Enjoy our roundup of stories that piqued our interest this week.
This week we tackle the following:
- 'I have never felt so powerless': Fairfax County schools and parents battle vaping crisis - 37% of 12th graders saying they had vaped in the last year
- Fraud ring stole $19M worth of iPhones, other hardware from stores across the US - Group of thieves posed as customers buying new phones
- N.C. House bill on game day beer, wine sales advances in N.C. Senate - The House approved the bill by an 87-25 vote April 16
- Juul to San Francisco: ‘We’re staying’ - Said he’s committed to keeping the business and its fast-growing workforce in San Francisco
Three weeks after a group of students were disciplined for using e-cigarettes on the grounds of Franklin Middle School in March 2018, a parent sent an email to Braddock District School Board representative Megan McLaughlin.
“I have never felt so frustrated by Fairfax County Public Schools as I do now,” she wrote, referring to the ‘constant threat’ of vaping culture among underage kids. “I have never felt so powerless. I get it: Parents need to educate themselves. [Robinson High School principal Matt Eline]’s email in early February was efficient. However, I’ve heard nothing else about it from FCPS. Is it possible that I am the only parent asking about this stuff?”
Six people are being charged in New York with conspiracy, mail fraud and identity theft over allegedly stealing $19 million worth of devices, chiefly Apple iPhones. These people were reportedly at the head of a large, organized effort to purchase phones on contracts that were fraudulently signed using stolen identities. The gambit ran for some seven years.
Despite acquiring the iPhones in all these different states, the group would usually send them back to New York for resale. This technique was, in part, how they were caught. An unnamed person at the overnight shipping firm the group used became suspicious of the number of parcels and informed the authorities.
The case against the fraudsters was filed by federal prosecutors with the Southern District of New York in April.
A bipartisan state House bill cleared Wednesday its first Senate committee hurdle to allow state universities to ramp up beer and wine sales on game days.
Right now, sales and consumption of alcohol for those age 21 and older are not legally permitted other than in certain areas at Kenan Stadium at UNC Chapel Hill and Carter-Finley Stadium at N.C. State.
House Bill 389 would expand sales and consumption at campus stadiums, arenas and athletic facilities — if their boards of trustees approve. Mixed drinks would be available at non-sports events if vendors have the right permit.
As San Francisco officials prepare to consider a bill that would suspend the sale of e-cigarettes in the city, the CEO of Juul Labs — the controversial, homegrown company that sells the majority of e-cigarettes in the U.S. — said he’s committed to keeping the business and its fast-growing workforce in San Francisco.
“Yes, we’re staying,” Juul CEO Kevin Burns said Thursday in a wide-ranging interview with The Chronicle’s editorial board. “San Francisco is our home. We want to be in San Francisco. We have 1,200 employees in San Francisco, a huge talent base in San Francisco. We want to be a resident, and I’m hopeful we’ll find a way to be a resident.”