@kwellscomm @PraiseIndy PraiseIndy.com News —
The fine line between staying ‘woke’ on social media and being politically correct may have landed a popular Indianapolis deputy mayor and pastor in hot water over a racially charged post on Facebook.
Good day to you on this Groundhog Day. More on what that fuzzy-fella-weather-predictor has in store for us below.
Sometimes sports is a top news headline as well, and a popular Colts player has decided to hang up his cleats. Punter Pat MacAffee is stepping away from the game. More on why below in sports.
Some Indianapolis city-county council members want the city’s deputy mayor fired over a couple of his latest Facebook post responses. It was causing lots of heated chatter back and forth about it Wednesday night. Well, Thursday morning, WRTV 6 and others are reporting Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood Engagement, Dr. David Hampton used a racial slur to describe a meeting between President Donald Trump and those he recognizes as African-American leaders to kick off Black History Month Wednesday. Hampton removed the post, but City-County Council member Michael McQuillen is leading the Hampton needs to be fired effort. In an update…Hampton apologized on Thursday morning. On Twitter, the deputy mayor said, “My humble and sincere apologies for offending some with poor word choice.” During our on-air newscasts, we reported that neither Hampton or Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office had made comment on this matter. See his full apology by clicking the link above.
But here are two things we know each are chatting up.
On Hogsett’s Twitter…A neighborhood is a food desert no more. Sav-A-Lot Foods opened to the Avondale-Meadows community with a Grand Opening on Thursday morning. Doors opened at 8 a.m. with fresh food within walking distance of most neighbors. This is a development project for a community that had been without a near-by grocer for 20 years. And…
On the other…a retweet of @IndyCouncil regarding a party defection. Christine Scales is leaving the Republican Party, but not Indy’s City-County Council. She announced her party switch Wednesday. Scales says she’s becoming a Democrat to better serve the people of her northern Indianapolis district. Democrats say they’ll welcome her. Republicans say they look forward to electing her replacement.
The first challenger to step into the next senate race against Indiana’s current U.S. senator is making himself known. A Republican lawyer with offices in both Kokomo and Noblesville wants the seat currently occupied by Senator Joe Donnelly. He’s Attorney Mark Hurt and he made his senate-bid announcement on Wednesday at Shapiro’s Deli in downtown Indy. Hurt says he’s uniquely qualified and experienced to mount a challenge against Donnelly in 2018.
Indiana’s cigarette tax is a step closer to jumping by $1.50. An Indiana House panel approved the higher cigarette tax yesterday. In addition to adding a buck-and-a-half to the price of a pack of smokes, the legislation would also mean no one under 21-years-old could legally buy cigarettes in Indiana. The plan will face some critics when it moves to the full House for a vote.
As you get ready to file your taxes this year, you may want to make sure someone hasn’t claimed your refund first. Tax preparers are warning people of a scam that’s already hit hundreds of people here in Indiana. Identity thieves are using stolen social security numbers to file false tax returns. Some people say they don’t find out until they try to claim their refund. You may recall, the IRS is delaying refunds in an effort to slow this and other scams.
A former Purdue University police officer is suing because she says the department treated her differently because of her race. Former officer Tenecia Waddell’s lawyers filed the suit this week. Waddell’s suit claims Purdue’s police department harassed her, fired her, and gave her different assignments and punishments because of her race. Waddell was first fired in 2011 but won her job back. She and another officer were fired again last year. Purdue Police officials aren’t commenting on this suit.
A number of civilians, including children, were reportedly killed in this past weekend’s military raid in Yemen. That’s the admission from U.S. Central Command days after President Donald Trump ordered the first military action of his presidency. A Navy SEAL William Ryan Owens was killed, reportedly along with the eight-year-old American daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki –the U.S.-born cleric who was killed in a drone strike in 2011.
President Trump says “Iran has been formally put on notice” after its weekend launch of a ballistic missile. He made the comment in a tweet Thursday morning, adding that Iran was “on its last legs” before the U.S. “gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal.” National Security Advisor Michael Flynn earlier also said Iran was on notice, but did not explain further.
President Trump is suggesting that federal funds could be cut from UC-Berkeley after it canceled a speech by a Breitbart News editor in the wake of protests. University officials say they pulled the plug on the appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos out of concern for public safety. Trump tweeted, “If UC Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view-NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”
The United States Postal Service is out with a new forever stamp honoring of Black History Month and featuring late civil rights icon Dorothy Height. The USPS accurately discussed who she was and why she was so important during an unveiling. Height was well known for having helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, though she did not speak at the historic event even from her legendary post as the president of the National Council of Negro Women. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then President Bill Clinton back in 1994. Ten years later President George W. Bush awarded her the Congressional Gold Medal. Once described by former President Barack Obama as the “godmother of the civil rights movement,” Dorothy Height died in 2010 at the age of 98. According to the USPS, artist Thomas Blackshear II created the artwork of Height’s image that appears on the stamp. Check it out HERE.
A Colts’ favorite is punting away from the NFL into retirement. Pat McAfee broke the news on Wednesday that he’s retiring and instead wants to shift his focus to a sports and media-related web company. The 29-year-old is also a stand-up comedian who is known for his charitable efforts with kids, veterans and particularly in times of tragedy in the Indianapolis community. But calling it quits is no joke. McAfee, who wears #1 on his jersey, says part of his decision is based on the toll football has taken on his body. The just wrapped-up a Pro-Bowl season where he was voted onto the AFC team, but was too injured to play. MacAfee will host the 2017 Indiana Sports Awards on April 27 at Clowes Memorial Hall. Here’s to kicking off your ‘next’ Pat…cheers! His announcement letter is below. Click his Tweet…
Houston is ramping up security measures ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl 51 match-up between the Falcons and Patriots. Police say officers at the event may blend into the background, but they will be there…they say the event is a “all hands on deck” situation.
Looks like it will be six more weeks of winter. Punxsutawney Phil made his annual Groundhog Day appearance this morning at Gobbler’s Knob, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania emerging from his hole as a large crowd watched. After he emerged from his hole, he spotted his shadow signaling more winter. Had the nation’s most famous weather-predicting groundhog not seen his shadow, it would’ve signaled an early spring.
Periods of clouds and sun today with a High near 30 degrees.
Beyonce’s photo announcing her pregnancy is now the most-liked Instagram pic of all time. (Since I’ve not been personally cleared to post the photo, I can only link you to it, so you can see it for yourself. Click the link above.) According to the site, it only took seven-plus hours for the superstar to break Selena Gomez’s former record. Gomez held the crown at just over 6.3 million. As of Wednesday night, Beyonce had just about 6.5 million likes –and counting, and counting. A check on Thursday morning was 8.1 million –and like a baby bump…and growing.
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