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Biden Allows Months-Long Paid Leave for Transportation Sec. Buttigieg as Shipping Crisis Rages

Western Journal

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Amid reports of dock worker and trucker shortages threatening the country’s critical supply chains, the federal government revealed Thursday that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been absent because he is on paid paternity leave.

The supply chain crisis this week actually elicited a response from President Joe Biden.

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But issues with getting crucial good across the country has apparently not been on the forefront of the mind of the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, who two months ago decided to take some time off. The openly gay transportation secretary’s office told Politico’s West Wing Playbook that since Buttigieg and his husband Chasten adopted two babies over the summer, Buttigieg has taken advantage of paid family leave since mid-August.

“For the first four weeks, he was mostly offline except for major agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated,” a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation told the outlet. “He has been ramping up activities since then.”

The DOT spokesperson added Buttigieg will “continue to take some time over the coming weeks to support his husband and take care of his new children.”

Buttigieg’s time away comes as the White House has warned that bottlenecks in shipping could lead to shortages of supplies as Americans prepare to Christmas shop. Even more alarming, Americans on social media are complaining about shortages of goods in their local grocery stores.

On Thursday, the hashtag #EmptyShelvesJoe became the number one trend on Twitter.

Many have questioned whether the time away for the DOT head is appropriate, given Buttigieg is not a normal federal employee. He serves the president directly as a Cabinet member, and thus any time way must be directly approved by the president.

A spokesperson for the Office of Personnel Management told Politico that Biden would have approved his transportation secretary’s request for paternity leave. That is because people who work for the executive branch directly are not covered by the paid family leave policies like other federal workers.

“Individuals in the executive branch who are appointed by the President to positions in the Executive Schedule are not covered by the leave system,” the office spokesperson said. “They do not earn leave and serve at the pleasure of the President.”

“The President can choose to allow him to take time off.”

The White House would not confirm or deny if Biden had approved Buttigieg’s time off.

“Pete’s been a key member of the team since Day One, and has been critical as we shepherd the President’s agenda across the finish line,” the White House said in a statement. “We’re overjoyed for him and Chasten, and believe every American should have access to paid family leave.”

Buttigieg announced on Sept. 4 that he and Chasten adopted a girl and a boy in August.

“Chasten and I are beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents,” Buttigieg tweeted. “We are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family.”

In the weeks since the transportation secretary announced the expansion of his family, cargo ships have been seen anchored off of America’s coasts waiting to be unloaded.

Biden this week announced that ports, such as those in Southern California, will begin operating 24 hours per day.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Stranger Saves Teen Hit by Car, Then Disappears After Rescue

Western Journal

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Lily Irigoyen, 14, from Escondido, California, was headed to Westfield North County Mall with a friend to do some shopping on May 23 when Irigoyen’s life was turned upside down.

As she was crossing a street — using a crosswalk — a driver failed to stop at a stop sign and hit the teenager. She immediately blacked out.

Two other drivers saw what had happened and raced to help. Police later said that a female good Samaritan called 911 and contacted Irigoyen’s family using her cell phone, and a man performed CPR on the teen’s lifeless body — an act that would later turn out to have made all the difference.

The girl’s mother, Isabel Torres, remembers getting the call that broke her heart.



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“Her dad called me that she was in an accident and she was airlifted to the hospital,” she told KNSD.

Irigoyen had suffered a long list of serious injuries, including a damaged kidney, a broken arm, a broken leg, a broken hip and a punctured lung. Worst of all, she had also suffered a brain injury.

For three weeks, the teen was in a coma. Even after coming out of it, she had to stay at the hospital for six months, recovering. She finally made it home in August, and her mom has hope that she will recover.

“We’re getting there,” Torres told KNSD. “With time, I think she’s going to get better and better.”

Police later said that, while the driver who hit the teen was determined to be at fault, no criminal charges were made.

After a recent checkup, Irigoyen has a new goal: To find and thank the good Samaritan who saved her life.

“The doctor told her that everything that happened and she mentioned that, thanks to the person that assisted at the accident with the CPR, she always had air to her brain and for that main reason, they saved her life,” Torres explained.

“I just like felt, like happy, just the fact that someone had that kindness in their heart to help me was nice,” Irigoyen added. “I just want to say how grateful I am … that they helped me and that I’m alive now because of them.”



The man is believed to be a dental surgeon, according to KGTV, though he has not yet been identified or stepped forward.

“I think they’re angels,” a teary Torres told KGTV. “God put them there for a reason … I think it’s a great time to find them, and tell them what a great thing they did … What they did was just amazing.”

“They saved me!” said Irigoyen. “They’re the reason I’m here right now … I would just hug them. No words to express how thankful I am.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Lily Irigoyen, 14, from Escondido, California, was headed to Westfield North County Mall with a friend to do some shopping on May 23 when Irigoyen’s life was turned upside down. As she was crossing a street — using a crosswalk — a driver failed to stop at a stop sign and hit the teenager. She immediately blacked out. Two other drivers saw what had happened and raced to help. Police later said that a female good Samaritan called 911 and contacted Irigoyen’s family using her cell phone, and a man performed CPR on the teen’s lifeless body — an act that would later turn out to have made all the difference. The girl’s mother, Isabel Torres, remembers getting the call that broke her heart. “Her dad called me that she was in an accident and she was airlifted to the hospital,” she told KNSD. Irigoyen had suffered a long list of serious injuries, including a damaged kidney, a broken arm, a broken leg, a broken hip and a punctured lung. Worst of all, she had also suffered a brain injury. For three weeks, the teen was in a coma. Even after coming out of it, she had to stay at the hospital for six months, recovering. She finally made it home in August, and her mom has hope that she will recover. “We’re getting there,” Torres told KNSD. “With time, I think she’s going to get better and better.” Police later said that, while the driver who hit the teen was determined to be at fault, no criminal charges were made. After a recent checkup, Irigoyen has a new goal: To find and thank the good Samaritan who saved her life. “The doctor told her that everything that happened and she mentioned that, thanks to the person that…

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Brian Laundrie’s Parents Flee Florida Home as ‘For Sale’ Sign Appears Outside

Western Journal

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Brian Laundrie’s parents may be looking for a new place to live after weeks of scrutiny on the couple.

Their North Port, Florida, home now has a “For Sale by Owner” sign in the front yard, according to the New York Post.

The house became the site of a media circus, with outlets looking for answers in the death of Laundrie’s fiancee Gabby Petito and the whereabouts of Laundrie himself.

Petito’s remains were found at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Laundrie was found dead at the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida in October.

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Laundrie’s lawyer announced that he had died by suicide, with a gunshot wound to the head.

As for Chris and Roberta Laundrie, rumors ran rampant that they knew the whereabouts of their son, who was the sole murder suspect in Petito’s death.

The Post reported that neighbors took advantage of the Laundrie couple having the spotlight, with some even renting their front yards to media outlets for up to $3,500 a week in order to pester the pair around the clock.

No charges have been filed against the parents, but their “lack of cooperation” at times during the investigation may have created unnecessary obstacles, according to a North Port police spokesman last month.

According to WNBC-TV, authorities mistook Roberta Laundrie for her son as she drove his Mustang home at the beginning of the manhunt, a move viewed as part of the parents’ resistance to complying fully with investigators early on.

“Other than confusion, it likely changed nothing. We just wanted people to better understand why we thought we knew Brian was in his home,” North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor said Oct. 29, the outlet reported.

The family’s attorney, Steve Bertolino, has remained firm that his clients fully complied with the investigation, but was talking with law enforcement in November, WFLA-TV reported.

Still, there is no indication as of now that the parents will have charges against them.

If the couple decides to leave their home, they might want to consider changing their names and buying fake mustaches to protect their identity.

Based on the attitude of their current neighbors, it would not be surprising if they were met with hostility wherever they choose to move.

For now, the toughest task will be finding a new owner for the property, which has now become a symbol for one of the most highly followed crime stories of the century.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Brian Laundrie’s parents may be looking for a new place to live after weeks of scrutiny on the couple. Their North Port, Florida, home now has a “For Sale by Owner” sign in the front yard, according to the New York Post. The house became the site of a media circus, with outlets looking for answers in the death of Laundrie’s fiancee Gabby Petito and the whereabouts of Laundrie himself. Petito’s remains were found at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Laundrie was found dead at the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida in October. Laundrie’s lawyer announced that he had died by suicide, with a gunshot wound to the head. As for Chris and Roberta Laundrie, rumors ran rampant that they knew the whereabouts of their son, who was the sole murder suspect in Petito’s death. The Post reported that neighbors took advantage of the Laundrie couple having the spotlight, with some even renting their front yards to media outlets for up to $3,500 a week in order to pester the pair around the clock. No charges have been filed against the parents, but their “lack of cooperation” at times during the investigation may have created unnecessary obstacles, according to a North Port police spokesman last month. According to WNBC-TV, authorities mistook Roberta Laundrie for her son as she drove his Mustang home at the beginning of the manhunt, a move viewed as part of the parents’ resistance to complying fully with investigators early on. “Other than confusion, it likely changed nothing. We just wanted people to better understand why we thought we knew Brian was in his home,” North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor said Oct. 29, the outlet reported. The family’s attorney, Steve Bertolino, has remained firm that his clients fully complied with the investigation, but was…

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