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    After two Jacksonville officers were shot on the Westside, support has been flooding social media. FULL STORY: Two JSO officers shot Government officials: Law enforcement:
  • The Stone Mountain Memorial Association this week denied a Ku Klux Klan request to burn a cross at the park in Dekalb County, Georgia, citing the trouble at a “pro-white” rally last year. >> Read more trending news Joey Hobbs, a Dublin man with the Sacred Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, wanted to hold a “lighting” ceremony on Oct. 21 with 20 participants, according to the application. This would have been to commemorate the KKK’s 1915 revival, which began with a flaming cross atop Stone Mountain on the evening of Thanksgiving. “We will light our cross and 20 minutes later we will be gone,” wrote Hobbs, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, in an application dated May 26. It wasn’t immediately clear if Hobbs holds a formal position with the group. >> Related: George H.W., George W. Bush condemn ‘racial bigotry’ in Charlottesville statement “We don’t want any of these groups at the park, quite frankly,” John Bankhead, spokesman for the association said Wednesday, referring to white nationalists groups and the KKK. “This is a family-oriented park.”  But since it’s a public park, the association created a permit process to consider each application individually. In a statement, the memorial group, which oversees the park, said it “condemns the beliefs and actions of the Ku Klux Klan and believes the denial of this Public Assembly request is in the best interest of all parties.” >> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in CharlottesvilleWriting to deny Hobbs, CEO Bill Stephens cited the trouble at the “Rock Stone Mountain” rally of April 23, 2016. The park had to close that day as white power revelers, including KKK members, clashed with counter-protesters. Stephens said an event like Hobbs’ would require public safety resources beyond what park police could provide, and thus, would put guests, employees and public safety workers in danger.  Besides creating a potentially-dangerous scene, the cross-burning would’ve also been an act of intimidation, Bankhead said. >> Related: University of Florida denies request for white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak “I think anybody who knows about cross burning knows why it’s used,” Bankhead said, recalling the KKK’s track record of setting crosses on fire to intimidate African Americans. “We’re just not going to allow that.” Georgia's terroristic threats and acts statute also specifically bars the practice when it’s done with the intent to “terrorize.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that states can ban cross-burning, though it warned that the intent to intimidate must be proven in each case. Whatever Hobbs’ intent, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association CEO said the event would violate its ordinances against disruptions to the park and actions that present a “clear and present danger.”
  • The Harris County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department charged a woman accused of leaving her newborn baby girl in the bushes of her apartment complex with child abandonment on Monday, KHOU reports. >> Watch the news report here If convicted, Sidney Woytasczyk, 21, faces up to 20 years in prison. Woytasczyk reportedly told police she didn’t know she was pregnant and was afraid before she gave birth, but police are not buying her story: “We believe that she was trying to hide the fact that she was pregnant and gave birth from her boyfriend,” Sgt. Matt Ferguson of the Child Abuse Division of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in an interview with KTRK. Both her boyfriend and her mother testified they had no idea Woytasczyk was pregnant. >> On Rare.us: Newborn baby girl found in bushes outside of apartment complex Deandre Skillern, the woman’s boyfriend, claims he is the father of the baby and wants custody, submitting to a DNA test to prove his paternity. However, the baby’s maternal grandmother is also seeking custody. At this time, authorities reportedly do not believe Skillern was part of the child abandonment. Authorities believe that Woytasczyk hid her pregnancy to the point of delivering the child in her kitchen by herself and attempting to hide the birth out of fear of the baby coming between her and her boyfriend. That led to her dumping baby outside, investigators said. The baby’s umbilical cord was ripped from her body before she was placed in the bushes without any protection, KHOU reported. The baby reportedly was found naked outside by a neighbor after six hours, covered in ants. As a result of the ripped umbilical cord, she is suffering from a bacterial infection, KHOU reported. >> Read more trending news Authorities believe the child was near death when the neighbor rescued her. At this time, the baby is in CPS custody. Donations on behalf of the baby and other CPS children can be made by calling Mary Votaw at 832-454-4163 or Be a Resource (BEAR) at 713-940-3087.
  • Violence that erupted over the weekend at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, added momentum to a wave of efforts across the South to remove or relocate Confederate monuments. >> Watch the news report here >> There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South A crowd of more than 100 protesters in Durham, North Carolina, used a rope to topple a statue of a Confederate soldier Monday evening outside the courthouse. Seconds after the monument fell, protesters began kicking the crumpled bronze monument as dozens cheered and chanted. >> Watch the clips here North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, spoke out about the incident on Twitter. >> Read more trending news 'The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable, but there is a better way to remove these monuments,' he wrote. >> See the tweet here – The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • In wake of the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, continued conversations are emerging about Confederate monuments. The Associated Press reported that the “Unite the Right” rally was held by a group of “loosely connected mix of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists with disjointed missions.” The group gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a nearby park. >> Read more trending news Despite the generalized association of Confederate monuments and the Confederacy with the Southern region of the United States, such monuments can be found across the country. USA Today reported there are at least 700 and possibly more than 1,000. Here are some of the hundreds of Confederate monuments in different regions of America. Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia: At the center of the initial protests at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Vandalized with graffiti of the words “Black Lives Matter” in 2015, it has been in the city since  1924. The bronze statue is located in Emancipation Park, formerly named Lee Park after Lee himself. The New York Times reported that City Council voted to remove the statue in February, but it was sued by those against the removal in March. The statue remains as the court case continues. Confederate Memorial Fountain in Helena, Montana: The granite fountain is one of many across the country created by the United Daughters of the Confederacy which says one of its objectives is to “collect and preserve the material necessary for a truthful history of the War Between the States and to protect, preserve, and mark the places made historic by Confederate valor.” During the Civil War, Montana wasn’t a state. Constructed in 1916, over 50 years after the war, it’s the only monument to the Confederacy in the Northwest. Memorial to Arizona Confederate Troops in Phoenix: In the Capitol’s Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, Arizona has another monument created by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Sitting among other memorials, the monument to Arizona Confederate soldiers was erected in 1961. Stone marker on Georges Island in Boston: Placed on the Massachusetts island by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1963, the marker refers to the Civil War as “the War Between the States” and commemorates Confederate soldiers imprisoned at Fort Warren, also located on the island. Gen. James Longstreet statue in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: An equestrian statue of Longstreet -- similar to that of Lee’s, is in Gettysburg National Military Park. Built in 1998, the memorial is located on the battlefield where the Battle of Gettysburg -- considered to be one of the most important in the Civil War -- occurred. Longstreet was a subordinate of Lee. Confederate Civil War soldier statue in Columbus: The Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery in Ohio contains two monuments. One, installed in 1902, is a bronze statue of a daCivil War soldier standing on top of a granite arch holding a rifle in front. Another is of a 3-foot-tall boulder, which is under the arch. It was installed in 1897. Confederate Monument at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles: A monument of confederate soldiers is located in the burial site of many celebrities. The service of some 30 Confederate veterans from many Confederate states is commemorated in the 7-foot granite monument. An inscription on the monument says it was erected by the Confederate Monument Association. It is maintained by the Long Beach chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 
  • U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Benjamin Whitten, 33, and his live-in girlfriend Jeryn Johnson, 25, are charged with torture and child abuse after authorities said Whitten’s 5-year-old son was discovered with severe injuries and living in filth among 15 animals, reports KGTV. >> Watch the news report here The police and fire departments in Murrieta, California, reportedly discovered the boy when they responded to a call for medical aid. The boy was airlifted to a San Diego County hospital, where he currently remains in “grave condition.” The injuries, which police said were caused by Whitten and Johnson, were unspecified beyond this. >> On Rare.us: YouTube parent-pranksters who lost custody of their children are now facing jail time KGTV reported that the home was said to be in “extremely unsanitary” conditions. Animal control removed “11 dogs, four cats and two fish.” “I didn’t even know there was a child who lived in the house,” neighbor Kristine Hendrickson told KCAL. “Did not know. We’ve lived here for 21 years.” >> Read more trending news The boy reportedly hadn’t been seen since Christmas of last year.
  • Two Florida police officers were fatally shot while checking out a report of a suspicious person Friday night, Kissimmee police Chief Jeff O’Dell said. Kissimmee police Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Sam Howard were shot in a scuffle at about 9:30 p.m. at Palmway and East Cypress streets near East Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway and North Main Street, O’Dell said. Baxter died of his injuries. Howard succumbed to his injuries at Osceola Regional Medical Center Saturday. >> Read more trending news An Osceola County deputy arrested the suspected gunman, Everett Glenn Miller, 45. The deputy tackled Miller, who had a 9 mm pistol and .22-caliber revolver on him, O'Dell said. Miller was charged with one count of first-degree murder. >> Jacksonville officer critical after shooting Howard was a 10-year veteran of the department and Baxter had been with the Kissimmee department for three years, O’Dell said. President Donald Trump tweeted that his “thoughts and prayers” are with the Kissimmee Police Department.  “We are with you!” the president wrote. “This is a tough time in law enforcement,” O’Dell said. “I would ask that you pray for the men and women of law enforcement.” “Tonight we lost a brave officer,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted. “Praying for @kissimmeepolice.”
  • Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams says two officers who were shot during a confrontation with an armed man on the westside late Friday are in stable condition but have a long road to recovery.  “I’m happy they’re still with us and I hope they recover”, said Williams who thanked the law enforcement community for the outpouring of support. At about 10:50pm Friday, officers responded to a home on Seaboard Avenue to a man who was making threats and fired a gun.  Three women were in the home: The suspect’s girlfriend, the girlfriend’s mother, and a friend of the family.  They were hiding in a bathroom to protect themselves.  We’ve also learned a 19-month-old baby was in another room in the home.  None of the four victims sustained injuries.  According to the Sheriff, seven officers arrived at the home and as they planned an approach they witnessed a man and woman out front in an argument.  Those two individuals went back inside the home, and moments later officers heard gunfire coming from inside.   “That is the point of time they decided to gain entry into the house to stop the suspect”, Williams said. The officers were encountered almost immediately inside the home by the suspect, and he opened fire on the officers.  'We’re talking about a gun battle within four or five feet of each other”, said Williams.  The suspect was shot twice by the officers and died.  He is identified as 25-year-old Derrick Rashard Brabham.  He had no criminal history, and according to the Sheriff, was armed with a 223 rifle.  Officer Michael Fox, an 11-year veteran, was struck when the rifle fire hit his gun. This was Fox’s second officer-involved shooting.  Officer Kevin Jarrell, a five-year veteran, was struck in the stomach under his protective vest.  The Sheriff says Jarrell is in stable condition and still has a long road back.  Williams says the suspect had been drinking all evening Friday, which escalated to arguments and eventually threats to kill other people in the home.  “We have a violent, alcohol-fueled domestic incident”, said Williams.  Williams thanked the Jacksonville community for the outpouring of support for the wounded officers.  
  • A Georgia mother didn’t tell police that her boyfriend sexually abused her 6-year-old daughter because of her “hectic work schedule,” the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said. >> Read more trending news The boyfriend, Damylo Morrow, was convicted Thursday of sexual battery and acquitted of child molestation after a three-day trial. The mother pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree cruelty to children for failing to report the abuse and telling the child to lie about it, the District Attorney’s Office said. She was sentenced to eight years’ probation under the First Offender Act and cannot have unsupervised contact with the child for the duration of her probation. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is withholding the identity of mother in this case in order to protect the identity of the child, who is a victim of sexual abuse. The child’s grandmother brought her to Scottish Rite Hospital in April 2015 and told staff that the girl had been molested on Dec. 31, 2014. The grandmother was aware of the incident shortly after it happened but did not tell police because Morrow was already in jail on an unrelated charge, according to a release from the District Attorney’s Office. The AJC is also withholding the identity of the grandmother in this case in order to protect the identity of the child. Morrow massaged the child’s legs and removed her pants before touching her genitals, the child told a Gwinnett County Department of Family and Children Services worker at the hospital. The child’s mother told a detective she was aware of the allegations in December of that year but didn’t report them because “she had a hectic work schedule” and Morrow denied touching her child, the release said. When the child and her mother later went to Norcross Police Department headquarters for an interview with a detective, they were placed in an interview room to wait. While in the interview room, the mother told the child to say that Morrow never touched her, the release said. During the interview, the child initially denied that Morrow had touched her but later told the detective that Morrow had touched her genitals, the release said. Morrow was sentenced to three years in prison and two years of probation. Upon release, he must register as a sex offender.
  • One Jacksonville officer is in critical condition and one is stable following a shooting on the Westside. JSO Director Mike Bruno says police initially responded to an attempted suicide call on Seaboard Avenue, near Timuquana Road around 10:50PM. Three people in the home had retreated to a back bedroom, out of fear for their safety. Bruno says JSO learned the suspect was armed, and officers heard gunshots when they arrived on the scene. The four or five responding officers formed what Bruno calls a “contact team”, and prepared to enter the home believing there was an active shooter situation. “They knew the seriousness of this, and didn’t flinch,” Bruno says. While police were preparing to enter the home, Bruno says the suspect fired through the door with a rifle. The suspect then exited the home, and there was an exchange of gunfire with JSO. Bruno says one officer was shot in both hands and the other was shot in the stomach. The suspect was also shot, but died after being taken to the hospital. The names of the involved officers are not being released at this time. It’s been a violent night for law enforcement in Florida. Earlier, an officer was fatally shot and another gravely hurt in Kissimmee. JSO was already dealing with several crimes that took place through the day, including a double shooting on the Westside. JSO is expected to provide another update later in the day Saturday. WOKV will continue to follow new developments as information becomes available.

The Latest News Headlines

  • After two Jacksonville officers were shot on the Westside, support has been flooding social media. FULL STORY: Two JSO officers shot Government officials: Law enforcement:
  • The Stone Mountain Memorial Association this week denied a Ku Klux Klan request to burn a cross at the park in Dekalb County, Georgia, citing the trouble at a “pro-white” rally last year. >> Read more trending news Joey Hobbs, a Dublin man with the Sacred Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, wanted to hold a “lighting” ceremony on Oct. 21 with 20 participants, according to the application. This would have been to commemorate the KKK’s 1915 revival, which began with a flaming cross atop Stone Mountain on the evening of Thanksgiving. “We will light our cross and 20 minutes later we will be gone,” wrote Hobbs, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, in an application dated May 26. It wasn’t immediately clear if Hobbs holds a formal position with the group. >> Related: George H.W., George W. Bush condemn ‘racial bigotry’ in Charlottesville statement “We don’t want any of these groups at the park, quite frankly,” John Bankhead, spokesman for the association said Wednesday, referring to white nationalists groups and the KKK. “This is a family-oriented park.”  But since it’s a public park, the association created a permit process to consider each application individually. In a statement, the memorial group, which oversees the park, said it “condemns the beliefs and actions of the Ku Klux Klan and believes the denial of this Public Assembly request is in the best interest of all parties.” >> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in CharlottesvilleWriting to deny Hobbs, CEO Bill Stephens cited the trouble at the “Rock Stone Mountain” rally of April 23, 2016. The park had to close that day as white power revelers, including KKK members, clashed with counter-protesters. Stephens said an event like Hobbs’ would require public safety resources beyond what park police could provide, and thus, would put guests, employees and public safety workers in danger.  Besides creating a potentially-dangerous scene, the cross-burning would’ve also been an act of intimidation, Bankhead said. >> Related: University of Florida denies request for white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak “I think anybody who knows about cross burning knows why it’s used,” Bankhead said, recalling the KKK’s track record of setting crosses on fire to intimidate African Americans. “We’re just not going to allow that.” Georgia's terroristic threats and acts statute also specifically bars the practice when it’s done with the intent to “terrorize.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that states can ban cross-burning, though it warned that the intent to intimidate must be proven in each case. Whatever Hobbs’ intent, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association CEO said the event would violate its ordinances against disruptions to the park and actions that present a “clear and present danger.”
  • The Harris County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department charged a woman accused of leaving her newborn baby girl in the bushes of her apartment complex with child abandonment on Monday, KHOU reports. >> Watch the news report here If convicted, Sidney Woytasczyk, 21, faces up to 20 years in prison. Woytasczyk reportedly told police she didn’t know she was pregnant and was afraid before she gave birth, but police are not buying her story: “We believe that she was trying to hide the fact that she was pregnant and gave birth from her boyfriend,” Sgt. Matt Ferguson of the Child Abuse Division of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in an interview with KTRK. Both her boyfriend and her mother testified they had no idea Woytasczyk was pregnant. >> On Rare.us: Newborn baby girl found in bushes outside of apartment complex Deandre Skillern, the woman’s boyfriend, claims he is the father of the baby and wants custody, submitting to a DNA test to prove his paternity. However, the baby’s maternal grandmother is also seeking custody. At this time, authorities reportedly do not believe Skillern was part of the child abandonment. Authorities believe that Woytasczyk hid her pregnancy to the point of delivering the child in her kitchen by herself and attempting to hide the birth out of fear of the baby coming between her and her boyfriend. That led to her dumping baby outside, investigators said. The baby’s umbilical cord was ripped from her body before she was placed in the bushes without any protection, KHOU reported. The baby reportedly was found naked outside by a neighbor after six hours, covered in ants. As a result of the ripped umbilical cord, she is suffering from a bacterial infection, KHOU reported. >> Read more trending news Authorities believe the child was near death when the neighbor rescued her. At this time, the baby is in CPS custody. Donations on behalf of the baby and other CPS children can be made by calling Mary Votaw at 832-454-4163 or Be a Resource (BEAR) at 713-940-3087.
  • Violence that erupted over the weekend at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, added momentum to a wave of efforts across the South to remove or relocate Confederate monuments. >> Watch the news report here >> There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South A crowd of more than 100 protesters in Durham, North Carolina, used a rope to topple a statue of a Confederate soldier Monday evening outside the courthouse. Seconds after the monument fell, protesters began kicking the crumpled bronze monument as dozens cheered and chanted. >> Watch the clips here North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, spoke out about the incident on Twitter. >> Read more trending news 'The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable, but there is a better way to remove these monuments,' he wrote. >> See the tweet here – The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • In wake of the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, continued conversations are emerging about Confederate monuments. The Associated Press reported that the “Unite the Right” rally was held by a group of “loosely connected mix of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists with disjointed missions.” The group gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a nearby park. >> Read more trending news Despite the generalized association of Confederate monuments and the Confederacy with the Southern region of the United States, such monuments can be found across the country. USA Today reported there are at least 700 and possibly more than 1,000. Here are some of the hundreds of Confederate monuments in different regions of America. Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia: At the center of the initial protests at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Vandalized with graffiti of the words “Black Lives Matter” in 2015, it has been in the city since  1924. The bronze statue is located in Emancipation Park, formerly named Lee Park after Lee himself. The New York Times reported that City Council voted to remove the statue in February, but it was sued by those against the removal in March. The statue remains as the court case continues. Confederate Memorial Fountain in Helena, Montana: The granite fountain is one of many across the country created by the United Daughters of the Confederacy which says one of its objectives is to “collect and preserve the material necessary for a truthful history of the War Between the States and to protect, preserve, and mark the places made historic by Confederate valor.” During the Civil War, Montana wasn’t a state. Constructed in 1916, over 50 years after the war, it’s the only monument to the Confederacy in the Northwest. Memorial to Arizona Confederate Troops in Phoenix: In the Capitol’s Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, Arizona has another monument created by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Sitting among other memorials, the monument to Arizona Confederate soldiers was erected in 1961. Stone marker on Georges Island in Boston: Placed on the Massachusetts island by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1963, the marker refers to the Civil War as “the War Between the States” and commemorates Confederate soldiers imprisoned at Fort Warren, also located on the island. Gen. James Longstreet statue in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: An equestrian statue of Longstreet -- similar to that of Lee’s, is in Gettysburg National Military Park. Built in 1998, the memorial is located on the battlefield where the Battle of Gettysburg -- considered to be one of the most important in the Civil War -- occurred. Longstreet was a subordinate of Lee. Confederate Civil War soldier statue in Columbus: The Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery in Ohio contains two monuments. One, installed in 1902, is a bronze statue of a daCivil War soldier standing on top of a granite arch holding a rifle in front. Another is of a 3-foot-tall boulder, which is under the arch. It was installed in 1897. Confederate Monument at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles: A monument of confederate soldiers is located in the burial site of many celebrities. The service of some 30 Confederate veterans from many Confederate states is commemorated in the 7-foot granite monument. An inscription on the monument says it was erected by the Confederate Monument Association. It is maintained by the Long Beach chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 

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