RNC reportedly pays Trump’s former personal bodyguard $15,000 a month

President Donald Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard has hit pay dirt, thanks to the GOP.

The Republican National Committee is paying former Trump aide Keith Schiller $15,000 a month for “security services,” according to a report Wednesday.

A Republican official told CNBC that the party has hired Schiller’s KS Global Group to consult on the site selection process for the 2020 Republican National Convention.

Schiller left his post as director of Oval Office operations at the White House in September.

He was reportedly upset with the pay cut he took by joining the administration and his limited access to his longtime boss after the appointment of White House chief of staff John Kelly.

CNN reported at the time that Schiller’s White House salary was $165,000, a massive drop from his Trump Organization earnings, which equaled about $294,000 a year.

His firm has already collected $75,000 from the RNC since October.

—New York Daily News

House arrest, probation for fake nurse who worked in St. Louis hospital

ST. LOUIS — A woman who used faked experience and credentials to get a job as a nurse at a St. Louis hospital was sentenced Wednesday to five years of probation and eight months of house arrest.

Samantha Rivera, 36, will also have to repay about $21,500 to the staffing agency that placed her in the intensive care unit at St. Alexius Hospital and $28,000 to the New Mexico nursing school where she taught before that.

Rivera’s public defender, Charles Banks, had asked for house arrest rather than prison time. Banks cited a trauma in Rivera’s past that had derailed a promising life and caused “self-destructive and, frankly, bizarre behavior.” The nature of the trauma was not revealed in open court.

Rivera lied about her education and experience and got a job teaching at Brown Mackie College in Albuquerque in 2015, despite a background check that could not verify her education and prior employment. Staff became concerned about her qualifications and she was fired. The school has since closed.

In September 2016, Rivera used the name and license number of a New Mexico nurse to apply for a nursing job through a St. Louis area staffing agency, ATC Healthcare Services. She was placed at St. Alexius Hospital, where she worked from Nov. 28, 2016, to Feb. 23, 2017, as a nurse in the ICU before being moved to the geriatric psych ward.

The hospital did not renew her contract.

On March 9, she applied for a job with Alternate Nurse Staffing Solutions in Chicago. But staff became suspicious and brought in the inspector general’s office at the Department of Health and Human Services when Rivera couldn’t pass a basic skills test, co-owner Jennifer Tse told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last year.

She was charged by complaint in April in U.S. District Court in St. Louis and indicted the next month. Rivera pleaded guilty in October to health care fraud and identity theft.

—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Boy suspended from school after inhaling helium from balloon to get ‘squeaky voice’

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky mother says she’s upset because her 13-year-old son was suspended from middle school for three days because he inhaled helium from two Valentine’s Day balloons he bought at school.

Robert Rodriguez, an eighth-grader at Simons Middle School in Flemingsburg, told the Lexington Herald-Leader he inhaled the helium from balloons in class last week because “I wanted a squeaky voice.” His mother Tonya Miller said her son merely wanted to sound like the cartoon character Donald Duck, but school officials viewed that as huffing and he was suspended Friday afternoon.

“If the school district considers helium a drug, why are they selling it to our children?” Miller said. “Students were unaware that this was punishable until after my son was suspended.”

Miller said Wednesday after she contacted the news media, school officials said her son was suspended for a safety concern, not a drug offense. Robert said he did not disrupt class when he inhaled the helium.

Fleming County Superintendent Brian Creasman said Wednesday that while helium inhalation poses dangers, there is more to the story and that the suspension “had little to do with the helium.” He said he couldn’t provide more details under the law. Creasman said he reviewed the suspension at the request of school officials and determined that school officials acted correctly and followed district policy.

Miller said in response that she had been given no other details by school officials about her son’s behavior other than that he inhaled from the helium balloons.

Creasman said students were told not to do anything with the balloons except give them as gifts for Valentine’s Day.

—Lexington Herald-Leader

Explosion on tourist ferry injures 18 people in Mexico

MEXICO CITY — An explosion on a ferry docked in the Mexican tourist resort of Playa del Carmen injured 18 people on Wednesday, municipal authorities said.

Fifteen of the victims were Mexican and three were Canadian nationals. They were taken to hospital, although none of them was reported to be in serious condition.

The explosion occurred in an upper part of the ferry, which had more than 140 passengers on board, local civil protection director Juan Carlos Medida Sosa said on television.

The ferry belonging to the company Barcos Caribe shuttles between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel Island.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately known.

— dpa