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Latest from Danielle Leigh

    Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is urging everyone to be extra careful navigating through their e-mails especially with-it being tax filing season.  Moody says there is a scam making the rounds targeting e-mails known as ‘conversation hijacking.’  “Conversation hijacking attacks are the latest trick being used to steal people’s identities and access their financial information.” This scam involves crook getting a hold of people’s e-mail conversations and sending a new message. The new message usually includes a malicious link or attachment. If the recipient clicks on the link or attachment they will be asked to type in personal information that could be used to submit fake tax returns.  To guard against conversation hijacking scams, people should: Never share passwords or login credentials with anyone;  Change passwords frequently  Maintain a strong password that utilizes numbers and special characters—avoiding common words, birth dates, or other easily discernible terms;   Not click on unsolicited links or download any unsolicited files without verbally verifying the authenticity with the sender through another means of communication, such as a phone call;   Ensure systems and devices are updated with the latest operating systems, security patches and antivirus software. Below are some common clues that an email or text message is a phishing scam: Unfamiliar sender;   Poor spelling and grammar; Use of terms that are not normally associated with the topic of the message; Message is unexpected, out of place, or urgent;  Sender attempts to elicit some sort of emotion, such as sympathy or fear; or An unsolicited statement that the sender is unavailable to talk on the phone.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has involuntarily committed a 74-year-old woman to a mental health facility after she called police warning about a gunman at the University of North Florida.  A statement from the UNF Crisis Management team says campus operations are back to normal after police said there was no threat to the campus. The family of the woman who called in the report told police she has been having some issues with her mental health which led JSO to take the action it did. The woman’s identity was not released by the university or by Jacksonville Police. 
  • Love is in the air and Consumer Warrior Clark Howard wants to make sure you’re not confusing the love with scammers trying to romance you.  Clark says some people tend to flock to the Internet to find love during this time, but he doesn’t want you to fall in love with a scammer. Clark wants you to pay attention to the person you are talking to. He says if you two are planning to meet up, but they are being flaky about it – chances are they could be in it just for your money.  “Notice as they play this game, reeling you in, that ultimately – almost always it will come back to somebody who is using the heart as a way to con you out of your money.” Clark points to a popular scam when the person says they are serving overseas in the military which is why they cannot meet up. He warns to never send money to somebody you don’t know or never met.  READ: 5 Valentine’s Day scams your wallet will NOT love  If you already have that special loved one to spend Valentine’s Day – Clark has several last-minute tips to make the most out of Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank.  Clark suggests buying flowers before February 14th and deliver them yourself.   MORE: 7 ways to save on Valentine’s Day flowers  When it comes to making dinner plans – there’s no secret that some restaurants will be crowded as some couples made reservations days and sometimes weeks in advance. Clark says this is just another good reason why couples should avoid eating out on February 14th because restaurants get overwhelmed.  “They have to bring in a lot extra help that may not be very experienced. They tend to use a potentially more limited menu at higher prices.” When it comes to your sweetheart’s sweet tooth, Clark says just grab the chocolate or other Valentine’s day themed sweets the day after because it will be on clearance. Just make sure you don’t give them the last year’s chocolate you forgot you hid in the closet.  LISTEN: Clark Howard’s latest podcast 
  • The Clay County Sheriff’s Office is identifying the ten intersections in Clay County with the most crashes.  Public Information Officer Chris Padgett says the Sheriff’s Office looked at the number of crashes in general (not including accidental crashes or distracted driving) in the month of January. He tells WOKV Blanding Boulevard at Wells Road seems to top the list every month.  “They are heavily congested areas as most people know, much of Clay County commute into Duval for work every day—a lot of these intersections are on the Northbound travel lanes.” Padgett says school zones are sometimes on the list as well due to the roads being congested – which also plays a role in the crashes. “When you take crossing walks being there, students coming across, heavy congestion from traffic going to work, congestion from traffic going to schools.” The Sheriff’s Office says they are taking several steps to ensure safety on the roads.  The first step is traffic enforcement, deputies say they have written nearly 1000 tickets and 500 warnings – not including verbal warnings. Padgett says they are not trying to meet a “quota” of some sort, they want to have those interactions with drivers.  “People thank us after getting a citation because it’s eye-opening.” The second part according to the Sheriff’s Office is community education – which Padgett says is the distracted driving campaign they have been doing. He pointed out when Sheriff Darryl Daniels was in Tallahassee pushing for distracted driving to become a primary offense. The goal is to educate drivers about the danger of distracted driving.
  • Southern regional banks BB&T and SunTrust have announced plans to merge, creating the sixth-largest bank in the country.  The merger is worth about $66 billion in stocks.  Consumer Warrior Clark Howard says this merger is more about allowing SunTrust and BB&T to be able to compete with the big four banks: Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.  “The four combined now control half of all banking in the United States and big regional banks like BB&T and SunTrust really were not in a position to be competitive with the big four.” Clark is not predicting any immediate major changes for customers at either bank. Clark did point out that BB&T will be the superior player in this because the company is the buyer.  “They operate differently than SunTrust. So long time SunTrust customers over time will subtly feel differences in how the branches operate and how it feels just walking into one.” The change will not impact customers’ wallets. Clark says there will be no change of any note or significance with these two companies. Going back to the point he made on this merger being about competition, Clark says this change is not about saving customers money at all.  When it comes to employees working at SunTrust- Clark again repeats BB&T will be running this even though it’s referred to a merger of equals; Clark says BB&T will run the operation.
  • A man was shot dead by a Clay County Sheriff’s Deputy during a traffic stop on Blanding Boulevard late Sunday night.  According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, a Ford SUV was pulled over for a traffic violation on Blanding, south of Tanglewood.  When a backup K9 Deputy arrived at the scene, Deputies say the driver of the SUV produced a firearm, leading the K9 Deputy to open fire. The driver has not been identified.  Authorities tell Action News Jax the Deputy involved in this shooting was also on scene in the 2012 shooting death of Ted Tilley, who killed Detective David White.  “The deputy has been with Clay County Sheriff’s office for around 15 years. He has been a K9 officer for and extensive period of time and he is a well trained deputy,” Chris Padgett of CCSO said.  The FDLE is now leading the investigation. 
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is crediting ShotSpotter for alerting them to a shooting in the Durkeeville area during the overnight hours.  Police say they found a man near the intersection of Steele and Barnette Streets after ShotSpotter notified them of six gunshots. The man was found with a gunshot wound to the neck and was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.  The victim was able to tell police he saw a red car leaving the scene after the shooting. It’s not clear if the gunshots came from the red car – police are still investigating the scene. 
  • It’s the great American race – people scrambling to get their taxes done before April 15, 2019.  Consumer Warrior Clark Howard is breaking down a handful of tips to help everyone file their tax returns while also avoiding any scams.  Clark suggests using free file if someone is what he calls a “typical American taxpayer.”  “A person who has not earned what the IRS considers a big amount of money.”  Free File is an IRS program that they do with private tax preparation software companies that helps Americans file their federal returns for free as long as they qualify. Click here to learn more about Free File . Clark says if a taxpayer does not qualify for Free File they can always use Credit Karma.  MORE: Tax Season 2019, Which tax prep solution is right for you?  Clark says the week of January 28, 2019, is the best week to file taxes. It’s the best time because Clark says this is the start of the season for the IRS – if someone filed before the return didn’t actually get processed until the IRS system officially opens up.  According to Clark, some of the benefits of filing during this week include: 1. You’ll get your return sooner – if you e-filed and chose the direct deposit option.  2. You’ll beat the tax refund thieves – the early bird gets the worm; meaning criminals cannot steal your Social Security number and file a false return. 3. You’ll avoid uncertainty around another potential government  – Clark says even though the IRS has reiterated it will process refunds during a shutdown, why leave it to chance ? Whether you decide to file now or later – Consumer Warrior Clark Howard wants you to be aware of any scams dealing with tax filing season.  RELATED: Here’s the most important thing you can do to avoid becoming a tax fraud victim  Clark wants anyone to double check any voicemails, e-mails, texts and physical mail they get claiming to be from the IRS.  “They will tell you that you owe money right now or you’re not going to be eligible to a refund from this year’s tax.” Clark says messages like this are ‘phony’ and criminals are just out to get your information. In fact – Clark says that isn’t even how the IRS operates.  “If you do the IRS money they will send you a very dry, very dull letter telling you the amount you owe and how to contact them if you have a question about it.”  Clark says if someone ever receives something claiming to be from the IRS always double check the phone number to call before doing so. You can do that by going to www.irs.gov.  LISTEN: Clark Howard’s most recent podcast 
  • As the partial government shutdown continues with no end in sight, the Jacksonville Jaguars are teaming up with Dick’s Wings to offer a free meal to the families impacted by the shutdown.  Active duty U-S Coast Guard members and their families are invited to one of the participating Dick’s Wings locations below Thursday night. The event starts at 5 and runs until 9 p.m. The team is asking the U-S Coast Guard members and their family members to bring a government-issued ID, so they can cover any food and non-alcoholic drinks.  • Mayport – 2434 Mayport Road, Jacksonville, FL 32233, (904) 372-4539 • Kingsland – 1301 East King Ave., Kingsland, GA 31548, (912)510-0095 • Mandarin – 10550 Old St Augustine Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32257, (904) 880-7087 • Merrill Road – 9119 Merrill Rd., Ste. 19-20, Jacksonville, FL 32225, (904) 745-9301 • Nocatee – 100 Marketside Avenue #301, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32081, (904) 829-8134 • San Pablo – 14286 Beach Blvd., Ste. 32, Jacksonville, FL 32250, (904) 223-0115 • Youngerman Circle – 6055 Youngerman Cir., Jacksonville, FL 32244, (904) 788-1101 • Fernandina – 474313 East SR 200, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, (904) 310-6945 The team is also joining in on a handful of local and non-profit sector businesses in providing support to our First Coast neighbors facing financial hardships during the government shutdown.  If you are looking for additional relief assistance, you are asked to get in touch with the City of Jacksonville at www.coj.net or the Greater Jacksonville Area USA at www.jaxuso.org.
  • The Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida telling people to be careful when hiring the St. Augustine, Florida-based fence contractor D-Fence.  Some people have been telling the BBB the business never started work after getting a large deposit, leaving jobs unfinished, or provided poor workmanship and overall poor customer service. The BBB says at least ten people have filed complaints against the business since July of 2017. D-Fence has not responded to any of the complaints, even after the owner reached out to the Better Business Bureau. The company now has an “F” rating from the BBB.  READ: The complaints left by consumers about D-Fence  The BBB has a few tips when it comes to hiring a reputable fence contractor: You can research any business and its owners before paying up. You can check the company’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org or by calling 904.721.2288. Don’t automatically choose the first fencing contractor you find. Get at least three estimates to compare contractors.  The fencing contractor should provide a contract that specifies the details of the agreement. The contract should include: exact costs, the materials being used, details of the work being done, an estimated start and completion date, the total cost of the job, clean up and removal of debris and the payment schedule. 
  • Danielle Leigh

    Morning News Producer

    Danielle joined the WOKV team in 2014 after graduating from Piedmont College in Northeast Georgia. Today, she is the Morning News Producer for Jacksonville’s Morning News. She used to be a military brat until her dad retired in Camden County, Georgia. Since high school, Danielle had dreams to work in the radio industry in Jacksonville and is excited to be finally living out her dream. One of Danielle’s life goals is to get a book published.

    Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • 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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