Saturday, April 5, 2014

Requesting Exemption: Black women worried about Army hair regulations


WASHINGTON (AP) - New Army regulations meant to help standardize and professionalize soldiers' appearance are now coming under criticism by some black military women, who say changes in the hair requirement are racially biased.

The Army earlier this week issued new appearance standards, which included bans on most twists, dreadlocks and large cornrows, all styles used predominantly by African-American women with natural hairstyles. More than 11,000 people have signed a White House petition asking President Barack Obama, the commander in chief, to have the military review the regulations to allow for "neat and maintained natural hairstyles."
Some black military women, who make up about a third of the women in the armed forces, feel they have been singled out with these new regulations.
"I think that it primarily targets black women, and I'm not in agreement with it," said Patricia Jackson-Kelley of the National Association of Black Military Women. "I don't see how a woman wearing three braids in her hair, how that affects her ability to perform her duty in the military."
Even before the current controversy, the association had already planned to showcase the hairstyles of African-American women in the military throughout the years at its national convention in Phoenix in September.
While she also feels the new regulations unfairly target black women, former association president Kathleen Harris said she could understand why the regulations needed some uniformity. "The military is supposed to be conservative," she said. "My thing is that some folks look gorgeous in their twists, and some people go overboard. The twists are not small twists but they're real large ones and it doesn't fit the cover, your hat."
The changes and several other Army appearance modifications were first published Monday in the Army Times.
"The Army is a profession, and one of the ways our leaders and the American public measure our professionalism is by our appearance," Army Sgt. Maj. Raymond F. Chandler III said of the updates on the Army's website.
The changes also banned several male hairstyles, including Mohawks and long sideburns. Body piercings were also specifically banned, with an exception made for earrings. Also banned was the use of wireless earpieces outside a vehicle and tattoos visible below the elbow or knee or above the neckline. Current soldiers would be permitted to keep any tattoos not deemed racist, sexist or extremist.

Free-speech group pressures Clifton school board on barring resident from speaking


Man's constitutional rights violated, ACLU says

The New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is pressuring the Clifton school board for silencing a resident who sought to criticize the district's superintendent at a meeting earlier this year.

In a letter to Board of Education President Gary Passenti this week, an ACLU lawyer took school officials to task for preventing Keith Bassford from finishing his comments at the Jan. 6 reorganization meeting.

Bassford, a vocal parent and husband of board member Judy Bassford, had said he wanted the board to know about an encounter he had with Superintendent of Schools Richard Tardalo. But Passenti stopped him from making his remarks, telling him, "You're out of order," and warning that he would call the police if he continued. The board's lawyer also intervened, saying his comments, which Bassford never uttered, were "offensive."

"New Jerseyans have a First Amendment right to make their opinions known to elected representatives, even with remarks that are caustic or sharp," wrote the ACLU's legal director, Edward Barocas. "It seems clear the restrictions placed on Mr. Bassford at that meeting violated his constitutional rights."

While not expressly threatening a lawsuit, the organization asked the board to commit to allowing Bassford to say his piece at a future meeting and to confirm that residents can say things at meetings that school officials may not agree with.

The ACLU asked for a reply by Friday, but the board's attorney, Isabel Machado, told the group that she would provide a formal response in a week.

Machado and Passenti did not respond to requests for comment.

The controversy over Bassford's comments swelled after school officials erased the exchange involving him from the televised version of the January meeting. Some residents, calling the issue "Tapegate," accused the board of censorship and of not being transparent.

A few weeks later, Machado explained that the board could have been held legally responsible if it were to air any "potentially defamatory" statements about district employees.

The ACLU has not looked into the redaction of the tape, a spokeswoman said. But Passenti has instructed the board's policy committee to craft specific rules about the taped meetings.

Judy Bassford, who heads the policy committee, said the New Jersey School Boards Association has told her that no districts have a policy on editing recorded meetings. She said she would like the board to have something in place in the event that profanity or obscenities make their way into board meetings.

Bassford said the board should vote on editing meeting footage before going ahead with it. The policy committee discussed the issue last month and now is awaiting legal advice, she said.

"We're covering virgin territory," she said. "It will have to be really looked on, because I'm concerned we may be violating somebody's rights."

Keith Bassford said on Friday that he still wants trustees to investigate Tardalo for comments he made after a parent advisory committee meeting last year – the issue he had hoped to raise in January. Bassford, the president of Clifton High's Home and School Association, said Tardalo was disrespectful and accused him and his wife of turning the district into a "political arena."

Tardalo has said Bassford's complaints didn't "make any sense," but otherwise has declined to comment.

In the past few months, Bassford said, he has spent more than $6,000 on attorney fees while pursuing the matter. He said he wants to "clear his name" and show that he did nothing wrong by speaking out.

About a month ago, Bassford said, the board's lawyer suggested meeting with Tardalo to work out their disagreement.

Bassford agreed to the offer but said he has not heard back about scheduling an appointment since.

"Apparently it went on deaf ears," Bassford said.


Government's immigration policies continue failng, while taxpayers foot the bill


Illegal Immigrant sentenced for series of sex assaults in Englewood, Dumont area

A Bergenfield day laborer, who spread fear across several Bergen County towns in the summer of 2012, was sentenced Friday to 18½ years in state prison for a spate of assaults on women, including a mother walking with her child.

Alexis Sanchez-Medina, 23, a native of Honduras who was in the United States illegally, “terrorized” Englewood, Dumont and surrounding towns with attacks on four women during a two-week crime spree, said Kristin DeMarco, an assistant Bergen County prosecutor.

“It’s the epitome of the stranger down a dark alley jumping out to rape a victim,” she told Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Roma during a hearing in Hackensack.

From July 27 to Aug. 10, 2012, the assailant stalked, assaulted or attempted to sexually assault four women as they were going to or coming from their homes, the prosecutor said.

The first victim was walking in Englewood with her small son when a man grabbed her buttocks and knocked her to the ground. She later told police she had gotten a clear look at her assailant as he circled her on a bicycle. She picked Sanchez-Medina’s picture out of a photo lineup, enabling investigators to tie him to the subsequent attacks, the prosecutor said.

Another victim stepped outside her home in Englewood to investigate sounds coming from her air conditioner and was thrown to the ground by a man who put his hand down her pants, the prosecutor said.

The next two attacks occurred on the same day in Dumont. One woman was grabbed as she walked to her home and was able to break free; the other was returning to her apartment after throwing out her garbage when she was grabbed from behind, thrown to the ground and sexually assaulted.

The victims all suffered emotional trauma, DeMarco said. Three of them did not wish to appear in court for the sentencing, though all testified at Sanchez-Medina’s trial.

The victim who chose to give a statement told the judge that the assault by Sanchez-Medina had “greatly affected” her life.

She has trouble sleeping, has experienced “flashbacks” of the attack, and feels “sick to my stomach” when she walks past that part of her home, she said.

“People like this man should not be able to commit these crimes and get away with it,” she said, urging the judge to impose the maximum term.

Sanchez-Medina “came to this country to seek a better life” and worked as a day laborer and for a moving company, said public defender Gayle Hargrove, who asked the judge not to impose consecutive terms on his six counts of conviction and to cap his sentence at 11½ years.

Heavily shackled and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, the defendant apologized for his crimes and the suffering he caused, and said he was prepared to face the consequences.

Saying the crimes called for harsh punishment, Roma sentenced him to consecutive terms, remarking that it would be an insult to the victims to treat the offenses as one instance of aberrant behavior.


Progressive onslaught continues in Appalachia: 'Lazy Environmentalist' Dorfman will take over chamber's entrepreneur efforts in Asheville


From the Asheville Citizen-Times:

ASHEVILLE – Josh Dorfman made his name nationally as “The Lazy Environmentalist,” but he’s worked hard launching businesses to bring green products to consumers. Now he wants to focus his energies locally, working with Asheville’s array of start-ups.

“I’ve been involved in green business and entrepreneur start-ups for the last 10 years in Silicon Valley and New York,” Dorfman said. “I felt a real affinity for the Asheville ethos.”

His parents retired to the area about eight years ago, and he often flew down from his Brooklyn home to visit. Last Thanksgiving, he moved here with his wife and children.

“Asheville is one of those cities where people really love being here, and that’s unique. People move to Los Angeles because they want to work in entertainment. People move to Washington because they want to work in policy or government. You move to Asheville because you want to succeed professionally and have a good quality of life.”Read the full article

Fort Hood soldier survives second shooting


It’s the second shooting in Fort Hood and both times Jerry Maldonado was stationed there. He survived, but this time he lost a friend.
Jerry says since the shooting on April 2nd, tensions are high over there because the alleged shooter is one of their own.
"It’s just so sad that one of your own you know did that,” Jerry Maldonado said. “You trust one another, that’s all we got out there.”
Maldonado said he was in final formation when he heard a familiar sound, a weapon discharging.
Seconds later a soldier runs towards him saying to take cover
“You make sure that everybody around you is moving at a fast pace out of the kill zone,” Jerry Maldonado said. “You make sure that nobody goes down and you make sure you get yourself out."
Maldonado says he was approximately 500 yards from the shooter.
The hours that follow he was being questioned and wasn’t able to communicate with his family.
In Brownsville, Steven Maldonado, his brother and father figure, was desperately trying to get a hold of Jerry.
“I started texting left and right, calling my sister-in-law, finding out any information in how my brother is,"  Steven Maldonado said.
For eight hours, Steven Maldonado feared the worst and prayed.
"Oh please God take care of him," Steven Maldonado said.
It wasn’t until around 1 a.m. that Steven finally got a call from Jerry.
"And when he called me was like a deep breath, deep breaths just thankful that I could hear him," Steven Maldonado said.
Since the shooting, Jerry and Steven have spoken on a regular basis.
Steven tells Action 4 that they are thankful their brother survived once again but they are still in shock.
Soldiers and staff in Fort Hood are currently receiving counseling.
Jerry Maldonado has been in the military for over 20 years, and he served four tours.

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Moral Monday" Democrat activist to fill Nesbitt's senate seat


Photo by Alicia Funderburk

In a special April 3 election, Buncombe County Democratic leaders picked community activist Terry Van Duyn to serve as the area’s new North Carolina senator.

Van Duyn will complete the unexpired term of Sen. Martin Nesbitt, who died in March after representing District 49 in the General Assembly since 2003. She faces her first general election challenge in November. 

Held in downtown Asheville at the Buncombe County courthouse, 149 Democratic leaders voted in the April 3 special election, including precinct chairs and vice chairs as well as elected officials who reside in District 49. It took three rounds of voting for Van Duyn to win the 51 percent of votes needed to claim the seat. Five other political activists campaigned for the position: Veronika Gunter, Michelle Pace Wood, Charlie Owen, Keith Young and Aixa Wilson. 

By the final round of voting, Van Duyn and Gunter were the only candidates left in the running. Van Duyn received 93 votes and Gunter received 53.

A retired Systems Analyst, Van Duyn has served on the boards of a long list of organizations, including Carolina Day School, Meals on Wheels, Autism Society of North Carolina and the Children’s Welfare League. She’s been active in the Moral Monday movement and most recently worked as a volunteer healthcare navigator.


Progressing Appalachia: Asheville-Buncombe "Food Policy Council" discusses 2014 initiatives


Over 75 community members attended Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council (ABFPC) meeting titled, “Meeting of the Whole” on Wednesday evening, April 2 to discuss initiatives for 2014. Just a few items on the upcoming agenda include increasing access to local and healthy food choices in Bumcombe County schools, connecting local farmers to collaborate on community efforts and addressing the pressing issue of food insecurity in WNC. 

“I think a collaborative approach between like-minded organizations is a very welcome initiative. Coming together in the same room to conspire is important because we have a lot more voice together than we do separately,” said Lee Warren, executive director of the Asheville Organic Growers School.

After greeting and orienting the numerous new attendees, ABFPC member Emily Kujawa gave a brief overview of the council’s 2013 accomplishments. Within the last year, the council has influenced the City Council to revise its unified development ordinance to allow markets in residential areas seven days a week, as well as allow secondary structures on land that does not have a primary structure, making it legal to grow food in sheds or greenhouses on vacant property. The council also helped form a WNC farm link website described as a “” for established and aspiring farmers. The group also gained a seat within the North Carolina Public Health Policy Council. 

Attendees agreed that food insecurity is the most poignant issue in 2014. Kujawa points out, “We have 104,000 individuals in this area who will experience some form of food insecurity this year, and 38,000 of those are children.” One of the initiatives backed by the council is the recent launch of the Ujamaa Freedom Market, a mobile market bringing fresh and local foods to underserved populations. Other efforts aligned with addressing food insecurity include working toward an increase of community gardens on public land, educating the public about home gardening and partnering with organizations such as MANNA Food Bank, Salvation Army and Meals on Wheels.
The council operates through seven different “clusters” — each one pertaining to a different initiative, and community members are encouraged to join any clusters that appeal to them. Each cluster meets on at least a monthly basis to discuss their plans and initiatives and then brings them forth to the council for execution. 

The clusters include: 

• Access Cluster — aiming to increase food access and education in food insecure areas 
• Land Use Cluster — working toward increasing production of healthy, organic food and connecting farmers
• Pollinators Cluster — encouraging less pesticide use within food production and the city’s parks
• Farmers Support Cluster — advocating for farmers on policies that create a regional resilient food system
• Health and Education — educating citizens about their local farmers and advocating for increased nutritional foods in schools
• Water — aiming to improve local water resources and address flooding/drought issues that effect food production
• Policy Mobilization — focus on networking with community leaders and developing strategy for putting initiatives into action

Bobby Sullivan, veteran supporter of the council and general manager of the French Broad Food Coop, says, “We primarily look locally for products, but we are still dependent on some national or regional distributers to supply staple food.” Through the council, Sullivan is able to work with local farmers and food suppliers on meeting both of their goals.

Jannell Kapoor, director of the Ashevillage Institute and founder of the Urban Farm School, agrees. “I come to connect and cross-pollenate with other council members. I’m truly passionate about the big picture and long-term vision of the council and am intrigued how a whole city can come together to create that vision,” she says.


The Democrat Utopia of Camden to lay off 400 school staff


Camden school officials say they must lay off one-fifth of their staff as enrollment is dropping.
Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard  introduced a budget plan Wednesday calling for 575 jobs to be eliminated, including 400 layoffs before school starts in September.

He says declining federal funding and overspending have led to a projected $75 million deficit. The state government, which pays for most of the city's school expenses, is calling for a flat subsidy for the coming school year.

Charter schools and school-choice programs have been expanding in a city that is among the most impoverished in the nation and enrollment has dropped by 1,000 students in the last five years.

Per-pupil spending in Camden this year is more than $27,000 — the second-highest in New Jersey.

Newark-based Star-Ledger newspaper cutting 167 jobs.


Liberal agenda receives no blame!

The Star Ledger building, Thursday, March 27, 2014.
The Star Ledger building, Thursday, March 27, 2014.

The Star-Ledger’s announcement of 167 job cuts — among 306 layoffs made by owner Advance Publications Inc. Thursday — reflect long-running troubles at the state’s largest newspaper, which has felt the impact of a nationwide drop in newspaper readership and advertising revenue.

Thursday’s cuts are the latest in a series of layoffs and buyouts since 2008 at the Newark paper, a New Jersey institution that has won three Pulitzer Prizes but lost millions of dollars in recent years. The cuts include 40 jobs in the newsroom, which is not unionized, bringing it to a staff of about 116, down from a high of 350 before the first buyout in 2008.

In addition to the Star-Ledger cuts, 124 full and part-time jobs were eliminated at other daily and weekly papers owned by Advance Publications Inc., in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and 15 at the company’s web site,

The layoffs are part of a plan announced last week by Advance to create a new company, NJ Advance Media, based in Woodbridge, to provide advertising, marketing and news content to The Star-Ledger, the three other daily papers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and The company plans to focus on efforts to grow its digital operations.

Star-Ledger employees were called in Thursday for one-on-one meetings, where they were either told they were being let go or offered a job with the new company. The new jobs, in some cases, carried salaries more than 5 percent lower, along with reduced benefits, according to employees who asked not to be identified. According to the newspaper, the cuts included the entire full-time business staff and positions in sports, features, photos and news.

Employees described a grim atmosphere at the company, after months of rumored job cuts that led to many employees finding work elsewhere, including political reporter David Giambusso, who announced last week on Twitter that he plans to join the news web site Amy Ellis Nutt, a Pulitzer winner for feature writing in 2011, will remain with the paper, according to

“The staff has been anxiety-ridden leading up to this day,” said one employee. “It’s taken an emotional and mental toll on people.”

“The mood is very downbeat. People are kind of shellshocked,” said an employee who was laid off Thursday. Even the workers who were offered jobs, this employee added, “are so upset” about laid-off colleagues.

Employees who were laid off will get severance equal to 11/2 weeks’ pay for every year worked — but to collect it, they will have to work until September, when the new company is up and running, according to several employees.

A call to the paper’s publisher, Richard Vezza, was not returned. Matt Kraner, who will be president of NJ Advance Media, was quoted by the newspaper as saying the new company will add to the staffs of the Star-Ledger and by offering jobs to journalists at the company’s other newspapers as well as hiring from outside the company.

“It’s really a tragedy,” said Jerome Aumonte, an emeritus professor at Rutgers University and author of a 2008 book on the New Jersey newspaper industry. “If you look at The Star-Ledger, it’s almost like visiting a person in intensive care, and every time you go back, their health is a little bit worse.”

The loss of staff at the paper, he said, will mean fewer investigative stories and less information overall for New Jerseyans.

The Star-Ledger has been affected by a nationwide drop in readership and advertising revenue for the newspaper industry. The company said the paper was on track to lose $19 million this year. Last year, the parent company threatened to close the paper if it did not win concessions from its production unions; the two sides reached a deal in September.

Its circulation has dropped dramatically over the past two decades, from about 473,000 daily in 1993 to 167,600. Advance Publications Inc. is privately owned, so it does not release revenues or earnings.

Nationally, newspaper industry revenues have dropped by about one third since 2006, to roughly $64 billion, according to a report Thursday from the Pew Research Center.

The Star-Ledger won three Pulitzer Prizes in recent years — one for a series on two victims of the Seton Hall University fire; one for the paper’s coverage of Gov. James McGreevey’s resignation after he said he was gay and admitted an affair with an aide; and one for coverage of the sinking of a fishing boat off the Jersey shore.

Journalists at the paper “have done brilliant work over the years,” said Steve Wilson, coordinator of the undergraduate journalism program at Rutgers, who called the job cuts “a disservice to Essex County and the State of New Jersey.”

The Star-Ledger, Wilson said, “has become a victim, like so many other papers, of changing times and changing readership patterns.” He also said the loss of local ownership of newspapers has put more emphasis on profits, rather than public service.

Matt Rainey of Clinton, a former Star-Ledger photographer who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his work on the Seton Hall fire series, was among of those mourning Thursday’s layoffs.

“It’s so radically different from what it was in its heyday,” he said of the paper, which gave him and a reporter almost 10 months to work on the fire series.

“The public, the people of New Jersey, will miss out on the potential of seeing extraordinary journalism, and that saddens me,” said Rainey, who took a buyout in 2010 and now runs his own photography business. “Those stories are still happening in the state, but there is a diminished ability by all the news organizations in the state to devote the kind of resources to those stories that we were able to devote in the past.”


FINALLY: Leftist David Letterman to retire


David Letterman says he’s retiring next year as host of “Late Show.”
During a taping of Thursday’s show, Letterman said he has informed his CBS bosses that he will step down in 2015, when his current contract expires.
He told his audience he expects his departure will be “at least a year or so” from now.
Letterman turns 67 next week. He has the longest tenure of any late-night talk show host in U.S. television history, nearing 32 years since he created “Late Night” at NBC in 1982.
He jumped to CBS to start “Late Show” in 1993.
Jay Leno, his rival to host NBC’s “Tonight Show,” retired earlier this year, making way for Jimmy Fallon.

Media provides phone number to report 'unfair working conditions for "farmworkers"'. As is typical, fails to provide contact number for ICE


Farmworkers still struggling to get paid fair wages

Farmworkers play an integral role in our agricultural sector.
They not only provide labor, but their work also puts the majority of the food we eat on our kitchen tables.
Action 4 News learned many farmworkers are still struggling to be paid the required federal minimum wage.
We spoke with an legal advocate for farmworkers nationwide.
He said not much has changed over the last couple decades for farmworkers, and many still endure unsafe working and living conditions.
"Farmworkers do some of the most important work in this country. They feed us and yet, they are excluded from many labor laws and labor protections," said Farmworker Justice President and attorney Bruce Goldstein.
The Washington D.C. based advocacy group, Farmworker Justice, said many farmworkers are afraid to stand up for their rights because more than half are undocumented immigrants.
"It’s not good for anyone- low wages, poor working conditions. It can mean fear of going to the police when there is crime," explained Goldstein.
Francisco Alvarez has worked as a farmworker for over 20 years.  A few years back, he went to South Carolina to work on a tobacco farm. He was not only forced to live in substandard conditions, but he was also paid less than minimum wage.
"[The boss] already had 15 people without eating and living in a warehouse with only bread and water.  I asked , ‘You're not going to have us living like them in a shed with the cows?’"  Alvarez recalled.
Alvarez tried proving he had documentation, but he says the owner didn't care.
"When he looked at my green card and my brother's, he said, ‘That's no good. Throw it away, throw it away in the trash,’" said Alvarez.
He walked off the job after three days.
Goldstein said farmworkers are not covered by the National Labor Relations Act, which is why they are not entitled to overtime pay nor have the same occupational safety protections.
"Basically, these exclusions are because agribusiness has more political power than farmworkers do," said Goldstein.
It’s something he hopes will change.
Farmworker Justice is pushing for immigration reform to allow farmworkers the opportunity to obtain citizenship.
Alvarez said while a reform would open doors for farmworkers to do other jobs, more needs to be done to change current working conditions because whether you are an American citizen, an immigrant with a work visa, or are undocumented, many times you are treated equally poor.
"If we got immigration reform, we still have employers like farm owners who abuse people because we already have our green cards, but where are we going to work if there are employers who tell us it’s worthless?" asked Alvarez.
Alvarez believes it’s just as important for farmworkers come together to speak out against the injustices they face.
"What we need to do is be united," said Alvarez.
Farmworkers can be paid by the parcel, but only if that amount is equal to or more than minimum wage.
They are still entitled to get at least $7.25 an hour. 
To report unfair working conditions, you can anonymously call the McAllen U.S Department of Labor Office at 682-4631 or Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid at 888-988-9996.


An unconstitutional power grab by local dog wardens: Dog wardens knocking on doors; unlicensed canines or unresponsive residents fetch hefty fines


What's next, drones?

dog on run
Dogs aren't getting away with being unlicensed this year, as dog 
wardens are on the lookout for canines without their yearly tags.

A dog license costs less than $9 a year — less if your dog is spayed or neutered.

“With the amount of money you pay for court costs alone, you could license your dog for the life of that dog,” said Kristen Donmoyer, director of dog law enforcement for the state Department of Agriculture.
“Licensing your dog is much cheaper than getting caught without one.”
March, Donmoyer said, was Dog License Awareness Month in Pennsylvania, and the department did its best to spread the word about the importance of licensing canine companions.
Now that it’s April, local dog wardens, animal enforcement officers and police are stepping up enforcement of licensing laws.
That means they’re going door to door, asking residents if they have a dog and, if so, if they have a current license.
All dogs 3 months of age or older must be licensed.
“Not only is it the law, it’s also the quickest and safest way to reunite a pet with its owner,” Donmoyer said.
Wardens also ask dog owners if they are up to date on the rabies vaccine, she said.
While they might not rap on every door in Lancaster County, Donmoyer said wardens use records from previous years to see who has had dogs in the past.
“We can see how many licenses were sold and who did not renew their license from year to year,” she said. “We use those reports to isolate the areas where we want to focus our canvassing effort.”
Wardens also look for external signs of a canine pal — a dog house or dog run, for instance, or even the sound of barking. Neighbors, too, are usually quick to tell wardens who in the neighborhood has a dog.
If no one answers the door, wardens will leave a card with a request for information.
“If they don’t return that to us, they can get a citation,” Donmoyer said.
Wardens also may check boarding facilities.
Fines range from $50 to $300, plus court costs, she said.
Licenses cost $8.45 — less if the owner is a senior citizen or if the dog is fixed.
A lifetime dog license — which is only available if the dog has either an identifying tattoo or a microchip — costs $51.45, or $31.45 for a fixed dog.
“Dogs are our pets. They’re our family,” Donmoyer said. “If your dog is lost and it’s not wearing a license or tag, you might never get that dog back.
“Shelters are only required to hold your dog for 48 hours if it comes in without a license. After that, it could be adopted out, or it could be euthanized.”
Wardens wear uniforms and always carry a badge to identify themselves, Donmoyer noted. Anyone who is concerned about a person at their door should call the police.
Dog wardens in Lancaster County are Travis Hess and Richard Hess (not related), and the city’s animal enforcement officer is Karen Dinkel.
Dog licenses can be purchased online at They’re also available at the county treasurer's office at 150 N. Queen St., or at one of more than 20 bonded retailers that sell the licenses, including area pet stores, feed stores and hardware stores.

WATCH: Dirk Nowitzki Gives Conan The Texas Citizenship Test


(KCEN) -- Conan O'Brien is taping his late-night shows in Dallas to kick off Final Four week.
Conan claims to be a Texas expert, but the Dallas Mavericks All-Star has a little quiz to make him prove it.

Watch the video above.


Purge of the Constitution: Government disarming Vets with help of PTSD craze


Thousands of RGV service members being treated for PTSD

Dr. Yasisca Pujols is one of the over 1,600 mental health professionals hired through President Barack Obama's initiative, to help soldiers returning from war. 
She said many people still don't understand the severe war conditions these soldiers have had to endure, such as "overhead fire, mortar attacks and IEDs.”
About 20 percent of the veterans now returning from war are diagnosed with PTSD, Pujols said, but there are many more who don't meet all the criteria to be diagnosed with the disorder, who still experience many of the symptoms.
"It can keep going decades after the initial traumatic experience,” Pujols said. “We have veterans that are from the Vietnam-era coming-in for PTSD treatment.”
Salvador Castillo, director of the Cameron County Veteran's Office tells Action 4 News, currently there's 19,500 registered veterans, of those, about 5,000 are getting treatment, right now, for PTSD. He adds it's unknown how many more are suffering without the proper treatment.
"A lot of veterans say, ‘well I don’t want to get fired from my job, I hold a job with a law enforcement agency, and if I go and try to get treated for PTSD, they might hold it against me - or I don’t want my family to know,’" Castillo said.
Treating the disorder is a two-level approach, Pujols said. First, mental health experts work with soldiers on changing the negative view of the world they might have after war . Next, they help soldiers overcome traumatic experiences with a method called, Prolonged Exposure Therapy - it's like watching a scary movie again and again, "over time, it's not as scary anymore."
But Pujols said the biggest hurdle soldiers in the Valley have to overcome to get the proper treatment is “machismo.”
"Military culture also says emotions aren't important, put those aside or else you risk your life,” Pujols said. “So we're trying to combat that mentality as well as machismo – (the attitude of) I don't need to talk to anybody about my problems - that cultural divide versus getting help."