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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/politics/state-and-local

Sadie Roberts-Joseph, founder of African American history museum found dead in trunk, set for autopsy

Westlake Legal Group c3273f49-Sadie-Roberts-Joseph-Baton-Rouge-Police-Department Sadie Roberts-Joseph, founder of African American history museum found dead in trunk, set for autopsy Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc article 2c21648b-3540-5c8c-a10f-63ecf1c2e8a1

Louisiana cops hunting the killer of an African American history museum founder — who was discovered last week in a car trunk — planned an autopsy Monday in the “heinous” murder, as friends and lawmakers eulogized the civil rights activist as “a mother of the community.”

Sadie Roberts-Joseph was discovered in a vehicle parked just three miles from where she lived in Baton Rouge, where she founded and served as curator of the Baton Rouge African American Museum, which opened in 2001.

Investigators have been tight-lipped about potential suspects or a possible motive, but two city politicians close to Roberts-Joseph — Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Louisiana Rep. C. Denise Marcelle — confirmed her murder in separate social media posts.

FOUNDER OF LOUISIANA AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MUSEUM FOUND DEAD IN CAR TRUNK: POLICE

Broome wrote on Instagram on Sunday she learned of the death “of a dear friend and a mother of the community” just as now-tropical depression Barry was bearing down on Louisiana.

Describing Roberts-Joseph’s death as “such shocking news,” Broome announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone connected to Roberts-Joseph’s death.

HUMAN REMAINS FOUND ON KENTUCKY PROPERTY IDENTIFIED AS MISSING MOM SAVANNAH SPURLOCK, POLICE ANNOUNCE

On Friday, Marcelle posted to Facebook that Roberts-Joseph “was found murdered.”

“This woman was amazing and loved her history. She never bothered anyone, just wanted to expand her African American Museum downtown, where she continually hosted the Juneteenth Celebration yearly,” she wrote.

The website of the city’s visitor bureau says the museum Roberts-Joseph founded features African art, exhibits on growing cotton and black inventors as well as a 1953 bus from the period of civil rights boycotts in Baton Rouge.

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The Baton Rouge Police Department called the 75-year-old “a tireless advocate of peace in the community” and a “treasure” who will be missed.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the department at 225-389-4869.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group c3273f49-Sadie-Roberts-Joseph-Baton-Rouge-Police-Department Sadie Roberts-Joseph, founder of African American history museum found dead in trunk, set for autopsy Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc article 2c21648b-3540-5c8c-a10f-63ecf1c2e8a1   Westlake Legal Group c3273f49-Sadie-Roberts-Joseph-Baton-Rouge-Police-Department Sadie Roberts-Joseph, founder of African American history museum found dead in trunk, set for autopsy Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc article 2c21648b-3540-5c8c-a10f-63ecf1c2e8a1

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LA push to develop Skid Row prompts new clashes in California’s homeless crisis

City officials, developers and restaurateurs in Los Angeles are touting the renaissance of the city’s once-blighted downtown thanks to an explosion of trendy eateries, chic hotels and luxury apartments that have attracted thousands of new – and generally financially well-off – residents to the neighborhood in recent years.

But just a few blocks south of the area where a set-course sushi meal costs around $200 per person – wine or sake not included – is perhaps the country’s most notorious tent city and a neighborhood that has been labeled the epicenter of homelessness in America: Skid Row.

The area — which has been plagued by vagrancy, high crime rates and unsanitary conditions almost since its development in the 1880s — is an unorganized collection of warehouses, wholesale storefronts and decaying low-rent hotels. Its trash-strewn streets are lined with the blue tarps and fraying tents of those residents unable to afford a solid roof over their heads.

But as development in Downtown Los Angeles steams forward unimpeded, city officials and developers are eyeing Skid Row as possibly the next “up-and-coming” neighborhood – a move causing tensions with advocates and community outreach workers who wonder what this means for the thousands of homeless and itinerant people who currently call the rundown area home.

Westlake Legal Group Skid-Row-LA-2 LA push to develop Skid Row prompts new clashes in California's homeless crisis fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 7ebbf6ab-de8e-5106-9ce4-aa0db7f3fbad

Advocates and community outreach workers worry what housing development will mean for the thousands of homeless and itinerant people who currently call the rundown neighborhood home. (Andrew O’Reilly/Fox News)

HOMELESSNESS JUMPS 12 PERCENT ACROSS LOS ANGELES COUNTY DESPITE $619M IN SPENDING

“Most of Skid Row is already being carved up,” Jerry Jones, the director of public policy at the Inner City Law Center in Los Angeles, told Fox News. “We need to help those who live on Skid Row right now.”

The population of Downtown Los Angeles, which encompasses Skid Row and a number of other smaller neighborhoods, has seen its population skyrocket from just 18,000 people two decades ago to currently 76,000. There are also development plans bouncing around city hall that could bring 176,000 new residents to downtown by 2040.

Activists were enraged last June by a city proposal to rezone an industrial section of Skid Row to residential and open it up for market-rate development – a plan that supporters said would continue to the growth of downtown and create much-needed mixed office and living spaces in a city dealing with a major housing shortage.

While the proposal did call for putting social service agencies and permanent supportive housing in other parts of Skid Row, advocates for the neighborhood worried that it would drive up rents and displace some 4,000 people who currently live in the area’s single-room occupancy hotels and other modest lodgings.

In a concession to activists, a new rezoning plan released earlier this month calls for the conversion of parts of Skid Row into housing for residents earning between $10,000 and $58,000 annually. The plan also calls for any new development in bordering neighborhoods like the Arts District and Little Tokyo to include units for low-income residents.

HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS INCREASINGLY AFFECTING CALIFORNIA TRAIN TRAFFIC

Craig Weber, principal planner for the city of Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Times that the new rezoning initiative is meant to create “housing opportunities for all.”

“The plan seeks to expand the opportunity for affordable housing through policies, zoning and the community benefits program,” he said.

Unlike cities like New York and nearby Santa Monica, Los Angeles currently does not have any laws on the books that require developers to mark off a certain percentage of new units for affordable housing.

Skid Row advocates like Jones say that the new rezoning plan is a start, but it doesn’t address the area’s homeless crisis and will most likely still displace the itinerant population of Skid Row into adjoining neighborhoods like Boyle Heights and University Park.

“It’s a huge opportunity that has been lost,” he said. “Any proposal to build in the area should benefit the current residents of Skid Row first.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city lawmakers appear fully aware that Skid Row has become the epicenter of a homeless crisis flaring across major California cities – specifically prioritizing the neighborhood in the mayor’s plan to tackle homelessness and allocating $7 million from the $124 million the state recently approved for improving the health and safety of city residents. This comes after the city already spent $20 million last year to expand hygiene infrastructure and street cleanups in the community.

Westlake Legal Group Skid-Row-LA-4 LA push to develop Skid Row prompts new clashes in California's homeless crisis fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 7ebbf6ab-de8e-5106-9ce4-aa0db7f3fbad

Some 4,000 people currently live in Skid Row’s single-room occupancy hotels and other modest lodgings, with many more living in tent encampments . (Andrew O’Reilly/Fox News)

COMMUNITY FIGHTS BACK AS CALIFORNIA OVERRUN BY HOMELESSNESS, HUMAN WASTE, NEEDLES

“We all know the epicenter of this crisis is Skid Row,” Garcetti said during a press conference on Monday. “It’s where the extreme poverty cuts the deepest, it’s where the racialized elements of this homelessness crisis are most seen.”

He added: “The days of writing off this community are over.”

Besides the hygiene initiative, the city also has plans to build a bin facility for Skid Row residents to store their belongings, start a cleaning initiative that would hire residents to clean the streets and construct crisis beds for women in Skid Row at Downtown Women’s Center.

Activists say that the city’s initiatives are a good start, but to really remedy the dire situation that many on Skid Row find themselves in, a real roof over their heads is the most important thing.

ICLC’s Jones argues that different types of housing are needed to address the complexities of the homeless crisis in Los Angeles – from permanent supportive housing with on-site health professionals to deal with issues like mental illness and drug addiction to transitional housing for homeless youth and families trying to get back on their feet.

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“Different people need different housing, but one thing they all need is a house,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group Skid-Row-LA-3 LA push to develop Skid Row prompts new clashes in California's homeless crisis fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 7ebbf6ab-de8e-5106-9ce4-aa0db7f3fbad

The tent encampment on San Pedro St. in Skid Row borders a parking lot that is slated to become a supportive housing complex with 298 residential units. (Andrew O’Reilly/Fox News)

Most housing development that has been constructed on Skid Row over the last decade has been supportive housing, and a nonprofit organization, the Weingart Center, recently proposed building a 19-story affordable housing tower in the neighborhood on what is currently a parking lot.

The apartment complex would include 298 residential units – all studio apartments – as well as office space for the Inner City Law Center and Chrysalis, a job training and placement services nonprofit. The Weingart Center also has plans to build an 18-story and a 12-story supportive housing building on Skid Row that would have 382 apartments for homeless individuals.

Westlake Legal Group Skid-Row-iStock LA push to develop Skid Row prompts new clashes in California's homeless crisis fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 7ebbf6ab-de8e-5106-9ce4-aa0db7f3fbad   Westlake Legal Group Skid-Row-iStock LA push to develop Skid Row prompts new clashes in California's homeless crisis fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 7ebbf6ab-de8e-5106-9ce4-aa0db7f3fbad

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Blackout gives New York’s governor opportunity to blast New York City’s absentee mayor

One consequence of New York City’s Saturday night blackout: It shined a bright spotlight on the tensions between two prominent Democrats, the city’s mayor and the state’s governor.

As more than 70,000 customers — plus countless tourists and other visitors — dealt with the loss of electricity attributed to a transformer fire, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was in Iowa campaigning for president when the massive blackout hit Manhattan.

“I can count the number of times I leave the state basically on my fingers,” Cuomo told CNN, responding to a question about the importance of the mayor being in New York during an emergency.

MANHATTAN TRANSFORMER FIRE KNOCKS OUT POWER TO THOUSANDS IN MIDTOWN, UPPER WEST SIDE

“Mayors are important. And situations like this come up, you know. And you have to be on-site,” he said. “I think it’s important to be in a place where you can always respond. But look, everybody makes their own political judgment and I’m not going to second-guess anyone either. I do my job the way I think I should do my job and I leave it to others to do the same.”

“Mayors are important. And situations like this come up, you know. And you have to be on-site.”

— New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Westlake Legal Group b2578e2a-de-blasio-cuomo-split-720 Blackout gives New York's governor opportunity to blast New York City's absentee mayor fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/person/andrew-cuomo fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article af40990a-004e-590a-abd6-daa9c47c0336

Although both are Democrats, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, left and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have had a strained relationship. 

De Blasio was at a campaign stop in Waterloo, Iowa, when an equipment failure at a transformer substation shut off power for tens of thousands of people in his city.

The mayor first told CNN he was mulling whether to return to New York, but later decided he would, according to the Washington Examiner. He plans to fly back to the city Sunday morning, a spokesperson said.

Late Saturday, the mayor issued several Twitter messages, indicating he was monitoring the situation back home.

NEW YORK DEMS CUOMO, DE BLASIO STILL SEEM AT ODDS

“With the power back on, I’ve directed City agencies to investigate this evening’s blackout,” he wrote. “They’ll work with ConEd to get to the bottom of what happened tonight and prevent another widespread outage like this.”

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Meanwhile, the governor was in New York City, speaking to reporters just before midnight. He confirmed that power had been restored to all affected customers.

“This could have been much worse,” Cuomo added, commending emergency responders. “When things are at their worst New Yorkers are at their best.”

The governor said he would be working with utility company Con Edison to make sure a blackout of Saturday’s magnitude doesn’t happen again.

Westlake Legal Group de-blasio-cuomo-split-720 Blackout gives New York's governor opportunity to blast New York City's absentee mayor fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/person/andrew-cuomo fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article af40990a-004e-590a-abd6-daa9c47c0336   Westlake Legal Group de-blasio-cuomo-split-720 Blackout gives New York's governor opportunity to blast New York City's absentee mayor fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/person/andrew-cuomo fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article af40990a-004e-590a-abd6-daa9c47c0336

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Donkey’s July 4 death may prompt new laws on loud noises

The noise was probably too much for Sammy the Donkey, a Georgia farmer says.

John Bogino of Seven Gables Farm north of Atlanta says Sammy (short for Sambuca) probably couldn’t take the explosions from nearby Fourth of July fireworks.

“The sounds were really loud, and I suspect he got scared out there and probably died of fright or heart attack,” Bogino told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

COURAGEOUS DOG CHASES BEAR FROM NEW JERSEY BACKYARD IN WILD VIDEO

Bogino says he wishes people would think about animals before they organize such holiday celebrations – especially in farming areas.

Just two years ago, the mayor of Milton, Ga., asked the city’s equestrian committee to work with state lawmakers on potential solutions to protect livestock and other animals, the newspaper reported.

Westlake Legal Group Texas-vs-Burros-crop Donkey’s July 4 death may prompt new laws on loud noises fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d7b81bfb-1018-5185-afc5-7a923a7c86d5 article /FOX NEWS/LIFESTYLE/OCCASIONS/Holiday

Donkeys and other animals may face harmful effects from loud noises, a Georgia farmer says. (Associated Press)

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Prior to the holiday, the city emailed the following message: “While the sights and sounds are exciting for most of us, fireworks can be less enjoyable for both large and small animals.”

While Sammy couldn’t be saved, Bogino is hoping other animals will be spared next time there’s a loud celebration in town.

Click here for more from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Westlake Legal Group Texas-vs-Burros-crop Donkey’s July 4 death may prompt new laws on loud noises fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d7b81bfb-1018-5185-afc5-7a923a7c86d5 article /FOX NEWS/LIFESTYLE/OCCASIONS/Holiday   Westlake Legal Group Texas-vs-Burros-crop Donkey’s July 4 death may prompt new laws on loud noises fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d7b81bfb-1018-5185-afc5-7a923a7c86d5 article /FOX NEWS/LIFESTYLE/OCCASIONS/Holiday

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California desert town aims to be ‘sanctuary city’ for gun owners

An Old West desert town in California has declared itself a “sanctuary city” for law-abiding gun owners.

Needles is a town of about 5,000 that borders Arizona and is a few miles from the southern tip of Nevada. Last month, the City Council voted unanimously to declare itself a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary City,” for people who feel California’s strict gun laws tread on their constitutional right to bear arms.

Westlake Legal Group AP19180002708373 California desert town aims to be ‘sanctuary city’ for gun owners fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 0c108479-a3c2-5de6-bb07-7fe300f62fbb

A sign adorns a historic wagon along old Route 66 in Needles, Calif. (Associated Press)

Needles’ city attorney has been directed to draft a resolution asking the state’s Legislature to allow gun owners from other states to carry firearms in town. But Councilman Tim Terral, who sponsored the measure, admitted the request is a longshot in California’s Democrat-controlled governing body.

“They want to pick and choose what they follow,” Terral said of California’s sanctuary status for illegal immigrants. “It’s ‘We’re going to shield this person, but we’re going to go after that person.’ And in our opinion, they have violated the Second Amendment of the Constitution in many ways.”

“They want to pick and choose what they follow. It’s ‘We’re going to shield this person, but we’re going to go after that person.’ And in our opinion, they have violated the Second Amendment of the Constitution in many ways.”

— Tim Terral, Needles council member

Terral and other city officials said the measure has less to do with making the city a Wild West town and more to do with ensuring out-of-state visitors with legally registered guns from outside California don’t face a felony arrest.

“We have had that happen,” City Manager Rick Daniels said. “Now not a lot. Not a lot. But occasionally that occurs.”

Needles’ proposal comes amid heightened restrictions for gun owners and would-be gun owners alike in California. A state law that took effect Monday mandates that gun owners undergo a background check to purchase ammunition and outlaws people from bringing ammunition into California from other states.

GUN RIGHTS GROUPS SUE CALIFORNIA OVER FIREARMS SALES BAN TO THOSE UNDER 21

Most Needles residents buy their ammunition in neighboring Arizona because the nearest California stores are more than 100 miles away.  City leaders want residents to be able to continue purchasing in neighboring states.

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That and a request that California recognize concealed carry permits from other states will be spelled out in another resolution the City Council plans to consider July 9.

Westlake Legal Group AP19180002708373 California desert town aims to be ‘sanctuary city’ for gun owners fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 0c108479-a3c2-5de6-bb07-7fe300f62fbb   Westlake Legal Group AP19180002708373 California desert town aims to be ‘sanctuary city’ for gun owners fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 0c108479-a3c2-5de6-bb07-7fe300f62fbb

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Chicago cops have ‘deep mistrust’ of state’s attorney’s office, police union says in letter

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6051566441001_6051545877001-vs Chicago cops have ‘deep mistrust’ of state’s attorney’s office, police union says in letter fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/person/jussie-smollett fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 66813b11-2209-59b2-b3b1-b7e8d2833662

Citing what it described as a “deep mistrust,” the union representing Chicago police officers called this week for a special prosecutor for any Cook County, Ill., case in which a police officer is a victim of a crime or has been charged with misconduct.

The request was made Monday, in a letter to the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, whose office has handled the alleged assault case involving “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.

The letter, from Chicago Lodge No. 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police, accuses the prosecutor’s office of violating the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act in cases where the crime victims are police officers.

NEW VIDEO PLACES JUSSIE SMOLLETT, ‘ATTACKERS’ AT SCENE OF ALLEGED HOAX

It also refers to two instances in which special prosecutors have been appointed to replace Foxx: the Smollett case and the case against activist Jedidiah Brown, whom officers had accused of assault after a demonstration.

“A deep mistrust now exists between your office and ours. We no longer believe that your office will treat our members fairly either in the arrests they make or when they are victims of crimes,” reads the letter.

“A deep mistrust now exists between your office and ours. We no longer believe that your office will treat our members fairly either in the arrests they make or when they are victims of crimes.”

— Chicago police union, in June 1 letter to state’s attorney’s office

It also says there have been “several instances” in which alleged offenders have been “arbitrarily released” from prison because of allegations of police coercion.

It is signed by four FOP officials: President Kevin Graham, vice presidents Pat Murray and Martin Preib, and legal defense Co-Chairman Robert Bartlett.

Foxx’s office responded Tuesday, calling the FOP letter a “stunt,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported. It accused the police union of trying “to incite conflict and divide” the city.

Foxx, 47, a native of Chicago, has been Cook County state’s attorney since Dec. 1, 2016, after being elected to the office a month earlier.

She has come under scrutiny on national level this year because of the Smollett case, which began Jan. 29, when the actor told police he had been the victim of a racist attack.

About three weeks later, on Feb. 19, Foxx recused herself from the case, citing her “familiarity with potential witnesses,” but kept oversight of the case within her office.

Then on March 8, Smollett was indicted on charges that he had fabricated his story. But less than three weeks later, Foxx’s office dropped all charges against the actor – a move that outraged then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, and prompted the police union to call for an investigation into the reasoning behind Foxx’s decision.

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Foxx’s office sparked more furor days later, when it clarified March 28 that Foxx had never “formally” recused herself from the Smollett case, but had used the term in a “colloquial” sense rather than a legal sense.

In late June, a judge appointed a special prosecutor to review the Smollett case, suggesting that Foxx erred by appointing an aide to oversee the case after she recused herself.

The judge said Smollett could face new charges in connection with the case.

Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6051566441001_6051545877001-vs Chicago cops have ‘deep mistrust’ of state’s attorney’s office, police union says in letter fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/person/jussie-smollett fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 66813b11-2209-59b2-b3b1-b7e8d2833662   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6051566441001_6051545877001-vs Chicago cops have ‘deep mistrust’ of state’s attorney’s office, police union says in letter fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/person/jussie-smollett fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 66813b11-2209-59b2-b3b1-b7e8d2833662

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Electrocuted squirrel finally removed from utility wires: ‘Rest in power,’ neighbors say

Talk about being left hanging.

Some residents in upstate New York say a utility company ignored them for two weeks after they reported seeing a dead squirrel dangling above them from utility wires.

The squirrel had apparently gotten electrocuted while nibbling on the wires, Syracuse.com reported.

Frustrated by unresponsiveness from the utility, National Grid, some of the residents of the Syracuse neighborhood began posting photos of the dead squirrel every day on social media.

Neighbor Chet Seidel posted photos on Twitter while Kathy Denman posted on Facebook.

WANTED ALABAMA ‘ATTACK SQUIRREL’ OWNER ARRESTED AFTER CHASE: COPS

They even named the squirrel Freddie, after the 1972 Curtis Mayfield song, “Freddie’s Dead,” Syracuse.com reported.

National Grid eventually removed the squirrel Monday night after receiving an inquiry from Syracuse.com, the website reported.

Westlake Legal Group gray-squirrel-pennsylvania Electrocuted squirrel finally removed from utility wires: 'Rest in power,' neighbors say fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/odd-news fox-news/newsedge/consumer fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d7c64844-5f0d-56e8-8f58-adf3d40a73ea article

Neighbors in Syracuse, N.Y., are hoping for no more problems involving local wildlife.

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A spokeswoman for the utility said the company normally doesn’t remove items from the wires unless they pose a threat to electrical service. But in this case they were concerned that the neighbors might try to remove the squirrel themselves.

Click here for more from Syracuse.com.

Westlake Legal Group gray-squirrel-pennsylvania Electrocuted squirrel finally removed from utility wires: 'Rest in power,' neighbors say fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/odd-news fox-news/newsedge/consumer fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d7c64844-5f0d-56e8-8f58-adf3d40a73ea article   Westlake Legal Group gray-squirrel-pennsylvania Electrocuted squirrel finally removed from utility wires: 'Rest in power,' neighbors say fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/odd-news fox-news/newsedge/consumer fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d7c64844-5f0d-56e8-8f58-adf3d40a73ea article

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Ex-Scranton mayor pleads guilty to bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges

Less than 24 hours after resigning from office, the former mayor of Scranton, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty on Tuesday to shaking down businesses for both bribes and campaign contributions during his term and a half in office.

Bill Courtright, who led the city of 78,000 in northeastern Pennsylvania for five years, is now the third Democratic mayor from the state to be convicted of public corruption in about 16 months, all involving similar schemes. The former mayors of Allentown and Reading are already serving their prison sentences.

Courtright pleaded guilty to bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges, and was ordered to surrender his passport. He was released without bail pending his sentencing in November, when he faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.

Courtright also agreed to forfeit $36,705 that the government says is the proceeds of criminal activity.

ED PAWLOWSKI, ALLENTOWN EX-MAYOR, SENTENCED TO PRISON ON CORRUPTION CHARGES

“I think the citizens of northeastern Pennsylvania could be forgiven for feeling like they’ve been down this road before,” said U.S. Attorney David Freed, adding that the investigation continues. “I think what this shows is we will work as hard as it takes, where we have credible evidence of wrongdoing.”

Federal prosecutors said Courtright, 61, who first took office in 2014, collected tens of thousands of dollars in bribes by pressuring people who needed city permits or contracts. He also got use of a beach property, carpentry at a karate club he owns and landscaping at his home.

Prosecutors told U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner that audio and video recordings captured Courtright taking cash payoffs, including a conversation in which a business operator apologized for not attending Courtright’s inauguration.

“I don’t worry about you coming. I worry about the money,” federal prosecutor Michael Consiglio quoted Courtright as saying.

A vendor, Courtright said, “makes a tremendous amount of money off the city” and “has to pay.” He also used a dismissive expletive to describe another vendor who had donated just $250 to a fundraising golf event.

PENNSYLVANIA MAYOR ARRESTED AFTER POINTING GUN AT GROUP OF TEENAGERS, POLICE SAY

He was accused of directing intermediaries to solicit payments, campaign donations and other property on his behalf.

In one instance, Consiglio told the judge, Courtright told someone how to handle the money: “If they are checks, you can give them to me when you see me,” but if it was cash, they should give it to an intermediary.

Courtright told an associate he was worried that a business president who funneled him cash in exchange for renewing a contract to collect the city’s delinquent tax and trash bills might be working with federal investigators.

“If they say you gave it to me, I’m going to say you never gave me a dime,” Courtright said, before putting a wad of cash into his pocket, according to Consiglio.

Another case, prosecutors said, involved a developer who needed permits and licenses to do business in Scranton. Projects were halted and went ahead only after the unnamed person “agreed to provide financial support to Courtright,” prosecutors said.

“In some instances, Courtright took adverse official action against persons and entities to cause them to make payments and contributions for the benefit of Courtright,” prosecutors wrote.

When investigators searched his home in January, prosecutors said, they recovered $29,000 in a basement safe, including bills they confirmed had come from people working for the FBI.

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The Times-Tribune of Scranton said the city council has 30 days to pick a successor to serve the rest of Courtright’s term, with the council president serving as acting mayor in the interim. If the council does not act, after 30 days a county judge will designate the next mayor.

Courtright’s term as mayor has about 2½ years remaining.

Former Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer were also convicted in the last year and a half of engaging in pay-to-play schemes. Pawlowski was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Spencer to eight.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Bill-Courtright-FB Ex-Scranton mayor pleads guilty to bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc da487c82-9ea2-5044-b816-704b69405e5d article Andrew O'Reilly   Westlake Legal Group Bill-Courtright-FB Ex-Scranton mayor pleads guilty to bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc da487c82-9ea2-5044-b816-704b69405e5d article Andrew O'Reilly

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Spit attack on Eric Trump ‘repugnant,’ Chicago’s Dem mayor says in call for civility

Westlake Legal Group eric-trump-lori-lightfoot-sbs-thumb Spit attack on Eric Trump 'repugnant,' Chicago's Dem mayor says in call for civility Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox news fnc/politics fnc article 56a17e60-6a50-51e6-aaa8-8dc6f14f8e5b

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called “repugnant” an incident in which an employee at a restaurant in the city allegedly spat on Eric Trump, and urged city residents to show civility.

“Civility matters,” Democrat Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference Thursday. “We may not agree and, in my case, I don’t agree with a lot of the things that President Trump stands for. Our values are different. But you cross the line when you assault someone.”

“Civility matters. We may not agree and, in my case, I don’t agree with a lot of the things that President Trump stands for. Our values are different. But you cross the line when you assault someone.”

— Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

ERIC TRUMP SAYS CHICAGO RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE SPIT ON HIM: REPORT

“You absolutely cross the line when you intentionally target someone for that kind of treatment. No one deserves that. No one,” she continued.

“This is America. People have a right to have their views, no matter if we agree with them or not. But we cannot countenance people who go out of their way to express themselves in such a repugnant fashion.”

She went on to praise President Trump’s third child as “very gracious” for not pressing charges against the waitress accused in the attack.

“Mr. Trump decided he wasn’t going to press charges, which I think was very gracious of him under the circumstances. This isn’t about politics,” she said. “This is about civility. And we have to have that in our city.”

“Mr. Trump decided he wasn’t going to press charges, which I think was very gracious of him under the circumstances.”

— Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

GOFUNDME PAGE RAISING MONEY FOR RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE WHO ALLEGEDLY SPAT ON ERIC TRUMP

The president’s son was reportedly confronted by a female server at Aviary in Chicago. The Chicago Police Department and the Secret Service were involved in the investigation.

The Alinea Group, which owns the high-end cocktail bar, called the incident “unfortunate” and told Fox News their human-resources team had “placed her on leave” as they looked into the matter.

“No customer should ever be spit upon. We have not yet spoken with the employee but our HR team has, in the meantime, placed her on leave,” the Alinea Group told Fox News.

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A GoFundMe page was launched for the alleged perpetrator, but as of Saturday morning, the crowdfunding campaign, which attracted at least $4,000 in 10 hours, was deleted.

Fox News’ Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group eric-trump-lori-lightfoot-sbs-thumb Spit attack on Eric Trump 'repugnant,' Chicago's Dem mayor says in call for civility Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox news fnc/politics fnc article 56a17e60-6a50-51e6-aaa8-8dc6f14f8e5b   Westlake Legal Group eric-trump-lori-lightfoot-sbs-thumb Spit attack on Eric Trump 'repugnant,' Chicago's Dem mayor says in call for civility Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox news fnc/politics fnc article 56a17e60-6a50-51e6-aaa8-8dc6f14f8e5b

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California’s $215 billion budget to expand health care for illegals

California’s new budget, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, expands health care for illegal immigrants and includes a penalty for people who do not purchase health insurance.

The provisions were among several measures in the $214.8 billion operating budget that Newsom signed before the midnight deadline. It is the largest in the state’s history, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Westlake Legal Group AP19179039749944 California’s $215 billion budget to expand health care for illegals fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 2ab1ecf2-05dd-508c-a4e6-52cf0b0795dd

Gov. Gavin Newsom holds up he $215 billion 2019-2020 state budget he signed in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, June 27, 2019. This is Newsom’s first state budget since becoming governor. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

California lawmakers were at odds over how far to go providing government-funded health care to illegal immigrants. Newsom last month proposed providing $98 million a year to cover low-income illegal immigrants between the ages of 19 and 25. A more extreme state Assembly’s bill proposed covering all illegal immigrants over the age of 19 living in California – a proposal that would cost an estimated $3.4 billion.

The budget also seeks to address the state’s crippling housing shortage and mounting homelessness. California’s governor and legislative leaders agreed on a plan to reward local governments who make it easier to build housing faster and punish those who don’t.

Local governments that don’t comply with these housing requirements will face potential fines of up to $600,000 a month.

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The bill marks Newsom’s first signed budget since taking office in January. Its passage was largely aided by a $21.5 billion surplus that ensured there was plenty of money to spend on his priorities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19179039749944 California’s $215 billion budget to expand health care for illegals fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 2ab1ecf2-05dd-508c-a4e6-52cf0b0795dd   Westlake Legal Group AP19179039749944 California’s $215 billion budget to expand health care for illegals fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 2ab1ecf2-05dd-508c-a4e6-52cf0b0795dd

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