7 Things You Need to Know Sunday August 11, 2019

Published: Aug. 11, 2019 at 6:42 AM CDT
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1. As family and friends wait to find out what exactly happened to two missing Shawano County brothers, the local community continues to support Nick and Justin Diemel's family. Hair-Cut-A-Thon at Bonduel Salon raises money for Diemel family. The brothers have been missing since July 21, when they went on a business trip to Missouri.

2. The FBI and the Justice Department's inspector general's office will investigate how Jeffrey Epstein died in an apparent suicide Saturday, while the probe into sexual abuse allegations against the well-connected financier remains ongoing, officials said. Epstein, accused of orchestrating a sex-trafficking ring and sexually abusing dozens of underage girls, had been taken off suicide watch before he killed himself in a New York jail, a person familiar with the matter said.

3. Attorney General William Barr, in announcing the investigation, said he was "appalled" to learn of Epstein's death while in federal custody. The search continues for a Tennessee convict charged with sexually assaulting and strangling a corrections administrator, then escaping on a tractor. The manhunt Saturday for 44-year-old Curtis Ray Watson is in its fourth day, with no credible sightings despite 369 tips. Rewards totaling $57,000 are available for information leading to Watson's arrest. An affidavit says Watson was discovered missing about 11 a.m. Wednesday, several hours after being seen near the house at West Tennessee State Penitentiary where 64-year-old employee Debra Johnson lived. Authorities say Johnson was found deceased in the house with a cord around her neck. Watson had been tasked with mowing duties at 7 a.m. that day, with access to a golf cart and tractor.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tweeted Saturday that it believes Watson remains in the surrounding area.

4. The White House has told ICE officials to conduct dozens more workplace enforcement operations this year, a senior immigration official with knowledge of the conversations told CNN. The news comes on the same day that President Donald Trump said raids like those in Mississippi this week are a "very good deterrent" for undocumented immigrants. Shortly after the raids in Mississippi that led to the detention of at least 680 undocumented immigrants, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement field offices across the country were instructed to identify at least two locations in their regions as potential targets for workplace enforcement operations, the source said.

5. Minnesota just implemented it, and now the hands-free approach has spread across the border. In Wisconsin, a distracted driver crashes every 22 minutes. So earlier this week, the town of Hudson enacted its own hands-free cellphone law. In just a few days, that decision has sparked a statewide movement.

6. Two Wilmington dog owners are devastated after their three dogs died within hours of exposure to blue-green algae, WECT reports. Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz took the dogs, Abby, Harpo and Izzy, to a pond in Wilmington to play and swim Thursday night. When they were back home, one of the two Westies started acting strangely, so they took her to an emergency animal hospital. The other dogs started seizing and showing signs of liver failure. All three died just after midnight Friday. The owners want to warn other pet owners about the dangers of this toxic algae.

7. A federal judge in Virginia ruled in favor of a transgender former student, telling a county school board it must recognize him as male, in a win for transgender rights. The judge ruled Friday that the board had violated the constitutional rights of former Gloucester High School student Gavin Grimm, who is now 20 and a graduate of the school.

Grimm transitioned about four years ago, and during his sophomore year he was dressing as male and using boys' restrooms at school.

He alleged the county school board put in place a policy that banned him from using either girls' or boys' restrooms, after it received complaints from others in the community. The school constructed single-stall, unisex restrooms that he could use, but they weren't available in all parts of the grounds, according to court documents. The judge, Arenda Wright Allen, awarded him one dollar in damages and told the school district to pay his court fees. The district also must update his records to indicate he is male.

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