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April 26, 2009

Three hurt in Hampton University shooting

A shooting at a Hampton University dorm left three people hospitalized, CBS News reported.

The shooter is believed by police to be a former student and one of the three injured, police spokeswoman Yuri Rodgers Milligan said Sunday.

The two other victims were an unidentified man who was not a student and a night manager for the Harkness Hall dorm.

WAVY-TV reported that the shooter was an 18-year-old and the other two victims were a 62-year-old man and a 43-year-old man. One of the men is a pizza delivery driver.

All three of the shooting victims are alive however their conditions are unknown, Milligan said. The motive of the shooter is not known by officials.

Students and staff at the University were notified about the shooting through both e-mail and text messaging. The school is still on lockdown Sunday while police investigate.

Hampton University is a private school of about 5,700 students located in southeastern Virginia.

April 19, 2009

Children drown due to distracted driver

Five children drowned after their car veered off the road and slid down an embankment into a Houston, Texas bayou, CNN reported.

The driver of the car was distracted because of a cell phone he had answered, an adult passenger told police. The accident happened during massive flash flooding in Houston.

The driver, who the Houston Chronicle said was 32-year-old Chanton Jenkins, got out of the car with his brother and a 10-year-old girl. The chlidren killed in the accident included two girls, ages 1 and 3, and three boys, ages 4, 6 and 7.

Jenkins failed a field sobriety test before being taken to police headquarters for a blood sample, Houston police Officer John Cannon said. Depending on the results of the blood sample, criminal charges could be filed.

The car was found in 9 1/2 feet of water, however the doors could not be opened due to the strong current.

Officers found the bodies of the three boys and one of the girls early Sunday morning. One girl remains missing. Police said that Jenkins is the father of the three boys.

There's really no telling where we will discover the bodies, if we even will," Cannon said.

Jenkins has a criminal record going back to 1994 stemming from incidents including possession of a prohibited firearm and possession of a controlled substance.

April 11, 2009

8-year-old found dead in suitcase, Sunday school teacher arrested

A Sunday school teacher has been arrested in connection with the killing of an 8-year-old Tracy, Calif. girl whose body was found inside a suitcase in an irrigation pond, the Star Tribune reported.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was arrested Friday, police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said. Huckaby, a local minister's granddaughter, was being held without bail in connection with the death of Sandra Cantu. Sandra's body was discovered by farm workers last week while an irrigation pond was being drained. She had disappeared March 27.

Sheneman said Huckaby went from calm to emotional when talking with officers Friday at the police station.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Sandra was best friends with Huckaby's 5-year-old daughter and that Sandra would frequently visit Huckaby's home.

Sandra's aunt and uncle, Angie and Joe Chavez, and Sandra's mother Susan Levy addressed media late Saturday morning, saying they were "very glad' that someone was apprehended.

"You eye everyone now that walks by with a great deal of suspicion," Chavez said.

April 4, 2009

Three Police Officers killed in Pittsburgh

A gunman fatally shot three Pittsburgh police officers when they responded to a domestic disturbance call Saturday, Yahoo News reported.

While the motive for the shootings is not clear, friends of the shooter said he was upset about losing his job and feared an Obama gun ban, Police Chief Nate Harper said.

The shooter, Richard Poplawski, 23, shot two officers in the head as he met them at the door, Harper said. A third officer was also shot when he tried to help.

SWAT teams fired over 100 rounds at Poplawski, who was armed with a bullet proof vest, 22 long rifle, AK-47 and pistol, the New York Times said.

Poplawski was charged with three counts of homicide, aggravated assault and a weapons violation.

Harper said that never before have three officers been killed in the line of duty in one call, the New York Times said.

“No matter how many years they had on, they paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Harper said.

March 29, 2009

GM CEO quits after pressure from white house

Yahoo News has reported that Rick Wagoner, the Chairman and CEO of General Motors, will resign due to the white house's request, Administration Officials said Sunday. Wagoner's resignation comes at the same time as President Obama reportedly readies additional restructuring efforts.

Obama is expected to announce on Monday how GM and Chrysler LLC will be restructured so that they may continue to receive government loans. Both companies currently have $17.4 in government aid and have requested $21.6 billion more.

While it still is not clear who the successor of Wagoner will be, it is the thought of many in the company that recently promoted Fritz Henderson will take the job. CNN Money has also said that Henderson will likely be the new CEO, noting that he managed daily operations at GM when Wagoner was lobbying and traveling. Henderson also saved GM from bankrutcy by securing up $30 billion in low-interest loans.

Obama said Sunday that GM and Chrysler need to take harder steps to assist struggling automakers. Obama appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday and said that automakers need to do more if they want more financial aid.

David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich said that many GM executives will be disappointed by the departure of Wagoner.

"They had great affection for Rick — someone that's fair, that acts like a coach, that holds people's feet to the fire but has a good understanding of human behavior," Cole said.

March 15, 2009

NWA passenger had TB

A passenger on a Northwest Airlines flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Detroit was diagnosed with tuberculosis, Yahoo News reported. The passenger was traveling on Tuesday's Flight 51 to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Northwest said.

Shelly Diaz, a spokeswoman for The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said health officials were contacting the 17 passengers in the vicinity of the sick passenger so that they could be tested. Passengers sitting two rows in front, two rows in back or in the same row will be contacted by state and local health department officials, the Detroit News said.

"The threat to the public is low. This is a cautionary measure," Diaz said in the Detroit News.

According to WXYZ-TV in Detroit, the sick passenger is being treated in isolation at Annapolis Hospital in Dearborn, Mich. Diaz said that further details about the passenger are not being released.

"The patient is still receiving care," Diaz said.

March 8, 2009

Annonymous Tipster leads police to body in car

An anonymous tipster, identifying themself as "someone trying to help," assisted Los Angeles police Saturday in their discovery of a dead woman in the trunk of her car, Yahoo News has reported. The message, sent via a fax to Los Angeles television station KTLA, alleged two men involved in the murder who police are currently in search of.

After police were notified by KTLA, they found the body in a Valley Village neighborhood, Officer April Harding said.

The sender of the fax said that the woman was killed on Feb. 28 and that her body is in a black trash bag in the car. The sender also noted a specific address that said the body would be in a 2-square-mile area of.

The incident was reported at 1:50 pm on the 11700 block of Hortense Street, Harding told KTTV-TV.

The fax named both a suspected killer and a man who the sender said helped clean the car, Harding said.

Police were given the victim's name, but will not release it until after notification of relatives and an autopsy.

March 1, 2009

Radio Broadcaster Paul Harvey dies at 90

CNN has reported that well-known radio broadcaster Paul Harvey died Satuday at the age of 90. He died at a Phoenix hospital, surrounded by family members, Louis Adams, a spokesman for the networks, said.

Harvey was well known for his "The Rest of the Story" radio program and was heard on more than 1,200 radio stations and read in over 300 newspapers, his website says. Harvey had been recovering from pneumonia as well as the death of his wife, who died in May of last year.

He began broadcasting in 1933 as a high-schooler. He broadcasted for the Navy in 1940 and enlisted in the Air Force until 1944. He worked in radio in Chicago after leaving the Air Force, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Harvey was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1990 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 from former President George W. Bush.

Bush said Harvey was, "a friendly and familiar voice in the lives of millions of Americans."

"His commentary entertained, enlightened, and informed. Laura and I are pleased to have known this fine man, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family," Bush said.

February 22, 2009

NAACP Wants NY Post Cartoonist Fired

The NAACP has called for a New York Post cartoonist to be fired for his controversial cartoon that parodied the stimulus bill, CNN has reported. The NAACP says that the cartoon is racist and encourages violence against Barack Obama.

NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous says that the group will protest the paper if the cartoonist is not fired.

"...we will move this from a local, regional issue to a very national issue," Jealous said.

Critics of the cartoon say it plays off of historically racist images by comparing Barack Obama to a chimpanzee.

The New York Post offered an apology on their website Thursday, stating that it was not their intent to express racism. The apology also accused some of using the cartoon as an opportunity to attack a paper they disliked.

"Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon -- even if the opportunists seek to make it something else," the apology said.

The NAACP Chairman Julian Bond called the apology "beyond ridiculous."

"This was an invitation to assassination of the president of the United States and anyone who was not offended by it doesn't have any sensibilities," Julian said.

NAACP officials said that they will reach out to organizations across the country to join them if the Post does not take "serious disciplinary action," Fox News reported.


February 15, 2009

Pilot May Have Violated Safety Recommendations

Investigators have said that the pilot who operated the plane that crashed into a house near Buffalo may have violated safety precautions, BBC News has reported.

The plane was reportedly on autopilot before it crashed. Pilots are recommended to fly manually when conditions are icy.

"You may be able in a manual mode to sense something sooner than the autopilot can sense it," Steve Chealander, a National Transportation Safety Board member, said.

The pilots did not mention any problems during the flight until the crew reportedly noticed a build up of ice before the crash.

Yahoo News reported that the National Transportation Safety Board issued a safety alert back in December. This alert said that pilots should turn off or limit the use of autopilot during ice conditions, so that it would be easier to sense changes in the way that the plane is handling.

Laura Brown, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said that flying manually during icy conditions is not mandatory, since there are some planes which fly better with autopilot.

Investigators are looking into whether the crew on the plane had enough time to rest between flights and will take a further look at the mechanics of the plane.

February 8, 2009

One man dies, 134 are rescued after ice chunk breaks away on Lake Erie

All 134 fishermen who were trapped on a piece of ice that broke off on Lake Erie were rescued today after ignoring signs that the ice was cracking, reported the Detroit Free Press.
The break in the ice occured near Oak Harbor, Ohio, located in the western part of Lake Erie. The fishermen created a makeshift bridge out of wooden pallets. However, as the ice shifted, the fishermen became stranded 1,000 yards offshore.
CNN reported that Sheriff Bob Bratton, of Ottawa County, Ohio condemned the fishermen for their actions.
"It's a shame you can't arrest people for stupidity," Bratton said.
The lone fatality was Leslie Love, 65, of New Albany, Ohio, whose snowmobile broke through the ice before he suffered a heart attack.
Several ships and helicopters from surrounding areas helped out with the rescue, but it was not without cost. According to Bratton, the rescues cost thousands of dollars and pulled emergency responders away from their duties.
Once the fishermen were rescued, their names were taken and they were informed that they would be fined if they were on the ice under similar conditions in the future.
This was the first ice rescue for Petty Officer Mindy Poorman, 22.
"There was a lot of people out here doing tremendous efforts today," she said.

January 31, 2009

KY Governor Deploys Full National Guard In Response to Ice Storm

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear deployed 4,600 guardsmen in the state of Kentucky, the largest number in the history of the state, in order to help combat the ice storm, The Associated Press reports.
Over half a million homes and businesses in Kentucky are without power, the largest number on record in Kentucky history.
"With the length of this disaster and what we're expecting to be a multi-day process here, we're concerned about the lives and the safety of our people in their own homes," the Governor said.
The storm has been blamed for causing 42 deaths, with 11 of them from Kentucky.
Fuel shortages is also a problem, however Kentucky residents in need of fuel have been able to cross the boarder into Tenessee where power has been restored.
"I'd pray awhile and I'd cry awhile. "It's the worst I've ever seen." Said Doris Hemingway, 78, who spent several days bundled in blankets in his mobile home.