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Sneed: President looking to honor slain bus driver who prevented child massacre in Alabama

BEVERLY HILLS CA - FEBRUARY 06:  Actor Nick Nolte arrives 84th Academy Awards Nominations LuncheThe Beverly Hilthotel February 6

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Actor Nick Nolte arrives at the 84th Academy Awards Nominations Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton hotel on February 6, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) R:\Merlin\Getty_Photos\138353940.jpg

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Updated: March 10, 2013 6:39AM

A hero’s medal...

Sneed hears President Barack Obama is trying to find a way to honor the bravery of slain bus driver Charles “Chuck” Poland Jr. for giving his life to prevent what could have become another child massacre last week in the town of Midland City, Ala.

◆ Sneed is told a letter sent to Obama recommending Poland be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom is reportedly being taken seriously.

◆ Backshot: Poland was shot when conspiracy theorist Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded the school bus he was driving and demanded two children as hostages. Poland refused, allowing 20 children to escape before Dykes shot him multiple times. A 5-year-old boy named Ethan, who Dykes kidnapped after killing Poland, is now happily back with his family.

The Jackson file...

At an anti-violence rally outside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Prep High School Thursday, Rev. Jesse Jackson was asked how his son, JJJr, is doing.

◆ Quoth Jackson: “He’s taking his medicine.”

◆ Backstory: The younger Jackson, whose plea deal with the feds for allegations of campaign fund misuse is now on the table, is apparently following doctor’s orders for treatment of depression and bipolar disorder.

The Obama file...

Hmmmm: Contrary to a White House report, Sneed is told first lady Michelle Obama is expected to speak Saturday at the funeral of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was tragically shot and killed on Jan. 29 at a park near her school. Also scheduled to speak: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Gov. Patrick Quinn, and Rev. Michael Pfleger.


It’s a mystery: It was apparently a last-minute decision Thursday by the first lady to attend the funeral.

◆ Fact: On Tuesday, Sneed exclusively tipped Michelle Obama might attend the funeral.

◆ Fact: Later in the day Tuesday, the White House told Sneed the first lady was not coming.

◆ Fact: On Thursday, the White House informed us she would be attending along with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and senior advisor Valerie Jarrett.

◆ Fact: When Sneed inquired about the abrupt change of mind, no explanation was given.

◆ Factoids: The White House also tells Sneed the first lady will not speak, though Sneed sources say otherwise... and Father Michael Pfleger tells us he will speak at Hadiya’s funeral, but not deliver the eulogy.

Top tip...

Pssst! Sneed hears Colorado’s Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, is in line to become either U.S. Labor or Transportation Secretary.


It musta been a snore: Secretary of State John Kerry is already exhausted from his new job. According to White House pool reports, Kerry went to the National Prayer Breakfast this morning and uncontrollably yawned the entire time.

The diva file...

It seems Beyonce, the bootylicious burbler who can cause even CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to get weak in the knees, has some ego.

◆ Explanation: Beyonce, who maintains a temperature-controlled digital library containing every recording, concert and interview she has ever done, had her publicist reach out to the folks at website Buzzfeed this week to ask them it to take down photos of her making strange faces while performing at the Super Bowl — because they are unflattering.

◆ End shot: Buzzfeed is standing its ground, but the Getty Images photo agency — where many websites and publications could purchase the photos — reportedly pulled five of the photos Beyonce didn’t like.

Ain’t that something.


Friday’s birthdays: Ted Koppel, 73; Nick Nolte (left) , 72; and Seth Green, 39.

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