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Published: Sunday, August 13, 2017 @ 7:33 AM
MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. — Two Alabama teachers accused of having sex with students had their charges dismissed by a judge who declared the state’s teacher-student sex law unconstitutional.
Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson issued the ruling Thursday that, at least for now, will keep former Decatur High School teacher Carrie Witt and David Solomon, an ex-aide at Falkville High School, from facing charges.
According to AL.com, Witt, 44, was arrested in March 2016 when police said she had sex with two teenagers — one who was 17 and the other 18 — when they were her students at Decatur High School. Solomon, 27, was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student.
The law the judge has deemed unconstitutional prohibits any school employees from having sex with students who are younger than 19. Teachers or other school employees in violation of the law can be charged with a Class B felony that carries a punishment up to 20 years in prison. They must also register as sex offenders if convicted. Consent is not a defense.
However, the law is harsher on teachers and school employees than other citizens, who do not face criminal prosecution for having sex with 16-year-olds. State prosecutors, AL.com reported, have argued the law is constitutional and designed to protect students.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:44 PM
— A Comal County judge said God told him to intervene in jury deliberations to sway jurors to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of a Buda woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex.
Judge Jack Robison apologized to jurors for the interruption but defended his actions by telling them, “When God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,” according to the Herald-Zeitung, in New Braunfels.
The jury went against the judge’s wishes, finding Gloria Romero-Perez guilty of continuous trafficking of a person and later sentenced her to 25 years in prison. They found her not guilty of a separate charge of sale or purchase of a child.
Robison, who also presides in Hays County, did not respond to a message left with his court coordinator, Steve Thomas, who said the case is pending.
The Herald-Zeitung reported that Robison recused himself before the trial’s sentencing phase and was replaced by Judge Gary Steele. The defendant’s attorney asked for a mistrial but was denied.
Robison’s actions could trigger an investigation from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which has disciplined Robison in the past.
In 2011, the commission slapped Robison with a private reprimand for improperly jailing a Caldwell County grandfather who had called him a fool for a ruling Robison made in a child custody case involving the man’s granddaughter.
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 11:17 AM
BELFAST, Maine — Police have accused a Maine man of punching himself several times in the face to avoid a Breathalyzer test, The Bangor Daily News reported.
Police suspected Brian Fogg, 27, of Belfast, to be intoxicated when they were called to a residence on Jan. 13 and found Fogg’s vehicle stuck in a ditch, police said. Belfast police said Fogg and a homeowner had gotten into an argument, and Fogg allegedly struck and dented the homeowner’s car.
After Fogg failed a sobriety test, police took him to jail and attempted to give him a Breathalyzer test, the Daily News reported.
As officers were explaining the testing process, Fogg allegedly punched himself in the face several times, the Daily News reported.
Belfast Detective Sgt. Gerry Lincoln said that Fogg “took that option (punching himself), which wasn’t one of the ones we gave to him.”
He added that because people had option of declining to take a Breathalzyer test, it was unusual for someone to injure himself to avoid it.“We took that as a refusal to take the test,” Lincoln told the Daily News.
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 11:15 AM
— We are one day out from “Championship Sunday,” where the teams who will play in the Super Bowl will be determined.
The Minnesota Vikings will take on the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC Championship, while the New England Patriots play the Jacksonville Jaguars for the AFC title.
If the Vikings win, they will be the first team to ever play in the Super Bowl at their home stadium. If Philadelphia wins, it will be the first time in the team’s history.
If New England wins the AFC Conference championship, no one will be surprised. It will be the Pats 10th trip to the big game. If the Jaguars win, a lot of people will be surprised – New England is currently favored by 7.5 points.
Here’s a look at what time the games kickoff on Sunday, what channel, where they are livestreamed and the latest odds.
The AFC Championship Game
Jacksonville (12-6) at New England (14-3)
What time: 3:05 p.m. ET
What channel: CBS will broadcast the game
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
Livestream: CBSSports.com According to CBS, “you can stream via desktop, the CBS Sports App on iOS and Android tablets as well as on Roku, Apple TV, tvOS, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, Chromecast and Windows 10 devices.”
Weather at game time via NFLWeather: 42 degrees, skies overcast; with winds west at 2 mph
Line: New England -7.5
The NFC Championship Game
Minnesota (14-3) at Philadelphia (14-3)
What time: 6:40 p.m. ET
What channel: Fox is broadcasting the game
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Penn.
Livestream: Fox Sports Go
Weather at game time via NFLWeather: 44 degrees, skies overcast, with winds SSW at 3 mph
Line: Minnesota -3
Super Bowl LII
When: Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018
Who: The winners of the two championship games
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.
Halftime entertainer: Justin Timberlake will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show
What time: 6:30 p.m. ET
What channel: NBC will broadcast the game
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:35 PM
— Update: While the House passed legislation on Thursday to fund government services, the Senate on Friday failed to vote on a continuing resolution that would keep the government up and running. With no bill to fund the government, non-essential services have been shutdown.
Below is the original story that explains what will happen now that the government has been shut down.
The fight over a border wall, the fate of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients, and the wrangling over the funding of an insurance program for children could force a U.S. government shutdown after midnight on Friday if Congress does not pass legislation that would keep the government running.
While negotiations on a temporary spending bill, called a continuing resolution, are ongoing, House Republican leaders said late Wednesday that they lacked the votes to prevent a shutdown, but that they are pressing members to back Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, (R-Wisconsin), on the temporary spending bill.
“I think it passes,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker, (R-North Carolina), told reporters on Wednesday. “I don’t think it’s overwhelming, but I think it passes.”
What would happen if no bill is passed and the government “shuts down?” Here’s what to expect:
First, a government shutdown doesn’t mean the government completely shuts down. Employees and services deemed “essential” would remain in place. About half of the federal employee workforce, however, could be furloughed – sent home without pay.
Government agencies would shut down because of the lack of a bill that funds services those agencies provide. What Congress will be considering Thursday night and Friday is a continuing resolution, a way to temporarily fund the government.
What is a continuing resolution?
A continuing resolution, or “CR,” is legislation that funds government operations at the current spending level. In normal years, a bill that funds government operations is signed by Oct. 1, which is the end of the fiscal year. That didn’t happen this year.
CRs can fund the government for days, weeks or months. The CR that could be considered Thursday would fund the government through Feb. 16.
Here is a list of services and how they would be affected if a CR is not passed by Friday night:
Air travel would not be affected as federal air traffic controllers would remain on the job and Transportation Security Administration screeners would remain in place.
For about two weeks, federal courts would continue operating normally. After that time, the judiciary would have to furlough employees not considered essential.
The Food and Drug Administration would handle high-risk recalls. Most routine safety inspections would be halted.
Patients in the National Institutes of Health would continue to be treated. New patients would not be accepted until a funding bill is in place.
You could still get a passport and visa applications would still be processed by the State Department. Fees collected when someone applies for a visa or a passport fund those services.
The Federal Housing Administration, the agency that guarantees about 30 percent of all American home mortgages, wouldn't be able to underwrite or approve any new loans during a shutdown, causing a delay for those using one of those loans to purchase a home.
You would still get mail, as the U.S. Postal Service is not funded by taxpayer dollars for everyday operations.
Active-duty military personnel would stay on duty, but their paychecks would be delayed.
All national parks would be closed, as would the Smithsonian museums. Visitors in overnight campgrounds in national parks would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park.
School lunches, SNAP and WIC
School breakfasts and lunches funded by the federal government would not be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, could be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which used to be called the Food Stamp Program, would continue to be funded and SNAP benefits would continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs would not have the money to operate.
The National Weather Service would keep forecasting weather.
Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits would be paid, but new applications for those payments could be delayed.
Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs would continue.