Crestwood Suites in south Fort Myers informed 20-year-old Army Pvt. 2ndClass Mason Ritums that he was not old enough to rent a room at their hotel. The minimum age to rent a room there is 21, no exceptions considered.
This fort Myers hotel currently has a ranking of 1.5 stars out of a possible 5 stars, according to TripAdvisor, though this probably did not come as a surprise to the Ritum family.
Evonn Peterson, Ritums’ stepmother, said, “I am so outraged” at In Town Suites of Atlanta. “If our children can fight for this country then they should be able to get a hotel room.”
According to Florida Statute 509.095, state law would agree with Evonn Peterson that the hotel illegally turned Ritum away.
Accommodations at public lodging establishments for individuals with a valid military identification card.—Upon the presentation of a valid military identification card by an individual who is currently on active duty as a member of the United States Armed Forces, National Guard, Reserve Forces, or Coast Guard, and who seeks to obtain accommodations at a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast inn, as defined in s. 509.242, such hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast inn shall waive any minimum age policy that it may have which restricts accommodations to individuals based on age. Duplication of a military identification card presented pursuant to this section is prohibited.
Open Arms is a “Florida and Maryland-based nonprofit that has provided a variety of services over 12 years to active duty military folks assigned to overseas posts or in combat zones,” according to News-Press.com, and Capt. John Bunch is its founder.
Bunch stated, “No one’s pulled the under-age 21 restriction on us.”
In Town Suites, however, was unaware of that law and said as much when News-Press contacted vice president of sales and marketing, Collier Daily.
Daily stated, “I am not aware of that law.”
He went on to say that he would have waived the age policy had he ‘personally’ know of the soldier’s situation. What happened to the ‘no exceptions policy’ I wonder?
“With an active-duty military person so close to that age, we certainly will check him in.”
What happened to the ‘no exceptions policy?’ I wonder…
Daily reached out to Peterson to convey the message that her stepson would be welcome to stay should he chose to.
Peterson stated, however, that “He’s not going to check in there. We’ll figure out something else.”
Crestwood Suites in south Fort Myers (Photo Credit: TripAdvisor Snapshot)
Here is a news story that Jim covered that I thought would be of interest to most of you since the main-stream media seems to have lost the story in the shuffle. Check out his website and leave a comment or two!
It would be quite difficult to find a more topical headline than the one above.
Predictability, at the time of its posting, the so-called “Main Stream Media,” chose to ignore it.
If they hope to have seating in the White House Press room they had better come to terms with reality, and quickly.
Using numerous search engines, there was little to no mention that Trump electors carried the day by U.S. media.
It’s official. Donald Trump has won the 2016 election after clinching the 270 votes needed to become the 45th president of the United States. The margin of Trump’s Electoral College win, coupled with election laws that bind electors to the winner of the statewide result in some states, made efforts to block Trump a long shot effort.
The Left and some anti-Trump Republicans had hoped that enough electors would jump ship, but the Associated Press was able to survey 330 of the 538 electors, noting that Trump had enough to officially clinch the presidency.
Looking as though she was about to hurl, CNN’s no name Wonkette made the announcement with no smile on her face.
And that there was virtually zero interest in fomenting an internal rebelling within the college to block the president-elect from assuming his duties as president come January 20.
Democrats and their far-left progressive crybabies had better get on board with President Trump’s agenda, less they are known as the party who road the dead Jack Ass into the dirt.
That’s right, I’m talking about the end of the political left in America, which would be a good thing.
It’s finally over: Donald Trump has secured 304 Electoral Votes following the Texas vote (with 2 faithless electors), officially securing the presidency of the United States.
Texas’ 36 electoral votes for Trump pushed him over the edge at around 4:30 Central Time, even though two rogue electors’ defections deprived Trump of one of those votes. That gave Trump 304 total electoral votes.
A quick recap of the day’s events from the WSJ: (Source)
Members of the Electoral College meeting in state capitals across the country on Monday confirmed President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, ending a last-ditch campaign to deny him the presidency.
Mr. Trump amassed at least 270 electoral votes on Monday afternoon—enough to officially become the president-elect over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, according to a tally of votes by the Associated Press.
Typically just a formality, this year’s Electoral College vote attracted an outsize amount of attention after a group of mostly Democratic electors made a late push to block Mr. Trump’s path to the White House.
They argued the Electoral College had a constitutional duty to act independently of the will of the voters in extraordinary circumstances. Protesters gathered in several state capitols across the country to encourage electors to reject Mr. Trump.
Four Democratic electors in Washington state broke ranks—with three casting ballots for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and one for Native American activist Faith Spotted Eagle.
See the entire article below.
In the vice presidential vote, the Washington vote was even more unusual, with electors casting votes for a trio of female U.S. senators: Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Maria Cantwell of Washington and Susan Collins of Maine. Another elector cast a ballot for Winona LaDuke, an environmental activist.
Several other attempts by electors to cast ballots failed. The Associated Press reported that attempts by Democratic electors in Colorado and Maine to vote for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders failed. In Maine, the elector was ordered to vote again, while in Colorado an elector was replaced.
The day is fast approaching, Jan. 20, 2017, when President-elect Donald Trump will assume the helm becoming President of The United States. When he does he will be protected by 13,000 of the world’s finest in uniform.
At the inauguration Trump will be surrounded by 8,000 National Guard members and 5,000 active-duty troops from around this great nation.
Commander of the District of Columbia National Guard, Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, stated, “If something goes bad, it’s up to the law-enforcement agency to make the first move. We look forward to having a peaceful transition of power on the 20th of January. And we will continue to work with our state and interagency partners to make sure that we have a peaceful transition of power.”
According to a report from Army News Service, the tradition of troops providing protection at presidential inaugurations began in 1789 and have continued to this day.
Schwartz, The Daily Caller reported, stated, “…guardsmen will be there to help ensure there’s a smooth transition of power, but it’ll be up to local law enforcement to make the first move in the event of a crisis. That local law enforcement includes the Metropolitan Police Department, the Capitol Police and the U.S. Park Service Police.”
Questionable whether this should be public knowledge or not, it is reportedthat none of the protective duty personnel will be armed. Arresting people for various offenses, however, will be among their duties.
Professor and faculty chair at the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, Stephen Fuller, stated, “Security is basically crowd management.” That being said, one of the service members main duties will be to protect Trump from angry protesters. It seems there will be no shortage of protesters with dozens of marches planned for the week of the inauguration that include hundreds of thousands of citizens, per a Facebook event page.
According to the Facebook event page there are 150,000 citizens marked as ‘attending’ with an additional 240,000 marked as ‘interested’ in joining the march on January 21.
Army Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, the commanding general of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, stated, Clearly, the biggest concern at this point is the number of potential protesters.”
Perhaps the biggest concern for security on Inauguration Day is, according to Fuller, “the one oddball with a gun.” Securing president-elect Trump will be of the utmost importance.
Assuming all goes well and Trump makes it safely to Jan. 21, the troops will then have their work cut out for them protecting the protesters from each other.
Since it’s launch in 2005, the Trees for Troops program has delivered over 176,000 Christmas trees to military service members and their families. This year Fedex have once again joined with the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and they have added 18,000 more trees to that impressive list.
Christmas trees have been delivered to families located on 65 bases in 17 differed countries, according to Fox News.
A report by NBC 12 stated that in total FedEx drivers have driven over 350,000 miles delivering trees since the program started.
The Executive Director of Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, Ann O’Connor, stated, “We have had an amazing year with Trees for Troops! This program is a huge highlight each year with the Christmas tree growers who are able to donate Christmas trees from their farms.”
Trees for Troops is in its 12th year of bringing holiday cheer to our troops and their families. But they can’t do this on their own and need your help.
“Imagine a smiling group of U.S. troops gathered around a Christmas Tree that was grown on an American farm and shipped to arrive fresh and green somewhere on the other side of the world, just in time for Christmas. Or, imagine a spouse and children sharing joyous memories of Christmas through the gift of free, real Christmas Tree while their family member is away serving our country. Trees for Troops® makes this vision a reality!
Trees for Troops counts on donations from the public to make this program succeed year after year. You can support Trees for Troops through your tax-deductible donation or by becoming a sponsor. The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Your tax-deductible charitable contribution will help those in service to their country and their families receive a Real Christmas Tree and keep the spirit of a traditional Christmas celebration alive. Since 2005, Trees for Troops has provided more than 176,096 Christmas Trees to military families and troops in the United States and overseas.”
Times are tough for the average American looking for a job but when you figure in a disability that requires a service dog be present at all times that task seems an impossibility. For Air Force veteran, Clay Luthy, a job became a reality when a Lowes store in Abilene, Texas hired him and his 10-year-old service dog.
According to The Huffington Post, Clay, 35, had endured several knee surgeries that kept him from reenlisting in the Air Force. Because he needs his service dog, Charlotte, with him in case of falls, it was a struggle to find work.
Though Luthy’s line of work after the military had mainly been handy-man gigs. His wife, however, suggested he apply at the store in which he spent so much time, Lowes.
Jay fellers, a human resource manager for Lowes, stated, “We were interviewing people for his position. And he was one of the applicants. And so he showed up for the interview and he had Charlotte with him.”
Lowes has always allowed well-behaved non-service dogs in their stores but what most people may not know is they also have an undisclosed number of service dogs working at various locations.
Fellers felt that Luthy was the best person for the job. “So, we went through the interview process and Clay and his own merit won the job. And we knew he was gonna make a great employee – we just got the benefit of getting Charlotte right along with him.”
Over the last two months of employment with Lowes, the duo has been a huge hit as they both perform their jobs in matching vests.
Judy Decher Rose, a Lowes customer, went to Facebook with her excitement over the unusual hiring.
Judy Rose’s husband, Brian, a retired veteran, told The Washington Post, “So I was actually impressed, one, that they hired a disabled vet, but also [a vet] with a dog. Because the dog could be a liability if somebody tripped over him or if something happened to a customer . . . and they took the chance on him anyways, and I thought that’s pretty awesome.”
Well, Rose’s Facebook post went viral in no time being shared almost 200 thousand times thus far. Praise for Lowes continue to pour in as the likes and shares to the Facebook post go ever higher.
A spokesman for Lowes reaction to the whole media frenzy is nothing short of modest as he stated that hiring the two was “simply a matter of accommodating a qualified employee,” according to The Washington Post.
Not only has Charlotte, the retriever, won the hearts of customers but so has Lowes and their willingness to work with the brave heroes that serve our country proudly and selflessly.
Efforts have been underway to recruit females into battlefield airman positions. These roles include combat controllers, tactical air control party (TACP), special operations weathermen and pararescuemen.
Apparently misinformed, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter published a statement Saturday in Meduim.com that a female airman was in training for a TACP role.
The report stated, “Interest in the Air Force’s battlefield airmen career fields has increased, with 18 women attempting initial training. I am proud to say that the first woman has entered training to become a tactical air control party airman.”
According to the U.S. Air Force, however, the last female left the program in July due to an injury.
A spokesperson for Air Combat Command, Andrew J. Schrag, confirmed that the female in question did indeed leave the program due to medical issues and resumed her previous position in Air Force Specialty Code, reported Military.com.
Schrag stated, “At this moment, there are no women currently enrolled.”
Applicants must pass a grueling Physical Ability and Stamina Test before being considered for a role and only a few females were considering the challenge.
The Air Education and Training Command Capt., Jose Davis, stated that only nine women had begun the testing with four withdrawing from the program and five unable to pass.
Davis stated, “When we do get the first woman in the pipeline, she’ll be in the Battlefield Airman Training Group, 37th Training Wing, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. After completion of training in the Battlefield Airman Training Group, Airmen are then sent to their respective AFSCs in various commands.’
“Females are half of our population,” stated Carter. “We’re an all-volunteer force. So, we recruit from the population it makes sense for us to recruit people, from as wide a population as possible.”
There is much speculation on President-elect Donald Trump’s position on the recent female status changes in the military and Carter makes it clear that he believes opening combat positions to women “makes sense.”
A project by the Pentagon to make their operation more efficient has backfired and instead exposed much more wasteful spending than expected.
According to The Washington Post, “The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget.”
A report was issued in Jan. 2015 outlining a five-year plan for the Defense Department to save a whopping $125 billion by eliminating “the bureaucracy through attrition and early retirements, curtailed high-priced contractors and made better use of information technology.”
According to the report, the Pentagon’s ‘back-office bureaucracy’ employed over 1 million people with 23 percent of the defense budget ($580 billion in total) going for back-office operations.
That means that there are just about as many people working in the Pentagon offices as there are active-duty troops serving our country.
Because the Pentagon feared they would endure more cuts instead of allocating more funds for the troops, the 77-page report was hushed and removed from it’s website.
A private-equity investor, Robert L. Stein, stated, “They’re all complaining that they don’t have any money. We proposed a way to save a ton of money.”
But the Pentagon suppressed the results.
Stein went on to say, “We’re going to be in peril because we’re spending dollars like it doesn’t matter.”
This all means that unless Congress and Trump can reach a spending deal agreement by October there will be an automatic cut over four years of $113 billion.
The Pentagon’s second highest ranking official, Deputy Defense Secretary, Robert O. Work, did not dispute the findings of bureaucratic waste, “But he dismissed the $125 billion savings proposal as “unrealistic” and said the business executives had failed to grasp basic obstacles to restructuring the public sector.”
Work went on to say, “There is this meme that we’re some bloated, giant organization. Although there is a little bit of truth in that. . . I think it vastly overstates what’s really going on.”
The Pentagon, however, is taking some of the recommendations made by the report, but on a smaller scale. The plan is to save $30 billion by 2020.
Work stated, “We will never be as efficient as a commercial organization. We’re the largest bureaucracy in the world. There’s going to be some inherent inefficiencies in that.”
The data is being collected and analyzed as never before. Just what consequences will come of it is yet to be seen.
Former executive of Medco Health Solutions, Kenneth Klepper, summed the situation up nicely when he told Work, “You are about to turn on the light in a very dark room. All the crap is going to float to the surface and stink the place up.”
Lonely and away from home you scroll online through social media to pass the time and the next thing you know you have exchanged pictures with someone. Not a problem, unless those pictures have left you exposed, literally.
Now you are being blackmailed for hundreds of dollars and if you don’t pay up your life is threatened to be turned upside down as you are told your photo (or video) will be shared with everyone you know.
Sextortion is described by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) as a “cybercrime perpetrated against unwitting victims who are approached in casual conversation via social media and then seduced into engaging in online sexual activities. After fulfilling the sexual requests, which are recorded without the victim’s knowledge or consent, the victim is threatened with public exposure and embarrassment if he does not pay a specified sum of money to the perpetrator, usually through a wire transfer.”
Military service members are being urged not to engage in explicit sexual activities online as the number of sextortion cases grow, reportsMilitary.com. Since August of 2012 more than 180 marines and sailors have fallen victim to this scam with a request for payment usually between $500 to $1,500.
Megan Bolduc, NCIS Division Chief, stated, “We’ve had service members individually pay as much as $11,000. It only stops because credit cards were maxed out.”
The concern isn’t just about a military member’s indiscretions it is also about National Security. According to Katherine McDonald with NCIS, “The concern really is twofold: the concern of harm to themselves and, on a national security level, a lot of these service members do have [security] clearances.”
The concern is that criminals will try to obtain ‘sensitive’ information from service members.
According to a spokesperson for NCIS, Ed Buice, “Screen captures or printouts of the conversations or anything like that is always very helpful. We have cyber agents who try to follow the electronic trail to get any information that’s available.”
Regardless of efforts to warn, educate and discourage military service members from falling victim to these predators, the sextortion reports continue to climb.
Bolduc stated, “Part of that, too, is that we have gotten the word out in so many different ways and encouraged reporting. I think people are more willing to come forward, but incidents are also increasing.”
The Philippines receive most of the wire transfers from the victims because complaints of wrongdoing must be filed in person.
McDonald stated that a ring of 50 were busted in the Philippines earlier this year. According to MilitaryTimes, “The organization was somewhat sophisticated. It had a payroll and offered bonuses to employees who swindled the most money. But on the whole, sextortion is difficult to prosecute. In the Philippines, for instance, the government requires that a victim come in person to file a report.”
Even though a victim pays does not insure that the photo or video in question will not be exposed. Often the media finds its way to Facebook or Youtube anyway, according to Bolduc. You can, however, inform the sites and request they be taken down.
“If you call and report the issue, they will take the videos down.”
All of the efforts to prosecute the scammers has so far proven impossible and not one has been prosecuted.
If you have fallen victim, law enforcement officials encourage you to NOT send money, stop all communication and save all correspondence.