WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The number of people suffering from frostbite in Wichita has continued to rise.
Via Christi hospital officials said as of Tuesday, there have been 17 frostbite cases in 2018. That’s a major increase from previous years.
“We have seen a huge influx in frostbite patients. Usually we see two per year,” said Via Christi St. Francis Registered Nurse Dana Friesen.
Eddie Chronister has been recovering from frostbite in the hospital’s burn unit since January 1, 2018.
“I am very blessed. I’m lucky to be alive,” Chronister said.
Chronister said he started his New Years Eve like many other people, but he said what happened to him next drastically changed his life.
“I just sat there and drank my bottle. Made a mistake and went to sleep in the cold rather than going back home to camp,” he said. “The next thing I know I’m waking up in this hospital bed with a breathing tube, strapped down so I don’t hurt myself, my hands were frozen into fists.”
Chronister, who is homeless, said he fell asleep outside for several hours. He suffered frostbite to his ear, feet and hands despite having on multiple layers and gloves.
“From pretty much the wrist all the way up, I have lost all my skin, all my fingernails,” Chronister said.
Hospital officials said a majority of the 17 frostbite patients didn’t realize how quickly frostbite can set in.
“They may not feel like anything is wrong at first, but then as they might warm up they might have an increase in pain, start to swell, it’s going to turn purple and black and blue,” Friesen said.
Despite the frostbite, Chronister injuries are healing.
“At first they didn’t even think I was going to be able to keep my hands, but God is good basically,” he said.
Civil Rights Attorney addresses Wichita city council: “These officers need to have better training and better staff”
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – People in Wichita are continuing to voice their concerns and ask questions surrounding a deadly officer-involved shooting and swatting incident last month.
The victim, 28-year-old Andrew Finch, was unarmed when he was killed by police outside a Wichita home.
Last week, three residents came out to speak to the Wichita City Council and vowed they, along with others, would be at Tuesday mornings meeting as well.
Today, twice the number of people came out to speak, including maybe the most well-known person to address the city so far, Civil Rights Attorney and congressional candidate James Thompson.
Thompson had strong words for the city council.
“The blood of Andrew Finch is on your hands just as much as it is the shooting officer and the idiot from California who made the phone call,” said Thompson.
Thompson was the most vocal out of the hand full of people who shared their thoughts about the Wichita Police Department.
All of the issues discussed by the concerned residents revolved around the deadly officer-involved shooting involving last month.
“So these officers need to have better training and better staff and we need to be hiring more officers, but we are not, that’s a problem, and it is because our officers aren’t receiving the proper training on how to de-escalate situations,” said Thompson.
KSN sent some of Thompson’s concerns to the police department.
Officer Charley Davidson says last year, the Wichita police command staff began to review the use of force training curriculum.
This year, Ofc. Davidson says they will be receiving federally funded training through the Department of Justice, focused on tactics and de-escalation techniques.
He also says the department has purchased 18 less lethal weapons systems and training will start in February.
As for the investigation into last month’s deadly shooting, Wichita City Councilman James Clendenin says the council is going to let the investigation play out.
“I think the city of Wichita wants answers, the city council wants answers, everybody wants answers, we’re going to let this investigation play through, we are going to let the wheels of justice turn,” said Clendenin.
The WPD agrees they need more staff, saying a staffing study showed they need more officers and civilians to fill the department’s needs.
KSN asked those who spoke in front of the council Tuesday morning if they plan to be back next week to voice their thoughts and concerns again.
They say they will be, until they get some answers and see some changes going forward.
Wind chills today have hovered mainly in the single digits throughout the state. Overnight, wind chills will drop below zero in most cities, which will make the bus stop in the morning feel brutal.
Improvements are coming as early as Wednesday afternoon. Winds will pump in from the south, allowing temps in Wichita to warm to the freezing point. Elsewhere, we’ll rebound into the 40s.
This warming trend will continue through the rest of the work week. However, changes are brewing for the weekend. When you see the 60s in January, you know nature has something up its sleeve.
A storm system will arrive Sunday morning. Temps today look warmer which could work into our favor and give us more rain initially. But, once the colder air sweeps in behind it, a band of snow will be likely. I’ll be tracking it tonight on KSN News. – Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman
GODDARD, Kan. (KSNW) – The recent cold temperatures have affected Kansans statewide, as well as the animals.
To protect their animals from the chill, Tanganyika Wildlife Park closes for the winter, and takes special precautions indoors.
Many of the park’s animals are from warmer climates so they prefer to be indoors during the winter.
But it takes extra work inside to make sure these animals are healthy during colder months.
Matt Fouts, the assistant director at Tanganyika Wildlife Park, says operations don’t stop when doors close for the winter.
“We give them extra enrichment, and do different things to try and keep them entertained during the winter when they can’t be outside,” said Matt Fouts, assistant director.
Besides extra care, Fouts says on especially cold days they try to limit how often the keepers come in and out of doors.
He says most barns have floor heaters to keep animals warm. But when these heaters aren’t enough, they have back-up heat sources.
“It has to travel 20 some feet to get to the top, that’s a lot of volume, so we do have some extra big heaters in there for when the temperatures dip down to like they were today or last night when they get really cold,” said Fouts.
Fouts says the cold doesn’t bother some animals, like red pandas and snow leopards. Even some species who aren’t familiar with the cold and snow enjoy Kansas winters.
“They will spend a fair amount of time outside, maybe not today specifically but for most of the winter, they don’t mind even the Kangaroos, which come from more of a Saharan or sub Saharan a very dry desert climate, they get a much thicker coat, and they will go outside,” said Fouts.
He says during the winter chill they prepare new exhibits and enhancements to the park. He adds that this upcoming season, people can look forward to new animals and renovations.
The park will re-open this March and there will be a new bird building, some new smaller exhibits, and a new baby sloth that visitors can look forward to.
LANSING (KSN CAPITOL BUREAU) — A decision on whether to build a new prison in the state is scheduled to go before lawmakers this week.
The proposed project for the Lansing Correctional Facility calls for a lease-to-own agreement, which means a private company would build a new prison and the state leases the space, however lawmakers have some concerns.
Inside the walls of the state’s oldest prison is where more than 2,000 prisoners are housed.
“I’ve toured Lansing and it’s obvious something needs to be done, the facility is 150 years old and it looks like it,” said House Majority Leader, Rep. Don Hineman, R-Dighton.
The prison is close to capacity and in bad condition, which is why lawmakers say a new one should be built.
“I don’t agree with a lease agreement, but I do think we need a new prison,” said House Minority Leader, Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita.
However, lawmakers aren’t sure if the current proposal by Brownback’s administration is the right one. The State’s Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on it this week.
“Right now, I plan to vote no,” said State Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka.
“Whether it’s the right proposal or not, I’m still not sure,” added Hineman.
Under the proposal, CoreCivic Inc would design and building a new prison with the state operating it. The proposal would also require about 50 percent less staff, and would cost $362 million.
“I’m not sure the new facility would be adequately staffed and that is concerning to me based upon the security and the safety,” explained Hensley.
The Department of corrections says the money for a new prison was approved in its budget last year. Governor Brownback was at the prison Tuesday to talk about prison reform, but also talked about why he thought this was a good proposal.
“We need a modernized facility, we need one that is safe for people to work in, and for the inmates to be in,” explained Brownback.
The state’s finance council is scheduled to vote on the proposal Thursday. If the vote is no, it would go to the full legislature for consideration.
The finance council consists of the Governor, House and Senate leaders.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Navy says it is filing negligent homicide charges against the commanders of two ships involved in fatal collisions last year.
The charges are to be presented at what the military calls an Article 32 hearing, which will determine whether the accused are court-martialed.
The actions, including charges against several lower-ranking officers, were announced Tuesday by the Navy’s chief spokesman, Capt. Greg Hicks.
Hicks says the decision to file charges was made by Adm. Frank Caldwell, head of the Navy’s nuclear reactors program, who reviewed evidence of what caused the collisions. The USS Fitzgerald collided with a commercial ship in waters off Japan in June, killing seven sailors. Ten sailors were killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asia in August.
Wichita, Kan. (KSNW) – The city is one step closer to allowing people to buy a drink and carry it outside in Wichita.
It’s called common consumption and there are no designated areas. At least not yet.
“We passed it in its current form, and we are going to continue to work with the state and some of our local businesses to find some fixes,” says James Clendenin, Wichita city council member. “Knowing who in the common areas is going to be responsible for those people carrying alcohol around, that’s going to be the real issue. We’ll continue to look at that and make sure people are being treated fairly, for sure.”
Clendenin and other city council members say a business can now apply for common consumption areas. Some say it’s an important step in establishing the city ordinance with the NCAA tournament coming to town.
“Two things run parallel here,” said Chad Stafford with Occidental Management in Wichita.
As a management company exec, Stafford went to city hall to ask questions on Tuesday about liability.
“You want to have the ordinance in place when the NCAA tournament arrives. That’s important for the rush on bars that want to participate in it,” said Stafford. “We support getting this in place now for that time period to get some great exposure for Wichita so we can showcase to people what we have going on in our downtown and our development. But, we’ve got to figure out how, when we establish the common consumption areas, the permit side of this. Is there only going to be one party on the permit? IF so, then who will be liable for people walking around drinking?”
Stafford says the open consumption will work well for places like around Union Station. He says an open consumption area could make for a festive atmosphere where hundreds could gather. But, he wonders what kind of security is needed for open consumption areas, and how many people have to be in an area before security is required.
Other businesses are asking what police will do.
“We’ve come immensely, a long way in Old Town, just from the aspect of drawing more people here. Getting people to live here, having businesses here,” says Don Wright with the Old Mill Tasty Shop. “For the common consumption concept? Oh, I think it’s always a good idea to have more police presence, especially when you have crowds. I think the city does a great job when we have Wichita festivals, the Riverfest, any of those events. I think they do a really good job of the police being there but not like a police state.”
But Wright says he knows security is about more than just a police presence.
“I don’t think it’s about the police not doing their job at all, I just think it’s about having a good structure for that kind of (common consumption) a system,” said Wright. “And I think it’s great for the city and I think it’s great for the businesses to work together that way.”
As the city says it is in the middle of working out details on common consumption areas, businesses can now apply for an open (common) consumption area. City leaders say they need to be cautious.
“Not just anybody is going apply and then all of a sudden they can have people walking around with open containers,” says Clendenin. “We’re friendly to businesses and those that want to come visit and spend money here. And if alcohol can be served in a safe way, where it’s contained but people can walk in a common area? That’s something that other cities are doing to be more inviting to visitors so we’d like to do what we can to provide that type of environment. As for the liability, there are absolutely legitimate concerns. We want to be able to make sure that if somebody misbehaves that somebody is held liable. And that somebody that has no control over that is not being held liable for that, so we do have to work past that but it was passed in its current form today.”
Clendenin says streets can be closed for temporary common consumption areas if it’s deemed appropriate for an individual event. He also businesses can now apply.
The application fee is $100, applicants have to meet certain requirements like no felony in the last five years and the owner must be 21. There also has to be a security plan and the business has to provide proof of liability.
PERRIS, Calif. (AP) — The mother of 13 malnourished children and young adults who were held in filthy conditions, some chained to furniture, was “perplexed” when deputies arrived at the family’s Southern California home, a sheriff’s official said Tuesday.
The deputies had been summoned by a 17-year-old daughter who jumped out a window and called 911.
Riverside County sheriff’s Capt. Greg Fellows described the reaction of the mother, Louise Anna Turpin, 49, without elaborating. He said he did not know how the father, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin, reacted.
The situation at the home in Perris, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, was discovered when the daughter escaped early Sunday, Fellows said.
The teen, who was so small that deputies initially thought she was 10 years old, showed them photographs that led them to believe her story so they went to the home to check on the family, Fellows said.
“The conditions were horrific,” he said.
The children, ages 2 to 29, are all believed to be the Turpins’ biological offspring, authorities said.
Fellows said the investigation has so far found no indication of sexual abuse but that the conditions amounted to torture.
“If you can imagine being a 10-year-old and being chained to a bed … I would call that torture,” he said.
The family had lived in Perris since 2014, and deputies had never been to the residence previously for any reason, Fellows said.
Social workers had never visited either, said Susan von Zabern, director of the county Department of Public Social Services.
The seven adult children were being cared for at Corona Regional Medical Center, said CEO Mark Uffer. He described them as small and clearly malnourished. They were being fed and were listed in stable condition.
“They’re very friendly,” he said. “They’re very cooperative, and I believe they are hopeful that life will get better for them.”
The parents were each held on $9 million bail and could face charges including torture and child endangerment.
It was not immediately known if they had attorneys. They were scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
State Department of Education records show the family home has the same address as Sandcastle Day School, where David Turpin is listed as principal. In the 2016-17 school year, it had an enrollment of six with one student each in the fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth, 10th and 12th grades.
Neighbors in Perris, where modest but well maintained homes are tightly packed on suburban streets, said they were stunned by the arrests.
Andrew Santillan, who lives around the corner, heard about the case from a friend.
“I had no idea this was going on,” he told the Press-Enterprise newspaper of Riverside. “I didn’t know there were kids in the house.”
Other neighbors described the family as intensely private.
A few years ago, Robert Perkins said, he and his mother saw a few family members constructing a nativity scene in the Turpins’ front yard. Perkins said he complimented them on it.
“They didn’t say a word,” he said.
Social media photos show the family at Disneyland and Las Vegas. The most recent shots, from 2016, show the parents beaming after they apparently renewed their wedding vows and posed with an Elvis impersonator.
James Turpin, of Princeton, West Virginia, said Tuesday that he was surprised by the news reports about his son David. All 13 children are David’s biological children. None are adopted, he said.
Turpin said he first heard about the matter Monday night in a call from a reporter. He declined to talk further.
“We’re going to try to get to the bottom of it,” he told The Associated Press.
He and his wife, Betty, told Ghent, West Virginia, television station WVNS that David grew up in southern West Virginia.
The family moved to Southern California in 2011 from Johnson County, Texas, near Dallas, according to property records.
The Turpins filed for bankruptcy that same year, stating in court documents that they owed between $100,000 and $500,000. At that time, Turpin worked as an engineer at Northrop Grumman and earned $140,000 annually and his wife was a homemaker, records showed.
Their bankruptcy lawyer, Ivan Trahan, told the New York Times he never met the children but the couple “spoke about them highly.”
“We remember them as a very nice couple,” Trahan said, adding that Louise Turpin told him the family loved Disneyland and visited often.
Associated Press writers John Antczak and Christopher Weber contributed to this report.
This story corrects TV station attribution in 27th paragraph to WVNS of Ghent, West Virginia.
TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt reminded Kansas consumers that the deadline for submitting a claim to Western Union’s victim compensation fund is quickly approaching.
Consumers who sent payments to scammers using Western Union’s wire transfer services have until February 12 to file a claim to receive payment from a victim’s compensation fund established through agreements Western Union has entered into with Kansas and 49 other states and the District of Columbia, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission. Kansas consumers who were a victim of a fraud-induced transfer using Western Union between January 1, 2004, and January 19, 2017, are eligible to file a claim.
The company admitted to processing hundreds of thousands of fraudulent wire transfer transactions as part of scams including the “grandparent scam,” where a scammer poses as a family member in need of immediate financial help, or lottery scams and other schemes involving the promise of prizes or job opportunities. In each of these scenarios, the scammer directed the victim to wire money through Western Union. The settlements stated that various Western Union agents were complicit in these schemes, including receiving a cut of the scam proceeds in exchange for processing the fraudulent transaction.
Last November, the DOJ began notifying more than 500,000 potential victims who may be eligible for compensation. The notifications, sent by U.S. Mail directly to potentially eligible persons, included instructions for making a claim. Western Union will not contact you directly to assist with this process. Additional information on how to file a claim is available on the attorney general’s consumer protection website at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.
(KSNW) – Schanee Anderson from the Sedgwick County Zoo stops by to show off an ornate box turtle and events to keep you warm at the zoo.
Winter Wednesdays are happening until the end of February, On those days admission is only $3.
On January 27th. the zoo will have “Coffee with a Hint of Conversation”. That will take place from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
We Are Grateful Sanctuary (WAGS) along with Mosley Street Melodrama are going to host a Psycho Bingo for the dogs from the multi-dog situation in Goddard.
Bingo will January 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. with dinner being served at 6 p.m.
Bingo is $20 for all games per person, and $5 for each additional blackout card. Dinner is $10 per person. The menu has been posted. A baked potato bar, with variety of toppings, salad, and a dessert bar.
Please call Mosley Street Melodrama at 316-263-0222, to reserve your seats. When calling, please advise if you will be eating as well.
For more information, click here.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita City Council dealt with a slew of hot button topics like officer-involved shootings.
Several people questioned Wichita policies on shootings in the wake of a swatting call allegedly made by Tyler Barriss. Barriss is now held on bond in Wichita.
The call led police to fatally shooting Andrew Finch. The people who spoke Tuesday asked for more transparency from the police department.
“We are asking that you give Chief Gordon Ramsay the tools, the opportunity, and motivation to work with the public in oversight in the changing of these police, initial training, in-service training, use of force, shoot, don’t shoot situations, everything you can imagine in this police operations,” said William Stover, Wichita resident.
Stover was just one of many residents to speak in front of the council
Police have not identified the officer in the deadly shooting, but they said he is on administrative leave.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita police captain was placed on paid administrative leave after being accused of pushing a teenage referee.
The confrontation happened Saturday at a game in Augusta. A video of the incident was shared online and to KSN News. The officer was off-duty at the time.
Officer Charley Davidson addressed the incident on Tuesday after KSN News pressed for more about the incident.
“We will be reviewing the incident to see if any policies were violated,” said officer Charley Davidson. “The Wichita Police Department staff member involved has been put on paid administrative leave at this time pending the investigation of an outside agency and also an internal review.”
The Augusta Police Department is investigating the incident.
“I know the chief does expect on and off-duty to be professional at all times,” added Davidson.
Wichita police confirmed that the off-duty officer involved in the dispute at youth basketball game, has been placed on paid administrative leave. More on @KSNNews
— Ashonti Ford KSN (@AshontiFordKSN) January 16, 2018
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita woman who offered a ring for sale on Facebook was confronted by a man with a gun when she met with the buyer.
According to Wichita police, the 24-year-old woman met a man at the Jimmy John’s restaurant in the 500 block of North Hillside around 6 p.m. Monday to sell her ring. She said the man got into her car, showed a handgun and forced her to drive to several locations around town, though they did not elaborate where.
Officer Charley Davidson said the woman ended up at the QuikTrip in the 1000 block of E Douglas around 8:00 p.m. where she was able to make a call to police and the suspect fled with her ring and cell phone.
Police report that a potential suspect has been identified and officers are now working to locate the man.
Officials are urging the public to arrange exchanges for sales inside public, well-lit locations and always be cautious and take someone with you.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Nearly every day brings a new experience for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who spent the first 42 years of his life living in a bubble that consisted of NASCAR and not much else.
Now that he has retired from full-time racing, he’s got time to experience new adventures. Just last weekend, he went to brunch — his first brunch ever — with his wife and friends, then was convinced to get his first pedicure .
The best is yet to come.
NBC Sports announced Tuesday it will use Earnhardt in its pregame show before the Super Bowl, then send him to South Korea for the network’s coverage of next month’s Olympics. Earnhardt retired from driving in November and signed on to be an analyst for NBC Sports, a gig that begins in July.
“It’s not going to be putting me anywhere outside of my comfort zone, obviously I’ve never been to a Super Bowl or South Korea,” Earnhardt told The Associated Press. “What they are asking me to do is just go out there and be myself and hopefully get people interested in tuning into NASCAR.”
NBC plans to use Earnhardt at the Super Bowl in outdoor events and activities taking place in Minneapolis in the days before the game. At the Olympics, he’ll visit the speed skating venue and accept a recent social media invite from American bobsled team pilot Nick Cunningham to ride in a bobsled.
“We can’t wait to get Dale’s take on what is one of the most compelling aspects of the Winter Games — sports that offer a mix of speed with the prospect of danger, an equation that he knows very well,” said Jim Bell, president of NBC Olympics Production and Programming.
“Instead of the turns at Daytona, it’s the downhill, the luge, and the short track oval. And I think he will have something unique to offer about the need for speed on snow and ice.”
Earnhardt, a third-generation NASCAR driver, is the son of Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Sr. He grew up around racing and its grueling 11-month schedule that has drivers on the road and away from home at least three days a week. Although the Super Bowl is typically held before NASCAR’s season-opening Daytona 500, rabid Washington Redskins fan Earnhardt said he never had a desire to go to the game.
“Not everybody goes to the Super Bowl,” he said. “I was too young when the Redskins were going, I was still in school, and they haven’t been since 1991. I definitely would have gone if they had played in one. But as a fan of a particular team, it sort of feels wrong to go to another game. I’d have a hard time even going to see the Redskins play in an opponent’s stadium. If I had no purpose to be at the Super Bowl, besides to just see a game, it was hard to make that kind of time commitment.”
And the Olympics? Well, that’s a dream trip that Earnhardt never had the time to even dream of making. Asked Tuesday where he’s been outside the United States, he listed Germany and France — trips he took with his now-wife — as well as Mexico, Canada, Japan and Australia. He also once spent 24 hours in Monaco.
“When I was driving, I didn’t want to do anything else,” Earnhardt said. “Someone would say, ‘Wow, I’ve got some time, let’s go have some fun,’ but I wouldn’t want to do anything. If I had a day to myself, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere or do anything.”
Then he was sidelined for the second half of the NASCAR season with concussion symptoms, and Earnhardt was forced to expand his lifestyle.
“When I started peeling away the layers, I started losing some of that habit and getting more comfortable doing things,” he said. “When we weren’t in the car, you weren’t supposed to be focused on anything else. When you went and did something, go to a concert, visit another city, you almost felt guilty for doing it. Like, we already have a pretty good lifestyle as race car drivers and can afford just about anything. So I just felt bad enjoying yourself.
“But when I was out of the car for so long, my doctor encouraged me to put myself in a lot of complex situations. That meant going to concerts and places I’ve never been and situations where I could push my anxiety. I’ll tell you, I was like: ‘Wow, this is what retirement is going to be like.'”
He’s not nervous about transitioning into his new television career, or that his first real appearances as an NBC Sports analyst will be on two worldwide stages. Earnhardt, who recently learned to ski while in Aspen with Jimmie Johnson, is planning on bringing boots and a helmet to South Korea to try out the slopes. He’s also eager to try the cuisine.
The only drawback is that pregnant wife Amy can’t make the trip, and Earnhardt said he doesn’t sleep well when they are apart. He figures worrying about her as she awaits their first child will make for long nights in South Korea.
He’s confident, though, the network won’t let him look like a fool and he’s leaned heavily on former crew chief Steve Letarte, and former driver Jeff Burton, both members of NBC Sport’s current NASCAR booth, for advice.
After his time at the Olympics, he’ll head to Daytona Beach, Florida, for the season-opening Daytona 500. Earnhardt is the grand marshal for the race.
“I definitely wouldn’t miss the first race of the year,” he said. “I feel like I should be there.”
More AP Auto Racing: https://racing.ap.org
TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Lottery is urging all players to check their tickets after one ticket sold in Kansas won $1 million in the Friday, January 12, Mega Millions drawing. The winning ticket matched the first five numbers, but not the Megaball, to win the $1,000,000 prize. The winning numbers in the January 12 Mega Millions drawing were 17-18-33-46-60 Megaball 24. The ticket was sold in northeast Kansas, which includes 21 counties.
As Kansas Lottery officials wait excitedly for the $1,000,000 Mega Millions winner to claim his or her prize, they are also looking forward to meeting the winner of a $356,871 Super Kansas Cash jackpot. One ticket sold in northeast Kansas matched all numbers in the Wednesday, January 10, drawing.
Also on January 10, a ticket sold in northeast Kansas matched four of the first five numbers and the Powerball to win a $50,000 prize.
WASHINGTON (AP) — As the fallout over President Donald Trump’s use of a vulgarity bleeds into a second week, aides to the president are locked in an internal debate over which version of the word the president used to describe certain countries during immigration talks with senators.
Trump was said to have uttered “shithole” during last Thursday’s conversation in the Oval Office, a version backed up by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and some Republicans.
But there is now some internal debate in the West Wing over whether Trump said “shithole” or “shithouse.” One person who attended the meeting told aides they heard the latter expletive, while others recalled the president saying the more widely reported “shithole,” according to a person briefed on the meeting but not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.
The person believes the discrepancy may be why some Republican senators are denying having heard the president say “shithole.”
Trump has not clarified to aides what he said, but told reporters on Sunday night in Florida that comments attributed to him “weren’t made.” The White House has not denied that Trump used a vulgar term, and there appears to be little difference in meaning between the two words.
The debate continued to play out Tuesday as Washington was gripped with uncertainty over whether the government would shut down at midnight Friday, when temporary government funding is set to run out, in the absence of a deal on immigration and other matters. The path to a deal seems even more complicated in the wake of last week’s coarse Oval Office conversation, and Trump has accused Durbin of undermining the trust necessary to reach an agreement.
Without explicitly denying using that word, Trump lashed out at Durbin, who said Trump uttered it on several occasions.
“Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting,” Trump tweeted Monday, using a nickname to needle the Illinois senator. “Deals can’t get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military.”
He was referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects young people who came to the U.S. as children and are living here illegally. Members of Congress from both parties are trying to strike a deal that Trump would support to extend that protection.
Durbin said Monday the White House should release whatever recording it might have of the meeting. The White House said there are no tapes.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of the six senators in the meeting with Trump on Thursday, supported Durbin’s account.
As well, Durbin and people who were briefed on the conversation but were not authorized to describe it publicly said Trump also questioned the need to admit more Haitians. They said Trump expressed a preference for immigrants from countries like Norway, which is overwhelmingly white.
Republican Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who also attended Thursday’s meeting, initially said they did not hear Trump utter the word in question, then revised their account to deny he said it at all.
Durbin said after the Oval Office meeting that Trump’s words to the senators were “vile, hate-filled and clearly racial in their content.”
A confidant of Trump told The Associated Press that the president spent Thursday evening calling friends and outside advisers to judge their reaction to his remarks. Trump wasn’t apologetic and denied he was racist, said the confidant, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation.
Trump insisted afterward in a tweet that he “never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems.” Trump wrote, “I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians.
The contentious comments came as Durbin was presenting details of a compromise immigration plan that had money for a first installment of the president’s long-sought border wall.
Trump took particular issue with the idea that people who’d fled to the U.S. after disasters hit their homes in places such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti would be allowed to stay as part of the deal, according to the people briefed on the conversation.
When it came to talk of extending protections for Haitians, Durbin said Trump replied, “We don’t need more Haitians.'”
“He said, ‘Put me down for wanting more Europeans to come to this country. Why don’t we get more people from Norway?'” Durbin said.
Word of Trump’s comments threatened to upend delicate negotiations over resolving the status of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Trump announced last year that he will end the Obama-era DACA program unless lawmakers come up with a solution by March.
Lemire reported from New York.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s overall health “is excellent” and he did “exceedingly well” on cognitive screening.
That’s according to his White House physician, Navy doctor Ronny Jackson.
Jackson is providing a more detailed readout Tuesday following Trump’s first physical last Friday at the Walter Reed military hospital.
Jackson reports that the 6-foot-3 president weighed in at 239 pounds — three pounds heavier than he was in September 2016.
Trump’s blood pressure was 122 over 74, and his total cholesterol was 223, which is higher than recommended.
Trump was 70 when he took office, making him the oldest person ever elected to the nation’s highest office.
Jackson says Trump is healthy and should remain so for the remainder of his presidency.
The doctor says he had “absolutely no concerns” about the president’s cognitive abilities, but performed the screening because Trump asked him to do it.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Legendary singer/songwriter James Taylor and his All-Star Band with special guest Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt and her band are coming to Intrust Bank Arena on May 24.
Tickets on sale Friday, February 2 at 10 a.m. at selecaseat.com and are $99.00 and $65.00 plus fees.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Low temperatures and dangerous wind chills are closing schools across Kansas.
The school systems canceling classes Tuesday include Wichita, Lawrence, El Dorado, Salina, Wamego and McPherson. Several Johnson County schools, including Shawnee Mission, Olathe and Blue Valley, had previously scheduled a professional development day for teachers on Tuesday.
In some areas, forecasters were predicting wind chills of nearly 20 below. Some colleges also canceled classes, including Wichita State University and Emporia State University.