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
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
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
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
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
MANCHESTER, Ill. (AP) — The mayor of a small Illinois town where five people were found shot dead says the suspected gunman was his nephew.
Illinois State Police on Wednesday identified the suspected gunman as 43-year-old Rick Smith of rural Morgan County. Manchester Mayor Ronald Drake says that Smith is his nephew. The mayor said he hadn’t spoken to Smith in two years but he believed that his nephew was unemployed. Continue Reading
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A group of conservative lawmakers proposes cutting the salaries of Iowa Supreme Court justices who joined in a unanimous ruling that legalized gay marriage in Iowa.
Republican Rep. Larry Sheets of Moulton, who is joining four other lawmakers in backing the effort, acknowledges it’s a longshot, but he says it’s important to draw attention to the ruling. Sheets says the justices “overstepped their constitutional boundaries.” The amendment would reduce the salaries of the remaining four justices who joined in the 2009 ruling from about $163,000 annually to $25,000. The pay cut wouldn’t be implemented unless voters approved a constitutional amendment stating that marriage was between a man and a woman. Continue Reading
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Rain that moved across the Midwest in the past week has helped ease drought conditions for some farmers.
The weekly drought monitor report from the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska was released Thursday. It shows the rain that caused flooding in some areas of the Midwest helped decrease the drought area from the upper Midwest into the western corn belt and central portions of the Rockies and Great Plains. But there’s a new problem: The heavy rain has left fields muddy in Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois. And that means corn planting will be behind schedule. Continue Reading
The mosque where at least one of the two suspected Boston Marathon bombers prayed has a controversial history, with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, terror funding and frequent fiery sermons, according to a group that has long monitored the house of worship. “This is a radical mosque,” Dennis Hale, of a Boston-based group called Americans for Peace and Tolerance, said of the Islamic Society of Boston. No one from the law enforcement community has publicly suggested that the mosque, located in the brothers’ Cambridge neighborhood, played any official role in radicalizing either Tamerlan Tsarnaev or his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. But Hale, also a professor of political science at Boston College, said there’s reason for concern. The mosque’s founders were in the Muslim Brotherhood and one, Abdurahman Alamoudi, pled guilty in 2004 for conducting illegal transactions with the Libyan government and his partial role in a conspiracy to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, Hale said. Continue Reading