September 17, 2018

USA: President Donald Trump Hosts Celebration Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month At The White House. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’– For All Of You Liberal Elitist Out There, We're Not All Maids And Gardeners.




I've share the full video of President Trump's speech above and the transcript below.

Issued on: September 17, 2018
[source: WhiteHouse.gov]

East Room

5:22 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Beautiful. Thank you very much. I appreciate you being here. And I’m really thrilled, once again, to welcome so many of my friends to the White House to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. That’s a big month. (Applause.) That’s a big month, right? (Applause.)

And I want to thank all of our incredible representatives that are here, and a very good friend of mine who’s done a fantastic job, Vice President Mike Pence. Where’s Mike? (Applause.) Mike. Thank you, Mike.

Today we come together to honor the incredible contributions Hispanic Americans make to our communities, our culture, and our country every single day. You know it. (Applause.)

Hispanic Americans embody American values: devotion to faith and family, commitment to hard work, enterprise and community service, and a fierce patriotic pride. Does that sound like you? I think so. (Applause.) Right?

Throughout all 50 states, Hispanic Americans enrich our nation in countless ways — from small businesses to support our neighborhoods, and to innovations that improve our lives, and through military service that protects our people and our great American flag. (Applause.)

One such American joins us tonight. He opened tonight’s ceremony with an inspiring rendition of our National Anthem: Vietnam Veteran, Daniel Cortez. Where’s Daniel? (Applause.) Where’s Daniel? Good job. I heard that. I heard it. It was good. You’re blessed. You know that? You’re blessed.

CORTEZ: I’m blessed because you’re our President. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Ah, thank you. Thank you very much. Very nice.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Mr. Trump! (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you. We’re out there fighting for you, that I’ll tell you. You know it. Thank you very much. And thank you, Daniel.

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. What a lot of spirit. But I know that about you. I know. (Laughter.) I know all about your spirit. You got great spirit. Thank you very much everybody. I appreciate it.

And we’re honored to be joined by Secretary Alex Acosta. Great guy. (Applause.) Great guy. Thank you, Alex. And the Treasurer of the United States — that’s a very big position, huh? — Jovita Carranza. Thank you. Jovita. (Applause.) That’s a very big position. Thank you, Jovita.

Thank you, as well, to the many ambassadors joining us, some of whom were just credentialed earlier today. They came over to the Oval Office. We took pictures. We said hello. Some great, great people. Put your hands up wherever you may be. Put your hands up. Yes. Yes. (Applause.) Great people. Thank you. You’re going to have a good time. (Applause.) And congratulations to all of you. Congratulations.

And thank you to all of the state and local leaders who are here with us this evening, including New Mexico’s great Governor, Susana Martinez. Susana? Susana? (Applause.) Thank you, Susana. Great job. Thank you, Susana. And Puerto Rico’s Lieutenant Governor, Luis Marรญn. (Applause.) Where’s Luis? Luis — come up here, Luis. Great job. (Applause.) That’s a great job. You did a great job. Well, I didn’t mean the stage, but that’s okay. Come on up here anyway. Hey, Luis. Why don’t you all come on up? Come on, you’ve been so incredible. Come on up, Mike. Come on up, on the stage. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you.

That wasn’t in the playbook but I think they deserve it. Do you agree? Right? (Applause.) Come on up. Good, Susana. Good. Great job.

I want to thank Luis for his partnership with our agencies during the unprecedented disaster that you saw what happened, and everybody saw what happened — the recovery and all of the efforts we made in Puerto Rico. It’s been an incredible, tough situation. But we fought, and we are winning that one big. And I want to thank you, Luis, and everybody. I want to thank you and the people of Puerto Rico. (Applause.)

And we stand with Puerto Rico, and we are helping them to rebuild stronger and better than ever before. And that’s what’s happening too. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Luis. (Applause.)

As we speak, our fellow citizens are being affected by the devastating impact of Hurricane Florence. Nearly 20,000 federal and military personnel are deployed to support response efforts along the Southeast Coast. These are incredible people that are going through a lot right now. We will do whatever it takes to keep the American people safe.

To every family who has lost a loved one in these really devastating hurricanes and storms: All of America grieves with you. Our hands are folded in prayer and outstretched with love. We will never, ever leave your side. (Applause.)

Today, as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we share our gratitude for all the ways Hispanic Americans make our country flourish and prosper. These are incredible people. You know you’re incredible people, don’t you? Huh? (Applause.) You know that, don’t you? Especially with that beautiful Trump hat on. Thank you. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible) Puerto Rico!

THE PRESIDENT: That’s good. That’s good. Great. Thank you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s beautiful. Thank you very much.

From our courts to our classrooms, from large boardrooms to small businesses, from statehouses to the White House, Hispanic Americans uplift our citizens and inspire our nation. You really do. You inspire our entire nation. And I want to let you know that personally.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Mr. President!

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, darling. Thank you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Viva Trump! (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Very nice. Thank you.

We especially thank the quarter of a million Hispanic Americans who serve in our military — and serve well. (Applause.) We will always honor the men and women who serve in uniform, and we are truly proud that we have secured the largest pay raise — now, unless they want to give it back. (Laughter.) Okay? Anybody want to give it back? No, don’t bother. For our troops — the largest one in a decade. So we are, really, very proud of that. And they deserve it, and they deserve it very much.

Our military, we’ve rebuilt. And we’re rebuilding our military — $700 billion. And we’re rebuilding our military. I won’t even say the second number. But the second number for the second year is $716 billion. So that’s a lot of money, but there’s nothing like what we’re doing. And it needed it. It was tired. It was depleted. But on top of that, we got those pay raises for our great military people. (Applause.) Thank you.

We also honor our great veterans, including our 1.5 million Hispanic veterans. And thanks to the passage of Veterans Choice — big thing — and Veterans Accountability — they’ve been trying for over 40 years to get those two — we are giving our veterans the care they so richly deserve. Finally. Finally. Been a lot of years. (Applause.) They’ve been waiting a lot of years.

At this event last year, I also promised that our massive tax cuts and regulation cuts would deliver tremendous prosperity to Hispanic Americans. You remember everybody said we weren’t going to be able to get them; it wasn’t going to happen. It happened. Nobody has cut regulation like we have. In less than two years, we’ve cut more regulation than any other President, and that could be for a much longer period of time. And we also delivered the biggest tax cuts ever, and reform — and tax reform.

So now we have the best economy in the history of our country. (Applause.) Big one. That’s a big one. We have created more than 4 million new jobs since the election, and the Hispanic unemployment rate has recently reached an all-time historic low in the history of our country. (Applause.)

I don’t know. I don’t know how you beat that in an election. When we say, Susana — when we say that Hispanic has reached the lowest unemployment rate in the history of our country, how does somebody beat that? Say, oh, they’re going to do better? I don’t know. I don’t think so. They’re not going to do better. In fact, it will start going in the wrong direction.

Middle-class income has reached a new all-time high, and household income grew fastest among Hispanics. Did you know that? Median income for Hispanics rose by 3.7 percent and surpassed $50,000 for the first time ever in history. (Applause.)

The poverty rate for Hispanics just reached a new all-time historic low. Nearly 350,000 Hispanics were lifted out of poverty in 2017. That’s pretty good. (Applause.) These are very hard numbers to beat. I better win the Hispanics next time, right? (Laughter.) But we did well. We did well. Did a lot better than anyone thought. But we better win it, Alex, okay? I’m going to put that on you. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY ACOSTA: We’ll make it happen.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. Thank you very much.

Nearly 40 percent of the reduction in the overall poverty rate is the result of poverty reductions among Hispanic Americans. Home ownership among Hispanics is at the highest rate in nearly a decade.

Hispanic-owned businesses now make up more than 10 percent of all businesses in the United States. That’s an incredible number. (Applause.) They contribute nearly half a trillion dollars to our economy last year alone.

The growth in Hispanic-owned businesses is over twice the national average. That’s something. That’s really — these are amazing statistics, when you think. Right? These are amazing statistics. Be proud of yourselves. That’s incredible. Of course, I’d like to take full credit. Can I take full? (Laughter and applause.) Huh? I don’t know. I wasn’t the one getting up at 5 o’clock in the morning to go to work, I know that. But I get up at five for other reasons. (Laughter.)

According to recent studies, Hispanic-owned small businesses are increasingly confident in our nation’s economic future, and 77 percent plan to grow their business over the next few years. That’s optimism.

With us today is Irina Vilariรฑo. How do you like that? Was that good? (Applause.) They wanted me to get that little emphasis on the “O.” Who is from Miami Beach, Florida and is a beautiful person. Irina is expanding her family’s restaurant business that began in the 1980s as a fruit stand after her family escaped from Cuba. And we did great with the Cuban people, didn’t we? Huh? (Applause.)

Irina, please come up and say a few words. Where is Irina? Come here.

VILARIร‘O: I’m here, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Where? Good. Good, I thought so. (Applause.)

VILARIร‘O: Thank you. Hi. Thank you. Thank you, everyone.

Good afternoon, Vice President Pence and Mr. President Trump. It is a privilege to be here in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. And while I’m very proud of my origins, I am even prouder of what we have accomplished in this great country.

This is why I propose we have an American Heritage Month. (Laughter and Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll need it.

VILARIร‘O: Right? Had it not been for the principles on which this country was founded on for its generous nature and that of its people, my family and millions that conform our Cuban-American community in South Florida, I would not be telling this story here today — the story of white rice, black beans, and the American Dream. (Applause.)

My father was a political prisoner in Cuba, and we had the opportunity to immigrate to the United States in 1980, during the Mariel Exodus.

Four years later, we opened our first restaurant, Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine, in Hollywood, Florida. Today, we employ over 400 employees in South Florida in 15 locations.

While we have worked hard, I am fully aware that our success is not solely merited on our persistence, but on the attribute of the free market principles and the opportunities available to all Americans, whether you are from Cuba, Cambodia, or Kansas.

Bureaucratic policies, senseless spending, red tape, and increased taxes do not help entrepreneurs or the middle class or anyone who is attempting to aspire above their means. On the contrary, they stifle upward mobility.

Thank you, Mr. President, for recognizing — (laughs) — how am I doing?

THE PRESIDENT: You’re doing great.

VILARIร‘O: Good. (Laughter.) Thank you, Mr. President, for recognizing we were deviating from this path, and that in order to preserve these opportunities for future generations, we must keep America great. (Applause.) Which is exactly what your tax plan, and like many other initiatives and policies you have accomplished, have done for our community.

Where there is order, law, and prosperity, there is peace. Thank you again. It’s truly an honor.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Irina.

VILARIร‘O: My pleasure. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much.

VILARIร‘O: My pleasure. Absolutely. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Irina. That’s beautiful. Thank you. Great job. That’s a lot of employees, too, isn’t it? Big business.

VILARIร‘O: Well, not half as many I would like, but we’re working on it. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s okay. I have no doubt.

Joel Garza is also here. Joel is a proud owner of 45 Sonic Burger franchises. (Applause.) It’s in the Houston area. How are they, Joel? Pretty good, huh? He employs more than 1,500 people, and that number has grown considerably in the last year. Really successful person.

Joel, please join me on stage, say a few words, and tell us a little about your success. Thank you. (Applause.)

GARZA: Thank you, Mr. President. It’s an honor to be here representing the Hispanic community, and (inaudible) on the shoulders of my family and many Hispanics that work hard every day to make America great.

Mr. President, I want to thank you for the tax reform. You know, it was, to us, a huge impact in our business. We — just last year, we opened three more restaurants and we created about 100-and-something jobs in the Houston area. (Applause.)

It’s been a lot easy for us to go to institution financials, and get — borrow money in the last few years, the last two years, than before. That’s another huge achievement that you help us to have access to capital.

THE PRESIDENT: We made it much easier.

GARZA: A lot easy.

THE PRESIDENT: Make sure you pay back the money. (Laughter.)

GARZA: That’s another thing. (Laughter.) I want to thank my lovely wife that she been with me since day one. Because when we start, it was not easy. Angie. (Applause.)

And like a typical Hispanic, my daughter Gigi (ph), my son Joe, Jr., and my son Andy, my parents, my grandkids, and especially a real good friend of mine that make this possible to be here with you, Rick Figueroa and Mario. I don’t know where they at. (Applause.)

And all we ask is that God give you health; that way you can be with us and guide this country in the right direction. (Applause.)

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s beautiful. What a beautiful statement that is. So I want to thank Joel. America is winning again. And Hispanic owned-businesses are leading the way. They are winning again. (Applause.)

Hispanic Americans are not only living the American Dream, but their incredible efforts are unlocking the American Dream for citizens all across our land. You’re doing a fantastic job.

Today and every day, we honor, cherish, and celebrate Hispanic American workers, families, students, businesses, and leaders. You have great leaders. And we also remember that America is home to people from many backgrounds, with many different stories, and hailing from every single walk of life.

But we are all one people. We are all part of one great American family. And we are all in this together, saluting one flag, singing one anthem, and pledging allegiance to one nation under God. (Applause.)

God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you. God bless America. (Applause.)

END

5:41 P.M. EDT

USA: Former Youth Basketball Coach Charged With Sexually Assaulting 8 Teen Boys At Santa Clarita Valley High Schools ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

KTLA News, Los Angeles local
written by Marissa Wenzke
Friday September 14, 2018

A former youth basketball coach at a number of Santa Clarita Valley high schools was charged with sexually assaulting eight teen boys he was training and coaching and was expected to be arraigned Friday, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Jeremy Andre Haggerty, who has worked as a coach and personal trainer for the sport, now faces eight counts of sexual battery, four counts of lewd act upon a child and one count of attempted lewd act upon a child, according to prosecutors. He stands accused of assaulting a total of eight victims — who ranged from 14 to 17 years old — while they were under his coaching or training, the DA’s office said.

He’s expected to be arraigned Friday after being arrested just a day earlier.

Last month, detectives first started investigating Haggerty, 34, after one of the victims reported an allegation against him. Since then, investigators have come across another seven people accusing him of assaults dating back to 2008, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

News releases from the department and the DA’s office do not name the schools where the alleged assaults took place, but Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal authorities believe Haggerty was living in Orange County and working at a school there at the time of his arrest Thursday morning.

He declined to give the name of the school to the newspaper but said there could be other victims out there.

The crimes mostly took place inside the homes of the victims — when he was doing so-called training sessions that involved massaging the teens, Hudson told KTLA after Haggerty’s arrest.

Haggerty told parents that the physical treatment mirrored methods being used by college-level and professional basketball players, according to Hudson.

“He would tell them I need to perform some ‘body maintenance’ on you, and that was another term essentially for massaging,” Hudson told KTLA. “He would get the kids alone, have them disrobe and essentially perform massages on them that eventually led to him touching them inappropriately.”

It’s unclear where Haggerty has worked in recent years but an August 2014 article in the Signal describes him as the newly named head basketball coach for Trinity Classical Academy, a private Christian school in Valencia. At the time, he had been assistant coaching at Trinity after working as an assistant coach at West Ranch High, a public high school in Stevenson Ranch, for the 2012-13 season, the article states.

Before that, he worked as an assistant coach — off-and-on for nearly eight years — at Canyon High, a public school in Canyon Country where Haggerty was once a star player, according to the Signal article.

Trinity, a K-12 private school, appears to be the last school where Haggerty was publicly reported to be working. In a statement to parents, reported by the Signal, the school states Haggerty stopped working there in 2016 and the alleged assaults did not happen on campus but during private training sessions with Haggerty.

The statement also tells its readers “to pray for the situation” and “please refrain from any discussion” or posting on social media.

Haggerty was being held on $300,000 bail after his arrest, inmate records show.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated tuition costs for a school. The post has since been updated.

USA: Another Fake Hate Crime, Long Island Police Arrested And Charged A Woman Who Filed A False Police Report Accusing 4 Teenage Trump Supporters.

Breitbart News
written by Katherine Rodriguez
Sunday September 16, 2018

Authorities have arrested and charged a woman in Long Island for making up a story about a Trump-related hate crime, police said.

Adwoa Lewis, 19, told detectives Friday four teenagers confronted her as she was driving home on September 2, yelling “Trump 2016!” before stating that she did not belong here.

Lewis also claimed that she parked her vehicle in front of her house, then woke up the next morning to find her car’s tires slashed and a note with the words, “Go home,” police said.

But when authorities investigated the alleged incident, police found that Lewis fabricated the tale and the incident never took place.

Lewis later admitted to officers she placed the hand-written note on her car, police said.

Authorities charged Lewis with one count of making a false punishable written statement before releasing her on an appearance ticket.

Authorities have received many reports of alleged “hate-crimes” in connection with the 2016 presidential election.

In November 2016, a black man in Massachusetts admitted that he made up a story about two white men threatening to lynch him while saying the U.S. is “Trump country,” and an 18-year-old Muslim woman in Louisiana told police she lied when she claimed Trump supporters removed her hijab and called her names.

Police charged the 18-year-old with filing a false police report.

USA: Your Social Security Check Could Be Bigger Next Year. Data Collected Point To A 2.8 Percent Increase, Which Would Be The Highest Increase Retirees Have Seen In Recent Years.

CNBC news
written by Lorie Konish
Monday September 17, 2018
  • Every October, the Social Security Administration announces a cost-of-living adjustment for the next year's benefits.

  • Data collected thus far point to a 2.8 percent increase, which would be the highest increase retirees have seen in recent years.

  • While that increase could pad your wallet, the high costs of health care could affect how far your Social Security checks can stretch.

Good news for those who are collecting Social Security: Your monthly checks likely will be bigger next year.

The Social Security Administration generally announces its cost-of-living adjustment in October.

The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan organization, keeps an ongoing estimate of what that increase could be. The latest estimate — excluding September — pegs that increase at 2.8 percent. For those collecting the average Social Security benefit of about $1,400, that would mean an extra $39 a month.

If that does not change between now and October, that will be the highest bump retirees have seen in recent years.

In 2018, the cost-of-living adjustment increased by 2 percent, though for many that increase was eaten up by higher Medicare premiums.

In 2017, the cost of living adjustment was just 0.3 percent, while in 2016, it was zero.

Cost-of-living adjustments are aimed at ensuring that benefits keep up with inflation.

The adjustments are calculated each year using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W.

That index is based on the buying habits, including goods and services, of workers who are under 62 years old.

The cost-of-living adjustment for 2019 could still change, according to Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League.

"There is a chance it could be slightly lower than 2.8 [percent] and that's complicated by hurricanes," Johnson said.

That's because the 12-month average inflation rate has recently been in a downward trend, she said. But hurricanes tend to drive up costs, and therefore the cost-of-living adjustment. Those two forces will likely cancel each other out, Johnson said, making a 2.8 percent increase "probable," according to today's outlook.

What it means for you

"This will be the first year that a lot of people, a lot of the newly elected folks on Social Security, will actually experience [an increase]," said Joe Elsasser, president of Covisum, a provider of Social Security timing software.

For baby boomers who have larger Social Security checks than average, this will result in a "real increase," Elsasser said.

Those with lower benefits — such as people receiving spousal benefits — always face the risk that their Medicare premium will offset any Social Security increase, Johnson said. Spousal benefits pay half of your significant other's benefit, provided you have been married for at least 10 years and they are eligible for Social Security based on their work record.

Consider Medicare

While for many, the costs of Medicare premiums erased the boost Social Security saw in 2018, that is unlikely to happen again this year, Johnson said.

The cost of Medicare Part B premiums is deducted from Social Security payments every month, provided you are receiving benefits. There is a rule — called the hold harmless provision — that prevents the amount of your previous year's benefit from getting decreased because of Medicare premium costs, though there are exceptions.

The Medicare Part B premium for 2019 will not be announced until after the Social Security Administration announces the cost-of-living adjustment in October. The most recent estimates indicate those premiums for many recipients will cost $135.50 in 2019.

How far your benefits go
One problem that the CPI-W index tends to overlook is the rising cost of health-care services and prescription drugs have on retirees, Johnson said. While the CPI-W estimates that individuals are spending about 7 percent of their household budgets on those expenses, older individuals are paying closer to 14 percent to 15 percent, Johnson said.

Because of that, The Senior Citizens League is advocating for legislation that would instead base cost-of-living adjustments on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, or CPI-E.

"Tying the cost of living adjustment to the CPI-E would modestly increase the COLAs that people would receive," Johnson said.

While the change would cost the program more, it could be paid for by raising the maximum amount of wages subject to taxation, Johnson said.

USA: North Dakota Is Producing As Much Oil As The Entire Country Of Venezuela; Pipeline Company Promotes Landfarming To Clean Up North Dakota Oil Spills. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘

The Daily Caller
written by Jason Hopkins, Energy Investigator
Monday September 17, 2018

The single state of North Dakota is now producing as much oil as Venezuela, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

While Venezuela continues to falter under its socialist regime, North Dakota continues its historic rise in crude oil production. The sparsely populated midwestern state churned out 1.27 million barrels a day in July, according to data reported by Bloomberg. This is approximately the same level of production seen in Venezuela during the same month.

The numbers provide a snapshot of how much the industry landscape has evolved in the two places.

Much like other regions in the United States, North Dakota has experienced a shale oil boom in recent years. The advent of hydraulic fracturing has allowed North Dakota — home of the Bakken shale play — to produce oil at rates four times greater than its previous peak set in the 1980s. The state is now second only to Texas in oil production and enjoys the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

The entire U.S. is smashing oil production records. Preliminary estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed the U.S. has now surpassed Saudi Arabia in crude oil output, making it the top producer in the world.

Venezuela, on the other hand, has gone in the opposite direction.

Despite sitting atop more oil reserves than any other OPEC member, Venezuelan production has dwindled considerably. Its oil production collapsed even further in August to 1.24 million barrels a day — around half the country’s output seen in early 2016. The International Energy Agency expects Venezuela’s output to drop to 1 million barrels a day by the end of 2018.
Bismarck Tribune
written by Amy Dalrymple
Monday August 20, 2018

A company that operates oil pipelines in North Dakota is promoting an alternative method to cleaning up spills: introducing bugs to contaminated soil.

Targa Resources has a pilot project in McKenzie County that is using bioremediation, also known as landfarming, to remove spilled oil and allow the soil to be reused.

“When you spill hydrocarbon, there are naturally occurring microbes − bugs − that immediately start to eat it,” said David McQuade, senior environmental director for Targa. “I’m adding a bunch more bugs that want to eat it at a faster rate.”

The company successfully completed a landfarming project on the Fort Berthold Reservation last year that treated soil contaminated by an oil pipeline spill. Instead of hauling the soil to an industrial landfill, Targa got permission from the Tribal Business Council to do bioremediation at the company's facility in New Town.

The regulatory process to do a similar project in North Dakota off of the reservation is more cumbersome, according to McQuade. He presented to the Legislature’s interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee last week, advocating for the state to streamline the permitting process so more companies will consider landfarming instead hauling the soil to landfills.

“Let’s reuse this instead of just wasting it,” McQuade said in an interview. “You can’t get it back out of the landfill once it’s there.”

The microorganisms added during the bioremediation process degrade contaminants in the soil. To accelerate the process, the contaminated soil is spread about 8 inches thick and crews work the soil periodically to make sure the microbes have enough oxygen, McQuade said.

The bugs digest the hydrocarbons and convert them to carbon dioxide, water and organic matter.

“Naturally, the soil at end of process becomes a very, very fertile material, sometimes more fertile than it was before the spill,” McQuade said.

The bioremediation process only works for hydrocarbon spills and cannot be used to remove produced water, also known as brine, he said.

With the Fort Berthold project, Targa was able to reduce the concentration of hydrocarbons to a level that is below the North Dakota Department of Health standard, which is 100 milligrams of hydrocarbon per kilogram.

Now the company is doing its first landfarming project off the reservation and under the jurisdiction of state health regulators.

The Department of Health approved a permit in June for Targa to treat just under 10,000 cubic yards of soil at the company’s Alexander crude oil pipeline terminal. The soil was contaminated in August 2015 from a pipeline spill near Watford City, the department said.

The landfarming site is constructed with soil berms and silt fencing to prevent stormwater from running on or off the location, McQuade said.

Targa will be required to submit monitoring reports to the health department, and inspectors will periodically visit the site, said Chuck Hyatt, director of the Division of Waste Management.

“Since this is somewhat of a new type of facility, we want to keep an eye on it,” Hyatt said.

Baseline testing was conducted in July on the soil beneath the treatment area, Hyatt said. The health department will be involved with making sure the contaminated soil is cleaned up to the state standard and also testing the ground underneath after the treated soil is removed.

“We’re very interested to see what the outcomes of this are,” Hyatt said.

Because the microorganisms hibernate in the winter, the project is expected to continue into next year.

The permit expires on Dec. 31, 2019. If the contamination is not removed by that date, the health department will require Targa to dispose of the soil in an industrial landfill, Hyatt said.

McQuade, who applied for the health department permit in December 2017, said the project likely could have been completed this year if he’d received the permit sooner.

McQuade said he’s meeting with policymakers and leaders of the Northwest Landowners Association about possible solutions to speed up the permitting process.

Hyatt said there are several factors for regulators to evaluate, including making sure the location is acceptable for a landfarm and preventing the risk of contaminating a new site.

Troy Coons, chairman of the Northwest Landowners Association, said the group is interested in learning more about landfarming and plans to monitor Targa’s results and tour the Alexander site.

“The key for everyone is they don’t want to be left with the contaminant or the nonproductive soil,” Coons said.

USA: Japanese Billionaire Fashion Guru Yusaku Maezawa Lands First SpaceX Moon Flight.

The Straits Times
written by Reuters
Monday September 17, 2018

HAWTHORNE, CALIFORNIA - SpaceX, Elon Musk's space transportation company, on Monday (Sept 17) named its first private passenger on a voyage around the moon as Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, the founder and chief executive of online fashion retailer Zozo.

A former drummer in a punk band, Maezawa's moon flight is tentatively planned for 2023 aboard SpaceX's forthcoming Big Falcon Rocket spaceship, taking the race to commercialise space travel to new heights.

The first person to travel to the moon since the United States' Apollo missions ended in 1972, Maezawa's identity was revealed at an event on Monday evening at the company's headquarters and rocket factory in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne.

"He's a very brave person to do this," Musk said of the Japanese entrepreneur.

Most famous outside Japan for his record-breaking US$110 million purchase of an untitled 1982 Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, Maezawa said he would invite six to eight artists to join him on the lunar orbit mission.

The billionaire chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc, Musk revealed more details of the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, the super heavy-lift launch vehicle that he promises will shuttle passengers to the moon and eventually fly humans and cargo to Mars.

The BFR could be conducting its first orbital flights in about two to three years, he said.

Musk had previously said he wanted the rocket to be ready for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, with a crewed flight in 2024, though his ambitious production targets have been known to slip.

"Its not 100 per cent certain we can bring this to flight,"Musk said of the lunar mission.

The amount Maezawa is paying for the trip was not disclosed, however, Musk said the businessman outlaid a significant deposit and will have a material impact on the cost of developing the BFR.

LATEST EXPLOIT

The 42-year-old Maezawa is one of Japan's most colorful executives and is a regular fixture in the country's gossipy weeklies with his collection of foreign and Japanese art, fast cars and celebrity girlfriend.

Maezawa made his fortune by founding the wildly popular shopping site Zozotown. His company Zozo, officially called Start Today Co Ltd, also offers a made-to-measure service using a polka dot bodysuit, the Zozosuit.

In a country known for its staid corporate culture, the businessman is one of a small group of founders widely recognised by the general public - with others including SoftBank Group Corp's Masayoshi Son and Fast Retailing's Tadashi Yanai.

With SpaceX, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic battling it out to launch private-sector spacecraft, Maezawa will join a growing list of celebrities and the ultra-rich who have secured seats on flights offered on the under-development vessels.

Those who have signed up to fly on Virgin Galactic sub-orbital missions include actor Leonardo DiCaprio and pop star Justin Bieber. A 90-minute flight costs US$250,000.

Short sightseeing trips to space aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket are likely to cost around US$200,000 to US$300,000, at least to start, Reuters reported in July.

Maezawa has already shown his penchant for fast machines, splashing out on vehicles including the Bugatti Chiron sports car and the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet SUV. And last month he tweeted that his new jet's interior is being fashioned by luxury label Hermes.

A jaunt around the moon will provide welcome publicity for his company Zozo, which has ambitious overseas sale targets to be driven by its custom-made private clothing line. The company's shares fell as much as 4.7 per cent after the news before recovering.

The diminutive Maezawa, who as a young man struggled to find clothes that fit, hopes to revolutionise the fashion industry through his Zozosuit, which once donned allows users to upload their body measurements and order a growing number of made-to-measure items.

SpaceX has already upended the space industry with its relatively low-cost reusable Falcon 9 rockets. The company has completed more than 50 successful Falcon launches and snagged billions of dollars' worth of contracts, including deals with Nasa and the US Department of Defence.

When asked about Boeing Co's CEO Dennis Muilenburg's prediction that the first humans will be carried to Mars on a Boeing rocket, Musk responded, "Game on," to the sound of cheers from employees assembled at the event.

USA: In Strict Gun-Control Chicago 75 People Were Shot In The City Over First Weekend And 60 People Were Shot Third Weekend Of August. But Go Ahead, Keep Flashing Those Anti-Police Nike Shirts.

Fox32 News, Chicago local
written by Mike Flannery
Monday September 10, 2018

New progress for police following one of the year's bloodiest weekends. It happened last month when 75 people were shot and 12 of them died.

While none of the killers have been caught, Chicago police have made a second arrest.

Antonio Macedo's been arrested for attempted murder, becoming only the second person to face charges in connection with Chicago’s most violent weekend of the year. Police say one key was the cooperation of his victim, who was struck by two bullets but survived. Tribune reporters have been following up on that weekend.

Hundreds of victims do not cooperate with police. Some fear further violence. Others, having watched vicious killers go free before, do not believe the criminal justice system will punish the one who shot them, as the mayor told FOX 32 last week.

People don't have faith judges are going to hold criminals accountable. So they take the law into their own hands. It's also a gulf of trust. Part of them not working with the police -- not the whole story -- is that they don't think that criminal is going to be held accountable for that act of violence or crime,” said Mayor Emanuel.

The Washington Post recently ranked Chicago dead last among 50 cities for solving homicides. Chicago police typically "clear" only about 5% to 10% of non-fatal shootings.

The dysfunction extends to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab, crippled by years of staff cuts. Chicago detectives complain it can take nearly a year to get DNA test results. Lab supervisors say that, in a special case, they will provide results in a few days.

A police spokesman tweeted this past weekend's anti-violence efforts: 55 illegal guns seized; 24 charged; 3 fewer shooting victims than the previous weekend; and 3 fewer homicides.

As for the 12 homicides on that bloody weekend last month? Police report no arrests, meaning those killers are literally getting away with murder.
Chicago Tribune
written by Editorial Board
Tuesday September 11, 2018

Scenes from Chicago, that notorious first weekend in August, when 75 people were shot, 12 of them fatally:

A 17-year-old boy is shot and killed while riding his bicycle in the Gresham neighborhood. The gunman gets away.

A 19-year-old man walking in Brighton Park is shot in the arm; he tries escaping into a laundromat, but a panicked employee locks the door, forcing the wounded man to run off. The shooter gets away.

Two men exit a vehicle at a Lawndale block party and open fire at a crowd of people, hitting a 13-year-old boy, two other teens and a 25-year-old man. The gunmen get away.

Aim, fire, flee. Or maybe not aim — just spray and go, leaving behind a scene of carnage, terrified residents and another crime for police to solve. That’s Chicago-style gun violence.

Think about the impact on your life and family if any of these incidents happened on the block where you live and no prompt arrests were made. Beyond the shock of exposure to violence, you’d fear for your safety because the perpetrator is still out there … somewhere. Will there be more random shootings? A targeted retaliation? Is your police department up to the job of crime-solving? Thousands of Chicagoans routinely have to ask those questions, knowing there are no certain answers.

Gun violence is a disaster for Chicago neighborhoods, but what aggravates it is the high percentage of such crimes that aren’t solved. Many shootings are gang-related, which are challenging for police to investigate. A wounded gang member may be an uncooperative victim, preferring to seek justice on the streets instead of in court. Witnesses who live amid the bloodshed may fear gang retribution if they help police. A bigger issue: A community member with knowledge of an incident may decide not to cooperate with police because he or she doesn’t trust them.

That’s all important background information, not an excuse. The Chicago Police Department struggles to crack violent crime cases. Chicago’s crime-solving rate — known as the clearance rate — for homicides is appallingly low: about 17 percent last year. The clearance rate for shootings is even lower. It has dropped from 11 percent in 2010 to 5 percent in 2016, according to a University of Chicago analysis. This is a scandal. When the bad guys recognize how easy it is to get away with murder, they feel emboldened.

Tribune reporters are examining the first weekend of August, when so many people were wounded and killed. The goal is to better understand criminal and policing patterns in order to seek explanations for the low clearance rate. This week the Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Annie Sweeney reported that so far, two people have arrested and charged with firing a gun in any of these 75 shootings. Just two.

One reason gang shootings are tough to crack is they often are sneak attacks: A shooter emerges from the shadows or fires from a moving car and disappears in a flash. In one of two cases that yielded an arrest, CPD used technology to catch a glimpse of the perpetrator. ShotSpotter acoustic sensors located the gunfire, allowing officers and analysts at the local district office to point video cameras in the direction of a fleeing car. Police made an arrest but couldn’t charge the suspect with attempted murder because the victim refused to testify. So authorities filed lesser charges including aggravated discharge of a firearm, being an armed habitual criminal and unlawful use of a weapon.

Another challenge for police is their strained relations with residents. CPD has a long record of officers abusing their authority and misusing force, especially in minority neighborhoods. The murder trial of Officer Jason Van Dyke, accused of shooting black teen Laquan McDonald 16 times, is Exhibit A. If people don’t trust the police, they won’t tip them off to what’s happening in the neighborhood.

Chicago has a crisis of gangs and guns. There’s no easy cure, but crime is certain to fester — and law-abiding residents will suffer — until more offenders are caught and convicted of violent crimes.

CBS News streamed live on Aug 6, 2018: At least 34 people were shot across Chicago over a 24-hour period beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, police said Sunday. Eleven of those shot in the flurry of violence were killed, and the others were hospitalized with injuries. Overall, police say at least 57 people were shot since Friday evening during one of the most violent weekends on record.

In a press conference Sunday afternoon, Police Chief Fred Waller said some of the shootings were targeted attacks resulting from gang violence in the area. He said several of the incidents involved gunmen firing into crowds.
Independent, UK
written by Chris Riotta, New York
Monday August 6, 2018

Chicago officials called on community members to hold shooters and gangs responsible after a violent weekend left at least 12 dead in shootings across the city.

Rahm Emanuel, the embattled Democratic mayor who faces demands to resign over continued citywide gun violence, turned the blame onto criminals and repeat offenders during a Monday press conference.

"Somebody knows who did it," the mayor said after at least 66 people were shot since Friday. "These individuals out here in the street need to stop pulling the trigger … where is the accountability for them?"

Mr Emanuel was joined by Eddie Johnson, the city’s police superintendent who has also faced criticism from activist groups over his handling of ongoing gun violence.

The conference became particularly tense at one point when a former shooter and reformed criminal activist confronted the superintendent over a lack of public safety measures that have been implemented in cities that have drastically reduced gun violence, like New York.

The superintendent defended the work of Chicago’s police department while acknowledging it "could be doing better".

"The police department isn’t here to raise children," he said. "It’s not about what the police department should do, it’s about what you should do.”

Mr Johnson called on gang members and shooters to inform police about who was potentially responsible for several seemingly targeted shootings, saying "Get your buddies to put down the guns."

At least 46 people have been arrested on gun charged in the wake of one of the most violent weekends in recent Chicago history, officials said.

Overall, gun violence across the city has been reduced throughout the year, with a 15-month consecutive decline reported in June. Last month's figures have not yet been reported.

Still, crime and gun violence remain prevalent in many regions across Chicago — specifically in four districts, where communities have started blaming Mr Emanuel and his aides for failing to resolve systemic problems.

The mayor echoed the police superintendent on Monday, claiming "there is a shortage of values about what is right, what is wrong" after the spasm of citywide violence.

"We as a city in every corner have an accountability and responsibility. If you know who did this, be a neighbour," he continued. "Speak up."

CBS News streamed live on Aug 20, 2018: At least 60 people were shot this weekend in Chicago — eight were killed, 53 wounded. Chicago PD address another weekend of violence.

Sixty-one people were shot in Chicago over the weekend, eight of them fatally, including two missing teenage boys found dead in a field late Sunday night. The bloodshed made for the second most violent weekend of the year in Chicago, and the second weekend this month at least 60 people were shot.

The bloody weekend comes two weeks after the most violent weekend of the year in Chicago, when 66 people were shot on the first weekend of August, 12 of them fatally. That weekend’s shootings prompted the Chicago Police Department to deploy hundreds of extra officers to five of the districts hardest hit by gun violence.
Chicago Sun Times
written by Nader Issa
Saturday August 4, 2018

A South Side man has been charged with shooting a 3-year-old girl and her father as they ran away from him last week in Back of the Yards.

Cook County Judge David R. Navarro denied bail Saturday for 25-year-old Cornelius D. Mossette, charged with four felonies in the July 25 shooting that wounded the man and his daughter.

About 2:40 p.m. that day, the man and girl were walking on a sidewalk in the 1900 block of West 48th Street, where Mossette pulled up about 10 feet behind them in a car, rolled down his window and started talking to them, prosecutors said Saturday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Mossette pulled out a handgun and pointed it out the window, prompting the 34-year-old man to run away with his daughter, according to prosecutors.

Mossette fired at them, striking the girl once in each leg and the man once in the right foot, prosecutors said. Both were treated at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Cornelius Mossette | Chicago Police

Officers found seven 9mm shell casings at the scene, and surveillance video from a nearby police camera showed the girl crumpled on the ground after the shooting, prosecutors said.

Chicago police arrested Mossette one week later in Park Manor, where he was stopped in the back seat of the same car used in the shooting, prosecutors said. The man wounded in the attack identified Mossette as the shooter in a photo array, authorities said.

Mossette, of Chatham, was charged with two counts each of aggravated battery with a firearm and attempted first-degree murder, court documents show. Prosecutors said Mossette was on parole at the time of the shooting for a 2012 residential burglary conviction, for which he was sentenced to eight years. That conviction was his second for the same charge in two years.

Mossette will remain jailed until his next court appearance on Wednesday.

September 16, 2018

USA: Two Catholic Priests From Chicago Were Caught In Miami Having Sex Together In Their Car In Broad Daylight. Priests Were So Engaged, They Didn’t Even Notice That Police Were There. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ


CBS4 News, Miami local
written by Staff
Tuesday September 4, 2018

MIAMI BEACH — Two Chicago-area priests were charged Monday with Lewd and Lascivious behavior and Indecent Exposure after being caught performing a sexual act inside a car parked on a Miami Beach street.

According to Miami Beach Police, 39-year-old Diego Berrio and 30-year-old Edwin Giraldo Cortez were in the front seat of a car performing oral sex.

Police got a 911 call about a lewd and lascivious incident taking place in the 1300 block of Ocean Drive.

When officers arrived, the police report states, the two were performing sex acts on each other “in full view of the public passing by on Ocean Drive and the sidewalk.”

It was 3:20 in the afternoon.

“Yesterday, we received a call indicating that two men were performing a sex act inside of a car. This is in broad daylight, 13th Street and Ocean Drive. There are no tints on the window,” explained Miami Beach Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.

When police arrived, it was still going on.

Police said Berrio and Giraldo Cortez were so engaged, they didn’t even notice that police were there.

“We observed the two males performing the sex act, the officer had to tap on the window to get their attention,” said Rodriguez.

Both men were placed under arrest without incident.

Candice Parker was with her son at the playground.

“The fact that they are priests is above and beyond shocking,” she said. “I don’t understand this kind of behavior. They’re supposed to be leading good example and they’re doing exactly the opposite.”

The arrest reports state both men are priests from Arlington Heights, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago.

The address they gave comes back to the Mission San Juan Diego Parish in Arlington Heights.

“Their profession is irrelevant, in fact our trouble with this is that this is broad daylight, for anyone to see including children. There’s a time and a place for everything and this certainly was not the time and place,” said Rodriguez.

Police point out there is a children’s playground near the intersection of 13th and Ocean Drive.

Berrio was charged with a misdemeanor charge of Lewd and Lascivious Behavior and Giraldo Cortez was also charged with a misdemeanor charge of Lewd and Lascivious Behavior plus Indecent Exposure.

Late Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Chicago released a statement regarding the two priests.

“We were informed this morning that Rev. Diego Berrio, pastor of Misiรณn San Juan Diego in Arlington Heights, Ill., and Rev. Edwin Giraldo Cortes, an extern priest from Soacha, Colombia who served at St. Aloysius Parish in Chicago for one month, August 1 to August 31, 2018, were arrested in Miami on September 3, 2018.

“Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, has removed Fr. Berrio from ministry and withdrawn his faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago, effective immediately. The archdiocese will appoint an administrator for the Misiรณn San Juan Diego as soon as possible.

“Archdiocese representatives have been in contact with Fr. Cortes’ home diocese of Soacha, Colombia and informed them that Fr. Cortes will not be granted additional faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

“It is our responsibility to ensure those who serve our people are fit for ministry. We take this matter very seriously and will provide updates as they become available.”

The two men have since bonded out of jail but had nothing to say as they left.

USA: Mahoning County Sheriff's Office In The State Of Ohio And Other Agencies Arrested 12 Pedophiles In Undercover Operation Sting Targeting Child Sexual Exploitation And Sex Trafficking.



NBC4 News, Columbus local
written by Staff
Friday August 31, 2018

CANFIELD, OH (WKBN) - Twelve men were arrested as part of a three-day undercover operation into child sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.

Among the men who were arrested is 24-year-old James Norkus, a physical education teacher at Kirkmere Elementary School in Youngstown.

Norkus has been suspended without pay from Youngstown City Schools after news of the charges was released.

The school district says it won't take any action during the investigation, but Norkus is prohibited from entering the district-owned property or having contact with student and staff during his case.

Norkus was also recently hired as the assistant varsity football coach at Leetonia Schools. He has also been suspended without pay there as well.

"It is reprehensible that anyone would arrange to meet with a juvenile for sex, but it is even more appalling when the person facing charges is an elementary school teacher," said Attorney General DeWine.

The suspects are all accused of having sexually-explicit online conversations with undercover officers posing as children. Investigators said the suspects traveled to a vacant home in Mahoning County with the intent to engage in a sexual encounter with a minor.

They face charges of importuning, unlawful sexual conduct with minors and possession of criminal tools.

Charged are the following:

James Norkus, 24, of Salem
Naji Alsagoor, 25, Boardman
Robert Canann Jr., 50, Niles
Justin Coyne, 21, Cleveland
Adam Dziedzic, 38, New Castle, Pennsylvania
Brandon Gorcheff, 26, North Lima
Thomas Maylone Jr., 29, East Liverpool
Kevin McNally, 23, Boardman
Alexander Morlan, 21, New Middletown
Andrew Nuzzi, 22, Girard
Peter Petroff Jr., 47, Boardman
Edward Webker, 41, Andover

Webker and Nuzzi are also charged with disseminating matter harmful to juveniles because investigators said they sent sexually-explicit photographs during their online chats with the undercover officers.

The Mahoning County Sheriff's Office, the Ohio Attorney General's Office and other agencies that are part of the Human Trafficking Task Force took part in the investigation.

The Mahoning County Human Trafficking Task Force got its start about a year and a half ago, and it has been working with the Attorney General's Office to set up such sex stings.

"I want everybody to know. You know, anyone who is out there who is looking to exploit anyone who is underage, that if they're on the internet and they're talking to anybody, I want them to think that it could be one of us," said Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene.

Greene recommended that parents carefully track their children's online conversations because he said predators are out there.