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National News

    Democrat Sherrod Brown brought a pro-worker message Saturday to Las Vegas casino workers who are members of what's considered Nevada's most powerful labor union, declaring that if he decides to run for president, he will be 'the most pro-union candidate.' Brown, a U.S. senator from Ohio, said he's going to make a decision about 2020 in the next month. He addressed workers in the union hall of the Culinary Union as he kicked off a trip to the early Western caucus state, which is seen as a key test of a candidate's appeal to diverse demographics. Brown is the first potential or announced 2020 candidate to hold an event this year with the housekeepers, bartenders and others in the heavily Latino union, though other contenders have had private meetings with union leaders in recent months. The Culinary Union, which represents about 57,000 workers in casino-hotels in Las Vegas and Reno, helped Nevada Democrats deliver the state for Hillary Clinton in 2016. The union is so far staying neutral on the crowded Democratic primary field, but D. Taylor, the former Culinary Union president and current president of the union's national affiliate Unite Here, declared Brown to be 'a great friend of workers' and noted that Brown drives a car and wears a suit made by union workers in Ohio. Brown, who is testing the waters in early voting states with his 'Dignity of Work' tour, said his decision on whether to run is a personal one that he's still making while consulting with family. He said if he runs, he'll 'be the most pro-union, pro-worker candidate in the group and I will know how to stand up to this president of the United States, President Trump, who betrays workers every day.' Chad Neanover, a Culinary Union member and cook at the Margaritaville casino-restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip, said he isn't leaning toward backing any candidate yet but wants to hear from them all about what they can offer working people, including making sure health care is affordable and accessible for all and that good jobs are available. 'I just want to hear what everyone has to say because when it comes time to go knocking on doors to get people out to vote, I want to believe in the candidate that's chosen,' Neanover said. 'With what we've shown in the last eight years as a political powerhouse here in Nevada, and Unite Here in the United States, I think it's very important that they show up and let us hear what they have to say.' Brown planned to meet with Nevada Democrats at a brewery in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson later Saturday and participate in a talk in Las Vegas on wages and prescription drug costs.
  • The Latest on Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan's visit to the Southwest border (all times local): 6:50 p.m. Top defense officials have toured sections of the U.S.-Mexico border to see how the military could reinforce efforts to block drug smuggling and other illegal activity. The Pentagon is weighing the diversion of billions of dollars for President Donald Trump's border wall. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, accompanied by the Joint Chiefs chairman, Gen. Joseph Dunford, was visiting a border site near El Paso, Texas Saturday, called Monument Site 3 where a stretch of 18-foot border wall stands atop a huge landfill. Shanahan and Dunford got an up-close look at U.S. Border Patrol vehicles used for surveillance. The Department of Homeland Security has requested Pentagon help in operating about 150 of the vehicle-mounted surveillance cameras, which can see as far as eight miles away. ___ 11:16 a.m. The Pentagon's acting chief is visiting the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas as he considers how to use emergency powers invoked by President Donald Trump to help build a border wall. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan arrived Saturday in El Paso with Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Shanahan plans to get a firsthand view of areas along the border, west of El Paso, where military troops are assisting U.S. Customs and Border Protection with barrier replacement work. The sites are along known drug smuggling corridors. It's Shanahan's first visit to the border since taking over at the Pentagon on Jan. 1 after Jim Mattis resigned as defense secretary in protest of Trump's policies.
  • At just 2 days old, a little girl tested positive for cocaine. News Center 7’s Kate Bartley obtained a report from the Dayton Police Department showing Montgomery County Children Services took custody of the newborn right from a hospital nursery. >> Read more trending news  Caseworkers called police Monday because they needed an officer’s help taking custody of the baby, born Saturday, who tested positive for cocaine. The report noted the newborn’s mother also tested positive for cocaine. The Public Children Services Association of Ohio says cases like this are becoming more common. An Ohio map shows the percentage of children pulled from homes where parents are abusing drugs. Preble County is the highest, with drugs affecting 65 percent of removal cases. The mother whose baby tested positive for cocaine at Miami Valley Hospital doesn’t face any charges. Earlier this month, Bartley reported how Montgomery County Children Services has so many children in foster care, it is sending them to at least four other states. “Here’s our war. Here’s our emergency. Here’s our crisis,” said Helen Jones-Kelley, who runs Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services. It’s getting a lot more expensive to take care of children in the system, too. The cost of foster placements in Ohio went up $100 million over the last five years, and by next year, it’s expected to increase another 12 percent to $414 million. She said many of these children have experienced major trauma, such as being prostituted for drugs or finding their parents overdosed. “We are succeeding in bring the number of overdoses down and saving lives, certainly. But we’re not succeeding in terms of the trauma, the carnage that’s left when this wrecks a family’s life,” Jones-Kelley said.
  • A flight instructor has died after a plane crashed into a home in Winter Haven, Florida, on Saturday, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. RELATED: Amazon cargo plane crashes in Texas, 3 dead Lakeland flight instructor James Wagner, 64, was identified by deputies as the victim who died in the crash. Deputies said a 17-year-old girl was in a bedroom in the house and was pinned under the wreckage after the crash. She was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The crash occurred just after the aircraft took off from the Winter Haven Regional Airport around 12:48 p.m., deputies said. The home that was damaged is on 21st Street Northwest, which runs along the east side of the airport. Several people were inside the home during the crash, deputies said. Investigators said the plane had two people inside during the crash.  Deputies did not say if Wagner was the one who was flying during the crash. A trainee pilot inside the aircraft survived the crash and even walked out of the wreckage after the incident, deputies said.
  • A 31-year-old man was arrested Friday in connection with the fatal shooting of his grandfather, boxing icon Lucious 'Lou' Harris, at a home near Ocoee. >> Read more trending news  Deputies said Harris was shot shortly before 7:15 a.m. in the Lake Florence subdivision near Good Homes Road. Relatives confirmed the victim was Harris. Deputies said they arrested his grandson, Lucien Harris, in connection with the shooting. 'My father was, like, an icon in the boxing world,' said Steve Harris, the suspect's uncle. 'Everybody knew him -- all across the world.' He said he and his family almost expected something bad to happen because Lucien Harris had untreated mental health issues. 'It's not a complete surprise. Not to me,' Steve Harris said. 'It could have been me. It could have been my other brother in the car, my sister. We all knew something was going to happen eventually, but not my dad.' Lou Harris owned Harris Boxing on Ivey Lane in Orlando and trained hundreds of fighters, including his grandson, relatives said. 'He took people from the street and took them right to the Olympics -- and (they won) gold medals, bronze medals. He did it all,' Steve Harris said of his father. He said Lucien Harris was living with his grandfather at his Florence Vista Boulevard home. He said Lucien Harris was once a boxer, too, but was not successful and was resentful and jealous because of it. Records said Lucien Harris was arrested in October after he was accused of threatening to kill his uncle with a hammer and knife. His uncle told investigators at the time that Lucien Harris has 'schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and does not take medications for his issues,' records said. Lucien Harris was not prosecuted in that case. Records said his arrest history dates back to 2004, when he was arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. Since then, he has also been arrested on charges of possessing a gun as a convicted felon, armed burglary and grand theft. 'His grandson had issues for many years,' Steve Harris said. 'He did time at an early age.' Lucien Harris was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. 
  • Doris Tapia never imagined that she would get to watch the Oscars at a party in Los Angeles, exchanging the sneakers she wears when she takes care of children in New York for a pair of high heel shoes. The Peruvian nanny is among dozens of domestic workers who will be honored Sunday as the 'heroes of our homes' in a red carpet event organized by the National Domestic Workers Alliance. The event also has the support of 'Roma' director Alfonso Cuarón, activist Tarana Burke and actresses Diane Guerrero, Eva Longoria and Olga Segura. 'It is a privilege to be part of this event. I could have never imagined I would be stepping in a place like this,' Tapia said in Spanish, shortly before her trip to Hollywood. 'And yesterday trying our dresses on! It was such a lovely experience of camaraderie,' she added later about the garments donated by Rent the Runway. The Mexican movie 'Roma' is nominated for 10 Academy Awards and stars Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, a domestic worker for a Mexico City middle-class family in the turbulent early 1970s. It has given domestic workers global visibility and started a conversation about the importance of their job after years of being poorly paid and underappreciated. 'There are 2 million women who do this work and are not protected by our labor laws,' said Ai-jen Poo, executive director at the alliance, an organization founded in 2007 that promotes the rights of domestic workers in the Unites States. 'They are taking care of our families, but they can't take care of their own families doing this work,' she said. 'We think this is a huge opportunity to expand our support for making these jobs dignified jobs and for valuing' the workers. Inspired by his childhood, Cuarón has dedicated 'Roma' to his nanny Libo. Since its August debut at the Venice Film Festival, where it earned the Golden Lion, it has received accolades and awards at the Golden Globes and the British film academy's BAFTAs, among others. Meanwhile, the director has advocated for domestic workers' rights and has spoken against racial discrimination in Mexico, where the success of Aparicio — a newcomer of indigenous origin and the daughter of a domestic worker — has generated derogatory remarks. Cuarón recently made a public service announcement calling on employers of domestic workers to 'pay fairly, set clear expectations, and provide paid time off.' He also invited support of Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, a legislative effort to provide rights and protection denied for decades, as well as use of Alia (https://www.myalia.org/,) a benefits platform for housecleaners created by the alliance. 'If it wasn't for the work that domestic workers were doing in homes ... (other) people wouldn't be able to go do other jobs,' said Monica Ramirez, gender justice campaign director for the alliance. On Sunday, the organization will be celebrating 'Roma' as a 'beautiful movie' and because of its social impact. Poo noted that the film made the experience and work of Cleo visible and also humanized her. 'It reminds us that women who do this work are women — they are mothers, they are friends, they are daughters,' she said. 'She's a whole human being, and those stories are so invisible in our popular culture. So we celebrate the film.' Tapia, who moved to the U.S. almost two decades ago, had attended the premiere of 'Roma' at the Lincoln Center in New York, where 'there was no shortage of tears,' she said. She expects to see the film win multiple Academy Awards. 'But in fact, to me it is already a champion,' she said enthusiastically. ___ Follow Sigal Ratner-Arias on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/sigalratner . ___ Online: https://www.www.domesticworkers.org/
  • Massachusetts State Police say two people died after a small plane crashed and caught fire at Mansfield Municipal Airport. Police say the crash occurred shortly after 12:30 p.m. Saturday. State police and the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate, and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause. An NTSB spokesman says an investigator will be on the site early Sunday to examine the aircraft and document the scene. The FAA says the plane was a Cessna 172. The airport is about 45 miles south of Boston. NTSB's aviation accident database shows there two non-fatal incidents at the airport in 2011 involving an experimental plane that veered off the runway and in 2004 involving a student pilot who taxied the plane to a closed runway.
  • A Boeing 767 cargo jetliner heading to Houston with three people aboard disintegrated after crashing Saturday into a bay east of the city, according to a Texas sheriff. Witnesses told emergency personnel that the twin-engine plane 'went in nose first,' leaving a debris field three-quarters of a mile long in Trinity Bay, Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said. 'It's probably a crash that nobody would survive,' he said, referring to the scene as 'total devastation.' The cargo plane made a steep descent shortly before 12:45 p.m. from 6,525 feet to 3,025 feet in 30 seconds, according to tracking data from FlightAware.com Witnesses said they heard the plane's engines surging and that the craft turned sharply before falling into a nosedive, Hawthorne said. Aerial footage shows emergency personnel walking along a spit of marshland flecked by debris that extends into the water. Hawthorne told the Houston Chronicle late Saturday afternoon that police had found human remains at the site of the crash. The sheriff said recovering pieces of the plane and its black box containing flight data records will be difficult in muddy marshland that extends to about 5 feet deep in the area. Air boats are needed to access the area. The plane had departed from Miami and was likely only minutes away from landing at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an alert after officials lost radar and radio contact with Atlas Air Flight 3591 when it was about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of the airport, FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said. Air traffic controllers in Houston tried at least twice to contact but the plane but received no response. After losing contact, then they asked a United Airlines pilot if he had seen 'ground contact' — wreckage — to his right or behind him, according to recordings of the conversation. 'That's a negative,' he said. They also asked a Mesa Airlines pilot: 'See if you can make ground contact. We are looking for a lost aircraft ... it's a heavy Boeing 767,' meaning it's a big, two-aisle plane. 'No ground contact from here,' the Mesa pilot said. The Coast Guard dispatched boats and at least one helicopter to assist in the search for survivors. A dive team with the Texas Department of Public Safety will be tasked with finding the black box, Hawthorne said. Trinity Bay is just north of Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. FAA investigators are traveling to the scene as are authorities with the National Transportation Safety Board, which will lead the investigation. ___ Associated Press writer David Koenig contributed to this report.
  • A large cargo plane crashed Saturday in Texas, killing all three people on board, officials said.  >> Read more trending news  Federal Aviation Administration officials said the twin-engine Boeing 767 plane crashed around 12:45 p.m. about 3 miles west of the Chambers County Airport, KHOU reported. The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office said no one survived, WPLG reported.  The plane, operated by Atlas Air, departed from Miami and was headed to George Bush International Airport. Atlas Air operates 20 cargo planes for Amazon. The Amazon Prime Air branded aircraft was converted from a passenger to cargo plane in 2016, Airways Magazine reported. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 
  • U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a group of San Francisco Bay Area students squared off over climate change in a sometimes tense exchange captured on video and widely shared on social media. The 15-minute video of the impromptu Friday meeting captures the students and Feinstein debating the merits of the Green New Deal, an ambitious Democrat plan to shift the U.S. economy from fossil fuels to renewable sources such as wind and solar power. The students passionately urged the California Democrat to support the legislation. But Feinstein, a 27-year veteran of the Senate, argued that the legislation had no chance of passing the Republican-controlled chamber. 'That resolution will not pass the Senate, and you can take that back to whoever sent you here and tell them,' Feinstein responded after the students insisted the legislation was badly needed. 'I've been in the Senate for over a quarter of a century and I know what can pass and I know what can't pass.' Republicans have mocked the Green New Deal as a progressive pipedream that would drive the economy off a cliff and lead to a huge tax increase, calling it evidence of the creep of socialism in the Democratic party. Instead, Feinstein said she supported an alternate plan. The students are members of Sunrise Movement, an activist group that encourages children to combat climate change. Sunrise Movement's Bay Area leader Morissa Zuckerman posted the debate on the group's Facebook page. A few hours later, edited versions were being shared widely across social media platforms. Zuckerman said Saturday the group didn't have an appointment with Feinstein. Zuckerman said the group had earlier sought a meeting with Feinstein, but the senator's staff said she was unavailable. It was the students' decision to call on Feinstein's San Francisco office on Friday, Zuckerman said . In the video, Zuckerman says, 'If this doesn't get turned around in 10 years, you're looking at the faces of the people who are going to be living with the consequences.' Feinstein countered that she understands the consequences of climate change. 'I've been doing this for 30 years. I know what I'm doing,' Feinstein said. 'You come in here and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don't respond to that.' Later Friday, Feinstein issued a statement calling the debate a 'spirited discussion' and said 'I want the children to know they were heard loud and clear.' Feinstein's spokesman Adam Russell declined further comment Saturday.
  • A Great Dane that died in 1990 helped conceive a litter of puppies born on Valentine’s Day, KHOU reported. >> Read more trending news  Topper was a Great Dane born in 1980. His owner, Marilyn Herdejurgen, had the dog’s semen frozen 34 years ago, the television station reported. Topper died in 1990. It was used to impregnate Herdejurgen’s latest Great Dane, 3-year-old Rubix, KHOU reported. The procedure is not new, but the long gap between the father’s death and the conception is unusual. “I’m not sure, but that’s what they’re saying that these are the oldest puppies that have been produced from the frozen semen,” Herdejurgen told the television station. “It’s strange … that it’s been so long ago, and here these puppies are from him (Topper). It’s pretty exciting. This is, like I said, I think a little miracle.”
  • U.S. Attorney Trent Shores announced at a news conference in Tulsa on Thursday that he has charged 18 members and associates of the Universal Aryan Brotherhood. “The Universal Aryan Brotherhood operated a lucrative criminal organization from within Oklahoma’s prison walls using contraband cell phones,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. The indictment alleges that the UAB gang members trafficked meth and killed rivals. “The tools of their trade were hate, fear, affliction, and violence. Prosecutors say nine people were murdered as part of the UAB’s racketeering operations  Four suspects were apprehended Monday and Tuesday in Tulsa, while seven others have been transferred from Oklahoma Department of Corrections at McAlester.  The remainder have been arrested or are in the custody of Department of Corrections or Bureau of Prisons facilities.  
  • Police in Chicago arrested “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett early Thursday on suspicion of lying to authorities when he reported last month that he had been assaulted early on Jan. 29 by a pair of men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him. At a news conference Thursday, police said Smollett sent himself a threatening letter and later paid two brothers to attack him in an effort to further his career. “This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said. President Donald Trump responded on Twitter Thursday morning to reports that police had arrested Smollett on suspicion of filing a false police report. “What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!?” the president wrote. Smollett told police he was attacked early on Jan. 29 by a pair of white men who yelled that he was in “MAGA country” -- an apparent reference to Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make American Great Again” -- and that they hit him in the face, poured an “unknown substance” on him and wrapped a rope around his neck, The Associated Press reported. Police arrested Smollett early Thursday on a charge of disorderly conduct after officers said they uncovered evidence he orchestrated the attack to boost his career. Police said Thursday that a pair of brothers who were arrested and later released in connection to the Jan. 29 incident confessed to authorities that they had been paid by Smollett to fake an attack on him. “They punched him a little bit, but as far as we can tell, the scratches and bruises that he had on his  face were self-inflicted,” police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a news conference. According to officials, Smollett paid the brothers $3,500 to stage the attack, with another $500 promised later. Johnson said officers had by Thursday obtained a copy of the check Smollett paid to the men. “One of the brothers worked on ‘Empire,’ so they had a relationship, an association,” Johnson said. “He probably knew that he needed somebody with bulk. ... (The brothers) did it because of the financial aspect of it.” Police said the brothers confessed to their roles in the attack in the 47th hour of their 48-hour holds after police arrested them last week. On Thursday, officers called them “victims,” and not offenders in the attack. Johnson said the brothers are cooperating witnesses and that, “Mr. Smollett is the one who orchestrated this crime.” “I think the fact that this was staged and that Jussie hired these two guys to stage this ... put them in a really tough party as well, to the point where now they were arrested for a hate crime,” Detective Commander Edward Wodnicki said Thursday. “Only because of just the incredible work by the entire team did we get to the point where we were able to get the truth from them.” Police said Thursday that Smollett sent himself a threatening, homophobic letter in the days before he reported he was attacked by a pair of assailants in downtown Chicago. “This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said. “Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism” to boost his career, Johnson said. “We do not, nor will we ever tolerate hate in this city.” Police are expected to provide more information in the case at a news conference scheduled for 9 a.m. local time (10 a.m. EST) Thursday. Smollett turned himself in to Chicago police on a charge of felony disorderly conduct in falsifying a police report, The Associated Press is reporting. Smollett’s Chicago attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, released a statement following the indictment: “Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.” The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Jussie Smollett has been charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report on Jan.29. The charge is a Class 4 felony that carries a possible prison sentence of 1-3 years, but he could also receive probation. The bond hearing has been set for 1:30pm Thursday according to WLS-TV. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that detectives will make contact with his attorneys and negotiate a surrender for his arrest. “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is now considered a suspect and detectives are presenting case to grand jury according to the Chief Communications Officer for Chicago Police Department. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted the news on Wednesday after Smollett’s attorneys met with prosecutors and detectives. A police official said lawyers for Jussie Smollett are meeting with prosecutors and police investigators about the reported attack on the “Empire” actor.  Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Associated Press the meeting was taking place Wednesday afternoon. He declined to confirm reports that subpoenas had been issued for Smollett’s phone and bank records. Officials with 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment on Wednesday denied reports Smollett was being written out of “Empire” in a statement released to WBBM-TV. “Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” the statement said. The comment followed reports that Smollett's role on the show was being slashed amid investigations into the actor's report that he was attacked in Chicago last month. Authorities continue to investigate. Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself Monday from the investigation into the reported attack against Smollett, according to WMAQ-TV. In a statement emailed to the station, a spokesperson for Foxx’s office said First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats would instead serve as acting state’s attorney in the case. “Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case,” the statement said, according to WMAQ-TV. No further information was provided on the reason behind for the recusal. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday that authorities determined a tip they were investigating about a possible sighting of Smollett and the brothers who were previously suspected in the attack were unfounded. “It was not supported by video evidence obtained by detectives,” Guglielmi said. Original report: Authorities are investigating a tip that Smollett was seen in an elevator in his apartment building with two men who have since been arrested on suspicion of carrying out the attack in downtown Chicago, and were subsequently released without charges, police told The Associated Press. The men, who were identified by attorney Gloria Schmidt as brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, were released without charges Friday after police said new evidence surfaced in the case, according to CNN and police.  >> 'I will only stand for love': 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett performs in California after attack Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told The Associated Press a person who lives in the building or who was visiting someone there reported seeing the Osundairo brothers with Smollett on the night he was attacked. Guglielmi told the AP that as of Tuesday, officers had yet to confirm the account. Smollett told officers he was attacked around 2 a.m. Jan. 29, as he was walking downtown near the Chicago River. He said two men yelled that he was in “MAGA country” -- an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make American Great Again” -- and that they hit him in the face, poured an “unknown substance” on him and wrapped a rope around his neck, The Associated Press reported. >> Jussie Smollett's attorneys say he will not meet with investigators, despite reports Guglielmi told the AP that Smollett still had a rope around his neck when officers first made contact with him after the alleged attack. Last week, police announced that the 'investigation had shifted' following interviews with the brothers and their release from custody without charges. Police have requested another interview with Smollett. They have declined to comment on reports that the attack was a hoax, a claim Smollett’s attorneys have denied. 'Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,' Smollett’s attorneys said in a statement late Saturday. Authorities continue to investigate. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A soldier from Mississippi had a heartwarming and memorable homecoming Wednesday.  Sgt. Joshua Stokes, of the Mississippi National Guard, surprised his 8-year-old daughter in her classroom after a yearlong tour overseas. Shelby Stokes had no idea what was coming. As far as she knew, her dad had five more weeks of deployment in Kuwait.  The separation was tough for the whole family, but WHBQ-TV was there as Stokes gave his daughter the surprise of a lifetime at DeSoto Central Primary School in Mississippi.  Classmates, teachers and reporters looked on as Stokes approached Shelby from behind and tapped her on the shoulder. She thought she was getting in trouble, but then she quickly realized her father had come home. “I thought it was a teacher. But it wasn’t. It was Daddy,” Shelby said. Shelby jumped into her father’s arms, and the two embraced.  “I’m just happy to see my girl,” Stokes said.  The soldier and his family are heading for some long-overdue time at home. 
  • Tulsa County deputies were serving a warrant near Apache and M.L.K Jr. Blvd. when the suspect took off Wednesday morning. Investigators say the suspect, John McIntosh, was at work when he assaulted a deputy and drove to his home near Hamilton Elementary School. McIntosh then took off again and climbed the roof of the school near Virgin and Sheridan. Hamilton Elementary and Tulsa MET Junior & Senior High School were put on lockdown. Deputies were eventually able to get McIntosh off the roof and place him under arrest.

Washington Insider

  • Democrats in the House of Representatives unveiled their one page plan on Friday to overturn President Donald Trump's bid to funnel more money to a border wall by declaring a national emergency, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters said the House would vote next Tuesday to block the President's executive actions on funding for the wall. 'Members of Congress all swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution,' the Speaker said. 'The President’s decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated,' Pelosi wrote earlier this week in a letter to fellow Democrats. Democrats said they already have more than a majority of members signed on to the one page resolution to reject the Trump national emergency. 'We hope that enough of our normal Republican enablers will join us to stand up for the Constitution,' said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX). 'If not, we’re ready to turn to the courthouse.' As of Friday, only one Republican in the House had signed on to the plan to reject the President’s national emergency, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI). “Trump’s absurd declaration of a “national emergency” undercuts the Constitution,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), as approval in the House would send the plan to the Senate. Under special rules governing this process, GOP leaders would not be able to ignore the House action, as a vote must take place on the resolution. But even if it passes in the Senate, a veto is likely by President Trump, and at this point - it seems unlikely that Democrats could muster enough GOP votes for a two-thirds supermajority to override a veto.
  • Federal prosecutors in California unveiled criminal charges on Thursday against an IRS investigator for leaking suspicious financial reports associated with President Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, allegedly giving banking information on Cohen to lawyer Michael Avenatti, who was then locked in a legal fight with the President over hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. An investigative analyst for the IRS Criminal Investigative Division in San Francisco, John Fry is alleged to have searched files for 'Suspicious Activity Reports' about Cohen, giving the information to Avenatti, who then tweeted out the material on May 8, 2018. The criminal complaint charges that the information Fry released was later published by the Washington Post on May 8, and then by the New Yorker on May 16. It was not immediately clear how Fry and Avenatti knew each other. The information which was released centered on a series of banking transactions involving Cohen - which had been flagged by federal officials - totaling over $6 million, and included questions about possible 'fraudulent and illegal financial transactions' by Cohen in 'Singapore, Hungary, Malaysia, Canada, Taiwan, Kenya, and Israel.' The feds allege that Avenatti then funneled the information to the Washington Post; a few days later, Fry and 'Reporter-1' - Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker - exchanged a series of WhatsApp messages about the same banking information. In the days that followed, Avenatti tried to create more media interest in the story by tweeting about the information. 'Why is no media outlet doing a story on the refusal of the Treasury Department to release to the public the 3 Suspicious Activity Reports that were filed concerning Essential Consultants, LLC's bank account?' Avenatti tweeted on May 9, 2018. After the release of the Fry charges on Thursday, Avenatti denied wrongdoing. 'Neither I nor R. Farrow (Reporter-1) did anything wrong or illegal with the financial info relating to Cohen’s crimes,' Avenatti said on Twitter in a post on Thursday evening, as he claimed that Fry had not violated the Bank Secrecy Act by disclosing the SAR information. Prosecutors said if Fry was convicted, he could face a maximum of five years in prison, and a fine of $250,000. This is the second time charges have been brought in the past year over leaks of bank transaction information about people with links to President Trump. In October of 2018, charges were filed against an official in the Treasury Department for illegally leaking financial information about bank transactions by certain people involved in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Those disclosures by Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a senior official in the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, pertained to 'suspicious transactions' related to Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, Russian diplomatic accounts, and other matters. 'At the time of EDWARDS’s arrest, she was in possession of a flash drive appearing to be the flash drive on which she saved the unlawfully disclosed SARs, and a cellphone containing numerous communications over an encrypted application in which she transmitted SARs and other sensitive government information to Reporter-1,' the Justice Department said at the time. That 'Reporter-1' was also Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker.
  • After arguing for months that allegations of election fraud had nothing to do with his disputed victory in a race for Congress in North Carolina, Republican Mark Harris on Thursday called for a new election, a day after his son had testified that he had warned his father not to employ a local political operative because of concerns about possible illegal voting activities. An hour later, the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted unanimously to do exactly that, ordering a new election for the Ninth Congressional District. The developments came on  the fourth day of a hearing before the board -  Harris testified in the morning, but instead of resuming that testimony in the afternoon, he told board members a new election was needed in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District. 'I believe a new election should be called,' Harris said. 'It has become clear to me that the public's confidence in the Ninth District seat general election has been undermined.' Harris refused to answer questions from reporters as he left the hearing room. The call for a new election came after board members said the Harris campaign had withheld documents from investigators, and in the wake of damning testimony from Harris' own son - a federal prosecutor - who said Wednesday that he had specifically warned his father not to employ Leslie McCrae Dowless to run an absentee ballot operation for his election. 'We support our candidates decision in this matter,' said Dallas Woodhouse, the head of the North Carolina Republican Party.  It was an about face for Woodhouse, who had sternly defended Harris for months, as Republicans said Harris should have been declared the winner, and sent to Congress. 'We are dealing with a limited number of ballots that are nowhere close to bringing the election result into question,' Woodhouse said just two days ago. 'Perhaps we should let @MarkHarrisNC9‘s team present their side of the case first,' Woodhouse tweeted just an hour before Harris called for a new election. It wasn't immediately clear if Harris would try to run in any new election. Harris won by 905 votes over Democrat Dan McCready, but in the days after the election, questions were raised about odd absentee ballot results in Bladen County, North Carolina, which favored Harris in a variety of abnormal ways. Evidence surfaced of a questionable absentee ballot operation run by Leslie McCrae Dowless, who was employed by a political firm allied with Harris. Dowless refused to testify at the state elections board hearing.
  • Recovering from recent shoulder surgery, and with plans to testify before at least three Congressional committees, Michael Cohen was granted an extra sixty days by a federal judge to report to prison to serve his three year sentence for campaign finance violations and lying to Congress in a case that has drawn the personal ire of President Donald Trump. 'Given Mr. Cohen's recent surgery and his health and recovery needs, at this time Defendant requests an extension of his reporting date for sixty (60) days,' lawyers for Cohen wrote in a request to Judge William H. Pauley, III, who approved it on Wednesday morning. 'Mr. Cohen also anticipates being called to testify before three (3) Congressional committees at the end of the month,' the letter continued - no dates have yet been set for that testimony, which is expected to occur before the House and Senate intelligence committees, along with the House Oversight Committee. On Wednesday night, Democrats set the first public hearing for Cohen next Wednesday, before the House Oversight Committee. Cohen plead guilty last year to charges in two different criminal matters - first, lying to Congress about the extent of contacts during 2016 between the Trump Organization and developers in Russia looking to build a Trump Tower Moscow, and second, over campaign finance violations surrounding hush money payments made to two women before the elections, to keep them quiet about their affairs with Mr. Trump. Cohen told a federal judge that he paid money to two women at the direction of a specific candidate for federal office, and coordinated “with one or more members of the campaign.” That person was referred to only as 'Individual-1,' which from the court documents was obviously President Trump. With testimony still ahead in Congress by Cohen - GOP lawmakers who have steadfastly defended the President in the Russia investigation - have already started to attack Cohen. “When Cohen appears before our Committee, we can only assume that he will continue his pattern of deceit and perjury,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), in a letter to the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. A day after his Oversight testimony, Cohen will appear before the House Intelligence Committee for a closed door session. President Trump has alternately denied wrongdoing in his work with Cohen, and attacked his former lawyer as a ‘rat.’ “I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,” the President tweeted last year.
  • In a historic first from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Justices ruled unanimously on Wednesday that the Eighth Amendment ban on excessive fines does apply to state and local governments, ruling in favor of an Indiana man who had his expensive car seized by police after he was arrested for a small amount illegal drugs. Writing for the High Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said 'the protection against excessive fines guards against abuses of government’s punitive or criminal law-enforcement authority' found in the Eighth Amendment. Originally, the Bill of Rights was intended only to be applied to the federal government - but over time, the courts have ruled that it also applies to the states, and this was the first time the U.S. Supreme Court took that step when it comes to the issue of police and civil seizures. “For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history,' Ginsburg wrote. 'Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties.' At issue was a Land Rover SUV that Tyson Timbs had purchased before his arrest, with money from an insurance policy after the death of his father. Under Indiana guidelines, the maximum monetary fine which could be levied against Timbs for his crime of dealing in a controlled substance was $10,000 - but the car was worth more than four times that amount. Reaction was swift in favor of the ruling, as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund labeled it, “A huge victory for criminal justice reform.”