Michigan bar to get diversity training after MLK Day gift
MASON, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan bar will undergo mandatory diversity and sensitivity training following an incident involving a watermelon on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
A biracial employee of Darb’s Tavern and Eatery in Mason received a watermelon from her co-workers and boss on the holiday, the Lansing State Journal reported . Kelly Martin Aimery, the employee’s mother, posted on Facebook saying the words “Happy ½ MLK” and “Happy black day” were written on the watermelon.
“I’ve sat and stewed on this and am furious about this,” she wrote in the Saturday post. “This is awful on so many levels.”
As of Tuesday afternoon the post had more than 580 comments and had been shared more than 560 times.
The bar’s owner and manager Rob Hearit issued a statement Monday that said the action was meant to be a “friendly joke” but was in “poor taste and offensive.”
“Many of you have expressed your outrage over this incident, and you are right,” Hearit said. “I take full responsibility. I saw the ‘gift’ and I didn’t stop it. In fact, in a lapse of judgment, I also joined our employees in signing it. While I thought it was an innocent inside joke between employees who are friends, as the owner I should have recognized the inadvertent message, stepped in and stopped this behavior.”
►MAN DIES AFTER SAND TUNNEL COLLAPSES ON
HIM AT FLORIDA BEACH: CRESCENT BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Family members say a Texas man died two days after a sand dune collapsed on him at a Florida beach.
Rachel Goggin Burt posted on Facebook Tuesday that her brother, 35-year-old Lee Thomas Goggin, has been pronounced dead.
The St. Augustine Record reports that deputies and paramedics responded to Crescent Beach, just south of St. Augustine, on Sunday afternoon. Rescue officials say they found the Dallas man buried under several feet of sand in a hole that had been dug out parallel to the dunes and then apparently collapsed.
Officials say Goggin was taken to a St. Augustine hospital in critical condition. His sister said Sunday on a GoFundMe site that he was alive but not breathing on his own.
►EX-MISSISSIPPI GOV SAYS HE ‘FORGOT’ GUN
SEIZED AT AIRPORT: JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says it was “nobody’s fault but mine” that he took a loaded handgun in his briefcase through an airport security checkpoint in early January.
Barbour said Tuesday he will pay a fine after he was stopped and arrested Jan. 2 while boarding a flight from Mississippi to Washington, D.C. The gun was spotted in a TSA X-ray machine.
He says he forgot he was carrying the gun, which he had put in his briefcase after an assistant removed it from his car days earlier.
Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein says a TSA officer working at an X-ray machine at a checkpoint at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport spotted a .38-caliber revolver, loaded with five bullets, in a passenger’s carry-on bag.
► OFFICIALS ASK COURT TO SEND KENNEDY
COUSIN BACK TO PRISON: HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials are asking the state’s highest court to revoke Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel’s bail and send him back to prison, reminding justices it has been more than a year since they reinstated his murder conviction.
The chief state’s attorney’s office filed the request Monday with the state Supreme Court.
Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy, was convicted of murder in 2002 in the bludgeoning death of Martha Moxley in their wealthy Greenwich neighborhood in 1975, when they were both teenagers.