Blackface Halloween costume sparks protests; worker refuses to apologize

Published: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 @ 6:39 PM

WATCH: Blackface Halloween Costume Sparks Protests in Florida; Worker Refuses to Apologize

A restaurant worker whose blackface costume sparked a protest in St. Augustine, Fla., on Tuesday said she will not apologize for the racial insensitivity.

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The woman said she painted her face black as part of an 'Aunt Jemima' costume she wore to the Bunnery Bakery & Cafe for Halloween.

Students at Flagler College took offense at the costume and organized a protest outside the restaurant.

An owner of the cafe addressed the crowd outside the restaurant, saying the worker had washed the makeup off her face after a confrontation with Flagler students at the bakery.

She said the employee did not mean to offend anyone.

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But the woman who wore the costume sent Action News Jax a statement indicating she didn’t understand why the costume was offensive to some:

"It was a genuine costume, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Color is not something that exists in my life. I come from a very colorful family and I love all the same. I will not apologize for my costume, there was nothing wrong with my actions in the choice of my costume. I don't understand how this turned into a racial thing. Black face is not something I expected with trying to just dress up for my job on Halloween. Instead of protesting something that is not affecting people directly, why don't we worry about the real issues and not ones that don't matter."

The group of protesters outside the restaurant held signs and chanted, "Blackface is not OK."

>> Related: Halloween 2017: Fake Blood, best DIY costumes, how to get the most candy

Blackface, which originated in racist ministrel shows, is offensive to African-Americans because of the connotations of violence and degradation associated with it.

Researchers find meteorites from Michigan meteor

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:06 PM

A piece of stony-iron meteorite sits on a display during a press conference, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, at the Longway Planetarium in Flint, Mich. Longway Planetarium astronomers have located three meteorites, after a meteor broke apart about 20 miles over Earth Tuesday. Most of the meteorite’s fragments landed in Hamburg Township, Mich. The meteor will be sent to NASA for analysis. (Bronte Wittpenn/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
Bronte Wittpenn/AP
A piece of stony-iron meteorite sits on a display during a press conference, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, at the Longway Planetarium in Flint, Mich. Longway Planetarium astronomers have located three meteorites, after a meteor broke apart about 20 miles over Earth Tuesday. Most of the meteorite’s fragments landed in Hamburg Township, Mich. The meteor will be sent to NASA for analysis. (Bronte Wittpenn/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)(Bronte Wittpenn/AP)

Researchers with the American Meteor Society found two meteorites just days after a meteor lit up the sky across part of Michigan, according to a tweet from AMS.

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“We are happy and excited to report, two meteorites from the Jan. 16th fall have been found in Michigan,” the Thursday tweet said. “Congratulations to Robert Ward and Larry Atkins on the first two reported finds.”

A group from Longway Planetarium and the Farmington Community Stargazer also recovered a meteorite and planned to share more details about its discovery, according to WDIV.

The meteorites were found near Charlotte, Michigan and near Whitmore Lake, according to WDIV. The AMS received more than 650 reports of a fireball from people in Michigan, Ohio and Canada.

Women's marches, events taking place across nation

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 12:20 PM

WATCH: Scenes From 2018 Women's March

A series of women’s marches, protests and voter registration events are taking place across the country this weekend.

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. In 2017, the Women’s March on Washington drew a large crowd that marched in protest of Trump’s election. Women’s marches were held across the country and the world.

For 2018, marches and rallies are being held in cities across the country throughout the weekend. There will be a voter registration drive on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 11:17 AM

Man Punches Himself Repeatedly to Avoid Breathalyzer Test, Police Said

Police have accused a Maine man of punching himself several times in the face to avoid a Breathalyzer test, The Bangor Daily News reported.

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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.

Fogg was charged with operating under the influence anyway, in addition to criminal mischief and falsifying physical evidence. He was released on bail, police said.

Texas judge interrupts jury, says God told him defendant is not guilty

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:44 PM

Texas Judge Says God Told Him Defendant is Not Guilty

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.

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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.

The reprimand, the commission’s harshest form of rebuke, said Robison “exceeded the scope of his authority and failed to comply with the law” by jailing the man for contempt of court without a hearing or advance notice of the charge.