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Saturday
Jan152011

Oldest Living African-American Dies

Photo Courtesy - KTBS-TV Shreveport, La.(SHREVEPORT, Miss.) -- A woman believed to be the oldest African-American in the United States has died at the age of 113.

Mississippi Winn passed away Friday at a Shreveport, La., nursing home. A cause of death has not been released.

Winn was considered the seventh oldest person in the world.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan152011

Massive Manhunt for NJ Cop Killer

Photo Courtesy - WABC-TV New York(LAKEWOOD, N.J.) -- A search is under way for the man suspected of pumping three bullets into a Lakewood, New Jersey, police officer Friday in what one official called an “execution-style killing.”

Patrolman Christopher Matlosz, 27, rolled up alongside the suspect, 19-year-old Jahmell Crockam. The two spoke for a short time. Moments later, investigators say Crockam pulled out a handgun and shot the officer three times. The suspect ran, triggering a massive police manhunt.

Authorities do not believe the conversation between the two was hostile or confrontational.

Crockam is described as a black male, 5’9, 220 lbs. He is already wanted on a previous weapons possession charge.

Matlosz was just reassigned from the midnight shift to the evening shift three weeks ago. He was engaged to be married.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan152011

Panel Recommends Allowing Women into Combat Roles

Image Courtesy - U.S. Department of Defense(WASHINGTON) -- On the heels of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't tell, a government panel that includes two dozen senior active-duty and retired military officers recommends another major change in U.S. military policy.

The panel, created by congress in 2009, is called the Military Leadership Diversity Commission and in a draft report it recommends allowing women into direct combat roles.  Women have been inching ever closer to that level of service for decades but because they have been prevented from serving at the direct ground combat level since the early 1990s, the panel finds their careers are sharply restricted.  They do not receive combat pay and find it much harder to achieve Flag/General officer status.

Among the factors the commission considered in its review was whether having women in combat roles alongside men would hamper unit effectiveness and morale.  The Huffington Post reports commission members reflected that the same arguments were made before the armed services were racially integrated decades ago and were proved untrue.

The panel's draft report says focus group members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan felt that women have had a positive effect on the missions there in spite of the restrictions on their service.  And they felt it important to make all the best talent available to the armed forces, regardless of gender.

The restrictions keeping women from serving at battalion level or below have not kept many from the line of fire.  Since 2001, 137 women have died in the line of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The commission's final report comes out in March, at which point the Defense Department will review and consider its recommendations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan142011

Jared Loughner Posed With a Glock and a G-String

Photo Courtesy - Pima County Sherrif's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- A Walgreens in Tuscon, Ariz. turned over to police racy photos of gunman Jared Loughner with a Glock and a G-string that were taken to the store to be developed the night before the shooting rampage that left six people dead and 14 wounded.

The Pima County Sherriff's Office confirmed to ABC News they had received the photographs from the store and turned them over to the FBI.

The photos, presumably shot in a mirror, show Loughner, 22, posing with the same make of gun he allegedly used in the Jan. 8 shooting. In the photos he holds the pistol against his crotch and buttocks while wearing a bright red thong, sources told ABC News.

The sheriff's office Friday released a comprehensive timeline of the shooter's activities leading up to the rampage. Loughner dropped a roll of 35mm film off at Walgreens to be developed last Friday night.

Police also revealed Friday that Loughner had posted a message that read "Goodbye friends" about six hours before the shooting.

Loughner is accused of opening fire on a crowd outside a Tucson supermarket last Saturday. Among the victims in the shooting were critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. He also killed a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan142011

Ex-Police Chief Cleared in Uzi Expo Death

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(BOSTON) -- The police chief who oversaw the 2008 gun expo where an 8-year-old boy accidentally shot himself in the face with an Uzi submachine gun was acquitted Friday after an emotional trial that featured video playback of the boy's last moments.

The jury found Edward Fleury not guilty of involuntary manslaughter of Christopher Bizilj on their first full day of deliberations at Hampden Superior Court in Massachusetts. Fleury was also cleared of three charges of furnishing machine guns to minors. He could have faced up to 20 years in prison.

Charles Bizilj was videotaping his son when the kick on the rifle thrust the barrel of the gun upward as it fired 20 rounds per second, and struck Christopher in the right side of the head. The jury gasped during the trial as prosecutors played the video showing the moment the boy died. Christopher's father was on the stand at the time and closed his eyed while the video was played.

Prosecutors said they didn't charge Charles Bizilj because people who should have known that firing the gun was too dangerous had influenced his decision to let his son fire the Uzi.

Charles Bizilj, who signed a liability waiver before the shooting, testified that he thought the expo would be well-supervised and safe.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan142011

Mega Millions Winner to Split Winnings with Estranged Husband?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SPOKANE, Wash.) -- The nation's newest gazillionaire, Holly Lahti, may have to split her $190 million winnings with her estranged, ex-convict husband, Joshua Lahti.

Holly Lahti, 29, has yet to publicly come forward after claiming her winning Mega Millions ticket Tuesday.

Lahti's estranged husband, Joshua Lahti, has been arrested more than a dozen times and been convicted of domestic battery, drug possession and buying alcohol for a minor. His more serious sentence was for battery in which he was ordered to spend 30 days in jail and pay a $200 fine.

He was also arrested and charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment, but those charges were later dismissed, court records show. He has had numerous traffic violations.

The couple, while separated, are not divorced, ABC News affiliate KXLY reported.

In January 2003, both Holly and Joshua Lahti were booked on charges of battery and jailed. Holly Lahti sported a black eye in her mug shot. Joshua Lahti was charged with violating a no-contact order and battery. The charges against both were eventually dropped.

It's not known if Holly Lahti planned to share her winnings with her estranged husband. Joshua Lahti said he found out about his wife's good fortune from a reporter, KXLY reported. Lahti said that the couple have been married a decade and have two daughters, a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old.

Until Mrs. Lahti discovered she won half of the $380 million Mega Million lottery, she was working as a customer service representative at Inland Northwest Bank in Post Falls, Idaho. She'd been working for the bank since 2007, a spokesperson for the bank told ABC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan142011

Gunman Sneaks Into Florida Courthouse

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- The Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was evacuated Friday when a man entered the building through an exit with a gun and threatened to shoot himself.

Police say Marin Stroia, 59, was upset over his divorce and demanded to speak to a judge.

“He just put the gun right in his mouth and he looked like he was about to blow his head off,” said Kalvin Wright, who was inside the courthouse.

Judge Joel Lazarus said the suspect claimed he had just one bullet in the gun.

“I don’t want that bullet in me,” Lazarus told the gunman.

Stroia eventually gave up the gun and got to speak to Judge Lazarus before being taken into custody.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan142011

Tucson Tragedy: An Astronaut's Burden

Photo Courtesy - DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The anguish over the Tucson shootings has been felt across the country, and keenly at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.  Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' husband, Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, is a NASA astronaut. It so happens he's also the commander of STS-134, the space shuttle Endeavour, scheduled for launch on the evening of April 19 -- and currently listed as the very last flight in the space shuttle program.

It would be the highest-profile assignment of Capt. Kelly's career, but apparently -- at his suggestion -- NASA has named astronaut Rick Sturckow as backup commander for the mission.  He will take Kelly's place for now in leading training for the rest of Endeavour's crew.  He will not fly unless Kelly simply cannot make it.

"Mark is still the commander of STS-134," said Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office. "He is facing many uncertainties now as he supports Gabrielle, and our goal is to allow him to keep his undistracted attention on his family while allowing preparations for the mission to progress. Designating a backup allows the crew and support team to continue training, and enables Mark to focus on his wife's care."

Endeavour is to deliver final components to the International Space Station -- where Mark's twin brother, Scott, is orbiting on a six-month mission. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan142011

California School Children Okay After Consuming Rat Poison

Photo Courtesy - KGO-TV San Francisco(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Seven students at a California middle school were hospitalized Thursday after accidentally eating rat poison.

The children at Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in San Francsico thought the poison was a type of candy or cookies, according to ABC News affiliate KGO-TV.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday the students were treated at area hospitals and are expected to be okay.

"The first two swallowed some, the second two chewed and spit it out, the third two licked it and the fourth slightly licked it," San Francisco Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael Thompson said.

Bromadiolone, the type of poison in question, is non-toxic to humans, particularly when consumed in small amounts.

The children reportedly found the pellets atop a classroom cabinet.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan142011

Rape Suspect Grills Alleged Victim, Then Asks for Lawyer

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(TAMPA, Fla.) -- A rape suspect who is acting as his own lawyer grilled his alleged victim on the details of the sex assault, and then asked the judge for a court-appointed lawyer -- who could now call the woman back to the stand and make her relive the ordeal again.

Rape suspect Luis Munuzuri-Harris had repeatedly rejected suggestions he use the public defender, but changed his mind after he questioned his accuser.

The woman's name is being withheld because she may be a victim of a sex crime.

Before asking for a lawyer, Munuzuri-Harris, 31, infuriated the judge with his tactics, as well as accusing the judge of trolling the Internet during the trial.

When scolded by Judge Chet Tharpe for inappropriate behavior and improper questions, Munuzuri-Harris told the judge, "I'm not a dog you need to bark orders at."

Tharpe has appointed a public defender for the defense, but he is also considering whether to declare a mistrial and start over. A new trial would also require the woman to repeat the details of the alleged attack.

Munuzuri-Harris faces felony charges including impersonating a police officer, sexual battery, aggravated assault and forced kidnapping. If convicted, he faces life in prison, according to court records.

The charges stem from a July 2010 night when prosecutors allege Harris drove along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa impersonating an undercover narcotics officer. He allegedly pulled over the woman now accusing him of rape.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio