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Trump casts doubt on Kavanaugh accuser: 'Very hard for me to imagine anything happened'

President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday that it’s “very hard … to imagine anything happened” between Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who claims the judge attempted to rape her when they were both teenagers in the 1980s.

>> Read more trending news

Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, have been invited to testify Monday in a public hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupee: Republicans press for Kavanaugh vote if accuser won’t testify

“If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that’ll be very interesting, and we’ll have to make a decision,” Trump said Wednesday morning. “But I can only say this – he’s such an outstanding man, (it’s) very hard for me to imagine anything happened.”

Ford, a professor at California’s Palo Alto University, on Sunday told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when they were teenagers in the 1980s. Kavanaugh has denied the incident took place.

“I think he’s an extraordinary man, I think he’s a man of great intellect,” Trump said Wednesday. “This is a very tough thing for him and his family and we want to get it over with (and) at the same time, we want to give tremendous amounts of time (to the investigation).”

The Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote Thursday on Kavanaugh’s nomination, although it was unclear when the vote would take place, in light of the allegations.

“They’re hurting somebody’s life very badly,” Trump said.

>> Trump: FBI shouldn't investigate Kavanaugh allegation

Democrats have called for the FBI to investigate the incident, which became public last week, arguing that a broader investigation into the incident is needed. Ford’s attorneys said in a letter Tuesday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that an FBI investigation “should be the first step in addressing her allegations.”

>> Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford wants FBI investigation before testifying in Senate

Trump on Wednesday reiterated comments he made Tuesday, telling reporters he believed the investigation should remain with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Let the senators do it,” Trump said. “They’re doing a very good job. They’ve given tremendous amounts of time. They’ve already postponed a major hearing.”

Republican senators said Wednesday that if Ford decides not to testify Monday, they’ll push for a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Vandals slash Christmas decorations put up for Ohio boy with inoperable cancer

An Ohio community put up Christmas decorations for a 2-year-old boy suffering from inoperable brain cancer because he probably won’t live to see the holidays.

>> Read more trending news 

But vandals have been slashing some of the decorations, and the residents of Colerain Township are not happy about it, WLWT reported.

"They're gonna brag to the wrong person. Somebody's gonna tell somebody. They'll get caught,” neighbor Perry Mattan told the television station. “Might not be today, might not be tomorrow but, eventually, they're gonna slip up.”

Brody Allen made international headlines when he was diagnosed with embryonal tumors with multilayered rosettes, a brain cancer that is so rare that only 300 other people have been diagnosed with the condition, WCPO reported. Doctors treated the boy’s four tumors for 98 days, but then a fifth tumor was detected. They finally told the family in August that they could not do anything more for him, the television station reported.

>> Ohio boy, 2, with inoperable cancer gets early Christmas

The Allen family decided to put up Christmas decorations so the boy could celebrate the holiday, and other community members followed suit. Colerain Township, a suburb of Cincinnati, is planning a Christmas parade for Brody on Sept. 23, WCPO reported.

Shayla Edwards, Brody’s 9-year-old next-door neighbor, had inflatable Christmas decorations slashed in her yard twice in the past week.

"It made me scared, but also mad, because they don't know who we're doing it for and, like, they should be ashamed of themself (sic) and they should stop doing it," Shayla told WLWT.

The leg of an inflatable Santa was cut, and an inflatable polar bear was cut under the arm, the television station reported.

Mattan was visiting the Allen family and heard about the vandalism.

"The lady next door said, 'Somebody stabbed my Santa.' So I went over there and said, 'Well, I can fix it,'" Mattan told WLWT.

"We done a real small part, but, to them, it's big because it directly affects Brody, because, when I was first working on it, he was sitting there and said, 'Fix ho ho?' and I said, 'Yeah, I'm going to try,'" Mattan told the television station.

Police in Colerain Township are investigating the incidents, WLWT reported.

She's the mayor, a great-grandma, and now a gator hunter

When it comes to public safety, don’t mess with Nana. Especially when she is the mayor.

>> Read more trending news 

Judy B. Cochran, a gun-totin’ grandma who recently was elected mayor of Livingston, Texas, killed a 12-foot, 580-pound alligator Monday with one shot at her ranch along the Trinity River in nearby Goodrich, KTRK reported.

Handlers caught what they termed a “nuisance alligator” on a hook, using a seasoned raccoon as bait, and told Cochran she could proceed with the kill, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"I said, 'Don't mess with Nana,'" Cochran told KTRK. "My grandchildren call me Nana."

The hunt took place in the same pond where her 5-year-old grandson, Simon Hughes, killed an alligator in 2009.

Cochran explained that the reptile that was dispatched Monday was suspected of killing one of her miniature horses on her ranch, which is why she set out to kill the alligator.

"We think this is the gator that ate one of our miniature horses several years ago, as big as this gator was, he could've easily eaten it," Cochran told KTRK. "Typically the gators don't bother us, but we've been looking for (this one)."

Cochran had to wait until Sept. 10 to go after the alligator, when a 20-day hunting season began.

"There are a lot of requirements to kill a gator in Polk County," she told the Chronicle. "You have to have a permit and tags from a wildlife biologist, and you have to catch it on a hook first. We don't just go to the ranch and hunt a gator."

Cochran said the alligator’s head would be mounted in her office. The family will eat the meat, and the tide will be tanned to make some boots, Cochran told the Chronicle

“I became mayor in May, became a great-grandmother on Friday, killed the gator on Monday,” Cochran told KPRC.

What is her next adventure? 

“I'm going to see what I can get into next," Cochran told the television station, laughing.

Scooter rider left clinging to hood of car in alleged road rage incident

A Massachusetts woman who thought the scooter she was stuck driving behind should have been in the bike lane is now facing charges.

>> Read more trending news 

The road rage incident happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday in Everett. Video captured by a bystander shows one of the scooter riders on the hood of the woman's car after the driver hit the scooter. The scooter passenger held on to avoid getting injured, while a man who was also on the scooter is seen rolling over in the roadway, Boston25News reported. 

A witness to the incident, followed the driver of the car and called 911. Police said  they found the driver, Jakrah Pires, in Medford soon after it happened, Boston25News reported.

Pires, of Cambridge, was arrested and brought back to the Everett Police Department, where she was charged with four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury and driving to endanger.

The two scooter riders suffered minor injuries, according to police.

PlayStation Classic: Sony to release throwback console in December

Sony is going retro.

Officials with Sony Computer Entertainment announced Wednesday that the company plans to release a miniaturized version of its original PlayStation console later this year.

>> Read more trending news

The console, dubbed the PlayStation Classic, will include a pair of controllers. Officials said it will be about 45 percent smaller than the original version of the system, which was first released in the U.S. in 1995.

The PlayStation Classic will include 20 games pre-loaded into the system, including “Final Fantasy VII,” “Jumping Flash,” “Ridge Racer Type 4,” “Tekken 3,” and “Wild Arms,” company officials said in Wednesday’s announcement. It’s due to hit shelves on Dec. 3, 2018, exactly 24 years after the first PlayStation console hit the shelves in Japan.

“Long-time fans will appreciate the nostalgia that comes with rediscovering the games they know and love, while gamers who might be new to the platform can enjoy the groundbreaking PlayStation console experience that started it all,” company officials said.

The systems are set to retail at $99.99.

Florida neighbors can't bear the sight of nude gardener

Adam and Eve may have been naked in the Garden of Eden, but neighbors in a South Florida city are not happy about a nude gardener in their paradise.

>> Read more trending news 

Residents in a north Stuart neighborhood called the Martin County Sheriff’s Office to complain about a man who does yard work and walks around his property in the buff, but deputies said there is nothing they can do, WPBF reported.

"I came out Sunday night to put the trash out, and I look over and he is bent over, winding up his hose, and I'm like that is my view of the neighborhood,” Melissa Ny, a neighbor, told the television station. "He works on his car, and he does it naked and everyone has called the police, he is just out there doing his yard work, whatever he needs to do outside, naked.”

The naked truth, deputies said, is that as long as the man is not touching himself inappropriately, authorities cannot do anything because he is on his own property.

That’s an answer neighbors can’t bear to abide by.

"Have some respect for the neighborhood kids. Kids catch the bus here. It’s wrong," another neighbor, Charlie Estes, told WPBF. "I have seen these people stand on their front step, buck naked, both of them, and talk to a police officer, sheriff department. The sheriff's department told me to turn my head." 

At least one neighbor is not offended, the television station reported.

"I am not one of those people who have concerns because it is their way of life, and it is on their property and I know it is legal," Molly Merritt told WPBF.

The television station spoke with the nude gardener, who declined to be interviewed. He said he was not interested in being interviewed because he and his family were private people, WPBF reported.

"If they are private, why are your privates on display? That is not private at all, that is very public," Ny told the television station.

Man accused of dealing drugs in front of police, 2 arrested

Two men are facing charges after police said they made a drug transaction in full view of a marked police car at a Kentucky McDonald’s restaurant, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

A pair of officers watched Tuesday from inside a police car in line at the McDonald’s drive-thru when 26-year-old Jesse Fields, the restaurant’s manager, walked in front of their car, WTVQ reported. Authorities said Fields handed what appeared to be a pill to a man on a bicycle, identified as Derrick Chadwell, 36.

“I was like, is this real? They did a transaction right in front of them,” Assistant Police Chief Patrick Robinson told WYMT. “It was right in front of their vehicle, there weren’t any other vehicles in front of them.”

Chadwell threw the pill, which turned out to be hydrocodone, to the ground when officers approached them, WTVQ reported. Robinson told WYMT that Fields told officers he was giving Chadwell something for pain after the older man complained about hurting.

Police arrested Fields and Chadwell on charges of second-degree trafficking a controlled substance. Jail records showed Fields was also charged with possession of marijuana. Both men remained jailed Wednesday.

In a statement to WYMT, McDonald’s management said the restaurant is cooperating with authorities.

Missing Georgia mom found safe 2 weeks after disappearance

A Georgia mother of two reported missing has been found healthy after police searched for her two weeks.

Valerie Maynard, 53, of Smyrna, had last been seen Sept. 3. Her white Land Rover was found Sept. 5 in the Pigeon Hill parking lot on Burnt Hickory Road unlocked with her phone and purse still inside.

Cobb County Sgt. Wayne Delk previously said that Maynard may have been transient due to the number of personal items found in her SUV.

>> On AJC.com: Jury sentences man for shooting father of 3 in back of the head

“Due to privacy concerns, the circumstances leading up to her missing status as well as her current location are not being released,” Delk said on Tuesday.

Court records show Maynard and her husband had recently gone through a divorce. 

>> Read more trending news 

The judge ruled that their two young children live with their father but did allow Maynard limited visitation. She got only the Range Rover in the divorce and was ordered to pay her ex-husband $30,000 in payments, court records indicate.

A judge made a final ruling on her divorce case on Aug. 1, records show. The divorce was first reported by Channel 2 Action News. Maynard’s attorney filed a motion for a new trial on Aug. 30, days before the Cobb mother went missing.

'I'm a Kardashian,' Florida woman claims before pushing neighbor, deputies say

A Florida woman who claimed she was a “Kardashian” was arrested on a battery charge after a confrontation with a neighbor, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.

>> See the Facebook post here

>> Read more Floridoh! stories

Last week, Crystal Kohler, 35, approached her neighbor and said, “I’m a Kardashian. I’m going to (expletive) you up,” and then pushed the victim with both hands, deputies said

When deputies asked Kohler why she did it, she said the neighbor was too “nosy,” according to an incident report.

>> Read more trending news 

The victim said she has ongoing issues with Kohler, who randomly yells at her for no reason.

Kohler remains in the Marion County Jail on a charge of simple battery.

Police sergeant, firefighter, 22 more arrested in child sex sting

Two dozen men, including a police sergeant and firefighter, have been arrested in an undercover child sex sting, New Jersey law enforcement officials announced Tuesday.

According to state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, the sting, dubbed "Operation Open House," targeted "men who allegedly were using social media in an attempt to lure underage girls and boys for sexual activity."

>> Watch the press conference here

During the investigation, undercover officers posed as underage boys and girls on social media sites such as Grindr, Whisper, Skout and Kik, the Attorney General's Office said in a news release

The release said the defendants "typically initiated contact" with the officers and "are alleged to have made arrangements to meet the 'children' for sex."

>> Read more news stories 

The suspects were arrested from Sept. 5 to Sept. 9 at an undercover house in Toms River, other meetup locations or their own cars, authorities said.

Those arrested include Howell Township police Sgt. Richard Conte, 47, of Farmingdale, and Richard Hoffman, 23, a firefighter and college student from Mays Landing. The following suspects also were arrested:

  • Mina G. Beshay, 27, of Monroe Township
  • Christopher Vargas, 29, of Toms River
  • Joshua Rauter, 31, of Little Egg Harbor Township
  • Joseph Martin, 35, of Seaside Heights
  • Volvi Lowinger, 23, of Lakewood
  • Thomas Graciano, 28, of Brick
  • Thomas Blumensteel, 47, of Manchester
  • Thomas Fuller, 44, Toms River
  • Zachary Vincent, 24, of Forked River
  • William Singleton, 24, of Pemberton Township
  • Jonathan Vece, 22, of Turnersville
  • Lawrence Ivancic, 51, of Toms River
  • Robert Lisicki, 51, of Metuchen
  • Dylan Daffron, 28, of Lacey Township
  • Steven Portnoy, 27, of Egg Harbor Township
  • David Studnicky, 64, of Toms River
  • Anthony Perfidio, 24, of Barnegat
  • Brian Degnan, 33, of Toms River
  • Nabindranauth Nandalall, 24, of Bronx, New York
  • William D. Davis, 23, Bayville
  • Charles Schlottfeld, 26, of Bayville
  • Douglass Walton, 54, of Hillsborough

All 24 suspects are facing charges of "attempted luring or enticing a child with purpose to commit a criminal offense against the child," a second-degree offense, the news release said. Some also face charges of attempted sexual assault on a minor, attempted debauching morals of a child and attempted showing obscene material to a minor. See the full list of the suspects and their charges here.

“It is disturbing that some of the alleged child predators from this operation held positions of public service and authority, but behind closed doors they went through great lengths to avoid detection online, frequenting social media sites with the sole purpose of targeting unsuspecting children,” New Jersey State Police Col. Patrick Callahan said in a statement. “Our troopers and partners on the ICAC Task Force are unfazed by the outward appearances of sex offenders and will continue to turn the tables on predators by luring them out of hiding and bringing them to justice. These arrests serve as a sobering reminder that parents should closely monitor their child’s online activity.”

Read more here.

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