Archive for  December 2018

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DES MOINES, Iowa —  Linn’s Supermarket, a popular north Des Moines establishment, was packed with last-minute grocery shoppers scrambling to cross items off their holiday dinner list.

“All our family is starting to come over and we forgot a couple things. I’ve got to get a couple things so everyone is happy and the food is good,” Des Moines resident Dillon Shepard said.

Shepard has lived near Linn’s Supermarket for 20 years. Every year, he turns to his neighborhood market for his favorite Christmas dinner staples.

“We are shopping for some pop and for some stuff we have been missing for Christmas dinner. We are cooking some ham and some stuffing to go with it,” Shepard said.

Shepard wasn’t alone. People were coming and going picking up last-minute items to complete their holiday dinner.

The owner of Linn’s Supermarket is glad his customers can depend on him.

“We help the community. I am open every year,” owner Chander Kalra said.

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota — A plane crashed between two homes in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Tuesday, leaving one person dead.

Sioux Falls Emergency Manager Regan Smith said the crash took place around 5 p.m. CT. The person who died was on the plane, Smith said during a press conference Tuesday night.

Four homes were affected by the plane crash, Smith said, two of which sustained heavy damage. The Red Cross had been contacted Tuesday evening about possibly sheltering the families of those two homes.

The Sioux Falls Police Department continues to search the scene, Smith said.

“We’re still investigating, there may be more fatalities to come,” Smith said.

Max Jamison, who lives about two blocks from the crash site, told CNN he and others drove over to help.

“(It) sounded like a plane did a nose dive into the ground,” Jamison said.

Joe Harris also ran to the scene.

“I was at a Christmas gathering with my parents when we heard the explosion and saw the fire,” he said. “We ran about three blocks to the site.”

A team from the National Transportation Safety Board has been called to Sioux Falls to investigate the crash, and Smith said he expects them on-site Wednesday.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A Macksburg man is spending his Christmas in a hospital room surrounded by friends and family, after he accidentally shot himself while on a hunting trip. The experienced outdoorsman said a simple mistake almost cost him his life.

“All I had to do was barely drop it an inch and half, two inches and it went off and did all this. Went up through here [and] busted my wrist all up,” Ronald W. Butler said.

A 10 millimeter piece of bullet shot through his chest into his heart, after he dropped his loaded and primed muzzle-loader rifle while on a hunting trip with his young son back on Dec. 9.

He has spent the last few weeks in the hospital. The Butlers say they are making the best out of their Christmas, just thankful they can all be together.

“I’m really thankful I’m here. Here with my family is better than pushing up daisies, you know, and we’ve camped out in places smaller than this. So as long as we’re all together we can have a good Christmas,” Butler said.

There is a GoFundMe page set up for him to try and help cover expenses while he is unable to work. He says he is so grateful for everyone in the community who already lent a helping hand.

Actor Kevin Spacey will be charged with indecent assault and battery, stemming from an incident that took place at a Nantucket, Massachusetts restaurant in 2016, Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe announced Monday.

Spacey is scheduled to be arraigned on January 7.

CNN has reached out to his attorney for comment.

The announcement coincides with Spacey posting a bizarre video to YouTube entitled, “Let Me Be Frank.” The title is a play on Spacey’s former “House of Cards” character, Frank Underwood.

“I know what you want,” Spacey says while staying in character as Underwood. “Oh sure, they may have tried to separate us, but what we have is too strong, too powerful. After all, we shared everything, you and I. I told you my deepest, darkest secrets. I showed you exactly what people are capable of. I shocked you with my honestly, but mostly I challenged you and made you think. And you trusted me, even though you knew you shouldn’t. So we’re not done, no matter what anyone says. And besides, I know what you want. You want me back.”

He also says, “I can promise you this. If I didn’t pay the price for the things we both know I did do, I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn’t do.”

It’s unclear if Spacey is referring to the numerous allegations of past sexual misconduct he has been accused of since October 2017. He apologized to actor Anthony Rapp for making a pass at the then 14-year-old some 30 years ago, but said he did not recall the incident.

Netflix fired Spacey in November 2017, following a CNN report in which several current and former members of the “House of Cards” production staff came forward with allegations of sexual harassment. One also accused Spacey of sexual assault. Spacey has never directly responded to the allegations and has remained out of the public eye for more than a year.

His entire YouTube post is in character as Underwood, while Spacey is standing in a kitchen, wearing a Christmas apron and preparing a meal. The character was killed off in the sixth and final season of “House of Cards,” which released last month.

Here is the video Spacey posted:

The order to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria has been signed.

A U.S. defense official confirmed to CNN that “the execute order for Syria has been signed,” while a second defense official told CNN that outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis signed it.

The execute order spells out how and when the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria will take place, but the official would not provide any additional operational details. The order begins to pave the way for exactly how and when U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Syria, of which there are currently about 2,600 servicemembers in the country.

The drawdown is expected to begin in the next several weeks and could take several weeks to finish.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Hope Ministries says in order for it to pull off its massive holiday meal, it needs donations.

The organization is gearing up to serve more than 2,500 meals to those in need on Christmas day.

It is asking for donations of several types of meat such as boneless ham and pork loin, dairy products, dinner rolls and canned vegetables.

Hope Ministries will be accepting food donations on Monday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

For more information you can visit their website at https://www.hopeiowa.org/

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines middle schooler Allister Bailey was selected to be a part of the Kofu, Japan exchange student program, but he needs a little help getting there.

“We’ve set up a GoFundMe account to raise $3,500 to cover the cost of getting him there,” said Amy Bailey, Allister’s mother.

She said it’s very important for young children to have cultural experiences like this.

“This is the longest running exchange program for kids and I don’t think should be limited to just people that can afford to go, and it should be able to be open for everybody,” Bailey said.

She hopes Allister will learn a lot in Japan.

“It’s so diverse and it’ll be a good experience for him to meet new people and stay with a host family there and eat their food. He gets to go to school and eat their food. I think it will just be a great experience,” she said.

Allister will be there for 10 days starting on May 31. He is excited about learning how to speak Japanese and visiting to Tokyo.

“I am most excited about having a host family because I get to connect with them, and when I come back here they said I could contact them somehow. So it’s pretty fun,” Allister said.

He said that in August a student from Japan will come stay with his family and go to class with him at McCombs Middle School.

“It’s going to be really cool. I think it’s going to be weird for them to try new things and hopefully they speak at least a tiny bit of English, but I guess we can teach them too,” he said.

Allister’s mom said both kids will be learning the same types of things in Japan and the United States.

“They learn about their government and they actually meet the mayor of Kofu, Japan and interview him, and they’ll do the same things here. We will see the capital and and things like that, and they learn about the government and the education system here,” she said.

Allister needs to raise about $3,200 more by May 15, and you can donate here to help him get there.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued a very important warning about the safety risks of teething necklaces and bracelets. The FDA said parents, caregivers and health care providers should not use the jewelry to relieve teething pain in children or to provide sensory stimulation to persons with special needs, such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The FDA received reports of death and serious injuries to infants and children including strangulation and choking caused by teething jewelry, such as amber teething necklaces.

One report, the FDA said, involved an 18-month-old child who was strangled to death by his amber teething necklace during a nap. Another report involved a 7-month-old child who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet while under the supervision of a parent and was taken to the hospital.

“We know that teething necklaces and jewelry products have become increasingly popular among parents and caregivers who want to provide relief for children’s teething pain and sensory stimulation for children with special needs. We’re concerned about the risks we’ve observed with these products and want parents to be aware that teething jewelry puts children, including those with special needs, at risk of serious injury and death,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. said in the news release.   “Consumers should consider following the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations of alternative ways for treating teething pain, such as rubbing inflamed gums with a clean finger or using a teething ring made of firm rubber. Given the breadth of the market for these teething necklaces and jewelry, we’re sharing this important safety information directly to consumers in order to help prevent injuries in infants and kids.”

The FDA stressed that the risks of using these types of jewelry for relieving teething pain includes not only choking and strangulation but also injury to the child’s mouth and the possibility of an infection.  Choking may happen if the jewelry breaks and a small bead enters the child’s throat or airway. Strangulation could happen if a necklace is wrapped too tightly around the child’s neck or if the necklace catches on an object such as the crib.  The FDA said it is also concerned that a piece of the jewelry may irritate or pierce the child’s gums.

According to the FDA, amber teething necklaces contain a substance called succinic acid, which the FDA says may be released into an infant’s blood stream in unknown quantities.

“Manufacturers of these products often claim succinic acid acts as an anti-inflammatory and relieves teething and joint pain. The FDA has not evaluated these claims for safety or effectiveness and recommends parents not use these products,” the press release stated.

The FDA also pointed out another concern: It recommends that caregivers avoid using teething creams, benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges for mouth and gum pain.

According to the FDA, benzocaine and other local anesthetics can cause methemoglobinemia, a serious condition in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood is reduced. This condition is life-threatening and can result in death, the FDA said.

Consumers and health care professionals should report injuries or adverse events that occur from using teething jewelry by calling 1-800-FDA-1088 or by going online at MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program.

PERRY, Iowa — A Perry man avoided a possible life sentence Friday in the abuse, starvation, and death of his adopted daughter.

Instead of the original charge of murder, Marc Ray entered a plea deal that includes the chance of parole.

First responder’s found Sabrina Ray locked in her Perry home in 2017. Authorities say she was physically abused, starved and weighed 56 pounds at the time of her death. Shortly after, prosecutors charged her adoptive parents Marc and Misty Ray for murdering her. Both were put behind bars.

“She was just sitting on the shelf waiting for a proper burial,” said Dave Pillow, assistant chief at the Perry Fire Department.

There was no one to bury Sabrina, so the Perry Fire Department stepped in to help.

“Get her to her final resting place and get some closure on it because until that happens it’s just not going to happen,” Pillow said.

In the latest step to get closure, Marc Ray admitted to playing a role in Sabrina’s death.

“I failed to obtain necessary medical care to treat this physical disability. And my failure to obtain medical care caused Sabrina’s death,” Marc Ray said.

Originally, Marc Ray was charged with murder, but he accepted a plea deal.

Ray pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment causing death, and three counts of third-degree kidnapping. He will serve at least 35 years in prison.

No one from Sabrina Rays’ biological family was available for comment, but the Perry Fire Department hopes justice will be served.

Marc Ray is scheduled to be sentenced January 11th. Misty Ray is scheduled to stand trial in February.

The plea agreement also stipulates that Marc Ray will not testify against his wife, Misty Ray, who is also charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. Both charges carry a mandatory life sentence.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — While negotiations continue in Congress to reach a deal to avert a partial government shutdown, there is virtually no chance a vote will happen Friday night — all but assuring there will be a partial government shutdown at midnight.

Both the US House of Representatives and the Senate has adjourned, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, says there will be no vote Friday night in the Senate.

Funding for roughly a quarter of the federal government expires at midnight, including appropriations for the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Housing and Urban Development and other parts of the government. This is the first time in 40 years that the government will have been closed three times in a year.

However, before they adjourned for the night, the Senate passed a bill to ensure federal employees who are furloughed get back pay.

It was passed by unanimous consent but still will need to pass the House.

The measure was brought up by Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, who represent Maryland where many DC area federal employees live.

On Friday afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence, budget director Mick Mulvaney and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, all arrived on Capitol Hill, where they remained into the evening. Shortly thereafter, Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker said on the Senate floor that an “understanding has been reached” that the Senate will not take any further votes related to the funding issue “until a global agreement has been reached between the President” and congressional leaders. The procedural maneuver helps streamline the legislative process once a deal is reached, but no such deal had appeared publicly by the time Congress left for the night.

The legislation that seemed all but certain to succeed earlier in the week was derailed on Thursday when Trump said he would not sign the bill that had passed in the Senate.

The House on Thursday passed legislation that included Trump’s request for $5 billion for a border wall, but it was clear on Friday that that demand did not have the votes needed to pass in the Senate, and was therefore not brought up for a vote — creating more uncertainty on a path forward.

Trump earlier in the day predicted the government would shut down — and looked to place the blame on Democrats.

“The chances are probably very good” that there is a shutdown, Trump told reporters Friday afternoon while at a White House signing ceremony for bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation.

“It’s really the Democrat shutdown, because we’ve done our thing,” Trump continued. “Now it’s up to the Democrats as to whether we have a shutdown tonight. I hope we don’t, but we’re totally prepared for a very long shutdown.”

Friday night, as he appeared to be leaving for the evening, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “constructive talks are underway.”

When McConnell was asked if he would be coming back to participate in the talks, he said, “as I’ve said repeatedly, we need Democratic votes and presidential signature.”