What we know about the Indiana bus stop crash the children and the driver

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR NEWS)

 

What we know about the Indiana bus stop crash, the children and the driver

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Twin boys and their big sister died Tuesday when the driver of a pickup truck allegedly blew past their stopped school bus on a rural highway in northern Indiana.

Xzavier and Mason Ingle, both 6, and Alivia Stahl, 9, were struck while crossing the road to get on their bus. They died at the scene of the crash near 4600 North Ind. 25, north Rochester in Fulton County.

A fourth child, 11-year-old Maverik Lowe, was airlifted to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne with life-threatening injuries.

Alyssa Shepherd, 24, of Rochester, was arrested and charged Tuesday with reckless homicide and other crimes, records show.

Bus stop crash: NTSB is investigating crash that killed 3 kids boarding school bus
School bus safety: Here’s when you should stop

Here’s what we know about this tragedy:

Who are the children

Twin brothers Xzavier and Mason, their sister Alivia Stahl and Maverik Lowe were students in the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation. Xzavier, Mason and Alivia attended Mentone Elementary School.

Maverik is a student at Tippecanoe Valley Middle School, police said. He was critically injured with multiple broken bones and underwent surgery Tuesday at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne.

Maverik suffered back injuries, broken legs, arms and a knee cap and “may never walk again,” his relative Jocelynne Lowe posted on a GoFundMe page.

“He is a very, very strong kid,” Lowe wrote. “Please pray for this family.”

Maverik’s parents issued a statement through the Indiana State Police on Wednesday, in which they thanked the community for their prayers and requested privacy.

Sgt. Tony Slocum@ISPPeru

From parents of Maverik Lowe :“We would like to thank those who have prayed for our family/ families of those involved in yesterday’s tragedy. He is currently in stable condition. Our family is focused on his recovery at this time and requests privacy as we heal together.”

What happened at the bus stop

The children left their neighborhood to board their school bus about 7:15 a.m. when they were struck by the southbound Toyota pickup, Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum said.

The children were crossing the rural two-lane highway to catch their bus, which was stopped in the northbound lane with its lights flashing and “STOP” arm extended.

Police did not say how fast the pickup was traveling. The speed limit on that stretch of Ind. 25 is 55 mph.

Who is the pickup driver

Alyssa Shepherd works as children’s director at Faith Outreach, a Foursquare Gospel Church in Rochester. The Rev. Terry Baldwin, the church’s senior pastor, declined to answer specific questions Wednesday.

“Our hearts are broken for the families who have suffered such a tremendous loss,” Baldwin told IndyStar during a phone call. “We are fervently praying for everyone touched by this. We want you and your readers to pray with us.

“Also, please remember our community.”

What is the driver charged with

Shepherd was charged Tuesday with three counts of reckless homicide and a misdemeanor count of passing a school bus when an signal arm is extended, court records show.

She was booked into the Fulton County Jail and released after posting $15,000 bond, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday.

Shepherd remained at the scene after the crash and cooperated with investigators. She was given a blood test as is standard in all fatal crashes, but police said they do not think alcohol or drugs were a factor.

The investigation

Ind. 25 was shut down for hours Tuesday as Indiana State Police accident investigators measured the impact sites, skid marks and collected evidence needed to reconstruct the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to Rochester on Wednesday to conduct its own investigation.

A state mourns

Gov. Eric Holcomb was among many who offered condolences Tuesday.

“Words cannot express the depth of sorrow Janet and I feel, which only pales in comparison to what family, friends, teachers, classmates and community are feeling right now,” Holcomb said in a statement.

“Today, and for many more to come, we mourn their loss. I ask Hoosiers around the state to join us by sending your deepest prayers for the strength needed to endure such a time.”

The Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation in a statement Tuesday asked the community for prayers for families, students and staff.

“We have deployed all school counselors to meet the emotional needs of our staff, students and parents,” the statement said.

How to help

GoFundMe pages have been set up to help the families. The page benefiting the family of Xzavier, Mason, and Alivia raised more than $46,000 by mid-day Wednesday.

The campaign benefiting Maverik’s family raised more than $15,000 by about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Call IndyStar reporter Vic Ryckaert at 317-444-2701. Follow him on Twitter: @VicRyc.

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Trump: Dangerous Idiot—President Mike Pence: Dangerous Hypocrite? #2 Of 2

President Mike Pence: Dangerous Hypocrite?

(Part 2 Of 2)

 

On August 6th I wrote an article titled ” If Our President is Found Guilty Of Treason: Then What” That article is part one of this two-part letter to you. As a lot of you know, that by our Constitution the answer to that question is, the Vice President, Mike Pence becomes the President. Many folks that are hooked to this blog as well as people that I personally know have told me that in their opinion Mike Pence is more dangerous than Donald Trump. Personally I have though that these folks couldn’t be right, could they? So, I started digging for more information on our possible next President, for your knowledge, and for mine. The rest of this letter to you is information that I have gleamed off of various news agencies, I will document them for you as I go along.

 

Source: Market Watch

In 1998 when Mike Pence was a radio host in Indiana he argued that a President could be removed from office on “Moral grounds” when he was referring to President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Now that he is Donald Trump’s Vice President he has changed his opinion on this matter. There is no way that Mr. Pence can say that he was unaware of Mr. Trumps morals when he was asked to be Trumps running mate. Politics and big dollars make many folks change their religious ideologies, it looks like Mr. Pence is one of those folks.

During this time that he was a radio host Mr. Pence said that a President needed to be held to a higher moral standard than “our next door neighbor.” He argued that the ‘First Family’ must be role models for the rest of the country and the world.

 

Source: The New Republic

 

Their headline was “Is Mike Pence Really A Hypocrite?”

 

Mr. Pence detailed how President Clinton had broken the law by lying to the Grand Jury which is Perjury and Perjury is a Felony in the U.S. Legal System. He said that Presidents that commit perjury should resign or be impeached.

 

Source: The Business Insider 

 

10 Things we should know about Mike Pence’s political views and his religious beliefs. You may agree with some of his thoughts just as I did agree with a couple of his views from a Biblical view-point. Then again, you may agree with or disagree with all of them, I did not cherry pick the information given in an attempt to swing an opinion in either direction.

1.) Pence didn’t want women in the military. In 1999 a woman in the military fell in love with another soldier and he used this as his basis for his view-point.

2.) In 2000 Mr. Pence wrote an op-ed in which he said “smoking doesn’t kill”. He said this as he was taking money from big tobacco companies for his Congressional campaign. In 2016 during the Presidential Campaign he reworded his view-point to “smoking isn’t good for you.”

3.) While running for Congress in 2000 Mr. Pence wrote on his website that money funding research for HIV/AIDS should be moved to fund ‘Conversion Therapy” “Which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

4.) Mr. Pence told ‘The Hill Newspaper’ in 2002 that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he doesn’t attend events that serve alcohol without her. He has been blasted in some circles for being unfair to women, excluding them from important meetings saying that he is anti women because of this ‘moral’ policy. Personally I Agree with this policy from a religion stand point and from an ‘I love my wife’ stand point, but that is just me and my being old-fashioned.

 

Sources: The Hill Newspaper and the Washington Post

 

5.) During his 12 years as a Congressman Mr. Pence co-sponsored multiple pieces of legislation for a “Federal Shield Law” which would have allowed reporters to keep confidential sources secret, even if the government requested those sources. Now, as Donald Trumps VP he is against this legislation.

Source: The Washington Post

 

6.) Mr. Pence in 2006 cited a Harvard researcher in remarks where he declared that same-sex marriages would bring about a “social collapse” in America.

Source: Mic and the New York Times

 

7.) In 2011 Congressman Pence authored a bill to completely defund Planned Parenthood and he signaled that he was willing to prompt a government shut down in order to pass this bill.

8.) In a bid to limit abortions, Mr. Pence in 2011 sought to change when Federal funds for abortions could be used. The current stature was applied in cases of rape or incest. Mr. Pence wanted to change the term “rape” to “force-able rape.” Folks, I have a question for you, when is “rape” not force-able? If rape is not forced upon a person then isn’t it considered to be consensual sex?

Source: Mic and the Huffington Post

 

9.) While Governor of Indiana Mr. Pence signed the “2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act” which was meant to allow businesses in the state of Indiana to cite religious beliefs as a reason to refuse services to members of the LGBTQ community.

Source: the Huffington Post

 

10.) While Governor of Indiana Mr. Pence was blamed for a HIV crisis in his State after he moved to slash funding for Planned Parent-hood in 2011. A local Planed Parent-hood facility had to close in 2013 because of the spending cut. That facility was the only HIV testing center in Scott County which faced a deepening drug use problem that was believed to have hastened HIV out breaks.

Source: The New Yorker and former top adviser to President Trump, Stephen Bannon

 

“The danger of having a President Pence, Trumps critics yearn for his exit, but, Mike Pence is the ultimate Corporate Inside Man who poses his own risks.”

Bannon: “Pence is the outreach guy, the connective tissue between the Trump Administration and the most conservative wing of the Republican establishment.” Mr. Bannon also says that “Mr. Pence would be a President that the Koch brothers would own.” “Pence’s political career through-out has been sponsored at almost every turn by the same donors whom Trump has assailed. Pence is the inside man of the conservative money machine.”

 

“On Election Night of 2016 at the Hilton Hotel in Mid-town Manhattan in an upstairs Suite above the Ball-room there was an even more VIP that existed. Doug Deacon, a Texas businessman and a political donor told me that ‘it was amazing.’ In the VIP reception area alone I counted at least 8 or 9 billionaires.” Deacon said “he’s (Pence) really the contact to the big donors. Deacon said, that since the election I have attended two dinners for the wealthy backers at the Vice-Presidential residence. If Pence were to become President, the Government would be run by the Koch brothers-period. Pence has been their tool for years.”

 

Source: Doug Deacon

I had a meeting with Mikes mother (Nancy Pence Fritsch) and she said to me “the family identifies as Catholic, and Mike was an Alter-boy. Religion is the most important thing in our lives, she said.” “But we don’t take it seriously.”

Source: Gregory Pence, Mike’s brother

 

In Mikes Congressional Campaign he used personal donations toward personal expenses such as his mortgage and groceries. This wasn’t illegal, but it violated the trust of his supporters and sullied his “Pious” image. He upset a lot of his backers. It was partly because of immaturity, but he really was kind of full of shit. He comes across as Mid-western nice, but he is mean and shallow.”

 

In 1999 Mr. Pence took a job offer as President of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, a tiny new ‘think tank’ that promoted free-market policies. They were known for being anti-union. They also opposed health, safety and environmental regulations. Also, because he was taking campaign contributions from big tobacco companies Mr. Pence said in 2000 that smoking doesn’t kill people. He said that a greater scourge than cigarettes was “big government disguised as do-gooder, healthcare rhetoric.”

Mr. Pence served in the Congress for 12 years yet he never, not once, authored a single successful bill. He was against George W. Bush’s expansion of Medicaid coverage for prescription drugs and the “no child left behind” program. Once Barack Obama was elected President Pence he became the early voice of the ‘Tea Party.”

Pence sponsored an unsuccessful amendment to the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) that would have made it legal for government-funded hospitals to turn away a dying woman who needed an abortion to stay alive.

Pence calls “Global Warming” a myth. He may well feel this way because the Koch Brothers own several coal-fired power plants and oil refineries which release some 24 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. He voted against putting a tax on company’s carbon emissions. Carbon dioxide is said by most scientist to be the biggest reason for global warming. This tax would have cost the Koch brothers millions of dollars each year. It was after this bill failed to pass in the Senate that Mr. Pence became the “Koch’s guy” and they have been showering him with money ever since.

Source: Matthew Tully, a Columnist at the Indianapolis Star said 

“that Pence has a fatal flaw, he is to political and ideological, his focus is always on the next step up, not on his job at hand.

Pence brags about how good the state of Indiana was doing for the people financially yet when he left office Indiana ranked 38th in individual income.

Source: Michael Maurer, the owner of the Indianapolis Business Journal who is a Republican said in reference to Pence 

“It, his hypocrisy, just exploded in his face. His poll numbers were terrible. I bet he’d never get elected in Indiana again. But he went from being a likely loser as an incumbent governor to the V.P. of the U.S. but Indiana is still reeling from having him as our governor.”

Well folks, I think I now know a good bit more about why people from Indiana have been telling me how dangerous Mike Pence would be as our next President. I now see why so many people call him a hypocrite, a fraud, and dangerous. Most of the time I have associated the word hypocrite with something to religion yet in reality I associate it with a person who says one thing and does another. To me, a person who claims to be a Christian who worships money and human power over others, which also means they are also lying, is the worse kind of hypocrite and it appears to me that this definition fits Mike Pence quite well. Think back to the statement of his Mother about religion and I quote “religion is the most important thing in our lives, but we don’t take it seriously!” Just think about that statement, the most important thing in your life, but you don’t take that most important thing seriously, whew, what a ringing endorsement for the quality of a person, and by his Mother no less.

 

 

 

Indiana teacher busted after being caught on camera doing drugs in classroom

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FOX NEWS)

 

Indiana teacher busted after being caught on camera doing drugs in classroom

An Indiana high school teacher got more than detention when she was arrested after a video posted to social media allegedly showed her doing drugs in an empty classroom.

Samantha Cox, a 24-year-old teacher at Lake Central High School in the town of St. John near the Illinois border, was arrested on Wednesday for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

The English teacher was allegedly caught doing drugs after students filmed her with a phone from outside the classroom, according to Fox 32 Chicago.

“It’s absolutely, I can’t’ really describe it. It’s just atrocious,” Kasia Firlej, a parent of a child at the school said to the local news channel.

The video, which made rounds on social media, shows a woman alleged to be Cox sitting in the corner of the classroom using narcotics. It was not immediately clear which substance she was taking.

Teacher

Cox is being held at the Lake County Jail pending charges.  (Lake County Sheriff)

Police in St. John responded to a call late Wednesday morning about the situation.

A second cellphone video shows the teacher being led out of the school wearing handcuffs.

The incident led Lake Central superintendent, Dr. Larry Verraco, to send out a recorded message on Wednesday afternoon to parents.

“Earlier today, Lake Central administration was made aware of a situation regarding a teacher at Lake Central High School,” Dr.Verraco said in the message. “Swift and forceful action was taken in conjunction with St. John and Dyer police departments. The safety of all students remains the top priority of our school staff and a full investigation is ongoing.”

Cox is being held at a local jail pending charges.

The investigation is ongoing.

Click here for more from Fox 32 Chicago

V.P. Pence Is Floating His ‘Healthy Indiana 2.0’ Program To Replace Obamacare

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEWS SITE POLITICO)

When former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence embraced Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion with conservative twists — such as requiring enrollees to contribute to their care — critics lamented poor people would be locked out while backers cheered the program’s focus on personal responsibility.

Neither side’s expectations were quite borne out. Two years later, as the program emerges as a national model thanks to Pence’s role in the Trump administration, the reality on the ground shows what happens when political philosophy collides with the practical challenges of providing health care to tens of thousands of people, many of them in crisis.

Advocates for the poor in Indiana argue that liberal fears of depressed enrollment were overblown. More than 400,000 Hoosiers are enrolled, despite state requirements that low-income residents make nominal monthly contributions to their care or face stiff penalties.

Likewise, Republicans’ contention that the system would promote personal responsibility and prod beneficiaries to ration their care and make better decisions about what treatments to seek also turned out to be overly optimistic.

By all accounts, the expansion — known as the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 — has made a difference. Health officials in Scott County, Ind., a poverty-stricken community about 30 miles from Louisville, Ky., paint a picture of a program that’s bolstered a patchy social safety net — especially during a major HIV outbreak triggered by the opioid epidemic — without bankrupting the Hoosier State or punishing enrollees.

To be sure, the program isn’t perfect, they say. But they overwhelmingly give more positive reviews than not.

“I feel that it has been a good success,” said Dawn Sanders, an outreach worker for Covering Kids & Families of Indiana, a statewide consumer group working in Scott County. “It’s working.”

Healthy Indiana’s influence is expected to increase in the months ahead whether or not Obamacare survives, as state officials and the Trump administration look to replicate some of its conservative features, potentially unleashing a wave of new state restrictions on how non-disabled adults get coverage without any action from Congress.

“The Healthy Indiana Plan has long been, and continues to be, a national model for state-led Medicaid reforms,” HHS Secretary Tom Price wrote in response to senators after his confirmation hearing.

“It is important that Medicaid’s design helps its members to transition successfully from the program into commercial health insurance plans, as [Healthy Indiana’s] consumer-driven approach and underlying incentive structures encourage,” he told lawmakers.

Seema Verma, meanwhile, a Pence ally who helped design the program before she was tapped to run CMS, now has the power to give states greater flexibility to reshape their own programs according to conservative principles.

Kentucky and Arizona have already borrowed aspects of Indiana’s plan while others, including Wisconsin, could move to enact new limits that resemble the approach.

Indiana’s plan also provides a measure of political cover to lawmakers in red states where supporting Obamacare’s coverage expansion is still deeply controversial. Republicans across the country have found it easier to back an expansion of government-funded health care for the poor if it more closely resembles a private insurance market. Yet liberals remain deeply skeptical because of the way the system is designed to cut people off who don’t make monthly payments, at least temporarily.

Both sides could find their assumptions challenged based on the experience in places like Scott County.

The Indiana plan does punish people above the poverty line who stop making monthly contributions by locking them out of coverage for six months. But because most enrollees have incomes below the poverty line, lockouts have been rare, according to state evaluations of the first year of the program. Instead, those below the poverty line who don’t pay are bumped from plans with more generous benefits — including coverage of vision and dental care and better prescription drug benefits into skimpier plans with higher out-of-pocket costs.

“It sounds like, ‘Oh my gosh, people are going to have to pay.’ But people that were uninsured were paying for it already,” if they go to the doctor, said Beth Wrobel, who runs a federally qualified health center in Valparaiso, in the northern part of the state.

Diabetic patients who visited Wrobel’s clinic before the start of Healthy Indiana incurred significantly higher costs paying for their regular medical supplies and routine testing, she said. Now, under the more generous benefit package, “the most you have to pay is $26 a month, and that’s at the high end. Most of our patients pay between $1 and $10 a month,” Wrobel said.

“For the same amount that you were paying at that moment for your diabetic care, you could get medical, dental, behavioral health, optometry and pharmacy. [Healthy Indiana] treated the whole body,” she said.

Randy White, CEO of Fayette Regional Health System in Connersville, in the east-central part of the state, agreed that Healthy Indiana “is not harsh.”

If the liberal specter of a punitive system pushing out enrollees hasn’t quite materialized, neither has conservatives’ vision of a market-like system where patients with “skin in the game” make hard choices about their own health spending. That’s because family members, health workers and nonprofits are helping cover their out-of-pocket costs.

“With some people, I think [personal responsibility] might be a little bit lost,” Sanders said in her office at the Scott County Partnership, a nonprofit. “We try and do what we can in the little bit of time we have with them. But you can only give them so many pamphlets.”

About 2,100 of the enrollees who gained coverage through Indiana’s expansion live in Scott County, a poor, sparsely populated area that gained notoriety where an HIV outbreak took off two years ago, fueled by needle sharing and opioid abuse.

Sanders recalled how a man with substance abuse problems signed up for health coverage in the small town of Austin, Ind., which had set up a “one-stop shop” to get people enrolled and provide medical services like HIV screenings and vaccinations.

“He knew he had hit rock bottom. And he knew he needed help,” Sanders said. “He no longer lives in the area, but he had to be able to get away from this. He has stayed clean this whole time. He now has his children back. We have quite a few success stories, as far as that’s concerned.”

As of early April, there were 216 county residents with HIV, according to Scott County Health Department Administrator Michelle Goodin, but roughly three-quarters of the patients don’t have enough of the virus in their blood to spread it to others. New cases are still being diagnosed.

“We’ve got about 30 to 40 people usually that are HIV-positive in our facility,” said Sheriff Dan McClain, whose staff helps prisoners apply for Medicaid so that they can receive benefits, including mental health and substance abuse treatment, as soon as they are released. “We offer them a test for HIV and … we offer to sign them up for HIP 2.0,” he said.

With an ad-hoc support network fortifying the safety net, some liberal groups and Democratic lawmakers question whether the conservative tweaks are really adding value or simply burdening enrollees with unnecessary complications. Without those hurdles, they say enrollment would be even higher.

Progressives also fear that if the Indiana model is embraced in states that initially did traditional expansions of Medicaid, it would erode enrollment gains.

“Work requirements, lock-out periods, time limits and imposition of onerous premiums and cost-sharing on Medicaid families, who are generally living on a budget of roughly less than $15,000 per year, are not only punitive but also counterproductive in the long-term,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) wrote in a letter to HHS last month to discourage it from approving additional restrictions, many of which would be program firsts. “Requiring poor families to pay more than they can afford for care makes them less likely to access the care they need and less likely to maintain their coverage.”

State surveys of how Healthy Indiana is working present a fragmentary picture, and despite the program’s popularity in Indiana, there are some signs of hampered enrollment because of its complex structure and broader concerns about affordability. For example, roughly half of the enrollees in the more comprehensive benefit package worried about being able to afford their monthly payments. Left-leaning groups have used the data to raise flags about harmful implications for other states.

The first-year report also estimated that roughly 1,240 enrollees received financial help from nonprofits to pay their premiums, a paltry slice of overall enrollment. But residents here believe many more enrollees likely rely on family members, friends and others sources undetected by official surveys. Sanders and others pointed out that the premium cost of keeping someone covered in the program’s more generous benefit package — which includes vision and dental benefits as well as more robust coverage of prescriptions — is as little as $12 for an entire year.

“We’ve paid it out of our pocket many times at the office just to get them hooked up,” said Jeanni McCarty, a nurse at Foundations Family Medicine in Austin. McCarty said she has four family members affected by HIV and five relatives who have passed away from drug abuse-related problems.

Indiana officials by the end of the month will send CMS two more reports, including one that specifically examines the use of health savings-like accounts to help beneficiaries cover their costs. Pence’s successor, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, has already asked the Trump administration to extend the program through January 2021 with a handful of tweaks — though notably absent is a request to institute a work requirement as a condition of receiving benefits.

“We don’t want to put policies and programs in place that are not member-centric,” said Jennifer Walthall, secretary of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration. “Increasing barriers is not the name of the game.”

Arrest Made In Fatal Shooting Of 11-Year-Old Chicago Girl

(THIS ARTICLES IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Arrest made in fatal shooting of 11-year-old Chicago girl

Takiya Holmes, left, died Tuesday. Kanari Gentry-Bowers is in critical condition.

Story highlights

  • Atwan Jones, 19, has been charged with murder
  • Takiya Holmes,11, died after being struck in the head by a stray bullet

(CNN)A 19-year-old man has been charged with murder in connection with one of three shootings involving children in Chicago during a three-day period, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Wednesday.

The suspect, Atwan Jones, could face additional charges related to the shooting of 11-year-old Takiya Holmes, who died after being struck in the head by a stray bullet while sitting in the backseat of a minivan on Saturday, police said.
Takiya did not regain consciousness after the shooting and died Tuesday morning “in her mother’s arms,” according to a Facebook post from her cousin, Rachel Williams.
Patsy Holmes, Takiya’s grandmother, told HLN on Wednesday that the arrest gave her family “a little peace.”
“I’d like to just tell the public, if you know something, don’t be afraid to tell,” she said.
She said, “A lot of people know these people that’s doing the shootings but they won’t say anything. And some of them (are) in fear because they’re afraid that if they say something, they’re going to retaliate against them.”
Jones, who lives across the street from where Takiya was shot, allegedly saw three people on that street that “he felt did not belong,” retrieved a handgun and opened fire, according to police Commander Brendan Deenihan.
Jones missed his intended targets but a stray bullet caught Takiya moments after her mother’s minivan pulled up, Deenihan said.
The suspect, who had been arrested for various offenses as a juvenile, turned himself after people in the area identified him to police, Deenihan said.
Jones was being held without bond. It was unclear Wednesday whether he has an attorney.
In a city that had 762 homicides last year, an increase of more than 50% from the previous year, Johnson made an impassioned plea to state legislators for stricter sentences for gun crimes.
“Give us the tools to make offenders think twice about pulling a trigger,” he said at a news conference. “We need to create a culture of accountability… Enough is enough.”
Illinois has relatively restrictive gun laws and Gov. Bruce Rauner last year approved a law imposing a stiff penalty on anyone without a gun-owner identification card who brings a gun into the state of Illinois to sell.
The law is meant to cut down on straw purchasers who buy guns in states with loose laws and drive them into cities with tough gun control laws, such as Chicago, for resale. Officials point to neighboring Indiana.
Takiya was one of two girls struck by stray bullets in the city on Saturday alone, bloody incidents that further highlighted the city’s problem with violent crime. Of the three children, two have died.
Kanari Gentry-Bowers, 12, is listed in critical condition at Stroger Hospital, according to CNN affiliate WLS.
On Tuesday, a 2-year-old child and a 26-year-old man were shot and killed while they were riding in a car, Chicago police said. Another person in the vehicle, a pregnant woman, also was shot; she and her unborn child were in stable condition, police said.
The 2-year-old was identified as Lavontay White, according to records provided by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
The shooting was captured in a social media video that shows the three in a vehicle, listening to music, when 16 gunshots rang out. The woman ran from the vehicle screaming and said she had been shot in the stomach.

Ten U.S. States Are Trying To Make Peaceful Protest A Criminal Offence

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF EVAN GREER’S WEBSITE AND FFTF NEWS)

 

Hi,

Ten states have legislation pending to criminalize some peaceful protest. [1]

80,000 of us have already spoken up about a bill in Washington state, in which any protesters deemed “disruptive” could be charged with “economic terrorism.”[2] But the idea is spreading — in Missouri, wearing a hood at a protest would be considered “criminal identity concealment”; in North Dakota, drivers would be allowed to run over and kill a protester with no legal liability, as long as it was done “negligently.”[3]

These bills are an urgent threat to free speech and patriotic dissent. If we speak up now and raise the alarm, we can make them politically toxic and protect the right to protest.

Sign the petition to stop laws that attack our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly!

No matter what your cause is, we should all have the basic right to speak out — and lots of people have been using it. But powerful and corrupt institutions are threatened by people getting together to make their voices heard, that’s why they want to silence them. So they’re trying to insulate themselves from the public by making it effectively too dangerous to actually use our constitutional right to free speech.

The ten states already considering these bills are Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia, and Washington [4] — click through for links to each bill. Lawmakers seeing these bills fly under the radar could get the wrong idea. We’ve got to speak up now to make sure our ability to speak up on any issue is not silenced.

Authorities argue that these laws are necessary to protect the public from radical protesters. But these laws are not even written to do that — they’re so vague that they could criminalize completely nonviolent protest, or leave it to local authorities to pick and choose the groups they want to silence. Any one of these laws even getting serious debate in a state house is a threat to our freedom to express ourselves, online and offline, everywhere.

Sign the petition to reject laws that criminalize protest!

Fight for the Future exists to support the Internet’s ability to do good. So let’s come together as Internet users to defend our rights.

Sincerely,
Evan
[1] The Intercept – https://theintercept.com/2017/01/23/lawmakers-in-eight-states-have-proposed-laws-criminalizing-peaceful-protest/

[2] Fight for the Future – https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/urgent-new-law-would-charge-protesters-with-terrorism/

[3] The Intercept – see [1]

[4] NPR – http://www.npr.org/2017/01/31/512636448/bills-across-the-country-could-increase-penalties-for-protesters

 

Trump Has Already Betrayed The Working Class: He Has Proven He Is A Fraud And A Con

(This Article Is Courtesy Of The Huffington Post)

Trump Has Already Betrayed The Working Class

Donald Trump has betrayed the American working class. He is a fraud and a con.

12/08/2016 01:58 pm ET | Updated 1 hour ago

DREW ANGERER VIA GETTY IMAGES

They voted for him in droves. In a remarkable political shift, the white working class who have seen their wages decline over decades thanks to shameless pandering to Wall Street and big business by both political parties, finally gave up on the Democrats and threw their lot in with billionaire businessman Donald Trump.

Some have tried to argue that the switch didn’t really have to do with economics but the numbers say otherwise. According to CNN exit polling, voters earning under $30K shifted towards Trump by 16 percent. Trump won 79 percent of those who said the economy was poor. Even Trump’s embrace of white nationalism is after all a form of economic protectionism. If you feel there’s a limited pie, then you’ve got a better shot at your slice if you don’t have to compete against those “other” people. With his pick for Labor Secretary though Trump revealed exactly what kind of President he’s going to be for those who had any doubts. Trump is not going to save the working class, he’s going to destroy it.

Meet your next Labor Secretary Andrew Puzder. He is the CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. He thinks to Make America Great Again, we need to pay workers less or ideally, give their jobs to robots. I’m not kidding. In an interview with Business Insider, Puzder explained that he thought getting the workers out of the restaurant biz would be a great thing because robots are:  “…always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

Oh human beings and their unreasonable desire to earn enough to live AND not be discriminated against. It’s all so inconvenient for corporate CEO’s like Puzder. We should just relegate these service jobs to the dustbin of history the way we already did with so-called “old economy” jobs. You know, the kind that actually allowed you to eat, buy a house, and pay the bills all at the same time. #MAGA.

By choosing Puzder for Labor Secretary, Trump has thrown his lot in with those who view workers as commodities to be used and discarded when they are inconvenient

 Now virtually no one aspires to a fast food job. Folks like Puzder who want to keep wages at their current level of roughly $18K per year like to pretend fast food jobs are just starter jobs for teenagers. I mean, these aren’t the sort of jobs that you are expected to raise a family on, right? Well, this is as much of a fantasy as the idea that Trump is a working class hero. Seventy percent of fast food workers are older than 20. The average age of a fast food worker is 29.

The reason for this is simple: low-paying service jobs are what our economy creates now even as middle class jobs decline. A majority of jobs lost during the Great Recession were middle-income jobs. A majority of those gained were low wage. Food service prep, cashier, and sales clerk are the three most common jobs in the country employing some 10 million plus American workers. If you automate those three jobs, what will replace them? Low-paying service work may not be ideal but it beats the heck out of no jobs at all. People who view the loss of these 10 million jobs as a great thing are the same type of people who drive through the derisively named “Rust Belt” and see “creative destruction” and “progress” instead of destroyed communities and destroyed lives.

Lest you think Puzder’s worker contempt is out of step with Trump’s supposed populism, Trump himself begs to differ. In a typically whiny and petty reaction to criticism, Trump tweeted this week that Carrier’s union workers themselves were responsible for the company deciding to ship jobs overseas.

He tweeted: “If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues.” Puzder shares Trump’s “blame the worker” mentality and has no sympathy for workers seeking to earn a higher wage. Speaking with Business Insider, he blamed his own push towards automation on wage growth.  In Puzder’s world, it’s not his fault if Hardee’s workers are replaced with robots even though as CEO of the company he is in fact the one making exactly that decision.

Of course, Trump’s working class hero schtick was always a complete sham.

 The fault really lies with all of those high on the hog living workers with their $18K per year incomes and the advocates who would outrageously push to make those wages higher. You will not be surprised to learn then that one of Puzder’s favorite pastimes is penning Wall Street Journal op-eds on why lifting the minimum wage would just be dreadful. Typical line: “Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?” Exactly. So why not get rid of the minimum wage altogether and pay Sally the 50 cents per hour that you apparently think she’s worth?

I’ll tell you why. Because once long ago, we decided as a nation that we valued our workers.  We believed that we would all prosper if American workers earned enough to buy the goods and services they produce. We decided that workers shouldn’t toil for 40 hours a week and still live in poverty. Visionaries like Henry Ford understood this, and FDR, and the labor leaders who fought to birth the great American middle class which used to be the envy of the world. You want to make America great again? Try connecting with that American past.

By choosing Puzder for Labor Secretary, Trump has thrown his lot in with those who view workers as commodities to be used and discarded when they are inconvenient or when those workers become a penny more costly than a touch screen computer. He has thrown his lot in with those who view a future of endless Gilded Age inequality as inevitable. By choosing Andy Puzder as Labor Secretary, Donald Trump has betrayed the American working class. He is a fraud and a con.

Of course, Trump’s working class hero schtick was always a complete sham. The man rails against companies shipping jobs overseas while he makes his own schlocky crap in Mexico and Bangladesh for God’s sake. He stiffs contractors. He buys his steel from China. He illegally busts unions at his gaudy casinos! It is time for those of us who actually care about workers and see them as human beings rather than an expense item on the balance sheet, to stop licking our wounds and start fighting for those who will suffer the most under President Trump.

Would John Boehner Be The Perfect Choice For Mr. Trump As His V.P.?

 

For several days now this thought has been in my head and then this morning I read on my Google News that Mr. Boehner gave a speech last evening where he made different comments about the different Presidential Candidates. So this is where the title of this commentary today comes from. Mr. Trump has been saying since his big win in Indiana that he plans on choosing a V.P. from the political world, someone to help him navigate the D.C. political zoo? I believe that would be a very good business decision, a logical thing for anyone in his current position to do. I am not a person who knows any political insiders, Mr.  Trump could pick a well-known Governor, whom I have never heard of. I put these thoughts down for the purpose of getting some of you to think about whom you believe would be a very good choice for Mr. Trumps running mate. I give honest thought to you, what I personally think and believe would be the best choice that I can think of and the answer I choose would be Mr. Boehner. Who knows the workings of the front and back rooms of Congress better than Mr. Boehner? Right now he is out of all elected political office so neither party can leverage against his ‘Congressional Seat’. You may well have someone else in mind, I am rather sure that some of you think Mr. Boehner is a horrible choice, isn’t it awesome that God gave us freedom of thought?

 

I just got to thinking about people whom I would hate to see as Mr. Trumps choice and all of a sudden faces started popping up, first one popped up was ole Newt, the Cruz ticket, Cris Christie (to immature for me and he is so unwise about medical pot, he doesn’t have a clue so he acts ignorantly). For the kicker think of having Mr. Trump choosing, Rush Limbaugh, Bernie Sanders (He would actually be a real good idea), and the biggest gasp would be , Ms. Hillary. What do you think on this issue Mr. Trump is facing? Regardless your view of Mr. Trump this is a very serious issue. Think about this one huge error in judgement by Ronald Reagan in 1980 when he chose former Director of the CIA Mr. George H.W. Bush as his V.P.. Think about this, if Mr. Reagan had not chosen Mr. Bush Senior, the world would not have had to endure Mr. Bush Junior and the world would not have had the Iraq war. Would there be such thing as the Syrian Civil War going on right now if America had not illegally invaded Iraq? If there was no such thing as the Syrian Civil War, would there be such a thing today as ISIS? Vice Presidents really do matter sometimes and I believe that for this candidate Mr. Donald Trump, it matters a lot. I personally think that Mr. Boehner would be an excellent addition, back to Bernie for a moment, what do you think of that ticket, would it win? You know something, it just might. One last parting shot to/at Mr. Trump, Sir, if you do not disclose your audit returns information very quickly after the IRS boys and girls release them to you, you will lose the interest of millions of us ‘just regular folks’. You have made this an issue when there was never a need for it to be an issue but you yourself have made it into a foolishly one. You knew that you would have to turn those final numbers over to the talking heads in D.C. before you signed up for this adventure, didn’t you? Now you have created a game of Guess The Donald’s Real Net Worth. My guess is 3.3-3.6 B. That would be quite the achievement in one’s life, but not after you have been bragging up the idea of the number being at least 10 billion. Bragging is an embarrassing quality for anyone to have, it makes one look very childish, very foolish. My closing statement is this, if Mr. Trump doesn’t go ahead and fall on his ego and get it over with way before this summers convention, it won’t matter who you choose for your V.P., you will not win in November.

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