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Updated: 1 hour 55 min ago

Federal judge rules health care overhaul unconstitutional

3 hours 27 min ago

WASHINGTON- A conservative federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled the Affordable Care Act "invalid" on the eve of the sign-up deadline for next year. But with appeals certain, even the Trump White House said the law will remain in place for now.

In a 55-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled that last year's tax cut bill knocked the constitutional foundation from under "Obamacare" by eliminating a penalty for not having coverage. The rest of the law cannot be separated from that provision and is therefore invalid, he wrote.

Supporters of the law immediately said they would appeal. "Today's misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and wellbeing of all Americans," said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a coalition of states defending the ACA.

The White House applauded O'Connor's ruling, but said the law remains in place while appeals proceed. President Donald Trump tweeted that Congress should pass a new law.

"As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!" Trump tweeted. "Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions."

However, Congress is unlikely to act while the case remains in the courts. Numerous high-ranking Republican lawmakers have said they did not intend to also strike down popular provisions such as protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions when they repealed the ACA's fines for people who can afford coverage but remain uninsured.

Still, Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to become House speaker in January, vowed to fight what she called an "absurd ruling." She said the House "will move swiftly to formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the life-saving protections for people with pre-existing conditions and reject Republicans' effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place."

Legal expert Timothy Jost, a supporter of the health law, said O'Connor's ruling would have repercussions for nearly all Americans if it stands. If the entire health law is invalidated, popular provisions that benefit Medicare beneficiaries and people with employer coverage would also be scrapped. That could include the section that allows parents to keep young adult children on their coverage until age 26.

About 20 million people have gained health insurance coverage since the ACA passed in 2010 without a single Republican vote. Currently, about 10 million have subsidized private insurance through the health law's insurance markets, while an estimated 12 million low-income people are covered through its Medicaid expansion.

Saturday is the sign-up deadline for 2019 private plans through HealthCare.gov. Meanwhile, a number of states are expected to move forward with Medicaid expansion after Democratic victories in the midterm elections.

If the case were to reach the Supreme Court it would mark the third time the justices consider a challenge to fundamental provisions of the law. "Obamacare" opponents lost both the first two cases.

The five justices who upheld the health law in 2012 in the first major case - Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's four liberals - are all still serving.

Since then public opinion on the ACA has shifted from mostly negative to generally favorable.

Preserving the law's protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions proved to be a strong argument for Democrats in the midterm elections. Republicans who tried to undermine those safeguards during their failed effort to repeal the health law last year were forced on the defensive and went on record saying they, too, want to make sure people with health problems can get coverage.

Democrats set to take control of the House in January are talking about passing legislation that enshrines protections for pre-existing conditions. It's unclear what form that would take, or if the Republican-majority Senate would go along and Trump would sign it.

The GOP-led states who brought the lawsuit asked O'Connor to toss out the entire law after Congress repealed the "individual mandate" penalty for going without coverage. The conservative judge had previously ruled against other Obama-era policies.

The Trump administration weighed in, saying the government would no longer defend some core components of the ACA, but that others could remain, including Medicaid expansion, subsidies for private insurance and health insurance markets.

Along with the requirement to have health insurance, the administration said the parts of the law that should go included:

- The requirement that insurers must take all applicants for comprehensive coverage regardless of prior health history, including pre-existing conditions. That includes a prohibition on insurers writing policies that exclude a particular condition - for example, a recurrence of breast cancer.

- The prohibition on insurers charging higher premiums to people with health problems.

The health insurance industry says doing away with consumer protections will destabilize a market that seems to be finding its footing, with modest premium increases and more plan choices next year.

The American Medical Association called O'Connor's ruling an "unfortunate step backward for our health system that is contrary to overwhelming public sentiment to preserve pre-existing condition protections."

Categories: Ohio News

Federal judge strikes down Affordable Care Act, rules it unconstitutional

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 19:29

A federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional due to a recent change in federal tax law.

The move, coming on the eve of the deadline to sign up for coverage for 2019, leaves 20 million Americans' health coverage in limbo.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth is almost guaranteed to go to the Supreme Court.

President Trump applauded the decision on Twitter Friday night, writing that he had "predicted all along" that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. "Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!" Mr. Trump wrote.

Categories: Ohio News

Cow steals spotlight at student's graduation photo shoot

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 17:05

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — University of Missouri students were stunned when a towering dairy cow appeared on campus to make a cameo in a graduation photo shoot.

The Columbia Missourian reports that senior animal sciences major Massimo Montalbano brought the 3-year-old cow, named Amelia, to campus on Thursday to join his commencement photo shoot.

Montalbano worked with cattle throughout his undergraduate studies with the university's Foremost Dairy Research Center.

Montalbano initially presented the idea to Jim Spain, the vice provost for undergraduate studies. Spain referred Montalbano to the university's operations department, which ultimately approved the request.

Spain says it's not the first time a student has asked him to bring a cow to campus. But it was still a rare sight to unsuspecting bystanders.

Categories: Ohio News

Farm tied to romaine E. coli outbreak recalling cauliflower, other lettuces

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 16:55

Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. in Santa Maria, California is recalling red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce and cauliflower because as it may be contaminated with E. coli.

They were all harvested on November 27 through 30.

Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. released as statement saying, "Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. feels a strong commitment to its customers and has worked for years to provide a safe and healthy food supply. Out of an abundance of caution, Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. is initiating this voluntary recall in cooperation with the FDA."

The company said in a press release that none of the products had tested positive for E. coli and no illnesses had been reported. It said it had notified its effected customers.

The new recall came on the same day when U.S. health officials announced that Adam Bros. Farming was a possible source for an E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce. But they cautioned Thursday that other farms are likely involved in the E. coli outbreak and consumers should continue checking the label before purchasing romaine lettuce.

The Food and Drug Administration said 59 people in 15 states have now been sickened by the tainted lettuce. That's seven more cases than previously reported, but regulators said they are fairly confident that the lettuce which first triggered the outbreak has been removed from the market.

Categories: Ohio News

Trump picks Mulvaney to be next chief of staff

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 15:51

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday picked budget director Mick Mulvaney to be his next chief of staff, ending a chaotic search for a new chief of staff that had been inching forward with the feel of an unfolding reality TV show.

Trump tweeted that Mulvaney "will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction."

"Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration," Trump posted. "I look forward to working with him in this new capacity as we continue to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! John will be staying until the end of the year. He is a GREAT PATRIOT and I want to personally thank him for his service!"

Though deemed an "acting" attorney general, Mulvaney's term will be open-ended, according to a senior White House official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters. The position does not require confirmation.

Mulvaney, who will be Trump's third chief of staff, will now take on his third job in the administration; he is the head of the Office of Management and had simultaneously led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A former Tea Party congressman, was among a faction on the hard right that bullied GOP leaders into a 2013 government shutdown confrontation by insisting on lacing a must-pass spending bill with provisions designed to cripple President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

The appointment of the affable, fast-talking South Carolinian came just hours after another candidate for the post, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, took himself out of contention for the job. Christie cited family reasons in a statement saying that he was asking Trump to remove him from consideration. He had met with Trump on Thursday to discuss the job, according to a person familiar with the meeting who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Christie's departure is the latest twist in a search triggered when Trump's preferred candidate to replace Kelly bowed out.

Trump said Thursday that he was weighing five possibilities. Among the others he considered: his 2016 deputy campaign manager David Bossie, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Trump senior aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who had also been the subject of speculation, signaled his lack of interest. A person familiar with the matter said Kushner believed that he could serve the president best in his current role. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. The names of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and even White House communications director Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had also been floated.

The president's hunt for a new chief reverted to square one last weekend when Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, took himself out of the running and decided that he would instead leave the White House. The announcement surprised even senior staffers who believed that Ayers' ascension was a done deal.

Trump's first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, served for six months before leaving in July 2017.

Categories: Ohio News

Inspired by neighborhood leader, city workers use lunch hour to clear crash debris

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 15:22

Concerned neighbors have pulled together to clean up their streets, which inspired some city workers to do the same.

Lisa Boggs has lived on the Hilltop long enough to nearly pay off her mortgage.

"We have a lot of good people in our neighborhood, a lot of caring people," she said.

For decades, she has been active in the fight for a safer, cleaner community.

"It's about the vibe, the vibe of the place. Just the soul of the neighborhood. If we clean this place up, I think everybody will feel better about where they live, criminals will see that others care, and they won't be setting up shop in our neighborhood,” she said.

Boggs admitted it sometimes feels like a losing battle.

"It hurts. It hurts your heart when you care so much and you look around and say, ‘Does anybody else care? Does anybody?’ It hurts. I was so discouraged the other day, I called my (City of Columbus) refuse guys out on Georgesville Road and almost cried to them. I'm overwhelmed,” she said.

It was debris from a car accident at the corner of Sullivant and Ogden that pushed her to the brink.

"It's the tow truck's responsibility to clean up the accident, the bumpers, the headlights," said Anthony Fannin, Refuse Collection supervisor for the City of Columbus. "They didn't do that. So, Lisa was concerned. She gave us a call. Myself, my manager, Jim Spencer, my Assistant Manager, Julie Gillilan, and another supervisor, Patrick Gardner, we just decided to go out yesterday, get in the car and go out and clean it up during our lunch break."

When asked what inspired them, Fannin said it was people like Boggs that do things on their time.

"I felt like somebody cared, that people do care," Boggs said.

She said the gesture was the boost she needed to keep fighting.

"Thank you, thank you. You made my Christmas. It was almost like a Christmas present. It meant the world to me,” she said. “It might be one little corner, but it's the world to me.”

Categories: Ohio News

Pike County sheriff accused of misconduct in office

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 15:02

PIKE COUNTY, Ohio – Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader is accused of misconduct in office, according to paperwork filed in the Pike County Court of Common Pleas.

The motion, filed by Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk, requested the court to appoint a special prosecuting attorney.

Junk made the request for a special prosecutor because he is the legal counsel for the sheriff’s office.

The accusation was filed in a complaint sent to the Ohio auditor’s office, which released this statement:

The Ohio Auditor’s office received a complaint about a Pike County matter and has opened an investigation. In addition, the Pike County prosecutor has named an attorney from the Ohio Auditor’s Office’s Public Integrity Assurance Team as special prosecutor in this matter. Because we have an open investigation, it is the auditor’s office policy to provide no further comment.

10TV has reached out to Reader for comment.

Categories: Ohio News

"Adulting" classes teach millennials basic skills like sewing, cooking and changing a tire

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 14:49

Millennials who feel they lack some basic life skills can now take "adulting" classes, which are expanding across the country. The classes teach life skills like cooking, budgeting and time management, CBS New York reports, and young adults are signing up for lessons in person and online.

Rachel Flehinger co-founded the aptly named Adulting School in Portland, Maine. This month, she is launching online classes geared toward millennials who want to learn how to sew on a button, understand modern art or even deal with love.

The course curriculum on love will include "how to have a relationship, how to talk to someone, conflict resolution — how not to fight," Flehinger said. It will even offer guidance on how to tell someone you love them.

Elena Toumaras, 29, is currently learning an adult skill she was never taught before – cooking. Toumaras is attending a cooking class in Queens to help fill a gap in her life skill knowledge.

"I was so used to -- when living at home -- my mom always cooking," she said. "Doing simple things now that I'm on my own, I'm struggling with it."

Experts say millennials are behind on these skills because many haven't left childhood homes. The U.S. Census Bureau said in 2015, 34 percent of Americans between 18 and 34 still lived with a parent. That's compared to just 26 percent in 2005.

"It's more common than living with roommates and more common than living with a spouse," said demographer Jonathan Vespa.

Young adults are also marrying and having kids later – ultimately learning basic, yet crucial, life skills later on, too.

A Kentucky high school is trying to prevent these late-in-life knowledge gaps by having students take an "adulting" class while still in their teens. Bullitt Central High School designated one day as "Adulting Day," when seniors could spend time learning practical skills rather than math, science and history, WAVE reports.

While some people don't learn how to "adult" until well into their adulthood, it's better late than never, said Kim Calichio, who teaches cooking classes. "I'm always surprised about people not knowing what I think are the simple things as far as knife skills or flavors that go together," Calichio said.

Categories: Ohio News

Records obtained show criminal history for both teens in officer-involved shooting

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 14:45

Records show a teen charged with murder in connection to the death of 16-year-old Julius Tate, Jr. has a criminal history.

Masonique Saunders was first charged at 12 years old for incidents that happened at Mifflin Middle School. She faced two assault charges for elbowing someone in the chest and punching a student at her locker, and drug abuse for throwing a joint on the roof.

At Mifflin High School, Saunders was charged with aggravated riot where she was involved in a fight with 10 other students in the cafeteria, charged specifically for punching and kicking two of them.

She has two theft charges for shop-lifting at Walmart. The complaint claimed she stole a combined $2,500 worth of merchandise.

She was also charged with three felonies for an armed robbery where police said she held a knife to a man's neck.

In the incident a week ago, police said Saunders was with Tate when he allegedly held up an undercover officer at gunpoint when he was shot and killed.

Court documents said Saunders had a gun and used it. She is charged with aggravated robbery and murder.

Tate was charged in four previous incidents, one for stealing an iPhone, then running from police when he was questioned. He also faced assault at Columbus Scioto School for spitting on and shoving a teacher. He faced grand theft charges for stealing his dad's gun out of his car and assault for punching someone.

Police said he's also responsible for pistol-whipping a woman as he was robbing her in late November.

Tate’s family said they plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus police vice unit to resume some operations during FBI investigation

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 14:04

The Columbus Division of Police says a select team of vice officers will resume operations.

All operations of the vice unit were 'paused' and placed under review in September after two high-profile cases: the arrest of porn star Stormy Daniels and the fatal shooting by an officer during a prostitution sting.

On Friday, police said the select team will focus on nuisance abatement in conjunction with the City Attorney's Office as well as liquor violations beginning immediately.

Police said the internal review of policies, procedures and training that began in September will continue.

Additionally, the FBI's criminal investigation into the vice unit will continue.

Since September, the division has relieved three members of the vice unit of their regular assignments as a result of the FBI investigation.

Previous Coverage

Categories: Ohio News

Report: Johnson & Johnson hid findings of asbestos in baby powder

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 13:28

NEW YORK (AP) — Johnson & Johnson is forcefully denying a media report that it knew for decades about the existence of trace amounts of asbestos in its baby powder.

The report Friday by the Reuters news service sent company shares into a tailspin, suffering their worst sell-off in 16 years.

Reuters is citing documents released as part of a lawsuit by plaintiffs claiming that the product can be linked to ovarian cancer. The New Brunswick, New Jersey company has battled in court against such claims and on Friday called the Reuters report, "one-sided, false and inflammatory."

Shares are down more than 9 percent, the most severe decline since 2002.

In the report, Reuters points out that documents show consulting labs as early as 1957 and 1958 found asbestos in J&J talc. Further reports by the company and outside labs showed similar findings through the early 2000s.

In its statement Friday, Johnson & Johnson said "thousands of independent tests by regulators and the world's leading labs prove our baby powder has never contained asbestos."

Categories: Ohio News

Legal challenges could be on the horizon for 'Heartbeat Bill'

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 13:14

COLUMBUS, Ohio – An abortion bill heading to the governor’s desk leaves both sides of the debate heated.

"No one has the right to end a person's life," said Citizens for Community Values President Aaron Baer.

"It's about the choice and the right to access that choice in the state of Ohio, which is at stake,” said Planned Parenthood Communications Director Sarah Inskeep.

Ohio Department of Health said 3,258 abortions were performed in Franklin County in 2017. That's 100 less than in 2016.

Overall, white women between the ages of 25 to 55 with a high school diploma who are at least nine weeks pregnant make up the majority of those who decide to get an abortion in Ohio.

This measure, dubbed the “Heartbeat Bill,” would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected at 12 weeks. The original proposed bill wanted to ban abortions at six weeks of conception.

Supporters of this measure see its passage as moving toward a bigger prize: overturning Rowe v. Wade, which made abortion legal.

"Right now, Rowe v. Wade is preventing us from protecting unborn lives, so certainly, the ‘Heartbeat Bill’ is about of undoing the harm of Rowe v. Wade, " Baer said.

Inskeep said the procedure needs to stay safe.

"Abortion is safe and legal, and it's our mission to continue to protect that," she said.

Both sides see the bill ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, and both sides see Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as someone who can help their side.

"We think with Brett Kavanaugh on the court, we have a much better place to make this argument," Baer said.

Inskeep said Planned Parenthood will have a role.

"Planned Parenthood played a key role in the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh and I think that's being looked at not only in the state of Ohio, but also at a national level that Planned Parenthood is a huge player," she said.

Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would not review two lower court decisions that temporarily banned Louisiana and Kansas from cutting Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding. While three of the court’s conservatives voted to take up the cases, Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts declined to join them, ensuring the cases would not receive the necessary four votes for review.

Meanwhile, Governor John Kasich has 10 days to sign the bill once it reaches his desk. He has promised to veto it. But even if he does, the legislature could convene before the end of December to vote to override his veto.

If that happens, legal challenges will follow, and the bill becoming law won't happen anytime soon.

Categories: Ohio News

Two arrested after drugs, firearms recovered from Hilltop home

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 13:02

Two people have been arrested Thursday after police found drugs, firearms and cash at a Hilltop residence.

In November, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit began a narcotics investigation at a home in the 300 block of South Highland Avenue.

Authorities then executed a search warrant for the property, where they recovered 949 grams of cocaine, 214 grams of heroin, two pistols and approximately $5,250 in cash.

Lester Finney III, 38, and Douglas Bailey, 25, were arrested and transported to the Franklin County Jail, where both face possession of cocaine charges, with additional charges pending.

Categories: Ohio News

Police looking for two missing teenage sisters from Reynoldsburg

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 12:39

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – Reynoldsburg police are asking for the public’s help to find two missing teenage sisters.

Police said 17-year-old Taniah Edmonds and 15-year-old Sarai Smith were last seen on Saturday, December 8 in the area of South Penfield Court in southeast Columbus.

Edmonds is 5-feet 5-inches tall and weighs 107 pounds. She was last seen wearing a gray and blue “PINK” hooded sweatshirt, gray leggings and brown Ugg boots.

Smith is 5-feet 3-inches tall and weighs 125 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black and pink shirt and black leggings.

They were reported missing by her mother. Police said they do not suspect any suspicious activity in their disappearance.

If anyone has any information, they are asked to call Detective Nikki Riley at 614-322-6916 or nriley@reypd.com.

Categories: Ohio News

Facebook says bug may have exposed photos on 7M users

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 12:12

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook said Friday that a software bug affecting nearly 7 million users may have exposed a broader set of photos to app developers than what those users intended.

Although this doesn't mean the photos were actually seen by anyone, the revelation of the bug offers another reminder of just how much data Facebook has on its 2.27 billion users and how often these sorts of slipups happen.

In a blog post, the company said the bug affected 6.8 million people who granted permission for third-party apps to access the photos. Facebook said the users' photos may have been exposed for 12 days in September and that the bug was fixed.

Generally when people give apps access to their photos, it means only photos posted on their Facebook page. Facebook says the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos, such as those shared on Marketplace or on Facebook Stories. The bug also affected photos that people uploaded to Facebook but chose not to post or could not post for technical reasons.

The problem comes in a year fraught with privacy scandals and other problems for the world's biggest social network.

Revelations that the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data from as many as 87 million users led to congressional hearings and changes in what sorts of data Facebook lets outside developers access. In June, a bug affecting privacy settings led some users to post publicly by default regardless of their previous settings. This bug affected as many as 14 million users over several days in May.

On Thursday, to counter the bad rap it's gotten around privacy as of late, Facebook hosted a one-day "pop-up" to talk to users about their settings and whatever else may be on their mind. Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan was on hand to answer questions. Asked by a reporter what grade she'd give Facebook for its privacy work in the past year, she said "B." By 2019, she said she hopes the improvements will result in an "A."

Privacy experts might call it grade inflation. In any case, the company has its work cut out before it makes the top grade.

With two more weeks left of the year, it's possible there's still time for another privacy kerfuffle at Facebook. While the scandals don't seem to have affected the company's massive user base, growth has slowed. And the company has had to increase how much it spends on privacy and security, which put a dent in its bottom line and in August contributed to a stock price plunge .

Categories: Ohio News

Officials shut down west side ‘Meth Mart’ in west Columbus

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 11:18

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Officials vacated and shuttered a property in Columbus’ west side, according to Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein.

1915 West Mound Street had been the destination of several calls for more than a year. Columbus Police found approximately two dozen people in the 840-square-foot residence during a raid at the end of October, where officers from the Investigative Tactical Unity confiscated over $3,000 worth of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, suspected cutting agents and miscellaneous ammunition.

Authorities first became aware of suspicious activity on the property in November of 2017 when paramedics were unable to revive a drug overdose victim there. Since then, authorities have responded to numerous other incidents, including weapons violations, burglary, fights, disturbances, stolen vehicles and multiple drug overdoses.

Most recently, on Dec. 12, officers monitoring the property made an arrest and recovered a stolen handgun and various types of methamphetamine.

This is the 19 drug house the city has shut down this year. Officials cited the property’s close proximity to an elementary school just down the street as one of the reasons shutting down the property was imperative.

Categories: Ohio News

7-year-old immigrant girl dies after Border Patrol arrest

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 11:03

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A 7-year-old girl who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with her father last week died after being taken into the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol, federal immigration authorities confirmed Thursday.

The Washington Post reports the girl died of dehydration and shock more than eight hours after she was arrested by agents near Lordsburg, New Mexico. The girl was from Guatemala and was traveling with a group of 163 people who approached agents to turn themselves in on Dec. 6.

It's unknown what happened to the girl during the eight hours before she started having seizures and was flown to an El Paso hospital.

In a statement, Customs and Border Protection said the girl had not eaten or consumed water in several days.

The agency did not provide The Associated Press with the statement it gave to the Post, despite repeated requests.

Processing 163 immigrants in one night could have posed challenges for the agency, whose detention facilities are meant to be temporary and don't usually fit that many people.

When a Border Patrol agent arrests someone, that person gets processed at a facility but usually spends no more than 72 hours in custody before they are either transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement or, if they're Mexican, quickly deported home.

The girl's death raises questions about whether border agents knew she was ill and whether she was fed anything or given anything to drink during the eight-plus hours she was in custody.

Immigrants, attorneys and activists have long raised issues with the conditions of Border Patrol holding cells. In Tucson, an ongoing lawsuit claims holding cells are filthy, extremely cold and lacking basic necessities such as blankets. A judge overseeing that lawsuit has ordered the agency's Tucson Sector, which patrols much of the Arizona-Mexico border, to provide blankets and mats to sleep on and to continually turn over surveillance footage from inside the cells.

The Border Patrol has seen an increasing trend of large groups of immigrants, many with young children, walking up to agents and turning themselves in. Most are Central American and say they are fleeing violence. They turn themselves in instead of trying to circumvent authorities, many with plans to apply for asylum.

Agents in Arizona see groups of over 100 people on a regular basis, sometimes including infants and toddlers.

Arresting such groups poses logistical problems for agents who have to wait on transport vans that are equipped with baby seats to take them to processing facilities, some which are at least half hour north of the border.

The death of the 7-year-old comes after a toddler died in May just after being released from an ICE family detention facility in Texas, and as the administration of Donald Trump attempts to ban people from asking for asylum if they crossed the border illegally. A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked that ban, but the administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate it Tuesday.

Cynthia Pompa, advocacy manager for the ACLU Border Rights Center, said migrant deaths increased last year even as the number of border crossing dropped.

"This tragedy represents the worst possible outcome when people, including children, are held in inhumane conditions. Lack of accountability, and a culture of cruelty within CBP have exacerbated policies that lead to migrant deaths," Pompa said.

Categories: Ohio News

Special photo of boy with feeding tube and Santa goes viral

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 11:01

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A Kendallville, Indiana, mom is thanking Santa Claus for a small act of kindness that made a big impact.

Beth Salzbrenner's 4-year-old son, Austin, has used a feeding tube to get his nutrients since he was nine months old. After years of doctor visits and feeding therapy, he finally got the go-ahead from his doctors to eat food orally in September.

Salzbrenner decided she wanted to commemorate the occasion with a picture.

She got the idea to get a picture of Santa feeding her son from a Facebook page she follows of other moms with kids that use feeding tubes.

"I thought it would be a good way to have like a memorial picture," Salzbrenner said.

After asking around to see if any local Santas would accommodate her request and coming up empty, she decided to take Austin to the Glenbrook Square Mall in Fort Wayne Sunday.

It was a busy day for pictures with Santa at the mall. Long lines and big crowds were starting to overwhelm and overstimulate Austin, who has Sensory Processing Disorder with some autistic behaviors.

Santa's workers noticed Austin struggling and quickly jumped in to help.

"They saw that he was stressed out in the line, and they let us go right to the front," Salzbrenner recalled.

It was then that she brought up her special request for Santa.

Salzbrenner said Santa and his helpers didn't hesitate to make the memorable moment happen. They patiently waited as Salzbrenner changed Austin into a different outfit and prepared his feeding tube.

Then the moment happened that Salzbrenner and her son will never forget.

Santa shared his cookies with Austin and fed him some formula through his feeding tube. Salzbrenner said her son could hardly contain his excitement.

"He was just so mesmerized that Santa was feeding him," Salzbrenner said.

Santa also took a more traditional picture with Austin and his 7-year-old sister, Gracie.

Salzbrenner said everyone was extremely accommodating throughout the entire experience.

"It was magical. Like, he was sharing his cookies and helping him with his milk," Salzbrenner said. "I could tell [Santa] was nervous because he was shaking, but he still stood there and waited for the pictures to be done. And he wasn't even rushing it."

Salzbrenner said she didn't have a chance to give Santa a proper thank you, but she wishes she had.

"I just want to hug him and tell him thank you for that picture. It's an amazing picture we'll cherish forever," Salzbrenner said.

She posted the picture on Facebook Sunday evening. In less than two days, it was shared more than 35,000 times and got more than 75,000 reactions.

Salzbrenner said she's blown away by the huge positive response. She hopes her and her son's experience will help bring more awareness to kids with disabilities and their needs, while showing that they want love and attention just like anyone else.

Categories: Ohio News

Trump was in the room when Michael Cohen discussed hush money

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 10:17

New information ties President Trump to his campaign's efforts to silence women who claim they had sex with him more than a decade ago. CBS News sources confirm the president was in the room when his then-attorney Michael Cohen and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker discussed paying hush money in August of 2015, reports CBS News' Weijia Jiang. Cohen pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws in connection with hush money payments.

In an interview with ABC News, Cohen said the hush money payments to Daniels and McDougal were made to impact the election.

"Nothing at the Trump Organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump...He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters," Cohen said. "You have to remember at what point in time that this matter came about, two weeks or so before the election, post the Billy Bush comments. So, yes, he was very concerned about how this would affect the election."

The president is pushing back against the accusations, claiming they are being made to make him look bad—even after Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in part for the crimes the president denies. Mr. Trump said when it comes to breaking campaign finance laws, the only thing he did wrong was trust a bad attorney.

"Let me tell you, I never directed him to do anything wrong. Whatever he did, he did on his own," Mr. Trump said in an interview on Fox News Thursday. "And you know what? In retrospect, I made a mistake….I hire usually good people."

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, disputed Cohen's account on Thursday night.

"People saying that we did this in furtherance of the election. There is just no proof of that. That is somebody's opinion," Conway said on CNN.

Mr. Trump's statements on the matter have evolved from being unaware in April. Now, he says the payments were a "simple private transaction" and that there are ulterior motives to calling them anything more.

Raids of Cohen's properties have also led to a criminal investigation into President Trump's inauguration spending. Federal prosecutors reportedly are looking at whether some of the donors to the president's $107 million inauguration fund gave money in return for access to Mr. Trump.

In a statement, the inauguration committee said "donors were vetted in accordance with the law" and that "no improprieties have been found."

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that the committee "doesn't have anything to do with the president."

Categories: Ohio News

Man charged in hit-skip after crossing guard struck in school zone

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 09:32

PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A 63-year-old man is facing charges for hitting a crossing guard in front of an elementary school.

It happened just before 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday at Amesbury Way and Schoolhouse Lane in front of Prairie Lincoln Elementary School.

Paul Doddridge of Columbus was driving a black Ford F150 when he allegedly struck a school crossing guard, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

After further investigation, the school administration provided video to deputies which showed the guard getting struck in the street.

School crossing guard struck in a hit & run. Suspect charged. Complete story here... https://t.co/q7lazXjBOZ pic.twitter.com/sEw6rITVsm

— Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (@OHFCSO) December 14, 2018

Several witnesses on the scene tried to block the truck from getting away. The driver then drove up and over a curb and sidewalk, causing children in the area to run or jump out of its path. He then continued on to a field in an attempt to get away.

With the witnesses’ help, deputies were able to track him down and located the vehicle in a driveway. Doddridge tried to switch license plates and when deputies interviewed him, he admitted to the crash and switching the plates.

Doddridge is charged with the hit-skip, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, traffic control device and marked lanes.

The crossing guard suffered minor injuries and no children were injured.

Categories: Ohio News

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