Texas mayor: Transgender and kicked out of military? Join our police force

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 9:23 PM

Austin’s mayor has a message for transgender Americans: Kicked out of the military? Come to Austin. In light of President Donald Trump’s Wednesday announcement that transgender Americans will be banned from serving in the military, Mayor Steve Adler sent a series of tweets firing back at the ban. He also tweeted out a link to the application website for Austin Police Department The Austin Police Department has a transgender officer, and a couple of years ago the city expanded its employee he

In light of President Donald Trump’s Wednesday announcement that transgender Americans will be banned from serving in the military, Austin’s mayor had a message: Kicked out? Come to Austin.

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In the first of a series of three tweets, Mayor Steve Adler said, “If you’re qualified to keep our country safe you’re qualified to keep Austin safe. Transgender Americans are welcome on our police force.” Adler continued, tweeting that Austin is the “safest big city in Texas” due to its respect for people’s differences. He also tweeted out a link to the application website for Austin Police Department: “If you get kicked out of the service because you're transgender, please apply to join our police force.”

The Austin Police Department has a transgender officer, and a couple of years ago the city expanded its employee health care plan to cover transgender health services.

(Getty File Photo)(Onfokus/Getty Images)

In addition, Austin interim police Chief Brian Manley was among the law enforcement leaders from across Texas who gathered Tuesday at the state Capitol to oppose so-called “bathroom bills” involving transgender people. Manley said such bills would make communities less safe by diverting officers from addressing violent crime to enforcing a bathroom bill.

Austin police have also taken steps to address their own treatment of transgender people. A task force has worked on redefining how Austin police will identify transgenderand gender-nonconforming people after the Police Department’s handling of the 2016 killing of Monica Loera, a transgender woman who police initially identified by her male birth name.

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo, formerly Austin’s chief, expressed a sentiment similar to Adler’s on Twitter.

In March, the City Council approved creation of a LGBTQ Quality of Life Advisory Commission, which will advise the council on issues that affect the LGBTQ community and coordinate educational programs on those issues.

The response to Adler’s tweets from Twitter users was mixed (as was the response from American-Statesman readers when the news broke earlier in the day).

Trump's announcement (which also happened on Twitter) did not specify what would happen to transgender people already in the military. In a White House press briefing Wednesday afternoon, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the details were still being worked out.

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Texas town to host 0.5K run, welcomes 'underachievers'

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 2:19 AM

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22:  Runners cross over Tower Bridge during the London Marathon at United Kingdom on April 22, 2018 in London, England. 40,000 runners are taking part in the marathon alongside elite runners competing for a race.  (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Runners cross over Tower Bridge during the London Marathon at United Kingdom on April 22, 2018 in London, England. 40,000 runners are taking part in the marathon alongside elite runners competing for a race. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)(Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Not all of us will run a marathon in our lifetime. Or a half-marathon, even. Or a 10K. Nope, not a 5K. 

But now there’s a running event for those who never thought they could say, “I can’t. I have my race that day.”

San Antonio neighbor Boerne has announced it will host a .5K, or a .31-mile race, May 5. The Facebook page for the event reads, “Underachievers welcome!” and boasts a “doughnut and coffee hydration station.”

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The page estimates the event will last “like 10 minutes” and promises finishers a sticker for their car, beer and a medal. 

The race also offered participants a VIP option for an additional $25 that would not require them to run at all. VIP “runners” get a larger medal. 

The event’s website was updated on April 18 to announce that the race is full and no longer accepting sign-ups. 

Don’t let that keep you from your dreams! You can go out and walk .31 miles right now. Or spring for VIP and stay right where you are.

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GQ magazine calls Bible 'foolish,' lists it among books 'you don't have to read'

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 1:46 AM

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  The 400 year old King James Bible on display in Lambeth Palace Library on May 25, 2011 in London, England. The book is part of an exhibition called
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25: The 400 year old King James Bible on display in Lambeth Palace Library on May 25, 2011 in London, England. The book is part of an exhibition called "Out of the Original Sacred Tongues", showing bibles in various languages from as early as the 10th century. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)(Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

The Bible’s been around for centuries, but GQ magazine is like, eh? What’s so great about it? 

>> Rev. Billy Graham chose John 14:6 to be placed on his grave marker

The Good Book makes the mag’s list of “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” While allowing “there are some good parts,” the post calls the Bible “repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish and even at times ill-intentioned.”

Instead, GQ suggests, how about “The Notebook" by Agota Kristof? It’s billed as “a marvelous tale of two brothers who have to get along when things get rough.”

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The Bible finds itself in the company of works by J.D. Salinger, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway on the list of books that GQ is just not that into. “Catcher in the Rye” is dinged as being “without any literary merit whatsoever.” “Huckleberry Finn” is tedious, meandering and hamfisted, GQ says. Hemingway’s sentences? Too short. Even Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” makes the roster of books to skip.

Here’s the entire list, which includes contributions by various writers.

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Bear kills dog, seriously injures another in Florida subdivision

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 12:17 AM

(File photo)
(File photo)

Residents of a Seminole County, Florida, neighborhood were on high alert Wednesday because of an aggressive bear that killed one dog and seriously injured another one in recent days.

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set traps in The Estates at Springs Landing subdivision along Markham Woods Road near Longwood to try to catch the bear, which killed a dog late Tuesday, days after injuring another.

The bear tore through a pool screen Tuesday and grabbed Maggie, Russell Nusynowitz's 15-year-old poodle.

His wife ran into the home as the bear killed the family dog and took her into the yard.

The attack came two days after Rick Mann encountered a bear and two yearlings in his garage. FWC believes the same bear was involved in both attacks.

When his 5-year-old Maltese-Yorkie mix, Reese, barked, the bear attacked, clamping down on the dog twice.

"When she came back the second time, I grabbed whatever I could," Mann said. "There was a vacuum cleaner there. I started swinging at her."

Reese underwent five hours of surgery.

"He's got seven puncture wounds, a bruised liver, a bruised kidney, numerous lacerations," said Roxane Mann, Rick Mann's wife. "Just a lot of issues. But he's hanging tough."

Roxanne Mann said the bear opened the refrigerator in the garage and helped herself to the food it contained, showing no fear of humans.

"The fact that she was starting to leave the garage and then came back to attack for the second time was very uncommon for a bear," Rick Mann said.

Word is spreading about the brave dog that stood up to the bear to protect his owner. The veterinarian who has been treating Reese has collected more than $1,000 in donations to help pay the vet bills.

FWC said area residents should keep their garage doors closed, not leave food outside and keep dogs on a leash.

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‘There’s blood everywhere’: Teen accused of premeditated murder of 11-year-old brother

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 12:35 PM

13-Year-Old Accused Of Killing 11-Year-Old Brother

An Ohio teen has been charged with aggravated murder in the fatal shooting of his 11-year-old brother, an act that police officials said was premeditated. 

Streetsboro Police Department officials said that officers and city fire medics responded just after 9:30 p.m. Monday to the boys’ home, where they found the 11-year-old with a single gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died. 

“The victim’s 13-year-old brother was taken into custody in what appears to be a premeditated shooting,” police officials said in a statement

Police and Streetsboro school officials identified the victim as Caleb Lishing. The older brother has been identified as Elijah Lishing, a student at Bio-Med Science Academy in Rootstown. 

News 5 in Cleveland reported that the Elijah Lishing fled the scene on foot, but was found nearby. He was arrested and booked into the Portage County Juvenile Detention Center. 

The boys’ were with a babysitter when the shooting took place. News 5 reported that the sitter frantically called 911 to get help.

“Something terrible has happened,” the woman said in the call, which the news station obtained. “I’m babysitting two kids. There’s blood everywhere.”

The caller told police that Caleb Lishing went to bed around 8:30 p.m. and his brother, a short time later. When she heard a ‘pop,” she ran into the younger boy’s bedroom.

“The other boy came out and said, ‘What was that?’ and I ran in here,” the babysitter said. 

Caleb Lishing had a hole in his neck and the room smelled of gunpowder, News 5 reported

“He’s got blood just pouring out of his mouth,” the caller said. “I don’t think he’s breathing.”

The babysitter did CPR on the victim until paramedics arrived. The Record-Courier in Kent reported that the woman screamed for Elijah Lishing, but he didn’t respond.

“He’s 11 years old and I don’t know where his brother went,” the woman said of Caleb Lishing. “I heard a pop and there’s blood in his chest.”

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Elijah Lishing is accused of shooting his brother with a .357 Magnum stolen from his grandfather’s home. The Record-Courier reported that the teen had to break into a locked gun cabinet to get the weapon. 

He is accused of taking apart part of the cabinet when he couldn’t find the key, which the grandfather kept at a different home, the newspaper reported

Monday’s shooting isn’t the first time police were called to the Lishing home. Police reports indicate that officers were called to the house four days before the homicide after Elijah Lishing’s stepmother reported that he was being “unruly.” 

The teen, who expressed thoughts of harming himself, was taken to a behavioral health center for evaluation, News 5 reported. It was unclear what treatment he may have received. 

The boys’ parents were out of the country at the time of the shooting, but were on their way home after being contacted by investigators, the Record-Courier said

Caleb Lishing’s slaying is the first homicide in Streetsboro in nearly 20 years. 

“It doesn’t happen here,” Lt. Patricia Wain, a police department spokeswoman, told News 5. “It’s traumatizing. A lot of our officers here have kids that age, so to have to walk into that and see that and take that call, it’s very difficult.”

A statement from Streetsboro City Schools administrators said that the school community was “shocked and saddened” by the death of Caleb Lishing, who was in the fifth grade.  

“Caleb was a well-liked student by his peers and teachers, and (he) loved coming to school each day,” the statement said. “He was a gentle soul who loved to read and talk to the adults around him.”

More than 20 grief counselors were on hand Tuesday to talk with students, faculty, staff members and parents about the loss. The counselors were also offering advice on how to recognize warning signs of potential trouble in children. 

Children who are depressed may complain of feeling sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent or caregiver or worry excessively that a parent may die,” officials said on the district website. “Older children may sulk, get into trouble, be negative or grouchy or feel misunderstood. Youth are more likely to respond to treatment if they receive it early in the course of their illness.”

Police officials asked for respect and kindness toward the family in a statement on the department’s Facebook page

“We ask that you keep the family in your thoughts during this difficult time,” the police statement said. “While we respect that everyone may have strong feelings about the incident, we request that you keep your comments positive with respect to the family and our community as they grieve their loss.”

Elijah Lishing was due in juvenile court for an initial appearance Wednesday afternoon. A judge issued a gag order in the case to protect the teen’s identity, but the ruling was handed down after police had already released his name and details of the case, the Record-Courier said

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