MSNBC And NBC Nightly News Video: 12 Florida A&M Band Members Charged With Manslaughter Over Hazing Incident That Allegedly Killed Robert Champion

Robert Champion was a drum major with the Florida A&M marching band. He died on a bus after one of the band’s performances. Florida prosecutors say it was a hazing incident that resulted in his death. 12 former members of the band are now charged with manslaughter over this alleged hazing incident. This video comes from the NBC Nightly News. It aired on the March 4, 2013 episode.

According to authorities, Robert Champion was beaten as a part of this hazing incident. He was killed from internal injuries, allegedly as a result of that beating.

The maximum prison sentence for these manslaughter charges is 15 years.

As to evidence showing that each of the 12 is guilty of this crime, that was not discussed in this particular report. But one would expect lots of people to be pointing fingers at everyone else. But anyone who encouraged the hazing would also generally be guilty of the crime as an accessory. This is true even if a defendant did not physically beat Champion. However, some of the Florida A&M band members might be able to argue that the actual beating was not consistent with and far exceeded what they had seen in the past. In other words, did they encourage harmless hazing, but the people doing the beating suddenly and unexpectedly put a violent whipping on the victim?

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MSNBC Video: “Making A Difference” Segment For “Musicians On Call” (Playing Music For Patients Confined To Hospital Beds); Features Darius Rucker And Randy Houser

The following MSNBC news video comes from the NBC Nightly News. It is an edition of the “Making A Difference” segment, which focuses on charities. The organization featured in this edition is Musicians on Call. Lester Holt is reporting. This clip aired on the February 17, 2013 episode of the NBC Nightly News.

Music is a well-known form of therapy. And live music often has a more dramatic effect on the mental health of individuals. But getting that therapy is a problem for bed-ridden patients. So some genius came up with the idea of sending musicians to the bedside of these patients. And Musicians On Call was born.

Darius Rucker is a participant in this program. He got famous as the lead singer of Hootie And The Blowfish and now focuses as a solo artist in the country genre. Rucker loves it when he sees a smile on the patients’ faces.

Rucker and Randy Houser have performed for patients at Nashville’s Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

Leslie Faerstein is the executive director of this charity. She says music can reduce pain and lower blood pressure.

To learn more about Musicians On Call, visit their website by clicking here.

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MSNBC Video: St. Petersburg, Florida – “Making a Difference” Segment: Window Washers At Children’s Hospitals Dress Up As Spider-Man And Other Superheroes

The following MSNBC news video aired on the NBC Nightly News. It is an edition of the Making a Difference segment. This edition is about some window washers at various children’s hospitals. This particular video focuses on All Children’s Hospital, which is in St. Petersburg, Florida. The video is from the February 11, 2013 episode.

These window washers try to cheer up the sick kids by dressing up as superheroes as they wash the windows up the outside walls of the hospitals. Some wear a Spider-Man costume. Others go for Superman, Captain America, or other superhero figures.

The trend has been spreading to other children’s hospitals, including Ft. Myers, Clearwater, etc. Specialists say positive thoughts like the ones invoked by these superhero window washers can help the healing process.

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MSNBC And NBC Nightly News Video: Grand Rapids, Michigan – “Moms Bloom” Group Gives Support And Help To New Mothers

The following MSNBC news video is from the NBC Nightly News. It is from the February 4, 2013 edition. Mara Schiavocampo is reporting.

This piece features the Moms Bloom group. They are based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Rachel Morrow has both twins and another baby. She says trying to take care of just those 3 is a nonstop affair. Her husband is working, and up until Moms Bloom came into her life, she had no help from anyone else since there are no family members in the area.

Becky Brink is a retired teacher and volunteer for Moms Bloom. She drops by Rachel’s house once a week to help around the house and with the kids. Becky says she usually watches the kids while Rachel does laundry and sometimes take a nap.

Moms Bloom uses volunteers only, so their services are free. They also do background checks on all their volunteers.

Sara Brinkley-Tow is a co-founder of Moms Bloom. She says we need to pay attention to new mothers’ needs, not just the needs of the babies.

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MSNBC Weather Video: Toxic Smog Over Salt Lake City, Utah; State of Emergency Declared

The following MSNBC weather news video is from the NBC Nightly News. It aired on the January 25, 2013 episode.

There is a major problem with toxic smog in Salt Lake City, Utah. This affects around 1 million area residents. This problem is not perfectly consistent and spikes or peaks at different times, based on weather conditions and other factors. At the time of this report, the toxic smog over Salt Lake City had gotten just about as bad as anyone has seen before – so bad that a state of emergency was declared.

Dr. Ellie Brownstein is a pediatrician who says SLC has a serious health crisis. It has the dirtiest air in the United States.

Locals are saying it’s hard to even breathe, and the air pollution is making some people cough and choke up.

As a result of the emergency, pregnant women, children, and the elderly were implored to stay indoors to avoid the severe toxic chemicals floating through the air.

The smog is a combination of soot and carbon monoxide. On the safety scale, it has reached to the point of being 4 times more than the minimum “unsafe level.”

Dr. Cris Cowley is a cardiac anesthesiologist. He has some bizarre claim that the air is like forcing all members of the community to become active smokers. I imagine this is far worse than that and not even close. Otherwise, smoking would have been banned a long time ago.

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MSNBC And NBC Nightly News Video: Crane Collapses When Trying To Move Christmas Tree At Atlanta, Georgia’s Lenox Square Mall

The following MSNBC Christmas news video is from the NBC Nightly News. It is about a near-accident at the Lenox Square Mall, which is in the Atlanta, Georgia area. The video aired on the January 2, 2013 episode of the Nightly News.

A crane was trying to remove a large Christmas tree from the roof area of the Macy’s part of the shopping mall. As the tree got close to the ledge, the crane broke, sending the tree down to the roof. The Christmas tree can be seen dangling on the side of the roof. Luckily, it did not fall on the people below.

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MSNBC And NBC Nightly News Video: Oakland And Hayward, California – Tomás A. Magaña And “Faces For The Future” Program Promote Health Careers Among Low-Income Kids

The following MSNBC news video is about the Faces For The Future program. This segment is part of the Making a Difference segment, which highlights various charitable organizations. The segment appeared on the NBC Nightly News’s January 1, 2013 edition.

The Founding Director of Faces For The Future is Tomás A. Magaña. He is a medical doctor who started the program as a way to show troubled youth in the Oakland area that there are alternatives to getting a better life.

Faces For the Future is a nonprofit that conducts operations in Hayward and Oakland, California. The purpose of the organization is to promote the benefits of training for health-related careers. The focus is on children of low-income families.

This is an after-school program. It is mostly for high schoolers that learn about health and medical jobs through a two-year volunteer program. They actually get some hands-on experience in places like clinics and hospitals.

Click here to visit the Faces For The Future website and learn more about this potentially rewarding program.

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MSNBC And NBC Nightly News Video: Courtni Webb Suspended From Life Learning Academy High School Over Sandy Hook Poem

The following MSNBC news video originally aired on the NBC Nightly News. It appeared on the December 30, 2012 broadcast. It deals with high school student Courtni Webb, free speech, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

Courtni has been suspended from Life Learning Academy, a charter high school in Treasure Island, which is the San Francisco, California area.

School administrators deemed her poem to be a threat. I didn’t see any direct threat in the poem. At most, one might argue that there was some kind of veiled threat. But Courtni Webb says she was just expressing herself and the fact that she could “understand” why something like Sandy Hook would happen. She says she does not agree with it.

In the end, it appears that Webb’s Sandy Hook poem does not contain a threat. If it really did, then why wasn’t she arrested by the police? If Life Learning Academy really thought it was a threat, wouldn’t calling the police be the proper action instead of suspending her.

At the same time, though, put yourself in the shoes of school administrators. If you say nothing and something bad happens, people will complain that you ignored the warning signs. They would point straight to this poem and say that it was a threat of violence.

In the end, I’m not sure there’s much that can be done about this if you are Courtni Webb. There is a constitutional scholar in the story that says her rights of free speech cover this type of poem. In the future, though, it seems best to just keep this kind of poetry at home instead of in the classroom. Legally, there was no criminal threat in this poem. But schools would not be doing their duty if they didn’t act upon this kind of skirting-the-line literature. Perhaps a suspension was an excessive response, though.

To students that want to express themselves and are not violent, keep in mind you can do this outside the school all day long. For those who are violent, I guess we have to hope they do share this stuff at school so people will have warning signs.

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MSNBC And NBC Nightly News Video: Delaware County And Muncie, Indiana – Al Holdren And Volunteers Provide Christmas Gifts To Thousands Of Needy Families

The following MSNBC news video is about Al Holdren and volunteers that work with him around Christmas time. Thanks to their efforts, thousands of Christmas presents are provided to needy families in Muncie, Indiana (Delaware County). This clip is an edition of the Making a Difference segment, which features the work of select charities around the country. It originally aired on the NBC Nightly News. John Yang is on scene to report on this story.

Al Holdren can be seen organizing his troops on this video. They got together all on one day, went on a shopping spree, and wrapped the presents at a local car dealership. Al and his volunteers also provided Christmas trees to needy families.

Daughter Katie Holdren, who participates with the Holdren sisters, says this special day (already completed for 2012) is much better than the actual Christmas Day.

This year, Al and wife Chris raised more than $100,000. That was enough to help 180 families. Seems like they could help a lot more families with that kind of money. But hey. It’s their charity. At least those families will be super happy.

Kathy Flatter is one of the volunteers. She says she feels special adding just a little something to a family’s Christmas.

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MSNBC And NBC Nightly News Video: Florida Supreme Court Legal Free-Speech Decision – You Can Play Loud Music While Driving In Your Car

The following MSNBC news video is about a legal decision handed down by the Florida Supreme Court. It is in the area of free speech. The video appeared on the December 13, 2012 edition of the NBC Nightly News.

A man had been cited for playing loud music while driving his car down the road. One of the funny things about this story is what the motorist was playing – Justin Timberlake. Generally, local governments can set their own decibel levels for how loud you can play music. But music in a car may give rise to exceptions.

In this case, the Florida Supreme Court now says that loud music does fall under the umbrella of free-speech rights when you are playing the music in your car. It is not totally clear how expansive this decision is. But in this case, the Clearwater, Florida plaintiff challenged a law that said you could not play music in your car loud enough for people only 25 feet away to plainly hear it. That was considered too harsh of an ordinance by the Supreme Court. Surely, the government can place some limitations on noise. But 25 feet was considered entirely too invasive on free speech to this court.

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