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The Latest News about Government and Politics

    A Colorado Springs motorcycle officer has been injured in an accident while escorting Vice President Mike Pence's motorcade to the city's airport. Police Lt. Howard Black told The Gazette (http://bit.ly/2s3LwGj) the accident happened at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Officer Andrew Holland, an eight-year veteran of the force, was in serious condition. No other vehicles were involved, and Pence's motorcade continued to the airport. Pence said in a Tweet released by the police department that he'd spoken with the officer's wife and was 'so relieved his injuries are not life-threatening.' Pence was in Colorado Springs to mark the 40th anniversary of Focus on the Family. He also visited Schriever Air Force Base, home to the Air Force Space Command.
  • Chief lieutenants in the Koch brothers' political network lashed out at the Senate Republican health care bill on Saturday as not conservative enough, becoming a powerful outside critic as GOP leaders try to rally support for their plan among rank-and-file Republicans. Tim Phillips, who leads Americans For Prosperity, the Koch network's political arm, called the Senate's plans for Medicaid 'a slight nip and tuck' of President Barack Obama's health care law, a modest change he described as 'immoral.' 'This Senate bill needs to get better,' Phillips said. 'It has to get better.' Some Republican senators have raised concern about cuts to Medicaid, which provides health care coverage to millions of poor and middle-income Americans. Several more conservative senators have voiced opposition because they feel it does not go far enough in dismantling what they call 'Obamacare.' The comments came on the first day of a three-day private donor retreat at a luxury resort in the Rocky Mountains. Invitations were extended only to donors who promise to give at least $100,000 each year to the various groups backed by the Koch brothers' Freedom Partners — a network of education, policy and political entities that aim to promote small government. 'When I look at where we are at the size and effectiveness of this network, I'm blown away,' billionaire industrialist Charles Koch told hundreds of donors during an outdoor evening reception. His brother, David Koch, looked on from the crowd along with Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona. 'We've got to keep doing it at an accelerated pace,' Charles Koch said. No outside group has been move aggressive over the yearslong push to repeal Obama's health care law than the Kochs', who vowed on Saturday to spend another 10 years fighting to change the health care system if necessary. The Koch network has often displayed a willingness to take on Republicans — including President Donald Trump — when their policies aren't deemed conservative enough. Network spokesman James Davis said the organization would continue to push for changes to the Senate health care bill over the coming week. 'At the end of the day, this bill is not going to fix health care,' Davis declared. The network's wishes are backed by a massive political budget that will be used to take on Republican lawmakers, if necessary, Phillips said. He described the organization's budget for policy and politics heading into the 2018 midterm elections as between $300 million and $400 million. 'We believe we're headed to the high end of that range,' he said. On Friday, Nevada Republican Dean Heller became the fifth GOP senator to declare his opposition to the Senate health care proposal. Echoing the other four, Heller said he opposes the measure 'in this form' but does not rule out backing a version that is changed to his liking. Heller, facing a competitive re-election battle next year, said he was opposing the legislation because of the cuts it would make in Medicaid. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he's willing to alter the measure to attract support, and promised plenty of back-room bargaining as he tries pushing a final package through his chamber next week. Republican leaders have scant margin for error. Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, McConnell can afford to lose just two of the 52 GOP senators and still prevail. At least two of the current opponents, Lee and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, were among 18 elected officials scheduled to attend the Koch retreat. Two more undecideds were also on the guest list: Flake and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse. President Donald Trump continued to push for replacing Obama's health care law, tweeting Saturday: 'I cannot imagine that these very fine Republican Senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken ObamaCare any longer!' The Senate measure resembles legislation the House approved last month that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would mean 23 million additional uninsured people within a decade and that recent polling shows is viewed favorably by only around 1 in 4 Americans. Charles Koch and his chief lieutenants met privately with Vice President Mike Pence for nearly an hour Friday. Pence, a longtime Koch ally, was in Colorado Springs to address a gathering of religious conservatives. Phillips said it was 'a cordial discussion' about policy, but that neither side asked the other for anything specific. Also Saturday, retired football star Deion Sanders announced plans to partner with the Kochs to help fight poverty in Dallas. The unlikely partnership aims to raise $21 million over the next three years to fund anti-poverty programs in the city where Sanders once played football. The outspoken athlete also defended Koch, who is often demonized by Democrats, as someone simply 'trying to make the world a better place.' 'I'm happy where I am and who I'm with because we share a lot of the same values and goals,' Sanders said when asked if he'd be willing to partner with organizations on the left.
  • U.S. Park Police are facing criticism for handcuffing three teenagers who were selling water Thursday on the National Mall. Officials said police were just doing their job, as the teenagers were vending in a prohibited area, WUSA9 reported. >> Read more trending news Bystander Tim Krepp took a photo of the incident, and told WUSA9 that he thought the officers went too far in handcuffing the teenagers. The image quickly went viral on social media. The teens were given a verbal warning and released to their guardians, WUSA9 reported. 
  • Two weeks into her new life as a full-time Washingtonian, Melania Trump is staying true to her reputation as more homebody than social butterfly. Not that she hasn't been busy fulfilling her duties as first lady and first mom. Her top priority has been settling in 11-year-old son Barron — the first boy in the White House since John F. Kennedy Jr. more than 50 years ago. Even the smallest details of every recent Barron sighting have drawn interest: his T-shirt reading 'The Expert,' his grasp on a popular fidget spinner toy as he exited Air Force One, his pivot to take a picture of the Marine One helicopter as the family returned from a Father's Day weekend retreat at Camp David. Mrs. Trump told 'Fox and Friends' this week that she's enjoying White House life so much that she doesn't really miss New York. Barron is 'all settled' and 'loves it here,' she said. In her first lady role, Mrs. Trump has played host to her counterpart from Panama for a lunch upstairs in the private quarters of the White House. She also accompanied President Donald Trump to the hospital to visit a Louisiana congressman and others who were shot at baseball practice, and helped plan a picnic for members of Congress on the White House lawn. She's also preparing to accompany the president to Poland and Germany after the Fourth of July. Questions remain, though, about what kind and how social a first lady Mrs. Trump will be. Will she dine out at the city's trendiest restaurants? Pedal up a sweat at SoulCycle spinning classes? Try to go incognito on a Target shopping run? 'I don't know anybody in New York who knows her or ever sees her socially and I suspect that will be the same here,' said Sally Quinn, an author and Washington hostess. Even the president has described his third wife, a 47-year-old former model and native of Slovenia, as more happy at home than working the social scene. 'She would go home at night and didn't even want to go out with people,' Trump said of his wife's life in New York. 'She was a very private person.' Mrs. Trump and Barron continued to live at Trump Tower after the Jan. 20 inauguration so he could finish the school year in New York. The first lady announced their June 11 move to Washington with a tweet. 'Looking forward to the memories we'll make in our new home! #Movingday,' she wrote on a photo of the Washington Monument as seen from a White House window. Spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said Mrs. Trump has been and will continue to be an active first lady. But she 'is taking some time to get Barron settled into his new home and she continues to be thoughtful and deliberate about her platform.' Mrs. Trump said during the campaign that she would work to combat cyberbullying as first lady. She has made no further announcements about her plans. The first lady also needs to hire more staff, including a lead curator to help chronicle White House history and preserve its artifacts. She filled the chief usher's position last week with an employee from the Trump hotel down the street. Like some presidents, first ladies complain about the constraints of White House life even as they try to find ways to cope with Secret Service agents guarding them around the clock. Michelle Obama once jokingly described the mansion as a 'really nice prison.' But it's much easier for first ladies than presidents to venture out in public because they travel with far less security and staff. Hillary Clinton said she walked around town wearing a baseball cap, sunglasses and sweat clothes, and required the members of her security detail to try to blend in with tourists. Laura Bush would go shopping in Georgetown. Mrs. Obama was often seen dining at the city's hottest restaurants with President Barack Obama or her girlfriends, or working up a sweat at exercise classes. She once made a Target run hiding behind dark glasses and a baseball cap. Kathy Hollinger, president and CEO of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, said the hope with every new administration is that the president, White House staff and their families will dine out frequently. That's still only a hope when it comes to the Trumps. The president dines out occasionally when he's in Washington — but so far only at his hotel near the White House. Mrs. Trump has eaten there, too. 'The Obama family and his administration were visible in countless restaurants across the region, raising the profile of our industry as a whole, and we hope the trend continues,' Hollinger said in an emailed statement. 'Mrs. Trump will find a lot of outstanding restaurants to choose from around her new home in Washington.' Carl Sferrazza Anthony, a historian with the National First Ladies' Library, said the current first lady may not find White House life to be all that confining. She traded life in an expansive, three-story Trump Tower penthouse for a 132-room mansion with a bowling alley, outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, gardens and 'a lot of spaces that would allow her full privacy both indoors and outdoors.' 'It's just hard to imagine that it's going to be frustrating,' he said. ___ Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap
  • CIA Director Mike Pompeo says he thinks disclosure of America's secret intelligence is on the rise, fueled partly by the 'worship' of leakers like Edward Snowden. 'In some ways, I do think it's accelerated,' Pompeo told MSNBC in an interview that aired Saturday. 'I think there is a phenomenon, the worship of Edward Snowden, and those who steal American secrets for the purpose of self-aggrandizement or money or for whatever their motivation may be, does seem to be on the increase.' Pompeo said the United States needs to redouble its efforts to stem leaks of classified information. 'It's tough. You now have not only nation states trying to steal our stuff, but non-state, hostile intelligence services, well-funded -- folks like WikiLeaks, out there trying to steal American secrets for the sole purpose of undermining the United States and democracy,' Pompeo said. Besides Snowden, who leaked documents revealing extensive U.S. government surveillance, WikiLeaks recently released nearly 8,000 documents that it says reveal secrets about the CIA's cyberespionage tools for breaking into computers. WikiLeaks previously published 250,000 State Department cables and embarrassed the U.S. military with hundreds of thousands of logs from Iraq and Afghanistan. There are several other recent cases, including Chelsea Manning, the Army private formerly known as Bradley Manning. She was convicted in a 2013 court-martial of leaking more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. Manning said she leaked the documents to raise awareness about the war's impact on innocent civilians. Last year, former NSA contractor Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, was accused of removing highly classified information, storing it in an unlocked shed and in his car and home. Court documents say investigators seized, conservatively, 50 terabytes of information, or enough to fill roughly 200 laptop computers. Pompeo said the Trump administration is focused on stopping leaks of any kind from any agency and pursuing perpetrators. 'I think we'll have some successes both on the deterrence side — that is stopping them from happening — as well as on punishing those who we catch who have done it,' Pompeo said. On other issues, Pompeo said: — North Korea poses a 'very real danger' to U.S. national security. 'I hardly ever escape a day at the White House without the president asking me about North Korea and how it is that the United States is responding to that threat. It's very much at the top of his mind.' He said the North Koreans are 'ever-closer to having the capacity to hold America at risk with a nuclear weapon.' —Pompeo said U.S. national security also is threatened by Iran, which he described as the world's largest state sponsor of terror. 'Today, we find it with enormous influence, influence that far outstrips where it was six or seven years ago,' said Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas. 'Whether it's the influence they have over the government in Baghdad, whether it's the increasing strength of Hezbollah and Lebanon, their work alongside the Houthis in Iran, the Iraqi Shias that are fighting along now the border in Syria -- certainly the Shia forces that are engaged in Syria. Iran is everywhere throughout the Middle East.
  • President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were among the guests as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin's) married a Scottish actress. Mnuchin exchanged vows Saturday night with Louise Linton at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington. Mrs. Trump wore a pink blush dress and the president was in a tux. Vice President Mike Pence also attended. The 54-year-old Mnuchin worked for the Goldman Sachs investment firm for nearly two decades before founding a hedge fund. He also ran a company that invested in Hollywood movies and was finance chairman of Trump's presidential campaign. The 36-year-old Linton has appeared in movies and TV shows. Mnuchin also produced movies before joining the government. It's Mnuchin's third marriage and the second for Linton.
  • Illinois is on track to become the first U.S. state to have its credit rating downgraded to 'junk' status, which would deepen its multibillion-dollar deficit and cost taxpayers more for years to come. S&P Global Ratings has warned the agency will likely lower Illinois' creditworthiness to below investment grade if feuding lawmakers fail to agree on a state budget for a third straight year, increasing the amount the state will have to pay to borrow money for things such as building roads or refinancing existing debt. The outlook for a deal wasn't good Saturday, as lawmakers meeting in Springfield for a special legislative session remained deadlocked with the July 1 start of the new fiscal year approaching. That should alarm everyone, not just those at the Capitol, said Brian Battle, director at Performance Trust Capital Partners, a Chicago-based investment firm. 'It isn't a political show,' he said. 'Everyone in Illinois has a stake in what's happening here. One day everybody will wake up and say 'What happened? Why are my taxes going up so much?'' Here's a look at what's happening and what a junk rating could mean: WHY NOW? Ratings agencies have been downgrading Illinois' credit rating for years, though they've accelerated the process as the stalemate has dragged on between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who control the General Assembly. The agencies are concerned about Illinois' massive pension debt, as well as a $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills and the drop in revenue that occurred when lawmakers in 2015 allowed a temporary income tax increase to expire. 'In our view, the unrelenting political brinkmanship now poses a threat to the timely payment of the state's core priority payments,' S&P stated when it dropped Illinois' rating to one level above junk, which was just after lawmakers adjourned their regular session on May 31 without a deal. Moody's did the same, stating: 'As the regular legislative session elapsed, political barriers to progress appeared to harden, indicating both the severity of the state's challenges and the political difficulty of advocating their solutions.' WHAT IS A 'JUNK' RATING? Think of it as a credit score, but for a state (or city or county) instead of a person. When Illinois wants to borrow money, it issues bonds. Investors base their decision on whether to buy Illinois bonds on what level of risk they're willing to take, informed greatly by the rating that agencies like Moody's assign. A junk rating means the state is at a higher risk of not repaying its debt. At that point, many mutual funds and individual investors — who make up more than half the buyers in the bond market — won't buy. Those willing to take a chance, such as distressed debt investors, will only do so if they are getting a higher interest rate. While no other state has been placed at junk, counties and cities such as Chicago, Atlantic City and Detroit have. Detroit saw its rating increased back to investment grade in 2015 as it emerged from bankruptcy — an option that by law, states don't have. WHAT WILL IT COST? Battle says the cost to taxpayers in additional interest the next time Illinois sells bonds, which it inevitably will need to do in the long-term, could be in the 'tens of millions' of dollars or more. The more money the state has to pay on interest, the less that's available for things such as schools, state parks, social services and fixing roads. 'For the taxpayer, it will cost more to get a lower level of service,' Battle said. Comptroller Susana Mendoza, who controls the state checkbook, agreed. 'It's going to cost people more every day,' she said. 'Our reputation really can't get much worse, but our state finances can.' OTHER IMPACTS? Because the state has historically been a significant funding source to other entities, such as local government and universities, many of them are feeling the impact of Illinois' worsening creditworthiness already. S&P already moved bonds held by the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority — the entities that run Navy Pier, McCormick Place, and Guaranteed Rate Field — to junk. Five universities also have the rating: Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University and Southern Illinois University. ___ This story has corrected to reflect that the venue where the White Sox play is now called Guaranteed Rate Field, not U.S. Cellular Field. ___ Follow Sara Burnett on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sara_burnett
  • The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration's travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground. The biggest news of all, though, would be if Justice Anthony Kennedy were to use the court's last public session on Monday to announce his retirement. To be sure, Kennedy has given no public sign that he will retire this year and give President Donald Trump his second high court pick in the first months of his administration. Kennedy's departure would allow conservatives to take firm control of the court. But Kennedy turns 81 next month and has been on the court for nearly 30 years. Several of his former law clerks have said they think he is contemplating stepping down in the next year or so. Kennedy and his clerks were gathering over the weekend for a reunion that was pushed up a year and helped spark talk he might be leaving the court. 'Soon we'll know if rumors of Kennedy's retirement are accurate,' one former Kennedy clerk, George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr, said on Twitter Friday. When the justices take the bench Monday, they are expected to decide the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, which was excluded from a state grant program to pay for soft surfaces on playgrounds run by not-for-profit groups. The case is being closely watched by advocates of school vouchers, who hope the court will make it easier to use state money to pay for private, religious schooling in states that now prohibit it. Missouri has since changed its policy under Republican Gov. Eric Greitens so that churches may now apply for the money. Also expected in the next few days, though there's no deadline by which the court must decide, is a ruling on whether to allow the administration to immediately enforce a 90-day ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries. Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, could play a pivotal role in both the travel ban and church playground cases. In all, six cases that were argued between November and April remain undecided. Three of those, all involving immigrants or foreigners, were heard by an eight-justice court, before Gorsuch joined the bench in April. If the eight justices are evenly divided, those cases could be argued a second time in the fall, with Gorsuch available to provide the tie-breaking vote.
  • Responding to concerns about personal security for lawmakers after last week’s gun attack at a Congressional baseball practice, U.S. House leaders are moving to provide extra money to members for protection back home, as well as new funding to bolster the work of police and security officials on Capitol Hill. Under a plan approved by a House spending subcommittee on Friday, the Congress would provide an extra $7.5 million next year to the Capitol Police for an “increased security posture” around the Capitol, along with $5 million to the House Sergeant at Arms to help with security for lawmakers back in their districts. “We are taking a new fresh look at security,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), the Chairman of subcommittee that deals with funding for the Legislative Branch. Our FY18 Legislative Branch funding bill increases efficiency & transparency in Congress, enhances security for Members & our constituents. pic.twitter.com/FI36tF2XeH — Rep. Kevin Yoder (@RepKevinYoder) June 22, 2017 “The tragic events of June 14 weigh heavily on these deliberations,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which could vote on the extra money as early as this next week. Also being put into motion is a separate plan to funnel an extra $25,000 to each member of the House – about $11 million in all – to help them increase security back in their districts. “The scariest part for us is there used to be this impression by the public that we all had security everywhere we went,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH). “Now, everyone knows that isn’t the case,” Ryan added, as he lent his support to the extra funding for security as well. The money in this budget bill would not take effect until the new fiscal year – which starts October 1 – so, House leaders are ready to okay extra money immediately for members worried about security back in their districts. Roll Call newspaper reported that could be approved in coming days by the House Administration Committee. Yoder said Congressional leaders are also waiting to see if money raised in campaign contributions for House elections could be put to use for security as well. “Pending an FEC (Federal Election Commission) decision, we’re also looking at whether campaign funds could be used to continue to support security upgrades at personal residences,” Yoder added.
  • Military chiefs will seek a six-month delay before letting transgender people enlist in their services, officials said Friday. After meetings this week, the service leaders hammered out an agreement that rejected Army and Air Force requests for a two-year wait and reflected broader concerns that a longer delay would trigger criticism on Capitol Hill, officials familiar with the talks told The Associated Press. The new request for a delay will go to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for a final decision, said the officials, who weren't authorized to discuss the internal deliberations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Transgender servicemembers have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban, declaring it the right thing to do. Since Oct. 1, transgender troops have been able to receive medical care and start formally changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon's personnel system. But Carter also gave the services until July 1 to develop policies to allow people already identifying as transgender to newly join the military, if they meet physical, medical and other standards, and have been stable in their identified genders for 18 months. The military chiefs had said they needed time to study the issue and its effects on the readiness of the force before taking that step. Officials said Friday that the chiefs believe the extra half-year would give the four military services time to gauge if currently serving transgender troops are facing problems and what necessary changes the military bases might have to make. The chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps discussed the matter with Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work on Thursday, officials said. Dana White, the Pentagon's chief spokeswoman, said there have been ongoing discussions with the service chiefs and a recommendation is expected, but she declined to disclose any details. 'It's been a very deliberative process,' she said. 'The deputy secretary of defense has not submitted a recommendation to the secretary yet and so no decision has been made.' Stephen Peters, spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, said the group is disappointed with the delay request. 'Each day that passes without implementing the final piece of this important policy harms our military readiness and restricts the Armed Forces' ability to recruit the best and the brightest,' said Peters, a Marine veteran. 'There are thousands of transgender service members openly and proudly serving our nation today, and as they've proven time and time again, what matters is the ability to get the job done — not their gender identity.' Already, there are as many as 250 servicemembers in the process of transitioning to their preferred genders or who have been approved to formally change gender within the Pentagon's personnel system, according to several defense officials. According to several officials familiar with the matter, three of the four services wanted more time. In recent weeks, Navy officials suggested they would be ready to begin enlistment in July but asked for a one-year delay, largely to accommodate a request from the Marine Corps for more time, officials said. The Navy secretary also oversees the Marine Corps. The Army and Air Force wanted a two-year delay to further study the issue, said the officials, who were not authorized to talk about the internal discussion publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Officials said there was a broad recognition that allowing transgender individuals to enlist affects each service differently. They described the biggest challenge as the infantry. They said the discussions aimed at a solution that would give recruits the best chance of succeeding, while ensuring the services maintain the best standards for entry into the military. Service chiefs will also require that transgender recruits be stable in their preferred genders for at least two years, an increase from Carter's earlier plan to allow 18 months, the officials said. The chiefs also want to review the policy in a year to see how things are working, the officials said. Key concerns are whether currently enlisted troops have had medical or other issues that cause delays or problems with their ability to deploy or meet physical or other standards for their jobs. Military leaders also want to review how transgender troops are treated, if they're discriminated against or have had disciplinary problems, the officials said. Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee last week there have been some issues identified with recruiting transgender individuals that 'some of the service chiefs believe need to be resolved before we move forward.' He said Mattis is reviewing the matter. The military services have various ways of counting the number of transgender troops currently serving. The Pentagon has refused to release any data. But officials said there are 42 servicemembers across the Army, including the National Guard and Reserve, who have been approved to change their gender identities in the personnel system. At least 40 more are in the process of transitioning, they said. Officials said there are about 160 sailors in the Navy who are somewhere in the process of gender transition. That could include counseling, hormone treatment or gender reassignment surgery. And about 'a handful' of Marines have come forward to seek medical care involving gender transition, and there are possibly others going through the process with their commanders, officials said. The Air Force refused to release any numbers, and other officials did not know those details. A RAND study found that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in the active duty military, and another 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Police in Georgia are hoping surveillance video that captured a violent attack will help them find the people responsible. Video shows a restaurant owner and her teenage daughter being beaten by two customers Thursday afternoon in Baxley, Georgia. >> Read more trending news The victims told police the suspects were unhappy with their order. The verbal argument turned violent when one of the suspects began punching the restaurant owner repeatedly. When the victim’s teenage daughter came out of the car to break up the fight, the male suspect punched her in the face. WJCL reported that Baxley police have issued warrants for the suspects, Nathaniel Smith and Latasha Smith. The pair could be charged with aggravated battery and cruelty to children. The suspects drove away from the restaurant in a cream or tan Cadillac Escalade with tag number REU8495. Officials said they headed north on Highway 144. Anyone with any information about the assault is asked to call the Baxley Police Department at 912-367-8305 or the 911 call center at 912-367-8111.
  • A dive team is searching a ditch along I-4 from which Orlando firefighters removed a car early Saturday, police said. A car flipped into the ditch near the Kirkman Road exit. Emergency services responded to the car around 8:15 a.m. App users click here to see the video. 
  • The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a small plane crash that occurred Saturday morning near Fort Meyers, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies said the plane crashed into an unoccupied day care building. >> Read more trending news One person died in the crash while another was taken to the hospital. The survivor’s condition has not been released.
  • A Transportation Security Administration agent has been arrested after he was accused of stealing money from a passenger at Orlando International Airport in Florida, Orlando police said. >> Read more trending news Alexander Shae Johnson, 22, was arrested Thursday night. Passenger Kathleen Duddleston entered the TSA checkpoint and was stopped for additional screening, police said. While she was patted down, Duddleston told TSA security officer Michelle Metz that she couldn’t see her luggage, so Metz moved her closer. Duddleston complained again that she couldn’t see her bag, and Johnson moved slightly. After the pat down, Duddleston reached for her bag and could not find her money, police said. She said she noticed a bulge in Johnson’s left front shirt pocket. Duddleston asked Johnson if that was her money, and he said he got the money from the bank, police said. The woman complained to Metz that she believed Johnson stole money from her. Metz contacted her supervisor. Duddleston has been charged with third-degree grand theft. TSA said in a statement to WFTV: TSA has a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace. The TSA immediately reported the allegation to OPD and we aggressively investigated the incident with our law enforcement partner. TSA officers represent a professional and honorable workforce that is trained to treat passengers and their personal belongings with care and respect. No exceptions will be tolerated. We immediately ended the federal career of this individual.
  • A scare happened at a Leominster, Massachusetts, supermarket after a 4-day-old newborn was left locked inside of a hot car while her mother was inside shopping. >> Read more trending news Mother Sharma Murphy said that on her way to Market Basket supermarket on Friday, she stopped by the fire house to make sure her baby’s car seat was properly installed. Less than an hour later, those firefighters helped rescue her 4-day-old baby, who was locked in her hot car. A shopper called Leominster police after spotting a newborn alone inside a car. It was Sharma Murphy's silver Chevy Malibu. >> A reminder of hot car dangers as temperatures climb Murphy said she was out for the first time with her newborn daughter, 4-day-old Katherine, and was nervous. “I went, I bought it. Came right out and this lady just starts screaming at me. Screaming at me,” said Murphy. Murphy said she brought her newborn inside with her to Market Basket and then returned to the car when Katherine fell asleep. She said that she ran back inside for two or three minutes to buy some baby formula. “I went (in and) I bought it,” Murphy said. “(I) came right out and this lady just starts screaming at me.” Related: Two toddlers dead after 15 hours in hot car, police say Police said the windows were rolled up. “I believe she locked her keys in the car because they had to use the jimmy to get the baby out,” witness John Casey told WFXT. According to WFXT meteorologists, the outside temperature was 84 degrees at the time. Murphy said she didn’t want to wake her newborn. “I thought, ‘OK, if I run in and run out...’ It was one of those things where she's gotta eat because I have nothing left for her and that's when everything happened and I'm like, oh my God,” Murphy said. Katherine was taken to the hospital to be checked out. Her mother said he is fine. The baby is currently in custody of DCF. No charges have been filed.