Utah Man Dies From Rabies; Arkansas Man Charged With Threatening to Kill CNN Anchor Don Lemon; Deadly California Wildfires; “Rainbow Wave” Brings America LGBTQ Firsts in Politics; President Trump News Briefs; Deaf Diver Finds Cell Phone During Criminal Investigation
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Friday, November 9. Ready for news?
Utah Man Dies From Rabies
An Utah man, Gary Giles (55) has died from rabies. Gary and his wife loved bats and often held them with their hands at their home, but did not realize some of them had rabies.
Rabies can be transmitted through bats’ salvia. Their teeth and claws are very small, and if they bite or scratch your hand, you might not even realize it.
In October, Gary felt neck and back pain and went to the emergency room. They thought it was a pulled muscle. But later his symptoms got worse and was taken to the hospital again. He had severe neck and back pain, tremors, and delusion, and then passed away.
The rabies had infected his brain and other organs.
The last time someone in Utah died from rabies was in 1944.
Now Gary’s family is getting vaccinations just in case. Health officials encourage people not to touch a bat, dead or alive.
Arkansas Man Charged With Threatening to Kill CNN Anchor Don Lemon
An Arkansas man, Benjamin Matthews (39), has been arrested and charged with threatening to kill CNN anchor Don Lemon.
Law enforcement said Matthews called CNN in Atlanta more than 40 times from a cell phone between October 31 and November 2. In some of the calls, he said he wanted to be directed to DL’s dead body hanging from a tree, asked if he was dead yet, and if he could help with killing him.
Atlanta police worked with local Arkansas police to pinpoint Matthews. He is charged with five felony counts of first degree terroristic threatening.
Matthews might have been motivated by Lemon’s comments on CNN saying that the biggest terror threat in this country is white men.
Deadly California Wildfires
In California, there are three wildfires that are destroying thousands of buildings, with at least five people killed.
Two fires are in Southern California in areas near Los Angeles — the “Hill Fire” and the “Woolsey Fire.”
The third is the “Camp Fire” north of Sacramento, near Chico.
The fires spread quickly because of high winds, low humidity, and dry vegetation.
Millions of Californians are under high alert “red flag” warnings. Reports say the fires spread at the rate of 80 football fields per minute. There were firenadoes.
Police in Paradise said they found five people dead in burned vehicles.
The “Camp Fire” impacted at least one person in the Deaf community. Deaf woman Julie Rems-Smario said the Paradise home belonging to her husband’s parents, who are hearing, was destroyed by a firenado.
Julie’s son, who is a coda CAL FIRE firefighter, also had his home destroyed. He is now fighting the fires and considers this personal.
“Rainbow Wave” Brings America LGBTQ Firsts in Politics
[Transcript] The 2018 midterm elections gave America a record number of openly LGBTQ political candidates, the most of any election in history.
I want to say that someone posted a thoughtful comment under a “The Daily Moth” video that felt I did not give recognition to LGBTQ candidates across America. I have learned from that feedback and want to dedicate this news brief to LGBTQ candidates’ successes.
The New York Times reports that at least 153 LGBTQ candidates has won so far, and almost all of them are Democrats. At least 399 LGBTQ people ran at all levels of government in a “rainbow wave.” Several went through discrimination.
Here are some highlights.
The first — Jared Polis was elected as Colorado governor. He is the first openly gay man elected as governor in any state.
The second — Sharice Davids, who was just elected as a U.S. Congresswoman from Kansas, is the first lesbian representative from that state. I previously mentioned that she is one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress. Two interesting facts — she used to be a MMA fighter, and she can sign ASL pretty well.
The third — Malcolm Kenyatta is the first black and openly LGBT person of color elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature.
Angie Craig became the first LGBTQ member of Congress from Minnesota.
Chris Pappas became the first gay congressman from New Hampshire.
Two LGBTQ people were re-elected — Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who is bisexual, and Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, a lesbian who was the first openly LGBTQ senator.
In Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema, an openly bisexual woman, is in a close race for a Senate seat that has not yet been called.
In Vermont, Christine Hallquist was the first transgender person to be a gubernatorial nominee for a major party, but lost her election. She said she received death threats.
In Montana, Amelia Marquez, an openly transgender candidate for state legislator, is still in a close race with her opponent that has not been called yet. Her opponent refused to recognize her identity, referring to her as “he” and used her birth name.
In Texas, Gina Ortiz Jones, a lesbian candidate for U.S. Congress, is in another close race that has not yet been called. Her opponent asked her onstage to tell people that she was a lesbian so it would not be “revealed” later.
Those are the hearing highlights. The Deaf community also had LGBTQ representation.
The first is Darrin Ryan Smith, who ran for a Maryland House of Delegates seat as a black and gay person. He did not win, but had over 19,000 votes.
The second and third are Robb Dooling and Matthew Sampson, who won their elections to become Washington, D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners. Both identify as queer.
The fourth person is Philip Wolfe, who ran for Portland, Oregon City Council in May. He is openly gay.
So, this the “rainbow wave.” Congratulations to the candidates for being willing to put themselves out in an environment that can be hostile.
President Trump News Briefs
Here are three news briefs on President Trump.
The first — the Wall Street Journal published an article that described how Trump, during his presidential campaign, asked the publisher of the National Enquirer, David Pecker, to help him silence women who might reveal stories about their sexual relationships.
The WSJ said Trump asked Pecker at Trump Tower in August 2015, “What can you do to help my campaign?” Pecker offered to use the National Enquirer to buy the rights of the stories, and this was used to silence Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.
This could be considered a violation of campaign finance laws. The WSJ said federal prosecutors have evidence of Trump being involved in paying the women off.
The second news brief — President Trump issued a proclamation to suspend, for a limited period, any immigrant who crosses the U.S. southern border illegally, which would bar them from qualifying for asylum. This appears to be targeted at the caravan moving through Mexico.
Trump said they want people to come in our country, but they have to come in legally.
This could be in conflict with U.S. law that says any migrant that has been on American soil for under a year has the right to apply for asylum, regardless if they entered legally or illegally. So there could be legal challenges.
Axios news says this will increase wait times for people seeking refuge in the U.S.
The third — Former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote plenty of criticism for Trump in an upcoming memoir about her life, “Becoming.”
Obama said she would never forgive Trump for spreading false rumors that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S., that it threatened her family’s safety by potentially triggering people with unstable minds who wanted to hurt them.
President Trump said Obama got paid a lot of money to write a book. He said he would never forgive Barack Obama for what he did to our US military, that he made our country unsafe.
Deaf Diver Finds Cell Phone Used in Bomb Threats During Criminal Investigation
A deaf professional diver, Bobby Barden, helped police to find a cell phone that was thrown in a lake in northern Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
It was a key piece of evidence that will be used against two suspects who are accused of making fake bomb threats that caused a courthouse in Monroe County to close several times since May.
Detectives suspected that the suspects used cellphones to make bomb threats, then threw them in the lake. They called a dive team that included deaf man Bobby.
Here is a video of him describing his experience.
Bobby: Hi, my name is Bobby. I’ve been a member of a scuba rescue team in New Jersey. When we got in the water, within five minutes I spotted it. Of course we are not allowed to touch anything. When we saw it, we had another witness with a GoPro camera to confirm that the phone is what they need. So we had to measure how far it was from a point, such as a rock or a permanent post. We measured the depth. We had a special container where we scooped up the phone with a little bit of sand and water with the evidence. We gave it to detectives so they can investigate it at the lab. Then they asked us to look for a second phone that was thrown. We looked for it and found both.
Alex: Great job, Bobby! Thanks for sharing.
A news article said there was a K-9 dog that helped the search team. The phone will be sent to a lab for testing and if possible, data extraction.
A possible motive for the two suspects’ threats was to disrupt the courthouse on dates where they were scheduled to appear for hearings.
Bobby is a part of the Aqua Hands team, a business/service founded by deaf man Thomas Koch. They provide training in scuba diving and guided scuba trips.
Aqua Hands: https://www.aquahands.com/
That is all for this week. Thank you for watching “The Daily Moth.” Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light!