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  1. Today
  2. Spinnaker Beach Club to become "Spinnaker Beachside Grill" Spinnaker Beach Club is set to re-brand as a family-friendly destination and will now be called Spinnaker Beachside Grill. The company made the announcement on their website saying, "our night club days are over, but this news is just the beginning." According to a press release, the club found that transitioning to a family-friendly atmosphere is not optional, and that Spinnaker must adapt. According to Spinnaker's website, it will re-open as the "Beachside Grill" in Spring 2019. Spinnaker says it ain't about that beach club life anymore. The nightclub opened in 1972 and competed with its neighbor, Club La Vela for decades to bring in Spring Breakers for alcohol and celebrity-fueled parties. However, now that Spring Break is dead, thanks to laws that sent most of the Spring Break tourists to other party hardy locations, the business says it is innovating into something new. “I subscribed to a theory advanced years ago by a silicone valley magnate that said if it ain't broke, fix it!” owner/operator Sparky Sparkman explains, “The beach has changed dramatically over the past decade. The old days of being a party destination were fun while they lasted, but transitioning into a family-friendly destination is not optional. Spinnaker must and will adapt. But not to worry, we’re still going to be the best place on the beach for a burger and a beer, and our live music is enshrined in our roots - we just think it is time to get serious about our food.” He added that they can't wait for customers to experience Spinnaker's food which features a paradise burger, fish tacos, and seafood.
  3. Jackson County deputy recovering from accidental Fentanyl overdose A Jackson County deputy is recovering after an accidental Fentanyl overdose Tuesday. Sheriff's officials say the deputy responded to a call about a shoplifter at the Goodwill on Highway 71 in Marianna when it happened. When deputies approached the suspect, Wanda Mercer of Greenwood, they say they found what appeared to be meth on her. When the deputy field tested the suspected meth, they say he immediately began to show signs of Fentanyl exposure and radioed for help. Other deputies arrived and administered Narcan to the deputy. He was taken to a local hospital where he remains for observation. Mercer was arrested and taken to the Jackson County Jail where officials say they found more drugs on her. She's facing charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance (Xanax), introduction of contraband into a correctional facility, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  4. Breaking down FEMA's appeals process FEMA's Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides both Financial Housing Assistance and Direct Housing Assistance to meet transitional, temporary, and permanent housing needs that result from a disaster. As of January 14, 2019, FEMA has obligated more than $130.5 million in IHP assistance, with more than $106.9 million in housing assistance for survivors of Hurricane Michael. Appeals Applicants who disagree with a FEMA eligibility decision may appeal the decision. Appeals must be made in writing and sent by mail or fax to FEMA within 60 days of receiving the letter. FEMA reviews the applicant’s written appeal and documentation received. Upon review, FEMA either provides a written decision or requests more information from the applicant. If FEMA upholds a decision on an appeal, FEMA’s decision is considered final and will generally not be reconsidered. However, if new information is submitted, the case will be reviewed and a new decision will be determine. FEMA does not capture the occurrence of how often appeals are submitted since applicants can appeal as often as they feel they have unmet needs or disagrees with a FEMA eligibility decision. However, FEMA does not accept multiple appeals for the same reason, but may have to request additional information and conduct additional reviews as new information is received. Why did FEMA say I wasn’t eligible? You may need to submit additional information for FEMA to continue to process your application. Examples of missing documentation may include: Proof of insurance coverage Settlement of insurance claims Proof of identity Proof of occupancy Proof of ownership Proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster If you have questions about the letter, you may go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov; call the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY); or visit a disaster recovery center. To find center locations and hours, go online to www.fema.gov/DRC or download the FEMA mobile app. What happens if I disagree with FEMA’s decision? You may appeal FEMA’s decision. For example, if you feel the amount or type of assistance is incorrect, you may submit an appeal letter and any documents needed to support your claim, such as a contractor’s estimate for home repairs. FEMA cannot duplicate assistance provided to you by another source, such as insurance settlements or another program. However, if you are underinsured you may receive further assistance for unmet needs after insurance claims have been settled by submitting insurance settlement or denial documents to FEMA. Please see Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) Locations for Bay and Gulf County: Bay County Public Library 898 West 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401 Sunday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Callaway Community Center 599 Beulah Avenue, Callaway, FL 32404 Sunday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wewahitchka Branch Library 314 N. 2nd St. Wewahitchka, FL 32465 Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday noon to 5
  5. PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Bay district schools lost almost 5,000 students after Hurricane Michael. The population drop now forcing the school board to make the difficult decision to close schools next year. Superintendent Bill Husfelt will make a recommendation to the board regarding school closures during a workshop next week. He said many schools are under capacity and financially the district can't afford to keep some open. At Tuesday's school board meeting he wouldn't name which schools he will recommend closing but said the schools will be East of the Hathaway bridge, and not any high schools. The changes are in the early stages. No closures will happen until next year. There will be public hearings and votes before it's finalized. "If it wasn't for the storm we wouldn't be having this conversation. We can't afford to keep all the schools we have open and be able to function the way we are funded so we will make some recommendations and talk about that," said Husfelt. If you want to hear the superintendents recomendation and an update on the student population, the workshop is open to the public. It's on Thursday, January 24th at 9am at 1311 Balboa Ave, Panama City, FL 32401.
  6. As a new caravan that began in Honduras and quickly swelled to an estimated 2,000 people made its way toward Mexico on Tuesday, Mexicans who live along the border towns that will likely be most affected took to the Internet to lash out against another wave of migrants. “Work? Yes, there might be work for people who actually want to work, not for the lazy bums looking for entitlements,” said one commenter, with the screen name Azucena Santos, in Spanish on a YouTube page belonging to Shialeweb, who was recording the caravan. “Poor Mexicans, what’s in store for you!” Juan Palomina remarked: “Now look, let’s see if whacko [Mexican President} Lopez Obrador mobilizes the Marines and keeps these idiots from coming to Mexico. Give them enough to eat, at least.” Some urged the migrants not to be blindly optimistic. “People of Honduras, all of you who are spinning these grand illusions and getting ready to come on this caravan and in any future others, before you leave your country, please inform yourself about how people who’ve already come on previous caravans are faring in Tijuana,” said Belem Gonzales. “Mexico is just like your country,” Gonzales added. “There are many problems and needs, and you’re not going to be much better off than you were in Honduras. Please don’t trust these manipulative agitators who are encouraging you to risk everything for nothing.” Luis Mendez was far more unwelcoming. “We do not want caravans of (emojis of rats). Fight conditions in your own country. You are not welcome here.” By Tuesday afternoon, a caravan that started with about 500 people grew to about 2,000, according to a representative from the Honduras National Commission of Human Rights, which travels with the caravan. Word of the caravan’s departure was out at least as far back as last week. The newspaper La Prensa, of Honduras, reported on Jan. 9 that a caravan was scheduled to leave from San Pedro Sula on Tuesday - though the first group left the evening before. Migrants hoping to reach the U.S. wait in line to board a bus toward Honduras' border with Guatemala, as hundreds of migrants set off by bus or on foot from a main bus station in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, late Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. Yet another caravan of Central American migrants set out Monday from Honduras, seeking to reach the U.S. border following the same route followed by thousands on at least three caravans last year. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez) The newspaper attributed the information to the immigration advocacy group “Pueblos Sin Fronteras,” or “Communities Without Borders,” as well as to “Dignificacion Humana,” or “Dignifying Humans.” Both groups said that some 4,000 migrants in all would end up being part of the caravan. The hostile social media comments on Tuesday are the latest reflection of tensions that have simmered since the caravans began last year. The tension is particularly prevalent in Mexican cities like Tijuana, where many of the migrants are being held in overcrowded shelters. Some say the concerns by people in receiving communities are, even if pointed, understandable. But others say the migrants deserve compassion for trying to flee conditions – often life-threatening – they did not create, and cannot control. The mix of exasperated migrants in overtaxed shelters and Mexican residents growing increasingly concerned about strains on communities has led to a number of clashes. In November, for instance, about 300 Tijuana residents held an anti-caravan demonstration at the same time Central American migrants were holding a protest. The dueling demonstrations ended in a huge fight, with police stepping in and escorting the migrants to various shelters. On its website, the immigrant advocacy group “Consejo Noruego para los Refugiados,” which is based in Colombia and has various offices in Latin America, decried the backlash against the caravan on “growing xenophobia in the U.S., as well as in Mexico.” “The journey north will be extremely dangerous and taxing for thousands of families from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala that will be part of the trips in 2019," the group said. "Probably the obstacles will increase along the journey, given that there’s fatigue and frustration in the communities that have until now supported the caravans.” Several migrants told U.S. and Latin American news outlets they were determined to flee the poverty and violence in their homeland - no matter how tough U.S. immigration policy had become. Some said they were deported after having taken part in the first caravan last year, and were trying their luck again. Hondurans take part in a new caravan of migrants, set to head to the United States, as they leave San Pedro Sula, Honduras January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera - RC1E08C0C6A0 Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Honduran authorities arrested and detained Juan Carlos Molina,identified by La Prensa, the Honduran newspaper, as a coordinator of the latest caravan. Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which supports tighter enforcement, said the departure of another caravan was not surprising, considering indications there are individuals or organizations coordinating them. “Probably there are multiple parties involved, who have an interest in challenging the sovereign right of the United States to determine who can enter the country and under what circumstances,” he said. “You have opportunists and you have people who, understandably, want to come to the United States,” he said, “It’s a situation that’s getting out of hand, and no one is doing anything about it other than an administration that trying to solve things through executive action.” Mehlman said the backlash the caravans were getting from Mexicans who live in Tijuana and other areas affected by the large crowds of migrants was a logical reaction to the feeling of being overrun. “It does have an impact on people who live in the affected towns, just as it has impact on people in our country,” he said, adding that at the same time that understanding is extended to people who seek a better life, there needs to be understanding for “the motivations of people who want to set limits and enforce laws.”
  7. You're about to pay a lot more for Netflix. Yesterday, they announced their largest price-hike in their 12-year history, and their second increase in 15 months. The standard, most popular plan will go from $11 per month to $13 . . . the lowest plan will go from $8 to $9 . . . and the highest plan with ultra-high definition will jump from $14 to $16. So most people will be paying another $2 a month, or $24 a year. The rate change will be phased in over the next three months for all current customers. And it'll be immediate for any new subscribers. A lot of FURIOUS people are flooding social media to pretend that they're so upset they're CANCELING . . . but Netflix knows most people won't do that. Multiple recent surveys have suggested that Netflix was UNDERPRICED. In one, 64% of subscribers said they'd pay up to $15 a month for Netflix, and only 36% said they'd consider canceling if they raised their rates. In another, 83% said they'd be willing to pay $2 more per month to keep Netflix ad-free. And in yet another, 21% said they'd be cool paying MORE than $16 a month. Obviously, a big reason for this is that Netflix is keeping subscribers happy. Last month, they dropped $100 million to keep "Friends" for another year, and "Variety" says they spent $13 BILLION on content last year. For comparison, HBO "only" spent $2.5 billion in 2017, and CBS spent $4 billion. According to "The Verge", Netflix premiered "approximately 700 original shows in 2018 alone, and is expected to develop more this year." (What do you think? Is that worth it for you? Or are you one of those who'd actually consider canceling now?) (The thing is, in a vacuum $2 more per month is probably peanuts for most people, assuming they actually use Netflix on a regular basis . . . especially for their originals like "Stranger Things" and "Orange is the New Black".) (The problem is that all the subscription services are starting to add up . . . and when push comes to shove, it's easier to cut the most expensive one . . . the one that has raised its rates TWICE now in a year and a half.)
  8. NEW YORK (AP) — A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash, with accusations that it talks down to men and groups calling for a boycott. But Gillette says it doesn’t mind sparking a discussion. Since it debuted Monday, the Internet-only ad has garnered nearly 19 million views on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter — a level of buzz that any brand would covet. The two-minute ad from Procter & Gamble’s razor brand shows men and boys engaging in bullying and sexual harassment and encourages men to “say the right thing” and “act the right way.” Taking on bullying, sexual harassment and toxic masculinity is a big task for a razor brand. Many critics took to social media saying it was insulting to men and laden with stereotypes. The uproar comes as Gillette battles upstarts like Harry’s, Dollar Shave Club and others for millennial dollars. Gillette controlled about 70 percent of the U.S. market a decade ago. Last year, its market share dropped to below 50 percent, according to Euromonitor. Allen Adamson, co-founder of branding firm Metaforce, called the ad a “hail Mary” pass from the 117-year-old company. But he added that online buzz, whether positive or negative, rarely makes a long-term difference for a marketer since memory fades quickly. “Getting noticed and getting buzz is no easy task, and they’ve managed to break through,” Adamson said. “Most advertisers advertise, and no one notices because there is so much noise in the marketplace, so just getting noticed Is a big win, especially for low-interest category like a razor.” On the flip side, it probably won’t sell many razors either, he said. Some cheers were mixed in with the social media boos. In a tweet, actress Jessica Chastain thanked Gillette “for this reminder of the beauty of men. I’m so moved by your call to action.” The ad echoes other attempts by major advertisers to take on social issues. Pepsi pulled an ad in 2017 showing Kendall Jenner giving a cop a Pepsi during a protest and apologized after an outcry that it trivialized “Black Lives Matter” and other protest movements. Nike polarized the nation with an ad featuring ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick who started a wave of protests among NFL players of police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues. Sales weren’t affected in either of those cases. When controversy does affect sales, it is usually over something more substantive than an ad. Lululemon saw sales tumble in 2013 after a string of PR disasters including manufacturing problems that caused their pricey yoga pants to become see through and fat-shaming comments from their founder. But even that was short lived. Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, said that much like Nike’s Kaepernick ad, Gillette likely knew the ad would garner online debate. “Nike knew what they were getting themselves into,” Torossian said. The ad with Kapernick was “making a lot of noise, and it can’t be a surprise to (Gillette) that this is making a lot of noise.” P&G, one of the world’s largest advertisers, is known for its anthemic spots that appeal to emotions during the Olympics and other events, often aimed at women, such as the tear-jerking “Thank You Mom” Olympics branding campaign and Always “Like a Girl” 2014 Super Bowl ad. Pankaj Bhalla, North America brand director on Gillette says the controversy was not the intended goal of the ad, which is part of a larger campaign that takes a look at redefining Gillette’s longtime tagline “The Best a Man Can Get,” in different ways. Another online ad features one-handed NFL rookie Shaquem Griffin. While he doesn’t want to lose sales or a boycott over the ad, “we would not discourage conversation or discussion because of that,” he said. “Our ultimate aim is to groom the next generation of men, and if any of this helps even in a little way we’ll consider that a success,” he said. Larry Chiagouris, marketing professor at Pace University, is skeptical. “Treating people with respect, who can argue with that, but they’re kind of late to the party here, that’s the biggest problem,” he said. “It’s gratuitous and self-serving.”
  9. At the midpoint of Donald Trump’s first term, the establishment media’s obvious hostility shows no signs of relenting, but polls show this negative coverage has had no discernible impact on the public’s attitudes toward the President. Since January 20, 2017, the Media Research Center has analyzed every moment of coverage of President Trump on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts, seen by approximately 23 million people each night. Highlights: Details: Negative spin: To determine the spin of news coverage, our analysts tallied all explicitly evaluative statements about the President or his administration from either reporters, anchors or non-partisan sources such as experts or voters. Evaluations from partisan sources, as well as neutral statements, were not included. As has been the case since the President took office, the tone of network coverage has been exceptionally hostile, ranging from 82% negative in April 2017 (after Trump was praised for a missile strike punishing Syria for a chemical weapons attack) to 96% negative in February 2018 (when the news agenda focused on the Russia investigation, demands for gun control, and a White House aide accused of domestic abuse). Remarkably consistent: The 90% negative spin we calculated roughly matches what the Pew Research Center, not a conservative group, found in their study of coverage of Trump’s first 60 days in office. They found 62% of network stories were negative, vs. 5% positive and 33% neutral. If you remove the neutral stories and look at just the stories with a clear spin, Pew’s bottom line looks like ours: 93% negative spin, vs. just 7% positive. Harvard media scholar Thomas Patterson looked at coverage of Trump’s first 100 days in office. He found NBC’s coverage was 93% negative, CBS’s 91% negative; ABC was not included. His study also found highly negative coverage from leading newspapers and CNN, while only Fox News offered balanced coverage (52% negative vs. 48% positive). The highly-partisan media earn partisan reviews: The media’s confrontational stance seems to have earned them greater respect among Democratic voters, of whom 76% say they trust the media (up from 51% in 2016), according to the most recent Gallup survey. But a meager 21% of Republicans say they trust the press, a near-record gap of 55 percentage points in how the press is viewed by voters of each party. (The record was a 58-point gap in 2017; prior to the age of Trump, this partisan gap never exceeded 40 points.) TV’s Trump agenda: More than half of the Trump coverage on the broadcast evening newscasts in 2018 focused on just five topics: the Russia investigation (858 minutes); immigration policy (643 minutes); the Kavanaugh nomination (435 minutes); dealing with North Korean nukes (410 minutes); and the Michael Cohen/hush money investigation (341 minutes). As the chart shows, the network spin on all of these topics was fiercely negative, ranging from 80% bad press on North Korea, to 99% negative on the Cohen/hush money story. What about the shutdown? The partial government shutdown was the top Trump topic in December, garnering 67 minutes of airtime that month, or about one-fifth of the total Trump coverage. (Note that this figure also includes negotiations prior to the start of the shutdown on December 21). And at least in December, nearly 97% of the evaluations of Trump’s handling of the impasse were negative. In ordinary circumstances, this onslaught of negative publicity would cause the politician on the receiving end of it to reverse course. But the establishment media have been so reliably negative towards this President, for so long, that the effect of their criticism now seems to be virtually nil. As noted above, Trump’s job approval ratings actually rose slightly last year, despite all of the negative coverage. The media elite have clearly waded into the political fray to wage war against this President. But have they accomplished anything beyond cementing their reputation as political partisans, not objective journalists?
  10. Senate and House leaders said Tuesday they will cancel the Martin Luther King Day recess unless there is a sudden resolution to the 25-day partial government shutdown, which appears unlikely given a breakdown in high-level talks. Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), one of the principal negotiators, told reporters Tuesday that he hasn’t spoken to President Trump in nearly a week, underlining the standstill in negotiations. “The last I spoke with him was when he walked out, threw a temper tantrum and walked out, so we haven’t heard from him since then,” Schumer told reporters after meeting with the Democratic caucus. A group of centrist House Democrats on Tuesday rejected a White House invitation to attend talks with Republicans and Trump, seeing it as an effort to divide the party. A Democratic congressional aide said the meeting appeared to be pulled together “haphazardly at the last minute,” with invitations to members received from the White House beginning in the late afternoon on Monday and continuing until late at night. “The congressman is declining the invitation,” said Andrew Scibetta, a spokesman for Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.). “Congressman Correa welcomes the opportunity to talk with the president about border security, as soon as the government is reopened.” The White House and Republicans who did attend the meeting criticized the Democrats for skipping it. “The sheer fact that no Democrats [were] here to even talk with us shows the lack of willingness to compromise,” said Rep. Rodney Davis (Ill.), one of the Republicans who went to the White House. Democrats feel confident they have leverage on Trump, who has seen his poll numbers steadily erode as the shutdown drags on. “Every day he’s losing. The Gallup Poll today had him at a near record low of 37 percent popularity. Even some of his base is losing faith,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. “President Trump, you’re not going to win this fight with the American people. Every day it drags on, you are less popular.” A Quinnipiac University poll published Monday showed that 56 percent of respondents blame Trump and Republicans in Congress for the shutdown while only 36 percent blame Democrats. Convinced that Trump is taking the brunt of the political fallout, Democrats feel little incentive to cede any ground in the standoff over the president’s demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall. So far, most Republican lawmakers are sticking with Trump, persuading themselves the shutdown isn’t becoming a political disaster for their party. But others acknowledge the standoff is taking a toll on Trump’s political standing and want to see an end to the impasse. “Nobody is winning. Mr. President, hear me, nobody is winning. We’re not winning, you’re not winning, Democrats aren’t winning,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Asked if the shutdown is hurting Trump’s approval rating, Murkowski said “absolutely.” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said Trump has largely failed to persuade independent voters that building a border wall is worth a monthlong partial government shutdown. “The real battlefield is for those independent voters, and I don’t think he’s probably won them over yet,” Thune said. But he added that Trump “certainly among Republican voters, from what I’ve seen, he seems to be moving the needle there.” For the second time in two weeks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blocked a request by Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D) to take up a House package to fund shuttered departments and agencies. McConnell has said he will not allow a vote on a funding measure unless there is a deal between Trump and Democrats. He also said the Senate would not be voting to override a Trump veto on funding legislation. There are at least two groups of senators working on proposals that could later serve the basis of a compromise. One group, led by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), includes a mix of Republicans and Democrats, including Sens. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.). A separate group made up entirely of Republican moderates is also meeting to discuss options, according to Murkowski. “Let’s just agree we’ve got to stop it,” she said. “I’ve got to do something,” she added. “I just can’t sit and wait and hope that one day the president will wake up someday and say, ‘Oops, I changed my mind on that.’ That’s not going to happen.” She said a broader immigration deal is “clearly in the mix” as is a broader agreement on federal spending levels. Some Republicans are floating the idea of combining negotiations over the border wall with talks over strict spending caps. Those new spending ceilings are set to be triggered in 2020. They argue Democrats might be willing to compromise if funding levels for social-service programs are also at stake. “It’s worth positive discussions. It might be a good idea,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said. “I think we’ll have to discuss all of it, that included.” While most Republican lawmakers are sticking with Trump for now, nerves are fraying. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), usually one of the most gentlemanly members of the Senate, gave an angry speech on the floor Tuesday, venting his frustration with the lack of progress. “The president is not moving. The Democrats aren’t moving. The majority leader is not moving. And we’re not doing much. And that doesn’t solve anything,” he fumed. “The fact of the matter is we’re not doing a damned thing while the American people are suffering,” he said. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, one of the nation’s busiest, has been hit especially hard by the expiration of government funding for the Transportation Security Administration. Travelers there are waiting up to 88 minutes to make it through security screening lines — and up to 55 minutes in TSA PreCheck lines. “We’ve got a Super Bowl coming to Atlanta, Ga., in about three weeks, the biggest tourism event in the world this year. What if the largest airport in the world goes on strike?” Isakson said. A Senate Republican aide predicted that more Republican moderates would defect from Trump’s side. “The polling is horrible,” the aide said, warning that the political environment could turn drastically worse for Republicans if an accident or worse happens at an airport because of low staffing levels.
  11. Yesterday
  12. Three children in Live Oak, Florida, died Sunday after they accidentally trapped themselves in a freezer while playing outside, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office announced early this week. The children -- ages 1, 4 and 6 -- were playing in the yard Sunday when “for unknown reasons they climbed inside of a chest freezer that had recently been brought to the residence,” but had not yet been brought inside the home and was not turned on, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook Monday. An adult female, who the sheriff’s office did not identify, was allegedly outside while the children were playing. But shortly before the incident occurred she had gone inside the home to use the restroom. “When the female returned to the yard, she could not locate the children so she woke up the other adult female who was at home, sleeping, preparing to work the night shift, and they began to search the property and an adjacent vacant home for the children,” the sheriff’s office explained. They discovered the children -- who were not breathing -- when they opened the freezer roughly 30 to 40 minutes after searching for them, NBC News reported. They promptly called 911 and began CPR. Suwannee County Fire Rescue deputies transported the children to a local hospital, but all three died, authorities said. Later, it was determined that “when the children entered the freezer, and the lid closed, the hasp fell shut, trapping the children inside,” the sheriff’s office explained. No foul play is suspected at this time, though police are still investigating.
  13. She called police, but didn’t get the answer she was hoping for. Officers in South Euclid, Ohio say they were dispatched to a home there Saturday for a theft report – only to arrive and find a 16-year-old who claimed her father stole her cell phone, something she believed she was entitled to have. The father told cops he took the device away for disciplinary reasons, and police took his side. “Officers explained that having a cell phone under the age of 18 is a ‘privilege’ and not a ‘right’ as she believes,” the South Euclid Police Department said in a Facebook post. “Officers suggested she follow the rules her father set, if she hoped to get the phone returned.”
  14. TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) - A new bill filed by a Florida lawmaker would severely restrict abortions in the state. Legislation introduced in 2017 aimed at banning abortions after 20 weeks in Florida, but it failed in early committee meetings. HB-235, filed last week for the 2019 session, wants to take it a step further. It would make it a third-degree felony for a doctor to perform an abortion if a fetal heartbeat could be detected. "Consider the rights of that unborn baby," said Republican Rep. Mike Hill, who sponsored the bill. He says the decision to file the bill came down to his constitutional oath. “My oath said that I would protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life being the first one," Hill said. The legislation would also redefine an "unborn fetus" as an "unborn human being." Kimberly Scott with Planned Parenthood calls the heartbeat bill, "the most dangerous bill that we have seen for reproductive health in the Florida legislature." Rep. Hill says a fetal heartbeat can usually be detected after 18 days. Planned Parenthood says six weeks. Either way, it would be a major decrease from the 24 weeks currently allowed under Florida law. Planned Parenthood says legal challenges would undoubtedly ensue if the bill became law. “They spend millions of taxpayer dollars in order to defend this type of legislation in the courts," Scott said. "This legislation is not in effect anywhere because it is so blatantly unconstitutional." But Hill says the shifting makeup of the courts might help his bill hold up. "We think we can start overturning a lot of these abortion rulings that are killing the unborn," he said. Similar laws passed in three states were blocked by the courts. A nearly identical bill was vetoed in Ohio.
  15. BAY COUNTY, Fla. - On January 14, 2019, Lynn Haven Police were surveying for illegal dumping near 2401 South Highway 77, arresting two men. Due to past complaints, the owner's of the empty lot requested to pursue charges against the persons caught illegally dumping on their property. After the request, two "No Dumping" signs were placed at the location on or about December 7, 2018. During surveillance, police noticed a red Ford F150 pick up truck loaded with debris, backed up into the field and dumped more than 500 pounds of debris including mattresses, electronics, a vacuum cleaner and other household items. The two men were identified as Kendell J. Clements and David Kendrick Mack of Alabama. Both men were arrested and being held at the Bay County Jail.
  16. Milton, Fla. - (WFLA) - A Florida man is facing assault and battery charges after deputies say he attacked his neighbors with a machete that had the word "kindness" written on it. Santa Rosa County deputies arrested 30-year-old Bryan Duane Stewart last week. Neighbors told deputies they heard banging and yelling coming from the man's house all Wednesday. Stewart was also overheard saying he was going to "kill 'em with kindness," an arrest report says. Just before midnight, one neighbor decided to go over and check on things and ask Stewart to keep it down. The man told deputies Stewart came running out of his front door with a machete-style knife that had the word "kindness" written on the blade. Another neighbor who saw what was happening stepped in to protect the other man and ended up getting cut on his hand, deputies say. Deputies responded to the scene and used a taser on Stewart to take him into custody. The arrest report says Stewart told deputies he "didn't understand what was even going on" and "was just trying to go to sleep." The deputy who wrote the arrest report noted that Stewart had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, as well as bloodshot and watery eyes. Deputies say Stewart also would not stop banging his head and kicking the inside of the patrol car after he was taken into custody. Stewart was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
  18. Green Lantern

    Why we do not need a wall - a blog by Keith Kramer

    Rather have a wall than a dead family member.
  19. When Jake Patterson left his Gordon, Wisconsin, home for a few hours January 10, he left Jayme Closs hidden under a bed surrounded by heavy bins and weights to prevent her from leaving. His method to keep her captive had worked for months. But she wasn't there when he returned. The 13-year-old had escaped, leaving footprints outside. So, Patterson climbed back into his red Ford Taurus and drove around looking for the girl he had held captive for 88 days, attempting to salvage what had until then been a meticulously executed abduction, prosecutors say. Police were waiting when he returned. "I did it," Patterson told deputies as he was ordered out of his car, according to a criminal complaint released Monday by the Barron County District Attorney. The complaint gives new details into a case that remained a mystery to investigators for three months after Jayme's parents were found shot dead in their home, with Jayme nowhere to be found. $5 million bail set for accused Wisconsin kidnapper/murderer01:26 Patterson has confessed to fatally shooting James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, on October 15 before abducting Jayme from the home outside the city of Barron -- 70 miles from where she was found, according to the complaint. Patterson made his first court appearance in Barron County on Monday to face charges of intentional homicide, kidnapping and armed burglary. A judge ordered him held on $5 million bail. He is due back in court February 6. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Monday that Patterson acted alone and that he had a "very targeted approach and planned out attack" on the Closs family. He saw her getting on her school bus Patterson first saw Jayme getting onto a school bus while he was driving to work at the Saputo Cheese Factory, weeks before the abduction, he told investigators. Suspect in Jayme Closs case tried to kidnap her twice previously, complaint states But he didn't know her name until after he abducted her, and only learned the names of her parents from news programs and social media posts about the killings, according to the complaint. In the days after spotting Jayme, Patterson said he bought a black balaclava mask from Walmart and drove to the Closs family home twice before the October 15 attack before being scared off by activity there. "The defendant stated he put quite a bit of thought into the details of how he was going to abduct (Jayme)," the complaint reads, stealing license plates for his car, disabling the interior lights inside and removing the trunk release cord so she couldn't escape. He concealed his identity Patterson told investigators he was set on abducting Jayme the night of October 15 "and was going to kill anyone in the house because he could not leave any eyewitnesses behind," the complaint reads. He chose his weapon -- a 12-gauge Mossberg pump shotgun -- carefully, telling investigators he thought the caliber bullet "would inflict the most damage on someone and would most likely be the best choice of shell and weapon to kill someone verses a rifle." Patterson wiped down the shotgun and ammunition wearing gloves so there would be no fingerprints on them. He also shaved hair from his face and his head prior to the kidnapping so that he would not leave any DNA evidence at the scene, according to the complaint. He carried out the kidnapping in the dark of night Jayme awoke after midnight the night of the abduction to her dog barking. Outside, she saw a car coming down the driveway. Patterson had killed his headlights and his engine as he coasted toward the house, he told investigators. Jayme Closs describes the night her parents were killed and her 88 days in captivity She alerted her parents, she said, and her father went to the door. Patterson told investigators he saw Jayme's father through the front door window, shining a flashlight outside. At that point, Patterson raised his shotgun and "purposely aimed at James' head," according to the complaint. Jayme heard the gunshot from her hiding place in the bathtub with her mother, she told investigators. Her mother called 911 from her cell phone -- one of the few clues to investigators as they searched for Jayme after the killings. Police say they don't know who called 911 01:28 Patterson broke down the bathroom door, and ripped down the shower curtain they were hiding behind, he told investigators. Patterson, dressed in black from head to toe, including a face mask, hat and gloves, told Jayme's mother to cover her daughter's mouth with tape, then he bound her wrists and ankles, he told investigators. "With (Jayme) standing bound next to him in the bathroom, the defendant stated he picked up the shotgun, aimed for Denise's head and pulled the trigger as he started to turn away," the complaint says. Patterson dragged Jayme from the house and put her in the trunk of his car, he told investigators, according to the complaint. He concealed her from friends and relatives When they arrived to the Gordon home, Patterson threw Jayme's clothing, duct tape and the gloves he had worn into a fireplace in his basement, according to the complaint. Photos: Photos: Inside the house where Jayme Closs was held Patterson would leave Jayme in his room and turn on music when visitors arrived, authorities said Jayme told them. Hide Caption 3 of 5 Photos: Photos: Inside the house where Jayme Closs was held After 88 days as a captive, Jayme Closs escaped from the home on January 10, authorities said. Hide Caption 4 of 5 Photos: Photos: Inside the house where Jayme Closs was held Authorities said Patterson has confessed to killing Jayme's parents so he could take her. Hide Caption 5 of 5 Photos: Photos: Inside the house where Jayme Closs was held This is the Gordon, Wisconsin, home where Jake Patterson held Jayme Closs captive, authorities said. The sign above the door reads "Patterson's retreat." Hide Caption 1 of 5 Photos: Photos: Inside the house where Jayme Closs was held Jayme, who disappeared in October when her parents were killed, told authorities she was often barricaded under a bed in the home. Hide Caption 2 of 5 Photos: Photos: Inside the house where Jayme Closs was held Patterson would leave Jayme in his room and turn on music when visitors arrived, authorities said Jayme told them. Hide Caption 3 of 5 Photos: Photos: Inside the house where Jayme Closs was held After 88 days as a captive, Jayme Closs escaped from the home on January 10, authorities said. Hide Caption 4 of 5 Photos: Photos: Inside the house where Jayme Closs was held Authorities said Patterson has confessed to killing Jayme's parents so he could take her. Hide Caption 5 of 5 Photos: Photos: Inside the house where Jayme Closs was held This is the Gordon, Wisconsin, home where Jake Patterson held Jayme Closs captive, authorities said. The sign above the door reads "Patterson's retreat." Hide Caption 1 of 5 Photos: Photos: Inside the house where Jayme Closs was held Jayme, who disappeared in October when her parents were killed, told authorities she was often barricaded under a bed in the home. Hide Caption 2 of 5 Photos: Photos: Inside the house where Jayme Closs was held Patterson would leave Jayme in his room and turn on music when visitors arrived, authorities said Jayme told them. Hide Caption 3 of 5 Jayme told detectives that Patterson would make her hide under a twin-sized bed in his bedroom when he had friends or relatives over. When she was under his bed, he stacked totes and laundry bins around the bed with weights and barbells stacked against them so she could not move them without him noticing, the complaint says. Patterson told detectives that he turned the radio up so that visitors would not hear any noise his captive might make. A brave act ended Jayme's 88-day ordeal According to the complaint, Patterson said he assumed he had gotten away with his crimes since he hadn't been caught for the first two weeks. Neighbors were 'armed and ready' if suspect in Jayme Closs kidnapping showed up But he arrived home on January 10 to find Jayme gone. The girl had pushed away the heavy bins and weights, thrown on oversized New Balance shoes and fled the home, stopping a woman walking her dog. The woman, Jeanne Nutter, took Closs to the nearest neighbor's house where they called 911. "I was walking my dog and we were almost home and she was walking toward me, crying, saying, 'You gotta help me, you gotta help me,'" Nutter told the 911 dispatcher, according to a transcript of the call published by CNN affiliate WCCO. As he encountered police searching for him, Patterson told investigators "it was at that point that he knew he was caught."
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