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Senate Unanimously Passes Bill Declaring Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

Western Journal

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The Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday to make June 19 a federal holiday known as Juneteenth National Independence Day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.

A similar bill was introduced in 2020 but was blocked by Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who expressed concerns with the added financial cost of creating a new federal holiday.

“Although I strongly support celebrating Emancipation, I objected to the cost and lack of debate,” Johnson said in a statement this week, according to CNN.

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“While it still seems strange that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter,” he added.

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The measure must still pass in the House before being signed into law by President Joe Biden.

The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.

Markey announced the news in a tweet on Wednesday evening.

Cornyn tweeted, “Happy that my bill to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday just passed the Senate. It has been a state holiday in Texas for more than 40 years.”

Lee shared on Twitter that her efforts will extend to helping pass the bill in the House.

Army Major General Gordon Granger announced the end of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865, based on Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Declaration in 1863.

Texas made Juneteenth a state holiday in 1980. Many other states have added the holiday, but the holiday has not yet been federally recognized.

During the 2020 push to pass the legislation, Cornyn said, “One of the most defining days in our nation’s history was when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, finally freeing all slaves in Confederate territory.

“But slaves in Texas wouldn’t learn this life-altering news for two and a half years,” he added.

“It took two and a half years for the slaves in the South to learn that they were free. And that day came on a day we now celebrate as Juneteenth.”

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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