Somebody mentioned committees here. There’s plenty this Mr Devono appointed. Planning Committees, Advisory Committee, Strategic Plan Committees, CEFP Committee. All hand picked by the Gilmer Superintendent and never even discussed with Gilmer’s board.
I asked a board member to see this month’s agenda. It’s public record. Their copy is just like this one but has all kinds of attachments.That’s the agenda that goes into the minutes but the public never sees the true agenda. That’s unethical, flies in the face of the open meeting laws and plain deceitful. Many county boards give the local papers the list of who they hired, who resigned,who was let go including the names. Lewis, Ritchie, Calhoun, Roane do it for an example. Gilmer County never knows who gets hired except through the grapevine. Gilmer people never know if there is anything they want to attend a meeting and ask questions about because the agenda put to the public doesn’t tell us what is going to be talked about. That’s not right.
By Why Is G Devono Putting Out Two Different Agendas? on 10.17.2016
When we lose a loved one here on earth, we gain an angel in heaven that watches over us. May you take comfort in knowing that you have an angel to watch over you now. I extend my most sincere condolences to you.
You people better keep a close eye on G Devono. Should have learned when he came in to your board saying he’d be the most transparent Superintendent and wound up being the most secret and manipulative.
Suggest you watch who gets chased out of your schools and who he brings in for political popularity with whomever he believes is in control.
This man will never be at the office. He will never work for your children. He only works to take care of himself. Watch the committee appointments. He will never ask any community who they want to represent them. This is the reason Lewis County got rid of him and plans to stay rid of him no matter how many job applications he puts in.
You have to be close to the paranoid, ‘skitzo’, madman, to even begin to understand how the perverted, warped mind works. Shuff, one example. Due to employment concerns, skitzo gets away with it. Handlers are in the dark.
Garry and Reta ,
So Sorry to hear about Larry . I guess all I could think when we got the word of this was that Larry was in such a bad situation with his condition he is suffering no more . He sure brought a lot of good memories for all of us to have from the Reunions .
In regards to the state appointed Superintendent’s latest attempt to show concern about sports in Gilmer County consider this: Did you know the Superintendent attempted to prevent Coach Shuff from becoming head football coach?
Did you know that Coach Shuff was told by the Superintendent he would have to resign as Assistant Principal of Gilmer County High School if he did not withdraw his application for head football coach?
Did you know that after Coach Shuff refused to resign as Assistant Principal the state appointed Superintendent proceeded to force him to resign as Athletic Director?
The question of often asked who the state appointee over Gilmer’s school system works for. It becomes more and more obvious it is not Gilmer County.
It was the commissions idea to persuade an ill educated, vain, superintendent to pay out the children’s money for rent that was never a legal obligation. Isn’t it ironic that the space they moved the BOE office into would have been large enough for the courts?
The only time a school system functions properly is when a superintendent and a school board work together as a unified team to try to do the utmost to serve children.
When intervention occurs the WVBOE gives its appointed superintendent supreme authority over a local school board.
Under normal conditions a school board hires a superintendent and that individual is fully accountable to that board. If the individual fails to produce for children he/she can be fired by a board.
In intervened counties a local board has no role in evaluating performances of intervention superintendents because the individuals report to the WVBOE without any local say.
Another insult is that exorbitant compensation packages for intervention superintendents come out of a local school system’s funds, and money which could have gone to benefit children goes to a WVBOE appointed superintendent instead.
Decisions are made in secret in intervened counties without any valid involvement of an elected board, and it is standard practice to keep important school system information from boards so members are purposely kept uninformed.
For all practical purposes, in intervened counties an elected school board functions in a token capacity with WVBOE demands for it to play go along and to rubber stamp.
The treat is held over board members that if they are not totally submissive intervention will not be lifted.
When intervention is eventually lifted local school boards must clean up the WVBOE’s messes, and it can take years for a school system to fully recover.
By WVBOE Destroys Intervened School Boards on 10.11.2016
For those of us interested in maintaining enough electrical power to run a modern economy, this effort is “one step forward, two steps back,“ making electrical power more expensive with no clear benefit to anyone. That’s beyond stupid.
“When & Where to Visit” for Fall Color This Weekend
Best spots to visit currently include Babcock and Watoga state parks; the Summersville area, including the overlook at Summersville Lake; Cranberry Glades; and Williams River. Areas of elevation ranging between 2,000 and 3,500 feet have the most color. Areas over that elevation are losing leaves quickly.
Tourism Industry Projects To Receive $1.2 Million In Matching Funds To Attract Visitors To The State
West Virginia Tourism Industry projects totaling $2.4 million have been approved by the West Virginia Tourism Commission to receive $1.2 million in matching funds through the Matching Advertising Partnership Program (MAPP).
MAPP allows state tourism businesses to match their advertising dollars through partnerships with other tourism businesses and the state. Matches are based on the combined budgets of the applicants and their partners, as well as the amount of available funding. The matching funds support efforts to promote wild, wonderful destinations throughout West Virginia, increasing the number of visitors and travel expenditures to the Mountain State.
Approved requests representing tourism projects from across the state include:
Country Road Cabins Applicant funding requirement: $28,050.00; state match: $28,050.00
The “WV Cabins and Getaways 2017” project is a cooperative venture with five recreation/amenities and accommodations businesses in Fayette County to attract outdoor travel enthusiasts from a 13-state marketing area. The project will utilize print and Internet media, along with Consumer/Trade shows to promote West Virginia as a multi-day destination featuring deluxe cabin lodging, world-class outdoor adventure tour opportunities, and the finest amenities in the area.
Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad Applicant funding requirement: $50,475.00; state match: $50,475.00
The main goal of this project is to promote scenic MountainRail Adventures and the region as not only a day-trip getaway, but a weekend destination for families, couples, and retirees with many different adventure packages, special events, holiday trains and multiple destinations. The campaign will utilize print and online media as well as trade and consumer shows, to focus on metropolitan and regional areas within a 250-mile radius.
Fayette County Education Fund Applicant funding requirement: $2,372.50; state match: $7,117.50
The New River Birding and Nature Festival project is designed to promote West Virginia as a birding destination and boost shoulder season business for the area’s tourism industry. The Festival is recognized around the world as a model event, and utilizes print and online ads as well as e-blasts with Bird Watchers’ Digest. The festival continues to attract visitors from across the U.S. and the globe.
New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau Applicant funding requirement: $13,950.94; state match: $13,950.94
The “Adventure & Awe. Where’s George in the New River Gorge?” project is designed to increase visitation and overnight stays of millennials and young families by utilizing unique characters to enhance visitor experience. The project will support the New River Gorge brand through print media with digital components and tie into the CVB’s brochure and social ad campaign.
New Winterplace, LLC dba Fayette-Mercer-Raleigh County Winter Coalition Applicant funding requirement: $173,234.00; state match: $173,234.00
Winterplace Ski Resort and its lodging partners have teamed up to increase recreational snow sports awareness among individuals, families and groups for an affordable, easily accessible, multi-day, ski vacation through the winter months. The project utilizes digital display and retargeting advertising, as well as direct mail and print media primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region.
PNGI Charles Town Gaming dba Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races Applicant funding requirement: $175,000.00; state match: $175,000.00
As a portion of their overall marketing plan, Hollywood Casino’s “Competitive Defense Project” utilizes highly-targeted print media in DC, Maryland and Virginia as well as direct mail, to promote numerous regional tourism activities and attractions including gaming, entertainment, dining, lodging, recreation, tours and festivals.
Pocahontas County Convention & Visitors Bureau Applicant funding requirement: $57,290.00; state match: $57,290.00
Pocahontas County CVB’s “Vacation Connection 2” project is focused on re-imagining the traditional family vacation in order to promote return visits to the county, including, senior getaways, creative vacations designed to live like local residents, and multi-generational travel through print, broadcast, Internet media, and outdoor advertising in target markets throughout the region.
Racing Corporation of WV dba Mardi Gras Casino & Resort Applicant funding requirement: $175,000.00; state match: $175,000.00
Mardi Gras Casino and Resort has teamed up with six area partners for the “Find Your Party” campaign. The project utilizes broadcast media, billboards, and Internet advertising to increase awareness of the destination to both in-state and out-of-state visitors as well as encouraging return visits from existing customers.
Snowshoe Mountain Applicant funding requirement: $175,000.00; state match: $175,000.00
The “Mountain Rules” campaign positions Snowshoe as the ultimate winter destination to increase skier visits and room nights. The project also promotes an all-season mountain playground with world-class mountain biking and amazing summer events and activities for the whole family. Media includes focused print advertising with an emphasis on digital and performance-based media to promote compelling offers, including best “book by” deals on lodging, packaged lift tickets, and pre-season pass specials.
Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau Applicant funding requirement: $47,799.50; state match: $47,799.50
The “Marketing the Top of West Virginia” campaign combines forces with the CVB and area partners to increase tourism as a key element in the economy of Brooke and Hancock counties. The project utilizes regional print, broadcast, Internet and outdoor advertising to promote entertainment and area attractions.
Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau Applicant funding requirement: $123,116.00; state match: $123,116.00
The “Get Tucker’d” campaign is designed to promote multiple attractions and municipalities in the Tucker County area. The project targets states within a 3 to 5 hour drive including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and DC to increase overnight visitation and revenue, utilizing primarily Internet media along with print, direct mail, and electronic billboards in Metro DC.
Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau Applicant funding requirement: $2,438.75; state match: $7,316.25
The “Stay the Weekend 2017” project encourages visitors to enjoy a long weekend in a classic, small town area with an energized atmosphere. As most travel plans are researched online, the project focuses heavily on Internet advertising, enabling the CVB to customize advertising messages for festivals and events, while also promoting dining and shopping in the Downtown Buckhannon Historic District.
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack Applicant funding requirement: $175,000.00; state match: $175,000.00
Wheeling Island’s “New Member and Player Retention Project” utilizes targeted print, broadcast, and digital media along with direct mail to reach new and existing casino guests in order to generate increased revenue and awareness of casino amenities, monthly promotions, concerts and new member offers.
Woodlands Amenities, LLC dba The Cabins at Pine Haven Applicant funding requirement: $2,500.00; state match: $7,500.00
The “West Virginia Outdoor Adventure Vacation Packages” project targets visitors within a five-hour/300 mile radius through Internet media to book exciting outdoor adventure vacations including luxury cabin or treehouse accommodations with just one click or call.
Chris Cuomo seems to be following his big brother’s lead when it comes to the First Amendment.
On CNN, Cuomo said:
“Also interesting is, remember, it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents,” Cuomo says. “It’s different for the media, so everything you’re learning about this, you’re learning from us.”
Mr. Cuomo… I don’t say this lightly…. but YOU EAT AT THE OLIVE GARDEN! (I just can’t think of a worse insult to lob at an Italian. But yes, I went there.)
I’m not sure if he’s confused, lying, or just mis-spoke. But, lets just make sure that no matter what his motivation, you, my dear readers, understand that a) it isn’t true, and b) don’t eat at the Olive Garden. Lets just skip point B for the sake of brevity.
Lets do this with feeling… ready? Repeat after me:
It is not illegal for you to read Wikileaks.
It is not illegal for you to download documents from Wikileaks.
You do not need to rely on “the media” to spoon feed you the documents from Wikileaks.
The Olive Garden is not Italian food.
Cuomo might be confused because of a couple little things.
In 2001, the Supreme Court held in Bartnicki v. Vopper ,532 U.S. 514 (2001) that the press has a right to report on materials that might have been created or gathered illegally – as long as the media outlet took no part in the illegal activity. In that case, a radio reporter got ahold of the tape of an illegally recorded phone call. Since it was a matter of public concern, the press had a right to use it. So, the Wikileaks documents may have been illegally obtained in the first place, but once the genie is out of the bottle, you can’t put it back in. The press can report on it.
Of course, in 2001, the lines between “you” and “the media” weren’t so blurred. And, I could see Mr. Cuomo thinking that since Bartnicki addresses the press, that this somehow excludes the rabble from that same privilege. However, the press doesn’t actually get any special privileges here, just because Bartnicki did not address you downloading these documents to your hard drive. In fact, it wouldn’t make too much sense for it to be legal for CNN to report on the documents, and to publish them, but you could then be prosecuted – unless you can show that you downloaded them from CNN.
Now maybe Cuomo was also confused by a 2010 memo where government employees were warned that they couldn’t access leaked classified documents. Yeah, that might be true. If you work for the government, it can probably impose some limits on what you can possess when it comes to leaked classified material. Even if they can’t prosecute an employee, they could certainly condition continued employment or continued security clearance on you being a good little doggie. And, perhaps if you’re seeking employment with the federal government, you might not want to say “yeah, I did” if they ask if you ever read the Wikileaks releases.
Now what about “receiving stolen property?“ Someone steals a car. They drop it off in front of my house with the keys in the ignition and a note that says “a gift from a friend.“ That doesn’t mean I can hope in and go for a spin. But, laws governing receipt of stolen property are a bit hard to apply to documents and information. Further, even if some prosecutor wanted to prosecute you for it, they’d be hard pressed to get anywhere with that when it comes to information that is a matter of public concern — like this information.
And then, you get back to the question of “who is ‘the media’?“ How do we really draw a distinction there? Luckily, we don’t have to. The Same Bartnicki case that we discussed before makes it clear that we “draw no distinction between the media respondents and” a non-institutional respondent.“ But, this was hardly revolutionary. See, e.g., Cohen v. Cowles Media Co., 501 U.S. 663 (1991) (press gets no special privileges when it comes to laws governing communication); Henry v. Collins, 380 U.S. 356, 357 (1965) (applying New York Times v. Sullivan to non-media defendant); Garrison v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 64, 67–68 (1964) (same).
So go ahead. Read those documents. Talk about them. Publish them on your blog or your Facebook feed. And do that no matter who is in office. It isn’t just your right, but it is your patriotic duty.
Ask not what you can do for your country; demand to know what your country has been doing to you.
► Local Artists Can Make Ornaments for Governor’s Tree
West Virginia artists are being asked to create and submit ornaments for the governor’s holiday tree this year.
The ornaments are to be hand-crafted and suitable for hanging on a tree.
The “Artistree” will stand in the foyer of the Governor’s Mansion and will be unveiled during the annual holiday celebration at the State Capitol complex on December 6.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and first lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin suggested the idea five years ago, and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History say it has now become a tradition for the family.
The deadline for submitting ornaments is 4 p.m. November 18. A submission form is available ONLINE.
► MetroNews Poll Shows Justice In Front
A new MetroNews West Virginia gubernatorial poll is out and it shows Jim Justice leading bill Cole.
Democratic Candidate Jim Justice leads Republican Candidate Bill Cole by an 11-point margin in the race for Governor of the state. The MetroNews West Virginia poll of 408 likely voters was conducted from October 12th through the 17th after the second gubernatorial debate.
Justice leads 44 to 33 percent. The Mountain Party candidate Charlotte Pritt would receive 8 percent of the vote if the election were held today, while Libertarian David Moran would receive 5 percent. Nine percent of people polled are undecided on which candidate they’ll vote for on November 8th.
The poll was conducted by Repass Research and Strategic Consulting through interviews conducted on landline phones, cell phones and op-in internet panels.
► ACLU suit: West Virginia clerk denies online voter signups
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a West Virginia county clerk over complaints that her office won’t process online voter registrations.
The ACLU of West Virginia filed the proposed class-action lawsuit Thursday against Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole in U.S. District Court in Huntington.
The ACLU’s lawsuit says that when the Cabell clerk receives an online registration, it sends back a paper application and a letter that says the secretary of state’s website doesn’t provide the information required by law for the clerk’s office to process a voter application.
The lawsuit says the plaintiff, Marshall University student Allison Mullins, is one of an unknown number of people who registered online but didn’t have her information processed by Cole’s office.
Cole didn’t immediately respond to a phone message for comment.
► “Keep going,“ U.S. education secretary tells educators after hearing about West Virginia’s early learning success
“A model for the country” was how the U.S. secretary of education described West Virginia’s universal pre-kindergarten program during a Thursday visit to the Capital City focused on early learning.
“It’s inspiring,” Secretary John King, Jr. said of the Mountain State’s early learning efforts.
He used his visit to Charleston, in part, to announce the U.S. Department of Education’s release of new guidelines outlining ways states and schools districts can use federal funds to support young learners through the Every Student Succeeds Act.
President Barack Obama signed ESSA into law in December 2015 as the replacement for No Child Left Behind and support for early education is found throughout it.
After the November general election, King said the question would be whether members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, in a lame duck session, are willing to commit resources to “deliver on that promise.”
“We’re optimistic,” he said. “The president sees the period after the election as an opportunity to move forward on a budget agreement and to make investments that we know will pay off long-term and this is a bipartisan issue.”
Last year, more than 30 states increased investments in early learning, according to King.
“That’s red state governors, blue state governors, that’s Republican legislators, Democratic legislators, all committed to early learning because we know the return on investment is so high — eight to one, nine to one return on investment,” he said.
The ultimate goal of the Obama Administration is universal access to preschool for low income and moderate income families nationally and, King pledged, the push for that would continue through January 20.
Within the Every Student Succeeds Act, early learning initiatives that can be paid for through federal funds include the following:
– Training for school administrators in the best ways to support educators who work with students through age eight
– Training for early learning teachers to support English-language learners in developing English proficiency and academic readiness
– Updating and aligning certification and licensing standards for early childhood educators, including administrators working with young children from preschool through 3rd grade
– Providing support and ongoing training to early learning teachers on the interactive use of technology for enhancing classroom instruction and reaching out to families
– Ensuring regular observations of early learning classrooms to improve teachers’ effectiveness in creating high-quality instructional, social, and emotional climates
Continually ranked near the top nationally for pre-k access, West Virginia is already investing in some of those areas.
In 2002, the West Virginia Legislature passed a law requiring the state to expand access to all four-year-olds in the Mountain State and, today, West Virginia Universal Pre-K is available in all 55 counties.
“The level of commitment to early learning is really inspiring and it’s across five governors, it’s leadership from the Legislature, it’s leadership from the state Board,” King said after a Thursday town hall on early learning at the West Virginia Department of Education.
“When you look across the country, many states are struggling to ensure access to quality pre-k. West Virginia is delivering on access to quality pre-k.”
“Consistency and commitment” made the difference, Dr. Michael Martirano, state superintendent of schools, told King. West Virginia is “primed for the long game” in education, he said.
Clayton Burch, chief academic officer for the state Department of Education, told King West Virginia has a preschool-12 education system, but, he continued, “we’re probably getting beyond that” as early learning programs stretch to birth.
“We are changing lives and reaching families,” Martirano said before noting he gets “absolutely emotional” when talking about improving student achievement in the Mountain State.
“Keep going,” was the advice from King.
His visit to Charleston Thursday included a stop at Piedmont Elementary School.
King has served as U.S. secretary of education since being confirmed in March. Prior to that, the former high school social studies teacher worked as a principal senior adviser within the U.S. Department of Education.
A New York native, King’s parents were career New York City public school educators. Both died before he was 12. His “life was saved by school,” King said. He credits his public school teachers with setting him on an educational path and giving him hope about his future.
G-LtE™: Trump Rhetoric Presents Real and Present Danger
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. . . . nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.‘ ” – Isaac Asimov
I’m concerned about lone-wolf terrorism.
We have the most powerful military in the history of the world led by capable, experienced generals and admirals, despite what Donald Trump says about them. But the military is virtually useless against the power of one young person soaking up dogma and lies online and being unleashed onto an unsuspecting public.
Yes, I’m talking about radicalized Trump voters.
Trump is radicalizing some of his core base and is ready to unleash his ignoramuses on America if things don’t go his way on Election Day. In speech after speech Trump has whined that the election is “rigged” and “fixed.” He started this nonsense in August, telling a crowd in Pennsylvania that they needed to go to “certain areas” (he means black) and make sure someone doesn’t “vote five times.” He said the only way he can lose Pennsylvania is if “cheating goes on.”
Last Sunday, Trump tweeted his usual swipe at the media and added that there was vote rigging “at many polling places.”
This pathetic, dangerous rhetoric is taking a toll on the weak-minded. A Politico/Morning Consult poll finds 41 percent of voters, including 73 percent of Republicans, think the election could be stolen from Trump.
These people don’t understand that in-person voter fraud is about as likely as Donald Trump passing a polygraph. UFO sightings and people struck by lightning are far more common than vote fraud in the United States. Our election integrity and peaceful transfer of power is a model for many other countries.
But among the best work done on vote fraud has been done by Loyola Law School’s Justin Levitt, an expert in civil rights and constitutional law. Levitt has studied every case of in-person voter fraud since 2000 and has found 31 cases in more than 1 billion votes cast. A billion with a b.
Voter ID laws and purges of voter rolls have been a Republican way to suppress votes in elections. That’s why this summer five courts in five states struck down voter ID laws, seeing them for the sham they are.
Donald Trump’s assertions of illegal immigrants voting and “massive voter fraud” going on is just an attempt to demonize the process in the event that he loses. He’s also trying to de-legitimize a Clinton presidency just as he attempted to do to President Barack Obama with his birther nonsense.
His lies are working. Last week, a woman named Rhonda stood up at a Mike Pence rally and said she’s ready for a revolution if Hillary wins. The crowd applauded. Colorado Springs Trump supporter Gerald Miller feels we’re “on the verge of a civil war, a racial war.” Other supporters at a Colorado rally said there would be “unrest” if Trump loses.
And then there’s Trump supporter Dan Bowman, who told a reporter at a Cincinnati rally that he’d “do everything” in his power to “take Hillary out,” adding, “If I have to be a patriot, I will.”
We talk about Islamic State Group-inspired lone wolves and the terror they can bring at a moment’s notice. But after watching the Trump horror show all year, the more immediate threat is one of his more unstable supporters hopped up on Trump rhetoric, alt-right websites and Alex Jones conspiracy theories deciding he’s going to be a “patriot” and doing something crazy.
If Trump continues to pander to the delusional, lie about rigged elections and legitimize assassination as protest among the more gullible of his flock, then he not only is unfit to be president, he should be on the terror watch list.
Stephen Colbert started his live broadcast of CBS’s “The Late Show” on Wednesday night with what he believed to be the most troubling moment of the night’s presidential debate.
“Though it came halfway through the debate tonight, I think the definitive moment of the evening, of the election, of the American experiment came when Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump if he would accept the results of the election on November 8,“ Colbert said.
Trump, who has recently doubled down on his accusations that the election is “rigged,“ didn’t answer one way or the other.
Trump said, “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.“
A shocked Colbert deferred to Hillary Clinton’s response to the statement: “That’s horrifying.“
Colbert needed to play Trump’s answer one more time before addressing it.
“Oh, suspense,“ Colbert said. “Democracy is going to end with a cliffhanger. I guess we’re all going to have to wait until November 9 to find out if we still have a country — if Donald Trump is in the mood for a peaceful transfer of power, or if he’s going to wipe his fat ass with the Constitution.“
Help a girl out, Mississippi. The state is the worst in the country for women, according to 24/7 Wall St., based on economy, leadership, and health. Researchers specifically looked at things like women’s earnings compared to men, the percent of women in management positions and government, and female life expectancy. The worst states:
► Man Not Guilty of Killing Tinder Date Who Fell to Death
Gable Tostee has been acquitted of murder charges stemming from the 2014 death of 26-year-old tourist Warriena Wright, who fell to her death from his balcony after meeting the Australian 30-year-old on Tinder. After a long night of drinking, the pair ended up on less-than-friendly terms, and Tostee locked Wright on the balcony. Drunk and locked out of his apartment, Wright, who was visiting from New Zealand, tried to climb down the fire escape, but fell. Prosecutors argued Tostee was guilty of murder or manslaughter because he had intimidated Wright to the point that she feared for her own safety. But, as the BBC reports, a Queensland jury didn’t buy that argument, acquitting Tostee of all charges after four days of deliberations.
The piece of evidence at the heart of the case is an hours-long recording Tostee secretly made of the conversation between the two. The recording shows a charged night that included consensual sex, multiple arguments and bouts of physical violence, and several instances of discussing death, even including the idea of falling off the balcony. Minutes before locking her out on the balcony, Tostee can be heard on the recording claiming that Wright had attacked him. “You’re lucky I haven’t chucked you off my balcony,“ he says. “If you try to pull anything, I’ll knock you out.“ The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has other relevant excerpts from the recording. Prosecutors argued the recording proved that Tostee had terrified Wright to the point that she tried to run away from him, while defense attorneys argued Tostee was trying to protect himself from a drunk and unstable woman.
► Robber Asks Wrong Person for Directions to Bakery
A sweet tooth and some extremely bad luck have spelled trouble for an alleged robber in Connecticut. Police say that Donald Newman-Smith robbed a convenience store in Stamford of $800, then decided to head to a local bakery to splurge on fancy cookies and espresso. The problem is he flagged down someone to ask for directions en route, and that person just happened to be an investigator heading to the crime scene, reports the Stamford Advocate. When the investigator watched the surveillance tape a short time later, he recognized the suspect, headed to the bakery, and arrested Newman-Smith outside the shop enjoying his snack. He faces first-degree robbery charges.
► Man’s Quick Swim Turns Into 4-Hour Nightmare
A swimmer who vanished off a Massachusetts beach was found safe and sound Tuesday after treading water for 4 1/2 hours. Randall Hackett, 58, and his 28-year-old son-in-law, Alexander Auerbach, had decided to swim part of the 4-mile distance of Crane Beach in Ipswich around 5pm Tuesday, report the Salem News and WCVB. Wearing wet suits, both were strong swimmers, but family members were nonetheless concerned when neither had returned to shore after an hour and a half, per ABC News. Shortly after family members reported the pair missing, Auerbach was found on the beach around 7:30pm, about a mile south of the men’s starting point, but he said he’d lost track of Hackett because of rip currents and heavy fog.
For two hours, the Coast Guard, police, and fire department combed the water before rescuers using an infrared camera aboard a helicopter spotted Hackett treading water a quarter-mile offshore, per WCVB. Hackett was plucked from the water around 9:30pm and returned to the beach where he walked into his wife’s arms. “The fog was so thick you couldn’t even see your hand,“ says Hackett, who was taken to a hospital as a precaution. “I made the decision to try and conserve energy,“ he adds, noting he clung to a buoy for a time. “I thought I could survive until morning.“ On Facebook, police called the rescue “a tremendous effort … in difficult conditions and rough waters,“ while the Coast Guard warns water conditions are getting worse as temperatures drop.
► Texas Student Went to the Movies, Then Vanished
Police in western Texas are asking for the public’s help in finding Zuzu Verk, a 22-year-old university student who has been missing for more than a week—and is believed to be “endangered.“ Police in the city of Alpine say the reward for information leading to Verk’s whereabouts or safe return has been upped to $30,000, reports the Dallas Morning News. CBS 7 reports they asked for anybody with “information about seeing a grey 2006 Jeep Liberty and a 2004 Mazda Miata convertible with a beige top being driven between the hours of midnight and 10:00am on Wednesday October 12” to come forward.
Verk, a Sul Ross State University student described as being white, 5 feet tall, 110 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes, hasn’t been seen since last Tuesday night, when she went to the movies with a group of friends and her on-again/off-again boyfriend, police say. She had a midterm scheduled for October 12 but didn’t show up for it. WFAA reports that the boyfriend’s residence has been searched, and police say he is one of several “persons of interest in the case.“ Says Capt. Darrell Losoya, “The residence of the boyfriend was Zuzu’s last actual known location.“ Police—who’ve asked local landowners to check their properties for anything suspicious—say teams have searched more than 200 square miles of Brewster County on the ground and from the air.
► Georgia Executes Autistic Cop-Killer
A man convicted of killing an Atlanta police officer and wounding a second officer with an AR-15 rifle was executed late Wednesday, becoming the seventh inmate put to death in Georgia this year. Gregory Paul Lawler, 63, was pronounced dead at 11:49pm at the state prison in Jackson after he was injected with the barbiturate pentobarbital, the AP reports. He was convicted of murder in the October 1997 slaying of Officer John Sowa and for critically wounding Officer Patricia Cocciolone. Lawler didn’t make a final statement and refused an offer of a prayer. Cocciolone arrived in a wheelchair and sat in the front row of the witness area, as did the DA whose office prosecuted Lawler.
Sowa and Cocciolone were responding to a report of a man hitting a woman the evening of October 12, 1997, and arrived at a parking lot to find Lawler trying to pull his drunken girlfriend to her feet. He took off and the officers decided to help the girlfriend get home. When they arrived at his apartment, Lawler cursed at them and told them to leave. He grabbed an AR-15 rifle and fired 15 times as the officers fled. His attorneys argued that a diagnosis last month of autism spectrum disorder helps explain why their client acted as he did. That disorder caused Lawler to misinterpret the officers’ intentions and led him to believe he was in danger and needed to fight for his life, his attorneys argued.
► What Activists Found While Filming Cage-Free Hens
At first glance, the lives of cage-free hens appear to be a much-needed improvement over those of hens kept boxed up in traditional wire “battery cages.“ But thanks to a newly released video by an all-volunteer activist group, animal advocates are now wondering how much better off the “liberated” birds really are—and the fallout could affect a major US warehouse club, the New York Times reports. Direct Action Everywhere (aka DxE) posted “Cannibalism at Costco” on Thursday showing undercover visits to a cage-free California farm that houses hens laying eggs for Costco’s Kirkland brand. The group says what it found there was horrifying: The video concentrates on a bird named Ella that DxE plucked to safety from Pleasant Valley Farms in Farmington, and the group says she was in bad shape when she was found: covered in feces, boasting hardly any feathers, and barely able to stand.
The birds around her appeared to be faring no better. “There were birds rotting on the floor, and there was one dead bird that seemed to have lost her head,“ Wayne Hsiung, who helped make the video, tells the Times, adding the stench in the barns was “horrible.“ Egg industry experts have said before that birds living “free” in these aviary systems are actually more prone to disease, aggression, cannibalism, and death, which is exactly what DxE hoped to expose. The group says it shot the video in late September/early October, mainly at night, but Hsiung insists it wasn’t illegal to enter without permission since there were whispers of animal cruelty. The owner of the barn said he had no comment on the video, though he noted Costco—which also had no comment on the video—would be sending an auditor.
► Man Sees Bride Without Makeup, Immediately Seeks Divorce
Perhaps the groom’s vows should have been “‘til death do us part, or until you wipe off your concealer,“ per Mediaite. A 34-year-old man in the United Arab Emirates is seeking a divorce from his 28-year-old wife of only a few days after seeing her without makeup, reports Gulf News.
The pair, who were engaged for six months, went swimming in Dubai; it was apparently only then that the man noticed his wife had had plastic surgery and wore a lot of makeup and false eyelashes. He said he felt “tricked by her artificial beauty,“ which is probably nothing to how she feels.
► Duterte to U.S.: I’m Leaving You for China
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is done with us. “I announce my separation from the United States,“ he declared Thursday on a visit to Beijing, adding that he will instead seek a military and economic alliance with China, Reuters reports. “I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow,“ he told his audience, adding that he hopes to add another major player to the mix. “I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world—China, Philippines and Russia,“ he said. “America has lost.“ The White House downplayed the move, with a spokesman saying the US remained a strong economic partner of the Philippines.
Duterte has bristled at US condemnation of his bloody war on drugs, personally insulted President Obama, and threatened to leave the “stupid” UN. While he’s been throwing barbs at the US, Duterte has apparently been sending flowers to Beijing. He was greeted by a full marching band upon his arrival in Beijing (Obama didn’t even get a staircase), and his finance minister plans to ink $13.5 billion worth of economic deals while on the current visit to China. The deal is an especially important diplomatic victory for China, the Wall Street Journal reports, because it signals the Philippines is ready to come to the negotiating table and resolve what has been a major territory dispute over Chinese military bases in the South China Sea.
► Starbucks CEO: We’ll Open 1 Shop Per Day in China
How many black forest lattes can the Chinese drink? Starbucks is hoping the answer is a lot. CEO Howard Schultz tells CNNMoney the coffee giant is planning to open more than one new store each day in China over the next five years. The projection to have almost 5,000 stores across the country by 2021 comes despite the fact that growth in China has slowed to its lowest levels in a quarter-century. Unphased by that economic forecast, Schultz says Starbucks is looking far into the future. “I think if you look at the 45-year history of our company ... one of the things that we’ve done really well is that we’ve always played the long game,“ Schultz says. He adds that tourists and expats made up the majority of Starbucks customers in China only five years ago. “Today,“ he says, “it’s mostly Chinese. “
China is the chain’s second-largest market, after the US. Schultz says he expects that standing to flip as more Chinese discover menu items like cranberry white chocolate mochas. When the first Starbucks opened 17 years ago in China, the locals had no idea the addictive value of a cup of Joe—or how much better one could be topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. “We had to educate and teach many Chinese about what coffee was—the coffee ritual, what a latte was,“ Schultz said. “So in the early years, we did not make money.“ Other businesses like KFC and McDonald’s haven’t fared as well in recent times in the world’s second-largest economy, and both have sought outside investors, per CNNMoney.
► ‘Psycho’ Gorilla Escapes Zoo Pen, Heads for Hooch
David Field, director of the ZSL London Zoo, is trying to dismiss an animal escape earlier this month as “less dramatic than some would have you believe,“ as he writes in a blog post. But as the Guardian reports, the security breach ended up with an evacuation, armed law enforcement on the scene, and more than a gallon of a fruity syrup ingested by the one that committed the breach. The primate perp: Kumbuka, a silverback gorilla that made an “opportunistic” escape through two unlocked doors. The 405-pound “alpha male"—said by the Express to have an “insatiable sexual appetite"—was being summoned to dinner on October 13 in his enclosure when he discovered the first unlocked door, slipped through it, then breezed through a second unsecured entryway, at which point he encountered the zookeeper.
The Sun notes the zoo was put on lockdown, with some visitors cowering in an onsite cafe and other enclosures. But a potentially disastrous situation was mitigated by what Field calls the “incredibly close bond” between gorilla—called a “f—-ing psycho” by one employee and a “gentle giant” by another, per the Express—and human keeper, who chatted with Kumbuka “calmly and in the same light-hearted tone he would always use” until he could get himself to safety. As an alarm sounded at the zoo, Kumbuka explored the off-limits area, finding a stash of black currant squash—a concentrated nonalcoholic syrup used in fruity drinks—and downed more than a gallon of it. All told, Kumbuka was on the loose for about 90 minutes before employees could tranquilize him and return him to his den. (The BBC explains what ingesting that much squash would do to a gorilla.)
► U.S. Did Pressure Ecuador About Assange: Report
Ecuador may be claiming its decision to cut Julian Assange’s internet was all its own, but that’s not the story some US officials are telling. Intelligence sources tell NBC News that the US government quietly communicated to Ecuador that Assange is tied up with Russian hacking—officials say he knows the files he’s releasing through WikiLeaks come from Russian intelligence, though he’s not taking part in any hacking himself—and shouldn’t be allowed to continue. The information helped bring about what one official describes as Assange’s “eviction notice,“ sources say. Assange himself says Secretary of State John Kerry pressured Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa during a meeting last month to take action against Assange.
A State Department rep, however, says “any suggestion that Secretary Kerry or the State Department were involved in shutting down WikiLeaks is false.“ The AP notes Ecuador, whose economy is struggling, might simply have chosen not to risk its relationship with the US, its largest trade partner. Either way, WikiLeaks is still tweeting links to hacked emails from Democratic officials, including John Podesta. And though Assange is still offline, he’s at least on top of the news. London-based Canadian comedian Bobby Mair tweeted a photo of himself holding a megaphone on Wednesday with the caption, “I’m outside the Ecuadorian Embassy about to read the Internet to … Julian Assange,“ per the Washington Post. He then did just that.
► How Escape From N. Korea Leads to Online Sex Work in China
“Why are our lives so different, just because of where we are born?“ That’s the question posed to the Washington Post by Suh, a 30-year-old North Korean woman now being held in a Bangkok detention center after being busted by local cops while trying to cross from Laos to Thailand. And this is only her most recent travail: Suh and two other women interviewed by the Post were trying to flee their lives as sex “video chatters” in China, an online profession many women are sucked into after first escaping North Korea—either by willingly getting sold to Chinese men to get out of their home country, or after being tricked into thinking they were being hired for jobs in China, only to end up as human trafficking victims. Purchasing North Korean women is big business in China for men who can’t find wives any other way: The asking price for women between 15 and 25 can near $12,000.
Life in China is impoverished and dangerous for these North Korean nationals: They can be deported back to their home country if they’re caught, per Radio Free Asia. North Korean women trying to survive there often fall into the online “video chatting” business, allowing them to bring in some extra cash from the safety of their own homes. But it’s a demeaning, demoralizing trade. “I felt so disgusting,“ Suh says. And it’s what led Suh (who brought her 18-month-old daughter with her, but had to leave her 5-year-old daughter behind) and the two other women to try to escape once more—this time to Laos, then to Thailand, where they wouldn’t have been able to be repatriated back to North Korea. The two women being detained with Suh want to eventually make it to South Korea, but Suh is applying for asylum instead in “the strongest country on Earth”: the United States. (Their sad story HERE .)
► ‘God Willing, We Will Take This Town Today’
Iraqi special forces charged into the Mosul battle Thursday with a pre-dawn advance on a nearby town held by ISIS, a key part of a multi-pronged assault on eastern approaches to the besieged city. As they advanced, attack helicopters fired on the militants and heavy gunfire echoed across the plains, the AP reports. A military spokesman says the elite forces advanced on the abandoned, traditionally Christian town of Bartella with the aid of US-led coalition airstrikes and heavy artillery on the fourth day of a massive operation to retake Iraq’s second-largest city. “God willing, we will take this town today,“ he says.
The militants fought back, unleashing at least four suicide car bombs against the advancing forces, one of which blew up after it was struck by tank fire. The special forces are expected to lead the way into Mosul, where they will face fierce resistance in an urban landscape where ISIS militants are preparing for a climactic battle. The offensive is expected to take weeks, if not months. The Kurdish forces known as peshmerga, who are also taking part in the offensive, announced a “large-scale operation” to the north and northeast of Mosul on Thursday.
► ‘Turing Law’ Will Pardon 65K Convicted for Being Gay
Approximately 65,000 gay and bisexual men—only 15,000 of whom are still living—convicted under Britain’s “gross indecency” and “buggery” laws will be pardoned, USA Today reports. According to the Independent, the pardons, which were announced Thursday, come as an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill. The amendment is being called the “Turing Law” after Alan Turing, who—along with Oscar Wilde—was one of the most famous victims of Britain’s anti-gay laws, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The invaluable WWII code breaker was chemically castrated after his conviction and committed suicide shortly thereafter.
Turing was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013, and his great niece, Rachel Barnes, tells the Independent it’s “absolutely right” that all others convicted under the laws, which were done away with in 1967, be pardoned as well. While the dead will be pardoned automatically, the 15,000 or so men still alive can apply to be pardoned. But not all of them are interested. George Montague tells the BBC he wants an apology instead, arguing that to be pardoned is to admit to wrongdoing in the first place. “I was not guilty of anything,“ he says. The British government says a pardon is the best tool available to make things right.
Domestic and intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health problem that can have devastating effects on individuals, families and communities. American Indians and Alaska Natives experience rape, physical violence and stalking by an intimate partner at higher rates than the general U.S. population, however the impact of IPV is not fully appreciated as social barriers such as privacy, guilt, shame and fear inhibit reporting rates.
The Presidential Proclamation naming October 2016 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month supports healing from domestic violence and states that “we must ensure that survivors and their families have access to the resources, care and support they need to do so.“ The White House has established a new North American Working Group on Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls and the Indian Health Service (IHS) was pleased to participate in the first meeting of this working group which occurred at the White House on October 14, 2016.
IPV has been correlated with an increased risk of heart disease, asthma, chronic pain syndromes, gastrointestinal disorders, sexually transmitted infections, gynecological and pregnancy complications. There are emotional and psychological consequences such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. Adverse health behaviors associated with IPV include high-risk sexual activity, alcohol and substance use and an increased risk for suicide.
The highest rates of IPV occur in women of childbearing age, but early screening and detection of IPV along with appropriate intervention may increase the safety of these women. The impact on children exposed to IPV has wide implications including increased risk for physical, sexual, emotional neglect, harm and death.
To respond to this public health problem and provide access to care, IHS issued its first standalone policy on Intimate Partner Violence. The purpose of the policy is to identify victims of IPV and intervene on their behalf within a system of medical care and referral that is patient-centered, culturally sensitive and trauma-informed. This policy establishes uniform clinical care guidelines for providers on identifying and responding to patients presenting to IHS healthcare facilities, with specific training on the forensic healthcare response to IPV.
IHS’ work on IPV aligns with the priorities of the President. In June of this year President Obama traveled to Ottawa, Canada, for the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS), where he met with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, to discuss key priorities aimed at creating a safe and secure future for the citizens of all three countries. Among the many commitments announced at NALS was a tri-lateral commitment to address the scourge of violence against indigenous women and girls that exists across North America. The White House included that commitment under the “security and defense” initiative, to underscore that women’s security is integral to national security.
Across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, indigenous women and girls face alarmingly high levels of violence and often lack access to justice, health care and social services. In May 2016, the magnitude of this violence in the U.S. was driven home by a new report - PDF from the National Institute of Justice with staggering statistics. The researchers found that more than 84 percent of Alaska Native and American Indian women had experienced some form of violence in their lifetimes: 66 percent experienced psychological violence, 56 percent experienced sexual violence, 55 percent experienced physical violence from an intimate partner and 49 percent experienced stalking. Despite the grave need for support and protection from this violence, 38 percent of Alaska Native and American Indian female victims were unable to access legal, medical and other services. Read more on the White House blog.
TRUMP REFUSES TO SAY HE WILL ACCEPT ELECTION RESULTS
The Republican’s stance threatens a fundamental pillar of American democracy, and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton declared his resistance “horrifying.“
WHAT INDIANA’S ELECTION CHIEF NOW SAYS ABOUT VOTER FRAUD
Many of the thousands of altered registration forms she flagged for potential voter fraud might just be the typical practice of residents rushing to correct their names or birth dates ahead of Election Day.
HOW LONG THE BATTLE FOR MOSUL COULD LAST
The commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East says the fight against well-prepared Islamic State extremists could take months.
IRAQI SPECIAL FORCES JOIN OFFENSIVE AGAINST IS
An Iraqi general says elite Counterterrorism Forces are expected to lead the way into Mosul, where they will face fierce resistance in an urban landscape.
CLEVELAND ROCKS AS INDIANS ADVANCE TO WORLD SERIES
The team gets past Toronto and is one step closer to ending a title drought that dates to 1948, baseball’s second-longest.
WHY ASSANGE IS AT ODDS WITH ECUADOR
The WikiLeaks founder finds himself in conflict with his protectors as the group’s latest dump targeting Clinton runs afoul of the South American nation’s goal of warming up to Washington.
WHICH NBA STAR WAS CLEARED IN COURT
The Knicks’ Derrick Rose, in a lawsuit that accused him and two friends of gang raping his ex-girlfriend when she was incapacitated from drugs or alcohol.
WELLS FARGO UNDER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION IN CALIFORNIA
The state’s attorney general is investigating whether the San Francisco-based bank committed false impersonation and identity theft in a sales practices scandal.
EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY LOSES CONTACT WITH MARS PROBE
Signs are “not good” for Schiaparelli, which was meant to test technology for a future European robotic mission to Mars and part of a larger international mission to hunt for life on the planet.
CO-FOUNDER OF ROCK, ELECTRIC BLUES LABEL DIES
Chess Records’ Phil Chess, who helped shape pop music by releasing works by Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Etta James and Ike Turner, dies at 95.