Recently in National News Category

Prom-Goers Watch As Limousine Is Taken Away

Prom-goers in Oklahoma watched as their rented limousine was driven away by a repo man Friday night, Kare 11 reported.

Landon Wiland and his friends, who were attending prom in Jenks, a suburb of Tulsa, had just gotten out of the their rental when the repo man drove it away, News 9 reported.

"Our limo is getting carjacked," Wiland first thought, Kare 11 reported.

Jim Nicolotti, owner of the rental company Galaxy Limos, said that the repossesion resulted from a miscommunication between his lender and the repossesion company. Nicolotti said he worked the issues out with his bank, but that the bank forgot to cancel the repossesion job, News 9 said.

Nicolotti said he would offer the prom-goers a partial refund of a free rental in the future, Kare 11 said.

Plea Agreement In Trial Of Two Murdered Teenagers

A registered sex offender pleaded guilty to the murder to two teenage girls in northern San Diego County after agreeing to a deal that spared him from the death penalty Friday, the Los Angeles Times said.

John Albert Gardner III, 31, pleaded guilty to the murders of Chelsea King, 17, and Amber Dubois, 14. He will return to prison for life without the possibility of parole, in exchange for his plea.

Gardner admitted to kidnapping, raping and stabbing Amber, and to raping, strangling and burying Chelsea after dragging her to a remote area, CBS said. He also admitted to another attempted rape in San Diego last year.

Prosecutor Kristen Spieler said the victims' families agreed to the plea agreement before it proceeded, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis said that there would not have been enough evidence to take Gardner to court for Amber's murder without his guilty plea, the Los Angeles Time reported.

No More Fighting Sioux

The University of North Dakota will drop its "Fighting Sioux" nickname after a four year controversy resulting in two court decisions, WJAC said.

A state Supreme Court and the Board of Higher Education ruled Thursday that the nickname must be retired. The nickname will remain through the following school year, Kare 11 and WJAC reported.

"It's been a tough day," Chay Genoway, a UND hockey player, said, Kare 11 reported.

The controversial nickname represented pride and tradition to some and reinforced negative and false stereotypes for others, WJAC said.

The NCAA considers the nickname "hostile and offensive," and said the school could not host postseason events without consent from the two Sioux tribes in the state. One tribe has approved the nickname and the other tribe declined to vote on the issue, WJAC said.

"Now that we have a decision from the state board, we can move ahead," UND President Robert Kelley, WJAC reported.

60 Minutes To Maintain Weight

According to a study, as women age they will need 60 minutes of moderate exercise a day to maintain their weight, Kare 11 reported.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that women need more exercise than the current federal guidelines of 30 minutes a day, the Wall Street Journal said.

"I don't want people to throw up their hands and say 'I can't do it,' " I. Min Lee said, the lead researcher and a doctor and associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Researchers tracked the activity and weight of 34,079 healthy U.S. women for 13 years. The women, who participated in the study from 1992 to 2007, were all over the age of 45 and had a normal diet, the Wall Street Journal said.

If 60 minutes sounds time consuming, consider breaking exercise up throughout the day, into increments of 10 minutes or longer. Women can also replace 60 minutes of moderate exercise with 30 minutes of vigorous exercise and achieve the same results, Kare 11 said.

Women can work moderate exercise into their life by walking, leisurely riding bike, or by playing catch, the Wall Street Journal said.

Sex Offender Working As A Letter Carrier Was Reassigned

A registered sex offender working as a letter carrier was reassigned because of concerns that he was delivering mail in a San Diego suburb with many children, the Seattle Times said.

The Postal Service took Dana Kennette, 53, off his mail route in the Rancho Bernardo area and reassigned him to a job that does not deal with the public, the Seattle Times reported.

Kennette was convicted of lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 years of age in September 97. He has worked for the Postal Service since August 1983, the North County Times reported.

A letter to the Postal Service from Rep. Darrell Issa preceded Kennette's reassignment. In the letter Issa questioned the service's determination that Kennette was not a threat to the community, the North County Times said.

Kurt Bardella, Issa's spokesman, said that the reassignment did not change Issa's request for more information and validated the representative's concerns, the North County Times said.

Tensions remain high in the Rancho Bernardo area after another sex offender was charged with the murder of 17-year-old Chelsea King this month and after the remains of Amber Dubois, 14, were found last weekend. Dubois's death is under investigation, the Seattle Times said.

Woman Loses Two Fingers At The Zoo

A bear bit off a woman's fingers after she ignored warning signs and barriers in attempt to feed the animal at a Manitowoc zoo on Friday, the Huffington Post said.

The bear bit off 47-year-old Tracy Weiler's thumb and forefinger and partially severed her middle and ring fingers around 11:30 a.m., the Lacrosse Tribune reported.

The Lincoln Park Zoo closed for the day after the incident.

Weiler's boyfriend tried to pry the bear's mouth off her hand and was also bit. Weiler's 3-year-old granddaughter was not hurt, the Huffington Post said.

Alcohol played a factor in both adults Mayor Justin Nickel's office said, the Lacrosse Tribune reported.

Police said that the Asiatic black bear involved likely won't be euthanized, the Huffington Post reported.

Mexican Drug Kingpin Sentenced

A brutal drug kingpin who headed a Mexican drug cartel was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to give up $50 million on Wednesday in a Houston trial, CBS said.

Osiel Cárdenas-Guillen pleaded guilty to five counts, including drug dealing, money laundering, and attempted murder and assault of federal agents, the New York Times reported.

The trial took place behind locked doors at the request of the government.

"The defendant, court personnel, United States marshal personnel, other courthouse personnel and the general public will be placed in imminent danger," Judge Hilda G. Tagle said if the courtroom was opened.

Cárdenas, also known as the "the friend-killer" headed the Matamoros-based Gulf cartel, which transported tons of cocaine across the Texas border and into the United States each year, CBS said.

Cárdenas was notorious for violent crimes against his enemies and for enlisting former military personnel to serve as his gunmen, the New York Times said.

"Kidnappings, extortion, gun battles in the streets, a desperate economy, innocence lost -- that is your legacy to your country, to our communities on both sides of the border, and to society," Tagle told Cárdenas, the New York Times reported.

Student Proceeds With Lawsuit Suing Principal Over Facebook Page

A federal judge granted a south Florida student permission to continue her lawsuit against her former principal after he suspended her for a creating a Facebook page criticizing a teacher, the New York Times said.

Katherine Evans created a Facebook page titled "Ms. Sarah Phelps is the worst teacher I've ever had" in November 2007.

Evans wants the three-day suspension she received from her former principal, Peter Bayer, removed from her record. Bayer suspended Evans for cyberbullying and disruptive behavior two months after she created the page, the New York Times reported.
Evans removed the page of her own free will a few days after she posted it.

Judge Barry L. Garber upheld the lawsuit, filed Monday, after Bayer requested the case be dismissed, the New York Times and the Guardian reported.

According to the lawsuit, Bayer violated Evans' First Amendment rights to "free exchange of ideas and opinions in a public area," the Guardian said.

Maria Kayanan, the associate legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and one of the lawyers involved in the case, said that Evans' posts did not threaten anyone, the Guardian reported.

"This is an important victory for both Ms. Evans and Internet free speech," Kayanan told the New York Times.

Frisbee Inventor Died

The man credited with inventing the Frisbee died Tuesday at the age of 90, CBS said.

Walter Fredrick Morrison died at his Utah home after struggling with cancer, the Examiner reported.

"Old age caught up," Walt Morrison said of his father, who he described as a nice guy and entrepreneur that was always on the lookout for something to do, CBS said.

Morrison sold the rights to his "Pluto Platter" in 1957. Wham-O Manufacturing purchased the rights and rechristened the toy "Frisbee," the name college kids used to refer to the disk, CBS said.

The service for friends and family took place on Saturday.

Level Three Sex Offender Works As Building Superintendent

A registered level three sex offender is the superintendent at three apartment buildings in the Upper West Side of New York City, the New York Post said.

William Barnason, 57, served more than 14 years in prison for rape, sodomy, and sexual abuse of three Long-Island girls, one as young as five.

Barnason has keys to at least 50 apartments at 144 W. 73rd St. and at 140 and 142 W. 75th St, NBC New York said.

Landlord Stanley Katz hired Barnason shortly after his release from prison in 2001.

Residents allege that Barnason suggested they engage in sexual relations with him to avoid rent disputes.

Carol Engle, a resident, said Barnason asked for an additional $1,000 in 2007 after she paid a security deposit and two months of rent. She told him she couldn't afford it and he offered her an alternative.

"He said if we were special friends he could help me out," Engle told NBC New York.

Currently no law prohibits Barnason from working as a building superintendent, but Micah Kellner, New York State assemblyman, wants to change that, NBC New York said.

Kellner is proposing a new law that he hopes will prevent owners of multiple dwellings from hiring level two or level three sex offenders as building superintendents, managing agents, or resident managers.

Santo Golino, Katz's attorney, claims Katz was unaware of Barnason's criminal history and said Katz has no plans to dismiss him, the New York Post reported.

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