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Legendary Civil Rights activist Julian Bond has died

Julian Bond, a longtime leader of the NAACP who also fought to keep his seat in the Georgia Assembly, where he served 20 years, died Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He was 75.

A public face of activism for civil rights throughout his life, Bond led the Southern Poverty Law Center and was the first black man nominated for vice president of the United States.

Bond died after a brief illness, according to a statement released early Sunday by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Bond son’s, Michael Julian Bond, is an Atlanta city councilman.

A native of Nashville, Julian Bond was considered an icon of the civil rights movement and led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, SNCC.

As a student at Morehouse College, Bond helped found SNCC and served as its communications director.

Bond later served as board chairman of the 500,000-member NAACP for 10 years but declined to run again for another term in 2010.

“With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice,” SPLC co-founder Morris Dees said in a statement. “He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all.”

For updates, return to AJC.com.

Atlanta council asks Deal to consider changes to Stone Mountain relief

The Atlanta City Council is calling on Gov. Nathan Deal to consider giving Stone Mountain’s famous Confederate Memorial Carving a makeover.

Councilman Michael Julian Bond is behind a resolution asking Deal to form a committee to study possible changes to the famous state-owned memorial.

Bond, who described the relief of Confederate generals as “art,” said he doesn’t believe it should be sandblasted off the face of the mountain. Instead, state leaders should explore adding others to the carving who reflect Georgia’s broader history, he said, such as James Oglethorpe, President Jimmy Carter or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“That would make Stone Mountain, I think, an enlightened place that reflects all of Georgia’s history,” he said. “…Georgia’s history is much greater than the four years of the Confederacy; it’s much more diverse and rich than that period which has been highly romanticized, particularly in the last 50 to 60 years.”

Bond’s move was affirmed by a 9 to 2 vote on Monday, with council members Howard Shook and Alex Wan voting against the resolution.

“I’d be supportive of an affirmative statement, just in general, about our position on symbols that could be perceived as racist, but I feel this is a bit of a stretch for the council to do at this time,” said Wan, who grew up in Stone Mountain.

Councilman Ivory Young gave an impassioned speech in which he called for the relief’s alteration, if not removal.

Young, who grew up in Alabama, said he long ago vowed never to visit the park “until they remove that image from that mountain, glorifying those terrorists. Because that’s what they are, that’s what they represent.”

Just what should become of the carving that towers over pedestrians and cyclists at Stone Mountain has become the stuff of heated and satirical debate in the wake of South Carolina’s decision to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds.

Last month, the council unanimously backed Councilman Andre Dickens’ resolution that urges state officials to remove the Confederate Battle Flag emblem and other Confederate symbols as an option for state license plates.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Kasim Reed said Reed hasn’t yet reviewed the legislation and has no comment at this time.

A spokesman for the governor said they could not comment because they have not reviewed the proposal. In late June, the governor said he won’t rule out comprehensive changes to state laws that protect Confederate images, but urged against sweeping reactions to those symbols amid the recent uproar over the emblems, saying the state “cannot deny its heritage.”

Bond also introduced legislation that asks Deal to give funds to GBI to investigate officer-involved shootings if racial biases are alleged. It passed unanimously.

Deep fryers in Texas schools: 'It's not about French fries, it's about freedom'

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The top official in the Texas Department of Agriculture says yes, deep fat fryers should return to Texas school districts. (Source: TexasTribune.com

Commissioner Sid Miller says “it isn't about french fries, it's about freedom.”

Miller wants to see a state policy banning deep fat fryers and soda machines from schools repealed.

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Miller also wants schools to be allowed more days (six instead of one per week) to sell cupcakes and other high-fat, high-sugar foods during the school day.

To make his point about local control, Millers’s first official act as commissioner was to grant “full amnesty to  cupcakes.” 

“This is not about force-feeding cupcakes to our children,”Miller said. “It is about local control.” 

Miller’s critics say the restrictions on fatty, sugar-laden foods came in response to an increase in child obesity in Texas, and repealing them is a step backward.

Mother calls in to live news program to scold sons

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In a live broadcast, the mother of two brothers arguing on C-SPAN's Washington Journal surprised everyone by calling into the show.

“Oh God, it’s Mom,” Dallas Woodhouse said, as soon as the woman identified as “Joy” began speaking.

In the two minute call, the mother surprised her sons, Dallas and Brad Woodhouse, and pleaded with them to end the political arguing before they visit her at Christmas.  Dallas is a Republican and Brad is a Democrat.

“I’m hoping you’ll have some of this out of your system when you come here for Christmas. I would really like a peaceful Christmas,” Joy said.

Read more about the exchange here

PHOTOS: Obama visits CDC to discuss Ebola

Swank! George H.W. Bush and his colorful socks

Amazing images of SF Bay Area wildfire

Man bites police dog during standoff with deputies

A man was hospitalized after stabbing himself in the chest multiple times and fighting with a police dog during a confrontation with Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies Monday evening.

The incident began around 7:45 p.m., when a deputy responded to a report of a family disturbance at a house on Raymond Avenue, near San Jose City College, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputy arrived to find a man in his 30s standing outside, holding a kitchen knife, which he began waving at the deputy before charging him while he was still in his patrol car.

The attacker proceeded to go berserk on the patrol vehicle, smashing multiple windows and slashing a tire, a sheriff’s spokesperson said.

The deputy called for backup and several officers arrived, including a K-9 unit.

The man continued to be confrontational with authorities, and during this standoff, he stabbed himself three times, causing non-life threatening injuries.

Deputies deployed the police dog named Ski at the suspect, who began attacking the dog when it reached him by punching and choking it, and at one point the man reportedly bit the dog.

During the scuffle, deputies managed to grab the attacker’s weapon and detain him.

After being taken into custody, the suspect was hospitalized for his injuries, where he remained Tuesday evening. When released, he was expected to be charged with brandishing a weapon at an officer, injuring a police dog and vandalism.

Investigators said they believe the suspect, who has not been identified as of Wednesday morning, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.

As for the dog Ski, he “had some minor bumps and bruises but is expected to return to work soon,” according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Facebook page.

Both the man and the police dog were expected to recover.

Deputies reported later that a crowd had gathered during the incident, prompting authorities to ask that anyone who had information or video footage of the incident to call sheriff's investigators at (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431.

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