Mexican immigrant fought deportation and won

0 0
Read Time:7 Minute, 7 Second
SMYRNA, Tenn. — Three times, Fani Gonzalez packed a suitcase, clutched her daughters in a tearful goodbye and begged the Virgin of Guadalupe for a miracle — anything, just anything, that could keep her from being deported back to her violent home city in Mexico.
 
And three times, she traveled back from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Nashville to her home in Smyrna, an emotional return to her all-American life as wife, mom and top Mary Kay cosmetics sales director.
 
Gonzalez was coloring signs for a rally to stop her deportation in a room packed with other immigrant women doing the same when her cellphone rang. The call came from ICE headquarters in Washington. Using the director's prosecutorial discretion, the agency would allow her to stay in the country indefinitely.
 
Sometimes, when the Virgin answers a prayer, it's with a flair for the dramatic.
 
Gonzalez's goal was to stay in the United States long enough for immigration reform to catch up with her status. She came here in 2009, slipping across the Rio Grande with no immigration paperwork, determined to improve life for her four children. Now, for the first time in four years, she believes real reform is on the way for the nation's estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrants — 6 million of those from Mexico, according to the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project.
 
Last week, President Barack Obama urged the House of Representatives to take up a reform bill that passed the Senate in June. It would strengthen security along the nation's borders while providing a lengthy legal path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants already here.
 
Both of Tennessee's Republican senators voted in favor of it. Rep. Jim Cooper, a Nashville Democrat, said he will support reform in the House. But it faces a tough road there.
 
The Senate bill goes for it all, said Brookings Institution analyst Jill Wilson. It has suffered by being compared to the Affordable Care Act, which is off to a troubled start and was nearly derailed by the Republicans' tea party wing. The bill is huge, Wilson said, because voices on all sides were heard for the first time.
 
"The number and different types of coalitions that support it this time around is the difference, as well as the lack of strong and numerous voices against it," she said.
 
"It will not go away. Worst-case scenario, immigrants just keep waiting."
 
The push is empowering undocumented immigrants nationwide to announce their status in an effort to draw public support. In the past, even a name was hard to come by — most hid from public view and, if they were caught, slipped out of the country without drawing attention.
 
Gonzalez did just the opposite, bringing fellow immigrant women and sometimes a television camera to her meetings with ICE.
 
But in the quiet hours with family, when her home city of Monterrey is just a setting in the soap opera on the flat screen — "Porque El Amor Manda," Because Love Rules — damage from Gonzalez's yearlong fight is evident on the face of her youngest daughter, Ingrid Aimee, 12.
 
For a split second, it looks like she can answer a question about the constant threat of losing her mother. Instead, she collapses into tears.
 
Stopped for speeding
 
The Gonzalez children are protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. A presidential order signed by Obama last year, it allows children who had no say in being brought to the U.S. illegally to stay here.
 
They left Monterrey, Fani Gonzalez says, because it wasn't realistic to believe one could safely raise children there. She'd been in the U.S. before but went home voluntarily to be closer to family.
 
"We drove back in a truck, and when we got there, people told me, 'Don't drive that truck,'" she said. "I was wondering why that would be. They said, 'You don't know what the situation is. How the violence is. They will rob you and kill you.' "
 
Her brother was kidnapped. Gangs robbed busloads of people, then lit the buses on fire. Murders on a corner near her house weren't rare.
 
It became clear to Gonzalez that to make a better life for the kids, they'd have to be in America — in American schools, with American opportunities.
 
Her husband picked Tennessee because jobs seemed plentiful here. And so they settled in Smyrna, but then it all unraveled in a December traffic stop.
 
Driving home one day, Gonzalez was caught speeding. Her Mexican driver's license had expired, said Smyrna Police Chief Kevin Arnold, and she was turned over to the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office.
 
Gonzalez sat for four days in the Rutherford County jail on an immigration hold, frantic about who was caring for her children. She had to wait that long for ICE officials to show up and say what to do with her. When they arrived, it was with a document to sign.
 
"I was thinking I would have to talk to a lawyer and all that, but when the officer told me I was going to be able to see my family, I just had to sign this document," she said. "I thought it was something that said I had been there and I was being released."
 
Instead, they told her she had a month to buy her own bus ticket back to Monterrey. She consulted with the Nashville-based Immigrant Women's Committee at the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, who told her to go back and say she couldn't afford a ticket right now.
 
ICE gave her 30 more days, but instead of bringing a ticket, she came back with a stack of letters of recommendation from people at her church — St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Community — and a request for prosecutorial discretion. They gave her 30 more days. She asked for an appeal. They gave her six months.
 
Asking for help
 
The women's group never stopped helping.
 
Forced to keep opinions to herself in her job as a professional interpreter, Mayra Yu, the women's committee's co-founder, was darned if she'd sit by and watch someone get deported if she could do something to stop it. Too many times, she said, she watched friends separated from their children by deportation. Too many times she saw women become victims of domestic violence or sexual harassment, only to be asked by authorities, "What did you do?" Too many times, she wanted to yell, "Don't sign that!" but couldn't.
 
"It's hard when you see how they suffer," Yu said.
 
So she celebrated with Gonzalez when the miracle phone call came from Washington.
 
ICE issued a statement about it last week, couching its reasoning in official language. A thorough review of Gonzalez's case led to the prosecutorial discretion, it said. The agency is most interested in deporting criminals, recent arrivals and those who have final deportation orders but slipped away from authorities.
 
Gonzalez's daughters have a simpler but more heartfelt explanation.
 
"When my mom was gone, I missed her a lot," Jaqueline, 14, said. "I love her a lot. I'm happy they stopped the deportation so she can stay with us."
 
Fani Gonzalez said she told her story to get people to unite behind the cause of immigration reform.
 
"If it's just one person, nobody notices," she said. "If it's 10, a few will notice. If it's a large group, people will notice we are productive members of society. We are working here, united."
 
Ingrid wants toteach math when she grows up. Jaqueline wants to teach English to those who struggle with it. Their mother wants to be here long enough to see a change in the law that would allow the whole family to achieve its American dreams.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

California boy shot by cop before 2nd deputy left car

0 0
Read Time:2 Minute, 7 Second
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — A 13-year-old boy was fatally wounded by a California sheriff's deputy before a second officer was able got out of a patrol vehicle and take cover, investigators said, bolstering accounts of just how quickly the shooting occurred.
 
The trainee remained behind the wheel of the cruiser while Deputy Erick Gelhaus confronted Andy Lopez on Oct. 22 carrying a pellet gun that resembled an assault rifle, Santa Rosa police Lt. Paul Henry told the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa (http://bit.ly/1clAGJC) in a story Tuesday.
 
In a matter of seconds, Gelhaus ordered the boy to drop the weapon then opened fire before the trainee could take cover behind an open door of the car, Henry said.
 
The trainee's account bolsters eyewitness reports and dispatch records that only 10 seconds or so elapsed between Gelhaus confronting the boy and the shooting.
 
"Deputy Gelhaus was able to engage more quickly because he didn't have to drive the vehicle," Henry told the newspaper.
 
The FBI, Santa Rosa Police Department and Sonoma County prosecutors are investigating the shooting. The FBI is looking into whether any federal civil rights violations occurred.
 
Henry and Santa Rosa Police Assistant Chief Lorenzo Dueña didn't immediately return phone calls on Wednesday from The Associated Press.
 
Investigators have said Gelhaus feared for his safety after Lopez turned around and allegedly raised the pellet gun in his direction. Gelhaus fired eight times, striking the eighth- grader seven times with his department-issued 9 mm handgun.
 
The Press-Democrat reported that Lopez was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, but the hood was down and Lopez was not wearing earphones when ordered to drop the gun.
 
Gelhaus is a 24-year veteran of the department. He previously served in Iraq in the Army and was a certified training officer with the department.
 
Henry said it appears Gelhaus and his partner encountered Lopez about 3 p.m. as he walked down a street. Gelhaus told investigators that he couldn't remember if he identified himself as a police office before firing.
 
Gelhaus attempted CPR and other life-saving measures after the shooting, the newspaper said.
 
"When he touched the weapon and briefly looked at it, felt that it wasn't the proper weight and looked different, that was when he first began to suspect it was a replica firearm," Henry told the paper.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

U.S. Execution slayings stun S.C. neighbors

0 0
Read Time:1 Minute, 56 Second
CALLISON, S.C. — Residents were trying to come to grips Wednesday with a horrific night of violence over a custody dispute that left six people dead in a small home on a wooded lot in sprawling, rural Greenwood County.
 
"It's a horrible tragedy," said neighbor Jeff Hicks.
 
Pastor Keith Sweat, of nearby Rehoboth United Methodist Church, said the community healing has just begun and it will be a long, difficult process.
 
The dead were found Tuesday night by SWAT team members who arrived at the home after a man called authorities and said he was thinking about hurting himself, Greenwood County Sheriff's Office spokesman John Long said.
 
Sheriff Tony Davis said 27-year-old Bryan Eugene Sweatt broke into the home and waited for his victims to return. He used a large-caliber handgun to execute the mother of their 7-month-old child, her parents and two of their grandchildren before killing himself.
 
Sweatt allowed three other children and the infant to go free before the killings, Davis said.
 
Sweatt had a long criminal record and a court date Tuesday on a burglary charge for which he faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted, Davis said.
 
The first 911 call came in at 5:54 p.m. Tuesday. While authorities were en route, a neighbor called 911 to say shots had been fired. Davis said the bodies were discovered when a SWAT team entered the house "after several unsuccessful attempts to make contact" with someone inside.
 
MORE: Explore the data on U.S. mass killings since 2006
 
Hicks described the home where the shootings took place as a quiet residence where children often rode four-wheelers in the yard.
 
Yellow crime tape surrounded the single-story residence. Hicks, who lives about 100 yards down a dirt road, said a friend telephoned him Tuesday night to alert him of trouble at the home of the neighbors.
 
He heard ambulance sirens and a report of hostages being taken, Hicks said. Some children were freed and ran to safety, he said.
 
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is on scene and is continuing the investigation.
 
Contributing: John Bacon and Michael Winter, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

White House: Review will address global NSA concerns

0 0
Read Time:5 Minute, 45 Second
WASHINGTON — A key senator criticized the National Security Agency on Monday for spying on friendly foreign leaders and questioned President Obama over apparently not knowing about it for years.
 
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee and is an NSA supporter, said she is "totally opposed" to collecting intelligence on leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
 
"It is my understanding that President Obama was not aware Chancellor Merkel's communications were being collected since 2002," she said. "That is a big problem."
 
Feinstein — who indicated she and her committee were also not told about the spying — said that "the White House has informed me that collection on our allies will not continue, which I support."
 
As a growing chorus of nations protest U.S. surveillance policies, Obama and aides said the programs are designed to protect national security, but an ongoing review will address the concerns of allies.
 
"The national security operations, generally, have one purpose and that is to make sure the American people are safe," Obama told Fusion, a new cable network developed by ABC News and Univision.
 
But as the capabilities of intelligence gatherers expand, Obama said the ongoing review will seek "to make sure that what they're able to do, doesn't necessarily mean what they should be doing."
 
The review of NSA programs is designed to insure that intelligence gathering protects "both the security of our citizens and our allies and the privacy concerns shared by Americans and citizens around the world," said White House press secretary Jay Carney.
 
In a written statement, Feinstein said her committee will also review intelligence gathering operations.
 
In a response to Feinstein's statement, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the president's review is "examining whether we have the appropriate posture when it comes to heads of state; how we coordinate with our closest allies and partners; and what further guiding principles or constraints might be appropriate for our efforts."
 
Administration officials refused to comment on a report indicating that Obama learned only this year about a program that monitored the communications of foreign leaders — a situation that wouldn't be particularly unusual, said an intelligence expert.
 
Paul Pillar, a former senior intelligence officer, said most presidents don't know about "the targeting decisions" made by their intelligence agencies.
 
"It would be a horrible drain on the president's time and attention," Pillar said.
 
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the NSA ended a program monitoring foreign leaders after an internal review revealed its existence; the account suggested that Obama did not know about the programs until that review began during the summer.
 
Spain is the latest in a string of nations to protest NSA surveillance tactics, revealed in news reports based on disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Other nations include Germany, France, Brazil and Mexico.
 
Carney said a report on the review triggered by the Snowden revelation is due by the end of the year. But leaders in Germany and other countries are demanding immediate changes to U.S. surveillance policies.
 
Pillar said it's not the tactics themselves that create international friction as much as the fact that they have now been publicized.
 
"Not only do allies spy on each other all the time, allies know about it all the time," Pillar said.
 
Normally, he said, nations that discover surveillance from other countries would tighten their security procedures and not make "a public stink" about it.
 
But the news coverage — inspired by the Snowden revelations and fueled by outrage from their domestic constituents — forces leaders to confront the United States.
 
The issue is particularly sensitive in Germany, where memories of the nation's Cold War divisions remain fresh. That includes domestic spying by police forces in Communist-run East Germany — the native region of Chancellor Merkel, an outspoken critic of NSA tactics.
 
"Their history is speaking very loudly to them," said Heather Conley, senior fellow and director of the Europe Program with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
 
Conley and Pillar said intelligence agencies do gather information on each other, on items ranging from positions on trade negotiations to the political troubles of the targeted government.
 
The difference these days? "It's a public discussion," Conley said.
 
Since the Snowden revelations began appearing in June, Obama and other officials have said the NSA surveillance programs are designed to help thwart terrorist attacks, not to spy on average citizens. Programs are designed in such a way to detect patterns of communication between suspected terrorists, they have said.
 
Merkel demanded a U.S. response after reports that her cellphone had been monitored by the NSA. Carney said that, in a phone call last week, Obama assured Merkel that "we do not and will not monitor the chancellor's communications," a statement that leaves open the possibility of past efforts.
 
The administration did deny a German news report that NSA Director Keith Alexander informed Obama about surveillance of Merkel three years ago.
 
"Gen. Alexander did not discuss with President Obama in 2010 an alleged foreign intelligence operation involving German Chancellor Merkel, nor has he ever discussed alleged operations involving Chancellor Merkel," said NSA spokeswoman Vaneé Vines. "News reports claiming otherwise are not true."
 
Germany has demanded changes in mutual intelligence rules. The Germans are sending an intelligence team to Washington this week to meet with U.S. counterparts.
 
Also, a group of European Union parliamentarians are in Washington for what Carney called an "ongoing U.S.-E.U. discussion of privacy issues."
 
"This is obviously something that has been of concern and we are working to address those concerns diplomatically, through diplomatic channels, and also in the way that we're talking about these issues now," Carney said.
 
The recent disclosures about the NSA have "caused tension in our relationships," Carney said, but "we have extraordinarily strong and important intelligence and security relationships with our allies."
 
While the United States and Germany figure to remain allies, Conley said the flap could undermine joint efforts on trade, data-sharing and law enforcement efforts to block potential terrorist attacks.
 
"This is not going to wait until the review," she said. "This requires leadership and action."
 
Obama's spokesman said Monday that an ongoing review will address the concerns of allies.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Lawmakers to meet Wednesday on long-delayed farm bill

0 0
Read Time:4 Minute, 26 Second
WASHINGTON – House and Senate lawmakers responsible for writing a farm bill will gather publicly on Wednesday for the first time, a meeting expected to shed light on how quickly the conferees could strike a deal on the much-delayed legislation.
 
The 41 lawmakers are charged with merging farm bills passed this summer by the House and Senate into one piece of legislation, an arduous task highlighted by the $35 billion gap between the two sides on food stamp spending and the apparent reluctance of each side to budge from its position.
 
Top officials and staff from the Senate and House Agriculture committees already have met privately to work on a new five-year farm bill, which includes crop insurance, subsidies, conservation, public nutrition and food aid programs. The Wednesday conference, where lawmakers will make opening statements, could be the only gathering for the farm bill not held behind closed doors. By law, at least one meeting must be open to the public.
 
"People are going to be watching to see how the opening speeches go on Wednesday as to what kind of tone is set as to whether people are highlighting the differences or highlighting the places of commonality," said Pat Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, a think tank at the University of Missouri. "That may be some indicator of just how eager everybody is to get to an agreement."
 
The five-year, $500 billion farm bills being proposed by each chamber have a handful of differences on agriculture policy issues that need to be ironed out, but those who follow the process do not expect those to be a major hang-up that would impede passage of the legislation.
 
The provisions expected to be the most contentious focus on crop insurance. Unlike the House bill, the Senate bill mandates farmers who get crop insurance to meet certain environmental requirements. The Senate also would require farmers with adjusted gross income greater than $750,000 a year to pay more for federally subsidized insurance. Both bills would end direct payments, doled out regardless of need, and increase the number of crop insurance programs available to farmers.
 
Congress has struggled to craft a farm bill to replace the 2008 measure, which expired Sept. 30, 2012. Lawmakers extended the legislation earlier this year through the end of September in hopes the delay would provide them more time to reach a deal. While some farm programs have expired for a second time, the more pressing deadline comes on Jan. 1, when a 1949 farm law requires that subsidy prices begin to increase, starting with dairy payments.
 
"I think everybody realizes that the alarm goes off at the end of the year and something has to happen" before then, said Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., a member of the farm bill conference committee. "I think the vast majority of it can be agreed to pretty quickly. The nutrition may be the sticking point."
 
In June, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved a reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, of $4.5 billion over a decade. The Republican-led House recently passed a reduction of $39 billion. Republicans have pushed for deeper cuts to restore the program's original eligibility limits and preserve the safety net for the truly needy, while Democrats have said the reductions go too far and argue that the changes would force millions of deserving Americans off of food stamps.
 
Lawmakers also have to agree on timing. While the Senate bill has proposed extending both farm policy and food stamps for five years, the House would do farm policy for the same time but only three years for nutrition. Agriculture groups fear that severing the two parts would lessen the urgency to pass a farm bill by siphoning off support from urban lawmakers.
 
Chad Hart, an associate professor of economics at Iowa State University, said the nutrition debate is likely going to force Congress to extend the farm bill for a second time in order to give lawmakers more time to negotiate. "I think the conferees might be able to reach a compromise, but I don't know if it can get a majority of votes in both houses," said Hart. "The farm bill is usually not this political."
 
Several factors are in play that could spur passage of the farm bill, but approval is far from certain.
 
President Barack Obama has tabbed farm legislation as one of his top priorities, and Senate Democrats have been adamant about not temporarily extending the farm bill again. The threat of the 1949 law going into effect also looms on the horizon. And the fact that the conference is happening at all is seen as promising, according to those who follow the farm bill.
 
Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, said he will be keeping a close watch on the farm bill conference meeting to look for signals from the lawmakers "so we know where to apply pressure and influence."
 
"Another extension is unacceptable," Hill added. "We need to get this done."
 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Study: Killer heat waves may soon be forecast weeks away

0 0
Read Time:2 Minute, 10 Second
Meteorologists may have found a way to predict some killer heat waves up to three weeks in advance. Now, the best they can do is about 10 days.
 
An earlier warning would help cities prepare for the heat wave, arrange to open up cooling centers and check on the elderly, said Gerald Meehl, co-author of a study that describes the forecasting clue.
 
"It gives you a little bit of a heads up of what's coming," he said.
 
The key may be a certain pattern of high and low pressure spots across the globe high in the sky. When that pattern shows up, the chances double for a prolonged and intense heat wave in the eastern two-thirds of the United States, according to the study published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.
 
This could predict some types of heat waves but not all, meteorologists said. The study's authors said they think the pattern occurred before last year's heat wave in much of the central U.S., but they still need more work to confirm it.
 
The researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., looked at heat waves that lasted at least a week and were about 5 to 8 degrees warmer than normal. In any given summer week, the odds of a heat wave like this happening are usually only about 1 in 67 in the U.S.
 
They did thousands of computer simulations and discovered that when high pressure and low pressure systems line up in a specific pattern, it foreshadows heat to come in about 15 to 20 days. Scientists call this 4-mile-high pattern wave No. 5.
 
The weather on the ground at the time of the pattern really doesn't matter; it can be rainy, dry, hot or cold, said study lead author Haiyan Teng, a scientist at the research center. The same pattern that signals a U.S. heat wave also indicates different extreme weather in other parts of the globe, like heavy rains, she said
 
This wave pattern was seen before the 1980 heat wave that was blamed for 1,250 deaths and pushed temperatures over 100 degrees in Dallas every day, said Randall Dole, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Triple-digit temperatures in Dallas persisted for a record 42 consecutive days that year. Dole, who wasn't part of the study, said the science behind the study is sound, significant and may be practical after extensive testing.
 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Police: Clerk’s cellphone stops robber’s bullet

0 0
Read Time:47 Second
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. (AP) — Police say a cellphone saved a Florida gas station clerk from a robber's bullet.
 
Winter Garden Police said in an e-mail that a clerk had just minor injuries after a robber fired a bullet at his abdomen. Police say his cellphone stopped it.
 
The close call happened Monday at 4:45 a.m. in Winter Garden, a suburb of Orlando.
 
A man entered the gas station and asked a clerk for help. Then he showed the worker a revolver and demanded he open the safe.
 
When the clerk couldn't open the safe, the robber ordered a second clerk to try. He was also unsuccessful.
 
The suspect fired a round at one of the clerks and fled.
 
Police say the worker had no idea the bullet had hit his cellphone until he pulled it out of his shirt pocket.
 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

JFK’s final hours: Personal moments, lasting impressions

0 0
Read Time:5 Minute, 40 Second
FORT WORTH – The two-day trip to Texas President Kennedy took in 1963 with first lady Jacqueline Kennedy is best known for its darkest moment, when an assassin's bullet struck down the president during a motorcade in Dallas.
 
Other details of that trip — Jacqueline Kennedy brushing up on her Spanish aboard Air Force One to address a Latino crowd in Houston; the president's impromptu stop to visit volunteers in an altitude chamber in San Antonio; priceless pieces of art that were gathered last-minute to greet the couple in their Fort Worth hotel room — have been overshadowed by the assassination.
 
Volumes have been written about the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination, a defining moment in U.S. history which will be memorialized next month on its 50th anniversary. Several rounds from a high-powered rifle killed Kennedy and seriously injured Texas Gov. John Connally, who was riding with the president. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested later that day.
 
The 36 hours the Kennedys spent in Texas leading up to the killing have received far less attention. In that short time, the Kennedys greeted enthusiastic crowds in Houston, San Antonio and Fort Worth, winning over supporters despite Texas' growing conservatism.
 
Those hours highlight a president who needed the Lone Star's electoral college votes – and fundraising money – for re-election the following year and offer glimpses into the true Kennedys, says Julian Read, Connally's press secretary who was in the motorcade at the time of the shooting.
 
"In an event of this magnitude, where all the focus is naturally on the tragedy, the context is often lost," says Read, author of JFK's Final Hours in Texas. "But it's important to give a complete picture."
 
The Texas itinerary was tight: Houston and San Antonio one day, followed by Fort Worth, Dallas and Austin the next, according to JFK: The Final Hours, a new documentary airing Nov. 8 on the National Geographic Channel. Kennedy hoped to use the trip to resolve a rift within the Texas Democratic Party and raise money. It was significant for another reason: It was Jacqueline Kennedy's first public trip since the death of the couple's infant baby, Patrick, who died shortly after birth in August 1963.
 
After a brief dedication speech at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, the president steered off a tight itinerary to visit volunteers living and undergoing tests in a low-pressure altitude chamber. He pulled on a headset to talk to one of the volunteers inside the chamber, Philip "Flip" Jameson, then 19 years old. "My heart stopped, just for a few seconds," Jameson says in the film.
 
From San Antonio, the first couple headed to Houston. There, they visited a gathering of the League of United Latin American Citizens, a Latino advocacy group. Organizers were told the president may (or may not) show up for a brief meet-and-greet. Instead, Kennedy and the first lady arrived and promptly climbed onto the cramped stage. Then, Jacqueline Kennedy, flanked by a mariachi band, addressed the crowd in accented but clear Spanish, drawing boisterous applause. Clint Hill, a Secret Service agent assigned to the couple, would later disclose how the first lady had crammed for her short speech aboard Air Force One during the Washington-to-Texas flight.
 
The president's off-script visits and focus on Texas underscores how badly Kennedy, a Democrat, needed the state for his re-election, says Jeffrey Engel, director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
 
"He was really interested in making sure Texas stayed in the Democratic column in the upcoming 1964 election," he says. "The Republican Party was slowly but steadily making inroads in Texas."
 
After another fundraiser in Houston, the Kennedys traveled to Fort Worth, where they would spend the night before heading to Dallas. They were scheduled to spend the weekend at Vice President Lyndon Johnson's ranch outside Austin.
 
Shortly before their arrival, Fort Worth residents learned from a front-page newspaper story that the Kennedys would be staying in a smaller suite at the Hotel Texas, instead of the larger and better-furnished Will Rogers suite, due to security concerns. A group of local art enthusiasts and collectors led by local curator Ruth Carter Johnson – most of them ardent Republicans – scrambled to put together an impromptu collection of paintings and sculptures to properly decorate the presidential couple's suite, says Andrew Walker, director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth.
 
In just five days, the group gathered 16 pieces – five from museums, the rest from local collectors – that would impress the most seasoned curator: a bronze owl sculpture by Pablo Picasso; Swimming, an 1885 oil on canvas masterpiece by American artist Thomas Eakins; a featured work by impressionist painter Claude Monet; an oil painting of Manhattan by American expressionist Lyonel Feininger. The pieces were carefully placed throughout the Kennedy's two-room, eighth-floor suite.
 
The Kennedys arrived to the hotel late that night and went to sleep without noticing the priceless collection surrounding them. But the next morning, the president and first lady called Ruth Carter Johnson to say how much they enjoyed the art and thanked her for the effort. It was the last-known private phone call made by the president.
 
"That story got lost," Walker says. "The dark cloud of the assassination had long buried this wonderfully affirming story."
 
Later that morning, the Kennedys joined a large breakfast gathering in the ballroom of the Hotel Texas. Attendees remember the smallest details: Kennedy shaking hands with each member of the Texas Boys Choir who sang at the event; Jacqueline dazzling the crowd with her pink dress, pillbox hat and radiant smile; the couple seemingly charmed with one another.
 
"We didn't even vote for Kennedy," says Cornelia Friedman, wife of then-Fort Worth Mayor Bayard Friedman, who hosted the president and first lady in Fort Worth. "But by the end of the day, we were like everybody else – totally captivated."
 
Friedman and her husband later escorted the Kennedys to Carswell Air Force Base, where they would take the 14-minute flight to Dallas. As the couple climbed onto Air Force One, Friedman turned to her husband and voiced concern over the ultra-conservative, anti-Kennedy sentiment brewing in the nearby Texas city.
 
"I hope they behave themselves in Dallas," Friedman recalls saying.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

More charges possible in N.C. fair ride injuries

0 0
Read Time:3 Minute, 28 Second
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A ride that jolted into motion at the North Carolina State Fair, injuring five, had been intentionally tampered with to bypass critical safety devices, a sheriff said, with the ride operator accused of assault in an investigation that a prosecutor said could yield more charges.
 
Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, 46, of Quitman, Ga., made his first court appearance Monday to face three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious injury. Each count is punishable by up to eight years in prison.
 
Wake County District Court Judge Keith O. Gregory declined a request during the brief hearing to lower Tutterrow's $225,000 bond. The defendant, dressed in an orange and white striped jumpsuit, was taken back to jail in handcuffs.
 
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said investigators determined the ride had been intentionally tampered with, though authorities have provided no details of the evidence against Tutterrow.
 
The "Vortex" started moving Thursday evening as people were exiting, dropping riders from heights eyewitnesses estimated at up to 30 feet.
 
Three people were hospitalized Monday with serious injuries, including a 14-year-old. Two others were treated and released.
 
Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said in court he would personally handle Tutterrow's prosecution and that more charges could come.
 
"There are still some unanswered questions we are trying to get to the bottom of," Willoughby said. "These are very serious charges and we want to make sure we are proceeding in the right way."
 
Tutterrow's lawyer, Roger W. Smith Jr., said Sunday that his client is a loving husband and father.
 
"It is such a tragedy what happened and he's just reeling from that," Smith said. "He's devastated and distraught. All his thoughts and prayers are with those that were injured."
 
Tutterrow's wife and several members of his family traveled to Raleigh for the hearing. They declined to comment on the case as they left the courtroom.
 
Records show Tutterrow was arrested in Georgia in 2002 on a felony charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He was sentenced to four years of probation under a program for first-time offenders, according to records.
 
He was also arrested in 1997 in Kentucky on a charge of possessing cocaine. Details of how that charge was resolved by the court were not immediately available.
 
Tutterrow's current lawyer said he knew nothing of those prior charges.
 
"What I can tell you is that Tim Tutterrow is a good man and he would never intentionally harm anyone," Smith said.
 
The Vortex had at least one other technical problem at the North Carolina fair. A safety switch that keeps the ride from operating unless seat restraints are engaged malfunctioned on Oct. 21, four days before the problem that injured five.
 
The ride was temporarily idled as workers replaced the switch, but it reopened that night after being tested, state inspectors said.
 
The fair ended Sunday night. A few hours later on Monday, a 35-year-old worker dismantling a ride with the same name but totally different mechanisms hurt his leg and was taken to a hospital, Agriculture Department spokesman Brian Long said.
 
The Vortex that Tutterrow was operating was supplied by Family Attractions Amusement Co. LLC of Valdosta, Ga. Smith said Tutterrow had worked for the company for several years.
 
Family Attractions was a subcontractor of Powers Great American Midways, a New York company hired by North Carolina's Department of Agriculture to provide rides at the state fair, which ended Sunday night.
 
Inspectors with the state Labor Department performed safety checks on all the rides before the fair opened. Ride operators are supposed to do three daily operational checks and record those in a log, said Tom Chambers, the chief of the department's ride inspection unit. State inspectors then perform checks of the logs to confirm operators are complying with the rules.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Yes, men really do ogle women’s bodies

0 0
Read Time:2 Minute, 28 Second
The eyes don't lie: Men really do look at women's bodies more than their faces, according to a new study that used eye-tracking technology to prove what many women have long observed.
 
But it's not just men who do it — the study found that women look at other women's bodies, too.
 
"We live in a culture in which we constantly see women objectified in interactions on television and in the media. When you turn your own lens on everyday, ordinary women, we focus on those parts, too," says lead author and social psychologist Sarah Gervais of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
 
"Until now, we didn't have evidence people were actually doing that to women's bodies," she says. "We have women's self-reports, but this is some of the first work to document that people actually engage in this."
 
The participants – 29 women and 36 men – were outfitted with the eye-tracking system, which measures in milliseconds how long the eyes are fixed on certain spots. Their gazes reacted to photographs of the same 10 women, each with three different digitally manipulated body shapes – curvaceous, much less curvaceous and in-between. (Only women's bodies were viewed by study participants.) Both sexes fixed their gaze more on women's chests and waists and less on faces. Those bodies with larger breasts, narrower waists and bigger hips often prompted longer looks.
 
The explanation may be partly evolutionary, Gervais says, since men may be drawn to more shapely women for childbearing — while women may be checking out their competition, she suggests.
 
And the study, published today in the journal Sex Roles, also finds that even when men are told to focus more on evaluating a woman's expressions and personality, women with more curves get more positive personality ratings.
 
Researcher Kun Guo, who also uses eye tracking in his studies at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, says the technology provides "more objective measurements" than do questionnaires, which are subjective.
 
"The beauty of eye movements is that it is more difficult to inhibit," he says.
 
Jamie Lynn Goldenberg, an associate professor of psychology at the University of South Florida in Tampa, says there's been a lot of research on self-objectification, but only recently has attention turned to perceptions by others. She hasn't used eye-tracking in her studies but says it's "an interesting way" to look at objectification, which amounts to viewing women as objects.
 
"We have new methodologies for studying these things — getting into the eyes of the perceiver," she says. "It doesn't explain why they're looking, but they're looking longer."
 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %