Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sinkhole appears on White House north lawn


A small sinkhole has begun to form on the north lawn of the White House this past week, and a reporter has been tracking its progression.

“This week I’ve been observing a sinkhole on the @WhiteHouse North Lawn, just outside the press briefing room, growing larger by the day,” Voice of America reporter Steve Herman posted to Twitter on Tuesday.

“It was noticeably bigger between Sunday and Monday,” Herman said. “It’s more than a foot long right now.”

A second sinkhole has formed right next to it.

The joke that Washington is a swamp has been widely shared among residents and those around the country, especially as it was used in the 2016 presidential campaign.

However, the nation’s capital was built on a real swamp that could sink as much as six inches this century.

Click for more from The Washington Examiner. 

Ocean City Council Approves FY 2019 Budget

Image courtesy Ocean City, MD

The OC Council voted 6-0 to approve the FY 2019 budget as presented at the May 7 Regular Meeting. The FY 2019 Proposed total budget for all funds is $127,247,879, with a total General Fund budget of $85,065,185. This is an increase of $635,503 from the FY 2018 budget and requires property tax revenue of $40,866,861. Assessments decreased .24% for FY 2019, resulting in an increase in the constant yield tax rate to .4667. The tax rate for the proposed FY 2019 budget is the same tax rate as the FY 2018 budget, which is below the constant yield rate. As a result, $96,550 less is being collected from property taxes than if the rate were set at the constant yield tax rate. $1.5 million of prior year reserves (fund balance) is utilized in the FY 2019 budget to fund capital projects and $100,000 of prior year reserves is utilized to fund the AGH capital fund.
As requested at the April 9 Police Commission meeting, the Ocean City Council voted 6-0 on an ordinance that includes marijuana smoke and paraphernalia in Chapter 30, Article VIII.  Amendments for consideration include language changes to the article title, definitions and legislative intent. Thus the Council placed a prohibition of smoking marijuana and vaping on the boardwalk in addition to smoking tobacco.
The OC Council voted in favor 6-0 of Ordinance 2018-06 amending the Ocean City, Maryland, Public Safety Employees’ Pension Plan and Trust .As presented at the May 7, Regular Meeting, modifications were agreed upon through collective bargaining negotiations. This ordinance restores the pension benefit for the FOP by removing the age requirement of 55 years old, changes the benefit calculation method to average pay of the last 3 years of employment and adds DROP enhancement allowing employees to enter at 25, 26 or 27 years of service. The cost for the town in FY19 – FY21 will be $ 480,000.

At Tuesday night’s Ocean City Council Meeting Councilwoman Mary Knight reported that the town had sent out letters to all property owners about a month ago alerting them that if they were to rent out their property or currently renting their property, that they needed a rental license if they did not already have one. Knight said the town was chastised by some for the cost of that mailing, which Knight indicated was $10,000. However – Knight indicated that as a result of the letters being sent out the town has received 385 new applications for licenses which totaled $54,285. Knight stated that she hopes that additionally those owners will now pay their 6% MD sales tax and 4.5% local room tax.



Coast Guard searches for Carnival Cruise passenger who fell overboard


The United States Coast Guard is searching for a 50-year-old Carnival Cruise Paradise passenger who reportedly went overboard approximately 85 miles west of Fort Myers, Fla.

The man, identified as Brian Lamonds of Greensboro, NC, was reported missing Tuesday morning as the ship was sailing from Tampa to Key West.


The Coast Guard was notified of the missing guest and are currently conducting a search, Carnival Cruise said in a statement to Fox News.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo, arrives at Montego Bay, Jamaica in preparation for Tradewinds 2016 on June 18, 2016. Tradewinds is an opportunity for the participating partner nations to come together to enhance regional maritime security. The maritime portion of the exercise focuses on building participating nation capacity of the Caribbean Community’s maritime forces in maritime related security operations in cooperation with U.S., British, Mexican and Canadian Forces. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Justin T. Updegraff/ Released)

The Coast Guard is actively searching for the missing man.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Justin T. Updegraff/ Released)

“On Tuesday morning, a male guest went overboard as the ship was sailing from Tampa to Key West, Florida. The Coast Guard was notified and is currently conducting a search for the guest. We are cooperating fully with all authorities.  Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to the guest’s family,” the statement read.

According to a press release, the Coast Guard Key West watch was notified of the missing passenger around 10 am and sent out a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, an Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft crew and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo to aid in the search.


The Carnival Paradise departed Tampa on Monday for a six-day cruise.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

'American Idol' finale beats 'The Voice' for the first time but it's still not a win for ABC


For the first time since ABC picked it up, “American Idol” was able to edge out NBC’s similar singing competition “The Voice” in Monday night ratings. However, it was the season finale of “Idol” and the penultimate episode of “The Voice,” plus previous “Idol” finales have drawn much higher numbers.

The conclusion of the 16th season of “American Idol” drew roughly 8.7 million total viewers, according to TV Line. “The Voice” topped out close at 8.6 million. So, while “Idol” eked out a win over its biggest competition, it was nothing all that great to celebrate.

The “Dancing With the Stars: Athletes” finale led into the “Idol” finale at 8 p.m., garnering large viewership despite its abridged one-hour broadcast time. While “Idol” had its star-studded finale lead-in, “The Voice” gave it a significant run for its money with a non-finale episode. Additionally, “American Idol” had the benefit of airing until 11 p.m. EST while “The Voice” bowed out at 10 p.m. EST. This gave it an extra hour to rake in high numbers while NBC’s dropped significantly once the non-competition show “Running Wild With Bear Grylls” took over. According to Deadline, “The Voice” and “Idol” were tied in ratings for that overlapping hour.

While ABC is doubling down on its revival of the former Fox singing competition with an early second seaon renewal, it may not be its best bet as it’s routinely underperformed since shifting networks. Just two years ago, its Fox finale garnered a massive 13.3 million viewers, a much higher viewership than Monday night. This has some wondering whether ABC’s strategy to take over the show was misguided as now it’s sitting on a very expensive series that’s clearly underperforming.

This latest season saw the show’s lowest-performing night to date, including during its lengthy run on Fox.

ABC’s version of the once-canceled singing competition show is reportedly the most expensive season yet. According to the Wall Street Journal, the celebrity stars for the revived show are being paid 60 percent more than in previous seasons. Katy Perry is raking in a reported $25 million for the season, while host Ryan Seacrest and judge Luke Bryan are each making $12 million. Lionel Richie is being paid a reported $10 million for his participation.

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.

Police say couple hid dead 5-year-old inside storage unit


A Nevada man and his wife never called 911 when his 5-year-old daughter was dying inside a filthy Reno apartment earlier this month, then put her emaciated corpse in a duffel bag and drove it to California and left it in a storage unit, authorities said.

Police believe Cali Anderson had been dead in an unkempt Reno apartment with spoiling food on the counters and floors for a week before the couple rented a truck and put the child’s body in a duffel bag, placed inside a blue plastic drum and left it 130 miles (209 kilometers) away in a Sacramento, California, storage unit earlier this month.

Investigators say the girl appeared to have been severely neglected but an autopsy is pending to determine the exact cause of death. They say the child’s body found May 15 appeared to be malnourished and emaciated.

Tyler Anderson, 23, waived extradition Monday in Sacramento Superior Court on suspicion of manslaughter. Additional charges are expected in Nevada, but so far he’s only been charged in Washoe County with fugitive fleeing justice and child neglect resulting in substantial injury.

His wife, 23-year-old Averyauna Anderson, was arraigned May 18 in Reno Justice Court on a charge of child neglect.

Her bail hearing is set for Thursday. She is not the biological mother of the victim, but police say she and Tyler Anderson lived together in the Reno apartment along with two other children they share.

Public defenders representing the couple didn’t immediately return telephone calls seeking comment on Tuesday.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Tyler Anderson’s father, Brett Anderson, told reporters after Monday’s extradition hearing that the girl’s death was an accident.

Police say the couple left Cali’s remains in a friend’s storage unit on May 11. The owner of the unit became suspicious about the boxes they left behind and called Sacramento police a few days later.

Reno Detective Jeffrey Boyd said in an affidavit that Averyauna Anderson agreed to speak with investigators when they visited the couple’s apartment with a search warrant on May 16. Boyd said officers found a wire animal crate in the bathroom with handcuffs attached to it.

Next to the crate was what appeared to be a girl’s backpack with a hat inside with the name “Cali,” he said. He said old food was on the bathroom floor and there were no signs of a pet living in the apartment.

Boyd said Averyauna Anderson told police the girl was experiencing health problems, had lost considerable weight, had trouble digesting food and had been vomiting, but that they never took her for medical treatment. She told police that around May 4, the girl was immobile and unresponsive with what appeared to be a weak pulse and shallow breathing.

She said the couple took turns performing CPR, and later placed Cali in cold water in the shower in an attempt to wake her up, according to the affidavit. Averyauna Anderson estimated their lifesaving efforts lasted about 3 hours, but they never sought emergency services. When they realized she was dead, the changed her clothing and placed her into a duffel bag, where it remained for about a week.

Averyauna Anderson told police she and her husband researched how to dispose of a dead body before they rented a U-Haul van on May 10 and placed the duffel bag with the body inside a plastic drum which was then put in a cardboard box and sealed it.

The next day, Tyler Anderson drove the U-Haul and she followed in their vehicle to Sacramento, she told police.

The Latest: Agreement: false confession obstructed justice


The Latest on plea agreement with man who spent 20 years in prison for a crime his lawyers say he didn’t commit (all times local):

3 p.m.

A Louisiana man is free after spending 20 years in prison for a killing his attorneys say he didn’t commit — and his plea agreement says he obstructed justice by a false confession.

Corey Williams pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter and obstruction of justice in the death of pizza deliveryman Jarvis Griffin, who was shot in 1998. He also agreed to drop any claims against a long list of people in the case. A state district judge vacated his murder conviction.

His plea agreement says the obstruction charge is based on evidence that he removed evidence from the crime scene and “provided a false inculpatory statement to police.”

Attorney Amir Ali of the Roderick & Solange Macarthur Justice Center says he cannot comment about the factual bases of the agreement.


11:50 a.m.

A Louisiana man is free after spending 20 years in prison for a killing his attorneys say he didn’t commit.

Attorney Amir Ali said in a tweet Tuesday morning that he had walked Corey Williams out of prison.

Attorneys accused prosecutors of withholding “staggering” evidence of Williams’ innocence in a pizza deliveryman’s killing.

Williams pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter and obstruction of justice under a plea agreement with Caddo Parish prosecutors. State District Court Judge Katherine Dorroh vacated his murder conviction.

The deal came weeks after Williams’ attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

Williams was an intellectually disabled 16-year-old when police arrested him in the January 1998 shooting death of Jarvis Griffin.

His lawyers say that before the shooting, Williams was hospitalized for extreme lead poisoning.

Lawyer who ranted against Spanish speakers in New York issues online apology


The New York lawyer who was caught on video last Wednesday ranting against Spanish-speaking restaurant workers posted an online apology Tuesday morning on his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

“To the people I insulted, I apologize. Seeing myself online opened my eyes — the manner in which I expressed myself is unacceptable and is not the person I am. I see my words and actions hurt people, and for that I am deeply sorry. While people should be able to express themselves freely, they should do so calmly and respectfully,” Aaron Schlossberg said in a statement on his law firm’s Twitter feed. “What the video did not convey is the real me. I am not racist.”

“I love this country and this city, in part because of immigrants and the diversity of cultures immigrants bring to this country,” the 42-year-old tweeted, acknowledging that he moved to New York City for its “remarkable diversity.”

A video of the Manhattan lawyer went viral last week when it was viewed millions of times. Edward Suazo posted the video and described the situation in a Facebook post, saying his wife and her best friend were buying lunch and speaking Spanish to the waiter when the Scholossberg went off.

“Every person I listen to — he’s speaking it, she’s speaking it. This is America,” Schlossberg says in the video, as Fox News previously reported.

After being confronted by the manager of Fresh Kitchen on Madison Avenue, near 39th Street, Schlossberg continued: “Your clients and your staff are speaking Spanish to staff when they should be speaking English. … My guess is they’re undocumented, so my next call is to ICE to have each one of them taken out of my country. If they have the balls to come here and live off my money — I pay for their welfare. I pay for their ability to be here.”

Employees of the city’s Commission on Human Rights went to the restaurant earlier Friday to inform people of their rights against discrimination and harassment. They did not comment on whether the commission would investigate Schlossberg.

Aaron Schlossberg_twitter

Aaron Schlossberg, a lawyer whose rant against Spanish speakers in a New York City eatery went viral has apologized, saying that how he expressed himself was “unacceptable.”

Since the charged encounter, Schlossberg has been kicked out of his office space. The company that runs the building Schlossberg uses as his law firm’s address has said his agreement with it was terminated because his actions “were contrary” to its regulations.

The viral clip also sparked outrage among many critics, including Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who wrote to New York state’s court system, which has a grievance committee for attorney complaints.

Mariachi bands sang “La Cucaracha” and other Mexican songs during protests on Friday across the street from the building that once housed Schlossberg’s office space. Demonstrators outside the Manhattan office building also demanded his disbarment.

Schlossberg also lost at least one client over his tirade, according tothe New York Post: Upper East Side record label Niche Music opted not to have him represent it in a royalty dispute.

“After hearing Aaron Schlossberg’s views on the video, we decided to fire him from the single case for which we had hired him,” company president Stephen Wilde said in a statement. “We were not aware of his views and he never expressed them to us. We are appalled by his comments and behavior.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Colorado bald eagle found shot dead, wildlife officials say


An American bald eagle was found shot dead near Milton Reservoir in Colorado, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced Monday.

Mormon missionaries pulled from Nicaragua due to unrest


The Mormon church is pulling 169 missionaries from Nicaragua because of growing political instability in the Central American country.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ spokesman Daniel Woodruff said Tuesday that most of these missionaries will be reassigned to other countries while some will finish their missions early.

Another 158 missionaries will stay in Nicaragua but move to safer areas.

At least 76 people have been killed and nearly 900 wounded during a month of protests in Nicaragua that were often violently repressed by police and government groups in actions the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights says violated human rights.

The Mormon church has had missionaries in Nicaragua since 1953.

They left in 1978 during the country’s civil war and did not return until the late 1980s.

Trump administration’s lawsuit against California sanctuary laws backed by these cities, counties


These are the cities and counties that have supported the Trump administration’s efforts to combat California’s so-called sanctuary laws.

Pope to host more Chile abuse victims, 5 of them priests


Pope Francis is planning to meet with more victims of Chile’s most notorious predator priest, a sign he isn’t finished hearing about the “system of abuse” that flourished in a parish that produced dozens of priests over the years.

Boys, 13 and 14, arrested on murder charge in Texas shooting


Police say two boys, aged 13 and 14, have been arrested on a capital murder charge in the fatal shooting of a woman in her Fort Worth apartment.

Georgia GOP governor primary includes Michael Williams, Casey Cagle, Brian Kemp, others


It’s primary day in Georgia, and Republican voters several candidates to choose from when selecting who will become their Republican gubernatorial nominee in the fall.

Virginia Walmart abduction was planned hoax, police say


An apparent abduction in the parking lot of a Walmart Supercenter in Virginia was a planned hoax, police said Tuesday.

Michigan quadruplets to serve in different branches of military after high school graduation


A set of quadruplets in Ada, Michigan have all decided to join respective branches of the military.

Nearly 20 Chicago elementary school students hospitalized after gas leak, report says


Seventeen Chicago, Illinois, elementary school students and one teacher were hospitalized Tuesday following a potential gas leak in the area, according to a local report.

Attorney: Mexican man wrongly detained at marriage interview


Lawyers for a 37-year-old Mexican man who was taken into custody during a mandatory marriage interview at immigration offices in Philadelphia said Tuesday his detention is unlawful.

The Latest: Chief praises slain Baltimore County officer


The Latest on the slaying of a police officer in Baltimore County, Maryland (all times local): 3:45 p.m.

The Latest: Italy PM pick had ‘no official status’ at NYU


The Latest on the law professor picked to be Italy’s next premier (all times local): 9:45 p.m. New York University says the Italian law professor tagged to be Italy’s next premier had no official status at the university — despite an entry on his resume suggesting otherwise.

Trump on North Korea, from ‘Rocket Man’ to ‘fire and fury’


As tensions between the U.S. and North Korea escalated, President Trump’s tough rhetoric and warnings increased.

Active shooter in Florida’s Panhandle; gunshots heard as reporter is on air


Multiple law enforcement agencies have surrounded a Panama City, Fla., apartment building where an active shooter is barricaded inside.

Palestinians ask ICC to investigate alleged crimes by Israel


Accusing Israel of systematic crimes, including apartheid in the occupied territories, Palestinians on Tuesday urged the International Criminal Court to open an investigation that could ultimately lead to charges against Israeli leaders.

Mother: 15-year-old son killed himself after being bullied


A Minnesota woman says her 15-year-old son killed himself after months of being bullied and assaulted, and that school staff didn’t do enough to support the boy, who had mental health issues and learning disabilities.

Eagle snatches fox holding rabbit in mouth in dramatic images


Videos and photos captured a bald eagle attempting to snatch a rabbit from a young red fox as they battled it out 20 feet in the air in what a photographer called a “dramatic act of thievery.”

FBI, DOJ to brief lawmakers on handling of Russia probe on Thursday


The FBI and Department of Justice will brief lawmakers later this week on classified material relating to the FBI’s actions during the 2016 campaign, the White House announced Tuesday, after revelations that an FBI informant had contacts with members of the Trump campaign.