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Three Big Things
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Lake County unveils new logo

Lake County unveils new logo

Lake County Commissioners unanimously approved a new county logo at today’s board meeting. The new logo will be used for all official county documents, as well as the county’s new gateway signs. It was crated by Lake County’s Office of Communications team. Chairman Leslie Campione said, “I think they really set a nice tone for our county. They are stunning and have a great down to earth feel, too.” The logo features a sunset and a blue heron, and cost no taxpayers dollars to create.

Boeing 737 Max 8 makes emergency landing at Orlando International Airport

Boeing 737 Max 8 makes emergency landing at Orlando International Airport

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 being relocated to California made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff at Orlando International Airport Tuesday afternoon.  >> Read more trending news  Two pilots were the only people on board the Max 8 plane—which was being relocated to Victorville—when it took off shortly before 3 p.m., according to OIA spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell.  Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said the flight's crew 'declared an emergency after the aircraft experienced a reported engine problem while departing.'  Airport operations were not significantly affected by the emergency landing, Fennell said.  Southwest released the following statement:  'Southwest 8701 operating as a ferry flight with no passengers on board returned to Orlando International Airport just before 3pm EDT after Pilots reported a performance issue with one of the engines shortly after takeoff. The Crew followed protocol and safely landed back at the airport. The flight was scheduled to fly to Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, Calif., for short-term storage. The Boeing 737 MAX 8 will be moved to our Orlando maintenance facility for a review.' >> Related: Ethiopian Airlines crash: Captain reported issues shortly after takeoff The flight was scheduled to land in Victorville around 5 p.m., flight records show.  The FAA is investigating, officials said.  This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Charges dropped against actor Jussie Smollett

Charges dropped against actor Jussie Smollett

Authorities dropped charges Tuesday against actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of faking a racist, homophobic attack against himself in downtown Chicago. >> Read more trending news The actor told police he was confronted in the predawn hours Jan. 29 by a pair of men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, hit him in the face, poured an unknown substance on him and wrapped a rope around his neck. Officers later arrested Smollett on several counts of disorderly conduct in falsifying a police report. >> Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to disorderly conduct charges Update 3:40 p.m. EDT March 26: First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats, the prosecutor who took charge of the Smollett case after State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself last month, told the Chicago Tribune that charges were dropped against Smollett in exchange for community service and a forfeiture of his $100,000 bond. A judge has sealed the case. 'The bottom line is, we stand behind the investigation, we stand behind the decision to charge him,” Magats told the Tribune. “The fact that (Smollett) feels that we have exonerated him -- we have not. I can’t make it any clearer than that.' Smollett’s attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, told reporters Tuesday’s developments were not the result of a deal. “There is no deal,” she said. “The state dismissed the charges.” Update 2:05 p.m. EDT March 26: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Eddie Johnson defended the decision to charge Smollett at a news conference Tuesday after a judge agreed to drop charges against the actor. Emanuel emphasized several times that a grand jury indicted Smollett on felony charges of disorderly conduct in filing a false police report. “This is a whitewash of justice,” Emanuel said. “It is wrong, full stop.” Johnson said Smollett’s decision not to have his day in court called his innocence into question. “Do I think justice was served? No,” he said Tuesday. “At the end of the day, our job as police officers is to present (prosecutors) with evidence.” Kevin Graham, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Chicago, said federal investigators could still charge Smollett in connection to a threatening letter that police said he sent to himself. “I do not agree with what the state’s attorney did,” he said Tuesday. “I don’t think justice was done here today.” Update 1:40 p.m. EDT March 26: City officials are holding a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss developments in the Smollett case. Update 12:15 p.m. EDT March 26: Smollett thanked supporters for standing by him and told reporters he’s been “truthful and consistent ... since day one.”  “This has been an incredibly difficult time -- one of the worst of my entire life,” he said. He told reporters outside the courthouse that he felt vindicated by Tuesday’s decision. “I’d like to thank to State of Illinois for attempting to do what’s right,” he said. “Now I’d like nothing more than to move forward with my life.” Smollett’s attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, declined to say Tuesday whether the actor planned to take legal action against authorities for his arrest. “We have nothing to say to the police department except to investigate charges and not to try matters in the press,” she said. “I have no idea what occurred in this case or why it occurred.” Update 11:55 a.m. EDT March 26: Smollett’s family called the actor “an innocent man whose name and character has been unjustly smeared” in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “Jussie is a son, a brother, a partner, a champion for human rights and a genuine soul who would never be capable of what he was falsely accused of,” the statement said. “He was the victim of an assault and then falsely blamed for his own attack. The morning of truth has prevailed and he has been vindicated.” Update 11:45 a.m. EDT March 26: A spokeswoman with the Cook County State Attorney's Office said Tuesday that the agency believes the decision to drop charges against Smollett was just. 'After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett's volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,' said Tandra Simonton, chief communications officer for the Cook County State's Attorneys' Office. Update 11:20 a.m. EDT March 26: In a statement released Tuesday, Smollett's attorneys confirmed charges were dropped against the 'Empire' actor, who was accused of faking a racist, homophobic attack on himself. >> Jussie Smollett cut from final episodes of 'Empire' season after actor's arrest, producers say 'Today all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him,' attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in the statement. 'Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgment.' Update 11:15 a.m. EDT March 26: A judge on Tuesday agreed to a state motion to drop the charges against Smollett, according to WBBM-TV and the Chicago Tribune. Original report: Smollett was caught on camera after he appeared Tuesday morning at the criminal court building in Chicago. According to WFLD, Smollett's legal team planned to make an announcement around 10:45 a.m. local time. In a media alert obtained by WLS-TV, Anne Kavanagh said Smollett and his attorneys planned to speak to reporters after the court appearance. Smollett's surprise court appearance came one day after one of his attorneys, Mark Geragos, was identified by The Associated Press as a co-conspirator involved in an alleged Nike extortion plot that led to the arrest Monday of high-profile attorney Michael Avenatti. >> Who is Mark Geragos, defense lawyer to Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder, Jussie Smollett? Authorities did not name Geragos in court records. Check back for updates to this developing story.

NO OVERRIDE: Trump veto stands on border wall declaration President Donald Trump chalked up a victory in Congress Tuesday on his push for money for a border wall, as the U.S. House failed to muster a two-thirds supermajority needed to override the President's veto of a plan blocking his national emergency declaration, paving the way for the Trump Administration to funnel billions into construction of a wall along the southern border with Mexico. 'The President is well within his legal authority that Congress has provided him,' said Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO). 'That's the bottom line.' But those arguments fell on deaf ears with Democrats, who accused the President of undermining the Constitution by defying the spending decisions of the Congress. 'We take an oath to the Constitution, not to the President of the United States,' said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who labeled the national emergency a 'lawless power grab,' as Democrats denounced the President's declaration. “The president couldn’t get Mexico to pay for his wall,” said Rep. Val Demings (D-FL).  “He couldn’t get Congress to pick the pockets of the American people.” 'This is a dangerous precedent,' said Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA). 'We must send a strong and clear message to the President that we live in a constitutional, representative democracy,' said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR). But while they had a majority of votes in the House, Democrats were over 40 short of the margin needed to overturn the President's veto. The final vote was 248-181; 14 Republicans joined 234 Democrats in voting to override President Trump's first veto. The vote in the House came as top Pentagon officials used a hearing in the U.S. House to defend the first shift of money inside the Pentagon budget to the border wall, as officials notified Congress of $1 billion being moved out of military pay accounts. 'The Army was falling short of its recruiting targets,' said the Pentagon's Chief Financial Officer David Norquist at a U.S. House hearing, arguing that unused funding was a logical place to look for extra money for the border wall. 'If there's no purpose, there's not a lot of other uses,' Norquist told lawmakers. 'And so, it's available' (for the wall). As the hearing was being conducted, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, rejected the Trump Administration's request to move the $1 billion in pay accounts over to a border wall. The Pentagon is simply going to ignore that rejection, and make the funding switch. At the hearing, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan joined in defending the funding moves, as he said two other actions are likely: + $2.6 billion to be funneled into a drug interdiction fund in the military, with the money then going to the border wall. + $3.6 billion in military construction money - with projects still to be identified - would be diverted to the wall funding as well. In a statement issued after the vote, Speaker Pelosi vowed additional challenges to the President's declaration. “In six months, the Congress will have another opportunity to put a stop to this President’s wrongdoing,” the Speaker said.  “We will continue to review all options to protect our Constitution and our Democracy from the President’s assault.”