MNPS student password policy changes begin August 1, 2019

MNPS Department of Technology Information Service announced August 1, 2019 that how a student resets his or her password will change in order to better protect the privacy of the students. The modified default password structure for all student accounts in MNPS will be different for returning high school and middle school students.

This change in policy applies to student access to school-related computers and will affect the student’s first logon.

The new format and policy are designed to reduce potential account hacking and will better protect the privacy of individuals. Metro Nashville Public Schools values the privacy of every student including the work product produced on a school computer.



This new password policy will require that students in middle and high school grades to change their password on the first attempt to use a school computer or wifi.

Elementary grade students, while not forced to change their password as part of a reset, are encouraged to use a password they choose that they can easily remember.

This will begin to instill in them safe computing practices and have them ready to follow these practices as they are required to manage their accounts in later grades.

A common frustration for students using school technology is the requirement to reset passwords multiple times during a school year. The new 180-day new framework will align their password password expiration date more in line with the typical school year.

Teachers have been encouraged to set aside time to allow students the opportunity to set their new password as part of the first few days of class.

It is also recommended to have students reset their passwords on their return from winter break. This will reset the 180- day password expiration counter to cover the 2nd semester timeframe. This will help to reduce the impact of passwords expiring during class, at odd times after students return to classes in January.

We also recommend that students, and staff alike, sign up through the self-service password reset portal. In the event a user forgets their password, this service allows the user to utilize the ‘forgot password’ link on the Office 365 login page and manually reset their password on their own. This recovery is available through any PC, smartphone or tablet that has Internet access.

For more information about setting up this feature, see the overview document here: Service Pro Password Reset

To reset a forgotten password, access the Office 365 portal at

Enter your mnps username with the appropriate ‘@’ suffix ([email protected] for students)

Students will then select “NEXT’ , click “forgot password link “at the password entry screen.

Follow the remaining steps, as presented through the portal, to reset the password.

“Choices, never forget you have choices” – Timely advice given at the Inaugural All-Metro Athletic Banquet

Metro Nashville Public Schools held its inaugural Athlete of the Year Banquet Monday evening at the Millenium Maxwell House Hotel.

Each Metroc  Nashville Public School was asked to select their male and female athletes of the year.

Following the keynote address by MNPS Athletic Director Roosevelt Sanders, each athlete was honored with a commemorative plaque handed out by Mark North of The FANS  and MNPS Chief of Schools Sito Narcisse.

MNPS Athletes of the Year –

Antioch – Destiny Johnson, Nestor Corea

Cane Ridge – Soziema Dauda, Christian Nunez

East Nashville – Quentarra Mitchell, Caleb Grimes

Glencliff – Yenlhy Perez, Ramy Youssef

Hillsboro – Anna Ball, Jamaal Thomp

Hillwood – Ellie E. Smith, Miller O. Baker

Hume-Fogg – Tinsley Sheppard, Cliff Goidel

Hunters Lane – Rachel Hernandez, Sid Souksangouane

John Overton – Ashley Kwak, John Livingston

Maplewood – Kiara English. Travares Springer

MLK Jr – Zoe Robinson, Jacob Sowell

McGavock – Charlize Edrozo, Barrett Boese

Pearl-Cohn – Kiah Hayes-Woods, Jayden Harrison

Stratford – Sadie Escalona, Clema Balilre

Whites Creek – Sheridan Jones, Dominique Rodriguez

High school students worry that Tennessee #SB971 will change how voter registration drives are held for TN teens

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Senate voted “yes” on SB#971, Thursday, a bill which would  fine voter registration groups for mistakes after a voter registration drive.

The vote left unclear how #SB971  could change the way voter registration drives are held at high schools, colleges and universities. Previously, the Secretary of State’s office has rallied behind young adults to register to vote enabling teachers and administrators to hold drives specifically for young adults who have just turned eighteen or will be voting in their first election.

Historically, on or near a November voting day, high school history teachers engage with the office of the Secretary of State for the state of Tennessee to hold voter registration drives for those who will soon be graduating.The proposed bills advanced despite outcry from Democrats and some voting rights groups, who argue threats of civil penalties and misdemeanors could discourage people from registering to vote. Certainly, if teachers or principals are held responsible for the registrations, it can be assumed that the stiff penalties would halt any further drives.Secretary of State Tre Hargett has been the organizer of the high school registration drives.

Hargett, however,  is in favor of the proposed  bill and has yet to comment on how this bill will affect voter registration drives at the college and high school levels.


Why it is important

In the November 5, 2018 election, TargetSmart, a data collection agency, reported the young voter turnout  in Tennessee grew nearly seven-fold from 2014 to 2018. TargetSmart’s analysis reveals, “98,000 people age 18 to 29 have voted early in the state, compared to 12,800 in 2014 — a more than seven-fold increase. The data includes early voters and absentee voters, as of Nov. 1, 2018.”

Tennessee, one of the states with the lowest historic voter turnout, has been the subject this year of targeted get-out-the-vote efforts.

Teens, specifically teens of color, wonder if it is their specific demographic that being targeted or if specific areas of the state are the cause for the change in legislation. “See, they don’t care about us.” one student stated about the legislators who have been vocal supporting the bill. The flip-flop of Knox County legislator, Zachary Johnson, did not help to rid students of their cynicism when it comes to politics.

Before the senate bill can become law, another House vote is first needed on uncontroversial Senate changes. The bill is expected to pass.

Tennessee could be the first state with civil penalties for submitting incomplete forms, state Elections Coordinator Mark Goins has said.

The legislation creates class A misdemeanors if groups knowingly or intentionally pay workers based on quotas; if they enroll 100 or more voters and don’t complete state training; or if they enroll 100-plus voters and fail to ship completed forms by the deadline or within 10 days of registration drives. A class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to almost a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.

The bill was amended to apply only to paid workers.  It is unclear if teachers, who are paid by local governments,  fall into the category of “paid workers. ”

The state could also fine high schools and colleges that submit 100 or more incomplete voter registration forms that lack a name, address, date of birth, declaration of eligibility or signature $2,500 in fines .

The latest version wouldn’t penalize voter registration groups for fraudulent forms, since state law already covers those.

The bill was also amended to apply only to groups with paid workers – it is unclear if teachers and administrators, who are paid by local governments fall into the exemption category that enables companies help their employees register, though Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville, the lone Republican “no” vote Thursday, said the amendment didn’t go far enough to protect employers.

Additionally, the bill was changed to spell out that voter registration groups can throw away forms with only a name or initial on them.

Prayers, hymns, community shared in firelight of Notre Dame de Paris

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In this combination of photos, flames and smoke rise as the spire on the Notre Dame Cathedral collapses during a fire in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Diana Ayanna)

Today, the cathedral Notre Dame de Paris, stands blackened with much of its roof gone. The spire, that famously  graced a skyline free of skyscrapers is gone, collapsed and now a pile of burnt rubble. The alter inside the famous cathedral was spared significant damage and is a symbol of hope for the French people.

Last week, the iconic cathedral, the Notre Dame de Paris, was destroyed by a catastrophic fire. The Cathedral has been a place of worship since 856. ‘The commander of the Paris firefighter brigade, Jean-Claude Gallet, stated  Monday night, “the cathedral’s main structure and two towers of the cathedral had been saved.”

The country of France is taking the loss quite seriously for a number of reasons. The timing of the fire broke out during Christians’ Holy Week, the most holy for Roman Catholics. In addition to the timing, massive statues, artifacts, and artwork have severely damaged or lost from the cathedral which is over 800 years old. Many French are ready to rebuild, but the loss of art is irreplaceable.

People gathered as night fell Monday during fire to pray and join in group song of “Ave Maria.” President Emmanuel Macron stated, “Notre Dame is our history, our literature, part of our psyche” and pledged that the iconic cathedral will be rebuilt.

The president followed up by saying “Let’s be proud, because we built this cathedral more than 800 years ago, we’ve built it and, throughout the centuries, let it grow and improved it. So I solemnly say tonight: We will rebuild it together.”

Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe; Associated Press AP
Smoke is seen around the alter inside Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. (Philippe Wojazer/Pool via AP)

Later in the week, firefighters involved in saving the cathedral were honored at the Easter Mass held at neighboring chapels on Sunday. They were honored  for their bravery and remarkable keeping what could have bee a high death toll to one person.

Though France has been weakened, the country will continue to stand tall like the unburned cross of the cathedral carrying a beacon of hope for all.



“The Holy See has learned with incredulity and sadness the news of the terrible fire that ravaged the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, a symbol of Christianity, in France and in the world,” Alessandro Gisotti, interim Director of the Holy See tweeted in French. “We express our closeness with the French Catholics and with the Parisian population. We pray for firefighters and for all those who do their best to cope with this dramatic situation.””

— The Vatican Statement on the fire of Notre Dame

Music City USA and the National Football League announce the entertainment line-up for NFL Draft

UPDATED APRIL 25, 2019 1:18 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The stars of the gridiron will meet the stars of Music City when the NFL Draft comes to Nashville, Tennessee, in April.

The NFL announced Monday that Grammy-winning country star Tim McGraw will perform a free outdoor concert on April 26 and Grammy-winning gospel singer CeCe Winans will sing the National Anthem on April 25 to open the three days of draft events.

The league added that more than 20 Nashville-based acts will perform with additional names announced soon.

The draft will take place on an outdoor stage in downtown Nashville with additional events for fans at the NFL Draft Experience to be held outside Nissan Stadium, home of the Titans.

Tim McGrawDierks Bentley, and Moon Taxi will play free outdoor concerts at the NFL Draft!
Moon Taxi – Thursday, April 25.
Tim McGraw April 26.
Dierks Bentley April 27.
Moon Taxi will play before the selection activities on Thursday.

Thursday, April 25:
12:15pm: New North (Americana)
1:05pm: DJ Mel (DJ)
2pm: Striking Matches (alternative, pop rock, blues rock)
3:05pm: Mez (rap)
4-5pm: Mikky Ekko (alternative)

Friday, April 26:
12:30pm: Jessy Wilson (neo soul/rock)
1:30pm: Willie Jones (country)
2:30pm: DJ Mel (DJ)
3:30pm: Kid Politics (indie pop)
4:30pm: Jonny P (soul)
6pm: Charlie Worsham (country singer-songwriter)
7:30pm: Rayland Baxter (alternative)
8:45pm: DJ Mel (DJ)

Saturday, April 27:
9am: Ryan Hurd (country)
10:50am: Katie Schecter (rock n roll and soul)
11:50am: Jason Eskridge (soul)
12:50pm: Three Star Revival (soul/jam/funk/Americana/rock)
1:45pm: DJ Case Bloom (DJ)
3pm: Andrew Combs (indie folk)
4:30pm: Charles Esten (country/rock “Nashville” show star)

Late to the party, Apple announces its long-awaited streaming TV service

CUPERTINO, California (AP) — Apple announced a new streaming service, Apple TV Plus, which will house its original shows and movies and could compete with Netflix, Amazon and cable TV itself.

Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe; Associated Press AP
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products Monday, March 25, 2019, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Apple is making the announcements at its Cupertino, California, headquarters, in a Monday event studded with celebrities including Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline . The company is pushing digital subscriptions as it searches for new growth.

The company also laid out the details of its news subscription service, Apple News Plus, and a new credit card.

The news service costs $10 a month and includes roughly 300 magazines and a handful of major newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. Missing from the announcement were other major newspaper publishers, who have reportedly been wary of Apple’s terms. Apple says advertisers won’t track readers inside the app. That distinguishes it from Facebook and Google, the other major online news hubs.

The company also said it is launching a MasterCard credit card called Apple Card. It will integrate Apple Maps to show users where they spend money, but at the same time, Apple says it won’t know where you spend or where.

It won’t have any late fees or annual fees and offer 2 percent cash back. Other cards also offer cash-back rewards.

But the biggest splash was its video service. Apple also noted Monday that its Apple TV app brings together different streaming services and traditional cable subscriptions.

Netflix, which didn’t show up during Apple’s presentation, turned “binge watching” into a worldwide phenomenon several years ago. Apple’s new video service is expected to have original TV shows and movies that reportedly cost it more than $1 billion — far less than Netflix and HBO spend every year.

Making must-have TV shows and movies that are watchable on any device has turned Netflix into a force in both Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe; Associated Press AP
Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, speaks at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products Monday, March 25, 2019, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

But Apple remained focused on making on gadgets: iPhones, iPads, computers and its Apple TV streaming box for TVs. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs began toying with the idea of building a powerful TV business, but he couldn’t pull it off before his death in 2011. It has taken his successor, CEO Tim Cook, nearly eight years to draw up the script that the company will now try to execute.

“Apple is very late to this game,” eMarketer analyst Paul Verna said. “Netflix has become the gold standard in how to create and distribute content, using all the data they have about their viewers.”

Netflix’s prowess has attracted 139 million subscribers worldwide. But Apple will have several other deep-pocketed competitors fighting for consumers’ dollars. Amazon has also become a formidable force in video streaming. Walt Disney Co. is launching its own service this year, armed with an imposing library that became more formidable with its purchase of 21st Century Fox’s films and TV series. AT&T is debuting another streaming service built around HBO.

Apple has plenty of money to spend, though, with about $245 billion in cash and marketable securities. It must prove itself attractive to Hollywood even without a track record for supporting high-quality programming and then ensuring it gets widely seen.

As part of its efforts to make quick connections, Apple hired two longtime Sony television executives, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, in 2017. They have signed up stars such as Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Sofia Coppola, who spoke during a video Monday.




Students skip school to demand climate change

Check out NASA’a Interactive Climate Watch Site

Starting in the South Pacific to the edge of the Arctic Circle, students mobilized by social media and word of mouth skipped class Friday to protest what they believe are their governments’ failure to take tough action against global warming.

What is global warming? Global Warming is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased by levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants.

The rallies were one of the biggest international actions, yet. It involved thousands of students in more than 100 countries around the globe.

Image: The disappearing snowcap of Mount Kilimanjaro, from space.

The “school strikes” were inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, nominated for Nobel Peace Prize and Swedish activist, began holding solitary demonstrations outside the Swedish parliament last year. Ever since then, the weekly protests went from a handful of cities to hundreds, fueled by dramatic headlines about the impact of climate change during the students’ lifetime. “Existential crisis, the biggest crisis humanity ever has faced, and still it has been ignored for decades by those that have known about it. And you know who you are, you that have ignored this and are most guilty of this,” said Thunberg during a rally.

What are the effects of global warming? Evidence on the website state, “The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century.2 Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA.”

There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response. “Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.”

Yet, there are still many who seek to make this growing problem a political issue instead of relying on its own governmental scientific evidence .

Global warming is projected to have a number of effects on the oceans. Ongoing effects include rising sea levels due to thermal expansion and melting of glaciers and ice sheets, and warming of the ocean surface, leading to increased temperature stratification. “The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of more than 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.2

These students and young adults, scientists and leaders marched because the issue is considered by many to be nearing a crisis state. They are trying to make a difference in the world, and by standing up for climate change they might just make their goal come true.

Its encouraging to students around the world, to sometimes “make laws you have break laws” in order to see change in something you believe.

  1. In the 1860s, physicist John Tyndall recognized the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect and suggested that slight changes in the atmospheric composition could bring about climatic variations. In 1896, a seminal paper by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius first predicted that changes in the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could substantially alter the surface temperature through the greenhouse effect.

2. Levitus, S.; Antonov, J.; Boyer, T.; Baranova, O.; Garcia, H.; Locarnini, R.; Mishonov, A.; Reagan, J.; Seidov, D.; Yarosh, E.; Zweng, M. (2017). NCEI ocean heat content, temperature anomalies, salinity anomalies, thermosteric sea level anomalies, halosteric sea level anomalies, and total steric sea level anomalies from 1955 to present calculated from in situ oceanographic subsurface profile data (NCEI Accession 0164586). Version 4.4. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. doi:10.7289/V53F4MVP





East Nashville and Pearl Cohn basketball teams finish season strong at TSSAA State tournament


Murphy Center, the unique gymnasium on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University has been the host  to the TSSAA Boys State Basketball tournament consecutively for the last thirty years. For any basketball team to reach this arena is an honor.

East Nashville Magnet High School and Pearl Cohn High School both made the road trip to Murfreesboro to compete in the state tournament. East Eagles finished their season in the semi-finals losing to a ever-present powerhouse, Fulton High school.

Fulton led as much as 17 in the first half. Head Coach Jim Fay found himself in an unfamiliar territory with four players in foul trouble, three of the players starters,  as they went to locker room at the end of the first half.

The Eagles came out determined to their fans a game shaving the lead to 4 in the 4th quarter. Tara’s Carter, a key starter and one of only two returning players from last season fouled out early after only playing 14 minutes. Carter typically 27 minutes a game. Joshua Cole sat on the bench most of the 3rd quarter with four fouls.

Fey stated in the pos-game interview that he was proud of “how the players fought back to cut the defi

cit to 4 points. I thought we had a chance to win it but Fulton’s defense is really solid. We had too many mistakes and turnovers trying to break the press and ended up not having as many looks at the basket as we should have.”

When asked what he would tell the incoming freshman about this experience next year, Caleb Grimes said, “We are not going to forget this feeling we have right now. Losing is the worst feeling and we are going to use that for vengeance next season.”



Pearl Cohn moves from the bottom of the standings in the 17-18 year to play in the TSSAA State Quarterfinal

Photo Gallery

Pearl Cohn High School has had, arguably, the greatest growth of a Metro Nashville Public School athletic team for this school year 2018-2019, moving from last place in the 2017-18 season to winning their region in 2018-19.  Pearl Cohn went on to advance to the quarter-finals where they took on Brainerd on Wednesday of the TSSAA Boys State Basketball tournament.

As a game, it did not disappoint except that Brainerd was able to squeak by with the win, 76-73. It took two quarters for nervousness to settle down and for the Firebirds to come out and play their game.

Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe; Associated Press ; Photo by Eliza Cheshire

With 10 lead changes in the first half, the Brainerd Panthers came out of the locker room modifying its zone defense. Brained  utilized the full court press garnering 4 steals, and a Ciante Chaney, to send the Panthers on a  12-0 run.

But the Firebirds were not going to die a quiet death. They rallied in the fourth, and climbed back into the game until Miquan Tucker’s 3-pointer with 1:48 remaining tied the game.

Twenty seconds later, Pearl Cohn again tied the score, but Owten answered with a layup. Brained went on to win, 76-73 and advanced to the Semi-final round.


East Nashville High School stays focused to beat Howard High School, 78-75

East Nashville High School advances to the TSSAA Basketball Semi-finals held at the Murphy Center on the campus of MTSU in Murfreesboro, TN beating Howard High School 78-75. East led the majority of the first 21 minutes of the game but Howard fought to stay in the game shaving an Eagles lead of 10 points to move ahead at 3:23 in the fourth quarter.

From there the Eagles and the Tigers traded leads and at 58 seconds left in the game, East converted a Howard turnover and forced a offensive rebound to put the Eagles up 5 with 28 seconds left in the game. Howard found another level of pressure and forced East to turn the ball over by disallowing an inbound shot. Scoring on that turnover, East had to find an open man and hold on to the ball.

Howard was left to foul East, putting them on the line. Tara’s Carter missed the first two foul shots but redeemed himself with a strong close making the shots of the game, both from the charity stripe.

East had four players in double digits which Head Coach of the Eagles, Jim Fey, said was key to the win. “At any given time I have 3 players who can step up and hit double digits, to have four players is a testament to how much they wanted this win.”

The Eagles are a young team graduating all five starting seniors. Caleb Grimes stated, “Seniors had the majority of playing time last year, and even though we all (referring to the whole team) were on the team, we really didn’t gel and bond until this year. We are like brothers now. ”

Noteworthy: Howard had four players in double digits…Kerrick Thorne 17…Dewayne Lawry 14…..Marquez Williams 13….Calvin James 12

East will play Fulton at 10:00 am Murphy Center on campus of MTSU Friday March 15th. Fulton beat Mitchell in overtime, 44-41


Tennessee seeks new student testing contract vendor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee wants the next administrator of its student assessment test to follow strict performance requirements after previous rollouts resulted in statewide delays and sparked outrage from teachers, students and lawmakers.

The current company that administers Tennessee’s problem-plagued student assessment testing program says it still plans on throwing its hat in the ring to secure a new state contract so they can continue overseeing the same service in the fall.

Officials with Quester Assessment Inc. confirmed in November their plans to participate in the bidding process.

The announcement came just a few weeks after both state auditors and top education officials largely pointed to the company as the key culprit for the longtime failures of the TNReady test.

Tennessee Department of Education stated Tuesday, March 5, 2019 that the request for proposal is now available.

The new contract is estimated to cost the taxpayers of Tennessee an estimated $20 million each year.

Following a report released in January, Questar’s COO, Brad Baumgartner, stated that Quester disputed the auditor’s report released in December. The report held both the state and Quester accountable for failing to monitor and evaluate the testing program prior to the testing dates in May 2017 and 2018.

The online test experienced widespread delays last year, causing some districts to cancel testing. State auditors then released a report specifically pointing to actions made by test vendor Questar for the disruptions.

However, the audit specifically pointed to Questar for failing to adequately staff customer support and the decision to switch its text-to-speech software which resulted in not only lengthy testing disruptions, but also led officials to briefly speculate the system was experiencing a cyberattack.

The online test experienced widespread delays last year, causing some districts to cancel testing. State auditors then released a report specifically pointing to actions made by test vendor Questar for the disruptions.

The state now says the contractor must provide customer satisfaction summaries on a weekly basis and must keep call center times low.

Vendors have until April 11 to respond. The state then hopes to sign with a contractor by June 13.

Death toll rises to 23 as tornadoes, severe storms hit South

11:00pm CST

BEAUREGARD, Ala. (AP) — A tornado roared into southeast Alabama and killed at least 22 people and injured several others Sunday, part of a severe storm system that caused catastrophic damage and unleashed other tornadoes around the Southeast.

”We are at 22 right now. Unfortunately, I feel like that number may rise yet again,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said of the death toll.

Drones flying overheard equipped with heat-seeking devices had scanned the area for survivors but the dangerous conditions halted the search late Sunday, Jones said. An intense ground search would resume Monday morning.

  1. Deep South Severe Weather
    Image ID : 19063067258523
    This photo shows some damage at the Buck Wild Saloon, located on U.S. Highway 280, east of Smiths Station, Ala., Sunday, March 3, 2019, after a powerful storm system passed through the area. (Kara Coleman Fields/Opelika-Auburn News via AP)

Jones said the twister traveled straight down a key local artery in Beauregard and that the path of damage and destruction appeared at least a half mile wide. He said single-family homes and mobile homes were destroyed, adding some homes were reduced to slabs. He had told reporters earlier that several people were taken to hospitals, some with “very serious injuries.”

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris told The Associated Press that he had to call in help from the state, because there were more bodies than his four-person office can handle.

The National Weather Service confirmed late Sunday a tornado with at least an F3 rating and a track at least half a mile (.8 kilometers) wide caused the deadly destruction in Alabama.

Dozens of emergency responders rushed to join search and rescue efforts in hard-hit Lee County after what forecasters said they think was a large tornado touched down Sunday afternoon, unleashed by a powerful storm system that also slashed its way across parts of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.

People walk amid debris in Lee County, Ala., after what appeared to be a tornado struck in the area Sunday, March 3, 2019. Severe storms destroyed mobile homes, snapped trees and left a trail of destruction amid weather warnings extending into Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, authorities said. (WKRG-TV via AP)

Radar and video evidence showed what looked like a large tornado crossing the area near Beauregard shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday, said meteorologist Meredith Wyatt with the Birmingham office of the National Weather Service.

”It appears it stayed on the ground for at least a mile and maybe longer,” Jones told the AP.

After nightfall Sunday, the rain had stopped and pieces of metal debris and tree branches littered roadways in Beauregard. Two sheriff’s vehicles blocked reporters and others from reaching the worst-hit area. Power appeared to be out in many places.

President Donald Trump tweeted late Sunday, “To the great people of Alabama and surrounding areas: Please be careful and safe. … To the families and friends of the victims, and to the injured, God bless you all!”

Rita Smith, spokeswoman for the Lee County Emergency Management Agency, said about 150 first responders had quickly jumped in to efforts to search the debris after the storm struck in Beauregard. At least one trained canine could be seen with search crews as numerous ambulances and emergency vehicles, lights flashing, converged on the area.

No deaths had been reported Sunday evening from storm-damaged Alabama counties outside Lee County, said Gregory Robinson, spokesman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. But he said crews were still surveying damage in several counties in the southwestern part of the state.

Numerous tornado warnings were posted across parts of Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina on Sunday afternoon as the powerful storm system raced across the region. Weather officials said they confirmed other tornadoes around the region by radar alone and would send teams out early Monday to assess those and other storms.

In rural Talbotton, Georgia, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Atlanta, a handful of people were injured by either powerful straight-line winds or a tornado that destroyed several mobile homes and damaged other buildings, said Leigh Ann Erenheim, director of the Talbot County Emergency Management Agency.

Televised broadcast news footage showed smashed buildings with rooftops blown away, cars overturned and debris everywhere. Trees all around had been snapped bare of branches.

”The last check I had was between six and eight injuries,” Erenheim said in a phone interview. “From what I understand it was minor injuries, though one fellow did say his leg might be broken.”

She said searches of damaged homes and structures had turned up no serious injuries or deaths there.

Henry Wilson of the Peach County Emergency Management Agency near Macon in central Georgia said a barn had been destroyed and trees and power poles had been snapped, leaving many in the area without power.

Authorities in southwest Georgia are searching door-to-door in darkened neighborhoods after a possible tornado touched down in the rural city of Cairo, about 33 miles (53 kilometers) north of Tallahassee, Florida, on Sunday evening. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries.

Authorities said a tornado was confirmed by radar in the Florida Panhandle late Sunday afternoon. A portion of Interstate 10 on the Panhandle was blocked in one direction for a time in Walton County in the aftermath, said Don Harrigan, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Tallahassee.

”There’s a squall line moving through the area,” Harrigan told AP. “And when you have a mature line of storms moving into an area where low level winds are very strong, you tend to have tornadoes developing. It’s a favorable environment for tornados.”

The threat of severe weather continued into the late-night hours. A tornado watch was in effect for much of eastern Georgia, including Athens, Augusta and Savannah. The tornado watch also covered a large area of South Carolina, including the cities of Charleston and Columbia.

With Georgia on his mind, Anzor Tchanturia discusses being an exchange student at Hillsboro IB World School

Georgia is still evolving, politically and economically. It is also different geographically. Georgia is a beautiful place below Russia, and near China. It has everything, ”

— Anzor Tchanturia

When people in the United State hear that Anzor Tchanturia is from Georgia, the immediate reaction is, “Wow, he doesn’t sound Southern!”

Tchanturia is from Georgia, the country and is a FLEX  exchange student from the program Future Leaders Exchange Program which is a leadership development exchange program funded by the United States. He arrived to the United States on August 18th, 2018, and has been with his host family here in Nashville, since then. He will return to Georgia sometime in May.

FLEX is an international program where kids and young adults with a love for their home country go and represent their hometown to the host country, in this case the United States, and share their life experiences with students of the host country.

Anzor Tchanturia’s mentor takes a group photo a photo near a dilapidated building that his youth rehabbed into a youth center.

A bonus of this program is that nearly all of his needs are paid for in advance. They pay for everything which is very helpful, but it’s still special because not many eighteen year olds  get to do this. The FLEX program is highly competitive and the acceptance rate in the program of 2.14%. He does not get to pick where he goes.

His host family is originally from Russia. Russia border Georgia and many people from Tchanturia speak Russian. His hostess is from Belgium and is a doctor at VanderbiltUniversity Medical Center. Anzar enjoys his host family and stated, It is surprisingly I am not homesick for my own  family .I think it is because I like to  explore and travel.” He also had training before he came to Nashville, so changing environments wasn’t a big deal for him. It also  helps that he talks to his parents almost every day.

He described the differences between the United States  and Georgia.  The culture shocks major because, “Georgia is still evolving, politically and economically. It is also different geographically. Georgia is a beautiful place below Russia, and near China. It has everything,” according to Anzor. “From mountains, to rolling hills, to deserts to seas, Georgia’s sights are endless.”

An interesting question that came up in the interview was “What does the flag of Georgia represent to him and symbolically.” Anzar stated, “There are five crosses, one large and four small, and they represent the religion of the country of Georgia as well as their motto. Their motto is “strength is in unity,” which goes hand in hand with the Orthodox christian Georgian branch that they practice.”

Anzar is a religious person church but one thing that is disappointing is there isn’t anywhere in Nashville or close to here that has the correct Georgian branch of Orthodox Christianity.

In the question and answer session with the students of the Associated Press Journalism program, the topic of international politics was discussed, especially since the investigation regarding Russian interference with election has been an ongoing topic in the media.

 It was very interesting and eye opening hearing what Anzor had to say on the issue. The expansion of Russian into the country of Georgia  has been and continues to be very difficult for the citizens of Georgia because they are a very patriotic country.

Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe;  This is the following year kids on my left are the parts of my initiative group that formed for solving local problems. I’m in the position of a mentor for them. We have a meeting with city’s education center.

The border is of Russia is literal near where Anzor lives and the fence/wall that Russian soldiers defend is an ongoing presence. Tchanturia explained that it was not like border patrols in the United States because,  “when anyone from Georgia crosses the occupied border on purpose or on accident he or she is subject to detention by the Russian military.  

For example , when farmers are herding their animals near the occupied border, they might accidentally cross somewhere that doesn’t have an actual fence/wall. Farmer are then detained by the Russian government and then get tortured.” Anzar explained, “If you’re lucky enough to get your family member or friend back from the Russian government, they return in a physical condition that is near-death.”

Georgians are very patriotic people. This is one of Anzor’s favorite parts about his home. There’s is a large variety of different ethnicities that call themselves Georgians, but everyone is united by their love for their country. He thinks this is because of the country being small but having a large and very traditional history.

Georgian’s hate the Russian government because they have taken areas that are equal to an average size state in the United States. It angers Georgians because the land has always been their land.

Therefore, it is unusual for Georgians to Associate with Russians. This was a point many in the class found disturbing. Though they hate the Russian government and the decisions that they make, they don’t hate all individuals Russians who can be a good neighbor.

“You either have a social life or do well at school, there’s no in between.””

— Anzor Tchanturia, FLEX exchange student

The biggest difference between Georgia and the United States is the education system. The structure of the United States education system allows for more freedom to study topics in-depth and there is more freedom to guide one’s own education compared to the very structured system of Georgia. “I like that I can choose what levels of education I want to continue with after middle school.. Anzar is currently a AIBC Marketing student at Hillsboro which he is highly  interested in. He also noticed that the infrastructure is “amazing.”

In Georgia,  he has seven classes a day and stays up until 2:00 am almost every night working on homework and schoolwork. This leads to him having a seemingly dull social life simply because he has an enormous amount of homework work. Anzor said that, “You either have a social life or do well at school, there’s no in between.”

One fun fact about Anzor is that he speaks three languages, including English, German, and Georgian. It is so interesting to learn about an exchange student’s homeland. Some students, he explained, didn’t know the country of Georgia existed. He shared with us that his perspective on Americans is that we’re friendly people and that we are kind, which I found interesting.  His eye opening perspective was very enlightening and I am grateful I had the opportunity to meet him.