Chance of famine rises in south Sudan

The United Nations tweeted on Monday, Feb. 20, that the Republic of South Sudan is facing a famine crisis and almost 5 million people are in need of help.

“#Famine hits parts of #SouthSudan: 100,000  [people] facing starvation. 5 mil [people] need food, #ag & nutrition assistance,” said the UN’s twitter account on Monday morning.

The UN’s World Food Programme also said that 1 million people are on the brink of famine and that people are already dying of hunger. Another million children are facing acute malnutrition.

“Our worst fears have been realized,” said Serge Tissot, of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to CNN. “Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive.”

The UN is attributing this crisis to the years of civil war that has led to a refugee crisis and economic collapse since South Sudan gained independence in 2011.

Uganda is taking in most of the refugees that are fleeing South Sudan. The UN estimates 1.5 million people have crossed the Ugandan border in search of help.


Employees fired after immigration protest

People around the country participated in “A Day Without Immigrants” on Thursday, Feb. 16, a nationwide protest to show how the economy would be affected if immigrant workers were deported. When they returned to work the following Friday or Monday, some were fired.

Colorado’s Jim Serowski told CNN that he warned his employees they would be fired if they did not show up for work on Thursday. Over 30 didn’t, and Serowski followed up on his promise, insisting the decision wasn’t political.

“They were warned: ‘If you do this, you’re hurting the company, and if you go against the team, you’re not a member of the team,’” Serowski said to CNN.

Serowski said he has known his employees for over 20 years and has always been in support of immigrant labor.

Employers across the country reacted the same way, some citing that their workers never told them they wouldn’t be at work. However, other employers told CNN their employees were welcomed back after the protests and will continue to be supported.


WCSD ends Wednesday early release

The Washoe County School District announced Friday, Feb. 17, that it will end the early release program on Wednesdays to make up for school days lost due to weather conditions. This will start Wednesday, Mar. 1.

Schools in Washoe County release students 45 minutes early every Wednesday in order to make time for professional development for teachers.

State law requires that schools must have 180 days of instruction during the school year.

WCSD has canceled school four times this year. The school district puts three days in their schedule every year to make up for lost academic time due to unforeseen cancellations. The 13 Wednesdays between Mar. 1 and June 7 will now make up for the lost time.

Madeline Purdue can be reached at and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.