Ransomware criminals are dumping kids’ private files online after school hacks

BY FRANK BAJAK, HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH AND LARRY FENN The confidential documents stolen from schools and dumped online by ransomware gangs are raw, intimate and graphic. They describe student sexual assaults, psychiatric hospitalizations, abusive parents, truancy - even suicide attempts. "Please do something," begged a student in one leaked file, recalling the trauma of continually bumping into an ex-abuser at a school in Minneapolis. Other victims talked about wetting the bed or

The Great Grift: How billions in COVID-19 relief aid was stolen or wasted

WASHINGTON (AP) - Much of the theft was brazen, even simple. Fraudsters used the Social Security numbers of dead people and federal prisoners to get unemployment checks. Cheaters collected those benefits in multiple states. And federal loan applicants weren't cross-checked against a Treasury Department database that would have raised red flags about sketchy borrowers. Criminals and gangs grabbed the money. But so did a U.S. soldier in Georgia, the pastors

Texas mall shooting victims include guard and young sisters

By JAMIE STENGLE, VANESSA A. ALVAREZ and REBECCA REYNOLDS DALLAS (AP) - The people killed in a shooting at a mall near Dallas include two elementary school-age sisters, a couple and their 3-year-old son, a young engineer and a security guard. The victims represent a multicultural cross-section of the area's increasingly diverse suburbs. Cox Elementary School students Daniela and Sofia Mendoza, grades four and two, were among those slain Saturday

Darrel Harris and Yellow are Driving Progress

By DR. JOYNICOLE MARTINEZ, Staff Writer Darrel Harris, President of Yellow Darrel Harris is the first Black president of a major trucking company. Yellow is the fifth largest transportation company in the country and the second largest “less than truckload” (LTL) company in the nation. After working his way through trucking and shipping over 25 years, Harris speaks with a confidence and passion that is balanced with his humility and

‘Blue pill’ overdoses alarm South Carolina health officials

Fake blue pain pills — laced with cocaine, meth or fentanyl — are showing up in alarming numbers in South Carolina, health officials said. About 500 people have overdosed from the little blue pill that’s a counterfeit of Roxicodone, according to South Carolina’s Opioid Emergency Response Team. Many of the cases involved people ages 20 to 29. Roxicodone is an opioid that’s prescribed to treat pain. The pills are also

Horror, heroism mark deadly shooting at California rail yard

By TERENCE CHEA and JANIE HAR Family members of shooting victim Timothy Romo embrace during a vigil at City Hall in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, May 27, 2021, in honor of the multiple people killed when a gunman opened fire at a rail yard the day before. (AP Photo/Nic Coury) SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Taptejdeep Singh died trying to save others from a gunman. Kirk Bertolet saw some of

3 officers face arraignment in Black man’s restraint death

By GENE JOHNSON Marcia Carter-Patterson, right, the mother of Manuel "Manny" Ellis, stands with her son and Ellis' brother Matthew, left, as she speaks Thursday, May 27, 2021, at a news conference in Tacoma, Wash., south of Seattle. Ellis died on March 3, 2020 after he was restrained by police officers. Earlier in the day Thursday, Washington state attorney general filed criminal charges against three police officers in the death

Unraveling more COVID-19 myths

By DR. JOYNICOLE MARTINEZ, Staff Writer On May 25, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 525 new cases with approximately 700 currently hospitalized and a daily percent of positive tests above 4%. Even with this news, there is a lot of disinformation regarding the disease and the vaccine. Myth: If you’ve already had COVID-19, you don’t need to be vaccinated. Fact: Although rare, reinfection is possible. Some

Reemployment bonus idea advanced by NC Senate committee

By GARY D. ROBERTSON With employers struggling to fill positions as post-pandemic restrictions end, North Carolina state senators advanced a proposal Wednesday giving $1,500 bonuses to unemployment benefit recipients who return to work this summer. The Senate Commerce Committee gave bipartisan support to the measure, which would offer bonuses, but only if federal labor officials allow the state to use money coming from Washington that’s made unemployment benefits more generous

100 years after Tulsa Race Massacre, the damage remains

By AARON MORRISON On a recent Sunday, Ernestine Alpha Gibbs returned to Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church. Not her body. She had left this Earth 18 years ago, at age 100. But on this day, three generations of her family brought Ernestine’s keepsakes back to this place which meant so much to her. A place that was, like their matriarch, a survivor of a long-ago atrocity. Albums containing black-and-white photos