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January 10, 2019

LANDOWNERS ON BORDER TO FIGHT WALL-BUILDING EFFORTS

HIDALGO, Texas (AP) — Rather than surrender their land to the federal government, some property owners on the Texas border are digging in to fight President Donald Trump’s border wall.

They are rejecting buyout offers and preparing to battle the administration in court. Trump is scheduled to travel to the border today to make the case for his $5.7 billion wall.

Eloisa Cavazos owns land along the Rio Grande. She says she won’t sell for any price because it’s not about money.

The federal government has started surveying land along the border in Texas and announced plans to start construction next month. Those in the way include property owners who have lived in the valley for generations, environmental groups and a 19th century chapel.

PROSECUTOR RESULTS OVER INSULTS TO MICHELLE OBAMA, OTHERS

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California prosecutor who posted crude and profane insults about U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, Michelle Obama and others to social media has resigned.

A San Bernardino County spokeswoman tells the San Bernardino Sun that Michael Selyem voluntarily resigned on Jan. 2.

The county gang prosecutor was suspended in July after revelations that he had made crudely offensive online remarks about Waters, Obama, Mexican immigrants and a victim of a police shooting.

Civil rights leaders demanded Selyem’s ouster, questioning whether he could be objective when dealing with black and Latino defendants.

Newly seated District Attorney Jason Anderson has told civil rights leaders there’s no place for prejudice in his office.

WOMAN IN VEGETATIVE STATE GIVES BIRTH, INVESTIGATION UNDER WAY

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona woman in a vegetative state who had a baby after she was sexually assaulted at a long-term care facility is recovering at a hospital along with her child, authorities said yesterday as they ramped up the search for a suspect in a case that’s made shockwaves.

Commenting for the first time on the investigation since the Dec. 29 birth came to light, Phoenix police said they have not ruled out anyone and are still gathering DNA from all the facility’s male employees.

“She was not in a position to give consent to any of this,” police spokesman Tommy Thompson said. “So if anyone can understand that, this was a helpless victim who was sexually assaulted.”

He didn’t release the conditions of the woman and her child, who will be taken in by his mother’s family.

The case has drawn outcry from the governor to the San Carlos Apache tribe in southeastern Arizona, of which the 29-year-old victim is an enrolled member, and put the spotlight on the safety of group homes and facilities that care for those who are incapacitated or severely disabled.

ORANGUTAN BITES VOLUNTEER AT FLA. ZOO

MIAMI (AP) — Officials say a volunteer was bitten by an orangutan at a Florida zoo.

News outlets report that the attack occurred yesterday afternoon at Jungle Island in Miami.

The park released a statement saying an experienced volunteer working with the orangutan enrichment program received an injury that wasn’t considered life-threatening. An initial response team and primate keepers responded quickly to render aid.

Miami Fire Rescue workers transported the volunteer to a local hospital.

BABY IN FREEZER

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee woman accused of placing her 8-month-old baby into a freezer has been charged with child abuse.

The reports say 19-year-old Brittany C. Smith placed the infant in a freezer and closed the lid last week in Johnson City. The child was taken to a hospital, but no condition has been released.

An affidavit provided to WJHL-TV says a witness saw Smith holding a small child next to the unused freezer in their backyard. The resident went outside to speak with Smith and found her in the crawlspace under the home.

Smith also has been charged with offenses that include neglect. It’s unclear if she has a lawyer who could comment.

AIR FORCE PROBING SEXL ASSAULT AND HARASSMENT AT AIR NATIONAL GUARD UNIT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — U.S. Air Force officials have confirmed that they are investigating allegations of sexual assault and harassment within a Wisconsin Air National Guard unit.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin asked the Air Force in November to investigate the allegations brought to her attention by Jay Ellis, a master sergeant in the 115th Fighter Wing’s Security Forces Squadron. He told Baldwin in a letter that he had learned of at least six instances of sexual assault or sexual harassment against female squadron members between 2002 and 2016.

Air Force investigators told Baldwin that her request was referred to personnel responsible for the Madison area. They didn’t initially confirm that an investigation was under way, but Baldwin’s office said yesterday that it received a letter from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations dated Dec. 21 saying the office is conducting a complete review.

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