He Was Denied Medical Parole Six Times — Until He Was About to Become a COVID Statistic (Dana)
From Stat: “During his 39 years in prison, the closest Joseph Messere ever came to walking free was when he was intubated, unconscious, and dying of Covid-19. The opportunity pinged onto his attorney’s phone just before Christmas, in a series of voicemails from the Massachusetts Parole Board. ‘This is Michelle Wetherbee, chief of the transitional services unit,’ said one, from 12:31 p.m. on Dec. 23, 2020. She sounded like she was in a rush, swallowing syllables, garbling Messere’s name. But one thing she made very clear was that this couldn’t wait. ‘Can you please call me back’ — she gave her number — ‘as soon as possible? We’d really like … your client released as soon as possible.’ It was the fourth message her office had left in six days. A little over an hour later, she left another.”
Army Didn’t Prosecute NCO Accused of Rape. So He Did It Again. And Again. (Mili)
From Army Times: “Staff Sgt. Randall S. Hughes got off with a slap on the wrist after he raped the wife of a young soldier under his charge during a Super Bowl party in 2017. It wasn’t the first time Hughes raped someone, according to charge sheets, and it wouldn’t be the last. The victim, Leah Ramirez, reported the rape to Army CID the next day. … After a year-long investigation, Army CID agents determined the allegations were credible, said Ramirez. But a victim advocate later explained to her that Hughes was receiving a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand for his personnel file. He would not be prosecuted.”
‘Nomadland’ Is the Oscars Frontrunner. But Its Depiction of Amazon Has Stirred Controversy (Russ)
The author writes, “Being the frontrunner brings with it an added level of scrutiny, and ‘Nomadland’ has come in for its share of criticism since its release in theaters and on Hulu in February. Even as many have praised the film for its sensitive, authentic depiction of itinerant workers, others have griped that it glosses over the harsher realities of the modern gig economy and, in particular, what it’s like to work in an Amazon warehouse and participate in the company’s seasonal CamperForce program.”
Florida Is Full of Invasive Species. They’re Coming for the Rest of Us. (Reader Steve)
The author writes, “Call it Floridafication: A number of the state’s nastiest living attributes are rapidly migrating outward. The state’s unusual history and climate have made it a cushy incubator for all manner of ecological threats. But many of the phenomena that make Florida disturbingly unique, from reptiles to trees to whole landscape types, may not be unique to it for long. As the climate continues to shift, it will get harder and harder to think of the Sunshine State as a place apart, an ecological Other sealed off from the rest of the country by an imaginary wall of palm trees. So mock the place at your peril. Florida’s strange present may be coming for your state’s future.”
Teen Credited With Saving Boy’s Life After ATV Crash on TikTok (Dana)
The author writes, “A Gilmanton [NH] teenager has been credited with saving a life after a virtual call for help from over 800 miles away. Caden Cotnoir, 13, was on the social media app TikTok watching a livestream of a West Virginia boy riding his four-wheeler when he saw something go wrong. ‘All of a sudden his phone goes kind of blank, you can see a little bit of light and you can just hear him yelling for help,’ Cotnoir said.”
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