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Lafayette College: No evidence that tweets threatening attack are credible, authorities say

Update 2:28 a.m. EDT May 7: Investigators have not found evidence that social media threats of an attack on Lafayette College’s Easton, Pennsylvania, campus over the weekend were credible, school officials said in a statement.

“I want to thank everyone for the care you showed for one another last evening and outline next steps for the community as we strive to recover from this difficult incident,” Lafayette College President Alison Byerly said in the statement. “As noted in our message late last night, law enforcement officials did not find any indication that the threat made to the campus was credible. They advise a return to normal operations, including the return to campus of those who remained off campus last night. While Public Safety remains vigilant, the investigation, led by the FBI with the assistance of the Easton Police Department and Public Safety, is now focused on identifying the source of the threat.”

Read the full statement here.

The news came after school police said early Sunday that “no malicious or hazardous materials” were found “after an extensive room-by-room search of the campus.”

ORIGINAL STORY: A Twitter user who claimed to attend Lafayette College and support the Islamic State group reportedly threatened to attack the school's Easton, Pennsylvania, campus Saturday, sparking an FBI investigation.

According to Lehigh Valley Live, the person, using the name "Jafar Saleem (Brendan)" on Twitter, pledged to "destroy the Christianity within the school and make Allah proud." The Twitter user also posted a photo of several weapons with the caption, "Allah has graced us with these weapons of destruction to carry out his needs," Lehigh Valley Live reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The Twitter account has since been suspended, officials said.

In a post, the person claimed to have placed "several pipe bombs, pressure cookers and nail bombs around the campus and plan to inflict the most damage possible," Lehigh Valley Live reported.

The college tweeted late Saturday that students on campus should "stay where they are" and off-campus students should "stay away while the threat is assessed."

The college's public safety department tweeted early Sunday that the campus is "not on lockdown."

Read more here.

Florida math teacher accused of unzipping student's jacket, fanning her stomach 

Florida middle school teacher was escorted from campus last week after a student accused him of some inappropriate behavior, according to a police report. 

>> Read more trending news

A school resource officer at Millennium Middle School in Sanford reported that the video showed the teacher unzipping the student's jacket and then fanning her stomach with his hands.

But the victim said that's not all that happened.

According to the incident report, math teacher Miguel Nieves took his first period class outside Friday to get some air since they were not testing.

The victim told the school resource officer that Nieves asked if she was hot in her jacket she was wearing. 

She said Nieves asked her to take her jacket off, but she told him she couldn’t do that because her undershirt was in violation of the dress code, according to the report. 

The victim said Nieves asked to see her undershirt and she refused, the report said. 

When they returned to the building, Nieves and several students went to use the bathroom and get a drink of water. That's when Nieves allegedly unzipped her jacket, began to fan her stomach and said, “You need air.”

She returned to class and at the end of the period, the victim said Nieves called her over, zipped up her jacket and told her, “You are my favorite student. I love you,” according to the report.

Nieves denied the incident to the school resource officer but was escorted from campus and placed on paid leave pending an investigation by the school district. 

Sanford police have asked the state attorney's office to decide if criminal charges will be filed in this case.

Police said school surveillance footage showed the teacher making physical contact with the student, unzipping her jacket and waving his hand back and forth in a fanning motion.

Investigators said they haven't released the video because it's part of an active investigation.

Travel company's closure prevents Ohio students from taking DC trip they paid for

Sixth-graders at an Ohio school and their parents were notified Friday that the annual trip to Washington, D.C., probably won’t occur.

>> Read more trending news

Troy City Schools district isn’t alone. School districts across the state have reported their trips were being canceled because Discovery Tours, based in the Cleveland area, allegedly had not paid for reservations at hotels and bus lines.

The students and chaperones had paid nearly $200,000 total.

By late Friday afternoon, the company had sent Troy school officials an email that said:

“Subject: Discovery Tours -- Status

We regret to inform you that Discovery Tours Inc. has suspended its operations, effective immediately. All future trips are cancelled. Further information will be provided when available.”

Students at Van Cleve school in Troy were notified Friday afternoon of the “unfortunate development,” Principal Matt Siefring wrote in a letter to parents.

“To say I am disgusted by the prospective loss of this learning opportunity for our students is a tremendous understatement,” Siefring wrote. “That said, my focus and that of the staff of Van Cleve remains the safety, education and well-being of our students.”

Troy City Schools filed a complaint Friday against Discovery Tours with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Complaints, Superintendent Eric Herman said. Parents were being notified by a phone message, along with letters and postings on the school website.

“We are not giving up hope, but right now it doesn’t look good,” Herman said of the message to students.

He said 192 students had paid for the trip, which is scheduled to begin May 20. Another 58 adults were planning to attend. The cost per person was around $800.

District leaders have been unable to reach the company and were told by the hotel and bus company that reservations were made but not paid. The district has used the company for five years, Herman said.

The attorney general’s office said Friday it had received more than 170 complaints about Discovery Tours, primarily from parents who were concerned about canceled trips after they paid for their child’s trip.

“Like many schools and families, we are concerned about what’s happening with Discovery Tours and we want answers,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a media release.

Indiana high school golf coach arrested on meth, heroin charges

A high school golf coach in Indiana was arrested and charged with possession of heroin and methamphetamine after police conducted a traffic stop, WXIN reported.

>> Read more trending news

According to a release from Indiana State Police, Benjamin L. Beatty, 37, who serves as a varsity and junior varsity golf coach at Greenwood Community Schools, was stopped by police Tuesday. A search of his vehicle resulted in the discovery of one ounce of suspected methamphetamine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia. WRTV reported. 

Police said Beatty resisted arrest and was detained at the scene. Police also obtained search warrants for Beatty’s home in Columbus and at a Motel 6 in Columbus allegedly rented by the coach.

Police discovered additional drugs, including meth, heroin, and marijuana, WXIN reported. They also confiscated syringes, drug paraphernalia, packaging materials, counterfeit cash and other evidence of counterfeiting activities, police said.

Beatty was being held in the Bartholomew County Jail pending an initial court appearance, WXIN reported.

“At this time, we have no evidence and no indication that any of his illegal activity on his off time was connected to his connection with his students who he mentored in the golf program," Sgt. Steven Wheeles of the Indiana State Police said.

In a statement, Greenwood Community Schools said the conduct alleged against Beatty is not connected with any Greenwood students.

Mom's late daughter added to her college graduation photo

A woman who will graduate from Texas Southern University next weekend received the perfect gift from her husband: A graduation photo that includes her late daughter, KTRK reported. 

>> Read more trending news

Simone Allen, who is getting her bachelor’s degree in social work, took her graduation photos at Texas Southern with her surviving children in anticipation of her May 12 ceremony. She asked the photographer -- who is her husband, Eric Allen -- to find a way to include her late daughter, Jadalyn, in the moment.

Jadalyn, 6, died in 2012 from an accidental morphine overdose. She was prescribed the wrong dosage for her sickle cell disease, KTRK reported.

Eric Allen took the family photo and included the deceased child.

“It's something she wanted to do and I felt strong about doing it for her. At the end of the day, it's about her," he told KTRK.

Simone Allen said that after her daughter's death, she was depressed and quit college.

She finally decided to return to school and finish her degree at TSU, citing Jadalyn and her other children as inspiration.

She will achieve her goal on Mother’s Day weekend.

Teen stabbed with scissors after pulling student's dress up, police say

Two students in Tennessee were issued juvenile summonses after a stabbing at a Memphis school, police said. 

>> Read more trending news

According to a police report, a male student pulled up a girl's dress inside classroom of Central High School. The victim then grabbed a pair of scissors and tried several times to stab the student before she connected, police said.

The boy was treated by a nurse at the school.

He said he was only playing and never exposed the victim, the police report said. 

The male student was issued a juvenile summons for sexual battery, police said. The female student was issued a juvenile summons for aggravated assault. 

Success story: Teen accepted to more than 100 colleges, earns $4.5M in scholarships

There are no limits to what hard work and determination can get you. A teen from North Carolina is a perfect example. 

Jasmine Harrison, 17, has not one, not 10, not even 50 college acceptance letters. She has received 113 letters welcoming her to colleges and universities across the country. On top of that feat, she has been awarded more than $4.5 million in merit-based scholarships, WFMY reported.

>> Read more trending news 

But how does someone apply to enough schools to get 113 acceptance letters?

She used the Common Black College application to apply to 53 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and got into 26 universities, WFMY reported.

She also used the College Foundation of North Carolina College Application Month. Using the special time, she applied to schools in North Carolina for free.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Then Harrison used the Common Application and applied to 20 more at one time.

So which school did Harrison choose to attend?  That’s Bennett College. She has a full scholarship and will major in biology. She hopes to become a NICU nurse, WFMY reported.

Harrison graduates from The Academy at Smith later this month and expects to have a 4.0 GPA, WFMY reported.

How to get free Chipotle on Teacher Appreciation Day

Chipotle will celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day on May 8 with a tasty deal: buy one, get one free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos at participating stores.

According to the restaurant chain's website, educators can claim their freebie from 3 p.m. to close Tuesday, May 8, by presenting their faculty ID.

>> Read more trending news 

The promotion is limited to "one free entree item per customer," available "for in-restaurant orders only" and "not valid for online, mobile, fax or catering orders," the website says

To be on the safe side, contact your local Chipotle to make sure it is participating in the offer.

Read more here.

Students spray-paint American flag in senior prank, angering veterans, parents

Some Heard County, Georgia, parents say a senior prank went too far when students spray-painted “Seniors 2K18” on an American flag and hung it from the school. 

>> Watch the news report here

The principal at Heard County High School told WSB-TV’s Christian Jennings that the five students responsible for the incident have to do community service and will face suspension.

Veterans in the area just hope the kids truly learned a lesson.

“I was hurt, I was upset, I was angry," Navy veteran Nikki Culpepper said when she saw the photo of the defaced flag.

Culpepper told Jennings that she served her country as an aircraft electrician and comes from a military family.

“It appeared to the community that it was an attack on the flag and after speaking with these children, I realized it wasn’t, it was just youthful ignorance,” Culpepper said.


>> Former NFL player arrested in Georgia: 'I thought I was going to die'

>> Atlanta mayor accepts several resignations in major shakeup of her cabinet

>> Nurse accused of stealing medications from patients at senior living home

It was a senior prank that residents in the small town of Franklin say crossed the line.

“They were just like, ‘We didn’t mean anything by it. We weren’t trying to be disrespectful,'” Heard County High School Principal Brent Tisdale told Jennings.

A picture of the spray-painted flag sparked outrage in the community when it quickly spread on social media.

“We really did want to make it a learning opportunity for these guys,” Tisdale said. 

>> Read more trending news 

In addition to suspending the students, Tisdale immediately rounded up a couple of local veterans, Culpepper included, to come in and explain to the kids why their actions were offensive and hurtful to so many in the community.

“We explained to them what it’s like to lose loved ones. My grandfather served 32 years and is buried at Arlington and (we explained what it was like) to see our friends and loved ones come home underneath that flag and how it made us feel as veterans,” Culpepper said.

“We’ve already talked to (the) VFW here locally. We’ve got the flag, so we’re going to include those guys in a retirement ceremony for the flag and make sure it’s done correctly and make sure they understand the gravity of what the American flag means,” Tisdale told Jennings.

The principal said the students told him they originally found the flag on the side of a road.

Driver evacuates students safely after school bus catches fire

A school bus driver in Florida remained calm and was able to safely evacuate students after the vehicle caught fire on Friday, the News-Press of Fort Myers reported.

>> Read more trending news

Carmen Chavez heard a noise in the engine and observed smoke coming from under the bus’ hood, according to the Cape Coral Fire Department’s Facebook page

Chavez immediately stopped and successfully and safely evacuated 25 middle school students who were on the bus. No one was injured, fire department officials told the News-Press.

The fire was quickly put out, and another bus took the students to school, the News-Press reported.

“I was just doing my job. I was protecting the kids,” Chavez told WBBH. “I am responsible for them, and they are like my own. I love my job.”

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, and another bus took the students to school.

The fire was ruled accidental due to a mechanical failure, according to the fire department. 

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