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5 days ago · by · Comments Off on Daily HI4E.org Trivia Contest Winners For The Week Ending: Sunday, August 12th, 2018.

Daily HI4E.org Trivia Contest Winners For The Week Ending: Sunday, August 12th, 2018.

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 Daily HI4E.org Trivia Contest Winners For The Week Ending: Sunday, August 12th, 2018.

 

In an effort to broaden the company’s “social interaction” with our clients and FaceBook fans, Daily Trivia Questions are posted on both of our business pages. Here are the weekly standings for this past week, and the winner of the Sunday night Weekly Drawing for an AmEx gift card!        

Congratulations  – To this past week’s Trivia Contest Winner!!   Our latest contest winner for the weekly FaceBook HealthInsurance4Everyone/Health & Life Solutions, LLC Trivia Contest, drawn randomly by computer late Sunday evening, August 12th, 2018 was:

 

MaryANN G. BALL

Barnardsville,  NC

Winner Of A $25.00 AmEx Gift Card

 

Each day, fans who have “liked” either of our company FaceBook pages (HealthInsurance4Everyone  or Health & Life Solutions LLC) are able to test their skills with our Daily TRIVIA QUESTION.  The first 20 winners who post the correct answer to the TRIVIA QUESTION, will then get entered into the weekly drawing held late on Sunday evenings for a $25.00 Am Ex Gift Card.


Weekly Gift Card winners will be posted in our blog at this site.  Remember to become a FaceBook “fan” on either of our company pages to enter and post your answers. 

 

Here are the daily contestants from last week’s Trivia Contest that were entered into the Sunday drawing:

 

Trivia Last Week's Winners Logo 

 

8/6/18

 

Gina Taylor

 

Alisa Jones

 

Kimberly Snyder

 

Carla Williams

 

Joanie Waterman

 

Cheryl Hall

 

Kelly Jo Francisco

 

Dawn Raasch

 

Cindi Hoag

 

Amber Chandler

 

Anniemae Maria Aikens

 

Nai Merri

 

April Ashcraft

 

Cherilyn White

 

Donna Porter

 

Paula Johnson

 

Shannon Rush

 

Priscilla Shimp

 

Shona Ort

 

MaryAnn G. Ball

 

 

 

8/7/18

 

 

Joann Tompkins-Winborn

 

Alicia Johnson

 

Cassandra Berholtz

 

Deborah Farris

 

Jennifer Alford

 

Christy Martinez

 

Christy Hawkes

 

Traci Anderson

 

Nai Merri

 

Sherry Lilly

 

Toi Minnifield

 

Brianna Ketchum

 

Kathleen Marks

 

Hunter Coffey

 

Murphy Mya

 

Tabitha Sinks

 

Debbie Jensen

 

Nicole Blaha

 

Ang Richards

 

Timothy Simpson

 

Audessa Vaught

 

Paula Johnson

 

Lori Sexton Leal

 

Angela Janisse

 

 

 

8/8/18

 

 

Debbie Gremlin

 

Sunney Michelle Johnson

 

Jenifer Garza

 

Jodi Stevens

 

Trish Musgrave

 

Amanda Peters

 

Jane Peterson

 

Dean Bruss

 

Teena Sierson

 

Jennifer Downing

 

Kacie Rogers

 

Jennifer Ramlet

 

Tracey Smith

 

Dawn Raasch

 

Lindsey McCoy

 

Sheila Carvell

 

Hayley Cordaro

 

Tonya Velazquez

 

Kayte CookWatts

 

Naomi Whitlatch

 

 

 

8/9/18

 

 

Kathleen Marks

 

Lori Capobianco

 

Mary Ann Cody

 

Sarah Harrison

 

Kacie Rogers

 

Jenifer Garza

 

Be Schwerin

 

Trish Hysell

 

Deborah Farris

 

Angela Hendricks

 

Geri Rus

 

Melissa Maestas

 

Wilma Mast

 

Anna Nichols

 

Lisa Bourlier

 

Christy Hawkes

 

Sherry Lilly

 

Tina Mimick

 

Debbie Gremlin

 

Becky Holland

 

 

 

8/10/18

 

 

Christy Hawkes

 

Jenifer Garza

 

Kendra George

 

Alyssa DiFazio

 

Tracy Shafer

 

Christy Martinez

 

Jennifer Downing

 

Brittany Light

 

Paula Johnson

 

Tracy Heyer

 

Dawn Raasch

 

Kizzy Alvarez DeSantis

 

Marcy Coull

 

Kelsey Brooke Vinson

 

Ashley Stamey Phillips

 

Bea Patrick

 

Nacole Patrick

 

Dean Bruss

 

Kimberly Snyder

 

Tracey Smith

 

 

8/11/18

 

 

Wendi Black

 

Elena Davis

 

Kim Minton

 

Traci Anderson

 

Sarah Bellestri Shih

 

Meg Marshall

 

Be Schwerin

 

Kimberly Snyder

 

Mike Adamski

 

Hunter Coffey

 

Keith Ruff

 

Derelys Peterson

 

Stacy Lynn Nelson

 

Anna Nichols

 

Amanda Peters

 

Deborah Farris

 

Amber Chandler

 

Jill Nauyokas

 

Heather Marocco

 

Alicia Dansby

 

Ang Richards

 

 

8/12/18

 

 

Brittany Light

 

Sunney Michelle Johnson

 

Jenifer Garza

 

Blanca Carrillo

 

Jessica Ownby

 

Paula Johnson

 

Amber Chandler

 

Be Schwerin

 

Kim Minton

 

Nicole Blaha

 

Shannon Scott

 

Kayte CookWatts

 

Kendra Lynne Ramsey

 

Jill Nauyokas

 

Diane Hamric

 

Kayla Hernandez

 

Becky Hartman

 

Holly Cajigas

 

Becky Nichols-Volner

 

Becky Holland

 

Hunter Coffey

 

Gina Taylor

 

Adaria Johnson

 

Debbie Gremlin

 

Darlene Whyte

 

 

 HI4E NightTime Skyline Image

 


Be sure to watch both of our FaceBook pages for your chance to win and enter again next week, with questions posted daily on HealthInsurance4Everyone or at Health & Life Solutions, LLC!!

Remember that if you try your hand at answering the Trivia Question several days each week, your odds of winning the Sunday weekly drawing are much better. 

Also note that a number of the posted answers each day are from contestants who have forgotten to “Like” one of our pages, so their names WILL NOT be entered at the end week drawing for the gift card, giving our fans a better chance!

You may also find that if you “Like” BOTH of the business pages, you will receive faster notifications of the other players as they post their answers to compete with you!  

—————————————————————-

At Health Insurance 4 Everyone, we not only want to improve our customer service but also interact with our customers on a social media level that wasn’t available before. Interested in connecting with us?  Look us up on….  Twitter New Logo

 

Twitter: Healthinsurane4  (Follow Us On Twitter To Receive Faster Notifications When Daily Trivia Questions Posted, & To Be Immediately Notified When Weekly AmEX Gift Card Winners Are Announced!!)

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Click-On for LinkedIn To Follow Our Posts: LinkedIn

 

Like us on facebook: HealthInsurance4Everyone or Health & Life Solutions, LLC

 Facebook Logo

Over 54,000 Combined Fans/Followers To Our Social Media Sites, & We’re Growing Daily!

 

Follow Mark Shuster, Founder/Owner at Health & Life Solutions, LLC for daily health tips!

 

Just removed

Mark Shuster FaceBook Link

 

Follow our word press blog and read about everything from health insurance and reform news to healthy living and current events!

 

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Company Blogs

 

Find out more about LegalShield, our corporate partner which gives you the power to talk to an attorney about any legal issue, and offering high-quality Identity Theft plans.

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6 days ago · by · Comments Off on Minneapolis Police Officers Won’t Be Charged In Shooting of Thurman Blevins

Minneapolis Police Officers Won’t Be Charged In Shooting of Thurman Blevins

 

thurman.jpg

 

 

 

Minneapolis prosecutors have announced there will be no charges filed against Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt, the two Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot 31-year-old Thurman Blevins as he was running away.  His death on June 23 led to protests across the city as activists decried the killing of yet another black man at the hands of white police officers.  The incident was captured in body-camera footage released by the city of Minneapolis a little over a month after Blevins was killed.

The officers were responding to a 911 call of a man who looked intoxicated, firing a gun in the air and at the ground.  The description given in the call was of a black male with a black backpack and a bottle of gin. Six feet tall, 180 pounds, tapered hair, wearing a white-and-gray tank top.  One video begins as Officers Kelly and Schmidt drive through a neighborhood in northern Minneapolis looking for the suspect.  “That’s kind of a really good description for that to be an actual legitimate call,” Schmidt says in the video. “But . . . then again.”

A few blocks from where the caller reported seeing the man, they spot Blevins sitting on the curb with a gray dog.  “He’s got a bottle of gin,” Schmidt says. “Is he . . . black tank top, tapered hair . . . yeah.” Then, with considerably more urgency in his voice, Schmidt says, “He’s got a gun.”  The car comes to an abrupt stop and both officers jump out.  Blevins springs from the curb and starts running, dropping the dog’s leash and nearly knocking over a woman with a stroller.   “Put your hands up! I will f—ing shoot you!” Schmidt yells.

Both officers chase after Blevins, shouting at him to stop and put his hands up.  “Come on, man. Come on, man. I didn’t do nothing, bro,” Blevins says as he runs.  “You’ve got a gun,” Schmidt responds.  “I don’t,” Blevins calls back.  “Yes, you do,” Schmidt replies “Put it down.”  Sprinting past a white picket fence, Blevins rounds a corner and turns down an alleyway.  “Homie, please,” he pants. “Please, don’t shoot me. Leave me alone.”  About 45 seconds into the chase, Schmidt starts firing and Blevins collapses. When the officers get closer, what appears to be a small handgun is lying on the ground near Blevins’s right hand.

In addition to the two officers’ body-camera videos, the city also released an “enhanced” version of the footage in which the gun police say he was carrying has been circled. The object is visible in Blevins’s pocket when the officers arrive at the scene, then in his hands when Schmidt opens fire.  Reactions to the video were mixed. Some argued that the officers had been justified in shooting Blevins, because he appeared to have a gun and had refused to drop it despite multiple warnings. Others argued that police should have done more to de-escalate the situation when they arrived at the scene.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the decision at a news conference that was interrupted by protests.  In Freeman’s prepared remarks, which were released by his office, the prosecutor said there was “no basis to issue criminal charges against either officer,” because Blevins “fled from the officers with a loaded handgun, refused to follow their commands for him to stop and show his hands, and then took the gun out of his pocket and turned toward the officers.”  Freeman’s office also released a 21-page report further explaining the decision and concluding that Blevins “posed an immediate threat to the officers’ safety.”

The report outlined the findings of a state investigation, which included analyzing the body-worn cameras, forensic analysis of the gun and interviews with officers involved, along with witnesses. The findings were sent to Freeman, who reviewed it with three senior prosecutors to make the decision not to charge the officers.

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1 week ago · by · Comments Off on Les Moonves Accused of Sexual Assault and Harrassment

Les Moonves Accused of Sexual Assault and Harrassment

 

les-moonves.jpg

 

 

CBS’ CEO Leslie Moonves will remain in his position at the media company as the board of directors launches an investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted several women over decades.  According to CBS, there have been no misconduct claims or settlements against Moonves during his twenty-four years at the network. The investigation began after the New Yorker published a detailed report that included the accounts of six women who claim Moonves thwarted their acting careers after rejecting his verbal or physical advances.  Some of the alleged assaults date back to the 1980s through the 2000s.  Four described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine. Two said Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers. All six accusers said that he became cold or hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result.

One of his accusers, writer Janet Jones alleges that in the spring of 1985, she had to shove Moonves off her after he forcibly kissed her at a work meeting.  Producer Mike Marvin had helped broker a meeting between her and Moonves, who at the time was a vice-president at Twentieth Century Fox. The late afternoon appointment was Jones’s first pitch meeting in Hollywood.  Producer Mike Marvin said that he confronted Moonves about what happened at the meeting at a gathering, saying, “Whatever happened, that girl was upset.”   Marvin said Moonves became furious and the two had a screaming match over it.  Not long afterward, Jones received a call from Moonves, who began shouting at her and threatening her career.

Another one of his accusers, Emmy Award-winning actress and writer Illeana Douglas, said Moonves forcibly held her down and violently kissed her.  Douglas was introduced to Moonves in 1996 while she was meeting with networks, looking for a deal to write and perform for television.  Moonves, who was then the president of CBS Entertainment, seemed to take a personal interest in her.  “What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating.” lleana Douglas said of the incident.

Emmy-award winning writer and television producer Dinah Kirgo described meeting Moonves to discuss a potential television deal before he joined CBS.  Kirgo said the meeting “went really well” but was surprised when Moonves, who was married to Nancy Wiesenfeld at the time, asked to meet her privately over dinner.  “I’m not actually sure what I said in response, but he said, ‘Look, you’re really expensive and I need to know you’re worth it,’ ” she recalled.  Kirgo said she made an allusion to Moonves’ wife, and her feelings about a one-on-one dinner between the two. “And the conversation ended, and he went from being very friendly to being really cold.”  That was the last Kirgo heard from Moonves.

In a statement, Moonves said, “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected—and abided by the principle—that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.”

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2 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Death Toll In Laos Dam Collapse Could Be Far Higher Than Initial Reports

Death Toll In Laos Dam Collapse Could Be Far Higher Than Initial Reports

 

 

laos dam.jpg

 

Aid groups say the toll from the collapse of a billion-dollar hydroelectric dam in Lao’s is far higher than the official figure of 27 dead and 131 missing. Despite a government ban on foreign media covering the disaster, the BBC reports the death toll could be closer to 300. Another 3,000 people are still stranded in homes surrounded by floodwaters and over 6,000 people have been displaced.  The dam collapse occurred around 8 p.m. on July 23rd and caused immediate flash flooding through the villages of Yai Thae, Hinlad, Ban Mai, Thasengchan, Tha Hin, and Samong, all in Sanamxay district.  Homes, roads and bridges were swept away.

The disaster has revived the debate about plans by the Laos government to boost the economy by building dozens of dams to export hydroelectricity to neighboring countries.  The South Korean company that is the main builder of the hydroelectric project has admitted that it knew the dam was deteriorating a day before it failed but the reason for the collapse remains unclear.  There are conflicting reports on when damages to the dam were first noticed, raising more questions on whether the order to evacuate villagers from their homes should have been issued earlier.  The portion of the dam that collapsed was reported to be a saddle dam—its official name was “Saddle ‘D’, an auxiliary structure used to hold water beyond what is held by the main dam”.

Emergency teams in southern Laos are continuing to search for survivors following the collapse of a dam, which released five billion cubic meters of water.  As floodwaters in began to recede, official sources said eight bodies had been recovered, while an official has suggested more than 1,100 people may still be unaccounted for.  Homes were swept away and farmland submerged when an auxiliary dam at the Xe Pian Xe Namnoy hydroelectric project collapsed.

An overwhelming amount of mud left behind is hampering search operations.  Some areas are inaccessible by boat, with helicopter flights being the only way to reach some communities.  Rescue efforts are further complicated by the fact that the area is densely forested with no mobile-phone coverage.  Roads that previously existed were washed away in the floods and thousands of people who fled their homes are packed into makeshift shelters.

Officials in northern Cambodia have ordered the evacuation of 25,000 people downriver of the collapsed dam, due to heavy flooding and rising water levels.  The Prime Minister of Laos, Thongloun Sisoulith, suspended his immediate meetings and travelled in person to the site.  Sisoulith also called in both the police and the army, declaring the area a disaster zone.  The local government requested emergency aid from neighboring communities.  The neighboring countries of China, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have offered to provide any assistance needed by Laos.

 

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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Daily HI4E.org Trivia Contest Winners For The Week Ending: Sunday, July 29th, 2018.

Daily HI4E.org Trivia Contest Winners For The Week Ending: Sunday, July 29th, 2018.

HI4E Large Logo

Trivia-Logo

 

 

In an effort to broaden the company’s “social interaction” with our clients and FaceBook fans, Daily Trivia Questions are posted on both of our business pages. Here are the weekly standings for this past week, and the winner of the Sunday night Weekly Drawing for an AmEx gift card!        

Congratulations  – To this past week’s Trivia Contest Winner!!   Our latest contest winner for the weekly FaceBook HealthInsurance4Everyone/Health & Life Solutions, LLC Trivia Contest, drawn randomly by computer late Sunday evening, July 29th, 2018 was:

         

 

JENNIFER LEE CLACK

Flowery Branch,  GA

Winner Of A $25.00 AmEx Gift Card

 

Each day, fans who have “liked” either of our company FaceBook pages (HealthInsurance4Everyone  or Health & Life Solutions LLC) are able to test their skills with our Daily TRIVIA QUESTION.  The first 20 winners who post the correct answer to the TRIVIA QUESTION, will then get entered into the weekly drawing held late on Sunday evenings for a $25.00 Am Ex Gift Card.


Weekly Gift Card winners will be posted in our blog at this site.  Remember to become a FaceBook “fan” on either of our company pages to enter and post your answers. 

 

Here are the daily contestants from last week’s Trivia Contest that were entered into the Sunday drawing:

 

 Trivia Last Week's Winners Logo

 

7/23/18

 

 

Lori Capobianco

 

Brittany Light

 

Jill Nauyokas

 

Jenifer Garza

 

Angela Hendricks

 

Sunney Michelle Johnson

 

Sarah Harrison

 

Jennifer Lee Clack

 

Hunter Coffey

 

April Ashcraft

 

Chris Maxwell

 

Dean Bruss

 

Cassandra Berholtz

 

Kayla Hernandez

 

Ally Martiz

 

Jodi Stevens

 

Joann Tompkins-Winborn

 

Tina Mimick

 

Brooke Scott

 

Kathleen Hickman

 

Kendra Lynne Ramsey

 

 

7/24/18

 

 

Jennifer Lang

 

Paula Johnson

 

Nicole Blaha

 

Garrasi Kimberly

 

Chrissy Kim

 

Karen Bondehagen

 

Geri Rus

 

Jenifer Garza

 

Jane Peterson

 

Heather Marocco

 

Sajida Hasham Salemohamed

 

Debbie Gremlin

 

Sandy Nevels

 

Kristina Harris

 

Lori Capobianco

 

Mya Murphy

 

Diane Hamric

 

Christy Hawkes

 

Trish Musgrave

 

Marcia Hutcherson

 

Brianna Ketchum

 

Cheryl Hall

 

Jill Nauyokas

 

Jennifer Lee Clack

 

 

7/25/18

 

 

Naomi Whitlatch

 

Christy Martinez

 

Amy Chavis

 

Jessica Miller

 

Jenifer Garza

 

Karen Goodwin Delaney

 

Kayla Hernandez

 

Deborah Farris

 

Nicole Blaha

 

Alyssa DiFazio

 

Cheryl Hall

 

Brooke Scott

 

Brittany Light

 

Christy Hawkes

 

Wilma Mast

 

Lori Capobianco

 

Be Schwerin

 

Misty Shallcross

 

Paula Johnson

 

Angela Janisee

 

France Camer

 

Beth Cleveland

 

Dave Miller

 

Kathleen Marks

 

Ashley Agner

 

Meg Marshall

 

 

 

 

 

7/26/18

 

 

Sunney Michelle Johnson

 

Jennifer Vega

 

Jodi Stevens

 

Patricia Oehlert Vazquez

 

Samantha Brwn

 

Amber Chandler

 

Jessica Miller

 

Debbie Smith

 

Nicole Blaha

 

April Ashcraft

 

Kimberly Snyder

 

Kristy Lynn Ballard

 

Kathleen Hickman

 

Angela Janisse

 

Dave Miller

 

Kacie Rogers

 

Karen Goodwin Delaney

 

Be Schwerin

 

Crystal Young

 

Tracey Smith

 

Stevie Rosson

 

 

 

7/27/18

 

 

Nacole Patrick

 

Be Schwerin

 

Chuck Derr

 

Trish Musgrave

 

Cassandra Berholtz

 

Jill Nauyokas

 

Debbie Gremlin

 

Beth Embrey

 

Gina Taylor

 

Nicole Blaha

 

Mary Mcmenamy

 

Tonya Velazquez

 

Karen Brunet Moore

 

Stephanie Beckwith

 

Lenis Abshire

 

Dale Fish

 

Stacy Lynn Nelson

 

Meg Marshall

 

Bea Patrick

 

Amber Chandler

 

 

7/28/18

 

 

April Ashcraft

 

Trish Musgrave

 

Wilma Mast

 

Mike Adamski

 

Debbie Gremlin

 

Brittany Light

 

Nicole Blaha

 

Keith Ruff

 

Karen Brunet Moore

 

Angela Janisse

 

Rondi Clark-Conn

 

France Camer

 

Amanda Peters

 

Alisa Jones

 

Ashley Agner

 

Phylicia Phillips

 

Jill Nauyokas

 

Jenifer Garza

 

Jan Lehman

 

Jennifer Downing

 

 

7/29/18

 

 

April Ashcraft

 

Kathleen Hickman

 

Maria Bouchard

 

Tracy Heyer

 

Sherri Kidwell

 

Heather Marocco

 

Marcy Coull

 

Cheryl Hall

 

Murphy Mya

 

Christy Martinez

 

Aarti DM

 

Tracey Smith

 

Diane Hamric

 

Alexis Maureen

 

Lenis Abshire

 

Dena Baji

 

Brandi K Chaney

 

Paula M Bondy

 

Stevie Rosson

 

Kimberly Snyder

 

 HI4E On Billboard


Be sure to watch both of our FaceBook pages for your chance to win and enter again next week, with questions posted daily on HealthInsurance4Everyone or at Health & Life Solutions, LLC!!

Remember that if you try your hand at answering the Trivia Question several days each week, your odds of winning the Sunday weekly drawing are much better. 

Also note that a number of the posted answers each day are from contestants who have forgotten to “Like” one of our pages, so their names WILL NOT be entered at the end week drawing for the gift card, giving our fans a better chance!

You may also find that if you “Like” BOTH of the business pages, you will receive faster notifications of the other players as they post their answers to compete with you!  

—————————————————————-

At Health Insurance 4 Everyone, we not only want to improve our customer service but also interact with our customers on a social media level that wasn’t available before. Interested in connecting with us?  Look us up on….

 Twitter New Logo

Twitter: Healthinsurane4  (Follow Us On Twitter To Receive Faster Notifications When Daily Trivia Questions Posted, & To Be Immediately Notified When Weekly AmEX Gift Card Winners Are Announced!!)

 LinkedIn Logo 1

 

Click-On for LinkedIn To Follow Our Posts: LinkedIn

 

Like us on facebook: HealthInsurance4Everyone or Health & Life Solutions, LLC

 HI4E Large Logo

Over 54,000 Combined Fans/Followers To Our Social Media Sites, & We’re Growing Daily!

 

Follow Mark Shuster, Founder/Owner at Health & Life Solutions, LLC for daily health tips!

 

Just removed

Mark Shuster FaceBook Link

 

Follow our word press blog and read about everything from health insurance and reform news to healthy living and current events!

 Blog Logo

Company Blogs

 

Find out more about LegalShield, our corporate partner which gives you the power to talk to an attorney about any legal issue, and offering high-quality Identity Theft plans.

 LegalShield Logo

LegalShield

 

 

Read more

3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on BodyCam Footage of Harith Augustus Shooting Released

BodyCam Footage of Harith Augustus Shooting Released

 

 

augustus.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Violent protests erupted in Chicago after police officers shot and killed a 37-year-old African-American man on the South Side of Chicago. Harith Augustus was a well-known barber and the father of a 5-year-old daughter. Hundreds took to the streets to protest his killing.  Protesters and police clashed with protestors throwing rocks and bottles, some filled with urine at officers.  Four people were arrested, several officers were treated for minor injuries and two patrol cars were damaged.

The day after the protests, police released a 30 second clip with no sound of an officer’s body-cam footage.  Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said it was the quickest he had ever ordered such video released and that he hoped to dispel rumors Harith Augustus, 37, was unarmed.  He also said he hoped making the 30-second clip public would prevent another violent confrontation between residents and officers.  “The community needs some answers and they need them now, we can’t have another night like last night.”  Mr Johnson told reporters.  He said Mr Augustus’s family was in favor of releasing the video for the same reason.

The edited clip of body camera video shows at least three officers approaching Augustus as he is talking to another officer outside a store in the city’s South Shore neighborhood.  The first officer points at his waistband and Augustus backs away while reaching into his back pocket.  As Augustus pulls his wallet from his pocket, three officers try to grab his arms.  Augustus tries to get away, backing into a police cruiser as his shirt flies up, showing the gun.  The footage pauses and zooms in on the weapon, which police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said was done to ensure a semi-automatic handgun in its holster and two bullet magazines tucked into Mr Augustus’s waist could be seen clearly.

Augustus then runs into the street as a police SUV drives up. He spins away from the SUV and darts between the SUV and the police cruiser as he reaches towards his waist.  At that point, an officer opens fire, hitting Augustus multiple times.  Augustus did not fire his weapon and the footage does not show him pulling the gun out of its holster.  Police also released a 50-second, slow-motion clip showing Augustus reaching towards his waist. It was not clear if he was going for the weapon but it does appear he was grabbing for something at his waist.

Records show Augustus had a legal permit to carry a firearm and no recent arrest history. Augustus was known in the Grand Crossing neighborhood as “Snoop” — worked at a barbershop and had a five-year-old daughter.  A police spokesman said more videos will be released within 60 days but declined to say how many different angles exist or whether any of the officers’ cameras captured audio.

While the snippet of video released seems to have calmed some tensions, some pointed out that Augustus, a quiet man with only a few minor arrests from years ago, appeared to be trying to show the officers some sort of identification during the street stop, possible his firearm permit.  Experts on use of force have focused on how Augustus tried to evade arrest, twisting away from officers and fleeing into the street with his right hand hovering near his holstered gun.  The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the city agency that investigates police-involved shootings, will try to determine if the officers followed policy and if any training issues need to be addressed.

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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on 17 Dead After Duck Boat Capsizes in Branson MO

17 Dead After Duck Boat Capsizes in Branson MO

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On July 19th, seventeen people died after a Missouri duck boat capsized and sunk on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri.  The boat, with 31 people aboard, sank around 7pm Thursday evening after it left for a ride on the lake that was hit by a thunderstorm generating near-hurricane strength winds.  Witnesses captured video of two of the Ride the Ducks vessels being tossed around by waves as they struggled to make it back to land, only one made it back safely.  One video shows water from the waves entering the craft before it capsized (rolled over onto its side) and then sank below the waves.  It is believed the boat sunk in 40 feet of water, rolling as it sank, before landing on its wheels in 80-feet-deep lake water.

Duck boats are amphibious vehicles equipped with wheels and propellers that can be driven on roadways or on water. With a push of a lever, the vehicle can switch from being wheel-driven to relying instead on the rear-mounted propeller. Originally built to transport troops during WWII, they are now popular in many tourist areas with large bodies of water.  The 17 victims in the tragedy ranged in age from 1 to 76 years with nine victims from the same family.  None of the victims were wearing life jackets when found.  There were life jackets on the boat but passengers weren’t required to wear them.

The National Transportation Safety Board recorded wind readings of 73 mph which were estimated to cause waves that rose to around 4 feet, with a possibility of 6-foot crests.  An investigation into the cause of the tragedy and why the Ride the Ducks boat entered the lake despite severe thunderstorm warnings for the area.  Branson is about 200 miles from Kansas City, and is considered a major family vacation destination.  The town was under a severe thunderstorm warning issued about half an hour before the boat capsized.

Tia Coleman and 10 of her relatives were on a family vacation from Indiana.  Her husband, her three children and five other members of her family died in the accident. Their names were: Angela, 45; Arya, 1; Belinda, 69; Ervin, 76; Evan, 7; Glenn, 40; Horace, 70; Maxwell, 2; and Reece, 9. Only Tia and her 13 year old nephew Donovan survived when the boat sank.  The other victims included the driver of the duck boat, Robert Williams, 73; Steve Smith, a retired teacher from Osceola, Arkansas, and his teenage son, Lance; William and Janice Bright, a married couple from Higginsville, Missouri; William Asher and his partner, Rosemarie Hamann from Missouri; and Leslie Dennison from Illinois.

Tia Coleman, one of the 14 survivors, said passengers were told there was a storm coming before the trip and that they would alter their route to tour the lake before the storm hit.  During an emotional interview from her hospital bed she said that the captain mentioned the life jackets before they went on the lake but said, “you won’t need them so we didn’t grab them, nobody did.”

She described the amphibious vessel being hit by waves and taking on some water.  She said that immediately after a large wave went over the vessel, they were plunged under water where she couldn’t see or hear anything but felt her head hitting the top of the craft.  Passengers were unable to make an immediate escape as the craft sank because the sides of the craft are windows with a canopy top.  Once the canopy top gave way, some were able to swim to the surface as the craft continued to sink in the murky later water.

Vacationers and employees of a nearby dining showboat immediately began throwing life preservers, and life rafts into the water.  Others jumped in and pulled people out of the water.  Several people nearby with medical training tried unsuccessfully to revive unresponsive victims.  Rescuers searched late into the night for survivors before calling it off due to poor visibility.  The searching resumed the next morning until the remaining victims were found.

 

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1 month ago · by · 0 comments

Thailand Soccer Team Rescued From Cave

 

 

 

In Thailand, rescuers raced to free 12 members of a youth soccer team and a coach who had been trapped in a flooded cave for nearly three weeks.  Divers found the teammates and coach alive, but had been unable to rescue them.  In the last 18 days, a local search for the missing 13 turned into a complex rescue operation, involving hundreds of experts who flew in from around the world to help in the rescue efforts.  The rescue has been a race to extract the boys and their coach ahead of monsoon rains that could haved flooded the cave completely.  Cave experts grappled with the problem of how to free the young, malnourished boys, some of whom couldn’t swim, from a flooded cavern as monsoon rains threatened to raise water levels even further.  The boys received a crash course in swimming and the use of SCUBA gear.

The final boy and his coach rescued Tuesday are still being treated at an on-site medical center, while three other boys have been transported to a nearby hospital where eight of their teammates are recuperating after being rescued Sunday and Monday.  Nineteen divers entered the cave at 10 a.m. local time Tuesday (11 p.m. Monday ET), many on their third mission in three days, with the aim of bringing everyone inside the cave out.  Tuesday’s rescue efforts took nine hours from the time the divers entered the cave to bringing out the boys and their coach.

Divers involved in the rescue described dangerous conditions involving fast-moving shallow water passing through very narrow passages. Poor visibility, razor sharp rocks and narrow passages made the rescue very tricky.  As rain threatened to hamper what was already a complicated rescue mission it became clear the boys were going to have to dive out  Officials scrambled to find full-face oxygen masks small enough to fit the boys and experts were sent in to teach them how to use scuba gear.

Two days before the first four boys were rescued, officials warned that oxygen levels within the cave had fallen to 15%.  The “optimal range” of oxygen needed in the air a person breathes in order to maintain normal function is between 19.5% and 23.5%.  Such low levels creates the risk of hypoxia, a condition that causes altitude sickness.

During the hours-long trip out of the cave, each boy was accompanied underwater by two divers helping them navigate the dark, murky water. The most dangerous part required the divers and boys to squeeze through a narrow, flooded channel. Rescuers had to hold the boys’ oxygen tanks in front of them and swim pencil-like through submerged holes. Once they completed this section, the boys were then handed over to separate, specialist rescue teams, who helped assist them through the remainder of the cave, much of which they can wade through.

All the boys rescued are being treated in an isolation ward in a Chiang Rai hospital. Medical officials told reporters that they’re healthy, fever-free, mentally fit and “seem to be in high spirits.”  They will remain in insolation until the risk of infection has passed.  Parents of the boys have been able to see their children through a glass window and talk to them on the phone. They’ll be allowed to enter the room if tests show the boys are free of infection.

The permanent secretary of the Thai Health Ministry, said the first group of boys taken out on Sunday were aged 14 to 16. Their body temperatures were very low when they emerged, and two are suspected of having lung inflammation.  The second group freed on Monday were aged 12 to 14.  Authorities will look for signs of Histoplasmosis, also known as “cave disease,” an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in bird and bat droppings.  They are all likely to stay in hospital for seven days due to their weakened immune systems.

 

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1 month ago · by · 0 comments

Maryland Newsroom Shooting

 

 

 

In Annapolis, Maryland, five people were left dead and two others injured after a gunman armed with a shotgun and smoke grenades stormed the newsroom of the Capital Gazette newspaper on the afternoon of June 28th.   The suspect, Jarrod W. Ramos, 38, was taken into custody at the scene and was charged on Friday morning with five counts of first-degree murder.  Police say Ramos refused to cooperate with the authorities or provide his name and was identified using facial recognition technology.

The attack was covered in real time by some of the journalists who found themselves under siege. A message saying “please help us” with the address of the office building was tweeted from the account of Anthony Messenger, a summer intern. A crime reporter, Phil Davis, described how the gunman “shot through the glass door to the office” before opening fire on employees.  “There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” Mr. Davis wrote.

Davis said during a phone interview that the gunman was silent as he stalked the newsroom, stopping once to reload as journalists huddled in fear under their desks.  Once the police arrived, staff members put their hands in the air and shouted, “We’re not him,” Mr. Davis recalled. The gunman was hiding under a desk as the police moved in. He did not exchange gunfire with officers when he was taken in.

Police say Ramos had a long history of conflict with the Capital Gazette, which produces a number of local newspapers along Maryland’s shore, suing journalists there for defamation and waging a social media campaign against them.  “This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette,” said William Krampf, acting chief of the Anne Arundel County Police Department. “This person was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm.”

In July 2012, Mr. Ramos filed a defamation lawsuit in Maryland’s Prince George’s County Circuit Court against Capital Gazette Communications, its then editor and publisher and a former reporter, claiming that his reputation had been damaged after the newspaper published a story in 2011 about Mr. Ramos’s guilty plea in a harassment case. Three months later, he filed a fuller complaint alleging invasion of privacy.  The lawsuit was later dismissed by Judge Maureen M. Lamasney after a March 2013 hearing, in which Mr. Ramos, who represented himself, was unable to identify anything that was falsely reported in the July 2011 article nor could he cite examples about how he had been harmed. According to the appellate decision that later affirmed the dismissal, Ramos showed no understanding of defamation law.

During a press conference, Acting Deputy Chief William Krampf told reportrs that the suspect had made violent threats against the paper and the paper had been threatened the day of the shooting.  Krampf could not specifically confirm what the threats entailed or if the shooter targeted anyone specifically but did say the shooting was a targeted attack.  Those killed in the shooting were identified as longtime editor and columnist Rob Hiaasen, editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, columnist and editor John McNamara, sales assistant Rebecca Smith and editor and community reporter Wendi Winters.

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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Officer Charged in Antwon Rose Shooting

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of Antwon Rose, a 17-year-old unarmed African-American high school senior who was shot and killed on June 19th by an East Pittsburgh police officer.  Rose was shot in the back as he was trying to flee a traffic stop by Police Officer Michael Rosfeld.  Officer Rosfeld came upon Antwon and another teenager, Zaijuan Hester, when he stopped a car they were riding in that had been seen leaving a drive-by shooting in the nearby town of North Braddock.  Zaijuan, 17, was charged in connection with that shooting.

Prosecutors in Pennsylvania have charged Officer Michael Rosfeld with criminal homicide for the fatal shooting.  The charge against Officer Rosfeld capped days of protests in the Pittsburgh area, and came two days after the funeral for Antwon at Woodland Hills Intermediate School, in Swissvale, Pa., where he was a rising senior.  Allegheny County district attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., said that Officer Rosfeld had failed basic police procedures in the moments before Antwon was shot, gave statements to investigators that were contradicted by witnesses and had a troubling employment history with other police departments.  Zappala said he’d ask a jury to consider first-degree murder charges against Rosfeld, though the charge of criminal homicide opens the door for a possible conviction on lesser charges—including involuntary manslaughter. Rosfeld surrendered to authorities and was released after posting $250,000 bail.

Officer Rosfeld pulled over the Chevrolet Cruze that matched the description of a vehicle seen near an earlier drive-by shooting in North Braddock, in which a 22-year-old man was struck in the abdomen.  Without waiting for backup, Officer Rosfeld approached the driver’s side of the car and had the driver step out. As he was placing the driver in handcuffs, Antwon, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, and Zaijuan, who was in the back seat, jumped out.  Witnesses said Antwon flashed his hands in the air, showing that they were empty, and then turned to run away.

A video of the encounter posted on Facebook shows the teenagers running from police vehicles as three shots are fired, and Antwon falling to the ground.  Witnesses told the police that they heard Officer Rosfeld fire three shots — all of which hit Antwon. One struck the right side of his face, another hit his right elbow and a third, which was the fatal wound, hit his back and then struck a lung and his heart, an autopsy found.

Officer Rosfeld initially told investigators that Antwon had turned his hand toward him and was holding “something dark,” and that he thought it was a gun.  Yet when he was asked again about what had transpired, Officer Rosfeld said he did not see a gun.  According to the criminal complaint, “When confronted with this inconsistency, Rosfeld stated he saw something in the passenger’s hand but was not sure what it was.” “Officer Rosfeld stated that he was not certain if the individual who had his arm pointed at him was still pointing at him when he fired.”

An empty 9 millimeter magazine, which fit into a 9 millimeter pistol recovered under the car’s front passenger seat, was found in Antwon’s front right pocket. The pistol had been reported missing in Monroeville, Pa., that same day.

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