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'Safe injection' sites planned for drug users stir controversy, prompt petition

Published: Sunday, July 30, 2017 @ 2:40 AM
Updated: Sunday, July 30, 2017 @ 7:04 AM

What You Need To Know About Heroin

Last week, the supporters behind Initiative 27 to ban "safe injection" sites for drug users in King County, Washington, turned in more than enough signatures to have the measure put on the ballot. They’re pushing for the King County Council to put it on the November ballot so voters can weigh in before two approved safe injection sites open.

>> Watch the news report here

The King County Board of Health unanimously approved the recommendations of an Opioid Task Force to open two sites in King County where users can take any drugs. The locations haven’t been determined, but the plan is to open them by the end of the year.

“This petition is not about shaming the user,” said Joshua Freed of IMPACtion, the political action group behind the initiative. “What's neat about this initiative process is it's non-partisan. It's an idea you can get behind.”

Freed says more than 1,000 volunteers helped collect signatures since May. They turned in 69,245 signatures to the King County Clerk on Monday, a week ahead of the July 31st deadline. To get on the ballot, 47,000 verified signatures are needed.

The safe injection sites would be similar to the one in Vancouver, B.C. KIRO-TV traveled north to see how they work. Read the full story here.

>> On KIRO7.com: As Seattle considers 'safe injection' sites, how does it work in BC?

People are allowed to use any drugs, no questions asked. Health professionals and outreach workers ensure there are no overdoses and provide services and counseling. King County Health Officials touted the idea in a Facebook live video in June.

“There have been zero, zero overdose deaths in any of these facilities worldwide,” said Brad Finegood of the Heroin Addiction Task Force.

Freed emphasizes that they agree with most of the recommendations from the King County Opioid Task Force, just not injection sites.

“We see that as a facility that is enabling and encouraging people to use opioids,” said Freed. “Let's spend that money on treatment. Let's get people into beds that need the help and interim treatment.”

>> Read more trending news

Once the signatures are validated, the King County Council has 90 days to take action. They could as a council pass the initiative as written. They could re-write it and have their re-written initiative and this initiative on the ballot. Or they could put it on the ballot as is. 

Initiative 27 would go on the November or February ballot, and its supporters are pushing for November.

Convicted rapist won't have joint custody of victim's child after judge rescinds ruling

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 1:49 AM

Judge Rescinds Ruling, Convicted Rapist Won’t Have Joint Custody of Victim’s Child

The Michigan judge behind a controversial ruling last month, which granted a convicted sex offender joint legal custody to the child conceived by his 12-year-old victim in 2008, has rescinded his decisionCBS News reports.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Woman’s rapist gets joint custody of child he fathered in assault

Sanilac County Judge Gregory Ross ruled Tuesday that 27-year-old Christopher Mirasolo will not have any parental rights to the 8-year-old boy. However, he will still be expected to pay for child support.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Lawyer: Rapist granted joint custody of boy he fathered will not seek visitation

Mirasolo was not seeking custody of the child. This odd scenario started when the mother, now 21, sought state assistance for her son. Ross ruled for joint legal custody after a DNA test verified Mirasolo was the boy’s biological father.

>> On Rare.us: In wake of #MeToo, men are vowing to make changes with hashtag of their own

Why did Ross initially grant Mirasolo legal custody? John Nevin, a spokesman for the Michigan Supreme Court, said that Ross wasn’t aware of Mirasolo’s two convictions, nor of how he and the mother were connected. After learning of Mirasolo’s record, Ross put the order on hold and rescheduled a hearing for Tuesday.

In a statement released to the Port Huron Times Herald, Sanilac County Prosecutor James Young said he wanted to “express [officials’] apologies for the manner in which this case was handled.”

>> Read more trending news 

The mother, identified only as Tiffany, spoke to CBS News earlier this month and expressed dismay that the judge would grant her attacker joint custody of her son. She said she had to provide the father’s name as a condition of receiving state financial assistance.

“I was receiving government assistance, and they told me if I did not tell them who the father was of my child, that they would take that away from me,” Tiffany said.

She said “horrible things” and “flashbacks” still come to mind when she hears Mirasolo’s name.

2 women accused of trying to rob bank while dressed as nuns

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 3:32 AM

‘Nuns’ Attempt To Rob Bank

The FBI has apprehended two women suspected of trying to rob a bank in Pennsylvania while dressed as nuns, The Associated Press is reporting.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: ‘Nuns’ try to rob bank, get nothing from tellers

Melisa Aquino Arias, 23, of the Dominican Republic, and Swahilys Pedraza-Rodriguez, 19, of New Haven, Connecticut, were actually charged with robbing two banks in New Jersey while wearing head scarves, but law enforcement officials say the two women are also suspected in the attempted robbery of the Citizens Bank in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 28.

>> Read more trending news

The Tannersville heist — which reportedly was carried out by two young women wearing black nun’s habits and veils — ended in failure when the perpetrators fled the scene without any money after an alarm was triggered. The FBI had posted surveillance photos from the heist on Twitter.

>> See the tweet here

Pedraza-Rodriguez and Aquino Arias appeared before a judge in Newark, New Jersey, on Monday after being charged with robbing banks in Garfield and Teaneck, New Jersey.

Robberies carried out by criminals dressed as nuns are something of a pop culture trope. The 2012 crime drama “The Town” featured robbers disguised as nuns, and the 1990 crime comedy film “Nuns on the Run” depicted two male crooks on the run while wearing habits.

2 security officials fired after United Airlines passenger dragged off plane in viral video

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 6:20 AM

Security Officials Fired After United Airlines Passenger Dragged From Plane

Airport security officials who were caught on video in April forcibly removing a passenger from a United Airlines flight in Chicago have been disciplined. Two employees were fired and two suspended following the incident, which caused public outrage after the footage went viral, the Washington Post reports.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Man forcibly removed from flight after not voluntarily giving up seat

The fiasco became a huge public relations headache for United. In the videos, officers are seen aggressively grabbing a passenger — Dr. David Dao — who was reportedly selected at random to be removed from the overbooked flight so that his seat could be given to a United crew member.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: United passenger dragged from plane reaches settlement with airline

In a quarterly report, Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General found that a Chicago Department of Aviation security officer “improperly escalated the incident” and that a sergeant “made misleading statements” and “deliberately removed material facts” from employee reports on the April 9 incident aboard United Express Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky. The first officer and the sergeant were fired, and another two officers involved in the incident were suspended — one of whom subsequently resigned, the report said.

>> Read more trending news 

The security officers “mishandled a non-threatening situation,” which led to the “violent” removal of the 69-year-old Dao, the inspector general’s report said. “The use of excessive force caused the passenger to hit his face on an armrest, resulting in a concussion, a broken nose and the loss of two teeth,” a news release accompanying the report stated.

Fugitive turns himself in, with doughnuts, after issuing challenge to police

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 4:53 PM

Fugitive Turns Himself In With Doughnuts After Challenging Police

A man made good on his promise to turn himself in to police in Michigan this week with a box of doughnuts in-hand after he challenged officers to get a Facebook post shared 1,000 times after taunting the department on social media.

>> Read more trending news

“You guys suck!” wrote 21-year-old Michael Zaydel, who goes by the name “Champagne Torino” on Facebook, in response to an Oct. 6 post from the Redford Township Police Department.

Zaydel was wanted on multiple misdemeanor warrants and taunted police on social media, writing that he was sure they didn’t know his last name and later messaging officers with a challenge.

“If (your) next post gets a thousand shares I’ll turn myself in along with a dozen doughnuts,” Zaydel wrote, according to a screenshot shared by police. “And that’s a promise. And I’ll pick up every piece of litter around all your public schools.”

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! Mr. Champagne Torino has issued the RTPD a challenge. As you can see below, if we can have this...

Posted by Redford Township Police Department on Friday, October 6, 2017

The post was subsequently shared more than 4,500 times. Police said they topped the 1,000 share mark in less than an hour.

Zaydel turned himself in to authorities 10 days later, according to authorities.

“He walked in on his own, and not only did he bring the donuts, he brought one bagel!” police said in a Facebook post. “We would again like to express our gratitude for the support of all who followed this, shared it and left us positive feedback.”

This evening at approximately 6:30 pm Michael Zaydel made good on his promise to turn himself in to RTPD for his...

Posted by Redford Township Police Department on Monday, October 16, 2017