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    “I’m Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington DC, the local politician who finally got thru to the reality star in the White House with the realities ($21.6M) of parades/events/demonstrations in Trump America (Sad).” Tweet late last week by Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
  • Plans for prescribed burning to rid the forests of deep ground cover often clash with regional air quality regulations, even as emissions from catastrophic wildfires nullify hard fought carbon reduction.' from the Little Hoover Commissionreport, an independent California oversight agency in February 2018.
  • Every year millions of Americans and their families make the trek to the 'happiest place on Earth,' - Walt Disney World. But whether you fly, drive or even take the Amtrak car train to Orlando...you cannot help but notice another omnipresent name in hospitality across Central Florida, and I'm not speaking of Universal or Sea World.
  • Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see,' Mark Twain (Samuel Clemmons, 1835 - 1910), author, humorist and observer of the human condition. Having a child with special needs certainly helped to greatly reshape my world view, but even prior to that, I had long admired people who regularly and daily simply went out of their way to be kind and helpful to others, with those many little things which make the difference between having a good day and a bad one.  Nearly two decades ago, I sat in a hotel room in New York City, watching radio icon Don Imus interview my then client, AFLAC Chairman and CEO Dan Amos, before we headed out on a financial markets/quarterly earning media tour. Amos was making a significant donation to an annual radio telethon which Imus anchored, to benefit his ranch summer camps for medically fragile children. Imus and his wife Deidre hosted thousands of pre-teens and teens over nearly three decades, with a wild-west experience including on-site medical and all that a kids’ summer camp might offer. This gave me the seed of a great idea.  Amos had recently made another $5-million gift to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) the preceding year, to expand and enhance the research and treatment capabilities of what you now know as the AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorder Services Center, at all three main CHOA campuses across metro Atlanta.   Amos was seeking a way to broaden awareness of CHOA's good works, as well as impact the cure rates for various deadly pediatric cancers. In our family, first cousin Shaye Sauers had been battling brain cancer for years, and is now among the longest term 'survivors' of those halls at CHOA. Shaye Kilby is now a young married woman, living in Decatur, Georgia, and volunteering multiple days a week on the front desk of the Eggleston Hospital campus of CHOA.  My on-air commentary for WSB-Radio in Atlanta would not begin for another six years, but I already had a strong friendship with Scott Slade, host of Atlanta's Morning News. Slade, along with on-air personalities Neal Boortz and consumer guru Clark Howard had been tasked with selecting a cause for the 750,000 watt radio blow torch to get behind.  Boortz a longtime volunteer pilot for Angel Flight was championing that worthy charity, Howard, an avid advocate for foster children and Habitat for Humanity was suggesting building a series of playgrounds in green-spaces near economically challenged communities.  To fertilize that idea seed, I had taken Scott Slade to the CHOA Eggleston campus, to meet with the cancer patients, their families and the caring hospital medical staff. Slade was sold.  Boortz and Howard are no push-overs, and each had their favorite... But Slade kept repeating, 'Those are both great causes...but they don't beat kids with cancer.' The decision was soon made, and WSB Radio would adopt the AFLAC Cancer Centers as their number one charity, and annually since donates 36 hours of airtime to this cause.  Thankfully, WSB's legion of loyal listeners, reaching as far north as Boston during overnight hours, as well hundreds of local and regional business enterprises, and later celebrities from the sports, entertainment and political arenas all joined the effort.  President George W. Bush made a pre-telethon visit to one of the Cancer Centers, and later a pitch during the first Care-a-thon. Bush had lost his own sister Robin to pediatric cancer at the age of 4. The 2018 Care-a-thon last week raised $1.63 million, with more coming in online this weekend, and north Georgia Kroger locations offering customers to 'round-up' to the nearest dollar all weekend, all benefiting the Care-a-thon.  From Amos' initial millions, to those pennies from Kroger, the Care-a-thon total will likely exceed $1.7 million this year, and well over $20-million to date. A wing at the Scottish Rite CHOA campus is dedicated to WSB Radio listeners, who helped to make its construction possible.  From an idea seed to a village of giving...this event grows more each year. Thanks to the many of you who have given, or who have shared this story with others. If or when you and yours have needs of this nature, CHOA and the AFLAC Cancer Centers will be ready. Praying that you never have the need, but knowing that if such tragedy strikes, you could not be in better hands nearby...surrounded by love, knowledge and thousands of others who have been down this same road ahead of you.
  • Be prepared... the meaning of the Boy Scout motto is that a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.' Robert Baden-Powell, a British Army Officer, 1st Baron, writer, author of Scouting for Boys, and the first Chief Scout of the Boy Scouts Association.   I have had few regrets in life. One of those is not completing military service to our nation. During my teen years, I also opted out of completing my work as an Eagle Scout, walking away from scouting not long after completing the level of Tenderfoot. While I valued many of the life skills I was learning, and the rigors of scouting, I was never a fan of the uniform.    Not breaking five feet in high until high school and being small enough in the 8th grade to be crammed into a school locker, I wasn't looking for peer encouragement to challenges to my adolescence moving into manhood. My voice changed early, but it took a while for the rest of me to catch up.    There are few private non-profits with a more easily remembered motto than our Boy Scouts, very simply put...'Be prepared.' And I have tried at least to lead my life that way, thanks in large measure to scouting. I can also say that time and again in the decades since, as I’ve met leaders from all walks of life, or contributed to the building or re-building of an organization or enterprise, I often found those most willing, most able and most prepared to help shoulder the burden and make real and lasting progress were in fact...you guessed it...Eagle Scouts.    All that said, I'm not sure what or how roughly 40,000 Boy Scouts, their pack leaders and family members could have quite been prepared for their recent visit by President Donald Trump to this year's Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. These Jamborees are massive and impressive events. Privately funded, now on land owned by the Boy Scouts of America themselves, these gatherings are effectively an outdoor national convention/gathering open to all Boy Scouts as well as several hundred thousand visitors, and held every four years. For decades parts of the week and half long festivities were often broadcast to national audiences.    But times and national mores shift over the years, and for some, scouting had become viewed as an anachronism, not keeping up with the times. Battles in the prior decade, between our federal government and the leadership of the Boy Scouts of America, regarding a long prohibition against openly gay scout masters caused the scouts to lose access to all federal parks and lands, and later state parks in many parts of our nation. But say what you will about the Scouts being old-fashioned, they model their values, lead by example and teach dozens of invaluable life skills...for a fraction of the cost of public or higher education, largely due to their volunteer driven service model.    I'm sure that even the tender-est of Tender Foots had previously heard the errant curse words which our President included in his remarks. Bad choice, but only minor slip. During a 45-minute rambling, wide ranging, illogical and hard to follow address, the President, failed to impart many, if any, pearls of wisdom to an audience generally receptive to his brand of politics and style of shooting straight and making America great.    Instead, more like a school yard bully, the President incited boos and catcalls for his predecessor, for not attending prior Jamborees, patted and self-congratulated himself while stroking his own ego, and generally treated the Scouts as if they were another adult campaign rally during the past election season. Trump cursed, lost his point, started and did not finish stories, took shots at the Clinton, his own team, the Office of Special Counsel, and spoke of most anything but from the prepared remarks he brought, delivering no real messages of hope, leadership or inspiration for a group clearly containing some of America's brightest and best youth. And this group has long ago learned the valuable lesson of leading by example.    Scouts and others often say, '...there is no I in TEAM.' As with their motto, it is very clear that this President was never a Boy Scout.
  • Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.' President John F. Kennedy, September 25, 1961.  As a Baby Boomer and child of the Cold War, I can well remember weekly bomb drills of 'duck and cover' under our school desks and the weekly Wednesday midday air raid warning sirens. The threat of assured mutual and mass destruction by nuclear warhead, between the United States and former United Soviet Social Republics (U.S.S.R.) was real.  The sentiment of volatility was strong...and fed by leaders of the day, such as the U.S.S.R.'s Nikita Khrushchev - 'If you don't like us, don't accept our invitation and don't invite us to come to see you. Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you.' Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union, November 18, 1956.  Then as now, the words of our world leaders matter. Khrushchev fueled, as well as lit the spark, which led to the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the world to a level of brinkmanship seldom seen before or since. The long road to power and lasting longevity of Russian President Vladimir Putin has again imperiled U.S./Russia relations and increased tensions between our two countries.  But there is a H-U-U-GE difference between being in the periscope sites of a U.S.S.R. submarine carrying nukes, or living in a named target city for Soviet-controlled inter-continental ballistic missiles and being on the receiving end of a supposed Russian-led attempt to hack or influence U.S. elections.  As a reminder, there is NO huge main-frame computer system tallying Presidential election results. U.S. elections are controlled at the local and state level, with results tallied independently and then shared electronically, later re-tabulated and certified. In Georgia alone there are more than 3300 voting precincts, spread across 159 counties, each with its own Elections Superintendent. In the case of the most recent U.S. Presidential election, close contests in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan gave the Electoral College majority and three recently reliable Blue states to Team Trump and the GOP. The combined winning margin in those three states was slightly more than 110,000 votes.  IF in fact Russian hackers were smart enough to hack and crack the elections tabulations or precinct machines in three states...HOW would they have known, in advance, which states and precincts to hack to give Trump's candidacy a majority when turn-out is not known in advance and ballots are not tabulated until the polls close on Election Day? How would the Russians know which precincts to flood with Trump votes? Which states could be swayed without touching/hacking every precinct? Only ONE of these states prior to the election was forecast as being close, with two being predicted as safe Clinton territory.  And for all the fuss being raised about U.S. Senators and or Cabinet level appointees having 'contact' with Russian government representatives, the current Russian Ambassador to the United States is Sergey Kislyak. Ambassador Kislyak was appointed in July of 2008, during the first term of U.S. President Barack Obama. The Ambassador attended both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions during 2016, and is known to the leaders of both national political parties, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. Developing relationships and access to centers of power and influence is in fact what Ambassadors and Consul Generals do.  Among more ardent supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as more vocal opponents of President Donald Trump, it appears simpler and easier to constantly tout the latest Russian interference conspiracy theory than to accept the results and will of the voters during the 2016 elections. If the Russian hackers are all that good, it would seem that we might have seen pieces of their work all across the country, not just in a handful of states where it would be difficult to know in advance which state’s election results might be close.  In addition to fearing our Soviet enemies and their motivations as a child, I also well remember the oft-told tale of young Russian Peter, and his constant warnings of a hungry wolf threatening the children and people of his village. Peter, who too often cried ‘Wolf’, soon found the ears of his friends and neighbors to be deaf to his warning cries. As they look ahead to the 2018 mid-term elections, Democratic leaders might similarly heed the downsides of their repeated cries of The Russians are coming....the Russians are coming!
  • The time is always ripe to do what is right,' Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our prior week in America was book-ended by the birthday and national holiday remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the inauguration of a new President, Donald J. Trump.  It should have been a week of outreach and celebration, but it was instead a loud and far from gentle reminder of just how divided our nation has become. During the first two years of President Barack Obama's first term, Congressional Democrats enjoyed a substantial majority in both chambers.  They changed the rules and the law regarding Cabinet confirmations to a simple majority.  The previous and higher standard was closer to that required of a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, which require a 2/3 vote for confirmation.  Under the Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi majority days for Team Blue the law for Senate confirmation was changed to a simple majority vote.  That is 51 votes in the U.S. Senate.  Currently the GOP holds 52 of the 100 seats, plus controls the tie-breaking Vice Presidency.  Democrats hold 47 seats along with Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who typically caucuses and votes with the Democrats. Georgia Congressman John Lewis (D-Atlanta, Fifth District) has every right to speak out or oppose any nomination he chooses.  He strongly opposes confirmation of Alabama U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General.  A few days later, Lewis announced that he would not attend the Inauguration of President Trump, as he questions the legitimacy of that election. Other than Secretary of State Clinton's huge win in California (popular vote margin of 4 million +), Trump won more states, thousands more counties and though a healthy number of major cities and MSA's went Blue and for Clinton, Trumps win was decisive, reversing voter trends across the Rust Belt and America's Heartland, and winning virtually all major battleground states won four and eight years previously by Barack Obama. If you have been breathing the past week, you are probably aware that President Trump almost instantly reached for his Samsung Galaxy 7 phone and Tweeted criticism of Lewis and his 'crime infested' Congressional District in another ill-fated attempt at Twitter diplomacy.  All that led to a week with a Civil Rights icon, the President-elect and their respective supporters flocking to social media for another battle royale likely to solve little if anything.  The Congressman may also choose to again skip this Inauguration, as he has done a time or two previously. Millions of Americans will not attend Trump’s Inauguration.  Millions more will choose not to watch.  A few thousand will likely participate in or support a protest on that day against Trump.  Vladmir Putin seems to be one of only a few public figures who can take actions against the United States and still receive words of encouragement from President Trump.  I don't believe Russia tipped the scales in this last election, but as Trump has built his own image and brand on media rumors as well as routine reporting, he certainly has to understand how things look to his critics. If nothing else, there is no protocol or tradition which justifies a U.S. President treating a foreign potentate and occasional adversary with greater kindness and respect than a Congressman of three decades.  And both men should certainly know better than to pick a fight with the other heading into the week of the King Holiday and a Presidential Inauguration.  President Trump I expect will continue to respond or fire back at even the slightest of slights, via his small thumbs and Galaxy phone.  I hope we don't experience an international incident, or an act of war before this President fully comprehends the weight and impact of his words. Or perhaps he will innately begin to later understand as he already seems to get with Russia and Vlad Putin, it’s better to have the bear on your side or at least not viewing you as the enemy, than just continually picking a fight all but guaranteed to bring mutual self-destruction.  I am reminded when my younger brother and I were fighting and acting like immature children and loud enough for my parents to hear on another floor of the house, we would be greeted by a booming voice saying, 'Don't make me come down there.' And admittedly, that usually did the trick.  As going up to Washington and accessing the White House or Congressman Lewis in person may be a bit logistically challenging, my next suggestion for détente and passing the peace pipe instead is Vodka shots anyone?  

News

  • A 61-year-old woman was pinned between her car and a gas pump after a four-car crash at a Lithonia gas station, DeKalb County police said.  Her grandchildren were inside the her car at the time, according to Channel 2 Action News.  The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition following the Monday evening wreck at the Circle K gas station in the intersection of Covington Highway and Evans Mill Road, DeKalb County spokeswoman Shiera Campbell said.  Campbell said the woman was pumping gas when a gray vehicle sped into the gas station at a high rate of speed. The car crashed into a pick-up truck, causing it to crash into a Nissan SUV, Campbell said. The SUV slammed into the woman’s car, pinning her against the gas pump.  Campbell said the people, believed to be juveniles, inside the gray vehicle ran from the scene.  No other details were released.  In other news:
  • Marlins right-hander Jose Urena has dropped his appeal of a six-game suspension for intentionally hitting Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. with a pitch. Urena began serving the suspension Tuesday. The Marlins, fearful the Braves might retaliate, had already decided Urena wouldn't pitch against them during a four-game series later this week. Urena is expected to return at Boston on Aug. 28. He hit Acuna on the left arm with his first pitch, triggering a melee in the Marlins' 5-2 loss in Atlanta last Wednesday. Acuna went into the game having homered in five straight games, including four homers in the three games against Miami — three of them leading off. Acuna left the game injured but was back in the lineup the next day. Urena was ejected. Urena pitched the first complete game of his career last Sunday in a win at Washington. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • West Virginia's Republican House speaker resigned Tuesday to run for a vacancy on the state Supreme Court, fueling accusations by Democrats that an unprecedented move to impeach state Supreme Court justices represents a power grab by GOP lawmakers. Speaker Tim Armstead disclosed his plans on Twitter. Though the secretary of state's office has said he's not required to resign, Armstead said he was doing so to make sure his candidacy is above question. House lawmakers recently impeached four of the court's five justices, prompting one to resign. All four were ordered Tuesday to appear in the Senate on Sept. 11 to answer accusations against them. The impeachment probe was sparked by questions involving more than $3 million in renovations to the justices' offices and expanded to broader accusations of corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty. Armstead had recused himself from the House debate over impeachment because he had previously expressed interest in serving on the court. More recently, he and U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, a Republican who is not seeking re-election and lost in his bid for the U.S. Senate this spring, both applied to be considered for temporary appointments to the Supreme Court by Gov. Jim Justice. Those appointments would last until the November election is certified. Jenkins has declared himself a candidate for a different seat on the court in the November election, which is officially nonpartisan. The West Virginia Democratic Party said on Twitter of Armstead's resignation, 'No surprise here, more self-serving moves for political gain and abandoning the people of West Virginia in his district.' In a statement announcing his resignation, Armstead said he intends 'to spend as much time as possible meeting West Virginians and earning their trust and their votes to represent them on their Supreme Court of Appeals.' Armstead filed by Tuesday's deadline to run in the nonpartisan race for the vacancy created last month when Menis Ketchum retired and agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud related to his personal use of a state vehicle and fuel. Robin Davis stepped down from the court Aug. 14 after lawmakers voted to impeach her and justices Allen Loughry, Margaret Workman and Beth Walker. Davis and at least one Democratic lawmaker have accused the Republican-led legislature of turning what they said was a legitimate pursuit of charges against Loughry into a blatant attempt to take over the court. Democratic Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer of Monongalia County has called impeaching the other justices 'a power grab ... and using the impeachment process to take over another branch of government.' Jenkins and six other candidates have filed to run for Davis' seat in November. Armstead and nine other candidates have filed to run for the seat Ketchum vacated. Loughry faces six charges related to accusations of spending $363,000 on office renovations, taking home a $42,000 antique desk owned by the state, and lying to a House committee. Loughry, Walker and Workman all face charges of abusing authority by failing to control office expenses and not maintaining policies about the use of state vehicles, office computers at home and other matters. Workman faces two separate impeachment articles related to accusations that she allowed senior status judges to be paid higher wages than are allowed. Armstead was appointed to a House seat from Kanawha County in 1998 to fill a vacancy and was elected later that year. He served as House minority leader and was named speaker in December 2014 after Republicans gained majority control of both the House and Senate for the first time in eight decades. Some Democrats have said the impeachments were strategically timed by majority Republican lawmakers to allow the governor to name their temporary replacements. 'There's never been any time in history where one branch of government supposedly controls another branch,' Senate Democratic leader Roman Perzioso said Monday. 'And for the governor to be able to appoint people to be replaced, obviously there's that apprehension by a lot of the Democratic senators and House members, too.
  • A man accused of shooting and killing a man in a Walmart parking lot appeared in court Tuesday.  Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said that while he does believe Troy Hunte killed Fadil Delkic, a refugee from the Bosnian War, in the parking lot of a Snellville Walmart Sunday, he is not convinced there was malice involved. “Clearly there was provocation on both sides, so that's the reason they made that choice,” Porter said. Sunday afternoon, shoppers at the Scenic Highway store were sent into a panic after a shot was fired outside.  “All you saw was everyone running,” witness Robin Reynolds told Channel 2 Action News. [READ MORE: Bosnian War survivor identified as victim in Walmart parking lot shooting] Witnesses said Hunte, his girlfriend and their child were heading into the store as Delkic was driving away. Hunte's girlfriend apparently thought Delkic pulled too close to them in a crosswalk. TRENDING STORIES: Buford schools superintendent recorded in racist rant, lawsuit says Man arrested in death of Mollie Tibbetts details what happened Girl, 15, says police officer sexually assaulted her for hours; GBI investigating The two argued, she slapped Delkic, then police said Hunte shot and killed the Bosnian refugee.  Hunte made his first court appearance Tuesday on what are now voluntary manslaughter charges.   Porter said the charges may change as his team investigates. He hinted Hunte may claim self-defense. “There are two questions in this case. Number one: Was there a right to defend him or his girlfriend? And number two: Was he justified in using deadly force?” Porter said. Delkic is getting a lot of support. An online fundraising effort has taken in $25,000 in less than a day.  Some of Delkic's family are not only asking why the suspect is not charged with murder, but why the woman who first argued with Delkic has not also been charged. “There was a child to consider. There were other issues that taking her into custody at this point was not necessary for the public safety,” Porter said. Porter said the woman is not entirely cleared yet. “That's something that is still under investigation and she may be (charged),” Porter said.
  • Shanann Watts’ father sobbed in a Colorado courtroom Tuesday as a judge recited the charges against his son-in-law -- charges that indicate detectives believe Chris Watts may have killed his children before his pregnant wife returned home from a business trip.  Chris Watts, 33, of Frederick, was charged Monday with nine felony charges: five counts of first-degree murder, including two for killing a child under the age of 12 while the defendant was in a position of trust, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. He is being held without bail in the Weld County Jail.  The defendant faces a potential death penalty on the murder charges.  In a confession to police, Chris Watts alleged that he strangled Shanann Watts, 34, after seeing her do the same to their two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. Disbelieving investigators charged him with all three murders, as well as with the death of the couple’s unborn child.   >> Related story: Colorado father charged with killing pregnant wife, 2 daughters, says wife killed children Shanann Watts was 15 weeks pregnant with a son they planned to name Niko, friends and family have said. A Change.org petition started by friends demands that Colorado adopt a new law, named “Niko’s Law,” to make the killing of an unborn baby like the Watts’ son first-degree murder. As Chris Watts sat stone-faced throughout Tuesday’s proceedings, which were streamed live by CBS Denver, Judge Marcello Kopcow advised Watts of the updated charges levied against him. Watts had been in custody since Wednesday on suspicion of murder and tampering with evidence.  Chris Watts told 9News in Denver in an interview the day before his arrest that he had nothing to do with the deaths of his family.  “Everybody’s going to have their own opinion on anything like this,” Watts said in the TV interview. “I just want people to know that I want my family back. I want them safe and I want them here.” The charges Kopcow read in court state that Chris Watts caused the death of his wife on Aug. 13, the day she and her daughters were reported missing by a friend. The charges related to Bella and Celeste, however, state that he caused their deaths “between and including Aug. 12, 2018, and Aug. 13, 2018.” Shanann Watts was out of town until early Aug. 13.  An arrest affidavit released Monday states that the friend who reported Shanann and the girls missing, Nickole Utoft Atkinson, dropped Shanann off at the Watts’ home just before 2 a.m. that day. The two women had been on a business trip to Arizona for Le-Vel, a health and wellness company that sells nutritional products.  “Nicole (sic) stated Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant and was not feeling well during the trip,” the affidavit states.  Atkinson became concerned later that morning because Shanann Watts missed a 10 a.m. doctor’s appointment and was not answering phone calls or texts. She went to the couple’s home at 2825 Saratoga Trail to check on her.  Read the charges against Chris Watts below. “(Nickole) went to Shanann’s residence and discovered her car in the garage with car seats positioned inside of it,” the affidavit says. “(She) attempted to enter the front door, but a latch prevented it from opening more than three inches.” Atkinson called Chris Watts at work and asked him to return home to check on his wife, the court document reads. She was afraid that Shanann Watts, who reportedly had lupus, had passed out or was suffering some other medical emergency.  Atkinson also called police, who arrived before Chris Watts did. Once Chris Watts arrived and allowed officers into the house, they found Shanann Watts’ personal belongings -- her cellphone, purse, wallet and medication -- inside.  They also found a pair of women’s shoes kicked off by the front door and a suitcase, apparently from her Arizona trip, at the bottom of the stairs, the affidavit states.  Chris Watts initially told investigators that around 4 a.m. that day, he told his wife he wanted a separation. He said it was an emotional conversation, with both of them upset and crying, but that it was not argumentative.  Chris Watts told detectives that when he left for work just before 5:30 a.m., Shanann Watts told him she and the girls would be going to a friend’s home later in the day. He said that he backed his work truck up into the driveway to load some tools into it before leaving.  Read the warrantless arrrest affidavit in the Chris Watts case below. The truck’s movements were captured by a neighbor’s security camera, the affidavit says.  During the investigation into the disappearance of Shanann Watts and her daughters, investigators learned that Chris Watts was having an affair with a female co-worker at Anadarko Petroleum Corp. -- an affair that he denied in previous interviews.  Chris Watts was taken into custody Wednesday night, at which time Anadarko fired him. In a subsequent police interview Thursday, after being allowed to speak to his father, Chris Watts admitted strangling Shanann Watts the morning of Aug. 13, the affidavit states.  “Chris stated after he told Shanann he wanted a separation, he walked downstairs for a moment and then returned to his bedroom to speak with Shanann again,” the affidavit states. “While in the bedroom, via baby monitor located on Shanann’s nightstand, he observed Bella ‘sprawled’ out on her bed and blue and Shanann actively strangling Celeste. “Chris said he went into a rage and ultimately strangled Shanann to death.” Chris Watts told detectives that, when he backed his truck into the driveway, it was his wife and daughters’ bodies he loaded into the back seat, the affidavit states. He said he drove the bodies to an Anadarko work site just north of Roggan, an unincorporated area of Weld County about 40 miles from the family’s home in Frederick.  A Google Maps search using the coordinates of the site, which are included in the affidavit, shows a desolate area in which a dirt road leads to a couple of large oil tanks.  Chris Watts told investigators buried Shanann in a shallow grave near the tanks and dumped his daughters’ bodies inside the tanks.  “Chris was presented an aerial photograph of the tank battery area and identified three separate locations in which he placed the bodies,” the affidavit reads. Prior to Watts’ alleged confession, investigators did a drone search of the site and spotted a bedsheet in a field near the tank battery, the document says. The sheet matched the pattern of pillow cases and a top sheet discovered stuffed into a trash can in Watts’ kitchen earlier Thursday.  Shanann Watts’ body was found that afternoon, buried in a shallow grave near the oil tanks. Bella and Celeste were found inside the tanks, which were almost completely full of crude oil.  The girls’ bodies had been submerged in oil for four days, according to court documents filed by Chris Watts’ defense lawyer. The attorney, James Merson, sought to have defense experts at the autopsies of the victims, and to have DNA swabs done on the necks of the children, an apparent bid to prove that Shanann Watts killed her daughters.  Kopcow on Friday denied the motion to have defense experts present at the autopsies, but granted the request to for DNA swabs of Bella and Celeste’s necks. He denied the defense’s request that their expert take the swabs, however.  “Furthermore, defendant’s request to order prosecution to collect evidence in the manner described by defense expert is denied,” the order reads. “This court cannot order the prosecution and/or coroner how to conduct their investigation.” Kopcow said there was no indication that prosecutors or the coroner would destroy evidence, improperly collect it or fail to collect it.  The disappearance and killings of Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts have captured national attention, and inspired gut-wrenching emotion from those who knew them. Shanann Watts’ father, Frank Rzucek, tearfully spoke publicly Monday ahead of the news conference at which Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke announced the charges against Chris Watts.  “We would like to thank everyone in the Frederick Police Department and all the agencies involved for working so hard to find my daughter, granddaughters and Niko,” Rzucek said. “Thank you, everyone, for coming out to the candlelight vigil and saying all your prayers. They are greatly appreciated. “Keep the prayers coming for our family.” Rzucek has also been active on his Facebook page, posting photos of Bella and Celeste smiling and playing together. In one post, he uploaded the song “Let It Go” from the Disney movie “Frozen.” “Dear Bella and Celeste and Nico,” Rzucek wrote. “Pop Pop loves you. God bless you.” He also posted several photos of Shanann Watts.  “Dad loves you,” he wrote on one. On another, he wrote, “We got you, baby.” Family friends who let Chris Watts stay in their home after his wife and daughters went missing expressed shock over the accusations against him -- and apologized for taking him in and defending him against swirling rumors.  “Had we had any inclination that we thought he was involved at all, no way would I have let him in my house with my wife and kid,” Nick Thayer told 9News Thursday, the day Watts confessed and the bodies were found.  “They were family,” his wife, Amanda Thayer, told the news station. “They spent Thanksgivings with us and Fourth of Julys and all the holidays. It’s just unreal.” The couple, who also took in the Watts family’s dog, Deeter, until Shanann’s family could pick him up, is now left figuring out how to tell their 5-year-old daughter that her playmates are dead. They are also struggling to understand the crime themselves, 9News reported.  “I’m so sorry. We didn’t know. We thought we were doing the right thing,’ Nick Thayer said. “It’s all we can do is say we’re sorry that we defended him on social media. We really had no idea that he was capable of doing something like we’ve.... I hate it. I hate all of this.”
  • Court documents detail what a man charged with murder told investigators about the abduction and killing of Mollie Tibbetts. An affidavit filed Tuesday says the 20-year-old Tibbetts was running on July 18 in a rural area near Brooklyn, in central Iowa, when a car driven by Christian Bahena Rivera approached her. During questioning Monday, Rivera acknowledged making contact with Tibbetts, first by pursuing her in his car and then getting out and running beside her. Rivera told investigators he became angry when Tibbetts showed a cell phone and threatened to call police. He says he panicked and then “blocked” his memory. He says he does not recall what happened but found an earpiece from headphones in his lap and realized he’d put Tibbetts’ in his trunk. TRENDING STORIES: 7 scenic drives that will make you love Georgia even more Man accused of killing wife, daughters says he walked in on wife strangling children Girl, 15, says police officer sexually assaulted her for hours; GBI investigating He opened the trunk and noticed blood on the side of her head. The affidavit says he carried Tibbetts’ body to a cornfield and covered her with corn stalks. When he was questioned by authorities, he led investigators to the site. Rivera has been charged with first-degree murder.