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New K-9 for Hanford police

HANFORD — At the Hanford City Council meeting Police Chief Parker Sever introduced Argos (formerly Bodo), the police department’s new apprehension and drug-sniffing K-9. He said Argos is the first apprehension K-9 the department has ever had.

“We’re very excited to have this dog here,” Sever said. “We’ve been talking about it since I’ve been a police officer here 21 years ago, and to finally see it come to fruition is pretty neat.”

Officer Josh Chavez, the dog’s new handler, said Argos is an 18-month-old Belgian Malinois from Holland. Chavez has been training with Argos the last couple months.

“It took a lot of work and a lot of hours put in,” Chavez said. “I look forward to us working together. I’ve seen what he can do and it’s pretty amazing.”

Sever said getting a new dog is an expensive endeavor, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the K-9 Foundation. Members of the foundation also presented the police department with a $20,000 check.


Ships, aircraft search Philippine Sea for 3 missing in crash
Ships, aircraft search Philippine Sea for 3 missing in crash

TOKYO (AP) — U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft were searching in the Philippine Sea on Thursday for three sailors missing since a U.S. Navy aircraft crashed a day earlier.

Eight people were rescued about 40 minutes after the crash of the C-2 "Greyhound" transport aircraft Wednesday afternoon, the Navy said. They were taken aboard the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and were in good condition.

The C-2A twin-propeller plane came down about 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa as it was bringing passengers and cargo from Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy said in a statement. The cause wasn't clear but the crash would be investigated, the Navy said.

The Reagan was participating in a joint exercise with Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force when the plane crashed.

The aircraft carrier was leading the search and rescue efforts along with Japan's naval forces. The ships and aircraft had searched more than 320 nautical miles as of Thursday morning, the Navy said.

Japan's Defense Ministry said the crash site is about 150 kilometers northwest of Okinotorishima, a Japanese atoll.

The Navy said it had notified next of kin that the three sailors were "whereabouts unknown" but it would delay releasing their identities publicly for three days due to policy.

In Washington, the White House said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the crash. Trump said in a tweet: "We are monitoring the situation. Prayers for all involved."

The Nov. 16-26 joint exercise in waters off Okinawa has been described by the Navy as the "premier training event" between the U.S. and Japanese navies, designed to increase defensive readiness and interoperability in air and sea operations.

The Navy's Japan-based 7th Fleet has had two fatal accidents in Asian waters this year, leaving 17 sailors dead and prompting the removal of eight top Navy officers from their posts, including the 7th Fleet commander.

The USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided near Singapore in August, leaving 10 U.S. sailors dead. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided off Japan.

The Navy has concluded that the collisions were avoidable and resulted from widespread failures by the crews and commanders, who didn't quickly recognize and respond to unfolding emergencies. A Navy report recommended numerous changes to address the problems, ranging from improved training to increasing sleep and stress management for sailors.


Local
Cannabis permits officially awarded at Council meeting

HANFORD — The Hanford City Council met Tuesday and a final decision was made to award cannabis permits to three companies to be located in Hanford’s Industrial Park. There were also recognitions from the police department and several closed session decisions.

Cannabis permits

Council voted unanimously to award the recommended number of permits to Caliva, Genezen and Premium Extracts at the Nov. 7 meeting, but the decision would not be final until a public hearing was held Tuesday.

About six Hanford residents stood up to address Council during the public hearing.

None of the citizens that spoke were inherently against awarding the cannabis permits; however, there were some expressed concerns over the odor, safety measures and traffic the new companies would bring.

Community Development Director Darlene Mata said there will be strict odor requirements for the companies. She said there will be no outdoor cultivation of cannabis and the buildings will have ways to filter the air. Mata also said traffic studies will be a part of the process moving forward.

Police Chief Parker Sever said the companies will be required to submit a security plan that the police department will review. He said he has visited other commercial cannabis grow areas and talked to police chiefs, who told him there is very little criminal activity that occurs.

Sever said there will be fences all around, site visits from officers and video monitoring that the police department will have access to.

Council voted unanimously to officially award the cannabis permits to Caliva, Genezen and Premium Extracts.

“This was a very big decision, we should take a lot of pride in it, but, I would recommend not popping the champagne bottles just yet,” Councilman Justin Mendes said, adding there is still work to do before the city can reap the benefits of the decision.

The next steps for the cannabis companies is to obtain conditional use permits and undergo an environmental analysis.

Recognitions

Lt. James Lutz and Sgt. James Edlund were ceremoniously promoted Tuesday night.

Lutz was previously a sergeant and has been with the department since 1999. He served on the Gang Task Force and was the department’s firearm and taser instructor.

Edlund was previously a corporal and has been with the department since 2005. He served on the Problem Oriented Policing team, was a detective for over five years and is the tactical commander for the SWAT Team.

“It’s been really fun growing up with them in our department,” Sever said. “To see these guys grow and mature and take on leadership roles within the PD is just really exciting.”

Lutz and Edlund both took the Oath of Office at the meeting and had their badges pinned by their wives.

Closed session action report:

An emergency item was added to the night’s closed session agenda involving the Veteran’s Memorial Building.

City Attorney Bob Dowd said information regarding the building’s roof was brought to light from the City’s public works department. Dowd said the roofing structure was “suspect at best” and Council unanimously decided the building would close on Wednesday.

“The building, of course, is owned by the County and the City will inform the County of this recent information that has come about and will see what the County wants to do with it,” Dowd said.

Dowd said plans would immediately begin to ensure the people who use the building can be located elsewhere

Dowd also said another action was taken during the night’s closed session. He said in a 3-2 vote, council decided to begin the process of declaring the City-owned Rabobank building as surplus property.

“[We’ll] be back to the Council in the future as to how that process is moving forward,” Dowd said.


National
AP
Trump credits troops, and himself, for military advances

PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump thanked U.S. troops for their service on Thursday, assuring them "we're really winning" against America's foes as he celebrated Thanksgiving at his private club in Florida and provided lunch for Coast Guard men and women on duty for the holiday.

Using the occasion to pat himself on the back, Trump told deployed military members via a video conference that they've achieved more progress in Afghanistan and against the Islamic State group under his watch than had been made in years of the previous administration.

"Everybody's talking about the progress you've made in the last few months since I opened it up," he told the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, whose members are conducting operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan. "We're being talked about again as an armed forces — we're really winning."

Speaking from a gilded room at his Mar-a-Lago club, Trump said: "We're not fighting anymore to just walk around, we're fighting to win, and you people are really, you've turned it around over the last three to four months like nobody's seen, and they are talking about it, so thank you very much."

Turning to the 74th Expeditionary Fighters Squadron based at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, Trump suggested the Obama administration hadn't allowed soldiers on the ground to do their jobs.

"They say we've made more progress against ISIS than they did in years of the previous administration," he said. "And that's because I'm letting you do your job."

Throughout the day — at events and on Twitter — Trump boasted about the economy's performance since he took office, pointing to recent stock market gains and the unemployment rate, along with his efforts to scale back regulations and boost military spending.

"So you're fighting for something real, you're fighting for something good," he told the service members

Trump and his wife, Melania, also made a trip to a nearby Coast Guard station in Riviera Beach, Florida, where they delivered a lunch of turkey sandwiches, giant muffins, heaping baskets of fruit, chips and cookies to men and women on duty for the holidays.

During his remarks, Trump, singled out the service for its hurricane relief efforts during Harvey and the other storms that battered the country earlier this year.

"There's no brand that went up more than the Coast Guard," Trump told them "What a job you've done."

Trump praised the superiority of U.S. military equipment, too, yet said he tries to make sure that equipment the U.S. sells abroad — even to allies — is not quite as good as that kept at home.

"I always say, make ours a little bit better," Trump said. "Keep about 10 percent in the bag." He added: "You never know about an ally. An ally can turn."

Among the equipment admired by Trump is the F-35 stealth fighter jet, which he recalled asking "Air Force guys" about once.

"In a fight, you know a fight like I watch on the movies ... how good is it?" he recalled asking. "They said, 'Well, it wins every time because the enemy cannot see it, even if it's right next to it,'" Trump recounted, prompting laughs.

The F-35, plagued by development problems and cost overruns, is in fact not invisible to people nearby. Its stealth technology is designed to evade detection by radar and other sensors.

At the earlier video conference, Trump cleared the room of press after about 10 minutes, so he could have "very confidential, personal conversations" with those on the line. Borrowing a line from his "Apprentice" days, he told the reporters "You're fired," then wished them a happy Thanksgiving, too.

On the Trumps' own Thanksgiving menu for family and friends at Mar-a-Lago: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, red snapper, Florida stone crab, baked goods, local produce and cheeses, and a selection of cakes and pies for dessert.