Las Vegas strip will go dark to honor shooting rampage victims


It’s been a year since Jason McMillan was shot at the Route 91 Harvest Festival while shielding his girlfriend from the gunfire raining from a nearby high-rise. Since the shooting, the father of two got engaged, bought a home and got a puppy. (Sept. 27)

The marquees along the iconic Las Vegas Strip will go dark Monday night to mark the first anniversary of a gunman’s rampage that killed 58 people at an open-air country music festival.

The solemn event is one of several scheduled to mark the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history that saw more than 400 other people wounded by bullets fired from a high-rise hotel room. Hundreds more were injured while fleeing the chaotic scene.

“A lot of people have probably put it out of their minds,” said Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who led a fund drive that raised millions for victims. “The anniversary is going to bring up a lot of feelings, good and bad.”

Thousands of music fans were gathered on the Strip for the Route 91 Harvest Festival, listening to Jason Aldean wrapping up the night’s show. Stephen Paddock was holed up in a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino complex.

At 10:05 p.m. Paddock began firing down on the crowd. The next 10 minutes were a blur of fear and panic as victims tumbled while survivors scrambled to elude the onslaught.

The shooting stopped at 10:15. More than 1,000 rounds of ammunition had been fired. It would be more than an hour later that officers swarmed the room, finding Paddock dead on the floor of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

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Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, following a 10-month investigation, announced that authorities could not determine a motive for the carnage. The FBI is still trying to find one.

“A lot of the feeling among people is more, ‘Let’s move on,’” community activist Pauline Ng Lee said. “We don’t have a lot of long traditions here. You can see it with buildings. Casinos come up, casinos get knocked down. People tend to look forward, not back.”

But for now the city is looking back. The police department is hosting a sunrise remembrance ceremony Monday, and a few hours later a prayer vigil is set for City Hall. On Monday evening a new remembrance wall will be dedicated. Later, the Strip will go dark at 10:01 p.m., and other areas of the city are expected to turn out their lights as well.

At 10:05, a somber reading of the names of victims will take place at the Community Healing Garden, a memorial site downtown.

Gov. Brian Sandoval ordered flags across the state to fly at half staff on Monday.

“The people of Nevada will never forget this tragic day, and hold the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in their thoughts and prayers,” Sandoval said.

Contributing: The Associated Press



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WATCH: NJ star 070 Shake performs with Kanye West on ‘SNL’ before his MAGA hat rant

Kanye West’s post-show “MAGA” rant on “Saturday Night Live,” which was delivered after the broadcast ended, grabbed headlines this weekend, along with Matt Damon’s portrayal of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

But 070 Shake, the 21-year-old West collaborator and upstart talent from North Bergen, also had her moment in the spotlight during the “SNL” season premiere (see tweets below). 

After West performed songs with two other artists — donning a Perrier bottle costume for “I Love It” with Lil Pump, who was outfitted as a bottle of Fiji Water — and debuting “We Got Love” with Teyana Taylor — Shake took the stage alongside West, Ty Dolla $ign and Kid Cudi during the end credits of the show to perform the song “Ghost Town” from West’s album “Ye.” The album was released in June and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. 

Shake, born Danielle Balbuena, has been praised for her high-flying performance during the much-praised outro of the song.

“And nothing hurts anymore, I feel kinda free,” she sings. “We’re still the kids we used to be/ I put my hand on a stove/ To see if I still bleed/ And nothing hurts anymore/ I feel kinda free.”

Signed to West’s G.O.O.D. Music label since 2016, Shake has appeared on a total of three West-produced albums that were released in the span of one month, starting with the Pusha-T album “Daytona,” released in May, followed in June by “ye” and “Nasir” from Nas.

The “070” in her name refers to 07047, the zip code for North Bergen. She’s a member of the 070 crew, a collective of local artists. The “shake” refers to the shake-and-weave, a basketball move from her days playing in North Bergen (she was a shooting guard on the Bruins girl’s basketball team at North Bergen High School). 

In July, Shake performed the song “Santeria” alongside Pusha-T on “The Tonight Show.” 

Shake’s debut EP, “Glitter,” came out in March. She’s currently working on a full-length album. 

West was wearing a red “MAGA” (Make America Great Again) hat during his performance of the song, a portion of which played during the end credits. After it was over and the show was no longer on the air, he had some more words for “SNL” (see partial clip below).

“They bullied me backstage,” West said. “They said, ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on.’ They bullied me backstage. They bullied me. And they say I’m in the sunken place. Do you wanna see the sunken place? OK, I’mma listen to y’all now,” he said, removing the hat. “Or I’m gonna put my Superman cape on,” he said, putting it back on. “Because this means you can’t tell me what to do. Follow your heart and stop following your mind. That’s how we’re controlled. That’s how we’re programmed. If you want the world to move forward, try love.” 

During his post-show remarks, West also referenced plans to run for president in 2020 and claimed 90 percent of the news media — and “TV, LA, New York, writers, rappers, musicians” — is liberal. 

“So it’s easy to make it seem like it’s so, so, so one-sided,” he said. 

President Donald Trump addressed West’s “SNL” appearance on Sunday afternoon.

“Like many, I don’t watch Saturday Night Live (even though I past hosted it) – no longer funny, no talent or charm,” he tweeted. “It is just a political ad for the Dems. Word is that Kanye West, who put on a MAGA hat after the show (despite being told “no”), was great. He’s leading the charge!”


Amy Kuperinsky may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @AmyKup or on Facebook.


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Sarah Palin’s Son Arrested On Domestic Violence Charges For 3rd Time

Track Palin, the eldest son of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), was arrested Friday for the third time in less than three years on charges stemming from domestic violence incidents.

In the latest case, he allegedly assaulted a female acquaintance in his home, according to law enforcement officials.

Alaskan State Troopers took the 29-year-old Army veteran into custody around 10:30 p.m. on Friday while responding to a “disturbance” report at his home in Wasilla.

“When the acquaintance attempted to call authorities, he prevented her by taking away her phone,” according to an online dispatch report. “While being placed under arrest, Palin physically resisted troopers.”

Palin was subsequently charged with domestic violence, interfering with a report of domestic violence, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He was taken to Mat-Su Pretrial Facility in Palmer, where he was held without bail, the online dispatch report stated.

In court on Saturday, Track Palin pleaded “not guilty, for sure” on all four charged, local NBC affiliate KTUU reported.

Representatives for the Alaska State Troopers did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Palin is the oldest of 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s five children. In June, he pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal trespassing charges as part of a plea deal related to an alleged December 2017 assault of his father. A drunken Track had repeatedly hit Todd Palin in the head after breaking into his parents’ home in Wasilla, according to charging documents obtained by The Los Angeles Times.

At the time of his 2017 arrest, Track Palin had been on probation after reaching a plea agreement following a domestic violence arrest in January 2016 for allegedly assaulting and pointing a gun at his then-girlfriend, Jordan Lowe.

Sarah Palin suggested after that first arrest that her son was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his service in Iraq.

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Hundreds of young migrants moved to tent city: report

Hundreds of migrant children in recent weeks have been moved from private foster homes or shelters to a tent city in south Texas, according to The New York Times

The children were reportedly placed on buses in the middle of the night to move from shelters in locations ranging from New York to Kansas to the facility in Tornillo, Texas.

The children are now housed in groups of 20, sleeping in lines of bunk beds and receiving no schooling and minimal access to legal services, the newspaper reported, adding that in private shelters and foster homes, the children slept two or three to a room, received formal schooling and had regular visits with legal representatives.

The Times reported that the moves are part of a “mass reshuffling” of migrant children across the country as their numbers soared under President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: Kim Jong Un and I ‘fell in love’ Trump again goes after Warren as ‘Pocahontas’ Robert DeNiro rallies voters: ‘You are the bosses’ MORE. Thousands of migrant families were separated earlier this year as a result of Trump’s “zero-tolerance’ immigration policy. The newspaper previously reported that the number of migrant children in federal custody has increased from 2,400 in May 2017 to a record 12,800 this month.

The facility in Tornillo reportedly opened in June with a 450-bed capacity and was scheduled to stay open for just 30 days. But it is now expected to stay open until at least the end of the year and now accommodates 3,800 beds.  

“It is common to use influx shelters as done on military bases in the past, and the intent is to use these temporary facilities only as long as needed,” Evelyn Stauffer, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), told the Times.

Stauffer added that the mass influx of migrant children is the result of a “broken immigration system.”

“The number of families and unaccompanied alien children apprehended are a symptom of the larger problem, namely a broken immigration system,” Stauffer said. “Their ages and the hazardous journey they take make unaccompanied alien children vulnerable to human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. That is why H.H.S. joins the president in calling on Congress to reform this broken system.”

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Boy, 13, attacked by shark off Southern California coast

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A 13-year-old boy was critically injured and flown to a hospital by helicopter after being attacked Saturday by a shark off the coast of Encinitas, California, officials said.

The boy, who was not identified, “sustained traumatic injuries to the upper torso area” in the 6:55 a.m. incident near Beacon’s Beach, said Encinitas Lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles. A spokesman for Rady Children’s Hospital said he was in critical condition and would undergo surgery Saturday afternoon.

After the attack, the boy was brought back to the beach by three good Samaritans on a kayak. About 30 people had been in the water diving for lobsters on the first day of the season, Giles and a witness said.

The 13-year old boy who was apparently bitten by a shark while free-diving on the first day of lobster season, on Sept. 29. 2018 in Encinitas, California.
The 13-year old boy who was apparently bitten by a shark while free-diving on the first day of lobster season, on Sept. 29. 2018 in Encinitas, California.Family photo / via Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego

Lifeguards on scene provided life support before the boy was taken to a trauma center, Giles said. The boy was conscious when he was saved by bystanders and when he was transported by helicopter, he said.

“There was about 30 people in the water, and then we heard this kid scream—and I thought he just, you know, maybe his first bug [lobster], got like a big one and so I was happy for him,” Chad Hammel, one of the kayakers who helped rescue the boy, said.

“And then I kind of heard that ‘I got bit,'” Hammel said. “There was a seal swimming around us, and so I kind of put two and two together. When I started paddling towards him and there was a big old, you know, wake of blood behind him.”

Once on the kayak, Hammel said the boy’s “entire back was open.” The boy said the shark attacked him from the clavicle and on his back, and the shark’s teeth cut part of his cheek.

One of the three men was swimming with his fins and Hammel paddled towards shore, but “the shark followed,” Hammel said.

“He wasn’t really chasing, but he was kind of waiting to see what was going to happen,” he said. It was the boy’s first time out for lobster, Hammel said.

Bystanders said the shark was around 11 feet long, Giles said. The boy was in about 9 feet of water 150 to 200 yards from the beach. One of his parents was on the beach at the time.

“We are concerned about obviously public safety. The beaches are going to be closed down right now,” Giles said. “We are asking people not to go into the water.”

Bystanders reported there was a seal in the area at the time of the attack, Giles said. Seals are prey for some types of sharks, including great whites. Hammel said “it looked like a white.” Officials were working with a marine scientist to determine the type of shark involved.

The boy’s family is requesting privacy but said they appreciate the support they have received, Dr. Tim Fairbanks, division chief of pediatric surgery and trauma surgery at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, said in a statement on their behalf.

“The family is completely focused on their child at this time,” Fairbanks said.

He added that the boy was free diving for lobsters when he was attacked.

The waters by beaches were closed from La Costa Avenue around South Ponto Beach south to Swami’s Beach and would remain closed for 48 hours to see if there was any more shark activity in the area, Giles said.

“At this time since the incident, we have not seen any shark activity at all,” he said.

A surfing competition down the beach was canceled Saturday, and a sheriff’s helicopter was being flown to observe any signs of sharks, among other measures. If there is no more activity spotted, the beach closures could end at 7 a.m. Monday, Giles said.

“We don’t want anybody else getting injured, so that’s why we’re taking the precautions that we’re doing,” Giles said.

Image: Shark Attack
After clearing the ocean area of surfers and swimmers, lifeguards watch over the waters, off Beacon’s Beach, after authorities said a young boy was attacked by a shark in Encinitas, California, Sept. 29, 2018.Mike Blake / Reuters

One of the three kayakers who helped rescue the boy was an off-duty police officer from the city of Oceanside, another was an off-duty California state park lifeguard and the third was a friend of theirs, Giles said.

There have been a few shark attacks in the area recently, including a non-fatal attack near Camp Pendleton earlier this year and a fatal attack near Solana Beach several years ago, Giles said. In 2008, a swimmer was killed by a great white shark off Solana Beach, according to reports at the time.

The attack shocked some people familiar with the waters off Beacon’s Beach. Mike McInnis, who lives nearby, learned to surf there when he was 6 years old.

“I just couldn’t believe it was happening, in my surf break,” McInnis said. “I surf here almost every day.”

There were a series of possible shark sightings reported off the coast of Oceanside, a city north of Encinitas, in late June, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Earlier this month, a swimmer was killed in a shark attack off Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The Sept. 15 attack that killed a 26-year-old man was the first fatal shark attack in that state since 1936, and the first deadly attack in the U.S. since 2015, officials said.

Encinitas is a coastal city of around 60,000 people north of San Diego.

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