisher, director of the Spartanburg, South Carolina, Public Safety Department.

The boy told the dispatcher his father was dead, and said "in a calm, controlled, methodical voice that he would be waiting or come outside when police arrived, and he had laid the gun on the dining room table," Fisher told reporters Tuesday. As officers arrived, the teen came out with his hands up and was arrested, he said.

Police entered the house to find Joe Robert Lankford, the boy's 44-year-old father, shot to death in his bed, Fisher said. They found Virginia Gaston, 83, dead in her bed, apparently from a gunshot wound, he said. Gaston is believed to be the boy's great-aunt, Fisher said.

Rachel Gaston Lankford, 80, the boy's grandmother, was transported to a hospital where she is in critical condition, he said.

The teen told police he used the .22-caliber rifle that "was a birthday gift purchased by his father for him on his most recent birthday in September," Fisher said.

Authorities investigating the teen's background, including school records and information from neighbors, have found "there were no behavior issues that would in any way suggest the predictability of this violent behavior," he said.

Although the boy has talked with authorities, "he was not able ... to articulate a reason for his behavior," Fisher said.

The teen faces a detention hearing in the next couple of days, according to Spartanburg County Solicitor Barry Barnette, and prosecutors will look closely at whether he should be tried as an adult. He will face charges of murder and attempted murder, Barnette said.

Police previously had responded to "insignificant incidents in and around the house," Fisher said, but "nothing directly associated with or related to that family in particular."

Helping schoolchildren learn the “Sustainability Game” » Education » 24dash.com

Helping schoolchildren learn the “Sustainability Game”

Students from Emsos School in Lake Bogoria playing the Sustainability Game. Credit: University of Leicester

An African field trip has inspired students and academics from the University of Leicester to develop a unique game for schools, to help children learn about sustainable living.

The Sustainability Game, which has already proved a hit with youngsters in Kenya, is now being made available to UK schools at a time of growing awareness and interest in ‘green’ and sustainability issues. There are currently more than 14,000 Eco-schools in the UK, and more than 1,000 have a Green Flag – indicating they have a strong whole-school commitment to environmental issues.

The game was inspired by a visit to Lake Bogoria by members of the University’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Science. Students worked on a number of projects with local people, ranging from examining rare plant species to helping with water harvesting, on their module called ‘Sustainable Livelihoods’, part of a degree theme called Sustainability.

The game promotes the sustainable use of natural resources, and was devised in consultation with local people, who guided the students on the difficulties in their everyday lives and what issues were particularly important to them. It is based on a thousands of years-old game called Bao, played anywhere with stones and two rows of 8 hollows in the ground. Archaeologists have found the game’s hollow pattern carved into rock at prehistoric sites.

Emma Tebbs, one of the students involved in developing the game and currently a PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Interdisciplinary Science course, said: “The game teaches the students the importance of taking enough for their own needs without taking so much that the environment is damaged for future generations. It gives UK students the chance to think about what sustainability means in the context of a developing country, before relating it back to their own life.”

Matt Howard, one of the University of Leicester students, played the game with local children.

He said: “Some of the students in the village enjoyed the game so much that they played it for four hours straight”.

“Taking part in this trip has made me realise how we take the resources we use for granted. Hearing the local people talk about the effects of the recent droughts and understanding how important the resource of water is to the community, I have since been far more careful about how I use this precious resource now I am back home.”

Children playing the Sustainability Game must learn how to use resources such as water, trees, swamps and pastures, crops, honey, wildlife and livestock. The game teaches them how closely these are interlinked and the impact of using each resource on all the others. The game is also used as part of the Sustainable Futures Masterclass offered by the University of Leicester Centre as outreach to school and colleges.

Teachers can download the game from the Centre’s website, where a voluntary donation can be paid to help the local community at Lake Bogoria.

The game supports, and is supported by, short films about sustainability which have been made by Kenyan and Tanzanian film-makers, trained by a team of British film-makers under a project funded by the Darwin Initiative, called CBCF (Community-based Biodiversity Conservation Films), that Dr David Harper, the originator of the iScience module, directs.

Tiny Green Bubble • A Car Company Wants to Get Us Out of Our Cars. Seriously.

A Car Company Wants to Get Us Out of Our Cars. Seriously.

One of the most surprising moments during Ford’s Driving Green technology events at the NAIAS last week came from Susan Cischke, their group Vice President of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. One of the main points she made during her hour long discussion of Ford’s sustainability efforts was the growing populations in “mega cities” around the world and how that necessitates that we move away from the old model of “one car for every person.” She also mentioned the need for more investment in public transportation systems. Say what? A car company executive thinks we need to make it more convenient for people to not use their cars? After all, wasn’t it Henry Ford whose vision was to “open highways for all mankind”?

Not surprisingly, she was asked about this during the Q&A session after her talk. Her response was music to a tree-hugger’s ears: it just isn’t feasible for the billions of people in the rapidly developing countries of China , India , and Brazil to have the same car culture as those of us living in the United States . Aside from the massive environmental impacts associated with so many more cars on the road, the price of oil from the expected exponential increase in demand will make car ownership much more expensive than it is today. Even electric cars don’t solve the problem of congestion and parking space associated with driving in a large city. Anyone who drive in New York City can attest to that.

Heed This Warning! Store Food, Water and Guns NOW!

Bob Chapman on Freedomizer Radio Tonight