Recently in National News Category

Va. Tech murder-sucide gunman identified

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By: Angela Wendler

The man who shot and killed a police officer before killing himself Thursday at Virginia Tech was identified as 22-year-old Ross Truett Ashley, reports Reuters.

Ashley was a part-time student at nearby Radford University, reports CBS News.

Ashley stole a Mercedes SUV at gunpoint from an real estate office in Radford, about 15 miles away, the day before the shooting. The car was found on the Va. Tech campus Thursday, reports Reuters.

The police said Ashely walked up to the police officer, who he did not know, and fired the gun and ran. Ashley ran toward a parking lot nearby, where he reportedly shot himself, reports CBS News.

Deriek W. Crouse, 39, was the police officer who was killed. He had been a Va. Tech officer for four years, reports CBS News.

By: Angela Wendler

McDonald's has edged around the new San Francisco ban of fast-food meals containing a free toy by charging a small fee to add a toy to a Happy Meal, reports the New York Times.

Beginning Thursday, McDonald's will charge 10 cents for a Happy Meal toy to comply with the new city ordinance, reports the Associated Press.

San Francisco is the first major US city to ban the practice of including a free toy in children's meals that do not meet the state health qualifications for levels of sodium, fat, and calories, reports the Associated Press.

McDonald's has attempted to make their children's meals healthier by decreasing the french fry portion and including apple slices, but they still fail to meet the state nutritional guidelines, reports the Associated Press.

McDonald's says that without the toys the Happy Meals do not have the same appeal. Spokeswoman Danya Proud said, "While we will fully comply with this law, we also have a responsibility to give our customers what they want," reports the New York Times.

All of the proceeds earned from the additional 10 cent charge will go towards the building of a new Ronald McDonald house in San Francisco near the new University of California hospital, reports the Associated Press.

Teenager charged in connection with Craigslist shooting

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By: Angela Wendler

A South Carolina man was shot while responding to a craigslist ad for farm work in southeastern Ohio, reports the Associated Press.

The wounded man waited in the woods for seven hours after the attack before seeking help from a nearby homeowner, reports the Associated Press.

The man responded to an ad on Craigslist requesting the help of a farm hand on a 688-acre farm, reports Reuters.

During the investigation another man's body was found, and was later connected to the case, reports Reuters.

The body was identified as a missing person from Florida. The twin sister of the first victim called the police, she said her brother had also responded to a work ad on Craigslist, reports Reuters.

The police have two people in custody in connection with the murder and attempted murder of the two men. One of the suspects is a 16-year-old boy, reports the Associated Press.

By: Angela Wendler

A 13-year-old boy was arrested for the rape of a 5-year-old girl in a McDonald's Playland in Southern Ohio, reports NBC.

The assault occurred on October 29 in Anderson, a township near Cincinnati. The 5-year-old was at the McDonald's with her grandmother, reports Reuters.

The police investigated the complaint and later released photo of the unknown suspect to the public, reports Reuters.

The boy was brought into the police station for an interview by his parents. The details of the interview have not been release, but the boy is now in custody, reports Reuters.

The boy has been charged with one count of rape, a first degree felony, reports NBC.

He will be held at Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center to await further proceedings on the charge, reports NBC.

Man avoids jail by faking illegal immigrant status

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By: Angela Wendler

A Utah man who claimed to be an illegal immigrant from Mexico to avoid prison is now wanted by police for returning to the US and admitting his true identity in court, reports the Associated Press.

Jamie Alvarez, 27, of Salt Lake City, was arrested on Feb. 24, 2010, for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Alvarez told police that his name was Saul Quiroz, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

During his hearing before a District Court judge, Alvarez pleaded guilty to being an illegal immigrant. He was then allowed to report to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He was deported to Mexico, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

Alvarez was arrested on a warrant in February 2011 in relation to with his 2010 conviction. He told the judge that he had previously lied about his identity and that he was a US citizen, reports the Associated Press.

Alvarez was released to the ICE several months later. He admitted to creating a false identity to avoid a lengthy prison sentence and to re-entering the country with his US passport in April 2010, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

Alvarez was released from the ICE after his identity was verified. He was charged with one count of false or inconsistent material statements and one count of false personal information to an peace officer in 3rd District Court on Wednesday, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

Shark kills a Texan man

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By: Angela Wendler

A 32-year-old scuba diver was killed by a shark off the coast of Australia Saturday, reports CNN.

George Thomas Wainwright, Texas resident and American citizen, was scuba diving with friends near Rottnest Island, about 15 miles off the mainland, when he was attacked by, what authorities believe to be, a great white shark, reports the New York Post.

Wainwright was alone in the water at the time of the incident. His friends watched an abnormal amount of bubbles come to the surface before the body followed by his body, as reported by the New York Post.

Wainwright died shortly after the attack, police reported to CNN.

Wainwright was living and working on a visa in North Beach, a suburb of Perth Australia, for the last several months, as reported by the New York Post.

Two teenagers killed by a freight train in Utah

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By: Angela Wendler

Two 15-year-old girls were killed Saturday after being struck by a freight train in Spanish Fork, Utah, authorities said.

Essa Ricker and Kelsea Webster were pronounced dead at the scene, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

A third victim, Savannah Webster, 13-year-old sister to Kelsea, was injured in accident, the Associated Press reports. Her medical condition is currently not available.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Utah County sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said that the girls were taking photos near the train tracks when the incident occurred.

The incident is still under investigation but Cannon said that the girls apparently lost their balance and fell into the path of the oncoming train, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

California passes the Dream Act

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By: Angela Wendler

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the second half of the California Dream Act on Saturday, which allows illegal immigrants to receive state-funded scholarships and aide at state universities, reports the International Business Times.

The California Dream act was a two-part bill. The first half was signed in July by Brown, which approved private scholarships and loans for illegal immigrants.

The current California law states that illegal immigrant students who graduated from a California high school and can provide proof that they are working to legalize their immigrant status can pay resident tuition rates, reports the New York Times.

The recently signed second half of the act requires that immigrant students meet the same qualifications as all other students applying for financial aid. However, illegal immigrant students will only become eligible for the aid once all legal students have applied, according to the New York Times.

Three people dead after San Leandro shooting

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By: Angela Wendler

Three people died and three more were injured when at least two gunmen opened fire at a San Leandro party early Sunday morning.

The shooting began around 1:20 a.m. when a group of partygoers were exiting the building, authorities said.

Three people were pronounced dead at the scene, while three others were taken to the hospital for further care and examination. None of the victims have been identified, reports the Associated Press.

The gunmen used semi-automatic handguns, but the number of shots fired has not been determined.

The suspects fled the scene and have not yet been identified. The police have not determined the motive for the shooting, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Texas prison serves its final "last meal"

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By: Angela Wendler

A Texas prison has served their final "last meal" to inmates awaiting execution on death row.

Lawrence Russell Brewer, one of the men convicted in 1998 of the racially motivated killing of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, was the final recipient of a "last meal" per his request.

State prison officials decided Thursday that the "last meal" tradition would end after honoring Brewer's elaborate meal request.

Brewer ordered two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover's pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. Brewer did not eat any of it, reported USA Today.

The New York Times reported that State Senator John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate of Criminal Justice and Houston Democrat, was furious about the practice of serving "last meals." The victims of the inmates on death row never had the opportunity to choose their last meal, and therefore, neither should the inmates, he said.

Inmates on death row will now eat what the kitchen is serving on the day of their execution.

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