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School district: Ohio 4th-grader has died one day after flu, strep diagnosis

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 20:17

An Ohio fourth-grader has died after she was diagnosed with influenza and strep throat the day before, according to her school district.

Mason City Schools says Sable Gibson was diagnosed Tuesday with influenza and strep throat, leading to cardiac arrest later in the day. She died Wednesday evening.

Mason is a city in Warren County located in southwestern Ohio.

The district announced it would have additional counselors at Western Row Elementary to work with students who may need help processing.

"It's moments like these that we come together as a community to walk alongside one another and care for each other," the district said in a Facebook post Thursday.

A funeral service for Sable is scheduled for Saturday in Mason, the school district said in a separate post.

Categories: Ohio News

Newly-installed ShotSpotter program put to use in Hilltop neighborhood

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 19:42

New technology that was put in place just three weeks ago already seems to be working. The city of Columbus installed the ShotSpotter technology into the Hilltop neighborhood earlier this month.

This week, three people walked through a vacant lot to the alleyway when one pulled out a gun and fired off a couple of shots.

Columbus Police say none of the neighbors made a phone call, but police were alerted thanks to the new ShotSpotter program

“You hear gunshots all the time. You just never know where they came from,” said neighbor Tiffany Hoover.

Hoover admits she doesn't call police when she hears shots fired, either. That's why Columbus police say ShotSpotter is worth the $700,000 investment. Systems have been placed around the neighborhood, then an alert is sent to police. It helps officers pinpoint exactly where the shots came from, even if neighbors do not.

Neighbors are hoping criminals will hear the message loud and clear and stop shooting.

“Bullets don't have any eyes. The shot could ricochet, hit somebody in the house,” said resident Deborah Conner.

Categories: Ohio News

Central Ohio nonprofit behind container project facing backlash

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 16:33

First time home buyer Sherri Sims said her dream of a new home turned into a nightmare after construction on her new container home came to a screeching halt.

Sims says she was on the top of the world at the January 2018 groundbreaking ceremony of a 25-unit shipping container apartment unit and her single family home.

“Me personally I just wanted something different,” Sims said. “This came along and so it just sort of made sense.”

The home was slated to be a trendsetter for central Ohio. Sims’ nearly 1,200 square foot container home would feature three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The project was the brainchild of nonprofit founder Michele Reynolds.

Sims says for months there were no updates, no communication. She says the builders and project managers went radio silent.

The home on Bassett Avenue is less than 50 percent complete. This homebuyer says 18 months after she began the process, Michele apologized for the incomplete work and refunded her deposit.

“I emotionally was invested in that home, I have things that I’ve been keeping to put in my new home,” Sims said. “I feel let down, I really feel let down.”

The non-profit "Something Into Nothing Real Estate" behind the container home project and the neighboring container apartment complex denied 10TV's request for an interview but issued a statement:

"As a non-profit we are suffering after trusting the previous development team to execute this project in accordance with the correct time and cost schedules. We have experienced significant financial loss and been forced to deviate from this project's original mission; to provide an affordable and safe home to Ms. Sims.

As a result of the many difficulties related to the completion of this construction project, we empathize with Ms. Sims. As a dedicated social enterprise, NISRE’s core mission has always been to offer much-needed support and assistance to those who deserve a second chance and we will continue to do that as we move forward.

We appreciate the opportunity to share our truth on this matter. This will be the only comment offered by NISRE at this time."

Categories: Ohio News

Federal health agency will not be terminating Mount Carmel West from Medicare

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 14:48

COLUMBUS – An official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirms to 10 Investigates that Mount Carmel West will not be terminated from participating in the Medicare program.

Both Mount Carmel West and Mount Carmel St. Ann’s hospitals had been placed on “immediate jeopardy” status by CMS in wake of the scandal in which 34 patients are believed to have received excessive doses of pain medications. Thirty-three of the patients who died were at Mount Carmel West; one of the patients died at St. Ann’s in Westerville.

St. Ann’s status was not immediately known. A CMS official would not comment beyond this statement:

“CMS is currently reviewing the results of the most recent survey at Mount Carmel West. Consequently, CMS will not be terminating Mount Carmel West’s participation in the Medicare program on February 22. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.,” a CMS official told 10 Investigates Thursday.

The hospital has said that 28 of the 34 patients identified received potentially fatal doses of pain medications – while the other six were given doses that “went beyond providing comfort.”

In letters from CMS obtained by 10 Investigates, the initial surveys conducted by the Ohio Department of Health on behalf of CMS found that both Mount Carmel West and Mount Carmel St. Ann’s were in noncompliance with Medicare conditions for participation. The letters read in part “We have determined that the deficiencies are so serious they constitute an immediate threat to patient health and safety."

If the hospitals did not come back under compliance with the conditions by a certain time, their participation in the Medicare program will be terminated, meaning they could lose Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. The Ohio Department of Health began investigating Mount Carmel on behalf of CMS Jan. 15 — one day after 10 Investigates broke the news about concerns of patient care involving Dr. William Husel.

Last week, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it had accepted plans of correction for Mount Carmel West and St. Ann’s hospitals.

But the documents released in association with this announcement revealed damning details about what may have transpired inside the Mount Carmel Health System where 34 patients are believed to have received excessive doses of pain medications – 28 of which received potentially fatal doses.

Site inspectors from the state department of health – investigating on behalf of CMS - determined that “the hospital failed to ensure a system was in place to monitor and prevent large doses of central nervous system medications from being accessed from the automated medication dispensing system by overriding the warnings and prior approval of the pharmacist. This affected 27 patients at the hospital.”

A 10 Investigates review of the records show that in 24 of the 27 patient cases reviewed by state health inspectors – Dr. William Husel overrode the hospital’s internal system to gain access to pain medications prior to pharmacy approval.

Husel was fired by Mount Carmel on December 5 following an internal investigation by the hospital. Husel and his attorneys have declined to comment.

So far, 19 wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against the hospital, Husel and caregivers.

Attorneys representing those families have alleged that these large doses of pain medications hastened the patients’ deaths. But a Mount Carmel employee closely familiar with the investigation has said it will be hard to prove because the patients were near death and intensive care.

A hospital spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.

Categories: Ohio News

Enticed Online: Keeping your kids safe from online predators

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 14:15

It's estimated young people can spend up to nine hours a day online, whether it's a laptop or phone. Those likely to spend even more time on the internet are online predators.

10TV’s Scott Light talked to the lead detective in the Franklin County Sheriff's Office who tracks these predators every day.

Whether it's on social media sites like Facebook, online games like Fortnight and everything in between, these predators are out there.

Law enforcement says they can come from anywhere and can pose as anyone. In one instance, a man set up a Facebook account to appear as a young girl.

“She” then friended boys on a central Ohio wrestling team and got them to send her inappropriate pictures.

Tonight at 11, you'll hear more from that detective and learn the steps every parent should take to better protect their kids.

Categories: Ohio News

Shawn Mendes to perform at Nationwide Arena in August

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 13:19

Nationwide Arena announced that singer and songwriter Shawn Mendes has added more than a dozen more shows to his global tour called “Shawn Mendes: The Tour,” including a stop in Columbus.

Mendes will perform at Nationwide Arena on Aug. 26.

Alessia Cara is also joining as a special guest on most of Mendes’ U.S., U.K. and European tour stops, Columbus included.

Tickets go on sale to the public on March 2 at 10 a.m.

FirstAccess Fan Presales begin Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. local time and General Fan Presales begin Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. local time. American Express Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public in the U.S., beginning Saturday, Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. local time through Friday, March 1 at 10 p.m. local time.

For more information, click here.

Categories: Ohio News

ODOT breaks down what proposed gas tax increase could look like for drivers

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 13:11

Governor Mike DeWine is supporting an 18-cent per gallon gas tax to provide sufficient funding for maintenance of roads and bridges.

Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks introduced the tax as part of the governor's transportation budget proposal to the House Finance Committee.

According to ODOT, you would pay more than $2 a week. They say if you drive 13,000 miles per year, the proposed 18-cent per gallon tax would impact you in the following way:

  • If you drive a Ford F-150, you would pay an additional $2.65 per week or $137.80 per year.
  • If you drive a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, you would pay $1.91 per week more in fuel or $99.32 per year.
  • Drive a 2015 Honda Accord, you'll pay $1.61 more per week in fuel, or a total of $83.75 per year more in fuel.


Ohio has not raised its gas tax since 2005. If the proposed gas tax is approved, Ohio's state gas tax would rise from 28 cents per gallon to 46 cents per gallon.

Proponents say the tax increase would provide much-needed money in a short timeframe to help fix the many roads in need of repair around Ohio.

Representative Adam Miller, a Democrat who represents west and south Columbus, says he'll vote against the gas tax.

"I would really like us to look under every rock, under every tree, before we ask for a tax increase," he said.

Here's a look at gas tax rates in surrounding states:

  • Pennsylvania: 58-cents per gallon
  • West Virginia: 35-cents per gallon
  • Indiana: 42-cents per gallon
  • Kentucky: 26-cents per gallon

Categories: Ohio News

Trial of Bellefontaine mom accused of killing sons delayed for testing

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 12:47

BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (AP) — The trial of an Ohio woman accused of suffocating her three sons has been delayed again after the judge agreed to a defense request for more testing and evaluation of the woman.

The Bellefontaine Examiner reports Judge Mark O'Connor of Logan County Common Pleas Court granted the request Tuesday in the case of Brittany Pilkington. The judge said the delay was necessary to assess whether Pilkington has mental disabilities.

She has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder charges in the deaths of a toddler and two infants in 2014 and 2015.

Logan County's prosecutor argued against delaying the March 18 start date. He said his team was ready.

Pilkington's attorneys say they believe additional testing will help confirm that the 25-year-old woman suffers from brain damage.

Categories: Ohio News

Trump calls on 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett to apologize

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 11:51

President Donald Trump says "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett insulted millions with his "racist and dangerous comments."

Chicago police said Thursday that Smollett staged a racist and homophobic attack against him last month because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. Smollett, who is black and gay, plays a gay character on the hit Fox television show. He reported Jan. 29 that he was attacked while walking home from a sandwich shop.

Smollett claimed masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled "This is MAGA country" - an apparent reference to Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.

Smollett surrendered Thursday on a charge of felony disorderly conduct.

Trump tweeted Thursday to Smollett: "What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA."

.@JussieSmollett - what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2019

Categories: Ohio News

Officials: 2 Clark County deaths related to hepatitis A

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 11:23

The Clark County Combined Health District has confirmed two deaths in the county are related to hepatitis A.

“The heartbreaking loss of these lives illustrates the seriousness of this outbreak, and we urge Clark County residents to practice good handwashing and to get vaccinated, especially if they fall into a high-risk population,” said Charles Patterson, Clark County Health Commissioner. “We are working with our local and state partners to slow the spread of hepatitis A, but this disease is highly contagious and can spread rapidly, so prevention is critical.”

Hepatitis A is a liver disease that is spread when hands, food or objects contaminated with stool are put in the mouth.

It can also be spread by close contact with a person who is sick with hepatitis A, eating food prepared by a person with the disease or through sex.

Vaccination and practicing proper handwashing are the best ways to prevent hepatitis A.

A statewide outbreak was declared for Ohio in 2018.

Vaccines for hepatitis A are available from healthcare providers, retail pharmacies and local health departments. The vaccine is covered by most insurance plans.

Categories: Ohio News

Syracuse coach Boeheim strikes, kills pedestrian on highway

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:04

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim struck and killed a man walking on an interstate late Wednesday night as he tried to avoid hitting the man's disabled vehicle, police say.

Syracuse police say 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez was in a car with three others before midnight Wednesday when their vehicle crashed into a guardrail on I-690 in Syracuse.

Boeheim struck Jimenez while trying to avoid the vehicle. Jimenez was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Boeheim, 74, is cooperating with the investigation.

"He stopped immediately and exited the vehicle," said Syracuse Sgt. Matthew Malinowski.

Police said sobriety tests were administered to Boeheim and were negative for any signs of impairment. No tickets have been issued to Boeheim at this time and the investigation is continuing.

A freezing rain had fallen earlier Wednesday night, though it is unclear if the weather had anything to do with the crash.

There was no immediate comment from Syracuse University.

Boeheim has coached at Syracuse for 43 years, winning a national title in 2003 and making five Final Four appearances. His team defeated Louisville 69-49 Wednesday night during a home game.

Categories: Ohio News

Police: 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett faked attack to 'promote his career'

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 08:33

CHICAGO (AP) — "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett "took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career" when he made a false police report about an attack in Chicago, the city's police superintendent said Thursday.

Smollett also sent a racist and homophobic threatening letter to the Fox studio lot where he works in Chicago before the attack, Supt. Eddie Johnson said. He said Smollett was dissatisfied with his salary.

Smollett turned himself in and was arrested early Thursday to face accusations that he filed a false police report when he told authorities he was attacked in Chicago by two men who hurled racist and anti-gay slurs and looped a rope around his neck, police said.

The whispers about Smollett's account started with reports that he had not fully cooperated with police after telling authorities he was attacked. Then detectives in a city bristling with surveillance cameras could not find video of the beating. Later, two brothers were taken into custody for questioning but were released after two days, with police saying they were no longer suspects.

Following three weeks of mounting suspicions, Smollett was charged Wednesday with felony disorder conduct, a charge that could bring up to three years in prison and force the actor, who is black and gay, to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a Jan. 29 beating.

In less than a month, the 36-year-old changed from being the seemingly sympathetic victim of a hate crime to being accused of fabricating the entire thing.

The felony charge emerged on the same day detectives and the two brothers testified before a grand jury. Smollett's attorneys met with prosecutors and police, but it was unknown what they discussed or whether Smollett attended the meeting.

In a statement, attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said Smollett "enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked."

The announcement of the charges followed a flurry of activity in recent days, including lengthy police interviews of the brothers, a search of their home and their release after officers cleared them.

Investigators have not said what the brothers told detectives or what evidence detectives collected. But it became increasingly clear that serious questions had arisen about Smollett's account — something police signaled Friday when they announced a "significant shift in the trajectory" of the probe after the brothers were freed.

Smollett, who plays a gay character on the hit Fox television show "Empire," said he was attacked Jan. 29 as he was walking home from a downtown Subway sandwich shop. He said the masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled "This is MAGA country" — an apparent reference to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again" — before fleeing.

Earlier Wednesday, Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television issued a statement saying Smollett "continues to be a consummate professional on set" and that his character is not being written off the show. The series is shot in Chicago and follows a black family as they navigate the ups and downs of the recording industry.

The studio's statement followed reports that Smollett's role was being slashed amid the police investigation.

After reviewing hundreds of hours of video, detectives did find and release images of two people they said they wanted to question and last week picked up the brothers at O'Hare International Airport as they returned from Nigeria. Police questioned the men and searched their apartment.

The brothers, who were identified by their attorney as Abimbola "Abel" and Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo, were held for nearly 48 hours on suspicion of assaulting Smollett.

The day after they were released, police said the men provided information that had "shifted the trajectory of the investigation," and detectives requested another interview with Smollett.

Police said one of the men had worked on "Empire," and Smollett's attorneys said one of the men is the actor's personal trainer, whom he hired to help get him physically ready for a music video. The actor released his debut album, "Sum of My Music," last year.

Smollett was charged by prosecutors, not the grand jury. The police spokesman said the brothers appeared before the panel to "lock in their testimony."

Speaking outside the courthouse where the grand jury met, the brothers' attorney said the two men testified for about two and a half hours.

"There was a point where this story needed to be told, and they manned up and they said we're going to correct this," Gloria Schmidt said.

She said her clients did not care about a plea deal or immunity. "You don't need immunity when you have the truth," she said.

She also said her clients received money from Smollett, but she did not elaborate.

Smollett has been active in LBGTQ issues, and initial reports of the assault drew outrage and support for him on social media, including from Sen. Kamala Harris of California and TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Referring to a published account of the attack, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that "it doesn't get worse, as far as I'm concerned."

But several hours after Smollett was declared a suspect and the charges announced, there was little reaction from celebrities online.

Former Cook County prosecutor Andrew Weisberg said judges rarely throw defendants in prison for making false reports, opting instead to place them on probation, particularly if they have no prior criminal record.

Smollett has a record — one that concerns giving false information to police when he was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. According to records, he was also charged with false impersonation and driving without a license. He later pleaded no contest to a reduced charge and took an alcohol education and treatment program.

Another prospective problem is the bill someone might receive after falsely reporting a crime that prompted a nearly monthlong investigation, including the collection and review of hundreds of hours of surveillance video.

The size of the tab is anyone's guess, but given how much time the police have invested, the cost could be huge.

Weisberg recently represented a client who was charged with making a false report after surveillance video discredited her account of being robbed by three men at O'Hare Airport.

For an investigation that took a single day, his client had to split restitution of $8,400, Weisberg said. In Smollett's case, "I can imagine that this would be easily into the hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Categories: Ohio News

Special task force of criminal analysts aims to fight crime behind the scenes

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 08:19

There’s a crime-fighting group that you probably didn't know existed, but it's making a big dent when it comes to getting drugs out of your neighborhood. It's the Ohio National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (CDTF), which utilizes special criminal analysts to assist law enforcement agencies around the state.

“That training that is provided to us by the military, training in teamwork, being held accountable, interpersonal tact, communication skills… those translate really well into the law enforcement arena,” says Adam, a Captain in the Ohio National Guard who isn’t revealing his last name for safety reasons.

In 2018, the CDTF helped disrupt drug trafficking organizations that took in thousands of pounds of illegal drugs:

  • 12,238 lbs. of marijuana
  • 855 lbs. of cocaine
  • 401 lbs. of heroin
  • 62 lbs. of fentanyl
  • 396 lbs. of khat
  • 934 lbs. of methamphetamine
  • 7,202 prescription opiate pills


The task force also supported local law enforcement in seizing 1,095 firearms and more than $18 million in bulk currency.

“As that guardsman, as that national guard soldier, we live and work in these communities. So, we have a vested interest in where these communities are going, in the communities of tomorrow,” Adam says.

The National Guard Counterdrug Program has been around since 1989. In Ohio, there are approximately 50 soldiers and airmen who support 49 federal, state and local agencies within Ohio’s borders.

But the intel behind the scenes is making a difference to the boots on the ground and is also helping terrorism investigations in central Ohio.

In 2016, the task force played a critical role during the terrorist attack at Ohio State. A CDTF crime analyst was able to discover the link between the attacker and the Islamic State group, thereby helping local law enforcement determine a motive.

Categories: Ohio News

Coworking spaces becoming popular option for central Ohio business owners

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 06:59

WORTHINGTON, Ohio - Coworking spaces are popping up all over Central Ohio.

"I worked for five years in corporate America in large, mundane office buildings and old cruddy buildings you don't want to go into every day," Samantha Nolan explained.

Nolan, who's a personal branding specialist and owner of Nolan Branding, didn't want to work in that kind of environment.

For her, COhatch was the answer. It's not your typical workplace. The Worthington location is a renovated 200-year-old building, that now houses people who work in different fields for various companies.

Ann-Michel Kissler started her custom design and floral company, Inspired Settings, a year ago.

"We came here and realized we were grabbing coffee with a marketing guru and all of a sudden we had access to experts we wouldn't be able to afford any other way," she explains.

She says the shared workspace is the better alternative to working from home.

"You know in your own home you get distracted so there aren't the distractions here. It gets you up, going, get motivated," she says.

The motivation in setting up shop at shared workplaces is evident by just how many are popping up in Central Ohio.

Right now, there are more than 2 dozen to choose from, including the Idea Foundry, The Perch, Versa and the Nest.

The membership fees vary but there is one thing they all have in common, coworking spaces are appealing to those looking for a change of scenery.

"I think the biggest drawback is having to get up and get dressed," Kissler says.

It's a minor drawback to what many there agree, is a space that's good business.

"When clients come into COhatch they're immediately impressed this is who they're doing business with. Whether it's using a launch room or meeting room. It allows your business to look bigger than it might be," Nolan adds.

Categories: Ohio News

Ale from 1886 shipwreck yields new brew and conflict

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 04:47

ALBANY, N.Y. — News that an upstate New York brewer planned to recreate ale from a bottle salvaged from a 133-year-old shipwreck took the wind out of the sails of a scuba-diving Long Island brewer who has already done it.

Jamie Adams, owner of Saint James Brewery in Holbrook, said Wednesday he plans to release his new ale next month. He created it from yeast he painstakingly cultured from bottles of English ale he salvaged in 2017 from the wreck of the SS Oregon, which sank off Fire Island in 1886.

Adams, who has been diving the 135-foot-deep wreck for nearly 20 years, was stunned when he saw an Associated Press story over the weekend describing another brewer's plans to use the Oregon yeast.

"One of the divers I had enlisted to help me find these bottles with the intent of making beer had given one of them to this other brewer, unbeknownst to me," Adams said.

Adams learned about it when the State University of New York at Cobleskill announced that students were trying to culture yeast from a shipwreck bottle given to Bill Felter of Serious Brewing in Howes Cave. The plan was for Felter to create a new beer if the students were successful.

"I called Felter and he has agreed not to use the yeast," Adams said. "I'm glad we could work it out amicably without my having to take legal action."

Felter told the Syracuse Post-Standard he's scuttled his plans out of respect for his fellow farm brewer. "I don't want to step on their toes."

The Oregon is "near and dear to Long Island scuba divers," said Adams, a former Wall Street trader who took up brewing and diving after 9/11. "It was the Titanic of its day. It was built as a luxury liner to ferry people between New York and Europe."

The wreck is 75 percent buried in sand, which shifts after storms to uncover various portions of the ship. "In 2017 we found the area around the first class dining room was accessible. It hadn't been for years," Adams said.

Adams and fellow divers used a dredge to uncover artifacts including china, silverware, and bottles of ale with corks intact. Through research, he determined the bottles contained classic English ale.

"We've opened a few and have been able to propagate a few different yeast strains," he said.

After making numerous test batches since 2017, Adams had a yeast strain he was confident would perform properly.

"We're calling it SeaKing New York Ale," Adams said. It's set to debut March 9 at the annual New York Craft Brewers Festival in Albany.

Categories: Ohio News

Florida school shooting suspect due back in court

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 04:40

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz is due back in court for a status hearing on his death penalty case.

The hearing is set Thursday afternoon in Broward County Circuit Court. A number of matters could come up ranging from the pace of defense interviews of witnesses to a potential setting of a tentative trial date.

The 20-year-old Cruz is accused of killing 17 people and wounding 17 others in last year's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He is also accused of assaulting a jail corrections officer.

Cruz's attorneys have said he will plead guilty in return for a life prison sentence. Prosecutors have insisted instead on seeking the death penalty.

Categories: Ohio News

Louisiana woman charged in shooting of her pet llama, Earl

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 04:37

OPELOUSAS, La. — A Louisiana woman is accused of shooting her pet llama named Earl who she says attacked her.

News outlets report 67-year-old Madeline Bourgeois told St. Landry Parish Sheriff's deputies that Earl had attacked her last week while she was working in her pasture. A sheriff's office statement says Bourgeois told deputies she hit Earl and escaped the pasture, but returned with a gun and repeatedly shot him.

The St. Landry Parish Animal Control & Rescue says Earl was treated for a fractured rib and gunshot wounds. His condition was unclear as of Thursday.

Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says Bourgeois was right to defend herself during the attack, but wasn't in danger once she left the pasture. She was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. It's unclear if she has a lawyer.

Categories: Ohio News

Feds: Coast Guard lieutenant compiled hit list of lawmakers

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 04:27

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Coast Guard lieutenant who was arrested last week is a "domestic terrorist" who drafted an email discussing biological attacks and had what appeared to be a hit list that included prominent Democrats and media figures, prosecutors said in court papers.

Christopher Paul Hasson is due to appear Thursday in federal court in Maryland after his arrest on gun and drug offenses, but prosecutors say those charges are the "proverbial tip of the iceberg."

"The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct," prosecutors wrote in court papers .

Hasson, who works at the Coast Guard's headquarters in Washington, has espoused extremist views for years, according to prosecutors. Court papers detail a June 2017 draft email in which Hasson wrote that he was "dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth," and pondering how he might be able to acquire anthrax and toxins to create botulism or a deadly influenza.

In the same email, Hasson described an "interesting idea" that included "biological attacks followed by attack on food supply" as well as a bombing and sniper attacks, according to court documents filed by prosecutors.

In September 2017, Hasson sent himself a draft letter that he had written to a neo-Nazi leader and "identified himself as a White Nationalist for over 30 years and advocated for 'focused violence' in order to establish a white homeland," prosecutors wrote.

Hasson routinely read portions of a manifesto written by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik that prosecutors said instructs would-be assailants to collect firearms, food, disguises and survival tools, court papers said. Breivik, a right-wing extremist, is serving a 21-year sentence for killing 77 people in a 2011 bomb-and-shooting rampage.

Hasson also expressed admiration for Russia. "Looking to Russia with hopeful eyes or any land that despises the west's liberalism," he wrote in the draft email. Prosecutors say during the past two years he had regularly searched online for pro-Russian as well as neo-Nazi literature.

Prosecutors allege that Hasson visited thousands of websites that sold guns and researched military tactical manuals on improvised munitions.

Federal agents found 15 firearms — including several rifles — and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition inside Hasson's basement apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland. They also found a container with more than 30 bottles that were labeled as human growth hormone, court papers said.

Prosecutors wrote that Hasson "began the process of targeting specific victims," including several prominent Democrats in Congress and 2020 presidential candidates. In February 2018, he searched the internet for the "most liberal senators," as well as searching "do senators have ss (secret service) protection" and "are supreme court justices protected," according to the court filing.

Hasson's list of prominent Democrats included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and presidential hopefuls Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.

The list — created in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet — also included mentions of John Podesta, who was Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, along with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Maxine Waters, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, MSNBC's Chris Hayes and Joe Scarborough and CNN's Chris Cuomo and Van Jones, according to the court filing.

Hasson appeared to be a chronic user of the opioid painkiller Tramadol and had purchased a flask filled with four ounces of "synthetic urine" online, prosecutors said. Authorities suspect Hasson had purchased fake urine to use in case he was randomly selected for a drug test.

The chief at the federal defender's office in Maryland — which is representing Hasson — declined to comment on the allegations. The Coast Guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hasson's arrest. No one answered the door Wednesday at the home address for Hasson listed in public records.

Hasson's arrest on Feb. 15 was first noted by Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

Categories: Ohio News

USA Football unveils council to oversee developmental model

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 04:23

USA Football has introduced the council that will oversee the implementation of its Football Development Model for the sport.

The FDM, part of the overall American Development Model for athletes backed by the U.S. Olympic Committee, is a first of its kind framework to help parents, coaches and program leaders provide what players need to develop and grow as athletes and people through football participation. Basically, the FDM is a roadmap for how football is presented, practiced and coached from youth through adulthood.

Chairing the council, it was announced Thursday, will be Dr. Brian Hainline, the NCAA's chief medical officer. Hainline will direct a group featuring doctors, scientists, researchers, coaches, administrators and former players, including Anquan Boldin, a top NFL receiver for most of his 14 pro seasons.

"If we don't get a multitude of perspectives on different levels, that is a disservice," says Scott Hallenbeck, USA Football's CEO. "We will not all agree on every aspect and that will be healthy. We want a professional set of debates and discussions now so that we work toward a consensus. By design, we have a really diverse group of experts in different fields that helps us come together as we pioneer a new approach."

USA Football, the governing body for the sport, is aiming for up to 10 leagues nationwide as FDM pilot programs this fall. By 2020, the FDM formally will be rolled out to schools and youth football programs.

The model is composed of six pillars:

—a whole-person and multisport approach to development;

—a focus on physical literacy and skill development;

—coach education and training;

—creating multiple pathways and options into and within the sport, such as non-contact and flag football, 7-on-7 programs, as well as full contact;

—making football fun and fulfilling;

—participation in the sport and retention of the athletes.

"When we look at football in particular, the sport is undergoing its own sort of existential crisis," Hainline says. "And a lot of info out there is emotionally based as well as factual. There are some really extreme positions, so getting some really respected thought leaders on this board is significant. I am a former player — not a very good one, but I played — and I see the inherent value of all sports if we can learn to do them safely.

"The premise is that football is an aggressive, rugged, contact sport. So learning how to engage your body at a young age in a way that ... will allow you to progress at whatever level you want to progress and play is critical. It's exciting to be able to do this for any sport, but in particular for football, perhaps the most polarizing sport, and where misinformation is most rampant."

Hallenbeck, Hainline and Chris Snyder, USOC director of coaching education, believe a successful FDM could have a major impact on similar models in other sports. Already, such disciplines as ice hockey and tennis have experienced impressive success with their programs.

Many sports under the USOC umbrella have used cross-promotions and cross-marketing approaches. By unifying the message that the ADM programs teach the proper values and safety methods, decrease the cost of play, and make a sport rewarding for participants, Snyder says it "makes for a better product for the right reasons."

"We can all play together in this space," Snyder says. "We're all confident we can build a better product and let kids make decisions on their own. If football does it the way they are showing they want to, the (FDM) will have such an impact throughout. America embraces the sport, and we want to see it played on every level. If football comes out with this — 'Here's is how we are making it ... a sport for everyone, getting more females active, getting more people active' — we only build a better America. We use fitness and health to reduce other issues, and that's part of the puzzle of making America strong."

Categories: Ohio News

Climate threat doubter is leading effort to advise Trump

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 04:16

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is exploring the idea of forming a special committee to look at climate change and security risks, with the effort being coordinated by a 79-year-old physicist who rejects mainstream climate science.

A "discussion paper" obtained by The Associated Press asks federal officials from an array of government agencies to weigh in on a proposed executive order that President Donald Trump would sign establishing the "Presidential Committee on Climate Security."

A memo to those federal officials asks them to direct any questions to William Happer, a member of Trump's National Security Council and a well-known critic of mainstream climate science findings.

"Happer would be a fringe figure even for climate skeptics," said retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. David Titley, now a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University.

Several climate scientists agreed with Titley, including Georgia Tech's Kim Cobb, who said Happer's "false, unscientific notions about climate change represent a danger to the American people."

Harvard science historian Naomi Oreskes, who wrote the book "Merchants of Doubt" on climate denial, pointed to instances when Happer has claimed that carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas from the burning of coal, oil and gas, is good for humans and that carbon emissions have been demonized like "the poor Jews under Hitler."

Happer's bio at Princeton University, where he previously taught, describes him as a pioneer in the field of optically polarized atoms. It notes that he served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush as the director of energy research at the Department of Energy, where he oversaw a basic research budget of roughly $3 billion.

The National Security Council advises the president on security and foreign policy issues. According to the discussion paper, the council would fund and oversee the committee. Among the committee's responsibilities would be to "address existing United States Government reports on climate for scientific accuracy and advise on the national security implications of climate change."

The committee would be composed of 12 members, according to a draft of the executive order. Members would include experts in national security and climate science. The panel would advise the president on how climate "might change in the future under natural and human influences."

A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment.

The Washington Post first reported on the proposed executive order establishing the climate security committee.

Trump once tweeted that climate change was a "Chinese hoax." More recently, he used a cold snap that hit much of the nation last month to again cast doubts. "People can't last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming (sic)? Please come back fast, we need you!" he tweeted.

Both the Pentagon and the president's intelligence team have mentioned climate change as a national security threat, and a 2018 National Climate Assessment detailed drastic effects of global warming.

Over about a dozen years, government scientists, military leaders and intelligence experts have repeatedly highlighted climate change as a major national security risk, said Titley, who founded one such study team in the Navy.

Titley said these studies have come to the same conclusions under three presidents, including two Republicans. He said there are "a surprising number of documents from the Pentagon and intelligence community after January 2017 (when Trump took office) that talk about climate and security risk."

"For the Pentagon, it's about readiness," Titley said. "For the intelligence community, it's about risks. We see the risks are accelerating."

Climate change can "push a marginally stable area into chaos," Titley said, mentioning Syria, which suffered a record drought at the same time as a civil war that triggered a migration of a million people.

Francesco "Frank" Femia, chief executive of a think tank that reviews systemic risk to national and international security, expressed concern that the proposed panel was meant to poke holes in future government reports and studies.

"I would welcome a serious study commissioned by the White House on the security implications on climate change that include climate scientists and national security experts, but this is not that," said Femia, the CEO of The Council on Strategic Risks.

A place like the National Academy of Sciences was set up just for that type of study, said Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at Berkeley Earth, which monitors global temperatures.

"The ice doesn't care what this administration thinks," Titley said. "It's just going to keep melting and obeying the laws of physics, whatever Will Happer wants."

Climate threat doubter is leading effort to advise Trump

By KEVIN FREKING and SETH BORENSTEIN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is exploring the idea of forming a special committee to look at climate change and security risks, with the effort being coordinated by a 79-year-old physicist who rejects mainstream climate science.

A "discussion paper" obtained by The Associated Press asks federal officials from an array of government agencies to weigh in on a proposed executive order that President Donald Trump would sign establishing the "Presidential Committee on Climate Security."

A memo to those federal officials asks them to direct any questions to William Happer, a member of Trump's National Security Council and a well-known critic of mainstream climate science findings.

"Happer would be a fringe figure even for climate skeptics," said retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. David Titley, now a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University.

Several climate scientists agreed with Titley, including Georgia Tech's Kim Cobb, who said Happer's "false, unscientific notions about climate change represent a danger to the American people."

Harvard science historian Naomi Oreskes, who wrote the book "Merchants of Doubt" on climate denial, pointed to instances when Happer has claimed that carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas from the burning of coal, oil and gas, is good for humans and that carbon emissions have been demonized like "the poor Jews under Hitler."

Happer's bio at Princeton University, where he previously taught, describes him as a pioneer in the field of optically polarized atoms. It notes that he served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush as the director of energy research at the Department of Energy, where he oversaw a basic research budget of roughly $3 billion.

The National Security Council advises the president on security and foreign policy issues. According to the discussion paper, the council would fund and oversee the committee. Among the committee's responsibilities would be to "address existing United States Government reports on climate for scientific accuracy and advise on the national security implications of climate change."

The committee would be composed of 12 members, according to a draft of the executive order. Members would include experts in national security and climate science. The panel would advise the president on how climate "might change in the future under natural and human influences."

A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment.

The Washington Post first reported on the proposed executive order establishing the climate security committee.

Trump once tweeted that climate change was a "Chinese hoax." More recently, he used a cold snap that hit much of the nation last month to again cast doubts. "People can't last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming (sic)? Please come back fast, we need you!" he tweeted.

Both the Pentagon and the president's intelligence team have mentioned climate change as a national security threat, and a 2018 National Climate Assessment detailed drastic effects of global warming.

Over about a dozen years, government scientists, military leaders and intelligence experts have repeatedly highlighted climate change as a major national security risk, said Titley, who founded one such study team in the Navy.

Titley said these studies have come to the same conclusions under three presidents, including two Republicans. He said there are "a surprising number of documents from the Pentagon and intelligence community after January 2017 (when Trump took office) that talk about climate and security risk."

"For the Pentagon, it's about readiness," Titley said. "For the intelligence community, it's about risks. We see the risks are accelerating."

Climate change can "push a marginally stable area into chaos," Titley said, mentioning Syria, which suffered a record drought at the same time as a civil war that triggered a migration of a million people.

Francesco "Frank" Femia, chief executive of a think tank that reviews systemic risk to national and international security, expressed concern that the proposed panel was meant to poke holes in future government reports and studies.

"I would welcome a serious study commissioned by the White House on the security implications on climate change that include climate scientists and national security experts, but this is not that," said Femia, the CEO of The Council on Strategic Risks.

A place like the National Academy of Sciences was set up just for that type of study, said Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at Berkeley Earth, which monitors global temperatures.

"The ice doesn't care what this administration thinks," Titley said. "It's just going to keep melting and obeying the laws of physics, whatever Will Happer wants."

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Categories: Ohio News

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