A woman has a warning for people who use the changing rooms at a Robinson Township, Pennsylvania, mall. Heather Lapinski said that while she was trying on bathing suits at Macy’s in the Mall at Robinson, she noticed a cellphone under the door. She grabbed it, but a man’s hand grabbed it back. >> Read more trending news By the time she was able to exit the dressing room, the man was gone. “I got ahold of it and a man's hand came down and grabbed it. I couldn’t scream. I was in so much shock,” Lapinski said. “I was crying. I didn't have my top on (and) I’m not running out completely naked.” By the time she was able to exit the dressing room, the man was gone. Lapinski described the man as having a medium build and balding in the front of his head. She said she hopes that someone recognizes the man before he does it again. “I want someone to say, ‘I know him.’ He can't keep going back and keep doing this to women. I’m going to be traumatized for the rest of my life,” she said. “When I go to bed, I toss and turn thinking about his face.” Both Macy’s and the Mall at Robinson said in statements about the matter that the safety of customers is a top priority. They could not confirm whether other incidents were previously reported.
When a teenager in Texas borrowed a family friend's computer, he made a shocking and sickening discovery. The boy found nude photos of his 10-year-old sister on the computer of Joe Garza Jr., according to the Star-Telegram. >> Read more trending news Garza, 65, was arrested March 3 on child pornography charges, and faces additional charges after it was discovered that he allegedly molested an older sister in the family years ago. The Star-Telegram reports that the boy, who was trying to fix the hard drive on his own computer, asked to borrow Garza's computer. While using it, he clicked on a folder and discovered the images of his sister. He returned the computer to Garza and told his mother about the images. She asked the boy to request to use the computer again so she could see the images for herself. The mother confronted Garza about the images and police were called to the scene. Officer Domingo Martinez, who works for the Fort Worth Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Task Force, told the Star-Telegram that Garza admitted to the mother that he had a problem and said he would disappear if she didn't call police. In interviews with authorities, the 10-year-old victim said Garza bought her items and gave her money, and told her not to tell her parents about the abuse. Garza remains behind bars while investigators work to determine if there are additional victims.
A judge says Florida's governor can remove a prosecutor from a death penalty-eligible case and has denied a request to delay the proceedings. State Attorney Aramis Ayala today asked a judge to delay proceedings for two weeks while she prepares an argument for the Florida Supreme Court. But Circuit Judge Frederick J. Lauten denied her request Tuesday. NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS A STORY THAT ORIGINATED ON MARCH 16, 2017 Earlier today, Governor Scott called on State Attorney Ayala to recuse herself immediately from prosecuting Markeith Loyd after she refused to consider the death penalty in this case. State Attorney Ayala has refused to recuse herself and Governor Scott has removed her from the case and reassigned it to State Attorney Brad King. Governor Scott said, “Earlier today, I called on State Attorney Ayala to immediately recuse herself from this case. She informed me this afternoon that she refuses to do that. She has made it clear that she will not fight for justice and that is why I am using my executive authority to immediately reassign the case to State Attorney Brad King. “Let’s remember, Markeith Loyd is accused of executing a brave law enforcement hero and murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon. Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Norman Lewis was also killed while actively searching for Markeith Loyd following these heinous murders. I am outraged and sickened by this loss of life and many families’ lives have been forever changed because of these senseless murders. These families deserve a state attorney who will aggressively prosecute Markeith Loyd to the fullest extent of the law and justice must be served.”
A brushfire that broke out on Osteen Street has spread to about 20 acres and some nearby homes are being evacuated as a precaution. The Florida Fire Service and local firefighters are battling the flames in Volusia County.
A North Carolina county could be in major violation of HIPPA laws after mistakenly releasing hundreds of patients’ private medical records to a Charlotte TV station that was investigating a medical story. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPPA, was enacted in 1996 to ensure patient privacy rights. >> Read more trending news Mecklenburg County manager Dena Diorio revealed Tuesday afternoon that the county mistakenly released the private medical records of some 1,200 patients to the media. The county attorney confirmed patient health information was compromised. 'I'm absolutely speechless with anger at how something like this could happen,' Diorio said. Channel 9 had requested public records related to the county's failure to notify nearly 200 women about abnormal Pap smear results. While WSOC-TV received that information Monday, the county also mistakenly included detailed medical history about hundreds of patients. The information included an Excel spreadsheets documenting the patients’ full names, addresses and dates of visits. For some patients it also included a detailed description of why they visited and what services they received. Diorio said the information should not have been in spreadsheets in the email and the practice of putting medical information in Excel sheets will end immediately. Diorio said she believes the release is a category 2 HIPAA violation with a minimum fine of $1,000 per violation up to $50,000. A county worker collected the records Tuesday morning from WSOC. “We do everything we can to protect the personal information for all of our patients,” Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said. “In this particular instance, the checks and balances were not completely followed and we had a lapse.' Diorio said an IT staffer mistakenly included the information in the public records request. She also said no one checked the file before it was released. >> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here “This was a person who works in our IT security area so it’s not as if everybody has access to this information,” she said. It’s unclear if the hundreds of patients will be notified about the information leak. Diorio is planning to discuss the next steps with the county attorney on Tuesday. >> Click here to read the full story.
After Democrats used their last day in charge of the Senate to approve a final batch of judicial nominees offered by President Obama and watching a few more pieces of legislation run aground, Senators wrapped up the work of the 113th Congress, with many wondering what’s next when Republicans control both the House and Senate.
“The Senate stands adjourned until Tuesday January 6, 2015,” said Sen. Angus King (I-ME) to a nearly empty Senate chamber just before midnight; King, who is allied with Democrats, will be in the minority when the 114th Congress convenes that day.
Earlier, the Senate had approved a renewal of a series of tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013, what’s known as the “tax extenders” – but the vote only extended those business and personal tax breaks through the end of this year, meaning the next Congress will have to deal with that matter again in 2015.
The vote on that bill was 76-16, yet another vote where more liberal Democrats and more conservative Republicans mainly joined in opposition to a bill – but they were again badly outnumbered.
Here is the list of 8 Democrats and 8 Republicans who opposed the tax extenders legislation:
Coburn refuses to budge on Terrorism Risk Insurance
With the time in his own legislative career dwindling, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) followed through on his vow to block the renewal of a terrorism insurance bill, arguing the taxpayer was being used by major insurance companies to make major amounts of money, over $40 billion in the last twelve years he argued.
“The American taxpayer takes all the risk, except for 35 percent and the industry makes all the money,” said Coburn, blocking yet another piece of legislation during his time in the Senate.
“And with that, I must object to the bill,” Coburn said.
Coburn’s action came a day after the Oklahoma Republican had blocked a bill that would funnel more resources into suicide prevention efforts at the VA; Coburn made no apologies, saying this is all about saving the taxpayer money.
“I know most of my colleagues disagree with me,” Coburn said.
Also blocked on Tuesday night was an energy efficiency bill that had drawn Coburn’s opposition – while he wasn’t on the floor to object to its approval, the assumption was that he was the unidentified Republican who stood in the bill’s way.
“Something’s wrong with this process,” fumed Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who will be the Chair of the Senate Energy Committee early next year, as she vowed to bring the bipartisan energy efficiency bill back again in 2015.
Democrats enjoy final push for Obama nominees
Mixed in to the final legislative work of the 113th Congress was the underlying push by Democrats to confirm as many nominees of President Obama as possible.
The final tally was a 69 nominee blitz since Friday, as Democrats crowed about that and said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was responsible for the extra confirmations – as Democrats tried their best to create more division within Republican ranks.
In order to speed their departure out of town, Republicans agreed to dispense with votes on a last group of nominations; that allowed Senators to walk out of the Capitol and head home – though some had already done that.
As I was combing through the vote rundowns from the Senate in recent days, I noticed that Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) missed the final two days of votes – he is retiring after this year.
Also not there for the end of his Senate career was Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) – Chambliss had gone back to Georgia on Saturday to watch his hometown high school football team win a state football championship, but he did not return for the final two days of Senate action.
Chambliss missed the final 40 votes in the Senate on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, as he wrapped up his 20 year career in Congress back in his home state.