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Carolina Ford #fundie wistv.com

HONEA PATH, S.C. (WBTV) - Buy a vehicle at Carolina Ford, get a free Bible - and an AR-15.

The South Carolina dealership posted their “latest greatest” promotion on Facebook last week, saying the deal is good through November.

“For the months of October and November, Carolina ford will be giving away a Bible, an American Flag and a Smith & Wesson AR with every vehicle purchased!!!!” Carolina Fords posted. “So if you have been waiting for a great deal on a new or pre-owned vehicle then now is the time to jump on it.”

The IndexJournal reports customers will get a $400 voucher for the purchase of a Smith & Wesson AR-15 from Locked-N-Loaded in Abbeville, as opposed to receiving the rifle on site. The gun shop runs background checks, according to WHNS.

In one post, a man is seen holding up part of an American flag while another man stands holding a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other.

“Love this promo! And a good reason to buy another Ford truck,” one person commented.

“Can’t wait for the lawsuits when your company is held liable for a shooting!” wrote another.

The dealership says those interested in the promotion may call (864) 369-7376.

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SC Governor Henry McMaster; US Department of Health and Human Services; Miracle Hill Ministries; American Principles Project #fundie wistv.com

(submitter's note: This article is incredibly badly formatted and edited. I've tried to tidy it up as best I can.)

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster had a request regarding faith-based foster care providers from an Obama administration regulation make an exception for groups in the Palmetto State.

The regulation initially said that faith-based foster and adoption groups could not discriminate against families who wanted to adopt but did not adhere to the agency's beliefs and still accept federal money to fund their operations. Those beliefs could mean that families of different religions or sexual orientations could be denied a chance to foster or adopt children if they went against private organization's beliefs.

In a statement released Wednesday, the ruling made by the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has granted the governor’s request. It says, in part:

The governor of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, asked ACF to grant the state an exception, highlighting discrimination against faith-based organizations arising from the December 2016 grants regulation, which became effective in January 2017. It is a well-established process under HHS regulations that states can request an exception. HHS's grants regulation establishes that any grantee can seek an exception (or deviation) from particular grant requirements, and sets forth a process for seeking such exceptions. "We have approved South Carolina's request to protect religious freedom and preserve high-quality foster care placement options for children," said Lynn Johnson, assistant secretary for ACF. "Faith-based organizations that provide foster care services not only perform a great service for their communities, they are exercising a legally-protected right to practice their faith through good works. Our federal agency should not – and, under the laws adopted by Congress, cannot – drive faith-motivated foster care providers out of the business of serving children without a compelling government interest, especially now that child welfare systems are stretched thin as a result of the opioid epidemic.

Gov. McMaster joined the fight against this policy when a Greenville faith-based center, Miracle Hill Ministries, whose requirement for Christians-only became a contested issue.

"I will never stop fighting for your religious freedom. The generous foster families at Miracle Hill Ministries make sacrifices to protect our vulnerable children, but the government cannot force them to sacrifice their faith. Will you stand with us?" McMaster wrote in February 2018.

In considering the request of the state of South Carolina, ACF consulted with department subject-matter experts including the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), to which HHS has delegated the responsibility to ensure compliance among its programs and its grantees with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). "This decision preserves all of the foster care agencies currently available for children in South Carolina by ensuring faith-based organizations can continue to serve this vulnerable population. It protects minors who are in need of as many options as possible for being placed in loving foster families," said Johnson. "The government should not be in the business of forcing foster care providers to close their doors because of their faith. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right." As before, all qualified persons interested in becoming certified foster care providers will continue to have multiple avenues for doing so within the state. Additionally, as a condition of the relief HHS provided the state of South Carolina, subrecipients of grant funds will continue to refer any potential foster care families not accepted into subrecipients' program to other placement agencies or to the state. "By granting this request to South Carolina, HHS is putting foster care capacity needs ahead of burdensome regulations that are in conflict with the law," said Johnson.

In response, the ACLU tweeted: "The Governor of South Carolina asked @HHSGov for permission to discriminate against prospective adoptive and foster families based on their religious beliefs — and HHS just granted it. Children who are waiting for loving and supportive homes deserve better than this."

Terry Schilling, executive director at American Principles Project, released the following statement applauding HHS for approving the exception for South Carolina faith-based foster care providers and urging further progress toward dismantling the discriminatory Obama-era regulation:

"Just nine days prior to President Trump's inauguration, the Obama administration implemented a discriminatory regulation that made it the policy of the federal government to viciously discriminate against faith-based foster care providers.

"Today, HHS took an important first step toward reversing that shameful policy by providing the state of South Carolina with an official exception to the regulation, allowing these charities the ability to continue serving poor children who desperately need homes without having to violate key tenets of their faith. HHS also made it clear that the position of the Trump administration is that the Obama-era regulation is in direct conflict with the law.

"We applaud HHS for their effort to protect faith-based foster care providers, and we urge HHS and the Trump administration to continue their efforts to undo this discriminatory regulation in order to preserve the freedom of these providers to continue their important work."

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Kehinde and Titilayo Omosebi #fundie wistv.com

Parents charged after son dies during month of fasting to get 'blessing from God'

REEDSBURG, WI (WKOW/CNN) – The parents of a 15-year-old boy face felony child neglect charges after their son died of starvation while the family was fasting in an alleged religious practice.

The teenager's father, 49-year-old Kehinde Omosebi, appeared in court Tuesday, where he was officially charged with two counts of neglecting a child. His wife, 48-year-old Titilayo Omosebi, did not appear in court but has been arrested.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday claims Kehinde Omosebi failed to provide food for his 15-year-old and 11-year-old sons. The father went to the police station Monday to report the 15-year-old, Ayanfe Omosebi, had died.

Police officers reporting to the family’s home described the 15-year-old's body as extremely emaciated. They say there was no food or eating utensils in the home.

The 11-year-old boy was in poor health when police arrived. He was emaciated and had a hard time walking and talking, police say. The criminal complaint states he had to be carried out of his bedroom because he was unable to walk on his own.

Doctors say the boy will have to stay in the hospital for an extended time as he is treated and returns to eating regularly.

Authorities say there was no electricity in the family home, and the only furniture they found were four metal chairs in the living room, all facing one another.

There were also padlocks placed on the doors on the inside of the house in such a way "someone on the inside would be confined to the home and unable to leave," according to court records.

Kehinde Omosebi claimed the family was part of a religious group affiliated with Cornerstone Reformation Ministries. Police say they can find no records supporting the claim.

The 49-year-old told police the family had begun fasting July 17 in order to receive a "blessing from God" to move to Atlanta.

According to the criminal complaint, the 15-year-old died Aug. 31, the day Kehinde Omosebi said the fasting was supposed to end. The family reportedly prayed for two days per their religious beliefs before the father reported his son’s death.

The father allegedly told police the family had fasted with the children before but "not for this long."

Officers say they found a handwritten note addressed to county lawyers from the 11-year-old which included the statements, "The hunger is too much. Please help me now so I may eat. I can’t continue in such a life with no food."

The letter referenced it had been five days since he and his family had eaten anything.

Officers had contact with all four family members May 21 when they were putting religious pamphlets on cars in a grocery store parking lot, according to Reedsburg Police Chief Timothy Becker.

Becker says the children appeared in good health at the time.

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Mayor Hardy King of Irmo, SC #fundie wistv.com

SC mayor tells national publication 'who's going to read it' when social media posts on Muslims are questioned

Wednesday, June 6th 2018, 3:09 pm EDT
By Tanita Gaither, Digital Content Manager

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The mayor of Irmo, SC has garnered the attention of a national publication because of personal social media accounts that many are considering anti-Muslim.

Irmo Mayor Hardy King shared a post on June 4 that from a Facebook group called "America's Veterans are Loved" entitled "PERSPECTIVE." The post lists a number of global terrorist attacks and how the suspects were Muslim.

The posts were made on the mayor's personal Facebook page that includes other conservative-leaning posts. The June 4 post no longer appears on his page.

When asked by The Daily Beast, a popular online news website many consider to be left-leaning, King was unapologetic about the posts, saying his posts "did not merit public concern, commenting sarcastically 'like it's your business, or somebody's...'"

“I’m sure the article isn’t going to do any good anyway,” The Daily Beast quotes King as saying, “and I don’t know who’s going to read it here, and I’m sure it’s already biased in the first place. But that’s fine. That’s life, and that’s politics, and I’ll deal with that.”

We've reached out to Mayor King via email for further comment and have not yet heard back.

The mayor is a Republican and was elected to his position in 2011. The mayor, a local businessman who championed the city's parking ordinances, promoted a track record of fiscal conservatism during his campaign.

He is running for reelection in 2019, according to his website.

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Brittany and Tiara Jones #fundie wistv.com

CPD: Woman arrested in attempted exorcism, kidnapping; sister wanted
Monday, April 16th 2018, 3:08 pm EDT
By Claude Thompson, Digital Content Producer

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Two women are facing charges in connection with an attempted exorcism where a 56-year-old victim was held against her will on March 19.

Brittany Jones, 28, and Tiara Jones, 26, are both facing first-degree assault charges and kidnapping charges in connection with the exorcism.

Brittany Jones allegedly assaulted the victim in the upper and lower body with a cross, believing the victim was possessed.

The victim escaped and got help from a neighbor and was transported to injuries that were not life-threatening.

Brittany Jones was arrested last week and is held on a $100,000 bond, according to Columbia Police, but Tiara Jones is still wanted.

Anyone with any information about this incident is urged by authorities to contact Crimestoppers by calling 1-888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372) or visiting www.midlandscrimestoppers.com and emailing a tip. Your identity will be kept anonymous, and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

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Six South Carolina Republicans #fundie wistv.com

A group of six SC lawmakers are looking to define same-sex marriages as 'parody marriages'
Monday, February 19th 2018, 10:00 am EST
By Jeremy Turnage, Digital Content Manager

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A group of six Republican lawmakers are looking to redefine marriage even after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld same-sex marriage in a landmark June 2015 ruling.

The "Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act" aims to refer to any marriage not between a man and a woman as "parody marriage." The bill says those marriages "fail to check out the human design."

The bill goes further and defines marriage as only a "union between a man and a woman."

Reps Josiah Magnuson, Bill Chumley, Steven Long, Mike Burns, John McCravy, and Rick Martin filed the bill in mid-February. All six lawmakers are running for re-election in the 2018 general election.

The Supreme Court made all bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional following a 5-4 ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case.

Justice Anthony Kennedy issued the opinion of the court in that case.

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family," Kennedy wrote. "In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."

The South Carolina bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

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Kenneth Copeland and officials at Fort Jackson #fundie wistv.com

'Christian extremist' Kenneth Copeland's Ft Jackson appearances sparks protests
Tuesday, January 30th 2018, 9:31 pm EST
Tuesday, January 30th 2018, 10:00 pm EST
By Tanita Gaither, Digital Content Manager

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Both military and veteran groups are protesting a well-known' televangelist's appearance at a prayer breakfast on Fort Jackson this week.

A number of veterans and military groups - including the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the Forum on Military Chaplaincy, Vote Vets - have called for Fort Jackson to rescind the invitation from televangelist Kenneth Copeland. A petition has also started making the same request.

The prayer breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 1.

Copeland - a member of President Donald Trump's faith advisory board - and longtime television preacher whose headquarters is in Fort Worth, TX, has made a number of claims in the past stating that the Bible says soldiers should not suffer or claim to suffer from a post-traumatic stress disorder.
In one 2013 sermon, the self-described "Christian extremist" cites Numbers 32: 20-22 as the verse to back his claim. The passage reads:

Then Moses said to them: “If you do this thing, if you arm yourselves before the Lord for the war, and all your armed men cross over the Jordan before the Lord until He has driven out His enemies from before Him, and the land is subdued before the Lord, then afterward you may return and be blameless before the Lord and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the Lord."

"Any of you suffering from PTSD I want you to listen to me right now," Copeland said in 2013. "You get rid of that right now. You don't take drugs to get rid of it, it doesn't take psychology - that promise right there [points to Bible] will get rid of it."

In a letter to Fort Jackson Commander Maj. Gen. John P. Johnson, MRFF President and Founder Mikey Weinstein asked that given PTSD is a recognized mental health disorder, why would Copeland even be allowed to be on post.

"If you trivialize PTSD, you trivialize the members of the military that have this very serious disease. Is he going to claim next that you can't have [a] traumatic brain injury? Is he going to say at Fort Jackson that PTSD doesn't exist?"

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 3.6 percent of U.S. adults had PTSD in from 2016 to 2017. People who battle PTSD are not just veterans and soldiers - PTSD can occur when a person survives any traumatic event, such as a physical assault, car accident, or natural disaster.

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Various Hidalgo County officials #fundie wistv.com

(bolding done by submitter, for emphasis)
(article contains autoplay video)

Ex-priest convicted of murdering Texas woman in 1960

EDINBURG, Texas (AP) - An ex-priest was convicted of murdering a 25-year-old Texas schoolteacher and beauty queen on Thursday, more than 57 years after Irene Garza went to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen intending to go to confession.

Garza's bludgeoned body was found days after her April 16, 1960, disappearance. An autopsy revealed that she had been raped while unconscious and had been beaten and suffocated.

A Hidalgo County jury deliberated 6½ hours before returning its verdict in the murder trial of John Bernard Feit, an 85-year-old former priest, after hearing five days of testimony.

Feit, who was 28 at the time of her death, came under suspicion early on, telling police that he heard Garza's confession - in the church rectory, not in the confessional - but denying he killed her.

This week, prosecutors presented evidence that elected and church officials suspected Feit killed her but wanted to avoid prosecuting him because it might harm the church's reputation and elected officials politically. Most elected officials at the time in Hidalgo County were Catholic, and Sen. John F. Kennedy, a Catholic, was running for president that year.

Feit later spent time at a treatment center in New Mexico for troubled priests and after that became a supervisor and had a part in clearing priests for assignments to parishes. Among the men Feit helped keep in ministry was child molester James Porter, who assaulted more than 100 victims before he was ultimately defrocked and sent to prison.

Feit left the priesthood in 1972, married and went on to work at the Catholic charity St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix for a number of years, training and recruiting volunteers and helping oversee the charity's network of food pantries.

Among the evidence that pointed to Feit as a suspect over the years: His portable photographic slide viewer was found near Garza's body. Two fellow priests told authorities Feit confessed to them. And one of them said he saw scratches on Feit soon after Garza's disappearance.

Also, Feit had been accused of attacking another young woman in a church in a nearby town just weeks before Garza's death. He eventually pleaded no contest and was fined $500.

At trial, Dale Tacheny, a tax adviser in Oklahoma City who had been a priest at a Missouri monastery where Feit had applied to live in 1963, said that Feit had confessed to him that he had murdered a young woman. Tacheny said it wasn't until years later that he learned that the woman Feit had described was Garza.

Defense attorney O. Rene Flores argued that prosecutors have insufficient evidence to convict Feit, who was living in Arizona at the time of his arrest last year.

Garza's family members and friends had long pushed authorities to reopen the case, and it became an issue in the 2014 district attorney's race. Ricardo Rodriguez had promised that if elected, he would re-examine the case.

Prosecutors Michael Garza, who was not related to the victim, and Krystine Ramon, hugged members of Irene Garza's family after the verdict was read. District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez, who campaigned for election in part on a pledge to reopen the Garza murder case, embraced his team of prosecutors and the Garza family, some of whom shed tears of relief.

A stone-faced John Feit was led from the courtroom back to his county jail cell.

The jury will begin hearing evidence Friday morning on what punishment Feit should receive. He could be sentenced to up to 99 years or life imprisonment.

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Ralph Stair and Overcomer Ministry #fundie wistv.com

Former members of Colleton Co. church allege sexual abuse, say it's a cult
By Harve Jacobs, Reporter

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Former members of a Colleton County church have come forward saying they were sexually assaulted by the church's leader.

The leader of Overcomer Ministry in the Canadys community in Colleton County is under investigation after Ralph Stair apparently was seen on video touching a 12 year old girl's breast.

Some say the 84-year-old so-called preacher actually is a predator who preys on young girls and women. A video recently surfaced that apparently shows Stair cupping the breast of a 12-year old girl during a church service.

"I'm gonna touch those things till nobody else can touch 'em," Stair is heard saying in the video.

The video brought back some bad memories for three former members of Stair's church. They all decided to speak out after seeing the (video).

Stacey who asked us not to show her face moved with her family to Stair's farm in 1999. At the time she was 17 years old.

"I think it's that he's really charismatic, he's powerful sounding, at least back then with his words," Stacey said.

Donna Jackson and her family moved to Stair's farm in 1995. At the time Jackson was married and in her 30s.

"It wasn't that difficult for me to do because I was under the impression that this was a man of God and that what we were doing was the right thing," Jackson said.

Lita, who also asked that we not show her face moved to the Overcomer farm with her family in 1997. At the time she was 17.

"We all assumed that ok, he hears from God and whatever he says, do this is what you do," Lita said.

The brochure for Overcomer Ministry portrays the farm as a place where people seek to live together for God and each other. The brochure states residents will "go nowhere, no shopping or trips. Your life will be here on the farm until Jesus comes." Families also were forced to give all their possessions to Stair and his ministry.

"Just everything, we went with nothing," Lita said.

The women say their families learned to be self-sufficient, growing their own food. Soon, they saw some red flags.

"Started giving me hugs and he had never paid me much attention at all except he asked me a couple of times how old I was," Stacey said.

"He made a beeline for me pretty quickly once we moved there," Jackson said.

Lita says she was forced to live apart from her parents.

"That's when I started encountering sexual advances from Stair," Lita said.

Stacey says one day the elderly preacher did the unthinkable to her inside a trailer on the compound.

"He just sexually assaulted me right there. I still couldn't talk. I couldn't say anything. I just basically let it happen. I covered my hands over my face and let it happen because I didn't know what else to do," Stacey said.

Lita says she also was sexually assaulted by Stair for more than a year.

"I was like I don't want to do this. Can you please leave me alone? He's like don't you want to please God?" Lita said.

Jackson says she was attacked but not sexually assaulted.

"He grabbed me and I could feel him if you understand what I mean because he had pressed himself against me that firmly," Jackson said.

Jackson told her her husband about the (assault). The two other women were afraid to speak up.

"Even if you thought in your mind against him you were in danger of going to hell or being judged by God," Stacey said.

"Nobody's gonna believe anything you say. If you say something against him, you are going to hell. You're just like outcasts," Lita said. "I was told to just be quiet and let God handle it which is why this time I feel like I have to say something."

In 2002, Stacey went to the Colleton County Sheriff's Office. Stair was charged with sexually assaulting her. Stacey says prosecutors told her because Stair was old and it was the holiday season, it would be hard to get a conviction.

Stair pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault and battery.

Lita did not ask for charges to be filed.

The former members now say what they initially thought was a church is something else.

"It's a cult, it's absolutely 100 percent cult," Stacey said.

"Today I call it a cult. Then I would have said it was a church community," Jackson said.

"It's brainwashing at its finest," Lita said.

Now years later, the women say the recently posted video looks all too familiar.

"Now he's abusing children in front of an entire congregation and not only in front of an entire congregation. He's actually bold enough to videotape it and put it on his website," Stacey said.

"I was disgusted but I wasn't surprised because this is something he was doing forever," Jackson said.

"I was tore up," Lita said. "It's like everything that I've kept hidden for all these years. All of those emotions and feelings just came rushing back up. I was messed up."

Reporter Harve Jacobs went to the Overcomer compound to try to get a response from Reverend Stair. There are no trespassing signs outside the gate, so he called for a comment. Harve was told Stair was not available. He left his number but never heard back. The former church members who came forward all eventually left the ministry.

All say they still bear scars from their time at the farm.

"All he does is destroy families in the name of Jesus, that's what he does," Lita said.

"I want people in Walterboro and in Colleton County to realize that is going on right there around you and people that can stop it are not stopping it," Stacey said.

"I would just really admonish everyone, anyone who's ever thought about going there, don't do it, you will regret it," Jackson said.

So far no new charges have been filed against Stair.

The Colleton County Sheriff's Office with the assistance of the State Law Enforcement Division is investigating Stair after the latest video that surfaced.

(Story contains video)

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EPA #fundie wistv.com

EPA chemical review would exclude millions of tons of toxins


By MATTHEW BROWN


BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Spurred by the chemical industry, President Donald Trump's administration is retreating from a congressionally mandated review of some of the most dangerous chemicals in public use: millions of tons of asbestos, flame retardants and other toxins in homes, offices and industrial plants across the United States.

Instead of following President Barack Obama's proposal to look at chemicals already in widespread use that result in some of the most common exposures, the new administration wants to limit the review to products still being manufactured and entering the marketplace.

For asbestos, that means gauging the risks from just a few hundred tons of the material imported annually while excluding almost all of the estimated 8.9 million tons (8.1 million metric tons) of asbestos-containing products that the U.S. Geological Survey said entered the marketplace between 1970 and 2016.

Lawmakers say the review was intended to be the first step toward enacting new regulations needed to protect the public. But critics - including health workers, consumer advocates, members of Congress and environmental groups - contend ignoring products already in use undermines that goal.

The administration's stance is the latest example of Trump siding with industry. In this case, firefighters and construction workers say the move jeopardizes their health.

Both groups risk harm from asbestos because of its historical popularity in construction materials ranging from roofing and flooring tiles to insulation used in tens of millions of homes. Most of the insulation came from a mine in a Montana town that's been declared a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site and where hundreds of people have died from asbestos exposure.

"Hundreds of thousands of firefighters are going to be affected by this. It is by far the biggest hazard we have out there," said Patrick Morrison, assistant general president for health and safety at the International Association of Fire Fighters. "My God, these are not just firefighters at risk. There are people that live in these structures and don't know the danger of asbestos."

Asbestos fibers can become deadly when disturbed in a fire or during remodeling, lodging in the lungs and causing problems including mesothelioma, a form of cancer. The material's dangers have long been recognized. But a 1989 attempt to ban most asbestos products was overturned by a federal court, and it remains in widespread use.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health analyzed cancer-related deaths among 30,000 firefighters from Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The 2015 study concluded firefighters contract mesothelioma at twice the rate of other U.S. residents.

Firefighters also face exposure to flame retardants included in the EPA's review that are used in furniture and other products.

"I believe the chemical industry is killing firefighters," said Tony Stefani, a former San Francisco fireman who retired in 2003 after 28 years when diagnosed with cancer he believes resulted from exposure to chemicals in the pending review.

Stefani said he was one of five in his station to contract cancer in a short period. Three later died, while Stefani had a kidney removed and endured a year of treatment before being declared cancer-free.

"When I entered the department in the early 70s, our biggest fear was dying in the line of duty or succumbing to a heart attack," he said. "Those were the biggest killers, not cancer. But we work in a hazardous-materials situation every time we have a fire now."

Mesothelioma caused or contributed to more than 45,000 deaths nationwide between 1999 and 2015, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study in March. The number of people dying annually from the disease increased about 5 percent during that time.

Congress ordered the EPA review last year to gauge risks of asbestos and nine other highly toxic substances and find better ways to manage them for public safety.

In one of its last acts under Obama, the EPA said in January it would judge the chemicals "in a comprehensive way" based on their "known, intended and reasonably foreseen uses."

Under Trump, the agency has aligned with the chemical industry, which sought to narrow the review's scope. The EPA now says it will focus only on toxins still being manufactured and entering commerce. It won't consider whether new handling and disposal rules are needed for "legacy," or previously existing, materials.

"EPA considers that such purposes generally fall outside of the circumstances Congress intended EPA to consider," said EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones, adding the agency lacks authority to regulate noncommercial uses of the chemicals.

One of the law's co-authors, New Mexico Democratic Sen. Tom Udall, disputes that Congress wanted to limit the review.

"It doesn't matter whether the dangerous substance is no longer being manufactured; if people are still being exposed, then there is still a risk," Udall told The Associated Press. "Ignoring these circumstances would openly violate the letter and the underlying purpose of the law."

Rep. Frank Pallone of New York, ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the EPA was deferring to the chemical industry's wishes at the expense of public health.

Democrats and public health advocates have criticized EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for hiring two people - Nancy Beck, the agency's deputy assistant administrator for chemical safety, and Liz Bowman, its associate administrator for public affairs - who formerly worked for the American Chemistry Council, the industry's lobbying arm.

The council pushed back against the Obama administration's interpretation of the law, urging the EPA's new leadership to narrow its review. The Trump administration did that in June.

"Did we get everything we wanted? No. But we certainly agree the (Trump) administration put forth a reasonable final rule," said council vice president Michael Walls. Broadening the review, he added, would send the EPA "down a rabbit hole chasing after illusory risks."

The politically influential National Association of Homebuilders, which represents the residential construction industry, fears broadly interpreting the new law would lead to burdensome regulations that are unnecessary because it says asbestos disposal rules already are adequate.

Many of those regulations are based on a 1994 Occupational Safety and Health Administration finding that materials had to contain at least 1 percent asbestos to qualify for regulation. But public health experts say the 1 percent threshold is arbitrary.

"It's bad medicine, and it's harmful," said Michael Harbut, an internal medicine professor at Detroit's Wayne State University and medical adviser to an insulation workers' union.

"There's still a lot of asbestos out there," said Harbut, who helped establish criteria used by physicians to diagnose and treat asbestos-related diseases. "It's still legal, it's still deadly, and it's going to be a problem for decades to come."

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SCE&G; US Army Corps Of Engineers #fundie wistv.com

Feds OK plan to leave slick of polluted coal tar in SC river

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - Federal authorities have approved a plan to allow S.C. Electric and Gas to leave a slick of polluted coal tar in the Congaree River rather than cleaning it up.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a permit Wednesday allowing the power company to cover the toxin-tainted coal tar with stones or other material to hold it in place.

The company backed away from a plan to dig up the coal tar and haul it away because of expense.

Congaree Riverkeeper Bill Stangler says his group is considering legal challenges to the Corps' decision. State regulators say the coal tar hasn't hurt water quality, although testing has been limited. Stangler's full statement released on Friday reads:

"This will not protect the Congaree River or the people who use it, and it is a far cry from SCE&G’s promise to do right by the river. We believe SCE&G can do better, and should do better. No one from SCE&G has ever explained to us why they have backed away from their assurances of a full cleanup.”

The Corps approved the plan Wednesday and made it public Friday.

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Boy Scouts; Colorado state senator Vicki Marble #fundie wistv.com

Cub Scout kicked out after asking lawmaker about gun control

By COLLEEN SLEVIN
Associated Press

DENVER (AP) - A Cub Scout was kicked out of his den after he questioned a Colorado state lawmaker about her position on gun control and previous comments she made about African-Americans' health and eating fried chicken.

It was the latest political flashpoint for the Boy Scouts after President Donald Trump used his speech at the organization's national jamboree in July to rail against "fake news" and former President Barack Obama and boast about beating Hillary Clinton.

Eleven-year-old Ames Mayfield posed the questions at an Oct. 9 event in Broomfield, between Denver and Boulder. Cub Scouts had been told to come prepared to talk to Republican state Sen. Vicki Marble about issues important to them.

Ames' mother, Lori Mayfield, said a local scout leader later told her that the topic of gun control was inappropriate because of its political nature and that the boy's questions were disrespectful.

The Boy Scouts, which includes the Cub Scouts, refused to comment on why the boy was asked to leave but say he will remain in scouting after finding a new group.

"The Boy Scouts of America is a wholly nonpartisan organization and does not promote any one political position, candidate or philosophy," the organization said Friday in a statement.

Cub Scouts is for children in the first through fifth grades. They meet in groups of children from the same grade called "dens," which are part of larger "packs."

Ames was only kicked out of his den, not the larger pack. Since the other available den met while he attends classes, changing to another den within the pack was not an option. He's joining a den in a new pack at his church, his mother said.

The leaders of the group that kicked Ames out did not return phone messages and emails left by The Associated Press.

In online videos recorded by Lori Mayfield, the scouts asked questions about why people wanted to vote for Obama just because he was black and about Trump's proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. It was unclear which scouts asked the questions. Mayfield blurred the identities of all the children except for that of her son.

In the video showing Ames asking about gun control, he read from a printed sheet, telling the lawmaker that he was shocked that she sponsored a bill that allowed domestic violence offenders to own guns. He also rattled off a list of survey statistics about Americans' views on the issue and spoke about the trouble Las Vegas shooting victims would have paying their bills.

"There is something wrong in our country where Republicans believe it's a right to own a gun but a privilege to have health care. None of that makes sense to me," he said.

After nearly 2½ minutes, an adult is heard cutting him off, remarking on his thorough question. Marble responds by talking about the need for "crime control" instead and saying that the Vegas shooting and the 2012 Aurora theater shooting both happened in "gun-free zones."

Marble drew national attention in 2013 after she seemed to draw a link between the health of black people and eating fried chicken and barbecue in comments made during a legislative committee hearing. The head of the state Republican Party and others criticized her words.

She then issued a statement saying she was saddened that her comments were interpreted as disparaging.

During the scout meeting, Ames told Marble that he was "astonished that you blamed black people" for their health problems.

She replied, "I didn't. That was made up by the media. So you want to believe it, you believe it, but that's not how it went down."

Marble went on to say Americans enjoy multicultural food but cautioned that people also need to consider whether they are predisposed to any diseases because of their genetic makeup.

In a statement Friday, Marble said she did not know about Ames' dismissal until she read about it. She said she did not blame him because she thought there was an "element of manipulation involved" by his mother.

Mayfield denies that. She said she and her son, whom she said is gifted and likes to watch the news, researched Marble together, and she typed up his questions using his words. The mother questioned why the Scouts would chose to invite such a controversial lawmaker to speak.

The Boy Scouts and their Denver-area governing council said they were "pleased that the family will continue their participation in scouting," the statement said. "We are committed to working with families to find local units that best fit their needs."

___

Associated Press writers James Anderson in Denver and Tamara Lush in St. Petersburg, Florida, contributed to this report.

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PETA #fundie wistv.com

Orangeburg chicken truck crash will be memorialized by PETA

Thursday, September 21st 2017, 10:49 am EDT
By Jeremy Turnage, Digital Content Manager

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

A week-old crash on Interstate 95 in Orangeburg County will be memorialized. Yes, you read that correctly.

On Sept. 15, a truck carrying chickens down I-95 near mile marker 91, which is about a mile south of the US 15 exit near Santee, crashed, spilling live and dead chickens on the side of the road.

The dead chickens are where the memorial comes in. PETA is using the crash as an opportunity to remind folks to go vegan.

The memorial billboard will feature a chicken next to the words "I'm ME, Not MEAT. See the Individual. Go Vegan."

"This devastating crash left countless birds mangled and suffering," PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a statement. "PETA's billboard will let travelers know that the best way to prevent such tragedies is to keep smart, sensitive chickens off the road in the first place by going vegan."

The driver of the crash, meanwhile, was not injured.

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Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps #fundie wistv.com

Christian cult leaders arrested in raid on sex crime charges, death of child
Published: Wednesday, August 23rd 2017, 11:35 am EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 23rd 2017, 11:40 am EDT

SACRAMENTO, CA (KCRA/KOAT/CNN) - Four members of a religious sect in New Mexico are now in jail. Two of them are accused of sexual abuse involving minors.

The others are charged in connection with the death of a child. The group is called "Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps."

It's a religious sect that was founded in Sacramento in the early 1980s. They left the state, after losing a lawsuit to a former member who says the group forced her to give up three of her children.

That woman, Maura Schmierer, spoke Tuesday about the charges facing the four sect members.

"At that time, I didn't think it was a cult," Schmierer said. "No. Nobody in there thinks of themselves as being in a cult."

She and her husband were the third and fourth members, but it eventually grew to about 30, living in an isolated compound.

"They would want us to beat the children," Schmierer said. "They wanted me to whip my young child, who was under 2 years old with a belt, because he didn't use the toilet."

Schmierer defied that.

"They changed my name to Forsaken, and they put me out in a shed in the backyard," she said.

That's when she got out and worked to regain custody of her four kids. Schmierer talked with KCRA 3 News then, in the late '80s, saying, "I was afraid. I was under their influence. I believed that if I left I would lose out on eternal salvation."

The remaining Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps members moved in 1989, eventually settling in New Mexico. Four members were arrested Sunday during a raid.

Member Stacey Miller in now in jail. Court documents show her son died after she refused to get him medical treatment in 2014.

The group's co-founder, Deborah Green, faces charges that include sexual penetration of a minor. Her son-in-law, Peter Green, face more than 100 charges of that same crime, and Joshua Green, Deborah Green's son, failure to report a birth.

After leaving the group in the '80s, a court awarded Schmierer more than $1 million - money she's yet to see. Now, more than 30 years after she got out, Schmierer still shutters watching Deborah Green.

"The same feelings come up," she said. "I get a knot in my stomach."

She hopes these arrests are the end of the religious sect.

"It's time that their ministry is shut down," she said.

In a statement, Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps calls the charges "totally false."

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Jim Chambers #fundie wistv.com

Atlanta gym bans police officers, military from joining
Wednesday, August 9th 2017, 5:54 pm EDT
By J.T. Fellows, Digital Content Producer

ATLANTA (AP) - An Atlanta gym owner has banned police officers and military members from working out at his facility.

Jim Chambers put up a sign on the door of EAV Barbell Club that used an expletive to announce that police aren't welcome there. Chambers tells WXIA-TV that his gym has "had an explicitly stated 'No Cop' policy" since it opened. He says active members of the military also aren't eligible for membership.

The Atlanta Police Department tells the station that the policy wouldn't prevent them from responding to an emergency at the gym.

Chambers says he's taken the sign down due to its vulgarity but plans to replace it with a clean version. He told the station that people who work out there are generally minorities who are uncomfortable with law enforcement.

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Brooke Covington and the Word Of Faith Fellowship #fundie wistv.com

Prosecutor: Minister 'directed' beating of gay congregant
Thursday, June 1st 2017, 11:47 am EDT

By MITCH WEISS and HOLBROOK MOHR
Associated Press

RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (AP) - A prosecutor says a North Carolina minister "directed and participated in" the beating of church member who says the assault was meant to expel his "homosexual demons."

Prosecutor Garland Byers gave an opening statement Thursday in the trial of Brooke Covington, a 58-year-old minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina.

Covington is the first of five church members to face trial. They will be tried separately.

Covington is charged with kidnapping and assaulting former church member Matthew Fenner. If convicted, she faces up to two years in prison.

Her lawyer, David Teddy, disputes the allegations.

The 23-year-old Fenner says he was slapped, choked and screamed at for two hours in January 2013 as members tried to expel his "homosexual demons."

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Mike Burns, Bill Chumley, Anne Thayer #fundie wistv.com

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina lawmakers are wading into pornography.

Nope, not like that, but nonetheless, members of the General Assembly have introduced a bill in hopes of addressing what they call the "pornography epidemic."

The bill, H. 3887, introduced by Rep. Mike Burns, Rep. Bill Chumley, and Rep. Anne Thayer on Thursday calls for the regulation of pornography on the Internet to "ensure compliance with obscenity laws of the state."

In their bill, the representatives say pornography is creating a "public health crisis" that "perpetuates a sexually toxic environment."

The bill looks to encourage education, prevention, research, and policy changes to help stem the growth of pornography among state residents.

The bill has already been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

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Nikki Yovino #fundie wistv.com

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A New York woman is facing charges after police say she lied about being raped by two football players from a Connecticut university due to fears a third student would lose romantic interest in her.

Nikki Yovino, of South Setauket (seh-TAW'-kiht), New York, has been charged with falsely reporting an incident and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

The 18-year-old Yovino said two Sacred Heart University football players sexually assaulted her in a bathroom in October during an off-campus party.

The men said it was consensual.

Capt. Brian Fitzgerald tells WABC-TV another student informed authorities of explicit text messages between the three. He says one man also recorded some of the incident on his cellphone.

Yovino's lawyer, Mark Sherman, tells The Connecticut Post his client stands by her original story.

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Michael Juan Smith #racist wistv.com

The man charged in the Five Points shooting that injured a University of South Carolina student said the media was making a big deal out of the case because the victim was white.

Michael Juan Smith was sentenced to the maximum 10 years in federal court Friday. In February he pleaded guilty to possessing a weapon as a felon, admitting possessing a pistol that was taken across state lines before it was stolen in Richland County.

Smith still faces state charges related to the shooting. If convicted on those charges, he must serve the 10-year federal sentence in addition to what time he receives from the state.

Smith was charged with assault and battery and several weapons-related charges after the shooting in Five Points in 2013 that left Martha Childress paralyzed.

Friday, prosecutors played audio recordings of Smith's jail conversations, who said the media was making a big deal about the case "because she's white."

"I didn't try to shoot that d__n b___h," said another recording.

As she heard this, Childress cried and asked for a facial tissue.

Smith, who has previous felony convictions, did not admit firing the weapon or shooting Childress.

Police say Smith opened fire on two men he was arguing with on Harden Street on an early October morning in 2013.

However, the bullets missed their intended targets and instead struck Childress in the midsection, severing her spinal cord and forcing her to spend the rest of her days in a wheelchair.

Smith's defense claimed he fired in self-defense, but Judge Joe Anderson rejected that argument, saying there was no reason for him to have a gun and fire into a crowd.

Prosecutors also showed surveillance video of the shooting, which shows Childress falling near the Five Points fountain as shots were fired.