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Feds won’t seek charges against cop in Jacob Blake shooting

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Feds won’t seek charges against cop in Jacob Blake shooting

MADISON, Wis. — Federal prosecutors announced Friday that they won’t file charges against a white police officer who shot Jacob Blake in Wisconsin last year — a shooting that sparked protests that led to the deaths of two men.

Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake, who is Black, during a domestic disturbance in Kenosha in August 2020. The shooting left Blake paralyzed from the waist down and sparked several nights of protests, some of which turned violent. An Illinois man shot three people, killing two of them, during one of the demonstrations.

State prosecutors decided not to file charges against Sheskey earlier this year after video showed that Blake, who was wanted on a felony warrant, was armed with a knife.

The U.S. Department of Justice launched its own investigation days after the shooting. The agency announced Friday that a team of prosecutors from its Civil Rights Division and the U.S. attorney’s office in Milwaukee reviewed police reports, witness statements, dispatch logs and videos of the incident, and determined there wasn’t enough evidence to prove Sheskey used excessive force or violated Blake’s federal rights.

“Accordingly, the review of this incident has been closed without a federal prosecution,” the Justice Department said in a news release.

Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake, called the decision “unconscionable” and said it “definitely steps on every civil right we can imagine this country owes every African American descendant.”

“If we had a heart to be broken, it would be,” he said. “But because we’ve been through all we’ve been, we’re not.”

The Justice Department’s findings dovetail with Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley’s determination in January that Sheskey could successfully argue that he fired in self-defense.

Sheskey and other officers encountered Blake after they responded to a call from a woman who reported that her boyfriend wasn’t supposed to be at her home. When they arrived at the scene, the woman told them that Blake was trying to take her kids and her SUV.

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Colorado weather: Major winter storm to drop up to 3 feet of snow

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Colorado weather: Major winter storm to drop up to 3 feet of snow

Winter weather alerts are posted for many mountain regions of Colorado as a potent storm is forecast to move across the state. This storm could drop upwards of 3 feet of snow and will pack winds of 50 mph.

First off, if you have travel plans in the mountains between now and Saturday morning, prepare for intense winter driving conditions with possible closures in numerous areas across the state. Some good travel advice can be found below.

There are two waves of snow coming toward Colorado. One will push through by Thursday morning bringing mountain locations light snow. Another will begin to move through Thursday afternoon and last through Friday, and this second pulse of snow is the one that will really pack a punch.

A deepening area of low pressure is forecast to move over Colorado and as it approaches, moisture will be picked up from the Pacific ocean. What the National Weather Service in Grand Junction is calling an Atmospheric river, an anomalous amount of moisture is supposed to funnel towards Colorado. This is arguably the most important factor of this storm — that several inches of liquid precipitation are going to stack up across the mountains bringing some much-needed drought relief. The current snowpack across Colorado is sitting at 52%t of normal and this storm is likely to give a great boost to the numbers statewide.

From Denver to Colorado Springs, this will be a much different storm as less than a quarter of an inch of moisture is expected — if that.

With moisture levels as high as they will be in the mountains, snowfall rates may exceed 2 inches per hour at times. The heaviest of snows will begin Thursday afternoon and last through Friday morning beginning initially in the northern mountains and then pushing south. Winds will be very high with the storm, gusting up to 50 mph at times. This will further exacerbate driving conditions as snow-packed roads are going to be very common anywhere you travel.

When talking snow totals, wind direction plays a huge role in producing big snows. The way this storm is approaching and how it will flow across our area will bring beneficial winds to just about all mountain ranges. From the San Juans near Wolf Creek and Telluride all the way to the Park Range near Steamboat, this storm is likely to deliver so much snow that we will measure it in feet. That means that major to extreme impacts on roads are possible.

Winter Storm Severity Index

 

Forecast snow totals

The Northern Mountains (including the Gore Range, Park Range, Flat Tops and the Gore Range)
1 to 2 feet of snow is expected. This includes areas like Steamboat and Vail.

The Central Mountains (including the Sawatch Mountains and the Elk and West Elk Mountains)
1to 2 feet of snow is expected. This includes areas like Crested Butte, Aspen, Sunlight and Monarch
There could be a few higher totals in these areas.

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Cahokia Heights home catches fire two days in a row

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Cahokia Heights home catches fire two days in a row

CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, Ill. – A home was on fire early Thursday morning in Cahokia Heights, Illinois.

The fire started in the 400 block of Garrison Avenue just before 5 a.m. Flames were seen coming out of the roof of the one-story home.

Neighbors told FOX 2’s Nissan Rogue Runner reporter Jason Maxwell that the house also caught on fire Wednesday. The fire department was able to quickly put that fire out.

The cause of both fires is unknown at this time.

FOX 2 will continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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Column: Justin Fields is set to return after missing 2 games with cracked ribs — and the Chicago Bears and their rookie quarterback are in search of a little respect

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Column: Justin Fields is set to return after missing 2 games with cracked ribs — and the Chicago Bears and their rookie quarterback are in search of a little respect

Justin Fields has the same vibe that most Chicago Bears fans have come to experience.

They’re not getting any respect.

The only thing the rookie quarterback and the Bears (4-8) can do to change the narrative is to win some of their five remaining games, beginning Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers (9-3) at Lambeau Field.

Fields this week was medically cleared to return from three cracked ribs and will start against the Packers after being knocked out of the Nov. 21 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and missing the next two games.

“I just think a lot of the times teams maybe don’t respect us or don’t give us credit,” Fields said. “I mean, you can’t blame them. We messed up sometimes in the games and we’ve pretty much messed up in a lot of games. … We’re going to attack every game like it’s our last game and we’re going to play through it all.”

The Bears are not getting much respect from the oddsmakers in Las Vegas as 12½-point underdogs, but that comes with the territory in this series. The Packers have won the last five meetings and 20 of the previous 23.

Maybe the Bears can sneak up on the Packers or other remaining opponents — the Minnesota Vikings (twice), New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks. The Bears figure to be favored only against the Giants.

“It feels good,” Fields said. “I like being the underdog. It just gives me an extra chip on my shoulder. I like when people doubt me. That just gives me a little extra motivation. So I love it.”

Being an underdog is new for Fields — he was 20-2 as the starter at Ohio State — but it’s all part of his maturation process in the NFL. The most important thing: He was cleared, meaning the Bears do not believe he’s at risk for more serious injury.

Fields said he’s still not certain when the injury occurred against the Ravens and didn’t believe it was on his final play. He said he normally wears protective padding on his midsection and will do so against the Packers.

“I’m going to have to be smart this upcoming game with not taking as many hits as I usually do,” he said.

“There’s pain there, but I mean, the pain’s just not unbearable. I know there’s going to be pain there, but it is what it is. As long as it’s just not crazy pain where I can’t bear it, I’m going to play and practice.”

Fields threw for 174 yards and a touchdown with one interception and four sacks when the Packers defeated the Bears 24-14 on Oct. 17 at Soldier Field. That started a five-game losing streak, and the organization has been in turmoil since.

The best way to calm the storm, if only temporarily, would be to stun the Packers, and the only chance the Bears have of rolling off some victories in the stretch run is getting their offense rolling.

“We really feel like he was improving as the games went by for him individually, our team, our offense,” coach Matt Nagy said. “There are still places where we can certainly improve. As a staff, we felt like we were really getting a good feel for where he was, and then he gets injured. So then for him to come back against a big division opponent and rival, I know that he’s excited for it.”

Meanwhile, Nagy was cryptic when describing a left hand injury that kept Andy Dalton out of practice Wednesday. Nagy declined to say whether Dalton suffered a broken hand, which a source said was the fear. The team plans to evaluate Dalton’s pain tolerance and possible swelling to determine if he or Nick Foles will serve as the No. 2 quarterback in Green Bay.

The Bears hope two weeks on the sideline gave Fields a different perspective that allowed him to get a slightly better feel for what to expect from opposing defenses — and maybe small elements of situational football that he can apply while he searches for the consistency that has been missing for the offense.

“I think he’s just, like most young players, you sometimes have got to go through some ups and downs and navigate your way through that,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “But he’s a very confident guy. He’s obviously very, very talented, not only as a thrower, but he’s got the added element that you can’t account for — his ability to make the off-schedule play.

“He’s more comfortable in what they’re doing. He’s a heck of a challenge to defend.”

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