Montgomery: Alan Eugene Miller, 57, a truck driver convicted of killing three men in a workplace shooting rampage more than two decades ago is set to be put to death on Sept. 22, the Alabama Supreme Court said. The clerk’s office announced the scheduled execution date of Miller, who was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in the slayings, which occurred in Shelby County in 1999. Testimony indicated Miller was delusional and believed the two men he killed were spreading rumors about him, including one that he was gay. Although a defense psychiatrist testified Miller was mentally ill, he also said Miller’s condition wasn’t bad enough to use as a basis for an insanity defense under state law. Another Alabama inmate already is set for execution later this month. A federal judge last week ruled the execution of Joe Nathan James Jr. could go ahead as scheduled on July 28, refusing the condemned man’s request for a postponement. James was convicted of killing his former girlfriend, Faith Hall, in Birmingham, almost three decades ago.
Anchorage: Officials ended their search for a woman whose 2-year-old grandchild was found alone last week in a locked car stuck in mud on a rural road, authorities said. No clues to the whereabouts of Mary Dawn Wilson, 69, have emerged since her Ford Focus was found last Thursday with the child and personal items believed to belong to Wilson, the Alaska Department of Public Safety said in a statement Saturday. Authorities believe the child was alone in the car for two days. The search was changed from “active” to “reactive,” meaning that a search could be launched again if officials receive new information or evidence, the statement said. The statement added that at “this time, there is no evidence of foul play associated with Wilson’s disappearance.”
Mesa: Thunderstorms packing wind gusts of up to 80 mph knocked down some power lines in the Mesa area and destroyed a mobile home, sending a woman to a hospital by ambulance. Maryjane Garcia Stanley told Phoenix radio station KTAR that her 61-year-old mother was trapped under debris after the monsoon hit Sunday night, with her legs pinned under a stove. Stanley said her mother was being treated for a broken vertebrae. Video from the scene showed the mobile home reduced to piles of rubble with debris scattered across the property and roadway. Thousands of homes reported electrical outages and State Route 87 was closed in both directions near Mesa because of fallen power lines that authorities say might take several days to repair. National Weather Service meteorologists said north Mesa received almost 1 ½ inches of rain from the thunderstorms as the Phoenix metro area continues to have an active monsoon season.
Little Rock: A former Little Rock police chief who fired his gun at an armed suspect on New Year’s Eve won’t face charges in the shooting. Prosecutor Larry Jegley said in a letter to Arkansas State Police dated Friday that Keith Humphrey was justified in the use of force in the shooting outside a convenience store. A state police spokesman said the letter formally closes the agency’s investigation into the shooting. Humphrey had stopped after seeing a fight among a crowd in the parking lot and was approaching the group when a 29-year-old woman shot and critically wounded a 22-year-old woman, state police said. Humphrey then opened fire, but did not strike the 29-year-old, who was later arrested, state police said. The woman has pleaded not guilty to first-degree battery. Humphrey had been briefly placed on administrative leave after the shooting.Humphrey, who was hired as chief in April 2019, retired in May.
San Francisco: An Oakland man was arrested for allegedly reporting a false bomb threat over the weekend, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of people from the San Francisco International Airport’s international terminal, police said. Terry Addison, 53, was charged with reporting a false bomb threat and malicious report of a false bomb threat, the San Francisco Police Department said in a statement. Addison was booked into jail in San Mateo County, where the airport is located. It was not immediately known if Addison has an attorney who can speak on his behalf. San Mateo County prosecutors did not immediately return an email seeking comment. The bomb threat was reported Friday night, and authorities said they discovered a suspicious package. Investigators at the airport “deemed the item possibly incendiary.” Police said Friday that a man had been taken into custody, but released no other information. Police said they removed “several suspicious packages” from the international terminal and that it was safe and clear to enter just after midnight Saturday.
Fort Collins:The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the cause of a fire in Red Feather Lakes that damaged multiple structures Sunday. Initial reports indicated the fire started about 5 p.m. in a shed on Lone Pine Court and spread to a cabin on the same property, spokesperson David Moore said. From there, the fire spread to a cabin on the next property over and caught the grass on fire. The fire burned the surrounding grass about 100 feet out from the cabins, but moisture on the grass from recent rain helped prevent the fire from spreading more quickly, Moore said. No one was injured in the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Moore said the sheriff’s office sent an investigator to the scene Monday to investigate the cause of the fire.
Waterbury: Waterbury police have largely stopped using vans to transport prisoners in response to a man becoming paralyzed in a New Haven police van last month. Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo and Mayor Neil O’Leary directed the city’s two police vans be used only for bringing prisoners to and from court until seat belts are installed and officers are trained how to use them, the Republican-American newspaper reported Sunday. The directive took effect July 1, and the seat belt installation and training are expected to be completed by the end of the summer. In New Haven, Richard “Randy” Cox was seriously injured in the back of a police van with no seat belts June 19 when, police said, the officer driving the vehicle braked suddenly to avoid an accident. Cox, who was handcuffed, flew headfirst into the metal divider between the driver’s cab and the back and became paralyzed. Cox’s family and the state NAACP are calling for federal civil rights charges against New Haven police.
Dover: A man was arrested Monday and charged with arson and other offenses in a Target store fire that police said he started “as a diversion to steal a cart full of merchandise.” The 26-year-old man started the fire in the linen section of the store on July 10 and the store was quickly evacuated, Dover police said in a news release. No injuries were reported, but $3 million to $4 million in merchandise was damaged by smoke or fire, police said. Target spokesperson Brian Harper-Tibaldo said the store will remain closed for several weeks for repairs and restocking, The News Journal reported. The Dover man was arrested at home and charged with first-degree arson, 19 counts of first-degree reckless endangering, criminal mischief of $5,000 or greater, shoplifting under $1,500 and wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony, police said. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $137,000 cash bond.
District of Columbia
Washington:Residents along the 1900 block of C Street NE and D Street NE said they are concerned about flooding and are hoping the DC Department of Transportation will do something to fix the problem, WUSA-TV reported. WUSA-TV reached out to DDOT for a statement but has not received a reply yet. Dorothy Wright who said she has lived along the 1900 Block of C Street NE for 20 years and she believes the problem is a result of this construction project steps away from her front door. “I just saw water streaming down the street like I’ve never seen before,” Wright said about the rain Saturday afternoon.
Pensacola: The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels have named Lt. Amanda Lee, of Mounds View, Minnesota, the first woman as a demonstration pilot for the 2023 air show season. Women have served with the Blue Angels in other capacities for more than 55 years, but Lee is the first to join the iconic flight squadron as a pilot, the Navy said. Lee, a member of the “Gladiators” of Strike Fighter Squadron 106, graduated from Old Dominion University in 2013, the Blue Angels said Monday in a Facebook post announcing the new team. The Blue Angels also named five other new members of the team based at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, including pilots Navy Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Zimmerman, of Baltimore and Marine Corps Capt. Samuel Petko of Osceola, Indiana. Lt. Cmdr. Brian Vaught, of Englewood, Colorado, was named events coordinator. Lt. Cmdr. Greg Jones, of Cary, North Carolina, will be an aviation maintenance officer and Lt. Philippe Warren, of Williamsburg, Virginia, is the new flight surgeon. The new team members will report to the squadron in September for a two-month turnover period. Once the 2022 show season concludes in November, they will embark on a rigorous five-month training program at NAS Pensacola and Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif.
Atlanta: Michael Boggs was sworn in Monday as chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. He replaces David Nahmias, who announced in February he was stepping down from the court. Georgia chief justices are chosen by their colleagues to serve a single four-year term leading the state’s judicial branch. The chief justice speaks for the high court and the rest of the state’s judiciary and presides over oral arguments and deliberation meetings. The chief justice also chairs the Georgia Judicial Council, which makes policy for the judicial branch. Georgia Supreme Court justices run for six-year terms and can be reelected. Justice Nels Peterson was sworn in Monday as the court’s presiding justice. Typically, the presiding justice is next in line to be chief justice.
Honolulu: Towering waves on Hawaii’s south shores crashed into homes and businesses, spilled across highways and upended weddings over the weekend. The large waves – some more than 20 feet high – came from a combination of a strong south swell that peaked Saturday night, particularly high tides and rising sea levels associated with climate change, the National Weather Service said Monday. A wedding Saturday night in Kailua-Kona was interrupted when a set of large waves swamped the event, sending tables and chairs crashing toward guests.
Twin Falls: The Idaho Republican Party has rejected adding language to their platform to allow an abortion to save the life of the mother. KMVT-TV reported a majority of the roughly 700 delegates from across the state rejected the change to the party’s existing platform during its three-day convention that ended Saturday. The platform does not have the force of law but states the party’s position it wants Republicans in elected office to follow. Delegates also chose U.S. Rep. Dorothy Moon to replace more moderate Tom Luna as the party’s chair. Moon ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary in May for secretary of state, contending the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent and Joe Biden wasn’t president.
Springfield:Gov. JB Pritzker has tested positive for the coronavirus. The governor’s press team sent out a release Tuesday morning which said the governor tested positive after being notified of several close contacts. “I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and am experiencing mild symptoms,” the governor said on Twitter. Pritzker will work from home until he is feeling better. The governor is fully vaccinated and double-boosted, according to his press office. Last week, the governor signed an updated executive order that amends testing requirements for some unvaccinated health care employees and removes mandates for some other industries, including schools.
Indianapolis: The state sales tax on gasoline will rise slightly starting Aug. 1 even though pump prices have dropped more than 11% from a month ago. A total of 62.4 cents per gallon in state taxes will be charged during August, the Indiana Department of Revenue announced Monday. That will be up three-tenths of a cent from July’s record-high rate based on the agency’s calculations of statewide average gasoline prices over the past month – despite AAA reporting Indiana’s average price dropping to $4.58 a gallon as of Monday from $5.15 a month earlier. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and GOP legislative leaders have rejected calls from Democrats since March to temporarily suspend state gas taxes to aid residents amid the high national inflation rate. Holcomb, instead, has asked legislators to approve $225 payments from the growing state budget surplus to all taxpayers during a special legislative session that starts next week.
Des Moines: A former lottery computer technician convicted in a scheme to rig computers to win jackpots for himself, friends and family has been paroled after serving more than five years in prison. Eddie Tipton, 59, was released from prison Friday, according to online prisoner records. Tipton pleaded guilty to ongoing criminal conduct in 2017 and was ordered to pay restitution of $2.2 million to Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas and Oklahoma. He shared some of the restitution obligation with his brother in Texas, who collected some of the winnings and served a 75-day jail sentence. It’s not known what happened to the money Tipton and his associates won between 2005 and 2011. Out of the seven known winning tickets that netted more than $2.2 million, Eddie Tipton claimed to have ended up with only $351,000.
South Hutchinson: A small fire in a vacant store under remodel in a strip mall led to the evacuation Monday of several other businesses in the center. The fire was discovered on the back of the building at 507 N. Main St. just after 10:30 a.m., said South Hutchinson Fire Chief Shae Barajas-Brooks. South Hutchinson dispatched two trucks and called for assistance from Hutchinson for one truck as backup because of the size of the building, which contains six storefronts, including a Dollar General, local pharmacy and liquor store. The local fire units knocked the fire down while Hutchinson firefighters helped open the roof to vent smoke. Also assisting were the South Hutchinson Police and Hutchinson Police departments and the Reno County Sheriff’s Office, who blocked streets so lines could be laid and evacuated the other buildings. The Fire Marshal was investigating the cause, but preliminary investigation indicated it was an accidental electrical fire.
Louisville: The Kentucky State Fair is hiring workers for next month’s festival in Louisville. News outlets reported the fair is hiring workers for dozens of roles including admission, traffic control, guest services, operations, maintenance, outdoor cleanup and housekeeping. Morning, day, evening and overnight shifts that include indoor and outdoor work are available, the fair said in a news release. The fair runs from Aug. 18 through Aug. 28 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. Hiring will take place through Aug. 28. Pay ranges from $11 to $13.50 an hour, and can be $16 to $20.25 during overtime. Those who apply must be at least 18 years old and have a photo identification and social security card. Those interested can apply on the fair’s website and by calling the fair’s human resources department. Applicants can also visit the exposition center for hiring from Wednesday through Friday.
Bridge City: Another group of six youths has escaped from a suburban New Orleans juvenile detention center that was rocked by a June riot. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said the six broke out of the Bridge City Center for Youth about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Five were recaptured after stealing a vehicle. A sixth youth, a 17-year-old from Orleans Parish, is still on the loose. It’s the fourth escape this year from the facility. Jefferson Parish officials are pushing to close it after a June riot in which 20 juveniles took over parts of the complex. No one escaped during the uprising, but nearby residents said they feel unsafe.
Augusta: A judge has granted class-action status for an American Civil Liberties Union of Maine lawsuit over the system that provides attorneys to those who can’t afford them. The lawsuit contended there’s a failure to train, supervise and adequately fund a system to ensure the constitutional right to effective counsel. It originally named five defendants. The ruling by Kennebec County Superior Justice Michaela Murphy late last week means it’ll become a class-action suit with plaintiffs numbering in the thousands in the state. Maine is the only state in the nation without a public defender’s office for people who cannot afford to hire an attorney. Instead, the state relies on private attorneys who are reimbursed by the state and the number of lawyers willing to take court-appointed cases has declined in recent years.
Piney Point: Searchers found the body of a 10-year-old girl who disappeared while swimming in southern Maryland over the weekend, authorities said Monday. Genesi Elizabeth Sosa-Bonilla was found dead near where she was last seen in the water on Sunday, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The sheriff’s office, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and members of volunteer fire and rescue companies responded to Camp Merryelande in Piney Point about 1 p.m. Sunday for a report of swimmers in distress, the sheriff’s office said. Two 10-year-olds and a man were swimming when the current pulled them farther out into the Potomac River. The man was able to swim to shore and people nearby were able to rescue one of the two children from the water, the sheriff’s office said. The U.S. Coast Coast and agencies from Maryland and Virginia were involved in the search that continued overnight into Monday.
Boston: Lawmakers approved a $52.7 billion state budget Monday, more than two weeks into the state’s new fiscal year. The unanimous votes in both chambers came after a six-member House and Senate conference committee finished hammering out the details of the final compromise budget plan over the weekend. The agreement was crafted after each chamber approved their own versions of the spending plan earlier in the year. The budget – which now heads to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker for his signature – does not include any new broad-based taxes.
Greenville: The FBI on Monday raided a western Michigan company that manufactures aluminum alloy wheels for automotive giants Ford, General Motors, Stellantis, Honda, Toyota and Nissan. According to FBI spokesperson Mara Schneider, the FBI executed a search warrant at Dicastal North America in Greenville on Monday morning. She provided no other details, beyond saying the investigation is ongoing, though the Detroit Free Press has learned from a source familiar with the raid that computers were seized and employees were sent home.
Morris: Local leaders in this western Minnesota city have voted to disband the police department, which has dwindled to just two officers, including the chief. The city of Morris, like other communities across the country, is dealing with changing attitudes about policing and challenges in recruiting and retaining officers. Morris, with a population of about 5,200 residents, has budgeted for eight full-time officers and an administrative specialist. The Morris City Council plans to sign a contract for law enforcement services with the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office and shut down a police department that has been around for more than 140 years.
Pass Christian: A lawsuit alleges that a Mississippi high school soccer player with a rare skin disease was bullied and physically assaulted for months, with school officials failing to respond. The parents of the 15-year-old boy have sued the Pass Christian school district, a principal and Jones College in Ellisville, seeking unspecified damages, saying all three failed to protect their son. The Sun Herald reported the lawsuit said the student has Darier disease, which can cause wart-like blemishes to flare up on skin that is contaminated or irritated. The parents said soccer teammates would rub muscle pain ointment or bleach on their son’s socks, or drag his clothes through the dirt, mostly during practice or before games in the 2020-21 school year. The assaults intensified when the team attended soccer camp in June 2021 at Jones College, a community college in Ellisville, the suit alleged. There, it claimed players stripped off the boy’s clothes, poured hot liquids on the boy’s face, or shoved a canned sausage in his throat, and that the players showed videos of the assaults on social media.
St. Charles: Police said a convenience store customer shot and killed an armed robber in a St. Louis suburb early Saturday. The QuikTrip customer, who St. Charles police identified only as a 26-year-old man from St. Louis, grabbed a gun from his vehicle and confronted the robber after he saw the man grab the clerk and hold a knife to her throat, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Police said investigators believed the suspect was also responsible for a burglary and second robbery at two other gas stations that happened shortly before he went to the QuikTrip about 3:20 a.m. Saturday. He was also driving a black Toyota Highlander that had been reported stolen on Friday. St. Charles police said the suspect who died was 26-year-old Lance Bush of St. Louis who was homeless. But they wouldn’t identify the customer who shot him until prosecutors review the incident to determine if the killing was justified.
Helena: A California woman who was fatally mauled by a grizzly bear in western Montana last summer was the victim of a rare predatory attack by a food-conditioned bear that was likely attracted to food in and near her tent and scents left behind from recent Independence Day picnics, wildlife officials said. Leah Davis Lokan, 65, of Chico was pulled out of her tent and mauled in the predawn hours of July 6, 2021, in the small town of Ovando, along the banks of the Blackfoot River, made famous by the movie “A River Runs Through It.” The town borders a huge expanse of forested land that is home to an estimated 1,000 grizzlies. About an hour before the mauling, the bear had approached the tents of Lokan and a Texas couple who were camping behind a museum. They were able to scare the bear away. Lokan, a retired nurse, told the couple that the bear “huffed at my head,” according to the incident report by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s Board of Review. Lokan declined an offer to go sleep at a hotel where her sister and their friend were staying, investigators reported. The women were participating in a long-anticipated bike ride along the Great Divide Mountain route. The bear that mauled Lokan was shot thee days later while raiding a chicken coop near Ovando. DNA tests confirmed it was the same grizzly that also raided a different chicken coop in the hours after the mauling. The bear was 4 to 7 years old, investigators said.
Torrington: The body of a missing kayaker was recovered early Monday from the North Platte River, authorities said, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. The victim’s identity has not been released, except a report that it is a 48-year-old woman.
Reno: Incumbent Democrats have raised more than their Republican opponents in every statewide race, according to the latest expense reports. The reports, filed Friday, document fundraising and spending from April 1 to June 30. In the governor’s race, incumbent Steve Sisolak raised almost $3.3 million, and Republican opponent Joe Lombardo raised $1.65 million. Yet, Lombardo outspent Sisolak during the quarter by just over $2 million.
Carroll: New Hampshire’s latest historical marker commemorates clergyman Henry Ward Beecher’s open-air sermon site from the 1870s near a glacial boulder in the White Mountains area. Beecher, an abolitionist, proponent of women’s suffrage, and brother to author Harriet Beecher Stowe, came to the area to escape seasonal allergies, according to the marker installed near the intersection of Routes 3 and 302 in a part of Carroll known as Twin Mountain. “While a guest at the Twin Mountain House, located near this site, Beecher conducted sermons that sometimes drew crowds over 1,000,” the marker said. The marker was unveiled earlier this month as part of Carroll’s 250th anniversary celebration. It is the 274th marker in New Hampshire’s Historical Highway Marker program.
Clifton: A former silk mill and textile manufacturing building that dates to the Industrial Revolution will be demolished to make room for a residential building if city zoning officials approve the proposal. The owners of International Veiling Corp. are seeking zoning board approval to raze the three-story red brick building with large metal multipaned windows and replace it with modern apartments. The Wiley family has led International Veiling for three generations, guiding the textile company since 1904. The company, a mill for the spinning of broadcloth and ribbons, was set up in the Hazel Street building that dates to the early 1880s.
Breadsprings: Efforts continue on building a museum in Tsé Bonito that honors the Diné men who used the Navajo language to transmit secret military messages during World War II. Although there have been some studies done on the land that will hold the museum, the project needs money, presenters told New Mexico lawmakers on the Indian Affairs Committee during a July 11 meeting at the Bááháálí Chapter house. With four code talkers still alive, it is urgent to have the museum built and operating, said Regan Hawthorne, chief executive officer of the Navajo Code Talkers Museum Inc. His father, Roy, was part of the elite group that numbered about 400. The elder Hawthorne died in April 2018. Approximately 300 acres has been designated for the structure near the Navajo Division of Transportation complex and its cost is estimated at $46.6 million.
New York City: Street repairs were underway Tuesday after a van fell into a giant sinkhole in the Bronx. A sinkhole the length of three cars opened on Radcliff Avenue in the Morris Park neighborhood after heavy rain Monday. Videos that aired on local news stations showed a white van tip over on its left side and then plunge into the hole. The van’s owner told reporters at the scene that he wasn’t worried. “I’m all right,” he said. “Lose the van … it’s life.” The sinkhole was being filled on Tuesday and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection was investigating the cause of the roadway collapse, department spokesperson Edward Timbers said. Meanwhile, the van was hoisted out of the hole and set upright; the owner got in and drove it off, Timbers said.
Holden Beach: A shore-based shark fishing tournament has been rescheduled after coastal officials expressed concerns about the event’s impact on tourism. Event organizer Marty Wright said fishermen could fish for sharks from Ocean Isle Beach to Oak Island, and that participants would only be using baitfish dropped from kayaks about 300 to 600 feet offshore, WWAY reported. The event was scheduled for last weekend, but it was moved to October after Wright said he received a call from Oak Island’s mayor asking him to move the event to after Labor Day, when there are fewer swimmers at the beach.
Bismarck: Animal health officials are ending a ban on poultry events that was instituted when cases of bird flu were on the rise. However, the decision by the State Board of Animal Health came too late for State Fair poultry exhibits this year. The board in March canceled all shows, public sales and exhibitions of poultry within the state at the request of the North Dakota Turkey Federation to help stem the spread of the bird flu. Private sales, catalog sales and retail sales were still allowed. Early last month, the board extended the ban indefinitely. But, now that summer weather and bird migration has decreased the risk of avian influenza, the board has lifted the ban. But State Fair organizers said they don’t have enough time to arrange for poultry shows this year. The fair begins Friday in Minot.
Columbus: A conservative podcaster who has embraced former President Donald Trump’s claims the 2020 election was stolen will be on the November ballot for Ohio secretary of state. Terpsehore Tore Maras gathered more than the required 5,000 signatures to get on the ballot as an independent, Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose said. Maras will face LaRose and Democratic nominee Chelsea Clark in November for the job of overseeing Ohio’s elections. She initially sought to challenge LaRose in the May Republican primary, but could not make that ballot.
Oklahoma City: The City Council established a human rights commission Tuesday for the first time since 1996. The nine-member commission will be charged with investigating and addressing complaints about employment, housing and public accommodations discrimination. The City Council approved forming the commission by 5-4 vote, with councilmembers Bradley Carter, Barbara Young, David Greenwell and Mark Stonecipher voting against. The previous human rights commission was disbanded by the City Council in 1996 after commissioners sought to extend protection to the city’s LGBTQ+ residents.
Eugene: A judge has sentenced a 27-year-old man to at least 50 years in prison for the murder of his grandparents. Nicholas Borden-Cortez was sentenced last week in Lane County for two counts of first-degree murder, The Register-Guard reported. Borden-Cortez pleaded guilty in June to the May 6, 2021, murder of 85-year-old Nancy Loucks-Morris and 87-year-old Gerald Morris. As part of his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped two charges of second-degree abuse of a corpse and a charge of attempting to elude a police officer, as well as a separate but related case with two charges of unlawful firearm use. Investigators found his grandparents dead inside a home in the Falconwood Mobile Home Park, police said. Later that day, police named Borden-Cortez as a suspect. Borden-Cortez was arrested on May 7, 2021, in Springfield after a vehicle chase. Police said he initially challenged officers to shoot him before he was taken into custody. Borden-Cortez will be eligible for parole after serving a minimum 50 years of his sentence.
Philadelphia: The first of six people charged with setting fire to police vehicles in Philadelphia during the 2020 protests after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police has been sentenced. Ayoub Tabri, 25, was sentenced Monday to 364 days behind bars – less time than he has already served in custody, and short enough to avoid triggering deportation proceedings for the Moroccan immigrant. Attorneys for Tabri, of Arlington, Va., said the green card holder has been in the U.S. since he was 6. A longer sentence, which he and the others faced under the original arson charges that carried a minimum sentence of seven years in prison, could have sent him to a country where he knew no one and didn’t speak the language, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain had vowed to pursue the harsher arson charges against the six people arrested. After he left office last year, federal prosecutors worked out plea deals with a handful of those defendants, including Tabri and Lore-Elizabeth Blumenthal. Still, prosecutors argued for a longer sentence in court Monday. Tabri pleaded guilty in March to one count of obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder, according to court records. Once released, Tabri will serve three years probation and have to pay about $87,000 in restitution for the Pennsylvania State Police car destroyed after he and others threw lit road flares into the vehicle.
East Providence: Two on-ramps in East Providence that connect to westbound Route 195, just before the Washington Bridge, will be closed for four days starting July 28, as the state moves the ramps to free up land. The ramps onto Route 195 west, from Veterans Memorial Parkway and Warren Avenue, will be closed starting at 8 p.m. July 28, through 6 a.m. Aug. 1, Department of Transportation Spokesman Charles St. Martin wrote in a news release. Traffic from the two ramps merge before being directed onto Route 195. The ramps need to be moved slightly to the south so work can begin on a new off-ramp onto Waterfront Drive, part of the larger $78 million Washington Bridge project, which lasts until 2026. That exit is expected to open in two years and allow for easier access to the East Providence waterfront and the east side of Providence, St. Martin wrote.
Spartanburg: City Councilwoman Meghan Smith has been named to a short list of prospective candidates for lieutenant governor by Democratic gubernatorial nominee Joe Cunningham. Smith is among nine people on Cunningham’s short list. Reached Monday, Smith said she is “very humbled and honored.” The others on the short list include: Tally Parham Casey, CEO of Wyche Law Firm, and first female fighter pilot in the South Carolina Air National Guard; Rosalyn Glenn, financial planner and former Democratic nominee for state treasurer; state Rep. Jermaine Johnson, a small business owner and former professional basketball player; state Rep. Kimberly O. Johnson, assistant director of the F. E. DuBose Career Center; Ed Sutton, and Air Force pilot and commercial realtor; state Rep. Spencer Wetmore, a former prosecutor and former city administrator for Folly Beach; Kathryn Whitaker, chief marketing officer of Burr & Forman, LLP; and Teresa Wilson, city manager for the city of Columbia.
Aberdeen: The National Weather Service said it has issued 561 severe thunderstorm warnings in the state as of July 5. That’s 131 more than in 2007, when the previous record for that time frame was set. “But you know, this is just the first half of the season, so you got to kind of take that into account comparing that to the previous seasons,” said Ryan Vipond, NWS meteorologist in Aberdeen. Although there does appear to be an increasing trend in the number of severe thunderstorms, the National Weather Service said it’s important to note the way storms are predicted has become more precise and the standards have changed over time, South Dakota Public Broadcasting reported. State climatologist Laura Edwards said it’s too early to say what’s causing the increase in storms this year.
Knoxville: Officials are conducting a census to learn more about the economic impact and demographics of the equine industry in the state. The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the state Department of Agriculture are handling the project. Data will be used to assist with future state programs, support and resources for the equine industry, the institute said in a news release. Anyone who owns or leases a horse or other member of the horse family or who is involved with the industry can participate. Local barns, farriers, veterinarians, trainers, coaches, feed and forage producers, equine service providers and others involved in the industry are included, the release said. To complete the survey, go online to UTHorse.com and look for the Tennessee Equine Census logo. The census will continue through Aug. 15. Participants must be over the age of 18 and live in the U.S.
Graford: A wildfire has burned at least five homes and resulted in about 300 homes being evacuated around a lake in north Texas amid sweltering temperatures and dry conditions, authorities said. The residents returned home Tuesday, according to Texas A&M Forest Service spokesperson Adam Turner. The fire at Possum Kingdom Lake about 95 miles west of Dallas began Monday afternoon, has burned about 500 acres and was 10% contained Tuesday, Turner said. No injuries have been reported and the cause was under investigation, but it isn’t believed to have been intentionally set, Turner said. Turner has said drought conditions in the region have left the area ripe for fire. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag fire warning for the area for Tuesday, in addition to an excessive heat warning with high temperatures near 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Salt Lake City: A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to fatally shooting his mother and three siblings when he was a teenager in 2020. Colin “CJ” Haynie, 19, killed his his mother and one of his sisters as they returned from her school pickup, then waited for two more siblings to arrive home and killed them, prosecutors said. His father came back to the home later that night and was shot in the leg but survived after wrestling the gun away from his son. After the father subdued him, the then 16-year-old said he had planned to kill everyone in his family at their home in the small town of Grantsville, near Salt Lake City, authorities said. Authorities have said they don’t know his motive. CJ Haynie pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted murder on Tuesday. Several other weapons charges were dismissed in the plea agreement, court documents showed. He had been charged as an adult by prosecutors because of the seriousness of the crime. The family’s oldest child, Danny, was not home at the time of the shootings. At a funeral for the family members in 2020 at their local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ congregation, Danny said CJ was still loved and part of the family. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 7. Aggravated murder in Utah typically carries the possibility of the death penalty, but state prosecutors cannot seek it for people convicted of crimes that happened when they were under 18, even if their their cases are moved to adult court. So Haynie faces a prison sentence of 25 years to life for each aggravated murder conviction under state law.
Newbury: Fire has gutted an historic schoolhouse in Wells River. Firefighters from Vermont and New Hampshire said the flames were in the roof when they responded within minutes of the call on Monday, WCAX-TV reported. Three hours later, flames were visible in the steeple of the old grade school. The 1870s building is on the the National Register of Historic Places but hasn’t been used as a school since the 1970s. It has had various commercial and residential uses since then.
Williamsburg: Archaeologists began excavating three suspected graves at the original site of one of the nation’s oldest Black churches on Monday, commencing a monthslong effort to learn who was buried there and how they lived. The First Baptist Church was formed in 1776 by free and enslaved Black people in Williamsburg, the colonial capital of Virginia. Members initially met secretly in fields and under trees in defiance of laws that prevented African Americans from congregating. A total of 41 apparent burial plots have been identified. Most are 4 to 6 feet long and up to 2 feet wide. The soil is discolored in places where holes were likely dug and filled back in. Only one grave appears to be marked, with an upside-down empty wine bottle. Before excavations began Monday, a private blessing was held. First Baptist’s original church was destroyed by a tornado in 1834. The second structure, built in 1856, stood there for a century. That building was bought in 1956 and razed to build a parking lot for Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum that was expanding at the time and that now has more than 400 structures.
Seattle: As midterm voting kicks into high gear, Republican activists in Washington are organizing surveillance of ballot drop boxes, generating complaints and concern from some elections officials. Signs were posted near ballot boxes in several Seattle-area locations over the weekend. They had red letters warning the boxes are “Under Surveillance” and stating that accepting money “for harvesting or depositing ballots” might violate federal law, the Seattle Times reported. A scannable code on the signs pointed to a section of the King County Republican Party website with a form encouraging people to submit “election incident” reports, including photos and video. Although it is legal for people to observe the county’s 76 ballot boxes, which are located on public property, the signs raised concerns about possible intimidation. King County Elections has notified the County Prosecutor’s Office “to check on the legality” of the effort.
Clendenin: Three shop students and their teacher from Herbert Hoover High School in Clendenin are working this summer to build furniture for the new Intermediate Court of Appeals courtrooms. The school won the bid to produce benches, podiums and tabletops for the main courtroom in Charleston and five satellite courtrooms. The satellite courtrooms in Grant, Lewis, Morgan, Raleigh and Wetzel counties will allow parties to virtually argue cases.
Madison: Wildlife officials said they don’t know when they will release their new wolf management plan after initially saying the document would come out this spring. The Department of Natural Resources’ wolf management plan dates to 1999 and calls for capping the statewide population at 350 animals. Wolf hunt supporters have repeated cited that number as justification for higher quotas. The DNR’s latest population estimates, compiled over the winter of 2020-21, put the number of wolves roaming the state at 1,126. DNR officials began working a stakeholder committee last year to draft a new plan. The department’s timeline called for releasing the draft for public review in the spring of 2022. The department has yet to put out anything and DNR spokeswoman Sarah Hoye said she didn’t have a release date. A federal judge placed most wolves in the continental United States back on the endangered species list in February, outlawing wolf hunting in those states, including Wisconsin.
Casper: The state Bureau of Land Management began fire restrictions for its land in Campbell County on Monday because of especially hot and dry weather, the Casper Star Tribune reported. On Friday, the same rules go into effect on BLM lands in Weston and Cook counties.