Thursday, November 26, 2020

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving | Homeland Security


Woman charged with election fraud, accused of submitting dead partner’s ballot

A woman in Cedarburg, Wisconsin was charged with election fraud after a police investigation found that she allegedly submitted an absentee ballot for her dead partner. Cedarburg police said these are the first voter fraud charges in the city’s history. Investigators said the suspect not only confessed, she also listed herself as the voter’s witness on the ballot envelope. The ability to vote is considered a sacred right and fundamental to our democracy. Police Officers said the woman admitted to filling out and submitting her spouse’s ballot. Officers said the city clerk knew something was wrong when she ran the voter’s name through the state’s voter registration database as she does with all absentee voters. It immediately identified that that voter Elizabeth Larson had deceased. Court records show the absentee ballot was signed and dated September 16 and received at the Cedarburg City Hall drop box on November 3rd. Officials believes this investigation shows the election and law enforcement systems work because the fraudulent ballot was never counted and the person accused is being held accountable. The woman faces two charges including a felony for election fraud, impersonating an elector. If convicted, she could face fines and up to four years in prison. (WTMJ)


Squirrel gets drunk off bad pears, teeters on railing

A Minnesota woman removed some bad pears from her refrigerator and left them outside for the squirrels, one of which was captured on home video looking drunk on the fermented fruit. The woman who took the video said that the squirrel first ate a little bit, then ran away, but when he came back, he was clearly inebriated. Once she realized what was going on, she took the forbidden fruit away. Her video shows the critter in an apparent daze, teetering on his hide legs with his front paws in the fruit bowl over the weekend. The squirrel appears to wobble and sway, his feet steady on a wood block, but his head starts tilting to one side, then snapping to the other. “Those pears were so old, I bet they fermented,” she said. “And then he got drunk, and I did not mean to do that. So I went out and I grabbed all the pears.” Discarded fermented fruit has been linked to similar incidents in the past, including a pack of drunken raccoons spotted in Canada last fall and another pack in West Virginia that authorities initially suspected had rabies – only to discover they’d gotten buzzed on crab apples. (KMSP)


First-time unemployment claims in the U.S. rose to 778,000 last week, a 30,000 increase from the previous week

This is a clear indication that the rise in COVID-19 cases has started to affect the labor market. These numbers marked the first time since July that initial unemployment claims rose for two consecutive weeks. Despite the rise, the numbers are still well below the peak of nearly seven million in March. Retail sales rose in October for the sixth consecutive month. However, it was only by 0.5% the lowest gain since May. The consumer confidence index fell in November to 96.1, down from 101.4, from the previous month. The unemployment rate in October fell by one percent down to 6.9%, significantly below April’s high of 14.7%. However, more than 20.4 million Americans are still relying on some type of unemployment benefit, and several major programs are going to expire on December 31st. (The Wall Street Journal)


New X-ray technique reveals clues about ancient 1,900-year-old mummy

Scientists have pioneered a new technique that allows them to investigate the insides of a 1,900-year-old mummy without having to open up and tamper with the ancient artifact. Researchers used a new combination of Computed Tomography (CT) technology and X-ray diffraction to reveal clues about a Roman-era Egyptian mummy, which was discovered in Hawara, Egypt. In the past, Egyptian mummies have been imaged noninvasively with X-rays. The team of researchers described using a combination of CT scanning and X-ray diffraction for the first time, revealing clues about the ancient corpse lying inside. Using a CT scan to create a “three dimensional roadmap” of the contents of the mummy, experts shone X-ray beams smaller than the diameter of a human hair onto the mummy to identify the objects inside the item’s wrappings. What the experts from Northwestern University, Argonne National Laboratory and Metropolitan State University of Denver found on the body, thought to belong to a 5-year-old child, surprised them. Researchers found a small chunk of very pure calcium carbonate in the mummy, which they believe is the right shape to be a scarab beetle, which was traditionally placed in an incision in the abdomen during mummification. The item gives further clues about the social status of the mummy, though not royalty, “this person was in the upper echelons of society” if such a pure material was used in their burial. A study of the body also showed the child, thought to be a girl, did not suffer a violent end. Experts believe that the technique could be used for further studies on mummies, giving further clues as to the object buried alongside the ancient corpses, without the need to disturb and tamper with bodies. (CNN)


Trump pardons former national security adviser Michael Flynn

President Donald Trump granted a pardon to his former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump made the announcement in a tweet yesterday (11/25) afternoon, ending the three-year legal saga that saw Flynn twice plead guilty to lying to the FBI during its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and later rescind the plea. “It is my great honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a full pardon,” President Trump wrote. “Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!” President Trump had said he was “strongly considering” granting Flynn a pardon as early as March, suggesting that the FBI and Justice Department lost some of Flynn’s records related to his charge of making a false statement to the FBI. (President Trump Twitter)


Mike Tyson will ‘get $10million in his return to the ring while opponent, Roy Jones Jr., will earn $1million’ for an exhibition being described as a “hard sparring session”

The 54-year-old Mike Tyson previously told TMZ that his purse will be given to ‘various charities”. Fans hoping for a decisive outcome may be disappointed. Mike Tyson told GMA earlier this week that he is “not trying to knock nobody out“, and as the California State Athletic Commission explained, there will be no judges scoring the bout. In other words: There may not be a declared winner. Mike Tyson previously revealed he dropped 100 pounds for the exhibition by going vegan and hitting the treadmill for up to two hours a day. Mike Tyson has not fought since 2005, when he quit on his stool against lowly ranked Kevin McBride. Fight fans will be asked to fork over $49.95 for the pay-per-view event that is scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 28th at 8:00 PM CST. Here are a few more rules in place for the Tyson vs. Jones Jr. exhibition:

  •  The bout will take place over 8 rounds at two minutes each.
  •  The boxers will not be required to wear head gear.
  • Tyson and Jones will be wearing 12-ounce gloves.
  • If either boxer suffers a bad cut, the exhibition is over.
  • Tyson and Jones had to undergo complete medical testing in order to be cleared for the bout and both athletes entered VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) testing prior to the contest.

(MMA Fighting)


Priest stole $260K in church donations and laundered money, South Dakota officials say

A Catholic priest convicted of stealing nearly $260,000 in church donations is going to prison. The former priest in Grand Rapids, South Dakota, was found guilty of stealing the cash from bank bags in the church and spending it on gold-plated chalices, bronze statues, a diamond ring, grand piano and Montblanc fountains pens, officials say. A federal judge sentenced the priest to seven years and nine months in prison at a recent hearing. In March, a jury convicted him of 50 counts of wire fraud, nine counts of money laundering, transportation of stolen money and five counts of false tax returns. At the sentencing hearing, the priest apologized for harming parishioners while he was angry at the church in part because of its teachings on homosexuality. He said he “disagreed with the institution” and felt treated like a “second-class citizen”. (United States Attorney’s Office)


Mystery couple leaves Arkansas steak house server $1,700 tip in cash

A waitress in Hot Springs, Arkansas found out a big tip can mean even more, after what she thought was a dropped money clip turned into a perfectly timed tip just before the holidays. In a Facebook post, she says the couple ordered a bottle of wine. She joked with them about her rookie skills when it came to wine service and promised to have the process down pat the next time they visited. The couple enjoyed their bottle and she added another party as they paid their check. They slipped out before saying goodbye to the waitress, and so she went to work cleaning the table. “Before I can grab anything I see a stack of hundreds on the ground in a green paper clip,” she admitted. She and her boss describe her mad dash to find the couple to do the right thing and return the roll of Benjamins. At which point the general owner ran after them and said “hey, I think you dropped this,’ and the couple waved her off and said ‘No. Thank you. It’s yours,'” said the general manager. That’s when the shock started. “I didn’t know what to say,” Trotta said. “I couldn’t get a word out except ‘thank you’ and I turned around and I walked inside and I counted it, and it was $1700.” The waitress has barely had time to share the story beyond the Facebook post because she’s a single mom with two elementary school boys. She only recently got the job at the steak house, and by day she works the counter at another busy restaurant. She said “I have an appointment to see my loan officer to see if I get the loan for a house, and so this is down payment money,” she said. (THV 11)



Thanksgiving may be America’s most beloved national holiday, but the details of the famous feast between the Plymouth Colony settlers and the Wampanoag Indians in November of 1621 are sketchy. The best account we have is a letter from English settler Edward Winslow that never mentions the word “Thanksgiving,” but tells of a weeklong harvest celebration that included a three-day celebration with King Massasoit and 90 Wampanoag men “so we might after a more special manner rejoice together.” Thomas Jefferson was famously the only Founding Father and early president who refused to declare days of thanksgiving and fasting in the United States. He believed in “a wall of separation between Church and State” and believed that endorsing such celebrations as president would amount to a state-sponsored religious worship.

Where was the first Thanksgiving? – Colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts that is widely acknowledged as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations. But some historians argue that Florida, not Massachusetts, may have been the true site of the first Thanksgiving in North America. In 1565, nearly 60 years before Plymouth, a Spanish fleet came ashore and planted a cross in the sandy beach to christen the new settlement of St. Augustine. To celebrate the arrival and give thanks for God’s providence, the 800 Spanish settlers shared a festive meal with the native Timucuan people.

What did they eat at the first Thanksgiving? – The Thanksgiving meal in Plymouth probably had little in common with today’s traditional holiday spread. Although turkeys were indigenous, there’s no record of a big, roasted bird at the feast. The Wampanoag brought deer and there would have been lots of local seafood (mussels, lobster, bass) plus the fruits of the first pilgrim harvest, including pumpkin. No mashed potatoes, though. Potatoes had only been recently shipped back to Europe from South America.

When did America first call for a national Thanksgiving? – America first called for a national day of thanksgiving to celebrate victory over the British in the Battle of Saratoga. In 1789, George Washington again called for national day of thanks on the last Thursday of November to commemorate the end of the Revolutionary War and the ratification of the Constitution. And during the Civil War, both the Confederacy and the Union issued Thanksgiving Day proclamations following major victories.

How long has pumpkin pie been a traditional part of Thanksgiving? – Pumpkin pie was a staple on New England Thanksgiving tables as far back as the turn of the 18th century. Legend has it that the Connecticut town of Colchester postponed its Thanksgiving feast for a week in 1705 due to a molasses shortage. There could simply be no Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie.

What is the deal with cranberries? – Cranberries were eaten by Native Americans and used as a potent red dye, but sweetened cranberry relish was almost certainly not on the first Thanksgiving table. The pilgrims had long exhausted their sugar supply by November 1621. Marcus Urann canned the first jellied cranberry sauce in 1912 and eventually founded the cranberry growers cooperative known as Ocean Spray.

Why is football a Thanksgiving tradition? – The winning combo of football and Thanksgiving kicked off way before there was anything called the NFL. The first Thanksgiving football game was a college match between Yale and Princeton in 1876, only 13 years after Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Soon after, Thanksgiving was picked for the date of the college football championships. By the 1890s, thousands of college and high school football rivalries were played every Thanksgiving.

Who was the first president to pardon a turkey? – Starting in the 1940s, farmers would gift the president with some plump birds for roast turkey over the holidays, which the first family would invariably eat. While President John F. Kennedy was the first American president to spare a turkey’s life, the annual White House tradition of “pardoning” a turkey officially started with George H.W. Bush in 1989.

Which president tried to move the date of Thanksgiving? – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt decreed in 1939 that Thanksgiving would be celebrated a week earlier due to concerns that the Christmas shopping season was cut short. “Franksgiving,” as it was known, was decried by Thanksgiving traditionalists and political rivals and was only adopted by 23 of the 48 states. Congress officially moved Thanksgiving back to the fourth Thursday of November in 1941, where it has remained ever since. 

The woman behind “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is also responsible for Thanksgiving’s recognition as a national holiday – Writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale convinced President Abraham Lincoln to officially declare Thanksgiving a national holiday, after three decades of persistent lobbying. The author also founded the American Ladies Magazine, which promoted women’s issues long before suffrage. She wrote countless articles and letters, advocating for Thanksgiving to help unify the Northern and Southern states amid gathering divisions. Hale kept at it, even after the Civil War broke out, and Lincoln actually wrote the proclamation just a week after her last letter in 1863, earning her the name the Mother of Thanksgiving.

A Thanksgiving mix-up inspired the first TV dinners – In 1953, a Swanson employee accidentally ordered a colossal shipment of Thanksgiving turkeys (260 tons, to be exact). To deal with the excess, salesman Gerry Thomas took inspiration from the prepared foods served on airplanes. He came up with the idea of filling 5,000 aluminum trays with the turkey – along with cornbread dressing, gravy, peas, and sweet potatoes to complete the offering. The 98-cents meals were a hit, especially with kids and increasingly busy households. This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. Within a single year, over 10 million were sold and a whole industry was born.

Americans prepare 46 million turkeys for Thanksgiving each year – Thanksgiving without turkey would be like Christmas without a tree, and most American families wouldn’t dream of foregoing the almighty bird. While not super popular the rest of the year, turkey is a huge hit for holidays, probably because it can serve large gatherings. On Christmas, an additional 22 million families host an encore with yet another turkey.

But not everyone eats turkey on Thanksgiving – If your family goes in a different direction on the big day, you’re not alone. According to the National Turkey Federation, 88% of Americans chow down on Thanksgiving turkey. The rest may be vegetarian or vegan, or just taking a stand against a protein that, let’s face it, doesn’t show up much the rest of the year for a reason.

You might consume up to 229 grams fat during the big meal – You might want to put on those stretchy pants before heading to Thanksgiving dinner (as if you needed a warning!) That’s about three to four times the amount of fat you should eat in a day. And while this is probably not news to those of us who go for second or third helpings of the big meal, the entire Thanksgiving dinner could total over 3,000 calories.

Only male turkeys actually gobble – Only male turkeys (appropriately named gobblers) actually make the sound. Female turkeys cackle instead. So if you’re trying to figure out whether a turkey’s male or female, just wait until they open their beaks.


Thursday Gobbles Up:

  • Day of Mourning (Thanksgiving Day)
  • Milk Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Turkey-free Thanksgiving
  • Cake Day

Add a Comment