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Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 1:00 PM
— Less than a week ago, residents in 22 states were panicking over the possibility that their state-issued ID cards would be insufficient to access domestic flights. 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.
A report earlier this week named 22 states that would face conflict next year for not providing standard ID cards to residents that are compliant with the REAL ID Act. Officials with the Transportation Security Administration were instructed to allow only travelers with REAL ID-compliant identification through airport security and onto domestic flights in the U.S. starting Jan. 22, 2018.
Twenty-seven states currently provide residents with standard, compliant IDs. Residents in the remaining states were to obtain passports, enhanced driver’s licenses and other forms of acceptable identification if they wished to travel within the country and abroad.
But 16 states were granted extensions Wednesday, meaning states have more time to craft, fund and offer compliant IDs to their residents.
The following states were granted an extension until Oct. 10, 2018:
Virginia was granted the same extension last week.
The remaining states are still under review for a renewed extension to REAL ID enforcement:
Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 in an effort to strengthen identification rules at airports. The 9/11 Commission recommended it to the federal government to set standards for how IDs –- such as driver’s licenses -– are issued.
The act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses. Under the law, state driver's licenses and ID cards have to be issued only to people who can prove they are legally living in the United States. If state licenses don’t meet the standards, then federal agencies -– such as the TSA -- will not accept them.
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.
Ashli Blow contributed to this report.
Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @ 3:43 AM
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga.
— The scene was strange from the start.
DeKalb County, Georgia, police got a call Friday about a stolen Honda Fit spotted at Serenade Apartments on Flat Shoals Parkway. While officers looked over it and other suspected stolen cars parked nearby, someone kept pressing the clicker: locked, unlocked, locked, unlocked.
Police say they confirmed two were stolen and they staked out a third to see who would drive it, according to an incident report.
They soon spotted Tristahn Ash, 20, get behind the wheel of the 2015 Infiniti QX80, valued at $42,111, the report said. Police pulled him over on Flat Shoals Parkway near Columbia Drive, but he allegedly ran, only to be caught a few hundred feet away.
That’s when he allegedly tried to bribe an officer to let him go.
“Officer, my money is long. I got 20 bands ($20,000),” the report quotes him saying. “If you help me, I can help you.”
The officer thought he was joking until Ash reportedly asked to speak to a detective on scene. The officer listened as they spoke and then heard the detective exclaim: “You trying to bribe me? Oh, no, buddy, that’s another charge.”
Warrants allege Ash offered the detective $10,000 to $15,000.
Police determined the Infiniti was stolen out of Clayton County and confiscated it, along with a handgun, 39 grams of marijuana and a scale.
Possessing the gun was a violation of Ash’s probation from a Fulton County case in which he received a stolen car, the report said.
In DeKalb, he faces charges of bribery, theft by receiving, possessing a car with an altered VIN and more.
Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @ 1:24 AM
The chain has announced that it’s rolling out its popular brown bread to grocery stores nationwide. The bread will be available to customers for purchase in three different forms: an eight-pack of heat-and-serve dinner rolls, a two-pack with mini baguettes or pre-sliced sandwich loaves.
The rolls and baguettes have a suggested price of $3.49, while the sandwich loaves are listed for $4.49.
The bread made from whole wheat flour is similar in calorie count to bread from other brands, coming in at just 110 calories per dinner roll and 80 calories per loaf slice.
People who have tried it reportedly have confirmed that it’s just as soft, chewy and slightly sweet as it is when you visit the Cheesecake Factory – just heat up the rolls or baguettes in the oven for five minutes at 350 degrees. Once they’re done, top them with butter or your favorite spread to add flavor.
Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:50 PM
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A federal judge ruled Tuesday on what evidence will and will not be allowed in the Noor Salman trial.
Salman is the wife of Omar Mateen, who authorities have said killed 49 people and injured more than 100 at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016. Mateen was killed by police the night of the shooting.
Prosecutors believe Salman knew about the planned attack, came up with a cover story and did nothing to stop the shooting.
Salman faces charges of aiding a former terrorist organization and obstruction of justice.
Judge Paul Byron ruled evidence that involves police body-camera video and surveillance video from inside the nightclub will be allowed in court.
The surveillance video shows Mateen walking around the club with a gun.
The evidence also included cellphone video inside a restroom where Mateen fired at several victims and survivors. In the video, multiple rounds of rapid gunfire can be heard.
Body-camera video from officers showed law enforcement outside of the club giving medical attention to gunshot victims.
Byron ruled last week that a terrorism expert will be allowed to testify about Mateen’s Facebook posts on the Islamic State group.
Salman’s trial is set to begin March 1.
Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 11:42 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-based Bank of America has eliminated a free checking account popular with lower-income customers.
The bank is now requiring customers to keep more money in their accounts to avoid a $12 monthly fee.
A national petition on change.org has more than 52,000 signatures from people begging the bank not to end its free checking accounts.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the bank switched its e-banking customers into the new accounts this month.
E-checking, which launched in 2010, had a monthly fee of $8.95, but customers could avoid the fee by using online banking and not using a teller.
Now, those customers will have to pay a $12 monthly fee unless they maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $1,500 or make a direct deposit of $250 or more.
Jessica Wassman said her boyfriend just learned about Bank of America’s plan to end its e-checking accounts and transfer those customers to core checking accounts.
"It did seem a little unfair,” Wassman said. “If you don't make a certain amount of money, you get penalized for it. It was a little insulting. The cost of living is going up, but poverty is still big and people can't afford simple things.”
Economist John Connaughton said checking accounts cost banks money and, with the economy improving, said customers can expect higher bank fees.