Memphis police suspend officer over KKK tweets

The Memphis Police Department has suspended an officer for social media statements deriding the Ku Klux Klan. The Commercial Appeal reported the FBI was monitoring social media during a March 30 rally by the white supremacist group in Memphis and saw tweets from Officer Brian Hall’s personal account. The agency reported what it found to the city police department. One of the tweets offered rocks for sale at the Klan rally. Hall was not working that day. Continue Reading

Group denies accusation that it found Amelia Earhart's missing plane

A Delaware aircraft preservation group denies a Wyoming man’s claim that it found Amelia Earhart’s missing plane and withheld the news so it could continue to raise money for the search. Mystery has surrounded Earhart’s fate since her plane went missing in 1937 in the South Pacific. Timothy Mellon, son of the late philanthropist Paul Mellon, filed a federal lawsuit in Wyoming last week against The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery. Mellon contends the group solicited $1 million from him last year without telling him it already had found Earhart’s plane in 2010. Idaho lawyer Bill Carter represents the group and was on its 2010 Earhart search mission. Continue Reading

NY man, 97, gets diploma 8 decades later

It took nearly eight decades, but Frederick Gray is finally a high school graduate. The Watertown Daily Times (http://bit.ly/11sOqdY ) reports that the 97-year-old World War II veteran was presented Monday with a diploma from Watertown High School during a ceremony at his northern New York home. Gray was set to graduate in 1934 but dropped out a year early to get a job to help support his family during the Great Depression. Gray worked in a factory before being drafted into the Army in 1942. He served in the 24th Infantry Division in the Pacific campaign, earning a Bronze Star. Continue Reading

13 potential Bulger jurors have criminal records

Criminal background checks on potential jurors in the trial of reputed Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger (BUHL’-jur) have turned up 13 people with some type of record. Lawyers in the case revealed the results of background checks Tuesday while meeting with Judge Denise Casper as jury selection resumes. A prosecutor told Casper that 13 out of the pool of 70 potential jurors had records, including one man who has four felony convictions but lied on his juror questionnaire and said he had none. Bulger is accused of participating in 19 murders in the 1970s and ’80s. The 83-year-old Bulger was one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives after he fled Boston in 1994. Continue Reading

Ellsberg: No leaks more significant than Snowden's

Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg calls the revelations by a government contractor on U.S. secret surveillance programs the most “significant disclosure” in the nation’s history. In 1971, Ellsberg passed the secret Defense Department study of U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other newspapers. The 7,000 pages showed that the U.S. government repeatedly misled the public about the war. Their leak set off a clash between the Nixon administration and the press and led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling on the First Amendment. Ellsberg, 81, told The Associated Press Monday that the leaks by Edward Snowden, 29, to The Washington Post and The Guardian newspapers are more important than the Pentagon Papers as well as information given to the anti-secrecy website Wikileaks by Army Pfc. Continue Reading

Ex-DC councilman Brown pleads guilty to bribery

Former District of Columbia Councilmember Michael Brown has pleaded guilty in federal court to a bribery charge. Brown, who was charged with bribery on Friday, entered the plea Monday afternoon. Prosecutors accused Brown of accepting $55,000 in cash payments from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen seeking preferential treatment from the city government. He lost his bid for a second term in November. He ran again for an open at-large seat but abruptly dropped out in April, citing personal and family matters. Continue Reading

Flight from Los Angeles to Texas diverted to Phoenix after phone bomb threat

A Southwest Airlines flight traveling from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas, landed safely in Phoenix Monday after a telephone bomb threat. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport officials say law enforcement in Los Angeles requested assistance from Phoenix police to check out the threat Monday afternoon. “The FBI and law enforcement partners are responding to a telephonic bomb threat made this afternoon regarding a specific flight,” FBI Los Angeles spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in a statement. “The flight, destined for Texas, departed LAX at 2:12 p.m. and was diverted to Phoenix for further investigation.” Eimiller said the aircraft is being directed to an isolated area at the airport and the FBI and law enforcement partners are responding to conduct an investigation. Continue Reading

Former Rep. Barbara Vucanovich of Nev. dies at 91

Barbara Vucanovich, who was the first woman to represent Nevada in Congress and went on to serve the sprawling, rural 2nd Congressional District for 14 years, died Monday after a brief illness, family members said. She was 91. Vucanovich died at an assisted living complex in Reno less than two weeks before her 92nd birthday, after breaking her pelvis in February and never fully recovering, according to her daughter, Patty Cafferata. The Republican was remembered as a warm-hearted trailblazer. “Barbara Vucanovich was the matriarch of her political generation,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval, calling her Nevada’s “Silver Lady.” Continue Reading

Jury gets case in ex-Kansas lawman's trial

Jurors began deliberations Monday in the first-degree murder case against a former Kansas lawman accused of killing his wife and setting their house on fire while their young sons slept down the hall. Prosecutors in closing arguments Monday portrayed Brett Seacat, 37, as a manipulative man who used his law enforcement background to make it look like his wife shot herself. The defense tried to cast reasonable doubt by repeatedly pointing out that even an experienced coroner couldn’t decide whether the death was suicide or homicide. The prevailing argument will determine whether jurors can reach a verdict on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated arson and two counts of child endangerment in the April 30, 2011 shooting death of 34-year-old Vashti Seacat. Jurors met for a half hour Monday and are expected to resume deliberations Tuesday. Continue Reading