Man destroys 2 Wash. homes with logging machine

Neighbors say a man went on a rampage with a bulldozer-like piece of logging machinery on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, destroying two homes and knocking out power to thousands of people. The Peninsula Daily News reports ( ) that the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office says it does not appear that anyone was injured during the incident in Port Angeles Friday. The suspect was arrested. Keith Haynes lives near one of the damaged homes and told the newspaper that the man took a piece of logging equipment called a skidder and “just went nuts.” Haynes said a woman inside one of the homes escaped unharmed, and the other home was unoccupied. Continue Reading

Chief Justice Tells Lower Courts to Notify Police in Cases of Guns, Background Checks and Mental Instability

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court’s chief justice has instructed lower-court judges to notify state police when they deem anyone mentally unsound.  

Thomas Kilbride raised the matter in a memorandum this week. The Associated Press obtained a copy Thursday from the office of State Sen. Dan Kotowski. It comes as a U.S. court’s June 9 deadline approaches for Illinois lawmakers to pass legislation allowing public possession of weapons. Kilbride reminds judges that more stringent requirements kicked in this year requiring they report such mental-health rulings to state police. Continue Reading

Despite Wet Start, Record U-S Corn Yield Predicted

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The wet start to the corn planting season may reduce the amount each acre produces this year, but farmers are planting so much corn they’re still likely to bring in a record crop.  

In a report released Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated farmers would bring in 14.1 billion bushels of corn this year, a billion bushels more than the previous record set in 2009. The USDA expects farmers to grow an average of 158 bushels per acre, a 3.4 percent reduction from the 163.6 bushels predicted in February. The downward adjustment is due to delayed planting caused by a cold, wet spring. Farmers are planting more than 97 million acres of corn, the most since 1936. Continue Reading

GOP Candidate Enters Race for Harkin’s U-S Senate Seat

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republican Matt Whitaker says he has filed the paperwork to run for U.S. Senate in 2014.  

The former U.S. attorney’s move come a week after Rep. Steve King announced he would not seek the seat being vacated by retiring five-term Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. The 43-year-old former University of Iowa football player from Clive was U.S. attorney for Iowa’s Southern District from 2004 to 2009. He ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer in 2002. Other Republicans weighing entry into the race include state Sen. Joni Ernst, former Reliant Energy CEO Mark Jacobs, Secretary of State Matt Schultz and Sen. Charles Grassley’s chief of staff David Young. Continue Reading

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Marathon Bombings Suspect Buried in Virginia: Uncle

WASHINGTON (AP) — The uncle of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev says his nephew has been buried in Virginia.  

Ruslan Tsarni said Friday that the body was buried with the help of a “faith coalition.” He would not say where in Virginia the remains had been entombed. The burial this week ended a frustrating search for a community willing to take the body, which had been kept at a funeral parlor in Worcester (WUH’-stur), Mass., as cemeteries refused to take the remains. Tsarnaev was killed April 19 in a getaway attempt after a gunbattle with police. Continue Reading

Teen charged with murder in case of missing Georgia college student

Police say a teenager has been apprehended and charged with murder in the case of a Middle Georgia State College student missing for more than two weeks. Campus police say the 17-year-old suspect was taken into custody Thursday night. The school said in a statement that the Hawkinsville teenager is enrolled at a high school and at the central Georgia college. Authorities say he’s charged with murder in the disappearance and death of 19-year-old freshman Jmaal Malik Keyes of Austell, who was living in a residence hall on the school’s Cochran campus when he was last seen April 25. School officials said campus police worked with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and local police to search numerous times for Keyes and followed up leads, one of which lead to Thursday’s arrest. Continue Reading

Ex-yeshiva teacher faces sex assault charges in New Jersey

The 12-year-old boy and his rabbi father were driving from the boy’s therapist appointment to their Lakewood, N.J., home when the child decided to confide in his father. The boy said he was sexually abused by his former camp counselor, a man he told people was his best friend, the father said. “He said that his counselor, Yosef Kolko, sexually abused him,” the father said. Kolko, a former yeshiva teacher, is on trial on charges that he sexually abused the socially awkward boy whose family members, prosecutors say, were ostracized by their Orthodox Jewish community for taking the allegations to civil authorities. Kolko, 39, met the boy in 2007 at religious school-run summer camp in Lakewood where he was a counselor. Continue Reading

Suspect arrested in Brooklyn rape

The NYPD has arrested a 21-year-old man for allegedly raping a woman after threatening her with a gun at a bus stop. Police say Damien Hollis of Brooklyn displayed a police shield after approaching the 26-year-old woman in Brooklyn. The incident occurred on May 29, 2012. Hollis was charged Friday with rape, criminal sexual act and criminal impersonation. Police say the suspect brandished a firearm and forced the victim to walk to Lincoln Terrace Park where he allegedly raped her. Continue Reading

OJ Simpson to get Vegas court hearing on bid for new trial

O.J. Simpson will return next week to the Las Vegas courthouse where he was convicted of leading an armed sports memorabilia heist to ask a judge for a new trial on the grounds that his lawyer botched his case. Simpson will take the witness stand to testify that the Florida lawyer who collected nearly $700,000 is to blame for his armed robbery and kidnapping conviction in 2008 and his failed appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court in 2010. Simpson’s testimony in open court will offer a first look at the aging 65-year-old former football star since he was handcuffed and sent away to prison more than four years ago. Simpson didn’t testify at his Las Vegas trial or in the historic case that led to his 1995 acquittal in the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles. Instead of an expensive suit and tie, Simpson will be dressed in blue Nevada Department of Corrections clothing — grayer, heavier and limping a little more from long-ago knee injuries, friends say. Continue Reading