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National News

    A North Dakota church recently bought by a self-proclaimed white supremacist has burned to the ground, KVRR reported. >> Read more trending news  The Attorney General’s office said there isn’t any new information to release, but Craig Cobb said he knows the fire was set intentionally and believes it was a hate crime. “I was going to turn it over to the creativity movement with a stipulation that that branch of the church be called the Donald J. Trump. … President Donald J. Trump, Creativity Church of Rome, not Nome, Rome,” Cobb told KVRR. “A little play on history there, you see.” Cobb said he had big plans for the church, formerly known as Nome Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. “I absolutely would have if they would have given me half a chance, which the hater did not by burning down my property,” Cobb told KVRR. “An arsonist did it, of course. That’s all, an arsonist, it’s really simple.” Cobb was in Sherwood, North Dakota, when he received an email from an attorney about his destroyed property. “I just want to insert that it’s a terroristic attack,” Cobb told KVRR. “I’m going to ask the DOJ and the FBI to apply hate crime charges against them too.”  Cobb is offering an award of at least $2,000 to anyone with information that can lead to the responsible party. “I really want them caught, I really, really want them caught,” he told KVRR.
  • A new study suggests that millennials in South Florida live with their parents at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country. >> Read more trending news  The study conducted by Abodo found that 44.8 percent of millennials in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area still live with their parents. That’s the highest percentage among the 40 metropolitan areas looked at by the study, and above the national average of 34.1 percent. According to Abodo, the finding represents the first time in 130 years that people in the 18-to-34-year-old range are more likely to live with their parents than any other situation, including cohabiting with a spouse, living alone and living with roommates. Despite the stigma, millennials may have a good reason for living under their parents’ roof. If millennials living at home in South Florida were to move out, U.S. Census Bureau data indicates that they would spend more than 90 percent on their monthly income on rent. Millennials from six other metropolitan area would also spend more than 90 percent of their income on rent. In the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area, millennials who would pay 110 percent of their income on rent. The study found that millennials living at home have a median monthly income of $1,121, which falls well below the $2,023 median monthly income of all millennials. Read more at Abodo.
  • A police watchdog agency investigator who leaked the disciplinary record of a white police officer involved in the chokehold death of unarmed black man Eric Garner resigned on Thursday. The investigator, who was not publicly identified, worked for the Civilian Complaint Review Board for less than a year and had no role in the investigation of any of the disciplinary cases against Officer Daniel Pantaleo that were leaked to the website Thinkprogress.org, the board said. 'After a swift and thorough internal investigation, the Civilian Complaint Review Board identified the employee who was the source of the leak,' board secretary Jerika Richardson said. 'As of today, that individual no longer works at CCRB.' The agency investigates claims of police misconduct, substantiates complaints and offers disciplinary suggestions like retraining or loss of vacation days to the New York Police Department, the nation's biggest police department. The police commissioner decides whether to discipline an officer. Pantaleo's record was published on the website this week. It included eight disciplinary cases of abuse and excessive force, four of which were substantiated. The officer was disciplined in two of the cases. Police personnel records are not public information under state law. Garner, who was accused of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, was stopped by police in 2014 and refused to be handcuffed. Pantaleo is seen on a bystander's cellphone video putting Garner in an apparent chokehold, which is banned under NYPD policy. The heavyset Garner, who had asthma, is heard gasping, 'I can't breathe.' He later was pronounced dead at a hospital. Garner's death sparked angry protests from people complaining about the treatment of black men and boys at the hands of white police officers. The medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide caused in part by the chokehold. But police union officials and Pantaleo's lawyer argued the officer used a takedown move taught by the police department, not a chokehold, and said Garner's poor health was the main reason he died. A grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo in Garner's death. A federal civil rights probe is in limbo. The head of Pantaleo's union, Patrick Lynch, said the resignation of the watchdog investigator was a good first step. 'But the release of a police officer's confidential personnel records is still a crime that should be thoroughly investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,' he said. The investigation by the Civilian Complaint Review Board was internal and didn't involve the NYPD. The board does not believe anyone else was involved. Police department officials said they would investigate.
  • A Texas college student stranded for five days near the Grand Canyon says she was making farewell videos for her family as she grew desperate for help. Arizona authorities say 24-year-old Amber VanHecke was well-equipped and did everything right after getting lost in a remote area during a solo road trip. VanHecke said in a Facebook post that she was heading to a hiking trail but was led astray by her maps app and wound up in the middle of nowhere with an empty gas tank. She told ABC's Good Morning America that she even tried to chase down a truck to no avail. 'I was panicking and crying and sobbing. I was a mess,' VanHecke told the show. VanHecke said nobody had reported her missing because of a miscommunication with her family. VanHecke didn't have cell phone access. She made large help signs and even tried to start a signal fire, but couldn't. She eventually hiked for miles to a spot where she had a signal, although the call dropped before Arizona authorities could trace her location. Still, rescuers had an idea about where she might be, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said. Rescuers were able to spot her abandoned car using a search helicopter. VanHecke had left signs on the car detailing where she was headed in search of cell phone signal, and rescuers eventually found her. VanHecke was treated at a Flagstaff hospital for exposure but is now back in Texas, where she is a student at the University of North Texas. 'Five days ago I thought I was gonna die in the desert and now I'm trying to go to class,' she said.
  • With time running out to get votes for the Republican plan to repeal and replace 'Obamacare,' President Donald Trump has shown he's willing to make a deal. But could he wind up with a plan that doesn't line up with some other campaign promises? As the tumultuous talks dragged on Thursday, one demand from lawmakers in the conservative Freedom Caucus was removing the federal mandate under Obamacare that insurers cover such basic services as prescription drugs, maternity care and substance abuse treatment. Looking to win support, the White House offered to make the change, but the proposal irked some more moderate members and the future of the provisions remained fluid late Thursday night. The prospect of changing those Affordable Care Act requirements drew criticism from Democrats and patient groups, particularly women's health organizations, who said such a move could impact people's ability to get health care plans that cover their needs. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that currently 'people are paying for benefits that neither they, their spouse, their family needs.' Of course, people often don't know what they'll need an insurance plan to cover. To that, Spicer said: 'I think if you're an older man, you probably won't need maternity coverage.' Trump himself has repeatedly promised to improve health care, including making some specific pledges, like better treatment for opioid addiction. Could changing the 'essential health benefits,' make it harder for him to deliver? A look at some of Trump's health care promises: OPIOIDS During his campaign, Trump unveiled a plan to 'to end the opioid epidemic' in the United States. Addiction to heroin and opioids is at a nationwide peak, with 91 Americans dying from an opioid overdose every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the campaign, candidates stressed the issue, particularly on stops in states such as Ohio and New Hampshire, where overdoses have soared. Under Obamacare, treatment for substance abuse and mental health must be included in plans that health insurers offer to individual consumers. Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, said that before the health care law, one 'of the categories that was routinely excluded was treatment for mental health addiction and substance abuse.' She said that without the requirement, 'that would probably be the end of that coverage.' PRESCRIPTION DRUGS Trump has been vocal about his desire to deal with the costs of prescription drugs. He promised to tackle it throughout the campaign. On Wednesday, he said he would work on it either in the health care bill or separately, but 'we're going to bid down drug prices, and we're going to try to have the lowest prices anywhere in the world from really the highest.' If essential health benefits requirements were eliminated, people could end up with health plans that don't cover the prescriptions that they need. QUALITY CONTROL The president has long held that he will replace the Affordable Care Act with something better. 'I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes or not,' he said during an interview on CBS in September. 'Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now.' But critics said cutting the requirement to cover maternity care, emergency care and pediatric services don't match that promise. Organizations representing nearly 400,000 doctors sent a letter to congressional leaders early this year, saying any new health care legislation must ensure that 'all health insurance products should be required to cover evidence-based essential benefits.' 'We all have different health care needs and we have them at different times,' Pollitz said, adding that without set benefits, plans will be like 'an air bag that only covers half the car.' Spicer held that removing the requirements would benefit people, by putting 'choice back in the marketplace.
  • Police found four people, including two children, dead Thursday in a California home and a suspect was in custody, officials said. The four victims were discovered when police broke into the Sacramento home after a relative reported that something might be wrong. Police did not immediately identify the victims or provide their genders or ages. Kelly Fong Rivas, deputy chief of staff for Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, said police told officials that two of the victims were children but did not provide other details. Steinberg called the crime horrifying and extremely tragic in a statement praising police for quickly making an arrest. The unidentified suspect was likely known by the victims and was being held in San Francisco, Sacramento police Sgt. Bryce Heinlein said. 'Preliminarily this does not appear to be a random act,' Heinlein said. Police said they had not yet determined a motive. The single-story beige home with sculpted shrubbery has a basketball hoop in a driveway that police blocked off with yellow crime scene tape. It's located in a tree-lined residential neighborhood of neatly maintained homes near a church. It was unclear when the victims were killed, Heinlein said. Police also weren't saying how they were killed. There were no reports of shots fired or other problems until the relative called police to report that he was concerned, Heinlein said. A few neighbors looked on curiously as homicide detectives and crime scene investigators made their way in and out of the home south of the state Capitol. Don Sherrill, whose home shares a back fence with the victims' house, said he and his wife, Joanne Sherrill, often heard children playing in the backyard or using an inflatable pool. 'The young kids really enjoyed the backyard and swimming in the summer time,' Joanne Sherrill told The Sacramento Bee. ____ AP photographer Rich Pedroncelli and AP writer Paul Elias contributed to this report. Elias contributed from San Francisco.
  • The last straw that convinced Chicago native Marissa Marshall it was time to move away was hearing dangerously close gunfire in the rough neighborhood where she found affordable housing. The 29-year-old, who's pregnant with her fifth child, relocated about three years ago to a St. Louis suburb where she more easily found jobs and a home where she felt it was safe to send the kids outside. 'I have boys and I didn't want to raise them in that environment,' Marshall said. 'It is easier to go outside of Chicago to get help than stay in Chicago.' New census data released Thursday shows she's not alone, with the Chicago area losing more residents than any other U.S. metropolitan area. The continuing decline coincided with other Midwestern areas, including St. Louis and Cleveland, as the South and Southwest regions of the country saw gains. Two Texas metropolitan areas — Dallas and Houston — reported the biggest numeric increases between July 2015 and July 2016, adding more than 100,000 residents each. There are wide-ranging reasons for the shifts, from families' concerns about violence and schools to dwindling immigration and fertility rates. But demographers said Thursday's data also suggest the reanimation of a trend that paused during the recession — of Americans on the move from the Snow Belt to the suburbs of big cities, and to the Sun Belt. The Chicago area, which includes surrounding communities in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, lost more than 19,500 residents in a year's time. Cook County, which encompasses Chicago, also led all counties in population drops, with roughly 21,300 fewer residents. Trailing were Michigan's Wayne County, where Detroit is located, with roughly 7,700 fewer residents; and Baltimore County, which lost more than 6,700 residents. Meanwhile, Arizona's Maricopa County had the highest annual population increase, gaining over 81,000 residents, followed by Harris County in Texas and Nevada's Clark County. Families leaving Chicago cite the nearly-broke city school system that's closed over 50 schools since 2013 and a soaring violent crime rate with more than 760 homicides last year, the most in two decades. City demographics experts add in longstanding economic trends like fewer entry level jobs and a sagging industrial core, along with the dismantling of dense neighborhood-based public housing. Lower immigration rates also have impacted the Chicago region's dwindling population. Immigration, particularly from Mexico, was the key factor behind most of Chicago's population growth in the 1990s. In Illinois, the population decline has been ripe fodder for political battles. The predominantly Democratic state's first Republican governor in a decade, Bruce Rauner, has repeatedly blamed historic fiscal mismanagement and a lack of business-friendly laws for the decline, with companies choosing to set up shop in Texas and Florida over Illinois. In return, Democrats in charge have pointed fingers at over two years of state budget gridlock during the Republicans tenure. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office on Thursday called the decline a trend across the Midwest but blamed Illinois politics for exacerbating it and creating fiscal instability. Demographics experts said one of the drivers behind the population change around the country could be more young people moving than before. Young people are historically more likely to move around, but the recession put the brakes on the migration. Millenials, roughly 25-to-35-year olds, have moved at lower rates than their predecessors, including Generation-Xers, according to a Pew Research Center analysis last month. Rolf Pendall of the Urban Institute's Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center called the trend 'a pent-up demand to migrate' by people in their 20s and 30s and a bump in births 'in places where families want to move anyway.' As baby boomers age, U.S. deaths in some regions are expected to rise, which could be contributing to some of the population dips, too. 'In a lot of the colder northern areas — St. Louis, Chicago, but also the northern states — they just don't have as many young people living there as the rest of the country,' Pendall said. ___ Follow Sophia Tareen on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sophiatareen . ___ Kellman reported from Washington.
  • A Maryland high school has been thrust into the national immigration debate after a 14-year-old student said she was raped in a bathroom there by two classmates, including one who authorities said came to the U.S. illegally from Central America. Protesters on both sides of the debate converged on a nearby elementary school Thursday during a visit by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. And the White House has weighed in, saying the president has made a crackdown on illegal immigration a priority 'because of tragedies like this.' The Montgomery County school system has been besieged by hundreds of racist and xenophobic calls. In response, schools beefed up police presence in an attempt to reassure the anxious community. 'Now we're starting to receive calls that are threatening, saying they're going to shoot up the illegals in our school,' said Derek Turner, a school system spokesman. He noted that the calls marked 'a whole new level of vitriol that we haven't seen before.' The latest flashpoint in the immigration debate started out as a sexual assault case. Last Friday, 18-year-old Henry Sanchez and 17-year-old Jose Montano were charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense. Police said the girl was walking in a hallway when one of them asked her to have sex and she refused. Montano forced her into a boy's bathroom stall and they raped her, police said. Sanchez, who is from Guatemala, came to the U.S. illegally in August and was encountered by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Texas, federal immigration officials said. He was eventually released to live with his father. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials wouldn't comment on Montano, who is a minor but is charged criminally as an adult. Federal law requires public schools to admit students even if they are in the country illegally. 'As a mother of two daughters and grandmother of four young girls, my heart aches for the young woman and her family at the center of these terrible circumstances,' DeVos said in a statement before her visit to the elementary school. 'We all have a common responsibility to ensure every student has access to a safe and nurturing learning environment.' DeVos was there with Gov. Larry Hogan for National Reading Month. The county of Montgomery is Maryland's largest, with a population of 1 million people. It's considered politically progressive and voted overwhelming for Hillary Clinton during the past election. More than half of residents identify themselves as black, Hispanic or Latino, Asian or Pacific islander or an ethnicity other than non-Hispanic white, according to the 2010 census. Rosa Segura was one of the demonstrators at Carderock Springs Elementary School. The Takoma Park woman said she came to stand up for immigrants at a time when the Trump administration is cracking down on them. 'Whatever the case may be, they cannot stand up for themselves, so I thought it was important for me to come out here today as a person with more privilege than some of these students may have to make sure their voices are heard,' Segura said. Trump has signed a pair of executive orders aimed at illegal immigration, and his Homeland Security Department has made clear that just about any immigrant in the country illegally is a priority for deportation. Included in one of those orders was a directive to publicly disclose, on a weekly basis, crimes attributed to immigrants and details about jails that aren't cooperating with federal immigration authorities. The Homeland Security Department has also announced plans to establish an office dedicated to helping victims of immigrant crimes. Critics of the president's effort have argued that he is unjustifiably vilifying immigrants. Other protesters at the elementary school voiced their displeasure with a bill in the Maryland Legislature that would prevent authorities from stopping or detaining people solely to ask about their immigration status. It also would block corrections officials from holding arrestees in jail at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Supporters call it the Maryland Trust Act, designed to boost trust between immigrants and police. Critics say it would help protect people who have been deported after committing crimes and returned to the state. The Republican governor promised to veto it earlier this week. 'The Maryland House of Delegates tonight passed an outrageously irresponsible bill that will make Maryland a sanctuary state and endanger our citizens,' Hogan said in a statement Monday night. Eleni Dorian, a mother of two girls in Montgomery County schools, supports the governor's veto and worries there are too many immigrants coming into the country. She said the bill would 'open the floodgates' in a state that she believes already has lax immigration policies. 'Our schools would be overwhelmed,' Dorian said. ___ Associated Press writers Alicia Caldwell in Washington and Matthew Barakat in Alexandria, Virginia, contributed to this report.
  • Republicans who control the North Dakota House rejected their leader's plan Thursday to more than double the number of casinos in the state, a push some lawmakers viewed as a threat of payback against American Indian tribes for protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Under the proposal by Majority Leader Al Carlson, a Fargo Republican, voters would decide whether to change the North Dakota Constitution to add six state-regulated casinos to the five current ones on tribal land. The House defeated the proposal, 63-28. Carson denied his bill was related to the protests against the pipeline led by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes. The state has spent millions of dollars in law enforcement and cleanup at camps near a disputed portion of the line. He argued that his plan should be viewed as a 'pre-emptive strike' against a voter initiative that could establish casinos with rules less desirable to lawmakers, he said. 'It might be a whole lot worse if the people bring it,' Carlson said during the floor debate Thursday. Carlson, who has served in the Legislature since 1993 and as the top House Republican for a decade, downplayed the overwhelming defection from those in his own party, which holds an 81-13 advantage over Democrats. No Democrat voted in favor of the resolution. 'I expected it,' Carlson said after the vote. In an interview, he said he 'didn't go around breaking arms' trying to persuade colleagues to vote his way. He said it was the first vote that he has pushed a primary sponsor that has been killed during his tenure as majority leader. Carlson's powerful position in the House allowed him to introduce the measure nearly two months into the legislative session, as well as amend the proposal through a series of procedural gymnastics to get it to the House floor. The resolution originally was billed as a way to encourage rural economic development, through state-owned casinos outside of big cities. It was later changed to allow for state-regulated, privately owned casinos to be built anywhere in the state as long as they were at least 40 miles from one of North Dakota's five American Indian reservations, which all have gambling facilities. The House Judiciary Committee gave both proposals overwhelming 'do not pass' recommendations. Shannon Roers Jones, a Casselton Republican, carried the bill on the House floor Thursday, and urged the chamber to kill the proposal. Among the reasons was the perceived detrimental effect might have had on relationships with tribes in the state. 'There were concerns among committee members that the introduction of this resolution has the appearance of being a response to the recent issues being faced by the state with regard to protest sites,' she said.
  • This fall, the football team in the tiny Oregon logging town of Banks will once again take the field as the Braves. But this time, they have the approval of the tribe that originally inhabited the area. It's one of many changes in the works this spring across Oregon prompted by the nation's long-running uproar over Native American sports mascots. School districts in the state with tribal mascots must do away with them by July 1 or risk punishment that could include the withholding of state funds. However, the state will make exceptions for districts that get the approval of one of Oregon's nine tribes — and the Banks School District is one of more than a half-dozen tiny districts trying to take advantage of that provision. The state Board of Education voted unanimously on Thursday to approve an agreement between the Banks district and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, the first such deal to reach the board. The current deal, nearly two years in the making, allows the district to keep the name Braves. In exchange, it gives up the 'Indian head' image — a Native American man with a partially shaved head, face paint, ear hoop and feathers — and implements a curriculum developed by the Grand Ronde that teaches the history of its people from a tribal perspective. The process highlights the dilemma facing small schools across the U.S. as attention has focused on high-profile battles over mascots such as the Washington Redskins. Minnesota and Wisconsin have banned Native American mascots at school districts for decades, but elsewhere communities have wrestled with the issue for years, said Jennifer Guiliano, a history professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Oregon's statewide approach is unique, and its willingness to allow an exception for districts that collaborate with tribes calls to mind the NCAA's longstanding ban on Native American mascots that don't have tribal buy-in, she said. But even with collaboration, agreements at the high school and college levels can raise questions about the nature of the long-term relationship once a deal is inked, she said. State education officials initially did not want to allow any exceptions to the mascot ban but eventually bowed to pressure from lawmakers last year. At the time, some tribal rights groups were angry at the weakening of the policy that had been one of the toughest in the nation. 'You can have curriculum without exploiting and dehumanizing Native American people,' said Sam Sachs, founder of No Hate Zone, a racial rights advocacy website. 'I think it's great they're having these conversations, but we only got here because there was a threat of taking away their discriminatory, race-based mascots.' The exemption has prompted a state lawmaker to introduce a bill that would ban all Native American mascots, with or without tribal input. Other opponents have threatened lawsuits over racial discrimination in schools. In Banks, nearly all the residents made it clear they didn't want to give up the name Braves — and the tribe was willing to listen. 'It's been the nickname or the mascot for 70-plus years or so and it's a symbol of pride and respect for our community,' said district Superintendent Jeff Leo, who oversees 1,000 students in the K-12 district 25 miles (40.23 kilometers) west of Portland. 'We just didn't say, 'Oh, we're going to keep the name. We looked into it, we read things. We didn't take it lightly at all.' The district's new mascot, designed by the tribe and district with help from Nike, will now be two capital B's aligned back-to-back and surrounded by a zig-zagging line. Viewed horizontally, the B's look like a mountain range and symbolize the town's location at the crossroads of coastal mountains and a fertile valley. For the tribe, getting the district to update its curriculum was critical, said Reyn Leno, Grand Ronde tribal chairman. 'If we can educate people as to what is acceptable and what is not acceptable at a young age, we hope down the road we won't have mascot issues,' he said. 'And at the end of the day, the derogatory images are off the gym floor.' Of the 15 Oregon districts with tribal mascots, eight have either submitted a plan for approval or given notice to state education officials that they are working with a tribe or intend to do so, said Cindy Hunt, manager of the state Education Department's division of government and legal affairs. Four districts opted to change to a non-tribal mascot. In Banks, the agreement came with a price. During the next five years, the district anticipates spending up to $95,000 to erase the Indian head from uniforms, scoreboards, trophy cases and even letterhead, Leo said. The district has already wiped it off the gym floor, he said, and fourth-graders are using the tribe's curriculum. The school also has a new Native Club. The close collaboration clearly impressed state officials Thursday. 'I can only imagine the kind of learning that has taken place at that district and at the tribe,' said board Chairman Charles Martinez Jr. 'It is humbling.' For those in Banks, a deal that lets them stay the Braves is worth it. When the 'Star Spangled Banner' is played at every game, the crowd joins in and tweaks the last stanza — 'and the home of the Braves' — to thunderous applause. 'I just remember at the end of the national anthem, feeling like they're talking about us. It's time for us to go kick some butt now,' said Chris Lyda, who played football and wrestled at the high school before graduating in 1991. 'I think it's still going to end that way. It's still going to be that reverberating 'Braves.'' _____ Follow Gillian Flaccus on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/gflaccus
  • Tulsa police Thursday released video of an incident in which an officer used his patrol car to end a gunfight. Madison Dickson was the suspect in a string of violent crimes that spanned nearly a week when she was spotted in a vehicle near 91st and Harvard last Saturday. She tried to run, and gunfire is heard on the video, which officers say was directed toward them. The officer swerves left as she points the gun at him, then veers right and runs her over as she attempts to flee. Additional videos released to media by TPD indicate an officer also used a Taser on Dickson after she was down, because she still had the gun and wasn’t responding to commands. “She might not be able to, hang on,” one officer says as others are yelling at her to show her hands. EMSA arrived on the scene a few minutes later, but Dickson died from her injuries.
  • After hours of negotiations that featured personal intervention by President Donald Trump, Republican leaders in the Congress were forced to back off a planned vote on a GOP health care bill, unable to find enough votes approve it and send it on to the Senate for further work. While House leaders said votes were possible on Friday, there was no final agreement to vote on, as more conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus refused to get on board with a deal offered by the White House. “We have not gotten enough of our members to get to yes,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chair of the Freedom Caucus. “I am still a no at this time,” Meadows told a crush of reporters. “I am desperately trying to get to yes.” Rep. Mark Meadows: “I am still a no at this time. I am desperately trying to get to yes” https://t.co/cQi0OGdJGY — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 23, 2017 Other Freedom Caucus members said very little as they exited a Congressional hearing room after a two hour meeting on the health bill, leaving Meadows to get out the message. “No comment,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). “Mark’s got everything,” referring to Meadows. “You know I’m not going express the substance of anything that we talked about in there,” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said as reporters trailed him down the hall. Earlier at the White House, there had been optimism after a meeting between Freedom Caucus members and the President. Lengthy standing ovation from the Freedom Caucus when @POTUS walked into the Cabinet Room just now. Big momentum toward #RepealAndReplace. pic.twitter.com/N1FLGAVFMN — Cliff Sims (@CSims45) March 23, 2017 But, there was no deal.
  • Conservative Republicans opposed to the health care reform bill offered by their leadership have forced a delay in a vote on the measure, which was expected to happen Thursday. House GOP leadership announced they will push the vote back about 2:30 Central Time after a flurry of meetings between Republican members of the Freedom Caucus, moderates pushing the plan, and the White House. The delay is seen as a rebuke of the Trump administration, which has brought pressure to bear in an attempt to bring those more conservative members on board. Those Republicans opposed to the bill in its current form generally want deeper cuts in spending on the program. Some have called it “Obamacare Light,” and say it doesn’t offer enough substantial changes to current law. Those in favor of the bill argue it eliminates the mandate, and puts choice back in the hands of consumers. There’s no official announcement on when House Speaker Paul Ryan might try to reschedule a vote.
  • The CEO of a Connecticut-based marketing firm says job applicants must pass what he has dubbed the “snowflake test” before he will hire them.  In an interview with Stuart Varney on the Fox Business Network, Silent Partner Marketing CEO Kyle Reyes defined a snowflake as “somebody who is going to whine and complain and come to the table with nothing but an entitled attitude and an inability to back their perspective.” Some of the questions on the test include a job candidate’s position and beliefs on America, guns, and police. Reyes said he’s not worried about discrimination lawsuits because he believes the test is really just the same kind of personality assessment that companies do routinely in job interviews. He says roughly 60-percent of applicants have not passed his test. Click here to see the whole “Snowflake Test”.
  • A Tulsa parent is speaking out after she says her daughter had a birth control implant embedded into her arm during a trip from school. >> Read more trending news  Miracle Foster says her parental rights were violated. It all started when her 16-year-old daughter attended a Youth Services of Tulsa lecture about sex education at Langston Hughes Academy. After one of the sessions, the teen and other girls reportedly said they wanted to learn more, and the school arranged for Youth Services of Tulsa to pick them up and take them to a clinic. Rodney L. Clark, the school's principal, says he called Foster to get permission to allow her daughter to go on the trip before they left. Foster says that her daughter then received a three-year Norplant implant at the clinic without her parental consent. Representatives from Youth Services of Tulsa say they do not have to tell a parent about any contraceptives given to minors. Title X federal guidelines allows for teens as young as 12 to receive various forms of contraceptives without a parent's consent. They also said they merely inform and transport teens to the clinics of their choice. They are not involved in the conversations between the teens and the physicians at theses clinics. Foster told FOX23 that she feels that she and her daughter should have had the opportunity to discuss what's best for her.  Clark released a statement Wednesday:  'This was not a field trip. Youth Services of Tulsa does an annual in-service on Sex Education. They offer students an opportunity to contact them on their own for more information. The parent gave her child permission to leave the school. Under Title X once young people are at the clinic and are of reproductive age, they can make decisions on their own without parental consent. As you can understand this situation involves a minor and we do not release information about students. Nevertheless, the student was well within their rights of Title X which is a federal guideline that provides reduced cost family planning services to persons of all reproductive age.