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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

    A stabbing at a Pennsylvania high school leaves 20 students injured; Rep. Vance McAllister’s staffer resigns after kissing incident; Police search for a possible serial sniper in Kansas City; and a new breakthrough in paralysis research has occurred. Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon and Anne Hathaway put a cabaret spin on some top hip hop songs; Prince George has a play date down under; and Miley discusses her freedom without Disney or Liam Hemsworth.

    Shameless Plug Alert: Congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers, my (Veronica’s) hometown hockey team, on clinching a NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs spot last night. Let’s go Flyers!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    DEVELOPING STORY: 20 injured in Pittsburgh-area high school stabbing: http://rtvote.com/1qqQ250
    At least 20 students have been injured at Franklin Regional Senior High School near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An adult is also being treated for an unspecified medical condition. Four students have been taken to the hospital via helicopter and some students’ injuries are life-threatening. A hallway and a classroom were the setting for the potentially deadly stabbing. All schools are now secure, but the district’s elementary schools are closed for the day. The suspect, a sophomore boy, is now in custody.

    Spinal cord work is unexpected shocker: ‘This is a breakthrough’: http://rtvote.com/1qiwa5T
    Neuroscientist Susan Harkema had been running a study to try to learn more about “nerve pathways” by stimulating the spinal cords of paralyzed people through electricity. However, she managed to enable her patients to move their legs. All of her patients have been able to move their toes, move their legs around, sit up on their own, and even do sit ups! Harkema says this is the first time electrical stimulation to the spine and show results. Co-founder of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis Dr. Barth Green says that “This is a breakthrough. It shows you can have a living spinal cord under the layer of their injury.” Scientists hope this will open the door to the possibility of new breakthroughs.

    Staffer caught kissing Rep. McAllister resigns, while Congressman keeps his job: http://rtvote.com/1k3Q4Qr
    Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) was caught on tape Monday kissing a staff member. The Congressman and the staffer, Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, are both married. Peacock has since resigned her post as district scheduler to McAllister. McAllister, conversely, says he has “no plans to resign” and insists that he will campaign for reelection this year. On Monday, the Ouachita Citizen posted a surveillance video showing the two kissing. McAllister admitted the affair and apologized to his constituents: “I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he was “pleased” with the apology, but he has not yet commented on whether McAllister should keep his job.

    Kansas City authorities seek perpetrator after some shootings linked: http://rtvote.com/1kKJBby
    The FBI has joined the hunt for a shooter in Kansas City, Missouri area. So far, thirteen shootings have been reported along parts of Interstate 435 and Interstate 470, most of which are near exit and interchange ramps. No one has been killed, but three people have been wounded; one was shot in the arm, the others were shot in the leg. Law enforcement believes that at least a part of the thirteen shootings are linked. The FBI and ATF have put out a $7000 reward for anyone who might know anything about the shootings or the possible shooter(s).

    UConn Women’s Basketball completes 40-0 season: http://rtvote.com/1k3Y9ED
    UConn’s women’s basketball team has completed their 40-0 season with a 79-58 win over Notre Dame. They are now repeat champions and it is the fifth time the team has gone undefeated under the head coach, Geno Auriemma. Auriemma has won nine National Titles in nine tries after the win. Notre Dame finished 37-1 after the loss.

    CULTURAL

    Paul Rudd joins Billy on the Street’s Billy Eichner for some Funny or Die fun: http://rtvote.com/R2X9GB

    Jimmy Fallon and Anne Hathaway sing Broadway versions of…rap songs? http://rtvote.com/1lKl5J3

    Prince George’s royal play date: http://rtvote.com/ODqMfM

    Miley Cyrus talks “being free”: http://rtvote.com/1eks0sJ

    Samantha Harris diagnosed with breast cancer, due to receive double mastectomy: http://rtvote.com/1hsHbR3

    Veronica Barger
    Bio: Veronica is currently studying communications, law, economics, and government at American University in Washington, DC. Originally from New Jersey, she has held an interest in politics since the 2008 presidential election. Being a newly registered voter, she understands how important it is for young people to register to vote and have their voices heard. She looks to spread that message with Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    #Winning Our March Madness Bracket

    Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

    I grew up in Kentucky, where if my parents were allowed to arrange my marriage, my spouse would be chosen not based on political party, religious background, or level of income, but rather on basketball team affiliation. I would be completely disowned if I were to marry a Louisville fan instead of a UK fan. While fans across the country might not be quite as extreme in their dedication as my fellow Wildcats, everyone is just as dedicated to their basketball teams winning it all during March Madness.

    To celebrate this great time of year, Rock the Vote sponsored our own March Madness tournament to offer our mobile subscribers the chance to predict the winner of the NCAA tournament, with one correct texter winning an awesome Rock the Vote prize pack.

    In total, 291 people voted for a team, with votes clearly divided between logical guesses and pure school spirit.

    People were cheering for 30 different schools to take the number one spot, with the most votes going to Ohio State (71), Kansas (45), Duke (41), and Texas (18). Like many presidential campaigns, early front runners quickly lost pace, and each of these teams lost before making it to the championship game.

    A few voters managed to select one of the Final Four teams to win it all, but those votes were by far a minority. Nobody chose VCU, 3 chose Butler, 7 chose Kentucky, and 7 chose the ultimate victor, Connecticut. Of the much larger 5.8 million brackets submitted on ESPN, there were only two people to correctly select these top four teams, but zero to have a completely accurate bracket.

    Jake Diliegro, from Denton, Texas, was our lucky winner. His reasoning behind choosing UConn was that “they’ve always been one of my favorite teams and I just had a feeling they would go all the way this year.” Maybe next year I’ll ask him for some advice on who to choose for my number one pick, but I can tell you now that if it’s not Kentucky, I will probably ignore his sage wisdom.

    If you want to be a part of future mobile contests and election reminders, text VOTE to RTVOTE (788683).

    Aubrey Vaughan
    Bio: Aubrey is a field intern at Rock the Vote.
    @aubreyvaughan
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Ball With Us

    Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

    Dubbed the “Rucker of the South” the SJG Greater North Carolina Pro-AM basketball league is the premiere venue for showcasing some of today’s top basketball talent. In its third summer season, the league boasts players like Josh Powell of the Atlanta Hawks, Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets, and seasoned NBA veteran Jerry Stackhouse. Come ball with Rock the Vote at the Pro-AM this Thursday from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. and on August 8 for the tournament’s championship game while we register people to vote and collect pledges to vote in the upcoming midterm election! The games take place at North Carolina Central University in the McLendon-McDougald Gymnasium. Click here to RSVP!

    After making sure you’re ready to vote, you’re in for a real show on the court. Each year this league hosts an awesome mix of professional athletes, collegiate players and high school all-stars on Greater NC Pro-AM teams. Along with amazing displays of sportsmanship and athleticism, the Greater NC Pro-AM provides grassroots mentoring from professional athletes to local high school and college athletes.  In addition, the league welcomes local nonprofits to engage attendees and to help them get active in their own communities.

    Follow this link for the schedules and more information for the SJG Greater NC Pro-AM.

    PICTURED: Charlotte Bobcats Assistant Coach Phil Ford pledges to vote this November 2 with the help of Rock the Vote State Coordinator Tracy Leatherberry. Ford played college ball at the University of North Carolina and helped USA Basketball win a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics.

    tracy@rockthevote.com
    Bio: Tracy is an organizer for Common Cause. She led Rock the Vote's field team in North Carolina during the 2010 midterm election cycle, and appears as a guest blogger.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com