Day: August 10, 2017

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DC suburb's minimum wage hike would kill thousands of jobs, study finds – VIDEO: Missouri rolls back minimum wage increase


A new study commissioned by a Washington, D.C., suburb could send a warning shot to local governments taking up the ‘Fight for $15’ – predicting a proposed minimum wage hike would cost thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in lost income.

The study was conducted to assess the impact of a proposal in Montgomery County, Md., to raise the minimum wage to $15, up from $11.50. Such a proposal cleared the county council in January but was vetoed by County Executive Isiah Leggett, who commissioned the study.

The results could strike a blow to ongoing efforts in the liberal-leaning county to hike the wage, finding:

  • 47,000 jobs would be lost by 2022, most of them “low-wage positions”
  • Lost income would total about $396.5 million by 2022
  • Lost county income tax revenue would total over $40 million in that time period

“The proposed increase in the County minimum wage has the potential to provide some important benefits,” the study noted. “An increase in earnings for low-wage County workers will have tangible positive impacts for low-income workers and their families. This should also lead to reductions in poverty, improvement in mental health and a reduction in hunger and stress among minimum wage workers.”

But it continued, “… At the same time, it is also projected that the wage increase will lead to a significant loss of low-wage jobs. This loss of jobs would lead to a loss of income among County residents. This also has the spillover effect of reduced income tax revenue for the County.” 

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The study was released at the end of July, the same month more than a dozen other cities and counties started their fiscal year with a minimum wage increase.

Some of those increases are modest, while others are aiming for the $15-an-hour benchmark that has become a rallying cry of the left. This debate has been particularly heated in Seattle, where the $15-an-hour wage has divided employers and scholars – dueling studies were released earlier this year, with one showing the wage hike cost jobs and another showing the opposite.

In the Maryland study, supporters of a wage increase reportedly took issue with the fact that consultant PFM based the study on the predictions of employers, with one calling it “nonsense.”

But according to The Washington Post, Leggett said even if employers cut half the jobs predicted in the study, “those are some startling numbers. You can’t discount it all.” 



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Penn State fraternity member charged with student's death deleted video, detective says – Second suspect arrested after reported rape at UCF frat party


A State College police detective said one of the 18 Beta Theta Pi fraternity members facing charges regarding Penn State student Timothy Piazza’s death deleted video from the frat house’s basement camera.

Detective David Scicchitano said in Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. on Thursday that the footage was deleted two days after Piazza died, according to Penn Live. The detective said he believed he knew which fraternity brother deleted the footage but did not name the person. He also revealed that one of the 18 members facing charges is the person he suspected deleted the footage.

It is not clear what the video could have captured. Prosecutors hinted that police may file additional charges.

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Piazza, 19, a sophomore from Lebanon, NJ, fell several times during a night of drinking on Feb. 2 that followed his participation in a pledge acceptance ceremony. Security camera footage inside the frat house recorded the response of fraternity leaders and other members as they dealt with the injured and intoxicated new fraternity brother with a series of efforts.

Other security camera footage that was shown in an earlier court session showed fraternity members holding Piazza down and pouring liquids on him while he appeared to be unconscious. Piazza was left on a couch where he made several attempts to get up but repeatedly fell and in some cases landed on his head.

Piazza died Feb. 4 at a hospital. Authorities said he had consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol and suffered severe head and abdominal injuries.

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The preliminary hearing is for 16 fraternity members who are facing charges that include involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. Two other members have waived the hearing.

The fraternity itself also faces criminal charges, including voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. Following Piazza’s death, Penn State permanently banned Beta Theta Pi.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Ann Coulter goes off on Trump for 'idiotic' Alabama senate endorsement


Author and conservative commentator Ann Coulter is none too happy with President Trump’s choice in the hotly-contested Alabama Senate primary. 

Trump just announced his support for Sen. Luther Strange over Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) and former state Supreme Court chief justice Roy Moore. 


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Brooks responded by asking the president to reconsider his choice.

Strange is seen as the establishment Republican choice, backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who Trump has been steadily criticizing on Twitter for his failures on ObamaCare repeal. 

Coulter, in a series of tweets and an email to Breitbart News, called Trump’s choice “completely idiotic” and questioned why he is still going along with the Republican establishment. 

“I love him, but that was completely idiotic,” Coulter wrote. “What has Trump gotten from McConnell? But he’s still sucking up to establishment Republicans.”


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Brooks was critical of Trump during the campaign, but Coulter said Trump should forget about that, as he did in the cases of Nikki Haley and Rick Perry.

In an interview last month, Brooks vowed to veto any spending bill that doesn’t include funds for Trump’s border wall.  

The GOP primary runoff is scheduled for next week. Strange is currently filling the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Coulter, a staunch supporter of Trump since his campaign launched, has been critical of the president in recent months over the lack of progress on the border wall. 

She has also said many Republicans despise Trump just as much as MSNBC and liberal Democrats. 


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LEARNING THE HARD WAY Senators face fallout from turning backs on Trump


Republican senators who have been a thorn in President Trump’s side are beginning to see the political consequences of opposing the White House as pro-Trump activists start to mobilize.

Just this week, it was revealed that conservative billionaire and Trump benefactor Robert Mercer would be contributing $300,000 to a super PAC supporting a primary challenger to Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake. The Republican lawmaker has sparred with Trump on immigration and is promoting a book that argues the GOP is in “denial” about the president.

Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller – who gave only tepid support to Trump’s presidential bid and the subsequent push to repeal and replace ObamaCare – also learned this week he would face a primary challenge from a Trump backer who has run unsuccessfully for Senate before. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, too, is feeling the heat from Trump and his base as the president vents about the Kentucky Republican’s inability to get health care legislation passed. 

Flake, though, has been the most overt about his displeasure with the president — making the TV rounds to discuss his book ahead of his re-election race next year.

“If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it,” Flake writes in “Conscience of a Conservative.” “If ultimately our principles were so malleable as to no longer be principles, then what was the point of political victories in the first place?”

The White House has not shied from hitting back. 

“I think Senator Flake would serve his constituents much better if he was less focused on writing a book and attacking the president than passing legislation,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said last week when asked if the president would back a challenger. 

Politico first reported, though, that Mercer plans to donate to the super PAC backing Flake challenger Kelli Ward, a former state senator who unsuccessfully ran against Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2016.

Speaking to Fox News’ Dana Perino on “The Story” last week, Flake denied being worried about a primary challenge. 

“I’m going to run, run hard, have a good campaign, and I feel good about it,” the senator said.

Like Flake, Heller is facing a primary challenge in Nevada from the right: businessman Danny Tarkanian, the son of legendary Nevada basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. 

Heller has long been considered vulnerable but his efforts to at least avoid a primary challenge grew more complicated when he declined to back the Republican-controlled Senate’s early ObamaCare overhaul plan.

At one point, a pro-Trump group called America First Policies briefly took out advertisements against Heller over his health care stance.

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Heller ultimately backed a scaled-back measure. But the overall repeal effort failed, denying Trump, at least for now, his first major legislative victory.

Still, some Republicans are skeptical about Tarkanian’s chances. The candidate most recently lost a 2016 GOP primary bid for the seat of retiring Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. 

“I think that Dean Heller has opened himself up to a challenge, but I don’t think that Danny is the person to make that successful challenge,” Republican strategist Rory McShane said Wednesday. “Beating Dean Heller would take the support of a lot of national groups like Club for Growth and the National Association of Gun Rights. It would be tough for Danny to win a primary without a lot of those national groups behind him.”

Meanwhile, McConnell, who is not up for re-election this year, has been facing the wrath of Trump and his supporters after saying in a speech that Trump had “excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”

“Hey Kentucky–time to tell @SenateMajLdr McConnell to stop rolling over for the Dems, advance the Trump agenda, or step aside,” conservative radio host Laura Ingraham tweeted Thursday.

Trump himself has been dinging McConnell on Twitter for not getting a health care bill through the Senate, despite Republicans pledging to repeal ObamaCare for years.

“Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done,” the president tweeted. “Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!”

Fox News’ Joseph Weber contributed to this report.



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Youngest female pilot soars


Succeeding in any major career promotion takes serious determination, especially when you’re shattering gender stereotypes. And Anny Divya gracefully rises to that challenge, 36,000 feet above the ground: The 30-year-old Air India pilot is the youngest woman ever to serve as commander of a Boeing 777.

Ascending to this elite rank and getting to fly the world’s largest twin jet, which can seat up to 396 passengers, has been a lifelong dream. Since Divya was a little girl growing up in Vijayawada, a small city on the banks of the Krishna River in southeastern India, she yearned to soar through the clouds, she told The Daily Mail.

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“We belonged to a very humble background back then — we couldn’t afford to travel in planes,” she said. In fact, the first time she stepped onto a plane was to fly it.

Despite having no mentor or experience with aircraft technology, Divya earned a scholarship to flight school at age 17. Almost 1,000 miles away from her family at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi, and forced to learn English quickly, Divya was steadfast in pursuit of her goal.

“Flying is one profession where you better be good at what you do,” she said, “because people’s lives depend on you.”

Pushing herself through the academy, she finished her training at age 19. Divya was then offered a position with Air India, where she has worked, and climbed the ranks, ever since.

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Now based in Mumbai, the pilot is proud to be a woman succeeding in a profession historically dominated by men.

“When I go on flights, people keep asking ‘Are you a commander?’” she told CNN. “They’re like, ‘But she’s such a young girl to be flying such a big plane!”

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Logging between 70 and 80 hours per month in the high skies, with regular trips to the U.S., Divya says one of the best parts of her job is the pride of wearing the uniform.



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New Orleans braces for possible flooding after pump failures


Officials in New Orleans urged residents Thursday to move their vehicles to higher ground in certain neighborhoods, amid continued problems with the city’s water pumps that has forced two officials out — as more rain is due.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office said in a news release the city has lost service to one of its turbines, which powers most of the pumping stations that service the East Bank of New Orleans.

As a result of the power outage, the system’s capacity to drain storm water from the streets is diminished.  Currently, five of the sewerage and water board’s six turbines are out of service, according to FOX 8. All but two were out of service before the fire and resulting otage.

The lone turbine, along with power from Entergy, can still power 38 of the city’s 58 available pumps located west of the Industrial Canal, city officials said at a press conference.

“We are at risk if we have a massive rain event that comes up at the last minute and creates the kind of flooding we had,” Landrieu told reporters, referring to flooding the city experienced during the weekend. “The power we have available to us now will not be enough to pump the city out in the time needed.”

The mayor said the city will be vulnerable for the next 24 to 48 hours, FOX8 reported.

“This could be as early as later [Thursday], or it could be longer. We just do not know yet,” Landrieu said.

The Orleans Parish School Board closed schools and its central administrative offices Thursday because of diminished pumping capacity, according to FOX 8.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference he signed a declaration of emergency “out of an abundance of caution.”

“This is a serious situation,” he said, but stressed now is not the time to panic. 

The city’s municipal pumping system is supposed to move water out of the low-lying city, and is separate from the $14.5 billion spent in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as reported in the New York Times, to construct levees, flood walls, gates and pumps to block storm surge from tropical systems.

The Gulf Coast is in the middle of hurricane season, and thunderstorms are also prevalent in New Orleans during August.

Crews were on site Thursday working to repair the downed turbine and secure backup power to restore power to the pumping stations, FOX8 reported.

“We are going to do everything in our power to secure this additional equipment and to get the plant back in order,” Landrieu said.

Due to the potentially severe weather that could result from high water, residents were being told to call 911 to report street flooding and life-threatening emergencies. Residents were also being advised to remain indoors during heavy rainfall.

“The chief has been instructed to make sure that the police department is ready and prepared in the case that we need them. Chief McConnell has been instructed to have the fire department ready,” Landrieu said.

Earlier this week, city officials said the water-pumping system was fully operational, and all 24 pumping stations were working at full capacity.

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But after the system failed to keep up with a storm during the weekend that dropped 9.4 inches of rain in three hours, the truth about the state of the water pumps began to emerge.

Despite what the public had been led to believe, city council members were then told that pumping stations in two of the hardest-hit areas went down to half- to two-thirds capacity on Saturday, according to FOX8.

“It is unacceptable that the public was not only uninformed, but misinformed as to our drainage system functionality during the flood,” Council Member LaToya Cantrell said in a statement Wednesday.

The disclosure has had a ripple effect on the water authority, NOLA.com reported.

Cedric Grant, one of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s top deputies and the head of the Sewerage & Water Board, told the city council at the start of its meeting Tuesday he would retire at the end of hurricane season, which lasts through November.

Public Works Director Mark Jernigan submitted his resignation shortly after the meeting, when he was asked whether his agency had done enough to clean the catch basins that feed the drainage system.

Landrieu said he also wanted the board to fire Joseph Becker, the Sewerage & Water Board’s general superintendent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Dress code violaton goes viral


Students at a school in Dickson County, Tennessee are gaining press attention over how they dress.

The dress code at Dickson County High School says “all students must wear a collared and/or crew neck top with sleeves.” According to the dress code rules online, in addition to strict rules about what tops to wear, there are equally strict punishments – offenders spend the “remainder of the day” in in-school suspension. However, in an article published by a local news network, students may return to class once they have changed clothes.

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One high school senior, Tori Taylor showed up to school with a seemingly innocuous pink crew neck top with quarter-length sleeves. After she arrived, she was yanked out of class for wearing the “wrong” type of crew neck shirt.

To News Channel 5 Network, Taylor says she was told that “it wasn’t the right type of crew neck top.”

Unsure of what the “right type” of crew neck was, Taylor took to  Twitter with a picture of the offending top with the caption, “please tell me what’s wrong with this????” She followed up her initial “wrong” crew with another outfit that violated the dress code – a white crew neck shirt with a floral print top over it.

Other students agreed with Taylor and started sharing their own dress code infractions, and frustrations with the school’s militant dress code.

“I spent a lot of money on my school clothes for my senior year,” said Taylor to New Channel 5. “I can’t afford to buy a new set of school clothes just to question if it will be ok.”

Taylor continued with: “I just feel it needs to be explained better. They need to do a better job presenting it to us.”

In an emailed statement, the principal of the school defended their strict dressing guidelines, and how far they go to ensure all students understand the policy:

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“Dickson County High School is proud to build good relationships with students, parents, and our community. We have a great school and we strive every day to keep it that way. The purpose of our dress code is to assure students will dress and groom in a clean, neat, and modest manner in order not to distract or interfere with the educational environment of the school. For the most part, 99 percent of our students have come to school within our dress code guidelines. As a reminder, we have communicated with students, parents, and community our dress code expectations for this school year.”

Though, as some have pointed out, if the goal is to not distract or interfere with education, pulling children out of class is not the way to go about it. 



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New Oscar category?


On John Bailey’s first day as the new president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Reebok president Matt O’Toole wrote him an open letter, shared via Twitter. 

The message was not a congratulatory note from one head honcho to another, but instead a passionate proposal for creating a new Academy Award to honor the unsung heroes behind the silver screen: fitness trainers.

Noting that Oscars have long been given for Best Makeup and Hairstyling as well as Best Sound Mixing, O’Toole makes a provocative argument for celebrating “the craft of fitness” through the individuals who guide actors into “fighting, flying and filming shape.”

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“These people often hail from outside the glitz of Hollywood. They’ve crafted their expertise on the playing field, in their garage gyms and even defending our country,” O’Toole said. He added that their backgrounds have not led them down the traditional path to show business, but their skills are indispensable nonetheless, in that they propel the actors to stardom and success.

“Ask any motion picture star and they will tell you, these are the people who power the scenes and stories fans love so much,” he said.The best scenes and storylines today often require amazing physical transformations, and actors and actresses rely heavily on a small field of expert trainers to get them in fighting, flying and filming shape.”

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In a day and age when self-made fitness gurus and stars ride a wave of popularity across Instagram, Snapchat and other visual social media, O’Toole’s proposition is certainly intriguing.

And with the 2018 Oscars months away, the Academy has ample time to decide whether or not to recognize this community in the future.

John Bailey has not yet appeared to issue a response to O’Toole.



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Britney attacked mid-show


Britney Spears had a scare on Wednesday night when an overzealous fan jumped on stage while she was performing in Las Vegas.

Jesse Webb, 37, was arrested for trespassing by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers.

According to the cops, “Webb was asked to leave the concert by security prior to him jumping on stage and dancing. Webb was transported to the Clark County Detention Center.”

Footage showed Webb rushing onto the stage before he was apprehended by the pop star’s security team and backup dancers.

Spears can be heard asking a security guard who came to her side, “What’s going on?”

The 35-year-old mother of two was escorted off stage but she reportedly later returned to the stage at Planet Hollywood to finish her “Pieces of Me” show. 

Some fans in the audience captured took to social media to discuss what happened at the show. 

One Spears’ fan tweeted, “Someone just ran on stage at #PieceOfMe. Britney was promptly escorted backstage by guards. It was a BIG guy.”

Before the on-stage altercation, the “Toxic” singer posted on Instagram that she was excited to perform. 

Spears did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.

Fox News.com Reporter and FOX411 host Diana Falzone covers celebrity news and interviews some of today’s top celebrities and newsmakers.  You can follow her on Twitter @dianafalzone.



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Florida family finds 6-foot boa constrictor that had been living in attic for years


“Only in Florida.”

That is what a Florida man said after he found a 6-foot-long boa constrictor that had been living unnoticed in his attic.

Bob van der Herchen told FOX13 that he saw a portion of the snake in the ceiling. 

“I see it,” van der Herchen said. “And I could only see about this much of it,” he said while using his hands to make a small circle. 

Mark Lampart, a snake trapper, arrived at the home and after some wrangling, removed the 6-foot boa constrictor from the attic.

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“The snake got over the PVC pipe and was not moving,” van der Herchen said.

While digging for the snake, a large piece of the reptile’s skin was discovered.

“When he pulled that snake skin out, I said, ‘That’s a sign he must have been there for quite a while,'” van der Herchen recalled.

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After more than two hours later, the snake was captured. 

“I’m glad we could get it. It was very difficult,” Lampart said.

The homeowner said he believed the boa constrictor slid into the attic from an overgrown tree branch hanging near the home. 

“I thought it was bigger than 6 feet,” van der Herchen said. “And when I was trying to take a picture of it, the snake went, ‘hiss’.”

The snake was not harmed in any way and Lampert said he hoped to find the reptile a home.



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