The Age of Activism

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Big news. The Employees can now tell the company how to conduct business. 

Good to know right?

The next time you have a beef about something that rankles you lemme encourage you to do as the employees of the Ford Motor Company have done.

About 100 employees asked Ford to give some deep thought to whether police officers needed to have cars and SUV’s made by Ford. It’s been an issue for some Ford employees dating to the period shortly after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.

Well the result has been that Ford started taking heat from employees who “back the blue” and those who’d prefer to “bite” the blue. Arguments ensued. Employee against Employee. And the public started discovering just how much Ford was giving to the DefundthePolice movement.

Well, turns out the Ford Police Interceptor is among the company’s most popular vehicles and it churns out about two-thirds of the nation’s police vehicles. Now THERE is a dilemma.

For now, it seems as though the company will stay with its big seller, but some employees are still not happy. And Ford CEO Jim Hackett is reportedly still considering the issue.

Here’s something for the company to consider.

If police officers don’t get their vehicles from Ford where will they get them?

And something for the workers to consider. How many of y’all still have your jobs because candidate Donald Trump threatened Ford and other Detroit automakers to NOT export jobs to Mexico as the companies had been considering (or face a 35% traffic on those vehicles coming back) in 2016?

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The Christians are turning off Trump?

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President Trump’s polling has taken a dive in the swing states of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Politico reports the Trump campaign is very concerned by it. 1813 contributor Eliot C. Hall says it will go nationwide. Hall believes conservative Christians will turn away from Trump.

Hall says Christians are seeing tweets like the allegations that a news anchor (Joe Scarborough) may have played a role in the death of a former Congressional aide. What are YOUR thoughts about Hall’s views?  

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When the Knee to the Neck is appropriate in police work

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1813News today asked a veteran Beaumont police lieutenant about the arrest protocols that would have played into the Minneapolis death of George Floyd. A death that has led to widespread rioting in U.S. cities. Lt. Bryan Skinner told us the knee to the neck is never appropriate for an arrest. 

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SETX medical pros: They are Alone “even to their last breath”

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Southeast Texans are playing a dramatic role all around the nation in the heroic fight against COVID19. Especially fighting the BIG Invisible Enemy in the Big Apple.

Bridge City’s Sierra Roberts is one of those American heroes.

New York City, the city that never sleeps, seems to be caught in a never-ending nap. The hum of the bright lights of Broadway, the crack of the bat from Yankee Stadium, the hustle and bustle of the yellow taxis in Time Square are all silenced by the Covid19 virus. What was once the destination for fun, shopping, culture & cuisine for travelers from around the globe, is virtually shut down until further notice.

The hospital ICU’s and Covid19 units have been overflowing and their nurses and doctors have been tirelessly working to heal the sick and comfort the dying for months. New York City is Ground Zero for Covid 19. Medical staffing agencies have begun bringing in nurses from around the country to offer relief for the weary nurses working in the hospitals in and around the city.

After many prayers, Sierra Roberts, 25, of Bridge City, Texas, is one of those nurses who packed her bags and hopped on a plane with a few co-workers to head to The Big Apple to offer relief.

“To say I’m nervous is an understatement, but I find comfort in knowing Who has called me here”, said Sierra. “The healthcare workers have been very welcoming to all of us who have come from all over the US to help. Not only have they lost family and friends, but they have lost many coworkers and still, continue to work every day. They are worn down and continue to do their job to the best of their ability.”

Sierra states that working in New York “is so different from back home in Texas, almost a culture shock.” The one thing that is constant for Sierra is being able to be a “compassionate nurse.” What everyone needs to realize is that when you enter a hospital as a Covid19 patient, you enter alone. “These patients have no family here with them, besides us, not even when they are taking their last breath.”

Sierra sees the toll it has taken on the staff of the hospitals in New York. “It takes a strong person to continue to work despite their world stopping around them.”

The shortage or lack of PPE has been a problem throughout this pandemic in the US. The staffing agency has kept this group of nurses supplied well with the PPE they need. They have received many donations which Sierra said they are putting to good use. All of the nurses in the hotel Sierra is staying have been getting donations from all over the world. “We share these and protect one another. Supplies are slim, but we come together and make do with whatever we have available.”

When Sierra returns in a few weeks, she will be required to quarantine herself at home for 2 weeks before going back to work as a Cath Lab nurse at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont. She wanted to leave everyone with a message. “This is a very real thing, I need people to know that. I too have thought, ‘oh it can’t be as bad as they say on the news’, but it truly is. Yes, things have seemed to have slowed down from about 2 weeks ago, but it doesn’t take away from the situation, currently. I have patients from all ages and backgrounds. You don’t know the true heartbreak in this situation until you lose a family member or friend or have to let an entire family say goodbye to their child through a FaceTime call from your personal phone. It isn’t a game and I hope everyone at home takes it seriously and understands the threat of this virus.”

As Texas slowly begins to reopen our economy, remember Sierra’s message and continue to use safe practices of social distancing and hand washing. As our president has said, “We can’t let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” but we must use caution.

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Mark Chestnutt remembers Joe Diffie

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“It didn’t really hit home till today, when I lost my buddy.”

Country music legend Mark Chesnutt describes the shock of losing his friend Joe Diffie to COVID 19.

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Lumberton Walmart Employee Tests positive for COVID-19

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Saturday Hardin County Judge Wayne McDaniel confirmed that a Lumberton Wal-Mart employee tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Hardin County officials, the employee has become the 7th confirmed case. Including, 3 in Silsbee and 4 in Lumberton.

Earlier, Michael Westbrook, Hardin-Jefferson High School Band Director, died of COVID-19.

As of Saturday night, 123,750 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, including 2,329 in Texas.

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MARCH 12TH 11:30 AM – NO CORONAVIRUS CASES IN JEFFERSON COUNTY

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Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick has confirmed that no coronavirus cases have been found in either of the major Beaumont medical facilities despite persistent stories of confirmations. Branick tells 1813News that after inquiries at Christus St. Elizabeth and Baptist Beaumont Hospital he has found no confirmed cases of the potentially deadly disease.

While the virus is sweeping across Italy and parts of Europe, the U.S. is just now beginning to see major infection rates in some parts of the country.

Branick confirms that 6-hour test kits have been ordered and Jefferson County is mounting a defense. The judge has noted the need for good hygiene but has also warned about overreacting to the stories of the spread of the COVID virus.

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Jeff County Judge Jeff Branick Asks for Local Litigation to handle TPC Explosion Claims

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Southeast Texans still seeking relief from the damages of the TPC explosion and fire last year could get a helping hand from area political leaders, and Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick tells 1813News he has already made such a request.

Branick has requested that the Texas Supreme Court leave the issue – in a local court.

TPC has petitioned the SCOT to have cases moved into multi-district litigation (MDL) as many of you victims know already. But attorney Brent Coon believes its an unfair inconvenience for Southeast Texans. Coon told 1813News Friday (March 6) he believes The Texas Supreme Court could be persuaded by amicus briefs filed by local political leaders, and could decide that Texans would be better served if the issue is heard in Jefferson County.

Branick told us Friday he has made it known that the cases should stay here. Branick says he used an intermediary, who is a friend of the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, to convey that message. He says he passed along his views very clearly but has not filed an amicus brief specifically.

Hearing them elsewhere would of course force litigants to travel considerable distances to take part in hearings.

The material witnesses all live in Southeast Texas. But it could still take several months for the process to move forward. Coon says its generally a delaying tactic on the part of TPC – a means of preventing litigants from pursuing the discovery process. He argues its counterproductive to closure and deprives litigants of unfair representation.

Will the cases be consolidated by the high court? Will the high court believe it needs to engage on the procedural issues or allow arguments to be heard in SETX? These are crucial questions.

Tuesday night (March 10,2020) a hearing will be held at 5:30 at the KC Hall in Port Neches. There, related issues will be discussed and its possible that public pressure could move leaders to file amicus briefs.

Brent Coon & Associates will also give a brief overview of the history of the industry accidents, discuss generally what happens, and discuss side issues like the Texas Attorney General lawsuit affecting TPC.

Is there a legitimate reason that the local judiciary could not hear the cases? You be the judge, but Judge Branick has already acted and it appears other local leaders could join in leading the way.

Tell us how the blast has affected you and your family. Please contact us in the comments below or on our Facebook link to this story.

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TPC Explosion Aftermath: The Way Forward

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Southeast Texas learned remarkable and sad details of the extent of the TPC explosion mystery this week when Beaumont Enterprise reporter Kaitlin Bain detailed her findings in the newspaper.

She joined 1813 to talk about her stories going forward, what she learned from her investigation, and what was most shocking to her personally.

We also got a new perspective from Southeast Texas attorneys Brian Sutton and Brent Coon.

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