Aug 01, 2020
Barron Trump's Private School to Stay Closed for Now
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By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump insists that schools reopen so students can go back to their classrooms, but the Maryland private school where his son Barron is enrolled is among those under county orders to stay closed.
Montgomery County Health Officer Dr.Travis Gayles said his order to stay closed for in-person instruction through Oct. 1 and to conduct online classes only will be reevaluated before Oct. 1 to determine whether it should be extended, terminated or amended.
Gayles noted increases in transmission rates for COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus — in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia, particularly in younger age groups.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have based our decisions on science and data,” Gayles said in a news release announcing the decision late Friday. “At this point the data does not suggest that in-person instruction is safe for students or teachers.”
Barron, 14, is due to enter ninth grade at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, which is located in Montgomery County. The 2020-2021 school year is slated to begin Sept. 8.
St. Andrews has been preparing for two different options: distance learning or a hybrid model with students learning both on an off campus. The school had planned to make a final decision the week of Aug. 10 and notify families, according to a note on the school website.
Trump argues that children are being harmed by being away from the classroom. Federal medical experts have said decisions about reopening schools should be made locally.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan criticized the Montgomery County order, saying those decisions should be made by schools and parents, not politicians.
The White House and St. Andrew's Episcopal School did not immediately return requests for comment late Saturday on the Montgomery County order.
Associated Press writer Brian Witte in Annapolis, Md., contributed to this report.
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Tags: Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware
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Yosemite National Park temporarily closed after windstorm hits California
The heavy winds began early this week and swept across California, hitting Yosemite on Monday night.
On Tuesday, the park announced on social media that Yosemite would be closed because of the continued winds as well as "downed trees, debris, and damage to park facilities."
Later that day, the park tweeted pictures of several trees that had fallen on trucks and caused damage to at least one building, saying the park wouldn’t reopen until at least Friday.
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"While some facilities have been damaged, no injuries have been reported as a result of the high winds in the park," the park tweeted Tuesday.
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Thursday night, the park extended the temporary closure until at least Tuesday, Jan. 26.
Park spokesman Scott Gediman told the Sacramento Bee that two giant sequoias in the lower grove of the park’s Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias were among several trees that fell.
An incense-cedar that fell through a house in Wawona during the Mono wind event on Tuesday is pictured. (Yosemite National Park via AP)
Employee homes were among the buildings that were damaged, as well as a boardwalk and bathroom that were installed during a $40 million restoration that was finished in 2018, Gediman said.
He told the newspaper that crews were working to repair downed electrical lines, especially in the Wawona community, a south park area that was still without power on Thursday.
This boardwalk in the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park was damaged by a fallen ponderosa pine during the Mono wind event on Tuesday. (Yosemite National Park via AP)
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Among the areas closed until deemed safe was the Tunnel View, a scenic viewpoint on State Route 41 in the Wawona area that offers sweeping views of such icons like Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall.
A fallen giant sequoia that came down during the Mono wind event on Tuesday is pictured. (Yosemite National Park via AP)
The park is only open to day visitors. Campgrounds and lodges have been closed for several weeks because the park is trying to reduce the chances of visitors spreading the coronavirus.
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Aside from damage to Yosemite, the high winds brought down trees and power lines across California. The winds even knocked out electricity to about 300,000 homes and businesses. Utilities also intentionally blacked out tens of thousands of customers to prevent fires erupting from damaged or downed electrical equipment.
The winds eased Tuesday in the northern and central areas and Wednesday in the south.
The Associated Press contributed to this reportAnn Schmidt is a Lifestyle reporter for Fox News.