State police have charged a central Pennsylvania man with criminal homicide in the death of his former daughter-in-law who has been missing since 1999. Huntingdon County District Attorney George Zanic declined to comment on the charges filed Monday, but says he’ll discuss them at a news conference later in the day. The defense attorney for 65-year-old Kenneth Leighty, of Altoona, wasn’t immediately available for comment. Zanic has previously said Leighty owns land where crews have searched for Sherry Leighty’s remains since April 20. A search warrant shows investigators believe Leighty killed the woman and buried her there and Zanic confirmed some human remains and clothing were found there earlier this month. Continue Reading
Amtrak is preparing to roll out the first of 70 new locomotives it says will offer better safety, reliability and performance than its current aging fleet. Three are being unveiled Monday at a plant in Sacramento, Calif. The first are expected to be put into service by this fall. All 70 should be on the tracks by 2016. They replace locomotives that are as old as 30 years. Continue Reading
A declaration by President Barack Obama that the Boston Marathon bombings were an act of terrorism could make it difficult for many affected businesses to be reimbursed for losses. Federal law enacted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks requires the government to certify whether an act of terrorism has occurred for businesses to determine liability for losses. If a business did not buy specific terrorism coverage an official designation could make it harder to get reimbursed. The Boston Globe reports that many small businesses on Boylston Street did not buy terrorism coverage. Most business losses resulted from closing Boylston Street as a crime scene, not from the fatal explosions on April 15. Continue Reading
A 20-year-old Fort Worth man who pleaded guilty to an armed robbery spree in 2011 is headed to prison with nine life sentences. Karrington Braziel entered his plea to nine counts of aggravated robbery but left his punishment to a Tarrant County jury. The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported Saturday prosecutors provided evidence of Braziel’s record, including assault on a public servant while he was a juvenile and that he’d been a problem in jail while awaiting trial. The robbery charges were based on a series of holdups over about a two-week span in November 2011. He was caught after a witness got his license number following a convenience store heist. Continue Reading
The man charged with killing four people on an eastern Kansas farm is set to appear in court Monday afternoon. Twenty-seven-year-old Kyle Flack is being held on $10 million bond. He is charged with capital murder and first-degree murder in the deaths of 18-month-old Lana Leigh Bailey, her mother, 21-year-old Kaylie Bailey, and 30-year-old Andrew Stout. He also is charged first-degree murder in the death of 31-year-old Steven White. Flack was picked up for questioning early Wednesday in Emporia, where officers found the car that Bailey had been driving when she was last seen. Continue Reading
The Ottumwa City Council has chosen a 25-year veteran of the Ottumwa Police Department as its next chief.
The Ottumwa Courier reports the council on Friday voted 3 to 2 to hire Tom McAndrew as police chief. He’s been serving as interim police chief after the retirement of former chief Jim Clark. For the past five years, McAndrew has served as lieutenant. He also has worked in patrol, investigations and as director of the Southeast Iowa Inter-Agency Drug Task Force. Continue Reading
In Chicago, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says she supports a bill that would allow the medical use of marijuana in Illinois. Simon told The Associated Press Sunday that her initial reaction wasn’t in support, but after hearing from people with illnesses she changed her mind. She says it’s a tightly-restricted plan. The proposal allows physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or medical conditions. It’s passed the House and awaits a Senate vote. Continue Reading
A day before a 12-year-old boy was arrested for the stabbing death of his 8-year-old sister, his mother described him as “protective” of his younger sibling. Leila Fowler’s killing last month shook the quiet community of Valley Springs, southeast of Sacramento, and set off an intense manhunt. Her brother was in the home at the time and told police he saw a man run from the scene. Days later, the boy appeared with his father and stepmother at a vigil for his sister. On Friday, as speculation in the community built that perhaps the boy was involved, his biological mother told Sacramento television station KOVR her son “could never hurt his sister.” Continue Reading
The Chronicle of Higher Education has released its annual ranking of what public college presidents make. Survey results released Sunday show four chief executives earned more than $1 million last year. Topping the list was ex-Penn State President Graham Spanier (SPAN’-yer). He shot to the No. 1 spot when he was forced out in November 2011 over his handling of the sex abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Continue Reading
Russia Mistral: France 'agrees warship compensation'
France has agreed to pay compensation to Russia for cancelling the sale of two warships, a Russian official says. France stopped the sale after the outbreak of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Russia is accused of backing separatist rebels.