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

Fatal Germanwings Flight’s Co-Pilot Tried Controlled Descent on Earlier Flight

PARIS (AP) — French air accident investigators say that the co-pilot on Germanwings Flight 4525 tried a controlled descent on another flight that morning. The BEA investigation agency said in a report Wednesday that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz repeatedly set the plane into a descent, then brought it back up again on a flight on the same A320 jet from Duesseldorf to Barcelona. The report says the pilot appeared to have left the cockpit during that flight as well. Prosecutors say Lubitz intentionally crashed the plane on its return flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf on March 24, killing all 150 on board. Continue Reading

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6 Baltimore Police Officers Charged in Death of Freddie Gray

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s top prosecutor announced criminal charges Friday against all six officers suspended after a man suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody. The announcement came after nearly two weeks of growing anger over Freddie Gray’s death, and only hours after she received the results of a police investigation. State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced the stiffest charge — second-degree depraved heart murder — against the driver of the police van. Other officers faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault and illegal arrest. Mosby said the switchblade officers accused Gray of illegally carrying clipped inside his pants pocket was in fact a legal knife, and no justification for his arrest. Continue Reading

Lawyers Ask for Jury to Spare Boston Bomber’s Life

BOSTON (AP) — Defense lawyers began making their case to spare the life of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by contrasting him with his older brother, who they said was “consumed by jihad.” Attorney David Bruck told jurors Monday that Tsarnaev was “a good kid” who was led down the path to terrorism by his brother, Tamerlan, who was later killed in a shootout with police. The jury convicted Tsarnaev earlier this month in the 2013 bombing that killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 others. He also was found guilty of killing an MIT police officer as the brothers tried to flee. The jury must decide whether Tsarnaev deserves the death penalty, as prosecutors have called for, or if he should spend the rest of his life in prison. Continue Reading

National Guard Called in to Quell Baltimore Riots

BALTIMORE (AP) — National Guard troops fanned out through Baltimore, shield-bearing police officers blocked the streets and firefighters doused still-simmering blazes early Tuesday as a growing area of the city shuddered from riots following the funeral of a black man who died in police custody. The violence that started in West Baltimore on Monday afternoon — within a mile of where Freddie Gray was arrested and put in a police van earlier this month — had by midnight spread to East Baltimore and neighborhoods close to downtown and near the baseball stadium. It was one of the most volatile outbreaks of violence prompted by a police-involved death since the days of protests that followed the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer. Continue Reading

Man Admits Setting Fire after Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis County man could face up to 10 years in prison after admitting to setting fire to a Ferguson business following a grand jury announcement that officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Antonio Whiteside pleaded guilty Friday to one count of attempted arson for the fire that broke out Nov. 24 inside Ferguson Supermarket. Continue Reading

Harley-Davidson Recalls 46,000 Motorcycles

DETROIT (AP) — Harley-Davidson is recalling nearly 46,000 motorcycles in the U.S. because they could stay in gear due to clutches that won’t fully disengage. The recall covers certain Electra Glide, Ultra Limited, Police Electra Glide, Street Glide, Road Glide and Road King models from the 2014 and 2015 model years. Harley says in documents that gas bubbles can cause the clutch master cylinder to lose its ability to fully disengage the clutch, especially if the bike has been parked for a long time. This could cause a rider to lose control of the motorcycle if it’s started in gear. The problem was found through customer complaints. Continue Reading

With Bird Flu Spreading, USDA Starts on Potential Vaccine

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on a potential vaccine in response to the current outbreak of a deadly strain of bird flu that has cost turkey and chicken producers more than 6.7 million birds since early March. A pure “seed strain” would target the H5N2 virus and some other highly pathogenic viruses in the H5 family that have been detected in other parts of North America. If the USDA decides the vaccine is necessary, it will provide the seed strain to private drug manufacturers. Officials and poultry producers would also have to decide which birds will get the vaccine, look at how it might affect exports and gauge whether it’d be effective. Experts say it isn’t clear how much a vaccine would add to the cost of producing birds. Continue Reading