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Kaden's Crazy News: A Fake Cop Offers to Clear an Arrest in Exchange For Beers and a Shrimp Cocktail

 If you're going to go to all the trouble to pose as a fake cop, at least set the bar nice and high when you start asking for BRIBES.

 

 

There's a 34-year-old guy named Adam Viens from Thompson, Connecticut, and over the summer, he decided he was going to pretend to be a cop.

 

 

He wound up talking to a 47-year-old guy named Keith Barnes who was facing an impaired driving charge.  And Adam told Keith he was a state trooper who was out on disability, and he offered to clear the charge.

 

 

He only wanted a small thing in return:  Some beers and a shrimp cocktail.  Dream big, kids.

 

 

Anyway, the whole thing was super suspicious, so Keith wound up calling the real cops to tell them what was going on.

 

 

And on Monday, they arrested Adam for impersonating a police officer. 

 

 

(Norwich Bulletin

 

 

(Here's his mugshot.)


Kaden's Crazy News: A Guy Is Seriously Injured While Breaking Into a Zoo to Steal a Monkey for His Girlfriend

 A 23-year-old guy named John Casford recently broke into a zoo in Wellington, New Zealand to steal a monkey for his girlfriend.  Specifically, a squirrel monkey.  And yes, they're pretty cute.

 

 

But he wasn't able to get one for her.  And he also got pretty banged up in the process.

 

 

He managed to get into the zoo, and into their enclosure.  But he FELL while trying scale a fence, and ended up with a broken leg, a sprained ankle, and two busted teeth.

 

 

He still got away.  But cops were able to track him down.  And he admitted that he was, quote, "high as a kite" when he did it.

 

 

Turns out he was also wanted on a few other charges, including some sort of road rage incident.  And a judge just sentenced him to two-and-a-half years in prison.

 

 

(New Zealand Herald)

 

 

(Here's a photo of one of the monkeys he tried to steal.)


'A-F' ratings released for Big Country school districts

 

(KTAB/KRBC) - The Texas Education Agency released 'A-F' accountability ratings for schools and districts for the first time Wednesday, showing how the Big Country stacks up against the rest of the state. 

The ratings grade districts and schools overall and also in individual categories based on student abilities at the end of the year (Student Achievement), the growth of students' abilities compared to other districts (School Progress), and how well different groups of students are performing (Closing the Gaps). 

Abilene ISD received a 'B' rating overall, and in the individual categories, the district was given a 'B' in Student Achievement and School Progress. They received a 'C' in Closing the Gaps. 

 

Factors that contributed these scores include a STAAR performance score of 75%, a college career and military readiness score of 89%, a graduation rate of 90%, a reading and math growth rate of 70%, an English Language proficiency rate of 100%, and more. 

The TEA also commended Abilene ISD, saying the district does exceptionally well in the postsecondary readiness category. 

Here's how some of the other Big Country Districts fared: 

Anson ISD

  • Overall: C
  • Student Achievement: C
  • Student Progress: C
  • Closing the Gaps: C

Baird ISD 

  • Overall: B
  • Student Achievement: B
  • School Progress: B
  • Closing the Gaps: C

Bangs ISD

  • Overall: B
  • Student Achievement: B
  • School Progress: B
  • Closing the Gaps: C

Breckenridge ISD

  • Overall: C
  • Student Achievement: B
  • School Performance: B
  • Closing the Gaps: C

Brownwood ISD

  • Overall: C
  • Student Achievement: C
  • School Progress: C
  • Closing the Gaps: D

Cisco ISD

  • Overall: B
  • Student Achievement: B
  • School Progress: B
  • Closing the Gaps: B

Coleman ISD

  • Overall: D
  • Student Achievement: C
  • School Progress: C
  • Closing the Gaps: F

Comanche ISD

  • Overall: B
  • Student Achievement: B
  • School Progress: B 
  • Closing the Gaps: B 

Clyde CISD

  • Overall: B
  • Student Achievement: B
  • School Progress: B
  • Closing the Gaps: B

Early ISD

  • Overall: A
  • Student Achievement: A
  • School Progress: A
  • Closing the Gaps: A

Jim Ned CISD

  • Overall: A
  • Student Achievement: A
  • School Progress: B
  • Closing the Gaps: A

Merkel ISD

  • Overall: D
  • Student Achievement: C
  • School Progress: D
  • Closing the Gaps: D

Ranger ISD

  • Overall: D
  • Student Achievement: D
  • Student Progress: D
  • Closing the Gaps: F

Roby CISD

  • Overall: A
  • Student Achievement: A
  • Student Progress: A
  • Closing the Gaps: B

Roscoe Collegiate ISD

  • Overall: B
  • Student Achievement: B
  • School Progress: B
  • Closing the Gaps: B

Snyder ISD

  • Overall: C
  • Student Achievement: C
  • School Progress: C
  • Closing the Gaps: D

Stamford ISD

  • Overall: B
  • Student Achievement: B
  • School Progress: A
  • Closing the Gaps: B

Sweetwater ISD 

  • Overall: C 
  • Student Achievement: C
  • Student Progress: C
  • Closing the Gaps: D
  •  

Wylie ISD

  • Overall: A
  • Student Achievement A
  • School Progress: B
  • Closing the Gaps: A

To view additional information, including grades for other Big County school districts as well as grades for each individual school campus, visit the Texas Education Agency's School Report Card portal.

 

 


Thieves steal truck filled with $98,000 worth of Ramen noodles

FAYETTE COUNTY, Georiga (WCMH) - Police in Georgia are looking for some crooks who made off with nearly $100,000 worth of Ramen Noodles.

Deputies in Fayette County say the thieves stole the 53-foot trailer packed with the noodles about two weeks ago, Fox 5 Atlanta reports. The theft is just one of a string of thefts deputies believe are related.

Here's exactly how many packs of Ramen the thieves made off with. 

  • The driver of the truck estimated there were $98,000 worth of noodles in the back.
  • A 48 pack of Ramen at Sam's Club costs about $9
  • That means 520,000 packs of Ramen Noodles were stolen

WXIA says no arrests have been made so far.


Kaden's Crazy News: Two 70-Year-Old Men Get Into a Fist Fight Over Free Samples at Costco

Frankly I'm surprised something like this doesn't happen at a Costco every single weekend.  Free samples do strange things to otherwise normal people.

 

 

A 70-year-old guy was at a Costco in Greenville, South Carolina on Sunday and he was patiently waiting in line for a free cheese sample.  Then, suddenly, a 72-year-old man CUT the line, grabbed some cheese, and walked off.

 

 

The 70-year-old let it go . . . but then, when he was in line for a free cheeseburger sample and he saw the 72-year-old coming to pull the same move again, he had to do something.

 

 

He confronted the guy . . . and the guy HIT him in the head and knocked off his hat and glasses.

 

 

The cops came, but after they talked to both of the guys and some witnesses, they decided not to make any arrests. 

 

 

(The State)


Facebook adds tools to help users track time spent — and set time limits

 Facebook announced on Wednesday new features meant to help people manage and limit the amount of time they spend on the company's apps.

The new tools give users their daily average of time spent on both the Facebook and Instagram apps, as well as the ability to set a time limit for daily use and mute app notifications for a specific time period.

The new features come amid growing concerns from mental health experts and a vocal group of technologists about the impact social media is having on people.

 

Ameet Ranadive, product management director at Instagram, and David Ginsberg, director of research at Facebook, wrote in a blog post that the new features were designed with the goal of addressing these issues.

“We developed these tools based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organizations, academics, our own research and feedback from our community,” Facebook wrote in a blog post. “We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring.”

Instagram and Facebook have already been updating and improving the apps to help users limit and enjoy their time online. Facebook added new feature to its News Feed that allowed people to hide posts, unfollow people and snooze keywords, while Instagram created the “You’re All Caught Up” indicator, which tells people when they have seen all updates in their feed.

“It’s not just about the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram but how they spend that time,” Ranadive and Ginsberg wrote in the post. “It’s our responsibility to talk openly about how time online impacts people — and we take that responsibility seriously. These new tools are an important first step, and we are committed to continuing our work to foster safe, kind and supportive communities for everyone.”


More than 300 welding jobs available in Abilene area

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - More than 300 welding jobs are open in the Abilene area, creating a need for qualified employees. 

Texas State Technical College Breckenridge offers a three-semester welding class that certifies graduates to fill these in-demand jobs. 

Stephen Hope, a TSTC Welding Technology instructor in Breckenridge, said students typically have jobs when they graduate.

 

"There are so many welding jobs available right now that they can't fill a lot of their positions," he said.

Federal experts project the welding industry will only continue to grow in the coming years, growing to nearly 427,000 jobs. 

 

For more information on TSTC's welding program, visit tstc.edu.

 


A new program is coming to Abilene to help homeless people get a job

 Work Again West Texas, a program inspired by other cities to help homeless people get a hand up and not a hand out.

"They are successfully providing jobs but what really appealed to me is they are not only providing jobs and day labor it's much more than that they seem to be having some good suitability. Neighbors who genuinely want to work and then are transitioning into other jobs," said Megan Dobbs, chair, Work Again West Texas Advisory Board.

The program hoping to start here in Abilene in the fall, picking up five people a day, twice a week for $26.09 a day in pay.

"Goodwill's responsibility will be insuring they have the proper identification in order to go out and work to take them to the work site and help over see that and then bring them back to our career center so that they can access resources and ensure they get paid for that day," said Kevin Bradford, President & CEO, Goodwill. 

They say this insures the neighbors by getting them a job while also cleaning the community and inspiring new careers.

"The city allowing us to go into neighborhoods and allies to clean up really shows their commitment to helping our neighbors find satiability," said Bradford.

The employers need them too.

"Who need more people in those kind of entry level beginning jobs and we really think that the people who really work hard in this program could easily transition into full time work in our city," said Dobbs.


City of Abilene could allow dogs on certain restaurant patios

The City of Abilene is considering enacting an ordinance that would allow dogs on certain restaurant patios.

Right now, dogs are banned from all food establishments under the Texas Food Establishment Rules.

Abilene has adopted the blanket ban, per TFER, but City officials recently learned they can grant variances to certain businesses to allow dogs on their patios.

 

These businesses must have an outdoor patio with a separate entrance that would keep dogs from going inside the food establishment, as the dogs will never be allowed inside restaurants or playground areas.

Businesses must also display signs that read, "DOG FRIENDLY PATIO: DOG ACCESS TO OUTDOOR PATIO ONLY", and "to report a dog incident, please contact Abilene Animal Services".

In the coming weeks, city council members will decide on enacting an ordinance that would enable them to grant variances to allow dogs on restaurant patios in Abilene.

If the ordinance is enacted, businesses wishing to allow dogs on their patios will have to apply for a variance with the City. 


Baby delivered in San Antonio Chick-Fil-A bathroom

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KXAN) — A baby girl is doing well after being born in a very unlikely place: the bathroom of a Chick-Fil-A in San Antonio.

Robert Griffin posted the story on Facebook, saying he and his wife Maggie were meeting a friend at Chick-Fil-A Tuesday so they could drop off their daughters before they headed to the hospital. By that time, Maggie had started going into labor, and really had to use the restroom. 

Although the restaurant was closed, staff let her inside.

"I loaded the kids into our friends car, kissed them goodnight, and went in to find Maggie," Robert wrote. "The manager said 'she’s in the restroom and she’s screaming'. So there we were.....my wife and I in a tiny stall in the bathroom."

 

Robert told his wife "sweetie, we are gonna have to do this right here, right now," and told the manager to call 911 and get him some towels. As their little girl began to arrive, he saw the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around her neck. He carefully unwrapped it.

"With two more strong pushes, and using my shirt for a towel, out came Gracelyn Mae Violet Griffin," Robert wrote. He had been speaking to first responders on the phone during the birth, and paramedics arrived to check out mom and baby. 

He says while the situation wasn't ideal, it all worked out. Robert even says her birth certificate says "Born in Chick-Fil-A" on it. According to KSAT, the company has promised her free Chick-Fil-A for life and the franchise owners are already helping plan her first birthday.

"I thinks it’s pretty ironic that a proud conservative, Christian family would have a baby in a Chick-Fil-A, and wrapped in a Trump 2020 T-shirt! BOOM," Robert added at the end of his post.


Hardin-Simmons hires new Director of Bands

ABILENE, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) - Dr. Robert Tucker, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and President Eric Bruntmyer are proud to announce the hiring of a new Director of Bands for Hardin-Simmons University.

Mr. Bill Harden, an HSU alumnus, has accepted the position of Director of Bands. "Bill comes to us with many years of successful experience as a Texas band director," says Dr. Robert Tucker. "He is also an outstanding musician and a Hardin-Simmons alum. We are excited for his leadership with the Cowboy Band and the Concert Band." 

Mr. Harden has a great deal of experience as a band director, he has been the Band Director at Odessa HS since 1998. He has also been a bassoonist with the Midland Odessa Symphony Orchestra since 1988. He received his bachelor's from HSU in 1986, and a master's of music from the University of Cincinnati in 1988. 

 

"I am very excited to be coming back to where I learned to be a music educator," says Mr. Harden. "My experiences at HSU, especially with the Cowboy Band, have helped to make me the person I am today. I'm excited to meet the young men and women who make up the World Famous Cowboy Band of today!"

The administration is committed to the legacy and the Cowboy Band, explains President Bruntmyer.

"Recently I was honored to play the maracas and cymbals with the World Famous Cowboy Band. They have so much fun playing great music and sharing their personalities during their performances.

Because of this, I want every band kid to come to Hardin-Simmons to experience the Cowboy Band!

But, these experiences are only made possible by great leadership. During the past 95 years we have been blessed with so many wonderful directors and I look forward to welcoming Billy Harden back to campus this fall as he leads the band." 

The HSU Cowboy Band Foundation is also excited to welcome Mr. Harden, "The Cowboy Band Foundation looks forward to a continued positive relationship with Hardin-Simmons and the HSU School of Music," says Mr. Jay Lester, 2nd Vice Chair of the HSU Cowboy Band Foundation.

"We are excited to welcome Bill Harden, a Cowboy Band graduate from 1986. He has already started planning for the future by setting some goals for the band, including travel, recruitment and retention of members, and a positive relationship with the band foundation. The future looks bright for the Cowboy Band!" 

Mr. Harden is currently out of the country, but will begin his work at HSU in early August. 

 

This article is a press release from Hardin-Simmons University


Taylor County deputy's kidney donation 'went very well'

A Taylor County Sheriff's deputy kidney donation surgery went very well, and now he's in recovery! 

CID Sgt. Jay Jones is becoming a hero in a new way by donating a kidney to Clayton Bolt of Abilene.

The Sheriff's Office said no one in Bolt's family was a match. Jones' wife is friends with Bolt's sister and when Bolt heard of the situation, he volunteered to donate his kidney should he be a match.

 

Fast forward through a bunch of tests and it was determined Jones was a match.

"You spend your entire career serving, then you really get a chance to serve," Jones said.


Researchers use baby teeth to test for autism

Scientists have developed a test that can determine if a child has autism by looking at their baby teeth. 

The research takes a closer look at how children metabolize metals, which is critical to neurodevelopment in early life.

As a child grows, a new layer of tooth is formed every day based on the chemicals circulating in that child's body, similar to growth rings on a tree. So, these scientists looked at a study of baby teeth in Sweden involving 200 twins. Those researchers used a laser to test whether zinc-copper cycles were different in those with autism and they were. The study was then done again in the U.S. and U.K. 
    
From that data, the scientists developed an algorithm that is 90 percent accurate in distinguishing between teeth of children with autism and without. The authors published their findings in the journal Science Advances

 

Currently, a biochemical test does not exist for autism. Doctors diagnose the disorder using clinical assessments and observations. But since children lose their teeth too late for this test to be helpful, experts say this is just one step toward an end goal. 

"They're hoping that future work would look at developing some type of prenatal or blood assay to be able to essentially look at, ok, we can expect possibly autism from this test," Dr. LaQuia Vinson, Riley Hospital for Children pediatric dentist, said. 

If parents can find out earlier their child may have autism, doctors can begin intervention and know sooner about any medical conditions commonly associated with autism. 

Teeth actually begin to form as early as four weeks in utero, so dentists and doctors say they can be a very good indicator of a child's health history. 

There are some developmental and behavioral warning signs for autism parents can look out for, according to HelpGuide.org

Your baby or toddler doesn't:

  • Make eye contact, such as looking at you when being fed or smiling when being smiled at
  • Respond to his or her name, or to the sound of a familiar voice
  • Follow objects visually or follow your gesture when you point things out
  • Point or wave goodbye, or use other gestures to communicate
  • Make noises to get your attention
  • Initiate or respond to cuddling or reach out to be picked up
  • Imitate your movements and facial expressions
  • Play with other people or share interest and enjoyment
  • Notice or care if you hurt yourself or experience discomfort

Saying the state is violating a voter registration law, judge gives Texas until Thursday to fix

Texas has less than a week to tell a federal judge in San Antonio how it will begin complying with the National Voter Registration Act, a decades-old federal law aimed at making it easier for people to register to vote by forcing states to allow registration while drivers apply for or renew their driver’s licenses.  

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled more than a month ago that Texas was violating the law, sometimes called the Motor Voter Act, by not allowing Texas drivers to register to vote when they update their driver’s license information online. But it wasn’t clear until this week what exactly state officials would have to do to address that — and by when they’d have to do it.

Now, Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project — which sued the state over the issue in 2016, saying Texas’ current system disenfranchised thousands of voters and violated the U.S. Constitution — have until Thursday to propose a detailed fix for the system. After that, Garcia will weigh the proposals and order a remedy.

“Defendants are violating [several sections] of the NVRA and their excuse for noncompliance is not supported by the facts or the law,” Garcia ruled in a strongly-worded 61-page opinion.

Texas Civil Rights Project President Mimi Marziani said her group will fight to get a fix in place in time for voters to register for this fall’s midterm elections. The deadline for Texas’ closest election — May 22 primary runoff races — has already passed.

The Texas Civil Rights Project has offered to work with the state to submit a remedy both sides can support. The Texas Attorney General’s Office said Friday it was “reviewing the order and weighing our options.” But a spokesman already pledged last month to appeal Garcia’s ruling.

"We are not surprised by the order ... by this particular judge," spokesman Marc Rylander said at the time. "The Fifth Circuit will not give merit to such judicial activism because Texas voter registration is consistent with federal voter laws."

But, Marziani said, the state will not have the opportunity to appeal until after Garcia weighs in on the remedies each side proposes.

The lawsuit centers on what plaintiffs characterize as a confusing procedure for registering to vote through the Department of Public Safety’s online system. Plaintiffs said that Texans updating their driver’s license information online were asked whether they wanted also to register to vote; when users checked “yes” to that prompt, they were directed to a registration form that they had to print out and send to their county registrar.

Though the website specifies that checking yes “does not register you to vote,” that language has caused “widespread confusion” among Texans who incorrectly thought their voting registration had been updated, the plaintiffs claimed.

The state argued that its practices followed federal law. But lawyers for the Texas Attorney General’s Office could not convince Garcia to dismiss the case.

The state also argued that there are technological difficulties associated with online voter registration even in this narrow form, particularly because state law requires a signature when an individual registers to vote. But the state already keeps an electronic signature on file, officials told the court.

“With motor voters’ electronic signatures already in the voter registration agency’s possession, there is no reason why Defendants could not register them to vote in a simultaneous online transaction,” Garcia wrote.

Marziani summed up Garcia’s thorough order succinctly: “Legally, the state has to make this change, and technologically, there’s nothing standing in their way.”

Voting rights advocates are hopeful that Garcia’s ruling will open the doors to a wider system of online voter registration in Texas.

Texas is one of about a dozen states that does not yet provide for any form of online voter registration — a system critics warn would make the state’s elections vulnerable to voter fraud. Most experts reject those claims.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/11/federal-judge-texas-must-propose-remedy-voting-rights-violation/.

Texas Tribune mission statement

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.


Motorcycles banned from Western Heritage Classic Parade after horse pulling Senator bolts

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - Motorcycles have been banned from the Western Heritage Classic Parade after a horse pulling Texas Senator Dawn Buckingham bolted, causing her carriage to overturn. 

The horse, which was pulling Senator Buckingham and one of her aides, was spooked when motorcyclists "revved their engines under the underpass of North First at Oak St," according to a press release from the Abilene Police Department.

Buckingham and the aide were able to jump from the carriage without injury, but the press release states the driver was thrown and ended up under the carriage. She was transported to the hospital with minor injuries and has since been released. 

A Taylor County Expo Center representative says  that because of this incident, "motorcycles will not be allowed in the Western Heritage Classic Parade in the future."

KTAB and KRBC are working to determine if motorcycles will be banned from other parades as well.


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