KICin’ and chillin’

Enjoy that three-day weekend we had just recently? What a nice little break we had. But in case you are already in need of another respite, in two short weeks, winter break will provide yet another opportunity. Before we get there though, we have the puzzling disappearance of a Chinese teenager, students stuck on a bus, a high-speed chase in PTC, U.S. military involvement in the Philippines, and campaign announcements.

January 30 – Body of missing teen found

Three months ago, a 15-year-old boy named Hu Xinyu disappeared from his boarding school in the southeast Chinese province of Jiangxi. Finally, over 100 days after Hu went missing, his body was found in a nearby wood, just a five-minute walk from his school.

The discovery was made by a member of the public on Thursday, and after the identification of the body, Hu’s family and their lawyer were summoned to the scene. Although the police had already conducted extensive searches in the area, they had failed to discover the body in such close proximity to the school. This mishap led to swirling speculation online, and it underscored the deep-rooted distrust in local authorities.

In China, the disappearance of children is not a rare occurrence, but the case of Hu is one of the most high-profile cases in recent years. It is still a mystery how Hu disappeared seemingly without a trace in a country known for its security cameras and high-tech surveillance.

January 31 – Bus driver refuses to release students to parents

Paulding County substitute bus driver Chrystal Dawn Johnson is facing criminal charges for an incident that occurred at the stop near Jimmy Lee Parkway and Old Harris Road. Johnson would not let students off of the bus. According to witnesses, this soon turned physical.

This backup soon escalated and parents resorted to taking their children out of the bus through windows and back doors. One parent even resorted to putting their SUV in front of the bus to keep it from moving. 

She turned herself into the Dallas County police Monday morning. She was released on bond but is now facing battery charges. She has also been suspended from her bus route by the district. 

February 1 – Two teens arrested after leading Peachtree City police in high-speed chase

Two 17-year-olds led police on a high-speed chase at more than 120 mph. Officers rammed the car off the road to prevent them from getting on I-85. Their SUV spun out and a second officer rammed the passenger side 

It started earlier in the day when police saw the GMC and another car run a red light. While performing a sobriety test on the car’s driver, the SUV drove away. A chase ensued, reaching speeds of more than 120 mph. At times, the SUV crossed over to the opposite side of the road and rolled through multiple stop signs at an average of 100 mph. 

The driver was arrested after being tracked through the woods by a K-9 unit, and the passenger was surrendered to a parent. The driver was charged with aggravated assault, felony fleeing, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, speeding, DUI, and many other traffic charges. The passenger is charged with one count of obstruction of justice and running from police at the scene of the crime. 

February 2 – U.S. increasing military involvement in the Philippines 

The United States and the Philippines announced that they have arrangements to grow the American military presence in this nation. With control over many more bases in the Philippines, the U.S. hopes to hold off China’s aggression against Taiwan and in the argued South China Sea. 

The agreement was met when U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was in the country and talked about stationing U.S. forces and weapons in more Philippine military camps. The U.S. will station with high-tech weapons like fighter jets and bombers. American forces were allowed access to five more Philippine military camps.

The Philippines was home to the two biggest U.S. Navy and Air Force bases outside of the American mainland, but in the 1990s U.S. bases in the Philippines were shut down due to the Philippines Senate rejecting an extension. American forces then returned for extensive combat under a Visiting Forces Agreement in 1999.

February 3 – Race begins to replace Schiff in California

One day after Rep. Adam Schiff announced his running for Senate in California, then-Democrat Laura Friedman started her campaign to take Schiff’s job.

Rep. Katie Porter is also preparing her campaign for 2024. Candidates for the election in the fall of 2024 have begun for both Senate and prime House. Schiff’s decision to run for the position of Senate was based on his interest in a higher office and perhaps even president.  

Barbara Lee from the Bay area has shown interest to run for Senate. If Lee makes it official, another Democratic seat could open up for the Senate but Lee has not scheduled to speak yet.