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Latest from Arielle Wysocki

    If you’re a frequent East Arlington driver, you might notice a slight shift to your drive over the weekend. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, detours will be in place for McCormick Road and Fort Caroline Road between Friday, February 1 at 7 pm and Monday, February 4 at 5 am. FDOT says the detours are necessary so crews can safely finish some drainage work included in the Wonderwood Drainage Improvements project.  FDOT says McCormick Road eastbound traffic will be detoured right on St. Johns Bluff Road, then left on Monument Road to McCormick. Westbound drivers will turn left on Monument, then right on St. Johns Bluff to McCormick.  Fort Caroline Road westbound traffic will turn left on McCormick, then right on Monument, and then take another right onto St. Johns Bluff.  FDOT says there will be signs and message boards directing traffic through the detour.  According to FDOT, J.B. Coxwell Contracting Inc. is expected to complete the nearly $8 million project this summer. 
  • Expect a nightly detour on Jacksonville’s Northside, while the Florida Department of Transportation completes utility work for the Airport Road and I-95 interchange improvement project.  FDOT says from Sunday, January 13 to Thursday, January 17, between 10 pm and 5:30 am, drivers on I-95 northbound who need to get to Airport Road westbound will continue heading north on I-95 to the Pecan Park Road exit. From there, drivers will be directed from Pecan Park Road, then west to I-95 southbound, and down to Airport Road.  The $11 million project extends from Airport Center Drive to west of Duval Road, FDOT says.  According to FDOT, the project’s expected to be completed this December, and it includes widening of off-ramps, road resurfacing, drainage improvements, sidewalk construction and new signage. 
  • A 15-year-old has been arrested after allegedly stealing a skateboard from a vehicle parked at the Tinseltown movie theater on Jacksonville’s Southside.  According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, several witnesses approached the movie theater manager about a group of suspicious young people rummaging through vehicles in the parking lot Monday night.    JSO says an off-duty officer began driving through the parking lot and made contact with two people from the group. The officer said they began walking towards a black Toyota which was parked on the far west end of the parking lot. When the officer approached the vehicle and group of at least four people, they all fled, except for a woman sitting inside the vehicle.  JSO says the officer noticed a skateboard on the ground next to the vehicle, and confirmed it was stolen out of a vehicle in the parking lot.  JSO says a second officer was called to help locate the suspect. While the backup officer was driving on Southside Boulevard, he spotted the suspect running through a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot. JSO says the officer caught up to the 15-year-old suspect and arrested him on scene. According to the arrest report, the suspect denied any involvement.   JSO says the stolen skateboard was returned to its owner. 
  • The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is warning everyone, especially women, to be aware of your surroundings, lock your vehicle doors, and don’t leave your valuables unattended.  SJC deputies issued this warning after multiple vehicle burglaries were reported at an area gym Monday morning.   Our partner Action News Jax says the windows of three vehicles were shattered at Orangetheory Fitness on County Road 210. According to Action News Jax, among the items stolen from the vehicles were three purses, a dozen credit cards, and an iPhone.     SJC deputies are calling this type of crime, “The Felony Lane Gang” tactic, in which gang members travel the country and target places with more women and a better likelihood of finding purses left in vehicles. Commonly targeted places include gyms, parks, daycare centers, funeral homes, churches, cemeteries, and sporting events, deputies say.  According to the SJSO, gang members check for unlocked vehicles or punch in the windows of vehicles that are locked and search for driver licenses, checks and debit cards, among other things. Gang members then recruit females to conduct fraudulent transactions by mimicking the appearance of the stolen identity victim, investigators say. 
  • Westside Jacksonville drivers who regularly take the Ortega River Bridge to get between Avondale and Ortega will not be able to access the Bridge until late next week, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.   As part of the Ortega River Drawbridge (SR-211) rehabilitation project, FDOT says the closure is necessary for crews to complete some electrical work, and will take place from Tuesday, December 4, to Friday, December 14. FDOT says a detour will be in place. Motorists heading southbound on SR-211 will be redirected to San Juan Avenue, and then to US-17 (Roosevelt Boulevard) south. Northbound motorists will detour to Grand Avenue, and continue north on Ortega Boulevard to Verona Avenue, and then to US-17 north.  Marine traffic will not be impacted during this time, FDOT says.  According to FDOT, automated signs are already in place to alert motorists and pedestrians about the closure.   FDOT says Astron General Contracting Co. Inc. is scheduled to complete the $1.7 million rehabilitation project by early 2019.
  • A 36-year-old man has been arrested in Nassau County after deputies say he stabbed a woman in the head with a fork, during an argument over a baked potato.  According to the arrest report we’ve obtained from the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to a residence on Susi Lane around 11:30 pm on Sunday, after receiving a call that a person had been stabbed. When deputies arrived, they made contact with the victim, who had multiple stab wounds and blood on both sides of her head, according to the arrest report.  The arrest report says after the victim gave deputies consent to search the home, deputies found Kenneth Crumpton Jr. inside the residence. Crumpton told deputies that he threw a fork at the victim during a dispute over a potato, and that Crumpton thought the fork “glanced off her head,” according to the arrest report.  Crumpton was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to deputies. 
  • It will hopefully make your drive through Downtown St. Augustine a little more enjoyable, without the hassle of sitting in traffic. The Florida Department of Transportation is installing an Advanced Notification System for the Bridge of Lions, to alert drivers ahead of time when the Bridge is raised up. FDOT says the system will be activated this week and will provide advanced warning for drivers when the Bridge is raised, giving motorists the option to choose an alternate route to avoid a major delay.  As part of the $95,000 project, FDOT has installed flashing signals in five locations in St. Augustine: May Street westbound, east of San Marco Avenue US 1 southbound, north of Castillo  US 1 northbound, south of King Street  State Road A1A northbound, south of State Road 312  A1A Beach Boulevard westbound, east of State Road A1A FDOT says the signals will be activated using fiber optic and wireless communication when the Bridge of Lions is raised.  Once the Bridge operator presses the button to lower the Bridge, the flashing lights will turn off. 
  • The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help identifying the suspects who burglarized more than a dozen vehicles in the Deerfield Preserve and Treaty Oaks neighborhoods Monday night. Surveillance images provided by SJSO show three to four men dressed in hoodies, pants, and gloves, checking vehicle door handles. Deputies say the suspects appeared to pass over vehicles that had locked doors, while burglarizing ones that were unlocked. SJSO says the dark SUV the suspects were driving at the time has been identified as a stolen 2013 blue Jeep Grand Cherokee with Florida tag GNQA60, from Volusia County.  Deputies say a second vehicle, described as a 2017 white Honda Accord with the Florida tag CEYE86, was also stolen out of the Deerfield Preserve neighborhood.  Anyone with information about the suspects or stolen vehicles is asked to contact law enforcement. 
  • A married couple accused of harboring illegal aliens to work at their sushi restaurant in Jacksonville has pleaded guilty, according to the Department of Justice.  DOJ officials say Min Lin, 35, and He Ying Qiu, 46, own and operate the Sushi House at the St. Johns Town Center on Jacksonville’s Southside.   Over the past year, investigations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents revealed that Lin and Qiu provided housing and transportation to at least four undocumented aliens, according to federal court records.  The US Attorney’s Office says each of the aliens admitted to being in the country illegally, and were paid in cash to work at the restaurant.  Lin and Qiu are each facing up to 10 years in federal prison, according to the DOJ. 
  • Health officials have issued mosquito-borne illness alerts for Duval and Nassau counties, following new confirmed human cases of West Nile.  Concerned that more people will get sick, the Florida Department of Health advises residents to continue basic precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites, including draining any standing water around the house and wearing long-sleeves, pants and socks.  Health officials say residents should apply mosquito repellent and make sure all doors and windows in the house have screens.  According to DOH officials, in recent months, this is the second confirmed human case of West Nile in Nassau County, and the fourth in Duval.  You can find more information about mosquito-borne diseases on the DOH’s website.  
  • Arielle Wysocki

    Traffic Anchor

    Arielle Wysocki is a Traffic Anchor and Producer for WOKV.

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  • As the investigation of a quadruple shooting in Northwest Jacksonville continues, police now say the situation escalated from a planned fight. JSO responded to Elizabeth Powell Park on Redpoll Avenue Thursday night following reports of a shooting. Police initially said several people were gathered at the basketball courts when a fight broke out and several people on scene shot at each other. In all, a 14-year-old and a 24-year-old were killed, and two other people suffered non-life threatening injuries. Investigators now say the fight was actually planned in advance between two female acquaintances who were in an ongoing dispute. JSO says people learned about the fight and gathered to watch, and several ultimately got involved. Some of those spectators then pulled guns and started shooting. In light of this, JSO says they do not believe the shooting was random. Police are asking for any information you have, including asking people who were at the park or watching the fight to come forward. If anyone has video of the fight or has seen posts on social media, they’re asking those people to let them know. You can contact JSO at 904-630-0500 or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. You can also submit an anonymous tip and be eligible for a possible $3,000 reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • A gunman opened fire at the Henry Pratt Company, a valve manufacturer in suburban Chicago on Friday, killing five people and wounding at least five police officers before he was fatally shot, police said. >> Read more trending news Officers arrived within four minutes of receiving reports of a shooting and were fired upon as soon as they entered the 29,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse, Aurora, Police Chief Kristen Ziman said in a news conference. Update 6:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: The chief of police says five people were killed and five officers were wounded in a shooting at a business in suburban Chicago. Aurora Police Chief, Kristen Ziman, identified the gunman as 45-year-old Gary Martin. Ziman says the gunman was also killed. The five police officers that were injured in the shooting are in stable condition according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Update 5:15 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A spokesman for the coroner’s office says at least one person is dead following a shooting at a business in suburban Chicago.  Kane County coroner’s office spokesman Chris Nelson says at least one person was killed in the attack Friday afternoon at the Henry Pratt Co. building in Aurora. Update 4:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A city spokesman told WGN that at least four police officers were injured.  Police have not said if anyone else has been injured. Update 4:15 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Initial reports indicate that the shooter has been apprehended, but the area is still on lockdown. Update 3:55 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A man who said he witnessed Friday’s shooting told WLS-TV that he recognized the person who opened fire at the Henry Pratt Company. The man told WLS-TV that the shooter was one of his co-workers. Update 3:50 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Police confirmed they are continue to respond Friday afternoon to an active shooting reported in Aurora. Update 3:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Citing preliminary reports from the scene, the Daily Herald reported several people were injured in the ongoing active shooter situation reported Friday afternoon in Aurora. Police did not immediately confirm the report. Update 3:40 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Authorities with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are responding to the reported shooting, officials said. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday to fund his promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border after Congress passed a bipartisan border security bill that offered only a fraction of the $5.7 billion he had sought. >> Read more trending news  White House officials confirmed Friday afternoon that Trump also signed the spending compromise into law to avoid a partial government shutdown. Update 3:25 p.m. EST Feb. 15:A lawsuit filed Friday by an ethics watchdog group aims to make public documents that could determine whether the president has the legal authority to invoke emergency powers to fund his promised border wall. In a statement, officials with the nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said the group requested documentation, including legal opinions from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, to determine whether the president wrongfully used his emergency powers. “President Trump’s threatened declaration of a national emergency for these purposes raised some serious questions among the public and Congress that the president was considering actions of doubtful legality based on misstated facts and outright falsehoods to make an end-run round Congress’ constitutional authority to make laws and appropriate funds,” attorneys for CREW said in the lawsuit. >> Read the lawsuit filled by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington  The group said it submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Office of Legal Counsel last month and that it got a response on Feb. 12 that indicated authorities would not be able to expedite the request or respond to it within the 20-day statutory deadline. “Americans deserve to know the true basis for President Trump’s unprecedented decision to enact emergency powers to pay for a border wall,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement. Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union said the group also plans to file suit. Update 2:30 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump has signed a bill passed by Congress to fund several federal departments until September 30, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Friday afternoon to The Associated Press. Update 12:35 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, accused Democrats of playing partisan politics in refusing to fund Trump’s border wall. “President Trump’s decision to announce emergency action is the predictable and understandable consequence of Democrats’ decision to put partisan obstruction ahead of the national interest,” McConnell said. Democrats have repeatedly voice opposition to the border wall, which critics say would not effectively address issues like drug trafficking and illegal immigration, which Trump purports such a wall would solve. Update 11:25 a.m. EST Feb. 15: In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, condemned what they called “the president’s unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist.” “This issue transcends partisan politics and goes to the core of the founders’ conception for America, which commands Congress to limit an overreaching executive. The president’s emergency declaration, if unchecked, would fundamentally alter the balance of powers, inconsistent with our founders’ vision,” the statement said. “We call upon our Republican colleagues to join us to defend the Constitution.” Update 11:10 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump said he’s expecting the administration to be sued after he signs a national emergency declaration to fund the building of wall on the southern border. “The order is signed and I'll sign the final papers as soon as I get into the Oval Office,” Trump said Friday while addressing reporters in the Rose Garden.  “I expect to be sued -- I shouldn’t be sued,” Trump said Friday while addressing reporters in the Rose Garden. “I think we’ll be very successful in court. I think it’s clear.” He said he expects the case will likely make it to the Supreme Court, the nation’s highest court. “It’ll go through a process and happily we’ll win, I think,” he said. Update 10:50 a.m. EST Feb. 15: “I’m going to sign a national emergency,” Trump said. “We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”  >> National emergency likely to be blocked by courts, DOJ tells White House: reports Update 10:25 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump will declare a national emergency and use executive actions to funnel over $6 billion in funds from the Treasury Department and the Pentagon for his border wall, Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree reported. “With the declaration of a national emergency, the President will have access to roughly $8 billion worth of money that can be used to secure the southern border,” Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters in a call before the president’s announcement. >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: White House: Trump using national emergency and executive actions for border wall Update 10 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump is expected on Friday morning to deliver remarks from the Rose Garden on the southern border after White House officials said he plans to declare a national emergency to fund his border wall. Update 10 p.m. EST Feb. 14: At 10 a.m. on Friday, President Donald Trump is expected to deliver remarks from the Rose Garden about the southern border. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Congress passes border deal as Trump readies emergency for border wall The White House announced earlier that Trump will declare a national emergency that would enable him to transfer funding from other accounts for additional miles of border fencing. Update 9 p.m. EST Feb. 14: The House easily approved border funding plan, as President Donald Trump prepared an emergency declaration to fund a border wall. The bill also closes a chapter by preventing a second government shutdown at midnight Friday and by providing $333 billion to finance several Cabinet agencies through September. Trump has indicated he’ll sign the measure though he is not happy with it, and for a few hours Thursday he was reportedly having second thoughts. Update 4:30 p.m. EST Feb. 14: The government funding bill that includes $1.375 billion for 55 miles of border wall, passed the Senate with a 83 - 16 vote. The bill will go to the House for a final vote Thursday evening. Update 4 p.m. EST Feb. 14: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says if President Donald Trump declares a national emergency at the border he’s making an “end run around Congress.” “The President is doing an end run around the Congress and the power of the purse,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who reserved the right to lead a legal challenge against any emergency declaration. Pelosi said that there is no crisis at the border with Mexico that requires a national emergency order. >> Trump's border wall: What is a national emergency? She did not say if House Democrats would legally challenge the president. But Pelosi said if Trump invokes an emergency declaration it should be met with “great unease and dismay” as an overreach of executive authority. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Thursday afternoon that the White House is “very prepared” for a legal challenge following the declaration of a National Emergency. Update 3:15 p.m. EST Feb. 14: Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that President Donald Trump is going to sign a border deal and at the same time issue a national emergency declaration. The compromise will keep departments running through the fiscal year but without the $5.7 billion Trump wanted for the border wall with Mexico.  The House is also expected to vote on the bill later Thursday. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sent a statement confirming that Trump intends to sign the bill and will issue “other executive action - including a national emergency.” An emergency declaration to shift funding from other federal priorities to the border is expected to face swift legal challenge. Update 12:40 p.m. EST Feb. 14: Trump said in a tweet Thursday that he and his team were reviewing the funding bill proposed by legislators. Congress is expected to vote Thursday on the bipartisan accord to prevent another partial federal shutdown ahead of Friday's deadline. Trump has not definitively said whether he’ll sign the bill if it passes the legislature. The bill would fund several departments, including Agriculture, Justice and State, until Sept. 30 but it includes only $1.4 billion to build new barriers on the border. Trump had asked Congress to provide $5.7 billion in funding. Update 9:55 a.m. EST Feb. 14: The more than 1,600-page compromise, made up of seven different funding bills, was unveiled early Thursday. It includes $1.4 billion to build new barriers on the border and over $1 billion to fund other border security measures. If passed, the bill would prevent a partial government shutdown like the 35-day closure that started after lawmakers failed to reach a compromise in December.  >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Five tidbits from the border security funding deal in Congress President Donald Trump has given mixed signals in recent days over whether he plans to sign the bill or not. He’s told reporters in recent days that a second government shutdown as federal workers continue to dig out from the last closure “would be a terrible thing.” However, Adam Kennedy, the deputy director of White House communications, told NPR that the president “doesn’t want his hands tied on border security.” 'I think the president is going to fully review the bill,' Kennedy said. 'I think he wants to review it before he signs it.' Original report: President Donald Trump is expected to sign the deal lawmakers have hammered out to avoid a second shutdown, CNN is reporting. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump hints at ‘national emergency’ to funnel money to border wall On Tuesday, Trump said he was “not happy” with the spending plan negotiators came up with Monday night, CNN reported. That deal includes $1.375 billion in funding for border barriers, but not a concrete wall, according to Cox Media Group Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree. “It’s not doing the trick,” Trump said, adding that he is “considering everything” when asked whether a national emergency declaration was on the table. He said that if there is another shutdown, it would be “the Democrats’ fault.” Trump also took to Twitter later Tuesday, claiming that the wall is already being built. >> See the tweet here The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • As President Donald Trump on Friday announced a pair of executive actions and declared a national emergency to funnel more money into border security, lawmakers in both parties in Congress were left in the dark on how the Pentagon would deal with the largest part of the President’s declaration, carving $3.6 billion out of military construction projects authorized and funded by the U.S. House and Senate. “I strongly believe securing our border should not be done at the expense of previously funded military construction projects,” said Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), whose district is home to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, which received $116 million in 2019 for construction of a new building for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. “We certainly cannot allow him to rob our military of $3.5 billion for critical construction projects that serve our troops, support our allies, and deter our adversaries,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). Congress approved $10.3 billion for military construction for Fiscal Year 2019, doling out money to dozens of domestic and overseas military facilities, projects which are often prized as bring-home-the-bacon items for Democrats and Republicans alike in Congress. The list of military construction projects in each year’s budget runs the gamut of military needs – from an F-35 maintenance hangar at Camp Pendleton in California, to a training facility at the Mayport Naval Base near Jacksonville, Florida, to a reserve training center at Fort Benning in Georgia, to a dry dock facility at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and much more. In all, military construction money was approved last fall by lawmakers for defense installations in 38 different states, and at least 14 overseas locations, some of those U.S. possessions. You can read through the list of projects from the bill here. A quick look at the list of military facilities with 2019 funding shows that many of them are located in House districts held by Republican lawmakers – who could find money for their local military project in jeopardy, as the President tries to funnel more money to his signature border wall. Democrats from around the country were quick to issue statements asking that their home state military construction projects be spared from any cuts, and challenging their GOP colleagues to do the same. Trump’s “National Emergency” strips billlions of dollars from base housing construction. Martha will you join me in opposing this farce? Who is more important the military spouses or your obedience to the President? https://t.co/Z56pZ9VRYr — Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) February 15, 2019 The President's unconstitutional action threatens to take money away from construction at Nellis Air Force Base, and local national security activities that keep Nevada families safe. I will support the House’s actions to restore order and protect Nevadans. — Rep. Steven Horsford (@RepHorsford) February 15, 2019 Since Trump reportedly plans to take money from existing military construction projects for his #nationalemergency, this could steal millions in approved & necessary funding away from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. #mepolitics My full statement on his authoritarian power grab pic.twitter.com/djQdIcHmub — Chellie Pingree (@chelliepingree) February 15, 2019 The Pentagon and the White House had no answers for reporters on Friday on which military construction projects would be put on hold, whether from the 2019 budget, or from money approved by Congress, but not yet spent from previous years. “We would be looking at lower priority military construction projects,” a senior administration official told reporters on a Friday conference call before the President’s announcement. That official – and another senior White House official on the call – both downplayed the amount of money being taken from military construction, with one saying the budget was ‘substantially’ more than the $3.6 billion being diverted by the President. But that’s not the case. “I sit on the committee that funds Military Construction,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) tweeted on Friday. “Trump is taking $3.5 billion out of the $10 billion that’s in the account. That’s 35%.” Earlier this month, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee specifically said his biggest concern about an emergency would be taking money out of military construction, a point Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) emphasized again this week. “As I heard in a hearing yesterday, military housing and all military installations are facing disrepair and poor conditions,” Inhofe said. “We cannot afford to allow them to be further impacted.”
  • Can President Donald Trump declare a national emergency in order to fund the wall?  >> Read more trending news Here is a look at the powers that come into play when a president declares a national emergency and just what the law allows him to do. Can he do that? The president, at his or her discretion, has the authority to declare a national emergency. Historically, that authority comes from Congress, which by 1973 had enacted more than 470 statutes pertaining to the president’s authority during a national emergency.  In 1976, Congress enacted the National Emergencies Act that limited the scope of response to declared states of emergency.The act: Revoked the powers that had been granted to the president under the four states of emergency that were still active in 1976. Prescribed procedures for invoking any powers in the future. Declared that states of emergency would automatically end one year after their declaration unless the president publishes a notice of renewal in the Federal Register within 90 days of the termination date. He or she must also officially notify Congress of the renewal. Required each house of Congress meet every six months to consider a vote to end the state of emergency. The incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith, D-Washington, agreed that Trump has the authority to declare an emergency and have the U.S. military build the wall. He said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that while Trump can do it, such an action would likely be challenged in court. >> National emergency likely to be blocked by courts, DOJ tells White House: reports “Unfortunately, the short answer is yes,” Smith said when asked if Trump has the authority to declare a national emergency and build the wall.“I think the president would be wide open to a court challenge saying, ‘Where is the emergency?’ You have to establish that in order to do this,” Smith continued. “But beyond that, this would be a terrible use of Department of Defense dollars.”What is considered a national emergency?What constitutes a national emergency is open to interpretation, but generally, it is seen as an event that threatens the security of the people of the United States. According to the Congressional Review Service, a 1934 Supreme Court majority opinion characterized an emergency in terms of “urgency and relative infrequency of occurrence as well as equivalence to a public calamity resulting from fire, flood, or like disaster not reasonably subject to anticipation.”  What powers does a president have when a national emergency is declared?Through federal law, when an emergency is declared, a variety of powers are available to the president to use. Some of those powers require very little qualification from the president for their use. The Brennan Center for Justice lists 136 special provisions that become available to a president when he declares a national emergency. A CRS report states, 'Under the powers delegated by such statutes, the president may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens.” However, under the National Emergencies Act, the president must name the specific emergency power he is invoking. How can he get funds for a wall by declaring a national emergency? Where does the money come from? According to U.S. law, a president can divert funds to a federal construction project during a declared national emergency. In the case of the border wall, the money could come from the budget for the Department of Defense under something called “un-obligated” money. Under federal law, un-obligated money in the Department of Defense's budget may be used by the military to fund construction projects during war or emergencies. Department of Defense spokesman Jamie Davis said in a statement that, “To date, there is no plan to build sections of the wall. However, Congress has provided options under Title 10 U.S. Code that could permit the Department of Defense to fund border barrier projects, such as in support of counter drug operations or national emergencies.” Can Congress get around it? Congress can end a president’s call of a national emergency with a joint resolution. A joint resolution is a legislative measure that requires the approval of both the House and the Senate. The resolution is submitted, just as a bill is, to the president for his or her signature, making it a law. 

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