National Roundup

Illinois
Court date for immigrant not until April 2021
WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) — A Mexican restaurant manager in southern Illinois who doesn’t have legal permission to live in the U.S. isn’t scheduled for another immigration hearing until 2021 after he posted bond last year.
Juan Carlos Hernandez Pacheco’s immigration case gained national attention as President Donald Trump’s administration clamped down on immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. Residents of West Frankfort, which solidly voted for Trump, rallied around Pacheco. He was released on bond in March after being detained by immigration officials.
The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that Pacheco’s last appearance before an immigration judge was in November to establish a case timeline. He’s due in court in April 2021.
Letters of support came from the police chief and others. Pacheco ran La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant for years.
His case is among more than half a million pending in U.S. immigration courts.

Arizona
Woman shot at husband while he sat on toilet

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona woman is facing charges after police say she fired shots at her husband while he sat on the toilet to make him “listen.”
KNXV-TV reports 69-year-old Linda Jean Fahn recently was arrested following a frantic call from her husband.
He told Goodyear police Fahn barged in while he was using the restroom and fired two shots above his head.
According to a police report, Fahn told officers, “I shot two bullets at the wall above his head to make him listen to me.”
Police say the shots were fired about seven inches above the man’s head as he was slouched on the toilet.
Fahn has been charged with aggravated assault. It was not known if she had an attorney.

New Jersey
ACLU opposes ban on book about mass incarceration

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union wants New Jersey corrections officials to allow inmates to read a best-selling book on mass incarceration and racial discrimination.
The state chapter of the civil rights group sent a letter Monday asking why at least two prisons have banned “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander.
The ACLU calls the ban “ironic, misguided, and harmful.” It says the ban amounts to unconstitutional censorship of speech on issues of public concern, which is entitled to special protection under the First Amendment.
A corrections department spokeswoman declined comment Monday and said a statement would be issued later in the day.
Prisons and jails are allowed to ban reading materials based on legitimate concerns such as security issues, but the ACLU contends officials can’t claim that justification applies here.

Pennsylvania
Family shattered after chief charged with soliciting teen 

LEECHBURG, Pa. (AP) — The wife of a Pennsylvania police chief charged with soliciting sex online from an undercover agent posing as a 14-year-old girl says her family has been “shattered.”
Leechburg Police Chief Michael W. Diebold’s wife, Danielle Reinke Diebold, released a statement Sunday saying that she “has never hurt so bad” in her life.
The 40-year-old police chief was arrested Friday at a spot where he allegedly hoped to meet with the girl he thought he’d been communicating with.
Court records don’t list an attorney for Diebold. A phone number listed as Diebold’s home went straight to voicemail and could not accept more messages.
A message left with the Leechburg police department was not returned. Diebold is still listed as the police chief on the Leechburg website.

Mississippi
Judge allows discrimination suit against coroner to go on

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A federal judge says six black-owned funeral homes can proceed toward trial with their lawsuit alleging that a Mississippi Gulf Coast coroner discriminates in favor of white-owned competitors.
U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett on Friday ruled mostly for the plaintiffs, although he dismissed some of the claims against Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove.
Starrett writes that the plaintiffs produced enough evidence that Hargrove treated black-owned funeral homes differently from white-owned funeral homes for the case to proceed. Ten of their original 13 legal grounds for the lawsuit remain alive.
The plaintiffs say there’s plenty of evidence to show that Hargrove discriminated against them when directing who would get county-controlled business.
Hargrove and a lawyer for Harrison County deny discrimination, although they say some decisions were made by a now-deceased pathologist.

Ohio
School changes bullying policy after child suicide

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio schools district changed its policies concerning bullying, but its superintendent hasn’t directly said whether those changes were influenced by the 2017 suicide of an 8-year-old boy who was reportedly bullied.
Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Laura Mitchell discussed the changes in a recent interview with WCPO-TV. She said the district website has a prominent new link for reporting bullying, that teachers and staff will receive more training and the district has hired a social worker with stress management expertise.
Reports about bullying nationwide and in Greater Cincinnati area showed that the district needed to pay closer attention to the issue, Mitchell said. While Mitchell did not connect those changes to Gabriel Taye’s suicide in January 2017, she said his death “rocked our entire community.”
Mitchell wouldn’t say whether Gabriel was bullied, WCPO reported.
Gabriel hanged himself two days after a surveillance video showed him being knocked unconscious at the entrance of an elementary school restroom.
Mitchell became superintendent in July, shortly before Gabriel’s family filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the district.
The lawsuit claims that school officials minimized, denied and covered up bullying against Gabriel.
The school district has denied the allegations and has asked that the lawsuit be dismissed. Attorneys for the district have argued Gabriel wasn’t targeted by taunts, threats or violence.
According to his family’s attorneys, Gabriel’s parents didn’t know he’d been bullied until learning of a police email that described him as being knocked unconscious for several minutes.

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