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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 453)

In a Strong Economy, Why Are So Many Workers on Strike?

Westlake Legal Group 20labor-print1-facebookJumbo-v2 In a Strong Economy, Why Are So Many Workers on Strike? Wages and Salaries United States Economy Teachers and School Employees Strikes Recession and Depression Organized Labor Labor and Jobs Income Inequality

At first glance, it may seem like a paradox: Even as the economy rides a 10-year winning streak, tens of thousands of workers across the country, from General Motors employees to teachers in Chicago, are striking to win better wages and benefits.

But, according to those on strike, the strong growth is precisely the point. Autoworkers, teachers and other workers accepted austerity when the economy was in a free fall, expecting to share in the gains once the recovery took hold.

Increasingly, however, many of those workers believe that they fell for a sucker’s bet, having watched their employers grow flush while their own incomes barely budged. Corporate profits are near a record high, up nearly 30 percent since the pre-recession peak in 2006. During the same time, the income of the typical household has increased by less than 4 percent. Some workers are responding with measures like strikes partly as a result.

“That was the understanding — that if we gave up the concessions back in 2007 and 2009, that once G.M. got back on their feet, we would slowly get those things back,” said Tammy Daggy, who worked at the now-idled G.M. plant in Lordstown, Ohio, for nearly 25 years. But on many issues, “we never did.”

To an extent, the pattern of strikes reflects a recurring feature of the labor market: Workers typically become bolder the longer an expansion continues, using the leverage they have when jobs are harder to fill to demand greater compensation. This was particularly true during the three decades after World War II, according to a survey of research by Jake Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

Overall strike activity has fallen sharply since the 1970s, as the ranks of unions have been depleted, dropping to about 10 percent of the work force from over 25 percent. Employers have also responded more aggressively — for example, by permanently replacing striking employees.

Now, though, workers appear increasingly willing to walk off the job. Last year, the number of workers who participated in significant strikes soared to nearly 500,000, its highest point since the mid-1980s, while the total duration of such strikes reached a 15-year high.

The backdrop for this trend is a rising gap between the money employers are making and the portion they’re sharing with workers. The share of the national income that workers receive fell in the early 2000s to its lowest level since World War II according to some measures, then collapsed further in 2009. It has yet to recover.

That may be partly because the labor market is weaker than the picture painted by the official unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. That rate measures only the number of out-of-work Americans who say they are looking for jobs. It excludes Americans in their prime working years who are not actively looking for work but, given the opportunity, might choose to re-enter the work force.

According to Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the group who could quickly re-enter the work force is potentially large, and may help employers avoid bidding up wages to lure those who are currently employed. “We still don’t know how much shadow labor is out there,” Mr. Kashkari said in an interview on Thursday.

But regardless of the strength of the labor market, in recent decades employers have amassed more power to hold wages down.

“In the late 1990s, it seemed like maybe a hot economy was sufficient” to substantially raise workers’ incomes and narrow inequality, said Jason Furman, who led the White House Council of Economic Advisers during President Barack Obama’s second term. But a series of reports that Mr. Furman’s council released in 2016 documented changes that have allowed employers to pocket more of the gains from growth. Those changes include noncompete clauses in employment contracts and even outright collusion, in which companies explicitly agree not to hire workers away from one another or to offer identical wages.

Employers argue that they need additional flexibility with their work force as they contend with global competition and technological changes.

Scholars say there was an element of economic opportunism behind the strikes of the 1950s and ’60s, as unions exploited their bargaining power in tight labor markets.

But workers say today’s strikes are fueled by a deeper sense of unfairness and economic anxiety. This past week, for example, unions representing about 2,000 workers at copper mines and smelters in Arizona and Texas went on strike, saying their members had not received raises for a decade.

“It’s about: ‘O.K., the government is not going to take care of us. Business is not going to take care of us. We’ve got to take care of ourselves,’” said D. Taylor, president of the hospitality workers union, UNITE HERE, which has had thousands of members strike in the past two years, including at Marriott International. “It’s been bubbling up for some time. Now it’s come up to the surface.”

In the airline industry, workers who made numerous concessions amid a wave of post-9/11 corporate restructurings complain that they continue to struggle under austerity even as the airlines post outsize profits.

“They got all these employees to agree to terms within the shadow of bankruptcy court, then they created these megamergers and are making billions,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants.

While airline workers, unlike most private-sector workers, must receive permission from the government before they can strike, they have repeatedly demonstrated their anger. Thousands of airline catering workers, many of whom make under $12 per hour, voted to strike this year, pending the assent of a federal mediation board. Airline mechanics, including at Southwest Airlines, have won raises after effectively gumming up the operations of their employers: The mechanics significantly increased the number of low-grade maintenance problems they identified, leading to widespread flight delays and cancellations. (The mechanics denied that this was their intention.)

Teachers have expressed frustration that their districts were slow to reverse the spending cuts that followed the economic crisis a decade ago, even as state and local budgets have recovered.

“When the recession hit, teachers kind of buckled down. We said: ‘We get it. Everybody has got to pull their weight,’” said Noah Karvelis, who helped organize last year’s teacher walkouts in Arizona that forced lawmakers to raise teacher salaries and partially restore education funding. “But 10 years later, the state’s economy is back, we’re doing really well, and still the cuts are there. It was a huge, huge thing for us.”

In Chicago, teachers who went on strike on Thursday are demanding that local officials devote more of a recent billion-dollar cash infusion from the state to raises. They point out that teaching assistants’ pay starts at around $30,000 a year but they are required by law to live in the high-cost city. And veteran teachers often leave the district because their salaries plateau for several years. The teachers also want the district to hire more school nurses and librarians, who are in short supply across Chicago.

“In Chicago, the citizenry during the austerity talks believed it,” said Michelle Gunderson, a first-grade teacher on the union’s bargaining committee, referring to the lean contract negotiated in 2016. “At that time, we had a Republican governor who wasn’t funding our schools. But now an infusion of money has come in that has not made it to the classroom.”

The school district has said that $700 million of that money went directly to teacher pensions, and that the rest kept the district solvent. The district has proposed raising salaries 16 percent over five years and substantially increasing the number of nurses.

For its part, while G.M. has made $35 billion in profits in North America over the past three years, sales appear to be slowing in the United States and China. Domestic automakers also say they are under pressure from foreign rivals, which have lower labor costs in nonunion factories in the South, and to invest in developing electric vehicles.

That is one reason G.M. sought to preserve a so-called two-tiered wage scale introduced amid the company’s struggles over a decade ago, in which workers hired after 2007 make up to 45 percent less than the $31 an hour that veteran workers currently earn. The company also relies on a cadre of temporary workers who earn even less.

As part of the tentative deal the company reached with the United Automobile Workers, G.M. appears to have agreed to a path for temps to become permanent workers, and to alter its tiered wage scale. Workers will vote on the agreement over the next several days, and a result is expected on Friday.

Some workers are skeptical that the union made sufficient progress on these questions, and on the extent to which G.M. can continue to shift production to Mexico, which has imperiled jobs in the United States.

Selina Estrada, 32, who assembles doors at the G.M. plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., said she feared the company would prevent temporary workers from attaining permanent status by laying off those workers before they had achieved the required three years of “continuous service.”

“They’ll keep turning them around and laying them off right before their three years,” she said. “It’s never going to happen.”

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

Federal Judge Declares GOP ‘Poll Tax’ Unconstitutional, Says State Can’t Restrict Right to Vote Based on Ability to Pay

Westlake Legal Group uQ5QEOw11JZIfjofzXoKBA_fTZN9KWw18aybJpfb5lQ Federal Judge Declares GOP ‘Poll Tax’ Unconstitutional, Says State Can’t Restrict Right to Vote Based on Ability to Pay r/politics

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Erdogan vows to ‘crush the heads’ of Kurds if they don’t withdraw; both sides trade blame for violating cease-fire

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095977502001_6095978711001-vs Erdogan vows to 'crush the heads' of Kurds if they don't withdraw; both sides trade blame for violating cease-fire Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 344e85a5-c5e2-524c-b0e8-be47f435b46f

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday promised to “crush the heads” of the Kurds in Syria if they don’t fall back from the border’s safe zone, according to reports.

The threat comes as both Turkey and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claim the other is violating terms of a 120-hour cease-fire brokered by Turkey and the U.S. on Thursday.

Violence continued in northeast Syria despite the five-day peace agreement, a source told Fox News.

Dave Eubank with Free Burma Rangers, a private military company that provides emergency medical assistance, was on the ground near the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ayn trying to help trapped and wounded Kurds.

Eubank told Fox News the fighting hasn’t stopped and movement in the area is severely limited, despite the cease-fire’s intention to “pause” fighting to allow Syrian Kurds time and space to retreat from the area. Thousands of Kurdish civilians live in the so-called buffer zone, a senior military source had told Fox News.

The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) was “still shooting all through the night,” Eubank said. “So far since [the] cease-fire, no airstrikes here, but artillery and ground attacks.”

Erdogan threatened the Kurds on Saturday during a televised speech, saying they will be slaughtered if they don’t pull back from the 20-mile-wide safe zone along the Turkey-Syria border by Tuesday night.

“We will start where we left off and continue to crush the terrorists’ heads,” Erdogan said.

US JETS DESTROY ANTI-ISIS COALITION BASE IN SYRIA AFTER WITHDRAWAL, OFFICIAL SAYS

Turkey claims it is living up to the terms of the cease-fire agreement and accused the Kurds of  violating it.

The Turkish Defense Ministry said Kurdish forces carried out 14 “provocative” attacks in Ras al-Ayn in 36 hours, according to the BBC.

In a statement, the SDF said there has been “no tangible progress” in solving the issues at the northeast border.

TURKEY-SYRIA CEASE-FIRE: SENIOR US MILITARY SOURCE ‘HIGHLY SKEPTICAL’ OF DEAL

As of Friday, 86 civilians had been killed since Turkey launched its military offensive into Syria on Oct. 9, according to a war monitor, the BBC reported.

Erdogan claimed the move was to “neutralize terror threats” and establish a “safe zone.” After carrying out airstrikes, Turkish ground troops later invaded northeastern Syria.

Nearly all U.S. troops there have been removed and will be redeployed in the region in the coming weeks.

TRUMPS WARNS ERDOGAN IN LETTER: ‘DON’T BE A TOUGH GUY. DON’T BE A FOOL!’

The U.S. had teamed up with the Kurds to fight ISIS in the region. Some analysts and politicians criticized President Trump for removing America forces, saying it was a “green light” for Ankara to invade Syria and fight the Kurds.

Trump said the Turks have been “warring for many years,” and that the U.S. does not need to protect war-torn Syria because it’s “7,000 miles away.”

The president on Friday claimed “thousands and thousands” of lives were being saved in Syria and Turkey due to the cease-fire.

Fox News’ Griff Jenkins and Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095977502001_6095978711001-vs Erdogan vows to 'crush the heads' of Kurds if they don't withdraw; both sides trade blame for violating cease-fire Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 344e85a5-c5e2-524c-b0e8-be47f435b46f   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095977502001_6095978711001-vs Erdogan vows to 'crush the heads' of Kurds if they don't withdraw; both sides trade blame for violating cease-fire Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 344e85a5-c5e2-524c-b0e8-be47f435b46f

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

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra celebrate Hindu holiday Karva Chauth together

Nick Jonas melted hearts with an inspiring message about his wife, Priyanka Chopra, on social media.

The singer, 26, was observing Karva Chauth on Thursday, a Hindu holiday, with Chopra who is Indian. For the holiday, married women fast from sunrise to sunset to encourage the safety and health of their spouses.

NICK JONAS SAYS HE WAS ‘DONE’ WITH MULTIPLE CEREMONIES TO PRIYANKA CHOPRA AFTER LOOKING AT PRICEY BILL

“My wife is Indian. She is Hindu, and she is incredible in every way,” Jonas wrote on Instagram.

“She has taught me so much about her culture and religion. I love and admire her so much, and as you can see we have fun together. Happy Karva Chauth to everyone!” he added.

NICK JONAS JOINS ‘THE VOICE’ AS A COACH FOR SEASON 18, VOWS TO DEFEAT BLAKE SHELTON

Chopra posted a similar photo on her Instagram.

“Karwa chauth at a @jonasbrothers concert. Definitely a first I’ll always remember! @nickjonas #karwachauth,” she wrote.

The couple married last winter in a lavish wedding in India that honored both the bride and groom’s heritages.

“We took beautiful traditions that we both grew up with and personalized them in a way that made sense for us,” the actress told People magazine at the time. “It’s been incredible to find the commonalities between our beliefs and figuring out how to blend them in a respectful and meaningful way.”

PRIYANKA CHOPRA SAYS SHE’S A BAD WIFE TO HUSBAND NICK JONAS BECAUSE OF HER POOR COOKING SKILLS

As for what they’re planning for their one-year anniversary, Chopra insisted she has no idea.

Westlake Legal Group 617679acea8c9755638629c8d547a31ew-c0xd-w640_h480_q80 Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra celebrate Hindu holiday Karva Chauth together Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/nick-jonas fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 84fa8c3f-ee23-5fa3-87fc-35a78a29dcd1

Chopra (L) with Jonas (R)  (Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

“I don’t know [what we’re going to do for our anniversary],” she admitted to ET earlier this month.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“I asked and I was told, ‘Why do you ask so many questions?’ I was like, ‘OK, you plan it.’ But I was just [wondering] what are we going to do and he was just like, ‘Don’t ask.’ So I said, OK.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6011743027001_6011739757001-vs Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra celebrate Hindu holiday Karva Chauth together Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/nick-jonas fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 84fa8c3f-ee23-5fa3-87fc-35a78a29dcd1   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6011743027001_6011739757001-vs Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra celebrate Hindu holiday Karva Chauth together Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/nick-jonas fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 84fa8c3f-ee23-5fa3-87fc-35a78a29dcd1

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‘She stole their lives’: Woman convicted of passing school bus, killing 3 kids in crash

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close 'She stole their lives': Woman convicted of passing school bus, killing 3 kids in crash

Neighbor talks about dangerous road where three young siblings were killed, one child critical, when hit while crossing to get on school bus. Kelly Wilkinson, kelly.wilkinson@indystar.com

FULTON COUNTY, Ind. – Nearly a year after Alyssa Shepherd drove past a stopped school bus, killing three siblings as they crossed a two-lane highway to board the bus, a Fulton County jury convicted her of reckless homicide in the children’s deaths.

Shepherd, prosecutors say, was driving a pickup truck that struck and killed twins Xzavier and Mason Ingle, both 6, and their sister Alivia Stahl, 9, and also critically injured Maverik Lowe, 11, as they crossed the highway north of Rochester on Oct. 30. Lowe, who’s still recovering from his injuries, has had more than 20 surgeries since the crash.

Shepherd was found guilty Friday of three felony counts of reckless homicide. The jury also found her guilty of a felony count of criminal recklessness and a misdemeanor count of passing a school bus causing injury when the arm is extended. She faces up to 21-and-a-half years if given the maximum amount on each count. 

The parents of Mason and Xzavier, Shane and Brittany Ingle, and Michael Stahl, Brittany’s ex-husband and Alivia’s dad, told reporters after the verdict that they were relieved, and have no sympathy for Shepherd, who they believe has shown no remorse for the crash.

“I don’t think we’ll ever feel closure,” Brittany Ingle said. “But this will go toward healing.”

Oct. 30, 2018: Twin boys, sister killed by pickup truck at Indiana school bus stop

Shepherd and her attorneys quickly left the courtroom after the verdict was read early Friday evening and made no statement.

Earlier Friday, Shepherd took the stand in Fulton Superior Court. Family members of Shepherd and the victims, had filled the Fulton County courthouse this week to hear testimony from witnesses and law enforcement.

When asked by her attorney when it started to sink in that she’d hit and killed three children after driving past a school bus, Shepherd described emotions ranging from disbelief to hysteria.

But at first it was confusion, according to her testimony. She remembered seeing blinking lights and something that appeared to be a large vehicle. But she didn’t see a bus, Shepherd says, nor did she see the red sign telling her to stop.

When she’d realized what she’d done, Shepherd says she was hysterical.

“The only way I can describe it is an out-of-body experience,” Shepherd said, according to the account provided to IndyStar by the small number of reporters who were allowed into the packed courtroom, “I was a mess.”

The four children were crossing the highway to board their school bus about 7:15 a.m. when prosecutors say Shepherd blew by a stopped school bus. The road was dark but prosecutors said the bus lights and stop arm were clearly visible.

Whether Shepherd was behind the wheel that morning was not being disputed, according to statements made from the defense and prosecution during the trial. Jurors instead decided whether Shepherd’s actions were reckless or simply accidental.

“The thing that makes me sick here,” Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Marrs said, “is that this never should have happened.”

The Crash

Shepherd was driving with three children in the back seat of her Toyota Tacoma before the crash happened, according to court documents. She had just dropped off her husband at work about 7:05 a.m. and was heading to her mother’s home in the Rochester area to drop off her little brother when she rounded a bend on Ind. 25.

She’d taken that road many times before, her attorney Michael Tuszynski said, but rarely at that time of day.

As she was driving, the 24-year-old Shepherd saw something in the distance, but couldn’t quite make it out, according to Tuszynski, who said that a freightliner was behind the bus, making it appear to Shepherd as one large vehicle.

“The circumstances of the bus, with the freightliner behind it, combined to create the profile of one vehicle, making it seem like it’s a semi that’s moving. And she’s confused about what she sees.”

But after the crash, the driver of another vehicle that was following Shepherd’s Toyota through the bend on Ind. 25 said the school bus lights and stop arm were clearly visible even though the road was dark. This is according to testimony from Indiana State Police Detective Michelle Jumper during a probable cause hearing held hours after the crash.

NY Limo crash: Faked brake work not to blame for New York limo wreck that killed 20, DA says

The witness said she and Shepherd were traveling at 45 mph, Jumper testified. The witness said she slowed when she saw the school bus and its blinking lights. Shepherd didn’t.

“Suddenly she sees the children,” Tuszynski said Friday. “She brakes. But it was too late.”

Shepherd’s friend, Brittany Thompson, who spoke to Shepherd on the phone after the crash, testified that Shepherd said she’d seen the lights and was trying to negotiate how far to move over.

Thompson said Shepherd was distraught. “I didn’t know it was a bus,” Shepherd reportedly said.

The victims’ family told reporters Shepherd appeared cold during the trial, and seemed unconcerned with the deaths that resulted from her actions.

“When I was giving my testimony,” Brittany Ingle said. “I looked her straight in the eyes and she gave nothing. She had no remorse.”

‘She totally stole their lives’

Tuszynski said there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol in Shepherd’s system at the time of the crash. He placed blame on the location of the bus stop, which required the children to cross the highway to board the bus. 

“The idea that it was okay to make those kids cross that busy road to get on a bus, rather than move the stop into the (trailer) park, is absurd,” Tuszynski said.

The Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation announced shortly after the crash that it would relocate the bus stop into the trailer park where the students lived. Superintendent Blaine Conley testified Friday that the park had previously been considered for the location. But officials were worried that the school bus could potentially hit children in the area due to poor lighting.

The crash led to statewide changes, prompting the Legislature to increase penalties for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses. Shane and Brittany Ingle spent several days at the Statehouse this past year lobbying for the changes.

Oct. 14: A girl was ‘very scared’ after a car crash. Two Utah firefighters saw her bottles of nail polish and had an idea

The victims’ family told reporters that Friday’s verdict was important for everybody, not just her children, because it reinforces the importance of driving safely near school buses. 

But the family noted somberly that neither the verdict nor the sentence will bring their three children back.

“They didn’t even get time to enjoy life,” Brittany Ingle said. “She totally stole their lives.”

Contributing: Vic Ryckaert and Arika Herron. Follow Crystal Hill at 317-444-6094 on Twitter: @crysnhill.

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‘She stole their lives’: Woman convicted of passing school bus, killing 3 kids in crash

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close 'She stole their lives': Woman convicted of passing school bus, killing 3 kids in crash

Neighbor talks about dangerous road where three young siblings were killed, one child critical, when hit while crossing to get on school bus. Kelly Wilkinson, kelly.wilkinson@indystar.com

FULTON COUNTY, Ind. – Nearly a year after Alyssa Shepherd drove past a stopped school bus, killing three siblings as they crossed a two-lane highway to board the bus, a Fulton County jury convicted her of reckless homicide in the children’s deaths.

Shepherd, prosecutors say, was driving a pickup truck that struck and killed twins Xzavier and Mason Ingle, both 6, and their sister Alivia Stahl, 9, and also critically injured Maverik Lowe, 11, as they crossed the highway north of Rochester on Oct. 30. Lowe, who’s still recovering from his injuries, has had more than 20 surgeries since the crash.

Shepherd was found guilty Friday of three felony counts of reckless homicide. The jury also found her guilty of a felony count of criminal recklessness and a misdemeanor count of passing a school bus causing injury when the arm is extended. She faces up to 21-and-a-half years if given the maximum amount on each count. 

The parents of Mason and Xzavier, Shane and Brittany Ingle, and Michael Stahl, Brittany’s ex-husband and Alivia’s dad, told reporters after the verdict that they were relieved, and have no sympathy for Shepherd, who they believe has shown no remorse for the crash.

“I don’t think we’ll ever feel closure,” Brittany Ingle said. “But this will go toward healing.”

Oct. 30, 2018: Twin boys, sister killed by pickup truck at Indiana school bus stop

Shepherd and her attorneys quickly left the courtroom after the verdict was read early Friday evening and made no statement.

Earlier Friday, Shepherd took the stand in Fulton Superior Court. Family members of Shepherd and the victims, had filled the Fulton County courthouse this week to hear testimony from witnesses and law enforcement.

When asked by her attorney when it started to sink in that she’d hit and killed three children after driving past a school bus, Shepherd described emotions ranging from disbelief to hysteria.

But at first it was confusion, according to her testimony. She remembered seeing blinking lights and something that appeared to be a large vehicle. But she didn’t see a bus, Shepherd says, nor did she see the red sign telling her to stop.

When she’d realized what she’d done, Shepherd says she was hysterical.

“The only way I can describe it is an out-of-body experience,” Shepherd said, according to the account provided to IndyStar by the small number of reporters who were allowed into the packed courtroom, “I was a mess.”

The four children were crossing the highway to board their school bus about 7:15 a.m. when prosecutors say Shepherd blew by a stopped school bus. The road was dark but prosecutors said the bus lights and stop arm were clearly visible.

Whether Shepherd was behind the wheel that morning was not being disputed, according to statements made from the defense and prosecution during the trial. Jurors instead decided whether Shepherd’s actions were reckless or simply accidental.

“The thing that makes me sick here,” Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Marrs said, “is that this never should have happened.”

The Crash

Shepherd was driving with three children in the back seat of her Toyota Tacoma before the crash happened, according to court documents. She had just dropped off her husband at work about 7:05 a.m. and was heading to her mother’s home in the Rochester area to drop off her little brother when she rounded a bend on Ind. 25.

She’d taken that road many times before, her attorney Michael Tuszynski said, but rarely at that time of day.

As she was driving, the 24-year-old Shepherd saw something in the distance, but couldn’t quite make it out, according to Tuszynski, who said that a freightliner was behind the bus, making it appear to Shepherd as one large vehicle.

“The circumstances of the bus, with the freightliner behind it, combined to create the profile of one vehicle, making it seem like it’s a semi that’s moving. And she’s confused about what she sees.”

But after the crash, the driver of another vehicle that was following Shepherd’s Toyota through the bend on Ind. 25 said the school bus lights and stop arm were clearly visible even though the road was dark. This is according to testimony from Indiana State Police Detective Michelle Jumper during a probable cause hearing held hours after the crash.

NY Limo crash: Faked brake work not to blame for New York limo wreck that killed 20, DA says

The witness said she and Shepherd were traveling at 45 mph, Jumper testified. The witness said she slowed when she saw the school bus and its blinking lights. Shepherd didn’t.

“Suddenly she sees the children,” Tuszynski said Friday. “She brakes. But it was too late.”

Shepherd’s friend, Brittany Thompson, who spoke to Shepherd on the phone after the crash, testified that Shepherd said she’d seen the lights and was trying to negotiate how far to move over.

Thompson said Shepherd was distraught. “I didn’t know it was a bus,” Shepherd reportedly said.

The victims’ family told reporters Shepherd appeared cold during the trial, and seemed unconcerned with the deaths that resulted from her actions.

“When I was giving my testimony,” Brittany Ingle said. “I looked her straight in the eyes and she gave nothing. She had no remorse.”

‘She totally stole their lives’

Tuszynski said there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol in Shepherd’s system at the time of the crash. He placed blame on the location of the bus stop, which required the children to cross the highway to board the bus. 

“The idea that it was okay to make those kids cross that busy road to get on a bus, rather than move the stop into the (trailer) park, is absurd,” Tuszynski said.

The Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation announced shortly after the crash that it would relocate the bus stop into the trailer park where the students lived. Superintendent Blaine Conley testified Friday that the park had previously been considered for the location. But officials were worried that the school bus could potentially hit children in the area due to poor lighting.

The crash led to statewide changes, prompting the Legislature to increase penalties for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses. Shane and Brittany Ingle spent several days at the Statehouse this past year lobbying for the changes.

Oct. 14: A girl was ‘very scared’ after a car crash. Two Utah firefighters saw her bottles of nail polish and had an idea

The victims’ family told reporters that Friday’s verdict was important for everybody, not just her children, because it reinforces the importance of driving safely near school buses. 

But the family noted somberly that neither the verdict nor the sentence will bring their three children back.

“They didn’t even get time to enjoy life,” Brittany Ingle said. “She totally stole their lives.”

Contributing: Vic Ryckaert and Arika Herron. Follow Crystal Hill at 317-444-6094 on Twitter: @crysnhill.

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Royal Caribbean’s ‘Adventure of the Seas’ requests help from Coast Guard off Jersey Shore

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ATLANTIC CITY – A cruise ship passenger suffered a stroke aboard Royal Caribbean’sAdventure of the Seas” and had to be airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center from more than 100 miles off the Jersey Shore, according to the Coast Guard.

The medevac took place after the Coast Guard was contacted by the ship’s crew via satellite phone about 6:20 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.

The ship, which is 1,020 feet in length with a crew of 1,180 — and which can accommodate more than 4,000 passengers — is on a 13-day, one-way cruise from Quebec City, Canada to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The voyage began Oct. 7 and is scheduled to end Sunday.

On Friday night, the vessel was moving south off the coast of Beaufort, South Carolina.

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Coast Guard duty officers consulted with a flight surgeon after the call to discuss a course of action. The physician recommended that the passenger be evacuated to the shore for medical treatment.

An Air Station Atlantic City-based MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was launched to conduct the airlift. Elsewhere, Air Station Elizabeth City in North Carolina dispatched a fixed-wing, Lockheed HC-130J for support in the operation, according to the Coast Guard.

An EMS squad waited for the helicopter to land when the passenger was transported to the regional trauma center.

Tight squeeze: Cruise ship passes through Greek Canal with only 5 feet of breathing room

More: Royal Caribbean targets Vanuatu for first carbon-neutral private cruise destination

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard gets 2020 endorsement from David Duke

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Thieves steal 22,000 apples from Michigan orchard: report

It’s a crime that has shaken one family to its core

Michigan farming family is in disbelief after they say 22,000 apples, which equates to roughly 7,000 pounds of fruit, were stolen from their orchard farm in Linden between late Sunday night and Wednesday morning.

The apples stripped off 5 acres’ worth of trees are worth an estimated $14,400 and require an entire year to be grown, the family said.

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Westlake Legal Group spicers-orchard-2 Thieves steal 22,000 apples from Michigan orchard: report fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/food-drink fnc David Aaro article 8416e1eb-c94d-5c83-b94f-a9544b54bd80

Spicer Orchards says one of there farms had 22,000 apples stolen between Oct. 6 and Oct. 9. (Spicer’s Orchards)

“We were predicting about 7,000 pounds of apples to be harvested over the next week period,” Spicer Orchard Harvest Manager, Matthew Spicer, told ABC 12.”Basically, I was pretty upset about it, because it takes a whole year to grow apples and losing something like that, that was our up and coming varieties. Evercrisp is one of our new ones out and was kind of excited to share that with people.”

On Sunday, Oct. 6, the apples on Spicer Farms supplemental orchard – located at U.S. 23 and Clyde Road in Hartland –  were reportedly not quite ripe yet. The owners usually check their crops every four days, so on Oct. 9, they decided to check again, according to ABC 7.

“There was nothing there,” Ryan Spicer, the grandson of Alan Spicer, the farm’s founder discovered.

Ryan says Alan called the Genesee County Sheriff Department shortly after to report the theft.

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Westlake Legal Group spicers-orchard-1 Thieves steal 22,000 apples from Michigan orchard: report fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/food-drink fnc David Aaro article 8416e1eb-c94d-5c83-b94f-a9544b54bd80

The 180 bushels of apples stripped off 5 acres’ worth of trees, are worth an estimated $14,400 and require an entire year to be grown. (Spicers Orchards)

Matthew says he believes someone harvested the crops in the middle of the night because the neighbors claim they didn’t see anything. The farm reportedly had cameras, but they were pointing away from the crops during the robbery due to it being hunting season, according to WDIV.

“It would have had to be three or four trucks,” Matthew told ABC 7 after the owner reportedly found tire tracks in the grass. “[It would] have to be somebody who would not have to distinguish between ripe and not ripe apples. Because they took them both.”

Ryan added that the job would have most likely required a “crew of nine.”

The Spicer family has run the orchard for over 50 years and they’ve never experienced a robbery like this.

“Think about how much time and effort that farmer puts into his crop, and when he doesn’t have a crop, how many times does that have to happen then he cant do what he does,” Ryan told the outlet.

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Investigators aren’t sure if the theft is related to the 400 pumpkins stolen from an orchard in St Clair County ‘s Grant Township or 50,000 apples stolen from an Indiana orchard last month.

Westlake Legal Group spicers-orchard-2 Thieves steal 22,000 apples from Michigan orchard: report fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/food-drink fnc David Aaro article 8416e1eb-c94d-5c83-b94f-a9544b54bd80   Westlake Legal Group spicers-orchard-2 Thieves steal 22,000 apples from Michigan orchard: report fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/food-drink fnc David Aaro article 8416e1eb-c94d-5c83-b94f-a9544b54bd80

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Jeremy Dys: Religious freedom courageously defended by AG William Barr against militant secularists

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094915610001_6094910843001-vs Jeremy Dys: Religious freedom courageously defended by AG William Barr against militant secularists Jeremy Dys fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/opinion fnc article a73c2a8f-13f9-57cd-bc65-f8ed79f11f4b

Attorney General William Barr delivered one of the most exceptional speeches in modern memory at the University of Notre Dame recently. Judging from his detractors, it seems his remarks landed heaviest on those mystified by the idea of religious neutrality.

Barr began his remarks by noting that his office not only defends the free exercise of religion, but also guards against “states misapplying the Establishment Clause in a way that discriminates against people of faith.”

He invoked the words of the Founding Fathers to demonstrate that the authors of the Constitution believed that a moral standard was essential to the success of a self-governed people. Indeed, the Framers feared the loss of a common moral restraint on human will.

AG BARR BLASTS ‘MILITANT SECULARISTS’ IN SPEECH ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Or, as Barr put it: “No society can exist without some means for restraining individual rapacity.”

Abandon a common moral restraint and a formerly self-governed people will turn to either tyranny to forcefully apply such restraints, or licentiousness to unbridle any restraint in pursuit of individualism. Thus Barr laments the modern replacement of the Judeo-Christian moral system with an activated secular creed.

Paul Krugman lambasted Barr in The New York Times for even giving the speech, noting that Barr sounded “remarkably like America’s most unhinged religious zealots” who commit “mass murder because schools teach the theory of evolution.” 

It is “not decay” that plagues our modern society, Barr argued, but “organized destruction.”

“Secularists and their allies among the ‘progressives,’ have marshaled all the force” of the modern era “in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values,” he said.

So much so, Barr observed, that this “secular project has itself become a religion,” with all the zeal and accouterments of religion, “including inquisitions and excommunication.”

Thus Barr laments the modern replacement of the Judeo-Christian moral system with an activated secular creed.

While the conscientiously defiant may not burn at the stake, today’s high commissions for non-discrimination fine them, gag their speech or threaten their professional existence.

Whereas the First Amendment welcomes all forms of speech, encouraging better speech to counter disagreeable speech, “militant secularists today do not have a live-and-let-live spirit,” Barr said.

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Not surprisingly, the speech was too much for progressive defenders of secularism.

Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker bluntly described it as “the worst speech by an Attorney General of the United States in modern history.” Catherine Rampell called it “a tacit endorsement of theocracy” in The Washington Post.

Paul Krugman lambasted Barr in The New York Times for even giving the speech, noting that Barr sounded “remarkably like America’s most unhinged religious zealots” who commit “mass murder because schools teach the theory of evolution.”

Evidently, Krugman believes gangs of anti-evolutionists led by Barr roam the country, chanting the mantra “Guns don’t kill people — Darwin kills people!”

Barr’s critics prefer secularized neutrality, which isn’t neutral at all.

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Modern activists — who Barr calls “militant secularists” — are hell-bent on demanding the redefinition of the term to one in which neutrality may only be achieved through forced secularity.

Hence, Barr says, “The problem is not that religion is being forced on others. The problem is that irreligion and secular values are being forced on people of faith.”

It is indisputable that Judeo-Christian values played a significant role in the founding of this nation.

From pilgrims fleeing religious oppression in Europe to James Madison’s outrage over Anglican Virginia jailing Baptist ministers, America’s founding era is replete with efforts to preserve space for people of faith to be people of faith independent of the government’s preferred religion. Such historic toleration is what should rightly be called “neutrality.”

Yet in the march to secularized neutrality, government agencies force Aaron and Melissa Klein in Oregon to speak a government-approved message or lose their business, Dr. Eric Walsh in Georgia must shed his religiosity in order to qualify for employment, and Christian schools are denied the use of the public loudspeaker to pray before kickoff.

Critics of Barr’s speech would do well to remember the past administration’s efforts to force celibate nuns to purchase birth control. Forced conformance to the government’s ideological position abandons any mask of neutrality.

Firing someone from their government job for something said as a lay minister is hostility toward religion, not neutral toleration of it. Preventing Cambridge Christian School in Tampa, Fla., from pre-football game prayer censors religious speech in preference to government-imposed silence.

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Despite their protestations, militant secularists have convinced themselves that forced secularization is the only path to enlightened neutrality. It is not. The genius of the Constitution — what Barr called a “quantum leap in liberty” — is that it guards against hostility masquerading as neutrality.

If anything, Barr’s speech is a critical call for a return to a time when notions of free speech and religious liberty were embraced by the religious and secular alike in pursuit of freedom.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JEREMY DYS

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094915610001_6094910843001-vs Jeremy Dys: Religious freedom courageously defended by AG William Barr against militant secularists Jeremy Dys fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/opinion fnc article a73c2a8f-13f9-57cd-bc65-f8ed79f11f4b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094915610001_6094910843001-vs Jeremy Dys: Religious freedom courageously defended by AG William Barr against militant secularists Jeremy Dys fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/opinion fnc article a73c2a8f-13f9-57cd-bc65-f8ed79f11f4b

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