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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest

‘Sprawling’ winter storm slams upper Midwest and Plains, canceling hundreds of flights as it heads East

A “sprawling” winter snowstorm that slammed the West Coast earlier this week is producing blizzard conditions through much of the Plains as it travels East this weekend, having already canceled nearly 690 flights at one of the nation’s busiest airports, stranding drivers alongside major highways and even triggering an avalanche at a California ski resort, killing one.

The National Weather Service issued winter weather advisories for much of the Midwest and upper Mississippi Valley into the Great Lakes ON Saturday morning as a “sprawling winter storm” is expected to bring heavy snow and wind gusts of over 50 mph to the region, creating “life-threatening travel conditions” throughout the weekend.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK SEES 170 PEOPLE FALL ILL WITH GASTROINTESTINAL ISSUES ‘CONSISTENT WITH NOROVIRUS,’ 2 CASES CONFIRMED 

Just to the south, portions of the Midwest into the Mid-Atlantic have already seen a mix of freezing rain and several inches of snow.

O’Hare International Airport in Chicago saw nearly 690 flights get canceled by Friday evening after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) halted all flights in and out. An additional 169 flights were canceled at Midway Airport before the ban was lifted at around 9:45 p.m.

Westlake Legal Group ohare 'Sprawling' winter storm slams upper Midwest and Plains, canceling hundreds of flights as it heads East Paulina Dedaj fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox news fnc/us fnc article 0c3d5ca9-e89b-5be1-bff4-a576aa31f7c1

Heavy traffic is seen on Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. Hundreds of flights were canceled as a winter storm hits the city during evening commute Friday, creating a sloppy rush hour. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Early Friday morning, a Delta Air Lines flight carrying 123 passengers and 6 crew members slid off an icy taxiway at Kansas City International Airport as it was getting de-iced before its flight to Detroit.

There were no reported injuries.

Not far away, in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, a fire truck overturned on an icy road after returning from a call. There were no injuries reported.

UTAH-BASED SKI TECH COMPANY FOUNDER, 64, DIES IN FIREY PLANE CRASH, OFFICIALS SAY 

The worst of the blizzard conditions are forecasted to hit across the eastern Dakotas, Minnesota and northern Iowa, the National Weather Service said.

A 231-mile stretch of I-29 between Grand Forks, North Dakota and Sioux Falls, South Dakota was shut down Saturday morning as the State Highway Patrol warned drivers to stay off the roads.

“Do not travel on these roadways AND don’t try to get around the closures on our secondary roads. You will get stranded and put your life and others in danger,” a tweet from police read.

A similar closure was ordered for parts of I-84 in Idaho where slick roads reduced visibility led to multiple crashes along the interstate.

Further out west, a man was killed in an avalanche at a Lake Tahoe ski resort Friday after the Sierra Avalanche Center had warned of dangerous conditions for all elevations following the storm.

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Sierra Avalanche Center had warned of dangerous avalanche conditions for all elevations following the storm. The cause of the avalanche is still under investigation.

Westlake Legal Group avalanche 'Sprawling' winter storm slams upper Midwest and Plains, canceling hundreds of flights as it heads East Paulina Dedaj fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox news fnc/us fnc article 0c3d5ca9-e89b-5be1-bff4-a576aa31f7c1

Snow drifts pile up at Alpine Meadows ski resort in Alpine Meadows, Calif. on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. An avalanche Friday at a Lake Tahoe ski resort killed one skier and seriously injured another a day after a storm dumped large amounts of snow throughout the picturesque area. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

Another skier was seriously injured with a lower-body injury and was airlifted to a Lake Tahoe hospital for emergency surgery.

The storm is expected to move through the Great lakes on Saturday, eventually making its way into northern New York and New England on Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group snow 'Sprawling' winter storm slams upper Midwest and Plains, canceling hundreds of flights as it heads East Paulina Dedaj fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox news fnc/us fnc article 0c3d5ca9-e89b-5be1-bff4-a576aa31f7c1   Westlake Legal Group snow 'Sprawling' winter storm slams upper Midwest and Plains, canceling hundreds of flights as it heads East Paulina Dedaj fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox news fnc/us fnc article 0c3d5ca9-e89b-5be1-bff4-a576aa31f7c1

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Wisconsin police officers fall ‘victim to the ice’ amid slippery conditions

Several police officers in Wisconsin found out the hard way over the weekend that slippery, icy ground can actually be very dangerous.

The city of Beloit Police Department shared two videos to Facebook on Saturday of officers slipping on the ice as a storm brought wintry conditions to parts of the Midwest.

“The roads, parking lots, and sidewalks are slippery! Even the police fall victim to the ice,” the department said. “Please be careful when you are outside this weekend.”

POLAR VORTEX, BOMB CYCLONE, SLEET: HERE’S WHAT THOSE WINTER WEATHER TERMS MEAN

In one of the videos, one officer can be seen slipping on a sidewalk and falling before he had the chance to throw salt on the frozen walkway.

Westlake Legal Group policeofficer_1 Wisconsin police officers fall 'victim to the ice' amid slippery conditions Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 568f5bd5-5893-54ed-9101-c114d4050ed7

A police officer can be seen slipping and falling on black ice over the weekend in Wisconsin. (Beloit Police Department)

In another video posted by the department, an officer can be seen falling while walking to a vehicle outside.

No officers were injured in either video, the department said.

“We are both just fine,” the department said in a comment on the video. “Figured everyone could use a little laugh at our expense and serve as a reminder to be careful today.”

‘SNEAKER WAVE’ DANGER IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST HIGHLIGHTED IN RECENT WEST COAST TRAGEDIES

The officers both took tumbles as a storm over the weekend brought hazardous conditions to the Midwest and left at least 11 dead as it moved east, creating dangerous travel conditions such as black ice. According to the National Weather Service, black ice is defined as patchy ice on roadways or other transportation surfaces, such as sidewalks, that cannot easily be seen.

“It is often clear (not white) with the black road surface visible underneath,” according to the NWS. “It is most prevalent during the early morning hours, especially after snow melt on the roadways has a chance to refreeze over night when the temperature drops below freezing.”

Black ice may also form when roadways or walkways are slick from rain and temperatures drop below freezing overnight.

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Dr. Joel N. Myers, CEO of AccuWeather, told Fox News in December that when there is a flash freeze, water on untreated surfaces can form “black ice.”

If the water present is very thin and on a surface such as black asphalt, it can be difficult to see, according to Myers.

“It can be extremely dangerous and very slippery,” he told Fox News.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122230768001_6122228962001-vs Wisconsin police officers fall 'victim to the ice' amid slippery conditions Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 568f5bd5-5893-54ed-9101-c114d4050ed7   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122230768001_6122228962001-vs Wisconsin police officers fall 'victim to the ice' amid slippery conditions Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 568f5bd5-5893-54ed-9101-c114d4050ed7

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Winter storm bringing ‘significant’ travel hazards after 470 crashes reported in Minnesota

An intensifying winter storm is forecast to wallop the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest through Monday, creating treacherous travel conditions across the region a day after freezing rain led to hundreds of crashes across Minnesota.

The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center said the winter storm will bring heavy and blowing snow with blizzard conditions at times from northern Nebraska to northern Minnesota, with storm totals in excess of a foot possible in parts of the Dakotas and northwest Minnesota.

“The northern side of this is where we do have some snow. We also have some of the rain,” Fox News Chief Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth said on “Fox & Friends.” “It’s rain right now in Minneapolis, that will transition back to snow. It’s definitely rain in Chicago, throughout all of Wisconsin. Back side of this, some of those spots may be up to six to 12 inches of snow by the time this is all done.”

POLAR VORTEX, BOMB CYCLONE, SLEET: HERE’S WHAT THOSE WINTER WEATHER TERMS MEAN

The axis of the heaviest snow will shift to northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by Monday, where six to 12 inches of snow is likely to bring “significant travel hazards” as areas of freezing rain also develop into the Northeast.

“A major ice storm is becoming more likely across northern New York and into central New England as warm air advection and moisture flux from the Atlantic Ocean overrides a shallow layer of sub-freezing temperatures near the surface,” according to forecasters. “The potential exists for a quarter to half an inch of ice accretion, and this will likely cause havoc for travelers and disrupt electrical service.”

Ice storm warnings have been posted to areas near Albany, N.Y. and in western Massachusetts and parts of Connecticut. Winter storm warnings have been issued further north, where “heavy mixed precipitation” is expected.

The storm system caused freezing rain across southern Minnesota on Saturday, causing 470 crashes across the region, the Minnesota State Patrol told FOX9.

Of the 470 crashes reported on Saturday, 43 involved injuries, and two were fatal.

Westlake Legal Group MNDOT1 Winter storm bringing 'significant' travel hazards after 470 crashes reported in Minnesota Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 10bcf4d1-851e-5d53-87ab-3eee139cc46b

Freezing rain in southern Minnesota was blamed for 470 crashes on Saturday, according to state patrol. (Minnesota Department of Transportation)

In Stearns County, a fatal crash was reported around 4:30 a.m. in Brockway Township when a vehicle went off the road and crash into trees. Investigators told FOX9 the victim was thrown from the vehicle and died.

The second fatal crash happened around 6:30 a.m. on Interstate 35E when an 82-year-old man died after his vehicle went off the highway and rolled over. Minnesota State Patrol told FOX9 the man was not wearing a seatbelt during the crash.

The freezing rain caused another dramatic scene in the Twin Cities on Saturday when a school bus sliding sideways “downhill” down a roadway. No injuries were reported in that incident, according to FOX9.

Several roads were temporarily closed Saturday morning as authorities responded to the numerous crashes and the Minnesota Department of Transportation issued a no travel advisory until 12:30 p.m. due to the conditions.

2019 IN REVIEW: THE TOP 5 CRAZIEST WEATHER MOMENTS

While interior regions of the Northeast may a major ice storm, the storm will bring mainly rain closer tot he coast and for the major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor through Monday, according to forecasters.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Ahead of the storm system and cold front, temperatures will be well above normal for the eastern U.S. on Sunday into Monday before cooler air arrives, with record-high temperatures possible in some locations. A few severe thunderstorms could develop across the South ahead of the cold front.

“A lot of very heavy rain showers that are here across parts of the South, some of them potentially severe and as these storms move to the East throughout the day today, we’ll see a little bit of potential wind damage,” Reichmuth said on “Fox & Friends.”

Westlake Legal Group MNDOT1 Winter storm bringing 'significant' travel hazards after 470 crashes reported in Minnesota Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 10bcf4d1-851e-5d53-87ab-3eee139cc46b   Westlake Legal Group MNDOT1 Winter storm bringing 'significant' travel hazards after 470 crashes reported in Minnesota Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 10bcf4d1-851e-5d53-87ab-3eee139cc46b

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

East Coast winter blast brings light snow, freezing wind chill

Westlake Legal Group NWS-geocolor-map East Coast winter blast brings light snow, freezing wind chill Stephen Sorace fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox news fnc/us fnc article 32abe23c-764f-59e8-8c42-ac0cb1adb851

A day after parts of the East Coast warmed up to the low 60s, a drastic swing in temperature Wednesday left much of the region facing rain, snow and bitterly cold wind chills.

Overnight rain turned to snow as temperatures dipped below freezing in parts of New York, northern New Jersey, southern Connecticut and New England. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory until the afternoon as the system moves east and the snow subsides.

75-FOOT WAVE RECORDED OFF CALIFORNIA DURING LAST MONTH’S ‘BOMB CYCLONE’

Snow totals of 1 to 4 inches were expected in parts of the tri-state area, the agency said. Snow reports showed an accumulation of 3.7 inches in Danbury, Conn., by the early afternoon, while New York City’s Central Park saw less than an inch.

Boston and its surrounding areas were also forecast to see 1 to 4 inches of snow as temperatures dropped below freezing just 24 hours after 63-degree weather. A Pembroke, Mass., resident said that 3.5 inches have so far blanketed his neighborhood.

The NWS urged those traveling on the roads Wednesday morning and afternoon to use caution.

MASSACHUSETTS OFFICIALS PLEAD WITH PEOPLE NOT TO STICK HANDS IN SNOWBLOWERS AFTER MULTIPLE INJURIES

The light snow accumulation comes ahead of freezing wind chill temperatures the NWS forecast for Thursday morning. The winds could make New York feel like 18 degrees, while Boston could feel as cold as 11 degrees.

Meanwhile, the upper Midwest was also forecast to experience snow freezing temperatures Wednesday. Wind chills as low as 40 degrees below zero could affect parts of western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota until the afternoon, the NWS said.

“The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes,” the agency said.

The coldest wind chill temperatures of 42 below zero were recorded in Fosston, Minn., and McHenry, N.D., early Wednesday.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

“Even by our standards, this is very cold for December,” the agency said.

Westlake Legal Group NWS-geocolor-map East Coast winter blast brings light snow, freezing wind chill Stephen Sorace fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox news fnc/us fnc article 32abe23c-764f-59e8-8c42-ac0cb1adb851   Westlake Legal Group NWS-geocolor-map East Coast winter blast brings light snow, freezing wind chill Stephen Sorace fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox news fnc/us fnc article 32abe23c-764f-59e8-8c42-ac0cb1adb851

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Tucker Carlson: Sasse should return donations from hedge fund manager Paul Singer

Westlake Legal Group cabelas-istock-1 Tucker Carlson: Sasse should return donations from hedge fund manager Paul Singer Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/nebraska fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 0b240c21-4f2a-5167-91a5-52661f23038f

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson said Wednesday night that Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., should return donations from hedge fund manager Paul Singer, who played a key role in the purchase of sporting goods retailer Cabela’s by Bass Pro Shops — a move that led to the loss of 2,000 jobs in the town of Sidney, Neb., where Cabela’s formerly had its headquarters.

“We’re not saying Ben Sasse or any other senator is doing Singer’s bidding purely for the cash,” Carlson said. “But why not remove all doubt? If one of your biggest donors turned out to be a pornographer or a mass distributor of OxyContin, you’d send back the donation. You wouldn’t want to be associated with someone like that. You’d want to be clear about your own values. Senator Sasse should be clear about his.”

THE DEATH OF SIDNEY, NEBRASKA: HOW A HEDGE FUND DESTROYED ‘A GOOD AMERICAN TOWN’

Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show Singer donated $2,600 — then the maximum individual contribution allowed by federal law — to Sasse’s Senate campaign in 2014. In May of this year, Singer donated $10,600 to a political action committee in support of Sasse.

In response to a report on Sidney’s plight broadcast Tuesday night, Sasse issued a statement saying: “Melissa and I know the families in Sidney and I’ve constantly told companies — including Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops — that nobody out-works or out-hustles Nebraskans. Sidney hasn’t given up and neither have we. There’s a real problem with American communities coming apart, and it is going to require creative policymaking, but this problem isn’t going to be solved by the easy, overpromising big-government advocates on either the right or the left.”

In response to Sasse, Carlson said: “No more baby talk. Stop with the bumper sticker phrases from 1986. It’s a different country now. The question isn’t whether we’re getting big government. Too late. We already have it, in part thanks to you, Republican senators.

“The question is whether we’ll become a socialist country run by a terrifying alliance of authoritarian big tech moguls and wild-eyed identity politics cult members,” Carlson added. “That could happen. We’re closer to it than Republicans in Washington acknowledge … These are supposed to be the guardians of capitalism. Somehow they don’t seem to notice it’s in mortal peril.

“Wake up. We’re almost out of time,” the host said. “If we don’t reign in the excesses of our system, and soon, we could very easily lose the whole thing.”

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Singer’s hedge fund, Elliott Management, also issued a statement Wednesday on the blogging platform Medium in which they denied responsibility for the sale of Cabela’s and claimed the company was exploring such a move before Elliott bought an 11 percent stake.

However, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicate that while Cabela’s did consider a sale before Elliott purchased the 11 percent stake, they rejected that path in August 2015. Shortly after Elliott’s purchase, they reversed course.

Otherwise, Elliott’s statement did not contest any essential parts of Tucker Carlson Tonight’s reporting. Their statement ended with a promise to “protect and grow their [clients’] hard-earned capital.”

Fox’s Charles Couger, Alex Pfeiffer and Blake Neff contributed to this report.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Westlake Legal Group cabelas-istock-1 Tucker Carlson: Sasse should return donations from hedge fund manager Paul Singer Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/nebraska fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 0b240c21-4f2a-5167-91a5-52661f23038f   Westlake Legal Group cabelas-istock-1 Tucker Carlson: Sasse should return donations from hedge fund manager Paul Singer Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/nebraska fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 0b240c21-4f2a-5167-91a5-52661f23038f

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Judge orders Union Pacific to rehire engineer who defecated on train

A federal judge has ordered Union Pacific to reinstate an engineer who defecated on the exterior of a train car, according to media reports.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Brian Buescher upholds an arbitration board’s decision that Matthew Lebsack should be rehired following the 2016 incident, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

The Omaha-based railroad giant did not indicate whether it would appeal the ruling.

A TRAIN TICKET THAT TAKES A CENTURY AND A HALF TO GET

“Union Pacific is reviewing the court’s decision and in the process of determining our next steps,” the company said in a statement. “The behavior in question does not align with our values and should not be tolerated.”

Lebsack admitted to defecating on a portion of the train connecting a locomotive and boxcar during a Nov. 20, 2016 stop. He also admitted to throwing soiled tissues out a window and raising his middle finger at a security camera abord the train.

Westlake Legal Group AP19321223724869 Judge orders Union Pacific to rehire engineer who defecated on train Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/nebraska fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc d909cf65-53b4-5df8-abc6-06a56e537315 article

The Union Pacific’s historic Big Boy steam locomotive. (AP Photo/Larry Papke)

The lawsuit also said he told his manager he left a “present” for his co-workers. The lawsuit didn’t specify where the incident occurred.

Lebsack later blamed the incident on physical and mental issues. The company terminated him, citing a rule prohibiting conduct that is “negligent, insubordinate, dishonest, immoral, quarrelsome or discourteous.”

In December, the arbitration board ruled the termination was excessive and said the railroad giant should require Lebsack to undergo a medical and psychological evaluation with the option to discipline him if he’s found to not be fit for duty, according to the newspaper.

Union Pacific filed a lawsuit defending its right to fire him.

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Buescher actually disagreed with the board, according to the newspaper, but said he wasn’t allowed to consider the merits of the decision.

He said Union Pacific failed to prove the arbitration decision was not within the board’s discretion.

Westlake Legal Group AP19321223724869 Judge orders Union Pacific to rehire engineer who defecated on train Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/nebraska fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc d909cf65-53b4-5df8-abc6-06a56e537315 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19321223724869 Judge orders Union Pacific to rehire engineer who defecated on train Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/nebraska fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc d909cf65-53b4-5df8-abc6-06a56e537315 article

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Illinois woman convicted of murdering boyfriend’s 8-year-old daughter

A woman in Illinois, accused of killing her boyfriend’s 8-year-old daughter by kicking her so hard in the stomach that it tore her intestine, was convicted of first-degree murder, according to reports.

Cynthia Clay, also known as Cynthia Baker, 41, also was found guilty of aggravated battery, endangering the life of a child, and three counts of domestic battery, WEEK reported.

She will be sentenced on February 3, WGLT reported.

She could face life in prison because the jury found the murder to be heinous and with wanton cruelty.

CHICAGO GANG LEADER ACCUSED OF SUPPORTING ISIS

Westlake Legal Group Cynthia-Baker-1 Illinois woman convicted of murdering boyfriend's 8-year-old daughter Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 34aca941-c5b7-5c20-8f10-1bf414422578

Cynthia Clay, also known as Cynthia Baker, 41, accused of killing her boyfriend’s 8-year-old daughter by kicking her so hard in the stomach that it tore her intestine, was convicted of first-degree murder, according to reports. (Normal Police Department)

During the trial, videos were shown of Baker abusing Rica Rountree; one video showed Baker kneeing Rica in the back, then hitting the girl’s head on a wall.

Rica died in January of peritonitis, caused by ruptures of her intestine, forensic pathologist Dr. Scott Denton testified.

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“For most, it’s unthinkable but for Rica, it was normal. In the 407 Stanhope residence, Rica was treated as less than as this defendant’s punching bag and her pain served as entertainment for the entire family,” said Erka Reynolds, McLean County assistant state’s attorney.

Westlake Legal Group Cynthia-Baker-1 Illinois woman convicted of murdering boyfriend's 8-year-old daughter Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 34aca941-c5b7-5c20-8f10-1bf414422578   Westlake Legal Group Cynthia-Baker-1 Illinois woman convicted of murdering boyfriend's 8-year-old daughter Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 34aca941-c5b7-5c20-8f10-1bf414422578

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South Dakota doctor made millions of dollars performing unnecessary surgeries, feds say

A South Dakota neurosurgeon made millions by performing unnecessary and invasive surgeries in order to profit from medical devices in which he had a financial interest, according to a federal complaint filed Wednesday.

Dr. Wilson Asfora carried out operations using medical devices he invented and also received kickbacks from other medical companies whose devices he used, all without disclosing the arrangement to patients, the Justice Department alleged in the lawsuit, which was obtained by the Argus Leader.

Westlake Legal Group Dr-Wilson-Afora-ShareCare South Dakota doctor made millions of dollars performing unnecessary surgeries, feds say Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/south-dakota fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox news fnc/us fnc fd387e27-7e83-5669-bce7-d7e02cc2eab1 article

Dr. Wilson Asfora 

Asfora allegedly implanted the devices during complex spinal surgeries which should not have been performed, authorities say, alleging that the doctor “received numerous warnings that he was performing medically unnecessary procedures – which were ‘excessive,’ ‘quite aggressive,’ and went ‘against conventional neurosurgical teaching and practice’ – with the devices in which he had a financial interest.”

SEATTLE CHILDREN’S SHUTS DOWN 11 OPERATING ROOMS OVER MOLD CONCERNS 

The federal complaint includes warnings from Asfora’s own lawyers and warnings from medical professionals that his behavior was illegal.

Asfora worked out of two Sioux City hospitals, Sanford Medical Center and the Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital. He sold the devices to the hospitals at enormous markups, meaning he made money for the surgeries he performed as well as the devices he used.

US SUPERBUG INFECTIONS RISING, BUT DEATHS ARE FALLING 

In one case Asfora allegedly told a medical device company he could increase the number of surgeries he performed. The complaint also alleges he went to great lengths to hide his conflicts with the hospitals.

As a result, Sanford Health will be required to hire an outside auditor to monitor the health system’s billing as part of an agreement reached with the federal government. The agreement allows Sanford to continue participating in Medicare and other federal programs, despite the claims against Asfora.

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Sanford agreed to pay more than $20 million in penalties after the health system was accused of allowing Asfora to defraud the federal government out of millions of dollars. The lawsuit alleged Sanford allowed Asfora to use the devices he invented despite knowing anti-kickback laws prohibit health providers from relationships where they profit by referring patients for care.

Westlake Legal Group Dr-Wilson-Afora-ShareCare South Dakota doctor made millions of dollars performing unnecessary surgeries, feds say Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/south-dakota fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox news fnc/us fnc fd387e27-7e83-5669-bce7-d7e02cc2eab1 article   Westlake Legal Group Dr-Wilson-Afora-ShareCare South Dakota doctor made millions of dollars performing unnecessary surgeries, feds say Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/south-dakota fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox news fnc/us fnc fd387e27-7e83-5669-bce7-d7e02cc2eab1 article

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Sen. Chuck Grassley: America will suffer if problems plaguing Midwest aren’t addressed by Congress

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6066332797001_6066334023001-vs Sen. Chuck Grassley: America will suffer if problems plaguing Midwest aren’t addressed by Congress Sen. Chuck Grassley fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/economy/taxes fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1e48b75e-50c8-53fa-8319-509e15a5e311

Members of Congress representing Middle America have been talking about the challenges facing the Midwest for years, but our warnings have largely fallen on deaf ears.

Why? Because too often, Congress doesn’t act on a problem until it becomes a crisis.

Many communities in the Midwest, particularly rural communities, are close to that point. Without immediate action, the heart of the nation may stop beating. By then, it will be too little and too late for the rest of the nation.

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The problems facing the Midwest are cyclical. Small towns are getting smaller and disappearing because there are no job opportunities for younger generations. Without jobs, young people leave.

Without fresh blood to start new businesses and build up communities, they fall into disrepair. Shrinking populations also mean fewer kids in schools and customers at local grocery stores and restaurants, resulting in fewer jobs and smaller city budgets. And the cycle repeats itself.

What can be done to reverse the cycle? Enact policies that cultivate a sustainable business environment in small communities.

Many folks in the Midwest pride themselves on being independent. They work every day to preserve our nation’s small towns and culture. There are many inspiring stories about small communities coming together to help one of their own in need where the citizens took action themselves instead of saying that’s the responsibility of government.

However, some issues facing these small towns can only be addressed by Congress.

Finding and implementing solutions to fundamental challenges, such as broadband and health care access, will go a long way toward improving economic conditions in our small and rural communities.

One significant step forward that has shown positive results was the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Specifically, Opportunity Zones were included in the law. They are designed to stimulate economic development and job creation by incentivizing long-term investments in economically distressed neighborhoods, including rural communities.

Since the law’s passage in 2017, there have been wage increases in these areas. For example, during the second and third quarters of 2018, counties with a large presence of Opportunity Zones experienced an annualized wage growth of 8 percent.

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Another thing Congress can do right now is to help finalize the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Agricultural businesses in small towns and rural communities are often the engines of their local economies. They depend on international trade to keep their lights on, tractors running and doors open.

Mexico and Canada are two of America’s largest trading partners. Modernizing this trilateral agreement would increase optimism and security for the nation’s small and rural communities and help them invest and grow their businesses. In turn, that would create more opportunities for employment, increased wages and long-term economic sustainability.

However, modern businesses simply can’t function without reliable Internet access that connects small towns to the worldwide marketplace. Access to broadband services impacts the ability of small-town America to grow businesses, recruit and retain workers, provide services and compete in the 21st century economy.

According to a Pew Research Center survey, there is a 12 percentage point digital gap in home broadband connectivity between rural residents and everyone else. Lack of access to high-speed internet poses a barrier for one-quarter of rural Americans.

The Federal Communications Commission set a benchmark of 25 megabits/second. In its most recent broadband deployment report, the FCC said more than 21 million Americans lacked access to this benchmark connection. In order for small and rural communities to succeed, they need to have access to the same tools as big cities.

Small and rural communities are also at a disadvantage because of a lack of reliable health care. Geographic isolation, inclement weather situations and challenges in transportation are all significant obstacles for residents in these areas to receive even basic care services.

The problem is worse for those who need specialized medical treatment. Without even elementary health care options, communities have a hard time incentivizing their young people to stay and an even harder time enticing new talent to relocate.

Legislation such as the Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital (REACH) Act, which would help rural hospitals stay open and ensure rural residents have emergency room care and outpatient services, as well as developments in telehealth services have helped make progress on this issue, but more needs to be done.

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With Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., I introduced the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA). According to the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation would reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients by $25 billion and save an additional $6 billion in premiums.

It would also save taxpayers $85 billion in Medicare and $15 billion in Medicaid.

Passing PDPRA would be a huge victory for all Americans, but particularly those in small and rural communities because drug prices do not adjust lower to account for local wages like housing costs do. When it’s difficult to simply see your doctor, you shouldn’t have to worry that you’ll need to leave your medicine at the pharmacy counter due to high prices.

Finding and implementing solutions to fundamental challenges, such as broadband and health care access, will go a long way toward improving economic conditions in our small and rural communities.

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As rural communities and Middle America grow stronger, so does the rest of the nation. Congress can’t wait until we’ve reached the tipping point. Action is needed now. There is absolutely no upside to ignoring these issues.

Continuing to build on the success of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – as well as ratifying USMCA and passing PDPRA – are steps that can be taken now to secure the long-term economic health and prosperity of our America’s small and rural communities, as well as of our entire nation.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6066332797001_6066334023001-vs Sen. Chuck Grassley: America will suffer if problems plaguing Midwest aren’t addressed by Congress Sen. Chuck Grassley fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/economy/taxes fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1e48b75e-50c8-53fa-8319-509e15a5e311   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6066332797001_6066334023001-vs Sen. Chuck Grassley: America will suffer if problems plaguing Midwest aren’t addressed by Congress Sen. Chuck Grassley fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/economy/taxes fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1e48b75e-50c8-53fa-8319-509e15a5e311

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North Dakota man, 68, charged with assaulting 9-year-old boy after being hit by snowball: report

A 68-year-old North Dakota man is accused of shouting profanities and throwing rocks at a group of children in retaliation for being hit with a snowball before pushing a 9-year-old boy into a truck and smashing his face into the ground, according to a report.

Douglas resident Gordon Van Hassel, 68, is charged with felony aggravated assault of a victim under the age of 12, the Grand Forks Herald reported Monday.

Westlake Legal Group DAKOTA North Dakota man, 68, charged with assaulting 9-year-old boy after being hit by snowball: report fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/north-dakota fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 5f9f532b-7ff3-57e4-b71e-985ab9d04bb4

Gordon Van Hassell is accused of sending a 9-year-old boy to the hospital for supposedly throwing a snowball at him. (Ward County Jail ​​​​​​​)

According to the charges, Van Hassel was walking his dog by a group of children having a snowball fight when he was apparently hit.

Van Hassel later claimed the kids were harassing him, so he chased them, catching the 9-year-old who he allegedly pushed to the ground and repeatedly kicked, KFYR-TV reported.

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The boy later told authorities he was afraid for his life and passed out during the attack, according to the affidavit. An adult reportedly carried the boy home by sled before he was taken to a hospital in Minot.

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The assault left him in pain and unable to walk on his left leg, according to a Ward County Sheriff’s deputy.

Van Hassel was being held at the Ward County jail. He was scheduled to appear in court for arraignment Thursday. He faces up to 10 years in prison if he’s convicted.

Westlake Legal Group DAKOTA North Dakota man, 68, charged with assaulting 9-year-old boy after being hit by snowball: report fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/north-dakota fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 5f9f532b-7ff3-57e4-b71e-985ab9d04bb4   Westlake Legal Group DAKOTA North Dakota man, 68, charged with assaulting 9-year-old boy after being hit by snowball: report fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/north-dakota fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 5f9f532b-7ff3-57e4-b71e-985ab9d04bb4

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