Mississippi college students have to wear ID badges

The new policy that requires all students to wear college photo ID badges when on campus will be enforced beginning this semester at Northeast Mississippi Community College. The primary goal behind the new regulation is safety improvement, the badge exposed would allow for instant student versus non student identification. Also administration is pretty serious about enforcing the policy, first time the campus police we warn the student who is not wearing the id card but then $25 ticket would be issued.college hat

New requirement got mixed reviews among the students, while most understand the safety concerns some feel the policy makes the problem growing out of proportions, also the fine amount was regarded as rather high.
It’s hard not to link the policy change to Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. Similar accidents took place at college campuses several times. While wearing id badges can’t directly prevent campus violence accidents they raise level of general security. Needless to mention social aspect of the initiative, how many times you don’t recall even the first name of the person you have been just introduced to. Ability to match face to a name has been scientifically proven to create stronger bond in communities.
I agree, ticketing $25 for forgetting to wear a badge is a little rough and I hope it won’t become a source of revenue for the school.

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Virginia voter id law upheld

The Department of Justice has cleared Virginia new election legislation to become the law. Like 15 other Southern states Virginia needed DOJ pre-clearance to amend election legislation due to history of voter discrimination. Unlike other Southern states, especially South Carolina and Texas Virginia allows a broad range of documents to be used for voter identification. It doesn’t necessarily have to be state issued photo id card or driver’s license; Social Security card or even a utility bill would cut. A voter with no piece of identification at all can still cast a provisional ballot, he just needs to bring an approved identification document with 7 days from election day.
I think it also mattered that Virginia has been requiring id for voting for years but would allow to vote without any identification as long as the voter would swear he is who he’s claiming to be. The affidavit identity voting privilege was taken out with the new legislation.
Another factor favoring the state was that the Governor Robert F. McDonnell ordered Board of Elections to send every registered voter a new voter card upon signing the bill.
The DOJ decision means the new rules would have to be obeyed in November presidential elections. South Carolina and Texas are still waiting for DOJ clearance.

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NJ medical marijuana ID card out

Last week the state of New Jersey introduced and id card for residents who are allowed to get marijuana for medical purposes. The step comes after 2 years of bureaucracy since the medical use of the drug law was approved in January 2010. The delay caused heavy criticism from sickness support groups and caregivers who sometimes must have entered illegal market to get a drug that has already became legal.
Cannabis use was approved only for a handful of serious conditions including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s decease and glaucoma. Patients who would like to apply for the document must have been seeing their doctor for at least one year and be registered with the state. It would be the doctor not the patient who applies for for the identification number and then the patient and also direct caregiver is eligible to apply for the photo id card.
The application is rather expensive, $200 but only $20 for those on medicaid or medicare. Upon completing registration it should only take up to 5 days for the card to be issued and mailed to the applicant. With the card the patient and the caregiver would be able to get a pot from one of six state designated dispensaries.
Unfortunately the growing centers are not ready to serve the ones in need. Due to problems with local permits and delays for the law coming into force there are virtually no plantations with crop ready to harvest. First designated dispensaries are expected to open sometime in September
Patients can get more info or register by going to the state program website at

https://njmmp.nj.gov/njmmp/index.html

or calling 609-292-0424

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Pennsylvania judge sustains the voter id law

Surprisingly to many civil rights activists Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson decided against granting injunction to the new election legislation making it more likely to be in effect for presidential elections coming in November.
Voter id bill requiring to produce an accepted piece of photo id card upon casting a ballot was passed in March this year. It immediately picked a lot of controversy just like in other states, mainly on the grounds of poor and elderly risk of being eliminated from the election process due to lack of means to get proper identification card. This usually meant high cost of getting birth certificate for the ones who were born out of state.
Differently than other states Pennsylvania Department of State announced in July it would start issuing custom id card just for voting purposes for those who don’t have proper identification. Requirements for getting the id badge would be much more relaxed when compared to state id card or driver’s license mainly due to birth certificate not being included on the mandatory supporting documentation list.
Since passing the law media has been full of stories of senior voters who wouldn’t be able to vote under new rules unless they decide to go through the hassles of getting proper identification. Judge Simpson emphasized the fact that plaintiffs put a lot of effort in detail description of cases where voters have been put at risk of inability to vote however he also said he had to make a decision based on the Constitution rather than sympathy.
Witold J. Walczak, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer already mentioned that the decision will be appealed in the Supreme Court. At this point of time Pennsylvania Supreme Court consists of 6 judges, 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats, another Republican judge, Justice Joan Orie Melvin has been suspended while fighting criminal corruption charges.
In my honest opinion a lot depends on PennDOT issuing custom id cards for voting; if this goes smooth and fast the appeal has little chance and Pennsylvania solution might become a model for other states facing the same problem. On the other hand if the cards issuance goes rough the voter id law opponents will gain a new, strong argument that the state not only failed to provide all voters with proper id badges but it also added confusion by making promise they couldn’t keep.

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too many id badges for one person

A 53 years old male was stopped for a minor traffic violation only to be found out to posses countless number of credentials. New Port Richey, Florida police has hands full of works and asks for public cooperation.
Roy Antigua, native Cuban living in Florida was found to carry a fake military id card during an ordinary traffic stop. When his apartment was searched during the investigation the police found multiple uniforms, including but not limited to Coast Guard, US Customs and Homeland security. Additionally multiple military decorations have been found including Medal of Honor, the highest US Army medal. That is not all though, multiple id badges were found too, including flight instructor, physician assistant, Secret Service even CIA.
He drives Cadillac Escalade SUV with Coast Guard license plates, Homeland Security registration sticker and red-blue flashing light behind the radiator grill.
For those who read an impostor story for the first time it might be surprising how far they guy has gone to play his role. Those who have heard similar stories, especially when it comes to law enforcement impostors his collection is within the average mainstream.
The question that the investigators are facing right now is that if Antigua is a harmless individual living in fantasy world or a dangerous criminal acting as somebody else and hurting innocent people. Allegedly he has criminal history of grand theft in 2011 when he was a member of voluntary group Coast Guard Auxiliary in Miami.
While the police is actively working with other law enforcement agencies and medical providers so check if Antigua was trying to deal with them they’re also asking public if the suspect tried to act as someone he wasn’t.
Should you have any tip for the police in this case please call Detective Michael Anderson at 727-816-1130

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Pennsylvania custom id card for voting

Pennsylvania Department of State announced a new identification document on Friday. Custom photo id card will be valid for 10 years and only for voting purposes.
Voter id law passed by the state Congress and quickly signed by the Governor earlier in the year has faced heavy criticism wave, first for putting Amish voters in uncomfortable situation as taking photograph is against their religious beliefs and application for non-photo id card includes intimidation series of questions; second for possibility of excluding significant number of voters from the elections process due to lack of proper identification.

Voting only custom id card seems to be a patch for the latter issue. Most of the registered voters at risk of losing election right were having problem getting state identification documents due to lack of birth certificate. This was the case for mostly elderly and born out of state.
New card is easier to get when it comes to application supporting document list requirements. An applicant needs to be a registered voter, know his or her Social Security Number and provide two pieces of address proof. There is no fee associated with the application. The card would be only available for those who don’t already possess a PennDOT issued identification document. PennDOT offices will be issuing the cards same day upon verifying applicant eligibility.
The rush in getting a new document out seems to be related to the fact that the voter id bill was sued in the court by multiple civil liberty organizations. Pennsylvania would be the first state to issue custom id card, free of charge, valid only for voting and issued under relaxed list of supporting documents. The document should be available in a month although no fixed start date has been announced.

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Another Wisconsin judge against voter ID law

We wrote few months ago about Dane County District Judge Richard Niess permanently blocking Wisconsin voter id law based on concerns of voter suppression.  Only yesterday another judge made his previously temporary injection permanent.
Dane County Judge David Flanagan wrote in explanation of his decision that more than 300,000 state voters wouldn’t be able to vote unless they obtain a photo id card from the state that would allow to cast an election ballot. He pointed that 300,000 is a lot of people and most of them are already registered voters.
Since 2004 despite efforts of Attorney General’s Election Fraud Task Force there was not a single case of voting fraud case which would be prevented by the new legislation.
While the judge admitted the law might improve the election process it’s not worth to execute as the cost might be disenfranchising more than 300,000 Wisconsin voters. Fighting non existent voter fraud is not worth such risk. He also pointed that despite the fact that state photo id cards can be obtained at no cost the process of application can easily get frustrating, time consuming and costly.

Judge decision means the voter ID law has slim chance to go into force by November Presidential elections. Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has appealed from Judge Niess decision and is expected to appeal from Judge Flanagan decision as well. It is highly unlikely for Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule in these cases by November.

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Pennsylvania voter id law faces lawsuit

It seemed like the law passed in such a smooth way would have to problem coming into force. We wrote some time ago about Amish community where being photographed is against religious beliefs and application for no photograph state id card required filling intimidating questionnaire. It felt after the issue with no photo identification documents the heat would be over.
Not necessarily as it turned out. Media are full of stories about usually elderly citizens who would be adversely affected by the new regulations. Who wouldn’t be moved by a story of ninety something lady who voted all her life, helped electing Franklin Delano Roosevelt and now wouldn’t be able to vote as she doesn’t have a proper photo id card. Sure she can get one even for free at local PennDOT office but she needs certain documents to accompany her application such as birth certificate; in case she does not possess it the attorney fees for obtaining it could make it impossible to get.
Some people ask can we just exclude voters born before certain date from the photo identification requirement to cast a ballot? Possibly but keep in mind the Constitution; I’m not constitutional law expert but I guess it would be hard to find people who would sue such regulation as not compliant with the Constitution on the ground of all citizens being equal to the law regardless of their characteristics, including age in this particular case.
American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania along with several other organization sued the voter id law on May 1st 2012 on the grounds that it will disproportionately affect older citizens, people with disabilities, racial minorities, and lower-income people.
This will be hot a topic for presidential campaign as Pennsylvania has potential to affect the results of this year presidential elections. Now the court is under heavy pressure.

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Pakistanis living abroad will get new id card

London, United Kingdom: The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), Pakistan government agency responsible for providing identification for citizens and introducing e-government services, will be introducing a new smart id card for Pakistan citizens living outside of the home country.
The new document was introduced at a ceremony in London yesterday. High officials were present including Tariq Malik, NADRA Director General and Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan. Over 200 guests have been invited to the ceremony and the party that followed.
Malik presented new document, 3rd generation smart card as the most secure in world. The id card has over 36 security features including high level data encryption. Data is printed on multiple layers of polycarbonate and protected by biometric data where the holder’s identity is confirmed before the card can be used and encrypted data accessed.
Smart NICOP cards will help over 2.5 million Pakistani population living abroad with banking, funds transfer, travel and visa free entry to the home country. On Pakistan Independence Day, August the 14th the document will become available to general public. Several offices will be open to accept application for the new doc in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford and Glasgow; additional offices across the Europe will open later in the year.
Data collected in overseas NADRA locations will be sent to the headquarters in Pakistan in real time over secure data link. This way overseas centers can avoid storing the data locally which reduces infrastructure costs. Cards will only be printed in NADRA production facilities in Pakistan and the shipped to the UK and other European countries.

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man arrested for wearing police id badge

Last week a man was arrested in Fort Myers Airport and charged for impersonating law enforcement officer. During a busy afternoon last Wednesday a male wearing a police like badge on his belt was spotted just outside airport terminal building in Fort Myers. Allegedly he wore camouflage pants, tan shoes and black t-shirt; he also had a silver badge attached to his belt saying ‘POLICE’.
When challenged by the real police he admitted he’s not an enforcement officer but a marital arts instructor. Upon search the man was found carrying 2 knives where one of these had four and half inch long fixed blade and the other was a folding knife. Investigators found out he had an expired permit for concealed weapon.
The man was identified as Joshua Watson and arrested at the scene under charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer. He was taken to Lee County Jail and released on $2,000 bond 2 days later. Watson will face the judge on July 31st. Reasons for his action remain unknown.
Good part is the police spotted him and taken away quickly. The bad part is that airport security personnel was absorbed by incident that could have been a real security threat while it seemed like a joke. After 9/11 terrorist attacks airports are high alert objects and such behavior should be punished to the fullest extent of the law

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