Firefly Was Great Today But What Is Up With The Cell Phone Thefts?

I got an unexpected message from an old friend today at 7am this morning- “Do you want to meet for lunch at Firefly”?  I told my friend I wasn’t going this year.  He said he could get me comp passes for my son and I.  He was driving the tour bus for one of the singers appearing at Firefly.  Lewis Capaldi.  I heard the name before but couldn’t place him.  I went to Youtube and found some great stuff.

My son and I went to the will call and after some confusion we got our passes.  The first musical act we saw was Capaldi.  Absolutely amazing singer.  One of those voices that just sings out of the soul!  My son got very dehydrated after the first hour so I brought him to the medical station.  After half an hour or so in there, I made sure he was feeling okay and we left.  Since I knew it was going to be scorching hot the rest of the day, he agreed to go back home.  He insisted I go back to Firefly.  I asked if him if was certain a few times and he said yes.

I went back and saw Capaldi again but during an acoustic set with just him and his pianist.  I was right up front for that.  I swung over to The Lawn to catch Lord Huron.  They rocked the house!  Because they overlapped with MGMT, I missed the first part of their set but they played their staple songs at the end so it was all good.  After that, my 47 year-old body was exhausted so I left.  Had I known I was going today, I would have slept in this morning.  Oh well!

A woman died in one of the Firefly campgrounds today.  Very sad.  No cause of death has been released.  That wasn’t the only bad news to come out of the festival.  I saw many Facebook posts about cell phone thefts.  Thieves were just reaching into people’s pockets stealing their cell phones.  A couple of well-known Delawareans’ kids had their cell phones stolen.  When I was waiting at the will call, I was speaking with a young woman who said her cell was stolen last night along with all her money.  She was waiting on her father from New Jersey to come pick her up.  What is wrong with people?  Not that stealing from anyone is cool but stealing from kids is just plain evil!

This was my first time back to Firefly since the opening year in 2012.  That time I saw tons of bands in one day from 12 noon until 11pm.  There wasn’t any lapse between bands I wanted to see that year.  I did write about Firefly extensively in 2015 when I chronicled the adventures of Burger Girl!  That was fun!  Right BG?

I’m about to eat my WaWa dinner.  I refused to pay $10.00 for a hot dog and I haven’t eaten since before noon so I’m starving!  I’m going to watch Westworld and go to bed.  Good night Delaware.  And Happy Father’s Day!

State Audit Inspection On School District Expenditures For FY2016 Is Ridiculous!

By Delaware state code, we should be seeing this report every single year.  In any event, Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner released the Fiscal Year 2016 report today.  Yes, a year and a half after that fiscal year ended.  And guess what the overall finding was?  We don’t know what districts are spending cause everyone codes their expenses differently in the state financial system.  And this report states the state ALLOWS the districts to do this.  They have discretion.  What a crock of…

In an attempt to categorize spending items as instructional or non-instructional for further analysis, the Office of Auditor of Accounts (AOA) extracted all voucher and PCard expenditures made from State and local funds by each of the 19 school districts.  However, the State’s financial system has over 11,000 active appropriations and over 1,500 active account codes available for use.  As a result, we found inconsistencies in expenditure coding across the 19 school districts that prevented us from performing an in-depth analysis of expenditures.

They named nine areas that are either prohibited by accounting rules or were not used for a functional educational purpose.  Some of these are sports lottery, florists, online games, and table games.  Are you kidding me?  And the report found over $98,000 was used for in-state meals.  I can picture it now, Joe Superintendent says to himself “I feel like going to Friendly’s for lunch today”.  This is absolutely ridiculous.  The inspection found that many of these “inconsistencies” were due to human error.  Uh-huh.  Yes, I get that humans make errors.  But how do you miscode sticky buns?

When it comes to food, it looks like Cape Henlopen and Lake Forest looooove to eat out! The report talks about WaWa purchases. I’m sorry, but since when is fast food or deli considered an in-state food purchase? Do what the rest of us do and pay from your own damn wallet. I don’t pay taxes so you can celebrate Hoagiefest all year long!

But this little bit about Lake Forest…wow!

In December 2015, the Lake Forest School District held a holiday dinner for board members, administrators, and their spouses at The Rookery Golf Club in Milford, Delaware, totaling $1,899.30. (This amount is included in the in-State meal transactions described above in the “Employee Recognition purposes” category since administrators were recognized.) A handwritten note on the invoice stated it was approved at a special board meeting in executive session on October 14, 2015.

Are you friggin’ kidding me? Sounds like higher-ups are feasting on the fatted calf called the Delaware accounting system. And with no oversight whatsoever, this is only scratching the iceberg.

And how in the name of God can you have in-state lodging for any school district in this state? You can drive up and down the state in less than two hours. And it looks like Red Clay was the biggest offender.

Not one look into all the vendors school districts use. Not one peak into the millions of dollars going to vendors who write reports and supply schools with cash-in-the-trash ideas. Not one bit. Disgusting. It’s no wonder none of the school districts want to consolidate. God forbid someone actually get a good hard look into how they spend money!

The best part about all this?  They could have read my blog posts in July and August of 2016 to do this report.  What the hell took them a year and a half to do a report that anyone with an excel file could figure out in three days? It is time for our elected legislators to get the hell off their collective asses and pass some laws indicating school districts and charter schools can NO LONGER use discretion when submitting their expenditures to the state. This is a third of their budget and they are given carte blanche to do pretty much whatever the hell they want. Sure, most of it is most likely legit but when your own state auditor can’t make heads or tails of where well over $1 billion dollars is going, I have some major issues with that. This is unacceptable and it will no longer be tolerated. I don’t care how much time I have to spend at Legislative Hall in 2018 to drum this into their heads. When education loses tons of money each year but we have wine and dine events at the local country club, that is absurd. This is EXACTLY what I wanted to talk to John Carney about after he was elected. But he had to go and blow me off. Big mistake. It’s not like I didn’t warn people this was going on. They just didn’t want to hear it. Carney just wanted to set up his self-destruct mechanisms for Delaware education, just like his predecessor. And as he sets off on his warped plan to charterize Wilmington schools, he could care less about where the money is going.

Delaware legislators: Cut the crap. I don’t want to hear your whining and complaining come next June about the budget and how you are doing everything you can. Change some laws. Make crap accountable and stop kissing asses all over the state. Do your job! The jig is up. I don’t necessarily blame the auditor’s office for all this. They inspect what they are able to. It is our General Assembly that needs to wake the hell up. You have allowed this scenario to happen. You have allowed this “discretion” that makes a Rubik’s Cube in a three-year-old’s hands look easy compared to the hot mess called First State Financials. No more excuses. Pass legislation demanding that every single expenditure be coded in a uniform way among ALL school districts and charter schools. And yes, charter schools should have been included in this report as well. But no way in hell would that happen because this report would have found a lot more “inconsistencies” and we all know it. But the General Assembly as a whole likes to protect and coddle them. Exactly what is wrong with Delaware education. If I sound pissed off, it’s cause I am. And every single taxpayer in this state should be ticked off as well.

To read this obscenity where money is unaccountable and untrackable and uncrackable and takes money away from where it is truly needed, please read below.

The Delaware Education Posse Rides Again

So a bunch of guys decided to go horseback riding one night in the middle of Dover.  We will call them Jack, Paul, Dave, Earl, and Steve.  They wanted to ride all the way from Dover High School to Legislative Hall.  Jack brought a case of Zima with him.  Now, Jack being Jack, he figured three for him and two each for the other guys.  Paul called him out on it and said “Jack, your math makes no sense.  How many Zimas have you had?”  Jack cried out “For Rodel’s sake Paul, it doesn’t matter if I’m right or wrong.  I’m the king of friggin’ Dover.”  Paul, as he had so many other times over the past twelve years, just shook his head and muttered to himself, “Eight months…eight months.”  Earl turned to Dave and said, “Hey, I think I know a way to shut up those opt out parents.”  Dave gave him “the look” and said “Earl, the test is almost over.  No one is talking about opt out this year.  We killed the bill with our joint resolution, remember?”  Earl pounded his Zima down.  “Are we almost there?” Steve asked as they took a left out of the Dover High School parking lot.  To Paul, this crazy night reminded him of that other night way back when.  He prayed he wouldn’t have to deal with Jack as long as he did that night.  So much had happened since then.  Paul could think of 346,000 reasons why he had to put up with Jack as long as he did.  But Jack had changed since then.  He was no longer the puppet he once thought he was.  That puppet used to have hair.  Now Jack was the powerful one.  Always tweeting and Facebooking the same thing, how to make kids college and career ready.  Paul was also very upset it wasn’t about the charters anymore.  Now it was all v0-tech this, and pathways that.  Paul wanted to make a pathway to Jack’s ego with a Molotov cocktail, but he knew Jack’s rise to power wasn’t going to stop in Dover.  Jack was being courted by the Hill to run education for the whole damn country.  He would probably bring the whole posse with him.  The idea of Earl moving to DC drove Paul crazy.  But what drove him more insane was Steve doing the same.  He missed Steve’s predecessor, Mark.  Mark was one of those guys Paul could mold like putty.  Murphy survived the no good horrible day but stuck around for another seven months.  Paul was really hoping Jack would have picked Lamont or Kendall to lead the DOE.  Someone, anyone, who would continue the smoke and mirrors about how great Delaware’s charter schools were.  But no, Jack had to pick Steve.  Paul thought it was an odd choice.  Why pick someone people actually like and admire?  It didn’t seem like Jack so Paul knew he was up to something.  Paul knew he had to start riding the pathways train if he wanted to get to D.C. with Jack.  So here they were, Jack’s posse doing their stupid ride to Legislative Hall at 3am in the morning on a Monday night.  “#$%*&@#*&(@*#&$” yelled Jack.  “What the hell is wrong with you Jack?” Dave asked.  “It’s that damn blogger.  His name is all over the place.  Running for that local school board.  My driver was getting me out of Legislative Hall one day last week, and do you know what I saw?” Jack asked.  “The sign,” Steve replied.  “It was the campaign sign he put next to the DOE parking lot.  I had to see it every single day for a week.  Thank God they took it out for Dover Days.”  “I tried taking different roads so I could avoid it, but he was actually quite smart with his sign placement.  He made it so you can pretty much go anywhere in Dover and his name could be seen,” Earl said.  “Earl, can you do me a favor?” Jack asked.  “Sure boss, what’s up?” replied Earl.  “Can you go into WaWa down the street and get a can of shutthehellup?”  “I sure can Boss!”  As they approached WaWa, Jack saw a group of teenagers standing near the door.  “Don’t do it Jack,” Paul warned.  “I have to Paul.  I can’t help myself.”  Now Earl was having some type of issue with one of the cashiers when he kept asking where the cans of shutthehellup were.  Dave started snickering to himself.  As the four of them got off their high horses, Paul didn’t realize Earl’s horse left a gift on the ground.  Paul stepped in the gift and thought “Dammit, this is going to be a loooong night.”  By that time Jack already made his way over to the teenagers.  “So how did you guys do on the Smarter Balanced Assessment?”  One of the teenagers replied, “We didn’t have to take it, remember.  They replaced it with the SAT.”  Steve whispered to Jack, “Remember, we made that big announcement to try to stop the override of your veto on the opt out mess?”  “I didn’t know we actually went through with it.  Was it legal?”  “Got me Jack.  I just do what you tell me to do,” replied Steve.  Oblivious, Jack started chatting it up with the teens about Common Core.  “Do you like it?  I think it’s important to be college and career ready.  We have to make Delaware citizens proud to be in the workforce.  That’s why I want you to remember this when you have kids.  Kids need more rigor and less Tigger, know what I’m saying?”  The horrified teenagers ran into the store.  Meanwhile, Earl and the cashier were still going at it.  Earl didn’t know the cashier hit a panic button and the State Police were on the way.  Dave just wanted to get the hell away from this scene.  The last thing he wanted to do was ride a horse instead of his bicycle.  He could ride his bicycle from the top of the state to the bottom, but horses weren’t his thing.  Dave knew some rough months were coming.  His enemies found a young lady to run against him and he knew if this election came down to good looks he was toast.  The last thing he wanted to be doing was playing Paul Revere with Jack and his little minions.  Dave could sense Paul felt the same way.  “How’s the charter audit bill going Dave?” asked Paul.  “It’s going,” replied Dave.  The last thing he wanted to do was be seen with this motley crew.  It was then that he saw him.  The blogger.  “You have got to be kidding me!” yelled Dave.  The blogger was putting up some signs on the grass between WaWa and McDonalds.  Jack saw him too.  None of them said a word.  Then the blogger started walking over to them.  “Hey guys!  What’s up?”  Before they could answer the blogger, the State Police came roaring into the parking lot with their sirens on.  Steve, who was standing in front of his horse, fell to the ground as his horse jumped up.  Steve’s glasses fell to the ground.  Jack started walking towards the troopers who were coming out of their cars with their hands on their holsters.  Paul went to run, but he had been standing so long in the same spot the gift began to harden around his shoes causing him to trip.  Earl came running out of the store, but the troopers didn’t recognize him with his Van Halen baseball cap on.  “Put your hands up there Eddie!” yelled one of the cops.  “My name isn’t Eddie, my name is Earl!”  “Shut the hell up!” yelled the cop.  “That’s what I was trying to do in there but the cashier wouldn’t let me get any.”  “Sir,” asked the trooper, “Have you taken any drugs this evening?”  Earl thought long and hard.  Did he?  He did have some of his vitamins earlier today, but the day wasn’t the same as the night.  But he did take some arthritis medicine after dinner at Chik-Fil-A.  “Yes, yes I did officer!”  By this time, the blogger was busy taking picture after picture.  Jack approached the blogger as the police wrestled Earl to the ground.  “What are you doing here?”, asked Jack.  “Just putting some signs up Sir.  I would ask what you guys are doing but I’m afraid of the answer.”  Jack started to talk but the words wouldn’t come out.  Earl was getting arrested, Steve was knocked out cold on the ground, the horses and Dave were long gone, and Paul… he just sat on the ground smelling like crap and holding his head in his hands screaming “Why, why, why???”  All of them smelled like a Zima factory.  One of the troopers came up to Jack.  “Is that you Sir?  What is going on?  And where did that other guy go?”  The trooper was asking about Dave who followed the horses lead and decided flight was better than fight.  Especially with the University of Delaware woman starting to lead in the polls.  As Dave went around the front of the WSFS Bank next to WaWa, he felt something flat hit him in the knees causing him to lose his balance and fall down in the nearby ditch.  “What the hell was that?” asked Dave.  It was one of the blogger’s campaign signs.  The last thing he saw before he succumbed to the cold ground and the odd feeling he had from that bowl of chili earlier in Donna’s office was the blogger’s last name on the campaign sign.  Dave opted out of consciousness.  Jack approached the officer.  “I don’t know how to explain any of this.  We were doing the first of what I was hoping to be an annual tradition.”  Jack explained about the horses and the little prank he played on Earl.  How Paul tripped over himself and had a bad contact with something crappy.  Steve had been kicked in the ass by one of the horses and when his glasses fell off, he got up and walked into a parked car as the door swung open and knocked him into a trash can as the WaWa door pushed him back into the same parked car.  Dave was… somewhere.  The blogger was standing to the side with this big huge smirk on his face.  Jack gave his driver the night off when Earl snuck him out of his Dover house hours earlier.  “Do you need a ride Sir”, asked the officer.  “That would be great.  And whatever happens next, I wasn’t here!”  Jack looked at the blogger.  “Can you excuse me for a moment?”  “Sure,” said the officer.  Jack walked over to the blogger again.  “What is it you want?  A position on the State Board?  A chairmanship of a task force?  Do you want a job at Rodel?”  The blogger looked at Jack.  “I want you to override your own veto.”  Jack laughed.  “No way in hell!”  The blogger pointed to his car.  “My laptop is in there Jack.  I’ve been trailing you guys all night.”  Jack thought to himself.  How much had the blogger overheard?  He couldn’t take any chances.  Not if the Hill was going to make him king of education.  In the old days, he would have made schools in his district priority schools.  Or he would have brought the TFA into schools.  Or kicked him off a committee.  Or threatened to veto a bill.  Or called the National PTA.  But the blogger didn’t belong to any groups.  He was just… a blogger.  A pain in the ass blogger to be more accurate, but just a blogger.  Jack knew there was no wild card to trump his hand.  The blogger had him dead to rights.  By this time, the sun was coming up.  A car pulled in and she came out.  It was Jack’s friend Donna.  “Jack, what the hell is going on here?  I just saw Dave crawling out of a ditch over there.  What’s wrong with Paul?  He looks catatonic.  What happened to Steve?  He looks like he went a few rounds with Dave Tiberi.  Why was Earl in the back of the state cruiser as I was pulling in?  And why are you talking to the blogger?”  Paul was staring into the air saying “eight more months, eight more months” over and over again.  Steve started to come to and asked where his glasses were.  Jack wasn’t about to tell him he stepped on them ten minutes earlier.  “Well Jack, what’s your answer?” asked the blogger.  “Fine, you win.  I really, really hate you.”  “I know you do,” said the blogger, “probably more than Delaware hates you.”  Donna yelled at the blogger.  “You can’t talk to him that way.  This is Jack.  You have no idea what he has done for this state.  How many laws he has broken to make sure kids get a good education.  How many backdoor meetings he had to make sure nobody knew what he was doing…”  “Donna, please, shut up.”  “No Jack, you pulled me up out of the bottom of a Common Core math committee and turned me into somebody.  I run the State Boa…” “Donna, please, don’t say another word.”

Later that day, Jack stayed true to his word and overrode his own veto.  There was no press release, it just happened.  Paul found himself at a local clinic trying to find out what went so horribly wrong that evening.  Steve got new glasses and continued his job at the education building in Dover.  Dave lost his re-election bid.  He was last seen subbing at a charter school in Wilmington.  Earl eventually had the charges dropped against him by WaWa but not without a significant battle.  He dropped out of the state representative race.  Even thought the blogger never told what happened that night at WaWa, somehow the Hill found out.  Jack never became the king of education.  He was last seen at a dock in Rehoboth getting on a boat during a big storm and was never seen again.  The blogger continued to blog but found without the posse, education actually got better in Delaware.  Meanwhile, down in D.C., Donna was starting her first day as the queen of education…

Mark Murphy and the horrible, terrible, no good day

Just imagine being Mark Murphy today.  Having all that bad news heaped upon him today.  It can’t be easy being Delaware’s Secretary of Education.  I have to imagine what his day must have been like today…

Mark arrived late at the office.  He explained to his administrative assistant why he was half an hour late. “There I am, driving down Route 1.  Beautiful sunrise, nice weather.  John Kowalko called me with questions about opt out.  Every time I tried to talk he cut me off.  Half an hour later, he’s still going.  I had to take it off blue tooth.  That’s when he nabbed me and I got a ticket.” “How fast were you going?” she asked.  “I wasn’t going too fast, I was going too slow.  I was going 35 in a 65.”

Mark went to his morning meetings and went over the agenda for the State Board meeting.  He spilled some coffee all over his brand-new white shirt when Penny Schwinn came running in with big news.  Mark read the news and his face turned pale, as if someone had taken his favorite pair of glasses.  Then his wife called.  “Mark, I just heard.  Are you okay?”  “No, I’m not okay.  Two years in a row.  How come I’m not in the top ten?”  “Mark, are you okay?  What are you talking about?  Have you been doing those Smarter Balanced interim tests again?”  “No, it’s Holodick.  I’m the Secretary of the whole gosh-darn Delaware education system, and he’s still making $45,000 more than me.  It just isn’t right.  And those not nice bloggers keep saying he will replace me one day.  Will he get to keep his salary then?”  “Maybe you’ll get his job honey.  It would be closer to home.  But that’s not what I called about.  It’s this article in Newsworks…”

Mrs. Murphy was cut off by the director of the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Unit.  “Boss, holy crap, you gotta be pissed!  I’ll show those #@$%ing teachers!  I think it’s time for Operation Human Capital Drop!”  “Christopher Ruszkowsi, good gracious, I’m on the phone with my wife.  Can you come back at another time?”  “Sure Murph, I’ll come back in five.”  Murphy just stared at him as the “Rus Man” gave an enthusiastic thumbs up leaving the office.

“Sorry honey, what were you calling about?”  “On Newsworks, they reported…”  This time it was David Blowman, his Deputy Secretary.  “Mark, my friend, I’m so sorry.  We need to do a root-cause analysis and find out who put them up to this.”  “David, I’m on the line with Mrs….”  “Oh dear heavens Mark, I’m so sorry.  I will embark immediately.”  The coffee on Mark’s shirt was still seeping down his shirt.

“I’m going to have to call you back,” as Mark abruptly said his goodbyes.  This had been a hell of a morning, and all he wanted to do was crawl back into bed and watch “Common Core for Common People Part 9: The Commonalities of Common Teachers.”  He missed it the other night when Earl Jaques kept calling him asking for advice on how to handle the media.  Ruszkowski ran into his office again, “Holy crap Murph, your supposed to have green clothes on St. Patrick’s Day, not spill it on your shirt!”  Mark just stared at him.  “What, I was just messing around Boss!  Anyways, you know I got your back on this.  I’m gonna TFA their schools like we’ve never seen before.  I got an ad on Craigslist as we speak!  And we are going to lower the requirement from 5 weeks to 3 weeks to get them in faster.”  “But that’s not in regulation Christopher, we can’t just…”  “Sure we can, we’ve done it before.  Remember that time when we…”

Karen Field Rogers, his Associate Secretary of Financial Reform and Resource Management came into his office.  “Mark, I think you spilled some coffee on…”  “Yeah, the Boss doesn’t really have the luck of the Irish today!” Ruszkowski shouted.  “What can I do for you Karen?”  “I just got off the phone with Rep. Hudson.  She’s going to need us to do a cursive study.  Do we have any funds left from Race To The Top to do an RFP for a contractor on this?” she asked.  “I don’t know.  Call Herdman, he controls all that.”  “But Mark, Jack wants this out there right away.   He think this might turn the tide with the opt out movement and distract parents from the blogs.”  “Better call Paul!” Ruszkowsi shouted.  Mark looked at them both, his cheeks as red as John Young’s Red Pen editions on Transparent Christina.  “Look, I have to run out to Target.  I’ll handle it when I get back.”

Mark drove down to Target.  He was in such a hurry, he didn’t realize he parked in a handicapped spot.  As he ran into the store, he accidentally ran into a little boy.  As he helped him up, the boy sneezed in his face.  “Can this day get any worse?” Mark asked himself.  He got to the checkout line with a new white shirt.  The cashier was on her cell phone saying “Oh my God, I can’t believe it.”  Mark looked at her and asked “Is everything alright ma’am?”  “Yeah, I’m on Exceptional Delaware, and they just announced the DSEA voted for no confidence in that Mark Murphy guy.”  “Don’t you mean the CEA and RCEA?”  “No, that was last week.  This just came out today.  Sorry, let me ring you up.”  Mark reached for his wallet, but it wasn’t there.  He remembered he left it on the dashboard when he got his ticket.  “I’ll be right back, I left my wallet in my car.”  “I can’t keep this order open.  What’s your name?”  Murphy said “Never mind” and ran out.

He noticed a police officer standing over his car, writing something.  “Officer, is everything okay?”  “Sir, you parked in a handicapped space but you don’t have the plates or even the placard.  I have to give you a ticket.”  “You do realize I’m a high-level official in this state?” Murphy asked the officer.  “Oh are you?  This isn’t something you can just ignore or shake it off.”  Mark recognized the face immediately.  It was that Dover cop who did the Taylor Swift lip-synch video on Youtube.  How could he ever forget?  His children played the video non-stop the weekend it was released.  “I am the Secretary of Education Sir.”  “Oh, so you want to opt out of getting a ticket.  But that could affect funding,” as the cop laughed.  “Here you go Mr. Secretary.  By the way, it looks like you spilled some coffee on your shirt.”

Mark went back into the store, got another shirt, and the only cashier available was the one he went to before.  “Oh, you found your wallet!”  Mark gave her his card.  “Can I see some ID?”  Mark showed her his license.  “Hey, are you the same Mark Murphy as the DOE guy?”  “Yes I am.”  “That has to bite, having all those teachers saying you suck.”  “I haven’t read the article yet.”  “I still have Exceptional Delaware up on my iPad.  Do you want to read it?”  Mark muttered under his breath.  The last thing he wanted to do was read Exceptional Damn Delaware.  This blogger had been a thorn in his side for nine months, after dealing with Kilroys and the rest all those years.  “I’m good.”

Mark stopped by WaWa, changed into his new shirt in the bathroom.  As he came out, Donna Johnson, the executive director of the State Board saw him.  “Mark, are you okay?  I just left the building and everyone said you were really upset about the whole DSEA article.”  “I’m okay, we will get through this.  How is everyone else doing?”  “What are you talking about Mark?  It was just you.  They didn’t give the DOE and the State Board a vote of no confidence.  It was just you.”  Mark stared at Donna and felt his world spinning around him.  Since the bathroom doors are right next to the service door, Mark wasn’t paying attention when a delivery man pushed the door open with a cart causing the door to swing into Mark.  Mark felt the lights go out around him.

He woke up in a bright room.  Everything was blurry.  Mark went to push his glasses up, but they weren’t there.  He heard a voice.  “Murph.  You’re up.  Hot damn, you are a mess!”  It was Ruszkowski.  “Where am I?”  “You’re at Bayhealth.  You passed out in WaWa man!  Donna called me.  She’s in the next room.”  “What happened to her?” Mark asked.  “She hit her head against a Twinkie display when you pushed her down.  She’ll be okay, only a couple stitches.”  Mark went to get up, but he couldn’t move.  “Don’t try to get up Boss.  You’ll be in traction for a couple days.  You actually broke your ass Murph!”  Ruszkowski kept talking about how he talked to Paul and Laurissa about getting some TFA action going immediately in light of the DSEA announcement.  “In fact, there’s a new bill to get another year extension.  Can you believe that Boss?  Those *&%$ing legislators think they know more about education than we do.  Anyways, I gotta get back.  I know Jack is waiting to see you.”

Murphy started smiling.  Jack always had a way of making him feel better.  He looked outside, and it was dark out.  How long had he been unconscious?  Jack came in.  “Mark, Mark, Mark.  This isn’t good.  You made more news today than you’ve had during your entire tenure as my Secretary.”  Mark wanted to cry.  “I’m going to have to temporarily replace you while you mend.”  “Who do you have in mind Jack?” Murphy asked.  “I was thinking about Mark Holodick…”  Murphy screamed.  An endless scream.  It was heard by children down the street at Dover South Elementary School.  Priests came running out from Holy Cross across the street.  As Murphy stopped, Jack looked at Mark.  “Can I get you some coffee?”  Murphy screamed again…

Who Shot The Exceptional Delaware Blogger Part 2: The Suspects, You Decide!!!

*editors note: This is fan fiction, and is in no way meant to depict any of the “suspects” as dangerous violent criminals that go lurking around WaWa on New Years Eve looking to plug a blogger.  If any of these people have that in their past I have no knowledge whatsoever of that and I DON’T EVEN WANT TO KNOW!  When I tell people about my blog, the one consistent thing I hear is “You’re gonna get shot!”  So I thought I would make a joke of that.

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To read the first part about the murder of Jon’s Loving Father/Kevin Ohlandt/The Exceptional Delaware Blogger go here: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/who-shot-jons-loving-father-a-2014-year-in-review/

The reporter went back to the police station a few days later and he overheard the Investigating Officer talking to the Chief about the murder of the blogger at a WaWa in Dover on December 31st, 2014.

Chief: So what did you find out?  Do we have suspects?

Investigating Officer: Oh boy do we!  At first I had over 50 suspects, but I was able to narrow it down to 32.  These people were all in Dover that night.  Even the anonymous commenters from Kilroy’s Delaware.  I also found something very interesting from the deceased himself.

Chief: What the hell are you talking about Officer Scooby?

Investigating Officer: The blogger knew this was going to happen cause he was receiving death threats.  He was the one who provided the list of 32.  These are all people who had motive and a desire to see the deceased not writing anymore.  I was able to get into his blog when I looked at his last will and testament.  He gave the password to someone who was instructed to give it to the police in the event of his murder.  As well, he gave another person the identities of the anonymous.

Chief: This is getting more bizarre than that IDEA Awards show the Delaware Charter Schools Network puts on every year.  Which, by the way, is an insult to the actual IDEA law cause of the whole charter school enrollment preference thing.

Investigating Officer: Tell me about it!  Anyways, Ohlandt knew it would be one of the thirty-two, but he didn’t know which one.  He made a bracket, like the kind we have in that March Madness pool we have every year.

Chief: Don’t talk about that Officer Big Mouth.  That’s supposed to be a closely guarded secret, kind of like the methodology the DOE used for determining the priority schools up in Wilmington.  Do you have this bracket?

Investigating Officer: Yeah, and this is the weirdest part.  Ohlandt said his readers would be able to figure out the murder.  He gave brief descriptions of the suspects.  The readers would need to vote in rounds to figure it out.  Starting off with 16 rounds, then 8, then 4, and then the final 2.  After that, we have our guy or woman.  Ohlandt doesn’t want the person getting the death penalty.  He wants life in prison with no chance of parole.  Also, the murderer will have to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment AND that PARCC test every day until they get a perfect score.

Chief: Is there such thing as a perfect score on those tests?  The last I heard the idiots who made them don’t even know how to score the damn things.  But hey, if this guy could piss off all those people, he must have been doing something right.  We owe it to him to play this out his way.  Let’s do it!