Saturday, October 16, 2021

Meteorite Crashes Through Ceiling, Lands Next To Woman’s Pillow

PolitiFact Wisconsin: Does America lack an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine?

From TMJ4:

Suicide bomber kills 47, injures dozens more at Shiite mosque in Afghanistan | ABC News

Norway bow-and-arrow attack likely due to mental illness, police say

Deadline Looms In Vaccine Showdown Between City And Police Union

Estrada Fire Forces Evacuations Near Watsonville

U.K. MP on the killing of his colleague

Racine police ID suspect; federal agent shot, out of hospital

From Fox6Now:

The Racine Police Department on Friday, Oct. 15 identified 36-year-old Cody Herman as the suspect at the center of a critical incident the previous week.

A federal agent was shot during the "multi-jurisdictional operation" on Clairmont Street in Racine on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The suspect, now identified as Herman, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene.

Police said Oct. 6 that the suspect, Herman, was wanted for charges that included aggravated assault and weapons violations. While trying to serve the warrant, police said, Herman fired shots toward officers and the federal agent was hit.

At that time, officers pulled back and a tactical response began. There was no return fire from law enforcement.

The federal agent was shot in the shoulder and has since been released from the hospital.


Open Blog - Weekend

Please do.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Joe Rogan cancels the cancelers

Health expert believes there are advantages to getting flu vaccine amid COVID-19 pandemic

Moderna COVID-19 booster shot recommended by FDA panel, local health say a more normal flu season ex

At least 46 killed in Taiwanese apartment building inferno

Norway bow and arrow killings were act of terrorism say police - BBC News

Alex Murdaugh arrested on new charges

Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo after being fired: 'not the outcome that I wanted for myself'

US tycoon gets life in prison for killing of his best friend | AFP

Wisconsin prison vendors debate, 'monopoly' warnings | FOX6 News Milwaukee

From Fox6Now:

Secret Recording Has Carroll ISD Administrator Saying Books On Holocaust Need 'Opposing' View

At least six dead amid heavy fighting as Beirut protest turns violent | ABC News

Bill Clinton hospitalized in California

Racine drug bust: Boy, mother face charges

From Fox6Now:

A 15-year-old boy was arrested in connection to a Racine drug investigation on Wednesday morning, Oct. 13. The boy and his mother are facing charges in the case.

It was around 9 a.m. Wednesday when people who live near 19th and Racine saw a lot of activity outside a two-story brick building. While some neighbors said they were left scratching their heads, others had no idea at all about what brought police to the block.

"It’s surprising to see such a young kid doing that. But, I think – nowadays – it’s the norm," said Alejandra Ramirez.

Ramirez has lived in her Racine Street home for decades and was not home when the Racine County Metro Drug Unit executed the search warrant. While she was surprised to learn about the 15-year-old's alleged involvement, she said she was not surprised to hear of the nearby raid.

"We really don’t know what goes on around the neighborhood, but we do see a lot," Ramirez said.

Items recovered during Racine drug bust (Courtesy: Racine County Sheriff's Office)

According to the sheriff's office, multiple drug buys from the boy included cocaine, psychedelic mushrooms, oxycodone and ecstasy.

During a search of the residence, officers found more than two dozen Adderall pills, more than 40 oxycodone pills, 17 ecstasy pills, THC vape cartridges, scales, packaging materials, drug paraphernalia and nearly $800 in cash.

Racine County Sheriff's Office

Racine County Sheriff's Office

The boy was arrested on a number of recommended charges of drug delivery and possession, as well as maintaining a drug place.

Officials said the mother was not there at the time, but is also facing charges of keeping a drug place and drug paraphernalia possession. She was on probation for various drug-related at the time.

The Racine County Sheriff's Office said charges have been referred to the district attorney's office for both the boy and his mother.


SE Wisconsin police officers killed on the line of duty honored at national memorial in D.C.

From TMJ4:

Open Blog - Friday

Oh boy.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Experts Change Daily Aspirin Recommendation To Help Reduce Risk Of Heart Attack, Stroke

President Joe Biden enlists Walmart, FedEx to fix bottlenecks

EU proposes tax cuts to ease energy crisis, mitigate soaring gas prices

Social Security increase imminent: What the average recipient is going to get

WHO says it may be 'last chance' to find COVID origins

NYPD Officer Accused In Deadly Shooting In Brooklyn

Gabby Petito’s Attack Continued After She Lost Consciousness

Federal Indictment Of Mark Ridley-Thomas Rocks LA City Council And Scandal Plagued USC

Mesa County Clerk will not be allowed to oversee the 2021 election

Alisal Fire: Massive wildfire rages west of Santa Barbara

'Many crime scenes': at least five dead in bow-and-arrow attacks in Kongsberg

Schiff: Those who don't cooperate with Jan. 6 committee will be held in criminal contempt

Heating bills will jump as much as 54% this winter compared to last year, federal forecast says

From JSOnline:

Associated Press, Journal Sentinel staff

Nearly half the homes in the U.S. use natural gas for heat, and they could pay an average $746 this winter, 30% more than a year ago.

With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas and other fuels, the U.S. government said Wednesday it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared to last winter.

Nearly half the homes in the U.S. use natural gas for heat, and they could pay an average $746 this winter, 30% more than a year ago. Those in the Midwest could get particularly pinched, with bills up an estimated 49%, and this could be the most expensive winter for natural-gas heated homes since 2008-09, according to the forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration

The federal estimate issued Wednesday follows a forecast issued this week by the state's largest utility, We Energies. That analysis assumes "average" winter weather compared with the federal forecast which says the winter will be slightly colder than normal.

That analysis done by We Energies "predicts the typical residential customer will pay $25 more a month this winter compared to last year," assuming an average winter weather. That would increase the typical residential customer's bill about 30% from $80 last winter to around $105.

"This increase is mainly due to tight supplies as well as a worldwide increase in demand for natural gas," We Energies said in a statement that was released with its analysis.

We Energies serves 1.1 million natural gas customers in Wisconsin.

"This forecast matches what we sent out on Monday, that we expect the natural gas price spike will impact customer heating bills this winter," We Energies spokesman Brendan Conway said Wednesday.

Wisconsin Public Service Corp., which along with We Energies is owned by WEC Energy Group, said the typical residential customer will pay $40 more a month this winter compared to last winter, assuming average weather conditions. 

Read more:

Favre, employee owe Mississippi $828K, state auditor says

From Fox6Now:

Brett Favre

The Mississippi auditor said Tuesday, Oct. 12 that he is demanding repayment of $77 million in misspent welfare money in one of the poorest states in the nation.

This includes $828,000 the auditor is seeking from retired NFL player Brett Favre and an employee of his business, Favre Enterprises.

The initial allegations of misspending came to light in early 2020 when former Mississippi Department of Human Services executive director John Davis and five other people were indicted in one of the state's largest public corruption cases, which the auditor characterized then as "a sprawling conspiracy."

Favre is not facing any criminal charges, but Auditor Shad White said in May 2020 that the former Green Bay Packers quarterback, who lives in Mississippi, had repaid $500,000 of the $1.1 million in welfare money he received for multiple speeches for which he did not show up. The demand Tuesday is for the $600,000 balance, plus $228,000 in interest.

White issued the demands about two weeks after a Maryland-based CPA firm issued an independent report about how the Mississippi Department of Human Services spent federal money from 2016 through 2019 through Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The report found nearly $41 million in "questioned costs" for items including travel and programs to support college athletes.

The Mississippi auditor is demanding that interest be paid on the $77 million, bringing the total sought to more than $96 million. White is demanding that whole amount from Davis and most of it from two nonprofit organizations, Mississippi Community Education Center and the Family Resource Center.

On Monday, an accountant pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit embezzlement for her role in the case. Hinds County Circuit Court records show that as part of her guilty plea, Anne McGrew, 65, of Jackson, agreed to testify against others indicted, including her one-time employers, Nancy New and Zach New, a mother and son who ran nonprofit and for-profit organizations that received money from the state Department of Human Services.

McGrew said in court records that she assisted Nancy New, Zach New and others in moving money received by Mississippi Community Education Center to bank accounts owned by New Learning Inc. a for-profit company owned by Nancy New and Zach New.

McGrew, who could face up to five years in prison, signed a court document that said prosecutors will make a recommendation about her sentence based on her cooperation in the prosecution of co-defendants and her "willingess to provide truthful testimony" at any trials.

Those indicted were the department’s former director, John Davis; former professional wrestler Brett DiBiase; former Department of Human Services employee Latimer Smith; Nancy New, who has been the director of Mississippi Community Education Center and New Learning Resources; Zach New, who has been assistant executive director of the education center; and McGrew, an accountant for the education center.

Davis left the Department of Human Services in July 2019. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is set for Nov. 1. However, his attorneys are seeking a delay because they said in a Sept. 29 court document that prosecutors have produced "voluminous" information about the case.

Smith has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 8.

Nancy New and Zach New also have been indicted on federal charges. They have pleaded not guilty in federal court and state court, and they await trial in both places.

Mississippi Community Education Center, operating as Families First for Mississippi, received more than $44 million in government grants from mid-2014 to mid-2018, according to nonprofit tax filings. Amounts spiked to $12.9 million and $26.7 million in the final two years, as Davis outsourced a large portion of Mississippi’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families spending to the group.

DiBiase, now 33, pleaded guilty in December to one count of making a false statement. He said in court documents that he had submitted documents and received full payment for work he did not complete. He agreed to pay $48,000 in restitution, and his sentencing was deferred.

Indictments allege Davis conspired with Nancy New to send $48,000 in block grant money to pay for DiBiase's drug rehabilitation in Malibu, California, in early 2019. Payments were made to a company owned by DiBiase supposedly for his teaching classes about drug abuse, with Davis and Smith falsifying invoices and other records, prosecutors said.

In November 2020, Hinds County Circuit Judge Faye Peterson issued a gag order to prevent prosecutors, defense attorneys and others from publicly discussing the case against Nancy New. Another Hinds County circuit judge, Adrienne Wooten, issued the same order in February in McGrew's case.


Open Blog - Thursday

 Peace, love, and all that good stuff.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Let's Go Brandon!


CDC Urging People In Black & Hispanic Communities To Get Flu Vaccine

ANSWER DESK: Why Aspirin may not be the answer to preventing heart problems

Walgreens Closing 5 San Francisco Stores Citing Chronic Robberies

FDA authorizes first marketing of e-cigarettes, cites benefit for smokers

Texas governor bans COVID vaccine mandates

Crashed Navy helicopter, bodies of 5 crew, recovered from ocean floor off San Diego

More updates - 3 dead after postal worker opens fire in Memphis

High oil prices break 7-year record

Paul McCartney Says John Lennon Instigated The Beatles' Split

First fine for defying Florida's ban on vaccine mandates issued

Domestic violence survivor on Gabby Petito video

Santa Barbara health officials warn of poor air quality from Alisal Fire

Georgia man threatened Kenosha mayor, others, indictment alleges

From Fox6Now:

A northern Georgia man was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly threatening to kill Kenosha County law enforcement and elected officials during the height of the unrest following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer in August 2020.

Minjie Cao, of Alpharetta, Georgia, was arrested last week. A federal grand jury in Wisconsin indicted Cao on three counts of interstate communication of a threat to injure, directing those alleged threats at Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian and a third person.

According to the indictment, Cao allegedly sent three emails to "D.M.", Beth and Antaramian over a three day span beginning on Aug. 27, 2020 – days after the Aug. 23 shooting of Blake, who is Black, by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, who is white, during a domestic incident.

Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down. The shooting prompted days of protests and nights of unrest, including the shooting of three people by an Illinois teen that left two dead.

On Aug. 27, court filings say Cao sent an email to "D.M." saying: "I will put 7 bullets in your head! This Sunday morning 9 AM. Write a will now before you die!" Filings do not say who "D.M." is. However, Daniel Miskinis was the Kenosha police chief at the time and found himself in the spotlight after the Blake shooting. Miskinis retired in 2021 after nearly 25 years with the department. Messages left with Kenosha Police went unreturned.

Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, Jacob Blake

Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, Jacob Blake

Two days later, on Aug. 29, court documents say Cao allegedly sent an email to Beth saying: "I will kill your wife first and then kill you tomorrow 1 p.m. at your house" (sic). Filings also do not say who the threat was directed to, but list the initials of "D.B." Beth declined to comment about the threats when contacted by FOX6 News.

Also on Aug. 29, Cao allegedly sent a third threat to Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, erroneously calling for the mayor to fire the county sheriff, saying: "If you don’t fire David Beth, I will put 7 bullets in your head in front of your family. Deadline: August 31, 12 p.m. EST. If not, you will not see the sunlight in September" (sic). Antaramian declined to comment.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian

Messages left for attorneys representing Miskinis, Beth and Antaramian in a civil case related to the events in Kenosha went unreturned.

The indictment was filed and an arrest warrant was issued in early September 2021. However, the case was not unsealed until Thursday, Oct. 7.

Cao, 26, was arrested and made an initial appearance before a magistrate judge in the northern district of Georgia on Oct. 7. Judge Catherine Salinas set a $10,000 signature bond and ordered Cao to surrender his passport within seven days.

Third night of unrest in Kenosha after the shooting of Jacob Blake

Cao was surprised when a reporter reached him by phone Tuesday, Oct. 12. He said was still trying to secure representation and declined to comment about the charges. No defense attorney is listed in the Wisconsin case, according to online court records. An email to a federal public defender assigned to the case in Georgia went unreturned.

Last week, federal prosecutors announced charges would not be filed against Sheskey, saying there’s not enough evidence to prove he used excessive force or violated Blake’s civil rights. In January, state prosecutors also decided to not file charges against Sheskey after video showed Blake armed with a knife.

The case against Cao is the latest in a string of federal cases charging people in connection to the August 2020 events in Kenosha, including arson and weapons cases.

If convicted, Cao faces a maximum of five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to appear before a Milwaukee federal judge by video for an arraignment and plea hearing next week.


Racine police new bodycam proposal, next step is funding

From Fox6Now:

The Racine Police Department is updating its use-of-force policy so that any time there is use-of-force, it is broadcast over the radio. Also brought up – officers may receive new equipment as soon as next year.

"In the spirit of accountability and transparency, one of the things I wanted to make sure we were doing, that we were providing the best training possible," said Racine Police Chief Maurice Robinson.

Chief Robinson, on Tuesday night, Oct. 12 during a Police and Fire Commission meeting discussed training he plans to implement to promote fair and impartial policing. He said that includes recognizing implicit and explicit biases.

"And strategies for communication when you deal with people and biases come into play," said Robinson.

He also addressed the department's body-worn cameras, which will soon need replacing.  

"They were scheduled to last five years," said Robinson. "We're finding that we're getting failures in three years."

Robinson said he's received a proposal from body camera provider, Axon, that he believes would increase transparency and accountability among officers. The company's BlueTooth technology, also used by the Racine County Sheriff's Office, automatically turns an officer's camera on (if it isn't recording already) if their firearm or Taser are withdrawn from the holster.

That's not all. Robinson said these cameras would serve as an extra set of eyes.

"It also gives me the ability to do random inspections of body-worn footage to make sure that our officers are performing the way that they should be so we can be accountable to the people we serve," said Robinson.

Chief Robinson said the next step is funding.

According to a spokesman with the mayor's office, the Axon body camera contract would cost $450,000 in 2022. Over the entire five-year contract, it would amount to close to $2 million.

The spokesman said the proposal will be included in the city's budget, which is set to be introduced next week.