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New technology in third grade classroomsSubmitted: 09/16/2013
Story By Dan McKinney


MERRILL - Teachers don't spend all day teaching with chalkboards and overhead projectors anymore. This year, third grade students at Washington Elementary started using iPads in the classroom.

"We need to prepare students for that paperless world," says third grade Washington Elementary School teacher Kim Cruz-Uribe.

In Miss Cruz's third grade classroom, that means students use iPads instead of pencil and paper.


"It's a very important 21st century skill that students need to have," says Cruz-Uribe.

For the students, it's less about the future and more about having fun.

"I like how we go to the tumble book because they make the books really funny," says third grade student Harley Hixon.

"They just don't want to stop learning and that's the most exciting thing for me about the technology, it engages them in a way a chalkboard can't," says Cruz-Uribe.

"iPads are really smart and so they can teach you a lot more," says Hixon.

Hixon has learned to think critically about what he reads online.

"Sometimes but not all the time because sometimes people can put wrong stuff on the internet and then you'll think it's true and it's not true," says Hixon.

Cruz-Uribe is there to help make those decisions.

"Teachers can be smarter than iPads," says Hixon

His teacher is smart enough to know just how important iPads are.

"This is where we're going with education where we're going with jobs. It's not paper and pencil anymore," says Cruz-Uribe.





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ONEIDA COUNTY - Just over a week ago more than 10 different agencies rushed out to rural western Oneida County for a man threatening to blow up his house.

When crews got there, 60-year-old Kenneth Welsh was sitting on his porch with a long gun, for three hours he held police up in a standoff.

Last week he was charged with attempted first degree homicide among other felonies.

Welsh appeared in court Friday to hear the judge's decision if there's enough evidence in the case against him to move forward.

Ultimately Judge Michael Bloom did decide to move it forward, but not without hearing testimony.

Welsh didn't waive his preliminary hearing because his public defender said there was information she wanted to get on the record.

"He has a right to a preliminary hearing and this is a very serious charge and I wasn't going to waive that," said Welsh's public defender Mary Roth Burns.

For instance, Roth Burns asked Detective Sergeant Chad Wanta, who testified, about Welsh's medical condition during the standoff, since he had been shot in the shoulder. She also asked about Welsh's wife, Mary Butler, who changed her story multiple times. In the criminal complaint, Butler made inconsistent statements about Welsh was drinking and if he pointed a gun at her before she shot him, which investigators concluded was in self defense.

"The wife said he wasn't going to go down without a fight and made it sound like he was really violent," Roth Burns said. "And he basically went down, he never shot, fired a shot anyone, he never made a threat at anyone."

When asked if she thought Welsh went down without a fight, Roth Burns responded, "absolutely."

In the search warrant investigators found several guns, a few loaded, and one semi automatic shotgun. Roth Burns asked if Welsh ever shot at police during the standoff. The detective testifying said no.

The detective also said when crews shot the bean bag rounds at him to try to arrest him, Welsh said, "Just kill me, just kill me, just shoot me."

Roth Burns said there's other evidence she still needs to see. For instance, police flew a drone over the Welsh home. The detective said Welsh aimed at the drone, but not at police.

"There was a drone, I'd like to see video of the drone if that shows him sitting on the steps waiting for law enforcement to arrive," Roth Burns said. "That's not threatening anyone."

She said it's still early, but they are considering defense strategies—not excluding a possible competency examination.

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