Tennessee: Barry Zarculia Charged With Cyberstalking

(STL.News) –  A Nashville man was arrested today and charged with four counts of cyberstalking, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Barry Zarculia, 53, was arrested this morning by FBI agents, pursuant to a criminal complaint issued Tuesday and unsealed today. According to the complaint, the FBI has been investigating Zarculia since June and determined that he used a cellular phone and an Instagram account to send death threats, threaten serious bodily harm, and/or harass, intimidate and stalk multiple victims.

The complaint alleges that Zarculia was the user of the Instagram account @songs_in_the_key_of_z and posted hateful, racist, anti-black messages on their public message board, such as messages including the phrasing “black lives don’t matter.” In addition, an individual referenced having observed posts which applauded the sniper who conducted the 2017 Las Vegas Massacre and which alluded to the fact that the user wished the same attack would occur in Nashville, Tennessee.  After posting these and other comments, Zarculia received negative feedback from other social media users.  Zarculia then posted a photograph of one individual’s house, along with the address of the individual’s public page, and said in part, “Anyone that wants a piece of me, come on over,……..Off Nolensville Pike.  I sleep in the front bedroom.”  This alarmed the individual as this front bedroom was occupied by his child.  Zarculia also sent other messages to this individual and called him on the phone and threatened to put a gun in his mouth.

The continuing investigation led agents to another victim who began receiving unsolicited messages from Zarculia in September 2019, via Instagram.  Although this woman had never met Zarculia, his messages referenced her recent locations around Nashville, including a local coffee shop and a local park.  Zarculia continued to message this woman for the next several months, which she described as “creepy” and “overly sexual” in nature, often sending her photos of his penis.  On one occasion, Zarculia made reference to the woman’s minor son and specifically mentioned the elementary school which he attended, though the woman had never mentioned her son to Zarculia.  She eventually stopped responding to Zarculia’s messages and in early 2020, Zarculia approached her in a local grocery store.  She did not engage in conversation with him and went about her business.  Later, Zarculia sent her messages that were angry in nature.  These messages continued to escalate to violent and threatening rants, some sent in audio format and also directed at a friend of the woman who had become involved out of fear for the woman’s safety.

Another victim told FBI agents that in the summer of 2018, she was contacted by Zarculia, via Instagram.  Although they had never met, the woman became friends on social media with Zarculia and talked online until early 2019, when she decided not to pursue the relationship.  Zarculia later messaged the woman and told her he had found her apartment, though they had never met in person. Zarculia escalated his activity to include lewd comments and photographs and posted her home address, phone number and photograph on Craigslist and other public websites to be used for escort/prostitution advertising.  This woman also received information that Zarculia had been to her home and wiped a caustic chemical compound on the handle of the front door.

The complaint alleges yet another woman who began receiving unsolicited Instagram messages from Zarculia in July 2020. These messages also escalated to harassing and threatening text and audio messages.  On many occasions, Zarculia made reference to her location, making it apparent that he had followed her and knew where she had been and where she lived.  In October, out of fear for her safety, the woman obtained a temporary order of protection against Zarculia.  T he following day, while hiking at a local park, the woman saw Zarculia from a distance.  She then hid in a large bush and sought the assistance of a park ranger to escort her to her vehicle, at which time Zarculia began yelling at her.

Each of these victims were forced to take additional security measures, including installing or updating their home alarm systems, or even moving from their home, in order to mitigate the threat posed by Zarculia.

Zarculia will make an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge later this afternoon.  If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.

Anyone who believes they have been the target of Zarculia’s cyberstalking or threatening behavior is encouraged to contact the local FBI office at 615-232-7500.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Risinger is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

STL.News References:

  1.  Don Cochran Wikipedia Page
  2. Tennessee Resource Page
  3. Can also be viewed on USA News Today

Pennsylvania: Stroudsburg Woman Jennifer Annette Bush Sentenced

Pennsylvania: Stroudsburg Woman Jennifer Annette Bush Sentenced To 13 Months’ Imprisonment For Drug Trafficking

(STL.News) – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on November 10, 2020, Jennifer Annette Bush, age 45, of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 13 months’ imprisonment and a three-year term of supervised release by United States District Judge Malachy E. Mannion, for drug trafficking offenses.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, during March 2018 and again during February 2019, Bush possessed with the intent to distribute several different illicit substances, including cocaine, heroin and synthetic opioid and fentanyl.  After her initial March 2018 arrest by state authorities, Bush returned to drug trafficking in February 2019, prompting the initiation of the instant federal case.

The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Stroud Area Regional Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffery St John prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This case was also brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.

STL.News References:

  1. Malachy E. Mannion Wikipedia Page
  2. New York Resource Page
  3. Can also be viewed on USA News Today

Kansas Governor Announces New Rural Economic Development Program

Governor Laura Kelly Announces New Rural Economic Development Program

Topeka, KS (STL.News) Governor Laura Kelly today announced the creation of the Kansas Main Street Affiliate Community Program, an initiative designed to introduce more Kansas communities to the resources and technical assistance offered through Kansas Main Street.

The new Affiliate Community Program is a membership-based program that invites representatives from participating communities to attend training and technical service sessions normally reserved for only the 25 designated Main Street program communities in the state. This allows those communities not involved fully with Main Street to still reap significant benefits from the program.

“My administration brought back the Main Street program because it is a proven tool to help Kansas’ rural communities recruit and retain businesses, and restore and preserve the unique history of their downtown corridors,” Governor Kelly said.  “This Affiliate Community Program will bring more resources for downtown development to rural Kansas communities to maintain the health and viability of their downtowns, and will be a strong resource for my administration to highlight as we continue to recruit new businesses to our state.”

The Kansas Main Street program originally launched in 1985 has helped dozens of mostly rural communities work toward ensuring their downtowns remain viable.  The program was ended by the Brownback administration in 2012 but resurrected in late 2019 by Governor Kelly. There are currently 25 designated Kansas Main Street communities in the program.

Kansas Main Street is a cornerstone of the Community Development Division at the Kansas Department of Commerce and is one of many investments made in rural Kansas with the support of the Office of Rural Prosperity led by Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers.

“Since Governor Kelly announced the return of Kansas Main Street last year, the program has been an incredible success,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said.  “So many rural communities have benefitted from the Main Street program and its resources.  This Affiliate Community program will undoubtedly bring Main Street to even greater heights, benefitting communities across our state.”

To participate in the program, fill out and submit the online form here.

The cost to become an Affiliate Community is $400.

Kansas Main Street is affiliated with the National Main Street Center. Main Street is a self-help, technical assistance program that targets revitalization and preservation of downtown districts through the development of a comprehensive strategy based on four points: organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring.  While there are no federal funds provided directly to Main Street communities, designated cities are eligible for training and technical assistance designed to help them become self-sufficient in downtown revitalization.

“As we work to help those 25 designated communities continue to be successful with their downtown revitalization efforts, we also want to expand the program’s reach and bring some of the same tools to more communities, organizations and individuals who care about their local downtown,” Scott Sewell, director of the Kansas Main Street program, said.  “We look forward to introducing the Main Street approach to a broader audience that cares about the revitalization of their downtowns.”

STL.News References:

  1. Kansas
  2. Laura Kelly
  3. Can also be viewed on

Connecticut Governor: High School Students To Participate in Competition

Governor Lamont Encourages Connecticut High School Students To Participate in Cybersecurity Competition

CyberStart America Registration Now Open, Chance for Participating Students and Schools to Win Prizes, Scholarships, and Recognition

HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont today is urging high school students in Connecticut to participate in CyberStart America, an innovative, national cybersecurity competition that encourages young adults to explore their aptitude for the exciting, lucrative, postsecondary pathways available in cybersecurity and computer science.  The program, sponsored by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation and the SANS Institute, is free to enter, and all schools and students in grades 9 to 12 are invited enter the challenge to compete for the chance to win scholarships, prizes and recognition for themselves and their schools.

The 2020 CyberStart America program is a series of online challenges that allow students to act as cyber protection agents to solve cybersecurity-related puzzles and explore related topics such as code breaking, networking, and digital forensics.  Students and their teachers do not need knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to participate.  The only thing participating students and schools need is a computer and an internet connection.  CyberStart America can be assigned as part of a homework assignment or students can participate on their own.  To boost participation of young women and of JROTC cadets, support communities have been established for those groups.

“The fields of computer science and cybersecurity are growing in demand, and we do not want our next generation of students – particularly young women – to be left out of this opportunity,” Governor Lamont said.  “Exposing students to technology from an early age is the best way to engage them in considering this field as a career.  This online competition is a great way to expose young adults to explore this field, regardless of whether they may have any prior experience.”

“The 2020 CyberStart America program is an exciting opportunity that will introduce our students to the emerging fields of computer science and cybersecurity,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said.  “By partnering with industry leaders, we can better train and equip our students to be the next generation of cybersecurity leaders and innovators.  As chairwoman of the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls, I encourage students in grades 9 to 12 – especially young women – to enroll in this unique program that will challenge them intellectually, empower them to explore a new career path, and put their skills as cyber protection agents to the test.  I can’t wait to see what our students accomplish.”

Connecticut high schools in which at least five students in the CyberStart America program master six or more of the challenges will win access to the CyberStart Game for their students for the rest of the school year.  Students will also have the opportunity to win financial awards for their faculty and scholarships for themselves.  At least six hundred $2,500 college scholarships will be awarded nationally, and no fewer than six Connecticut high school students will receive the scholarships.  Top scoring students who do not win scholarships will win financial awards.  One hundred high school teachers and school counselors with the most participants will win awards of $100 to $400 that they may use for their classrooms or other school programs.

“In Connecticut we’ve made great strides in advancing computer science in our schools and classrooms,” Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said.  “This year, we’re celebrating the adoption of Connecticut’s Computer Science State Plan.  We want to thank the teachers, students, school districts, parents, CS advocates and partners, and the policymakers who helped make this happen. CyberStart is an exciting program that builds on our statewide efforts to provide students innovative learning opportunities and technology skills that will be relevant in any postsecondary pathway.  This also offers high school students a leadership opportunity that can open doors to new interests as well as relevant, in-demand careers.”

“Now, more than ever, cybersecurity is essential in both the public and private sector,” Connecticut Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella said.  “This exciting program will help shape our future leaders in this growing field.  The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection looks forward to once again partnering with the SANS Institute on this important initiative and encourages all young women to take advantage of this opportunity.”

“We are thrilled to partner and share the news of Connecticut’s participation in CyberStart America,” Girl Scouts of Connecticut CEO Karen Sheehan said.  “This challenge aligns with Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s mission and continued efforts to create opportunities for girls to explore STEM careers.  Through CyberStart America, Girl Scouts, and all girls participating, will be able to take risks, continue building confidence in their abilities, and truly explore the pathways available in computer science.”

One of Governor Lamont’s top priorities has been increasing access to high quality educational resources and closing the skills gap by strengthening workforce development training critical to growing the economy and providing economic opportunity for all.  Participation in the CyberStart Challenge is aligned with the work of Connecticut’s Computer Science Advisory Committee made up of public and private sector partners collaborating to advance statewide efforts to provide computer science resources and support for both educators and students.

Connecticut’s efforts were highlighted in a recent Code.org report for making significant progress in expanding PK-12 computer science education, including being just one of eighteen states with a State Computer Science Plan.  Connecticut has also adopted K–12 computer science standards, supported computer science teacher pathways and is one of twenty states to require all high schools to provide computer science as a course offering.

Registration is now open, and high school students can begin playing at any time.  To register, visit CyberStartAmerica.org.  The website also includes more details on the program and examples of the types of challenges students will face in the games.

STL.News References:

  1. Governor Ned Lamont 
  2. Connecticut
  3. Can also be viewed on

Colorado Governor Presents proposal Budget to JBC

Governor Polis Presents FY2021-22 Budget to Joint Budget Committee

Gov. Polis Budget Calls for Investments to Restore Major Reductions, Stimulate State’s Economy & Prepare for the Future

DENVER, CO (STL.News) Governor Jared Polis presented his budget proposal for FY 2021-22 to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) of the General Assembly, including a stimulus package for the current fiscal year FY 2020-21.

“We don’t just want to get back to where we were before the pandemic – we want to build back even stronger.  Which is why this budget makes strategic investments to ensure we are more inclusive and more resilient.  We need to be creative to find the ways to get the help to those who need it when they need it most and this budget is prudent and increases reserves for the uncertainty ahead,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “These times dictate urgency and we must continue building on our shared values of saving people money on health care, investing in education, fire resiliency, expanding renewable energy, and protecting our way of life.”

This budget includes three key elements that will help boost Colorado’s economy and make critical investments in the state’s future:

  • Restoring major reductions made to key areas in FY 2020-21 and ensuring essential services across government
  • Economic stimulus that will bridge the gap to recovery and help Colorado build back stronger
  • Saving for the future

Gov. Polis thanked the members of the committee for the opportunity to present the administration’s budget proposal and also congratulated the newest member of the JBC — Rep. Leslie Herod as well as Sen. Chris Hansen who has returned to the committee.

The Governor’s budget proposal includes numerous items focused on stimulating the state’s economy,helping hardworking people get ahead and make critical investments in Colorado’s future.

Restoring Major Reductions and Ensuring Essential Services

  • Restores and increases per pupil funding for education by $902 and returns the Budget Stabilization Factor to the FY 2019-20 level of $572M, leaving the funding gap at a nearly 11-year low of 6.6%
  • Restores funding for higher education institutions to FY 2019-20 level and maintains financial aid for students who need it
  • Restores funding for the PERA direct distribution to protect pensions for public servants
  • Funds caseload needs in Medicaid and human services

Economic Stimulus that will help Colorado Recover Faster and Build Back Stronger

  • In total, this package includes $1.3 billion to help support local businesses, put Coloradans back to work and invest in the state’s future. These are targeted proposals with a high economic impact and strategic investments to help Colorado recover stronger and more quickly.
  • Colorado is distributing one-time direct payments of $375 to 435,000 hardworking Coloradans that have low and mid income.  Those payments will go out in early December.
  • The Governor is also proposing $105 million in tax relief and direct aid for restaurants, bars, and other small businesses hit by capacity restrictions.
  • $220 million to create create jobs by investing in shovel ready public works and infrastructure projects
  • $160 million to invest in broadband infrastructure to enable business, education and health care
  • $140 million to invest in our workforce and incentivize business growth in Colorado
  • $200 million placeholder for one-time investments/stimulus priorities identified by the legislature

Saving for Colorado’s Future

  • General Fund reserves from 2.86% to 10% for FY 2021-22
  • Carries forward $1.26 billion to reduce the forecasted deficit in FY 2022-23 and protect against future uncertainty
  • Proposes a responsible savings package of $422 million ($272 million General Fund).

In addition to these three key elements, the Governor’s budget also outlines other critical investments the state is proposing.

Furthering the Commitment to Build a Colorado for All

  • $30 million in FY 2020-21 in grants to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to improve access to startup capital for historically underserved entrepreneurs through the Colorado Startup Loan Fund.
  • $4 million to the Minority Business Office to increase programming and create a Strategic Fund for direct grants, and $1 million to address health inequities among Medicaid members.
  • Building on the historic legislation passed this year in SB 20-217, this budget invests $3.7 million to expand the use of body cameras for local jurisdictions.

Bolstering Education and Early Childhood Education

  • The impacts of the pandemic have hit those without a four-year degree the hardest.  This budget request protects funding for state-funded financial aid ($215.6 million) and restores critical operating funds to our public institutions of higher education ($852.0 million) while seeking to ensure that tuition increases are capped at 3% statewide during this challenging time for Colorado students
  • This budget invests $10 million in innovation and transformation to improve operational efficiency at Colorado colleges and universities as they adapt to the unique challenges of the pandemic

Increasing Access to Health Care & Behavioral Health

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequalities in America’s health care system and the Polis administration remains committed to saving people money on health care.
  • The Reinsurance Program continues to deliver significant savings for Coloradans buying individual health insurance.  For 2021, the Reinsurance Program will save consumers in the individual market across Colorado an average of 20.8% over what premiums would have been without the program, and up to 38% on the Western Slope and in southwest Colorado
  • Increased funding for telehealth services and ease of accessibility of behavioral health services, and to integrate behavioral health programs into existing infrastructure to provide significant efficiencies
  • $100 million to provide Coloradans critical services to combat substance use disorders and opioid addiction beginning January 2021

Investing in Cleaner Air & Fire Prevention and Mitigation to Address Climate Change

  • Gov. Polis Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap lays out concrete, sector-specific pathways to make progress towards science-based emission reductions targets
  • $40 million for clean energy finance programs to grow the economy, improve air quality, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and $5 million for the Clean Energy Challenge for local governments to invest in green infrastructure.  This solution leverages additional dollars in partnership with OEDIT and CEO as the State focuses on Renewable and Clean energy projects which drive community and economic development
  • This budget includes a request to create an innovative new Climate Resilience Office at the Department of Agriculture as well as new investments in programs which ensure an equitable and just transition from a coal based economy
  • Enhancing State Park Capacity:  The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration helped us out of the Great Depression and left us legacies such as Red Rocks.

STL.News References:

  1. Colorado
  2. Jared Polis
  3. Can also be viewed on

New York: Christopher J. Cohn Sentenced to 241 Months

New York: Christopher J. Cohn Sentenced to 241 Months for Armed Bank Robberies

(STL.News) – Christopher J. Cohn, a/k/a “Wolf,” age 27, of Albany, was sentenced today to serve 241 months in prison for two armed bank robberies he committed in February 2019.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon; Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Keith M. Corlett, Superintendent of the New York State Police; Chief Eric Hawkins of the Albany Police Department; and Chief David M. Keevern of the Town of North Greenbush Police Department.

Senior United States District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn also ordered Cohn to serve a 5-year term of supervised release following his term of incarceration, and to pay $193,863.57 in restitution to his victims.  Cohn was also ordered to forfeit $14,954 in recovered proceeds and $150,570 in unrecovered proceeds of the robberies.

Acting U.S. Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon stated: “Christopher Cohn inflicted terror on everyone in the banks during the robberies and even fired a shot hitting an employee.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, Cohn will now spend many years in prison.  Our community is a safer place now that he has been held accountable for his shocking crimes.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas F. Relford stated: “Mr. Cohn’s violent crimes terrorized bank employees, customers, and members of our community.  The FBI is committed to working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to address violent crimes, including bank robberies, within our communities.  This 20+ year sentence should send a clear message to criminals that we will never waiver in our pursuit of justice.”

As part of his March 2020 guilty plea to armed bank robbery, use of a firearm during a crime of violence, and related crimes, Cohn admitted to participating in two armed robberies.  On February 6, 2019, Cohn and another man drove to a Trustco Bank branch in Albany, where Cohn declared he was about to “go do this,” meaning that he planned to rob the bank.  Cohn and his accomplice then entered the bank wearing ski masks.  In the bank, Cohn’s accomplice displayed a gun, and both men threatened to kill the bank’s employees, who surrendered $150,570 to the pair.

Cohn also admitted that on the morning of February 26, 2019, he and the same accomplice entered an M&T Bank branch in North Greenbush, each wearing a ski mask and brandishing a gun.  In the course of the robbery, Cohn fired multiple shots, including one that grazed a bank employee.  According to court documents, law enforcement tracked Cohn, his accomplice, and their getaway driver to an Albany motel using a GPS device that a bank employee had secretly placed with the stolen money.  Cohn was arrested by officers with more than $10,000 in cash and wearing red sneakers matching those depicted in bank surveillance footage.  Cohn’s accomplice was arrested in the motel’s lobby, where officers found him with several bags containing approximately $3,800 in cash along with ski masks matching those worn by the robbers.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the New York State Police, the Town of North Greenbush Police Department, and the Albany Police Department, with the assistance of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office and the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua R. Rosenthal and Wayne A. Myers.

STL.News References:

  1. Lawrence E. Kahn Wikipedia Page
  2. New York Resource Page
  3. Can also be viewed on USA News Today

Arizona Governor: Free COVID-19 Testing Available

PHOENIX, AZ (STL.News) The Arizona Department of Health Services and ASU Biodesign have partnered to make available COVID-19 saliva testing for Arizonans.  It’s quick, easy and free.

In addition, COVID-19 testing is available at nearly 500 sites across Arizona.  Details including locations, hours of operation and contact information can be found HERE.

Upcoming saliva testing opportunities tomorrow and this weekend will occur in Mesa, Page, Globe, Flagstaff, Glendale and Tucson.  Available testing tomorrow includes:

Globe Testing
Where: Globe High Desert Middle School – 4000 High Desert Dr., Globe, AZ 85501
When: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
How: Pre-registration is required

Flagstaff Testing
Where: Fort Tuthill – 2446 Fort Tuthill Loop, Flagstaff, AZ 86005
When: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
How: Pre-registration is required

Testing is currently available in Page, Arizona until about noon.  Get details and pre-register HERE.

COVID-19 saliva testing is available across the state and sites are frequently added to the Arizona Department of Health Services website. Details on hours of operation and pre-registration requirements can be found HERE.

STL.News References:

  1. Arizona
  2. Doug Ducey
  3. Can also be viewed on

Virginia: John Malcolm Bareswill Sentenced for Threatening

Virginia: John Malcolm Bareswill Sentenced for Threatening to Burn Down African American Church

(STL.News) – A North Carolina man was sentenced today to two years in prison for making a threat to burn down an African American church in Virginia Beach.

According to court documents, John Malcolm Bareswill, 63, called a Virginia Beach church with a predominantly African American congregation, made racially derogatory remarks, and threatened to set the church on fire.  The threatening call was placed on June 7, several days after one of the church’s leaders took part in a public prayer vigil and peaceful demonstration for George Floyd.

“John Malcolm Bareswill reacted to a prayer vigil and rally held in memory of George Floyd by threatening to burn down an African American church,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.  “Answering the exercise of constitutional freedoms with threats of violence—especially threats that tap into a long and shameful history of racially-motivated violence against houses of worship—requires swift and certain justice.  Bareswill’s threat terrified the adult Sunday school teachers who heard it and affected the entire church community.  While this sentence cannot undo that harm, it sends an important message: Our community will not tolerate attempts to silence free speech or interfere with the free exercise of religion.”

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Karl Schumann, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Paul Neudigate, Chief of the Virginia Beach Police Department; and David Hutcheson, Chief of the Virginia Beach Fire Department, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Bosse prosecuted the case.  Trial Attorney Kathryn Gilbert of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division provided significant assistance on the case.

STL.News References:

  1. G. Zachary Terwilliger Wikipedia Page
  2. Virginia Resource Page
  3. Can also be viewed on USA News Today

Virginia: John Malcolm Bareswill Sentenced for Threatening

Virginia: John Malcolm Bareswill Sentenced for Threatening to Burn Down African American Church

(STL.News) – A North Carolina man was sentenced today to two years in prison for making a threat to burn down an African American church in Virginia Beach.

According to court documents, John Malcolm Bareswill, 63, called a Virginia Beach church with a predominantly African American congregation, made racially derogatory remarks, and threatened to set the church on fire.  The threatening call was placed on June 7, several days after one of the church’s leaders took part in a public prayer vigil and peaceful demonstration for George Floyd.

“John Malcolm Bareswill reacted to a prayer vigil and rally held in memory of George Floyd by threatening to burn down an African American church,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.  “Answering the exercise of constitutional freedoms with threats of violence—especially threats that tap into a long and shameful history of racially-motivated violence against houses of worship—requires swift and certain justice.  Bareswill’s threat terrified the adult Sunday school teachers who heard it and affected the entire church community.  While this sentence cannot undo that harm, it sends an important message: Our community will not tolerate attempts to silence free speech or interfere with the free exercise of religion.”

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Karl Schumann, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Paul Neudigate, Chief of the Virginia Beach Police Department; and David Hutcheson, Chief of the Virginia Beach Fire Department, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Bosse prosecuted the case.  Trial Attorney Kathryn Gilbert of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division provided significant assistance on the case.

STL.News References:

  1. G. Zachary Terwilliger Wikipedia Page
  2. Virginia Resource Page
  3. Can also be viewed on USA News Today

Tennessee Governor Announces Reconnect to Workforce Partnership

Tennessee Reconnect Helps Unemployed Tennesseans

Nashville, TN (STL.News) Today Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced Reconnect to Workforce, a partnership between the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Tennessee Reconnect program and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development that will assist up to 500,000 Tennesseans claiming unemployment benefits to earn a college degree while fulfilling work search requirements.

“As federal unemployment benefits end, we want to ensure Tennesseans have the tools needed to skill up and gain long-term employment,” said Gov. Lee.  “There are over 250,000 available jobs in Tennessee and this partnership will remove barriers so Tennesseans across our state can acquire the skills needed to acquire a high-quality job.”

“The biggest challenge in reconnecting Tennesseans to education is often financial hardship,” said Tennessee Higher Education Commission Executive Director Mike Krause.  “By removing this hurdle, we’re giving unemployed Tennesseans the opportunity to reskill and find a new path forward in our changing workforce.”

Tennessee Reconnect offers two years of tuition-free community or technical college by establishing last-dollar scholarships for eligible adults who have not yet obtained a degree.

Individuals from high-need populations make up a significant portion of grant recipients, including 58% having dependents and almost 70% making below $50,000.  Last year, over 2,000 students were awarded a certificate or degree.

Federal unemployment benefits funded by the CARES Act will expire as claimants reach the maximum 39 weeks of payments in the coming weeks.  The last day to claim federal unemployment benefits is December 26, 2020.

More information about Tennessee Reconnect is available here.

STL.News References:

  1. Governor Bill Lee
  2. Tennessee
  3. Can also be viewed on

Oklahoma: Tulsa Doctor Christopher V. Moses Sentenced

Oklahoma: Tulsa Doctor Christopher V. Moses Sentenced for Role in an Opioid Drug Conspiracy

(STL.News) – A Tulsa doctor was sentenced today for conspiring with others to unlawfully issue prescriptions for controlled substances, as well as maintaining a drug involved premises at his medical clinic, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

Christopher V. Moses, 67, of Tulsa, has been sentenced to one year of home confinement and five total years of probation.  Moses will forfeit his medical license and not seek reinstatement while serving his sentence.  U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell further ordered Moses to pay $28,581 in restitution to two victims, a $200,000 fine, and a forfeiture amount of $1.8 million representing the proceeds he obtained as a result of his crime.  Moses will also forfeit his 2011 Mercedes-Benz.

“We must work free of the deadly grip that illicit opioids have on our nation.  Doctors like Christopher Moses who operate “pill mills” should be ashamed of themselves,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.  “It’s only right that Mr. Moses is now a convicted felon and has been stripped of his medical title.  He is no different than any other drug dealer on the street spreading addiction for profit.”

This sentence comes as a result of his role in leading a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances without a legitimate medial purpose and outside the scope of professional practice, and for maintaining a drug involved premises.  As a part of this conspiracy, Moses and his co-conspirators unlawfully issued prescriptions for controlled substances, many of which included deadly opioid prescription drugs such as Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and Fentanyl.  One repercussion of their unlawful distribution of such drugs, is the death of two individuals, one from acute fentanyl toxicity and the other from acute morphine and oxycodone toxicity.  Moses and those working with him committed such acts with the goal of generating large profits from the prescriptions and taking those proceeds for their own personal use and benefit.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation of this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel-lyn McCormick prosecuted the case with assistance from AUSA Vani Singhal, AUSA Melody Nelson, and AUSA Reagan Reininger.  AUSA McCormick is the Lead Attorney for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

STL.News References:

  1. Trent Shores Wikipedia Page
  2. Oklahoma Resource Page
  3. Can also be viewed on USA News Today

Virginia Governor: October 2020 Revenue Report

General Fund revenue collections down 2.7 percent from previous year and fiscal year-to-date collections up 6.7 percent, growth in sales and use taxes and recordation tax collections offset expected decline in payroll withholding

RICHMOND, VA (STL.News) Governor Ralph Northam today announced that General Fund revenues fell 2.7 percent in October with solid growth in sales and use taxes and recordation tax collections offsetting an expected decline in payroll withholding.

“This month’s revenue report shows that Virginia is on sound financial footing despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Northam.  “We must stay focused on beating this virus first and foremost, so we can remain on a road to recovery and continue moving our Commonwealth forward.”

Regular monthly collections are due in withholding, sales taxes, and most minor sources.  On a fiscal year-to-date basis, total revenue collections grew 6.7 percent, ahead of the annual forecast of a 1.8 percent decrease.

“The drop in October revenues largely reflects an anticipated decline in payroll withholding,” said Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne. “Although October is not a significant month for revenue collections, this report confirms that Virginia continues to be on a prudent path of forecasting revenues and budgeting in these unique times.”

Collections of payroll withholding taxes fell 4.6 percent in October, following a strong 11.4 percent gain in the previous month.  Collections of sales and use taxes, reflecting September sales, rose 8.6 percent in October.  Finally, collections of wills, suits, deeds, and contracts—mainly recordation tax collections—were $59.9 million in October, compared with $42.3 million in October of last year, a 41.5 percent increase.

On a year-to-date basis, total revenues are up 6.7 percent through October, well ahead of the annual forecast of a 1.8 percent decline. Collections of payroll withholding taxes—64 percent of General Fund revenues—increased 0.4 percent, behind the annual forecast of 2.4 percent growth.  Sales tax collections—16 percent of General Fund revenues—increased 7.8 percent through October, ahead of the annual forecast calling for a 9.7 percent decline.

The Joint Advisory Board of Economists (JABE) met November 4 to assess recent economic developments and the economic outlook for the current and next biennium.  The Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates (GACRE) will meet on November 23 to evaluate both the JABE economic recommendations and revenue collections through October.  GACRE members’ recommendations will be incorporated into the General Fund revenue forecast to be released on December 16 when the Governor meets with the money committees of the General Assembly.

The full report is available here.

STL.News References:

  1. Virginia
  2. Governor Ralph Northam
  3. Can also be viewed on