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CNN-Business

Eli Broad, LA philanthropist for the arts and education, dies at 87

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

Eli Broad, an entrepreneur and businessman known for creating two billion-dollar businesses and establishing the iconic Broad Museum in Los Angeles, has died at the age of 87, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation said Friday.

“As a businessman, Eli saw around corners, as a philanthropist he saw the problems in the world and tried to fix them, as a citizen he saw the possibility in our shared community, and as a husband, father and friend he saw the potential in each of us,” the foundation’s president Gerun Riley said in a statement.

Broad amassed his wealth by creating two Fortune 500 companies in two different industries. He developed KB Home, a prominent real estate and development company, and launched insurance giant SunAmerica.

Broad was an avid philanthropist who committed more than $5 billion to support research, the arts and K-12 education. In addition to co-founding the Broad Museum, which houses an art collection of more than 2,000 pieces, Broad played a key role in developing the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. He also created various other institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Broad Institute, a genomic medicine research center.

Broad was born in the Bronx, New York, on June 6, 1933. He later moved to Los Angeles in 1963, where he worked to “make contemporary art and world-class architecture an essential part of life in Los Angeles for residents and visitors,” the Broad Foundation said in the press release. He was an avid supporter of the LA Opera and helped bring the Democratic National Convention to Los Angeles in 2000.

“Broad had unmatched influence and impact on the arts in Los Angeles, enriching public life and establishing Los Angeles as a global arts capital,” the foundation said.

Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas praised Broad on Friday for his support for a measure to address homelessness in Los Angeles.

He added: “He championed catalytic transformation in the arts and education fields, including creating countless opportunities for young people to advance in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Broad is survived by his wife Edythe and his two sons, Jeffrey and Gary.

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CNN-National & Wolrd

Eli Broad, LA philanthropist for the arts and education, dies at 87

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

Eli Broad, an entrepreneur and businessman known for creating two billion-dollar businesses and establishing the iconic Broad Museum in Los Angeles, has died at the age of 87, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation said Friday.

“As a businessman, Eli saw around corners, as a philanthropist he saw the problems in the world and tried to fix them, as a citizen he saw the possibility in our shared community, and as a husband, father and friend he saw the potential in each of us,” the foundation’s president Gerun Riley said in a statement.

Broad amassed his wealth by creating two Fortune 500 companies in two different industries. He developed KB Home, a prominent real estate and development company, and launched insurance giant SunAmerica.

Broad was an avid philanthropist who committed more than $5 billion to support research, the arts and K-12 education. In addition to co-founding the Broad Museum, which houses an art collection of more than 2,000 pieces, Broad played a key role in developing the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. He also created various other institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Broad Institute, a genomic medicine research center.

Broad was born in the Bronx, New York, on June 6, 1933. He later moved to Los Angeles in 1963, where he worked to “make contemporary art and world-class architecture an essential part of life in Los Angeles for residents and visitors,” the Broad Foundation said in the press release. He was an avid supporter of the LA Opera and helped bring the Democratic National Convention to Los Angeles in 2000.

“Broad had unmatched influence and impact on the arts in Los Angeles, enriching public life and establishing Los Angeles as a global arts capital,” the foundation said.

Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas praised Broad on Friday for his support for a measure to address homelessness in Los Angeles.

He added: “He championed catalytic transformation in the arts and education fields, including creating countless opportunities for young people to advance in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Broad is survived by his wife Edythe and his two sons, Jeffrey and Gary.

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CNN-National & Wolrd

Prosecution and defense teams in Derek Chauvin’s sentencing argue whether aggravating factors apply

By Omar Jimenez, CNN

Prosecutors for the state of Minnesota and an attorney for Derek Chauvin argued in separate filings Friday whether additional factors should affect Chauvin’s sentence.

The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted on April 20 of murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd, and sentencing will be determined in June.

Prosecutors said five aggravating factors warrant an increased sentence for Chauvin: Floyd was a particularly vulnerable victim, Floyd was treated with particular cruelty, Chauvin abused his position of authority, Chauvin committed the crime in the presence of multiple children, and Chauvin “committed the crime as part of a group of three or more persons who all actively participated in the crime,” according to the state’s memo.

“Any one of these five aggravating factors would be sufficient on its own to warrant an upward sentencing departure,” the memo read. “Here, all five apply.”

The filing, signed by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank, listed the state’s reasoning, including that Floyd was particularly vulnerable in part because he was “not breathing, unconscious, and without a pulse — during a substantial portion of Defendant’s criminal conduct.”

The state also argues that Floyd was treated with particular cruelty in the commission of second-degree unintentional murder partly because, “Defendant’s prolonged restraint of Mr. Floyd was much longer and more painful than, for example, a near-instantaneous death by gunshot, which is one ‘typical’ scenario for this type of offense.”

Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s defense attorney, argued against all five factors listed by prosecutors, specifically writing Floyd was not particularly vulnerable in part because, “Mr. Floyd was well over six feet tall, muscular, and weighed in excess of two hundred pounds,” adding, “Officers were authorized to both handcuff Mr. Floyd and restrain him as part of their lawful duties. Mr. Chauvin did not place the handcuffs on Mr. Floyd. At the time Mr. Floyd was placed on the ground and restrained, he was not particularly vulnerable and there is no reason for Mr. Chauvin to have suspected that he was.”

Nelson also wrote Floyd was not treated with particular cruelty in part because, “there is no evidence that the assault perpetrated by Mr. Chauvin against Mr. Floyd involved a gratuitous infliction of pain or cruelty not usually associated with the commission of the offense in question.”

Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. If Judge Peter Cahill applies any of these aggravating factors, it would increase Chauvin’s sentence.

The maximum sentence Chauvin currently faces is 40 years. However he has no prior criminal record, so the presumptive sentence for both second-degree and third-degree murder would be 12 1/2 years.

A sentencing hearing for Chauvin has been set for June 25.

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CNN-National & Wolrd

Family is awarded $1.8 million after their son died while in police custody

By Leah Asmelash, CNN

A California family was awarded nearly $1.8 million after an Anaheim jury ruled that police officers were primarily responsible for the death of a 35-year-old man in 2018.

Christopher Eisinger died in March 2018 in an encounter with officers from the Anaheim Police Department. The officers were responding to a report of an auto burglary when officers said Eisinger attempted to open the side gate of a nearby residence, leading to a pursuit, according to a report from the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

Body camera footage from the evening shows multiple officers chasing Eisinger, before pinning him down while Eisinger struggles. In the footage, Eisinger can be heard saying “just shoot me” after an officer says, “stop resisting.”

Around five minutes into the video, Eisinger became quiet and then unresponsive, and officers called for paramedics, according to the district attorney’s office. Paramedics arrived five minutes later and began CPR on Eisinger, whose pulse returned a minute after CPR was started, the report says.

Eisinger was admitted to West Anaheim Medical Center in critical condition and was later transferred to Hoag Hospital “due to the deteriorating condition of his health,” the report says. Eisinger died on March 10, eight days after the incident.

Annee Della Donna, an attorney representing Eisinger’s mother Katrina, told CNN that Eisinger had a history of mental illness and was seeking rehabilitation for addiction.

On Thursday, an Anaheim jury awarded $2,275,000 to Eisinger’s family, which will be reduced to about $1.8 million because the panel determined that officers were 78% responsible for Eisinger’s death, Della Donna said.

The district attorney’s office had previously cleared the officers of criminal fault, saying in its report that Eisinger “died as a result of his decision to exert himself while suffering from hypertrophy and dilation of the heart, recent and chronic substance abuse, and a myriad of associated health problems.”

The district attorney’s report cited the Orange County coroner’s office determination that the cause of death was “sudden cardiac arrest” due to coronary artery disease and the effects of methamphetamine.

Della Donna, however, said that police officers pinned Eisinger to the ground face down, making it difficult for him to breath and ultimately leading to his death, according to CNN affiliate KCAL.

“We are really excited about the verdict and very hopeful for the future of (police) accountability in this country,” Della Donna told CNN.

The city of Anaheim disagrees with the jury’s decision, spokesperson Mike Lyster said in a statement.

“Our officers responded to a resident’s call for help on a burglary in progress. At all times, our officers acted responsibly in their duty to uphold public safety,” the statement said. “At no time did they use force that could be seen as excessive for the challenging situation they faced. Any loss of life is tragic. Sadly, this case speaks to the devastating and undeniable impact of methamphetamine on people, families and communities.”

In the statement, Lyster did not confirm whether the city would appeal the decision but said city officials will “evaluate this outcome and consider any next steps.”

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CNN-National & Wolrd

North Carolina governor grants pardon to man who spent 22 years in prison for killings he didn’t commit

By Hollie Silverman and Jamiel Lynch, CNN

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday pardoned a man who was wrongly convicted of second-degree murder and first-degree arson in 1995, a news release from the governor’s office said.

Darryl Anthony Howard can now file a claim for compensation for the years he spent in prison. In North Carolina, people wrongly convicted of felonies can receive up to $50,000 per year they were in prison, but no more that $750,000.

Amelia Green, an attorney for Howard, said: “We are pleased to have the State acknowledge what has been clear all along — Darryl Howard never should have spent a moment in prison for these horrifying crimes, let alone over 22 years. Darryl is relieved to have this official recognition of his innocence as he moves forward to the next chapter in his life.”

Howard has been a free man since a judge vacated his convictions in 2016.

In 2009, attorneys filed a motion on Howard’s behalf requesting the victims’ rape kits be DNA tested, the pardon said. According to media reports, Howard’s attorneys argued that the DNA found in the kit of one of the victims implicated another man. Howard’s DNA was not a match, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported in 2015.

In 2016 a judge in North Carolina ruled the new DNA evidence showed that Howard was innocent.

Days after the judge vacated the convictions, a district attorney announced he would not retry the case, according to media reports.

“It is important to continue our efforts to reform the justice system and to acknowledge wrongful convictions,” the governor said in his statement.

CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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CNN-National & Wolrd

Former Georgia deputy called beating Black man in custody ‘sweet stress relief,’ FBI says

By Josh Campbell, CNN

A former Georgia sheriff’s deputy who pleaded guilty to a federal weapons charge also previously discussed assaulting a Black person and wanting to charge Black people with felonies in order to prevent them from voting, federal investigators allege in court records.

Cody Richard Griggers, 28, of Montrose, Georgia, entered a guilty plea on Monday of unlawfully possessing an unregistered firearm, the Justice Department announced this week.

An attorney for Griggers told CNN that his client was remorseful after failing to appropriately register his firearms, but blasted the government for including information in court documents suggesting his client was a White supremacist.

“Those inflammatory allegations are merely that — allegations,” said attorney Keith Fitzgerald, noting many of the allegations in court records are unrelated to the criminal charge against his client. Additionally, Fitzgerald said his client denies any allegations of racism.

“He is not a bigot or a racist,” Fitzgerald said.

In an affidavit supporting the government’s criminal complaint against Griggers β€” a former deputy with the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Department β€” an FBI agent highlighted a series of messages allegedly written by Griggers that depicted hatred towards African Americans and the LGBT community, while also speaking positively about the Nazi holocaust.

According to court records, Griggers came on the radar of federal officials after after agents seized the phone of a man under investigation in San Diego. The FBI alleged that Griggers, the San Diego suspect and other unidentified individuals were part of a group-text self-described as “Shadow Moses.”

In group texts, Griggers expressed anti-government views and hatred toward minorities and discussed making firearms suppressors and automatic weapons, according to the affidavit.

According to the FBI, in August 2019, the former deputy sheriff sent a text describing using excessive force against a person of color who was suspected of stealing a firearm accessory from a local gun store, indicating, “I beat the s*** out of a [n-word] Saturday.”

“Sheriff’s dept said it look [sic] like he fell,” Griggers added, according to the FBI, and said the beating was “sweet stress relief.”

The Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Department did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on the alleged incident involving the assault of a suspect.

However, in an interview with the Macon Telegraph newspaper, Sheriff Richard Chatman, who is Black, denied Griggers’s claim.

“That never happened,” Chatman told the Macon Telegraph, adding, “We don’t even have a gun shop here.”

According to the federal criminal complaint, Griggers also discussed his intentions to charge Black people with felonies in order to prevent them from voting.

“It’s a sign of beautiful things to come,” Griggers texted group members, according to the FBI, and wrote, “Also I’m going to charge them with whatever felonies I can to take away their ability to vote.”

The FBI provided no evidence Griggers ever did this.

Despite his alleged racist rhetoric, Griggers has not been charged with any civil rights violations. Rather, federal prosecutors charged him with unlawfully possessing an unregistered short-barrel firearm seized during a court-authorized search of his residence in November 2020, according to court records.

CNN has requested comment from the Justice Department regarding whether any additional civil rights charges are pending.

“This former law enforcement officer knew that he was breaking the law when he chose to possess a cache of unregistered weapons, silencers and a machine gun, keeping many of them in his duty vehicle,” said Acting United States Attorney Peter Leary, in announcing the guilty plea. “Coupled with his violent racially motivated extreme statements, the defendant has lost the privilege permanently of wearing the blue.”

Griggers remains in custody pending sentencing, which is scheduled for July 6. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release, as well as a maximum fine of $250,000.

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CNN-Health

Coronavirus deaths are down in the US, and vaccines may be partly responsible

By Jacqueline Howard, CNN

Covid-19 deaths are declining in the United States — and some health experts credit this drop in death to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.

The seven-day average of new Covid-19 deaths in the United States was 670 newly reported lives lost each day as of Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The United States has reached the lowest seven-day average of new deaths reported since last July, a CNN analysis of the data finds, and an 80% drop since January.

When it comes to Covid-19 vaccinations driving down deaths, “we’ve already seen an impact,” Dr. Robert Murphy, executive director of the Institute for Global Health and professor of infectious disease at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, told CNN on Thursday.

Murphy pointed to a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published on Wednesday, that found the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines were 94% effective in the real world against Covid-19 hospitalizations among fully vaccinated adults ages 65 and older in the United States.

The study also found that the vaccines were 64% effective against hospitalization for Covid-19 among older adults who were partially vaccinated, meaning they had only one dose of vaccine so far.

Murphy called that study “a confirmatory report” on the effectiveness of the vaccines, which were rolled out starting in December.

Since the beginning of 2021, the seven-day average of people who died of Covid-19 appears to have regularly decreased.

CNN’s analysis of Johns Hopkins University data finds that the average of new Covid-19 deaths in the last seven days fell from 3,295 each day on January 28 to 1,985 on February 28, then to 997 on March 28. By April 28, the average was 684.

The highest seven-day averages of new Covid-19 deaths were recorded on January 13 and 14, at around 3,431 deaths a day.

The plunge from 3,431 deaths a day on average in January to 684 in April represents a drop of 80%. The last time the seven-day average of newly reported deaths fell below 700 was briefly in early October.

Covid-19 vaccinations are already having a significant impact on death rates among certain groups in the United States, such as older adults, Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told CNN.

“If you look, for example at populations that have been highly vaccinated like nursing home residents, you will see that deaths in nursing homes have plummeted, and overall, the death rate has been falling over time. It’s really a function of how many of the high-risk individuals have been vaccinated and that is becoming more evident,” Adalja said.

But even though the seven-day average of new Covid-19 deaths nationwide has fallen, Adalja said that it will take more time — and more shots going into arms — before the general US population starts to see even more of an impact from vaccinations.

“So, for example, in the pre-vaccine era, you would see cases rise and then the deaths would increase a couple of weeks later. And the same vice versa, cases would fall but deaths would still be high and then deaths would start to fall two weeks later,” Adalja said.

“With the vaccine, it’s a little bit different because if you go to a nursing home and you’ve vaccinated the whole population, it’s going to take a while for them to be fully vaccinated and have that protection,” Adalja said. “Really to see the full impact of the vaccines, you want it to be two weeks after the final dose of whatever vaccine they’re getting.”

Someone is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after completing a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

‘We’re not halfway through yet’

Tracking the impact vaccinations have on Covid-19 death rates require the time for a population to first be fully vaccinated as well as the time for deaths to follow infections.

“The people that are dying are often people who have been in the hospital for a couple of weeks, so you can’t just look at the vaccine numbers of that given day or even of that given week and be able to draw some extrapolation to deaths,” Adalja said. “I think it takes some time to see the impact of the vaccines.”

On Friday, the United States officially crossed the 100 million mark of people fully vaccinated. About 43.6% of the population — nearly 145 million people — have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 30.5% of the population — more than 101 million people — are fully vaccinated, CDC data shows.

“As more and more people get vaccinated, the hospitalization and death rate are going to continue to go down. We’re not halfway through yet,” said Murphy of Northwestern University.

“Ultimately, we’re going to dig out of this thing and it’s going to take vaccinations and early treatment,” Murphy said about the pandemic. “How we’re going to control the pandemic are diagnostics, treatments, vaccinations and mitigation.”

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CNN-Regional

Father, son keep tradition alive at NAIA volleyball tournament

By Nick Hytrek

Click here for updates on this story

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa (Sioux City Journal) — Don’t let anyone tell you that these NAIA championship tournaments Sioux City hosts are just another event, not all that important in the grand scheme of things.

For Gary and Tyler Steinke, the NAIA tournaments are not just a father-son bonding experience, but a chance for Tyler to share his enthusiasm with anyone who engages him.

Tyler is autistic, and sports play a big role in his ability to connect with people.

He pours over the tournament media guide, memorizing stats and then telling his dad which players to watch during each game. Couple that with an engaging personality, and Sioux City’s Tyson Events Center has become a place where Tyler thrives.

“What he loves most is sitting there and watching every single game. He would rather do that than go to Disney World,” said Gary, the president of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, an organization that represents all of Iowa’s private colleges.

To explain sports’ significance to Tyler, Gary says you must first backtrack. When Tyler was 2 or 3, doctors told Gary and wife, Terri, that their son would never walk, never talk. Terri quit her job to stay home with Tyler and work with him. By age 6 he was walking and talking and going to school.

Sports became a valuable tool in Tyler’s education. His photographic memory allowed him to devour sports statistics and overcome learning disabilities. Gary said 2+2=4 never made sense to Tyler. But put a baseball box score in front of him, and he can perform math with ease.

“Sports became a huge deal to him. That’s how we got started with all this social stuff,” Gary said.

The two began attending games. High school games in and around their home in Urbandale. Iowa Cubs baseball games.

Tyler would interact with people at games. He’d email or call coaches and players, asking them questions and becoming friends with them.

“Everybody that runs into Tyler loves him,” Gary said.

When Tyler realized that the NAIA schools his dad works with have athletic teams, he wanted to see those schools’ games, too. So they went, to a lot of them.

Twelve years ago, Gary suggested they go to the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship in Sioux City. Tyler was all in.

They spent the week here, watching every game. They ate at Sioux City landmarks such as Bob Roe’s Point After and El Fredo pizza and visited the Palmer Candy store.

They’ve been back every year since. Tyler insists they follow the same routine: hitting the same eating establishments and sitting in the same seats, two rows up from the Tyson Events Center floor and next to the players’ entrance so Tyler can high-five players and coaches as they enter and leave the court.

Over the years, tournament co-director Corey Westra noticed a then-teenager sitting with his father.

“I started noticing all the coaches knew him,” Westra said. “I asked who is that. People would just tell me that’s Tyler.”

Westra struck up a conversation with Gary three or four years ago and said hi to Tyler. Westra gave him a media guide, earning him an instant friendship.

“The kid’s a fanatic. You can’t help but love it. I think that’s what this tournament is all about,” said Westra, who speaks on the phone with Tyler once a month and exchanges text messages with him more often.

When COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 basketball tournament on its second day, Tyler was devastated, Gary said. Not because he wouldn’t get to watch the rest of the tournament, but because he felt bad for all the players and coaches who had worked so hard to get there and wouldn’t get to play.

Because Gary and Tyler weren’t fully vaccinated for COVID-19 when this year’s NAIA basketball tournament tipped off in Sioux City last month, they had to stay home. Tyler watched all the games via live stream on their TV instead.

“It worked great, but that’s not the same,” Gary said.

As this week’s NAIA volleyball tournament approached, Westra thought of Tyler. He called Gary and asked if he and Tyler had had their COVID vaccinations. When Gary said yes, Westra told him if he and Tyler weren’t doing anything, they should come to Sioux City and catch some games.

“I hadn’t even thought about it,” Gary said. “This is the perfect way for us to get back to Sioux City.”

Late Tuesday afternoon, Gary and Tyler, now 22, settled into their usual seats next to the players’ tunnel, Tyler armed with all the information Westra could supply him about the teams participating.

“Tyler has to know who the best teams are, and Corey told him, and Tyler’s ready to go,” Gary said.

They can’t stay for the whole tournament, but they’ll hit Bob Roe’s and other regular spots. They may have missed their annual trip to the basketball tournament, but watching top-notch volleyball more than made up for it. Tyler was as excited as ever, and Westra was glad to see that the tournament was a hit.

“It makes me happy that he enjoys it,” Westra said. “This tournament is for people like Tyler.”

A team champion will be crowned at the tournament’s conclusion, but we can agree that the event has become a winner for fans like Tyler and his father and so many others who have come to love it.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

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CNN-National & Wolrd

Why a gun store manager says people like him can be a missing link to stop suicide

By Mallory Simon, Erica Hill and Yon Pomrenze, CNN

Joe Liuni felt a little strange in a room full of mental health professionals in New York state.

As a gun owner, general manager of a gun store and shooting range, and president of a federation overseeing local hunting, fishing and shooting clubs, he often finds himself on the opposite side to those declaring firearms a public health issue and calling for more control.

Yet, he quickly felt more comfortable after learning four of the mental health professionals at his table, all women, had handgun permits. The meeting, organized by the Ulster County Mental Health Department, a Hudson Valley community two hours north of New York City, was focused on suicide prevention — a goal they all shared.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a gun, a rope or drugs, you need to prevent suicide,” Liuni says.

Suicide trends in the United States have been increasing for decades with firearms as the leading method, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows. Nearly 90% of suicidal acts with a gun are fatal, according to one study.

In 2009, three deaths by suicide involving a firearm over the course of a single week in New Hampshire inspired a program now known as the “Gun Shop Project.” The goal was to help gun sellers recognize the signs of a person in crisis, and avoid selling or renting weapons to them. There are now “Gun Shop Projects” in more than 20 states, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

But still, Liuni was hesitant when first approached by the Ulster County Suicide Prevention Education, Awareness and Knowledge (SPEAK) program until he saw they were interested in outcomes, not changing lifestyles.

“It’s not anything about gun rights or taking guns away or anything,” he says. “It’s about preventing suicide.”

He learned indicators that could point to a person in danger, as well as ways to encourage them to find any help they needed — calling a helpline, or reaching out to a friend.

If someone came to a gun range by themselves for the first time, Liuni says, that could also be a time to engage them.

“If you can carry on a conversation with somebody for 10 or 15 minutes, you may be able to trigger a telltale sign,” he says. “Then we try to pull them aside talk to them a little bit and see if we can get them to go make a phone call.”

And though it’s not his role to delve into mental health treatment, he believes he can help by showing people the way.

A common cause

Walk into Liuni’s store and gun range, and you’ll see SPEAK flyers before you ever get near a weapon or target. Posters include photos of a group of hunters, and of two older men, one comforting the other. Both have the call to “PROTECT YOUR FAMILY — PROTECT YOUR FREEDOM — SECURE YOUR GUNS.”

Inspired by the program, Liuni suggested some of the mental health professionals attend an upcoming gun show.

“I didn’t know how they were going to react, sitting in a table in the middle of a gun show with 700 tables of guns and knives around them,” he said.

It worked. Liuni says the mental health team “took right to it” and so did those attending the event. He remembers how many people came up to the table, asked questions, and took flyers.

“Suicide touches everybody. Somebody has a family member, a friend or relative or an acquaintance,” Liuni says.

Statistics bear him out, with Ulster County having 23 people taking their own lives in 2019, at a rate of 13 deaths per 100,000 population, comparable to the overall US rate of 14.5 suicides per 100,000 population in 2019, the most recent year for which full statistics are available.

Liuni is a staunch gun-rights advocate, who believes that talk of gun control generally leads to more gun sales. He’s not a fan of New York’s strict gun laws, and especially the state’s red flag laws which he sees as taking guns away permanently instead of addressing the underlying mental health issues that may drive someone to suicide.

But when the divisions are stripped away in favor of focusing on saving lives, it’s an easier conversation to join, he says, looking back to that first meeting with mental health professionals.

“The common goal was to prevent suicide, not take away guns, not discuss … who wanted guns, who doesn’t want guns. So it took that whole thing out of the equation,” he explains. “There was a lot of people in a room that probably hated guns or didn’t want anything to do with them … (but) the discussion wasn’t about guns, it was what we could do.”

Liuni feels he is now equipped to better step in during key moments. He’s seen veterans in his hunting clubs sometimes struggling to readjust after coming home from war. He’s now more aware when a conversation sounds “off” and feels he has been able to make a difference by encouraging people to seek help, whether they are strangers or not.

A friend of his lost a son to suicide and he sat down to have coffee and talk with him about it

“You want to make sure that a suicide is not followed by another suicide, and it doesn’t take much,” he says. “Divorce, family breakup, financial troubles, you know, it’s crazy times right now … it doesn’t take much to trigger it.”

And that is where Liuni and others who are part of these programs can be disrupters.

“You can just interrupt that thought process,” Liuni says. “If you can prevent one person, you did your job.”

CNN’s Erica Hill and Yon Pomrenze reported from Kingston and Mallory Simon wrote in New York City.

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CNN-National & Wolrd

Ice Age fossil find turns Las Vegas couple’s new pool into a dig site

By David Williams, CNN

Workers building a new swimming pool for a Las Vegas couple got a bit of a shock when they dug up a set of bones that are believed to date back to the Ice Age and may have been buried there for 14,000 years.

Homeowner Matt Perkins told CNN that he and his husband found out about the discovery on Monday morning, when police came to investigate.

It only took the police a few minutes to figure out that there wasn’t a crime scene in Perkins’ back yard.

“They came in, dug up the bone, saw that it was fairly large and at that point told us, ‘Too big to be human. Not our concern anymore,'” Perkins said.

That was a relief, Perkins said, but they were still curious what was down there.

They asked paleontologist Joshua Bonde, the research director at the Nevada Science Center, to come over and take a look.

Bonde told CNN that the center receives calls like this from time to time and usually they end up being nothing. But this time, it was the fossilized remains of a prehistoric horse.

The animal’s right shoulder blade, bones from its right arm and some vertebrae have been exposed so far, he said. He said the bones were still connected in the way they would have been when the horse was alive, which is rare and suggests it was buried quickly before hungry scavengers could scatter its remains.

It was buried about 4 to 5 feet underground, Bonde said.

Perkins also found the horse’s jawbone, a rib and some vertebrae in the pile of dirt excavated for the 6-foot-deep pool.

Bonde said the evidence suggests that the horse lived during the Ice Age sometime between 6,000 and 14,000 years ago.

Researchers at the US Geological Survey will test the specimen to get a more exact idea of when the horse died, Bonde said.

He said the find is a great story that will give people a chance to see how the scientific process works.

“Now we have to do actual science to tell how old it is maybe what species of horse it is. And then where that falls in the greater scheme of the history of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada,” Bonde said.

Bonde said the house is not far from the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument and the Ice Age Fossils State Park.

At the time the horse would have lived, the area was a marshy environment and would have been home to mammoths, camels, saber tooth cats, dire wolves and other mammals that have since gone extinct, he said.

Perkins said that he and his husband were surprised that this doesn’t happen all the time, since there is so much construction in the area.

They’d even joked before all this happened that it if workers found a dinosaur, it might pay for the whole pool.

Instead, they’ve put construction on hold for a bit, so the researchers can study and preserve the fossil.

Perkins said most people want to find a fossil when they’re kids. “I didn’t really grow out of it,” he said.

“To actually have one in our backyard, it’s amazing. It’s a surprise, (We) still kind of can’t wrap our head around it happening,” he said.

Perkins said that once the fossil is unearthed, they plan to loan it to the Nevada Science Center or someone else who can study it, preserve it and put it on display for others to enjoy.