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Officers go above and beyond for mother of three caught stealing food

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 11:28 AM

Officers Help Mother Caught Stealing Food

Two police officers in North Carolina went above and beyond for a mother who was caught shoplifting.

Senior Cpl. Keith Bradshaw and Officer Candace Spragins, of the Hillsborough Police Department, were called to a local Food Lion on November 4.

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Employees told them they copied down a woman’s license plate number after witnessing her stealing food.

When they responded to the home of Theresa West, the officers were taken aback by her story.

West, the mother of three adopted children, told WRAL the family had gone three days without food before she shoplifted from the grocery store.

She said after failed attempts at getting help from local churches and organizations, she didn’t know what else to do. “I had to go out and steal food, and that’s desperate, and I’m sorry for doing what I did but my kids were hungry,” she said.

West gave the officers back the $36 worth of stolen food, and although the officers ultimately had to “criminally charge her with the theft,” they decided to do something to help her.

They went back to the store and bought West and her family $140 worth of groceries. On Facebook, officials with the department wrote, “Sometimes police work is not cut and dry. We are people first and cops second.”

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Over 170 Texas school districts allow staff to be armed

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 5:16 PM



Scott Olson/Getty Images
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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.

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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.

>> Related: Teachers to Trump: #ArmMeWith funding, supplies and resources, not guns

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.

>> Related: Some Ohio school districts arm staff, but don't tell public

"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.”

>> Related: Florida Gov. Rick Scott calls for reform to state's gun laws, increase in school security

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.”

“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.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, schools currently allow staff members to carry guns on campuses in about two dozen states.

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A decade later, Russian couple discover their dead infant son is actually alive

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 8:10 AM

Russian Parents Discover Their Dead Infant is Alive Nearly Ten Years Later

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.

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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.”

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Police: TN jailer had 3 weapons, 1,500 rounds of ammo in plan to ‘shoot up’ church

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 11:59 AM

TN Jailer Planned To ‘Shoot Up’ Church, Had 3 Weapons, 1,500 Rounds Police Say

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.”

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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.

“This could have ended in a bad way,” Kibbey said

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Kentucky bill would terminate parental rights of babies born to drug-addicted mothers

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:39 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

The opioid epidemic in the U.S. has claimed millions of victims and has spread into even remote corners of American society. 

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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.

>> Related: Pregnant inmates have local jails scrambling to provide care

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.

>> Related: Kentucky teacher arrested after allegedly snorting crushed pill in class

The legislation, which was unanimously approved Thursday and is now headed to the House floor for debate, has bipartisan support among lawmakers. 

Gaylord Lopez, a doctor of pharmacy and director of the Georgia Poison Center, shares a few facts about the opioid epidemic in Georgia and around the nation. An investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that opioid-related overdoses in the state of Georgia claimed the lives of 982 people last year. The AJC also found that doctors aren't being held accountable when they behave more like dealers than healers. Video by Ryon Horne, Carrie Teegardin and Curtis Compton

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