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High School Football Teams Defy Orders and Lead Fans in Stirring Postgame Prayer

Western Journal

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Last week, school officials in Putnam County, Tennessee, were told that district employees were not allowed to lead students in prayer. That included not only teachers and staff but also coaches of athletic teams.

According to WZTV-TV in Nashville, Americans United for Separation of Church and State complained about “several instances of prayer and proselytizing at events at Cookeville and Upperman high schools,” both of which are in the Putnam Country School District.

Administrators from the school district contacted the schools’ attorney, who informed them that the law about cases such as this one is clear.

“Courts have consistently ruled that prayer and proselytizing can not be sponsored by schools or school personnel,” the attorney said.

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In a statement to WZTV, the district further explained its position on the matter.

“As a district, we absolutely understand the importance of prayer in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff members,” it said. “We support the right of students to participate in and lead spontaneous prayers. That right is and will continue to be protected.

“We also understand that faculty and staff members can not lead or participate in the spontaneous student-led prayers.”

Some parents were irked by the decision, which they saw as a religious attack. Dustin Whitefield was one of them, and he and other parents decided to show support at Upperman’s football game against Stone Memorial High School on Friday.

Should coaches be allowed to lead athletes in prayer?

“We do realize this is a public school, but it has always been optional for players to pray, and has been a voluntary event,” Whitefield wrote to WZTV. “Players that still want to pray will have to do it on their own.

“After the game, players and cheerleaders that choose to will be on the field praying on their own. A group of parents will be going out on the field to support them. We will join hands and encircle them from a distance as a sign of protection and solidarity in choosing to continue to pray.

“This is a parent led event! We are encouraging anyone that would like to show their support to please join us.”

Upperman marched to a 27-9 victory in the game Friday night. But it was the postgame festivities that ended up making headlines.

Local resident Bob Vick shared a photo on Facebook showing Upperman and Stone Memorial players leading fans in prayer on the field.

“Satan’s power was defeated tonight, as the threat of a legal action to forbid prayer after the game was overwhelmed by player lead prayer supported by parents and fans in solidarity on Overall Field,” he wrote.

Other social media users shared their own support on Twitter for the students.

Even if the law prohibits teachers or coaches from leading prayer, the players do not look like they will back down anytime soon.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Footage Captures Shocked Woman Moments After Bear Attack in Her Own Driveway

Western Journal

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Many people don’t think about the possibility that they might run into a bear — or vice versa — when they take their dogs out for a walk in their neighborhood, but that’s one possibility that will forever haunt one woman from DeBary, Florida.

The woman, who only gave her first name, Aydee, stepped outside onto her driveway with her two dogs Amaya and Hemmy around 9:00 p.m. on Jan. 13 and was soon met by a large adult female mother bear.

Aydee ran, and her dogs ran off, but the bear caught up to her.

“When I realized it, she got me here,” Aydee told WOFL-TV. “But I took off running, and she took running behind me.

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“I was screaming going to my neighbor’s to see if he, you know, he can call 911 or help me or, or I don’t know — take the gun out, whatever.”

The bear had three yearling cubs in a tree nearby, and after attacking Aydee, was treed by several neighbors who responded to the woman’s cries.

Neighbor Awston Kennedy had spotted the bear, a familiar sight in the area, shortly before the attack in the trees in front of his house. It was checking out some trash and then was shooed away by some other neighbors.

“Next thing you know there’s pounding on the door,” Kennedy said. “There was about four of us came out to check on her pretty quick … Her main concern was her dog.

“They had it cornered in the tree for a bit with dome lights trying to make sure it didn’t come out,” Kennedy said of the other neighbors who responded. “One of the neighbors actually came out with his jeep and threw the spotlights on it.”

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the bear was dispatched on the scene.

“Volusia County Sheriff’s Officers arrived on the scene and found an adult female bear with yearlings in a tree nearby,” a statement by the FWC read. “EMS arrived on the scene to treat the woman’s injuries, which were not life threatening. The woman’s dog was not injured.

“FWC bear biologists darted the adult bear in the tree and humanely killed it per the FWC policy to protect public safety. The three 100-pound yearlings are old enough to survive on their own and so no attempt was made to capture them.”

Aydee’s dogs were found later, unharmed, but Aydee suffered from bites and scratches on her face and back, as well as a concussion and twisted ankle. Some of her wounds required stitches.



“The worst [experience] of my life,” she told WESH-TV. “Like, you know you go through stuff in life, but this is like the worst. No. 1, I would say … I feel lucky to be alive.”

Aydee also isn’t happy that the yearlings were left in the same area instead of being relocated.

“I’m an animal lover too, but those are not a friend,” she said. “She was trespassing my house. I was not in her territory. Two more years and we will be in the same boat.”

Despite the victim’s insistence that the bear was out of line, some locals are upset the bear was killed as she’s been a staple in the neighborhood for over seven years and has reportedly never been an issue before.

“Unfortunately, the neighbor got scratched up by the bear,” local David Mangham said. “She’s fortunate to be alive, I guess, but as far as euthanizing it, why not relocate it?”

After this incident, a petition has been circulating to get the “FWC to change their ‘Aggressive Bear’ killing policy,” according to a post by Bear Defenders on Facebook.

“The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has an ‘Aggressive Bear’ killing policy that does not consider the circumstances that cause bears to act aggressively,” the post read.

“There are humane and non-lethal ways to handle these situations. The FWC kills bears who act in self-defense or are defending their cubs. If a bear indeed attacked, it would result in severe injuries and even death, yet NO ONE in the State of Florida has ever died from a bear attack.



“If bears are in residential areas, they are most likely there because of unsecured trash and other bear attractants. We believe in self-defense, including a black bear’s right to defend her cubs. We wish the FWC would take into account what triggered the defensive (aggressive) response from the bear before labeling them aggressive and killing them as a result of human error.”

According to the FWC’s Bear Management Coordinator Davis Telesco, killing the bear was a sad necessity.

“We can’t have bears living in neighborhoods that are willing to hurt somebody,” he said. “We just can’t allow it.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Many people don’t think about the possibility that they might run into a bear — or vice versa — when they take their dogs out for a walk in their neighborhood, but that’s one possibility that will forever haunt one woman from DeBary, Florida. The woman, who only gave her first name, Aydee, stepped outside onto her driveway with her two dogs Amaya and Hemmy around 9:00 p.m. on Jan. 13 and was soon met by a large adult female mother bear. Aydee ran, and her dogs ran off, but the bear caught up to her. “When I realized it, she got me here,” Aydee told WOFL-TV. “But I took off running, and she took running behind me. “I was screaming going to my neighbor’s to see if he, you know, he can call 911 or help me or, or I don’t know — take the gun out, whatever.” The bear had three yearling cubs in a tree nearby, and after attacking Aydee, was treed by several neighbors who responded to the woman’s cries. Neighbor Awston Kennedy had spotted the bear, a familiar sight in the area, shortly before the attack in the trees in front of his house. It was checking out some trash and then was shooed away by some other neighbors. “Next thing you know there’s pounding on the door,” Kennedy said. “There was about four of us came out to check on her pretty quick … Her main concern was her dog. “They had it cornered in the tree for a bit with dome lights trying to make sure it didn’t come out,” Kennedy said of the other neighbors who responded. “One of the neighbors actually came out with his jeep and threw the spotlights on it.” According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,…

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CDC Study: Natural Immunity Provides Significantly More Protection Against COVID Than Vaccination Only

Western Journal

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Ebola

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Wednesday shows that those who have recovered from COVID-19 have more protection against infection than those who have only been vaccinated.

Researchers reviewed data from California and New York from May to November, when the delta variant was dominant in the U.S.

The study looked at four groups of people: unvaccinated with no prior COVID-19 infection, vaccinated with no prior infection, unvaccinated who recovered from COVID-19, and vaccinated who recovered.

By the first week of October, COVID-19 rates among the vaccinated with no previous infection were 6.2 times lower in California and 4.5 times lower in New York than among the unvaccinated with no previous infection.

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However, among the unvaccinated with a previous infection, the COVID-19 rate was 29 times lower in California and 14.7 times lower in New York.

The individuals most protected against infection were those who had previously had COVID-19 and were also vaccinated. Their infection rate was 32.5 times lower in California and 19.8 times lower in New York.

“These results demonstrate that vaccination protects against COVID-19 and related hospitalization, and that surviving a previous infection protects against a reinfection and related hospitalization,” the CDC determined.

The agency noted that natural immunity proved more efficacious as the delta variant became predominant and vaccine-induced immunity for many began to wane.

The CDC also highlighted that the study took place before omicron became the dominant variant in the U.S. and before the impact of booster shots could be adequately measured.

Dr. Benjamin Silk of the CDC told the media on Wednesday, “Before the delta variant, COVID-19 vaccination resulted in better protection against a subsequent infection than surviving a previous infection,” CNN reported.

“When looking at the summer and the fall of 2021, when delta became the dominant in this country, however, surviving a previous infection now provided greater protection against subsequent infection than vaccination,” he added.

Dr. Eli Rosenberg, New York state deputy director for science said the safest course of action for those who have never had COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

“Having COVID the first time carries with it significant risks, and becoming vaccinated and staying up-to-date with boosters really is the only safe choice for preventing COVID infection and severe disease,” he said.

Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has faulted policymakers for being too slow to acknowledge natural immunity.

“The pandemic of the unvaccinated is a misnomer. It’s a pandemic of the non-immune,” he tweeted in July.

“More precisely, it’s a series of regional outbreaks in select pockets of the country with low population immunity,” Makary said. “Same take-home message though: If you’re not immune, get immune by getting vaxed.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Wednesday shows that those who have recovered from COVID-19 have more protection against infection than those who have only been vaccinated. Researchers reviewed data from California and New York from May to November, when the delta variant was dominant in the U.S. The study looked at four groups of people: unvaccinated with no prior COVID-19 infection, vaccinated with no prior infection, unvaccinated who recovered from COVID-19, and vaccinated who recovered. By the first week of October, COVID-19 rates among the vaccinated with no previous infection were 6.2 times lower in California and 4.5 times lower in New York than among the unvaccinated with no previous infection. However, among the unvaccinated with a previous infection, the COVID-19 rate was 29 times lower in California and 14.7 times lower in New York. The individuals most protected against infection were those who had previously had COVID-19 and were also vaccinated. Their infection rate was 32.5 times lower in California and 19.8 times lower in New York. “These results demonstrate that vaccination protects against COVID-19 and related hospitalization, and that surviving a previous infection protects against a reinfection and related hospitalization,” the CDC determined. The agency noted that natural immunity proved more efficacious as the delta variant became predominant and vaccine-induced immunity for many began to wane. The CDC also highlighted that the study took place before omicron became the dominant variant in the U.S. and before the impact of booster shots could be adequately measured. Dr. Benjamin Silk of the CDC told the media on Wednesday, “Before the delta variant, COVID-19 vaccination resulted in better protection against a subsequent infection than surviving a previous infection,” CNN reported. “When looking at the summer and the fall of 2021, when delta became the…

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