ACLU attacks Catholic grants for alien children care
The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge to deny funds for groups to provide care for illegal alien children but refuse on religious grounds to provide access to contraception and abortion. The ACLU highlighted the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as one of the lawsuit’s targets, claiming the USCCB has collected $10 million annually to provide care for young immigrants. Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show the federal government approved grants despite knowing that USCCB’s agreement with its subcontractors explicitly forbids the provision of contraceptives and abortion services.
Would-be assassin draws 343-year sentence
Aaron Richardson, 27, of Jacksonville, Fla., was handed a 343-year prison sentence for attempting to assassinate a federal judge who sentenced him to prison in a 2008 case, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said. Following his release from prison and his subsequent arrest on new charges, Richardson forged the judge’s signature to a false order that dismissed his pending charges, and then tried to murder the judge so he could not refute the sham order. Richardson stole a rifle and went to the judge’s residence where he fired a single shot that missed hitting the judge by less than two inches, ATF said.
Winchester, Va., selected for FBI’s record-keeping facility
The General Services Administration purchased a 59-acre site near Winchester, Va., for the FBI’s new Central Records Complex. The site is near the FBI’s sprawling Records Management Division which has been in operation near Winchester for the last 10 years. The new facility will consolidate at a single location FBI records that are presently held at 265 locations worldwide, the FBI said. GSA said over 440 employees will work at the 256,000-square-foot facility.
Man arrested after allegedly aiming laser at helicopter
A South Texas man is facing up to five years in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine for allegedly pointing a laser at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. Juan Peralez, 57, of La Joya, Tex., allegedly aimed a laser at the helicopter four separate times. Ground agents who were directed to Peralez’s location by a helicopter crew member said they observed Peralez aiming the laser at the helicopter.
Cocaine found in a fire extinguisher
Agents at a border checkpoint in San Clemente, Calif., arrested a 20-year-old Mexican woman after finding cocaine packed into a fire extinguisher that was in the cargo area of her SUV. After an initial inspection, the vehicle was referred to secondary inspection where a canine alerted to the hidden drug. Agents opened the canister and found 6.8 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of almost $82,000, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
Flint children’s blood normal after drinking filtered water
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that blood levels in children who were contaminated by lead that seeped into the Flint, Mich., water supply have returned to normal. Lead contamination resulted after the city’s water department began drawing water from the Flint River. After switching back to the Detroit water system, the percentage of children under 6 years with elevated blood lead levels returned to levels seen before the water switch took place, the CDC said.
Facts about congressional salaries
Congress has not voted a pay raise for itself since 1991 when an ethics reform bill established a formula for automatic pay increases. And, congressional pay has not been increased since 2009 when a 2.8% pay raise lifted the annual salary to $174,000, the Congressional Research Service said. Pay increases have been scheduled several times since 2009, but each one has been revoked by Congress. A 1.6% increase has been proposed for next year, and it would bring the salary to $176,800, but it could be wiped out by legislation before it can take effect. The first pay bill, which was enacted in 1789, authorized payment of $6 per each day served.
Rip ‘N’ Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and other national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.