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Philly Proud Boys Leader Arrested; Family Leaves Church Sanctuary; Mayfair School Closes for COVID
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 03/18/21 10:01 pm | updated: 03/18/21 10:01 pm
The president of the Proud Boys Philadelphia chapter was arrested at his Port Richmond home on Wednesday morning, 3/17, by federal officials. 35-year-old Zachary Rehl was taken into custody for his role and actions in connection to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. His exact charges have not yet been released. Rehl has been seen in photos from outside and inside the Capitol that day. The Proud Boys are a right-wing extremist group that describe themselves as "western chauvinists."

UPDATE: The indictment has been unsealed. Zach Rehl is charged with 6 counts along with 3 other co-conspirators: Ethan Nordean, Joseph Briggs, and Charles Donahue. They are charged with conspiracy; obstruction of an official proceeding; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; destruction of government property; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; and disorderly conduct in a restricted building or grounds.

A mother and her 4 children left a Philadelphia church on Wednesday, 3/17, where they had been living in sanctuary for the past three years. Carmela Apolonio Hernandez fled Mexico in 2015 with her children after family members were killed by a drug cartel. Since 2017, they have been living in the Germantown Mennonite Church on Washington Lane under threat of deportation. However, now, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says they are no longer a 'deportation priority.' "I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off the shoulders of my family and me," said Carmela. "I am grateful for the community of support and sanctuary that we have been able to build during more than three years of struggle. They are all my family now. We still have to fight for my U-visa but I can wait for the approval of my case breathing fresh air." The U.S. House did pass two immigration bills on Thursday, 3/18.

Mayfair Elementary School in Northeast Philadelphia is shutting down in-person classes just a week and a half after reopening due to multiple cases of coronavirus COVID-19. The school announced the closure on Wednesday, March 17. In-person classes won't resume until April 1. The school sent a letter to parents, "If your child shared a classroom with any student or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted directly by the PDPH with important information, including the need for your child to quarantine." Mayfair Elementary was one of 53 schools that reopened to PreK-2nd Grade students on Monday, March 8. They were the first schools to have in-person classes since the shutdown last March. Students will be all-virtual for the next two weeks.

The teacher's union released this statement:
"Our agreement to allow a return to school buildings is based on adherence to a stringent set of protocol. We have been, and continue to, hold the District accountable to adhering to these critical health and safety protocol.

We need an ongoing, trackable database of positive COVID-19 cases in buildings, and have made this ask of the District. Anecdotally, we have learned from our membership that efforts to trace cases are delayed. This is unacceptable.

The District must immediately address their notification and tracing protocol and must provide a standardized reporting mechanism, including a publicly accessible dashboard.

There is no room for error when mitigating COVID. Testing, notification, and tracing--along with the ongoing vaccination efforts-- are key elements of a multilayered mitigation strategy. Additionally, the District must double down on its efforts to ensure mask compliance. We have been to far too many locations where mask compliance is very problematic.

We want to make sure that when school buildings open they can remain open. We will continue to work tirelessly to safeguard the health and safety of every student and staff member."

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