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Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 12:25 PM
— A small group of adults are accused of brawling in front of an Athens Chuck E. Cheese on Sunday, police said.
The crowd included adults and kids when police arrived.
When mother Sara Gibbs pulled her child out of the arcade and restaurant, her child bumped into and knocked over another child, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report obtained Thursday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Kristen McCart chased Gibbs, who ignored the fact that her child knocked over another child, according to the report. The two moms’ fight turned physical in the parking lot, the report states.
Officer N. Della Fortuna wrote that a witness showed officers cellphone video of the fight.
The video shows McCart and another woman, dressed in all black, on the ground hitting each other, police say.
“Multiple people are attempting to separate the physical altercation, which led to more pushing and yelling, causing the altercation to worsen,” Fortuna wrote. “Eventually, the two were separated and the altercation returns to a verbal dispute.”
The police reports states Anna Petree was the woman who first fought with McCart and that Petree pushed McCart’s “significant other,” Adidas Whitehead.
After being pushed, Whitehead allegedly struck at least two women in the crowd with a closed fist, the report says.
One woman, who was not charged, had noticeable swelling and bruising under her right eye, but she denied medical treatment, Fortuna wrote in the report.
Petree’s open wound under her left eye was severe enough that she was taken to a nearby hospital.
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 5:16 PM
— President Donald Trump has called for the arming of qualified teachers in the wake of a deadly shooting that left 17 people dead at a Florida high school, but in Texas dozens of school districts already allow staff members to carry firearms.
Officials with the Texas Association of School Boards on Thursday told KSAT that they were aware of at least 172 school districts that let staff members carry firearms. Each district individually decides whether to allow staff to carry weapons, board spokeswoman Theresa Gage told the news station.
Under state and federal laws, schools are usually considered gun-free zones, but Texas law allows for districts to authorize employees to carry firearms under a pair of programs, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported.
The Guardian Plan, which allows for certain teachers to be designated as “guardians” who are allowed to carry concealed handguns, was created in 2007 as schools were reeling in the wake of a shooting at Virginia Tech that left more than 30 people dead and nearly two dozen injured, Texas Monthly magazine reported in 2014.
Four years after the creation of the Guardian Plan, the state legislature passed the Protection of Texas Children Act. The act allows school districts to arm and train one employee as a school marshal for every 400 students, according to Texas Monthly.
Agua Dulce Independent School District Superintendent Wayne Kelly told the Caller-Times that his district chose to participate in the Guardian Plan starting in 2016. To participate in the program, teachers and staff members are required to undergo mental health evaluations and 80 hours of training by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, according to the newspaper.
"I feel like it would be good because there's a way to stop (school shooters)" under the Guardian and the School Marshal plans, Fabian Crossland, whose son is a kindergartner, told KSAT.
Still, the plans have their critics, including Texas State Teachers Association spokesman Clay Robison.
“It’s a bad idea. It’s always been a bad idea, and it will stay a bad idea,” Robison told the Dallas Morning News. “Teachers are there to teach, and they will protect their kids as the teachers did their best to do in Florida. Steps need to be taken to reduce the number of guns floating around in the hands of wrong people. Guns in the hands of teachers are not the solution. It’s a cop-out.”
Trump on Friday reiterated his call to allow certain teachers and school administrators to carry concealed weapons in school, arguing that such a move would prevent or drastically cut down on the carnage caused by school shootings.
He wrote Thursday on Twitter, “If a potential ‘sicko shooter’ knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school.”
....If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there...problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
“Why do we protect our airports, our banks, our government buildings, but not our school?” Trump asked Friday during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. “Our schools are essentially gun-free zones and that makes them very dangerous places.”
At #CPAC2018, Trump renews his call for "gun-adept" school staff to be armed: "When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones, it just puts our students in far more danger" https://t.co/K3rEyFsN7e https://t.co/kNnFYsQAXV— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 23, 2018
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 8:10 AM
— For nearly a decade, a Russian couple believed their infant son was dead. Instead, they discovered the child is alive; an “administrative mix-up” led to miscommunication.
In 2011, the couple, who live in Volgograd, were told by their doctor that their newborn boy would die within the week, The Independent reported. Believing that their time with him was coming to a close, the parents made the difficult decision of signing over their baby to the hospital.
Five days later the couple returned to reclaim their child. But hospital officials told them the boy had already died.
Seven years went by and the couple learned in a rather disturbing manner that there had been a miscommunication of information.
Russia’s Federal Bailiff Service seized a substantial amount of money from the mother’s bank account. When she questioned the move, she was told that she owed 230,000 rubles, which is just over $4,000, to a child care home. She was told the home had raised her son since his birth.
“It became clear that the married couple had been assured for all this time that the child was dead,” explained a spokesman for the bailiff service. “The parents, so unexpectedly aware of the ‘resurrection’ of their baby, immediately appealed to the court for the restoration of parental rights.”
The couple were able to restore their rights in November. They said that the final result of the ordeal “a gift from fate.”
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 11:59 AM
CLIFTON, Tenn. — Tennessee police acting on a tip last weekend thwarted a correction officer’s apparent plan to “shoot up” the church his estranged wife attended, officials said.
Daniel Vernon Toler, 35, of Huron, is jailed at the Wayne County Jail on weapons charges, according to Fox 17 News in Nashville. Toler is a jailer at South Central Correctional Center in Clifton.
Police, acting on the tip, approached Toler at work, where he was found to have an AR-15 assault rifle, two additional weapons and 1,500 rounds of ammunition in his vehicle, the news station reported. An AR-15 is the model of weapon used in the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and faculty members.
“This is what didn’t happen in Florida,” Brent Cooper, district attorney for Tennessee’s 22nd Judicial District, told Fox 17. “Law enforcement listened to a tip and a potential tragedy was avoided.”
In a news release shared on Facebook, officials stated that the tip was fielded by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, whose investigators passed the information to the Clifton Police Department because that was where Toler was employed.
Clifton investigators found Toler at work Sunday morning and, upon searching his vehicle, found the AR-15, an assault-style shotgun and a .17-caliber bolt-action rifle. An arrest warrant in the case stated that the AR-15 had a round in the chamber.
There were also multiple extra, loaded magazines for the assault rifle.
When questioned, Toler told detectives he planned to potentially carry out the shooting when he got off work that evening, the news release said.
“There were no specifics how it was going to be done, but (Toler) said the report was credible and that the threat would be possibly carried out after he got off work, which would have been Sunday evening,” Doug Kibbey, Clifton city manager, said in the news release.
Fox 17 reported that the apparent target was Emanuel Baptist Church in Huron. The head of the church’s security team told the news station that Henderson County sheriff’s deputies call him and warned that Toler had threatened to “shoot up a church and kill himself.”
Toler and his wife, who is a member of the church, are divorcing, the news station said.
Kibbey said in the news release that he has “the best officers in the state.” Cooper also praised Clifton police officers, particularly Investigator Steve Wilson, who handled the Toler case.
“It is a very good chance that Officer Wilson’s quick, thorough response saved a lot of lives,” Cooper said.
Kibbey said the quickness of the joint effort by investigators in Henderson County, Clifton and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is assisting in the case, was “paramount” in getting Toler into custody.
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:39 PM
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The opioid epidemic in the U.S. has claimed millions of victims and has spread into even remote corners of American society.
While critics have accused states and the federal government of being slow to act in addressing the crisis, there has been a recent spotlight on the pharmaceutical companies’ role in the epidemic, and Kentucky, in particular, is taking steps to try to protect babies born to drug-addicted mothers.
A new bill in the state’s Legislature would terminate the parental rights of mothers of babies born addicted to drugs, classifying the newborns as “addicted and abused at birth,” according to The Associated Press. The new mothers would lose their babies unless they are enrolled in drug treatment programs. The state would be required to begin the process of terminating parental rights within 60 days of the birth of a drug-addicted baby.
The Republican Kentucky House Majority Caucus Chairman David Meade introduced House Bill 1 to address extensive problems in the state’s adoption and foster care system, the website KYForward.com reported, but he also included an effort to try to address the opioid crisis, which has hit the Bluegrass state hard.
“Many issues have led to the epidemic of children lingering in the state system, including an oversized bureaucracy, the opioid epidemic, and a lack of attention in the past to these issues. House Bill 1 is the first step in putting Kentucky on a different track for adoption and foster care, and truly putting children and families first,” Meade said, according to KYForward.com.
The legislation, which was unanimously approved Thursday and is now headed to the House floor for debate, has bipartisan support among lawmakers.