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Around Red Deer April 24th…..

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2:33 pm – RCMP are looking for a suspect after a 49 year old man was beat up in Red Deer’s Riverside Meadows neighbourhood on April 21st. Read More.

2:15 pm – A Teacher from RDC has been honoured with a 2016 Top Instructor Award! Read More.

2:01 pm – École Secondaire Notre Dame High School fine arts students will gather to celebrate theatre arts by participating in the Zone 4 West One-Act Play Festival on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week. Read More!

For more local news, click here!

1:53 pm – Red Deer RCMP have made several arrests over the past 12 days and seized numerous stolen vehicles, i.d. and other items in the process. Read More.

10:25 am – Charges have now been laid against two men accused of crashing a stolen truck that fled Police into a house in Red Deer’s Clearview Ridge neighbourhood on April 21st. Read More.

10:18 am – Just a reminder of the road construction underway in Lacombe this week. From April 24-27, ATCO Gas crews will be working in the intersection of Highway 2A and 50 Avenue decommissioning an old gas main. Lane restrictions will be in effect for eastbound traffic on 50 Avenue. Please use 47 Avenue or Wolf Creek Drive as alternate routes. More details here.

For more local news, click here!

10:05 am – The École Secondaire Notre Dame High School Boys Handball team played in the Zone Final Friday night. After a slow start, the Boys got their act together and ran away with the game. Up 11 – 5 at the half, the Boys rolled to 27-11 victory over Hunting Hills! The team will now take part in Provincials starting on Thursday at 6:40pm, then again at 11:40am Friday morning. Games can be live streamed at this link.

9:56 am – Have a nice looking property in Red Deer County? Have it nominated to be part of the 2017 Rural Beautification Tour! Read More.

9:45 am – City staff in Lacombe have been taking advantage of the few nice days we’ve had this spring to upgrade the Michener Park campsites. They’ve added new gravel to all the camping sites, all around the fire pits and the picnic tables. City officials say the road leading into the campsites will be refinished as well. Once the work is finished, the campground will look like new again, and better serve the recreation needs of campers well into the future.

For more local news, click here!

9:35 am – Street sweeping resumes in Blackfalds again today:

Parkwood Road
Prairie Ridge Ave.
Prairie ridge Cl.
Pinewood Cl.
Premier Cr.
Prospect Cl.
Parkside Cr.
Cascade
Coachill St.
Cooper Cr.

9:28 am – Firefighters from around the Region, including the Town of Penhold, took part in some training in Red Deer on Saturday. Along with Ponoka County Fire and Rescue, trainess were kept busy at the City of Red Deer training grounds performing live fire training drills. Students maneuvered through a smoke filled three story building for search and rescue exercises, climbed the aerial ladder, extinguished a simulated car fire and learned about over haul once the fire is out. 

9:02 am – Grade 8 Girls singles and doubles Badminton will be playing in the city finals at St. Francis of Assisi Middle School today. The games will take place between 4 – 8 pm.

For more local news, click here!

8:39 am – Blackfalds RCMP are looking for a stolen excavator. It’s a Caterpillar 345CL excavator, from a work site near the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 597 (Blackfalds/Joffre exit). It’s believed the excavator was loaded on a flat deck trailer being towed by a Semi Truck. The excavator was loaded 200 yards North of the Blindman Bridge on Highway 2, in the North bound lanes, so an entire lane would likely have been blocked during the loading process. The incident occurred sometime between 7:30 pm on April 21 and 7:00 am on April 22.

8:34 am – A Boil Water Advisory is in place for seven properties in Red Deer’s Westpark neighbourhood. Read More.

8:22 am – The Boil Water Advisory previously issued for the Hamlet of Springbrook is now over. Read More.

For more local news, click here!

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Texas judges issue additional rulings blocking Title IX revisions

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

From The Center Square

Rule change blocked in 15 states

Two federal judges have ruled in favor of Texas and Texas plaintiffs in separate lawsuits filed to block a Biden administration Title IX rule change from going into effect.

Texas is now the 15th state where the revisions are blocked from going into effect ahead of an Aug. 1 deadline.

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Amarillo Division on Friday granted the state’s request in a lawsuit filed by the state and two University of Texas at Austin professors. Kacsmaryk enjoined the U.S. Department of Education from “implementing, enacting, enforcing, or taking any action any manner to enforce” a new rule that revised Title IX pending the resolution of the case.

“The Final Rule inverts the text, history and tradition of Title IX: the statute protects women in spaces historically reserved to men; the Final Rule inserts men into spaces reserved to women,” Kacsmaryk said in his 32-page ruling.

In response, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, said, “Texas has successfully blocked Biden’s Department of Education from destroying Title IX protections for women and forcing radical ‘transgender’ ideology on Texas schools. Biden’s rule would have forced our schools to accommodate biological men on women’s sports teams and in female bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms, and required students and teachers to use incorrect pronouns. A federal judge has halted Biden’s rule pending a final ruling. It’s an honor to defend our State from Biden’s unlawful subversion of Title IX.”

Also on Friday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued a preliminary injunction against the rule in favor of Carroll Independent School District. In May, the district’s board of trustees, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, passed a resolution denouncing the Title IX changes and sued asking the court to block it from going into effect.

Also in May, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott instructed the Texas Education Agency and Texas colleges and universities not to comply with the changes, The Center Square reported. In the last two legislative sessions, Abbott signed bills into law to strengthen student safety and “protect the integrity of women’s sports by prohibiting men from competing against female athletes.” Abbott said, “I will not let President Biden erase the advancements Texas has made.”

Judge O’Connor said in his ruling, “The compliance costs also go beyond monetary harm given the potential to infringe on constitutional rights. Privileging gender identity over biological sex is in no way authorized by the statutory text. And the consequences based on this statutory distortion appear limitless. For these reasons, and those stated by other federal courts, Carroll ISD is likely to succeed on the merits of their challenge to the final rule.”

The rulings were issued after O’Connor in June vacated a guidance issued by the DOE and the Department of Justice requiring schools to implement similar policies to the rule change before it was finalized. He also issued a permanent injunction against its enforcement in Texas, The Center Square reported.

Texas sued in June 2023 over the agencies’ mandates; the agencies are responsible for administering and enforcing Title IX.

At issue is Title IX, part of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The law was enacted at a time when women and girls had limited athletic opportunities. Despite widespread opposition, including from women’s groups, the Biden administration began amending Title IX through several methods, arguing doing so would “advance educational equity and opportunity for women and girls across the country.”

It’s guidances and rule changes redefine biological sex to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

In response, 18 AGs argued the changes “demolished” women’s and girls’ rights, “making a mockery of Title IX’s fundamental organization principle – basic biology.”

After the Biden administration finalized the rule, multiple states sued. Texas sued on its own. Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Idaho filed a lawsuit. Alaska, Kansas, Utah and Wyoming filed another. Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia filed a separate lawsuit. Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina filed another.

So far, federal judges have ruled against the Biden administration.

In June, Louisiana, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty was the first to rule against the administration, blocking the administration’s changes from going into effect in Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Idaho.

O’Connor also ruled against the agency Title IX mandates in June.

In Kansas, U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves blocked the rule change from going into effect in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Then in July, in Kansas, District Judge John Broomes ruled against the administration, blocking the changes from going into effect in Alaska, Kansas, Utah and Wyoming. And Judge Kacsmaryk blocked the rule from going into effect in Texas.

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‘Fingers Being Pointed’: Secret Service’s Explanations For Security Failures Ahead Of Trump Assassination Attempt Aren’t Adding Up

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By KATELYNN RICHARDSON

 

Secret Service’s explanations for the security failures surrounding the assassination attempt against former President Donald Trump at a rally on Saturday aren’t adding up, according to security experts and former Secret Service agents.

Emerging details highlight what seems to be a disconnect between local officials and Secret Service, while making it more apparent that there were major oversights. Many key questions hinge on the responsibilities delegated to local police, who U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle confirmed during a Monday interview with ABC News were inside the building the shooter fired from, though nobody was stationed on the rooftop.

Cheatle explained a decision was made not to put anybody on top of the building because the “sloped” roof made it unsafe, but security experts and former Secret Service agents who spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation emphasized not having someone on the roof was a “big failure” and didn’t believe Cheatle’s explanation was sufficient.

“Let’s just say the local law enforcement officers [and] the Secret Service agree that it’s just not safe to keep someone up there for a couple of hours,” former Secret Service agent Anthony Cangelosi told the DCNF. “Then the question is, well, how do we maintain its integrity otherwise? It’s not like you just throw your hands up and say ‘can’t do that.’”

Cangelosi said there is no “justifiable reason” for failing to cover the roof, suggesting they should have found solutions like putting another platform up or getting an officer on a lift.

Peter Yachmetz, retired FBI agent and principal security consultant at Yachmetz Consulting Group, pointed out that the shooter was moving around on the “unsafe” roof prior to the incident.

“The slope didn’t affect him,” Yachmetz told the DCNF.

Law enforcement reportedly spotted the shooter on the roof 30 minutes before shots were fired, WPXI reported Monday. After the incident, a witness described watching a man climbing onto the roof and trying to warn a police officer, claiming officials responded with confusion.

“The reality is, regardless of the spin, that particular roof should have been under constant surveillance and or posted,” former secret service agent Tim Miller told the DCNF.

 

“In this particular instance, we did share support for that particular site and that the Secret Service was responsible for the inner perimeter,” Cheatle told ABC News Monday during an interview. “And then we sought assistance from our local counterparts for the outer perimeter. There was local police in that building — there was local police in the area that were responsible for the outer perimeter of the building.”

However, a local law enforcement official told The New York Times Tuesday that the local forces were in an adjacent building, not the one the shooter was firing from.

The discrepancies in their accounts only add to the uncertainties surrounding who was responsible.

CBS News reported Monday that there were three snipers stationed inside the building shooter Thomas Matthew Crooks fired from, citing a local law enforcement officer. One of the snipers saw Crooks looking through a rangefinder in the minutes before he fired and radioed command post, according to CBS News.

The Butler Township Police Department declined to confirm the report to the DCNF, stating that there is an ongoing investigation by the FBI.

Butler County Sheriff Michael Slupe declined to offer additional comments Tuesday, telling the DCNF he is “backing away from media requests for comment and opinions.”

“There are too many questions being posed that I do not have first hand knowledge of and too many fingers being pointed,” he said. “I am in charge of the Deputy Sheriffs and no other law enforcement agency. My Deputies performed their duties at their assigned areas and went above and beyond after the shooting started and ended in the their actions to help people and assist police in clearing the nearby buildings.”

Slupe previously confirmed to CNN that an armed Butler Township officer encountered Crooks before he shot at Trump, but retreated down the ladder after Crooks pointed his gun at him. He told KDKA-TV there was a security failure, but noted “there is not just one entity responsible.”

“The Secret Service plays a key role in protecting, in this case, former President Trump, but they don’t act alone,” he told the outlet. “The Secret Service receives support from local police departments.”

Pennsylvania State Police, however, did confirm they had no members “inside the building or staging in it.”

“The Pennsylvania State Police provided all resources that the United States Secret Service (USSS) requested for former President Trump’s rally in Butler on Saturday, July 13th, including approximately 30 to 40 troopers to assist with securing the inside perimeter,” Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Adam Reed told the DCNF. “Among PSP’s duties at the rally, the Department was not responsible for securing the building or property at AGR International.”

Reed said he could not say when an officer witnessed the shooter, as it was not a state trooper who saw him.

 

Former secret service agent Jeffrey James explained to the DCNF that protection “works in a series of concentric circles.” Typically, there is an inner circle of secret service agents, a second circle that mixes both agents and local law enforcement, and an outer ring that is largely state and local partners.

If the agent in charge of the site told a local law enforcement officer on the outer perimeter that the building is his responsibility, then anything that happens is on the officer.

“But if that agent didn’t find one of the local law enforcement partners and give very clear, direct directions…then it’s going to be the responsibility or the fault of that agent for not delegating that,” he told the DCNF.

It’s unclear what instructions the Secret Service gave to local law enforcement.

Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger told The Washington Post Tuesday that “Secret Service was in charge” and that “it was their responsibility to make sure that the venue and the surrounding area was secure.”

“For them to blame local law enforcement is them passing the blame when they hold the blame, in my opinion,” Goldinger told The Washington Post.

However, the Secret Service released a statement on Tuesday pushing back against assertions that they were blaming local law enforcement for the tragedy that unfolded on Saturday. “Any news suggesting the Secret Service is blaming local law enforcement for Saturday’s incident is simply not true,” the statement posted to the Secret Service’s X page said.

“I am having difficulty reconciling the answer the Director gave in her ABC interview with the official statement made on social media,” Patrick Yoes, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said in a press release on Tuesday. “Our goal is to provide whatever assistance the Secret Service needs to perform their mission and to do so with mutual respect, trust, and accuracy.”

A RealClearPolitics report suggested Sunday that resources were diverted away from Trump’s rally to an event where First Lady Jill Biden was speaking. Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the United States Secret Service, denied this was the case.

Questions also remain about why Crooks was not taken out sooner. Cangelosi explained to the DCNF that counter-snipers can face challenges due to their distance from the target.

“With counter snipers, you’re usually so far away, it’s not usually clear whether an individual is an imminent threat, ” Cangelosi said. “It’s harder to discern. Once they discern whether that person is a threat to life or serious bodily injury, they can take the shot.”

Yachmetz questioned why drone coverage was not utilized.

“A drone strategically placed a few thousand feet above could have oversaw the entire venue,” he said.

“In my opinion, a detailed, in-depth very specific investigation must be conducted of all procedures [and] this entire matter by a non-biased outside investigative group (possibly of retired agents),” Yachmetz told the DCNF, emphasizing the investigation must not be “politically motivated.”

House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer announced Monday that Cheatle would testify at a committee hearing on July 22. President Joe Biden said Sunday that he directed an “independent review” of the events.

The FBI told the DCNF it has “nothing additional to provide at this time beyond previously-issued statements.” The Bureau said Monday that it gained access to Crooks’ phone and “has conducted nearly 100 interviews of law enforcement personnel, event attendees, and other witnesses.”

Trump suffered a wound to his ear, and two were killed, including Crooks and 50-year-old ex-volunteer fire chief, Corey Comperatore. Two other attendees were also wounded the attack.

Secret Service did not respond to a request for comment.

Wallace White and Owen Klinsky contributed to this report.

Featured image credit: (Screen Capture/CSPAN)

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