Local News

Vandals slash inflatable black Santa in Bethany

A family in a Bethany neighborhood had an inflatable Santa in their yard slashed and deflated by vandals. The homeowners think they alone were targeted because the inflatable Santa was black. Fritz Richard's home is decorated with images of black Santas, Wiseman and a Nativity scene but it wasn't until Wednesday that he decided to display that culture outside his house -- including the inflatable Santa. He said he was a little worried about displaying a black Santa but didn't think it was that big of a deal.

Less than 24 hours later, someone had destroyed it. Richard said someone deliberately slashed it -- several times. Fritz Richard admitted he was a bit nervous about putting up the Black Santa but said he didn’t think it’d be that big a deal. Someone thought otherwise. Richard told the station he woke up the next morning to find the Santa slashed and deflated on his front lawn. It had been punctured several times. “Looks like someone had a problem with our black Santa,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “I found him this morning, someone took a knife to him. [Donald] Trump is really changing this country! Is this how you make America ‘great again’, with hate crimes?”

Richard said he felt the attack was racially-motivated, noting that his neighbors had holiday decorations and Caucasian Santas that went untouched by the vandals. In a show of solidarity, Richard said several of their neighbors have said they’ll also buy Black Santas to display in their front yards.

The couple has since purchased a replacement Santa of their own. “It’s exactly the opposite result I think they were looking for,” Richard said of the folks who vandalized their inflatable Santa. “There will be hopefully a lot of black Santas around this neighborhood.” It’s unclear if police are investigating the incident.


Meghan McCain Reveals She's Felt 'Bullied' After On-Air Spats with Co-Hosts, Makes Up with Joy Behar

“The View‘s” Meghan McCain has made peace with co-host Joy Behar after the women’s explosive on-air spat earlier this month, but the conservative co-host revealed the backlash after their fight left her feeling personally attacked. McCain made the comments during Thursday’s show as the ladies discussed comedian Pete Davidson’s Instagram post about feeling bullied by critics after his split from singer Ariana Grande. The Fox News alum said the pain was definitely something she could relate to. “I know what it feels like to be hated in the same way Pete Davidson does,” McCain said. “I’m not asking for sympathy, but I felt extreme compassion for his post.” She added, “

I do think it’s different when you’re someone like Pete Davidson or someone like us, it’s not just social media. Google me right now, there are articles written about me the past few days, what a huge bitch I am, how awful I am, the negativity and nastiness I’ve brought to the show. It’s real, it’s not just social media, it’s the media, as well.” On Instagram, McCain joked about her recent war of words with Behar, who’s graced the show for more more than 20 seasons. The 34-year-old shared a photo of her and her co-host cheesing side-by-side, posing happily in their festive Christmas sweaters. “We’ll fight again in 2019!” she captioned the post. “Merry Christmas ya filthy animal! @joyvbehar ????????????????????????????” The amiable post comes nearly a week after the pair locked horns during a tribute to late President George H.W. Bush, who died Dec. 1. He was 94 years old.

Things quickly went left, however, when Behar switched gears to criticize President Donald Trump over his blatant denial of climate change, arguing that if she were to become a one-issue voter, it would be about environmental issues. McCain didn’t take too kindly to the change of topic and demanded the discussion be redirected at honoring President Bush. “Can we focus on the president, please,” she said, interrupting Behar. “I don’t want to talk about Trump, we’re honoring a great president.” “Excuse me a second, please. I want to talk about – ” the veteran co-host began before being cut off by McCain yet again. “We’re honoring a great president who passed and I’m not interested in your one-issue voting,” McCain rambled. “I don’t care what you’re interested in. I’m talking!”

Behar shouted, growing frustrated and slamming her cue cards on the table. McCain’s “entitled” antics reportedly had Behar ready to quit “The View,” but a source close to the show told PEOPLE the two were just fine in the wake of their squabble. In a recent interview with Good Housekeeping, Behar, 76, said dealing with drama is just another day on the show. “We kind of know that, sometimes one of us goes over the line,” she said. “I won’t say what specifically but sometimes things go over the line that then have to be pulled back. Any conversation that talks about politics or religion is going to go off the rails. It would be very unrealistic to think that there would be no acrimony, disagreements, and maybe even hurt feelings sometimes. That’s the way it is.” To cool down, Behar said she and her co-hosts will sometimes go out for drinks after the show. McCain remarked on Thursday’s show that she and Behar are often relaxed behind the scenes because we “leave it all out on the table.” “I enjoy coming into work and being able to have healthy debates,” she said.


UPDATE!!!!!No Disciplinary Action for NYPD Officers In Jazmine Headley Arrest After Internal Probe Finds 'No Wrongdoing'

NYPD officers filmed yanking 23-year-old Jazmine Headley‘s son from her arms during her arrest at a Brooklyn benefits office this month did nothing wrong and likely won’t face disciplinary action, a review by the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau determined. “The NYPD conducted a strenuous review of what happened because the public deserves answers, and we must take every opportunity to continuously strengthen how the NYPD serves the people of New York City,” N.Y. Police Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement. “This review shows that prior to the incident depicted on public video, NYPD officers are working with the client to de-escalate the situation,

” he added. One of the officers was reportedly bitten during the scuffle. Videos from the Dec. 7 incident shows NYPD officers trying to wrest Headley’s 1-year-old son, Damon, from her arms as she struggles on the floor of a crowded Human Resources Administration office in Brooklyn. Witnesses said the young mom was seated on the floor at the time, as there were no more available chairs in the

office that day. A security officer dialed police when Headley was asked to get up but refused. At one point, one of the uniformed officers pulls out a stun gun and waves it indiscriminately the faces of shocked bystanders. “They’re hurting my son! They’re hurting my son!” Headley screamed while holding tightly to her little boy as officers tugged him from the other end.

The officers involved were briefly placed on modified duty pending the outcome of an investigation According to POLITICO, the NYPD’s internal review of the incident was based on publicly available video and 911 calls, as well as police body camera footage and interviews with Headley and her mother. Going forward, the police agency has recommended key changes to its policy, including, “establishing guidelines for interactions between NYPD and HRA officers, summoning an NYPD supervisor when police respond to calls at HRA facilities and reviewing tactics and training programs for situations in which officers encounter someone holding a young child,” the news site reported.

Headley was jailed at Rikers Island on an unrelated charge for five days following her viral arrest but was released and has since been reunited with her young son. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez also dropped the charges against her, which included obstructing governmental administration, trespassing and resisting arrest. Recalling the frightening incident, Headley said she immediately went into “defense mode.” “In my head, I told myself they’re not going to let me leave,” she told The New York Times. “I was so afraid. I was combative with my thoughts.” The young mother said she remembered being talked to “very viciously,” adding, “It was more or less:

‘You’re going to do what I say, and that’s it.'” Headley said she tried to pick up her son and leave after one of the officers said he did not want to arrest her. That’s when a security guard grabbed her by the arm, causing all three of them to fall to the ground, the New York Times reported. Headley made one last attempt to leave the office but an officer told her it was “too late.” Gregory Floyd, president of the guards union, said security tried reasoning with the young woman for 40 minutes before NYPD officers arrived. “I should’ve left, and I didn’t because if I would’ve left, my son would not have the things that he needs,” Headley said.


UPDATE!!!!!The Ties Run Deep: Judge, Attorneys In Rape Case That Allowed White Baylor Student to Walk Scot Free Are All Alums of the University

The Texas judge who approved a plea deal allowing a former Baylor University student accused of rape to avoid jail time holds three degrees from Baylor. The criminal district attorney overseeing the case holds two. The prosecutor who agreed to the plea agreement graduated from Baylor law school. Local leaders say those connections to the world’s largest Baptist university cast doubt on the handling of the criminal case against ex-Phi Delta Theta president Jacob Walter Anderson, who was accused of repeatedly raping a woman outside a 2016 fraternity party. Anderson was indicted on sexual assault charges, but the agreement allowed him to plead no contest to unlawful restraint. He must seek counseling and pay a $400 fine but will not have to register as a sex offender.

His lawyers say a statement from the woman, which she read in court, is riddled with misrepresentations and distortions. Prosecutors have defended the plea deal. The case has some similarities to that of ex-Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, who was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to six months in jail. While community leaders in Waco said they do not believe or have proof of collusion in the Texas case, they said it shows a failure of the local legal system and reflects a larger culture where preferential treatment is given to people with status in the Baylor community. “It seems that Waco just shoots itself in the foot just time and time again,” said Mary Duty, a lifelong resident of the Waco area and chair of the McLennan County Democratic Party.

Duty said Judge Ralph Strother, who presided in the Anderson case, was known in the community as a nice and decent man. She said the sentencing goes “completely against the grain” of his reputation and left many disappointed. The unwelcome attention hit Baylor about two years after a sexual assault scandal surrounding the football program engulfed the school, leading to the firing of then-football coach Art Briles, resignation of Athletic Director Ian McCaw and the demotion of the university’s president, Ken Starr, who later resigned. Baylor has reached settlements with several women who say they were sexually assaulted by football players and their stories were ignored. The local legal system also has been tarred by the handling of a 2015 shootout involving rival biker clubs and police in Waco that left nine bikers dead.

McLennan County Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna brought charges against more than a hundred bikers. He was ousted by voters in the Republican primary in March. At that time he had failed to convict anyone for the killings. He will leave office at the end of the year. The Baylor ties run deep in Waco — a city of about 136,000 people located between Austin and Dallas bolstered by the economic impact of the university. Baylor has more than 20,000 students, faculty and staff in Texas. Nearly one of every five employed people in Waco work in education and health services, according to September figures from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mark Osler, a former Baylor law professor who left in 2010, said a county with prosecutors and judges from the same background can create a dangerous situation where bias could occur.

It’s better, he said, to have diversity in background and employ people not tied to Baylor. Judge Strother completed his undergraduate degree at Baylor in 1965 and received his law degree in 1982. Strother also received a master’s degree in political science from the university in 1967. Criminal District Attorney Reyna holds two degrees from the university and graduated from the law school in 1997. In an affidavit filed last year, Reyna’s former top assistant accused him of giving preferential treatment to political supporters, dismissing criminal cases for friends and major campaign donors. Prosecutor Hilary LaBorde, who agreed to the plea deal, graduated from the Baylor law school in 2002. LaBorde has faced criticism over an email in which she suggested jurors would take Anderson’s side because there was only one alleged victim. Texas prosecutors have recognized LaBorde for her expertise in sex-crime cases and she won sexual assault convictions against two football players during the school’s scandal. LaBorde defended the plea deal in a statement, saying conflicting accounts and evidence made the original accusation difficult to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt.” “As a prosecutor, my goal is no more victims,” she said. “I believe that is best accomplished when there is a consequence rather than an acquittal.” Baylor student Paige Hardy, an advocate on campus for survivors of sexual abuse, said the university did the right thing in the Anderson case, expelling him after an investigation and suspending the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

But she said the outcome of the criminal case was “a slap in the face.” “It’s like, well what did we even learn from our mistakes? What did we even learn from the football scandals?” she said. While Baylor has moved forward and improved the reporting process for sexual assault, Baylor’s problems stem in part from a “toxic evangelical” narrative, Hardy said, referring to its Baptist roots. “You have these donors and these administrators who often times don’t want to address the fact that students are having sex and students are drinking,” she said. Waco clinical psychologist Emma Wood, who used to work at the Baylor counseling center, said her clients come to her because of the sexual and spiritual trauma they’ve experienced at the university and at large churches in the area. “I see a lot of trauma survivors,” said Wood, who left the university and reached a settlement with the administration over claims of discrimination and sexism. “In fact, that’s the majority of my case load.”


Court Says No Bail as Bill Cosby Appeals Sex Assault Conviction

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected a request from Bill Cosby to be released on bail while he appeals his sexual assault conviction. The order from the court issued Friday does not elaborate on the decision.

Cosby filed an appeal earlier this month saying that Pennsylvania trial Judge Steven O’Neill had a feud with a key pretrial witness, the former county prosecutor who declined to arrest Cosby a decade earlier. And they say his decision to let five other accusers testify among other alleged issues are grounds for a new trial.

A jury convicted the 81-year-old Cosby in April of drugging and molesting a woman in 2004. The legally blind comedian is housed in a new state prison about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from his Philadelphia-area estate.


BOBBY BROWN Jacquees Who?!? ... I'M THE KING OF R&B

Bobby Brown has declared himself the King of R&B and his first order of business -- trash the guy who thinks he's this generation's title holder. We got Bobby leaving Via Alloro restaurant in Bev Hills and had to ask about the debate triggered by Jacquees, who claimed the title ... this generation's King of R&B.

Bobby got a big yuk out of it. Bobby makes no bones about it ... anyone who wants the title has to go through him. But, check it out ... he said he's almost turning 50 so it's time to relinquish the title. He had a couple other artists in mind -- one in particular -- the name Jacquees is not on the short list. #Shotsfired


UPDATE!!!DIKEMBE MUTOMBO Child With Face Tumor CARDIAC ARREST DURING SURGERY

The child Dikembe Mutombo brought to the United States for a surgery to remove a life-threatening tumor on his face, went into cardiac arrest during the operation ... POWER 92.3 ATLANTA has learned. Sources familiar with the surgery tell us, at around 6 PM Sunday, more than 6 hours into the operation, 8-year-old Matadi went into cardiac arrest and was

immediately taken to the Intensive Care Unit at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in L.A. We're told he's now in stable condition and is slowly recovering. The emergency came toward the end of the surgery, which began at 11:30 AM. We do not know if the surgeons had completed the surgery, but if it went according to schedule it should have been wrapping up. Matadi and his family were staying at the

Ronald McDonald house in Los Angeles leading up to Sunday's procedure. Mutombo, who met the little boy during a visit to the Congo, greeted the boy and his family when they landed Wednesday in Los Angeles. Matadi's tumor was life threatening. He was also shunned his community. The child's parents were forced to pull him from school and keep him confined to his room because of unrelenting harassment.