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Zoe Schlanger

Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at zoe@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Zoe

Certified firearms instructor Terry J. Dunlap Sr. accidentally shot someone in Fairfield County, Ohio earlier this month, but it wasn't the first time, the Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday.

Thirty-six years earlier, Dunlap, then a Pickerington police department auxiliary lieutenant, fired his .38-caliber handgun into the air to create a "scary effect" for his daughter at a "haunted hayride," according to the Dispatch. The bullet ricocheted and hit 14-year-old Cathy Hessler in the leg, the newspaper said. 

Earlier this month, police said Dunlap's .38-caliber handgun discharged while he was teaching a concealed carry firearm course, and the bullet ricocheted off a desk and into the arm of student Michael Piemonte, 26.

The woman who was wounded decades ago, now Cathy Schmelzer, 50, told the Dispatch she thought, “Oh no, he’s done it again!” when she heard the news of Dunlap's latest shooting.

Dunlap, 73, is seeking re-election as a Violet Township trustee. He was once a Pickerington police department captain and the community’s safety-service director, according to the Dispatch. 

Both Schmelzer and Piemonte had the bullets removed at local hospitals. 

“Up until he shot me accidentally, it was very informative, very well laid out,” Piemonte told the Dispatch of the firearm class taught by Dunlap. “I learned a lot. Then again, I was accidentally shot.”

Sunny (right), a female Portuguese Water Dog, is the newest addition of the Obama family. She joined Bo, also a Portuguese Water Dog, at the White House on Monday. Sunny was born last June in Michigan, according to the White House. 

 

Glenn Greenwald's partner David Miranda is mounting a legal challenge to the U.K.'s Home Office border agency following his detention at London's Heathrow Airport, Guardian Editor Alan Rusbridger told BBC News Tuesday.

British authorities at Heathrow detained Miranda for nine hours on his way to Rio de Janeiro Sunday, and seized his computer, cellphone and memory thumb drives, Miranda told the Associated Press.

Miranda was held under a provision of the U.K.'s Terrorism Act called Schedule 7, which allows security agencies to stop and question people at borders. 

Rusbridger told the BBC there would be a legal challenge over whether the police were legally justified to to seize Miranda's property. The Guardian said it's "supportive" of Miranda but it is not leading the legal challenge.

An overwhelming majority of Americans believe the U.S. is losing the "War on Drugs," according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Sunday. 

Eighty-two percent of American adults surveyed do not believe the U.S. is winning the war on drugs, while just four percent believe it is. Another 13 percent are undecided.

The national survey of 1,000 adults was conducted on August 12-13 with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. 

California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R) says he intends to pull his 13-year-old son out of public school after California passed a law last week allowing trans students to use the restroom and locker room that matches the gender with which they identify, the Associated Press reported Monday. 

Donnelly announced his decision in a column on conservative blog WND, where he wrote that the privacy of students "will be replaced by the right to be ogled" by members of the opposite sex.  

"While trying to address a concern of less than 2 percent of the population, California is now forcibly violating the rights of the other 98 percent," Donnelly wrote.

Donnelly also wondered whether trans students using restrooms of their identified gender would result in sexual violence.

"Will creating gender neutral facilities increase the likelihood of a sexual assault on campus?" Donnelly wrote. 

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed the bill into law Monday, which also allows students to choose whether they want to play boys’ or girls’ sports. The legislation makes California the first state to enact legal protections for  transgender K-12 students.

h/t Huffington Post

The Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison has been visited nearly daily for over two years by protesters who oppose Gov. Scott Walker's (R) administration. Capitol Police chief Dave Erwin and his top deputy have overseen scores of arrests at these protests, and Walker's administration recently rewarded both with major pay raises that skirted salary limits, the Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel reported Saturday.

Chief Dave Erwin and Deputy Police Chief Dan Blackdeerwas were moved to "phantom jobs" for two weeks and back to their original positions in a legal maneuver that circumnvented civil service salary limits, the Journal-Sentinel found. Erwin's salary was raised $11,680  or 11.7%, to $111,067 a year, which was the same rate as his predecessor. Blackdeerwas' salary was raised 14.6%, to $96,048, on June 16, the paper reported.

Erwin was transfered to a post in the state Department of Administration, according to a copy of the transfer letter obtained by the Journal-Sentinel, and on the same day was assigned back to his position as head of the Capitol Police force, freeing Erwin from prior salary restrictions.

Walker's staff told the Journal-Sentinal that the governor had no hand in authorizing Erwin's salary increase.

A 14-year-old boy in Salem, Oregon was playing with a gun Thursday when it accidentally went off, sending a bullet through his armpit, local news station KATU reported. 

The boy and his 11-year-old friend were handling a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun belonging to the younger boys' father, Marion County deputies told reporters.

The boy was “extremely fortunate” to survive a gunshot wound from point-blank range, according to paramedics on the scene, local station KOIN reported. He was released from a hospital later the same evening. 

President Barack Obama and daughter Malia rode their bikes in on a path that winds through Manuel F. Correllus State Forest in West Tisbury, Massachusetts Friday. Michelle Obama, with daughter Sasha, rode "at a fast clip" ahead of the President and Malia, per the White House pool report. 

The President addressed the pool reporters as he rounded the bend. From the report: 

"Hey guys," he said. "Nice day, huh?"

Reuters' Jeff Mason asked "How's it going?" and "Having a good time?"

"Having a great time, as always," POTUS shouted as he pedaled away.

All four of them had on helmets. They were trailed by Secret Service agents on bikes. Several Suburbans in the motorcade then pulled onto the trail to follow.

Image: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

This post has been updated.

After Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R) compiled a list of 17 people last month suspected of illegally voting in the November presidential election as non-citizens, an investigation Wednesday easily verified their citizenship and cleared all 17 of wrongdoing, Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett told the Daily Camera.

The names were part of a statewide list of 155 people identified as possible illegal voters. Garnett told the Daily Camera the outcome is proof that searching for illegal voters is politically motivated and a waste of resources.

"Local governments and county clerks do a really good job regulating the integrity of elections, and I'll stand by that record any day of the week," Garnett said. "We don't need state officials sending us on wild goose chases for political reasons."

Image: ShutterstockSteve Cukrov

A federal judge in Oklahoma struck down a proposed amendment to the state's constitution Thursday that would ban state courts from considering Sharia and international law, the Huffington Post reported.

The constitutional amendment passed the state legislature in 2010, but Chief District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange issued a restraining order preventing it from taking effect. Miles-LaGrange ruled Thursday that its references to Sharia violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

"This law unfairly singled out one faith and one faith only," Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, told the Huffington Post. "This amendment was nothing more than a solution in search of a problem. We're thrilled that it has been struck down."

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