News to Know: March 22, 2018

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Major news outlets are pretty focused in on keywords like Tillerson, McCabe, Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, porn star and Playboy. It’s been an interesting week in the gutter of national news. Here are a few stories from the Bay and beyond that seem more relevant than the president’s unprotected extramarital affair accusations.

ICE Watch

As was reported on this site, the Homeland Security Investigations division of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (that’s a mouthful) detained three people and arrested at least one illegal immigrant following a raid at a home of Parker Street in Berkeley Friday. A small protest led by Yvette Felarca of By Any Means Necessary ensued at City Hall shortly after the ICE raid. At that point, Felarca had not yet heard a statement by the city’s Mayor Jesse Arreguin, which she called out as “shameful.”

Graphic illustration courtesy of

Speaking of ICE and mayors, Oakland’s Libby Schaaf hit back on Wednesday, following yet another personal attack from Trump about her controversial warnings to immigrant communities. Her sentiment about is summed up neatly in a quote reported by Politico:

“It is continued distraction. It is a continued perpetration of a racist lie, that immigrants are not valued members of our society. We in Oakland know better. We in Oakland have a community that welcomes and honors all people, no matter where they came from — no matter how they got here.’’

A pot of mental health funding goes unspent

“Litigation” is hardly the word Bay Area residents want to hear when they are desperate for help. But that’s exactly what has nearly $400 million in mental health funding for nine counties tied up. An editorial published by The Mercury News details the legal challenges Senate President Kevin de Leon is facing in response to a proposal that would provide housing for mentally ill patients under Proposition 63. May Ann Bernard, a Sacramento attorney, filed a lawsuit after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bond proposal legislation. Bernard asserts that housing construction is not an appropriate use of Prop 63 funds.

Photo courtesy of Homeless in Savannah.

So, the next time you hear people bitching about the homeless problem or mental health system failures in one of the wealthiest areas in the country, feel free to give Bernard a call.

The slow wheel of justice

Michelle Xavier was only 18 and Jennifer Duey was 20 when they were both found brutally murdered in Fremont in 1986. It seemed like a case that would never be solved…until this month. A team dedicated to solving cold cases for the Fremont Police Department matched DNA evidence from the 1986 incident to a man already serving 18-to-life for another Hayward murder in 1989. David Emery Misch appeared in court Monday for what was supposed to be a plea/attorney hearing, as members of the victims’ families sat steadily together and looked on the man accused of killing their daughters so long ago. The 57-year-old suspect did not enter a plea as was expected. Instead, his attorney was granted a continuance to review new discoveries and he used the opportunity to make requests on Misch’s behalf.

The suspect stayed fairly tucked behind his lawyer as the family watched and listened to his complaints about a broken light in his cell and his dietary needs. Misch’s next appearance is scheduled for April 27.

Them are fightin’ words: Biden v Trump

Former Vice President Joe Biden got a little scrappy during a speech at University of Miami Tuesday when discussing comments the sitting president has made about women, according a CNN report. Biden specifically took issue with Donald Trump’s “grab ‘em by the pussy” mantra made public in the “Access Hollywood” recording released during the 2016 campaign, explaining his preference for a good ole fashioned boxing match in lieu of a debate forum to handle their differences. “They asked me would I like to debate this gentleman, and I said no. I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him,’” Biden said.

Graphic illustration courtesy of Wonkette.

And because this is the country we currently live in, Trump did what any “stable genius” leader of the free world would do: he took to Twitter Thursday morning to throw down:

“Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”

And the Twittersphere immediately exploded with bets and predictions about which old white man would win in the ring.

Austin bomber goes out with a bang

Mark Anthony Conditt was identified by authorities as the suspect in the bombings that killed two people, injured others and terrorized the city of Austin, Texas over the course of March and during the heavily-attended South by Southwest festival. After two explosives were found at FedEx facilities and surveillance footage was reviewed, Conditt was tracked down to a motel where he fled the scene until he was forced into a ditch. As authorities approached his vehicle, Conditt detonated a device that likely killed him and definitely injured one officer. The 23-year-old recorded a video on his phone before he died; however, the confession did little to clarify his motive.

As ABC News reports, police are warning residents to remain vigilant until they can determine if any other packages were sent or placed prior to the suspect’s death.

Love, guns and teenage angst don’t mix well

Unfortunately, it’s beginning to feel like we should just have a template queued up for these tragic school shooting stories. Tuesday, it was Great Hills High School in Maryland where the 17-year-old suspect used his father’s handgun to shoot and injure two students, one of which was his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend who is still in critical condition. NBC News reports that the other 14-year-old male victim was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg but has been released from the hospital. The shooter was quickly “contained” and killed by St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Deputy Blaine Gaskill, who was on duty as a school resource officer at the high school. Gaskill has been praised for his bravery and swift action, which many feel saved the lives of other students and faculty.

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.

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