The following charity video comes from the NBC Nightly News. It is about a dog charity in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The organization is Guardians Of Rescue. The goal is to use dogs to improve the mental well-being of soldiers who return from combat with PTSD. This video aired on the June 9, 2013 episode of the NBC Nightly News. Gabe Gutierrez reported on this story.
The dogs used by Guardians Of Rescue are either strays or pooches left behind when a soldier deployed for combat.
Before the dogs can be used by this charity, they must undergo about 3 months of training to become a therapy dog.
Dori Scofield is the vice president of Guardians Of Rescue. She says it is bittersweet to send dogs away to their new homes (with the soldiers suffering from PTSD).
Michael Metzinger is a soldier from the Venice, Florida area, who is suffering from post-war stress. He receives a dog named Zoe in this story.
The following charity video comes from the NBC Nightly News. It is about a music charity started by David France. He founded Foundation Of Hope, which is an after-school orchestra. France makes money playing the violin and used some of that dough to fund this music group. This video aired on the May 25 episode of the Nightly News. Lester Holt is the in-studio reporter, and Chelsea Clinton is on location in Roxbury, Massachusetts. This is an edition of Making a Difference.
Dearborn Middle School allows France to do his practice and training sessions on school grounds. Kids then come, and France is the music teacher. He says his goal is to show kids that they can do something a little better.
France actually plays in the Boston subway system, at Crossing Station. He then uses that money to buy instruments for this program.
The training is 5 days a week and 3 hours a day. Students who come every day learn at a fast pace.
Previously, the New England Conservatory funded a trip for David France to teach at an after-school orchestra in Venezuela. He then patterned Foundation Of Hope after that program.
France provides the skills, the training, and the instruments for learning. It is then up to the kids to make something out of that.
The following NBC Nightly News travel video contains a list of the top 10 beaches of 2013, as ranked by Dr. Beach. His real name is Stephen Leatherman, and he is the director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research.
The following NBC Nightly News weather video is about the Pavlof Volcano and the Aleutian Islands, which are a chain of volcanic islands in Alaska. This video aired on the May 17, 2013 episode of the Nightly News.
In this clip, you can see excellent photos of the Pavlof Volcano erupting. The eruption could be seen from Cold Bay, Alaska. Mostly what can be seen from the pictures is a large cloud of gray and black smoke emanating from the volcano. A limited amount of lava could be seen from one of the volcanoes.
The ash cloud was said to reach 20,000 feet.
The Aleutian Islands are pretty remote. So people don’t usually live over there (but Wikipedia says some 8000 or so people live on the islands). However, the volcanic smoke is a possible hazard to aircraft. So flights could possibly be diverted if the activity continues.
The following NBC Nightly News weather video is an update on the April 2013 Midwest flooding. It aired on the April 26 episode. Brian Williams is reporting in the studio, and Kevin Tibbles is reporting from Fargo, North Dakota.
Fargo is preparing for potential floods along the Red River. That is where Tibbles is giving his weather update from. He says they are preparing for the worst in Fargo and other parts of North Dakota.
In this video, you can see a large group of high school students creating a barricade with sandbags. This is the 4th time in 5 years that the Red River is at risk of record flooding. There was a huge flood in 2009, with hundreds of homes underwater. The river rose to 41 feet.
Here are some additional highlights of this video:
1. The Chicago area has an April record for rainfall.
2. Comstock Park, Michigan, had dozens of homes underwater, due to flooding of the Grand River.
3. Farm fields are flooded in Whiteland, Indiana.
4. St. Louis has seen flooding due to the Mississippi River.
5. President Obama declared a state of emergency for North Dakota, on April 26, 2013.
The following NBC Nightly News animal video is about two beavers who are being hailed as heroes. This story comes out of Ogden, Utah. It was added to the NBC website on March 22, 2013.
They say the beavers’ dam stopped diesel from leaking into Willard Bay. So they have been elevated to hero status.
The beavers are now being cared for at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. They have been given a good bath to get rid of the diesel, some antibiotics, and some Kaopectate. DaLyn Erickson says you could smell the diesel on them when they came into the rehab center.
It remains to be seen whether these animals can be nursed back to health. Erickson says that beavers have a sensitive respiratory system. And the diesel could be doing damage to their vital organs. Neurological problems are also a possibility.
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.
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.
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.
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.