December 11, 2017

** Colorado combat medic charged with vandalizing mosque

** Massachusetts to double the benefits for families of LODD medics

UNITED STATES NEWS

** Police in Fort Collins, Colorado arrested a US Army combat medic Monday for allegedly vandalizing an area mosque. That is the word from The Army Times (AP/March 28) which said Joseph Scott Giaquinto, 35, has been charged with a bias motivated crime, criminal mischief, and trespassing. Giaquinto was taken into custody after police obtained surveillance camera footage showing a hoodie clad man kicking down the mosque’s door. In addition, the vandal tossed a Bible into the building, broke windows, and overturned benches. Giaquinto’s father Michael said he did not believe his son was responsible for the damage. Giaquinto Sr. said, however, if his son is at fault it may be due to the tours he served in both Iraq and Korea. There is no word on Giaquinto Jr.’s next court date.

** Surviving families of LODD first responders in Massachusetts will soon get double the death benefits previously given to relatives. WCVB (AP/March 28) said Governor Charlie Baker will sign the bill today that will jump benefits from $150,000 to $300,000. According to the news service, the change is part of several others included in a supplemental spending bill for 2017. Along with the above, the bill would hike funding for home care at the same time as increasing money for homeless emergency assistance family shelters. Baker has also said he intends to step up efforts to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

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