Seattle Seahawk who sat during national anthem meets with veterans

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 5:17 PM

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 10:  Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks sits on the bench during the national anthem prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 10: Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks sits on the bench during the national anthem prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett – who sat during the national anthem for weeks – shook hands with military veterans outside the team’s practice space this week, as photos on social media show. 

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Dayna Mink Coats wrote on Facebook that when driving near the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington on Tuesday, she saw a parked car in the middle of the road. 

“I thought it might be a car accident so I snapped a picture. As I got closer, I realized it was group of military veterans who had assembled in front of the VMAC,” Coats wrote. “Mostly all seniors who had probably seen the battlefield firsthand. They were proudly wearing their veteran’s hats, jackets and some carried American flags. The car in the middle of the road … it was Michael Bennett’s.” 

Coats said as she drove by the veterans and Bennett shaking hands, she became emotional. So she pulled over in tears.

“A few of the veterans came over to see if I was OK and behind them walked up Michael Bennett,” Coats wrote. “I was unprepared and not expecting this situation in my morning. But with eyes welled up with tears and speaking from my heart … I simply said, ‘Michael, I am so torn and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to disrespect our country, our flag or my husband who’s in the military but I want to understand. I’m a big Seahawks fan and I don’t know what to do.’ He reached in and hugged me.”

They talked for nearly 20 minutes, and Bennett explained how he had family in the military too. His father served 10 years in the U.S. Navy.

“The word unity was used several times and he admitted he didn’t know where to go from here. I do not know either,” Coats wrote. “Nor do I know what the correct answers are … but I do know, I am thankful for those veterans and thankful Michael stopped to talk with them … and inadvertently me.” 

About Bennett as an advocate 

Bennett is one of the 200 NFL players who didn’t participate in the national anthem over the weekend in the wake of President Donald Trump suggesting the NFL bar players from kneeling in protest. 

The entire Seahawks team also didn’t participate during the anthem and waitedin the locker room before their game against the Tennessee Titans. 

Over the last year, Bennett has been a leader of the national anthem protests started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Before Trump’s comments on the NFL, Bennett gave this reason for his protesting: 

“I have always held the strong conviction that protesting or standing up for justice is just simply the right thing to do. This fact is unequivocally, without question, why before every game, I sit during the national anthem – because equality doesn’t live in this country, and no matter how much money you make, what job title you have or have much you give, when you are seen as a ‘n*****,' you will be treated that way."

Pete Carroll supports his players and Bennett. At a news conference Monday, Carroll told reporters he understands why people are upset with the protests, but he hopes that they listen. 

"It is not about denigration of the flag or our country," Carroll said. "We all can learn what we want to learn out of this, but I hope we learn about empathy."

New study finds ‘alarming’ 76 percent decline in insect populations

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 5:16 PM

Ants (Photo by Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images)
Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images
Ants (Photo by Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images)(Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images)

Insects are in serious danger. Insect populations have decreased by about 76 percent in nearly 30 years, according to a new study.

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Researchers from Germany recently conducted an experiment, published in PLOS One, to determine how much populations had declined and why. 

To do so, they measured the total flying insect biomass, the weight of the insect catch, by using tent-like nets called Malaise traps. Those were deployed in 63 nature protection areas in Germany over the course of 27 years. 

After analyzing the results, they found that flying insect biomass had decreased by 76 percent and up to 82 percent in the summers during the time of the study.

In fact, the scientists say their findings suggest “the entire flying insect community has been decimated over the last few decades,” the study read. 

Scientists noted the drop occurred regardless of the habitat type, but changes in weather, land use and habitat characteristic were not the reason.

»RELATED: Can this plastic-eating bug save our planet? 

Despite the unknown explanation, researchers say the dip is “alarming” as the disappearance of “field margins and new crop protection” have both been associated with insect decline.

“Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services,” the study read. 

That’s why researchers hope to continue their studies to pinpoint the exact cause and ways to prevent it. 

“There is an urgent need to uncover the causes of this decline,” the study said, “its geographical extent, and to understand the ramifications of the decline for ecosystems and ecosystem services.”

Florida teacher accused of having sex with girl, 15, multiple times at school

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 4:50 PM

Jaclyn Truman, a 30-year-old substitute teacher, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.
Seminole County Sheriff's Office
Jaclyn Truman, a 30-year-old substitute teacher, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.(Seminole County Sheriff's Office)

An Oviedo, Florida, teacher who is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl was arrested Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bob Kealing said Jaclyn Truman, 30, had sexual contact last year with a 15-year-old Paul J. Hagerty High School student multiple times at school.

“Investigators conducted a recorded interview with Truman, who is cooperating with the investigation,” Kealing said.

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The victim told investigators that the two had sexual encounters five to 10 times from March to May 2016, an arrest report said.

Seminole County Public Schools spokesman Michael Lawrence said Truman worked at the school as a long-term substitute teacher at the time of the alleged relations.

Lawrence said Truman most recently worked at Lake Howell High School, but she was placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 4 after the alleged incident was reported to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Lawrence said Truman had a clean record and no reports of prior incidents. He said the school district performed background checks on her before hiring her as a full-time teacher.

"During that time frame, the teacher had already turned in (her) resignation to the district, which actually was effective and final yesterday," Lawrence said. "Therefore, this individual is no longer an employee of SCPS."

Deputies said Truman surrendered Thursday at the Sheriff's Office. She was booked into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility on two counts of lewd acts on a minor. A judge set her bond at $40,000.

Deputies said they’re looking into the possibility that Truman has other victims. Anyone with information about other possible incidents is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 407-665-6650.

Family’s dog thought to be euthanized turns up at former vet employee’s house

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:46 PM

Dog Thought To Be Euthanized Found At Former Vet Tech’s House

The Levys grieved twice for Caesar.

The family’s beloved miniature pinscher suffered from chronic health conditions and was taken to the Briarwood Veterinary Hospital to be euthanized, according to The Star-Ledger.

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However, five months later the family got an anonymous tip that the dog was still alive and living with the vet technician.

"You charge me to put him down and then sneak him out the back door? It's horrifying," Lonnie Levy told WPVI. “I'm dumbfounded. I don't even know how to say, I don't know how to feel.”

Police got involved and told the vet tech to return the dog. During the time he was with the tech, Caesar had no treatments for his Cushing's disease, a condition which continued to worsen, according to The Star-Ledger. Caesar lost 10 pounds and was so ill he had to be euthanized.

The veterinarian and the technician no longer work at the clinic. A veterinarian bought the practice last week and helped the Levys recover Caesar and spend some time with him before he was euthanized. 

"It's hard enough when you have to decide a pet should pass, but you have to deal with that twice with the same pet? It's just unthinkable," Dr. Maureen Kibisz, who bought the clinic, told WPVI.

The Levys were refunded the $192 for the procedure that was not performed. 

Police and the Monmouth County SPCA said the investigation is ongoing and could lead to theft and animal cruelty charges.

Here’s why travelers from 22 states could face conflict with domestic flights in 2018

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 10:45 AM

Travelers From More Than 22 States Could Face Conflict With Domestic Flights

Oct. 19, 1:30 p.m. ET -- UPDATE: 

Residents in 22 states were panicking earlier this week over the possibility that their state-issued ID cards would be insufficient to access domestic flights next year. Many thought they would need passports to travel between states.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has now approved requests for an extension, granting 17 states more time to provide appropriate, REAL ID-compliant identification for residents.

>> Read more trending news 

Twenty-seven states currently provide residents with standard, compliant IDs. Seventeen states were granted an extension until Oct. 10, 2018.

>> Which states do not provide REAL ID-compliant IDs? Read more: 17 states granted extension for REAL ID compliance; Driver's license OK for domestic travel 

ORIGINAL STORY:

The deadline is approaching for nearly two dozen states that have yet to update state IDs in compliance with the REAL ID Act, which was passed in 2005.

As a result, residents in those states may have to present a valid U.S. passport or other identification -- instead of previously used driver’s licenses or IDs -- to travel within the U.S. and beyond. 

Travelers who live in the following states could be affected: 

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina 
  • Washington

Residents of Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands could also be affected, as could those from Virginia.

The REAL ID Act, which “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, ... established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the act’s minimum standards,” according to the Department of Homeland Security. The act came after 9/11 as an effort to ensure safer travel within the U.S. 

According to consumer expert Clark Howard, despite the fact that Congress passed the act more than 10 years ago, enforcement of the new regulations wasn’t pushed until 2013.

Twenty-six states have provided residents with federally compliant driver’s licenses or IDs. 

For those that have not, beginning Jan. 22, other forms of identification that will be accepted by Transportation Security Administration at airports for travelers living in the above listed states will be a permanent resident card/green card or a military ID. Other forms of acceptable identification are listed on the official TSA website.

Those who visit airports starting Jan. 22 without acceptable identification will not be allowed through airport security.

Some states have started working to provide residents with other forms of federally approved identification that would allow travelers to avoid ordering a passport for domestic travel, Forbes reported. For example, those in Washington have the option to apply for enhanced driver’s licenses, which adhere to the REAL ID Act specifications but cost significantly more than regular IDs.

Travelers are encouraged to check with local government officials for any potential options. 

Some of the states under review are scrambling to update state IDs to meet compliance standards in the next three months, and others have requested REAL ID compliance extensions from the Department of Homeland Security. Virginia residents have been granted an extension for REAL ID enforcement until Oct. 10, 2018. Budget shortages have delayed some states, including Oklahoma, from making the ID updates. 

Despite all extensions, there is a hard deadline for states to require compliant REAL IDs: Oct. 1, 2020.

“There are no anticipated changes to the enforcement schedule, and we are tracking that by 2020, 15 years after this act has been passed, that DHS will require that all states are compliant with Real ID as per federal law,” DHS spokeswoman Justine Whelan said, according to The Washington Post

“It is a critically important 9/11 Commission recommendation that others have been willing to ignore, but I will not,” John Kelly, President Donald Trump’s former homeland security secretary and current chief of staff, said in June. “I will ensure it is implemented on schedule -- with no extension -- for states that are not taking it seriously.”

Those who live in one of the states that do not have TSA-compliant IDs may want to consider ordering a passport sooner rather than later. It generally takes four to six weeks to process passport orders, according to the Department of State.

Read more here and here.

A previous version of this story reported travelers in nine states would potentially need passports or other forms of identification for domestic flights in 2018.