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  • President Donald Trump tried on Tuesday evening to push Republicans in the House to pass an immigration reform bill later this week, basically telling GOP lawmakers he would support whatever they could pass, as Republicans struggled to find the votes to do that, and pressed the White House to back off a new policy that separates some illegal immigrant kids from their parents after being picked up at the border. “The system’s been broken for many years,” the President told reporters at the Capitol before the unusual Tuesday evening gathering. “The immigration system, it’s been a really bad, bad. system, probably the worst anywhere in the world. And we’re gonna try and see if we can fix it.” Earlier in the day, the President had told a gathering of business leaders that he would not back off his calls for major changes in U.S. immigration laws. “When people come up, they have to know they’re never going to get in, or else it’s never going to stop,” Mr. Trump said of the flow of illegal immigration across the southern border with Mexico. President Trump: 'I'm asking Congress to do is to give us a third option, which we have been requesting since last year, the legal authority to detain and promptly remove families together as a unit. We have to be able to do this. This is the only solution to the border crisis.' pic.twitter.com/UllzH6rL4y — CSPAN (@cspan) June 19, 2018 But complicating matters for the President was the recent move to force the separation of children and parents, if the parents were being charged for illegally entering the United States, as that continued to draw stern opposition from GOP lawmakers of all stripes. “All of us are horrified at the images that we are seeing,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). “We ought to stop separating families,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS). “The Administration disagrees,” as GOP lawmakers said the conflict wasn’t really discussed during the Tuesday night meeting with Mr. Trump. “We can have strong border security without separating families,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). 13 GOP Senators signed a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking the Trump Administration to “halt current policies leading to the forced separation of minor children from their parents,” but that missive fell on deaf ears at the White House, as GOP lawmakers scrambled for kind of legislative answer. If every Senator is willing to support it by unanimous consent, the Senate could pass a bill, before the end of the week, that would allow families charged with illegal entry to be kept together while awaiting an expedited hearing. I truly hope that is what we do. — Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 19, 2018 House GOP leaders on Tuesday night posted two different immigration bills for possible House votes – one was a more conservative plan backed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), which was unlikely to get close to a majority; a second was a more moderate bill that lacked the support of conservatives. It left many unsure what would happen if votes occurred this week on the House floor. “I’m still working through whether I can vote for the compromise bill,” said Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), as more conservative lawmakers withheld their support from the only all-GOP plan that has a chance for approval. Meanwhile, even as Mr. Trump tried to push Republicans to stick together on immigration, he managed to cause some internal GOP pain, as lawmakers said the President – during the closed door meeting with House lawmakers – took a verbal shot at Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who lost his primary a week ago to a candidate backed by the President. “Is Mark Sanford here? I just want to congratulate him on running a great race,” the President reportedly said, drawing quiet groans and hisses from some GOP members. One Republican, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) said later on Twitter, that the jab was uncalled for. “This was a classless cheap shot,” Amash wrote.
  • Edward Lee Hodge was arrested on Tuesday after he was accused of touching female students inappropriately in May. Hodge a 5th grade teacher at Aspen Creek Elementary. He’s charged with four counts of lewd molestation. Hodge is accused of inappropriately touching at least nine students. Police say he was arrested without incident and is being held on $200,000.00 bond. 
  • At a meeting designed to advocate against passage of a medical cannabis state question in Oklahoma, a proponent of State Question 788 was forcibly removed by Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton. [CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO OF THE INCIDENT] Video of the incident appears to show Walton pushing Chip Paul’s head into a door as he’s holding him by the neck and forcing him outside. Walton tells KRMG in his opinion, Paul was being disruptive at the meeting, organized by an organization called “Light of Hope,” and held at the Claremore Conference Center Monday evening.  “When a speaker was making a point, he would laugh out loud,” Walton says.  [CLICK HERE FOR SHERIFF SCOTT WALTON’S ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT] He adds that Paul was resisting his effort to take him outside, after he asked Paul to step into the hall and speak with him. “He balks a little bit right there, his left hand was free,” Walton told KRMG. “Again, I push him toward the door but no intentions there to ram his head through the wall.” He went on to add that “I’ll say it loud and clear. I have no regrets for my actions to try and gain control of an organized effort to disrupt the meeting.” Paul’s account of the incident, and his behavior leading up to it, differ significantly. [CLICK HERE FOR CHIP PAUL’S ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT] “There was absolutely no organization and no attempt to disrupt the meeting,” he told KRMG. “I did not say anything. I had my hand up, I did not say one public word in that meeting. Not one.” He says Walton never asked him to leave, before grabbing him by the neck and forcing him toward the exit. “I didn’t resist in any way. Again, this was a public forum. I did not break any law. I was quiet, I was not disruptive. He did not ask me to leave, if he would have asked me to leave I would have complied.” He says he doesn’t know if Walton intentionally slammed his head into the door. But he plans to push the issue in court. “I’m meeting with an attorney in the morning, and I will absolutely pursue the strongest and most formidable legal charges that I can, because this is wrong. So, if I can file assault charges, I’m gonna. If I can file civil charges, I’m gonna. I won’t let this go, not for one second. This is wrong. I have as much right to be in that building as he does.” Paul is a business owner who belongs to the Chambers of Commerce in both Claremore and Owasso, he tells KRMG.  “People know me, and they know who I am and what I’m about, and this won’t fly well. It just won’t. He picked the wrong guy, he really did.”
  • Smoking in the U.S. has hit another all-time low. About 14 percent of U.S adults were smokers last year, down from about 16 percent the year before, government figures show. There hadn’t been much change the previous two years, but it’s been clear there’s been a general decline and the new figures show it’s continuing, said K. Michael Cummings of the tobacco research program at Medical University of South Carolina. “Everything is pointed in the right direction,” including falling cigarette sales and other indicators, Cummings said. The new figures released Tuesday mean there are still more than 30 million adult smokers in the U.S., he added. Teens are also shunning cigarettes. Survey results out last week showed smoking among high school students was down to 9 percent, also a new low. In the early 1960s, roughly 42 percent of U.S. adults smoked. It was common nearly everywhere — in office buildings, restaurants, airplanes and even hospitals.
  • Arkansas police officers attempting to notify a woman of her husband’s suicide earlier this month found her body stuffed into a freezer at their home.  Lori Jean Bruick, 55, of West Fork, died of blunt force trauma, according to a news release from the West Fork Police Department. Her obituary puts the day she died as June 7. West Fork police officers learned of Lawrence “Larry” Bruick’s apparent suicide June 10 from Logan County sheriff’s deputies, who reported that the 56-year-old took his life about 100 miles away from home near Mount Magazine, police officials said. Officers began trying to contact Lori Bruick at the couple’s home that day to deliver the news. The officers were unable to make contact with Lori Bruick the following day, either.  “Officers could see items in the home that led them to believe that Mrs. Bruick was still at home,” the West Fork police’s news release said.  The officers forced entry into the home, at which time they found men’s clothing that appeared to have blood on them, the news release said. They also found letters that indicated Larry Bruick was contemplating suicide.  Evidence of a struggle was found in the couple’s garage, the news release said. Lori Bruick’s body was found in a chest freezer inside the garage, officials said.  Police officials said investigators do not know what caused the fight that precipitated the slaying. Larry Bruick, whose obituary indicated that he died the day before he was found, was the sole suspect in the homicide, officials said.  >> Read more trending news The couple is survived by two grown children, four grandchildren and a host of other relatives, according to Lori Bruick’s obituary. A joint funeral was held Monday morning, and Lori Bruick is scheduled to be buried Tuesday in her native Texarkana.  It was not clear if Larry Bruick would be buried alongside her.  A statement said to be from the family was posted on the Arkansas High School Class of ’81 alumni Facebook page.  “The Bruick family has suffered a tragedy and that resulted in loss of life for Larry and Lori Bruick. Many details remain unclear and likely will for some time,” the statement said. “We thank you for and covet your prayers, messages of support, and actions of kindness. As we move forward, we ask that you respect the family's privacy concerning the details of this tragedy as we move through the grieving process.” One former classmate called the pair a “match made in heaven.” “Now they get to dance with angels,” Chuck Phillips wrote. “Prayers for the family.” A memorial video on the funeral home’s website shows photos of the couple with their family in happier times. In lieu of flowers, the family asked for donations in Lori Bruick’s name to the Washington Regional Medical Center’s patient benevolence fund.  According to a LinkedIn profile in her name, Lori Bruick was a respiratory therapist there.  The family asked for donations in Larry Bruick’s name to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.