Driver detained at White House checkpoint after claiming to have bomb

Published: Sunday, March 19, 2017 @ 4:47 AM
Updated: Sunday, March 19, 2017 @ 7:50 PM

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 10: The White House, 1800, Washington DC, District of Columbia. United States of America, 19th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
DEA / ARCHIVIO J. LANGE/De Agostini/Getty Images

A driver was detained Saturday night after he reportedly told officials at a White House checkpoint that he had a bomb in his car.

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Sean Patrick Keoughan, 29, said “this is a test” as he was taken to the ground by security, according to NBC News. He was identified Sunday by police. 

According to CNN, the Keoughan's claim just after 11 p.m. prompted an upgrade in White House security, the Secret Service said. Officials, who closed nearby streets, did not say whether he actually had a bomb, CNN reported.

The incident occurred just hours after another person allegedly jumped "over a bicycle rack in front of the White House" and a week after a White House fence-jumper reportedly evaded security officials for 15 minutes, CNN reported.

Keoughan was arrested and charged with false bomb threats and unauthorized use of a vehicle, according to NBC News.

Teens selling water on National Mall handcuffed by police

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 2:43 PM

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 24:  U.S. Park rangers walk on the National Mall near the Washington Monument August 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. Park Police are facing criticism for handcuffing three teenagers who were selling water Thursday on the National Mall.

Officials said police were just doing their job, as the teenagers were vending in a prohibited area, WUSA9 reported.

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Bystander Tim Krepp took a photo of the incident, and told WUSA9 that he thought the officers went too far in handcuffing the teenagers. The image quickly went viral on social media.

The teens were given a verbal warning and released to their guardians, WUSA9 reported. 

Obama denounces 'fundamental meanness' of Senate GOP health care bill

Published: Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 10:44 AM

Former President of the United States Barack Obama after a discussion about democracy at Church Congress on May 25, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Steffi Loos/Getty Images)
Steffi Loos/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama criticized a Republican Senate bill proposed Thursday that would repeal and replace parts of his signature Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, calling the measure bad for Americans and saying that it has “fundamental meanness” at its core.

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“Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm,” Obama wrote Thursday in a lengthy Facebook post. “It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it.”

Senate GOP leaders unveiled the 142-page proposed ACA replacement Thursday. It would repeal the ACA’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance, make deep cuts to Medicaid and withhold federal funding to Planned Parenthood for a year.

“The Senate bill … is not a health care bill,” Obama wrote. “It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. 

Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen...

Posted by Barack Obama on Thursday, June 22, 2017

“It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.”

He acknowledged that Republicans have long promised to repeal the ACA, but urged lawmakers to put aside partisan politics while working to address America’s health care system.

>> Related: Senate health care bill: What is in it? Read it here

“I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake and consider that the rationale for action, on healthcare or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did,” he wrote.

As he has multiple times since the ACA’s passage in 2010, Obama conceded that the bill was less than perfect and vowed to support any Republican-backed bill that “is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost.”

“I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse,” he wrote.

He called on citizens to pressure lawmakers into working with each other by calling and visiting members of Congress and sharing their stories about how the proposed bill will affect them.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said he hopes to bring the GOP bill to a vote before Congress breaks for its Fourth of July recess.

Georgia congressional candidates Ossoff, Handel slam ad that ties Dems to Scalise shooting

Published: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 @ 7:22 AM

Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel strongly condemned an attack ad that surfaced Sunday accusing the “unhinged left” of endorsing violence against Republicans days before the nationally watched race to represent Georgia’s 6th District is decided.

>> For the latest coverage, head to AJC.com, WSBTV.com or WSBRadio.com

The ad, funded by a little-known group called the Principled PAC, opens with sounds of gunshots and footage of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise being wheeled away on a stretcher after he and other members of the Republican congressional baseball team were ambushed by a lone gunman while practicing in a Washington suburb.

>> Jon Ossoff vs. Karen Handel: Why this congressional race in Georgia matters

“The man is fighting for his life,” Ossoff said Sunday after a campaign stop. “I think it’s disgraceful to politicize it, and I think Secretary Handel should call for it to come down.”

>> Who is Karen Handel?

A spokeswoman for Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, called the video “disturbing and disgusting” in a statement that stopped short of asking for the ad to be removed.

>> Who is Jon Ossoff?

“For any group to use the shootings this week for political or personal benefit is shameful,” said Kate Constantini. “This group should be ashamed.”

>> Click here to watch the TV spot

The ad urges Republicans to “stop” Ossoff and claims that the “unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans.”

“When will it stop?” a narrator asks. “It won’t if Jon Ossoff wins on Tuesday, because the same unhinged leftists cheering last week’s shooting are all backing Jon Ossoff. And if he wins, they win.”

MORE COVERAGE FROM THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION:

>> When your own rhetoric gives you license to commit mayhem. And worse

>> National Democrats, Republicans both see 6th District as a must-win

>> Jon Ossoff: The making of a Georgia Democratic dynamo

>> Karen Handel: A ‘fighter’ returns to the political arena

>> First-timers get involved in 6th District get-out-the-vote effort

>> Exhausted 6th District voters prepare for vote

>> Trump robocall slams ‘tax-raising’ Ossoff in Georgia 6th race

>> Georgia 6th District: AJC poll shows Ossoff with lead over Handel

Both candidates have called for more civility after the ballfield shootings in the race to represent Georgia’s 6th District, a suburban stretch of north Atlanta that both parties consider crucial to win. It’s by far the most expensive U.S. House contest in history, and President Donald Trump and other White House officials have stumped for the Republican.

>> On WSBTV.com: 6th District Poll: Race between Karen Handel, Jon Ossoff tighter than ever

After Scalise’s shooting, the tensions in the race ratcheted up even more. Handel and several neighbors received threatening letters with a white substance the FBI later said was likely not hazardous. Ossoff said he had to hire a security detail amid escalating threats his campaign had received.

The PAC’s ad flashes a screenshot of the letter sent to Handel, as well as the image of comedian Kathy Griffin holding a decapitated head that resembles Donald Trump.

>> Read more trending news

Principled PAC bills itself as a group that only supports “principled conservatives who have the backbone to stand up to the Washington elite,” but is a bit player in the political world and has faced staunch criticism from conservative leaders. Its five-figure ad buy pales in comparison to the millions pumped into the race by influential groups from both sides of the partisan divide.

Ossoff was asked whether he’s worried if these ads might sway voters.

“I can’t even think about the politics of it. You’ve got a national tragedy that’s united people,” he said. “There are still people who are in critical condition. It’s got no place in an attack ad.”

Neighbors go to extreme new measures to stop political sign thefts

Published: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 @ 5:34 PM

In a metro Atlanta neighborhood, a political fight is brewing, but it’s not the one between candidates.

Neighbors are going into battle themselves, against thieves who’ve stolen dozens of their political signs over the past few weeks.

"It’s definitely not a comforting feeling," neighbor Peter Wagner said. "It feels a bit like a violation of our First Amendment rights.”

Wagner caught one of the thieves on his surveillance camera. The video shows someone jumping out of a car, stealing the sign and quickly jumping back in the car.

>> Read more trending news

>>Georgia’s 6th Congressional District debate: Full coverage on WSB-TV

"It’s a bold move to do it in full daylight," Wagner said. "I know the other signs were stolen at night.”

With so many signs stolen, Wagner said some neighbors have now attached GPS tracking devices to their signs.

Another neighbor, Matthew Enslein, tells WSB-TV his signs were stolen twice so he printed up his own signs, which warn thieves of the serious consequences they face if caught.

And that’s not all he did.

“We’ve got one nailed up to our tree, which we feel is probably a little difficult for anyone to take from our house,” Enslein said.

Neighbors say all of the signs stolen in the area were Jon Ossoff signs. But in other neighborhoods, both Ossoff and Handel supporters have reported signs stolen, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Karen Handel campaign sent us a statement condemning the sign thefts.

READ: 6th District runoff: Campaign sign thefts hit both candidates

No one should be stealing or vandalizing anyone else's signs," read a statement from Handel spokesperson, Charlie Harper.

It’s a different kind of battle in the 6th district race that neighbors would prefer not to fight.

“The yard sign stealing that’s occurred hopefully is done with and that we can let the election process play out,” Enslein said.