log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 10:03 AM
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel blasted politicians after a gunman killed 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school, saying that if gun laws don’t change, “you will not get re-elected in Broward County.”
According to the Huffington Post, while speaking at a vigil in Parkland for the victims of the shooting, Israel said, “If you’re an elected official, and you want to keep things the way they are ― if you want to keep gun laws as they are now ― you will not get re-elected in Broward County.”
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel: "If you're an elected official, and you want to keep things the way they are...if you want to keep gun laws as they are now, you will not get reelected in Broward County" https://t.co/bLrHxgscob pic.twitter.com/iVbBgLqfSB— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 16, 2018
The vigil was attended by thousands at an amphitheater that was lit by candles and had 17 4-foot angels – one for each of the victims who was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Last week, Israel called on lawmakers to allow law enforcement officers to involuntarily detain people who post questionable and disturbing content on social media.
“We need to have the power to take that person and bring them before mental health professionals at that particular time, involuntarily, and have them examined,” he said, the Huffington Post reported. “People are going to be rightfully concerned about their rights ― as am I. But what about these students? What about the rights of young kids who go to schools?”
He added that he wishes law enforcement officials could act “if they see something on social media, if they see graphic pictures of rifles and blood and gore and guns and bombs, if they see something, horrific language, if they see a person talking about ‘I want to grow up to be a serial killer.’”
Democrats in Congress are already calling for gun control while Republicans are saying that it’s too soon to talk about it.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said during a press conference Thursday that we need to think less about fighting “each other politically” in the wake of the shooting.
“This is one of those moments where we just need to step back and count our blessings,” he said Thursday at a news conference, according to CNN. “We need to think less about taking sides and fighting each other politically, and just pulling together. This House, and the whole country, stands with the Parkland community.”
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., tweeted that Congress should vote on measures to implement “universal background checks, a ban on military-style weapons and a prohibition of those on the terror watchlist from purchasing firearms.”
Congress should have votes on measures to reduce gun violence, including universal background checks, a ban on military-style weapons and a prohibition of those on the terror watchlist from purchasing firearms.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) February 15, 2018
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, said Congress will have “another round” of this debate, but admitted that it’s hard to get any sort of gun legislation passed.
Sen. Bill Nelson tells @gstephanopoulos that "we'll have another round of all of this debate" over background checks and other gun restrictions once investigation is under way. https://t.co/4QuB0GYG2P pic.twitter.com/MTQnooZg8I— ABC News (@ABC) February 14, 2018
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:37 PM
Washington — National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster is resigning from the Trump administration and will be replaced by former U.S. ambassador John Bolton, according to a tweet Thursday afternoon from President Donald Trump.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 2:34 PM
President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he will be replacing his National Security Adviser, General H.R. McMaster, replacing him with former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, in another big shake up on the White House staff.
Making the announcement on Twitter, the President said McMaster had “done an outstanding job,” though there had been reports for months that Mr. Trump was unhappy with the Army General, who is reportedly expected now to retire from the military.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 5:53 PM
Austin, Texas — The man who killed two people and wounded five others with a series of bomb attacks in the Austin area left an audio recording for police that includes a haunting revelation about himself.
“I wish I were sorry but I am not,” Mark Conditt said in the cell phone recording, according to sources familiar with his statements. He described himself as a “psychopath” and said he feels as though he has been disturbed since childhood.
Conditt also promised that he would go inside a crowded McDonald’s to blow himself up if he thought authorities were closing in on him, according to law enforcement sources briefed on the contents of the audio. The sources declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak about the recording, which police are using as evidence in the case.
Interim Police Chief Brian Manley confirmed the existence of the audio in a news conference Wednesday, but provided limited details about its specifics. He called it a “confession.”
Police said Conditt, 23, detonated a bomb inside his car as officers closed in on him along Interstate 35 early Wednesday. He had a laptop computer with him that was destroyed in the blast, but officials said they think it may have contained other recordings.
According to the sources, he began his 28-minute statement, which was recorded after 9 p.m. on Tuesday, saying “it’s me again” and blamed himself for helping investigators find him by going into a FedEx store on Brodie Lane in Sunset Valley to mail two explosive devices, one of which blew up at a transfer facility in Schertz.
That decision, Conditt realized, allowed him to be captured on video cameras inside the store and for outside cameras to snap photographs of his license plate, which authorities used to learn his identity.
Conditt also acknowledged that he recognized his actions left family members without loved ones, and caused permanent injuries to other victims, including an elderly woman, but said little else about them.
The sources also repeated what Manley said at the news conference: That Conditt gave no hint about how or why he chose the targets of the bomb attacks.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 5:42 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 5:42 PM
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed a massive spending bill Thursday which includes $700 billion for defense, spends billions more on aircraft, ships and tanks and provides a 2.4 percent pay hike for troops.
The $60 billion increase in military spending is the biggest in 15 years.
The budget plan also includes $300 million to continue cleaning the Great Lakes, $400 million for cleanup at a closed uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, and millions of dollars for Ohio to combat opioid addiction.
The $1.3 trillion measure, which needs Senate approval by Friday night, keeps the federal government open until the end of September.
The Air Force share is $183.6 billion, which also aims to add 4,000 airmen by 2020, Air Force officials have said. It includes nearly $25 billion for procurement of aircraft, space vehicles, missiles, and ammunition and more than $49 billion for operations and maintenance, budget documents show.
“For the Air Force, the higher level of spending in the budget bill offers an opportunity to fix nagging readiness problems while moving forward with long delayed plans to replace Cold War aircraft,” Loren B. Thompson, a senior defense analyst with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute and a defense industry consultant, said in an email. “It also provides seed money for a transformation in how the Air Force will assure U.S. air and space superiority in the future.”
The spending bill includes $1.08 billion to upgrade the Abrams M-1 tank. Most of that money will be spent at the JSMC plant in Lima.
Across all research, testing and technology accounts, it adds $25.6 billion, documents show.
Impact at Wright-Patterson
The influx of dollars is a particular windfall for research spending at the Air Force Research Laboratory headquarters at Wright-Patterson, observers said.
“For Wright Patterson, the impending budget increase signals a surge in research spending to unprecedented peace time levels,” Thompson said. “This could be the beginning of a golden age for the Air Force’s premier research and modernization site if Washington can find a way of keeping spending levels high in the years ahead.”
AFRL’s budget could exceed last year’s level of $4.8 billion, which was nearly split between government appropriations and sponsored research.
This time, about $1.2 billion of that in government appropriations is headed to Wright-Patterson, according to spokespersons in U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office.
A breakdown of other budgets at Wright-Patterson was not yet available, spokeswoman Marie Vanover said Thursday.
But in some research accounts, such as materials and aerospace vehicles, spending could rise as much as 20 percent, said Michael Gessel, vice president of federal programs at the Dayton Development Coalition.
The budget boost bodes well for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, also headquartered at Wright-Patterson, with money beyond the president’s request to procure more aircraft and will jump start new contracts that had been on hold without a permanent budget, Gessel said.
“The larger, overall funding level provided by this bill, which is accompanied by additional flexibility on spending authority, will relieve many budgetary pressures as the funding makes its way from Washington to field operations, including Wright-Patterson,” Gessel said in an email.
“There are provisions which give more flexibility in personnel management of civilian defense workers. This is important to Wright-Patterson because of the large percentage of civilians who work on the base.”
The bill provides $3 billion to reduce opioid addiction, of which $1 billion is set aside for grants that will go directly to the states. Fifteen percent of the state grant money has been earmarked for states which have been hardest by opioids, such as Ohio.
“This is good news for Ohio and good news for the millions of Americans who continue to struggle with addiction,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. “I’m particularly pleased that the bill includes $60 million for states to develop an infant plan of safe care to help newborns exposed to opioids and their families.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said “while we know there is more work to be done,” the money in the bill “is a meaningful step forward for Ohio.”
The money for the Great Lakes was inserted into the bill after the White House did not include any money for the program, known as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The program has strong bipartisan backing from lawmakers from both parties, such as Portman and Brown.
Both Brown and Portman pushed for more money to continue the cleanup at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, about 65 miles south of Columbus. The $400 million, Brown said, should guarantee no additional layoffs at the facility.
How Ohio lawmakers voted
The House passed the measure by a vote of 256-to-167 with local Republicans Mike Turner of Dayton and Steve Chabot of Cincinnati voting yes.
Republicans Jim Jordan of Urbana and Warren Davidson of Troy voted no.
In an interview on Fox News, Jordan complained that the 2,200-page bill “grows the government at a $1.3 trillion price tag which will lead to a trillion dollar deficit,” adding “this may be the worst bill I have seen in my time in Congress.”
By contrast, Columbus-area Congressman Steve Stivers said the measure “provides critical funding for our military and veterans, resources for opioid addiction prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, and resources for our schools to keep our kids safe.”
Get the latest news from our team on our Ohio Politics Facebook page and on Twitter at @Ohio_Politics