KICs and EOCs

This week kicked off the End-of-Course exams. Why on Earth do we take these in April even though classes do not end until late May? There must be a reason behind it somewhere. Aside from that, this week’s news includes the followers of a Kenyan pastor starving to death, approval for a new performing arts center in Trilith, a high school student graduating early with over $9 million in scholarship offers, and anti-abortion bills failing in Nebraska and South Carolina.

April 24 – Kenyan Pastor allegedly made followers starve themselves to death

Paul Makenzi, a pastor in southern Kenya, was taken into custody on suspicion of telling his followers to starve themselves to be closer to Jesus. The total deaths that have been discovered are 47, including 39 bodies found in graves over the weekend.

The Kenya Red Cross Society stated that over 112 people were reported missing and were traced to the location of the pastor’s church. The pastor had already been arrested twice in relation to the deaths of children, but was released on bond each time.

Local leaders have urged authorities not to make the same mistake again and to not release Makenzi this time. Kenya President William Ruto compared Makenzi’s action to an act of terrorism.

April 26 – Performing Arts Center approved by Fayetteville Council

Fayetteville Mayor Ed Johnson was authorized by the Fayetteville City Council to approve the performing arts center at Trilith. Fayetteville City Manager Ray Gibson stated that the arts center will be a non-profit organization. 

The incoming performing arts center was presented by Gibson to the board after the council had toured multiple other centers. As Trilith grows, the council is looking to develop Trilith Live with an arts center, parking garage, a cinema, an atrium area, a civic plaza, two performing stages, and an office building. 

A non-profit organization will fund and mainly run the performing arts center. 

April 27 – High school student accepted to over 170 colleges

Dennis Maliq Barnes, a senior at International High School in New Orleans, Louisiana, has been accepted to over 170 colleges and received over $9 million in scholarship offers. Barnes began his application process back in August, and acceptance letters came in as he kept applying to more and more colleges. 

According to Clark Castle, a spokesman from Barnes’ school, Barnes broke the world record for college acceptances. Barnes is graduating high school two years early due to how many scholarships he has and is graduating with a 4.98 GPA. Barnes has yet to make a decision on which school to attend. 

Barnes is grateful for the support he receives from his family and friends and credits his faith in God for helping him achieve this big dream. Barnes is planning to announce which university he chooses before he graduates this year from International High School.

April 28 – Anti-abortion bill fails in Nebraska and South Carolina

In Nebraska, the Heartbeat Act was poised to ban most abortions after six-weeks once a fetal heartbeat was detected, but the bill was stalled. On Thursday, the bill failed following a 32-15 vote in the Senate.  

Nebraska’s governor Jim Pillen is disappointed with the turn out and calls for the Heartbeat Act to be reconsidered. Also, on Thursday, the South Carolina Senate declined the Human Life Protection Act, which would ban all abortions in the state. It failed following a 22-21 vote and has been moved to next year’s legislative season.

After the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, many states have pushed for restrictions relating to abortion. However, state governments are receiving pushback from the legislative branch, prompting reconsideration from those pushing for near-total bans or a federal ban.