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Sam's Club abruptly closes locations across the country

Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 12:37 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 4:10 PM

History of Sam's Club

Dozens of Sam’s Club locations across the country abruptly announced they would be or were closing for good Thursday without warning to staff or customers.

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Memphis Sam’s Club location closed its doors in an announcement made to employees Thursday morning. Reports indicated that more than 60 stores were closed in at least two dozen states, including Ohio, Texas, Tennessee, Washington, Georgia and Florida.

>>Related: Walmart to raise starting wages, expand benefits: 6 things to know

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Florida Little Caesars employee kills man in Halloween mask

Published: Monday, May 28, 2018 @ 3:59 AM

Police released this picture of the mask the man wore (Via ActionNewsJax.com)
Police released this picture of the mask the man wore (Via ActionNewsJax.com)

A Little Caesars employee in Volusia County, Florida, shot and killed a masked man who attacked him with a wooden post and scissors late Saturday, 

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Heriberto Feliciano, 28, was working at the pizza parlor in Holly HIll when he was attacked by a man wearing a "clown mask," police said. 

The masked man, who police have not identified, hit Feliciano on the face and shoulder with a wooden post until it broke, and then tried to stab him with scissors, police said.

Feliciano told police he was able to reach a gun on him and shot the man four to five times at close range, according to the police report. 

The masked man was taken to Halifax Medical Center, where he later died. 

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Man, 79, pleads no contest to raping girl, 5, sentenced to 90 days house arrest

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 11:24 PM

File photo. (Photo: Pixabay)
File photo. (Photo: Pixabay)

A California businessman pleaded no contest to statutory rape of a 5-year-old girl Wednesday, and, as part of a negotiated deal with the San Joaquin County Superior Court, was sentenced to 90 days house arrest and will not have to register as a sex offender.

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Lyle Burgess, 79, of Stockton, sexually assaulted the girl, who is now 7, after her family was invited to his Calaveras County cabin in 2016, the family’s attorney told KTXL.

“They trusted this man, he was a family friend, and he took advantage of them,” family attorney Ken Meleyco told KTXL

Burgess, who founded an automotive parts manufacturing and distributing company, maintains his innocence, his attorney told the Stockton Record.

“I believe the allegations are motivated by greed. They are using this instance to try to gain financially,” Burgess’ attorney Gregory Davenport told the Stockton Record.

The parents have filed a civil suit against Burgess seeking unspecified damages, according to the Stockton Record.
"The girl is not doing good," Meleyco told KTXL. "She's showing all the symptoms of somebody who's been molested. She's in counseling, and she's gonna be in counseling all her life."

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Marine’s murder in Belize remains unsolved one year later

Published: Monday, May 28, 2018 @ 3:08 AM

(Via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
(Via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Brandon Barfield has kept his best friend’s room just the way he left it. Drew DeVoursney’s black suit still hangs in the closet of the West Palm Beach home they shared. And his guitar — the one he used to perform Lynyrd Skynyrd and Allman Brothers songs while they were both deployed in Iraq — rests beside the bed he slept in. To Barfield, it feels fitting to keep everything in place, including DeVoursney’s poster of “Jeremiah Johnson,” their favorite movie.

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The two became fast friends serving alongside one another with the U.S. Marine Corps in Fallujah in 2004, then a dark and violent battleground where both men narrowly survived rocket-propelled grenade attacks. When they returned home from the war, they bought five acres near Corozal Bay, planning to develop a vacation home on it.

And then Drew disappeared.

A year ago this month in a remote sugar cane field near the Mexican border, a farmer found the bodies of Drew, 36, and his Canadian girlfriend, Francesca Matus, 52, a mother of two. They had been missing for nearly a week. Both had been strangled. Tape was found on their wrists. The killings — which have drawn international media attention — remain unsolved.

“He was my brother,” said Barfield, 36, a commercial fisherman who, like DeVoursney, once lived in Georgia and still has family in the Peach State. “I think about him every day.”

The U.S. State Department referred questions about the investigation to Belizean authorities. Belize’s police department and the prime minister’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment. The FBI confirmed it is still assisting with the investigation, but declined to comment further.

‘No closure for the families’

The same week they recovered the bodies, Belize police confirmed they had detained a Canadian man, John Deshaies, calling him a person of interest in the double-murder investigation. He was accused of stealing from a local casino but has not been charged in connection with the killings.

Deshaies, who rented space on the ground floor of Matus’ seaside home in Belize, denied involvement in the murders, telling local television reporters, “Not at all. She is a very good friend of mine. Absolutely not.” Deshaies pleaded not guilty to the theft and handling stolen goods charges and was released on bail the same month he was arrested. Reached by email this month, his attorney, Estevan Perera, said there were no new developments in Deshaies’ legal case.

Meanwhile, DeVoursney’s mother, Char, said her family has not heard any news from the U.S. government about the hunt for her son’s killers over the past few months.

“It’s been real, real quiet and frustrating,” said the divorcée, who lives in the Atlanta area.

Colin McGowan, a Scottish expatriate who helped coordinate an extensive search for DeVoursney and Matus before their bodies were found north of Corozal, is also frustrated.

“It is a year later,” said McGowan, co-owner of Scotty’s Bar and Grill, where the couple were last seen before they disappeared. “There has been nothing — no closure for the families.”

Bringing Drew home

Barfield remembers the day he met DeVoursney in Fallujah in late 2004, when U.S. troops were battling a robust insurgency in the city. DeVoursney walked into the communication shop where Barfield worked and asked for help with an equipment repair job. Striking up a conversation, they realized they were both Southerners and huge Florida State University football fans.

The oldest of two sons, DeVoursney was born in Thomasville, Ga., less than 40 miles north of Tallahassee, where Barfield grew up. They also had their differences. Barfield is extremely outgoing, while DeVoursney could enjoy spending time by himself. And while Barfield plays golf, DeVoursney was into soccer.

“Totally opposite of me,” Barfield said. “We battled all the time about soccer and golf. I thought soccer was stupid. He thought golf was stupid.”

Last year, Barfield sprang into action after learning DeVoursney was missing in Belize. Barfield alerted the FBI. He started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for hiring a private investigator. And he traveled to Belize, transforming himself into an amateur detective and interviewing dozens of people about what happened.

Those in Corozal who knew of DeVoursney and his bigheartedness went out of their way to help him, Barfield said, generously discounting Barfield’s hotel room and loaning him a truck while he was in town. Barfield found himself enjoying the benefits of the goodwill DeVoursney had sowed in Corozal.

“When we went there to try to get answers, the town was nothing but helpful,” Barfield said.

Barfield returned with DeVoursney’s remains to the United States, calling the experience “crushing.” He later shared his notes with the FBI.

Barfield is now engaged to be married and hopes to one day start a family. If that happens, Barfield said, he will keep DeVoursney’s memory alive by telling his children about him — about his kindness, his generosity, his genuineness.

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Delta warns of flight cancellations due to subtropical storm Alberto

Published: Monday, May 28, 2018 @ 2:06 AM

2018 Hurricane Names

Delta Air Lines is warning that it expects it will have to cancel flights due to subtropical storm Alberto.

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The storm is expected to make landfall just west of Panama City on Monday afternoon with heavy rain and strong wind affecting areas in Alberto’s path, according to Delta.

Atlanta-based Delta said it expects delays and cancellations as the storm moves through the Gulf Coast this week.

>>Live tracking map

Travelers should check their flight status.

Sunday, Delta said it had canceled six flights due to the storm, all of them flights between Atlanta and Key West.

Delta is also waiving certain change fees for any of its customers with flights booked to, from or through Destin, Panama City, Mobile, Key West, Pensacola or Tallahassee on Sunday or Monday who want to change their flight schedules.

Southwest Airlines, the second-largest carrier in Atlanta, is also allowing passengers with flights booked through certain cities to re-book without paying an additional charge.

This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Saturday, May 26, 2018, at 21:30 UTC, and provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Subtropical Storm Alberto in the the Gulf of Mexico. The slow-moving system is expected to cause wet misery across the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast over the holiday weekend. (NOAA via AP)(AP)
Southwest’s waiver applies to passengers with flights booked to, from or through Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Panama City or Pensacola.

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