Category Archives: Good Parenting

Our Heroes Should Be Focused On Job

.jpg photo of America, home of the Free and the Brave graphic
America, home of the Free and the Brave

Army Secretary apologizes to military
families living in dangerous housing
conditions

The Pentagon  –  Secretary of the Army Mark Esper on Friday apologized to thousands of families living in dangerous conditions in military housing, which has long been maintained not by the military but by private contractors.

Families like that of Jana Wanner, who testified before Congress Wednesday.

“Mold was growing out of the wall of our shower,” Wanner said.  “They told us, and this is a direct quote, let the mold just fall out.”

Other major problems:  lead in the water, asbestos, leaking ceilings, roaches, mice and rats.

“I am infuriated by what I’m hearing today,” said Sen. Martha McSally.  “This is disgusting.”

Esper said he wants to renegotiate contracts with property management companies to give tenants more power, including “a clear bill of rights for our families — for our soldiers and our families.”

“So they know what they can do what their rights are that they can bring to the chain of command if they feel that the contractors are not meeting their needs,” Esper said.

One change would hit those companies right where it hurts.

“If a family isn’t getting the service they want then I think they should have the ability to withhold their basic allowance for housing payments,” Esper said.

Sgt. Major of the Army Daniel Dailey worries contractors’ neglect could affect recruiting and mission success.  If soldiers are worried about how their family is surviving in the U.S. with mold and rats, how can they do their job overseas?

“We need our soldiers focused on doing their job fighting and winning our nation’s wars,” Dailey said.

Wanner, whose family lives at Fort Meade in Maryland, is encouraged by the new focus on military housing conditions but worries if it will last.

“I don’t want the steam to be lost and I want to keep moving forward and I want that change made and I want families to be heard,” Wanner said.

Just four years ago, the Pentagon investigated military family housing and found “pervasive health and safety hazards” — but the conditions continued to fester.  CBS News asked Esper if that might happen again, and he said no.  This time, he vowed, “we’re going to get it right.”

Military Families Testify About Housing Conditions

Military families testify about ‘slum-like’
conditions in some private housing facilities

Feb. 13, 2019 – 3:48 – Shepard Smith, Fox News

Survey:  Conditions at Private Military Housing Facilities are not unique to specific companies.

Some military families find mold, lead paint, rats and roaches in privatized base housing.

The Families testified that some private based housing done by contractors, is full of lead, mold, rats and roaches.

That’s according to a survey by a non-profit Family advisory network.

A Family in Maryland that participated in that survey say a rainstorm caused flooding and that exposed Lead paint that made them sick.

They reached out to the Housing Company, Corvias.

A spokesman said Providing housing for our armed service members is a privilege and Corvias is making change necessary to meet the “gold standard” level of service both we and our residents expect.

Military Families haven’t gotten gold level service.

Some Military Families are testifying about their experiences; national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports from the Pentagon.

MILITARY HOUSING SURVEY

More than half (55.53%) of respondents had a negative or very negative experience with privatized military housing.

Military Family Advisory Network

Sheriff Deputies Shoot Ax Murderer

.jpg photo of ax murderer
Mark Leo Gregory Gago, 42

Man who murdered 4 in Oregon home,
trying to kill child shot dead by deputies,
police say

A man who killed four people, including a 9-month-old girl, in an Oregon home and was shot and killed by deputies as he was attempting to murder a child on Saturday, police said.

Mark Leo Gregory Gago, 42, was killed following the quadruple murder inside the home near Woodburn, located about 20 miles south of Portland.  Clackamas County deputies said they received a 911 call about 10:15 p.m. Saturday that appeared to be a domestic violence incident that sounded “dramatic, very intense.”

“Deputies knew it was going to be a bad scene,” Clackamas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Jensen said Sunday morning, KOIN reported.

Police arrived at the scene and found four people — identified as 9-month-old Olivia Lynn Rose Gago;  Shaina E. Sweitzer, 31;  Jerry William Bremer, 66;  and Pamela Denise Bremer, 64 — dead inside and Gago attempting to harm another girl. Authorities said all of the victims were related to Gago, but did not release additional information.

“Deputies saved the life of a young girl by using deadly force on the murder suspect as he was attempting to kill her.  All deputies were uninjured, suspect is deceased,” the sheriff’s office said in a tweet.

The child and a woman, who were not identified, survived the incident and were taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Jensen said the four people were not killed by gunfire.  He added that he “cannot explain just how horrific it is inside” the house where the murders occurred.

“We’re not sure what was used at this time.  I’ve been told that there were numerous weapons, swords, things of that nature in the residence.  The investigators are trying to determine what exactly was used to kill each person,” Jensen said.

It’s unclear what led to the deadly domestic incident.

The deputies involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave as a standard protocol during the investigation.

New Boston TX Child Predator Indicted

.jpg photo of child predator from new boston texas
Robert Allen Smith, 34

Grand jury indicts New Boston man for
human trafficking, child sex abuse,
possession of child pornography

TEXARKANA, TX  –  A Bowie County grand jury Thursday indicted a New Boston, Texas, man for the alleged sexual abuse of his girlfriend’s teen daughter.

Robert Allen Smith, 34, was indicted for two counts of sexual assault of a child and single counts of continuous trafficking of persons and possession of child pornography.  The abuse allegedly occurred while the girl was 15 to 17 years old.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Smith would send the girl a text message telling her to take a shower when he wanted to sexually abuse her.  The girl told authorities that Smith would come in the bathroom and sexually abuse her.

The girl described being sexually assaulted and sodomized and alleged that Smith would ask that she urinate on his face.  The girl allegedly told a forensic interviewer at the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center that Smith took nude photos of her in the bathroom of her mother’s home with a drone that he held in one hand while working the controls with the other.

The girl reported that Smith traveled with her across state lines during a summer while he was working as a commercial truck driver and that he sexually abused her in various locations during the trip.  Images depicting the sexual exploitation of children were allegedly found after Smith’s electronic devices were seized by law enforcement.

If convicted of child pornography possession, Smith faces two to 10 years in prison. If convicted of sexual assault of a child, Smith faces two to 10 years on each of two counts.  If found guilty of trafficking, Smith faces 25 to 99 years or life in prison.

There is no parole eligibility from a sentence for human trafficking in Texas.  Smith must serve the entire amount of any sentence he receives.

The case is assigned to 202nd District Judge John Tidwell.  First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards are prosecuting. Smith is represented by the Bowie County Public Defenders Office.

Making A Difference For Our Elders

.jpg photo of Texas Attorney General Logo
Texas Attorney General Logo

AG Paxton Issues Consumer Alert on
Social Security Scam

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton today warned Texans to beware of calls from scam artists pretending to be with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and attempting to fool unsuspecting people into giving them their Social Security number and money.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received a large number of complaints from consumers targeted by the Social Security scam.  Crooks tell the would-be victim that their Social Security number has been used in a crime and they must pay a fee to reactivate it or to get a new number.  During the call, the person is asked to give out their Social Security number.

In other instances of the scam, individuals are told that their bank accounts have been seized and they should transfer their money to the caller for safe keeping, or that they could lose their Social Security benefits because their Social Security number was used to apply for credit cards.

Attorney General Paxton’s Consumer Protection Division reminds Texans that the Social Security Administration will never call and ask for a person’s Social Security number, request money, or threaten someone’s benefits.  Be sure to follow these tips from the FTC:

  • Never give your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you.  Don’t confirm the last 4 digits.  And don’t give a bank account or credit card number to anybody who contacts you asking for it.
  • Don’t be fooled by caller ID showing the SSA’s real phone number (1-800-772-1213).  Computers make it easy for scam artists to show any number on caller ID, a technique called spoofing.
  • Remember that anyone who calls and tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card or send cash is a scammer, no matter who they say they are.

If you get an unsolicited call from someone who claims to be from the SSA, get off the phone.  Then call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213.  Or, if you’ve detected a scam, file an online complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint or with the Texas attorney general’s office at:
https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/file-a-consumer-complaint