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April 26, 2009

Kent State University Riot

Police fired baton rounds and used pepper spray in an attempt to break up the crowd of rioting students who started multiple fires in the streets of Kent State University at a college end-of-the-year party.

Kent Police told the

Authorities were monitoring airports in case Zinkhan tried to head to Amsterdam, where he owns a home, or Austin, Texas, where he has relatives, according to the Associated Press.

Police told AP that Zinkhan was outside the Athens Community Center with members of Town & Gown Players, a local theater group, when he got into an argument with one of the players. Later, he returned with two guns and opened fire on the group.

The three victims were identified by police as Marie Bruce, 47, Zinkhan's ex-wife; Tom Tanner, 40; and Ben Teagure, 63. They were shot multiple times, the county coroner told AP. Two others were injured from flying shrapnel, according to AP.

Zinkhan disappeared after dropping his children off at a neighbor's house. His neighbor, Robert Covington, told AP that Zinkhan said he needed someone to watch his children for an hour because of an emergency.

Covington also told AP he asked Zinkhan's daughter about the emergency, and she told him there was "something about a firecracker."

Covington told the New York Times that Zinkhan's children are now in custody of the police.

Zinkhan has a doctorate from the University of Michigan and is a marketing professor at UGA's Terry College of Business. University spokesman Pete Konenkamp told AP he had no disciplinary problems.

Josh Gurly, 21, a university junior who was one of Zinkhan's students, told the New York Times Zinkhan unexpectedly canceled class last weak and told students they did not need to take the final exam.

April 19, 2009

Driver charged in Texas crash that killed 5 kids

Police filed charges of intoxication manslaughter Sunday against a man who lost control of his car while using a cell phone on Saturday night, causing the vehicle to run into a rain-filled ditched and kill five children inside.

Chanton Jenkins, 32, was in custody facing four counts of intoxication manslaughter for each of the children found dead so far, Houston police spokesman Kese Smith told the Associated Press.

Smith also told AP that the results of a blood alcohol test were pending, but Jenkins failed a field sobriety test following the crash. It occurred after heavy rain.

Jenkins was the father of three of the victims, a relative told police. AP reported that they are still looking for a 3-year-old girl. Bodies of a 4-year-old, 7-year-old and 11-year-old boy were found in the vehicle, and the body of a 1-year-old girl was found Sunday.

Jenkins, another adult and a 10-year-old girl escaped from the vehicle.

The adult passenger told police that four of the children in the vehicle were Jenkin's children, including the girl who escaped. It was raining heavily when Jenkins answered the phone, and when he hung up he lost control of the car and went into the ditch.

The other two girls, who were sisters, were cousins of Jenkin's four children, according to Cheri Smith, 40, whose cousin is the mother of the two little girls.

Nevada passes bill that eases smoking ban

The Nevada Senate passed a bill Friday that would ease the terms of a voter-approved measure banning smoking in Nevada bars and other public places.

The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act bans smoking in any indoor space that serves food and where minors are present. According to the New York Times, the new bill will allow smoking in taverns that serve food if they do not allow people under 21 to enter.

The Associated Press reported that the bill, which is moving to the Assembly for consideration, would also allow businesses to create separately ventilated smoking rooms.

“One house says it’s O.K., if you’re over 21, to go ahead and kill yourself and everyone around you — ‘We think that’s great, it’s your freedom’ — but the other house says, ‘Wait a minute, my gosh, if they have cancer we’ve got to take care of them,’ ” Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, told the New York Times. “People don’t seem to see the connection between the two.”

Lee opposed the bill, and was one of the few to vote against it.

Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, said that the bill doesn't disregard the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, because an amendment made to the bill calls for fines of up to $2,000 for bar owners who fail to keep minors out.

"I defy you to look at the amendment ... and find something in there that says we have ignored the will of the voters, and we want to expose children to second-hand smoke, and we want to expose other people to second-hand smoke," Amodei told AP.

Smoking is currently banned in restaurants and bars that serve food, in slot machine sections of grocery and convenience stores, and at video arcades, shopping malls, schools and day-care centers. On the gambling floors of casinos, however, smoking has not been banned.

April 12, 2009

Fires burn Christian center on Easter

A fire in a New Hampshire town damaged dozens of wood buildings in a 146-year-old Christian center, according to the Associated Press.

The fire, which started around 4:30 p.m. at the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center on Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton Bay, was under control by about 8:30 p.m.

State Fire Marshal William Degnan told AP that no civilians were injured. One firefighter was hurt when a propane tank exploded, and others were treated for smoke inhalation or exhaustion.

Degnan said the strong lake winds helped spread the fire.

The center was founded in 1863. It features cottages, a 70-room motel and a park for recreational vehicles, according to AP.

Woman arrested for murder of 8-year-old girl

A Sunday school teacher was arrested for the kidnapping and murder of an 8-year-old girl in a small town in northern California.

Police arrested Melissa Huckaby, 28, late Friday on suspicion of the kidnapping and murder of Sandra Cantu, who was found in a briefcase recovered from a pond in Tracy, Calif., on Monday after disappearing on March 27, according to Yahoo! News.

A motive has not been determined.

People living in Tracy were surprised in the arrest, since Huckaby is a woman and was the mother of Cantu's best friend, according to the Associated Press.

FBI statistics show women are involved in 7 percent of any type of murder.

"This was an anomaly in the murder of a child," police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said at a news conference Saturday in this northern California town. "Finding out that it is a woman who is responsible for Sandra's kidnapping and murder, and then finding out it is a member of the community is another blow."

Sheneman told AP that Huckaby had attended the second vigil for Cantu. Inconsistencies in her story led to her arrest. He also said there are no other suspects and no others are expected to be arrested.

Huckaby is the granddaughter of Pastor Clifford Lawless, whose church was searched earlier last week.

Police arrested Huckaby after several hours of questioning, according to Yahoo! News. She was booked into San Joaquin County Jail on charges of murder and kidnapping.

April 5, 2009

Man kills 13 at immigrant services center before killing self

A man authorities identified as an immigrant on Friday killed 13 and then himself at an immigrant services center where he had taken English classes.

Jiverly Wong, 41, a Vietnamese immigrant, barricaded the back doors to the building with his car before he entered the building and started shooting, according to the Associated Press, he killed one receptionist before entering a classroom and fired, killing 12 people who were taking English language instruction. He then killed himself.

The four wounded people, including the receptionist who had called the police, were expected to survive.

On Saturday, Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski told AP that police found no motive for the shooting. He did confirm reports that Wong, who also went by the name Voong, felt degraded because of his low English speaking ability and his recent job loss.

Broome County District Attorney Gerald F. Mollen told the Associated Press that a faster response would not have saved any lives.

Zikuski told AP on Sunday that after reviewing calls to the police, it showed that police had arrived on the scene five minutes before the receptionist called, different from what they had reported earlier.

A SWAT team entered the building 43 minutes after the first call to the police, according to AP.

Zikuski also told AP that they did not know if Wong had a particular target. Wong had visited a firing range weekly and had permits for the two handguns found on the scene since 1995 or 1997.

Bus accident kills 1, injures 27

A shuttle bus heading to Lake Tahoe crashed on the main highway through Sierra Nevada in California Saturday morning, killing one and injuring 27.

The bus, from the mountain resort Resort at Squaw Creek, veered off the road, struck a guardrail and rolled several times before it came to a halt in a ditch along Interstate 80, California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Skeen told the Associated Press.

He also said about 3 people were thrown from the bus and one was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to USA Today, five people were in critical condition.

Kevin Romero, a spokesman for REMSA, Reno's ambulance service, told USA Today 27 people were taken to hospitals in Reno and Truckee.

Nicole Shearer, spokeswoman for Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, told AP some of the most severly injured were taken to the hospital there, including two in critical condition, three in serious condition, one listed as fair and another whose condition was undetermined.

Company spokesman Les Pedersen told AP the bus was heading towards the resort in Lake Tahoe when the accident occurred.

March 29, 2009

Man kills 2 sisters, but police save the 3rd

A Massachusetts man fatally stabbed his 17-year-old sister, decapitated his 5-year-old sister in front of a police officer and approached his 9-year-old sister with a knife before being shot and killed by police officers.

A clear motive as to why Kerby Revelus, 23, slaughtered his sisters on Saturday is uknown. Sarafina, his 9-year-old sister, dialed 911 and watched as police shot her brother dead after he decapitated 5-year-old Bianca and stabbed 17-year-old to death.

Police told the Associated Press, Sarafina was hospitalized Sunday with defensive wounds to her hands and stab wounds to her abdomen and one of her legs.

Milton police Chief Richard G. Wells Jr. told AP Revelus was in a fistfight with a man living next door about 24 hours prior to the attack.

After the 5 p.m. 911 call, an officer patrolling the area was on the scene. The officer broke through the door when Sarafina did not open the door. When he entered, Revelus was decapitating Bianca, Wells told AP.

Four officers were inside within moments and two of them shot Revelus as he approached Sarafina, according to Wells.

Revelus had served jail time for a gun charge, Wells said, and police were called to the house in 2004 after Revelus had punched a woman there.

Details about who shot Revelus and the number of shots will be revealed after an autopsy. According to AP, officers involved in the case were placed on administrative leave and were receiving counseling from the Boston Police Department.

8 killed in North Carolina nursing home shooting

A gunman went on a shooting spree in a North Carolina nursing home Sunday morning, killing seven residents and a nurse. He spared some people without explanation.

Robert Stewart, the gunman, also wounded three others at Pinelake Health and Rehab, authorities told the Associated Press. Those wounded included a police officer from the town, Carthage, N.C., who managed to subdue Stewart and end the rampage.

Moore County District Attorney Maureen Krueger charged Stewart, 45, with eight counts of first-degree murder and a single charge of felony assault of a law enforcement officer, according to AP.

According to the Guardian, Carthage police chief Chris McKenzie told television stations the gunman was also injured before being apprehended by police, and that Stewart was not a patient at the nursing home. AP reports Stewart also is not believed to be related to any of the victims.

Stewart's ex-wife, Sue Griffin, told AP he had been contacting family members recently and telling them he had cancer and was preparing for a trip to "go away." She said he had been trying to call her through other family members, like her son, mother, sister, and grandmother.

Victims of the attack were Pinelake residents Tessie Garner, 88; Lillian Dunn, 89; Jessie Musser, 88; Bessie Hendrick, 78; John Goldston, 78; Margaret Johnson, 89; Louise Decker, 98; and nurse Jerry Avent.

March 14, 2009

Posts on Twitter.com leads to appeal

A building materials company and its owner appealed a $12.6 million verdict, alleging the posts onto Twitter by a juror during the trial show he's biased against them.

The motion was filed Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court in Fayetteville on the behalf of Russell Wright and his company, Stoam Holdings. It claims eight messages were sent by juror Johnathan Powell to the Web on his cellular phone during the court case and influenced the outcome of the case.

According to USA Today, lawyer Drew Ledbetter wrote that the messages show Powell "was predisposed toward giving a verdict that would impress his audience."

The court case on Feb. 26 awarded $12.6 million two northwest Arkansas men who invested in the company, Mark Deihl and William Nystrom. The company sold Stoam, a building material that claimed to have the insulation abilities of foam and the strength of steel.

Deihl's attorney, Greg Brown, told the Associated Press the company was "nothing more than a Ponzi scheme."

During the court case, Powell sent eight messages to Twitter.com. According to USA Today, one of those read, "So Johnathan, what did you do today? Oh nothing really, I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else's money."

"I didn't really do anything wrong, so it's kind of crazy that they're trying to use this to get the case thrown out," Powell told the Associated Press. "I understand where they're coming from, they lost over $12 million."

Greg Brown, Deihl's attorney, told AP he doubts a new trial will be granted. He said the defendants must prove outside information entered the jury room and corrupted a verdict, not that information made its way out.

March 8, 2009

Obama to overturn Bush's policy on stem-cell research

U.S. President Barack Obama will remove former President George W. Bush's limits on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research on Monday.

A senior administration official told Yahoo! News the president will sign an executive order reversing a policy that limits funding to stem-cell research.

The exact wording of the order was not given, but it will be in line with what Obama's campaign vowed to do in support for the research.

The New York Times said a ceremony at the White House is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. Eastern time Monday and Obama will make an announcement.

Pastor slain in Illinois church shooting

A gunman walked down the aisle of a church during a Sunday service, shot and killed the pastor, and then stabbed himself and slashed two other people.

A man walked into First Baptist Church in Maryville, Ill., during the 8 a.m. service and spoke briefly with The Rev. Fred Winters before pulling a handgun and shooting Winters, Illinois State Police Master Trooper Ralph Timmins told the Associated Press. Four rounds were fired before the gun jammed and the gunman took out a knife and stabbed himself.

Jeff Ross, a lay minister at the church, told USA Today Winters was shot in the heart and neck.

Natalie Head told the Associated Press Winters was pronounced dead at Anderson Hospital, and the two people who were injured trying to subdue the shooter were flown to another hospital.

Timmins said Winters was fatally shot once before the gun jammed. Officials don't know whether Winters and the gunman knew each other. The motives of the attack have not been determined and the name of the gunman has not been released.

According to the church's website, Winters was the former president of the Illinois Baptist State Association and an adjunct professor for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

March 1, 2009

Washington state to begin Death with Dignity Act

Washington state to begin Death with Dignity Act

The state of Washington passed a law allowing terminally ill patients with less than six months to live to ask their doctors for lethal medication.

The law, known as the Death with Dignity Act, will be in effect Thursday, according to Yahoo! News.

Dr. Tom Preston, a retired cardiologist and board member of Compassion & Choices, the group that campaigned for and supports the law, told Yahoo! News he believes there will be an increase in discussion about the issue between doctors and patients because of the law and over time more doctors will be open to participating.

Though patients will be able to ask their doctors for the medication, physicians and pharmacists are not required to prescribe or fill the prescriptions if they oppose the law. Some hospitals are not going to participate. The Olympian reported about a few hospitals whose board of commissioners voted against following the law in their hospital, including Prosser Memorial Hospital in Prosser, Wash., who will prohibit its medical staff, employees, independent contractors and volunteers from "assisting terminally ill patients in ending their own lives on the hospital's premises."

The law requires that any patient requesting fatal medication be at least 18 years old, declared competent, and a state resident. The patient would hve to make two oral requests, 15 days apart, and submit a written request witnessed by two people, one of which must not be connected to the requester or health facility where the requester lives. Additionally, two doctors must certify that the patient has a terminal condition and six months or less to live.

February 22, 2009

New York man stabs and decapitates wife

A New York man stabbed and decapitated his wife at the Muslim-American television station they founded.

On the evening of Feb. 12, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, went to the Orchard Park Police to report his wife's death. The New York Times reported Hassan told the police that they could find the body of her wife, Aasiya Zubair Hassan, 37, at the nearby office of the television station Bridges TV.

Chief Andrew Benz told the New York Times they later arrested him on charges of second-degree murder.

The killing occurred just days after Hassan's wife filed for divorce and served him with the papers for divorce and an order for protection against him, said Chief Benz.

Some have suggested that the killing had been some kind of "honor killing" based on religious or cultural beliefs, angering Muslim leaders.

Hassan's lawyer told Yahoo! News neither religion nor culture played a role in what happened.

Police reports from the past two years show the couple had domestic issues. According to Buffalo News, Aasiya told police in 2006 the abuse had been going on for six years.

Man served with multibillion-dollar fraud case

Robert Allen Stanford was tracked down Thursday in Virginia and served by FBI agents with legal papers in a multibillion-dollar fraud case.

According to FBI spokesman Richard Kolko, the FBI were acting on the behalf of the Securities and Exchange Commission and served Stanford, 58, the papers in Frederisburg, Va.

Officials told the New York Times they suspect Stanford's company, the Stanford Group, used artificially inflated certificates of deposit at its bank to bilk investors.

The SEC alleged Stanford and three of his companies committed and $8 billion fraud that lured investors with promises of high returns on certificates of deposit and other investments.

Yahoo! News reported until the SEC had help from the FBI on Thursday, they had not been able to find Stanford.

An law enforcement official, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to discuss specifics in the case, told Yahoo! News authorities did not believe Stanford was purposely hiding or fleeing. Stanford had to surrender his passport under the terms of the court case.

Stanford was not charged with any crime nor arrested, but authorities are still investigating his case.

February 15, 2009

Plane that crashed near Buffalo was on autopilot

A preliminary investigation revealed the commuter plane that crashed into a house near Buffalo, N.Y., was on autopilot when it went down.

According to the New York Times, the Bombardier Dash 8Q400 flying to Buffalo from New Jersey was reported to have landed on its belly and pointing in the opposite direction it was headed. The plane lost momentum and slowly fell, crashing into a house and killing the 49 on the plane as well as the owner of the house.

Severe icy weather requires pilots to operate the plane manually, said Steve Chealander, a National Transportation Safety Board member.

Chealander told the Associated Press removing the bodies will take a few days. DNA and dental records will be used to identify the remains.

Man arrested and charged after 4 killings

A New york man was arrested and charged for the killings of two people in a hospital and is being investigated for the shootings of two others.

According to the New York Times, WHEC News 10 in Rochester, N.Y., reported Frank Garcia, 34, had recently been fired from Lakeside Memorial Hospital, where the first shootings occurred.

Two people, Randall Norman, 41, and Mary Sillman, 23, were killed. Another woman was wounded, according to the New York Times.

Garcia was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the shootings outside the hospital, Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn told the Associated Press.

Ontario County authorities told the New York Times they suspect Garcia to be connected to the shootings of a couple, Christopher Glaz, 45, and Kimberly Glatz, 38, in Canandaigua.

February 8, 2009

FBI continues 26-year-old Tylenol case

The FBI seized a computer and boxes of files from a man’s house Wednesday they believe could help solve a 26-year-old case.

James W. Lewis, 62, also known as the ‘Tylenol Man,’ was never charged with the deaths of the 1982 Tylenol poisonings, but he was convicted of extortion in 1983 when he admitted to sending a letter to Johnson & Johnson demanding $1 million “to stop the killing.?

Lewis denied having a hand in the killings, and said he was trying to exploit the crisis. He also gave a detailed account of how the killer might have done it.

According to Yahoo! News, the FBI said there are new leads in the Tylenol case. It cited advances in forensic technology and said the 2007 anniversary led to many tips from the public.

“Given the many recent advances in forensic technology, it was only natural that a second look be taken at the case and recovered evidence,? a statement released by the FBI office in Chicago said in a New York Times article.

January 31, 2009

Los Angeles Times to Cut 300 Jobs

The Los Angeles Times will cut 300 positions in an attempt to stay afloat in the struggling economy.

"Not a day goes by that we don't give our readers the latest news and analysis on the deepening troubles of the U.S. economy," Eddy Hartenstein, the paper's publisher, wrote in a staff memo. "The same challenges that face the companies we report about also are affecting us."

Editor Russ Stanton said 70 jobs will be lost from the editorial department, about 11 percent. The Los Angeles Times will also be cutting the number of daily sections from five to four starting on March 2.

Neither the Guardian nor the San Francisco Chronicle has information about what savings will be made from the cut.

The Guardian states the Tribune Company, who owns the Los Angeles Times as well as the Chicago Times and multiple television stations across the country, filed for bankruptcy at the end of last year.

Both the Guardian and the San Francisco Chronicle list other newspapers who have downsized, like The Dallas Morning News, who will cut 500 jobs, or about 14 percent of its workforce, and will take other measures to cope with the failing ad revenue.

Governor Blagojevich Impeached

The Illinois Senate unanimously voted for Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich’s impeachment on Thursday based on charges of abuse of power.

A four-day trial led to the conviction. The senate’s unanimous vote impeached Blagojevich and banned him from ever holding public office in Illinois again. According to Yahoo! News, the case included criminal charges and allegations he broke the law when he hired “state workers, expanded a health care program without legislative approval and spent $2.6 million on flu vaccine that went to waste.?

Yahoo! News states federal prosecutors are also drawing up an indictment against him on corruption charges. Blagojevich was arrested on Dec. 9 by federal agents for trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant seat in the Senate, among other things.

He was recorded on government wiretaps trying to barter the seat for campaign cash or for a plum job for himself or his wife.

The New York Times reports that about an hour after the conviction, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, 60, took the oath of office.

“My mission here in the next 700 days is to work as hard as I can for those who don’t have lobbyists in Springfield,? Quinn told reporters Thursday night.