The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

As poverty rises, one Maryland school system tries a longer school year

The number of students living in poverty has been rising in the Washington suburbs, and leaders in Montgomery County’s high-performing school system have looked for ways to boost their academic success.

One idea that has sparked growing interest: more days in class.

The sprawling suburb in Maryland plans to experiment with a longer school year — extending into mid- to late July at two high-needs elementary schools in 2018-2019. The plan aims to help economically disadvantaged students, who lose the most ground during long summer breaks.

“There’s a lot of evidence that more time makes a difference in learning progression, and we want to see if we can do that effectively as part of the school year,” Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Jack Smith said in an interview Wednesday.


Ben Cardin praises new North Korea sanctions: 'That was a major accomplishment' for Trump

The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee praised the Trump administration for new sanctions imposed against North Korea by the United Nations.

"That was a good move. That was a major accomplishment. I give our team a lot of credit for getting that done. They're pretty strong additional sanctions to be imposed against North Korea because of their continued testing of ballistic missiles," Ben Cardin, D-Md., said on “Fox News Sunday.”

He added it was “great” to see China and Russia join with the U.S. in voting for the sanctions.

"It now needs to be followed up with diplomacy where we get China and the United States working with the same strategy with North Korea to find a way that we can ease the tensions and get North Korea to change directions. So it's a good first step," Cardin said.


2017 Man of the Year: Dude Who Sued Date for Texting in Theater

We are surrounded by petty rudeness in our every day lives. Folks who fail to use their blinkers on the roads. Loud-talkers in elevators subjecting us to their drab day-to-day lives. People who stand on escalators, impeding the flow of traffic.

The worst of all these petty offenders, of course, is the movie theater scofflaw. You know the sort. The girl who spends the movie on Instagram, seeing who liked her latest food pic. The guy who answers text messages throughout, oblivious to the action unfolding on the screen. The impolite hordes who don't understand that their cell phone use is the equivalent of holding up a bright flashlight in a darkened room, an action that damages the experience of literally everyone sitting behind them.

In these dark times—an age when basic manners have been jettisoned—one man had had enough.

Brandon Vezmar paid $17.31 for his date to join him at a 3D screening of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. And then he sued her for $17.31 when she proceeded to spend the entirety of the evening on her phone, distracting everyone around them with her piggish thoughtlessness..

More here

Mark Cuban On Why He Wouldn't Buy the Carolina Panthers: 'Why would I buy an NFL team if I think the league is in decline?'

If Sean “Diddy” Combs is looking for someone to help him purchase the Carolina Panthers, he might want to take a hard pass on Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban.

When asked by the Dallas Morning News, whether he had any interest in purchasing the recently put-up for sale Carolina Panthers, Cuban answered in characteristic Cuban fashion:

Why would I buy an NFL team if I think the league is in decline? There’s no team I would want other than the Mavericks, certainly no football team in the universe. There’s not even a close second.

I love the Mavs. I love Dallas. I mean, Charlotte’s a great city, but there’s nothing I don’t like here – other than losing right now. I would never turn my back on the city of Dallas. Like I’ve always said, Dallas has given me so much. And what am I going to say to my son and his friends or my daughter and her friends: ‘Oh, yeah: Football’s dangerous for you, but I bought a football team.’ I know I’m a hypocrite from time to time, but I really, really, really try not to be.


ONE-THIRD Of U.S. Homicide Spike Coming From 5 Chicago Neighborhoods

Murders in the U.S. rose as a whole last year, thanks in large part to a Windy City crime wave.

Murders in the U.S. rose nearly 9% last year, and one-third of that increase came from just a few neighborhoods in Chicago, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of the FBI’s annual 2016 publication, Crime in the United States.

While violent crime (homicide, rape, assault, and robbery) also rose nationwide from 2015 to 2016 — over 4% — the data show the increase was not uniform, but rather concentrated in cities like Chicago and Baltimore.


This is why Hillary needed a pardon before Obama left office

Late last week, a top FBI lawyer named James Baker was reassigned. The Washington Post said it was part of FBI Director Christopher Wray’s effort to assemble his own team of senior advisers.

But there’s probably more to it. The FBI has been accused — correctly, I believe — of partisanship, especially when it came to handling the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

As I explained in an October 2016 column, Baker was one of three people who “unanimously” decided not to prosecute Clinton. Then-FBI head James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were the other two at the meeting when the decision was made.
Baker was reassigned shortly after McCabe testified in private before the House Intelligence Committee, which is looking into Clinton’s mishandling of her emails. There have also been reports that Baker is being looked at as the source of leaks to the press.


Sexual Harassment Scandals May Drive Democrats Out Of Power In CALIFORNIA

A solid "blue state" may be less solid than previously thought.

If there's any state in the union that is most assuredly "blue," it's California. Outside of a single Republican governor — Arnold Schwarzenegger — and a handful of state and federal legislators in northern and far southern counties, Democrats hold nearly every elected office in the state.

But according to Politico, a burgeoning sexual harassment scandal is roiling the state's Democratic ranks and a series of "scandal-induced resignations" thought to be coming in 2018 are threatening the Democrats' stranglehold on power.


Did the FBI conspire to stop Trump?

Pat Buchanan: 'One need not be a conspiracy nut to conclude the fix was in'

The original question the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign was to answer was a simple one: Did he do it?

Did Trump, or officials with his knowledge, collude with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to hack the emails of John Podesta and the DNC, and leak the contents to damage Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump?

A year-and-a-half into the investigation, and, still, no “collusion” has been found. Yet the investigation goes on, at the demand of the never-Trump media and Beltway establishment.

Hence, and understandably, suspicions have arisen.

Are the investigators after the truth, or are they after Trump?

Set aside the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory momentarily, and consider a rival explanation for what is going down here:


Jeopardy Host Alex Trebek Accused Of SEXISM For Simply Asking Female Contestant About Her Job

When I think of the most vile sexist imaginable, the long time host of Jeopardy, Alex Trebek, usually isn’t at the top of the list. In fact, he wouldn’t even be on that list. Although there are some out there who would disagree with me I’m sure. The sometimes smug Canadian has been called out by the brave Twitter brigade for asking a woman about her job. Yes, seriously. The horror!

It seems the outrage culture is frothing at the mouth for any chance to seem like the most “woke” out of the group. Whatever that means.

I haven’t watched an episode of Jeopardy since Ken Jennings lost, but apparently it’s an actual part of the show where Alex likes to ask contestants questions about their lives. Seems like a front for him to berate women about their appearance or their taste in fashion. Or something.


Show Me the Money

**Traffic Advisory** State Police Investigating Serious Crash-Milford

Milford – The Delaware State Police are currently on the scene of a serious crash on Cedar Creek Road at Wilkins Road.

The incident occurred around 4:41 p.m. Wednesday, December 27, 2017 on Cedar Creek Road at Wilkins Road involving a vehicle and a go-kart. Injuries have been reported in the crash, however, the exact number and extent of the injuries is unknown at this time.

Cedar Creek Road at Wilkins Road is currently shut down. Commuters should expect delays in the area and find alternate routes of travel.

Further details will be released upon the conclusion of the investigation.

Please follow the Real Time Travel Advisories through DelDOT to get updates on the road opening by clicking:

College Has Students Using ‘Ze, Zim, Zir’ Gender Pronouns – Yes, Really

When this kind of story comes my way, all I can do is laugh. These people are so removed from reality, it is kind of sad. A pronoun guideline document is being distributed by Bard College that reminds students to be “inclusive,” which encompasses the use of so-called gender-neutral “Ze, Zim, Zir” pronouns. Bard College provided a FAQ document instructing them that some people are mentally deranged and want power over you so you should call them whatever you want. Okay, it may have been a little different than that.

“To create a gender-inclusive environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors, Bard College encourages all members of the campus community to indicate the pronouns they use for themselves, if desired, in classes, residence halls, workplaces, electronic communications, and other settings, and strongly encourages community members to respect pronoun usage,” the document reads.

The document also says that college members ought to use gender-neutral terms like “folks” or “all people,” not offensive, patriarchal, oppressing terms like “guys” or “gals.” This kind of language only marginalizes the most vulnerable in our society, blah, blah, blah. We could all write this ourselves we’ve heard it so much.

“A pronoun is a word used to refer to an individual or group instead of using their name (grammatically speaking, pronouns are used as a substitute for a noun or a noun phrase). Pronouns can be in the first person singular (I, me) or plural (we, us); second person singular or plural (you); and the third person singular (e.g., she/her, he/him, they/them, ze/hir) or plural (they/them). Some people go by just one set of pronouns, others use more than one set,” it continues.

The gender binary is what is wrong with society. I mean, only two genders? That’s absurd. Everyone know there are dozens of genders and more to be announced any second now. Who are we to judge people?


Tim Scott Is Called Trump’s Token Black Guy – Then Scott LEVELS Every Hater!

As the tax reform bill was finally passed by the House, the Republicans lined up to take a much-deserved victory lap. The bill immediately caused numerous major corporations to give $1,000 bonuses to hundreds of thousands of employees and invest billions in their respective companies. That included AT&T, Comcast, Boeing, Wells Fargo and Bancorp.

As Republicans gathered to celebrate on the south lawn of the White House, Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina was also there to applaud the win. He stood behind Trump’s left shoulder while he gave his remarks on the tax bill. And he was all smiles. Scott played a major part in the tax reform process.

Scott was one of the major advocates for the bill during heated debates on the Senate floor and on cable news over the last few months. He worked incredibly hard to help get the bill through and passed into law. Scott stood beside President Trump and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) in the front row of legislators assembled at the White House to celebrate the passage of the bill. That was the cue for idiots in the leftist media to go on the attack. Huffington Post contributor and political and pop culture analyst, Andy Ostroy, called the Senator a “manipulated prop” for being the “ONE black person” standing by Trump. How racist can you get?


RED ALERT: California Governor Caught PARDONING Criminal Aliens So They Won’t Be Deported

Merry Christmas, illegal alien convicts!

Gov. Jerry Brown of California has decided against passing out toys to good little girls and boys and instead has been granting pardons to illegal aliens. There’s always an argument to pardon an American, but the two convicts that were just pardoned by Gov. Brown were due to be deported by Donald Trump next week.

Not by Donald Trump personally, though I’m sure he’d like doing that as much as he enjoyed answering NORAD calls from children asking about Santa — but by the administration, who have been working to get Mony Neth and Rottanak Kong back to Cambodia.

Both men were brought Stateside as children in 1995 as part of a refugee relief effort. Local papers say the two men have not committed any crimes since being released from prison, but they were both taken for felony convictions.


Russian Opposition Leader Barred From Running Against Putin In 2018

Alexei Navalny, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, will not be allowed to run in next year's presidential election in Russia, officials announced on Monday.

Putin is anticipated to win re-election yet again, continuing nearly two decades of dominance over Russian politics.

"Navalny is implicitly barred from running for office because of a conviction in a fraud case which has been viewed as political retribution," The Associated Press writes. "He could have run if he [were] given a special dispensation or if his conviction was cancelled."

But election officials opted not to grant him permission, Reuters reports:

"The decision by the central election commission was widely expected as election officials had repeatedly declared Navalny would be ineligible to run. Twelve members of the 13-member commission voted to bar Navalny. One member abstained, citing a possible conflict of interest.

"Navalny, 41, who polls show would struggle to beat incumbent Vladimir Putin in the March election, said he would appeal and called on his supporters to boycott the election and campaign against it being held."

"The process in which we are called to participate is not a real election," Navalny said in a video statement, according to a Reuters translation. "It will feature only Putin and the candidates which he has personally selected."


Pick The Biggest Political Story Of 2017

So much happened in 2017, it's hard to believe.

Ranking the top stories of the year is nearly impossible, especially with so many consequential, eye-popping and fast-moving things that happened.

So we need your help in deciding which was the most important. To make it easy — and hopefully fun — we created an NCAA-style March Madness bracket for politics. You can vote here now in a contest that pits story against story in what was an almost unbelievable year in American politics. (The deadline to fill out a bracket has passed, but you can still get in on the voting.)

You will get to decide the winner through Twitter polls, beginning with Round One, which is going on here for the until midnight or so. The winner will be announced Friday afternoon, and we will update with results of each round each morning.

(The prize for top-scoring bracket, announced on the Up First podcast — host David Greene's voice on your answering machine, er, voice mail. Or something else if that doesn't work out!)

Here's a quick preview of the bracket to get you started:


U.S. Announces Sanctions On 2 Individuals Over North Korean Weapons Program

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced new sanctions on two individuals within the North Korean government, both of whom are reportedly prominent figures within Kim Jong Un's ballistic weapons development program.

Ri Pyong Chol and Kim Jong Sik are now both blacklisted — which means any assets they have in the U.S. will be frozen, although as NPR's David Welna notes, "It's not clear whether either of them, in fact, has any U.S. assets." Additionally, Americans will generally be prohibited from doing business with them.

"Kim Jong Sik reportedly is a key figure in North Korea's ballistic missile development, including efforts to switch from liquid to solid fuel," the Department of the Treasury says. "Ri Pyong Chol is reported to be a key official involved in North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile development."

Both men have appeared multiple times in photos of Kim Jong Un watching missile tests, according to North Korea Leadership Watch and reporting by Reuters. The men smile and congratulate each other.


US Home Prices Surged 6.2% from a Year Ago

U.S. home prices climbed a robust 6.2 percent from a year ago, amid strong demand from would-be buyers and a shrinking supply of properties for sale.

Standard & Poor's said Tuesday that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index stood in October a solid 6 percent above its previous 2006 peak. Prices are rising at more than double the pace of wage growth, creating some affordability pressures that have been offset by relatively low mortgage rates. Metro areas with booming job markets and the steepest home price gains could see more residents staying as renters.

"Since home prices are rising faster than wages, salaries, and inflation, some areas could see potential home buyers compelled to look at renting," said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The strongest annual gains occurred in Seattle, where prices have shot up 12.7 percent since October 2015. Las Vegas has seen prices increase 10.2 percent, while San Diego notched growth of 8.1 percent. Of the 20 metro areas tracked by the index, Washington, DC reported the smallest price gain with 3.1 percent.


Top 10 Celebrity Meltdowns of 2017

DHS: Chain Migration Imported Terror Suspect Accused of Targeting Pennsylvania Police

The terror suspect accused of targeting police officers in Pennsylvania entered the United States as a foreign relative of a newly naturalized immigrant, a process known as “chain migration,” according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Ahmed Amin El-Mofty, a 51-year-old from Egypt, allegedly targeted Pennsylvania police officers last week, firing multiple shots at officers while they were sitting in their police vehicles, according to FOX43. In one instance, El-Mofty shot into a police car and wounded a female officer.

Afterwards, Pennsylvania police caught up with El-Mofty and exchanged gunfire with him in a shootout that ultimately ended in the terror suspect being shot and killed at the scene.


Top insider exposes ‘Luciferian’ origin of globalist empire

'It's beyond detestable. It's actually radical evil'

“Spirit cooking.” Occult imagery outside meetings of the most powerful people in the world. Bizarre rituals held at globally important events.

What is going on? What perverted ideology animates those who control our global destiny?

Global insider Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, who has worked at the highest levels on Wall Street, at the United Nations, at elite universities like Yale and Oxford and served on the executive board of the World Economic Forum, has a disturbing answer. It’s “Luciferianism.” And Malloch described the ideology and its influence on world leaders in a recent interview on Infowars.

“The E.U. is part, of course, of the globalist empire, the New World Order, and I think many of its origins are in fact quite evil,” Malloch explained. “And I think that we should talk about that.”


Coyotes Are Colonizing Cities. Step Forward the Urban Hunter.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dennis Murphy sniffed the bobcat urine he uses to lure his prey. He checked the silencer on his AR-15 assault rifle and loaded a few snares into his Ford pickup.

“Let’s go kill some coyotes,” he said.

But he wasn’t heading for the wilderness. Mr. Murphy’s stalking ground is on the contentious new frontier where hunters are clashing with conservationists: cities and suburbs.

Coyotes are largely associated with their ancestral bastions in the wild lands of the American West, but they are highly adaptable, and in recent years they have been colonizing large population centers throughout North America. The hunters have come after them, stalking the predators in settings like strip mall parking lots, housing tract cul-de-sacs, and plazas in the shadow of skyscrapers.

The growing popularity of urban hunting is igniting a fierce debate over the perils and benefits coyotes pose in populated areas, and whether city dwellers ought to adapt to living alongside a cunning predator that has thrived since one of its top adversaries, the gray wolf, has been all but wiped out in much of the continent.

More here

Nancy PELOSI & Frederica Wilson - Dumb and Dumber Ep. 8 - Meltdowns on CNN Live and in Public


Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: Racism

Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said she was an "easy target" and alleged racism may be behind accusations she received preferential treatment on a United Airlines flight last week.

The controversy erupted after passenger Jean-Marie Simon was informed by a gate attendant that her ticket was not in the system while she was attempting to board a flight. After denying that she canceled her flight, the airline gave her a $500 voucher and reseated her in the Economy Plus section. Simon later realized Jackson Lee was sitting in her original first class seat and claimed Jackson Lee received preferential treatment.

The Texas congresswoman sent a series of Tweets on Tuesday re-posting her statement about the Dec. 18 incident, in which she said she and and a flight attendant, both African Americans, were “seemingly an easy target.”

“ an African American, I know there are too many examples like this all over the nation,” she added. “I hope one day, we will accept our collective diversity.”

More here

Don’t Just Throw Away Your Christmas Tree

The presents are opened, Santa’s cookies are eaten, but the tree remains. Now what?

Experts say there are plenty of ways to put Christmas trees to good use after the holidays, so don’t just trash them.

“What we always recommend to people is that they recycle it somehow, and there’s a number of different options,” said Bert Cregg, an associate professor of horticulture and forestry at Michigan State University who focuses on nursery crops and Christmas trees.

One of the best options, he said, is one that’s already available in many towns and cities: Trees are turned into mulch, which is distributed on public land or given to those who want to use it.


Most Wonderful Time All This Year 2.0 - Updated Version

Yes, More Facebook Friends Are Asking You for Money

Perhaps your college friend asked you to support her quarterly magazine for her birthday. Or maybe your neighbor nudged you to donate to his favorite food bank on “Giving Tuesday” the week after Thanksgiving. And then there’s that pesky public-health nonprofit you’ve been charitable to in the past.

If you’ve gotten on Facebook at all this year, you’ve probably been asked to give money. And if you’re like many users, your newsfeed became particularly overrun by Fund-raisers during the last month or so. (If you’re still overwhelmed, we’ve got a comprehensive guide to end-of-the-year charitable giving.)

How did we get here? And at what point did Facebook become a hub for this sort of thing?

It all started innocuously enough — with a modest “Donate” button.

How did Facebook get involved in fund-raising?

CBO: At Least 4.5M Anchor Babies in U.S.

There are an estimated 4.5 million United States-born children who were given birthright citizenship despite at least one of their parents being an illegal alien.

These children are commonly known as “anchor babies,” as they are able to eventually bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S. through the process known as “chain migration.”

A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report reveals the extent to which the illegal alien population in the U.S. has had children that are given automatic citizenship simply for being born within the borders of the country.

According to the CBO, there are 4.5 million anchor babies in the U.S. under the age of 18-years-old. This estimate does not include the potentially millions of anchor babies who are older than 18-years-old.


Tied Virginia Race Undergoes Yet Another Twist

RICHMOND — A race that would tip control of Virginia’s House of Delegates, whose constant and nearly comic pendulums between candidates has attracted national attention, took one more twist on Tuesday when a drawing to break a tie was unexpectedly postponed.

The Virginia State Board of Elections announced it would delay a drawing of lots after receiving a letter from lawyers for the Democratic candidate, Shelly Simonds, that she was legally fighting the ruling of a recount court last week.

The election board’s one-line announcement, on Twitter, came just hours after an announcement that there would be a live video stream of the drawing, which was to be held adjacent to the State Capitol, in response to the huge interest in the race beyond Virginia.

Republicans, who have held majorities for 17 years in the State House, cling to a 51-49 edge after a Democratic wave in elections last month. A Simonds victory would force a bipartisan power sharing and give Ralph Northam, the Democratic governor-elect, an improved shot at enacting liberal priorities.


Trump Slams "Crooked Hillary Pile Of Garbage"-Funded "Bogus" Dossier

Having taken a shot at The FBI on Christmas Eve Eve...
How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?
President Trump took to Twitter early on this Boxing Day with a very direct shot across the bow of all his DC-swamp adversaries...
WOW, @foxandfrlends “Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.” And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!

As a reminder, we know three things for sure:

(1) The Steele dossier was a Clinton campaign product. If it was used by the FBI and the Obama Justice Department to obtain a FISA warrant, that would mean law-enforcement agencies controlled by a Democratic president fed the FISA court political campaign material produced by the Democratic candidate whom the president had endorsed to succeed him. Partisan claims of egregious scheming with an adversarial foreign power would have been presented to the court with the FBI’s imprimatur, as if they were drawn from refined U.S. intelligence reporting. The objective would have been to spy on the opposition Republican campaign.

(2) In June of this year, former FBI director James Comey testified that the dossier was “salacious and unverified.” While still director, Comey had described the dossier the same way when he briefed President-elect Trump on it in January 2017. If the dossier was still unverified as late as mid 2017, its allegations could not possibly have been verified months earlier, in the late summer or early autumn of 2016, when it appears that the FBI and DOJ used them in an application to the FISA court.

(3) The dossier appears to contain misinformation. Knowing he was a spy-for-hire trusted by Americans, Steele’s Russian-regime sources had reason to believe that misinformation could be passed into the stream of U.S. intelligence and that it would be acted on — and leaked — as if it were true, to America’s detriment. This would sow discord in our political system. If the FBI and DOJ relied on the dossier, it likely means they were played by the Putin regime.


Monsanto Is Paying Farmers To Use Its Controversial Pesticide

Corporate pesticide maker Monsanto, which has faced several recent lawsuits against its products, is paying farmers to use its controversial weedkiller XtendiMax with VaporGrip, an herbicide based on a chemical known as dicamba, Yahoo News reported.

The incentive to use XtendiMax aims to refund farmers over half the sticker price of the product in 2018 if they spray it on soybeans that Monsanto engineered to resist it, according to company data.

“We believe cash-back incentives for using XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology better enable growers to use a management system that represents the next level of weed control,” said Ryan Rubischko, Monsanto product manager.


Chicago Ends Christmas With Five Dead

Chicago experienced one of its least violent Christmas weekends this year, with five people dead from the gun violence plaguing the city.

The last fatal shooting for the Christmas weekend happened on Monday at 12:14 am, reports CBS Local Chicago. Fifty-seven year-old Albert Mau was pronounced dead at the St. Bernard Hospital after he was shot when two men walked towards him and shot at him.

Other victims include a man who was shot while he tried to rob someone Saturday, while a 21-year-old man was fatally shot while sitting on his back porch with a friend.

A total of about 20 people were wounded by guns over the weekend, marking a steep decline from last year’s tally. Christmas weekend in 2016 saw 61 people, and 11 people die from their wounds.


NYPD cop who makes $173K caught shoplifting

A $173,000-a-year cop who serves as a driver for a high-ranking NYPD official was caught shoplifting at a Banana Republic store near Police Headquarters — but wasn’t arrested, The Post has learned.

Sgt. Tamas Balatoni, 49, was accused of switching price tags on merchandise amid the crush of last-minute Christmas shopping inside the clothing outlet at 552 Broadway Thursday night, law-enforcement sources said.

A store worker called the NYPD and cops from the Fifth Precinct went to the scene, sources said.

Balatoni wasn’t arrested, but was stripped of his badge and gun and assigned to desk duty, according to sources.

Balatoni, a 20-year NYPD veteran, has a base salary of $108,593 but with overtime earned a total $173,525 during fiscal 2017, records show.


Chicago police stun-gun policy changes have officers' union balking

The Chicago Police Department is getting sued for rewriting rules on officers' use of stun guns – without input from the city’s police union.

Police are now deterred from using stun guns on people who are running away, intoxicated, or vulnerable to injury.

The tightened policy follows an August investigation by the Chicago Tribune on the department's reliance on the devices, the newspaper reported Monday.

Following controversies from officers’ alleged misuse of force, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson overhauled the department’s policies and introduced the rules in May and enacted them in October, the report said.

Critics assailed the policy as being too permissive, while the union representing rank-and-file cops argued the department did not have the right to change the rules without its input, the report said.


DOJ Opens Probe Into Bundy Prosecutors Who Hid Evidence

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened a probe into federal prosecutors of the recent trial of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy,E&E News reports.

Bundy faced criminal charges related to a 2014 standoff with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agents. After the prosecutionsnumerous missteps and “willful” withholding of evidence that would aid the Bundy’s defense, the judge ruled a mistrial Wednesday, The Oregonian reports.

The DOJ did not say whether it would pursue another trial against Cliven Bundy and others involved in the 2014 standoff, according to E&E News.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions “personally directed that an expert in the department’s discovery obligations be deployed to examine the case and advise as to next steps,” DOJ deputy director of public affairs Ian Prior told The Oregonian.

“This is every prosecutor’s nightmare,” retired federal prosecutor Kent Robinson said.


Federal workers poised to overtake salaries of senators, DC gets highest pay raise

The top paychecks of federal workers are set to grow again next year to a six-figure number that rivals the $174,000 salaries of America’s 535 House and Senate members.

Under a new federal order, salaries for most bureaucrats in the General Service will rise next year when the cap on top pay hits $164,000.

And for the upper reaches of the government, senior executive service employees will be allowed to earn a maximum of $189,600.

The Washington area, where the bulk of federal workers are employed, will get the biggest pay raise under the order signed by President Trump before Christmas. There, the increase for General Service workers will be 2.29 percent.

The average federal worker in 2016 earned $86,365. With benefits, the total compensation was $123,160.

The average nonfederal pay in the nation was $58,726, with total compensation at $69,901.


Anthony Milan Ross 'shot kids and ex-wife in Arizona

High-profile vegan chef and author posted a Christmas Day song with his son, 11, onto Facebook just 90 MINUTES 'before he killed the boy, his 10-month-old daughter, and his estranged wife'

The man thought to have killed his estranged wife and two children on Christmas is a well-known vegan chef, author and motivational speaker who suffered from depression but recently turned his life around.

Police said Tuesday that Anthony Milan Ross was arrested late Monday night after exchanging gunfire with officers following a six-hour standoff in a Phoenix, Arizona apartment complex, according to AZ Central.

The 45-year-old has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and more than a dozen counts of aggravated assault on an officer. He wasn't hurt in the police standoff.


Was The 'Lone Wolf" Las Vegas Massacre Really A False Flag To Cover An Assassination Attempt On Saudi Crown Prince?

After the events of Sandy Hook, we already know that any mass murder shootings will always be covered up quickly by Federal law enforcement, even to the extent of co-opting and silencing local authorities.

And this was even evident in the more recent Las Vegas massacre where an FBI handler was whispering in the ear of the city’s Sheriff ‘Don’t go there’ when asked a pertinent question by the media.

Video on FBI controlling narrative for Local Sheriff

And with so many other accounts of there being multiple shooters, gates locked so that people couldn’t escape the carnage, and too many other obvious questions such as shootings occurring in other casino’s not within range of ‘Paddock’s’ hotel room window, what remains is a why are so many details about the event being covered up, and even more, was Stephen Paddock really just a scapegoat for an even more sinister event?

What the media failed to every mention was that at the time of the Las Vegas Massacre, the highly controversial Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammed Bin Salman, was in a resort at the same time as the shootings took place, and is alleged to have been seen in a video being ushered out to escape what may have been an assassination attempt.


MSNBC: Sports Editor Calling Trump and Fox News ‘Neo-Nazis’ Is ‘Absolutely Brilliant’, ‘Thought-Provoking’

During Tuesday morning’s broadcast of MSNBC Live, MSNBC Senior National Correspondent Chris Jansing and anchor Ayman Mohyeldin brought on The Nation’s Sports Editor Dave Zirin to argue that President Trump’s attacks on NFL players protesting the National Anthem earlier this year was actually a campaign of “open, ugly racism” that was deliberately aimed at discouraging black athletes from expressing their political opinions.

Last week, Zirin published a column for The Nation that made pretty much the same case, lambasting“Donald Trump, Fox News, and their neo-Nazi-infused right-wing echo chamber” for spending “a year frothing with rabid barbarism” to shut down the voices of black athletes. Jansing and Mohyeldin promoted Zirin’s piece as both “thought-provoking” and “absolutely brilliant,” but failed to correct him as he repeatedly spread blatant misinformation on the air to support his talking points.


Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: Terror of the skies since 1995

When United booted a paying customer from first class to make room for a member of Congress, the Internet erupted with good and healthy egalitarian outrage. But don’t blame the airline.

The congresswoman in question was Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas. And until she lands on the no-fly list, no airline is safe. Jackson Lee has been terrorizing the skies since coming to Congress in 1995.

The Democrat has developed a reputation for making life hell for any clerk, stewardess, or pilot unwilling or unable to make her three-and-a-half-hour flight anything less than glamorous. She takes advantage of federal travel perks to book multiple flights (only to cancel at the last minute and at no charge). She demands an upgrade to premier seats. She expects, in her words, “to be treated like a queen.”

Sometimes it gets ugly. For instance, when one peasant of a flight attendant failed to serve the food Jackson Lee requested, the congresswoman went wild. "Don't you know who I am?" she reportedly shrieked. "I'm Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Where is my seafood meal? I know it was ordered!"


Sen. Manchin: 'I've Moved On' From Allegations Against Trump; Al Franken Should Stay

( - At least four senators reportedly are urging Al Franken to reconsider his resignation from the Senate following sexual harassment allegations, Politico reported, and one of them is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who said Franken is entitled to due process.

Manchin also said he's "moved on" from the sexual harassment allegations against President Trump and will not call for an investigation.

Manchin told CNN's "New Day" that Senator Franken has asked for an ethics committee investigation, and he should get one.


Spinal-Cord Implants to Numb Pain May Be Alternative to Pills

For millions of Americans suffering from debilitating nerve pain, a once-overlooked option has emerged as an alternative to high doses of opioids: implanted medical devices using electricity to counteract pain signals the same way noise-canceling headphones work against sound.

The approach, called neuro-modulation, has been a godsend for Linda Landy, who was a 42-year-old runner when a foot surgery went awry in 2008. She was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, a condition dubbed the suicide disease by doctors: The pain is so unrelenting that many people take their own lives.

Last November, Landy underwent surgery to get an Abbott Laboratories device that stimulates the dorsal root ganglion, a spot in the spine that was the pain conduit for her damaged nerves. A year after getting her implant, called DRG, she’s cut drastically on pain pills.

“The DRG doesn’t take the pain completely away, but it changes it into something I can live with,” said Landy, a mother of three in Fort Worth, Texas. She’s now now able to walk again and travel by plane without using a wheelchair. “It sounds minor, but it’s really huge.”


Distracted Dogging: Legal in Most States, Controversial in All

Those happy dogs sitting in a driver’s lap or hanging their heads out the car window may look like the model of canine companionship. But they’re also potential projectiles, poised to rocket through the air if there’s a crash.

“A 10-pound dog can turn into 300 pounds of force at 30 miles an hour,” said Richard Romer, AAA’s state relations manager. “Going on a trip with Fido can really turn fatal if it’s not restrained.”

But while traffic safety experts say a dog moving freely in a car can be dangerous for the driver, passengers, other motorists and the pet, it’s perfectly legal in most states.


Subject: Bikers for Trump rolls on into political sphere

The wild ride of Bikers for Trump is just getting started.

A year after President Trump’s historic upset victory, the grass-roots biker movement he inspired has become a bona fide political organization that is boosting Republican candidates across the country and making inroads in unexpected places, such as in Amish and Mennonite communities.

That’s right — Amish families are showing up in their horse-drawn buggies at Bikers for Trump rallies staged in barns in rural Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Chris Cox, the founder and leader of Bikers for Trump, said the Amish already had an affinity for the leather-and-chrome crowd.

“The biker is trusted because of the work that they do in raising money for veterans and Toys for Tots and fighting domestic violence and child abuse,” he said. “So we’ve really got a much bigger reach and platform than I ever imagined.”

More here

New year, new law: Maryland smoke alarm law takes effect Jan. 1

Following a nationwide trend to transition to smoke alarms that don't need battery replacements for 10 years, a new smoke alarm law is taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018 in Maryland. The post New year, new law: Maryland smoke alarm law takes effect Jan. 1 appeared first on WTOP.

READ MORE: New year, new law: Maryland smoke alarm law takes effect Jan. 1

Salisbury Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Salisbury Wastewater Treatment Plant, in Wicomico County on the Eastern Shore, has the capacity to treat about seven million gallons of wastewater a day (including about a million gallons daily from a local Perdue Farms poultry processing plant).

The Salisbury plant has a long history of violations, including in 2016, when the plant discharged 416,651 pounds of nitrogen pollution into a tributary to the Wicomico River, according to EPA data. That was four times its permit limit and also higher than a more relaxed interim limit set by the state. The facility also discharged 9,467 pounds of phosphorus last year, which was 22 percent above its permit legal limit.

In 2017, the Salisbury plant also violated its permit limits. From January through September of this year, it discharged more than three times the total amount of nitrogen that it is allowed to release in a full year, according to state and federal records.

A review of MDE inspection records for the plant show an extensive list of problems stretching back years, including a plant superintendent not certified to supervise the facility in 2016. In addition, a June 26, 2017, letter from MDE to the city of Salisbury described 15 sewage overflows from the plant from May 2013 to December 2016. The letter also detailed 63 permit limit violations for excessive releases of nitrogen, copper and chlorine. The plant on September 29, 2016, released 177,880 gallons of sewage into the Wicomico River during a rainfall. More than 76,000 gallons overflowed on June 30, 2016, due to a construction error, according to state records.

Between 2005 and 2010, Salisbury spent more than $80 million on a major upgrade and rebuilding of the plant. But the improvements did not work as advertised to reduce nitrogen pollution, triggering a lawsuit and protracted legal battle between the city and the contractors. Meanwhile, pollution kept flowing into the Wicomico River, inspiring the state to slap $333,750 in fines on Salisbury from 2012 through 2017, according to EPA records.

[This is from a recent report by the Environmental Integrity Project, which is a consortium of former EPA enforcement attorneys. For questions about that report, please contact EIP Director of Communications Tom Pelton at (202) 888-2703 or]

Mainstream media lashes out at Melania Trump over removal of dying Jackson Magnolia tree

How Willie Nelson's song 'Pretty Paper' is a true story

A 92-year-old woman has opened up about how her late father worked on his hands and knees as a paralyzed street vendor becoming the true story and inspiration behind a popular Christmas-time song by country singer Willie Nelson.

The emotional and sad ballad 'Pretty Paper' has pulled at the heartstrings of listeners for years with a lyric about holiday shoppers moving past a disabled street vendor selling 'pretty paper, pretty ribbons' for pennies while crawling 'all alone on a sidewalk' in downtown Fort worth, Texas.

The specific vendor Nelson sings about in the song was named Frankie Brierton, from Santo, Texas.

The father-of-one could be found outside of the now-closed Leonard's Department Store in the area selling pencils and papers to anyone who would purchase them.

His daughter, 92-year-old Lillian Compte, explained to how her father became disabled.


Food plant worker gets jail time for contaminating chicken which led to massive 2016 recall

An employee at a chicken processing plant in Minnesota has been convicted of intentionally contaminating chicken and causing a massive poultry recall in 2016.

According to Food Safety News, in June of 2016 the Minnesota-based GNP Company had to recall almost 56,000 pounds of “Gold’n Plump” and “Just BARE” branded chicken after it was found to be contaminated by sand and black soil. After an investigation, 37-year-old Faye Slye of Cold Spring, Minnesota, reportedly confessed to contaminating chicken with plastic bags of dirt and sand she’d filled from the plant’s parking lot.


NOI 12/26/17 Wicomico Dwelling Fire Hill Street


Date:   December 26, 2017
Time:   7:12 a.m.
Location / Address:  610 Hill Street, Salisbury, Wicomico County
Type of Incident:  Fire
Description of Structure / Property:   Two story wood framed multi-unit dwelling
Owner / Occupants:   GNI Properties
Injuries or Deaths:  None
Estimated $ Loss: Structure:  $5,000                      Contents: $1,500
Smoke Alarm Status:  None
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status:  n/a
Arrests(s):   None
Primary Responding Fire Department:  Salisbury
# of Alarms:  1     # Of Firefighters:   20
Time to Control:  20 minutes
Discovered By:   Occupant
Area of Origin:   Bathroom

Preliminary Cause:  Under Investigation

Welcome To The West Side of Salisbury Maryland

NFL Cancels Final ‘Sunday Night Football’ Game Of Season

The NFL announced Tuesday that the final “Sunday Night Football” game of the season has been canceled, according to CNN.

The league had yet to announce who would play during the primetime game next Sunday, but with the chance that none of the matchups would have playoff implications for one or both of the teams, they opted not to schedule the game.

The other problem the league faced was broadcasting a game on New Year’s Eve, which would invite lower number of viewers traditionally on that night.

Instead, fans can settle in for seven games at kick-off at 1 p.m. eastern Sunday and a total of 9 games starting at 4:25 p.m. eastern time.


Merry Christmas from TRUMP NATION -- Here is 2 Hours of Trump Making America Great Again!

Donald Trump Pays for Christmas Dinner for Hundreds of Law Enforcement Members Working the Holiday

President Donald Trump personally paid for hundreds of Christmas dinners for members of law enforcement who were working over the holiday.

Hundreds of Christmas dinners were served on Christmas day to members of the Secret Service, the White House Military Office, and the Palm Beach Sheriff Department, according to a source speaking to CNN’s Noah Gray.

The meals were described as a “full Christmas spread” and included turkey and a dessert buffet. The meals were served from 1-7 p.m. so that everyone could get food on a rotating shift.

Trump is spending his Christmas holiday at his club at Mar-a-lago.


NOI 12 25 17 Wicomico Accidental SF Dwelling Pittsville Rd Pittsville