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Report: Missouri lawmaker should be ousted for alleged abuse

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A state House committee report says a new Missouri lawmaker accused of physically and sexually abusing his children years ago should be ousted. The Missouri House Ethics Committee on Monday released its report on Republican Rep. Rick Roeber. His now-adult children testified to House investigators earlier this year that he sexually abused two of them at the ages of 5 and 9. The committee found records that show his children reported the abuse years ago but prosecutors didn’t file charges. The committee says claims against Roeber are credible. Roeber tried to resign last week. But the House refused to accept his resignation in order to complete the investigation. 

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VP Harris sits at counter where Greensboro Four made history

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Vice President Kamala Harris took a detour while visiting North Carolina to sit at the same lunch counter where four Black college students known as the Greensboro Four conducted a peaceful sit-in 61 years ago that became a defining moment in the civil rights movement. Harris was in North Carolina on Monday to plug President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan and made an unscheduled visit to the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro. The nation’s first female Black vice president sat down at a “whites only” Woolworth’s counter where the Black students staged their historic sit-in.

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Tennessee House OKs new transgender ‘bathroom bill’

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee House lawmakers have passed a bill that would put public schools at risk of civil lawsuits if they let transgender students or employees use multi-person bathrooms or locker rooms that don’t reflect their gender at birth. The proposal cleared the House on Monday. It must now pass the Senate before it can head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk. The bill is one of several LGTBQ-related measures that the GOP-controlled General Assembly have introduced this year that critics have slammed as discriminatory. Lee recently signed a bill that bars transgender athletes from playing girls public high school or middle school sports.

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Fans allowed to attend U.S. Open at Torrey Pines if vaccinated or tested

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A limited number of spectators will be allowed at the U.S. Women’s Open in San Francisco and the U.S. Open in San Diego in June provided they are vaccinated or can show proof of a negative test for the coronavirus.

The USGA announced the policy Monday after consulting with California health officials.

While the U.S. Opens will not be the first majors to allow fans, they will be the first to hold spectators to a standard of health through the COVID-19 vaccine or testing.

The USGA did not indicate how many fans would be allowed at either championship.

The Masters did not require its spectators, believed to be about 8,000, to be tested two weeks ago at Augusta National. The PGA Championship on May 20-23 at Kiawah Island in South Carolina is allowing 10,000 fans a day who will not need to show proof of a negative test or vaccination.

On the LPGA Tour, the ANA Inspiration earlier this month in the California desert did not allow spectators.

The U.S. Women’s Open is June 3-6 at Olympic Club. The U.S. Open is at Torrey Pines on June 17-20.

According to the policy the USGA announced, face coverings and social distancing will be required for fans, staff and volunteers even if they have been vaccinated.

Spectators who live in California must show proof they have been vaccinated at least 14 days before the tournament or that they have tested negative. Still to be determined is when the test results are returned.

Those fans from outside California must have been vaccinated 14 days ahead of time.

Neither the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in New York last September nor the U.S. Women’s Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston in December were allowed spectators.

“Last year, we missed the energy that fans bring to our U.S. Open championships,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of championship for the USGA. “We are grateful to our local and state health and safety officials in California to be in a position to welcome some fans back this year.”

Tiger Woods of the US celebrates his birdie putt on the 18th hole in the fourth round of the 108th U.S. Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California on June 15, 2008. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Olympic Club has hosted the U.S. Open five times, most recently in 2012 when Webb Simpson won. This will be the first time the course will be used for the Women’s Open.

Torrey Pines is hosting the U.S. Open for the second time. Tiger Woods won in 2008 in a playoff over Rocco Mediate. The municipal course also hosts a PGA Tour event year.

Fans were not allowed at Torrey Pines in January when Patrick Reed won.

This is the first time since 1971 the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open have been held on different courses in the same state. Lee Trevino won the U.S. Open at Merion outside Philadelphia, and a week later, JoAnne Carner won the U.S. Women’s Open at The Kahkwa Club in Erie, Pennsylvania.

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More AP golf: apnews.com/hub/golf and twitter.com/AP_Sports

MTS announces $5.5M settlement, releases video following in-custody death

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WARNING: The video below contains graphic images that viewers may find disturbing.

WARNING: The video below contains graphic images and language that viewers may find disturbing.

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System announced Monday that the family of a man who died after he was taken into custody near the Santa Fe Depot downtown will receive a $5.5 million settlement. MTS also released video of the incident.

MTS Board Chair and County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced the settlement alongside Angel Zapata Hernandez’s family. Hernandez died while in custody of a MTS Code Compliance Inspector and a Transit System Security employee in October of 2019.

“MTS acknowledges that serious mistakes were made and that Angel’s death never should have happened,” Fletcher said. “Angel’s life was precious and he should not have died. We can’t let this happen again.”

The MTS officer and security employee approached Hernandez, 24, who suffered from schizophrenia, October 15, 2019 after he was seen “acting erratically” near the railroad tracks, police said at the time. After the MTS officer confronted him, Hernandez ran for about 100 yards before he stopped and “submitted to handcuffing,” MTS said in a news release.

“Concerned with his size and movements, the MTS and TSS officers took him to the ground, where they placed him in a prone, face down position,” the news release said. “During restraint, Angel stopped breathing. Despite the administration of CPR, he never resumed breathing on his own and was declared dead at 9:28 p.m.”

Attorney Eugene Iredale, who represents Hernandez’s family, alleged Hernandez died as a result of positional asphyxia when he was held prone, face-down with pressure on his back and neck. He alleged an MTS officer held Hernandez down with a knee on his neck for more than six minutes.

In a statement to City News Service, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said, “The loss of Mr. Zapata-Hernandez’ life under these circumstances is tragic and our condolences go out to his family and friends. It is notable that MTS has instituted significant policy changes because of what occurred. While the MTS employee involved was not a peace officer, this case and the policy changes undertaken are worthy of review by law enforcement to identify improvements on how lives can be better safeguarded. Based on the totality of the circumstances, evidence, and findings by the San Diego County Medical Examiner, our office has determined that criminal liability, as opposed to the different legal requirements of civil liability, could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”

San Diego police said in 2019 that Hernandez appeared to “be in medical distress” when officers arrived. They called for paramedics and provided first-aid until they were relieved by San Diego Fire-Rescue Department personnel, but all lifesaving attempts were unsuccessful.

As part of the settlement, MTS and Transit System Security agreed to changes in policies and training for their security personnel. MTS changed its use of force policy in July 2020, banning the use of carotid restraints, choke holds and knee pressure on the neck, throat or head.

“Our deepest sympathies have always been with Angel’s family,” Sharon Cooney, chief executive officer of MTS, said Monday. “In reviewing this case, MTS and TSS recognize that a different approach may have prevented Angel’s death.”

MTS also added new requirements, including mandating that use of force to “be proportional to the seriousness of the subject’s offense.” Security staff now have a duty to intervene if they witness excessive force by another employee and use de-escalation tactics when feasible. They’re also required to give warning before the use of force, the news release said.

MTS said the code compliance inspector involved in Hernandez’s death resigned “in a decision not related to this incident.” The TSS employee also resigned. 

“I am gratified that the responsible agencies have resolved this without formal litigation,” Hernandez’s mother Claudia Hernandez said. “Even more importantly, the agencies have voluntarily made changes in their training and procedures to help minimize the recurrence of unnecessary use of force. While nothing can bring back my son, these changes mean my son’s life contributed to the betterment of society.”

Iredale said the settlement should serve as a model for how cases involving wrongful death and excessive force should be handled.

New Jersey adds ‘X’ gender option on driver’s licenses and IDs

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TRENTON, N.J. (NEXSTAR) – People applying for a driver’s license or ID card in New Jersey will now no longer be limited to male and female gender markers, the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission announced Monday.

Residents who don’t identify as male or female can now select “X” during the paperwork process, according to the commission.

Those people those who would like to change the gender listed on their current card can do so by filling out a form and paying the standard $11 filing fee.

New Jersey now joins 19 other states and Washington, D.C. in offering the “X” gender marker option, according to Christian Fuscarino, executive director of Garden State Equality.

“Diversity and inclusion are core values for New Jersey, and for all of us at the MVC. We know this new option will be deeply impactful for many residents, as access to resources and the ability to live and work freely so often hinges on having documentation that correctly reflects your identity,” said MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton in a news release.

The commission said that the change was announced in February of 2020 and planned for late 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed the timeline.

“This option will allow New Jerseyans, particularly nonbinary and intersex people, to enjoy a right many of us take for granted – having ID that accurately reflects who we are,” Fuscarino said in the release. “We applaud the MVC for taking another step to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ New Jerseyans.”

Looking for NFL Draft tickets? What you need to know before you buy

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has found more people looking to buy and sell tickets to the NFL Draft online, so we investigated what you should know.

The draft now is just a week and a half away when it will be held in downtown Cleveland.

But, making a deal online for draft tickets can be dangerous.

We did a search for NFL Draft tickets. We quickly found two tickets for sale at $500 apiece.

We also found someone with an online post looking to buy tickets.

Maddie Beyer created the post from her home in San Diego looking to travel cross-country to Cleveland to see the draft in-person.

We asked about any concern she might have about getting scammed.

She answered, “That’s actually the really scary part. I have to be really careful with that process.”

The NFL says, “There is no legitimate way for tickets to be transferred or resold.”

Plus, fans need to have already received their shot against COVID-19.

Still, Maddie is ready to open her checkbook. How much would she pay? She told us,
“I would probably split it with my dad…around 700 apiece.”

Meantime, we tracked down one man in southern Ohio posting tickets for sale. But, he was not interested in talking about it for our report.

The postings about tickets showing up online now are not the first. We noticed some on a website last week that are now gone. Those were taken down by the website now listed as “flagged for removal.”

Consumer watchdogs such as the Better Business Bureau expect we’ll see more.

Over the weekend, FOX 8 introduced you to a few lucky fans. They’d just found out they got draft tickets through the Browns.

Monday, the NFL released a statement to the I-Team saying in an email.

“…you can verify that the only official way for someone to secure NFL Draft Experience tickets is exclusively through the NFL OnePass app and cannot be transferred, exchanged or resold. Tickets for the Draft Theater are for invited guests only and cannot be transferred, exchanged, or sold. Also, many of those areas within the Draft Theater require proof of vaccination.  When in doubt, fans should visit NFL.com/Draft and visit the Event Info page.”

Ohio State Highway Patrol asked to assist in Minnesota amid unrest in Derek Chauvin murder trial

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**Watch the trial’s closing arguments in the video above.**

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (WJW/AP) — While a verdict nears in Derek Chauvin’s trial in the death of George Floyd, law enforcement from Ohio is reportedly being asked to help in Minnesota.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol received a request to provide assistance in the state, the FOX 8 I-Team confirmed, and some Ohio troopers are being sent to assist. The requests reportedly came from Gov. Walz and the Minnesota State Highway Patrol.

Earlier today, politicians, religious leaders and community activists gathered in Columbus, calling for protests to remain peaceful in Ohio.

The call for calm also comes as Columbus is experiencing a record spike in gun violence and is reeling from another fatal police shooting.

Capitol officer’s cause of death revealed months after riot

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was injured while confronting rioters during the Jan. 6 insurrection, suffered a stroke and died from natural causes, the Washington, D.C., medical examiner’s office ruled Monday, a finding that lessens the chances that anyone will be charged in his death.

Investigators initially believed the officer was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, based on statements collected early in the investigation, according to two people familiar with the case. And they later thought the 42-year-old Sicknick may have ingested a chemical substance — possibly bear spray — that may have contributed to his death.

But the determination of a natural cause of death means the medical examiner found that a medical condition alone caused his death — it was not brought on by an injury. The determination is likely to significantly inhibit the ability of federal prosecutors to bring homicide charges in Sicknick’s death.

  • FILE – In this Feb. 2, 2021, file photo a placard is displayed with an image of the late U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick on it as people wait for an urn with his cremated remains to be carried into the U.S. Capitol to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington. Federal investigators probing the death Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer killed in the Jan. 6 riot, have zeroed in on a suspect seen on video appearing to spray a chemical substance on the officer before he later collapsed and died, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. (Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP, File)
  • The United States Capitol Police seal appears on the side of a bus parked near the headquarters on February 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Capitol Police announced Thursday that it has suspended six officers with pay and placed an additional 29 officers under investigation for their actions during the January 6 insurrectionist attack on the Capitol, which resulted in Officer Brian Sicknick’s death. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
  • WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 3: Members of the Capitol Police pay respects before a ceremony memorializing U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, 42, as he lies in honor in the Rotunda of the Capitol on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 in Washington DC. Officer Sicknick died as a result of injuries he sustained during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. He will lie in honor until February 3 and then be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski – Pool/Getty Images)
  • Mourners pay their respects during a Congressional tribute to the late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick who lies in honor in the Rotunda of the US Capitol building on February 3, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by KEVIN DIETSCH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-NY, delivers remarks during the memorial service for U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick, as he lies in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, DC, U.S, February 3, 2021. Kevin Dietsch/Pool via REUTERS
  • A man kneels as he pays his respects to late US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick as he lies in honor in the US Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC February 2, 2021. – The US Capitol police officer who died after being injured in the January 6 attack by pro-Trump rioters will lie in honor at the building’s Rotunda, a mark of respect rarely bestowed.
    Brian Sicknick was reportedly struck in the head with a fire extinguisher while struggling with the rioters who swarmed through the halls of Congress. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died from his injuries suffered in the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 (Nexstar)
  • Pictured: Officer Brian Sicknick, Ashli Babbitt, and Kevin Greeson. Not pictured: Rosanne Boyland and Benjamin Philips.
  • A bird is seen inside the Rotunda which will hold Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick’s remains while he lays in honor after he died during the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol Building by a pro-Trump mob on Capitol Hill February 2, 2021, in Washington, DC. – Brian Sicknick was reportedly struck in the head with a fire extinguisher while struggling with the rioters who swarmed through the halls of Congress. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
  • A US Capitol Police Officer stands at the door of the Capitol Rotunda where fellow officer Brian Sicknick, 42, will lie in honor in Washington, February 2, 2021. – The US Capitol police officer who died after being injured in the January 6 attack by pro-Trump rioters will lie in honor at the building’s Rotunda, a mark of respect rarely bestowed.
    Brian Sicknick was reportedly struck in the head with a fire extinguisher while struggling with the rioters who swarmed through the halls of Congress. (Photo by Salwan Georges / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SALWAN GEORGES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
  • US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden pay their respects to late US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, as he lies in honor in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC February 2, 2021. – Sicknick died on January 7 from injuries he sustained while protecting the US Capitol during the January 6 attack on the building (Photo by Salwan GEORGES / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SALWAN GEORGES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
  • FILE – In this Feb. 2, 2021, file photo a placard is displayed with an image of the late U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick on it as people wait for an urn with his cremated remains to be carried into the U.S. Capitol to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington. Federal investigators probing the death Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer killed in the Jan. 6 riot, have zeroed in on a suspect seen on video appearing to spray a chemical substance on the officer before he later collapsed and died, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. (Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP, File)
  • A memorial for Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick is visible near the Capitol Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. Officer Sicknick was killed by rioters in last Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol Building. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

U.S. Capitol Police said that the agency accepted the medical examiner’s findings but that the ruling didn’t change the fact that Sicknick had died in the line of duty, “courageously defending Congress and the Capitol.”

“The attack on our officers, including Brian, was an attack on our democracy,” police officials said in a statement. “The United States Capitol Police will never forget Officer Sicknick’s bravery, nor the bravery of any officer on January 6, who risked their lives to defend our democracy.”

Federal prosecutors have charged two men with using bear spray on Sicknick during the Jan. 6 riot. The arrests of George Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Julian Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania, were the closest federal prosecutors have come to identifying and charging anyone associated with the five deaths that happened during and after the riot.

Lawyers for the two men had no immediate comment Monday.

Sicknick died after defending the Capitol against the mob that stormed the building as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s electoral win over Donald Trump. It came after Trump urged his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat.

Sicknick was standing guard with other officers behind metal bicycle racks as the mob descended on the Capitol.

“Give me that bear shit,” Khater said before he reached into Tanios’ backpack, according to court papers. Tanios told Khater “not yet” because it was “still early,” but Khater responded that “they just f—ing sprayed me.” Khater was then seen holding a can of chemical spray, prosecutors say.

As the rioters began pulling on one of the racks, Khater was seen with his arm in the air and the canister in his hand while standing just 5 to 8 feet from the officers, authorities said.

In February, Sicknick became only the fifth person in history to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, a designation for those who are not elected officials, judges or military leaders. He was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Fire on Cape Town’s Table Mountain under control, smoldering

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Firefighters in Cape Town finally brought a wildfire under control Monday after it swept across the slopes of the city’s famed Table Mountain, burning the university’s historic library and forcing the evacuation of some neighborhoods.

The smoldering fire is being watched for flareups amid high winds and hot, dry conditions.

City authorities said the fire, which started early Sunday, was “largely contained” more than 24 hours later.

The fire had already badly damaged the library and other buildings on the campus of the University of Cape Town on Sunday, as well as other historic buildings nearby. Fueled by the high winds, it spread through the wild bush on the mountain slopes toward the city’s center and the surrounding residential areas.

Devil’s Peak, one of the iconic points of the mountain which overlooks downtown Cape Town, was lit up by flames as the fire raged through the night. Residents of suburbs on the mountain slopes were evacuated early Monday as the blaze came dangerously close to their homes.

Fire-fighting helicopters with water containers suspended on ropes had been scooping up water from swimming pools and the nearby ocean and dumping it on the fire. But they were grounded on Monday because of the strong winds.

Four firefighters were injured battling the blaze on the slopes, said officials. The South African army had offered to help with some of its aircraft.

“It’s a massive wind that’s blowing, and that is actually fueling the fire to spread in each and every direction,” Cape Town mayor Dan Plato said.

A man in his 30s was arrested on suspicion of arson for setting additional fires, another city official said, but it’s not clear if he was responsible for starting the blaze. The man was arrested after witnesses reported seeing three people moving through flames setting more fires, Cape Town safety and security official JP Smith said.

Smith said the city had commissioned a forensic fire investigator to look into the cause.

Wildfires on the mountains surrounding Cape Town are fairly common during the hot, dry summer months and are sometimes whipped up into huge, uncontrollable blazes by strong coastal winds. The temperature in Cape Town peaked at 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) Sunday and the winds hit the city overnight and Monday.

About 250 city and volunteer firefighters were deployed to battle the fire, which damaged four buildings at the University of Cape Town. The Jagger Library’s main reading room, where rare and unique African books and manuscripts were kept, was gutted and some of the “priceless” works had been lost, the university said. Others were saved after fire-proof doors activated and sealed off parts of the library.

Library staff had watched “in horror” from a safe distance as the building burned, the library’s executive director, Ujala Satgoor, said.

A windmill, built in 1796, and a restaurant near a memorial for the British colonial politician Cecil Rhodes also burned down.

The university has been completely evacuated and shut down and meals were being provided for around 4,000 students who had to quickly leave the university campus and their residences, according to Gift of the Givers, a disaster response organization. Many of those students were taken to local hotels, the group said. Activities at the university were suspended until at least Wednesday.

The group said it is also supplying food and water to the firefighters who had been working for more than 24 hours to control the fire.

Heavy smoke hung over parts of Cape Town and people were advised to cover their mouths and noses with wet towels or rags while being evacuated.

Dramatic videos and photos were posted on social media by people who came perilously close to the blaze on the slopes of Table Mountain, which is popular among runners and mountain bikers on the weekend.

Lisette Lombard posted a video of herself escaping from the fire after going on a trail run on Sunday. She’s seen running, breathless, as plumes of smoke rise close behind her. She said her car and others left in a parking lot were completely burnt out and she eventually found help from firefighters coming up the mountain.

“When they told me that it (the fire) is out of control, that is when the penny dropped on how dangerous the situation was and how lucky I had got,” she told South Africa’s IOL news website.