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Gun-Rights Group Asks Supreme Court to Allow Firearms in Places of Worship


A Georgia gun-rights group has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve differing decisions on whether states can ban firearms in places of worship. GeorgiaCarry.org asked for a hearing before the high court on the basis that there is a split between the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 3rd and 11th Circuits on the issue. The GeorgiaCarry.org case stems from a lawsuit filed after the 2010 Legislature replaced the prohibition against guns at “public gatherings” with a list of specific kinds of places where people cannot carry their firearms. One of those was places of worship. GeorgiaCarry.org and a Baptist minister said the prohibition interferes with the free exercise of religion promised in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The 11th Circuit rejected the contention that worshippers had the constitu- tional right to arm themselves for their own protection while they are in a church, synagogue, or mosque. The appeals court also turned away a Second Amendment claim, writing that an individual right to carry a gun into a place of worship does not trump a private property owner’s right to control who is allowed on the premises and under what circumstances. It is not known how quickly the justices will decide if they will hear the case.


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Two Jailed in Local Terror Threat Two men are in jail after allegedly making terroristic threats against their co-workers and workplace. Several employees, including a manager, at the WDS Global call center in Wichita Falls, Texas, told police that Michael Jarnigan and Tyler Platt had made numerous threats of violence against their colleagues. The manager said Jarnigan and Platt had stated that they wanted to blow up the building and kill their co-workers, while one female employee recounted an event where the two men came to her house and said they would shoot the receptionist in the head and round up African-American employees and burn them alive. Another employee said that on separate occasions Platt threatened to blow up the business and shoot its employees, and said that "bad stuff would go down at WDS Global" if he did not receive a promotion. Investigators also turned up text message exchanges on the two men's cell phones about killing people. Platt and Jarnigan both remain in prison awaiting trial in lieu of bond.


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University of Connecticut First Responders Now Have Eyes Inside Buildings Pre-Incident


The University of Connecticut Fire Department (UCFD) and other first responders can now have an instant picture of the inside of buildings even before they arrive on scene,


giving them greater situational awareness on calls with the deployment of a new software program. With CommandScope software, developed by RealView, first responders can, via mobile date terminals, access pre-incident information, including maps, photos, utility shutoff locations, floor plans, fire protection systems, hazardous material information and emergency lockdown information. “Our goal was to implement an easy-to-use, university-wide system that would allow all of our emergency personnel — fire, police, mutual aid — to have immediate access to valuable data they need when responding to a call,” said UCFD Chief John Mancini.


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Report on Deadly Rampage Prompts Edison to Cut Management


In response to a consultant's report that pointed to bloated management as one factor contributing to an "unhealthy" workplace environment in the department targeted in a shooting rampage last December, Southern California Edison said it will cut 20% of its managers in the information technology (IT) department. In the Dec. 16 rampage, Andre Turner, 48, killed two supervisors and wounded another supervisor and a contractor, before fatally shooting himself. After the incident, Edison commissioned an independent audit of the work environ- ment to "provide the company with a candid assessment" and suggest improvements. The report noted key issues which included workplace climate and culture concerns and stressors related primarily to a fundamental lack of leadership in many areas, and resulting in loss of trust, lack of respect, fear of retaliation, abusive management styles, etc. The company has already implemented some of the report's suggestions such as enhancing security measures and workplace violence prevention and crisis response programs.


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5 Bomb Threats Put Security Officials to the Test Preparation led to five successful campus-wide evacua- tions after bomb threats this month, but there are always lessons to be learned, including those about vague threats. Threats were called in to the University of Texas-Austin, North Dakota State University, Hiram College in Ohio, the University of Texas-Brownsville and Louisiana State University. Arrests have since been made in the Brownsville and LSU cases with no connection to each other. Campus officials said that while they are pleased with their efforts, there is always room for improvement, and the president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators expressed some concern that the “wholesale evacua- tions” could lead to copycat threats elsewhere.


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