Among the hardest hit was Tennessee, where officials believe hundreds of buildings have been damaged or destroyed as fires burned in Sevier County, just outside Knoxville. The county is home to the popular tourist destinations of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
The state senator who helped push through Ohio’s medical marijuana law wants to ask U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Congress to re-classify cannabis. >> Read more trending news State Sen. Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights, introduced a resolution in the Ohio Senate on Wednesday that would make a formal request to the feds to drop marijuana from the list of controlled substances. The resolution, which would have to pass both the Ohio House and Senate, doesn’t carry much clout. It is a mechanism for sending a message on an issue. Ohio and 28 other states have embraced medical marijuana programs, even though the drug is still considered illegal under federal Controlled Substances Act. The prohibition makes clinical studies about marijuana’s medical benefits more difficult, the resolution said. Likewise, it makes getting health insurance to cover medical marijuana and getting banks to handle financial transactions more difficult, the resolution said. Ohio’s medical marijuana law, signed by Gov. John Kasich in June 2016, took effect in September. While the Obama administration took a hands-off approach on medical marijuana in states with well-regulated programs, the Trump administration seems to be taking a different stance. “Drug traffickers already cultivate and distribute marijuana inside the United States under the guise of state medical marijuana laws,” Sessions wrote in a May 1 letter to congressional leaders. Under Ohio’s new program, three state agencies -- Department of Commerce, Board of Pharmacy and State Medical Board -- will oversee regulations for growers, doctors, patients and dispensaries. State authorities are currently writing rules for processors, testing labs and dispensaries and are considering applications from companies vying for 24 cultivator licenses.
A faulty truck led to a brush fire on a Daytona Beach golf course. An employee for a private company was treating for mosquitoes at the LPGA Golf Course on Thursday when his truck got stuck in the mud near a lake on the 16th hole. While trying to free the truck, a fire started and eventually became 20 foot by 20 foot in size. Daytona Beach Firefighters were able to successfully extinguish the truck fire and contain the growing brush fire. Nobody was injured.
A 3-year-old boy vacationing with his family in the Florida Keys died after he wandered off and ended up in a canal, according to news reports. >> Read more trending news The family had arrived at Key Colony Beach near Marathon on Saturday evening after traveling from their home in Gainesville, Georgia, the Miami Herald reported. While they were unpacking, Andrew Williams got out of the home they were renting and headed toward a canal, the paper said. A neighbor started screaming when she found him in the water around 6:45 p.m. The neighbor’s husband pulled Andrew out, and by then his parents, Erica and Jeffrey Williams, arrived, according to a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office report obtained by the Miami Herald. The boy’s father started to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation on his son until Marathon Fire-Rescue paramedics arrived and took over, the report said. Andrew was taken to a hospital where he died just before 10 p.m., according to officials. Read more at the Miami Herald
A day after a newspaper interview in which President Donald Trump raised questions about his choice for the job of Attorney General, the White House expressed public support for Jeff Sessions, saying Mr. Trump “has confidence in his ability” to lead the Department of Justice. “He was disappointed,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of the President’s view of Sessions and his recusal earlier this year from any involvement in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and possible links to the Trump campaign. “But clearly he has confidence in him or he would not be the Attorney General,” Sanders told reporters at an off-camera White House briefing. Sarah Sanders said if Trump didn't have confidence in Jeff Sessions as attorney general 'he wouldn't be in that position.' — Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) July 20, 2017 It was a much different answer than one publicly given to reporters in early June, when news surfaced of Mr. Trump’s frustration with Sessions and the Russia probe recusal, as the White House at that point refused to give any answer on whether the President wanted Sessions to quit. Here is the exchange between reporters and Spicer on the subject of Trump/Sessions pic.twitter.com/WF59VZ5E9q — Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) June 6, 2017 Back then, supporters of Mr. Trump claimed the New York Times story was ‘fake news,’ but the President’s own words – in a New York Times interview on Wednesday – confirmed that Trump-Sessions frustration scenario. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else,” the President told a group of New York Times reporters. Earlier in the day at an unrelated news conference, the Attorney General was asked by reporters about Mr. Trump’s remarks, and gave no hint about possibly resigning. AG Sessions: 'I have the honor of serving as attorney general…I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate.' pic.twitter.com/suukiMokyE — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 20, 2017 Back in June, it was reported that Sessions – stung by the President’s frustration over the Russia-recusal matter – had offered to resign his post. Sessions was the very first GOP Senator to endorse Mr. Trump, in late February of 2016. In Congress, Democrats seized on Mr. Trump’s remarks, saying it was obvious that the President wanted someone in the job of Attorney General who would squelch the Russia investigation. “The smoke billows higher and higher,” said Rep. Don McEachin (D-VA), “the fire is likely not too far behind.”
The Nevada Parole Board voted unanimously Thursday to grant former football star O.J. Simpson parole in his 2008 conviction on charges including kidnapping and armed robbery. >> Read more trending news Simpson is expected to leave the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada this fall after nine years behind bars, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The decision came down Thursday after Simpson, 70, spoke before the Nevada Parole Board, telling the four-person panel he was remorseful for his actions in 2007. “I haven’t made any excuses in the nine years I’ve been here, and I’m not trying to make an excuse now,” he said. Simpson was sentenced to 33 years behind bars for his part in a 2007 armed robbery at a Las Vegas hotel room. He was found guilty on a dozen charges, including kidnapping. Simpson claimed he confronted a pair of memorabilia collectors, Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley, in 2007 in an attempt to recover items that had been stolen from him, according to The Associated Press. Among the mementos and memorabilia he hoped to recover were family photos and his first wife’s wedding ring. Fromong spoke Thursday in favor of Simpson’s release and said he and Simpson had long ago made peace. “We all make mistakes,” Fromong said. “O.J. made his. He’s been here and from what I’ve been told he’s been a model inmate. He’s been an example to others.” Simpson had no disciplinary issues while behind bars and took numerous classes, according to testimony before the parole board. Simpson said he took a conflict resolution course that made a particular impact on him and said he had been called in to mediate issues between other inmates at the Lovelock Correction Center. Nevada Board of Parole commissioner Susan Jackson held up thick stacks of letters at Thursday’s hearing, some of the hundreds of letters she said the board had received from Simpson’s supporters and detractors. Many of the letters mentioned Simpson’s 1995 acquittal in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Jackson said the case would not be considered in Thursday’s deliberations. Parole board commissioner Connie Bisbee said Simpson has plans to resettle in Florida, where he was living before his 2008 conviction. Officials in Florida said in a statement that “if Nevada’s request meets all criteria, Florida must accept the transfer.” “As is the case with any offender who transfers under this routine procedure, he will be assigned a Florida probation officer and will be supervised in accordance with the conditions of his parole,” said Michelle Glady, director of communications for the Florida Department of Corrections. Simpson in 2013 was granted parole on the armed robbery conviction. Thursday’s hearing addressed the other 11 charges from his 2008 conviction, according to USA Today. Simpson, a former football running back who has appeared in nearly two dozen movies and television shows, was found not guilty of murder in 1995 after Brown and Goldman were found stabbed to death outside Brown’s Los Angeles townhouse. The case, which captivated TV audiences around the globe, was dubbed the “Trial of the Century.”