The top story in today’s news section is the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) decision to cancel this weekend’s planned Saltwater Fishing Expo in New Jersey due to Coronavirus concerns.
As the events unfold the likelihood that every one of us will eventually be impacted by the virus seems increasingly more certain.
President Trump told the nation “we are all in this together” but promised “we’ll ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus. OWDN Screenshot.
Last evening, President Trump spoke n from the oval office, telling the nation “we are all in this together” and announcing what unprecedented actions designed stop, or at least slow, spread of the Coronavirus across this country while lessening its economic impact on individuals and industry.
Mr. Trump’s first announcement was a 30-day travel ban on all travel to-or from- Europe.
"We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” he announced “The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will are be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground.”
The only exception to the ban is the United Kingdom.
Mr. Trump also made a series of suggestions that included a suspension of any non-essential medical visits to nursing homes and hospitals, a radical cutback of travel by “older Americans” and an admonition to take “extra precautions, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, and clean frequently touched surfaces often.”
The address also included a number of tangible health and financial measures intended to prevent the coronavirus’ unduly punishing either individuals or businesses.
“I’m confident that by counting and continuing to take these tough measures we will significantly reduce the threat to our citizens,” he said, “we’ll ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus.”
As the story evolves, we’ll keep you posted.
In other news, industry executive and hunting personality Gregg Ritz has been cited by Missouri wildlife officials for a pair of hunting violations: taking deer with bait and wanton waste-deer. The incident, according to the officer who issued the citations, occurred earlier this year on Ritz’s hunting lease in Boone County, Missouri.
The charges were the result of an investigation in which a pair of Confidential Informants (CI) - both of whom were “affiliated with Ritz” confirmed the infractions. The CIs, described in the citing officer’s report were a game manager and videographer. Both told authorities that a buck had been targeted for hunting (in the baited field), shot by Ritz, then left in there after still and video photo sessions were completed.
In his report, the wildlife officer concluded Ritz “willingly engaged in wildlife violations for the net result of commercialization.”
Ritz, his arrest report says, initially refused to comment on the incident, then admitted to having shot the deer and left it in the field overnight, intending to return for additional photography the next morning.
When he returned, the officer said Ritz told him the animal had been eaten by coyotes. At that point, the officer said he told Ritz he had been in the field- several days after the incident- and had recovered the antlers from an intact animal. At that point, the report says, “he (Ritz) acknowledged initially lying about the condition of the carcass,” although he continued to deny any knowledge of the field having been baited.
Ritz, in response, released a statement through the law firm Harper Evans Wade Netemeyer of Columbia, Missouri, in which he addressed the “allegations against me” (although at this point they’re charges, not allegations) in an attempt to “help stop the spread of rumors that naturally occur” in “this type of situation.”
“I have pleaded not guilty to both charges and the case is still pending,” he writes, “The misperception of what I have allegedly done has resulted in many damaging comments being made before the facts have been established.”
The statement goes on to say that “this rush to judgement” has “created an assault to my character and is inevitably damaging to the hunting community, which I hold with the utmost integrity and regard.”
He goes on to say that “in the social media world we live in, people are quick to judge, react and disparage without full knowledge of the facts or to wait for a verdict.”
Ritz is totally correct on that. Our legal system, despite the prejudging that happens in the court of public opinion, is predicated on the idea that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty.
A hearing before Judge Stephanie Morrell has been set for Boone County, Missouri. We’re tracking the matter, and as it proceeds, we’ll keep you posted.