The teacher, whose name was not made public, attended a seminar held by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium that is still going on in Dallas.

“At this time, we have no information to suggest that this staff member has been in contact with anyone who has been exposed to Ebola,” according to a statement from School Administrative District 58, which was published on its website. “However, the district and the staff member understand the parents’ concerns. Therefore, after several discussions with the staff member, out of an abundance of caution, this staff member has been placed on a paid leave of absence for up to 21 days.”

The school didn’t say when the teacher returned from Dallas, a city of 1.2 million people, but the superintendent implied she went last weekend, telling the Portland Press Herald she was “packing her bags” to go last weekend.

The decision to put the teacher on leave was made by the SAD 58 school board Thursday night, after parents and community members said they were frustrated that they were not notified that the teacher was going to Dallas, where the nation’s first uncontrolled case of the disease was reported.

334691_389449-strong-school2School board member Lois Barker said Friday that the teacher was not on board an airplane on which a nurse subsequently diagnosed with Ebola was a passenger.

Officials have closed some school districts in Texas, where three confirmed cases of Ebola are reported, and in Ohio, where a Texas nurse with the disease had flown, according to the Associated Press.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist for the Washington Post, who photographed Ebola victims in Liberia in September, was dis-invited from a photojournalism workshop at Syracuse University, even though he showed no signs of the disease for 21 days following his return to the U.S.

On Thursday, a woman flying on an American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Chicago vomited in the airplane, and was subsequently locked in a bathroom by flight staff (a new movie plot line: “Fakes on a Plane”).

In Hazelhurst, Miss., a crowd of parents pulled their middle school students from class on Friday after learning that the school’s principal had traveled recently to Zambia to attend a family funeral.

The hotel where the Strong SAD teacher stayed is about 10 miles away from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where the first uncontrolled case of the virus was treated. Parents at the school board meeting expressed fear that the teacher could have come into contact with someone who came into contact with one of the nurses.

Okay, I can understand quarantining someone who has been to Texas, but not because of Ebola. Texas is always talking about that border fence, why don’t we build it on the northern border of Texas instead of the southern border?  
Could the names and acronyms be any more perfect in this story?  The town is named Strong and the school district is SAD 58 (I’m assuming there are at least 57 other SAD districts in Maine). Nowhere within the story does it say that the school board was Strongly SAD about their actions.  
And wouldn’t you think the middle school in Hazelhurst, Mississippi, would have an atlas? Even a cursory glance at the work of Messrs. Rand and McNally would demonstrate Zambia is about 2,500 miles from the Ebola affected areas. This is what happens when low thread count sheets become tattered, all those African countries just seem to look alike and the January white sales are still two months off.
No word yet as to any school closings in the states beneath the flight path of the Frontier jet that flew between Dallas and Cleveland. 

No Waiting Period

In early October in Gresham, Oregon, a 21-year-old man openly carrying a handgun he had just bought was robbed, at gunpoint, the same day. According to the police report, the robber apparently thought the victim’s gun was nicer than his own: “I like your gun. Give it to me.” [KPTV (Portland), 10-7-2014]

Somewhere the vacuous head of the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre must be exploding. This little tidbit completely blows to hell his theory of “the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.

Gunk in a DuckFox Duck Dynasty

After days of looking weary and walking lopsidedly, “Ducka,” the pet muscovy, finally gave owner Vicki Hicks of Sydney, Australia, a clue to its behavior by coughing up a nail. Veterinarian Hamish Baron of the Avian Reptile and Exotic Animal Hospital ordered an X-ray, which revealed a small toolbox’s worth of nails, screws and washers in Ducka’s belly. The items had to be removed, one by one, in surgeries totaling five hours. Dr. Baron told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph that ducks are attracted to shiny objects. [Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 10-13-2014]

Perhaps X-rays would be appropriate for Fox News — sure would explain a lot, but I don’t know if Avian Reptile and Exotic Animal hospitals take Obamacare.

That’s grrrrrreat!

How realistic could that tiger costume have been?!

TigerAndrew Holland, 51, was wrongly accused of possessing bestiality porn in 2009, but charges were dropped 6 months later, when authorities realized that what they thought was a video of a woman and a tiger was actually a video of a woman and a human man in a tiger costume, according to the Independent. Now, the Welsch bus driver is fighting against the United Kingdom’s “Extreme Pornography Act,” the New Statesman reports.

Officials realized their mistake in Holland’s case when they noticed that the tiger said “That’s grrrrrrreat!” in the manner of Frosted Flakes’ Tony the Tiger.

Really! Honestly now! The tiger talking was their first clue? Keep calm and get your tiger on.

Ad of Brothers

The Koch Brothers have been advertising the wonders of the Koch world on The Daily Show. Perhaps they thought economic pressures would dull the satiric tongues of the show’s writers. Didn’t work.


Have a great weekend and as always, take this conversation in whatever directions the Halloween winds might blow.