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Florida man who requested ballot for dead wife: ‘I feel like I haven’t done anything wrong’

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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — A Florida man is being accused of voter fraud after authorities say he requested a mail-in ballot for his wife who died two years ago.

On Friday, Larry Wiggins spoke exclusively to NewsNation affiliate WFLA after he was released from Manatee County Jail.

“I heard so much about ballots being sent in and people just having found them in different places,” said Wiggins. “I feel like I haven’t done anything wrong.”

The 62 year-old said he was just testing Florida’s voting system.

Now, he’s charged with requesting a vote-by-mail ballot on behalf of another elector, a third-degree felony. According to the arrest report, election officials received two vote-by-mail ballot request applications from a husband and wife.

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Election officials confirmed the woman, Ursula Wiggins, had died in 2018.

They also said the signature on the woman’s application did not match the handwriting on her original voter registration documents.

Wiggins admits he filled out Ursula’s application and put it in the mail. However, he said he never planned on voting twice and says he didn’t try to duplicate his late wife’s signature.

“I said well, let me just send it in and see what’s going to happen to see if they’re actually going to send a ballot for her to vote,” said Wiggins.

Manatee County Elections Supervisor Michael Bennett didn’t send a ballot; instead, he sent deputies.

“It really maybe hasn’t set in on me totally,” said Wiggins.

“Is he being used as a cautionary tale to warn others?” asked WFLA Investigative Reporter Mahsa Saeidi.

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“If there’s nothing else that comes out of this conversation,” said Bennett, “… to warn other people.”

With Election Day around the corner, Bennett said his office is processing up to 500 vote-by-mail request applications a day. Approximately, half of the voters are already properly signed up. Bennett puts the blame directly on outside voting groups.

“My staff is working overtime,” said Bennett, “…trying to solve all of these and trying to get back to people and let them know, hey, you’re already registered.”

Florida is a major battleground state and across our 67 counties, these groups are sending vote-by-mail request applications to voters.

Elections officials want to stress even requesting a ballot for someone else is a felony.

Mr. Wiggins is relieved the system worked; however, he does not want a criminal record.

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SpaceX Starship rocket explodes in fireball just after landing in dramatic footage

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It is the third SpaceX Starship to blow up after landing – but billionaire founder Elon Musk didn’t let it faze him – tweeting ‘RIP SN10’ as his work went up in a fireball

Elon Musk’s latest SpaceX Starship rocket experiment has once again ended up in flames.
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The Earth’s deepest secret was just revealed by scientists

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The research into what lies deep, deep beneath our feet has yielded precious few details over the past few decades. We all grew up learning that we live on the Earth’s crust, which is just a thin layer above the mantle. Beneath that, the outer core surrounds the inner core, and… well, that’s it, or so we thought. Now, scientists have offered us an update to this model, and they believe the discovery may be concrete enough to warrant the rewriting of textbooks.

In a new paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, a small team of scientists says that the most widely accepted model of the interior of the Earth doesn’t necessarily jive with the data that is available. In its place, the researchers propose a new model that includes a new layer within the inner core, and they say that, based on the data, it may be evidence of a “traumatic event” somewhere in Earth’s history.

The new layer the researchers are said to have confirmed is distinct from the inner core and would represent a new “central inner core,” for lack of a better term. To do this, the team collected a massive amount of data from seismic events over decades, then tested them against models of the Earth’s interior. What they found was that the notion of a new core layer was the best way to match the data with a model.

“Traditionally we’ve been taught the Earth has four main layers: the crust, the mantle, the outer core and the inner core,” Joanne Stephenson, lead author of the work, said in a statement. “The idea of another distinct layer was proposed a couple of decades ago, but the data has been very unclear. We got around this by using a very clever search algorithm to trawl through thousands of the models of the inner core.”

How exactly this newly-identified layer formed is anyone’s guess, but it may point to a more complex story of early Earth formation than was previously accepted.

“We found evidence that may indicate a change in the structure of iron, which suggests perhaps two separate cooling events in Earth’s history. The details of this big event are still a bit of a mystery, but we’ve added another piece of the puzzle when it comes to our knowledge of the Earths’ inner core.”

The discovery of a new core layer may not change much when it comes to our daily lives, but it’s a big step toward better understanding how our planets and others like it form. If we hope to have a solid understanding of the nature of planets, figuring out what is hiding deep within them is a prerequisite and a pretty big one.

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Bodies of 11 Infants Found in Ceiling of Funeral Home May Have Been Hidden Because Parents Couldn’t Pay

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On Friday, Michigan state investigators received an “anonymous letter” directing them to a Detroit funeral home that closed in April for “deplorable, unsanitary conditions.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, investigators entered the Cantrell Funeral Home with permission from the new owner, who was in the process of converting it to a community center, Detroit Police Lt. Brian Bowser said.

There, they located the bodies of 11 infants and “stillborns” hidden inside a “drop-down ceiling” between the first and second floor of the building.

Nine of the bodies were located hidden inside a box, and two were found inside a garbage bag in a small casket, Bowser confirmed at a press conference.

Police have not confirmed the identities of the infants or why they were hidden in the ceiling. The bodies were badly decomposed; some were “mummified,” and others were “embalmed.”

In April, the funeral home was shut down over unsanitary conditions after inspectors found bodies that had been left to mold and decay.

Owner Raymond Cantrell II admitted he kept bodies when the families couldn’t pay. At the time, he told WJBK:

“Those who have asked me to hold their loved ones will know I was doing them a favor to accommodate them. For those that weren’t, like the many of the cremated they are trying to take from here or that they are taking from here. Those individuals we called we’ve tried to notify and they haven’t been picked up.”

Police have not confirmed that’s why the infants were kept. But Pastor William C. Curtis, who owns three Detroit funeral homes, said that could be the case.

He told the Detroit News:

“A lot of times the family don’t pay and you have to take them to court. There is no recourse, but holding a body isn’t justifiable. It’s not like repossessing a car, you can’t give the body back.”

Cantrell took over the funeral home from his father in 2017. Curtis said they “used to get a lot of business.”

The medical examiner’s office is currently working to identify all the infants and reunite them with their families, it said in a statement.

Cantrell is not facing charges in relation to the discovery at this time.

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