Sen. John McCain will return to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday after undergoing treatment for brain cancer over the past several weeks during the Senate’s August recess.
“Sen. McCain will return to the U.S. Senate next week as Congress begins a new legislative session and looks forward to continuing his work for the people of Arizona and the nation,” according to a statement from the Arizona Republican’s office Wednesday evening.
McCain left the Capitol for treatment after casting the third “nay” vote last month to kill the GOP effort to overhaul the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
Since then, he and Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — the other two GOP lawmakers who opposed it — have faced occasional criticism from President Donald Trump.
“3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!,” the president tweeted on July 28.
The chamber is now set to begin work on a bipartisan health care bill and hearings in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee are scheduled for September.
That effort joins a packed legislative agenda for the month that includes funding the government and addressing the upcoming debt ceiling.
Sheriff’s deputy killed, 2 CHP officers wounded in shooting in Sacramento
A sheriff’s deputy was killed and two California Highway Patrol officers wounded Wednesday during a stolen vehicle investigation in Sacramento, authorities said.
Robert “Bob” French, a 21-year veteran with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, suffered a gunshot wound to his chest and died on the way to the hospital, Sheriff Scott Jones told reporters at the scene.
French was a “well-known, well respected training officer,” the sheriff said. He is survived by his girlfriend, children, grandchildren and sister.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Auto Theft Task Force had launched an investigation into a stolen vehicle Wednesday morning and sent officers to a Ramada Inn, sheriff’s spokesman Tony Turnbull told reporters.
The officers approached a hotel room and announced themselves. A man opened the door and began firing, striking the two CHP officers, Turnbull said.
Meanwhile, he said, sheriff’s deputies surrounded the outside of the hotel when they saw the man go to a balcony.
There was an exchange of gunfire, and a deputy was struck, the sergeant said. The man then exited the balcony, hopped into a vehicle and led police on a pursuit, he said.
The man crashed the vehicle and there was another exchange of gunfire with deputies, Turnbull said. The man was shot and taken into custody, he said. He was later hospitalized.
The officers were also hospitalized, and were in “stable condition,” Jones said.
—Los Angeles Times
Florida Supreme Court reprimands Osceola County judge over campaign flier
ORLANDO, Fla. — An Osceola County judge who used a 20-year-old Orlando Sentinel endorsement in her 2014 campaign flier — even though the Sentinel endorsed her opponent that year — was publicly reprimanded Wednesday.
Circuit Judge Kim Shepard, who now presides over a domestic courtroom in Orange County, appeared before the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee Wednesday morning. She did not speak as Chief Justice Jorge Labarga read out a statement reprimanding her.
“At the most fundamental level, you have damaged the public’s trust and confidence in our state courts,” Labarga said. “This is a very serious matter, very serious. The effectiveness of our judiciary ultimately rests on the trust and confidence that the people confer upon judges.”
Shepard printed campaign fliers in 2014 quoting an Orlando Sentinel endorsement saying she “has done well. She has kept her promises. She has worked hard. She has maintained her integrity.”
What the mailer did not mention is that the endorsement was from 1994, when Shepard sought re-election to the Florida House of Representatives. She lost that election. In 2014, the Sentinel endorsed her opponent, Norberto Katz. Shepard won that election with 60 percent of the vote.
Shepard had been suspended without pay for 90 days. The public reprimand was the final part of her punishment.
LA immigrant detained while taking his daughters to school to be released
LOS ANGELES — Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, an immigrant in the country illegally who caused a furor when his arrest while taking his daughters to school was caught on video, is expected to be released Wednesday night after a judge announced that he is eligible to post a $6,000 bond.
The Wednesday morning bond hearing at the Adelanto Detention Facility in San Bernardino County was tense, with his four daughters sitting in a row on a bench as the judge questioned Avelica-Gonzalez about his family, his years in the U.S. and his criminal history. They sat wide-eyed, on the brink of tears.
A representative for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requested a bond of at least $7,500, saying Avelica-Gonzalez has skipped court hearings in the past. They called him a flight risk.
His lawyer, Alan Diamante, said he was not a flight risk because his greatest goal is to remain with his family. He requested the lowest possible bond amount, which is $1,500.
“Everything was negative. I was thinking she’s not going to grant him anything,” said Avelica-Gonzalez’s daughter Brenda, 24.
After less than 30 minutes of questioning, the judge decided on a compromise. Avelica-Gonzalez is expected to be released Wednesday night.
Avelica-Gonzalez was detained in late February, minutes after he dropped off his 12-year-old daughter Yuleni at school. Another daughter, still in the car when he was pulled over in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood, took cellphone video of his arrest by immigration agents, which went viral. Fatima, now 14, sobbed as she recorded the ordeal.
Earlier this month, an immigration appeals court threw out his final deportation order, kicking the case back to the local immigration court.
It could take years for a judge to enter a new decision. The backlog of cases pending at immigration courts around the U.S. topped 610,000 in June, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.
Avelica-Gonzalez, a Mexican citizen, has lived in the United States for more than 25 years. His case drew national attention, with critics citing it as an example of President Donald Trump’s aggressive and sweeping stance on illegal immigration. Meanwhile, supporters of Trump’s hard-line approach emphasize that immigrants like Avelica-Gonzalez broke the law by coming to the country illegally and further undermined any claim to live in the U.S. when they committed crimes, however minor.
In June, lawyers settled Avelica-Gonzalez’s decades-old misdemeanor convictions — for driving under the influence and for receiving stolen car tags — that prompted the deportation order that led to his arrest. He pleaded guilty to lesser vehicle code violations.
—Los Angeles Times
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