LISTEN: Florida Baptists provide aid in Haiti; Chicago teachers, school district officials reach tentative agreement (BCNN1, 10/11/2016)

1. According to Baptist Press, Florida Baptists are already onsite providing aid in Haiti, where nearly 1,000 people have died from Hurricane Matthew and scores more are sickened by cholera in the storm’s aftermath. Craig Culbreth, the Florida Baptist Convention’s lead catalyst for missions and ministries, said the state’s Disaster Relief volunteers are already on the ground assessing need and strategizing response. “We are hoping we can have a response and help those people in the south end” of the island where there is heavy devastation, he said in a videotaped interview from Haiti. Many of the dead are being buried in mass graves, he said, and cholera is spreading quickly from contaminated water. “Although the largest population center in Haiti, Port-au-Prince, escaped major damage from Hurricane Matthew, the southern areas of Haiti were devastated,” reported Culbreth. Haiti’s devastation comes just six years after the catastrophic earthquake of 2010.

2. According to the Associated Press, Chicago teachers and officials in the nation’s third-largest school district reached a tentative agreement late Monday to avert a strike that would have affected about 400,000 students. The Chicago Teachers Union said its members were prepared to walk off the job Tuesday morning for its second major strike since 2012, when teachers were out for seven school days. At issue during the negotiations, which stretched into a second year, were pension contributions, pay raises, staffing levels and classroom funding. Union leaders said teachers did not want to strike, but were concerned about threats to reduce their pay and benefits, as well as “the overall impact of school-based cuts on their students.” Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool said teachers deserve a raise but the district is facing massive financial challenges.

3. According to the New York Times, President Obama said Tuesday that collaboration with private space companies would be crucial to the goal of humans reaching Mars by the 2030s. The statement came in an opinion column published on CNN.com. In 2010, Mr. Obama set a target of reaching an asteroid by 2025 and Mars by the mid-2030s, while calling for the private industry to lead the way. His column on Tuesday, along with a joint blog post by senior White House and NASA officials, offered new details on how the United States expects to get there. “If we make our leadership in space even stronger in this century than it was in the last,” Mr. Obama wrote, “we won’t just benefit from related advances in energy, medicine, agriculture and artificial intelligence, we’ll benefit from a better understanding of our environment and ourselves.”

4. According to the Associated Press, the challenge for Lamar Jackson as he chases the Heisman Trophy is to maintain front-runner status while playing games that will not be drawing a lot of attention. No. 7 Louisville and its star quarterback get back into action this week for the first of five straight games in which they will be big favorites. On one hand, Jackson and the No. 1 offense in the country have a chance to put up some big stats and lopsided victories. On the other hand, there will be few chances for those Heisman moments that usually come in marquee matchups – such as the Cardinals’ last game at No. 3 Clemson. For now, Jackson is still the overwhelming leader in The Associated Press’ Heisman Watch, receiving the first-place votes from all seven AP sports writers polled. Only four players made each voters’ top three. The AP prohibits its journalists from voting for awards such as the Heisman so none of those polled are actual Heisman voters. Three points are given for a first-place vote, two for second and one for third.

5. According to the Associated Press, comedian and former television show host Larry Wilmore’s next gig will have a literary theme: hosting the National Book Awards. The National Book Foundation announced Monday the former Comedy Central star will preside over the Nov. 16 dinner ceremony and benefit in New York. The foundation presents the awards and has reached out to the entertainment world before, with previous hosts including Steve Martin and Andy Borowitz. Other hosts have ranged from Garrison Keillor to “Lemony Snicket” author Daniel Handler. Wilmore used to host “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.” He’s working on a comedy series for HBO called “Insecure,” starring Issa (EYE’-suh) Rae.

6. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Eddie Murphy will be honored with a career achievement award at the 20th annual Hollywood Film Awards. The Saturday Night Live alum has starred in such films as Beverly Hills Cop and Trading Places. He was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for his role in Dreamgirls, for which he earned a Golden Globe. Murphy will next be seen in the real-life drama Mr. Church. Past recipients of the HFA honor include Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Glenn Close and Dustin Hoffman. James Corden will host the event, which is being produced by Dick Clark Productions. The Hollywood Film Awards are set to be held Nov. 6 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

7. According to ET Online, Solange Knowles made history with the release of her first album since 2012, A Seat At the Table, after it jumped to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart. This is Solange’s first time in the top slot, and also makes her and Beyonce the first sisters to have both scored No. 1 albums. The only other siblings to have achieved such success are Michael and Janet Jackson, as well as Master P and his brother, Silkk the Shocker. Like the Jackson siblings did in 2001 with their albums Invincible and All For You, Solange and Beyonce both nabbed the No. 1 spot in the same calendar year.