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Top Local Story – Newnan Times-Herald

Portions of the bypass that did not need to be resurfaced while citizens (and taxpayers) are dodging holes on Clark Street and Temple Avenue half the size of Rhode Island. It does appear that the streets will eventually be repaved… one patch at a time.

President Trump should continue to withhold his tax returns because it drives the alt-left completely insane. If he released them, they would just move on to some other irrational demand. Maybe if Paul Ryan had just said, “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it, it would have passed with no problem. To the female security guard at a local shopping center, when you start threatening teenagers and kicking them off the property, you need to remember one thing. Those teenagers tell their parents what you said and did, and those same parents who shop on a weekly basis there have no problems taking their business elsewhere.

It is poetic justice that a sinkhole is appearing in front of Mar-a-Lago. For every dollar he cuts from the poor, may the hole get bigger and engulf the whole place. No harm done. I’m so sick of hearing how the word snowflake is offending folks, that’s what’s wrong with this world today. We ve got a bunch of grown crybabies getting their way too much. I got a better name for all of you. I wish the Newnan Police would enforce the no right turn on red rule at the intersection of Bullsboro and Millard Farmer. I have been in too many near misses when I am making the left from Bullsboro onto Millard Farmer. I have also been treated to aggression and horn honking when I obey that sign.

I am extremely proud that the White House budget considers the taxpayer. So tired of working two days a week to pay federal taxes that go to welfare and food stamps for many that should be working.

If your brake lights come on before your turn signals, you’ve done it wrong.

Fired Pittsburgh sergeant on stand in civil rights trial

A federal prosecutor is trying to convince a jury that a Pittsburgh police sergeant fired for pushing and punching a drunken man has since tried to “tailor” his statements about the incident so they’d fit a surveillance video the prosecutor contends doesn’t support the former officer’s version of events. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cindy Chung asked Stephen Matakovich during his federal civil rights trial Thursday if he was familiar with the concept of defendants “tailoring a statement to the known evidence.”

Chung is trying to convince a jury that Matakovich did just that after he became aware that Heinz Field surveillance cameras recorded his encounter with Gabriel Despres, then 19, during a high school championship football game on Nov. 28, 2015. Matakovich is charged with deprivation of civil rights for twice pushing and once punching Despres, allegedly without provocation, and falsification of a document for filing a police report that, Chung contends, falsely portrayed Despres as the aggressor.

“I’m sure it happens, yes,” the 48-year-old former officer replied Thursday. The jury is expected to hear closing arguments after testimony concludes Friday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, who run the stadium, sent the video to then-police Chief Cameron McLay early last year. McClay then fired Matakovich and ordered the investigation that resulted in related state court criminal charges and, later, an FBI investigation and federal charges. The federal civil rights charge carries up to 10 years in prison upon conviction, and the falsification charge up to 20 years. Matakovich also faces a state court trial next month on charges including simple assault, official oppression that is, the misuse of his official police powers and perjury stemming from his testimony at an earlier court hearing. Stadium security officers summoned police when they tried to kick Despres out of the stadium and he refused to leave. He has since pleaded guilty to citations for public drunkenness and defiant trespass, and was ordered to pay more than $900 in fines and court costs, although more serious charges that he assaulted Matakovich were dropped.

Matakovich has testified in state court and again at this trial that Despres adopted an “aggressive” posture and appeared ready to attack when Matakovich tried to get Despres to leave the stadium. Surveillance video from the stadium shows Despres with his hands at his sides and not advancing when the officer suddenly pushes him down and then strikes Despres in the face as he tries to get to his feet. Another security guard involved in the incident testified Wednesday that Despres didn’t attack or menace Matakovich and that any moves Despres made with his hands toward the officer were in panicked self-defense. That echoes the assessment of Master Police Officer David Wright, Pittsburgh’s in-house expert on the use of force. Wright previously has testified that the force used by Matakovich was “excessive” and that Despres reacted in self-preservation. Wright was in the courtroom Thursday waiting to be called by Chung to rebut the testimony of Clifford Jobe Jr. Matakovich’s defense team is paying $175 an hour to Jobe, a retired state police officer, instructor and use of force expert who testified that Matakovich’s actions were “objectively reasonable.”

If the jury agrees with Matakovich’s expert, they’ll be instructed by U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon to find him not guilty on the civil rights charge.

Crammed carry-on bags prompt new airport security measures

TAMPA, FL. Too many of us are stuffing too much into our carry-on bags. In fact, travelers cram so much into their carry-on items that TSA screeners struggle to find signs of explosives or weapons. Currently, all passengers are required to remove laptop computers from carry-on bags. But in the future, all electronics larger than cell phones, as well as food items and thick books, may be screened in their own bins.

The following airports are experimenting with this enhanced security screening process:

  • Boise (Idaho) Airport
  • Colorado Springs Airport
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (Florida) International Airport
  • Logan International Airport in Boston
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • Lubbock (Texas) Preston Smith International Airport
  • Luis Mu oz Mar n International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

The TSA will analyze if the screening method improves the screening process, and whether or not it speeds up, or bogs down, lines.

If the pilot program is a success, the TSA may roll out the program to all airports, with new rules implemented after the summer travel rush, once screeners are trained, and announcements made.

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