No Straw Poll for Huckabee

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he won’t participate in the Iowa Straw Poll, where he competed and placed second eight years ago. In an opinion piece published Thursday in The Des Moines Register, Huckabee said his resources are better spent on other efforts. He argued that the straw poll is likely to draw only conservative candidates and that the competition could weaken them. Huckabee has declared his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. In 2008, he won the Iowa caucuses but did not win the nomination. Continue Reading

George Zimmerman Shot in Florida

LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) — A shooting incident involving George Zimmerman is the latest in a series of run-ins the former neighborhood watch volunteer has had with the law, random strangers and his ex-wife since he was acquitted of murder charges two years ago in the death of Trayvon Martin. Police say Zimmerman flagged down an officer to report Monday’s shooting in Lake Mary, Florida, and that a man with whom Zimmerman was involved in a road-rage encounter earlier this year also called 911 to report it. Police spokeswoman officer Bianca Gillett says no charges were filed immediately against the man, whom she identified as Matthew Apperson. Last September, Apperson said Zimmerman threatened to kill him during a road confrontation. Continue Reading

Synthetic Marijuana Leads to Nationwide Spike in Hospitalizations

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A powerful and potentially harmful chemical compound has been found in synthetic marijuana tested in several states that saw a huge spike in the number of people hospitalized because of the drug last month. Recent tests have turned up a synthetic cannabinoid that mimics the effects of the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Officials say it’s one of several cannabinoids that can cause severe health problems including seizures, elevated blood pressure and death. Dr. Steven Marcus of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System has been monitoring the recent hospitalizations spike. Continue Reading

Alligator Causes Fatal Wreck in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans police say an alligator crossing Interstate 10 caused a fatal two-vehicle crash. Police say a van was eastbound near an exit early Friday when the driver tried to avoid the alligator. Investigators say a car rear-ended the van. Police say the driver of the car was killed and a passenger was taken to the hospital. The driver of the van is being treated for injuries at a nearby hospital. Continue Reading

Small Planes Crashed into Atlanta Runway

ATLANTA (AP) — A small plane has crashed into Interstate 285 after taking off from an Atlanta-area airport. The crash happened Friday morning after the Piper PA-32 departed from DeKalb Peachtree Airport. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Kathleen Bergen says authorities have not yet confirmed how many people were onboard. The condition of the pilot and any passengers was not immediately clear. The cause remains under investigation. Continue Reading