Flooding unearths coffins in South Carolina

Published: Monday, October 05, 2015 @ 8:29 AM
Updated: Monday, October 05, 2015 @ 8:43 AM

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Historic flooding is having a disturbing result in South Carolina cemeteries.

Floodwaters are causing caskets to be unearthed.

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At least two coffins floated this weekend at Springfield Cemetery in Orangeburg, S.C., WJBF reported.

The rainfall and water have saturated the ground. The pressure pushes the coffins to the surface.

It isn't only shocking to see the final resting places of the departed disturbed; it can also be a health risk.

The water can spread the chemicals used in embalming, Mashable reported.

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Bliss and Goodfellow: Which military bases will build camps to hold immigrants? 

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 2:36 PM

What You Need to Know: 'Zero Tolerance' Immigration Policy

The Pentagon announced on Monday that two bases in Texas will be building temporary housing for immigrants illegally crossing the country’s southern border.

Goodfellow Air Force Base and the Army’s Fort Bliss were chosen by the Department of Defense to house immigrants. According to the Pentagon, one base will house unaccompanied children while the other will host families.

Defense Secretary James Mattis told The Associated Press Sunday that the Pentagon is preparing to build temporary housing for migrants at two U.S. military bases. Mattis said that plans for the housing were already in the works, but he would not name which two bases would be hosting temporary camps for immigrants.

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The Pentagon said last week that officials at HHS requested housing for children at military installations “for occupancy as early as July through December 31, 2018.” A spokesman for the DOD said the department would make available space on military bases for as many as 20,000 migrant children.

The call for housing comes amid a backlash over the Trump Administration policy of “zero tolerance” for those coming into the country illegally. Under the zero-tolerance policy, any adult “believed to have committed any crime, including illegal entry,” is referred to the Justice Department for prosecution. Any child accompanying an adult entering the country illegally would be sent to a detention center, separated from the parent or guardian who would be sent to jail. 

Video footage of separated children along with an audiotape of children crying for their parents sparked outrage over the policy.

Last week, Trump signed an executive order that said that from that point on, migrant families would be housed together, and reiterated the call for military bases to find space for facilities to house families.

Trump’s executive order called for the Department of Defense to “take all legally available measures” to provide the Department of Homeland Security with “any existing facilities available for the housing and care of alien families,” according to The Washington Post.

The Pentagon was also tasked with the construction of facilities “if necessary and consistent with law.”

HHS, the department that takes custody of “unattended” immigrant children, has toured facilities on four military bases to assess whether they would meet their needs for housing children. The bases are Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas, and Dyess Air Force Base, Goodfellow Air Force Base and Fort Bliss in Texas.

Time magazine is reporting that the U.S. Navy is ready to construct detention centers that would house more than 100,000 immigrants.

The centers – said to be tent cities and described as “temporary and austere” – are being considered for air fields in Alabama, Arizona and California that are no longer in regular use by the Navy. 

According to the internal draft memo obtained by TIME, the centers will be designed to last between six months and a year. They would be built at Navy Outlying Field Wolf in Orange Beach, Alabama, and nearby Navy Outlying Field Silverhill in Silverhill, Alabama, as well as at Naval Weapons Station Concord, near San Francisco, and Camp Pendleton in Southern California. Marine Corps Air Station Yuma (Arizona), is also being considered, according to the memo.

The memo said that the Navy would spend about $233 million to construct and operate each facility for 25,000 people for a six-month time period. 

Here is a look at the two bases:

Goodfellow Air Force Base

  • Goodfellow Air Force Base is located in San Angelo, Texas, which is in Tom Green County in central Texas, four hours northwest of San Antonio.
  • It is the home of the 17th Training Wing.
  • Air Education and Training Command was established and activated there in January 1942, making it the second-oldest major command in the Air Force.
  • Goodfellow hosts cryptologic and intelligence training for all branches of the military.
  • In addition, military firefighters are trained at Goodfellow as part of the 312th Training Squadron. 
  • The 217th Training Squadron of the Texas Air National Guard is hosted at the base, as is the Army’s 344th Military Intelligence Batallion.
  • The base sits on 1,235 acres. It has a population of about 5,500, half of whom are students.

Fort Bliss

  • Fort Bliss is a United States Army post that takes in land in both New Mexico and Texas.
  • It has an area of about 1,700 square miles and is the largest installation in the United States Army Forces Command.
  • Fort Bliss has the largest contiguous tract -- 1,500 square miles -- of restricted airspace in the continental United States.
  • The base is used for missile and artillery training and testing.
  • Fort Bliss is home to the 1st Armored Division and is supported by the 15th Sustainment Brigade. The installation is also home to the 32nd Army Air & Missile Defense Command, the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, the 212th Fires Brigade and the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade.
  • The post is also the headquarters for the El Paso Intelligence Center, a federal tactical operational intelligence center.

A transport officer, right, helps immigrants Dilma Araceley Riveria Hernandez, and her son, Anderson Alvarado, 2, get off the bus after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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Cop fired for detaining daughter and her black boyfriend, ignoring real call for help

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 2:25 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

An Ohio police officer has been fired for abusing his authority by detaining his daughter and her black boyfriend, all while a legitimate call for help went unanswered, police officials said. 

John Kovach Jr., who is white, was fired May 11 after an internal investigation determined he had violated multiple sections of the Lorain Police Department’s standards of conduct, as well as the department’s policy and procedures, the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reported. Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will is also reviewing the case to determine if Kovach will face criminal charges. 

“These actions are not acceptable for members of our police department and we felt it warranted immediate dismissal,” Dan Given, safety-service director for the city of Lorain, told the newspaper

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Lorain, a city of just under 65,000 people, is located about 30 miles west of Cleveland on Lake Erie. 

Dashboard camera footage shows the April 16 traffic stop that Kovach conducted on Makai Coleman, the 18-year-old dating Kovach’s daughter, Katlyn Kovach. She is also 18 years old, the Chronicle-Telegram reported

Kovach, a 26-year veteran officer, tells Coleman to get out of the car because he’s “going to jail,” according to the video, which was obtained by the Chronicle-Telegram

Coleman asks the police officer why he is being arrested. 

“Have a seat in my car,” Kovach responds. “We’ll make (expletive) up as we go.”

See the dashboard camera recording from Kovach’s patrol car below. Warning: The video contains some graphic language. 

Once Coleman is in the police cruiser, one of the passengers gets out of the stopped vehicle. 

“Did I tell you to get out of the car?” Kovach asks. 

Off camera, but while still being recorded, Kovach approaches a woman who lives nearby, who the Chronicle-Telegram identified as Gloria Morales. Morales’ children are two of the passengers in Coleman’s car. 

Unbeknownst to Kovach, his daughter is the third passenger. 

“My daughter in there?” Kovach is heard asking Morales, who tells him the girl isn’t in her home. “Why is her computer there?”

Morales offers to let him check inside the house for his daughter. 

Kovach doesn’t believe her. 

“If I check and you’re lying to me, you’re going to jail,” Kovach tells Morales

As he and Morales argue, Kovach tells her “that boy” was harboring his daughter, who he heard was suicidal. He then tells Morales her daughter will get a $300 ticket for failure to wear a seat belt. 

Morales tells Kovach to come back with a search warrant if he wants to enter her home. 

“That’s fine. I will,” he responds. 

After a brief silence, he is heard off camera telling Morales’ daughter she is getting a ticket.

“I had my seat belt on,” the girl says. 

“No, you didn’t,” he says. “You can go to court, then.”

Morales steps into the camera frame, telling Kovach that she and her children will tell the judge about his behavior when they fight the ticket. 

Kovach accuses her of being disorderly. 

“How am I being disorderly?” Morales asks. “You’re making this personal. You want to ticket my daughter because you think your daughter is in my house.”

As the argument continues, Morales accuses Kovach of using department time and resources to look for his daughter. She tells Kovach she is calling 911 to report him. 

“Call 911, you’re going to jail,” Kovach tells her

Former Lorain, Ohio police Officer John Kovach is pictured in 2014. Kovach was fired May 11, 2018, following an internal investigation into a traffic stop of his daughter's 18-year-old boyfriend.(Lorain Police Department)

The angry officer tells Morales’ children to go inside with their mother. It is at that point that he spots his own daughter sitting in the back seat of Coleman’s car. 

“I didn’t even see you. Get out of the car. Get in my car,” he tells his daughter. 

He opens the rear door of the patrol car.

“Goodbye,” he tells Coleman repeatedly as he orders his daughter into the cruiser.

“You can’t take me. I’m 18,” Katlyn Kovach tells her father. 

Coleman tells the girl she can get back in his car with him, but John Kovach tells her, “No, you are not.”

“Why are you taking me?” an increasingly panicked-sounding Katlyn Kovach asks her father. “Why are you taking me? You have to give me a reason, by law.”

She begins screaming and crying as her father pushes her into the back seat of the patrol car.  

Coleman, who initially walked back to his car, returns and asks John Kovach why he is taking his daughter. 

“Why are you putting her in the car?” Coleman asks. 

“She was suicidal yesterday,” the officer responds. 

“I was not,” Katlyn Kovach responds. “You weren’t even with me yesterday.”

The argument continues for a few moments, at which point John Kovach says his daughter is going to the hospital. The camera footage eventually shows the patrol car driving away, Katlyn Kovach still in the back seat.

While the argument with his daughter was going on, a call came in for a road rage incident elsewhere in the city. The dashboard footage shows that Kovach, who was nearby, ignored the call. 

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The Chronicle-Telegram reported that documents from the internal investigation indicate Kovach lied multiple times to the detectives conducting the internal investigation, which was prompted after Morales called 911. 

Kovach told internal investigators that he pulled Coleman’s car over after spotting him driving at a high rate of speed. He also claimed the car almost struck his patrol vehicle, the newspaper reported.

The dashboard footage shows Coleman driving at a normal rate of speed into the Morales family’s neighborhood. It also shows that Kovach did not inform dispatchers before initiating the traffic stop. 

The Chronicle-Telegram reported that Kovach, when questioned about the missed road rage call, told investigators that he called the officer at that scene after receiving the dispatch information and learned he was not needed. Lt. Ed Super, one of the men conducting the internal investigation, pointed out that the dashcam footage does not substantiate Kovach’s claim. 

Lt. Dan Smith wrote in a complaint against Kovach that he talked to both Coleman and Coleman’s mother about the incident. According to the documents, the teen told the lieutenant that Kovach called him the week before the traffic stop and threatened to take out warrants against him.

Kovach also threatened to go to Coleman’s U.S. Army recruiter and stop the teen’s enlistment, Coleman told Smith. According to his Facebook page, Coleman started basic training in May.

Smith wrote that Kovach told him he didn’t think Coleman was a good person because he had previously been arrested on a marijuana charge, the newspaper reported. The officer said his daughter was staying with Coleman against her parents’ wishes.

Kovach also claimed that his ex-wife told him she had seen a Facebook post on Coleman’s page in which the teen said he was going to pimp out their daughter to make money. The ex-wife later told investigators she had no idea what Kovach was talking about. 

The girl’s mother did say, however, that she believed Kovach was trying to be a good father. She did “not want him to lose everything,” and said that she and her ex-husband did have concerns about their daughter’s relationship, the documents said

Kovach was placed on leave less than four hours after the traffic stop, the Chronicle-Telegram reported. He was ultimately disciplined for initiating the traffic stop without cause, for threatening to arrest Morales and for placing Coleman in custody and saying he would make up charges against him.

Kovach was also disciplined for failing to back up the other officer at the road rage incident, the newspaper reported. 

He is appealing his firing. Kyle Gelenius, president of the Lorain Fraternal Order of Police, said in a statement Friday that Kovach is appealing through the grievance process. 

Gelenius said that the appeal is based not on claims that Kovach’s behavior was appropriate, but on violations of the union’s standing contract that allegedly took place during the disciplinary process. He said union officials are “just as disturbed as anyone else” by what Kovach did. 

“Clearly, he acted outside of the purview of his duties as an officer of the law, which our city administration recognized and felt warranted termination,” Gelenius said in the statement. “We are equally concerned about the rights of our citizens to whom we are sworn to serve and protect. We do not condone nor praise John Kovach’s actions in this matter.”

It is still the union’s job to offer Kovach fair and neutral representation through the disciplinary and appeals process, Gelenius said.

“That is why we stated HE is looking forward to presenting his side to a neutral arbitrator,” Gelenius said. 

The arbitration hearing is scheduled for September, the Chronicle-Telegram reported

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders kicked out of Red Hen restaurant in Virginia on ‘moral’ grounds

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 12:52 PM
Updated: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 8:22 AM

Sarah Sanders Kicked Out of Virginia Restaurant

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she and seven members of her family were kicked out of The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia on Friday night.

TMZ first reported that the restaurant’s owner kicked out Sanders and her family out of “moral conviction.” 

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A waiter posted on Facebook that Sanders was in the restaurant for “a total of two minutes” before being asked to leave. The post has since been deleted.

 

Sanders confirmed the incident on Twitter.

“Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left,” Sanders tweeted Saturday. “Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”

 

Sanders’ father, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, tweeted his support, saying it was an act of “bigotry.”

 

The Red Hen’s Facebook and Yelp pages were bombarded with reviews from people from both sides.

While some praised the restaurant, many others said the owner was being “intolerant.”

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings said that Sanders should have been served, Politico reported.

“I think, as far as the restaurant incident, I think the restaurant owner should have served her,” Cummings told Politico. “I really do. But, this tone is horrible. But again I think President Trump has created this.”

President Trump did comment on the situation via Twitter Monday morning supporting Sanders, and focusing on the location itself, comparing its outside appearance to what happens on the inside. 

This comes after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen left a Washington, D.C. Mexican restaurant after protesters confronted her at her table -- with the blessing of the manager.

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'Pawn Stars' patriarch Richard Harrison, known as 'Old Man,' dead at 77

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 11:35 AM
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

‘Pawn Stars’ Richard Harrison Dead at 77

Richard Harrison, best known by his nickname "The Old Man" on History's "Pawn Stars," has died, family members confirmed Monday. He was 77.

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Richard Harrison’s son, Rick Harrison, confirmed the news Monday on social media.

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“He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad,” Rick Harrison wrote. “That I got to share him with so many others and they got to see what a great family man he was is something I am grateful to have experienced with him. He lived a very full life and through the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’ touched the lives of people all over, teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor.”

Richard Benjamin ‘The Old Man’ Harrison passed away this morning surrounded by those he loved. He will be tremendously missed by our family, the team at Gold & Silver Pawn and his many fans the world over. He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad. That I got to share him with so many others and they got to see what a great family man he was is something I am grateful to have experienced with him. He lived a very full life and through the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’ touched the lives of people all over, teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor. We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and ask that we are provided some privacy at this time.

A post shared by Rick Harrison (@rick_harrison) on

Employees at Gold and Silver Pawn, the family-owned Las Vegas shop at the center of "Pawn Stars,” said in a statement Monday that Richard Harrison “was surrounded by loving family this past weekend and went peacefully.”

“The team at Gold & Silver Pawn and the Pawn Stars family is grieving his loss,” the statement said. “He will be remembered as the best father, grandfather and great-grandfather you could have by his family and by fans as the sometimes grumpy (always loving, however), often wisecracking, and voice of absolute reason on the History television show ‘Pawn Stars.’”

Richard Harrison was born March 4, 1941, in Danville, Virginia. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he moved to Las Vegas in 1981 and started Gold and Silver Pawn with Rick Harrison in 1989, according to Fox News. He appeared in all 15 seasons of "Pawn Stars," which debuted in 2009.

He is survived by his wife, Joanne, and their three sons, Rick, Joseph and Chris.

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