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National News

    A raffle to give away an AR-15 was streamed live on Facebook with the Optimist pee wee football team from Stanley, North Carolina. >> Read more trending news The money was to help the team go on a trip and players were encouraged to thank those who bought a ticket to possibly win the AR-15. 'It just blew my mind, right,' a father, Brandon Jenkins, said. Willard Whitted is a gun owner, but he said this was a bad idea. 'Thought it was terrible that they would even think of doing something like that,' Whitted said. He said scores of people are killed when a gun of that type gets into the wrong hands. 'Find something else to raffle off,' he said. 'I just donated the money,' Mark Kee, who gave cash to help raise money. He did not buy a ticket in the raffle. 'Where are the adults in charge of this?” Kee said. “Have they been watching the news? Do they know what's going on?' The football coach, Ron Nolan, said a pawn shop owner donated the gun. 'Nothing is done illegally,” Nolan said. “It will change hands to a law-abiding citizen that passes a serious background check.' Damien Lockridge's son played on the team last year and believes raffling off the gun is the right thing to do. He said the team uses the money from the raffle to help families pay for a trip to a playoff. 'They have to raise money somehow,” Lockridge said. “This is the only way to do it. I think it’s a great idea.
  • The Pentagon says it is investigating allegations of misbehavior by three service members during President Donald Trump's trip to Asia earlier this month.The Washington Post reports that the Army personnel are under investigations for claims they broke curfew and had improper contact with foreign women during Trump's stop in Vietnam.Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White has confirmed to The Associated Press that 'the incident is under investigation.'The Post reports that the Army noncommissioned officers worked for the White House Communications Agency, which helps ensure that the president and other officials have secure communications systems. The three service members, who have been reassigned, could lose their security clearances and face other disciplinary actions.
  • For months before a shooting rampage that killed five people, a violent feud brewed among the gunman and his neighbors on a dirt road in a tiny rural community in Northern California.Tehama County sheriff's deputies received 21 calls in the past year from Kevin Neal and other residents of three ramshackle homes on Bobcat Lane, according to documents released Tuesday to The Associated Press in response to a public records request.Neal and his wife told police their neighbors were cooking methamphetamine. The neighbors reported violent acts by Neal: He punched a female neighbor in the face, repeatedly shot his gun and, in January, stabbed another woman neighbor who he believed was poisoning his dog.That stabbing led to Neal's arrest but he was quickly out on bail and, despite a restraining order and a requirement that he surrender his weapons, continued to harass his neighbors and fire his weapon, according to the documents.Police never re-arrested Neal and on Nov. 13 he killed his wife and the next day killed two neighbors, two others and wounded eight people during a 45-minute rampage through Rancho Tehama Reserve before being fatally shot by police.One of the wounded was a 6-year-old boy shot in the chest when Neal opened fire at an elementary school in what may have been an attempt to carry out a threat to kill the 7-year-old son of one of the neighbors who was shot to death.Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston defended his deputies handling of the situation on Bobcat Lane, saying there never was enough evidence to arrest Neal for violating conditions of his release by firing a weapon.'Not one person could say they saw Mr. Neal with a firearm,' Johnston said. 'No one could say they (shots) absolutely came from his residence.'Neal, 44, was out on bail after being arrested in January on suspicion of stabbing neighbor Hailey Poland and accosting her and Diana Lee Steele, 68, who was killed in the rampage.A judge ordered Neal to stay away from the women and to surrender all of his firearms. But months after Neal's arrest, the women called the Tehama County Sheriff's Department several times to report Neal had been firing a gun.In one week in August, the two women called sheriff's deputies for help three times. In one of the instances, Poland told the dispatcher that she had a restraining order against Neal and that he was outside her house with a flashlight, firing at her house and car, according to an incident report.Records show police seized an AR-15 rifle from Neal when he was arrested and that once out on bail he certified that he surrendered a handgun. Johnston said investigators believe last week Neal used two homemade assault rifles and two handguns registered to someone else.Records show seven of the calls in the past year were initiated by Neal and his wife, Barbara Glisan, often reporting foul odors from what they said were neighbors cooking methamphetamine.Neal once called 911 to report that he thought Steele's adult son, Danny Elliott, had pointed a gun at him and showed sheriff's deputies surveillance video that apparently captured the incident.The deputies said in their report that the video captured Elliott moving a rifle from the front seat to backseat of his car, not pointing the gun at Neal.Another neighbor told reporters last week that Neal had threatened out loud that he was going to kill Elliott and then go to the elementary school to kill Elliott's son. Elliott was among those killed last week.District Attorney Gregg Cohen said sheriff's officials never informed his office about the repeated calls accusing Neal of firing a gun but stopped short of blaming sheriff's officials.'I'm not going to speculate or make a suggestion that someone did or didn't do something,' he said.Johnston said prosecutors had access to the sheriff's records and could have reached out to the victims if they were concerned, but deputies didn't have probable cause to search Neal's house to see if he still had guns.'I'll say this: Were we confident that Mr. Neal surrendered all of his firearms? No. Did we have probable cause to search (for them)? No,' Johnston said.___Balsamo reported from Los Angeles.
  • Two firefighters and a paramedic are facing charges after authorities accused them of breaking into a home in Eustis, Florida, Monday night and assaulting the people inside. >> Read more trending news Police said the victim told her husband, the paramedic, that their marriage was over and he had to move out a few weeks ago. Investigators said Michael Amedeo got two of his firefighter friends, Michael Downs and Cody Wages, to help him attacked his estranged wife and her male friend. Investigators said Wages and Downs pushed their way into the home and attacked the man. Police said Amedeo joined in on the attack and the three men allegedly pulled the friend out of the home and beat him up in the yard. The wife tried to call 911, but Amedeo grabbed the phone and threw it, according to police. Amedeo is also facing domestic violence charges. Amedeo is a former Lake County firefighter, but sources told Channel 9 he now works as a paramedic. Wages works for Osceola County Fire Rescue and Downs works for Eustis Fire and Rescue. >> Related: Killer details brutal murder, final minutes of NY jogger in police video The woman’s injuries included a broken hand and bruises, police said. The firefighters have been placed on paid administrative leave. Authorities said the men had been drinking before carrying out the alleged attack.
  • The accused killer of New York jogger Karina Vetrano was in court Monday, and a videotaped confession detailed the violet final moments of Vetrano’s life as her family listened and sobbed, the New York Post reported. >> Read more trending news Chanel Lewis, 21, calmly confessed to killing Vetrano on Aug. 2, 2016 in a video that was played during a pre-trial hearing Monday to determine if it will be admissible as evidence. Police claim Lewis killed the 30-year-old woman while she out running in Spring Creek Park in Howard Beach, Queens. The attack was brutal. Lewis reportedly broke her teeth and kept beating her until she lost consciousness, then strangled her. He told police, “I was mad; I saw red.” Lewis said he grabbed Vetrano as she ran by him and that she clawed at his face as he hit her five times, rendering her unconscious. >> Related: Suspect arrested in brutal rape, murder of New York jogger “She didn’t yell. She was finished,” Lewis reportedly said in the video. “I finished her off, I strangled her. She fell into the puddle and drowned. I got up and wiped off the blood. And she was calm, she was in the pool [of water]. It was like all the way over [her face].” >> Related: Innocent man out of prison after lawyers locate the real criminal — who looks exactly like him Before he confessed, Lewis told a detective that he was sorry for what he did and that he wanted to change his life. He insisted that he did not sexually assault Vetrano, even she was found with her jogging shorts pulled down. “I didn’t do any of the stuff they said, sexual assault and stuff like that,” he told cops, the Post reported. In the video, Lewis also seemed to think that even though he had admitted to killing Vetrano, he would be able to go on with his life and not face jail time. “I can straighten out my stuff?” he asked the prosecutor. “Well you’re the DA right? Where do we go from here? Is there a restitution program or something?” Lewis was asked why he attacked Vetrano, and he gave the perplexing response: “Because a guy moved into [his] house and the neighborhood.” The victim’s father, Philip Vetrano, said he felt “a lot of anger” and that he lashed out at Lewis’ relatives before he and his family left court in an unmarked police car, the Post reported. >> Related: Her answer to ‘swingers cruise’ question sent Steve Harvey off the rails for good “His family left the room,” Philip Vetrano said. “They couldn’t listen to his confession. We know where the coward got his cowardliness from. The truth hurts. It’s pathetic. It’s just so tomorrow they can say their offspring is not guilty.” Lewis’ family did not answer questions, the Post reported.
  • Another federal judge has halted a proposed transgender military ban, expanding on an initial ruling issued last month against the plan by President Donald Trump's administration.In a preliminary injunction issued Tuesday in Baltimore, U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis ruled that transgender service members have 'demonstrated that they are already suffering harmful consequences' due to the proposed ban including threat of discharge, stigma and the cancellation or delay of surgeries related to their gender transitions. The six plaintiffs in the lawsuit he reviewed have all been receiving hormone therapy.Trump had announced on Twitter in July that the government would not allow transgender individuals to serve in the military in any capacity. The order was a proposed reinstatement of a longstanding policy that barred transgender people from joining the military and also subjected service members to discharge if they were revealed to be transgender. That policy was changed last year under President Barack Obama.But in a strongly-worded passage from his 53-page decision, Garbis wrote that the 'capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified tweet of new policy does not trump the methodical and systematic review by military stakeholders qualified to understand the ramifications of policy change.'Last month, another federal judge, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington, barred Trump's administration from proceeding with the plans to exclude transgender people from military service. She said the administration had provided no solid evidence for why a ban should be implemented. In a court filing Tuesday, the government said it would appeal Kollar-Kotelly's ruling.A U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman, Lauren Ehrsam, said officials disagreed with Garbis' ruling and they are weighing their next steps.'(The) plaintiffs' lawsuit challenging military service requirements is premature for many reasons, including that the Defense Department is actively reviewing such service requirements, as the President ordered, and because none of the plaintiffs have established that they will be impacted by current policies on military service,' Ehrsam said in an email.Trump sent an August memo directing the Pentagon to extend indefinitely a ban on transgender individuals joining the military, and gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis six months to come up with a policy on 'how to address' those who are currently serving.A Pentagon spokesman, Mark Wright, said the Tuesday ruling will have no impact on current Defense Department policy.'As directed by the DoD guidance, no action may be taken to involuntarily separate or discharge an otherwise qualified service member solely on the basis of a gender dysphoria diagnosis or transgender status,' Wright said.The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against the proposed ban in September, cheered the Tuesday ruling. The lawsuit reviewed by the Baltimore judge was filed by the ACLU on behalf of six transgender members of the armed forces.'Today is a victory for transgender service members across the country,' senior ACLU staff attorney Joshua Block said in a statement. 'We're pleased that the courts have stepped in to ensure that trans service members are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.' The proposed ban remains unenforceable under the preliminary injunctions.The Trump administration's transgender ban was also being argued in federal court in Seattle on Tuesday in a case brought by gay rights group Lambda Legal, with a judge grilling a Justice Department lawyer over the president's intent and over how his directive has already affected transgender troops.___Associated Press writers Robert Burns and Jessica Gresko in Washington and Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.David McFadden on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dmcfadd
  • President Donald Trump finally addressed sexual assault and harassment allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore Tuesday while speaking to reporters ahead of his departure for Mar-a-Lago, essentially saying he supports Moore in spite of the accusations. >> Read more trending news “We don’t need a liberal Democrat in that seat,” the president said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacant U.S. Senate seat that Moore is running for, and adding that Moore “totally denies” the accusations. Trump also said, “40 years is a long time,” referring to when the alleged incidents with the underage girls happened. The president went on to encourage voters not to support Democratic candidate Doug Jones, adding that he is soft on crime and on border protection. While Trump did not say whether he believes Moore is innocent, he did suggest he’s deciding whether to campaign for him. >> Related: Who is Judge Roy Moore Trump’s comments came on the heals of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s apparent endorsement of Roy earlier this week. “I’m telling you we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” Conway said. “And the media — if the media were really concerned about all these allegations, and that’s what this was truly about … Al Franken would be on the ash heap of bygone half-funny comedians. He wouldn’t be here on Capitol Hill. He still has his job. What’s Bob Menendez doing back here? That’s the best my state of New Jersey can do?” Moore has been accused by seven women of sexual misconduct. With the exception of one woman who was 18 at the time, all of his accusers were underage when he allegedly sexually harassed or assaulted them with the youngest being just 14 years old at the time. One of his accusers was even in the same high school sophomore class as his wife, whom Moore admitted to first noticing when she was 15 or 16-years-old when she was performing in a dance recital. >> Related: Ivanka Trump slams Roy Moore in Interview “When I was deputy district attorney, many years before we got married, I saw her at a dance recital and I was standing, oh, at the back of the auditorium and I saw her up front,” he recalled at the time. “I remember her name, it was Kayla Kisor. KK. But I remember that and I didn’t meet her there … it was, oh gosh, eight years later or something, I met her. And when she told me her name, I remembered.”
  • President Donald Trump's executive order to cut funding from sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities faced a big setback when a federal judge ruled it was unconstitutional.But the legal fight over so-called sanctuary cities is far from over. Here's a look at Monday's ruling and what other battles loom:WHAT DID THE JUDGE SAY?U.S. District Judge William Orrick rejected the administration's argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money, saying the president himself had called it a 'weapon' to use against jurisdictions that disagree with his immigration enforcement preferences.The judge said that under the U.S. Constitution, Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.The U.S. Department of Justice responded in a statement that Orrick had exceeded his power. The Trump administration says sanctuary cities allow dangerous criminals back on the street.San Francisco — one of two California counties that sued to block the executive order — says turning local police into immigration officers erodes trust that is needed to get people to report crime.WHAT DOES THE RULING MEAN?The judge blocked the executive order temporarily in April, and Monday's ruling made it permanent. It applies nationwide.The Trump administration already has appealed the judge's temporary halt on the policy. It is pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which could overrule Orrick.The Justice Department said it would 'vindicate the president's lawful authority to direct the executive branch.'WHAT OTHER LEGAL FIGHTS REMAIN?San Francisco, other cities and the state of California also have sued over a separate move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to withhold specific public safety grants from sanctuary cities unless they implement tougher immigration policies.A federal judge in Illinois temporarily blocked that move in September in another nationwide injunction. The administration also is appealing that decision, though it is currently on hold.ARE THERE OTHER ISSUES AT STAKE?Under a federal immigration law, cities cannot ban officials from reporting people's immigration status to U.S. authorities. San Francisco accused the Trump administration of interpreting the law more broadly to require that cities hold jail inmates for immigration authorities.The city does not do that and says the existing federal law does not require it.San Francisco asked Orrick to rule that its immigration policies meet the federal standard. The judge said he would take that issue up in a separate case.
  • Uber reportedly paid hackers $100,000 to remove the data of 57 million customers they stole in a massive 2016 data breach, according to Bloomberg. >> Read more trending news Names, phone numbers and email address were among the data stolen. Around 600,000 driver’s license numbers belonging to Uber drivers were also compromised in the October 2016 breach. Social security numbers appear not to have been stolen in the breach. Uber executives reportedly concealed the hack for over a year and have been terminated, according to BuzzFeed. Uber’s current CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, criticized the company’s handling of the data theft in a blog post that said there’s no evidence the stolen information has been misused. The company released a statement Tuesday on the 2016 attack. The San Francisco company ousted Travis Kalanick as CEO in June after an internal investigation concluded he had built a culture that allowed female workers to be sexually harassed and encouraged employees to push legal limits. Read more at Bloomberg. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A 22-count indictment was returned Tuesday against a New Jersey man in the slayings of eight people during a truck attack on a bike path in New York City.Sayfullo Saipov, 29, of Paterson, was charged in Manhattan federal court with providing material support to the Islamic State group, along with eight counts of murder and 12 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering. Numerous counts carry a potential penalty of death.He was arrested after people were run over by a vehicle Oct. 31 in a midday attack that authorities immediately labeled terrorism.His lawyer did not return a message seeking comment.In a release, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the attack a 'calculated act of terrorism in the heart of one of our great cities.'Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said 'scores of videos and images on his cellphone' will be part of the evidence in the case against Saipov.'Like many terrorists before him, Saipov will now face justice in an American court,' Kim said. 'And like New York City's response to his alleged attack, we expect that justice in this case will be swift, firm and resolute.'William F. Sweeney Jr., head of New York's FBI office, said the indictment should signal 'that the rule of law will always prevail.'When Sayfullo Saipov carried out his brutal attack last month, his intentions were to inflict significant damage, death and injury to innocent victims and terrorize this city,' Sweeney added. 'We announce today's indictment with the understanding that nothing can ever reverse the unfortunate events of that day, or alleviate the pain and sorrow of the victims' families.'Saipov, held without bail, was charged with using a rental truck to mow down cyclists and pedestrians on a bike path.Authorities said he made statements after his arrest about his allegiance to the Islamic State group, which later took credit for the attack. He was shot by a police officer after crashing the truck into a school bus. His injury was minor enough that he was transferred to a prison facility in Manhattan two days later.Saipov came to the U.S. legally in 2010 from Uzbekistan, where officials say he had no history of trouble with the law. He first lived in Ohio, where he was a commercial truck driver, then in Florida. He most recently lived in New Jersey with his wife and children, and worked as an Uber driver.Authorities said in court papers that Saipov told investigators he was inspired to carry out the attack after watching a video of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi questioning 'what Muslims in the United States and elsewhere were doing to respond to the killing of Muslims in Iraq.'Evidence against him includes what was found on two of his cell phones, according to court documents. Investigators said one phone contained 90 videos and other Islamic State propaganda, including one of a beheading and another of a tank running over a prisoner. The other phone showed a search for truck rental outlets.
  • Jacksonville, Florida, officers say a man when he shot and killed a driver on I-95. >> Watch the news report here Police said 32-year-old Tyrell Brown was sleeping in the passenger seat of 25-year-old Steven Shawn Grady's car as they drove through Jacksonville on Sunday. The group was traveling from Orlando to North Carolina. At one point, Brown woke up and shot Grady in the face, a witness told police. The witness, who was in the backseat of the car, tried to gain control of the wheel. The car ran off the interstate and crashed near the Union Street exit around 3:15 a.m. >> Read more trending news  Officials said Brown violently resisted officers when they got to the scene. There was no indication of a prior altercation between Brown and Grady, officers said. A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesperson said Brown smoked a cigarette dipped in formaldehyde and marijuana before the shooting. He was taken to UF Health Jacksonville for his safety, officers said. Brown is facing a murder charge. His next court date is Dec. 12.
  • After an eight-week special session, the House fell just five votes short of a tax-raising plan to stabilize state revenues. Once the special session was over, Governor Mary Fallin caught legislative leaders off guard when she vetoed a bill that would have closed a $215 million hole in the budget. The plan called for a combination of cuts to agency budgets and raids on state savings accounts. Gov. Fallin will soon ask the Oklahoma Legislature to return to the state Capitol.  Fallin spokesman Michael McNutt said Monday the governor is working to pin down potential dates and define the parameters of her special session call that will determine what kind of bills lawmakers can consider.
  • As the Oklahoma Blood Institute moves into the final stretch of its 40th anniversary year, it’s trying to get word out about what it does, and the need for extra help during the holidays. In those four decades, OBI has grown to become the ninth-largest non-profit blood center in the nation. OBI Recruitment Manager Kenda Burnham told KRMG Tuesday they serve about 90 percent of the hospitals in the state, and for most of them, are the only source of blood. “That includes all childrens’, all veterans’, and all Indian hospitals in the state,” she said. “We also supply St. Francis Health Systems, which is the largest user of blood here in northeast Oklahoma.” That requires a lot of donations. “It takes close to 1,200 donors every single day to ensure we meet the needs of patients all across our systems,” Burnham said. And that need does not go down during the holidays, but unfortunately donations often do. “Holidays are a little more challenging, because people just get out of their regular routine,” Burnham told KRMG. “People are busy doing other things, so sometimes they forget to take time to give blood. So we still have patients in those hospitals, no matter what day of the year it is, that are counting on life-saving blood donors.” The process takes about an hour for a standard donation, and she said most people actually qualify, even if they’ve traveled out of the country or had a tattoo. But only about one in ten who can donate, actually do. Anyone who can help is urged to visit the OBI website and make an appointment, or find a nearby blood drive.
  • The Massachusetts tribe whose ancestors shared a Thanksgiving meal with the Pilgrims nearly 400 years ago is reclaiming its long-lost language, one schoolchild at a time. “Weesowee mahkusunash,” says teacher Siobhan Brown, using the Wampanoag phrase for “yellow shoes” as she reads to a preschool class from Sandra Boynton’s popular children’s book “Blue Hat, Green Hat.” The Mukayuhsak Weekuw — or “Children’s House ” — is an immersion school launched by the Cape Cod-based Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, whose ancestors hosted a harvest celebration with the Pilgrims in 1621 that helped form the basis for the country’s Thanksgiving tradition. The 19 children from Wampanoag households that Brown and other teachers instruct are being taught exclusively in Wopanaotooaok, a language that had not been spoken for at least a century until the tribe started an effort to reclaim it more than two decades ago. The language brought to the English lexicon words like pumpkin (spelled pohpukun in Wopanaotooaok), moccasin (mahkus), skunk (sukok), powwow (pawaw) and Massachusetts (masachoosut), but, like hundreds of other native tongues, fell victim to the erosion of indigenous culture through centuries of colonialism.
  • A photo circulating on social media appears to show a Memphis Police Department officer . >> Watch the news report here The photo was posted on Saturday, and several viewers sent it to WHBQ. >> See the photo here Memphis police acknowledged the photo and issued the following statement: >> Read more trending news 'The officer in question has been identified, and an administrative investigation is underway. This behavior will not be tolerated, and I can assure you that corrective actions will be taken,' said Director Michael Rallings. 'This type of behavior does not represent the hardworking men and women of the Memphis Police Department.