Senate rejects firearms on more federal lands

The Senate rejected an effort Wednesday to expand the use of firearms on some of the nation’s most frequently visited federal lands, handing gun control advocates a modest success. The measure, backed by the National Rifle Association, represented one of two efforts Wednesday by gun rights supporters to take the offensive in Congress. Across the Capitol, a Republican-run House committee voted to make it easier for some veterans with mental difficulties to get firearms. The rejected Senate proposal would have let people use guns for any legal purpose on lands managed by the Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees nearly 12 million acres that abound in lakes, rivers, campsites and hiking trails. Currently, guns on those properties are limited to activities like target-range shooting and hunting, and weapons must be unloaded while being carried to those activities. Senators voted 56-43 for the proposal by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., but it fell short of the 60 votes needed for passage. Continue Reading

Warren County, IA Voters Reject Gambling Complex

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) — Leaders of the effort to oppose a $145 million casino and events center in Norwalk say the overwhelming defeat of the proposal shows some officials misread public sentiment.  

Casino opponent Tom Greteman told The Des Moines Register  the 60 percent vote against the proposed Warren County casino Tuesday “shows how out of touch some of our city leaders are with what the people really want in Norwalk.” The Warren County Economic Development Corp. had supported the project in northwest Norwalk, near Iowa Highways 5 and 28. The development group’s executive director, Jason White, says he hopes to engage the public in determining what kind of projects the organization should pursue. Continue Reading

Congressional Panels Press Administration on Benghazi

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five House committees are pressing ahead with their own investigations into the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya last September.  

House Republicans insist the Obama administration is covering up information about the deadly assault that killed a U.S. ambassador and three others. A hearing is being held today on Capitol Hill, despite an exhaustive independent review, more than 25,000 pages of documents sent to Congress and hours of testimony from two cabinet members and the Joint Chiefs chairman. Witnesses include the former deputy chief of mission in Libya and a former regional security officer in Libya. Continue Reading

Cleveland Police Say Kidnap Suspects are Talking

CLEVELAND (AP) — The three brothers accused of holding captive three women for as long as 10 years in a Cleveland home could appear in court as early as this morning.  

Ariel, Pedro and Onil Castro were arrested after one of the women kicked out the bottom of a locked screen door and used a neighbor’s telephone to call 911.  

Two of the women disappeared while in their teens. One went missing when she was in her 20s. Continue Reading

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Police Chief Says Rescued Womens’ Conditions “Very Good, Considering…”

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland’s police chief says the three women held captive in a house for nearly a decade were restrained with ropes and chains and allowed out into the back yard occasionally.  

Chief Michael McGrath said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday that the physical condition of the three women rescued Monday was “very good considering the circumstances.” McGrath says he was “absolutely” sure police did everything they could to find the women over the years. He disputed claims by neighbors that officers had been called to the house before for suspicious circumstances. McGrath says the three men who have been arrested in the case “are talking” but he wouldn’t say if they have confessed. Continue Reading

Police arrest man in 1976 Arizona murder case

Investigators in Arizona have arrested a man suspected of killing a woman in Tucson more than 35 years ago. Tucson police say 66-year-old Bruce McCullough has been charged with first-degree murder in the March 1976 death of 20-year-old Donna Smith. Authorities say the two had been living together as a couple. Detectives reviewing cold cases were able to track McCullough to San Diego and arrested him at his home last week. They say he avoided law enforcement for decades by using a fake identity but recently had been using his own name. Continue Reading

Police arrest man in 1976 Tucson murder case

Investigators in Arizona have arrested a man suspected of killing a woman in Tucson more than 35 years ago. Tucson police say 66-year-old Bruce McCullough has been charged with first-degree murder in the March 1976 death of 20-year-old Donna Smith. Authorities say the two had been living together as a couple. Detectives reviewing cold cases were able to track McCullough to San Diego and arrested him at his home last week. They say he avoided law enforcement for decades by using a fake identity but recently had been using his own name. Continue Reading

Southwest flight makes emergency landing due to unruly passengers, authorities say

A Southwest Airlines flight bound for Providence, R.I., made an emergency landing in South Carolina early Wednesday as the result of three unruly passengers, authorities said. The plane, which was carrying 134 passengers and 5 crew, departed from Orlando and landed at Charleston International Airport. The flight crew reported three passengers being disruptive and did not adhere to flight crew instructions, the Charleston County Aviation Authority said. On arrival the aircraft was met by law enforcement officers who removed the passengers from the aircraft, authorities said. No injuries were reported, and the aircraft departed without further incident. Continue Reading

Actions of 911 dispatcher 'under review' in Amanda Berry call

The 911 call made by Amanda Berry, one of three kidnap victims who police say were held in a Cleveland basement for a decade, is under review after possible procedural errors by the dispatcher. “While the call-taker complied with policies and procedures which enabled a very fast response by police, we have noted some concerns which will be the focus of our review, including the call-taker’s failure to remain on the line with Ms. Berry until police arrived on the scene,” Martin L. Flask, the director of the Cleveland Department of Public Safety told Fox8.com. In the 911 transcript, the operator interacts with Berry. At one point, after Berry asks for a police, the operator responds, “We’re going to send them as soon as we get a car open.” The call ends with the dispatcher assuring Berry that police are en route and said, ‘I told you they’re on their way; talk to them when they get there, OK.” Continue Reading