New England Patriots fly Parkland student to Washington for ‘March for Our Lives’ rally

By Jay R. Jordan Published 10:39 pm, Friday, March 23, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Boston Globe/Boston Globe Via Getty Images Image 1of/25 CaptionClose Image 1 of 25 WARWICK, RI - OCTOBER 4: The New England Patriots' customized Boeing 767 is pictured prior to its inaugural flight at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, RI on Oct. 4, 2017. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) less WARWICK, RI - OCTOBER 4: The New England Patriots' customized Boeing 767 is pictured prior to its inaugural flight at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, RI on Oct. 4, 2017. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe ... more Photo: Boston Globe/Boston Continue Reading

Trump issues memo stating transgender individuals are ‘disqualified’ from military

The White House on Friday announced a policy to ban most transgender people from serving in the US military.Following a Pentagon policy review after a tweet by President Donald Trump last year, the White House said the policy will say "transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances."White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump had rescinded his previous policy to allow this new policy to take its place.The new policy, according to Sanders, was "developed through extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, including combat veterans," under the direction of Defense Secretary James Mattis.According to a Pentagon memo about the policy, exceptions to the ban include people who have been "stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex prior to accession," servicemembers who "do not require a change of gender" and troops who started serving under the Obama administration's policy prior to the new memo."This new policy will enable the military to apply well-established mental and physical health standards -- including those regarding the use of medical drugs -- equally to all individuals who want to join and fight for the best military force the world has ever seen," Sanders said.After Trump initially tweeted his announcement of a ban, transgender troops took the policy to court, which halted its implementation.The Pentagon "will still comply with federal court rulings and continue to assess and retain transgender service members," US Army Maj. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, has told CNN.In February, the Pentagon confirmed to CNN that the first transgender person had signed a contract to join the US military following a federal judge's ruling that said the military would have to accept transgender Continue Reading

NFL star Michael Bennett indicted on charge of injury to elderly at Super Bowl

NFL defensive end Michael Bennett was indicted Friday in Houston on a charge of injury to the elderly in connection with an incident that occurred when he was a spectator at the 2017 Super Bowl, authorities said.The Harris County district attorney's office said Bennett rushed the field when the game ended to congratulate his brother Martellus Bennett, who played for the winning New England Patriots.Bennett was told to use a different field entrance, but he pushed through the security detail, which included a 66-year-old paraplegic woman in a wheelchair, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference.The woman suffered a sprained shoulder in the Feb. 5, 2017, incident, Acevedo said."It's offensive to me that a man who's supposed to be an example, a professional athlete, thinks its OK to act like this," Acevedo said.Bennett's legal team does not have a comment at this time, Frank Perez, a member of the team, said Friday night. CNN reached out to Bennett for comment through his representative Doug Hendrickson but has not heard back.Harris County said the felony charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.Bennett was one of the most vocal NFL players in protesting the national anthem before games.He appeared on CNN and said he didn't understand why President Donald Trump would "stoop so low" as to say that NFL owners should fire players who protest.Bennett, 32, played with the Seattle Seahawks for five seasons and just signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. He played high school football in Houston and college ball at Texas A&M University.Acevedo said Bennett's lawyer has been notified. The chief said Bennett has not been arrested yet but should turn himself into police as soon as possible.When asked why it took more than a year to file charges against Bennett, Acevedo said police had to prioritize more serious crimes. Also, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in August, he noted.Acevedo said an officer at the game Continue Reading

Grand jury indicts Schlitterbahn waterpark operators in boys death on slide

KANSAS CITY, Kansas — An indictment unsealed Friday by a Wyandotte Grand Jury outlines the lead-up to the 2016 death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab.Earlier Friday, the Grand Jury indicted the Schlitterbahn corporation and the director of the park at the time of the incident, Tyler Miles, on several criminal counts, including involuntary manslaughter.The indictment itself cites whistleblowers inside Schlitterbahn who told grand jurors the company had covered up similar incidents in the past.Further, the Grand Jury indictment says amusement ride design and safety experts inspected the ride and found evidence other rafts had previously gone airborne off the slide. Additionally, the experts said the ride’s design “violated nearly all aspects of the longstanding industry safety standards…” “In fact, the design and operation of the Verruckt complied with few, if any, of the industry safety standards.”It was these bits of information that prompted investigators to launch an investigation.The Grand Jury indictment concludes Caleb Schwab’s death “and the rapidly growing list of injuries were forseeable and expected outcomes.”Finally, grand jurors write that those responsible for the ride’s operation knew they were guilty of criminal misconduct because they attempted to conceal evidence from law enforcement.“These obstructions substantially delayed the investigation.”In response to the details of the indictment, a company spokeswoman said the company plans to contest the allegations: We’ve reviewed the indictment against Schlitterbahn Kansas City and Tyler Miles and we plan on contesting the allegations. Since the date of the incident we have worked closely with law enforcement; at no time have we withheld evidence; at no time have we altered evidence. The indictment uses quoted statements from a reality TV show that was scripted for dramatic effect that in no way reflects the design Continue Reading

Man and Schlitterbahn waterpark charged in connection to child’s waterslide death

KANSAS CITY, Kansas – A man and Schlitterbahn Waterpark have both been charged in connection to the 2016 death of Caleb Schwab on the Verruckt Waterslide.Tyler A. Miles, 29, and Schlitterbahn Waterpark face several criminal counts, including felony involuntary manslaughter, 12 counts of aggravated battery and five counts of aggravated child endangerment.Miles was also charged with two counts of interfering with law enforcement. A release from the Kansas Attorney General's office Friday afternoon announced the charges.Miles was the assistant park manager and director of operations at the time of Schwab's death.Miles turned himself in Friday. At this time no other employees are charged in this case.At a court hearing Friday, Miles pleaded not guilty. An attorney representing Miles argued that his bond, initially set at $50,000, be reduced because he had voluntarily turned himself in and because he didn't design the water slide.They attorney continued that Miles rode the ride numerous times as an employee and as such, the bond should be reduced to $15,000.A judge ruled against the attorney and kept the bond at $50,000.Attorneys for Miles say that on the same day as Caleb’s death, Miles and attorneys representing the waterpark were served with two search warrants for paper files and any other documents.According to court documents filed by the defense, Miles was interviewed by Kansas City, Kan. Police in their investigation and continued to work for the waterpark in the aftermath of the incident.In late 2017, with the investigation underway by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, Miles was interviewed again. An attorney representing Miles at that time was told Miles had become a “target” in the investigation due to his being a person in charge of the waterpark at the time of the incident.Miles left the waterpark last fall and moved to Tennessee.A scheduling conference has been set for April 25. The Continue Reading

Dow sheds more than 1,100 points in two days as trade jitters rock Wall Street

Trade war fears wiped more than 1,100 points off the Dow in just two days. It was Wall Street's worst week in more than two years.Investors are increasingly worried that President Trump's crackdown on China will trigger a fierce response that darkens the otherwise bright economic outlook.The Dow dropped 425 points, or 1.8%, on Friday, sinking back into a "correction" — a decline of 10% from the all-time high in January. The Dow finished at its lowest point since November.All three major indexes took their biggest weekly tumbles since January 2016.The market failed to stage a rebound from Thursday's plunge, which erased 734 points from the Dow.China vowed on Thursday that it would fight a potential trade war "until the end.""We have this general freak-out. We don't know the next shoe to drop on trade," said Michael Block, chief strategist at Rhino Trading Partners.Investors were further rattled when China's ambassador to the United States signaled that China could ease purchases of US bonds in response to Trump's tariffs. "We are looking at all options," Ambassador Cui Tiankai told Bloomberg News.China is America's biggest creditor, with more than $1 trillion of Treasury bonds."We've been told for our entire careers that trade wars made the Great Depression worse. And we believe it," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank.Related: Trade fears add to concern of a downturnAsian markets were rocked overnight after China vowed not to back down in a potential trade war with the United States. Japan's Nikkei 225 plummeted 4.5%, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 2.5%.On Thursday, the market sold off after Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on about $50 billion of Chinese imports to retaliate for theft of intellectual property.China said hours later that it "is not afraid of and will not recoil from a trade war." Officials in China detailed a plan to retaliate to Trump's aluminum and steel tariffs by imposing their own tariffs on Continue Reading

Trump signs spending bill after veto threat

President Donald Trump signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill to keep the federal government open Friday, then excoriated Congress for passing the plan in the first place.Earlier Friday, the President threatened to veto the measure over concerns it does not include a solution for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or sufficient funding for a border wall."I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded," Trump tweeted just before 9 a.m. on Friday.The missive sent White House officials and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill scurrying to ensure that Trump would still sign the omnibus spending bill, which top White House officials promised just a day earlier Trump would sign.The massive spending package marks the end of a months-long funding stalemate in which lawmakers were forced to pass one short-term spending bill after another to stave off a shutdown.The package includes more than just money to fight the opioid epidemic, pay the military and fund more than $21 billion in infrastructure projects. It also includes policy changes like one that would incentivize states to enter more records into the country's gun background check system and another that would cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority until Palestinians cease making payments to the families of terrorists.Spotted in the West Wing on Friday by CNN shortly after Trump's tweet, Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director, struck an assured tone when asked if the government would shut down over Trump's veto threat."I think we'll be OK," he said. Continue Reading

Teacher working as crossing guard hit by minivan outside of Michigan school

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. - The Macomb County (Michigan) Sheriff's Office is investigating after a teacher was hit by a minivan outside of a school on Friday morning.According to the sheriff's office, the 57-year-old Lenox Township woman is a teacher at Prevail Academy in Mt. Clemens and was working as a crossing guard.She was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition. No one else was injured.The sheriff's office say the driver is cooperating with deputies and the investigation is ongoing.Cass Ave. is shut down between Rose St. and Mary St. while they investigate. Continue Reading

The ‘March For Our Lives’ is Saturday: Here’s what to know about it

Survivors of last month's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, are preparing to take their fight for stricter gun control laws to Washington.This week's March for Our Lives is the culmination of a monthlong effort to honor the 17 students and faculty members killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and rally Americans across the United States to say enough to gun violence.With momentum from the National School Walkout still going strong, students are demanding that their voices be heard. Here's what you should know about the March for Our Lives:What is it?March for Our Lives is a demonstration created and organized by #NeverAgain, a group of students who survived the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group, is helping the students plan and coordinate the event.After the shooting at Stoneman Douglas -- the eighth mass school shooting this year -- organizers are calling on lawmakers to address the issue of gun violence in American schools by implementing comprehensive gun control legislation.According to a petition on the event's website, March for Our Lives has three primary demands: Pass a law to ban the assault weapons frequently used to carry out mass shootings Stop the sale of high-capacity magazines, restricting the amount of ammunition Close loopholes in America's background checks and implement laws that require background checks on every gun purchase, including those that occur online or at gun shows When is it?The main march will take place in Washington on Saturday, March 24. It will kick off at noon, when participants gather on Pennsylvania Avenue, just blocks away from the Capitol.Hundreds of sister marches are also taking place across the country and around the world.Who's participating?The march in Washington is being led by #NeverAgain, which was started in the aftermath of the massacre by student survivors like Cameron Kasky and Emma Gonzalez. However, Continue Reading

Blockbuster founder Wayne Huizenga has died

Blockbuster founder Wayne Huizenga has died. He was the only entrepreneur to create three different Fortune 500 companies during his career -- Blockbuster video, Waste Management and AutoNation.At one time, Huizenga, 80, had owned three sports teams where he lived in South Florida -- the Florida Marlins, the Florida Panthers and the Miami Dolphins. He was worth $2.8 billion, according to Forbes."He had a magic ability to create a business that was unmatched," said AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson, who confirmed the death. "Ideas were exploding in his head. He was bound and determined to out entrepreneur every other entrepreneur."Huizenga was awarded expansion franchises to bring both the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball to Miami in 1993. The following year he purchased the Miami Dolphins. While he owned the three sports teams at the same time, he didn't run all three major companies simultaneously. Instead he would sell one company and move onto the next idea he had."He started out on the back of a garbage truck in Fort Lauderdale. Then he bought a truck, and eventually he created Waste Management," said Jackson. "Then he rented a video and decided he could do better and next thing you know he was opening up Blockbuster store a day. Then he sold that to Viacom and decided there had to be a better way to buy a car and he created AutoNation."Blockbuster closed all of its stores in four years ago as consumers shifted to streaming and on demand video, but his other two companies remain dominant players in their respective fields. Waste Management is the leading provider of refuse and recycling services in North America, and AutoNation is the largest US auto dealership chain. Continue Reading