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Pentagon says troop deployment to border will cost $72 million through Dec. 15

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By Leighton Schneider

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The Pentagon estimates that the current costs of the U.S. military’s border support mission will cost $72 million.

It is the first cost estimate provided since the start of the mission to support Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ahead of the arrival of several migrant caravans making their way north through Mexico from Central America.

“Based on the current phased force laydown of approximately 5,900 Active Component personnel through Dec. 15, 2018, the estimated cost to deploy, operate, sustain, and redeploy forces is approximately $72 million,” said Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman.

“The total cost of the operation has yet to be determined and will depend on the total size, duration, and scope of the DoD support to DHS,” he added.

Prior to the election, President Trump had said that the border mission deployment could rise to as many as 10,000 or 15,000 troops. Some analysts had used the president’s prediction to arrive at estimates that the cost of the mission could end up being as high as $200 million.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and other Pentagon officials said they had been unable to provide estimates about the potential costs of the mission. Last week, during a trip to the border, Mattis told reporters that while the Pentagon was tracking early cost information it was still too early to make a firm cost estimate.

Last week, the Pentagon confirmed, that for now, the border mission will remain at 5,900 depending on future requests for assistance from CBP.

At one point, U.S. Northern Command had said the number of troops authorized for the mission could end up being more than 7,000.

For comparison, the cost of the ongoing National Guard deployment of 2,100 troops that began in April has cost $138 million so far.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

'A senseless loss of life': 3 victims of Chicago hospital shooting mourned

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By KT

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Tamara O’Neal was a church-going emergency room doctor who was greatly concerned about gun violence. Dayna Less had survived a neurological disease as a teenager and was planning to get married next year. And Officer Samuel Jimenez had been a Chicago police officer for less than two years and was the loving father of three young children.

On Monday, a gunman shot all three dead in an eruption of violence at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center on the South Side of Chicago.

“It’s a senseless loss of life,” Patrick Connor, director of emergency medicine and chair of the emergency department at the hospital, said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

He described all three victims as “young vibrant people with very bright careers.”

Tamara O’Neal

Dr. O’Neal, 38, led her choir at church every Sunday, Connor said.

“She had one request when I became director of the emergency department,” Connor said. “We struck a bargain that she would not have to work on Sundays because she was such a big part of her church, where she was in charge of the choir.”

She’d only worked at Mercy Hospital for about two years before she was gunned down Monday by a man she had broken up with who confronted her to demand she give back an engagement ring, police said Tuesday.

Police identified the gunman as Juan Lopez, 32, who died in the rampage, authorities said. An autopsy by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office showed that Lopez died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

O’Neal’s father, Thomas O’Neal, recalled the last conversation he had with his daughter over the weekend.

“She said ‘I love you.’ That’s the last words she spoke to me,” Thomas O’Neal told ABC Chicago station WLS-TV.

As an ER doctor, O’Neal often expressed concern about the toll of gun violence she saw on a regular basis.

“She talked about it a lot, and about the incessant national tragedy that all these people were dying needlessly,” Connor said.

Conner added that O’Neal was shot to death at the end of her shift on Monday.

“She had no children. Never missed work. The best person ever, really,” Connor said.

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Stephanie Loudin, the nurse manager at the hospital, said O’Neal started as a resident at Mercy after graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago and became part of the medical staff in 2016.

“She was well liked, well respected and we will miss her,” Loudin said.

Connor added that when he took over the emergency department in 2017, O’Neal was of great help to him.

“Without her, we couldn’t have done it,” Connor said, describing O’Neal as a “fantastic” person.”
“If I was in extremis and about to die, I would love for Dr. O’Neal to be near to take care of me,” Connor said.

Dayna Less

Dayna Less, 25, graduated from Purdue University in May and was a pharmacy resident in training at Mercy, having joined the hospital in July. She was inside a hospital elevator when a bullet fatally struck her, police said.

“I do not want Dayna remembered as a victim, and I want everyone to understand that,” her father, Brian Less, said in an emotional news conference Tuesday. “Dayna was a very special person. She had unique gifts. She was intelligent, she was funny, she was kind. She was a good friend and has good friends.”

He said his daughter was planning to get married to her fiancé, Adam Keric, next June.

“It was a match made in heaven. We were planning a wedding of over 500 people, and I was going to be giving a wedding speech instead of a eulogy,” Brian Less said.

He said that at the age of 15, his daughter suffered a neurological disease that required her to undergo a series of surgeries at Georgetown University in 2011.

“They brought her back to us,” he said. “Dayna decided at 16 years old that she had been given her chance at life back and she was going to freely give her life to everyone she could. She was going to give of herself.”

He said his daughter and his wife, Teena, started the blog MyDaughtersHeadache.com to help children who suffer from afflictions like the one she endured as a teenager.

“She realized then that she could not sit still and only wanted to help others and the less fortunate,” her father said, adding that his daughter spent time in Keyna helping at a hospital.

“She was forged in her own adversity which made her the strongest person I will ever know,” he said.

Officer Samuel Jimenez

Officer Jimenez, 28, died from gunshot wounds suffered when he arrived on scene and chased the alleged gunman, Juan Lopez, 32, into the hospital.

Jimenez was shot to death in the lobby of the hospital during a gunfight with the suspect, police officials said.

“We cannot thank him enough for his courage and bravery,” Connor said of Jimenez. “A hospital should be a safe place. Every shooting in America is a tragedy — it is a national tragedy. And it is especially senseless when a shooting occurs in a healing space of a hospital.”

Jimenez, 28, a married father of three young children, “saved a lot of lives,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, adding that police vigorously pursued the suspect because they “just don’t know how much damage he was prepared to do.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised Jimenez and his colleagues who responded to the shooting, saying Tuesday that they “did save and potentially prevent a lot worse loss of life,”

“Today, the Fraternal Order of Police lost a valued brother — a courageous police officer who got up this morning, went to work and wanted to protect the city of Chicago,” said Kevin Graham, president of Chicago chapter of the police union. “He did that today, and he did so with his life.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Governor Abbott Names Chair And Appoints Burrow And Johnson To Correctional Managed Health Care Committee

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By stephen.chang@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Rodney Burrow, M.D. and named him chair of the Correctional Managed Health Care Committee for a term set to expire on February 1, 2021. Additionally, the Governor appointed Preston Johnson, Jr. for a term set to expire on February 1, 2019.Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Rodney Burrow, M.D. and named him chair of the Correctional Managed Health Care Committee for a term set to expire on February 1, 2021. Additionally, the Governor appointed Preston Johnson, Jr. for a term set to expire on February 1, 2019. The committee coordinates the development of statewide policies for the delivery of correctional health care within the criminal justice system.

Rodney Burrow, M.D. of Pittsburg is the Director of Medical Affairs and the Associate Director of Primary Care for Titus Regional Medical Center. He is also a practicing Board Certified Family Physician at the Family Care Center in Mount Pleasant and a registered pharmacist. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Board of Family Medicine, Association of American Indian Physicians, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and the Texas Medical Association. He volunteers for Pittsburg Independent School District in various roles and is the Team Doctor for the Pittsburg Pirates. Burrow received a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from Northeast Louisiana University and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Minnesota.

Preston Johnson, Jr. of Sugar Land is a former executive of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. He is member of the Society of Human Resource Professionals, Houston Human Resource Leadership Council, National Black MBA Society, and the Houston Hispanic Chamber Foundation Board of Directors. Additionally, he is a member of the President’s Council at the University of Houston Clear Lake City, and the Sam Houston State University Foundation Board of Directors, the Business Schools’ Advisory Board, and the President’s Council at Sam Houston. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Sam Houston State University, a Master of Business Administration in management from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and certifications in executive development from Michigan University and Harvard University.

 

 

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Source:: Office of the Governor

      

Governor Abbott Names Plunket Chair Of Finance Commission Of Texas

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By stephen.chang@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott has named Paul Plunket, III chair of the Finance Commission of Texas. Plunket was first appointed to the commission in 2008 and reappointed in 2014.Governor Greg Abbott has named Paul Plunket, III chair of the Finance Commission of Texas. Plunket was first appointed to the commission in 2008 and reappointed in 2014. The commission is the governing body of the state banking, savings and loan, and consumer credit agencies.

Paul Plunket, III of Dallas is an independent energy consultant. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and a member and past president of Texas Utility Lawyers. Plunket received a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston Law Center.

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Source:: Office of the Governor

      

Governor Abbott Reappoints Key And Vasquez To The State Employee Charitable Campaign Policy Committee

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By stephen.chang@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed Alicia Key and Tabatha Vasquez to the State Employee Charitable Campaign Policy Committee for terms set to expire on September 1, 2020. Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed Alicia Key and Tabatha Vasquez to the State Employee Charitable Campaign Policy Committee for terms set to expire on September 1, 2020. The committee helps develop rules and procedures for the State Employee Charitable Campaign, and reviews the recommended campaign plan.

Alicia Key of Dripping Springs is an attorney in private practice with over twenty-five years of public service. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and serves on the Family Law Section Formbook Committee. Previously, she served as a board member of the National Child Support Enforcement Association and as president of the National Council of Child Support Directors. She also served as a mentor with the Seedling Foundation. Key received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas Tech University and a Juris Doctor degree from Texas Tech School of Law.

Tabatha Vasquez of Manor is the legislative director for State Senator Brian Birdwell. She is a provisional member of the Junior League of Austin, a member of the National Rifle Association and a Woman of Courage with the Children’s Advocacy Center, a coach for the Pflugerville Area Soccer Association, and a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America. Vasquez received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice and a minor in business from Mars Hill University.

 

 

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Source:: Office of the Governor

      

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