Mass Shooting In Dayton, Ohio, Leaves At Least 9 Dead, 16 Injured

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Police said the shooter was also killed at the scene. The attack happened mere hours after a deadly mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

At least nine people were killed and 16 injured in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday morning, police said.

Dayton Police Lt. Col. Matt Carper said a person, wielding a long gun, opened fire in the city’s Oregon District at around 1 a.m. The shooter was killed at the scene by multiple officers.

There was a “very short timeline of violence,” Carper said.

The gender and identity of the shooter were not released. Additional information about the victims was also not immediately available. 

Carper said the shooter was believed to have acted alone, however, he said police ― with the help of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation ― were also probing the possibility that other individuals were involved. 

Police have asked anyone with information about the attack to come forward:

The Oregon District is a historic area in Dayton with a vibrant bar and restaurant scene. Eyewitness videos appeared to show people running through the neighborhood’s streets early on Sunday as a rapid popping noise ― apparently gunfire ― disturbed the air. 

Police said the attack occurred on the 400 block of East 5th Street. Two neighboring bars on that block ― Ned Peppers and Hole In The Wall ― penned matching notes on Facebook on Sunday: “All of our staff is safe and our hearts go out to everyone involved as we gather information,” the notes read. 

The Dayton Convention Center, located a short walk from the two bars, was opened for family members and friends of anyone injured or killed in the shooting, according to Dayton 24/7 Now.

The attack in Dayton came hours after at least 20 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and less than a week after a gunman opened fire at a garlic festival in California, killing three people including two children. 

According to USA Today, the El Paso massacre marked the 250th mass shooting in the United States in 2019.

On Saturday evening, WDTN, the NBC affiliate in Dayton, posted an article about local law enforcement offering a class on “lifesaving techniques for mass shootings.”

″[You should] at least prepare yourself because if you’ve never thought about [a shooting] before it happens, once it happens it’s too late. You’re going to panic. You’re going to lose the precious seconds of timing that you need to escape,” John Davis, Centerville police’s community relations officer, told the station.

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‘Gun Rights’ Fan Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Turns Focus To Mental Health After El Paso Attack

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Abbott once tweeted that he was “embarrassed” California was buying more guns than Texas. “Pick up the pace, Texans,” he urged.

Ardent “gun rights” supporter Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott tried desperately Saturday to focus on shooters’ “mental health” issues instead of issues such as easy access to assault rifles at a press conference following the mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart that left at least 20 people dead.

Abbott once boasted he was “embarrassed” that Texas was second to California in gun sales. He insisted Saturday that the state legislature passed “bill after bill after bill” to protect students from school shootings after eight teenagers and two teachers were fatally shot last year at Santa Fe High School in Texas. One of the bills Abbott signed into law involved arming more teachers. None of the bills involved increased gun control.

Abbott acknowledged that “we did not, as far as I know, evaluate for and plan for an incident like this,” referring to the Walmart shooting. (Watch his comments in the video above beginning at 21:36.)

“That said, I can tell you that perhaps the most profound and agreed-upon issue that came out of” legislative hearings on the school shootings was the “need for the state and for society to do a better job of dealing with challenging mental health-based issues,” Abbott added. “We know that’s a component ... probably ... to any type of shooting that takes place.” Abbott said funding has been provided “for the state to better address” mental health issues. 

Police have identified the gunman at Walmart as 21-year-old Patrick Crucius, but have said nothing about his mental health. Police and the FBI are investigating a hate-fueled anti-immigrant “manifesto” that may be linked to Crucius, authorities revealed at the press conference.

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) spoke up immediately after Abbott at the press conference and said the suspected manifesto suggested that hate was the actual driving force behind the violence. “The manifesto narrative is fueled by hate, and it’s fueled by racism and bigotry and division,” she said.

Abbott also said Saturday that “Texas grieves” — and asked for prayers. He later angrily snapped at reporters that it was too soon to focus on the “politics” of gun control while “there are bodies” still to be recovered. “I think we need to focus more on memorials before we start the politics,” he added.

Abbott is a favorite of the National Rifle Association, which recently hailed ten pro-gun laws the governor has signed this year. “Governor Greg Abbott has now signed all of the NRA-supported legislation which the Texas Legislature sent him during the 2019 session,” an NRA web site boasted.

In June Abbott vetoed a bill by his legislature making it a state crime to bring guns into secure areas of airports.

His 2015 tweet encouraging Texans to “pick up the pace” by buying more guns was a particular target of several barbs Saturday.

Thousands of scammed student-loan borrowers filed claims for debt relief — the feds haven’t approved any in over a year

That’s according to data from the agency obtained by Democratic Senator Patty Murray’s office

The Department of Education, led by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, hasn’t approved a claim for debt relief in more than a year.

Over the past year, the Department of Education has received tens of thousands of applications of student-debt relief from borrowers who say they’ve been scammed by their schools.

The agency hasn’t approved any.

That’s according to data obtained from the Department and released Wednesday by the office of Senator Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee, which oversees the Department.

Between June 30, 2018 and March 31, 2019 more than 74,000 applications for debt relief have poured into the agenc
As of March 31, 2019, the Department had received 239,937 applications for debt relief from these borrowers with 179,377 applications pending. As of that date, the agency had approved 47,942, a number that hasn’t budged since June 30, 2018. The number of denials also hasn’t increased since the end of June 2018.

But the number of applications received by the Department during that time has continued to climb. Between June 30, 2018 and March 31, 2019 more than 74,000 applications for debt relief have poured into the agency.

Murray derided the Department’s inaction on the claims as “shameful,” in a statement. “There’s nothing stopping Secretary DeVos from approving claims immediately except her apparent disregard for borrowers, and I’m going to keep pushing her to provide students who were cheated or defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges the relief they are entitled to.”

Trump administration critics have derided the Department’s approach to the borrower defense process and say its part of a larger pattern of the DeVos-era agency favoring the interests of for-profit colleges over borrowers. Earlier this year, the agency repealed a rule developed by the Obama administration that aimed to ensure graduates of career training programs — which are mostly at for-profit colleges — were earning enough to pay back their loans.

The data is the latest development in a battle over the fate of borrowers who were scammed by their schools.
The fight over the future of for-profit colleges even made it to the Democratic debate stage in Detroit Tuesday night. In response to a question about why he doesn’t support Senator Bernie Sanders’ proposal to cancel all student debt, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, said if he were to wipe away debt he would “start with the for-profit colleges that took advantage of people, especially veterans.”

“Under President Obama, they were held accountable for whether they delivered results,” he said. “President Trump, under a Secretary of Education who regrettably is from this state, did away with those rules,” he said. “There’s no accountability.”

The data released by Senator Patty Murray exclusively to MarketWatch is the latest development in a years long battle over the fate of borrowers who were scammed by their schools into taking on debt. Under a law, known as defense to repayment, these borrowers the right to have their federal student debt discharged.

But the law, which has been on the books since the 1990s, wasn’t widely used until 2015 when former students of the now-defunct, for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges, organized by activists, began clamoring for relief under the law. That pressure helped to convince the Obama administration to create a more formal process borrowers could use to file claims for relief.

The Department of Education under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has tried unsuccessfully to rewrite the rules. The agency and DeVos are also facing a class-action lawsuit from borrowers, accusing officials of illegally stalling their decision on their claims.

Borrowers describe how their debt has prevented them from buying homes, and even delayed marriage or children.
In nearly 900 affidavits submitted as part of the suit earlier this month, borrowers describe how their debt has prevented them from buying homes or cars and delayed major life events, like marriage or children. They allege that for-profit colleges lured them into attending and taking on debt to pay for it with promises of a brighter future. In reality, many say they’re worse off than before they attended.

Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for the Department, wrote in an emailed statement that pending litigation has kept the agency from adjudicating the claims. The agency was sued last year over a plan to use a formula to determine whether some borrowers who attended Corinthian Colleges and filed borrower defense claims might be eligible for a partial discharge of their loans instead of a full discharge.

A federal district court judge ruled last year that the Department’s approach violated the Privacy Act and ordered the agency to stop collections on former Corinthian students while the legal issues are sorted out. The government has appealed that ruling, Hill noted. But with the Department’s process for determining a borrower’s level of harm “held up in court,” Hill wrote, the agency can’t move forward with assessing the claims.

“The Department has a duty to protect students from fraud while also safeguarding taxpayer dollars,” she wrote.

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