World News Briefs: Dec 22


Two teens to be locked up after costing National Park millions
In Tennessee, two minors have been charged with setting wildfires. The wildfires have lead to 14 deaths, 175 injuries and over 2,400 homes destroyed, according to Mayor Larry Waters estimates there to be $500 million worth of damage and around 20,000 acres of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park destroyed, according to The two youths are currently locked up in a Sevier County detention center. If the juveniles are convicted of aggravated arson, they could be sentenced up to 60 years in prison. If they are charged with first degree murder in connection to the deaths, they could wind up facing life in prison, according to “If in fact they did set the fire, and they did it on purpose, I cannot think of a punishment severe enough for them,” Kent Emmons, one of the people whose home got destroyed, said. It hasn’t been decided yet if the juveniles will be tried as adults or not and to date their ages have remained confidential. “Everything is on the table,” local prosecutor James Dunn said.

Next year’s new school start time is official
After the Montgomery County Board of Education had their meeting on Dec. 13, it became official that all Montgomery County public schools will start on Sept. 5 for the next school year. The last day of school will still be on June. 14. “We understand how important it is for our families to have a calendar as soon as possible to begin planning their year. While we were able to make this work for the coming school year, it is important to note that there are several considerations in future years that will further complicate the calendar structure within the time frame of Governor Hogan’s executive order,” school board President Michael Durso said. Polls revealed most parents and teachers preferred the first day of school to be before Labor Day. By law, Maryland students must be in school for 180 days. In a meeting earlier in the year, it was agreed that schools would start on Aug. 28, but the county never applied for a waiver.

Sweden borrowing trash from other countries
Sweden, one of the leading countries in recycling, is in need of trash from other countries. Sweden is generally known for how well they use their resources. More than half of the country’s energy is generated from renewable material and only one percent of household waste ends up in landfills, according to 20 percent of the heating systems in Sweden are generated from garbage incinerators. This isn’t the first time the country has imported trash from another country. In 2014, Sweden imported approximately 800,000 tons of trash. By importing trash, Sweden is able to generate energy and still make revenue, according to Other countries like Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands have also imported trash. “Swedish people are quite keen on being out in nature and they are aware of what we need do on nature and environmental issues. We worked on communications for a long time to make people aware not to throw things outdoors so that we can recycle and reuse,” Anna-Carin Gripwall, director of communications for the Swedish Waste Management’s recycling association, said.
– Radley Ellenbogen, staff writer