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What people are saying about the Sutherland Springs church shooting

A gunman opened fire at a church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday, according to officials. More than 20 have been reported dead in the small town east of San Antonio, with more than 20 wounded. The gunman is also dead, Wilson County Commissioner Paul Pheil said in a TV news interview.

>> Read more trending news 

The news brought an all-too-familiar mix of reactions on social media, including condolences and calls to action. Here’s what people are saying about the shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs:

See photos from the scene here. This is a developing story. Check statesman.com for the latest.

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. 

Florida captain known to hand-feed sharks hospitalized after bite from ‘sea creature’

The captain of a Florida dive boat that specializes in shark encounters was bitten on the hand Sunday, suffering injuries severe enough that he was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said the sheriff’s Marine One unit picked up Randall Jordan, the captain of Emerald Charters, after a distress call that he was bitten by a “sea creature.” 

Jordan was in good condition, but still in the hospital Tuesday, according to a St. Mary’s Medical Center spokesman. His sister, Deborah Toohey, said he had to undergo “reattachment surgery.”

>> Read more trending news

“He tries to teach people to not be afraid of sharks,” Toohey said. “He’s an avid environmentalist when it comes to sharks.” 

Jordan did not return calls Tuesday.

In 2015, Jordan was sentenced to a year of probation, a $1,500 fine and 100 hours of community service after he was convicted of three misdemeanor charges stemming from illegally feeding sharks in Florida waters. 

Florida banned feeding sharks in state waters in 2001, but it is still legal in federal waters, said Amanda Nalley, public information specialist for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management

George Burgess, who investigates bites for the International Shark Attack file at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said a bite that occurs when someone is feeding a shark is considered a “provoked” incident. 

Burgess said he will investigate the bite. 

“The impression that shark diving operations give is that it’s a perfectly safe operation,” Burgess said. “It’s generally safe, but not perfectly safe.” 

Jordan isn’t the first charter operator bitten while on a shark excursion. 

In 2011, Jim Abernethy was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center after being bitten on the arm. The bite happened about 18 miles north of West End, the Bahamas.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley booked into jail, resigns

Embattled Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned today after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges, ending two years of scandal and intrigue that resulted from an affair with one of his top political advisors. 

As part of the plea deal, Bentley will submit to 12 months of unsupervised probation, surrender more than $36,000 in campaign funds and will serve 100 hours of public service. He can never run for office. 

Montgomery County Judge Troy Massey sentenced Bentley to 30-day suspended jail sentence – meaning he will spend no time in jail. 

Jail records show that Bentley posted $600 bond. 

He spent Sunday “negotiating terms of a resignation with state lawmakers and law enforcement,” according to the Alabama Political Reporter.

>> Read more trending news

Bentley, 74, has battled to outlast a scandal involving recordings that surfaced in 2016 of him making sexually explicit comments to his former aide. 

Bentley’s wife of 50 years, Dianne, divorced him in 2015.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, WHNT reported that Bentley will resign Monday.

Last week, the Alabama Ethics Commission said they had found reason to believe he committed four crimes, all of them felonies, in his attempt to cover up the relationship with aide Rebekah Mason. 

“Gov. Bentley directed law enforcement to advance his personal interests and, in a process characterized by increasing obsession and paranoia, subjected career law enforcement officers to tasks intended to protect his reputation,” Sharman wrote in a report released Friday.

According to the Alabama Reporter article, talk of Bentley’s resignation began on Friday with legislators set to begin impeachment hearings Monday.

The Alabama Republican Party on Sunday called for Bentley to step down. 

AL.com columnist John Archibald wrote on Monday that, “Sources in Montgomery say his lawyers have been involved in negotiations to step down from the governorship and plead to lesser charges, allowing Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey to step up as governor. Sources believe he will resign the governorship by Wednesday.”

Archibald added, “It is possible that Bentley, who has changed his mind often during his term, could change his mind.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Avoid Christmas tree fires with simple safety measures, three-pronged plugs

Just days before Christmas, a family in Yulee, Florida has almost everything after a fire destroyed part of their home.

Fire investigators blamed an electrical cord for starting the fire that caused the family's Christmas tree to goup in flames.

>> Read more trending stories 

While the Sheffield's home is still standing with no exterior  damage, the interior is coated in soot and filled with melted belongings.

"Pretty much within 10 minutes it was done. Yes, everything gone," homeowner Thomas Sheffield said. Sheffield said he was home with his son on Tuesday evening when he heard a loud noise in the living room. "I opened up the door to the house and just saw black smoke and heat. All I could think about was just trying to get the animals out of there." 

What's left of a Yulee family's Christmas tree after it caught fire and destroyed their home days before Christmas @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/yB1XpbEvL3— KatieMcKee (@KatieMcKeeANjax) December 21, 2016

Sheffield and his wife Carina have five children. What's left of their Christmas presents were scattered throughout the living room.

The state fire marshal determined the fire started in the living room where their Christmas tree stood.

"He concluded that it was the extension cord to plug to our Christmas tree that caused it. We have probably 10 of them in our house," Sheffield said.

He and his wife said they fear others do as well.

"I don't want to see other families suffer. It hurts to see your kids hurt. It's not just Christmas, but every memory they have is gone," Carina said.

Couple says state fire marshal determined the fire was caused by an extension cord plugged into their Christmas tree lights @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/FW7Rzs9Lsm— KatieMcKee (@KatieMcKeeANjax) December 22, 2016

She said firefighters had finished putting out the fire when she came home from the pharmacy. She sobbed after walking inside the house to see what was left.

"Pictures of our family vacations, everything just gone, and all because I bought a cheap cord instead of spending a few extra dollars to get a three-pronged one," Carina said.

Investigators said the type of cheap two-pronged extension cord the family used was unsafe. 

A spokesperson with the state fire marshall's office said he couldn't comment about what types of extension cords homeowners should buy, but he did say you get what you pay for.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, it's recommended people use extension cords with polarized and/or three-pronged plugs.

The National Fire Prevention Association reports there is an average of 210 fires annually involving a Christmas tree or decorations. Christmas trees and any decorations need to be 3 feet from any heat source, and people should water their tree daily.

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.

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