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OMG: Passenger tracks missing luggage to home of airport store worker

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Suspect now charged with felony theft

A Florida man is facing a felony grand theft charge in Broward County after a plucky airline passenger scheduled to fly out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in March tracked her stolen luggage to the man’s home, according to the probable cause affidavit in the case.

Junior Geneus Bazile, 29, of Fort Lauderdale has been charged with grand theft in the third degree.

The victim was slated to leave the airport on a Spirit Airlines flight the evening of March 3, but the airline canceled the flight and told all passengers they could retrieve their checked luggage on the baggage belt at Terminal 4, the affidavit said.

Paola Garcia told CNN affiliate WPLG in Miami that she usually takes her suitcase onboard, but this time, she was told she had to check it. Garcia said waited at least two hours for her pink roller bag, which contained an Apple MacBook, Apple iPad, Apple Watch, jewelry, high-end woman’s clothing and toiletries. It never came out on the luggage belt.

In her WPLG interview, Garcia said that Spirit Airlines told her that her luggage had been sent to her house. The luggage never came. But Garcia explored another avenue with her own electronic tracker.

Garcia, not named in the affidavit, later pinged the electronic items inside the bag to try and locate them, and the ping showed them at an address in Fort Lauderdale, the affidavit said.

She then went to retrieve her things from the address, but she couldn’t contact anyone inside the home, the affidavit said. While at the house, she took video and still pictures, where she saw “several pieces of luggage in the front of the home,” none of which were her own, the affidavit said.

Garcia told WPLG that she dialed 911. “The first thing I remember the police told me is: ‘What are you doing here? This is so dangerous for you to be here.’ “

When a detective with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office searched the address within the airport’s employee databases, he found that Bazile reportedly lived at the address.

Bazile was listed as working at a Paradies Lagardère Travel Retail store at the airport and was working on the day of the theft, according to the affidavit.

The store’s loss prevention manager was contacted, and he provided the detective with internal CCTV footage from the day of the incident, which allegedly showed Bazile entering the store’s storage room with a pink shell roller bag, matching the description of the stolen bag, and rummaging through the luggage, the affidavit said. He then appeared to take the MacBook and other smaller items out of the luggage and put them in other bags.

“Paradies Lagardère takes this matter very seriously. Immediately upon learning of the incident, this employee was terminated. As this is an ongoing police matter, we have cooperated with the investigation and recommend reaching out to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department for more information,” the company told CNN on Wednesday afternoon.

After being charged with grand theft in the third degree, Belize pleaded not guilty and posted $30,000 bond. His next court date is scheduled for August 23, court records show.

CNN has reached out to Bazile and his public defender for comment.

In a statement, Spirit Airlines told CNN that even though they are “not aware of any evidence that any Spirit employee was involved,” the airline issued a reimbursement check to the woman whose luggage was stolen, “as a courtesy.”

Culled from CNN

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Historic Firefighter pay settlement and new contract win city council approval

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Houston City Council has approved a historic pay settlement and a new five-year contract for the 4,000 dedicated men and women of the Houston Fire Department. The vote marks a long-awaited victory for Houston firefighters, ending the disrespect and legal challenges and beginning the process of returning the HFD to a world-class department with adequate staffing and equipment.

“This is a historic day! I urge Houston firefighters and their families to relish this well-deserved victory. For eight long years, you have persevered through immense challenges while continuing to protect and serve our community,” said Patrick M. ‘Marty’ Lancton, President of the HPFFA. “Today’s vote by City Council is not just a resolution of past grievances; it’s recognition of our sacrifices and a commitment to providing the resources needed to continue serving Houston with dedication and pride.”

Houston City Council stalls vote on Fire Department contract – Houston  Public Media

The settlement includes provisions for back pay owed to firefighters, addressing a contentious issue that has strained labor relations for nearly a decade. The new five-year collective bargaining agreement provides pay hikes, significant improvements in working conditions, enhanced benefits, a renewed focus on recruitment and retention, and mental health support — a crucial component given firefighting’s stressful and demanding nature. The landmark deal underscores the core tenets of what it means to be a Houston firefighter: delivering excellent service, being good stewards of city resources, and giving back to the community.

“We owe a profound debt of gratitude to Mayor Whitmire for his steadfast commitment to bringing this ordeal to a close,” said Lancton. “He made a promise, and he has fulfilled it. His support and public recognition of Houston firefighters and the job they do are bolstering morale and helping to mend years of distrust. We eagerly anticipate further collaboration as we strive to enhance firefighting and emergency services for Houstonians.”

Firefighters will receive their back pay in July. The new five-year contract is effective with the start of the city’s new fiscal year on July 1, 2024.

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Global Cyber Security Expert, Professor Ojo Emmanuel Ademola bags Most Outstanding Personality of the Year Award

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Professor Ojo Emmanuel Ademola has been recognized as the Outstanding Personality of the Year in Technology at the prestigious 4th Edition of the South West Advancement Award and Investment Summit. Professor Ademola is a Nigerian Cyber Security and Information Technology Management Professor and a Chartered Fellow of the Royal Chartered Management Institute.

This incredible achievement was celebrated at an exquisite event held on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at 5 pm at the esteemed Oriental Hotel in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria. The event brought together esteemed technocrat political leaders and prominent personalities from diverse sectors, creating an exceptional gathering of influential figures.

 

The annual award ceremony is dedicated to acknowledging individuals for their remarkable contributions, with a special focus on those making significant impacts within the South West region of Nigeria. The esteemed recognition is a testament to Professor Ademola’s dedication and expertise in advancing technology, especially in Africa and Europe, particularly notable for his influential work in the United Kingdom.

Dr Smith Raymond, the Director General of The Institute for Enterprise Management and Analytics, commended Professor Ademola for this well-deserved award, acknowledging the professor’s unwavering commitment to technological progress. He emphasized the importance of Professor Ademola’s work. He encouraged him to continue his outstanding efforts, highlighting that this honor is a motivating call to action in further driving innovation.

 

In Professor Ademola’s absence at the event, his representation by S.A. on Media, Babatunde Adekanmbi, conveyed the professor’s heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the nomination and award. It was seen as an inspiration for Professor Ademola to continue his impactful work in technology.

 

The event was graced by an array of distinguished personalities, including Dr. Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Dele Momodu, the Chairman of Ovation Media Group, and His Imperial Majesty Oba Ogunwusi, the revered Ooni of Ife, alongside various other notable dignitaries. The gathering highlighted the significance of Professor Ademola’s contributions and celebrated the collective achievements in advancing technology and innovation within the region

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House Republicans vote to hold Garland in contempt over Biden interview audio

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House Republicans on Wednesday afternoon passed a resolution to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur on his handling of classified documents.

The final vote was 216 to 207. Rep. David Joyce of Ohio was the only Republican who voted against the contempt resolution.

Speaker Mike Johnson called the outcome “a significant step in maintaining the integrity of our oversight processes and responsibilities.”

“It is up to Congress – not the Executive Branch – to determine what materials it needs to conduct its own investigations, and there are consequences for refusing to comply with lawful Congressional subpoenas,” Johnson said in a statement.

MORE: Biden asserts executive privilege over audio of interview with special counsel Hur

Garland, in response, said it was “deeply disappointing that this House of Representatives has turned a serious congressional authority into a partisan weapon.”

“Today’s vote disregards the constitutional separation of powers, the Justice Department’s need to protect its investigations, and the substantial amount of information we have provided to the Committees,” Garland said in a statement. “I will always stand up for this Department, its employees, and its vital mission to defend our democracy.”

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