Warm Southern Breeze

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How Has the GOP Improved Alabama Quality of Life?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 31, 2018

In almost every measure of the quality of life, Alabama comes up short. Seriously short. Or, to couch it in somewhat Biblical terms (which most Alabamians of any political or religious stripe would understand… and, which most any reasonably well-read person would as well), “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.” ref: Daniel 5:27 (NIV)

This is not a Republican thing, per se, nor is it a Democratic thing. It is an ongoing statement of the poor quality of of almost EVERYTHING in Alabama. The root of most every problem plaguing Alabamians lies with the state’s 1901 Constitution which, among other things, FORBIDS local self-governance known as Home Rule – the basic principle upon which our democratic republic was founded – which is that EVERY person has a voice, a vote, and a say-so in how things are run from the grass-roots level, and that all are equal under the law, which is no discriminator of persons.

That is in large part why on almost every statewide ballot there are questions pertaining to counties or cities, and why the entire state must vote on what people in the opposite sides of the state do, and why they have a say-so in other towns and cities governance. Think of it as allowing your nosy neighbors a say in how you do things in your house.

Yeah, I know… weird, isn’t it? Maybe “stupid” would be another, better, or more accurate choice of words.

In Montgomery, when the part-time Legislature with full-time pay convenes (total compensation for legislators approximates $50,000/year), they are constitutionally required and mandated to legislate local matters, because the constitution literally FORBIDS local people from making local decisions.

The legislature is further hamstrung, and the people are thereby harmed, by the inordinately short period of time to which they are similarly constitutionally constrained to meet – 30 meeting days in a  105 calendar day period. Who could get ANYTHING done for 4.8 million people in such a short period of time? Seriously… WHO?

Consider public corruption as an example of how problematic the 1901 Alabama State Constitution truly is. Most recently, the GOP-dominated Legislature, Governor’s office, individual legislators (predominately GOP), and other ancillary agencies (Alabama State Troopers/Department of Public Safety, later known as ALEA, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, etc.) were involved in corruption scandals, the likes of which the state hasn’t seen in, like… FOREVER! Seriously. The extent and degree of severity of corruption which has recently plagued Alabama is unparalleled.

Once the GOP-dominated Legislature was in power, they promptly set about improving the practically toothless Ethics Laws which many of them promised to change, if elected. Ordinarily, that’d be a good thing. Mike Hubbard became Speaker of the House, and the state’s top executive branch offices – Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor, State Treasurer, and Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries – were all filled by Republicans.

Now, here’s where the problems begin.

All THREE branches of government – the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial – were touched by serious corruption. As a natural consequence, the people’s business was impeded and damaged, which also wasted the taxpayers time, money and resources to investigate and prosecute.

But perhaps the MOST costly price paid was continued damage to the state’s already tarnished image in the public eye, nationally and internationally… as if it could get any worse.

Governor Robert Bentley was the subject of Federal and State investigations over whether he misused public funds, and violated campaign finance law to further his extra-marital involvement with a female aide. Corollary to that, he was also facing impeachment… the first ever Alabama governor to face such serious public scrutiny and reprisal.

The Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and other legislators were facing investigations and indictments by the Attorney General for possible violations of ethics laws, and other related laws. Named as witnesses were many well-known, high-powered big business lobbyists, and their clients.

The State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was facing a SECOND investigation in his second elected term over his refusal to obey and uphold Federal Law, and a Federal Judge’s court order to obey the law, which meant he could face public trial by the state’s Judicial Inquiry Commission (his peers), and a SECOND possible expulsion from the bench.

The Governor accepted a plea deal to two lesser misdemeanors, resigned from office, repaid monies, performed community service, and promised to never again hold public office.

The Chief Justice was found guilty and removed from the bench – a SECOND time.

The Speaker of the House and other legislators were all found GUILTY of violating the very Ethics Laws they passed – which were all felony violations.

As well, over a dozen current legislators and others (high-powered attorneys, former legislators, lobbyists, business owners, etc.) are STILL being found GUILTY of, or pleading GUILTY to violating Federal and/or state law, including bribery, mail fraud, Medicare fraud, misuse of public office, and various other forms of abuse of public trust.

And then, there’s the sheriff from Etowah County, Todd Entrekin, who was found to have LEGALLY redirected funds which were to have been used for feeding inmates (three-quarters of a million dollars), to his own personal use, to, with his wife Karen, purchase a luxurious beachfront house on the Gulf Coast.

All but one of those identified are Republicans.

But again, this is not an “Us versus Them” or “Republican versus Democrat” problem. It’s a corruption problem, the predominate root of which lies with the 1901 Alabama State Constitution. Consequently, the entire state suffers.

Harvard University’s Center for Ethics researched Legal and Illegal corruption in all 50 states three branches of government, and found Alabama wanting by most measures.

Of course, it neither helps that Alabama has a continuous and ongoing history of voting for one party, or the other – so that there’s rarely if ever a mix of parties in power. It’s quite literally, a bipolar type of operation, which goes from one extreme, to the other.

Alabama has had SIX constitutions, and the one under which it now labors is not even the best of the five which preceded it.

The state’s present constitution – the 1901 Constitution – has well over 900 amendments. That one thing alone makes it the most bloated and inefficient of any such type of governing document in the entire world – hands down, bar none.

The Dictionary of Alabama says this about Alabama’s 1901 Constitutional Convention:
“Called primarily to establish White supremacy by disfranchising Blacks, the Constitutional Convention of 1901 continues to shape Alabama politics in the twenty-first century. The convention also concentrated power in the state legislature, decreased opportunities for Home Rule, and established voter requirements that even many White men could not meet, reducing the political influence of the state’s many poor Whites. The 155 delegates to the Alabama Constitutional Convention of 1901 codified Black disfranchisement and increased the political power of the state legislature at the expense of local government.”

So when combined with the fact that it STILL contains racist language, and provisions which have been Read the rest of this entry »

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Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin passes musical scepter and crown to Candi Staton

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin (1942–2018)

On this day in which we mourn the passing of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, it seems fitting to acknowledge a similarly renown 78-year-old soul singer from the tiny north Alabama town of Hanceville whose new album will be released soon.

Aretha Franklin at FAME Recording Studios, in Muscle Shoals, AL. Her first Number One hit “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” was written for her by her friend Ronnie Shannon, produced by Jerry Wexler, and released in 1967 – was recorded at FAME Studios with the guidance and direction of Rick Hall. It almost didn’t get cut (and was the only song recorded at that session) because of tensions between her then-husband Ted White and a member of the Muscle Shoals Horn Section, and Jerry Wexler and FAME owner Rick Hall.

The two artists share numerous similarities, and could – for all practical purposes – be considered musical sisters by virtue of their musical upbringings. The producers, musicians, engineers and others – including their families – in whose orbit they traveled, are similar, if not identical, as are their life stories.

The other to whom I refer is Candi Staton.

Linked below, NPR previews the album (linked on the page) which will be released August 24, and supplies a brief story about her 30th album which is entitled “Unstoppable.”

“Unstoppable” is Candi Staton’s 30th album.

That woman, of course, is the unstoppable Candi Staton, whose previous album “Life Happens” released in 2014, was also the very last one her early mentor Rick Hall of FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals – who guided her career change from gospel to soul, including that of Aretha Franklin with her first Number 1 R&B hit “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” – produced before he died of prostate cancer on the second day of this new year aged 85. On that album, she collaborated with other Alabamians of musical renown, including Jason Isbell, and Read the rest of this entry »

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Judge Brett Kavanaugh: Liar On The Federal Bench

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 8, 2018

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh (b.1965), United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Brett Kavanaugh, who has been said to be under consideration as a SCOTUS nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, for whom he also clerked during the October Term 1993, presently has lifetime tenure as a Federal Circuit Court Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In May 2006 when he last appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee as a nominee for that position, he was asked Read the rest of this entry »

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American Academy of Family Physicians @AAFP Errs on Website Criticizing #Nurses @NCSBN

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 26, 2018

The American Association of Family Physicians website had a glaringly obvious spelling goof in their headline criticizing Board Certified Advanced Practice Registered Nurses.

In a strangely ironic, even cruel twist, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) authored a letter dated 10 May 2018 criticizing the efforts of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to encourage states to expand their Nursing Scope of Practice laws to more accurately reflect uniformity of standards, and allow professionally Board Certified Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN-BC) with ability, education, and training to practice to the fullest extent of their license for the benefit of patients and Public Health. News of the AAFP’s letter was published on their website 16 May.

However, since that news item’s publication, the website contained an obviously glaring spelling error, which negatively reflects upon the physicians’ professional organization, and has neither been noticed, nor corrected as of the date of publication of this entry – Saturday, 26 May 2018.

The ostensible purpose of the AAFP letter, which also carried the endorsement of 80+ professional physician organizations, was to Read the rest of this entry »

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White Male Domestic Terrorist Commits Early Morning Earth Day Mass Murder #AR15 Shooting @WaffleHouse In Nashville, Tennessee

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 22, 2018

The AR-15 rifle used in the Nashville Waffle House Mass Murder on Earth Day, Sunday 22 April 2018.

Let’s start Earth Day with some sad news.

Around 0325 this morning (Earth Day, Sunday, 22 April 2018), a White male gunman using an AR-15 rifle opened fire at the Waffle House, 3571 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville and shot 6 persons, 4 fatally – 3 died at the scene, 1 at the hospital. The 2 others are being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Crime Scene tape surrounds the Waffle House, 3571 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville, TN where an early morning Mass Shooting Murder occurred around 0325 Sunday, 22 April 2018.

A patron wrestled away the gunman’s rifle.

He was reported to be Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump: Who Voted For, And Supports Him?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 21, 2018

Formerly titled, “With Trump WYSIWYG: Who Voted For, And Supports Him?”

African leopard, Panthera pardus pardus, near Lake Panic, Kruger National Park, South Africa, 31 December 2013
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0), Derek Keats, https://www.flickr.com/photos/93242958@N00/19448654130M

One either loves, or loathes, Donald Trump.

One does not simply “tolerate” him.

He is a divisive political figure.

He is starkly contrasted to former POTUS George W. Bush, who in a May 6, 1999 interview with David Horowitz of Salon magazine, famously said, “I’m a uniter, not a divider.”

Trump is a divider, not a uniter.

For Trump, e pluribus unum means nothing, even though we are the United States of America.

And for those who voted for him thinking he’d change, that he was merely spouting hollow campaign rhetoric, they might as well have asked a leopard to change it’s spots.

With Trump, WYSIWYG.

Specifically, I mean to refer to him in his executive Presidential capacity.

And yet, strangely enough, he has coalesced support from diverse, divergent sub-groups within, and without the GOP. The importance of that feat cannot, and should not be underestimated, glossed over, or minimized, because understanding it is key to political success, especially for Read the rest of this entry »

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Republicans Are In Trouble

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 18, 2018

79.

That’s the current number of Congressional resignations from the House, and Senate which will be replaced soon.

The House has 73 resignations, while the Senate has 6, of which 60 are Republicans, and 19 Democrats.

Alabama’s Special Election in which Democrat Doug Jones won was a bellwether (he’s the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate since Howell Heflin retired in 1997, and the first Democrat elected statewide since 2008), and Democrat Conor Lamb’s win in Pennsylvania’s highly gerrymandered 18th Congressional District was confirmation. Lamb, whose district voted for Trump by nearly 20 points and wasn’t supposed to win (The Cook Political Report rated the district R+11), was sworn in April 12. Pennsylvania’s State Supreme Court also ruled that such gerrymandering was unconstitutional.

Here’s another Special Election to watch.

April 24 is the date of Arizona’s Special Election to replace Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ, 8) who resigned amidst claims that he asked at least two female staffers to be surrogate mothers for him and his wife.

The Democratic candidate is Hiral Tipirneni, a former Emergency Room Physician who now works as a cancer research advocate.

Her Republican challenger is Republican AZ state Sen. Debbie Lesko.

Arizona Central newspaper reported from the candidates’ Campaign Finance disclosures, that Read the rest of this entry »

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How To End Gun Violence

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ending gun violence neither requires repealing the 2nd Amendment, writing entirely new legislation, nor doing nothing – as is being now done, no matter how seemingly well intentioned. With minor modifications to existing law as language additions, almost all interested parties are satisfied – not all, but many, if not most – concerns are addressed in a rational, reasonable, lawful, Constitutional, and commonsensical legislative process that also minimizes taxpayer burden.

Opinions run the gamut, from one extreme, including repeal of the Second Amendment – by former SCOTUS Justice John Paul Stevens, a Republican and Ford appointee – to the other, from arming teachers, to wholesale abandonment of all existing firearm law.

But rarely, if ever, is there any commonsensical solution ever made on settling on any problem with rational, reasonable, logical compromise that achieves most all goals, within reason, and with very slight compromise to all interested parties.

My conservative friends think me liberal, while my liberal friends think me conservative, and both are wrong.

The casual and cursory Read the rest of this entry »

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Oops… there goes the “Good Guy With A Gun” theory. #2A

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 14, 2018

In a direct blow to the firearm radicals (aka “gun nuts”) crowd’s assertions, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has shown that, contrary to what the tax-free National Rifle Association has publicly claimed, “of over 14,000 incidents in which the victim was present, 127 (0.9%) involved a SDGU.” (Self Defense Gun Use)

In other words,

“a good guy with a gun”

does NOT

lower nor reduce criminal activity.

What is the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)?

The BJS writes this about the NCVS:
“The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the nation’s primary source of information on criminal victimization. Each year, data are obtained from a nationally representative sample of about 135,000 households, composed of nearly 225,000 persons, on the Read the rest of this entry »

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Remington Files Bankruptcy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 26, 2018

Remington Outdoor Company, formerly known as Remington Arms Company, LLC, is America’s oldest firearms manufacturer, and privately-owned by Cerberus Capital Management, announced February 12, 2018, that they intended to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection later this year. Cerberus will relinquish ownership once restructuring is completed. Their filing was done today, March 26, 2018.

Remington’s plan will allow them to reduce debt by $700 million of their $950 million debt, contribute $145 million of new capital into their subsidiaries, and $100 million in creditor-funded money as a debtor-in-possession term loan. Planning for the bankruptcy had been announced late 2017.

The company’s unaudited returns dated February 12, 2018, show net revenue of Read the rest of this entry »

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RUSSIA DOES NOT PLAY! SO STOP PLAYING WITH THE RUSSIANS!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

REMEMBER THE RUSSIANS!

Intelligence Community Assessment

This report is a downgraded version of a more sensitive assessment; its
conclusions are identical to those in the more sensitive
assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.

TOP SECRET//HCS-P/SI-G//ORCON/NOFORN/FISA

6 January 2017

This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

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Arch Conservative Woman @MonaCharenEPPC Booed @CPAC

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 26, 2018

Rape is is legally defined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) as, “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” That definition is used by the FBI to collect information from state and local law enforcement agencies about reported rapes and applies to males and females. Rape is a crime of VIOLENCE perpetrated upon the genitals. It is NOT one of sexual gratification by the perpetrator.

Recently, Mona Charen, a well-respected Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and writer for National Review (a well-known publication founded by late arch-conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. 1925-2008), was booed by the audience which she addressed at the Conservative Political Action Conference. CPAC, as it’s known, is an annual conference of political conservatives which is hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU), which itself is a political organization promoting conservative causes.

About her experience there, she opined in the New York Times, Sunday February 25, 2o18 that, “But on Saturday, after speaking to this year’s gathering, I had to be escorted from the premises by several guards who seemed genuinely concerned for my safety.

“What happened to me at CPAC is the perfect illustration of the collective experience of a whole swath of conservatives since Donald Trump became the Republican nominee. We built and organized this party — but now we’re made to feel like interlopers.”

It has been many years since I first remarked that the GOP is a band of radicals. And it is even more evident now, than before. Those who are the “Johnny-come-latelys” of the GOP are the result of Read the rest of this entry »

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Roy Moore’s Next Move: Accuse Voter Fraud To Challenge And Delay Implementing Results

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 17, 2017

According to a news item published by the Associated Press, Friday, December 15, 2017 and subsequently reported by Business Insider on December 16, 2017, 12:43 PM ET, “Alabama Republican Roy Moore on Friday told supporters that the “battle is not over” in Alabama’s Senate race even though President Donald Trump and others have called on him to concede. Moore sent a fundraising email to supporters asking for contributions to his “election integrity fund’ so he could investigate reports of voter fraud. “I also wanted to let you know that this battle is NOT OVER!” he wrote.”
-and-
“Roy Moore still refuses to concede — and he asked supporters to donate to an ‘election integrity fund’ to find voter fraud.”

The outcome of an election does NOT depend upon whether a candidate concedes, or not.

Thus, Roy Moore can “refuse” to concede to his perverted little heart’s delight… and it STILL WILL NOT HAVE ANY BEARING ON THE ELECTION’S OUTCOME.

So now, the great game is to sit back and watch what that damn-fool idiot does. And, if the story (including Moore’s previous actions) is any guide, he will likely rely upon what he describes as “numerous reported cases of voter fraud” which he and his campaign will send to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

The interesting thing about it all, is that alleged “voter fraud” has been cited as a justification for the legislature changing Alabama law to require photo ID at polling locations in order to vote. Fact is, however, that Read the rest of this entry »

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Thoughts Upon Hearing Minnesota U.S. @SenFranken’s Resignation From The Senate

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 7, 2017

Someone says

“I kissed your wife/husband,”

versus

“I raped your wife/husband.”

Which is more severe, and therefore, significantly more worthy of investigation?

It ~OUGHT~ be plainly evident to any rationally-minded individual.

Minnesota U.S. Senator Al Franken (D), official portrait

There ~are~ degrees of wrongness… which is precisely why there are degrees of severity of crime – including misdemeanor, and felony – including First Degree, Second Degree, Third Degree, etc.

By NO means am I defending Sen. Franken against any allegations of impropriety, nor am I negating the claims of his female accusers, who, that as he said in his resignation speech from the Senate floor, “all women deserve to be heard, and their experiences taken seriously.”

It is to acknowledge, that, again as he said, “This decision is not about me – it’s about the people of Minnesota. It’s become clear that I can’t both pursue the Ethics Committee process, and at the same time, remain an effective Senator for them.”

I concur with his decision.

He may be down now, but by NO MEANS is he out. And, he said as much in that same brief speech.

Franken will not be absent long from the political process. Some have supposed that Franken may shortly run for the US House, and or MN Governorship.

And when he returns, to whatever office, or in whatever capacity, it will be with an increased fervor, reinvigorated vision, and significantly greater intensity.

His brief speech from the U.S. Senate floor, Thursday, 7 December 2017.

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Follow The Money: Paul Manafort, Donald Trump & Michael Flynn

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

By now, you’ve likely heard, or read about Paul Manafort’s bail being revoked.

Manfort, of course, was briefly then-candidate Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign Manager, and has been arrested by the FBI as part of former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s (b.1944) ongoing investigation into illegal activity by foreign nations in the United States, some of which may have been related to the General Election of 2016.

Manfort (b.1949) is a Georgetown University School of Law-educated attorney, and among other activities, has made his money lobbying for, and advising the national political campaigns of such presidential candidates as Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Robert “Bob” Dole.

Manafort has also advised political campaigns in totalitarian dictatorial regimes, and has lobbied for, advised, and represented some highly unsavory international criminal characters including Read the rest of this entry »

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Florence Alabama Police Department Vicious K9 Escapes Negligent Handler, Attacks 60yo Woman

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 18, 2017

Florence Police K-9 Officer Josh Hein (LEFT) with Titus, his dog, has a running suspect, Florence Police Officer Jason Hodges (RIGHT), taken down at their training center. TimesDaily photograph by Jim Hannon

This past Saturday, November 11, 2017, in Florence, Alabama, approximately an hour-and-a-half before the Alabama v Mississippi State football game, a 60-year old Florence city employee, Teresa “Terre” Ann Noland, was attacked and maliciously mauled by an escaped Florence Police K9, whose negligent handler Florence Police Officer Josh Hein allowed the vicious dog to escape.

The unprovoked attack happened at Ms. Noland’s residence after the escaped Florence Police K9 had jumped a fence and began prowling the neighborhood.

The negligent handler, Florence Police Officer Josh Hein, was oblivious to any of the events while he was comfortably seated inside a friend’s house with whom he was visiting. Hein had brought the vicious Florence Police German Shepherd K9 with him.

Ms. Noland, whose 80-year old mother lives with her, and for whom she is the solitary care-giver, had just arrived home from grocery shopping, and was unloading groceries from her car which was parked in the garage.

She noticed the escaped Florence Police K9 prowling on her property, and decided to check the mail, hoping that it would go away, which would allow her to shut the garage door, and go inside away from the vicious dog which was already sniffing, and menacing her.

As she turned to walk away, the escaped Florence Police K9 jumped toward her, forcefully and Read the rest of this entry »

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