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City Has Parade for Juneteenth, But Independence Day Celebrations Are Canceled

Western Journal

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The Fourth of July celebrates the victory of brave men and women who declared their independence against an iron-fisted reign.

Unfortunately, one city has found itself coming up short of the spectacular celebrations that typically characterize the holiday.

The Fourth of July Association in Evanston, Illinois, released a statement this month notifying the city’s residents that a few months prior, the association made the decision to cancel its Fourth of July celebration and opt to go with a virtual format this year, due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.

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However, the coronavirus did not stop other organizations from partaking in different celebrations.

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Festivities surrounding Juneteenth and Pride Month, events both run by separate organizations, continued with in-person celebrations in the city of Evanson this year. Evanston Present and Future, a group founded and led by Kemone Hendricks, organized the second annual Juneteenth parade in the city this year.

The celebration of Pride Month featured several events put on by Evanston Pride, Inc., the city’s local LGBT awareness organization. The Fourth of July Association is not affiliated with either group.

Additionally, the city of Evanston was not involved in making decisions for these events, but rather the aforementioned individual groups took charge in scheduling and organizing the activities.

“Evanston’s Juneteenth, Pride and July 4th celebrations are each organized by separate nonprofit organizations, and each made their own plans for this year’s events,” the June statement from the Fourth of July Association read.

“They are entirely community run, and they each rely heavily on volunteers and donations to succeed.”

The association noted that it made the decision to cancel its fireworks show earlier in the year out of “an abundance of caution,” and opted to move away from traditional Independence Day celebrations, like its normally scheduled fireworks and parade, to a virtual celebration instead.

The online celebration, “[b]ased on concern for public health,” will feature a video of the virtual parade, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the events.

As COVID-19 continues to boil down, more and more people are comfortable being in public settings. Many are getting vaccinated, and quite a few states have relaxed mask guidelines both indoors and outdoors.

The Fourth of July is a cornerstone holiday for the United States. The opportunity to celebrate the birth of our nation, and those who have fought for it, is something many Americans consider to be a patriotic responsibility — and if people are worried about safety, they should just stay home.

But this was not a sentiment that the association deciding whether or not to continue with the Fourth of July event thought of when it really mattered.

It is perfectly reasonable to want to take precautions for your health. But organizations should allow citizens to make that decision for themselves.

The Evanston Fourth of July Association made the unfortunate choice to misjudge the level of caution it should take against COVID. And now, the city of Evanson is receiving outrage for appearing to elevate Pride Month and Juneteenth over Independence Day.

At least we know that canceling patriotic festivities won’t keep people from celebrating. Instead of gathering in the streets, people will fill pools and backyards as they grill hamburgers and light sparklers, enjoying the freedom that the founding fathers of our nation provided them.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Family Escapes Through 2nd-Story Window During Armed Standoff After Suspect Barricades Door: Report

Western Journal

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On July 25, in Auburn, Alabama, a man reportedly put his family, his neighborhood, first responders and himself in a very dangerous position. Calls came into the Auburn Police District around 7:00 p.m. reporting a domestic violence incident in the Camden Ridge Subdivision. When police arrived, the man reportedly began firing at them with a handgun. Police fired back, and the man retreated into the home, where he also had his family trapped in a room. Thanks to the police and fire department coming together and working smarter instead of harder, the situation was resolved without injury to the family members trapped upstairs. It was firefighter Andrew Kiser, Chief of Police Cedric Anderson and Shift Supervisor Lt. Cody Hill who were responsible for carrying out the daring rescue that helped bring the threat to an end. While the shooter refused to exit the house, the men carried a ladder to the house and set it up to reach one of the second-story windows, where they learned the man’s family had been trapped. While Anderson held the ladder steady, Hill climbed the ladder and Kiser assisted the family as they climbed out of the window. With the family out of the way, Lee County SWAT was able to enter the house and capture the suspect. He was taken to Baptist Medical Center South after he was found to have sustained what appeared to be a gunshot wound. “Auburn PD Alerts: Heavy Police Activity in the Camden Ridge Subdivision, in the area of Wedgewood Ct.,” a public safety alert for the area read, according to WRBL-TV. “The scene is secure at this time, NO ONGOING THREAT.” Auburn Assistant Police Chief Clarence Stewart praised the efforts of all involved, highlighting how each group present played an important role in…

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After Receiving Call About Blazing Attic Fire, Police Rescue Man Trapped Inside Smoke-Filled Bedroom

Western Journal

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A family in Marlboro Township, New Jersey, woke up just before midnight on Sunday and sensed something was wrong. They called 911 at around 11:38 p.m., reporting a “possible fire at the residence,” according to The Journal NJ. Officers Ryan Anzalone, Donna Gonzalez, Michael Morgante and Colin Murray with the Marlboro Township Police Department were first on the scene and quickly assessed the situation. They found smoke pouring out of the attic, but were relieved to see the family appeared to have exited the home. After a short time, though, the family realized one of their members was not with them, and was likely still trapped inside on the second floor. Gonzalez and Anzalone charged in and found the man, as described, in a bedroom on the second floor. By the time they got there, the room was “completely filled with smoke,” but they managed to rescue the resident. The fire department had a difficult time accessing the home due to the long, narrow driveway and a large landscaping rock. “While enroute Chief 2-66 was advised of heavy smoke from the attic,” the Robertsville Volunteer Fire Co. #1 posted on Facebook. “At the time the mutual aid response plan was put in place and the box alarm was requested to bring in initial assistance.” “Upon the arrival of 2-66 Chief advised the house was located down a 180 foot narrow driveway. Once engine 2-75 arrived there was trouble accessing the house due to a large ornamental boulder and trees. Members of the engine and police moved the 400lb boulder so the engine could get to the house and attack the fire. “As the incident progressed, the second alarm mutual aid plan was requested for this deep seated, hard to access attic fire.” The two officers who…

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