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Virtual march helps people with disabilities join the Women’s March on Washington

Image: Vicky LEta/Mashable

Activism isn’t always accessible and the Women’s March on Washington is no exception.

For people who might not have the physical ability or stamina to join Saturday’s massive public protest, disability activists created the Disability March an online movement that allows people with disabilities and chronic illnesses to participate virtually in the event.

The Disability March organizers invite people living with disabilities to submit their names, photos and a statement on why they want to “march.” The images and text will be uploaded to the website in time for the Women’s March on Jan. 21, creating a virtual archive of people showing solidarity with the main event in Washington, D.C.

“I began to wonder about other ways to be visible, especially for our community, besides marching”

Sonya Huber, one of the organizers, was inspired to create the online movement after she realized attending the Women’s March wouldn’t be the best idea for her health. A disability rights activist and professor at Fairfield University in Connecticut, Huber lives with a few autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid disease and Hashimoto’s disease. She also experiences some mobility problems.

“The march, combined with the drive, would have done a number on my immune system at the beginning of a busy semester,” she told Mashable.

But Huber knew she wasn’t alone, and she wanted to do something to help broaden access to the march for her community.

“I began to wonder about other ways to be visible, especially for our community, besides marching even though the march will of course include many disabled people,” she said. “Since the disabled community is going to be so impacted by the Republican agenda, it seemed that giving people a platform to tell their individual stories was most appropriate.”

Image: Disability March

The Disability March is an all-volunteer effort, made for the disability community, by the disability community. It’s also an official co-sponsor of the Women’s March on Washington.

Huber said about 50 online “marchers” have signed up to participate in the virtual march so far, and she expects more people to submit their stories throughout the week.

Some images and testimonies of Disability March participants are already live on the movement’s website, but the bulk of photos and statements will be uploaded Friday and Saturday to coincide with the main march.

Disability March organizers are also coming up with activist-oriented tasks for participants, designed with various levels of ability and comfort in mind. While still in planning stages, the goal is to offer tangible actions for people to still make an impact.

“In keeping our whole community in mind, our vision for a just society will be more inclusive and our activism will be more effective.”

Huber hopes the online march will draw attention to the faces and stories of people who will be heavily affected by the Trump administration, especially the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act and attacks on Medicaid.

“I hope that this small effort which rides the wave of so much other disability activism can help get the word out about the large number of people with invisible and visible disabilities who need an outlet for sharing their stories and who want to be active,” she said.

The Disability March also challenges other activist efforts to take inclusivity and different types of participation in social movements seriously.

“We are not a peripheral community,” Huber said. “In keeping our whole community in mind, our vision for a just society will be more inclusive and our activism will be more effective.”

If you want to join the Disability March, you can fill out the short online form here. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Jan. 20.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/01/18/disability-march-womens-march-on-washington/

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Weapons cache found at Las Vegas shooter’s home

(CNN)Stephen Paddock, who sent bullets and terror down on thousands attending a Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas, had an arsenal in his 32nd-floor hotel room and at his home 80 miles away, officials said.

Police recovered 23 guns from his Las Vegas hotel room and another 19 guns from Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nevada, Clark County Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo said.
Authorities said Paddock killed 59 people and injured another 527 early Monday in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
    In the hours after the retired accountant committed the shooting, authorities rolled out frightening new details, including the discovery of scopes on rifles at the resort and explosives at his home.

    But what they couldn’t explain is why the man who had never faced any notable criminal charges did it. There was no known motive late Monday.
    Even Paddock’s brother had no answers.
    “We’re still just completely befuddled. Dumbstruck,” Eric Paddock said in Orlando, Florida.

    Latest developments

      These concertgoers hid in a freezer

    — A team of six officers spoke with security at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where Paddock was staying, and searched the hotel floor-by-floor Sunday night before they found Paddock’s room, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.
    — Paddock, 64, fired at the officers through the door, Lombardo said. A SWAT team broke down the door, but Paddock had already killed himself, Lombardo said.
    — Authorities recovered 23 guns from Paddock’s room, said Clark County NV Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo. Lombardo said several of the rifles had scopes on them.
    — Another 19 firearms, along with explosives and several thousand rounds of ammunition in Paddock’s Mesquite, Nevada, home. The gunman apparently had smashed out two windows to increase his range of targets.
    — The sheriff said a SWAT team was standing by at a house in northern Nevada. A law enforcement official confirmed the FBI is present in Reno.
    — Several vigils were held Monday night to honor the victims of the shooting. Communities came out in Reno, Las Vegas and at the campus of University of Nevada Las Vegas.
    — Sandra Casey, a special education teacher in Manhattan Beach, California, was killed, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District said. “We lost a spectacular teacher who devoted her life to helping some of our most needy students,” school board President Jennifer Cochran said.
    Sonny Melton also was identified as among the dead. His employer, Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee, said Melton was a registered nurse. His wife survived the shooting.
    — Police had no prior knowledge of the gunman before the attack,Lombardosaid. “I don’t know how it could have been prevented,” he said.
    — Paddock bought multiple firearms in the past, but investigators believe the firearms were purchased legally, a law enforcement official said. The official said initial reports suggest at least one rifle was altered to function as an automatic weapon.
    — Chris Michel, owner of Dixie GunWorx, in St. George, Utah, recalled selling Paddock a shotgun earlier this year, CNN affiliate KTVX reported. “He talked about how he just moved closer to where we are,” Michel said of Paddock. “He said he was visiting local firearms shops.” Paddock lived in Mesquite, Nevada, about 35 miles from St. George.

    ‘Everyone’s dying around me’

    Witnesses described the horror that unfolded.
    Taylor Benge said he “could see a guy with a bullet wound right in his neck, motionless,” several feet away. “From there on … people just started dropping like flies.”
    Alexandria Cheplak, 25, called her father as she ran from the bullets.
    “Everyone’s dying around me,” Jon Cheplak recalled her saying. “Everyone’s dying. They shot my friend … I’ve got to get out of here.”
    Police said Paddock, unleashed a hailstorm of bullets from the 32nd floor of the resort, Lombardo said Monday.
    Authorities are still piecing together a motive.
    “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath,” the sheriff said.
    Mayor Carolyn Goodman described the gunman as “a crazed lunatic full of hate.”

    Festival turns into massacre

      Deadliest mass shootings in modern US history

    Benge lauded the heroics of his sister, who “threw herself on top of me and said, ‘I love you, Taylor,'” he said.
    “Even after an hour and 30 minutes, I didn’t know if I was safe.”
    Witness Bryan Hopkins said he survived by jumping into a walk-in freezer at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
    “There must have been, I don’t know, 23 to 30 of us inside this freezer,” he said.
    Corrine Lomas recalled the heroism of fellow concertgoers, risking their lives to save others.
    “A lot of really good people (were) holding people’s wounds shut, trying to help them while everybody was just ducked down,” she said.

    The investigation

    Police said they believe Paddock acted alone. “Right now, we believe it’s a sole actor, a lone-wolf-type actor,” the sheriff said.

    So far, the massacre has no known link to overseas terrorism or terror groups, a US official with knowledge of the case said.
    And a woman who was described as a “person of interest” after the attack is now not believed to be involved in the shooting, police said in a statement.
    “Marilou Danley is no longer being sought out as a person of interest,” the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said. “LVMPD detectives have made contact with her and do not believe she is involved with the shooting on the strip.”
    The gunman’s brother, Eric Paddock, said he was stunned to learn Stephen was believed responsible.
    He described his brother, a retired accountant, as “a wealthy guy. He liked to play video poker. He went on cruises.”
    The last time Eric Paddock spoke to his brother was when Stephen texted him, asking how their mother was doing after losing power from Hurricane Irma.
    Eric Paddock said he knew his brother owned a few handguns and maybe one long rifle, but said he did not know of any automatic weapons.

    Blood donations needed

    With hundreds of victims still hospitalized, officials feared the death toll will rise.
    The sheriff implored the community to donate blood. And hundreds of Nevadans did exactly that.
    Shanda Maloney tweeted a photo while she stood in line at 4:30 a.m.
    “This. Is. Vegas. This is our community. These are our people. Thank you to everyone here donating,” she tweeted.
    Maloney told CNN she also gave transportation to anyone who needed it after the attack.
    “I just started picking people up and giving people rides,” she said.

    Aldean speaks out

    Aldean posted a statement on Instagram saying that he and his crew were safe.
    “My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night,” he wrote.

    Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken #stopthehate

    A post shared by Jason Aldean (@jasonaldean) on

    Country singer Jake Owen, who was on stage with Aldean, said children were among the crowd.
    “I saw kids on their parents’ shoulders tonight,” he said. “This is something they’ll never forget.”

    10 minutes of gunfire

    Rachel De Kerf filmed her escape, starting just after the first shots were fired.

      Concertgoer captures chaos among the crowd

    “The gunshots lasted for 10-15 minutes. It didn’t stop,” she said. “We just ran for our lives.”
    Her sister, Monique Dumas, said everyone dropped to the ground as as the gunman sprayed bullets.
    “It seemed there was a pause in the gunfire, and the people in the yellow shirts were telling the people to ‘go, go, go, go,’ ” she said. But “the gunfire never ended, it seemed like it went on and on and on.

    A concertgoer told CNN affiliate KLAS that frantic concertgoers piled on top of each other, trying to get out of the shooter’s line of fire.
    “My husband and I ran out toward our car, and there were people hiding underneath my car for cover,” she said.
    “There was a gentleman who was shot and he said, ‘Can you help me?’ And so I put him in my car, and I had like six people in my car — people without shoes, running, just to get away.”

    ‘Like shooting fish in a barrel’

    Audio of the shooting suggested that the shooter had used a military-style weapon, CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano said.

      Rapid-fire shots at Las Vegas concert

    “Automatic weapon(s) like that — had to be numbers of magazines or a very large drum,” he said.
    “It sounded to me like a belt-fed weapon, a military-style weapon. And then to be shooting down, to use the analogy, it was like shooting fish in a barrel in that space.”
    MGM Resorts, which owns the hotel the gunman fired from, tweeted its condolences.
    As local hospitals rushed to treat hundreds of patents, some relatives were still trying to find their loved ones.
    Those looking for friends and family still missing after the attack can call 866-535-5654. Facebook has set up a crisis response page to help people determine whether their loved ones are safe.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/02/us/las-vegas-shooter/index.html

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    Virtual march helps people with disabilities join the Women’s March on Washington

    Image: Vicky LEta/Mashable

    Activism isn’t always accessible and the Women’s March on Washington is no exception.

    For people who might not have the physical ability or stamina to join Saturday’s massive public protest, disability activists created the Disability March an online movement that allows people with disabilities and chronic illnesses to participate virtually in the event.

    The Disability March organizers invite people living with disabilities to submit their names, photos and a statement on why they want to “march.” The images and text will be uploaded to the website in time for the Women’s March on Jan. 21, creating a virtual archive of people showing solidarity with the main event in Washington, D.C.

    “I began to wonder about other ways to be visible, especially for our community, besides marching”

    Sonya Huber, one of the organizers, was inspired to create the online movement after she realized attending the Women’s March wouldn’t be the best idea for her health. A disability rights activist and professor at Fairfield University in Connecticut, Huber lives with a few autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid disease and Hashimoto’s disease. She also experiences some mobility problems.

    “The march, combined with the drive, would have done a number on my immune system at the beginning of a busy semester,” she told Mashable.

    But Huber knew she wasn’t alone, and she wanted to do something to help broaden access to the march for her community.

    “I began to wonder about other ways to be visible, especially for our community, besides marching even though the march will of course include many disabled people,” she said. “Since the disabled community is going to be so impacted by the Republican agenda, it seemed that giving people a platform to tell their individual stories was most appropriate.”

    Image: Disability March

    The Disability March is an all-volunteer effort, made for the disability community, by the disability community. It’s also an official co-sponsor of the Women’s March on Washington.

    Huber said about 50 online “marchers” have signed up to participate in the virtual march so far, and she expects more people to submit their stories throughout the week.

    Some images and testimonies of Disability March participants are already live on the movement’s website, but the bulk of photos and statements will be uploaded Friday and Saturday to coincide with the main march.

    Disability March organizers are also coming up with activist-oriented tasks for participants, designed with various levels of ability and comfort in mind. While still in planning stages, the goal is to offer tangible actions for people to still make an impact.

    “In keeping our whole community in mind, our vision for a just society will be more inclusive and our activism will be more effective.”

    Huber hopes the online march will draw attention to the faces and stories of people who will be heavily affected by the Trump administration, especially the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act and attacks on Medicaid.

    “I hope that this small effort which rides the wave of so much other disability activism can help get the word out about the large number of people with invisible and visible disabilities who need an outlet for sharing their stories and who want to be active,” she said.

    The Disability March also challenges other activist efforts to take inclusivity and different types of participation in social movements seriously.

    “We are not a peripheral community,” Huber said. “In keeping our whole community in mind, our vision for a just society will be more inclusive and our activism will be more effective.”

    If you want to join the Disability March, you can fill out the short online form here. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Jan. 20.

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/01/18/disability-march-womens-march-on-washington/

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    Day care driver expected to face charges after boy found dead in van

    (CNN)A Florida day care center employee is expected to face charges after a 3-year-old boy was found dead in a parked van, police in Orlando said Tuesday.

    Myles Hill was found on the floor at the back of the van parked at the Little Miracles Academy day care center around 6:30 p.m. on Monday, police told reporters. Police Chief John Mina said authorities believe he had been in the vehicle since around 9 a.m. that morning. The high temperature in Orlando on Monday was about 93 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Weather Underground.
    The cause of Myles’ death has not been determined, but Mina said that based on the evidence, it is believed to be heat-related. “This was an absolute tragedy that could have been prevented,” Mina told reporters on Tuesday.
      The van is used by employees to transport children from one day care location to another — as well as pick them up and drop them off at their homes.
      Mina said an employee, who has not been named publicly, had used the van Monday to move a group of children, including Myles, from one location to another. The employee dropped the children off and returned the van to the first location at around 9 a.m. It then sat in the parking lot until police were called later that night.It was unclear whether the employee locked the van after using it.
      Myles would have turned 4 on August 22.
      The Little Miracles Academy could not be reached by CNN. Multiple calls were unanswered and the website for the day care was down.

      No head count taken

      Employees found Myles’ body after his grandmother and legal guardian called the center because he was not dropped off at home that afternoon. Family members said employees at the center told them that Myles had not been seen at the day care center all day, according to CNN affiliate News 13.
      Vivian Chaney, who identified herself as Myles’ aunt to News 13, said that Myles’ attendance never came up when family members called the center on Monday to ask about school uniforms. “There should have been some kind of head count,” Chaney told News 13.
      The employee who drove the van allegedly told police there was no head count of the children when they were dropped off at the second location — and staff did not realize Myles was still in the van. Mina said he was unaware of any procedure the academy had for contacting families when a child who was expected at the center did not arrive.
      Mina said there are charges pending against the employee, but refused to expand on what the charges might be — and did not identify the individual involved. An autopsy is being conducted and charges will be filed once it is complete, Mina said.
      If Myles’ death is determined to be heat-related, he will be the 32nd child this year to die in a hot car in the United States — and the fifth in Florida, police said. An average of 37 children die each year in hot cars, according to safety organization Kids and Cars.

      Center closed ‘until further notice’

      Inspection reports from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) indicate that Little Miracles Academy has failed to comply with multiple standards for personnel records, supervision and transportation, dating back to 2015.
      In June 2015, the DCF found that staff had failed to include a signed Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Requirements form in its personnel records. According to the department, all child care personnel are required by law to report any “suspicions of child abuse, neglect or abandonment.”
      In March 2017, the department found that staff were not “within sight and hearing” of the children during nap time. In July, the department said the facility’s transportation log failed to include multiple required elements, including destination and arrival times and locations.
      Mina told reporters Tuesday that the DCF is conducting an “operational investigation” of Little Miracles Academy in response to Myles’ death.
      According to a tweet from News 13 reporter Jerry Hume, a note has been placed on the doors of Little Miracles Academy that says “closed until further notice.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/08/us/orlando-day-care-van-death/index.html

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      Honorary Alaska ‘mayor,’ Stubbs the cat, dies at 20

      (CNN)In today’s political climate, catty politicians claw for every vote, but the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, was different. His ability to unite through cuddles and his fondness for naps made him remarkable, and this mayor — Stubbs the cat — also proved that opposable thumbs aren’t necessary for success in politics.

      The honorary mayor of the small Alaska town, elected as a write-in in 1997 due to a paucity of viable human candidates, died at age 20, according to a Saturday news release from his owners.
      “He was a trouper until the very last day of his life,” Stubbs’ owners said. “You are are a remarkable cat and we will dearly miss you.”

        A life in the spotlight

        Stubbs served Talkeetna for 20 years. His office, at Nagley’s Store, became a destination for locals and tourists alike who sought sage council from the cat.
        And although Stubbs lacked the legislative and rhetorical prowess of a typical politician, he always did well in the polls.
        “Over 75% of visitors ask ‘Where’s the mayor?’ or come in with this statement ‘I have an appointment with the mayor,'” the news release said. “I think we heard those two statements over 100 times a day during our first year.”
        Stubbs’ career wasn’t completely free of controversy, though.
        In 2013, Stubbs suffered a vicious attack from a neighborhood dog that left him sidelined in a hospital.
        But even a punctured lung, fractured sternum and deep lacerations couldn’t keep him from his duties. Stubbs recovered and assumed all his previous mayoral responsibilities.

        A steady health decline

        Although he loved the attention as a kitten and younger cat, Stubbs’ life in the public eye eventually began to wear on him.
        He began a retreat from public life in 2015 due to old age, and he cut back on visits to the store, according to the news release.
        By 2017, Stubbs just wasn’t having it anymore.
        “Stubbs did a couple TV shows and more than a handful of interviews, but was not fond of the camera and all the people; it had gotten to be too much for him,” his owners said.
        In the wake of his death, his owners hinted another of their kittens, Denali, may assume his role.
        “We couldn’t have asked for a better understudy than Denali — he really has followed in Stubbs’ pawprints in just about everything.”

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/23/us/mayor-cat-stubbs-dies-at-20/index.html

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        Who are the parole board members deciding O.J.’s fate?

        (CNN)At least four people will determine Thursday whether OJ Simpson will soon be released from prison.

        If the first four members of the Nevada parole board attending Simpson’s hearing in Carson City don’t all vote the same way, then two other commissioners will be called upon to try to reach a majority.
        If it’s an even split at 3-3, Simpson will have to wait for a new hearing in January, by which time a new commissioner will give the board seven members.
          Here’s what the state of Nevada has revealed on its website about each parole board member:

          Connie S. Bisbee

          • Position:
          • Chairwoman

          • Will attend hearing?
          • Yes, she will preside over the hearing. Was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing

          • Years on Parole Board: 14 total, eight as chairwoman
          • Most recent former job:
          • Associate warden of programs for the Nevada Department of Corrections

          • Other jobs:
          • Judicial services director in northern Florida until 1999, US Air Force

          • Education: Criminal justice, Troy (Alabama) State University; master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development, Troy State

          Tony Corda

          • Position:
          • Commissioner

          • Will attend hearing?
          • Yes, was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing

          • Years on Parole Board: Eight years
          • Most recent former job:
          • Associate warden of programs at Northern Nevada Correctional Center, 2 years

          • Other jobs:
          • Correctional officer, classification analyst at Department of Corrections

          • Education: Criminal justice, University of Nevada at Reno

          Adam Endel

          • Position:
          • Commissioner

          • Will attend hearing?
          • Yes, was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing

          • Years on Parole Board: Eight years
          • Most recent former job:
          • Associate warden of programs at Ely State Prison, 8 years

          • Other jobs:
          • Correctional officer, caseworker III, and associate warden of programs, 18 years total

          • Education: Criminal justice administration, BS, Central Missouri State University

          Susan Jackson

          • Position:
          • Commissioner

          • Will attend hearing?
          • Yes, was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing

          • Years on Parole Board: Nine years
          • Most recent former job:
          • Senior investigator with the Nevada Department of Public Safety, 15 years

          • Other jobs:
          • Agent with Nevada State Gaming Control Board; senior investigator with the Attorney General’s Office

          • Education: FBI Academy

          Ed Gray

          • Position:
          • Commissioner

          • Will attend hearing?
          • No, will watch from Las Vegas

          • Years on Parole Board: 10 years
          • Most recent former job:
          • Parole board case hearing representative, 14 years

          • Other jobs:
          • US Air Force and US Civil Service

          • Education: Post-secondary and adult education, BS, University of Nevada at Las Vegas; Human resource management, associate degree, Community College of the Air Force; Business management, associate degree, Community College of Southern Nevada

          Michael Keeler

          • Position:
          • Commissioner

          • Will attend hearing?
          • No, will watch in Las Vegas

          • Years on Parole Board:
          • 11 years

          • Most recent former job:
          • Southern Nevada Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Service

          • Other jobs:
          • Public services intern, case manager, teaching parent, clinical social work intern, clinical social worker, supervisor, psychiatric emergency services director, inpatient administrative coordinator, clinic director, and services coordination director, all with state of Nevada.US Army veteran.

          • Education: Social work, undergraduate and graduate degrees, University of Nevada at Las Vegas

          Vacant position

          Christopher DeRicco will become the seventh parole board member. He takes the place of Lucille Monterde, who served for three years.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/19/us/oj-simpson-parole-board/index.html

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          Baton Rouge cop killer left note, fired at least 43 rounds

          (CNN)The Louisiana law officers who killed Gavin Long after he shot dead three of their colleagues in a targeted attack on police in Baton Rouge last summer were justified “and certainly saved other lives,” a prosecutor said Friday.

          East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III released the results of an 11-month investigation into the July 17 attack, in which Long killed three cops and injured three others in a nation already roiled by several police-involved shootings that month.
          Long, a 29-year-old black Missouri resident and discharged Marine, arrived in Baton Rouge five days earlier and was determined to kill police officers, “black or white … as long as they had a badge,” Moore said in a news conference.
            Moore’s investigation report, as well as newly released surveillance videos and police dispatch recordings, presents the fullest picture yet of how the shootings unfolded that Sunday morning outside several businesses in Louisiana’s capital.
            Here’s some of what was revealed:

            Suicide note: Targeting ‘bad cops … good cops’

            In a three-page note found in his rented vehicle, Long wrote that he needed to bring destruction “upon bad cops as well as good cops” because of what he saw as the justice system’s failure to prosecute bad police officers who commit crimes against “my people,” Moore said.
            The note didn’t mention specific events. But other evidence released Friday, as well as known information about his travels and YouTube videos, indicates Long monitored events dominating national news that month:
            — The July 5 shooting death by police of black Baton Rouge resident Alton Sterling.
            — The July 7 killings of five police officers in Dallas by a black man who said he was upset by the shootings of Sterling and Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by police that month in Minnesota.
            Long left a trail of writings and videos describing his thoughts and worldview under the name Cosmo Setepenra.
            On July 10, he posted a YouTube video in which said he was in Dallas, days after the killings there. He talked of recent protests and officer-involved shootings, and of a notion that victims of bullying need to resort to brute force.
            Police say he drove to Baton Rouge on July 12, then spent nights in several hotels. In his note, Long called his actions a “necessary evil” that he hoped would spur good cops to demand that bad ones be held accountable.
            The note appears similar to a message that he reportedly emailed to an Ohio rapper — someone he didn’t know but had communicated with online — shortly before the shooting.
            A search of Long’s laptop, also found in his car, showed it was used to search for information about the two police officers who shot Sterling, the report says.

            He fired 43 rounds over nearly 14 minutes

            Long killed three officers that morning: Baton Rouge police officers Montrell Jackson and Matthew Gerald, and East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola.
            He also shot and injured officers Chad Montgomery and Bruce Simmons, and East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy Nick Tullier. Tullier, shot in the head and abdomen, was in a coma for four months before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Houston.
            Long fired 43 rounds. Here’s how the nearly 14-minute attack began, according to Moore and surveillance videos:
            — Long parked his rental car outside a beauty supply store, walked out with a semiautomatic rifle, checked an unoccupied police car outside a nearby B-Quick convenience store, returned to his car and drove away.
            — Someone went into the B-Quick and told Gerald, who was at the checkout line, that a man was outside with a rifle.
            — Gerald and Garafola, who also was at the B-Quick, went outside to look for the gunman and radio for backup. Jackson, at a car wash next door, went to the B-Quick in response.
            — The three officers walked around the beauty store. Long drove back to the area, parked and walked toward the same store.
            — Long, wearing black clothes and a mask, walks past several civilians, at one point waving to one group.
            — Long caught up from behind, shooting and killing Jackson and Gerald. Montgomery and a partner arrived in a car; Long shot and injured Montgomery.
            — “Shots fired! Officers down,” Garafola radioed before trying to reach Gerald. Garafola died in an exchange of gunfire with Long, who then shot Gerald’s body twice more.

            Police fired 106 times; Long had 45 wounds

            Long eventually shot Tullier and Simmons, who arrived where Long had parked his car outside a fitness studio. SWAT officers arrived and shot Long in the leg. Collapsed on the ground, Long reached for his dropped rifle, but five SWAT officers fired, killing him, Moore said.
            Throughout the battle, officers fired 106 times. Eighty-nine of those shots came from SWAT officers.
            Moore said long had a total of 45 entry and exit wounds.

            Long had alcohol, methamphetamine in system

            A toxicology report found Long had a blood-alcohol content of .021%. It also detected methamphetamine in his system, Moore said.
            A separate semiautomatic rifle and a 9mm pistol were found in the rental car, Moore’s report said.

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/30/us/baton-rouge-gavin-long-police-killings/index.html

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            Four employees fired over day care van death

            (CNN)Four Arkansas day care employees were fired Wednesday after the death of a 5-year-old who was left inside a van all day.

            The staff did not follow company policies and procedures, Ascent Children’s Health Services CEO Dan Sullivan said in a statement. Had they followed protocol “this tragedy would not have occurred,” he said.
            “There are simply no words to express the overwhelming sadness we feel at the death of this child. We are heartbroken and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Ascent will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities and state agencies as they investigate this tragic incident,” Sullivan said.
              The West Memphis, Arkansas, location has been closed since the Monday incident.
              The boy’s mother told CNN affiliate WMC the van picked him up around 6:30 a.m. He may have been asleep when the van arrived at the day care early Monday and never got off the van, West Memphis Police said.
              The van remained in the parking lot all day. The day care’s staff found him dead in his booster seat when they came to load children in the van to go home after 3 p.m., police said.
              Police said the temperature in the day care parking lot was 91 degrees Monday afternoon when authorities responded to the incident.
              Officials with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, which regulates day care centers in the state, are investigating, police said.
              Ascent’s CEO said he had spoken with the child’s family to express his “deepest sympathy.” He said he has offered to assist with funeral expenses.

              Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/14/us/arkansas-child-death-employees-fired/index.html

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              An unusually large number of humpback whales died last year

              (CNN)The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launched an investigation Thursday into a large number of humpback whale deaths from Maine to North Carolina.

              The agency declared the deaths an unusual mortality event, the first one observed in humpback whales in nearly a decade. An unusual mortality event (UME) is defined under the Marine Mammal Protection Act as “a stranding that is unexpected; involves a significant die-off of any marine mammal population; and demands immediate response.”
              The last unusual mortality event declared for humpback whales was in 2006. Two other events were declared in 2005 and 2003, said Deborah Fauquier, veterinary medical officer for NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources. The cause of those UMEs was undetermined.
                Forty-one whales died in the region last year. According to NOAA’s Office of Protected Resources, the 16 year average for the region from 2000-2015 is 14 whales per year. As of April 24, 2017, 15 whales have died.
                Out of the 41 dead whales that died last year, 20 of them have been examined so far, said Mendy Garron, Stranding Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region. Of those, 10 appear to have hit marine vessels. The whales’ bodies showed evidence of blunt force trauma, Garron said.
                Vessel strikes have been documented in Virginia (3), New York (3), Delaware (2), Massachusetts (1) and New Hampshire (1).
                Greg Silber, Large Whale Recovery Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources, said many factors could have caused the whales to move closer to shipping routes, but there hasn’t been a spike in ship traffic.
                “It’s probably linked to prey sources,” he said. “Humpback whales follow where the prey is and there may be aggregation in certain areas.”
                Now that the unusual mortality event has been declared, NOAA’s investigation will involve data collection and analysis as well as monitoring environmental and habitat conditions, including human-caused threats.
                Humpback whales were recently taken off the endangered species list, but are still protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Fauquier said.
                Since the marine mammal UME program was created in 1991, there have been 63 formally recognized UMEs in the United States involving a variety of species.

                Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/27/us/humpback-whale-death/index.html

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                The death row inmates Arkansas is rushing to execute

                (CNN)The state of Arkansas will resume efforts this week to execute death row inmates before its supply of sedatives used in lethal injection expires.

                Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson scheduled eight executions in 11 days, the most in the shortest amount of time since capital punishment returned to the United States in the 1970s, creating a race against the clock and a tangled web of legal challenges.
                Hutchinson said it was necessary to follow the law and bring closure to victims’ families. But with one week left the state is behind schedule. Just one execution has been carried out, three are scheduled this week and four are on hold as inmates exhaust their final appeals.
                  This is where the remaining cases stand:

                  The legal wranglings

                  Once an execution is scheduled, new legal issues arise, such as clemency appeals and claims of mental illness, impairment or ineffective counsel, among others.
                  In addition to arguments from their own cases, the Arkansas eight said in a lawsuit the state’s clemency board did not have enough time to sufficiently hear their cases. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the appeal, and only one received a clemency recommendation.
                  As more pharmaceutical companies refuse to make drugs available for capital punishment, inmates have brought cruel and unusual punishment claims stemming from revised execution methods. The Arkansas eight filed such a claim, arguing that midazolam — the drug used to render inmates unconscious in botched executions in other states — does not reliably prevent a painful death. The Arkansas Supreme Court denied the claim, though an appeal from one inmate remains up for consideration by the Supreme Court.
                  Drug makers attempted to intervene. McKesson Corp. tried to get the Arkansas Department of Correction to return a supply of vecuronium bromide, the drug used to paralyze inmates, arguing that it’s only supposed to be used for medical purposes. Its lawsuit temporarily suspended executions until the Arkansas Supreme Court overruled a lower court decision that prevented the drug from being used. Two other drug companies, Fresenius Kabi USA and West-Ward Pharmaceuticals, filed a brief in the inmates’ lawsuit arguing contracts prohibit their products from being used in executions.

                  Marcel Wayne Williams: Monday

                  Williams’ execution is scheduled for April 24.
                  He was convicted in 1997 of murdering Stacy Errickson in November 1994. Williams forced Errickson into her car at gunpoint and made her withdraw money at several ATMs in transactions caught on camera. Her body was found about two weeks later.
                  Williams has been transferred to Arkansas’ Cummins Unit, where executions are carried out. After the district court denied him relief, he appealed his claims related to lethal injection protocol and ineffective counsel to the 8th Circuit.

                  Jack Harold Jones: Monday

                  Jones’ execution is scheduled for April 24.
                  He was convicted in 1996 of rape and murder for the death of Mary Phillips. He abducted Phillips and her 11-year-old daughter from an accounting office in 1995 and robbed them at gunpoint. He raped and killed Phillips and beat her daughter, leaving her for dead. She regained consciousness as police photographers took pictures of the crime scene.
                  Jones was transferred to Cummins. Like Williams, his appeal is pending in the 8th Circuit after a judge denied his request for a stay in his challenge of the clemency process.

                  Kenneth Dewayne Williams: Thursday

                  Williams’ execution is scheduled for April 27.
                  He was convicted of capital murder in 2000 for the death of Cecil Boren, whom he killed after escaping prison while serving a life sentence for the 1998 killing of Dominique Hurd, a University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff cheerleader.
                  His lawyers filed a writ for habeas corpus on Friday claiming he is intellectually disabled and thus ineligible for execution. The circuit court has yet to respond.

                  Jason Farrell McGehee: On hold

                  McGehee was scheduled for execution on Thursday, April 27, until the parole board recommended 6-1 to commute his sentence to life without parole.
                  He was convicted in 1997 of murdering 15-year-old John Melbourne. After Melbourne was caught stealing shoes on McGehee’s behalf with a stolen check, the teenager told police about more stolen checks and property at McGehee’s home. McGehee and his friends tricked Melbourne into coming back to the house, where they beat him to death “to teach him not to ‘snitch.'”
                  A federal district court granted a preliminary injunction staying the execution until Arkansas Parole Board gives 30 days for public comment before sending a final recommendation to the governor, who has final say. Because the 30-day period will expire after his execution date, the governor will have to sign a new death warrant setting a new date.

                  Bruce Earl Ward: On hold

                  Ward’s April 17 execution was halted to allow litigation on a claim that he’s mentally incompetent.
                  Ward was convicted in 1990 of murdering Rebecca Doss, whose body was found in the men’s restroom at the convenience store where she worked in Little Rock. Ward was seen in the store’s parking lot. He told police he had shared a cup of hot chocolate with Doss and that she gave him the key to the restroom.
                  Separate from the mental incompetency claim, the Arkansas Supreme Court granted a stay of Ward’s execution pending a Supreme Court decision in another case, McWilliams v. Dunn. The case centers on defendants’ access to independent mental health experts, a key issue in Ward’s case, his lawyers claim. Arguments are scheduled for Monday.

                  Don William Davis: On hold

                  Like Ward, Davis’ April 17 execution was halted pending a Supreme Court decision in McWilliams v. Dunn, based on similar arguments.
                  Davis was convicted in 1992 of murdering Jane Daniel during a home invasion and burglary in 1990. Daniel’s husband found his wife shot to death in a storeroom.
                  Ward and Davis share the same lawyer. Scott Braden said his clients were “denied access to independent mental health experts, even though they clearly demonstrated that mental health issues would be significant factors at their trials.”

                  Stacey Eugene Johnson: On hold

                  Johnson’s April 20 execution was stayed after the Arkansas Supreme Court ordered a hearing on DNA evidence.
                  Johnson was convicted in 1994 of murdering Carol Heath, who was beaten, strangled and stabbed in her kitchen while her two children hid in another room.
                  Lawyers with the Innocence Project say new methods of DNA testing could prove he’s innocent.

                  Ledell Lee: Executed

                  Lee was executed on April 21, making him the first person to be put to death in Arkansas since 2005. He was convicted in 1995 of murdering Debra Reese, who was strangled and beaten in her home with a tire thumper her husband gave her for protection. Reese’s neighbors saw Lee near the house and identified him to police.

                  Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/23/us/arkansas-executions-latest/index.html

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