Dancing into KICs

Woohoo! It’s officially time for my favorite event of the year: prom! Unlike last year’s 600-hall rain fest, this year’s prom is predicted to be one of the best yet. While you’re primping and prepping for tomorrow night, take a look at these KICs. This week we have Ukrainians fleeing their homes, a father being shot and killed outside downtown Atlanta, a man getting arrested after hitting his father with a hammer, the University of Michigan settling a sexual assault case, and a Nebraska representative being found guilty of concealing information. 

March 21 – Ukrainians are fleeing their homes, and this is where they’re going

As of Russia’s invasion over a month ago, at least 10 million Ukrainians have been forced to desert their homes. This amounts to nearly a quarter of Ukraine’s population of 44 million.

The majority of those who have fled their homes have been internally displaced, while others have hunkered down in surrounding countries such as Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia, and Belarus. Over 90% of those who have left Ukraine are women and children, which is likely an indication of a heightened risk of gender-based violence and trafficking.

While the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, it is likely that refugees will continue to flee their homes, worsening the crisis.

March 22 – Father shot and killed outside downtown Atlanta venue 

Early on Tuesday morning, an investigation opened after a man was shot and killed outside a hookah lounge in downtown Atlanta. Around 6 a.m. the shooting broke out near a nightclub on Trinity Avenue. The victim was a 24-year-old father of one, who died from one gunshot wound in the middle of the street. 

Law enforcement said an argument started inside the building, soon after outside on the street shooting broke out. The person of interest’s vehicle was left outside on the scene. Police are currently trying to identify the suspect. 

The owner of the Monaco Hookah lounge, one of the buildings where the shooting took place, said the incident started with a private event downstairs above his workplace. 

March 23 – Man arrested after hitting his father with a hammer

A 31-year-old man Joseph S. Harter was arrested and charged for aggravated assault after hitting his father’s head with a hammer. They had a disagreement about his son being evicted from his home.  

Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb was informed of the incident at 10 a.m. on March 18. Deputies later learned that both the son and Harter have been involved in several previous physical altercations. 

Another business owner heard the father arguing with the son about evicting his son from his own house and that he should live somewhere else. The owner called 911 after the argument turned violent. After initially resisting arrest, Harter was detained.

March 24 – University of Michigan agrees to settle sex-abuse lawsuits 

Students attending the University of Michigan are forcing change in how the school protects the campus from sexual misconduct. A part of the deal, filed in federal court Thursday, the school will create and fund a multidisciplinary committee intended to prevent sexual abuse in the community.

Title IX and campus sexual misconduct experts, along with community members and some administration and faculty, will comprise the Coordinated Community Response Team of about 30 members. Since 2020, the school has been bombarded with allegations from many men who said they were sexually assaulted by Robert Anderson, a previous campus doctor.

With the creation of the CCRT, plaintiffs’ attorneys said such teams are widely recognized by experts as an indispensable tool in the fight to prevent campus sexual violence. Michigan’s full CCRT will meet around three times a year to “assess, plan, monitor and evaluate sexual misconduct prevention and response efforts,” the university said in a statement.

March 25 – Nebraska representative found guilty by FBI on accounts of concealing information

Nebraska Representative Jeff Fortenberry was found guilty on multiple counts of concealing and dealing false information to authorities, as well as collecting illicit campaign funds. Jury members reached their decision after a two-hour deliberation. Sentencing has been set for June 28.

Fortenberry claimed that the process in which he was prosecuted was unfair and that he would appeal immediately. His lawyers denied any awareness on his behalf of the source of the campaign funds, while agents claimed his full knowledge presenting a secretly recorded phone call. He awaits his sentencing, with each count carrying a possible five-year prison term and fine.

Former legislator Patty Pansy Brooks is angling for the Democratic nomination of Fortenberry’s congressional seat, vowing to serve with integrity for the Nebraska people.