News by Professionals 4 Professionals

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Security guard sexually assaulted woman at psychiatric hospital, cops say

TRENTON[1] – A security officer at Ann Klein Forensic Center has been charged with sexually assaulting a resident at the facility and taking photos of her breasts, according to Mercer County authorities.

Kenneth Glover, 38 (Photo courtesy of NJSP)

Kenneth Glover, 38, was charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, two counts of second-degree sexual assault, second-degree official misconduct and invasion of privacy. Glover was charged on March 8 and accused of sexually assaulting the woman on two separate occasions in March. Glover, who worked as a medical security officer for the center at the time of his arrest, was ordered by a judge to remain detained pending the outcome of his case.

According to court records, Glover has worked with the center since October 2015 and makes $44,302 a year.

The Ann Klein Forensic Center “provides care and treatment to individuals suffering from mental illness who are also within the legal system.”

Anna Merriman may be reached at . Follow her on Twitter @anna_merriman[3][2]

References

  1. ^ TRENTON (nj.com)
  2. ^

Cleveland man shot three times outside West Side bar

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Cleveland man was shot three times and survived after an early-morning shooting outside a West Side bar. The 23-year-old victim suffered gunshot wounds to his abdomen, hand and foot. He underwent surgery after paramedics took him to MetroHealth, a Cleveland police report says. The incident began about 1:30 a.m. inside R.O.C. Bar Cleveland, located at Western Avenue and West 105th Street in the city’s Cudell neighborhood, according to the report.

Witnesses said a fight broke out between the gunshot victim and several other men near the bar’s pool table, the report says. Someone sprayed pepper spray into the air during the melee, prompting security guards to force the group fighting outside. One guard told police he heard several gunshots as he closed the front door. Minutes later, the 23-year-old ran back inside and said he was shot, the report says.

A group of women helped the man outside through a kitchen door before loading him into a car. He was dropped off at the hospital a short while later, the report says.

Police later found five spent bullets just outside the bar’s front door. They also found two bullet holes in a security guard’s 2001 Buick Park Avenue that was parked on the street.

To comment on this story, please visit cleveland.com’s crime and courts comments section. [1]

References

  1. ^ cleveland.com’s crime and courts comments section. (www.cleveland.com)

Trump budget cuts could take aim at coastal Alabama

President Donald Trump’s budget that will be sent to Capitol Hill Thursday is expected to carry deep cuts to agencies and organizations with a long-standing presence in coastal Alabama. It’s a region of the country where Trump received strong support on Election Day, and an area that saw packed campaign rallies before and after his election. The federal spending plan, reported in recent days by national news media outlets[1], includes a 14 percent cut to the U.S. Coast Guard, which has operations in Mobile and Dauphin Island; a 17 percent cut to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and 11 percent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Environmental Protection Agency, which funds a wide array of programs affecting the Gulf Coast, is slated for a 25 percent cut. The cuts have local environmental groups and governments that rely on the federal funding on edge. The administration’s aim is to bolster spending to beef up U.S.-Mexico border security and to erect a wall along the southern border. The wall was one of Trump’s signature election promises. Chants of “Build the wall” were repeated during the president’s campaign rallies in Mobile.

“We are very concerned about the future,” said Roberta Swan, director of the Mobile Bay Estuary Program[2] which is part of the EPA’s budget and could be cut completely if the federal agency decides to approve it.

The budget ax, as outlined, could trickle down to long established programs in coastal Alabama such as the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, which includes Weeks Bay and the Grand Bay Reserve in Moss Point, Miss. Also proposed is the elimination of the $73 million Sea Grant program[3] that has long provided support for fisheries and tourism in coastal Alabama.

“A reduction in regulations would have a significant impact on our work to protect the Mobile Bay watershed, but the cuts proposed would have a dramatic impact,” said Casi Callaway, executive director of Mobile Baykeeper. Jobs could also be on the line. More than 2,100 employees in the Mobile area could be affected if the budget proposal also includes the elimination of a $600 million contract to build a new cutter that always underway at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss.

‘Just a proposal’

Federal lawmakers in Mississippi and Florida are sounding alarm bells and have criticized the early budget plan. Their criticism has mostly focused on the cuts to the Coast Guard, which provides national security operations for the nation’s waterways. Lawmakers are also fretting about the budget ax falling on FEMA, which faces a loss of 11 percent of its budget.

The agency has long provided disaster assistance for coastal communities affected by hurricanes. Alabama, prone to tornadoes and susceptible to hurricanes, ranks 11th among states with the most federal disaster declarations at 79. The first declaration occurred with flooding in 1961, with the most recent being $28.3 million in federal aid following severe storms that struck the state in January 2016.

“It certainly is not going to be a popular thing to do in the eyes of those who have turned to FEMA after a natural disaster to try and get their lives back on track,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. Alabama lawmakers have been more reserved in their comments, saying the information reported by news organizations is merely a proposal and that Trump has yet to submit an official budget. Republican U.S. Sen. Luther Strange’s office and Republican Sen. Richard Shelby are taking a more cautious approach.

“It is important to note that the proposed cuts are just that, a proposal,” said Shelby in an email statement. “Once submitted (by the president), I plan to carefully review the president’s budget and look forward to working with my colleagues on the appropriations committee to make sure important projects are properly funded.”

Added Strange: “One of the great things about our government is that no one person gets to decide how money is spent. I look forward to working with the White House and my colleagues on the appropriate committees in Congress on a budget that cuts waste, fraud and abuse while prioritizing the many pressing needs of our nation.”

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Fairhope, also urged caution before jumping to conclusions about the budget proposal. “I don’t want to react too much to a budget that hasn’t been sent here, or a proposal.”

But Byrne said he plans to be protective to several agencies that have been mentioned as part of the cutting: The Coast Guard, and programs that fund coastal Alabama’s estuary programs.

“The National Estuary Program gets about $30 million and there are a lot of people who are concerned about that and I’ve been a supporter,” said Byrne.

Coast Guard cuts

Byrne also defended the Ingalls Shipyard contract, which if cut from the Coast Guard’s budget, could draw the ire of Mississippi Republican lawmakers including Senators Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flies over natural gas rigs in the waters of Mobile Bay off Dauphin Island, Ala., Sunday, April 26, 2015. Coast Guard crews were searching for five people missing in the water after a powerful storm capsized several sailboats participating in a regatta near Mobile Bay. (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)

“I do not think there will be anything like the cuts that are rumored which will be enacted,” said Byrne.

“I think the cutter project is extremely important,” Byrne added. “I have over 2,000 people (living within the district) who work at the Shipyard and who make the cutter and destroyers … and their shipbuilding program is about to get a shot in the arm from President Trump’s fleet build up. The cutter will be a part of that.”

Bill Glenn, a spokesman with Ingalls Shipyard, said the cutter that is under consideration for being eliminated by Trump is “well underway.” He said the company started cutting steel last week to begin building the warship.

“We have ordered the majority of the material on the contract and 95 percent of the major procurements have been placed,” he said. “We have completed significant portions of the planning, engineering and business management.”

The Coast Guard’s overall cuts would drop its budget from $9.1 billion to $7.8 billion. While there are no specifics, the Coast Guard maintains a strong presence in Alabama[4] that includes a sector office in Mobile, search and rescue operations in Dauphin Island, a cutter stationed in Demopolis and an additional presence in Eufaula. The Coast Guard also maintains and manages an aviation training center at the Mobile Regional Airport. Officer cadets pursuing aviation careers within the Coast Guard have been trained in Mobile for more than 50 years. The training facility boasts about 550 active personnel.

The Coast Guard could provide more details about its budget situation during a State of the Coast Guard address scheduled for Thursday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“The Coast Guard is very important to maintaining security for the U.S. .. and for my district,” said Byrne. “I’ll be a stalwart defender of the Coast Guard.”

The Coast Guard’s search and rescue operations have been crucial during harrowing incidents, such as the storm that struck the 2015 Dauphin Island Regatta race and killed six. The group also played a role in assisting stranded passengers aboard the Carnival Triumph cruise ship in 2013.[5]

“It’s premature in seeing what might be coming down the line and we’ll get involved as its warranted to voice our concerns and support where we need to,” said Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier, whose small barrier-island community is also worried about the proposed cuts to FEMA and NOAA.

NOAA cuts

Byrne said he would welcome cuts to NOAA’s fisheries. He blames the organization’s National Marine Fisheries Service for having “screwed up” regulations on red snapper fishing season in the Gulf of Mexico. He said the agency operates at around a $1 billion budget, and needs to be leaner.

“I think we can cut NOAA,” said Byrne, adding that he would not favor a slash to the National Weather Service, which “is important to everyone no matter where you live.”

“But giving a whole bunch to an agency that has blown the regulations of the national fisheries … no, let’s cut them,” said Byrne. Recreational fishing of red snapper in federal waters – beyond a nine-mile distance from the shore line – has been limited to just a few days during the summer months in recent years. The limits, imposed by NOAA under the Obama Administration, have drawn a sharp rebuke among saltwater fishing enthusiasts.

NOAA did recently announce it was spending $9.5 million for an independent and external assessment to determine the total abundance of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Shelby, in a statement,[6] praised NOAA’s decision but also called the assessment “long overdue.”

Meanwhile, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System — which is a network of 29 coastal sites around the country that includes Weeks Bay in Alabama and Grand Bay Reserve in Moss Point, which is about a half-hour drive west of downtown Mobile – has published a petition on its website encouraging people to sign in support of its causes[7]. The group is funded through NOAA. The administration’s budget could include eliminating the system’s $23 million annual budget that goes toward research and education initiatives, according to the Washington Post. The 29 sites are set aside for the study of estuarine systems, or ecosystems where rivers flow into the sea.

Additional NOAA cuts would include the elimination of Sea Grants, which have provided funding for coastal Alabama’s fishing communities, and the state’s commercial seafood industry. LaDon Swann, director of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and the Auburn University Marine Program, said he’s banking on different constituent groups – “whether it’s fishing, tourism or community planners” — to vocalize their support for the grants which have been in place for 50 years. Previous grants, Swan said, have gone toward supporting the development of farm-raised oysters, battling invasive species and fortifying coastal homes so they can be more resilient against wind and water damage.

The EPA cuts include 30 percent reductions in state grants[8] for air quality, water pollution control and addressing pollution that doesn’t come from a specific facility.

The agency would also cut 78 percent from the Gulf of Mexico program – from $4.5 million to $1 million, according to information obtained by the Oregonian newspaper[9] — which provides research, education and outreach for the five states abutting the coast. Callaway said the funding has been “vitally important” in the past in assisting local groups in assembling “baseline data” used to determine the impact of the oil spill following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Political ramifications

Steve Taylor, a political science professor at Troy University, is among the critics of Trump’s initial budget plan. He calls it a “mix of simplistic thinking” and “anti-government ideology” when considering White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s recent statements about “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

“The proposals are simplistic insofar as deep cuts largely across the board give no evidence of careful consideration as to what important governmental functions might be affected, or the ways in which deep cuts can affect the lives of everyday Americans,” said Taylor. The Washington Post, in one of its articles about the cuts[10], said the impacts will be felt in deep red states where Trump enjoyed strong election returns.

Alabama voters threw overwhelming support behind Trump’s election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. His victory in November was the strongest of any presidential candidate in Alabama since Richard Nixon in 1972.[11]

Trump handily won Baldwin County with a 76.5-19.4 percent differential over Clinton, and won Mobile County by a 55.1-41.8 percent split.[12]

Trump won every county that abuts the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. He also won the coastal Mississippi counties, including a decisive 67.8 percent of the vote in Jackson County, Miss., home to Ingalls Shipyard.[13]

“It does appear that the president and his advisors take seriously the idea of smaller government, but again without any serious consideration of consequences, including in states which voted heavily for the president,” Taylor said.

References

  1. ^ by national news media outlets (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Mobile Bay Estuary Program (www.mobilebaynep.com)
  3. ^ the elimination of the $73 million Sea Grant program (www.washingtonpost.com)
  4. ^ Coast Guard maintains a strong presence in Alabama (www.uscg.mil)
  5. ^ Carnival Triumph cruise ship in 2013. (blog.al.com)
  6. ^ in a statement, (www.shelby.senate.gov)
  7. ^ has published a petition on its website encouraging people to sign in support of its causes (www.nerra.org)
  8. ^ The EPA cuts include 30 percent reductions in state grants (www.washingtonpost.com)
  9. ^ according to information obtained by the Oregonian newspaper (www.oregonlive.com)
  10. ^ in one of its articles about the cuts (www.washingtonpost.com)
  11. ^ strongest of any presidential candidate in Alabama since Richard Nixon in 1972. (www.al.com)
  12. ^ won Baldwin County with a 76.5-19.4 percent differential over Clinton, and won Mobile County by a 55.1-41.8 percent split. (www.nytimes.com)
  13. ^ including a decisive 67.8 percent of the vote in Jackson County, Miss., home to Ingalls Shipyard. (www.nytimes.com)
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