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News of coach killed in Parkland shooting hit former player 'sideways'

As the investigation into the Parkland High School mass shooting continues in South Florida, more people in the Jacksonville, Florida, area with connections to the school are coming forward to talk about the people they lost, including like assistant football coach Aaron Feis.

>> Read more trending news

“Hearing the stories about Coach Feis, it just, it just totally hit me sideways,” Kaden Culpepper said.

Feis is being remembered as a hero after he shielded students from the shooter and was fatally shot. Culpepper spent four years with Feis and said he was not surprised by his heroism. 

“He just brought so much joy to all of us, the whole school. Coach Feis was the man,” he said.

Culpepper moved to Parkland with his mother at a young age. When he got older, he knew he wanted to play football but didn’t have a lot of money for equipment.

“(Feis) said, ‘Don’t even worry about it. I’ll take care of you,’” Culpepper said.

And he meant it.

>> Florida shooting heroes: 3 coaches, teachers gave lives for students

“Taking me to practice, and picking me up for practice and paying every school year for me to play football out of his own pocket,” Culpepper said.

Culpepper said Feis saw potential in everyone and inspired them to do their best, on and off the field.

“He saw something in me and so many of my brothers on the football team that we didn’t even realize. He brought out the fight in us, he brought out the best in us, and he brought out the men in us. If I didn’t meet Coach Feis, and I didn’t play football for him, I wouldn’t be here,” Culpepper said.

Culpepper doesn’t just admire Coach Feis. He also plans to follow in his footsteps, by becoming a teacher and coach.

“Having an idol like Coach Feis, I can do the same thing,” he said.

Tennessee authorities arrest 'King Pin Granny'

Authorities said they have caught the “King Pin Granny” in Tennessee.

>> Read more trending news

A 75-year-old woman was arrested Feb. 9 in a large drug bust in Decatur County, police said. Police raided the home of Betty Jean Jordan in Parsons and allegedly confiscated more than 1,000 prescription pills, including morphine, Xanex and Oxycodone, WZTV reported.

Law enforcement officials nicknamed Jordan the “King Pin Granny.” She was charged with three counts of drug manufacturing, delivery, sale and possessoin of schedule II, two counts of possession of a legend drug with intent, possession of a legend drug and evading arrest, WZTV reported.

Jordan was booked in the Decatur County Jail and is free after a $50,000 bond was posted, WZTV reported.

Photos: Pyeongchang Winter Olympics - Day 9

Presidents Day 2018: When is it and how did the holiday get started?

To many Americans, Presidents Day means retail sales and discounts or even a day off, if they’re lucky. But what is the holiday really about?

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Even before then, Washington was revered as one of the most important figures in American history and his birthday became a perennial day of remembrance, according to History.com.

Sen. Steven Wallace Dorsey of Arkansas was the first to propose the federal holiday, and in 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law. Initially, the holiday, called “Washington’s Birthday,” only applied to the District of Columbia. But in 1885, the celebration expanded to include the entire country.

Over the years, some states adopted the holiday to celebrate either Washington or former presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.

The day is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” but it became popularly known as Presidents Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to help the nation’s workers enjoy more three-day weekends.

It was the first holiday to celebrate the life of an individual American. The next would be Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which was signed into law in 1983.

Today, Presidents Day is considered a day to celebrate all American presidents, past and present. Around the country, patriotic and historical groups hold events and celebrations and schools often teach students about the accomplishments of American presidents.

Last year, however, thousands of protesters across the country used their Monday off to protest President Donald Trump in “Not My Presidents Day” rallies.

“While we acknowledge that Donald Trump holds the current title, the policies he’s trying to put in place are not the beliefs shared by the majority of the people,” Nova Calise, one of the organizers of the New York event, told USA Today.

Transgender wrestler will defend state title in Texas

A transgender wrestler from Texas will be defending the Class 6A girls championship at next week’s state tournament, WFAA reported.

>> Read more trending news

On Saturday, Mack Beggs, 18, of Euless Trinity will compete for a 6A Region II tournament title, which will determine bracket seeding for the state tournament. The top four finishers in each weight class advance.

Last year, a parent filed a lawsuit to prevent Beggs from wrestling in the female division.

Beggs began transitioning from female to male a few years ago by using testosterone, which was the reason the lawsuit was filed, WFAA reported. But according to the Texas University Interscholastic League, it is not a banned substance since it comes from a physician.

A state law passed in 2016 says that athletes must compete as the gender listed on their birth certificates, WFAA reported.

The state wrestling tournament will be in Cypress next week. Beggs is 29-0 this season and hopes to defend the state title he won last year.

Beggs is considering a men’s wrestling scholarship in college and is hoping to schedule a time for his “top surgery” by a doctor in Plano, The Dallas Morning News reported. 

"I know it's going to happen," Beggs told the Morning News "But if I stress about it too much, then I'm going to stress about it, so I'm just going with the flow."

Kentucky second-grader with Down syndrome qualifies for regional spelling bee

A Kentucky girl with Down syndrome qualified for a regional spelling bee, WLKY reported.

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Sosie Smith, a second-grader at Christian Academy of Louisville's Providence School, qualified after winning the bee in her class, with “joyous” the word that gave her the championship. She will compete in a regional event next week, WLKY reported.

Sosie’s mother, Tara Smith, told WLKY that her daughter has always loved words and reading.

"My job as a mom is to find those little gifts and accentuate them and try to bring them out as best as I can," she said.

Smith told WLKY that she hopes Sosie's story will encourage other special-needs children.

"She keeps hitting these milestones and exceeding my expectations," Smith said. "I just hope to open their eyes a little bit and enlighten them that the capabilities are there."

Texas school marshals allowed to carry guns on campus

Officials in two school districts in Texas believe they have a deterrent for incidents like this week’s shooting at Parkland High School in Florida. Selected employees are allowed to carry guns on campus, WFAA reported.

>> Read more trending news

The Argyle Independent School District implemented the rule in 2014, and the Keene Independent School District followed suit the following year.

Teachers packing heat is possible thanks to the passage of the Protection of Texas Children Law that was passed in 2013. The law permits districts to create “school marshals” for campuses, WFAA reported. The marshals must submit to extensive active shooter and firearms training with the state and must undergo a mental health evaluation, WFAA reported. Marshals must renew their licenses every two years.

>> Photos: Remembering Parkland Florida school shooting victims

Signs outside schools in the Argyle and Keene districts warn visitors that staff members are armed, WFAA reported.

Keene Superintendent Ricky Stephens said creating school marshals was needed.

“Administrators and teachers are going to be the first ones who arrive, so do you want them to arrive with a pencil or a pistol?” Stephens told WFAA.

According to the law, weapons must be in a safe -- or on the marshal at all times, WFAA reported.

New York dad emerges from 61-day coma

The last thing Robert Crain remembered was visiting the emergency room to have his nagging cough checked out.

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That was on Oct. 3, 2017. Sixty-one days later, the 47-year-old woke from a medically induced coma. And on Feb. 14, 2018, he was discharged from Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, New York.

"For me, it just seemed like I woke up from a nap,'' Crain told Syracuse.com. "Then I realized I missed Thanksgiving and Christmas and all that time with my family."

Crain’s lungs and kidneys had shut down in October. He lost 50 pounds during his time in the hospital and now must use a cane to walk, Syracuse.com reported.

“It was awful,” said Crain’s wife of 10 years, Marcela Crain. “My brain heard them say he wasn't doing well and wasn't improving, but my heart wouldn't accept it. I went to the chapel every day at the hospital and prayed, and my daughter and I prayed every night.”

Robert Crain was kept alive by a heart/lung bypass machine, spending more time on it than any other patient in the hospital’s history, Syracuse.com reported.

Crain said he remembered nothing from Oct. 3 until Jan. 8. His doctors pulled him out of his coma gradually. When he came to, Crain said he was “stunned” when a nurse told him what day it was, Syracuse.com reported.

Robert Crain’s recovery and discharge from the hospital was a banner day for his wife and their 8-year-old daughter, Isabella. 

"This is the most amazing, special day,'' Marcela Crain said. “Never give up hope. I always believed he would come back to me."

Marcela Crain said the family put Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas on hold, refusing to celebrate it without Robert. She told Syracuse.com the family would celebrate all three holidays into a single day when he is stronger.

Man who falsely claimed to represent Migos, scammed Emory University indicted

A man who claimed to be a booker for musicians including Migos, Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert is facing federal fraud charges, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

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Octaveon Woods, 26, of Decatur, Illinois, was indicted on money laundering and wire fraud charges Feb. 6.

Woods allegedly operated companies, including Global Talent Agency and GTA Bookings, which claimed to represent “dozens of famous musicians, comedians and other artists,” the Justice Department said. Woods had no relationship to any of the artists his companies claimed to represent, U.S. Attorney BJay Pak said. 

Emory University paid $37,500 to Global Talent Agency in early 2017, under the impression that they were booking Migos for its annual Dooley’s Week celebration. Two weeks before the scheduled concert, Emory’s Student Planning Council learned they had been victims of fraud, and that Migos would not be performing. The university was able to book rapper Ty Dolla Sign at the last minute, paying at least $85,000.

Emory is not the only school that was allegedly duped by Woods. The University of Missouri “and other victims” paid Woods’ companies to book artists for concerts and festivals, the Justice Department said. 

Woods received $66,250 in total for the fake bookings, a federal indictment says. That means Emory’s $37,500 payment accounted for more than half of Woods’ money. The U.S. Department of Education is also investigating the case.

Once Woods’ companies received the money, Woods would launder the funds by transferring them to other accounts and withdrawing them as cash, the Justice Department said.

Woods has pleaded not guilty and posted $10,000 bond on Feb. 13. 

'Thoughts and prayers' check goes viral on Facebook

A Facebook post with a picture of a check without any money has gone viral on Facebook.

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Fern Malila, from Michigan, posted the picture Thursday afternoon.

The post is a picture of a letter and the check to Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman -- which has “thoughts and prayers” written where the money amount should be.

"Dear Rep. Bergman," the letter begins. "Since you and your colleagues in Congress seem to feel that this is the solution to mass murder, please accept this contribution."

As of Friday afternoon, the photo had been shared more than 65,000 times.

It was posted in response to a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida Wednesday afternoon that left 17 people dead. 

Twin babies found dead in suitcase on side of a ditch

Arkansas authorities are investigating the discovery of the bodies of twin babies found in a suitcase in Cross County in the eastern part of the state.

>> Read more trending news 

The infants were found Friday afternoon around 1:45 p.m. on Crossroad 602.

The unidentified bodies were inside a purple suitcase on the side of a ditch. 

The investigation is ongoing, and no suspect information has been released. 

>> Related: Florida school shooting heroes: 3 coaches, teachers gave lives for students

The Cross County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying the babies.

Chemicals in nonstick pans could be causing weight gain, study says

Nonstick pans were created to make cooking a little easier. However, they may be causing more harm than good, because they have been linked to weight gain, according to a new report. 

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers from Harvard University recently conducted a study, published in the scientific journal PLOS Medicine, to determine how using the cookware can interfere with weight loss. 

To do so, they examined 621 overweight individuals who participated in a six-month weight loss plan. After 18 months, they found that the dieters had gained back nearly half the weight they lost. 

>> Related: Lack of sunlight in the winter could cause weight gain

Upon further investigation, they discovered that people with the highest levels of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), especially women, had gained the most weight. PFAS are man-made chemicals used to make products more stain-resistant, waterproof or nonstick, and they are found on pots, pans and some fast food wrappers. 

“These findings suggest that environmental chemicals may play a role in the current obesity epidemic. Given the persistence of these PFAS in the environment and the human body, their potential adverse effects remain a public health concern,” the researchers wrote.

While scientists aren’t exactly sure why PFAS could cause weight gain, they noted that people with higher levels of PFAS also had a lower resting metabolic rate. In other words, they were burning fewer calories throughout the day while doing normal activities.

>> Related: Why you're not losing weight, even though you're trying

Researchers said they now hope to continue their investigations to better understand the underlying “link between PFAS exposure and weight regulation in humans.”

FBI didn't investigate tip about Nikolas Cruz before deadly school shooting

At least 17 people were killed in a high school shooting Wednesday afternoon in Parkland, Florida and more than a dozen others were injured, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

The lone gunman, identified as Nikolas Cruz, 19, was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and was taken into custody without incident after the attack, Israel said.

READ MORE: Who is Nicolas de Jesus Cruz, accused gunman in Florida high school attack? | What to do if you are in an 'active shooter' situationWhat is a mass shooting? Definitions can varyMORE

Melania Trump breaks with tradition again after new affair allegations

Once again, first lady Melania Trump gave off the impression that all is not well in her marriage to President Donald Trump when she broke presidential protocol on Friday following a report alleging the president had an affair with former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.

>> Read more trending news

As the Trumps headed to Florida to meet with the victims of this week’s mass shooting at a high school, they began the journey separately. While it’s tradition for the couple to cross the White House lawn to Marine One together, Mrs. Trump decided to forgo the usual walk and instead drove separately to Andrews Air Force Base. She arrived in a separate vehicle ahead of the president and ascended the stairs to Air Force One without him.

“With her schedule, it was easier to meet him on the plane,” Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s communications director, explained the situation, adding that she does intend to join her husband in visiting the victims.

The suspicious choice comes just hours after The New Yorker published a report based on an account from McDougal, who provided details about her alleged affair with President Trump between June 2006 to April 2007. At the time, the Trumps had been married for two years, and their son, Barron, had been born a few months earlier.

The White House responded to the allegations in a statement saying, “This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.”

This isn’t the first time the first lady has broken with tradition in the wake of infidelity accusations. Last month, she arrived at the U.S. Capitol separately from the president to attend his first State of the Union address. It was her first public event following a bombshell report alleging the president paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence after the pair had an affair in 2006.

Suspect knocks out partner in crime during attempted break-in

This probably wasn’t quite how these attempted burglars saw their night going.

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Surveillance video released by police in Shanghai, China, captured a break-in attempt gone horribly wrong.

In the video, the men approach a business with what appears to be bricks in their hands.

One person throws the brick and hits the door, but the second one’s timing was a little off.

The person throws the brick and hits his accomplice in the head, knocking him out cold.

The person then tries to flee, but has to drag his unconscious partner in crime away from the scene.

Classmate of Nikolas Cruz says ‘No one has ever been a friend to him’

A friend of the suspected Parkland high school shooter said Nikolas Cruz's demeanor changed after his father's death in 2005, but he had no one to turn to for help.

>> Read more trending news 

“We couldn't help him at all. No one had ever been a friend to him,” Ethan Trieu said. “I've known him since sixth grade, I want to start out by saying I'm not rationalizing or justifying what he did. It was completely wrong and horrible and disgusting.”

Trieu said he had no idea that Cruz could commit such a horrific act and kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

>> Related: Photos: Remembering Parkland Florida school shooting victims

“From when I've known him, he was one of the nicest people I've known in my entire life,” Trieu said.

But after Cruz’s father's death, something changed.

“Eventually after a couple of months, he started talking again, but he couldn't fit back in correctly, and he met the wrong people. They encouraged him and motivated him to do all this wrong stuff, like throw pencils at the teacher and stuff,” Trieu said.

Trieu said as years passed, Cruz became more of an outcast, was bullied, started speaking of violence to the point that in just January, the FBI missed the opportunity to follow up on a warning about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, disturbing social media posts and the potential that he could conduct a school shooting.

>> Related: FBI didn't investigate tip about Nikolas Cruz before deadly school shooting: Live updates

Trieu said the last time he saw Cruz was moments after the shooting as students evacuated.

“I remember noticing him walking past us and I remember him blending in wearing a t-shirt that's from the school. He blended in very well and apparently some people greeted him and he greeted back,” Trieu said. 

>> Related: 'You killed my kid!': Father of sh

Gibson guitar company, maker of the Les Paul, facing bankruptcy after 116 years in business

Gibson guitar company, which has been a staple brand among various musical instruments since 1902, is facing bankruptcy.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the Nashville Post, Gibson’s chief financial officer, Bill Lawrence, left after six months on the job and just as $375 million in senior secured notes mature and $145 million in bank loans become due, if they aren’t refinanced by July

The departure of Lawrence was seen as a bad sign for a company trying to re-organize.

The company, which generates $1 billion a year in revenues, recently moved out of its Nashville warehouse, where it had operated since the mid 1980s. 

The company owner since then, Henry Juskiewicz, is trying to re-order the company according to the Post but is facing a battle with creditors over bad business decisions. The company recently sold Baldwin piano, and is hoping to see a boost in cash from the various electronics companies it had purchased the last several years.

Gibson began in 1902 in Kalamazoo, Mich., producing various instruments, including acoustic guitars. In 1952 the company brought in famous guitarist Les Paul to sell a guitar based on his own name, which would become one of the most iconic instruments ever made. 

The Gibson Les Paul began production in 1952, and became a staple of the rock and roll movement since. The company since developed other iconic guitars such as the SG, Firebird, and has sponsored hundreds of musicians. 

>> Related: JNCO is closing for good; wide-leg jeans being liquidated

The company moved from Kalamazoo to Nashville in the mid 1980s. 

Ultra-processed foods like chicken nuggets could cause cancer, researchers say

It’s no secret that ultra-processed foods, such as chicken nuggets and meatballs, have been connected to health issues like high blood pressure and heart disease. Now, researchers are adding cancer to the list, according to a new report. 

>> Read more trending news 

European researchers from universities and health institutions recently conducted a study, published in the British Medical Journal, to assess the association between cancer risk and ultra-processed foods.

Ultra-processed foods include packaged breads and snacks; confectionery and desserts; sodas and sweetened drinks; and meat balls, poultry and fish nuggets.

For their assessment, they examined the medical records and eating habits of about 100,000 adults. The data also kept track of the patients’ consumption of 3,300 different foods. 

>> Related: Cancer vaccine wipes out tumors in mice, human trials to come

After analyzing the information, they found that a 10 percent increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods was linked to a 12 percent rise in cancers.

"If confirmed in other populations and settings, these results suggest that the rapidly increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods may drive an increasing burden of cancer in the next decades," the authors wrote. 

Despite their results, scientists were not able to definitively say that ultra-processed foods cause cancer. That’s why they are hoping to continue their investigation to confirm their findings on a larger scale. 

In the meantime, they are encouraging policymakers to encourage companies to reduce the production of ultra-processed foods. 

>> Related: Amino acid in asparagus could cause the spread of cancer, study says

“Policy actions targeting product reformulation, taxation, and marketing restrictions on ultra-processed products,” they wrote, “and promotion of fresh or minimally processed foods may contribute to primary cancer prevention.”

‘Frustrations validate changes’: Snapchat CEO excited about redesign despite backlash

Earlier this month, Snapchat rolled out an update full of new designs and features. While many users weren’t too thrilled about the changes, the company seems to be happy about them. 

>> Read more trending news 

TechCrunch reported that Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel recently responded to the backlash surrounding the platform’s latest layout. Unlike many, he said, he is excited about what he’s seeing. 

“The harder part you can’t get around is the time it takes to learn,” he said at the Goldman Sachs Internet and Technology Conference Thursday. “Even the complaints we’re seeing reinforce the philosophy. Even the frustrations we’re seeing really validate those changes. It’ll take time for people to adjust but, for me, using it for a couple months I feel way more attached to the service.”

Snapchat first announced the redesign at the end of last year and the tweaks were gradually introduced to markets at the beginning of 2018. 

Related: ‘Change it back’: Snapchat users not happy about latest update

Stories are no longer ordered chronologically. Instead, they are ranked based on your most recent interactions. It also takes a few more steps to rewatch a story. The option to rewatch a post isn’t available right after viewing. You now have to go to the user’s profile to get a second peek. 

Furthermore, the friends section now contains snaps, direct messages and group chats all on one page, as opposed to separate pages as before. And to manage your own stories, you now have to tap the Snapchat logo to access the camera and see your story views and deleted snaps.

As the alterations appeared, many took to social media to express their displeasure. More than 1 million people even signed a petition on Change.org in an attempt to force the company to revert back to the original setup. 

Florida shooting heroes: 3 coaches, teachers gave lives for students

The athletic department at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lost a big chunk of its coaching staff -- and an even bigger chunk of its heart -- during the Valentine’s Day shooting that claimed the lives of its athletic director, cross country coach and assistant football coach, in addition to 14 students.

All three men, Chris Hixon, Scott Beigel and Aaron Feis, have been hailed as heroes for shielding and protecting students during Wednesday’s mass shooting. The accused shooter, former student Nikolas Cruz, is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. 

>> Read more trending news

Aaron Feis

Feis, 37, of Coral Springs, was one of the first victims publicly named in the aftermath of the massacre. The school’s football department announced the assistant coach and security guard’s death on social media.

“He selflessly shielded students from the shooter when he was shot,” the announcement read. “He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories.”

The Palm Beach Post reported that Feis was shot after throwing himself between students and the gunman. He died in surgery later that night.

Willis May, the school’s head football coach, said that he heard Feis respond via walkie-talkie to the original call reporting the shooting, in which someone asked if the loud noises they heard were firecrackers.

“I heard Aaron say, ‘No, that is not firecrackers.’ That’s the last I heard of him,” May said

Feis appeared to be familiar with guns. His Facebook page, which has been turned into a memorial to him, depicts him as a gun enthusiast.

He once shared a news story about an Oklahoma school district that sought to deter gun violence by allowing some school administrators to carry guns on campus, and by posting signs warning the public of that fact.  

In 2016, he also posted a Duck Dynasty-themed image that stated, “America doesn’t have a gun problem -- it has a sin and self-control problem.” 

Feis also expressed pride in his position as a football coach.

“A coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime,” one image read. 

May described Feis as just such a leader, according to the Washington Post. The head coach called Feis a “hardcore” coach who loved working with the players. 

He also described him as loyal and trustworthy.

“He had my back,” May said, according to the Post. “He worked hard. Just a good man. Loved his family. Loved his brother. Just an excellent family man.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel also praised Feis, who he knew personally.

“I coached with him. My two boys played for him,” Israel said during a Thursday news conference, according to NBC News. “I don’t know how many adults will go, but you’ll get 2,000 kids there. The kids in this community loved him. They adored him. He was one of the greatest people I knew. He was a phenomenal man.”

Feis, who also played football at Douglas as a student, returned to his alma mater as a coach three years after his 1999 graduation, according to his bio on the school’s athletics page. He spent his entire coaching career there.

A GoFundMe page honoring Feis was created Thursday and, in less than 24 hours, had raised more than $76,000 of the $100,000 goal. The cash will go to his family.

Feis is survived by his wife, Melissa, and their daughter, Arielle. 

Chris Hixon

Like Feis, Hixon rushed toward the gunfire instead of away from it when the gunman started shooting. The 49-year-old athletic director, who lived in Hollywood, also filled in as volleyball coach and served as a security monitor when needed.

It was that security role that likely put him in the line of fire, friend and former colleague Dianne Sanzari told the Associated Press

“While he was a security monitor, he did the very best he could to also serve in that athletic administrator role,” Sanzari told the news station. “He loved his family; he loved his job. Chris was just amazing.”

Hixon, who also served as the school’s wrestling coach, pitched in wherever he could, according to those who knew him. His dedication led to him being named the Broward County Athletic Association’s Athletic Director of the Year in 2017. 

A Naval reservist, Hixon was also deployed to Iraq about a decade ago. 

“He loved being an American and serving his country, and he instilled that in our kids,” his widow, Debra Hixon, told CNN

She said he also loved giving back to the community, particularly when it came to his students. He gave students rides or lunch money when needed, and would open up his family’s home to them.

“Every one of those students, he thought of as his own kid,” Debra Hixon said

Besides his wife, Hixon leaves behind his own two children, including a son with Down syndrome, ABC News reported

“Chris is probably the nicest guy I have ever met,” Coral Springs High School Athletic Director Dan Jacob told ABC News. “He put the needs of everyone else before his own.”

Similar sentiments could be found on Debra Hixon’s Facebook page, where she wished her friends a Happy Valentine’s Day just hours before her husband was slain. 

“Hope everyone has a warm and fuzzy day!” she wrote. 

Instead of returned warm wishes, the comments on her post are comprised of condolences from friends and strangers alike.

“Debbi, Chris was one of the best people I ever had the pleasure to work with,” one woman wrote. “My heart goes out to you and your family. MSD, the Broward school board and, indeed, the world, are all dimmer -- LESS -- today. My heart aches for you.”

Since the shooting, Debra Hixon has posted several videos and images pleading for reform to the United States’ gun laws. One image shows a rifle used by the Founding Fathers, which fired one or two bullets per minute.

It also showed an AR-15, which authorities said is the model of assault rifle Cruz used in Wednesday’s shooting. It fires 45 rounds per minute, the graphic states. 

“Times have changed. Guns have changed,” the image reads. “Our gun laws should change with them.”

Scott Beigel

Beigel, 35, was killed as he ushered students into the safety of the classroom where he taught, the Palm Beach Post reported. Besides teaching geography, he also served as Stoneman Douglas’ cross-country coach. 

Beigel had locked the door of his classroom when the “Code Red” alert was sounded, but when he realized more students were outside his door, he acted quickly.

“(He) unlocked the door and let us in,” student Kelsey Friend told “Good Morning America.” “I thought he was behind me, but he wasn’t. When he opened the door, he had to relock it so we could stay safe, but he didn’t have a chance to.”

Instead, he blocked the door with his body, another student, Bruna Oliveda, said. 

“I don’t know how we’re alive,” Oliveda said, according to NBC News.

Friend told CNN in an interview that Beigel will forever be her hero. 

“I’ll never forget the actions he took for me and for fellow students in the classroom,” Friend said. “He was an amazing person, and I am alive today because of him.”

Students and members of Beigel’s cross-country team mourned him on social media. 

“I have said RIP (Rest in Peace) too many times in the past 24 hours, but RIP Coach Beagle (sic),” student Chad Williams tweeted. “You are a king and heaven got a good one. Rest easy.”

Beigel, a native of Long Island, was also mourned by fellow counselors and former campers at Camp Starlight, a summer camp for children located in Starlight, Pennsylvania. Beigel served on the staff each year. 

“The Starlight family is wrapping their arms around each other today, singing from our hearts to Starlight’s beloved friend and hero, Scott Beigel,” read a post on the camp’s Facebook page. “May every road rise up to meet your feet, and may the wind be at your back. May good friends supply every lack, until once more as friends we meet. Shalom, shalom.”

Former camper Sydney Reibman described Beigel as one of the most amazing people she’d ever met. 

“He truly did touch the lives of every person who stepped onto camp,” Reibman wrote on Facebook. “From making me laugh just by looking at me, or making a sarcastic comment (which I could never tell if he was actually kidding or not), to giving me tough love when I needed it, he knew how to make every situation fun and turn everything into something positive.

“My summers at camp never would have been the same without him.”

Matthew Perlman, who shared video of Kelsey Friend’s interview about Beigel’s heroism, wrote that Beigel had been his role model since his first summer at camp.

“Thank you for all the laughs and joy you brought into the world,” Perlman wrote. “It’s times like these where we need to love a little more and cherish the time we have together. Through the tears, our memories cling and surround you. Sending love to my entire Starlight family.”

Lindsay Jennings called Beigel’s death a loss for everyone who knew him.

“But I know, like myself, that not one of you is surprised that our Scott stood in harm’s way for his students. Of course he did,” Jennings wrote. “Scott took ownership personally (of) each group of kids I watched him work with. 

“He was one of the funniest and wittiest people I have ever come across, and Starlight wouldn’t have been the same without him for any of us.”

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