ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
30°
Mostly Cloudy
H 40° L 26°
  • clear-night
    30°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 40° L 26°
  • cloudy-day
    41°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Cloudy. H 40° L 26°
  • cloudy-day
    31°
    Evening
    Cloudy. H 42° L 17°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

National News

    The man Florida authorities said opened fire at a SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida, on Wednesday, killing at least five people, was arrested at the scene and taken into custody. >> Read more trending news  He was identified as 21-year-old Zephen Xaver. So far there’s little information about him or a motive for the attack. Here’s what we know so far about the suspect: -Xaver lives in Sebring, which is about 80 miles south of Orlando. - He is a former Florida Department of Corrections officer. Xaver was hired as a prison guard in November 2018 at the Avon Park Correctional Institution and resigned in early January, according to The Washington Post. “He had no discipline while employed with the department,” Florida Corrections Department spokesman Patrick Manderfield said, the Post reported. -He moved to Florida from Plymouth, Indiana, according to news reports, but it’s unclear exactly when he moved to Sebring.  >> Related: 5 people killed when gunman opens fire in Florida bank -Xaver kept a low profile on social media. A Facebook page he apparently started while living in Indiana showed he had nine friends and a single photo of himself. The page also had just two posts, both from 2016, and one of them was an image of the grim reaper. That page has since been taken down. - When he was taken into custody, he appeared to be wearing a T-shirt that depicted the Four Housemen of the Apocalypse. -It’s unclear what kinds of guns Xaver allegedly used in shooting or how he got them.
  • Former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who spearheaded the 1990s investigation into President Bill Clinton, urged public trust in the checks and balances established for holding presidential administrations accountable, saying Wednesday that the system remains widely underappreciated. Starr's comments came ahead of a public lecture he delivered at the University of New Mexico School of Law. In his talk, he detailed more than a century of investigations involving the executive branch that have included the Watergate scandal, Starr's own four-year Whitewater probe and special counsel Robert Mueller's look now into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia. The lecture was titled 'Investigating the President, Now and Then,' with Starr — who remains a controversial figure — saying every investigation in the country's history has been politicized, and suggesting that the divided views of Mueller's probe are nothing new. 'Investigations will be targeted with the charge of being politicized. But it doesn't mean that it's so,' Kenn said in an interview with The Associated Press. Two decades ago, Starr presented a report to Congress that that led to Clinton's impeachment by the House on accusations the former president lied under oath and obstructed justice. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate. Starr's lecture at UNM was originally expected to take place in October, before the law school postponed it. The university cited timing as a reason for postponing the talk. In selecting Starr for the lecture, the law school cited his decades-long legal career, which has included stints as a U.S. solicitor general and federal circuit court judge in Washington, D.C. He also is a former president and chancellor of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he still lives. He left Baylor in 2016 amid a scandal over the school's handling of sexual assault accusations against football players. Starr said his resignation was the result of the university's board of regents seeking to place the school under new leadership following the scandal, not because he was accused of hiding or failing to act on information. Starr said he left the post with a clear conscience.
  • St. Bernards are known as a hearty breed originally used as work dogs in the Swiss-Italian Alps and that breeding became apparent this week when an escaped St. Bernand was found alive, albeit not quite so hearty, after 17 days lost outside in the frigid Minnesota cold. >> Read more trending news  Old Lady, as she’s called, was found Monday in Zimmerman after escaping from her foster family on Jan. 4. The 10-year-old dog was discovered in the woods cold and shivering and in “rough shape,” according to the animal rescue group Ruff Start Rescue. “We have had search parties, signs, phone calls, and so many people out looking for this poor girl,” rescue officials said in a Facebook post. >> Trending: Euthanized puppy at shelter doesn’t die; ‘miracle dog’ now heading to new home “It's a miracle! She's safe and back in the care of RSR.” Old Lady is already feeling much better, RSR officials said, and is now heading to her “foster to adopt” home. 
  • A family in Kent, Washington, is demanding answers after they say a fifth-grade student with autism was purposefully locked out of school by the principal. The principal of Springbrook Elementary, Ashli Short, has now been placed on paid administrative leave pending an ongoing investigation, according to the Kent School District. >> Read more trending news Lovine Montgomery says there’s no excuse for what her 11-year-old grandson endured on Dec. 14, 2018. Surveillance cameras from the school captured the fifth-grader wandering outside the school for 15 minutes. It appears staff members are refusing to let him in. One teacher even escorts him back outside when he tries to walk in with other students after recess. After a few minutes, he’s seen walking up to a classroom. The teacher inside goes to the window and closes the blinds in front of him. Montgomery couldn’t believe her eyes. “Every time I watch this video it breaks my heart,” she said. KIRO-TV asked the Kent School District about the case, but officials could not discuss the investigation. However, Montgomery says this was the result of the principal feeling she was in “imminent danger” after escorting her grandson and his classmate back to their special needs classroom, earlier that day. According to family members, the child asked to use the bathroom, which as a special needs student, he should have access to anytime. The principal allegedly refused to let him go, so he tried to pass her. Surveillance video shows the principal take a step back, but it doesn’t appear there’s any immediate threat. The child gives up and goes out the back door. “That’s when she locked him out,” Montgomery said. Video shows the 11-year-old repeatedly trying to open doors to get back inside the school. The child seems calm but confused. At one point, he wanders into the parking lot with no supervision. He even tries to open the front office door, but he’s locked out. The family says the principal made an announcement on the PA system, ordering all staff to keep the child outside. “This is his school where they are supposed to keep him safe,” Montgomery said, “and they intentionally locked him outside.” After about 15 minutes, another student eventually let him back inside the school. The child was suspended for two days, according to family. His mother, Javohn Perry, wants answers about the way her son was treated. “Imagine how my son was feeling? This is bullying,” she said. She is now taking her son out of Springbrook Elementary with the hopes of finding a school that’s more accommodating of his needs. “Our No. 1 priority during this time is the continued excellent education and the safety of all students at Springbrook Elementary,” according to the Kent School District.
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered preparations for a second summit with President Donald Trump, saying he'll 'wait with patience and in good faith' to work toward a common goal, the North's state media reported Thursday. Despite Kim's determination for another meeting with Trump, the two remain at odds over fundamental issues. Experts say a major sticking point is what denuclearization steps Kim should take to move forward stalled nuclear diplomacy and what rewards Trump should provide to push Kim to take those measures. The Korean Central News Agency said Kim received a letter from Trump from a North Korean envoy who met the U.S. president in Washington last week. After meeting with Kim's envoy, top lieutenant Kim Yong Chol, Trump said that he and Kim Jong Un will probably meet around the end of February but did not say exactly when and where the summit would take place. Thursday's report said Kim expressed satisfaction over his envoy's meeting with Trump and spoke highly of the U.S. president for 'expressing his unusual determination and will for the settlement of the issue with a great interest in the second summit.' 'We will wait with patience and in good faith and, together with the U.S., advance step by step toward the goal to be reached by the two countries,' Kim was quoted as saying. Kim also 'set forth tasks and orientation for making good technical preparations for the second (North Korea)-U.S. summit high on the agenda,' according to KCNA. Nuclear diplomacy has been stuck since Kim and Trump met in Singapore last June for their first summit, which ended with a vague denuclearization pledge by Kim that his government had previously used when it called for the withdrawal of the 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea. A summit accord also stated that the United States and North Korea will commit to establishing new relations and join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. The strongest step Kim could promise to take for a second summit may be abandoning his long-range missile program targeting the U.S. mainland. That step, if realized, would trigger a strong backlash from many in South Korea and Japan, which are still placed in the striking distance of North Korea's short- and medium-range missiles. In return, Kim is seeking to get U.N. sanctions on his government lifted and better relations with the United States to try to revive his country's moribund economy to pave the way for a prolonged rule by his family, experts say. North Korea observers say Vietnam is likely a venue for a second summit but there has been no official confirmation. The nuclear diplomacy has replaced fears of war caused by Kim's series of high-profile nuclear and missile tests in 2017 that were followed by his exchanges of crude insults and threats of total destruction with Trump. Kim has so far suspended nuclear and missile tests, dismantled North Korea's nuclear testing site and parts of its rocket engine test facility and took conciliatory measures like releasing American detainees. The North now says it's time for the U.S. to come up with reciprocal measures. But satellite footage indicate North Korea is still running its main nuclear complex, raising a question on why it's producing nuclear materials if it is truly committed to denuclearization. U.S. officials want North Korea to take more significant steps such as a declared accounting of its nuclear weapons program for future inspections. The North has rejected that, saying such a declaration would be like providing coordinates for U.S. military strikes on its nuclear facilities.
  • A former Republican lawmaker in Kentucky who lost his state House seat by one vote in November could get a second chance thanks to the state's GOP majority. A board of nine state lawmakers voted 6-3 Wednesday to recount the votes in Kentucky House District 13. All six Republicans on the panel voted for the recount, while three Democrats voted 'no.' Johnson got 6,318 votes on Election Day, but Democrat Jim Glenn got 6,319 votes. In some states, an outcome that close would trigger an automatic recount. But in Kentucky, a state law says candidates in state legislative races can appeal to the House of Representatives. That means a Republican-dominated chamber could decide if a Democrat can keep his seat. 'The full House is the final arbiter of who wins an election in the House and who is a member of the House,' said Republican state Rep. Jason Petrie, the chairman of the legislative panel that ordered the recount. Democrats condemned the decision, with House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins saying it 'sets a terrible precedent.' Glenn, who attended Wednesday's hearing, said it may cause voters to 'question the election process altogether.' 'I watch Chicago Bears play football. They lost 16 to 15. They didn't replay the game. The game's over,' Glenn said. Johnson contested the election in November. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives appointed a nine-member board to hear the contest. Members were selected by a random drawing of the House clerk, resulting in six Republicans and three Democrats. Republicans control 61 of the 100 House seats. The board will issue a report but the final decision on who gets the seat is up to the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, Glenn has been sworn in and assigned to legislative committees. Kentucky law requires the loser of an election contest to pay for it. Glenn's attorney, Anna Whites, estimated a recount would cost as much as $40,000. Glenn told the board Wednesday he could not afford that. 'My wife died of cancer. I ate through $4,000 a week trying to keep her alive,' Glenn said. Johnson, who didn't attend the hearing, agreed through his lawyer that he would pay for the cost of the recount regardless of the outcome. Previously, Johnson has said the state Republican Party was helping him pay for his legal expenses. 'I don't anticipate that being a problem,' Johnson said by phone Wednesday. 'Making sure a count is 100 percent accurate, I don't know how anyone would have a problem with that,' Johnson also said. The winner could be decided by 17 unopened absentee ballots. On election day, those ballots were unanimously rejected by the Daviess County Board of Elections, which includes Republicans and Democrats. Johnson's lawyer, Cory Skolnick, said those ballots should be opened and counted. Most were rejected because the ballots were missing a signature or mailed in the incorrect envelope. Skolnick noted at least six people voted in person that day without signing the precinct voting roster as required by state law. If those votes were counted, Skolnick said, these absentee ballots should be counted, too. Johnson's lawyer, Anna Whites, rejected that argument. Voting in person is different than voting by mail, she said, because election workers can see you. She said absentee voting rules are needed to prevent fraud. 'This is not, 'Let's count every vote,'' Whites said. 'This is, 'Let's recognize every valid vote has already been counted.'' In ordering the recount, the board did not direct local election officials to open and count the disputed absentee ballots. But those ballots will be reviewed a second time by the local election board. Whether they are counted 'will be their determination,' Petrie said. Complicating the issue, Petrie ordered a Kentucky State Police officer to retrieve the unopened absentee ballots earlier this month from a locked box in the Daviess County Clerk's office. The officer put the ballots in a safe in the House Clerk's office. Whites argued it is impossible to tell if those ballots have not been altered. But the officer who moved the ballots told lawmakers they haven't been opened or changed.
  • New York lawmakers voted Wednesday to extend state financial aid to students brought into the country illegally as children, a key liberal priority that had been blocked by Republicans for years until Democrats won control of the state Senate last fall. The so-called Dream Act will ensure that New York children will have the same access to state loans and grants no matter their legal status as American citizens. To be eligible, a person must have a New York high school diploma or the equivalent or meet the requirements for in-state tuition. California, Texas and four other states already have similar laws on the books. In New York, the measure is expected to cost $27 million annually. A new state commission and state fund would be created to identify private sources of funding for scholarships. The Senate passed the bill Wednesday afternoon, hours before the Assembly followed suit. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo supports the measure and is expected to sign it into law. 'The dreamers are here. They are New Yorkers,' said Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, a Manhattan Democrat who sponsored the bill. 'To the dreamers, I say this: Today we do this for you. The door to higher education is open to all.' The measure was at the top of the list of priorities for Democrats, eager to push through a long list of bills that had been blocked in the Senate until the party won a majority in November. The Democrat-led Assembly had passed the bill eight times only to see it languish in the upper chamber. This year it was renamed the Jose Peralta NY Dream Act to honor the late Sen. Peralta of Queens, the bill's longtime Senate sponsor. Peralta died in November from complications of leukemia. Republicans in both the Senate and Assembly argued the Dream Act was unfair to taxpayers and immigrants who came legally and that people who entered the country illegally shouldn't be given the same level of state support. 'It sends the wrong message to the millions who have worked their way through college and are still dealing with crippling student loan debt,' said Sen. Fred Akshar, R-Broome County. Akshar then added that the Dream Act would 'roll out the red carpet for illegals.' Akshar's word choice didn't please some of his colleagues. 'We are in a moment where words like 'illegal' are offensive,' said Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, a Democrat who represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester County. 'It is antiquated. It is outdated. And most importantly it is unkind.' Similar exchanges played out in both chambers throughout the day, with Democrats accusing Republicans of being cruel to immigrants and Republicans defending their word choice as legally accurate. Students who had pushed for the bill cheered their success after so many years of effort. 'It just opens up so many doors,' said Eugenia Rodriguez, an 18-year-old Long Island woman who was brought here from Argentina when she was less than a year old. Because of the cost, she had to change from going to a four-year college to going to a two-year college for her associates' degree. She will begin classes next week. 'There weren't many options financially for me to go with,' she said. ___ Hajela reported from New York.
  • The early days of the Democratic primary campaign are highlighting the party's diversity as it seeks a nominee who can build a coalition to take on President Donald Trump. Of the more than half dozen Democrats who have either moved toward a campaign or declared their candidacy, four are women: Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. Harris is also African-American. Former Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro, who is Latino, has also joined the race. And on Wednesday, Democrat Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, jumped into the campaign. If he wins the Democratic nomination, he would be the first openly gay presidential nominee from a major political party. He would also be the youngest person ever to become president if he wins the general election. The diversity is likely to expand in the coming weeks as other Democrats enter the race. The field that's taking shape follows a successful midterm election in which Democrats elected a historically diverse class of politicians to Congress, a pattern they'd like to repeat on the presidential scale. Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund, hailed the Democrats' multiple trailblazing candidates for reflecting that 'the central opposition to Trump is around a vision of the country that's inclusive of all Americans.' 'A lot of different people are going to see that they can be part of the Democratic Party' thanks to a field that showcases women, candidates of color, and the first potential LGBT nominee, Tanden said. The primary 'hopefully will bring a lot of people into the process,' she added, recalling the high number of voters who engaged in a 2008 Democratic primary that featured a possible female nominee, Hillary Clinton, and the man who would become the first black president, Barack Obama. The array of backgrounds was on display Wednesday when Buttigieg spoke in personal terms about his marriage. 'The most important thing in my life — my marriage to Chasten — is something that exists by the grace of a single vote on the U.S. Supreme Court,' Buttigieg told reporters. 'So I'm somebody who understands — whether it's through that or whether it's through the fact that I was sent to war on the orders of the president — I understand politics not in terms of who's up and who's down or some of the other things that command the most attention on the news but in terms of everyday impacts on our lives.' Gillibrand has put her identity as a mother at the core of her campaign, and Harris launched her campaign on this week's Martin Luther King holiday, a nod to her historic bid to become the first black woman elected president. A number of high-profile candidates remain on the sidelines, including two who would further bolster the diversity of the 2020 field: Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who is black, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Booker, who's widely expected to join the presidential fray in the coming days, visited the pivotal early-voting state of South Carolina this week for public events honoring King and private meetings with local activists. Klobuchar is set to speak at the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday about her work on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Booker and Harris also are members. The affable Midwesterner recently told MSNBC that her family 'is on board' if she opts to run in 2020, though she's offered little clarity about her timetable to announce a decision. Though Klobuchar would be the fifth major female candidate in the Democratic primary, female candidates shouldn't be shoehorned into a 'narrative' dominated by their identity that excludes the policies they're championing, said Virginia Kase, CEO of the League of Women Voters. Kase pushed back at one popular 2018 narrative in a recent interview, noting that that 'every year is the year of the woman — the reality is that we've always been major contributors' in the electoral process. Rashad Robinson, executive director of the civil rights-focused nonprofit Color of Change, said in an interview that the diversity of the Democratic field is 'a great thing and we should celebrate it,' adding that, 'Our work is always about changing the rules — changing the rules of who can run and who can rule and who can lead is incredibly important.' But in addition to those 'unwritten rules,' Robinson pointed to the urgency of changing the 'written rules' of American life, adding that 'diversity alone does not mean structures and policies and practices that have held so many back will change' overnight. Meanwhile, three white male candidates who could scramble the race — former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke — are still weighing their own presidential plans. Biden addressed a key vulnerability in his potential candidacy this week by publicly airing regret about his support for a 1994 crime bill that's had particularly negative effects on African-American communities, while Sanders built his own new connections to black voters during a trip to South Carolina. As Biden mulls a run for president, his allies have been sending supporters a memo that could serve as a rationale for a campaign. The memo hails Biden's long track record in politics and argues that at a time of 'unprecedented political chaos' during Trump's administration, Biden would offer 'trustworthy, compassionate leadership.' O'Rourke, for his part, continues to gauge his own future amid pundits' criticism about blog posts he published during a recent road trip through multiple states. The 46-year-old Texan acknowledged that he's been 'in and out of a funk' following his departure from Congress after losing a high-profile Senate race in November, sparking questions about the luxury of his indecision given the family wealth and network of passionate backers he can lean on. As the Democratic field is poised to become more diverse, Republicans say Trump will run for re-election based on his record. 'The American people are better off now than they were two years ago because of President Trump's policies,' said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Blair Ellis. 'GDP and wages are up, unemployment has hit record lows, and industries across this country are thriving. These are the credentials the American voters want from their president and President Trump is the only person who can run on these results.' ___ Associated Press writer Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is deflecting speculation that he might run for Senate in Kansas, saying he has a 'very full plate' in his current job. Pompeo was asked Wednesday night in a Fox News television interview about whether he might run next year for the seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. He stopped short of ruling it out but said his 'singular focus' is his work as the nation's top diplomat under President Donald Trump. He acknowledged receiving encouragement from several Republicans to seek the seat. At least seven Republicans have said they're interested in running. Pompeo represented a Wichita-area district in the House for six years before Trump named him CIA director in 2017. He became secretary of state in April 2018.
  • Adam Crapser lives in limbo, a stranger in South Korea, the country of his birth. Forcibly separated from his wife, children and friends in America, he is isolated by language and culture, left alone to navigate this sprawling city he's been expelled to four decades after being sent to adoptive parents in Michigan at age 3. Crapser was abused and abandoned by two different sets of adoptive parents in the United States; then he was deported after run-ins with the law because none of his guardians filed citizenship papers for him. He told The Associated Press in an interview that he has struggled in South Korea with intense anxiety and depression, even as he searches for answers about why his life has become defined by displacement. That search has led him to file a landmark lawsuit against South Korea's government and a private adoption agency, the Seoul-based Holt Children's Services, over what Crapser calls gross negligence regarding the way he and thousands of other Korean children were sent to the United States and other Western nations without accounting for their future citizenship. The 200 million won ($177,000) civil suit, which was described exclusively to the AP ahead of its filing Thursday by Crapser's lawyers in a Seoul court, exposes a dark side of South Korean adoptions, which exploded as a business during the 1970s and '80s when many children were carelessly and unnecessarily removed from their families. The country was then at the height of a so-called 'child export' frenzy pushed by military dictatorships that focused on economic growth and reducing the number of mouths to feed. There was no stringent oversight of adoption agencies, which were infamous for aggressive child-gathering activities and fraudulent paperwork as they competed to send more children abroad at faster speeds. Crapser's case also highlights the shaky legal status of possibly thousands of South Korean adoptees in the United States whose parents may have failed to get them citizenship, potentially leaving them vulnerable to deportation if they acquire a criminal record in a country that's becoming increasingly aggressive about going after undocumented immigrants. Crapser, who was named Shin Seong-hyeok by his Korean mother, is one of five adoptees who the Seoul government confirms now live in South Korea after being deported from the United States. Several of the deportees have reportedly dealt with mental health issues and served jail time in South Korea for assault and other crimes. Activists say the South Korean government has done a poor job tracking deported adoptees and that the real number is almost certainly larger. Officials wouldn't provide details about the other deportees. In South Korea, human rights lawsuits against the government can drag on for years and are rarely successful because the burden of proof in non-criminal cases is entirely on the plaintiffs, who often lack information and resources. Even if Crapser wins, the payout will likely be significantly smaller than what was demanded, considering past cases, according to Soh Rami, one of his lawyers. Crapser said the amount of money is less important than forcing officials from Holt and the government into a courtroom to face questions of accountability. He said the government and Holt are responsible for failing to follow through on his adoption and ensuring that his American parents naturalized him. Because he wasn't a citizen, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials ordered him deported in November 2016 over criminal convictions, including unlawful possession of a firearm and assault. His lawsuit also attempts to hold Holt and the government accountable for supposedly fraudulent paperwork over his adoption status. Most South Korean adoptees, including Crapser, were documented as abandoned, even in cases where they had known parents or were simply lost, which made them easily adoptable under U.S. laws. He also seeks to hold the government responsible for allowing foreigners to adopt babies without actually visiting South Korea, which Crapser blames for screening failures that led to his adoption by abusive parents. The lawsuit cites the government as responsible for allowing adoptions to be controlled by profit-driven agencies that ran on fees collected from foreign parents. It wasn't until 2013 that South Korea required international adoptions of Korean children to go through local family courts. 'It's a daily struggle to survive and to continue to want to push forward and want some justice and want some accountability and want some answers,' Crapser, now 43, told AP. 'For everything to fall apart and for everything to happen the way it has, most people wouldn't be alive here to talk.' Kim Ho Hyun, Holt's president, said the agency followed the laws and procedures of the time and that it was mainly the responsibility of U.S. parents and institutions to ensure that adoptees obtained citizenship. Seong Chang-hyeon, an official from South Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare, said the government is trying to improve welfare services for deported adoptees while also consulting with Washington over possible U.S. legal changes that could prevent adoptee deportations. The U.S. State Department referred questions to the Department of Homeland Security, which couldn't immediately be reached for comment. Currently living in a cramped one-bedroom apartment in Seoul, Crapser said the deportation has seriously strained his marriage and he often sinks into dark moods over his inability to be actively involved in the lives of his children. He described the difficulties of being stuck in a country where he doesn't speak the language, including dismissive treatment at public offices and monthly visits to a psychiatrist who can't really speak English. While he talked fondly about meeting with his Korean mother every few months, he also expressed frustration over what he sees as a social stigma against adoptees here. He has eight more years before he's eligible to return to the United States. About 200,000 South Koreans were adopted overseas during the past six decades, the majority to American couples. More than 4,000 Korean children were sent abroad in 1979, the year Crapser arrived in the United States. Agency board members with ties to the military dictators of the day were less worried about child welfare than maintaining a business that brought in as much as $20 million a year by some estimates, critics say. Reached on the telephone, Crapser's birth mother, Kwon Pil-ju, sobbed and said she felt like she had 'horribly sinned' against her son. She said she was single, disabled and desperately poor, and that she finally decided to give her children away because of fears that they'd starve. They also have problems communicating — he can't speak Korean, she can't speak English, and they don't always have someone who could interpret. Crapser said he 'definitely didn't win the lottery' when it came to his American parents. He and a sister were sent to what he says was an abusive couple in Michigan in 1979. Seven years later, the couple abandoned Crapser, then 10, and his sister, and he ended up with Thomas and Dolly Crapser, who he said would sometimes slam their children's heads against walls, strike them with kitchen utensils and burn them with heated objects. Repeated calls to the Crapser home went unanswered. In 1991, the couple was arrested on charges of physical child abuse, sexual abuse and rape. They were reportedly convicted in 1992 on multiple counts of criminal mistreatment and assault. Kicked out of his parents' house after an argument, Crapser pleaded guilty to burglary after he said he later broke into the home to retrieve a Korean-language Bible and a stuffed dog that came with him from a Korean orphanage. He was later convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm and assault. Crapser thought he had turned a corner, opening a barber shop and an upholstery business and starting a family, when he was served his deportation paperwork in 2015 after a green card application triggered a background check. 'It's heartbreaking. A lot of the depression that I deal with, a lot of the hopelessness that I feel at times is attributed to the separation from my family that I created and not being able to be actually involved in their life every day like I was,' he said. ___ Follow Kim Tong-hyung at www.twitter.com/@KimTongHyung
  • The website Glassdoor.com has ranked the 50 best jobs in America, and it's not JUST about money, although salary is definitely one factor. The other two criteria are job satisfaction and the number of open jobs in each category. Jobs in the IT and medical fields dominate the list. We counted 14 of the 50 that are computer related. 8 are in the medical field. The top 3 jobs on the list are Data Engineer, Nursing Manager, and Marketing Manager. In fact, the word 'manager' shows up 23 times, so you might want to try to get some management experience along the way in your career. You can see the full list here.
  • Oklahoma Kevin Stitt stopped by Broken Arrow High School Wednesday morning to announce that the 2018 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year is a finalist for 2019 National Teacher of the Year. Donna Gradel is a science teacher. Under Gradel’s instruction, Broken Arrow students designed a way for Kenyan orphans to produce fish food for one-twelfth the current cost. “I constantly encourage them to dream big and make a difference in the world,” Gradel said. “They know our classroom is a safe, caring place to imagine and not be afraid to fail.” One of the four finalists will be named the 2019 National Teacher of the Year this spring by a national selection committee.  The winner will spend the next year traveling the country as an ambassador for education and an advocate for all teachers and students.  
  • Moments after announcing that the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year is one of four finalists to become National Teacher of the Year, Governor Kevin Stitt let it slip that he has plans to combine the cabinet positions of Secretary of State and Secretary of Education into one post. The man who will fill that post, Gov. Stitt told KRMG, is current Secretary of State Michael Rogers, a former Broken Arrow Representative who was appointed to his current position last November. Stitt was asked by a reporter how he plans to deal with the Oklahoma Department of Education under his administration, since it has its own elected official - State Superintendent of Public Education Joy Hofmeister. “It’s a little different of an agency since it’s directly elected by the people, and so my idea is just to spend a lot of time with her (Hofmeister), ask her what she needs, continue to meet with the teachers myself on the ground, see what they need, give her the resources that they need. “My Secretary of State is also my Secretary of State and Education, uh so we haven’t released that yet - I guess I released that just now,” Stitt said Wednesday. He went on to say “it was so important to me not have kind of another barrier between having a Secretary of Education, so that’s why I have my Secretary of State and Education, so we can just bring Joy Hofmeister in close, just to give her the tools that she needs.” Thursday, the Governor’s expected to sign his first executive orders, which sources in his office tell us will deal with his proposed realignment of state agencies. 
  • In an escalating personal confrontation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told President Donald Trump on Wednesday that he would not be allowed to give his scheduled State of the Union Address to a Joint Session of Congress until a partial government shutdown has ended, an option that the President said would be ‘very sad’ for the nation. “I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened,” the Speaker wrote in a letter to the President, as she said the House would not approve a resolution authorizing a speech by Mr. Trump in the House chamber at this time. Pelosi’s response came several hours after the President had sent his own letter to the Speaker, making clear that he planned to show up to speak to lawmakers on January 29. “It would be so very sad our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!” the President wrote. BREAKING: Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the US House will not pass a resolution for the State of the Union until the government is reopened https://t.co/U2x43V9U1S pic.twitter.com/DXl4y2rTof — CNN International (@cnni) January 23, 2019 President Trump’s letter to Speaker Pelosi on the State of the Union pic.twitter.com/B4QN9hDJnv — Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 23, 2019 The dueling letters came amid the increasingly bitter debate over the longest government funding lapse in modern history, which seems likely to block paychecks again on Friday for some 800,000 federal workers. “I’m not surprised,” the President said during a White House photo opportunity when asked about the Speaker’s response. “It’s really a shame what’s happening with the Democrats. They’ve become radicalized.” In the halls of Congress, GOP lawmakers saw no reason why the President shouldn’t be allowed to speak to the nation from the House chamber. “He asked me yesterday what I thought about that,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). “I think he ought to come, I think he ought to give the State of the Union.” Democrats saw something different. “My instinct is that this exchange of letters is an intentional distraction from the fact that people are about to miss their second paycheck and the economy is slowing down,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). The first missed paycheck for most federal workers was on January 11; the next one will be this Friday.
  • With no resolution of an over month-long partial government shutdown that has blocked paychecks for over 800,000 federal workers, Democratic leaders in the House said on Wednesday that they would not sign off on the scheduled State of the Union Address by President Donald Trump next Tuesday, unless shuttered federal agencies are re-opened before the original scheduled date for the speech, January 29. “Unless the government is re-opened, it is highly unlikely the State of the Union will take place on the floor of the House,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the head of the House Democratic Caucus. The comments of Jeffries came just after a closed door meeting of House Democrats, in which Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged rank-in-file Democrats to stick together on the shutdown, as Democrats continue to argue that no negotiations should take place on funding border security until the government has been funded. In private caucus meeting, Pelosi urged her caucus to stay united and stick with the plan, referring to reopen government first before border security talks, per sources. She emphasized to caucus that they are more powerful when they are united, not when they are freelancing. — Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 23, 2019 While Democrats want the government to open first, Republicans, and the President, say the opposite should take place – that negotiations on border security should go first, before the partial government shutdown is ended. GOP leaders scoffed at the idea that the State of the Union should be postponed simply because of the funding dispute, which began before Christmas. “It doesn’t matter what crisis America had in the past, we were able to still have a State of the Union,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House Republican leader. House GOP leaders argued that Democrats were at fault for the partial shutdown – which has now stretched for 33 days – as they demanded that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offer a plan for extra border security measures. Not one time has Nancy Pelosi come forward with an alternative,” said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the second-ranking Republican in the House. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says the State of the Union address should be held 'in the House chamber just as it has done for generations before us' https://t.co/No7mzAhmGm pic.twitter.com/FYc5xsjodp — This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 23, 2019 While the House on Wednesday was ready to approve more funding bills from Democrats to fully fund the government, most eyes were still on the Senate, where leaders set two votes for Thursday – one on a GOP plan that mirrored the President’s immigration proposal set forth last weekend, and a second plan from Democrats which would fund the government until February 8. The White House has already threatened to veto that Democratic plan; officials on Wednesday morning issued a letter in which they said President Trump would sign the GOP proposal. But Republicans would need the votes of seven Democrats to get 60 votes to proceed to that bill; for now, that seems unlikely.