The latest local news

Toddlers tried to stop mother from killing her 3 children: court documents

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An Arizona mother killed her three children, all under age 4, by smothering them, and one of the victims yelled and punched her to try and stop her, a court document shows.

Rachel Henry, 22, was arrested on suspicion of killing her 7-month-old and 1-year-old daughters, along with her 3-year-old son. Earlier reports from police had listed the middle child’s age as 2.

Authorities found all three children dead in their Phoenix home Monday evening after someone called 911 to report unspecified trouble, Phoenix Police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said.

“Rachel admitted to smothering each child, starting with the 1-year-old,” a probable cause statement says. Henry told investigators the girl kicked her as she smothered her while the toddler son yelled and punched her to try to stop her, according to the statement.

After the girl was dead, Henry chased the 3-year-old, the statement says, but was interrupted when other adults arrived at the house. One of them played with the boy for a while.

She then took the 3-year-old to a back bedroom and sang to him as she placed her hand over his nose and mouth, the statement says. The boy scratched her chest and pinched her to try to get her to stop, it says.

After she killed the two oldest children, she fed the 7-month-old a bottle and smothered her while she slept, the statement says. She sang to the baby until she became unconscious then placed all the children on the living room couch like they were taking a nap, it adds.

Henry gave a voluntary statement admitting to all the details of the killings, police say.

She faces three counts of first-degree murder and made her first court appearance Tuesday, but she did not have an attorney and did not enter a plea. A judge set bond at $3 million and ordered an attorney be appointed for her by the state.

Appearing by videoconference from the jail, Henry said little except to express concern about the bond amount.

“I don’t know how I’m going to be able to get any money,” said Henry. “I don’t have a job or anything.”

The 911 call came from the home, but Fortune said it’s unclear who made the call.

At least two other adults were in the home the night the children were killed, police say. It’s unclear whether they were all present at the same time.

When officers arrived after 7:20 p.m. Monday, Henry was at the Phoenix home with the children’s father and another relative, police said.

A witness whose name is redacted in the report told police that Henry had been acting strangely the past few days and had a methamphetamine addiction. But the court documents indicate she was not under the influence of drugs at the time of the offense.

Henry has only lived in Arizona since June and appears to have few ties to the community, the prosecuting attorney said.

Texting scam disguises itself as delivery notification from Amazon, FedEx

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There's a new scam to watch out for.

This time it's a texting scam that disguises itself as a delivery notification from companies like Amazon and FedEx, according to How to Geek.

Within the text, there will be a link that takes you to a fake Amazon page that offers you to take a "free survey."

The survey will then ask for your credit card information to pay for shipping, and it will automatically sign you up to receive a product each month with a charge of $98.95.

Of course, one of the easy ways to detect this scam is to note what is said in the address bar of the web page.

For example, if the web address has Amazon or FedEx in the name, it is likely OK.

However, if it doesn't note the companies and displays a web page claiming to be one of those companies, it is likely a scam.

This tweet highlights the difficulty in telling which text is which:

At first glance, which one is legit and which one isn't? pic.twitter.com/UqDjnSxDd2

— The Cyber (@r0wdy_) January 17, 2020

iPhone and Android users both have access to built-in spam-blocking tools that should help cut down on the number of fake messages.

Both Amazon and FedEx have tools and guidelines on reporting scams or phishing attempts.

The biggest esports facility in the US has training rooms, an apparel shop and lavish gaming chairs

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(CNN) — Gaming company 100 Thieves has built the biggest esports facility in the United States. Located in Culver City, Los Angeles, the 15,000-square-foot compound may have an arcade and an outdoor basketball hoop, but it also has designated training rooms for playing video games professionally.

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey was present Wednesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Square’s Cash App is a sponsor of the building.

100 Thieves, which was founded in 2017, is best known for selling apparel and having famous “Fortnite” streamers and pro players who compete in games like “League of Legends” and “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”

The new building has rooms dedicated to gaming including a “Fortnite” room, a “League of Legends” room and a “CS:GO” room. The rooms are decked with gaming chairs that retail for hundreds of dollars each and PC gaming rigs.

The new building, dubbed the “100 Thieves Cash App Compound” after its sponsor, is a warehouse that took about nine months to complete. Neighbors include Nike LA and Beats Electronics. Robinson said that the apparel shop will be open to the public a few times a year when 100 Thieves drops new clothes for purchase. It’s designed with an open-office layout so that passersby will be able to glimpse content creators’ workstations.

“From the stereotypes of having kids in their basements or how people are nerds to now seeing what [competitive gaming] has been building into and what it’s become, it’s an honor to take part in it. When everyone sees the big reveal today, they’ll really have their jaws drop,” Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, a popular Fortnite streamer with 100 Thieves, told CNN Business.

The unveiling of the lavish, multimillion-dollar building reveals what the 100 Thieves was spending its large investment on when it declined to participate in the Call of Duty League, an expensive franchise that holds its first match this weekend.

Last August, CEO Matt Haag announced that 100 Thieves could not afford to participate in the league and “everyone in our entire company is upset.”

“For us to make such a costly investment into Call of Duty would possibly jeopardize everything that this company has been building over the last year and half and two years for me. And it’s just a risk that we can’t take right now,” said Haag. “To make a financial commitment as large as this just isn’t possible for us right now…I’m just bummed.”

At the time, the announcement drew eyebrows from industry watchers, who noted that Haag is a former professional “Call of Duty” player with strong ties to the franchise and that the company had announced in July it raised an additional $35 million.

100 Thieves President and COO John Robinson told CNN Business the company had been working on building the esports facility while pursuing the Call of Duty League, but “ultimately decided that Call of Duty wasn’t the right fit for us.”

Teams had to pay $25 million to join the Call of Duty League, ESPN reported last March. Call of Duty League Commissioner Johanna Faries declined to comment on economics but said “it was great how much demand there was for franchising in the first season.”

Faries told CNN Business in January, “Everyone who has become part of our ownership group clearly understands the vision of the business.”

100 Thieves has raised $60 million in funding from investors including rapper Drake and co-CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff. “It’s nice to have such a significant amount of investment behind us, but we’re definitely not burning through that in a significant way,” said Robinson.

“We are not profitable yet,” he said. “We’re getting closer and it’s certainly in the near term future for us.”

22 men own more wealth than all of Africa’s 326 million women, international charity says

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Thousands of protesters march on a demonstration against climate change on January 17, 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The protest was taking place ahead of the upcoming annual gathering of world leaders at the Davos World Economic Forum. (Photo by Ronald Patrick/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Global inequality is “out of control” because of biased economic systems that exclude many women while allowing billionaires to amass huge fortunes that do little for society, according to Oxfam International.

The charity is calling on governments to implement policies that ease the burden on women who provide care for children and the elderly, often for little or no pay. Oxfam suggests higher taxes on the wealthy, and more spending by national governments on child- and health care.

Oxfam’s annual report on inequality was released ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which each year brings together many of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people. Among the report’s key findings:

  • The world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people.
  • The 22 richest men have more wealth than all the women in Africa. According to the UN, there are 326 million aged 20 and over.
  • The world’s richest 1% have more than twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people.
  • The value of unpaid care work by women aged 15 and over is $10.8 trillion annually.
  • The number of billionaires has doubled over the past decade.

The 63-page report argues that world leaders are not doing enough to address the widening gap between the poor and the rich. It focuses this year on policies that allow men to dominate the top ranks of business and government. Economic inequality, the report argues, is built on gender inequality.

“Women are supporting the market economy with cheap and free labor and they are also supporting the state by providing care that should be provided by the public sector,” the report states. “This unpaid work is fueling a sexist economic system that takes from the many and puts money in the pockets of the few.”

Oxfam warns that aging populations and cuts to public services threaten to increase the burden on care workers and stoke further inequality.

“Both the dramatic level of economic inequality and the looming care crisis can be tackled, but it will require concerted efforts and bold policy decisions to mend the damage done and to build economic systems that care for all citizens,” says the report.

The group recommends that governments work to build national care systems, provide free public services and increase taxes on the wealthy. It also suggests countries should try to limit the influence of corporations and the super rich.

The report comes amid a growing debate, including in the United States, over whether billionaires are good or bad for society.

Some people argue that the super rich are a byproduct of a successful capitalist system that created the middle class. Others say that taxing billionaires much more heavily would lead to a more just and equal world. The issue has divided Democratic presidential candidates, two of whom, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, are themselves billionaires.

Oxfam argues that the capitalist system is broken because it allows monopolies to flourish and concentrates wealth in the hands of the few.

“Examining the origins of the wealth of the super rich, and how that wealth is deployed, casts serious doubt on their value to our economy and our society,” the report says.

How Illinois State Police are looking out for people driving high

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MOLINE, Illinois-- Illinois State Police are remaining diligent to keep roads safe a month into the legalization of marijuana.

Trooper Jason Wilson said police aren't specifically trying to pull over high drivers, rather, they're still looking for people who break traffic laws like speeding or running red lights.

He said the trooper would then assess their interactions with the driver to determine if they're under the influence of any drug. Troopers consider how the driver speaks, how focused they are and how they move, but these are things they're always considering whenever they pull someone over.

"The average police officer out there isn't going to be able to say 'This person is under the influence of this, and that person's under the influence of that,'" Wilson explained. "We have drug recognition experts who are trained very well to do that, but for the average police officer, when we're doing this bank of tests, it's just determining if they're safe to drive."

Wilson said if the trooper starts to suspect the driver is under the influence, they could ask them to step out of the car to do some field tests.

"If we decide that, 'Okay we're gonna let that person go because they might be under the influence but they seem like good people,' if they get into a crash later, guess who's gonna be in trouble? It's gonna be the police."They could ask the driver to say when 30 seconds have passed because when someone's high, their internal clock is slower and it'll take longer for them to determine the passing of time. Troopers will also look at people's eyes because they tend to move involuntarily when under the influence of a drug.

"If we decide that, 'Okay we're gonna let that person go because they might be under the influence but they seem like good people,' if they get into a crash later, guess who's gonna be in trouble," Wilson said. "It's gonna be the police."

If someone is caught driving high, the penalties will be the same as any other DUI. Trooper Wilson says on average it costs people $1,600 in court fees, lost wages, insurance hikes and fines.

The Eric Factor: The strange occurrence that happens to the sun when it gets really cold

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Have you ever seen more than one sun in the sky? If you're from the Midwest, you may say "yes" while most people on Earth answer differently. That's because most people on our planet live in warm climates, where the "Parhelion" doesn't occur. Another reason why most people have never seen the Northern Lights.

Learn more about the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

There are several terms used to describe this optical phenomenon of the Parhelion, where three suns are seen on the horizon. It can be called a "sun dog" or a "22-degree halo."

Here's how it works! Normally, the sun's rays shine directly into your eyes. However, when there are hexagonal ice crystals high up in the atmosphere (but not enough to shield the rays of the sun), the light is refracted at precisely 22 degrees, essentially bending some of the light toward our eyes. Because of the "Bernoulli Effect," these ice crystals only rotate one way. That creates the perfect optics where the light from the sun is bent toward our eyes, creating that three-suns illusion.

Because this phenomenon requires hexagonal ice crystals at high levels of the atmosphere, Parhelions are quite rare and only occur in frigid conditions. You're most likely to see these in the Upper Midwest and Canada, especially when the sun is close to the horizon. This past weekend's show was particularly vivid, thanks to near-perfect atmospheric conditions.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

Washington man 1st confirmed US case of China coronavirus, O’Hare airport begins screening

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The first U.S. case of a coronavirus originating from China has been reported, confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The infected individual is a man in his 30's from Washington, according to Washington state epidemiologist Scott Lindquist, who spoke Tuesday at a press conference. The patient is in good condition and was hospitalized out of standard precautionary procedures.

In another incident, United airlines reported that health officials dealt with two passengers arriving on a United flight from China to Chicago according to the CDC's new orders Tuesday.

United said in a statement to TEGNA station WXIA in Atlanta, "health officials met United flight 836 upon its arrival at Chicago O’Hare earlier today and assisted and released two passengers. We continue to follow CDC guidelines and remain in close contact with authorities in the United States and Asia to further ensure the safety of our customers and employees."

United flight 836 arrived to Chicago O’Hare from Shanghai's Pudong airport Tuesday afternoon.

O'Hare Airport is now going to start screening passengers for the coronavirus. Hospitals say they're checking patients with flu-like symptoms for the virus, which is in the same family as the SARS virus and the common cold.

Health officials say the virus can spread from person to person. Atlanta airport will also begin to check passengers for the virus.

China says the number of cases of a coronavirus originating from China has risen to 440 and the death toll has risen to 9. Deputy Director of the National Health Commission Li Bin told reporters on Wednesday that the figures were current as of midnight Tuesday and all the deaths had been in Hubei province, where the first illnesses from the new coronavirus were reported in December.

Li said that marked an increase of 149 confirmed cases. He said Japan and South Korea had confirmed one case each and Thailand three. The U.S. and Taiwan also have reported one case each.

Coronavirus map. TEGNA

Chinese officials recently confirmed that the virus, which is also a mysterious respiratory infection, can be spread from person to person, although it is unclear how easily it spreads.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the travel-related spread of the illness has been confirmed in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

The U.S. patient traveled to Wuhan, China where the virus is believed to have originated. The outbreak was initially connected to a seafood market in the mainland Chinese city, but human-to-human transmission could make the virus spread more quickly and widely. The patient in Washington did not visit any of the markets connected to the virus, and did not interact with anyone known to have been infected with the virus, according to CDC officials.

The CDC confirms the patient traveled through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Jan. 15 and developed symptoms shortly after. When he saw a doctor, a clinical specimen was collected and sent to the CDC for lab testing. The diagnostic test for the virus is currently only available via the CDC, but the agency has announced that in the coming days and weeks it plans to share the tests with domestic and international partners.

The World Health Organization is expected to meet Wednesday to decide whether to declare this an international public health emergency, the New York Times reported.

CDC staff have set up checkpoints at San Francisco international Airport, new York's JFK airport and at LAX in Los Angeles. More than 1,200 passengers traveling through San Francisco International Airport have been screened. Additional checkpoints will be added at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

Despite the confirmed U.S case, Dr. Messonnier said the CDC "continues to believe the risk of this coronavirus on the American population is low right now."

Face masks are selling out and temperature checks at airports are the new norm as China tries to control the outbreak during the Lunar New Year travel rush.

The stock prices of some companies that sell masks have risen, but markets fell in much of Asia as investors worried about the potential impact on tourism and the economy. That prompted a selloff of for airline stocks and other travel industry-related stocks.

6-year-old New Jersey girl heard smoke alarm, saves family from fire

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(CNN) -- A New Jersey firefighter and his family lost their home in a fire Sunday, but his daughter made sure the family remained safe.

Six-year-old Madalyn Karlbon heard a smoke alarm go off in her home in the middle of the night, according to the Avenel Fire Department's Facebook page. After seeing smoke, she woke up her dad, Avenel Fire Department Ex-Chief Jimmy Karlbon, and they helped get the family to safety.

Avenel Fire Department President Frank Strain told CNN Tuesday that the family's house has been deemed uninhabitable after a fire accidentally started in the Karlbons' kitchen.

In the meantime, toys, clothing and other donations have flooded in.

"We've gotten a few dollars," Strain said. "It's been quite a few. I haven't counted them up yet, but it's in the thousands."

Strain, an ex-chief himself, said he's known Karlbon for 30 years and knew whose house he was responding to once the address came in.

"He's like a brother to me," Strain said. "We were just praying that everybody was out."

The Avenel Fire Department said in another Facebook post that the family is staying in a nearby hotel until renovations can be completed on their home, but they were quick to compliment Madalyn on her bravery and quick thinking.

"Way to go Madalyn," the department posted. "You're indeed a hero!!!"

COMING SOON: New Tennis-Themed Coffee Shop Coming to Moline

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Ace, The Slice, The Tweener, Lucky Shot, Match Point.

These aren't just tennis terms. These are the names of drinks at a brand-new coffee shop coming to Moline called Kick Serve Coffee.

Crews are working on the building right now at the corner of 7th Street and 19th Avenue, filling an empty corner across from Shell, Walgreens, and The Salvation Army.

According to Moline Mayor Stephanie Acri, Tom and Jackie Slininger are the owners of the coffee shop and were inspired by the tennis theme because they met while playing the sport. They hope to open their business by June 2020.

According to Kick Serve's website, the coffee shop will be open seven days a week and the menu includes specialty espresso drinks, frappes, smoothies, and energy drinks - as well as all the usual items like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate - all with the goal to "kick start" your day!

Boston student from Iran deported, CBP says it was not aware of judge’s order

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(CNN) -- An Iranian student planning to attend Northeastern University in Boston was flown out of the United States despite an emergency stay, and Customs and Border Protection said it was not aware a court had temporarily blocked the student's removal.

Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein, 24, was refused entry to the United States on his student visa when he arrived at the Boston Logan International Airport on Sunday. While he was detained, a Massachusetts district court judge granted him an emergency stay but he was deported Monday night, said his attorney, Kerry Doyle.

Customs and Border Protection was "unaware of the issuance of any court order barring the removal of the subject from the United States" when Dehghani boarded the flight and the aircraft's doors had closed, the agency said in a statement.

Judge Allison D. Burroughs ordered Monday that Dehghani's removal be stayed for 48 hours or until further order of the court, according to the court docket. A federal detention hearing for Dehghani was scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, Judge Richard Stearns said the case is now "moot" because Dehghani was "never admitted into the United States, is no longer in custody, and the court does not have jurisdiction to order his return," CBP said in a statement.

Northeastern University said it has not received a "satisfactory explanation" from Customs and Border Protection for the student's deportation.

"We believe that a clear explanation is needed, especially because the deportation took place after a 48-hour extension was granted by a federal judge. Only in the most extreme instances should students have their academic pursuits interrupted by government intervention," the university said in a statement.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it is not involved in the case.

The student's visa was revoked, his attorney says

According to an emergency petition filed by Doyle, the State Department issued Dehghani a student visa last week. But when Dehghani tried entering the United States on January 19, he was taken into secondary inspection and refused entry.

US Customs and Border Protection revoked Dehghani's student visa and issued him an expedited removal order, the court filing says.

"It is unclear why Defendants would now decide, after conducting a full visa issuance process, that Plaintiff's student visa should be revoked," the court document say."It is unclear why Defendants would now decide, after conducting a full visa issuance process, that Plaintiff's student visa should be revoked," the court document say.

The defendants in the filing include CBP and the Department of Homeland Security.

"Rather than being based in legitimate concerns over Plaintiff's admissibility to the United States, this revocation and expedited removal is a result of additional scrutiny targeting Iranian citizens," the filing says.

In a statement, CBP said it could not discuss individual proceedings.

"CBP officers are charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws, but they also enforce over 400 laws for 40 other agencies and have stopped thousands of violators of US law," the agency said in a statement.

"Applicants must demonstrate they are admissible into the US by overcoming all grounds of inadmissibility including health-related grounds, criminality, security reasons, public charge, labor certification, illegal entrants and immigration violations, documentation requirements, and miscellaneous grounds."

Northeastern University also said it has been in touch with federal officials to learn more about the case and provide Dehghani with the appropriate assistance to "facilitate a successful return to Northeastern."

Dehghani was admitted to the university's undergraduate program starting in the 2018-2019 academic year and filed for a student visa in 2018. After an in-person interview and a full State Department review, he was issued his student visa last week, his court petition says.

Protesters rallied outside the airport

Meanwhile, a crowd of people including members of the ACLU of Massachusetts and the Muslim Justice League gathered at the Boston airport to protest Dehghani's detention.

"In America, nobody is above the law -- including Customs and Border Protection officials. Given the Trump administration's xenophobic policies and CBP's troubling practice at Logan Airport of sending students with valid visas back to Iran, it is shameful that the government defied a federal court order and deported Shahab without due process," ACLU of Massachusetts Executive Director Carol Rose said in a statement.

"We are looking at all options to hold CBP accountable for wrongfully deporting Iranians and other students who hold valid visas."

The ACLU of Massachusetts says at least 10 students have been sent back to Iran upon arriving to US airports, with seven of them having flown into the Boston airport.

Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts also weighed in, tweeting Monday: "His deportation must be halted, and we must fight the Trump administration's xenophobic policies."

Shahab Dehghani is an Iranian student with a valid F1 visa, returning to finish his education. CBP already held him overnight. His deportation must be halted, and we must fight the Trump administration's xenophobic policies. https://t.co/ZCKVo5fwvM

— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 21, 2020

Light snow begins this afternoon, won’t end until early Saturday

WQAD News -

This will be the third week in a row with wintry weather. But this system should be a little easier to deal with because the snow will be lighter and it will last longer.

A longer duration snow does bring its challenges because it will be harder for road crews to constantly take care of plowing and salting. Temperatures will be right around freezing so salt will be very efficient at making roads wet instead of icy.

Total snowfall accumulations will be less than 5 or 6 inches at the most by the time this wraps up early Saturday.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

Local developer offers to buy Rock Island County Courthouse, but the county says the plan is still to demolish

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ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS  --  Local real estate developer, Joe Lemon, made an offer buy the old Rock Island County Courthouse at the January 21st county board meeting. Lemon offered to pay half a million dollars to the county and spend 8 million dollars renovating the 123 year old building.

"We think it is a natural asset for our community that we would like to preserve and reuse for hundreds of more years in the future," Lemon said.

Lemon says he has made multiple attempts and offers to the county.

"The county has refused to meet with me," Lemon said. "It's very discouraging."

County Board Chairman, Richard Brunk, says the board has never been interested in selling the building.

"There have been loose proposals, if you will, that have been floated," Brunk said. "There has been nothing very formal, with any type of financing, documentation, or anything of that sort."

Demolition of the courthouse was approved last January, but a preservationist group filed a lawsuit one-month later to stop it from coming down.
That lawsuit, is currently being appealed by the county.

 

"I don't see a reason that the board would want to back pedal, because in the last year and a half or so, the board has been making solid decisions, in the long term best interest of the tax payers and the residents of the county," Brunk said.

Brunk said one concern about the old courthouse being owned by a private buyer is security to the Justice Center next door.

"it is a security concern with that building being so close to the Justice Center," Brunk said. "The threat and the concern is real."

Chairman Richard Brunk says there's already a plan for that property

"Eventually, whether its 2,3,5, possibly 10 years down the road, the county will be able to utilize that property to consolidate facilities, creating huge long term efficiency. The savings to the taxpayers with those efficiencies would dwarf any property tax revenue that that building would provide as a private property."

Brunk says he does not anticipate Lemon's offer to sway any board members away from the plan to demolish.

Lemon said he would be willing to renovate the courthouse into office space in a way that would benefit the city and the county.

Brunk says they are expecting a decision from the appellate court judge any day now.

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