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Justin Sullivan

Proposed Alabama Law Would Require A Drug Test Before Receiving Food Stamps

If a person tests positive for a drug without a valid prescription, he or she would be ineligible to receive SNAP.

A proposed new Alabama law would require residents to pass a drug test in order to receive food stamps.

According to The Hill, under the state's current law residents are not required to take or pass a drug test in order to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. However, if H.B. 3, which was introduced last week does pass, applicants would be required to be tested for substance abuse if "there is reasonable suspicion that the person uses or is under the influence of a drug,” the bill outlines.

If a person tests positive for a drug without a valid prescription, he or she would be ineligible to receive SNAP. If the person is a parent and tests positive and their children are dependent upon the resources of SNAP, that parent "may designate a third party to receive the benefits for the benefit of the dependent child.”

Conversely, if a person refuses to take a drug test or prolongs taking a drug test, they too can be denied SNAP.

State Rep. James Hanes (R) reportedly introduced the bill, which has been referred to the state's House Judiciary Committee. If the bill is passed the law will go into effect on the 15th day of the third month.

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Jessica Hill

The Father Of A Sandy Hook Shooting Victim Committed Suicide

The father of a first-grader killed during 2012's Sandy Hook school shooting committed suicide.

Jeremy Richman 49, was found dead inside his office space Monday morning (March 25). Local authorities said the medical examiner's office has not confirmed a cause of death.

Richman, a trained scientist, and his wife Jennifer Hensel launched the Avielle Foundation after his 6-year-old daughter Avielle Richman. The foundation is committed to providing funding for the neuroscience behind compassion and violence.

In a 2017 interview with NPR, Richman discussed the heartache he and his wife experienced in the years following Avielle's murder. “It was like a ghost limb syndrome, you know, where you keep thinking ‘Where’s Avielle? Do we need to pick her up?’” he said. “And every day you’d have this [realization] that I don’t have a child, and I don’t have to parent. That was just brutal.”

Richman also said with each new shooting, it just resurrected raw emotions.

“Right after Newtown we had the Boston bombings, and then we’ve had Charleston, Orlando and over a hundred school shootings, some of which make the national news and some don’t,” he said. “Every time this happens it breaks a heart and it chokes us up. To be honest, though, now it comes with a fair degree of frustration and anger because things aren’t changing fast enough. I really get sick of ‘thoughts and prayers,’ and ‘our hearts go out.’ That’s not going to change anything. What I need to hear is: ‘My heart is broken, and my boots are on the ground to fix it.’ ”

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Spencer Weiner-Pool

Ex-Cop Pleads To Manslaughter After Leaving Toddler In Hot Car To Have Sex

Former Mississippi cop Cassie Baker may spend 20 years behind bars for leaving her toddler in the backseat of a police cruiser while she had sex with her supervisor.

Little Cheyenne's body temperature rose to a scorching 107 degrees before she died on Sept. 30, 2016. When Baker returned to the vehicle four hours later, Cheyenne was unresponsive. Baker, 29, pled guilty to manslaughter in a reduced plea deal Monday. (March 18) It's unclear if she intentionally left her 3-year-old in the backseat of the car.

“I don’t know what I could ever do to you that could be worse than what you’ve already experienced,” Harrison County Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois told her. “You will forever be entombed in a prison of your own mind.”

Cheyenne's father says he's still tormented by his daughter's death and often pictures her final moments.

“Every time I close my eyes, I picture her suffering, and then I picture her laying in this coffin,” Ryan Hyer said Monday. “I still see her smiling and laughing in my head, and I would assume that smile and laughter turned to pain and suffering in that instance.”

Baker and her supervisor Clark Ladner were fired days later. While speaking with the Associated Press, he was able to avoid charges after telling authorities he was unaware Baker's daughter was in the car. Judge Bourgeois will consider the prosecution recommendation at Baker's April 1 sentencing.

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8-Year-Old Nigerian Chess Champion's Big Win Helps His Family Out Of Homelessness

An 8-year-old Nigerian chess prodigy is helping his family out of homelessness. Tanitoluwa “ Tani” Adewumi, won the New York State Scholastic Chess Championship last week, beating out more than 70 of the state’s top young chess players, all while living in a homeless shelter.

Tani, who was recently profiled in the New York Times, and his family fled Nigeria in 2017, reportedly out of fear of being targeted by Boko Haram. The family applied for asylum, and have since been living in a New York shelter.

The third grader learned to play chess a year ago at his elementary school, P.S. 116. Tani’s coach, Russell Makofsky marveled at his ability to learn chess so quickly. "His intellect, his aptitude, his capacity to learn chess is off the charts,” Makofsky said. “From not playing to beating the best of the best in one year is unheard of, all while living in a homeless shelter.”

Tani has been getting a lot of attention for his big win. A GoFundMe page launched on March 15 with a goal of raising $50,000 to help Tani’s family “secure a home where he can continue his journey,” has raised more than $182,000. An attorney has also agreed to work on the family’s asylum case for free, CBS News reports.

The family now plans to move into an apartment, and posted an update on the GoFundMe page Tuesday (March 19) sharing their gratitude for the donations, Tani’s chess coach, and the media for publicizing the story. “Our big shout out to the whole WORLD for all your support financially, morally, spiritually and many more can't [be] mentioned. You are all awesome. God bless you all.”

According to the post, proceeds from the crowdfunding effort will be donated to a new foundation that the family will be starting in Tani's name.

See more on his story below.

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