Demolition to begin on NJ coaster wrecked by Sandy

Workers are set to begin demolishing perhaps the most famous symbol of Superstorm Sandy’s devastation along New Jersey’s shoreline. They’ll be taking apart the remnants of a roller coaster that plunged off an amusement pier into the ocean during the Oct. 29 storm. The work will begin Tuesday afternoon in the summer tourist destination of Seaside Heights after Britain’s Prince Harry finishes a visit. A spokeswoman for Casino Pier says it should take about four days to remove the ride with crews working around the clock. Continue Reading

Pennsylvania mother jailed for letting son carry Russian roulette gun

A central Pennsylvania woman has been sentenced to three weeks to a year in jail for letting her 15-year-old son carry a handgun that his friend fatally shot himself with during a game of Russian roulette. Forty-one-year-old Susan Bonner, of Everett, was sentenced Monday in Bedford County where she pleaded guilty in March to reckless endangerment. Bonner’s son took gun to a friend’s house and left it in a drawer, from which the friend pulled the weapon and shot a third boy, 15-year-old Neal Hammond, during a July sleepover. The charges against the shooter, 15-year-old Cole McConoughey, were resolved in juvenile court. District Attorney William Higgins says Bonner was remorseful throughout the case. Continue Reading

5 killed in Nev., including 1 near Mustang brothel

Detectives investigating a string of five homicides in two northern Nevada counties have made one arrest and believe all the killings are connected, including one at the exit for the Mustang Ranch brothel. A married couple was found dead in a Fernley home Monday about 30 miles east of Reno and another dead man and woman were discovered a few blocks away. Police determined those deaths apparently are tied to a fifth victim who was found in a ditch along the highway exit for the infamous brothel just east of Reno. Lyon County Undersheriff Albert Torres told KRNV-TV that investigators think all five killings are connected. KOLO-TV reported Tuesday one suspect had been arrested in connection with the case but no details have been released. Continue Reading

Illinois Prom Limo Driver Drunk Times Three

GLEN ELLYN, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a limousine driver who erratically drove more than 20 suburban Chicago teenagers to a prom had an alcohol level nearly three-times the legal limit.  

Richard Madison says he wasn’t intoxicated and that mechanical problems caused his erratic driving Saturday as he took the teenagers from Oswego East High School to their prom at a banquet hall near Glen Ellyn. But a DuPage County sheriff’s report says a Breathalyzer test indicated Madison’s blood-alcohol level was 0.22 percent. The legal limit for driving is 0.08 percent. Continue Reading

Iowa City Man Gives Boy $10, Takes it Back at Gunpoint

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 61-year-old Iowa City man has been accused of robbing a boy who was looking for lawns to mow.  

The boy was knocking on doors Sunday to inquire about doing the yard work when he met Kevin Shannon at one house. Police say Shannon gave the boy $10 and told the boy he was an undercover police officer. Police say Shannon later got in his vehicle and drove up to the boy, pulled out a gun and demanded the boy return his money. The boy wasn’t injured. Continue Reading

New Orleans police ID suspect in Mother's Day parade shooting

Police identified a 19-year-old man as a suspect in the shooting of nearly 20 people during a Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans, saying several people had identified him as the gunman. Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said they were looking for Akein Scott. He said it was too early to say whether he was the only shooter. “The important thing for Akein Scott now is to turn himself in,” Serpas said, standing outside of police headquarters. A photo of Scott hung from a podium in front of the police chief. Continue Reading

Award goes to Pakistani girl shot by Taliban

A Pakistani human rights activist who founded an all-girls school said the Taliban was “more afraid of the books than bombs” as he and his 15-year-old daughter, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban late last year, were honored Monday at the memorial for Oklahoma City bombing victims. Ziauddin Yousafzai decried political violence during a ceremony held to honor him and his daughter, Malala Yousafzai, who has been recovering in Great Britain since the shooting that garnered international attention. The annual Reflections of Hope Award is given out by the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museums in honor of the 168 people who died in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. The elder Yousafzai said Pakistani citizens are all too familiar with the kind of political extremism that led to the Oklahoma attack, as well as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the Boston Marathon bombings last month. “We share the pain. Continue Reading

2 injured in explosions, fire reported at West Virginia gas plant

Two workers were injured Monday when highly flammable gas used in welding exploded at a West Virginia industrial site, officials say. Fire crews were sent at about 3:20 p.m. to Airgas, a distributor of specialty gases in Poca, outside of Charleston. Putnam County emergency management director Frank Chapman said the explosion involved about 50 tanks of acetylene that were at Airgas waiting to be refilled. What caused the tanks to explode wasn’t known. Chad Jones, a firefighter with the Bancroft Volunteer Fire Department, said four cylinders continued to burn Monday evening and that crews were letting them “burn out.” Continue Reading

Report scrutinizes new Border Patrol punishments

A widely touted Border Patrol initiative to send migrants back to Mexico from distant border cities to discourage them from trying again may be one of its least effective methods. That finding comes in a study that offers a detailed assessment of how the agency’s new enforcement strategies are working. The so-called lateral repatriations aim to make it more difficult for migrants to reconnect with smugglers. The Congressional Research Service finds those migrants are among the most likely to get caught again. The study also finds that criminal prosecutions appear to be the most effective deterrents. Continue Reading