Deployed troops will be able to watch NFL playoff games

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 8:42 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 10:03 AM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

UPDATE, 10:03 a.m. 1/21/2018: Despite the shutdown of the United States government early Saturday, the NFL announced Sunday morning that the Armed Forces Network will  air the AFC and NFC Championship games.

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The NFL also said it is providing free access to the games via NFL Game Pass to all USO centers.

Meanwhile, Congress is back at work Sunday, attempting to create a deal to end the shutdown. 

ORIGINAL STORY: As a result of lawmakers failing to resolve a standoff over immigration and spending, the United States government has been shut down indefinitely – meaning everyone has been affected, including troops overseas.

>> Watch the news report here

There is a lot of fallout from the shutdown. From government employees who aren't being paid, including the Defense Department, to the Armed Forces Network being taken off the air, the effects of a standstill government can be felt across the board.

Since the AFN has been taken off the air, that means many of our troops overseas won't be able to watch the NFL playoffs Sunday

Surely it's not the biggest issue surrounding a government shutdown, but it's a big morale issue. 

>> Trump campaign ad calls Democrats 'complicit' in killings by undocumented immigrants

Watching the Patriots on the Armed Forces Network has been a comforting piece of home for army Sgt. Matt Connolly, who's serving in South Korea.

"It's kind of the only thing we can do for fun over here," Connolly told WFXT.

For the first time since he's been stationed in Korea, his family came to visit him for the AFC Championship game.

"I'm actually on leave right now. My family from Boston is here right now and we were looking forward to watching the game," Connolly said.

With no one to run it, AFN is off the air. 

>> John Legend blames Trump for government shutdown, calls him racist

The NFL says it is providing free access to Sunday's Championships via the NFL Game Pass to all USO centers.

"No matter what, I'm going to watch them," Connolly said.

Sen. Ed Markey says he's in a holding pattern right now as he says he and most of his colleagues are preparing to negotiate through the night – but it's still unclear if that will be an option.

Immigration issues are at the center of the shutdown. Many Republicans don't want to negotiate on those issues until a spending bill is passed and the government re-opens.

However, those immigration issues – including the DREAMERS Act – are a priority for many Democrats. 

Markey told WFXT that he believes everyone needs to continue working to find some sort of compromise, and he wants President Donald Trump to take the lead.

"Bill Belichick is telling the New England Patriots for tomorrow, 'Do your job,' and we are saying to President Trump for tomorrow, 'Do your job, Mr. President. Make sure that the funding is there for our troops. Make sure that our defense is taken care of, but make sure that we also protect child health and the Dreamers,' but thus far he's been unwilling to do his job," Markey said.

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Indiana couple finds bobcat sleeping on front porch

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 1:22 AM

A bobcat (not pictured) was found sleeping on a couple's front porch in  Georgetown, Indiana. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images/Getty Images
A bobcat (not pictured) was found sleeping on a couple's front porch in Georgetown, Indiana. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)(Sam Greenwood/Getty Images/Getty Images)

A family in Georgetown, Indiana, said they walked on their front porch to find a bobcat sleeping on a chair.

WAVE reported that Donna and Ray Singleton, the owners of the home, walked out onto the porch around 7:30 a.m. Monday. 

“I looked at it and I thought, ‘That is the biggest cat I have ever seen,’” Donna Singleton told WDRB. “It was very, very beautiful.”

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They left the home for four hours and the big cat hadn’t moved.

“My husband, Ray, said, ‘I think that's a bobcat.’ With that, we got in the car, came back at 11:30 and it’s still there,” Donna Singleton said.

Like Donna Singleton, neighbors began taking videos and photos of the bobcat.

According to WDRB, residents in the area suspect that the bobcat is a pet because it’s been seen in the area before. It’s also known that someone in the area owns a bobcat. With the proper permit, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources says it’s legal to own the big cat, according to WDRB.

The bobcat eventually woke and walked away. 

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Albania national deserts cruise ship, captured at Atlanta Amtrak station, feds say

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 10:58 PM

Atlanta U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents escort Gentian Kurdina, 23, after the Albanian national deserted his cruise ship in Louisiana and boarded a train bound for New York City.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Atlanta U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents escort Gentian Kurdina, 23, after the Albanian national deserted his cruise ship in Louisiana and boarded a train bound for New York City.(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

An Albanian national was pulled off an Amtrak train in Atlanta days after he deserted his cruise ship while it was docked in the Port of New Orleans, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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A Carnival vessel agent notified the New Orleans customs office May 21 that cruise ship member Gentian Kurdina, 23, failed to return, the agency said.

New Orleans and Atlanta customs officers coordinated during the investigation and searched for the man.

He was boarding a train in Atlanta bound for New York City late Tuesday night when authorities took him into custody for removal from the U.S., according to officials.

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintains a high level of vigilance and works closely with a myriad of law enforcement partners as part of efforts to manage our borders," Steven Stavinoha, the director of the New Orleans Office of Field Operations, said in a statement.

>> Related: ICE will read license plates to find undocumented immigrants

"This is just the latest example of the men and women of CBP working hard every day to secure our borders and keep our nation safe."

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Release of child rapist with more than 100 victims on hold after appeal by attorney

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 10:27 PM

Wayne Chapman was convicted of molesting as many as 100 boys in the 1970s. Now he's due for release from prison after being deemed no longer sexually dangerous.
Massachuetts Department of Corrections
Wayne Chapman was convicted of molesting as many as 100 boys in the 1970s. Now he's due for release from prison after being deemed no longer sexually dangerous.(Massachuetts Department of Corrections)

The release of an admitted child rapist is on hold until Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court can review the decision to release him, according to attorney Wendy Murphy. 

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Murphy, who is also a victims' advocate, filed an appeal to Wayne Chapman's release Thursday. 

Chapman has admitted to molesting more than 100 boys and is the longtime suspect in the Andy Puglisi disappearance.

70-year-old Chapman has been behind bars since 1977, when he was convicted of raping young boys. He finished serving his sentence in 2004, but has been held as a sexually dangerous person for the last 14 years.

This week, the Department of Corrections said Chapman must be released after two qualified examiners recently found him no longer sexually dangerous. 

Under state law, the DOC ordered his release.

While in custody Chapman, with few exceptions, has consistently refused to take part in sex offender treatment.

Chapman's lawyer told Boston 25 News that his client is ill and will likely never be able to leave the hospital. 

Earlier this year, Chapman filed a petition for release from civil commitment, arguing he is no longer sexually dangerous. Chapman has had several of these public hearings before single judges and juries, and he lost each time.

>> Related: Convicted child rapist Wayne Chapman no longer a threat, state determines

The most recent decision was January 2016, when a jury found Chapman still sexually dangerous.

In preparation for the upcoming hearing scheduled for July, two "qualified examiners" met with Chapman and found him no longer sexually dangerous. Under a 2009 SJC decision, once that happens, release is mandated.

Murphy's appeal alleged that procedure was not correctly followed. Murphy also said the SJC is asking Department of Corrections, the Attorney General's office, the District Attorney and Chapman's lawyer to respond to the appeal by next Wednesday. 

Murphy said the victims are relieved, grateful, and optimistic that Chapman's release has been delayed.

>> Related: Lawyer: Wayne Chapman's undisclosed medical condition requires daily attention

Governor Charlie Baker's Office sent Boston 25 News the following statement:

“Governor Baker believes anyone with Wayne Chapman’s history of convictions should not be released from prison, the Legislature should review the state laws that led to his release so that the victims of such horrible crimes are protected in the future, and supports the SJC’s decision to review this case.”

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Man allegedly tried to force woman into his truck — then her dog bit him

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 10:18 PM

(File photo)
(File photo)

Authorities in Coweta County, Georgia, are searching for a “suspicious” man they say attempted to get a woman to get in his truck Monday.

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The man allegedly approached the woman while she was walking her dog near the Timberidge neighborhood on North Ga. 29 when a black Dodge Ram pickup approached her, according to a news release by the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.

The man offered the woman a ride, and after she refused, he got out of his vehicle and approached her, the release said.

The woman’s dog bit him before he returned to his truck and left, the release said. 

The man was described as around 50 to 60 years old and wearing an Atlanta Braves baseball cap, the release said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the case investigator at 678-423-6708.

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