Tad Cummins told wife he slept with teen, she says

(CNN)The wife of the former Tennessee teacher accused of running off with a 15-year-old student says she knew the answer but asked anyway.

“I said, ‘Well, did you sleep with her?’ ” Jill Cummins said in an interview with “Inside Edition,” describing a jailhouse phone conversation with her husband.
“Yes, I did,” Tad Cummins replied, according to his wife, who has filed for divorce.
    “I didn’t want any details,” she told “Inside Edition” in an interview that aired Thursday. “But I knew the truth. I just wanted to hear it from him to me. I told him, I probably wouldn’t be answering the phone anymore.”
    Cummins was arrested last week outside a remote cabin in Cecilville, California, at the end of a 39-day manhunt for him and the teen, who was reported missing some 1,900 miles away, in her hometown south of Nashville.
    The girl was found safe. Cummins now faces one federal count of transportation of a minor across state lines for the purpose of criminal sexual intercourse as well as state charges of sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping.
    When her husband recently contacted her by phone, Jill Cummins told “Inside Edition” that she went into a rage.
    “Do you know what you’ve done to me and to your girls and to your grandchildren?” she said she told him. “He pretty much, just over and over, said, ‘I’m sorry.’ “
    She said it was hard to hear his voice. She thought she’d never hear from him again after he disappeared with his former student. She said she told him she felt betrayed and would not allow him to hurt her or their family again.
    “I told him, ‘She is a child, and you are a 50-year-old man and that’s not right,’ ” Jill Cummins recalled. “She didn’t have a choice whether or not go with you. He said, ‘She did have a choice.’ “
    Before his capture April 20, Tad Cummins and the young woman he called his wife slipped into the remote Northern California community of Cecilville unrecognized. He passed himself off as a down-on-his-luck Colorado man who’d just lost his job and home, according to the man who eventually tipped off police.
    The pair had been in the heavily wooded area 60 miles south of the Oregon line about a week, according to Griffin Barry, who says he eventually helped police capture Cummins.
    Cummins and the teen arrived at a gas station there a week earlier, apparently on their way to visit a commune, Barry told CNN.
    Cummins told Barry he was 44, and that the teen was his 22-year-old wife, according to the cabin’s owner.
    As Barry discussed the pair with someone at a bar later, the other person found Cummins’ picture online in an Amber Alert widely distributed by authorities. He called police.
    Cummins and the girl disappeared March 13 as a police investigation into their relationship was heating up.
    A high school health sciences teacher in the Tennessee town of Culleoka, Cummins had been suspended in February, less than a month after a student reported seeing him and the 15-year-old kissing in a classroom.
    At the time of his disappearance, Jill Cummins said, her husband left her a note saying, ” ‘I’m getting away to clear my head of all this crap. I love you. Please don’t call the police… They’ll just think I’m guilty and I’m not. I’m so sorry.”
    She said she believed him until she learned the teenager also was missing. The revelation pretty much ended what she described as a “perfect … loving Christian household.”
    In the days before the alleged abduction, Tad Cummins refilled a prescription for the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis, took out a loan for quick cash and made hotel reservations in another state, according to a criminal complaint.
    In a Friday interview on “Inside Edition,” Jill Cummins said she talked to her husband about the teen before he disappeared.
    “He was getting close to her, a father-daughter close,” she said. “A friendship close. And I discussed that with him and explained to him she’s your student — we can’t be so close to her. Never did I think there was a romantic thing going on between the two of them. There were no signs of that.”
    When asked if she felt the teenager betrayed her, Jill Cummins said, “I do feel slightly betrayed by her because she knew him. She knew what she had. And what she was destroying.”
    Ashley, one of the couple’s daughters, said on Friday’s “Inside Edition” that she fully supports her mother but, at the same time, stands by her father.
    “He was the definition of what a father should be. He really was and is. I still believe that,” she said. Ashley said she may someday talk to her father about what he did, but for now, “he needs to at least know that everybody is not against him.”
    Jill Cummins said he would never take her husband back, but doesn’t hate him.
    “I hate what he did,” she said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/28/us/tennessee-teacher-wife-interview/index.html

    What is the Petya ransomware attack, and how can it be stopped?

    Companies have been crippled by an attack dubbed Petya, the second major ransomware crime in two months. Olivia Solon answers the key questions

    Many organizations in Europe and the US have been crippled by a ransomware attack dubbed Petya. The malicious software has spread through large firms including the advertiser WPP, food company Mondelez, legal firm DLA Piper and Danish shipping and transport firm Maersk, leading to PCs and data being locked up and held for ransom.

    Its the second major global ransomware attack in the last two months. In early May, Britains National Health Service (NHS) was among the organizations infected by WannaCry, which used a vulnerability first revealed to the public as part of a leaked stash of NSA-related documents released online in April by a hacker group calling itself the Shadow Brokers.

    The WannaCry or WannaCrypt ransomware attack affected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries, with the UKs national health service, Spanish phone company Telefnica and German state railways among those hardest hit.

    Like WannaCry, Petya spreads rapidly through networks that use Microsoft Windows, but what is it, why is it happening and how can it be stopped?

    What is ransomware?

    Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to a computer or its data and demands money to release it.

    How does it work?

    When a computer is infected, the ransomware encrypts important documents and files and then demands a ransom, typically in Bitcoin, for a digital key needed to unlock the files. If victims dont have a recent back-up of the files they must either pay the ransom or face losing all of their files.

    How does the Petya ransomware work?

    The Petya ransomware takes over computers and demands $300, paid in Bitcoin. The malicious software spreads rapidly across an organization once a computer is infected using the EternalBlue vulnerability in Microsoft Windows (Microsoft has released a patch, but not everyone will have installed it) or through two Windows administrative tools. The malware tries one option and if it doesnt work, it tries the next one. It has a better mechanism for spreading itself than WannaCry, said Ryan Kalember from cybersecurity company Proofpoint.

    Where did it start?

    The attack appears to have been seeded through a software update mechanism built into an accounting program that companies working with the Ukrainian government need to use, according to the Ukrainian Cyber Police. This explains why so many Ukrainian organizations were affected, including government, banks, state power utilities and Kievs airport and metro system. The radiation monitoring system at Chernobyl was also taken offline, forcing employees to use hand-held counters to measure levels at the former nuclear plants exclusion zone.

    How far has it spread?

    The Petya ransomware has caused serious disruption at large firms in Europe and the US, including the advertising firm WPP, French construction materials company Saint-Gobain and Russian steel and oil firms Evraz and Rosneft. The food company Mondelez, legal firm DLA Piper, Danish shipping and transport firm AP Moller-Maersk and Heritage Valley Health System, which runs hospitals and care facilities in Pittsburgh, also said their systems had been hit by the malware.

    Shipping company Maersks IT system was impacted by the cyber-attack. Photograph: Mauritz Antin/EPA

    So is this just another opportunistic cybercrimnal?

    It initially looked like Petya was just another cybercriminal taking advantage of cyberweapons leaked online. However, security experts say that the payment mechanism of the attack seems too amateurish to have been carried out by serious criminals. Firstly, the ransom note includes the same Bitcoin payment address for every victim most ransomware creates a custom address for every victim. Secondly, Petya asks victims to communicate with the attackers via a single email address which has been suspended by the email provider after they discovered what it was being used for. This means that even if someone pays the ransom, they have no way to communicate with the attacker to request the decryption key to unlock their files.

    OK, so then who is behind the attack?

    Its not clear, but it seems likely it is someone who wants the malware to masquerade as ransomware, while actually just being destructive, particularly to the Ukrainian government. Security researcher Nicholas Weaver told cybersecurity blog Krebs on Security that Petya was a deliberate, malicious, destructive attack or perhaps a test disguised as ransomware.

    Ukraine has blamed Russia for previous cyber-attacks, including one on its power grid at the end of 2015 that left part of western Ukraine temporarily without electricity. Russia has denied carrying out cyber-attacks on Ukraine.

    What should you do if you are affected by the ransomware?

    The ransomware infects computers and then waits for about an hour before rebooting the machine. While the machine is rebooting, you can switch the computer off to prevent the files from being encrypted and try and rescue the files from the machine, as flagged by @HackerFantastic on Twitter.

    Hacker Fantastic (@hackerfantastic)

    If machine reboots and you see this message, power off immediately! This is the encryption process. If you do not power on, files are fine. pic.twitter.com/IqwzWdlrX6

    June 27, 2017

    If the system reboots with the ransom note, dont pay the ransom the customer service email address has been shut down so theres no way to get the decryption key to unlock your files anyway. Disconnect your PC from the internet, reformat the hard drive and reinstall your files from a backup. Back up your files regularly and keep your anti-virus software up to date.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/27/petya-ransomware-cyber-attack-who-what-why-how

    Yes Theres Hope, But Treating Spinal Injuries With Stem Cells Is Not A Reality Yet

    The ConversationThe 2017 Australian of the Year award went to Professor Alan Mackay-Sim for his significant career in stem cell science.

    The prize was linked to barbeque-stopping headlines equating his achievements to the scientific equivalent of the moon landing and paving the road to recovery for people with spinal cord injuries.

    Such claims in the media imply that there is now a scientifically proven stem cell treatment for spinal cord injury. This is not the case.

    For now, any clinic or headline claiming miracle cures should be viewed with caution, as they are likely to be trading on peoples hope.

    Why stem cells for spinal cord injury?

    Put simply, injury to the spinal cord causes damage to the nerve cells that transmit information between the brain and the rest of the body.

    Depending on which part of the spine is involved, the injury can affect the nerves that control the muscles in our legs and arms; those that control bowel and bladder function and how we regulate body temperature and blood pressure; and those that carry the sensation of being touched. This occurs in part because injury and subsequent scarring affect not just the nerves but also the insulation that surrounds and protects them. The insulation the myelin sheath is damaged and the body cannot usually completely replace or regenerate this covering.

    Stem cells can self-reproduce and grow into hundreds of different cell types, including nerves and the cells that make myelin. So the blue-sky vision is that stem cells could restore some nerve function by replacing missing or faulty cells, or prevent further damage caused by scarring.

    Studies in animals have applied stem cells derived from sources including brain tissue, the lining of the nasal cavity, tooth pulp, and embryos (known as embryonic stem cells).

    Dramatic improvements have been shown on some occasions, such as rats and mice regaining bladder control or the ability to walk after injury. While striking, such improvement often represents only a partial recovery. It holds significant promise, but is not direct evidence that such an approach will work in people, particularly those with more complex injuries.

    What is happening now in clinical trials?

    The translation of findings from basic laboratory stem cell research to effective and safe treatments in the clinic involves many steps and challenges. It needs a firm scientific basis from animal studies and then careful evaluation in humans.

    Many clinical studies examining stem cells for spinal repair are currently underway. The approaches fit broadly into two categories:

    1. using stem cells as a source of cells to replace those damaged as a result of injury

    2. applying cells to act on the bodys own cells to accelerate repair or prevent further damage.

    One study that has attracted significant interest involves the injection of myelin-producing cells made from human embryonic stem cells. Researchers hoped that these cells, once injected into the spinal cord, would mature and form a new coating on the nerve cells, restoring the ability of signals to cross the spinal cord injury site. Preliminary results seem to show that the cells are safe; studies are ongoing.

    Other clinical trials use cells from patients own bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat), or from donated cord blood or nerves from fetal tissue. The scientific rationale is based on the possibility that when transplanted into the injured spinal cord, these cells may provide surrounding tissue with protective factors which help to re-establish some of the connections important for the network of nerves that carry information around the body.

    The field as it stands combines years of research, and tens of millions of dollars of investment. However, the development of stem cell therapies for spinal cord injury remains a long way from translating laboratory promise into proven and effective bedside treatments.

    The promise and uncertainty of breakthroughs

    Each case is unique in people with spinal cord injury: the level of paralysis, and loss of sensation and function relate to the type of injury and its location. Injuries as a result of stab wounds or infection may result in different outcomes from those incurred as a result of trauma from a car accident or serious fall. The previous health of those injured, the care received at the time of injury, and the type of rehabilitation they access can all impact on subsequent health and mobility.

    Such variability means caution needs to accompany claims of man walking again particularly when reports relate to a single individual.

    In the case that was linked to the Australian of the Year award, the actual 2013 study focused on whether it was safe to take the patients own nerves and other cells from the nose and place these into the damaged region of the spine. While the researchers themselves recommended caution in interpreting the results, accompanying media reports focused on the outcome from just one of the six participants.

    While the outcome was significant for the gentleman involved, we simply do not know whether recovery may have occurred for this individual even without stem cells, given the type of injury (stab wounds), the level of injury, the accompanying rehabilitation that he received or a combination of these factors. It cannot be assumed a similar outcome would be the case for all people with spinal injury.

    We are not there yet but there is hope

    Finding a way to alleviate the suffering of those with spinal cord injury, and many other conditions, drives the work of thousands of researchers and doctors around the globe. But stem cells are not a silver bullet and should not be immune from careful evaluation in clinical trials.

    Failure to proceed with caution could actually cause harm. For example, a paraplegic woman who was also treated with nasal stem cells showed no clinical improvement, and developed a large mucus-secreting tumour in her spine. This case highlights the need for further refinement and assessment in properly conducted clinical trials before nasal stem cells can become part of mainstream medicine.

    Its also worth noting that for spinal cord injury, trials for recovery of function are not limited to the use of stem cells but include approaches focused on promoting health of surviving nerves (neuroprotection), surgery following injury, nerve transfers, electrical stimulation, external physical supports known as exoskeletons, nanotechnology and brain-machine interfaces.

    Ultimately, determining which of these approaches will improve the lives of people with spinal injury can only be done through rigorous, ethical research.

    Megan Munsie, Head of Education, Ethics, Law & Community Awareness Unit, Stem Cells Australia, University of Melbourne; Andrew Nunn, Adjunct Research Associate , Monash University, and Claire Tanner, Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Melbourne

    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/yes-theres-hope-but-treating-spinal-injuries-with-stem-cells-is-not-a-reality-yet/

    McConnell’s test: Can he do more than obstruct?

    (CNN)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing a major test this week. Since revealing the details of the Republican health care plan, McConnell has watched as a number of important senators in his own party announced their concerns or opposition. Some, such as Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, have urged him to postpone the vote based on the assumption that, at this moment, it would not pass the upper chamber where the majority only has a slim 52 seats.

    Meanwhile, on Monday, the Congressional Budget Office announced that under the Senate bill there would be 22 million more uninsured Americans by 2026, making McConnell’s efforts to pass the bill that much more difficult.
    But McConnell’s supporters believe he can make this happen. They see McConnell as a modern-day Lyndon Johnson, who has served as both Senate minority and majority leader, an old-school legislator who can twist arms and cut deals to bring his party together. They are confident that despite all the potential problems with this bill, McConnell must have enough tricks up his sleeve to defy conventional wisdom.
      But the truth is it’s nearly impossible to predict if McConnell will succeed. To many, he has defined his career as an obstructionist rather than as someone who creates new policies. The challenge he faces this week is fundamentally different than much of what he has confronted in his time as a party leader.
      Most of McConnell’s skills have come as a member of the congressional minority or as a majority leader facing a president from the other party. Under those conditions, McConnell could be brilliant and devastating. Shortly after President Obama’s inauguration, Utah Republican Bob Bennett recalled McConnell telling a retreat of Republicans: “We have a new president with an approval rating in the 70% area. We do not take him on frontally. We find issues where we can win, and we begin to take him down, one issue at a time.”
      His track record as an agent of obstruction is legendary. Throughout the Obama presidency, McConnell proved to be extremely effective at blocking many key legislative initiatives, from immigration reform to climate change regulations to criminal justice reform, that sometimes even commanded bipartisan support. The senator proved he knew how to whip up a no vote and to stand firm against intense political pressure to act.
      He demonstrated the same savvy with judicial and executive branch appointments. McConnell was more than willing to let seats remain empty. Never was his ability to hold the party together as clear as when Justice Antonin Scalia died during President Obama’s term. The Senate majority leader refused to even hold hearings on the nomination of Merrick Garland, based on the spurious argument that the next president should have the right to decide on the appointment. The seat remained vacant until a Republican controlled the White House.
      As an obstructionist, McConnell demonstrated he was able to ignore the scrutiny of the media no matter how hot it became. When pundits and policymakers took to the airwaves to lambast the Republicans for failing to govern or for creating a constitutional crisis, McConnell didn’t flinch. The breaking news cycle didn’t faze him. He plays, as he titled his memoir, the “Long Game” with an eye on the needs of his party. Between 2009 and 2017, he kept up the pressure on his colleagues in the Senate to stick to their guns, and it worked.
      Now the situation is different. For the first time in his career as a party leader (other than the brief moment he was selected as Senate majority leader in 2006), the public will see just how well he can perform in making things happen rather than blocking progress.
      But the skills are different on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
      Part of the job of the majority leader in times of united government is to bring disparate parts of the party together around proposals to change the status quo. “Trumpcare” would do just that. This is legislation that will strip away the health care benefits for millions of Americans and create a period of great uncertainty for health care markets.
      Some conservatives want Congress to do much more in dismantling government. To them, the government would still be spending too much money subsidizing markets and leaving too many regulations in place. Others in the GOP are not willing to make such grandiose changes, realizing the effects it will have on their electorate. In particular, they fear the effects of the rollback of Medicaid on their populations as well as the higher deductibles that people with more illnesses will face.
      Can McConnell bring these sides together, and work with the intransigent Freedom Caucus in the House, around legislation that will change the status quo and where Republicans will likely be blamed for any negative outcome?
      In the modern era, part of the job of the majority leader has also been to sell ideas to the public. This is where the job of the obstructionist is very different than the job of the policy creator. Unlike some recent Senate majority leaders, McConnell doesn’t really like to be on television and he tends to avoid reporters whenever possible. In this case, that comes at a cost since the natural face of the party is not out there convincing Americans why this is a good idea. That task is left to others, and right now his fellow salesmen, as reflected in public opinion polls about the health care bills, are doing a poor job.
      Until now, President Trump has not tested McConnell, since he has focused almost exclusively on executive actions and avoided the legislative front on large-scale issues.
      It is worth noting that McConnell does not really have many legislative issues that he is known for, other than his fierce opposition in the 1990s to campaign finance reform. This week he is dealing with a major issue that would have his signature in the history books.

      Join us on Twitter and Facebook

      Can McConnell deliver on this controversial legislation? Can he play the part of leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, who delivered when Democrats controlled the White House and Congress in the mid-1960s? Or, is this problematic bill something that is just too hot for this legislative leader to deliver?
      This is a question that will be answered as the week unfolds.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/26/opinions/mcconnell-health-care-opinion-zelizer/index.html

      Justin Bieber Would Like To Inform You That He Did Not Pee His Pants

      Newsrooms across the country came to a grinding halt on Thursday when photos ofJustin Biebersporting a curious stain surfaced online. Naturally, the image of the worlds biggest pop star strolling around Los Angeles in soaked sweatpants raised some of the most pressing questions of our time.

      Is bladder control like so 2016? Was there a shortage on $400 sweatpants in the San Fernando Valley? Is this some sort of subversive political statement?

      Alas, all good rumors must be put to rest. The Purpose singer later set the record straight with a poetic tweet explaining that the stain on his dick area was actually water from some flowers he had in the car.

      But the ever so self-aware Bieber has apparently developed a sense of humor about himself and didnt pass up the opportunity to poke fun at the situation. He followed up the tweet with a side-by-side comparison of himself and Billy Madison, perhaps the most famous pee-in-pants-er (the official term) in the world.

      You aint cool … unless you pee your pants, he wrote alongside the photo.

      You ain't cool unless you pee your pants

      A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

      Finally, this long national nightmare is over.

      Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/justin-bieber-wants-you-to-know-he-did-not-pee-his-pants_us_58b04ceee4b060480e071a95?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

      Thunderstorm In Australia Sparks Thousands Of Asthma Attacks and Kills Four People

      A heavy thunderstorm sparked an unlikely series of events in Australia earlier this week, resulting in widespread reports of asthma attacks, overflowing hospitals, and the death of at least four people.

      The thunderstorm took place on Monday November 21 over Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city. The heavy rainfall is believed to have soaked rye grass pollen, causing them to burst, spreading tiny specks of pollen across the city. The small pieces of pollen then made their way into the respiratory tracts of the local people and provoked asthma attacks, along with other breathing difficulties.

      “When rye grass pollen becomes wet through humidity or water, it breaks up into a lot of small pieces and those small pieces can get past the nasal passage into the lungs. Normally rye grass would be trapped in the nasal passage,” Robin Ould, from the Asthma Foundation of Victoria in Australia told AFP.

      “When it gets into the lungs, the allergens that are there cause an asthma attack… the small bronchial tubes become inflamed, they fill with mucus and the muscles around them become tight and people can’t exchange their air,” he explained.

      As crazy as it seems, thunderstorm asthma is a phenomenon documented in a handful of scientific studies. Although it is rare, Melbourne has had at least three other instances of them in the past few decades due to the high amounts of rye grass found in the farmlands surrounding the city. The phenomenon has also been seen before in the UK, in bothLondon and Birminghamin 1994 and 1983, respectively.

      The emergency services received 1,900 emergency phone calls within five hours on Monday evening, with some 8,500 patients heading to hospitals over the following two days. Four people died and, as of today, three patients remain in a critical condition, with nine more in intensive care. The majority of those affected had a history of asthma or hayfever.

      This was a health emergency of an unprecedented scale It was like having 150 bombs going off right across a particular part of metropolitan Melbourne,” Victorian state Health Minister Jill Hennessy said.

      Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/thunderstorm-in-australia-sparks-thousands-of-asthma-attacks-and-kills-four-people/

      Quickly catch up on the day’s news: Friday, April 21

      (CNN)Here’s what you might have missed on CNN on Friday:

      — One-bed motel rooms and Cialis refills reveal what investigators say was a Tennessee teacher’s plot to engage in unlawful sexual activity with a student, a criminal complaint says.
      — US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has no regrets for his remarks expressing amazement that a judge “sitting on an island in the Pacific” could stop President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The comment didn’t go over well in Hawaii, the judge’s home state.
        — Here’s what Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wants to do to your student loans.
        — Think twice before gulping down that diet soda. Artificially sweetened drinks may be associated with stroke and dementia.
        — Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge open up about mental health.
        Bill Nye says science will make a comeback. Speaking of comebacks, “The X-Files” is returning.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/21/app-news-section/quickly-catch-up-april-21-trnd/index.html

        Tad Cummins arrest: Tipster reveals how teacher covered up identity

        Cecilville, California (CNN)Tad Cummins was an intensely sought fugitive, trumpeted from coast to coast as the Tennessee teacher accused of running off with his 15-year-old student.

        But before his capture this week, Cummins and the young woman he called his wife slipped into a remote Northern California community unrecognized. Cummins passed himself off for days as a down-on-his-luck Colorado man who’d just lost his job and home, according to the man who eventually tipped off police.
        Cummins was arrested — and the girl was found safe — Thursday outside a cabin in Cecilville, ending a 39-day hunt for the teen who was reported missing some 1,900 miles away in her hometown south of Nashville.
          Police say the two spent at least one night in the remote cabin — a one room structure that was in the process of being built. It had no electricity or furniture. On Friday, a grill, pots and pans, a bag of rice and boxes of food and empty bottles of soda and water remained in the cabin.
          The former teacher, facing federal and state charges stemming from her disappearance, is in federal custody and is expected to be arraigned in Sacramento on Monday, Siskiyou County prosecutor Kirk Andrus said.
          Elizabeth was reunited Friday with family and friends. She is being evaluated and treated by mental health experts specializing in trauma.
          “She is a little girl in every sense of the word. This was the abduction of an impressionable, little child,” family lawyer S. Jason Whatley said.
          “There is no doubt that she has suffered severe emotional trauma and that her process of recovery is only just beginning.”

          A suspicious couple

          The pair had been in the heavily wooded area 60 miles south of the Oregon line since at least last week, according to Griffin Barry, the man who says he eventually helped police capture Cummins.
          Cummins and the teen arrived at a Cecilville-area gas station last week, apparently on their way to visit a commune, Barry told CNN.
          Cummins, 50, told Barry he was 44, and that the teen was his 22-year-old wife, according to the cabin’s owner.
          “He was like, ‘We’re from Colorado. We had a house fire and lost everything,” Barry told CNN. “He’s like, ‘This is my last $10.”
          Barry said he gave Cummins $40 and paid another $15 to put gas in Cummins’ vehicle.
          The pair went to the commune but returned to the gas station this week, with Cummins explaining they didn’t get along with people at the commune, Barry said.
          Barry said he offered Cummins work — moving rocks to build a wall on the property — and a place to stay: a small cabin for which Barry was the caretaker.
          But Barry and some acquaintances eventually became suspicious, noting that Cummins was driving a vehicle without any license plates, and that Cummins’ companion spoke few words for herself.

          ‘That’s the guy’

          As he discussed the pair with someone a bar Wednesday night, the other person found Cummins’ picture online in an urgent Amber Alert widely distributed by authorities.
          “I said, ‘That’s the guy,'” Barry said.
          He called police Wednesday night. After Barry told them he and Cummins had planned to move more rocks Thursday morning, authorities asked the caretaker to help them capture Cummins.
          At officers’ instructions Thursday morning, Barry drove by the cabin and shouted for Cummins. When Cummins left the cabin, investigators were there to arrest him, the cabin’s owner, Monk O’Hare, told CNN.
          Siskiyou County sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Gilley confirmed that his team worked with a neighbor to draw Cummins out of the cabin. Cummins was taken into custody. Elizabeth was walking behind him and was detained.
          “There aren’t words in the English language to describe the level of relief and elation experienced by the Thomas family,” said Whatley. “Now begins another hard chapter, but for now, we celebrate.”

          The disappearance

          Cummins and the girl disappeared March 13 as a police investigation into their relationship was heating up.
          A high school health sciences teacher in the Tennessee town of Culleoka, Cummins had been suspended in February, less than a month after a student reported seeing him and the 15-year-old kissing in a classroom.
          Surveillance video showed the pair at a Walmart in Oklahoma City on March 15. Cummins and the teen also visited a Walmart in the Oklahoma Panhandle city of Guymon on March 16, and he rented a one-bed motel room in Guymon on March 16 and 17, a criminal complaint filed in federal court Thursday alleges.
          After that, the trail appears to have gone cold.

          The complaint alleges Cummins left a note for his wife on March 13 saying he was leaving for a while to “clear his head.” He took out a $4,500 loan and picked up two prescription refills of Cialis, an erectile dysfunction drug, the complaint says. His wife reported that two handguns and some clothes and toiletries were missing from their home.
          After the capture, Cummins was charged with one federal count of transportation of a minor across state lines for the purpose of criminal sexual intercourse, said Jack Smith, acting US attorney for Middle District of Tennessee. The charge carries a minimum of 10 years.
          He also faces state charges of sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said last month.

          ‘Our goal is to seclude (her) with her family’

          Whatley, the attorney for the girl’s family, said her immediate future wasn’t clear.
          “Obviously, our goal is to seclude (her) with her family,” Whatley said. “We have mental health people that are engaged actively in this case that are going to be working with her for her best interests.
          “We are following their recommendations completely, and so we are waiting on further instructions from them.”
          Gilley described her condition as alternating between “stoic” and “emotional,” understandable given the circumstances, he said.
          “It was a very traumatic experience for her. Her mood was very alternating,” he said. “The two obviously have a relationship … her response to us and to law enforcement escalated up and down.”

          Estranged wife speaks out

          Cummins’ estranged wife, Jill Cummins, was “very emotional” when she learned both were found safe, her attorney, Michael Cox, said.
          “She is excited that they were found and nobody was hurt,” Cox said. “She has not spoken to Tad.”
          Jill Cummins had already filed for divorce, saying she felt betrayed by her husband. She had no idea why her husband went to northern California.
          “This is not somewhere they had frequently visited,” her attorney said. “I’m not aware that they had ever been there.”

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/21/us/tennessee-teacher-kidnapping-suspect-arrested/index.html

          Gay Politician Shuts Down Homophobic Troll With Hilariously Epic Phone Call

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          Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/gay-politician-shuts-down-homophobic-troll-with-hilariously-epic-phone-call/

          Transgender firefighter marches as NYC Pride Parade grand marshal

          (CNN)When Brooke Guinan joined the New York City Fire Department in 2008 she publicly presented herself as a man. She had no idea that on Sunday she’d be one of the NYC Pride Parade’s grand marshals while identifying as a transgender woman.

          Guinan began identifying as a transgender woman in 2011, three years into her firefighting career at FDNY. She first came out as a gay man at a young age, but began to question her gender identity in college.
          Before joining the department, Guinan was unsure what her professional life would look like.
            Despite being a third generation firefighter Guinan did not think there was a place for LGBTQ people in the male-dominated fire department.
            But Guinan’s love of public service ultimately drove her to continue her family legacy in the fire department. There was no LGBTQ training in the beginning.
            During her first few years in the department, she served in both firefighting and administrative capacities.
            For the past two years, Guinan has stepped out of the firehouse and has served the FDNY as its LGBTQ outreach coordinator.
            In this role she has directed and produced training tools and services to better equip the FDNY to understand and work with the LGBTQ community.
            “The firehouse can be fun, but I am so enamored with my community and I am very pleased and grateful to do a different kind of lifesaving work in the fire department,” Guinan said.
            The FDNY has promoted LGBTQ experiences through their social media pages and has also produced its own video in support of the “It Gets Better” campaign, highlighting the stories of LGBTQ public safety employees.
            James Fallarino, spokesperson for NYC Pride, said Guinan appears to be the first openly transgender member of the FDNY. She is the first transgender public safety employee to serve as an individual grand marshal. In 2002, two organizations — the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) and FireFLAG — served as grand marshals after 9/11.
            Guinan participated in the Pride parade for years before being invited to be a grand marshal.
            “It is an amazing honor to be the Grand Marshal of this year’s Pride parade,” she said. “I have always found inspiration in other people’s voices and it is an honor to be given an opportunity for my voice to be heard.”
            She was one of four grand marshals. The others are Krishna Stone, the director of community relations at Gay Men’s Health Crisis; Geng Le, a leader of the LGBTQ equality movement in the People’s Republic of China; and the American Civil Liberties Union.
            “Our 2017 Grand Marshals are a snapshot of the numerous organizations, individuals, and philanthropists that will leads us through this unprecedented time in our nation,” noted NYC Pride March Director Julian Sanjivan in a press release.
            The NYC Pride March is the largest pride parade in the United States and is meant to celebrate the LGBTQ community and bring awareness to issues the community faces. The parade originated 48 years ago in the wake of the Stonewall riots, a series of protests by the LGBTQ community against a police raid of the Stonewall Inn in 1969.

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/25/us/firefighter-transgender-woman-pride/index.html