Brutal ops tempo this weekend brings you the commentary-free News Roundup. Yes, I will be podcasting the debate tonight, as much as I wish I could do literally ANYTHING else. Find the podcast here or at the iTunes podcast page. —BK
Two Palm Springs police officers died, and another was injured after they had responded to a family disturbance call Saturday that set off hours of panic in the desert resort town. The shooting occurred shortly after noon, when officers rushed to the house near the Palm Springs Country Club after a woman reported a problem with her adult son.
Early Sunday, police arrested John Felix, 26, of Palm Springs, who was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that appeared to be not life-threatening.
“The officers were near the front door,” Police Chief Bryan Reyes told reporters, through tears, during an afternoon news conference. “They were responding to a simple family disturbance, and [the gunman] elected to open fire on the guardians of this city.”
Reyes took a deep breath and gripped the lectern for support as he spoke of the two victims: Officers Jose “Gil” Vega, 63, and Lesley Zerebny, 27.
Vega, a 35-year veteran of the department who helped train new officers, was a father of eight who recently submitted his paperwork for retirement. He wasn’t scheduled to work Saturday, Reyes said, but took the shift as overtime, as he often did so others could get time off.
Zerebny, who helped catch a murder suspect during her first year of training, had just returned to work from maternity leave after giving birth four months ago to a daughter. Her husband, Reyes said, works for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, which took over the investigation.
Your husband is a rapist. https://t.co/YIWrC6N5iI
— BK (@BKactual) October 7, 2016
An Army medical sergeant with Minnesota ties was killed Tuesday following an explosion in Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan.
Staff Sgt. Adam Thomas, 31, died from injuries caused by an improvised explosive device during operations, according to a Defense Department press release. His commander said in a statement that Thomas “epitomized what it is to be a professional Green Beret and soldier.”
Thomas was with the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Carson and had two previous deployments — one to Iraq in 2008 and one to Afghanistan in 2011. Army records list his home as Takoma Park, Md. He earned a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, four Army Commendation Medals and the National Defense Service Medal, as well as other accolades.
Thomas went to elementary school in the St. Peter, Minn., school district before attending high school in Elgin, Ill. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 2007. He was an All-American swimmer, went to national championships in 2005, and was a conference champion in 2004, according to St. Olaf swim coach Bob Hauck.
The Army was engulfed in a diversity row last night after advertising exclusively for black soldiers.
It is seeking volunteers from within its ranks to join the Army’s recruiting team, which is spread across the country. But for the two posts in Manchester and Leeds, where the military has traditionally found it difficult to recruit ethnic minorities, it specified that successful candidates had to be ‘Black British’ privates or lance corporals.
The adverts have caused anger, with some servicemen complaining they discriminate against white soldiers.
Ethnic minorities make up just seven per cent of the UK Armed Forces – about 10,490 personnel – compared with 12 per cent of the British workforce overall. At officer level, black and ethnic minorities make up just 2.4 per cent of the total workforce.
Out of 13,000 officers in the Army, only 100 are Asian and 60 black, according to the Ministry of Defence’s diversity figures. Of 7,000 officers in the Royal Navy, only 20 are black and Asian. Some 45 Asian and 30 black servicemen and women out of 8,000 are in the RAF.
Last year, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told service chiefs that by 2020 at least 10 per cent of all new recruits must come from a non-white background. But MoD figures for 2016 show there has been no increase in recruitment from ethnic minorities.
The Army said last night: ‘It is important to have a diverse recruiting force to attract the brightest and the best.
A retired police detective earning a whopping $90,000-a-year in tax free NYPD disability payments is working full-time as a security boss for the U.S. Army, the Daily News has learned.
Anthony Hernandez, 43,(!!!!!!) of Staten Island, retired as a detective from the NYPD in January 2014 and began receiving $7,443.62 a month in coveted disability payments from the city, records show.
Within a few months, the former general manager of the NYPD’s football team then began working as a security official at the sprawling Brooklyn military base in Fort Hamilton, making about $50,000 a year, records show.
“He didn’t waste any time leaving the NYPD and starting to work here,” a source told The News. “He supposedly has a back problem, but he’s bending down and picking up weapons, jumping in and out of his vehicle.”
Under state law, retired cops, who go back to work less than 20 years from the day they became police officers, risk being forced to go back to NYPD duty if they are found physically fit after a medical exam.
They lose their disability pension if they refuse.
Hernandez, who did not respond to repeated requests for comment, was appointed a cop in September 2000, which puts him at a hair over 16 years since he joined the NYPD — four years from the cut-off.
Imagine you’re a U.S. Special Forces operator on a dangerous mission. You need to hit a terrorist’s mountainside compound without the host country knowing that you’re there, so you need a ride that’s quiet and carries a low thermal signature. General Motors has a truck that they want to put you in.
The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 is an electric truck powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that runs far quieter and cooler (between 60 to 80 degrees Celsius) than conventional automobiles. It’s almost a forward operating base unto itself, capable of producing 25 kilowatts of continuous power (and up to 50 kilowatts at peak output), along with two gallons of water per hour. The vehicle itself is a modified Chevy Colorado, rigged for off-road performance with bigger tires, better suspension, longer wheelbase, etc.
A San Antonio-based soldier and his girlfriend have been arrested in Texas for the murder of the soldier’s wife, a private first class, in Maryland last year.
Sgt. 1st Class Maliek Kearney, who is assigned to Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, was taken into custody by San Antonio police, the San Antonio News Express reported Thursday. Kearney and his girlfriend, Dolores Delgado, were indicted by a Maryland federal grand jury on Tuesday for crossing state lines to commit murder, according to the indictment.
Pfc. Karlyn Ramirez, 24, was found dead of gunshot wounds on Aug. 25, 2015. Kearney and Delgado are charged with traveling from Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Kearney’s former duty station, to Ramirez’s home near her Fort Meade, Maryland, duty station to commit the murder.
Ramirez’s five-month-old daughter was found unharmed next to her body.
According to the Department of Defense, the former top military aide to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter used his government credit card at gentlemen’s clubs in Korea and Italy last year, the Los Angeles Times reports.
It is alleged that Army Major Gen. Ronald F. Lewis engaged in excessive drinking at the Candy Bar in Seoul, Korea, and the Cica Cica Boom bar in Rome, running up nearly $3,000 in charges.
In a 51-page report released by the Pentagon’s inspector general on Thursday, Lewis is accused of making a false statement, misusing a government travel charge card, and carrying out conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman…
…According to the report, on a visit to Seoul in April, Lewis charged $1,121.25 and an 81 percent tip at the Candy Bar club, which is located in an area that is off-limits to U.S. military personnel because of prostitution, drugs and underage drinking.
When investigators showed the charges to Lewis, he denied ever being there and called Citibank to have the charges removed from the card. Although the bank complied, investigators determined that Lewis was lying.
In October, Lewis was on official travel with Carter. According to the report, he used his government-issued credit card at the Cica Cica Boom club, which advertises, among other things, lap dances.
Lewis told investigators that he tried to pay his $1,755.98 (!!!!) with his debit card, but it was not accepted, so he, accompanied by a club employee, went back to his hotel to get his government-issued card to pay the bill.
Six soldiers and two civilians were indicted Wednesday on charges they conspired to steal and sell Army equipment, from printer ink to machine gun parts and the sight for a grenade launcher, on eBay.
Soldiers Michael Barlow, Jonathan Wolford, Kyle Heade, Alexander Hollibaugh, Dustin Nelson and Aaron Warner, all stationed at Fort Campbell, were named in the indictment unsealed on Thursday. Also charged are civilians John Roberts and Cory Wilson, both of Clarksville.
U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee David Rivera is expected to formally announce the charges at a news conference at the federal courthouse in Nashville Thursday afternoon.
The indictment lists the following equipment that was stolen and sold by the defendants between 2013 and 2016:
A sight for an M203 grenade launcher
Machine gun parts including magazine adapters, barrel assemblies and at least 30 barrels, heat shields
– Body armor
– Sniper telescope with tripod, and rifle mounts
– Combat and flight helmets
The value of the equipment stolen and sold by the group totaled more than $1 million, according to the indictment. The equipment was stored in warehouses and storage units around Clarksville, and was listed for sale online by Cory Wilson and John Roberts, civilians who live in Clarksville, the indictment says.
In May 2013, Roberts exchanged messages with someone listed in his phone as an E5, a sergeant, to arrange buying helmets and tactical vests, the indictment reads.
“Where i just got that sh– was craaaaazy risky,” the sergeant texted.
“I can only imagine,” Roberts replied, according to the indictment. “I wondered about that. I imagine its (sic) pretty locked up.”
Even eBay caught on, the indictment says, and went after the sellers for wrongly listing items for sale and trying to sell components of assault weapons.
The items were then sold on eBay to buyers located in the U.S., Russia, China, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Lithuania, Moldova, Malaysia, Romania and Mexico, the indictment reads.
A “highly intoxicated” north Alabama man, who didn’t have on any clothes, was arrested while trying to break into a Limestone County home today, a lawman said.
When deputies were responding to a report of a naked man running around a Poff Lane neighborhood in Athens, 911 dispatchers got a call about the suspect trying to enter the home through a window, sheriff’s spokesman Stephen Young said.
Matthew Dale Baker, 32, of Athens, was taken into custody after authorities found him lying naked under a nearby porch, Young said.