VA FIRES OVER 500 SINCE JAN. 20
WASHINGTON» The Department of Veterans Affairs, the main target of congressional efforts to fire federal employees faster, dismissed more than 500 of them this year — even before a new accountability law took effect.
Since the 2014 scandal over the coverup of long patient wait times, Capitol Hill politicians have demanded that the agency accelerate firings. Department leaders joined the call.
Its first public posting, released Friday, of adverse actions against employees, terminations, suspensions and demotions showed the department fired 525 staffers from Jan. 20, when President Trump took office, through July 3.
Goal of nation’s first opioid court: Keep users alive.
BUFFALO, N .Y. » After three defendants fatally overdosed in a single week last year, it became clear that Buffalo’s ordinary drug treatment court was no match for the heroin and painkiller crisis.
Now the city is experimenting with the nation’s first opioid crisis intervention court, which can get users into treatment within hours of their arrest instead of days, requires them to check in with a judge every day for a month instead of once a week, and puts them on strict curfews. Administering justice takes a back seat to the overarching goal of simply keeping defendants alive.
Funded with a threeyear $300,000 U.S. Justice Department grant, the program began May 1 with the intent of treating 200 people in a year and providing a model that other heroin-wracked cities can replicate.
Man on boat fires shots at police and toward Seattle-area shoreline. BAINBRIDGE
ISLAND, WASH.» Officers fatally shot a gunman who, while on a boat, fired at police and toward the shore of Bainbridge Island, about 10 miles west of Seattle across Elliott Bay.
The man’s death ended an hours-long standoff that temporarily forced the suspension of ferry services along the Washington coast.
Authorities said the man, who has not been identified, began firing shots about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Assistant Fire Chief Luke Carpenter told The Seattle Times that the man “was just firing randomly” from the boat, docked near Eagle Harbor on the island’s southeast corner. He later began shooting at police officers after they arrived.
“Spider-Man” slings $117 million debut.
HOLLYWOOD» “SpiderMan: Homecoming” swung past expectations, opening with an estimated $117 million in North America.
“Homecoming” was one of the biggest tests yet for the notion that domestic moviegoers are growing weary of sequels and reboots and suffering so-called “franchise fatigue.” ‘’Homecoming” kicks off the third “SpiderMan” iteration in the past 15 years, and the second reboot.