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Local
More Thanksgiving meals

Local organizations step-up every year to provide free Thanksgiving meals to the community, including the Salvation Army and Corcoran's Lion Club.

The Salvation Army Corps of Hanford will host a free Thanksgiving meal on Thursday starting at 11 a.m. and going until 1 p.m. at 380 E. Ivy St.

Lt. Luke Betti, Salvation Army's administrator and pastor, said volunteers are already cooking turkeys and preparing other food for the meal. He said the organization also gave out around 160 boxes of food Tuesday morning.

In addition to the meal on site, the Salvation Army delivers to dozens of homes on Thanksgiving Day. Betti said that last year the organization served a total of around 300 meals, and he expects to serve even more this year.

“Sometimes [people] think the meal is just for the homeless, but the meal is for everybody,” Betti said. “Everybody is welcome.”

Betti said after Thanksgiving, the organization will begin preparing its Christmas food boxes that will go to families needing some extra help during the holidays.

The Corcoran Lion's Club will be hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner with all of the fixings at the First United Methodist Church from 1-4 p.m. The church is located at 1127 Letts Ave.

Desserts will be provided by Corcoran Relay for Life and the dinner will be provided at no charge.


National
AP
'We don't need a liberal:' Trump discounts Moore accusations

WASHINGTON — Silent for more than a week, President Donald Trump all but endorsed embattled Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore on Tuesday, discounting the sexual assault allegations against him and insisting repeatedly that voters must not support Moore's "liberal" rival.

The president said he would announce next week whether he will campaign for Moore, who faces Democrat Doug Jones in a Dec. 12 special election to fill the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Trump, who won election despite facing more than a dozen accusations of sexual misconduct himself, dismissed questions from reporters about backing a Republican accused of sexual assault over a man who is a Democrat. Trump pointed to Moore's assertions that he did nothing wrong.

"Roy Moore denies it, that's all I can say," Trump said. In fact, he repeated 10 times in a 5-minute session outside the White House that the GOP candidate has denied any wrongdoing.

Two Alabama women have accused Moore of assault or molestation — including one who says she was 14 at the time — and six others have said he pursued romantic relationships when they were teenagers and he was a deputy district attorney in his 30s.

Trump didn't explicitly say he was endorsing Moore, but he said with emphasis, "We don't need a liberal person in there. ... We don't need somebody who's soft on crime like Jones."

He also noted that the allegations came from behavior alleged to have happened decades ago.

"Forty years is a long time," Trump said, questioning why it took so long for Moore's accusers to come forward.

Former Sen. Sessions has said he has no reason to doubt the allegations against Moore, Republican leaders in Washington have called for Moore to leave the race, and the White House has repeatedly said Trump himself felt Moore would "do the right thing and step aside" if the allegations proved true.

But Trump had been publicly silent until Tuesday when he exchanged questions and answers with reporters, shouting to be heard over the noise of his Marine helicopter, waiting to take him to Air Force One, which then flew him to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, for Thanksgiving.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, both Republicans, have called on Moore to leave the race in light of the accusations. The Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have pulled their support for his campaign.

Trump backed incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in a September Republican primary, but moved quickly to embrace Moore after he won. A White House official said Tuesday that Trump's attack on Jones did not amount to a formal endorsement of Moore, only that Trump was communicating that sending the Democrat to Washington would hamper his agenda.

Republican leaders briefly explored the possibility of seeking a write-in candidate but have determined those efforts would only increase Jones' chances by splitting the GOP vote in the Republican state. Sessions has resisted pleas to mount a last-minute campaign for his old seat.

The allegations against Moore come amid a national reckoning over misdeeds by powerful men in media, business and politics.

Just Tuesday, longtime Michigan Rep. John Conyers acknowledged that his office settled a sexual harassment complaint involving a former staffer, though he "vehemently" denied allegations in the complaint.

BuzzFeed reported that Conyers' office paid a woman more than $27,000 under a confidentiality agreement to settle a complaint in 2015 that she was fired from his Washington staff because she rejected the Democrat's sexual advances.

Trump said he was "very happy" that women are speaking out about their experiences.

"I think it's a very special time because a lot of things are coming out, and I think that's good for our society and I think it's very, very good for women," he said.

More than a dozen women came forward in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election to say that Trump had sexually assaulted or harassed them over the years. He denied it. A tape was also released catching him boasting in 2005 that he could grab women's private parts with impunity. "When you're a star, they let you do it," Trump said on the "Access Hollywood" tape.

Trump, who has said all of his accusers lied, declined to answer Tuesday when asked why he does not believe Moore's accusers.

Jones, Moore's senatorial opponent, served as a federal prosecutor in Alabama, where he brought charges against two Ku Klux Klan members over their roles in killing four girls in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham.

Jones began airing a new ad Monday that features statements made by Sessions, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby and first daughter Ivanka Trump responding to the allegations against Moore.

Shelby, a fellow Republican, said he will "absolutely not" vote for Moore. Ivanka Trump said there's "a special place in hell" for people who prey on children.

"I've yet to see a valid explanation, and I have no reason to doubt the victims' accounts," Ivanka Trump told the AP last week.

The ad was the first direct assault by the Jones camp against Moore on the allegations.

Moore's camp has begun firing back at the media and one of the accusers. His campaign held an afternoon news conference to vigorously question the account of Beverly Nelson, who said Moore assaulted her when she was a 16-year-old waitress.

The campaign quoted two former restaurant employees and a former customer who said they did not remember Nelson working there or Moore eating there.


Judge's ruling doesn't end legal fight over sanctuary cities
Judge's ruling doesn't end legal fight over sanctuary cities

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — President Donald Trump's executive order to cut funding from sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities faced a big setback when a federal judge ruled it was unconstitutional.

But the legal fight over so-called sanctuary cities is far from over. Here's a look at Monday's ruling and what other battles loom:

WHAT DID THE JUDGE SAY?

U.S. District Judge William Orrick rejected the administration's argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money, saying the president himself had called it a "weapon" to use against jurisdictions that disagree with his immigration enforcement preferences.

The judge said that under the U.S. Constitution, Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

The U.S. Department of Justice responded in a statement that Orrick had exceeded his power. The Trump administration says sanctuary cities allow dangerous criminals back on the street.

San Francisco — one of two California counties that sued to block the executive order — says turning local police into immigration officers erodes trust that is needed to get people to report crime.

WHAT DOES THE RULING MEAN?

The judge blocked the executive order temporarily in April, and Monday's ruling made it permanent. It applies nationwide.

The Trump administration already has appealed the judge's temporary halt on the policy. It is pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which could overrule Orrick.

The Justice Department said it would "vindicate the president's lawful authority to direct the executive branch."

WHAT OTHER LEGAL FIGHTS REMAIN?

San Francisco, other cities and the state of California also have sued over a separate move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to withhold specific public safety grants from sanctuary cities unless they implement tougher immigration policies.

A federal judge in Illinois temporarily blocked that move in September in another nationwide injunction. The administration also is appealing that decision, though it is currently on hold.

ARE THERE OTHER ISSUES AT STAKE?

Under a federal immigration law, cities cannot ban officials from reporting people's immigration status to U.S. authorities. San Francisco accused the Trump administration of interpreting the law more broadly to require that cities hold jail inmates for immigration authorities.

The city does not do that and says the existing federal law does not require it.

San Francisco asked Orrick to rule that its immigration policies meet the federal standard. The judge said he would take that issue up in a separate case.


Lance Murray 

Iwo Jima survivor Don Graves stands next to the American flag that hangs outside his home.


Local
A Thanksgiving tradition

LEMOORE — Seventeen years ago a group of volunteers came together to serve a Thanksgiving meal to those who had no place to go, and the tradition continues to show no sign of slowing down.

The Kendall family, including Walt Kendall, his wife, Patricia Kendall, and daughter Sharon Farrar nee Kendall, have been the driving force behind the free Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner that serves thousands in Kings County. This will be the first community dinner without Patricia, who died in February

Kendall said it all started when his daughter volunteered at the Poverello House in Fresno and suggested to her parents that they serve Thanksgiving meals like the Poverello House does.

Kendall said the family started making calls to friends to volunteer and the word about the meal began to spread.

About 150 meals were served at the very first dinner, Kendall said, and it has grown ever since then and is now a certified nonprofit. He expects about 2,000 meals to be served on Thursday.

The meal is provided to those who want a place to go to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day. It is open to the public, as well as to seniors and military personnel and their families.

“This is a good way to give to those without a place to go,” Kendall said.

In the first couple years, the dinner was served on site and to-go, but Kendall said home deliveries were started in 2003. He said now home deliveries and takeout meals make up the largest portion of what is served.

Takeout meals and home deliveries in the Hanford/Lemoore area are available for anyone who cannot make it to the dinner’s location, which is the Lemoore Senior Citizens Center located at 789 18th Ave., Lemoore.

He said there were 700 takeout meals and 500 deliveries last year, and he expects only about 300 meals to be served on site this year. He also said he expects around 300 meals be delivered to Avenal and 150 meals to be delivered to Kettleman City.

Even after 16 years, Kendall said serving the dinner is still a learning process and the committee of volunteers gets together after the meal and discuss what worked and what didn’t work so they can improve for the next year.

The organization was the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce’s Organization of the Year in 2012.

Kendall said around 100 people usually volunteer, including around 10 delivery drivers, and the group purchases and prepares all the food, which includes all the Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, dinner rolls, green beans and pumpkin pie.

Kendall said they are always in need of volunteers and welcome anyone who wants to help out. Volunteers don’t have to be there the whole day and can just work part of the day so they can spend time with their families as well.

“Sometimes the whole family will come and work,” Kendall said. “It’s a good experience for the kids.”

An endeavor like this is no easy feat and Kendall said the dinner has relied on donations from individuals, churches, businesses and organizations for the roughly $12,000 cost. He said the Tachi-Yokut Tribe has provided about $5,000-worth of food every year for many years.

“We couldn’t do what we do without donations,” Kendall said.

Kendall said he and his family and all the volunteers are proud of what they do and especially proud that the community has continued to support them over the years.

He said people who receive the meals are always grateful and he is not surprised so many people are willing to help others during the holiday.

“It’s a lot of work, but you always feel good after,” Kendall said.