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Pentagon says more troops injured after Jan. 8 rocket attack in Iraq

Westlake Legal Group AP20024664960631 Pentagon says more troops injured after Jan. 8 rocket attack in Iraq Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 0724d0d4-f069-5df1-b1f0-d8417a7d5877

The Pentagon on Tuesday updated the number of U.S. troops injured in a retaliatory airstrike on an Iraqi air base following the death of an Iranian general.

“As of today, 50 U.S. service members have been diagnosed with TBI [traumatic brain injury],” Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Campbell said in a statement.

AERIAL IMAGES OF IRANIAN ATTACK ON IRAQ BASE

The troops were injured on Jan. 8 after Iran fired missiles on U.S. and coalition forces at the Al-Assad Air Base in Iraq following the death of Iranian Quds Force Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Initial estimates put the number of troops who suffered concussions at 34. Fifteen of the 16 newly diagnosed troops have returned back to duty. Eighteen service members have been transported to Germany for further evaluation and treatment, the Pentagon said.

Campbell said that the numbers were a “snapshot in time” and could change.

The updated numbers come after President Trump downplayed injuries sustained by service members in the attack.

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“I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen,” Trump told a reporter in Switzerland last week where he attended the World Economic Forum in Davos. “I’ve seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our troops.”

Westlake Legal Group AP20024664960631 Pentagon says more troops injured after Jan. 8 rocket attack in Iraq Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 0724d0d4-f069-5df1-b1f0-d8417a7d5877   Westlake Legal Group AP20024664960631 Pentagon says more troops injured after Jan. 8 rocket attack in Iraq Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 0724d0d4-f069-5df1-b1f0-d8417a7d5877

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San Francisco official in charge of cleaning up city’s filthy streets arrested

The head of San Francisco Public Works, which is in charge of cleaning up the city’s feces-filled streets, has been arrested by the FBI on suspicion of public corruption.

San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru was arrested Monday alongside Nick Bovis, the owner of a popular sports bar in Fisherman’s Wharf, Lefty O-Doul’s. Sources told NBC Bay Area that Nuru was arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes for airport concession contracts.

Both Nuru and Bovis were released on bond following their arrest.

As the top official in charge of the $312 million city public works budget since 2012, Nuru was tasked with cleaning up San Francisco streets, which critics note remain cluttered with feces, trash and used needles amid a homelessness crisis.

Westlake Legal Group AP20028698049175 San Francisco official in charge of cleaning up city's filthy streets arrested Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/crime/corruption fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/san-francisco fox news fnc/us fnc article 7b65384d-f47f-59df-b5f5-acc3fe503304

File – In this March 19, 2015, file photo, Mohammed Nuru, director of San Francisco Public Works, is interviewed at the Tenderloin Pit Stop mobile bathrooms in San Francisco.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

GUILFOYLE BLASTS ‘DANGEROUS’ SAN FRAN DA WHO WAS RAISED BY AYERS, WORKED FOR CHAVEZ 

Nuru, who goes by “MrCleanSF” on Twitter, also oversees the design and construction of city facilities and the management of 1,600 employees. Its capital project portfolio is more than $5.6 billion.

Bovis, alongside Nuru in 2017, championed a portable toilet venture called “Tiny Potties” aimed at mitigating the city’s public defecation problem associated with its growing homeless population. The portable restrooms were meant to look like the Painted Ladies Victorian homes near Alamo Square, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Nuru, as of late, has attracted criticism from homelessness advocates for conducting sweeps of the city’s homeless encampments.

However Nuru’s authority has long been met with criticism. “It’s a shock. I think that department has been run like a one-person fiefdom for a long time,” said Supervisor Matt Haney, who has sparred with Public Works over street cleanliness in his district.

“There’s an understanding that ‘everything goes through Mohammed,’ and if you piss him off, there’s retribution. I think there needs to be an overhaul of that department. We need much more accountability and transparency there,” Haney continued.

Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer said the news “came as a complete shock.”

MEET SAN FRANCISCO’S NEW LIGHTNING ROD DA: RAISED BY BILL AYERS, WORKED FOR HUGO CHAVEZ

“There was no buzz at City Hall, and that’s a place where secrets are hard to keep,” she said.

In the early 2000s, Nuru was accused by Public Works whistleblowers of misappropriating public funds and replacing city workers with employees from a nonprofit he previously led.

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Bovis, for his part, has a criminal past. The Chronicle learned he was arrested in 1993 and charged with second degree robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. He was convicted of second degree robbery in 1996 and sentenced to five years in prison. Shortly after he took over the city’s iconic sports bar.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP20028698049175 San Francisco official in charge of cleaning up city's filthy streets arrested Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/crime/corruption fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/san-francisco fox news fnc/us fnc article 7b65384d-f47f-59df-b5f5-acc3fe503304   Westlake Legal Group AP20028698049175 San Francisco official in charge of cleaning up city's filthy streets arrested Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/crime/corruption fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/san-francisco fox news fnc/us fnc article 7b65384d-f47f-59df-b5f5-acc3fe503304

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Texas police ID man seen on surveillance rescuing baby from El Paso Walmart shooting

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103971011001_6103974241001-vs Texas police ID man seen on surveillance rescuing baby from El Paso Walmart shooting fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 49a5915b-c1d0-5e9b-8318-11bf985a09f6

The “mystery hero” seen on surveillance video rescuing a baby during the mass shooting at an El Paso-area Walmart last August was identified Monday as a homeless man who was living outside the store in a makeshift camp, according to police in Texas.

OREGON MAN ACCUSED OF FATALLY STABBING 2 ON TRAIN AFTER YELLING RACIAL SLURS AT WOMEN GOES TO TRIAL

Lazaro Ponce, 43, who now lives in Memphis, Tenn., told the El Paso Times in a recent interview that he was the previously unidentified man seen on video carrying the baby to safety when a white supremacist opened fire at the Cielo Vista Walmart on Aug. 2, killing 22 people.

El Paso Police Sgt. Enrique Carrillo said FBI agents interviewed Ponce on Monday. They confirmed his story matched what’s seen on the surveillance video as well as information investigators had about the shooting. Ponce also detailed how he helped a man in a wheelchair and an elderly woman who was shot in the arm escape the rain of gunfire.

“We can confirm that’s the individual we are looking for,” Carrillo told the Times. “Not only did he remove the baby from among the dead bodies — it could have suffocated— he ran out and turned the baby over to emergency services personnel.”

“He ran back into the store and with a shopping cart went to the towel section and went around treating the wounded and applying pressure,” Carrillo added.

Ponce is considered a witness. The El Paso County District Attorney’s Office will decide whether he needs to return to Texas to offer further testimony, Carrillo said. The FBI in El Paso told the Times it’s against the agency’s policy to confirm the names of witnesses or victims of crimes and could not comment on the matter further.

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Ponce, who was born in San Antonio, said he and his wife were living in a makeshift homeless camp nearby the El Paso area Walmart last August. He said he was inside the store when the shooting began. He and his wife have since moved to Memphis, where he works as a day laborer and stays on a co-worker’s property.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103971011001_6103974241001-vs Texas police ID man seen on surveillance rescuing baby from El Paso Walmart shooting fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 49a5915b-c1d0-5e9b-8318-11bf985a09f6   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103971011001_6103974241001-vs Texas police ID man seen on surveillance rescuing baby from El Paso Walmart shooting fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 49a5915b-c1d0-5e9b-8318-11bf985a09f6

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Florida van rolls over several times during police chase, woman arrested

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6127241144001_6127244981001-vs Florida van rolls over several times during police chase, woman arrested Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 61f266c2-d16a-5b7f-b78a-636210c71e54

A Florida woman was arrested after leading police on a wild car chase that ended with her flipping her van several times as she attempted to flee, dramatic video shows.

DeLand Police said it all started before 11 a.m. Monday, when they tried to stop a the driver who ran a stop sign.

However, the van’s driver did not stop and was spotted later by a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office helicopter driving erratically on International Speedway Boulevard.

FANS TRAVELING TO MIAMI FOR SUPER BOWL TO BE MET BY VOLUNTEERS AT THE AIRPORT

Dramatic footage from the helicopter shows the vehicle, which had been reported stolen in Orange County, make a U-turn and, seconds later, appearing to lose control.

The vehicle rolled over twice before landing on its side.

Body camera footage then shows sheriff’s deputies and DeLand police officers approaching the white van and pulling a female driver from the overturned van.

A small dog in the vehicle escaped the crash unharmed. Different types of prescription pills and heroin were found in the van.

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Police identified the driver as Sarah Yurman. She was injured in the crash and taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach.

Upon her medical release, she will face multiple charges, including attempting to flee, eluding law enforcement and possession of narcotics.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6127241144001_6127244981001-vs Florida van rolls over several times during police chase, woman arrested Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 61f266c2-d16a-5b7f-b78a-636210c71e54   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6127241144001_6127244981001-vs Florida van rolls over several times during police chase, woman arrested Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 61f266c2-d16a-5b7f-b78a-636210c71e54

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Children ask Georgia parole board to spare father’s life, he killed their mom

The children of a Georgia man scheduled to be executed on Wednesday by lethal injection are pleading with the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles to spare the life of their father, according to a letter sent by his kids and attached to a clemency petition filed by his lawyers.

Donnie Lance, 66, was convicted in 1999 for beating death of his ex-wife, Sabrina “Joy” Lance, who was also their mother. He also fatally shot her boyfriend, Dwight “Butch” Wood Jr. in 1997. His now-adult children say the pain caused by losing their mother would be made even worse if the state kills their dad.

“We have spent our whole lives with this huge gaping hole in our hearts,” Stephanie Cape and her brother Jessie Lance wrote, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “but at least we’ve had dad at our sides. It’s almost impossible to imagine that it could get worse.”

MAMA DOG RESCUED AFTER FOUND DRAGGING CRATE FILLED WITH HER PUPS

Westlake Legal Group donnie-lance Children ask Georgia parole board to spare father's life, he killed their mom fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 9b55932e-ab8f-55ee-962f-ac2665bcc2ab

Donnie Lance was convicted in 1999 for beating his ex-wife to death and fatally shooting her boyfriend. (Georgia Department of Corrections.)

The state board will meet on Tuesday morning to consider the clemency petition for Lance, which comes weeks after they commuted the death sentence of Jimmy Meders to life without parole, according to the paper. The board is the only authority in Georgia that can commute a death sentence.

The petition argues that the jury was unaware that Lance has brain damage stemming from repeated head trauma before they sentenced him to death, the paper said.

In January 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his latest appeal and his children have tried to get new DNA testing to confirm if he committed the crime, which Lance has reportedly denied over the years, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

SMALL PLANE CRASH IN GEORGIA LEAVES 2 DEAD, DEBRIS ON HIGHWAY

Lance’s lawyers have also asked the U.S. Supreme Court to accept an appeal regarding Butts County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wilson’s decision to reportedly deny the DNA testing of evidence found at the murder scene, the paper said.

His lawyers argue that no blood or physical evidence was found on Lance after he was brought in for questioning.

Lance has reportedly also been a model inmate, with only two minor infractions during his two decades on death row — having 54 stamps rather than the allowed 50 and refusing to move to a different cell.

His children say Lance has also continued to help them live without their mother, the paper reported.

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“But one thing that sets us apart is what we have left to lose,” Lance’s children wrote, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “With us being the exception, everyone has lost everything they are going to lose from this nightmare. … We continue to pray that this final loss doesn’t come to pass.”

Lance would be the first prisoner executed in Georgia this year.

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

Westlake Legal Group donnie-lance Children ask Georgia parole board to spare father's life, he killed their mom fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 9b55932e-ab8f-55ee-962f-ac2665bcc2ab   Westlake Legal Group donnie-lance Children ask Georgia parole board to spare father's life, he killed their mom fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 9b55932e-ab8f-55ee-962f-ac2665bcc2ab

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Mom, 1-year-old found dead in Colorado national park died in murder-suicide: coroner

A woman and her baby found dead on Friday in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park have been identified and their deaths ruled as a murder-suicide, according to officials.

Tristen Watson, 24, and her 17-month-old son Christopher Watson died from gunshot-related wounds to their heads, the Larimer County Coroner’s Office said. The coroner’s office ruled her manner of death as a suicide. Her son’s death was listed as homicide.

On Friday afternoon, park rangers were notified of a “suicidal subject likely in the park,” according to a news release posted that day by the National Park Service.

SKELETAL REMAINS FOUND IN CALIFORNIA NATIONAL PARK ARE THOSE OF CANDIAN HIKER WHO WENT MISSING IN 2018, OFFICIALS SAY

Westlake Legal Group park1 Mom, 1-year-old found dead in Colorado national park died in murder-suicide: coroner fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us fox-news/travel/general/national-parks fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 841dd494-8ee9-58b8-9278-1d584f938479

Hallet and Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park. (National Park Service)

“The individual’s vehicle was located near Upper Beaver Meadows Road,” the release said. “While searching for the occupants of the vehicle, park rangers temporarily held traffic at the Beaver Meadows Entrance and Fall River Entrance on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park.”

Traffic was reportedly blocked between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Rangers would find their bodies later that afternoon.

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“Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Law Enforcement rangers during this quickly developing incident were Estes Park Police Department, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Parks, and Wildlife and Loveland Police Department,” the release said.

Westlake Legal Group 4d8457d2-download Mom, 1-year-old found dead in Colorado national park died in murder-suicide: coroner fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us fox-news/travel/general/national-parks fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 841dd494-8ee9-58b8-9278-1d584f938479   Westlake Legal Group 4d8457d2-download Mom, 1-year-old found dead in Colorado national park died in murder-suicide: coroner fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us fox-news/travel/general/national-parks fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 841dd494-8ee9-58b8-9278-1d584f938479

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Chimney where Ohio teen was found dead has been removed, police say

The chimney where 14-year-old Harley Dilly was found dead earlier this month has been removed, according to Ohio’s Port Clinton Police Department.

Chief Rob Hickman said on Facebook that the decision to remove the structure was made by the homeowners “out of respect” for Dilly’s parents.

“Good Afternoon Friends, Out of respect for Harley’s parents, the homeowners at the address on Fulton Street removed the chimney this morning along with our (City of Port Clinton) assistance,” the statement by Hickman read.

BODY OF MISSING OHIO TEEN FOUND IN CHIMNEY, POLICE SAY

Dilly was found dead in the empty Port Clinton home on the evening of Jan. 13, located across the street from where he and his family lived, Hickman said. The teenager had been missing since Dec. 20, when he left for school but never arrived, investigators say.

The Lucas County Coroner’s Office later determined the cause of death was compressive asphyxia, according to Cleveland’s FOX 8

Police searched weeks for Dilly, with volunteers and authorities searching neighborhoods along Lake Erie with help from K-9 teams and helicopters.

Westlake Legal Group Harley-Dilly Chimney where Ohio teen was found dead has been removed, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc eca02578-896c-54d3-9b13-d533f008c9d4 David Aaro article

Harley Dilly, 14, was found dead in the chimney of the empty Port Clinton home on Jan. 13, located across the street from where he and his family lived. (Port Clinton Police Department)

“This appears to be an accident; at this time there does not appear to be any foul play expected,” Hickman said at the time. He added: “It appears Harley climbed an antenna tower to the roof and entered the chimney.”

CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK STRANDS OHIO MAN, 65, TEACHING IN WUHAN: ‘I’M NOT AFRAID TO SAY I’M WORRIED’

Investigators reportedly found Dilly’s coat and glasses next to the chimney on the second floor of the home before finding his body. It’s unclear why he went into the home. The house was reportedly locked with no signs of forced entry, Hickman said.

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The outlet said community members, as well as his family and friends, gathered to remember him this past weekend.

Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to the report

Westlake Legal Group Harley-Dilly Chimney where Ohio teen was found dead has been removed, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc eca02578-896c-54d3-9b13-d533f008c9d4 David Aaro article   Westlake Legal Group Harley-Dilly Chimney where Ohio teen was found dead has been removed, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc eca02578-896c-54d3-9b13-d533f008c9d4 David Aaro article

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California man pleads guilty to railroad spike killings targeting homeless

Westlake Legal Group 74bd8d7a-download California man pleads guilty to railroad spike killings targeting homeless fnc/us fnc b4d7486c-f032-52da-939c-d4009c9188cc Associated Press article

A man with a criminal record and history of mental illness pleaded guilty on Monday to four counts of murder in a string of deadly attacks on sleeping homeless men in San Diego, two of whom were set on fire.

CALIFORNIA AIMS TO SHUT DOWN LARGE HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT IN OAKLAND

Jon David Guerrero, 42, agreed to be sentenced May 1 to four consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole and an additional 143 years to life in prison, the Union-Tribune reported.

Guerrero also pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted murder, five counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of arson for setting fire to two of four victims who died. The charges involved 12 men and one woman who were targeted over six months in 2016, the newspaper said.

Court records show Guerrero is diagnosed with schizophrenia and has a history of arrests and mental competency hearings, including one judge’s order that sent him to a state hospital for treatment.

The only clue to a motive for the assaults came from Guerrero’s first victim, who survived a knifing and asked his attacker, “Why did you do this to me?”

“Because you’re a bum,” Guerrero replied, according to the victim’s statements cited by the Union-Tribune.

One assault victim who survived, Michael Papadelis, attended the Monday hearing and afterward said, “I think he did the right thing,” by pleading guilty.

“I’ve been homeless. I know there are a lot of mentally ill on the streets. I don’t hate Jon,” Papadelis, 58, told the newspaper.

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In 2018, Guerrero was declared mentally competent — meaning he could understand the charges filed against him and assist in his defense — and the criminal case against him went forward.

Westlake Legal Group 74bd8d7a-download California man pleads guilty to railroad spike killings targeting homeless fnc/us fnc b4d7486c-f032-52da-939c-d4009c9188cc Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group 74bd8d7a-download California man pleads guilty to railroad spike killings targeting homeless fnc/us fnc b4d7486c-f032-52da-939c-d4009c9188cc Associated Press article

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California to shut down large homeless site at Oakland Home Depot

California will eliminate a large homeless site outside an Oakland Home Depot next month — roughly six months after the city announced it would shut down the encampment, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Residents — estimated to number between 40 and 100 — live in makeshift homes, vehicles and tents at the camp, which appeared three years ago and was toured by former presidential candidate Julian Castro back in September, the outlet said. People living there reportedly come and go, with some residents serving as unofficial leaders of the site.

People living at the camp will be offered shelter beds or space at a community cabin site, estimated to be completed in March, city officials told the outlet. Those living in RV’s will reportedly be moved to a “safe RV parking” site at a city-owned lot starting Monday.

HOMEOWNERS GIVEN $20G BILL TO CLEAN UP CALIFORNIA HOMELESS CAMP

Westlake Legal Group SFHomeless20iStock California to shut down large homeless site at Oakland Home Depot fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 624891f6-0055-537d-9558-b44e9693c4dd

A major medical association has pulled its convention from San Francisco due to safety concerns in the city — including tent cities and a growing homeless population. (iStock)

“The conditions [at the encampment] are really not healthy or safe for anybody,” Lara Tannenbaum, manager of the city’s community housing services told the Chronicle, adding that the RV site “seemed like a good fit for a good number of those folks.”

The site received attention from the city in 2019 after Home Depot said it impacted employee safety and store security. The company is reportedly paying off-duty officers $100 an hour to patrol the area, according to the outlet. Councilman Noel Gallo previously said the Home Depot could close if the city failed to clear the tents and RVs from the encampment. The home improvement retailer denied it would close, the Chronicle said.

“We’ve been trying to work with Home Depot for a number of months, make sure their property is safe,” Gallo said a committee meeting in June, according to the Chronicle. “This is a real serious issue, and I think you already have enough businesses that have left Oakland.”

HOMELESS WOMAN IN PORTLAND SLEEPING IN FRONT OF GARAGE RUN OVER BY DRIVER, DIES AT HOSPITAL, POLICE SAY

Markaya Spikes, 39, lived at the encampment for three years, her home donated by students of Oakland School for the Arts.

“There are really no options available for anybody like me in my situation, period,” Spikes said, according to the outlet. “It’s not just that I have a tiny home. I have dogs and I have a kid.”

Candice Elder, director of East Oakland Collective, an organization that addresses racial and economic equality, says the RV would work for some and not work for others, adding that “everyone is very worried and stressed.”

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“This closure has been looming for a long time, but now they finally set the date and, of course, no one is ever fully prepared for this no matter how much time you give someone,” she told the Chronicle.

Westlake Legal Group SFHomeless20iStock California to shut down large homeless site at Oakland Home Depot fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 624891f6-0055-537d-9558-b44e9693c4dd   Westlake Legal Group SFHomeless20iStock California to shut down large homeless site at Oakland Home Depot fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 624891f6-0055-537d-9558-b44e9693c4dd

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Hanukkah machete attack suspect deemed incompetent to stand trial, defense says

A psychiatrist says Grafton Thomas, the New York man accused of stabbing five Hasidic Jews during a Hanukkah celebration last month, is incompetent to stand trial on federal hate crime charges, Thomas’ attorney said Monday.

Defense attorney Michael Sussman said he has asked a federal judge to hold a competency evaluation for Thomas, 37, who was arrested hours after a Dec. 28 stabbing attack at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, an Orthodox Jewish community north of New York City.

Westlake Legal Group AP20027858741596 Hanukkah machete attack suspect deemed incompetent to stand trial, defense says fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox news fnc/us fnc e2f3e4d5-eec9-5eff-8a7e-09e846b302b9 Bradford Betz article

FILE: Ramapo police officers escort Grafton Thomas from Ramapo Town Hall to a police vehicle in Ramapo, N.Y. (AP)

The federal court has given the U.S. Attorney’s Office two weeks to respond to the application for a competency evaluation, Sussman said.

Thomas has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges in Rockland County. He pleaded not guilty to 10 hate-crime charges in federal court on Jan. 13.

Investigators found anti-Semitic writings in Thomas’ journals and articles on Jews and Nazis on his cell phone, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

FRANCE SEES RASH OF ANTI-CHRISTIAN ACTS WHILE ANTI-SEMITISM RISES, OFFICIALS SAY

The journals questioned “why [people] mourned for anti-Semitism when there is Semitic genocide” and claimed the “Hebrew Israelites” took from the “powerful [people] (ebinoid Israelites).” The journals also contained references to “Adolf Hitler” and “Nazi Culture” on the same page as drawings of symbols such as the Star of David and a swastika, the complaint read.

Thomas’ mother and Sussman have said Thomas suffers from mental illness and was not responsible for his actions. Sussman has said Thomas has no history of violent acts or anti-Semitism.

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One of the victims, 72-year-old Josef Neumann, remains in a coma with a fractured skull and other injuries.

Thomas remains in federal custody without bail.

Fox News’ Greg Norman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP20027858741596 Hanukkah machete attack suspect deemed incompetent to stand trial, defense says fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox news fnc/us fnc e2f3e4d5-eec9-5eff-8a7e-09e846b302b9 Bradford Betz article   Westlake Legal Group AP20027858741596 Hanukkah machete attack suspect deemed incompetent to stand trial, defense says fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox news fnc/us fnc e2f3e4d5-eec9-5eff-8a7e-09e846b302b9 Bradford Betz article

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