Central IL Shooter’s Victims Named; Motive Unclear

MANCHESTER, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say the five people found shot to death inside a home in a tiny central Illinois community were two young brothers, their parents and their great-grandmother.  

Illinois State Police identified the victims Thursday as 1-year-old Brantley Ralston and 5-year-old Nolan Ralston. Their slain parents are 29-year-old James Roy Ralston and 23-year-old Brittney Luark, who was also pregnant. The fifth victim is Luark’s grandmother and great grandmother of the boys, 67-year-old Jo Ann Sinclair. Continue Reading

Barge Hits Mississippi River Bridge; Second Time in One Week

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. (AP) — For the second time in less than a week, a Mississippi River bridge has been struck by a barge.  

The latest incident on the flooded river happened Thursday morning when a barge struck the bridge at Caruthersville, Mo. The bridge carries Interstate 155 traffic between southern Missouri and Tennessee. Nichole Lawrence of the Tennessee Department of Transportation says one barge struck the bridge, forcing a temporary closure. Continue Reading

Marathon Bombers’ Father Coming to U-S; Mother Not Sure

MAKHACHKALA, Russia (AP) — The father of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects says he will leave Russia for the United States in the next day or two.  

But the suspects’ mother says she’s still thinking it over. She was charged with shoplifting while she was in the United States last summer, but says she’s been assured by lawyers that she would not be arrested. She says she wishes she’d never moved her family members to the United States, claiming that the U.S. failed to protect them. The Tsarnaev family emigrated to the U.S. a decade ago, but both parents returned to Russia last year. Continue Reading

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Bush Presidential Library Ceremony Underway

DALLAS (AP) — The dedication ceremony for the George W. Bush Presidential Center has begun.  

After a performance of “God Bless America,” former Commerce Secretary Don Evans gave welcoming remarks. He chairs the George W. Bush Foundation. Bush and President Barack Obama, along with former Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, are all expected to give remarks on the stage flanked by American flags in front of the entrance to the library. The center on the campus of Southern Methodist University includes the presidential library and museum along with the 43rd president’s policy institute. Continue Reading

Protesters gather outside Bush library ceremony

About 50 protesters have gathered amid a heavy police presence as thousands make their way to the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The protests were restricted Thursday morning to a zone cordoned off by barricades and separated from the center by a highway. About 30 protesters are wearing black while holding signs exclaiming, “Crimes against humanity” and “Does America have a conscience?” Other signs list the names of soldiers and others who died in wars launched by the Bush administration. Coleen Rowley of Apple Valley, Minn., is wearing an orange jumpsuit and yelling “Close Guantanamo,” a reference to the U.S. detention facility for suspected insurgents. Continue Reading

TSA agent, passengers revive woman at Newark airport

A Transportation Security Administration agent is being credited with helping save the life of a passenger at Newark Liberty International Airport. The TSA says security inspector Robert Kennish of Metuchen, N.J., performed CPR on an elderly woman after she collapsed Tuesday night on a passenger ramp and stopped breathing. Flight attendants from the Virgin America aircraft and two passengers — an ophthalmologist and a nurse — also came to the woman’s aid. The TSA says the doctor administered an automatic defibrillator an attendant retrieved from the jet, and Kennish resumed CPR. The woman was also given oxygen and was breathing when paramedics arrived. Continue Reading

Man who helped end Los Angeles school busing dies

A man who helped end forced busing for integration in the Los Angeles Unified School District has died. Tom Bartman was 67. His wife, Eleanor, tells the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/10efSv2 ) that Bartman died of cancer on Monday at his Beverly Hills home. The nation’s second-largest school district began court-ordered busing in 1978. The compulsory program affected about 58,000 students. Continue Reading

2 men shot with 1 bullet, New Mexico police say

Navajo police say an Arizona man is facing charges after he shot a father and a son with one bullet. The Gallup Independent reports that Richard Cooke was arrested for the death of Elvin Tachine and his son, Leveil Natoni, who were shot last month. A criminal complaint says Elvin Tachine and Cooke started fighting after Tachine’s goats wandered onto Cooke’s property. The complaint says Tachine threw Cooke to the ground and walked off. Authorities say Cooke then shot one of the men twice. Continue Reading

Wyoming reporter may be forced to testify about bank robbery suspect she interviewed

A Wyoming newspaper is trying to prevent one of its reporters from being forced to testify about a bank robbery suspect she interviewed. U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson is scheduled to hold a hearing on the issue in Cheyenne Thursday. Jackson Hole News & Guide reporter Emma Breysse interviewed Corey Allan Donaldson, who is charged with robbing more than $140,000 from bank in Jackson. She reported that Donaldson told her that he robbed the bank so he could give money to the poor. Newspaper publisher Kevin Olson says forcing her to testify would have a chilling effect on newsgathering. Continue Reading