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As local restaurant boycotts NFL games, DirectTV offers fans refunds

The owner of Beef O’Brady’s restaurant in Beavercreek says he will not air NFL games at his restaurant while NFL players kneel during the national anthem.

“They need to return to respect for the flag and the anthem,” restaurant owner Bill DeFries said in an interview Wednesday. “They can certainly exercise their right to free speech — but not during that one period of time, as far as I’m concerned.”

DeFries is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. “While I respect the right of every American to express their views and voices freely, the actions demonstrated by NFL players during our country’s national anthem are offensive and disrespectful to me as a proud veteran,” DeFries said in a prepared statement.

PUBLIC RESPONDS: Restaurant owner says response to NFL boycott has been ‘overwhelming’

And CBS Sports and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that DirectTV is letting “at least some” customers cancel subscriptions to its Sunday Ticket package of NFL games and obtain refunds if they cite players’ national anthem protests as the reason, customer service representatives told the news outlets.

RELATEDMost Browns players kneel, stand arm-to-arm during anthem

About 150 NFL players took a knee -- or protested in some other way -- before or during the playing of the national anthem this past Sunday. Many did it to protest or call attention to what they feel are instances of racial injustice or police brutality. Others did it to express solidarity with, or support for, fellow players.

“It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel,” San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid wrote in a recent New York Times column. “We chose it because it’s exactly the opposite. It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest.”

“We’ll do it indefinitely until they (NFL players) can have a conversation among themselves and maybe even include President Trump,” DeFries said in an interview. “When the national anthem is played, if you’re anywhere within earshot of that, you stop what you’re doing, and face towards the flag.”

“They need to pick the right time and place to have that protest,” he added. “We’re going to exercise our right to let them know that what they did was misguided.”

Instead of airing NFL games, DeFries said he will offer a 50-percent discount to all active-duty military and veterans on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays during all NFL games.

Asked how he will respond if his stance hurts his business, DeFries said: “We’re ready.”

He said he assured his servers and bartenders that he will compensate them “out of my own pocket” for any tips or gratuities they miss if business falls as a result of his decision.

Said DeFries: “Even though we may lose business, it’s important for us to be heard as well.”

Beef O’Brady’s is a restaurant at 3347 Seajay Drive in the Beaver Valley Shopping Center.

DeFries has owned and overseen Beef O’Brady’s restaurants in Centerville and Beavercreek for a total of nearly 14 years. He sold the Centerville location five years ago.

Ohio country band booted from Lee Brice concert, rib fest after Charlottesville Facebook post

Rodney Parker and Liberty Beach, a country band from Sylvania, was booted from Northwest Ohio Rib Off and an opening slot for Nashville star Lee Brice after complaints over a Facebook post.

Singer Rodney Parker, on his personal Facebook page, posted Tuesday about the Charlottesville, Va., protests.

The Toledo Blade, which sponsors the Rib Off, made the decision to pull the band.

Parker’s post, which is posted in the Blade article linked above: “Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Communists, PURE TRASH, PERIOD. Certainly in the face of this ongoing relentless behavior from these leftist agitators, White Nationalists (who’re NOT White Supremacists, just so we’re clear) TOTALLY have a legitimate right to SPEAK, BE HEARD, and retaliate. Mainstream media wants to manipulate and keep you timid and full of white guilt, and that empowers these leftists (expletives). DO NOT fall for that communist tactic EVER.”

RELATED: What is the alt-left?

Fact Check: President Trump and the Virginia protesters

Parker’s comments posted after he shared a video of protesters tearing down a Confederate statue in Durham, N.C.

Parker told the Blade he isn’t a racist, and neither was his Facebook post.

“The claims of racism against me are as false as dentures, period; end of story,” Parker told the Blade.

Parker said the allegations came from someone he banned from his page for making racist remarks.

John McAfee, the band’s founder, said the rest of the band had nothing to do with the post, and that the band and Parker weren’t racist.

“If anything we’re about getting along and getting past this government crap,” McAfee said. 

KY GOP official accused of exposing himself in department store bathroom

A Kentucky dentist and chairman of his county’s Republican Party has lost his political post and is facing criminal charges following a weekend arrest in Tennessee on charges of indecent exposure and resisting arrest. 

David Narramore, 54, of Whitesburg, was arrested Saturday night at a Belk department store in Kingsport, Tennessee. WJHL in Johnson City, Tennessee, reported that Kingsport police officers were called to the store by a loss prevention officer. 

The man told the officers that he was in a stall in the store’s men’s room, when the person in the next stall, later identified as Narramore, began rubbing his foot with his own. Narramore is also accused of exposing his genitals to the man, WJHL said.

The employee detained Narramore and held him in the loss prevention office until Kingsport police arrived, the news station said. 

When officers attempted to arrest Narramore, he refused to put his hands behind his back, WJHL reported. When he continued to pull away and fight the officers, they used a Taser on him. 

The Taser had no effect, and the officers wrestled him to the ground to handcuff him, police said. 

>> Read more trending news

Narramore, who complained at the scene of chest pains, was evaluated by paramedics before being booked into the Kingsport City Jail. He was released the next day after posting $2,250 bail. 

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Narramore resigned his post with the Republican Party’s Letcher County branch following the arrest. 

“Dr. Narramore is clearly going through some personal issues,” Tres Watson, communications director for the state GOP, told the Herald-Leader. “We wish him well as he attempts to deal with (his) personal struggles.”

 

Gov. Chris Christie shuts down N.J. government

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered a government shutdown at midnight Friday after funding for a new state budget failed, NJ.com reported.

>> Read more trending news

The shutdown came after last-ditch attempts to reach a compromise between Christie and New Jersey Democrats who control the state legislature failed.

“This order is necessary to maintain the protection, safety and well-being of the people of New Jersey while I attempt to convince the Legislature to send me a fiscally responsible budget that I can sign and reopen New Jersey’s government,” Christie said.

The shutdown is the second in state history and will close government facilities like state parks and motor vehicle service offices, NJ.com reported. It will not affect organizations like the New Jersey State Police and psychiatric hospitals, and the state lottery will remain in operation.

Trump EPA head praises Great Lakes program administration plans to eliminate

Environmental Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt may not be on board with White House plans to cut programs that directly affect the Great Lakes.

Pruitt defended the program before the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday, in a report from the Detroit Free Press. Pruitt said cuts to the restoration program may cripple efforts to halt the invasive Asian carp, algae blooms that have become more problematic as agriculture has grown in the state, and efforts to protect drinking water.

STAY UPDATED: DDN’s Ohio Politics Blog

The Trump administration has proposed a 30 percent cut to the agencies budget along with eliminating 3,800 jobs. The budget isn’t expected to pass. 

Congressman Mary Kaptur and David Joyce of Ohio questioned Pruitt on whether there would be room for the program with the cut the administration planned. Both parties have been critical of the budget, which in early planning would cut funding to any geographically centered projects. That would affect funding for the  Great Lakes as well as other areas in Ohio.

Pruitt said he looked forward to working with Congress to make sure the funding remains in the budget for the Great Lakes. Kaptur invited Pruitt for a tour of the lakes. 

Memorial planned for astronaut, U.S. Sen. John Glenn

UPDATE @ 2:54 p.m. (Dec. 9):

President Barack Obama has ordered flags at half-staff through the burial of John Glenn on all public buildings and grounds.

UPDATE @ 12:36 p.m. (Dec. 9):

Late space hero and former U.S. Sen. John Glenn will lie in state in the Ohio Statehouse and a memorial service is being planned at Ohio State University, the Associated Press reports.

Hank Wilson of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs in Columbus said the date and time are still being worked out but the public viewing and other services are expected to take place early next week. A “celebration of life” will be at OSU’s Mershon Auditorium.

Burial is being planned at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington.

UPDATE @ 3:20 p.m. (Dec. 8):

John Glenn has died at the age of 95 at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

RELATED: John Glenn, the ‘last true national hero,’ dead at 95

Photos: John Glenn through the years

INITIAL REPORT:

John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth and who later became a U.S. senator for Ohio, has been a patient at the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University for a little more than a week, according to several reports.

According to those same media reports, the reason for his being admitted has not been made clear, but Hank Wilson, a spokesman for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State, said it does not necessarily mean Glenn has cancer.

“Anybody who’s 95, any illness is always bad, Wilson said.

According to Cleveland.com, Glenn’s health has declined the last few years and he had heart valve replacement surgery in 2014.

Late Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, urged the public to send love to the Glenn family while also respecting the family’s request for privacy.

“Connie and I ask Ohioans to join us in sending our love to John and Annie Glenn and their children and to respect their family’s privacy at this difficult time.”

According to the Associated Press, when Glenn spoke at the renaming ceremony for the Columbus, Ohio, airport, he said some of his eyesight had been lost because of macular degeneration and a small stroke.

Glenn, born July 18, 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio, enlisted in the Navy as an aviation cadet in March 1942 following the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.

On April 6, 1943, he married the former Anna Margaret Castor, his childhood playmate and high school sweetheart. They went on to have two children, Carolyn Ann Glenn and John David Glenn, and have two grandchildren.

Before making history in space, Glenn set the transcontinental speed record from Los Angeles to New York in July 1957: Three hours and 23 minutes.

Glenn received orders for combat duty in Korean War in 1953, flying 63 missions with Marines and 27 missions as an exchange pilot with the U.S. Air Force.

He became a Marine test pilot in 1954. In 1965, Glenn retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel.

Glenn made history as the first American to orbit Earth in 1962, piloting the Mercury-Atlas 6 “Friendship 7” spacecraft and completing three orbits during the five-hour flight.

Initially running for the U.S. Senate in 1964, he was forced to bow out of the running in the primaries when he suffered a head injury in an accident. Once he recovered, he became a vice president then president at Royal Crown Cola.

He became a Democratic senator representing Ohio in 1974 and served until 1998, completing four terms. He became the oldest man to fly in space when he served as a payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1998. That 9-day mission was accomplished in 134 Earth orbits.

Reported by Kelcie Willis, Cox Media National Content Desk. Dayton Daily News Staff Writer Laura A. Bischoff contributed.

College student becomes youngest elected to Florida House of Representatives

Amber Mariano cut her four classes on Tuesday, but the third-year political science major at the University of Central Florida more than likely won’t be penalized by her professors. In fact, she might get extra credit.

>> Read more trending stories

Not only was she studying the political process, she was winning at it.

Mariano, a Republican candidate who turned 21 on Oct. 18, became the youngest person ever elected to the Florida House of Representatives, winning District 36 by 719 votes over incumbent Democratic Rep. Amanda Murphy. Before Mariano, the youngest person elected to the Florida House was Adam Putnam, who was 22 when he won in 1996 and is now Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture.

“It was honestly the best night of my life,” Mariano told WFTS.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that the margin was 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent out of 66,939 ballots cast in Pasco County, located north of the Tampa Bay area — according to final but unofficial results.

Mariano the youngest of any gender since 1996, when Adam Putnam, then 22, won his first statehouse race.

According to her website, Mariano gained experience on the issues of education and health care during her time working for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in Washington, D.C. During the 2016 Florida legislative session, she worked for state representatives Rene “Coach P” Plasencia and Scott Plakon. She received endorsements from Rubio and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Mariano, who plans to attend law school after graduation, is no stranger to politics. Her father, Jack Mariano, won re-election to a fourth term as a Pasco County commissioner.

“We didn’t expect this opportunity to present itself so quickly in her life,” Jack Mariano told WFTS. “But I will tell you at 6 years old she said she wanted to be the first woman president.

“So it’s been in her blood from way back when.”

“He says I’m leapfrogging him. He just wanted me to follow my dream,” Amber Mariano told WFTS.  “And this is my dream.” 

Here's how to endorse a political candidate on Facebook

For those who use Facebook as an outlet to voice their political opinions, one feature makes the boldest statement: officially endorsing the candidate of your choice on the social media platform.

>> Read more trending stories 

To endorse a candidate, users only have to complete five steps: 

  1. Click the Endorsement tab on the political figure's Facebook page
  2. Click Endorse
  3. Choose the audience you want to see your endorsement post
  4. Write something to go along with your post
  5. Click Post

According to Facebook, users who post their endorsements to a public audience can be featured on candidates' pages if the candidates decide to repost any specific endorsement status.

Only pages that mark a figure as a politician, political candidate or government official can have the endorsement option.

Among those who can be endorsed are presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Duke, a Great Pyrenees that won a third one-year term as honorary mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota, in August, and Mayor Stubbs, a cat that has been the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, since the 1990s.

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