Day: August 13, 2017

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Texas police chief asked to leave doctor's office for carrying gun


A Texas police chief said he was asked to leave a doctor’s office because he was carrying his gun.

Conroe Police Chief Philip Dupuis told The Courier he was wearing his badge, lanyard with identification and gun when he began to check in for his appointment at Texas Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in The Woodlands on August 8.

The receptionist reportedly took the officer’s information, then asked him to put his gun in his car. Dupuis said he refused, and was asked to leave.

“It’s just bad,” Dupuis told The Courier. “My badge is clearly displayed. I have my lanyard on with ‘police’ on my ID card hanging around my neck. I had handcuffs. The lobby was full of people, and they asked me to leave because of who I am.”

Licensed police officers in the state of Texas can legally carry guns openly, anywhere in the state. But private business or property owners can create “weapons-free” zones, according to The Courier.

“These people have the right to do what they did and refuse my service,” the police officer said. “Legally, they can ask me to leave because I’m not there on official business.”

Texas ENT Specialists posted a statement to Facebook following the incident, noting they apologized to Officer Dupuis and will “make every effort to ensure this does not happen again.”

“We regret the situation that occurred on August 8, 2017 involving Chief Dupuis and a member of our staff. We have personally apologized to Chief Dupuis for any inconvenience or embarrassment he experienced. Our company values law enforcement officers and first responders for their selfless service and will serve them and our communities with the utmost respect.

Texas Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists will continue to treat armed law enforcement officers who have the appropriate identification. Again, we sincerely apologize to Chief Dupuis for the situation and the embarrassment he may have felt. We will make every effort to ensure this does not happen again in any of our locations.”



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ASSASSINATION THREAT? Venezuelan pol allegedly puts hit out on Rubio


A top Venezuelan politician may have ordered Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to be assassinated after the senator unleashed a string of criticisms against the country’s government, Fox News has learned.

The possible threat led Rubio to take on a stronger security detail, including U.S. Capitol Police. Rubio was seen with additional security in both Washington and Miami.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO ON HIS MESSAGE TO THE VENEZUELAN PEOPLE

The alleged threat, which federal authorities could not confirm as authentic at the time, was believed to come from ruling party leader Diosdado Cabello, with whom Rubio has publicly feuded.

The Miami Herald reported that in a Homeland Security Department memo, it was revealed that Cabello did “order to have Senator Rubio assassinated,” though “no specific information regarding an assassination plot against Senator Rubio has been garnered thus far.”

U.S. Capitol security forces had planned to “beef up” protections for lawmakers following the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was wounded on June 14 as Republican lawmakers practiced for the annual Congressional baseball game.

VENEZUELAN LEADERS WELCOME NEW AMERICAN SANCTIONS, SAY WASHINGTON’S ROLE IS PIVOTAL

Rubio has been vocally outspoken against Venezuela, once referring to Cabello as the “Pablo Escobar of Venezuela.” Cabello responded by referring to the senator as “Narco Rubio.”

The senator has not commented publicly on the possible threat. 

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.



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Illegal immigrants found locked in hot trailer in Edinburg, Texas


More than a dozen illegal immigrants were discovered trapped inside a trailer in Texas on Sunday.

The Edinburg Police Department confirmed that 17 immigrants were in the back of the trailer, KRPC reported. The locked trailer was in the parking lot of a “Flying J” convenience store, according to Fox 8.

A man and woman who oversaw that trailer have been detained and the U.S. Border Patrol is investigating, according to reports.

Officials said that the immigrants were from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Romania, KRPC added.

Police were notified by a worried family member in Mexico who reported that a relative was locked inside a trailer that was getting to hot for those inside.

The trailer was discovered just a month after ten people were found dead in the back of a tractor-trailer in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio as part of what investigators called a botched smuggling mission. The driver of that trailer was charged and could face the death penalty if convicted.

A man and woman who oversaw that trailer have been detained and the U.S. Border Patrol is investigating, according to reports.



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Lifelong Harley-Davidson rider gets special 'last ride' with big entourage


A lifelong rider of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and a former employee of the company, celebrated his 78th birthday with a special gift from his family. A group of about 30 people showed up with their motorcycles to grant the birthday wish on Saturday in Milwaukee.

“Our connection has always been motorcycles,” said Forest Mrezek, Tom’s at-home nurse.

Being lifted into the sidecar was Tom Strehlow. He’s turning 78 — no small feat. It was a celebration of years lived, shadowed by his health.

“He didn’t have a good short-term memory. He also has Lewy body dementia so that’s another part of the dimension of his disease,” said Mrezek.

Strehlow was also diagnosed with terminal cancer.

After a 30-minute ride, they arrived at the Harley-Davidson Museum; a great surprise that was more than he could ask for.

“No, it was perfect, beautiful. All I really wanted was a handshake,” said Strehlow.

Friends and family of Strehlow believe this could very will be his last birthday so basing the celebration around the motorcycle he loves just made sense.

“What other company can you think of where you retire from it and you want to come back as one of your final wishes to help celebrate your birthday,” said Tim McCormick, Harley-Davidson.

Before the tour of the museum started, the company gave a gift to the man who’s given so much to them: his very own Harley-Davidson leather jacket.

Click for more from Fox 6.



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Back to school crisis: Lack of school bus drivers plagues the nation


School bus companies in the United States are spinning their wheels in an effort to get more drivers hired before the start of the school year.

Every company that responded to a School Bus Fleet magazine survey of the top 50 school bus contractors said they had a shortage of some kind. Most (54%) faced a “moderate” shortage, while 22% said theirs was “severe.” Nineteen percent said they have a “mild” shortage and 5% said their company was “desperate.”

The lack of drivers is leading to an increase in advertising dollars spent on billboards, fliers and social media, as well as implementing incentives such as signing and referral bonuses. Companies are also striving to improve corporate culture and creating a retention program, the survey found. Data from respondents showed the average starting pay for drivers rose 66 cents from last year.

In order to become a school bus driver in Pennsylvania, for example, one must complete a minimum of 20 hours of school bus-specific instruction—14 hours in the classroom and six hours in-bus. The driver almost must pass a road test and pass criminal and child abuse history checks, among other paperwork and exams, USA Today reported.

More on this…

Earlier this month, the state of Hawaii suspended and consolidated school bus routes on Maui due to a shortage of qualified drivers.

“We have explored all options and have been unable to assist in securing licensed drivers for these critical routes,” Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson said in a statement, adding that the routes would be restored when the required number of drivers is met.

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Carlson said the Department of Education spoke with the mayor of Maui about the possibility of using the county bus system, however it was determined that it could not handle the increased number of riders.

“We spoke and brainstormed with Mayor [Alan] Arakawa on solutions in hopes of finding a solution to prevent this situation, however, there are too many legal obligations for outside parties to engage. It’s disappointing, but this is the reality,” Carlson said.



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Elizabeth Warren Ridicules Clinton Policies, Generates '2020' Chants at Netroots…


Despite Ms. Warren’s words, deep divisions remain in the Democratic Party in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential campaign. There is the familiar center-versus-liberal divide as well as an increasingly animated clash between economic-focused activists on the far left and liberals driven more by issues of race, gender and identity.

While Ms. Warren first rose to stardom on the left because of her populist jeremiads against concentrated economic power, she sought to use her remarks in Atlanta to broaden her indictment against what she calls “a rigged system.” Expanding her signature attacks on Wall Street and its political influence, she said that women, African-Americans, undocumented immigrants and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were all suffering from fundamental inequities.

Ms. Warren lampooned a recent New York Times opinion article, “Back to the Center, Democrats,” by the onetime Clinton strategist Mark Penn and the former New York City Council president Andrew Stein. “The path forward is to go back to locking up nonviolent drug offenders and ripping more holes in our economic safety net,” she said of their argument.

Still, Ms. Warren implored the crowd not to push others out of the movement.

“If we’re going to be the people who lead the Democratic Party back from the wilderness and lead our country out of this dark time, then we can’t waste energy arguing about whose issue matters more or who in our alliance should be voted off the island,” she said, drawing applause.

The annual Netroots gathering began in 2006 when it was called “YearlyKos” and sponsored by the Daily Kos blog. But it has grown in scale, mirroring the rise of liberals in the party.

The conference has also become a proving ground for would-be Democratic presidential candidates. Ms. Warren did little to dissuade a friendly crowd from thinking she, too, was eyeing a White House run.

Recalling the moment earlier this year when Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, rebuked her for not following Senate rules — and said, “nevertheless she persisted” — Ms. Warren repeated the line that has become a rallying cry for her. When she vowed to the crowd in Atlanta that she “would persist,” chants of “Warren 2020” rose up.

Continue reading the main story



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CHALLENGER MARTIN SCHULZ CONFIDENT…


BERLIN (AP) — Angela Merkel’s main challenger in the country’s upcoming general election said Sunday he remains confident he can unseat the chancellor despite her wide lead in the polls.

Martin Schulz, who was president of the European Parliament until January, said on Germany’s ZDF television’s “Berlin Direkt” program that there are still six weeks of campaigning to go before the Sept. 24 vote.

“I think that I still have a good chance to lead the next government,” he said.

Still, with Germany enjoying record-low unemployment, a balanced budget and a strong economy, the 61-year-old Schulz faces an uphill battle to defeat Merkel and was challenged in the 15-minute interview to say why people should vote for his party over her Christian Democrats.

“Germany is doing well… but the statement that Germany is doing well doesn’t mean that all Germans are doing well,” he said. “We must be much better in many areas.”

Schulz also noted that his Social Democrats are currently Merkel’s junior coalition partner in government, and that credit for successes should not be hers alone. He said he’d be happy to form another so-called grand coalition after the election, but “under my leadership.”

Schulz said there needs to be more investment in digital infrastructure, training programs, and help for lower-income families struggling to make ends meet.

Asked why a voter should “take a risk” to vote Merkel out, he said: “it’s the opposite; we are taking a risk if we do nothing.”

The latest poll, by the Emnid agency for Bild newspaper on Sunday, showed Schulz’s Social Democrats gaining a percentage point to 24 percent support, compared to a steady 38 percent support for Merkel’s conservative bloc. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.5 percent.

Schulz struggled at times during the interview to differentiate his positions from those of Merkel, saying, for example, that he would not argue with the chancellor’s call for a de-escalation of rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea and ruling out of a military solution.

He said it was his principle that the government needed to stand together in times of such a crisis.

“You have to simply live with the fact that I’m one of those politicians who has principles,” he said.

He also echoed Merkel’s criticism from Saturday of Germany’s auto industry in the wake of a diesel emissions cheating scandal, saying that wealthy “managers at VW, at Daimler, have missed the future” by not investing in alternative technologies earlier.

Now, he said, there seems to be the thought that the diesel drivers, like commuters, delivery services and craftspeople, “should pay the bill.”

“I’m strongly against that,” he said.

“The irresponsible managers of the automobile industry should take responsibility.”



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Boy, 13, bitten by shark at South Carolina island


A 13-year-old North Carolina boy suffered a shark bite on South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island last week, the Island Packet reports. 

Linton Suttle was swimming Thursday near Sea Pines Beach Club when he felt a sharp pain in his foot, he told the newspaper. 

“I thought maybe it was a seashell, but as I turned around to look I saw a shadow swim away and I knew I had just got bit by a shark,” he said. “My first thought was that I wanted to get my sister out of the water.”

His parents used photos of comparable bites and an exchange with shark researchers to confirm it was a shark bite.

The family received an email from George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, confirming the bite was from a shark. 

OHIO TEEN BIT BY SHARK AT HILTON HEAD BEACH

The boy escaped without major injuries but has to use crutches and stay out of the ocean, according to the report. 

The newspaper reported that Linton is the fourth shark bite victim on Hilton Head this summer, with none of the bites being life-threatening. 

“Half of an inch to the left and he might have lost a toe,” Linton’s mother, Kristy Suttle, told the Island Packet. “I am grateful it didn’t do more damage.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Lion rescued from Syria zoo gives birth in Jordan reserve


The odds had been stacked against Hajar, a lion cub born just hours after her mother Dana, rescued from a zoo in war-torn Syrian, was released into a wildlife reserve in Jordan.

Dana and 12 other animals, including four other lions and two tigers, had barely survived under harsh conditions in the Syrian city of Aleppo, once a major battleground.

They were transported from Syria to Turkey and then to Jordan by the animal charity Four Paws, stuck in cages most of the time. They arrived in Jordan on Friday.

Martin Bauer of Four Paws said Sunday that the cub might not have survived had it been born in a cage. He says the cub seems fine and is nursing.

He says Dana carries a second baby due any time.



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Pence goes to Latin America, following Trump's warning to Venezuelan leaders


Vice President Pence begins a week-long trip Sunday to Latin America amid continuing political turmoil in Venezuela and President Trump saying he wouldn’t rule out a “military option” in response to the actions of Venezuela leader Nicolás Maduro.

Pence begins the trip with a meeting in Colombia with President Juan Manuel Santos. He also has scheduled visits to Argentina and Chile, other neighboring South American countries to Venezuela, and Panama in Central America.

Trump’s remark Friday about a possible U.S. military response to what the administration sees as a power grab by Maduro was largely a surprise, considering the president was already in an escalating standoff with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told “Fox News Sunday” that intelligence in recent months shows the situation “continues to deteriorate,” with Maduro “asserting more power and inflicting more pain on the people of Venezuela.”

He also said the situation indeed poses a security risk to the United States considering the Cubans, Russians, Iranians and “even Hezbollah” are already there.

Still, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster suggested last week that he didn’t foresee an “outside military intervention” in Venezuela and told MSNBC that the administration was working with neighboring Latin American countries to resolve the crisis.

Venezuela has rejected Trump’s talk.

The Venezuelan president’s son, Nicolás Maduro Guerra, threatened Saturday to “take the White House,” if the U.S. uses military action.

His remarks followed Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza saying Friday that Trump’s talk was the most egregious act of belligerence against Venezuela in a century and a threat to the region’s stability.

In Colombia, Pence is expected to highlight trade, business investment and other ties between the nations, including U.S. support for Bogota’s efforts to implement its peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The United States probably will seek assurances that Colombia is taking seriously a surging coca production that’s been blamed partially on Santos’ decision in 2015 to stop using crop-destroying herbicides.

A July report from the United Nations showed that coca production in Colombia had reached levels not seen in two decades, complicating Colombia’s efforts to make its vast, lawless countryside more secure.

The administration has been putting pressure on Colombia to curb the flow of drugs into the U.S., and Colombia has stepped up its forced eradication program and increased seizures of cocaine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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