- - Sunday, April 22, 2012

IOWA

SIOUX CITY — An Iowa newspaper devoted the entire front page of its Sunday edition to an anti-bullying editorial after a teen in its community committed suicide.

The move by the Sioux City Journal is highly unusual. Editor Mitch Pugh says the newspaper has run front-page editorials before but has never devoted the entire page to one.

The opinion piece calls on the community to be proactive in stopping bullying. The editorial cites the death last week of Kenneth Weishuhn Jr., a freshman at South O’Brien High School in Paullina whose family says he was bullied for being gay.

Mr. Pugh says that the newspaper has a responsibility to be a strong community advocate, and that Kenneth’s death, and the opening of the movie “Bully,” which features a Sioux City school, provided an opportunity.

ALASKA

Japanese tsunami debris reaches state’s shores

ANCHORAGE — Federal scientists say that a volleyball and soccer ball that washed ashore on an island may be the first pieces of debris to arrive in Alaska from last year’s tsunami in Japan.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that the balls were spotted by a radar technician on Middleton Island. His wife traced the writing on the balls to a Japanese school in an area hit by the tsunami.

Doug Helton of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the balls are among the first pieces of debris that can be traced to Japan – and make it possible to return them to the owner.

Middleton Island lies almost due south of Cordova in the Gulf of Alaska, 70 miles from the mainland.

LOUISIANA

Mother charged with negligent homicide in children’s deaths

Four unattended children died in a mobile-home fire and their mother was charged Sunday with four counts of negligent homicide for purportedly leaving them alone, authorities said.

Capt. Doug Cain, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Public Safety, told the Associated Press that the fire began just before midnight Saturday in the town of Rayne, about 70 miles west of Baton Rouge.

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