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Three Big Things
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Virtual kidnapping scams on the rise

Virtual kidnapping scams on the rise

The caller who rang Valerie Sobel's cellphone had a horrifying message: 'We have Simone's finger. Do you want to see the rest of her in a body bag?' Then came the sound of her daughter, screaming in terror. 'She called me Mom (and said) 'I'm terrified, please help,' ' Sobel recalled. In the hours that followed, the kidnappers talked her into wiring $4,000 for ransom. Only later did she find out there had been no kidnapping. It was a scam. 'I was in bad shape for days,' she said. On Tuesday, police and federal agents warned that so-called virtual kidnappings are on the rise, and dozens of people already have found themselves terrorized into giving money to con artists. Los Angeles police alone have received more than 250 reports of such crimes in the past two years, and people have wired more than $100,000, said Capt. William Hayes, who commands the Robbery Homicide Division. By comparison, actual kidnappings for ransom are rare. Los Angeles police typically receive 10 to 15 cases a year, including kidnappings performed by other family members and acquaintances, Hayes said.

Mother left infant son buckled into car seat without food for days.

Mother left infant son buckled into car seat without food for days.

A Michigan woman faces a murder charge after police say she buckled her 6-month-old son into a car seat and deprived him of food, water and air conditioning for days. Lovily Kristine-Anwonette Johnson, 22, of Wyoming, was charged Monday with first-degree murder and first-degree child abuse in the death of Noah Johnson. MLive reported that Johnson brought Noah, who was already dead, to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19.  Johnson admitted to police investigators that she was Noah’s sole caregiver in the days before he died, authorities said. She also admitted that she was home several times a day during that time.  “She knowingly and intentionally deprived him of the necessities of life by not feeding him since Monday morning,” investigators wrote in an arrest affidavit, according to MLive. “During this time, Noah remained buckled in a car seat on the upper floor of Johnson’s apartment, with no air conditioning.” Noah had been dead for some time when Johnson brought him to the hospital, police said.  Johnson’s 2-year-old daughter was placed Friday under the supervision of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services.  Johnson’s Facebook page bears a caption: “Family, faith, love & success.” In photos of her children from January, when Noah was born, she called them her “prince and princess.” Other posts appear to allude to relationship problems. One thread from May begins with Johnson saying, “If you can walk away from someone and act as they never meant anything to you, they never did.” Commenters who found the public post since Johnson’s arrest in connection to her son’s death expressed anger and pointed out the irony of the post.  “Like you left your hungry baby in a car seat upstairs in a house with no AC for four days?” one woman wrote.  >> Read more trending news At the time of her arrest, Johnson was on probation for an embezzlement charge, according to the Detroit Free Press. She was convicted in 2016 of embezzling less than $200 from a business in Wyoming, a suburb of Grand Rapids.  Along with her probation, she was ordered to pay $455 in fines and court costs and to perform 40 hours of community service, the Free Press said. A judge issued a warrant for probation violation on Thursday, citing Johnson’s failure to pay her fines, her failure to perform community service and her failure to find a job.  Johnson is being held without bond at the Kent County Correctional Facility. 

President Trump announces ban on transgender military service

President Trump announces ban on transgender military service

President Donald Trump announced via Twitter Wednesday morning that transgender individuals will not be allowed to serve in the military. President Trump said the health care and distraction would be too costly for the U.S. Current policy allows for transgender service members to serve openly and says “they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military solely for being transgender individuals.”

The 2017 Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma is a FREE three-day event for all homeowners, taking place July 28th-30th at Expo Square. Make plans now to take the whole family to the 9th annual Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma. Parking and admission are both FREE.  This FREE three-day extravaganza will feature nearly 250 exhibitors from throughout Green Country displaying and demonstrating the newest and hottest services for home improvement/repairs, remodeling, gardening, landscaping, lawn care, home insulation & energy conservation, home security, home furnishings and so much more.  One lucky attendee will even win $500 cash that will be given away each day of the show (no purchase necessary). For a complete list rules click HERE! Come and watch local horticultural expert Allan Storjohann broadcast his live weekly radio show from 9:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday, July 29th on NEWS102.3 & AM740 KRMG. The Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma is brought to you by Avco Roofing and Edens Structural Solutions. JULY 28-30, 2017 The River Spirit Expo Center at Expo Square 4145 East 21st Street Tulsa, OK 74112 SHOW HOURS: Friday, July 28th: 12pm-8pm Saturday, July 29th: 10am-8pm Sunday, July 30th: 11am-5pm Do you own your own company and want to be in front of THOUSANDS of prospective customers in only 3 days?  Call Steve McDonald at (918) 493-8531 or email him at Steve.McDonald@CoxInc.com. SHOW OFFICE: Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma C/o Cox Media Group, Inc. 2625 S. Memorial Dr. Tulsa, OK 74129 (918) 523-2067 - show office (918) 493-5357 - show fax line
The 2017 Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma is a FREE three-day event for all homeowners, taking place July 28th-30th at Expo Square. Make plans now to take the whole family to the 9th annual Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma. Parking and admission are both FREE.  This FREE three-day extravaganza will feature nearly 250 exhibitors from throughout Green Country displaying and demonstrating the newest and hottest services for home improvement/repairs, remodeling, gardening, landscaping, lawn care, home insulation & energy conservation, home security, home furnishings and so much more.  One lucky attendee will even win $500 cash that will be given away each day of the show (no purchase necessary). For a complete list rules click HERE! Come and watch local horticultural expert Allan Storjohann broadcast his live weekly radio show from 9:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday, July 29th on NEWS102.3 & AM740 KRMG. The Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma is brought to you by Avco Roofing and Edens Structural Solutions. JULY 28-30, 2017 The River Spirit Expo Center at Expo Square 4145 East 21st Street Tulsa, OK 74112 SHOW HOURS: Friday, July 28th: 12pm-8pm Saturday, July 29th: 10am-8pm Sunday, July 30th: 11am-5pm Do you own your own company and want to be in front of THOUSANDS of prospective customers in only 3 days?  Call Steve McDonald at (918) 493-8531 or email him at Steve.McDonald@CoxInc.com. SHOW OFFICE: Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma C/o Cox Media Group, Inc. 2625 S. Memorial Dr. Tulsa, OK 74129 (918) 523-2067 - show office (918) 493-5357 - show fax line
The 2017 Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma is a FREE three-day event for all homeowners, taking place July 28th-30th at Expo Square. Make plans now to take the whole family to the 9th annual Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma. Parking and admission are both FREE.  This FREE three-day extravaganza will feature nearly 250 exhibitors from throughout Green Country displaying and demonstrating the newest and hottest services for home improvement/repairs, remodeling, gardening, landscaping, lawn care, home insulation & energy conservation, home security, home furnishings and so much more.  One lucky attendee will even win $500 cash that will be given away each day of the show (no purchase necessary). For a complete list rules click HERE! Come and watch local horticultural expert Allan Storjohann broadcast his live weekly radio show from 9:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday, July 29th on NEWS102.3 & AM740 KRMG. The Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma is brought to you by Avco Roofing and Edens Structural Solutions. JULY 28-30, 2017 The River Spirit Expo Center at Expo Square 4145 East 21st Street Tulsa, OK 74112 SHOW HOURS: Friday, July 28th: 12pm-8pm Saturday, July 29th: 10am-8pm Sunday, July 30th: 11am-5pm Do you own your own company and want to be in front of THOUSANDS of prospective customers in only 3 days?  Call Steve McDonald at (918) 493-8531 or email him at Steve.McDonald@CoxInc.com. SHOW OFFICE: Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma C/o Cox Media Group, Inc. 2625 S. Memorial Dr. Tulsa, OK 74129 (918) 523-2067 - show office (918) 493-5357 - show fax line
The 2017 Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma is a FREE three-day event for all homeowners, taking place July 28th-30th at Expo Square. Make plans now to take the whole family to the 9th annual Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma. Parking and admission are both FREE.  This FREE three-day extravaganza will feature nearly 250 exhibitors from throughout Green Country displaying and demonstrating the newest and hottest services for home improvement/repairs, remodeling, gardening, landscaping, lawn care, home insulation & energy conservation, home security, home furnishings and so much more.  One lucky attendee will even win $500 cash that will be given away each day of the show (no purchase necessary). For a complete list rules click HERE! Come and watch local horticultural expert Allan Storjohann broadcast his live weekly radio show from 9:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday, July 29th on NEWS102.3 & AM740 KRMG. The Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma is brought to you by Avco Roofing and Edens Structural Solutions. JULY 28-30, 2017 The River Spirit Expo Center at Expo Square 4145 East 21st Street Tulsa, OK 74112 SHOW HOURS: Friday, July 28th: 12pm-8pm Saturday, July 29th: 10am-8pm Sunday, July 30th: 11am-5pm Do you own your own company and want to be in front of THOUSANDS of prospective customers in only 3 days?  Call Steve McDonald at (918) 493-8531 or email him at Steve.McDonald@CoxInc.com. SHOW OFFICE: Home & Garden Expo of Oklahoma C/o Cox Media Group, Inc. 2625 S. Memorial Dr. Tulsa, OK 74129 (918) 523-2067 - show office (918) 493-5357 - show fax line
Senate easily defeats first GOP plan to overhaul Obamacare

Hours after Republicans barely mustered enough votes to start debate on a House-passed GOP bill designed to overhaul the Obama health law, the Senate easily rejected one plan put forward by Republican Senators, as GOP leaders continued to struggle to figure out how to forge a health care bill that could win final approval on the Senate floor later this week.

The first casualty was an amended version of the “Better Care” plan from GOP leaders – along with additions from Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who wanted to add back $100 billion in Medicaid funding, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who [More]