Thursday, January 9, 2020

A 103-year-old World War II veteran finally gets his combat medals, 75 years later

A 103-year-old World War II veteran is finally being honored for his time in the military — 75 years later. Peter Fantasia, of Somerville, Massachusetts, received eight medals including the Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, and American Defense Service Medal. US Representative Seth Moulton presented him with the medals at a special ceremony. The man previously received his Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest award for valor in combat. Fantasia served with the Lima Company, of the 3rd Battalion, of the 104th Regiment of the 26th Infantry Division as a US Army medic. He was captured in Rodalbe, France, in 1944 while tending to a wounded sergeant and lieutenant in a foxhole and was held as a prisoner of war until he was liberated by Russian forces on April 28, 1945. It took so long for Fantasia to get home that he didn’t seek after his medals. “God has been good. I don’t know what to say,” he said when he got his new medals. He expressed gratitude for his comrades and said they were with him in spirit. (WHDH)


Tennessee bill would require student athletes to compete based on gender at birth

A Tennessee lawmaker has introduced a bill that would force transgender students to play on sports team based on their sex at birth. Republican State Representative Bruce Griffey introduced the bill last month, which proposes the requirement of elementary and secondary schools receiving public funding to ensure that student athletes participate in school-sanctioned sports based on students’ biological sex indicated by an original birth certificate. This bill prohibits a school from accepting revised or amended birth certificates for the purposes of athletic participation. A school that fails to comply with these requirements will be immediately ineligible to continue receiving state and local public funds, according to a bill summary on the Tennessee General Assembly website. The bill requires the appropriate district attorney to file a civil suit against those who intentionally hinders enforcement of the bill and establishes a civil penalty of up to $10,000, the bill summary says. “Additionally, if an official is found to have violated this bill, the official’s office will be immediately vacated, and the official will be ineligible to hold public office or a position as a school administrator for five years,” the summary adds. The Representative says that the bill is meant to guarantee fairness in sports competitions statewide. Advocates for LGBTQ rights call the bill an attack on the transgender community. (WTVF)


Pier 1 Imports to close 450 stores

Furniture chain Pier 1 Imports is the first major retailer to announce store closures this year, saying it may shutter up to 450 or almost half its stores, resulting in job cuts. It says it may also close some distribution centers. The announcement marks an ominous note after a grim 2019 for brick-and-mortar retailers. The chain made the announcement after reporting a third-quarter loss of $59 million. The company has drafted a bankruptcy protection plan. (Bloomberg)


Finland to introduce a four-day working week and six-hour days

Under a massive reform by the world’s youngest prime minister, 34-year-old Sanna Marin, this will let workers spend more time with family and enjoy their lives, culture and hobbies. It follows a 2015 trial in Sweden that found working only six hours a day increased productivity. Results showed employees were happier, wealthier and more productive. In November, Microsoft Japan introduced a three-day weekend for employees and productivity went up by almost 40 percent. “This could be the next step for us in working life,” she said in a statement. The mother-of-one leads a center-left coalition with four other parties which are all headed by women, three of which are under 35. The current working week in Finland is eight hours per day, five days per week. (The Sun)


Indiana high school football player sentenced to 65 years for killing pregnant cheerleader

A 17-year-old high school football player from Mishawaka Indiana who pleaded guilty to killing a cheerleader who was pregnant with his baby was sentenced to 65 years in prison. He told detectives that he killed the 17-year-old young lady in December 2018 because she waited too long to tell him she was pregnant, preventing her from getting an abortion. She was six months pregnant when she died. The young man was 16 at the time of the murder, told investigators that he had planned for about a week to kill her and their baby. He has been in custody since his arrest in 2018 and was charged with one count of murder and one count of feticide. A judge sentenced him to 55 years for the murder charge and 10 years for feticide. The sentences will run consecutively. (NBC News)


Covington Catholic Student Nick Sandmann Gets Settlement From CNN After $275 Million Lawsuit

Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann has received a settlement from CNN after suing the network for smearing him last year. CNN agreed earlier this week to settle a lawsuit with him. The amount of the settlement was not made public during a hearing at the federal courthouse. The student also filed lawsuits against The Washington Post and NBC Universal, each for $250 million or over, and is reportedly planning to sue Gannett, owners of The Enquirer. (Fox 19)


24 people have been arrested for intentionally setting brushfires in New South Wales since November

The police announcement comes as Australia deals with devastating wildfires that have killed 24 people, killed hundreds of thousands of animals and have burnt millions of acres of forest. Two dozen people in the Australian state of New South Wales have been charged with starting brushfires in the past two months, the New South Wales Police said in a statement. In addition, the state said had taken legal action against 183 people for brushfire-related charges. According to the New South Wales police, 24 people have been arrested for deliberately starting brushfires since November 8th, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison should the suspect be proven to be “reckless about its spread.” Among those charged with starting brushfires is a 19-year-old volunteer firefighter, who was arrested in November for starting a fire and later returning to put it out. That man was told to “stand down” from volunteering with the Rural Fire Service. He was later charged with seven counts of deliberately setting fires. Also, the New South Wales Police said that it charged 47 people discarding lit cigarettes or matches on the ground in that same span — a charge that carries a maximum penalty of $5,500 (about $4,000 US) fine. It’s unclear how many, if any, of the fires started by those charged continue to burn. (New South Wales Police)


Man killed Grindr date, ate his testicles

A 50-year-old man in Shiawassee County, Michigan is accused of killing a 25-year-old Michigan man. Court documents revealed what police found on December 28th, the day they arrested him in connection with the other man’s death. Detectives said they went to the murdered man’s home to perform a welfare check as that was the last location he was believed to have been. When they entered the home, detectives testified they found him hanging naked from the ceiling. According to testimony from the detective, the murderer confessed to killing the other man. He also admitted to police he wrapped a rope around the victim’s ankles and hung him from the rafters on the ceiling. According to the documents, the murderer admitted he used the knife to cut off the victim’s testicles and then consumed them. The murderer was charged with one count of open murder and one count of mutilation of a human body. (WILX)


2020’s Best & Worst States to Raise a Family

A new report by WalletHub compared the 50 states across 50 key indicators of family-friendliness. The data set ranges from median family salary to housing affordability to unemployment rate. The best states are ranked as follows:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Massachusetts
  3. North Dakota
  4. Vermont
  5. New Hampshire

The worst states ranked are as follows:

46. Alabama
47. West Virginia
48. Louisiana
49. Mississippi
50. New Mexico

(Wallet Hub)


Kids Were Throwing Snowballs At Passing Cars — Then Police Say 1 Of The Drivers Shot Them

Throwing snowballs is a classic wintertime activity for kids, but Milwaukee police say it may have led to violence this past weekend. Two children were shot by a motorist after the driver’s car was hit by a snowball. The Milwaukee Police Department said officers responded to a shooting where they found a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy at the scene, each suffering from a “non-life threatening” gunshot wound. Based on their preliminary investigation, police believe both of the victims were part of a larger group of minors tossing snowballs at passing vehicles. After one of the snowballs hit a white Toyota, the driver allegedly fired shots at the group of kids — and hit the two victims. Both children were given first aid by authorities at the scene and then taken to a local hospital for treatment. (Milwaukee, Wisconsin Police Department Twitter)


Thursday’s Jaw Drops With The Weight Of:

  • Balloon Ascension Day
  • Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
  • National Cassoulet Day
  • National Static Electricity Day
  • Panama’s Martyr Day

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