Parkland shooter faces new charges


Nine months after accused Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz opened fire at his high school, he faces new charges after an altercation with a prison guard Wednesday morning.

Cruz is being held at the Fort Lauderdale jail, awaiting trial for the Feb. 14 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 students and staff members dead and 17 others injured. He faces 34 counts of murder and attempted murder.

On Wednesday CNN reported that Cruz “now faces additional charges of assault, battery and use of an electric weapon on the guard,” after he allegedly attacked a Broward County officer. The report states, Sgt. Raymond Beltran, requested that Cruz not drag his feet while he walked to the dayroom. In response to this, Cruz attacked Beltran.

According to video surveillance of the incident, “Cruz flipped his middle finger, then rushed Beltran and struck him in the face, the report states. Cruz took the officer to the ground and struck the top of his head with fists […] and then took his stun gun,” CNN reported.

Cruz was escorted to the hearing by multiple officers on Wednesday morning. He remained silent with his head down for the duration, as the judge set another hearing for Friday and set a preliminary bond of $200,000 for battery on an officer.

In April, Cruz waived his right to a speedy trial and was entered into a not-guilty plea by the judge. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the massacre in his trial set to begin in September 2019.

12 killed at Southern California bar


Twelve people were killed Wednesday night at a popular college bar when a gunman entered the venue and began firing in Thousand Oaks, Calif., just north of Los Angeles.

Borderline Bar and Grill is a popular spot for residents of Thousand Oaks and neighboring cities. Due to its close proximity to multiple colleges and universities, it is largely attended by college students. The bar is known to most as a safe and comfortable getaway from the stress of school and other responsibilities.

However, despite being located in one of the safest cities in the country, the bar and its occupants came under fire late Wednesday night when gunman Ian David Long entered and began shooting at the large crowd. Wednesday nights are known as “College Nights” at Borderline and the bar was therefore packed with excited teens and young adults.

The shooter, Long, was a resident of Newbury Park, only a few minutes drive from Thousand Oaks. CNN reported that he “was a Marine veteran who often visited the site of the shooting.” Long died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds at the scene.

Names of the victims are slowly being released and friends and families learn the fates of their loved ones. The confirmed dead include a law enforcement officer from Ventura County, a freshman at Pepperdine University and a recent graduate of Cal Lutheran University.

The investigation is still underway to determine a possible motive.

State executes man with electric chair


The utilization of capitol punishment in the United States has been a long standing topic of controversy, with many states opting for life sentences as an alternative. Some states, such as Tennessee still support and practice the death penalty — on Thursday, the electric chair was used for the first time in five years on an inmate at a Tennessee prison.

Edmund Zagorski smiled right up until the “sponge and helmet were put over his head,” reporter Adam Tamburin stated. In 1984, 24-year-old Zagorksi was arrested just days after he lured two young men to a wooded hunting area and murdered them. He was charged with two counts of first degree murder.

At the time of the murders in Tennessee, the death sentence was the mandatory punishment for a capitol murder conviction. Zagorski eventually confessed to the murders on the presence that he would get to dictate certain aspects of his execution. He was sentenced to the death by electrocution in March of 1984 — 11 months after the murders.

Currently 31 states still uphold using capitol punishment, with six states — Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky — that still have the electric chair as an option. There have been oppositions towards the death penalty, with many stating it is unethical and inhumane, causing 19 states to abolish the use of capitol punishment.

Zagorki sat on death row for 34 years. In the months leading up to his death, his execution date was altered several times as was the method that would be used.  He was ultimately granted his wish of death by the electric chair. His last words were “let’s rock,” reported CNN.

Volunteers search for missing girl


The sheriff of the Barron County, Wis., has requested help from 2,000 volunteers to search for teenager Jayme Closs, who disappeared from her home last week.

Closs, who was seen earlier last week at a relative’s birthday party, went missing on Oct. 15. A 911 call was placed from within the Closs’s Wisconsin home on the day of her disappearance and police arrived within four minutes. Upon arrival, the responding officers discovered Closs’s parents — James and Denise Closs — had been shot to death inside the home and found no trace of 13-year-old Jayme.

“On the 911 call, no one on the line talked to the dispatcher, but a disturbance was heard, authorities said. The dispatcher “could hear a lot of yelling” […] [and] a responding officer arrived to find “the door has been kicked in,” CNN reported. These circumstances lead police to believe Jayme had been kidnapped and an Amber Alert was issued.

One week later, Closs is still missing while searches for her continue across the state. On Monday, the Barron County sheriff requested volunteers to help in the search. More than 2,000 civilians showed up Tuesday morning to participate.

“By morning, the line of cars stretched over the horizon…. Across an area of five square miles, through soybeans, corn fields and thick woods, the volunteers scanned the ground for any bit of evidence,” said one CBS correspondent on the scene reported.

While efforts to find Closs are in full effect, searches-including yesterdays- have turned up little or no evidence. Close is considered to be in danger at this time and continued efforts to find her will be conducted by the Barron County police.

Man who killed officer remains on the loose


A man who shot and killed a police officer in Georgia Saturday is still on the loose after evading police capture.

Gwinnett County officer Antwan Tony was responding to a suspicious vehicle call along with another officer when 18-year-old Tafahree Maynard fired a weapon from within his approaching vehicle. Tony was struck by the bullet and, after the second officer returned fire, Maynard sped away.

After returning fire, the second officer pulled Tony to safety and attempted to keep him alive until medical personnel arrived. Unfortunately, Tony died from his wounds at a hospital soon after.

The vehicle driven by Maynard and his acquaintances was found crashed about a mile away from the scene of the shooting, all of the members inside the vehicle had fled. One of the suspects, Isaiah Prestlow, was apprehended in connection with the shooting and charged with aggravated assault but Maynard still remains on the run.

Police continue the search for Maynard and have charged him with aggravated assault and felony murder.

Limousine crash kills 20 people


A limousine carrying 18 people crashed last Saturday night near Albany, N.Y., killing all 18 people in the vehicle, including the driver, and two pedestrians.

The 2001 Ford Excursion limousine is said to have run through a stop sign while on the way to one of the passengers birthday celebration in Cooperstown going at least 60 m.p.h. and colliding with a parked car, killing two more people nearby. Four sisters and a newlywed couple were among those who died in the limousine. Initially, the cause of the crash was unclear, investigations went underway to determine if it was a technical malfunction or driver error.

Investigators discovered the driver of the vehicle, Scott Lisincchia, did not have proper licensing and was only permitted to carry 15 passengers. It was also later determined that the Ford Excursion limousine had failed to pass previous inspections and that the company was made aware — on multiple occasions — of the issues regarding the vehicle.

“The operator of the limo company, Nauman Hussain, was arrested on Wednesday in a “controlled traffic stop” because state police feared he was trying to flee,” ABC News reported yesterday. In his car, police discovered suitcases which Hussain excused as for hiding from death threats. He was arrested Wednesday and charged with criminally negligent homicide for putting a vehicle that did not pass inspection and driver with improper license on the road.

The crash  is the deadliest transportation crash since 2009 and has brought together hundreds of mourners. The first funeral, of the youngest woman aboard — Savannah Burese — took place Thursday afternoon. The next funeral for the victims involved is set to take place Friday for four sisters and three of their husbands.

Student killed after school bus overturns


A school bus in Mesquite, Texas, overturned Wednesday afternoon resulting in the death of one student and injuries of others on board.

At 3:45 p.m., after retrieving the students from school, the bus driver lost control of the vehicle and the bus rolled into a ditch, hitting a power line on the way down, causing a fire.

Fox 4 News was at the scene of the accident interviewing bystanders who witnessed the incident. One man, Donald Hodge, who was on the way to pick up his daughter from school, saw it burning.

“It was fully engulfed. I was like, ‘Wow, there’s kids on there,’” Hodge explained. “Oh, it was bad. It was like a house in flames.”

First responders and civilians who witnessed the accident rushed to bring the 42 students trapped inside to safety. The school library was set up for triage and a place for worried parents to reunite with their children. Multiple students and first responders were taken to the hospital with non-serious injuries. However, it was later reported by Mesquite Independent School District that one student — whose name has not yet been released — had in fact died from injuries sustained in the accident.

Students on the bus at the time explained how they, along with first responders, worked to help the student who has passed away, but were not successful. The exact cause of the accident has not yet been determined and an investigation into the incident has begun.

Coroner rules food labeling ‘inadequate’


In 2016, Nadim Ednen-Laperouse experienced every father’s worst nightmare while on board a British Airways flight. His daughter, 15-year-old Natasha experienced an allergic reaction shortly after the flight began, while efforts were taken by the crew to save her life, she died shortly after at the hospital.

Natasha and her family were aware of her life-threatening allergies and took precautionary measures everywhere they went, checking food labels and carrying epi-pens in case of emergency. While at the airport, Eden-Laprouse explained, his daughter found a Pret a Manger baguette in Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport in London. They both meticulously inspected the label before determining there were no listed allergens that could adversely affect her.

She consumed the baguette before boarding the plane. Approximately 25 minutes into the flight to Nice airport, Natasha began to experience an itchy throat and after going to the bathroom, her father explained, returned with large welts covering her stomach. The Epipen was administered, but did not relieve the reaction.

Natasha pleaded with her father to help her, telling him that she “could not breathe,” but there was nothing he could do. The BA crew and a young doctor on board worked to save her life for the remainder of the flight but to no avail, she suffered cardiac arrest and died later at a hospital in Nice.

After his daughter’s death, Eden-Laprouse discovered that the Pret a Manger baguette did in fact contain sesame seeds, an ingredient not listed on the label and the cause of his daughter’s allergic reaction. Pret responded to this by saying “[Pret] chooses to deliver allergy information orally and is supposed to have stickers within fridges telling customers to ask staff members for details.” However, it does not seem any stickers were up at the time.

CNN reported on Thursday that the coroner, Sean Cummings, recently stated that, “There was no specific allergen information on the baguette packaging or on the (food display cabinet) and Natasha was reassured by that.” He ruled the labeling inadequate and will now move forward to speak with the Environment secretary on the matter of food labeling.

Man charged in jogger’s death


On Tuesday night, 35-year-old Wendy Martinez was out for her evening jog when she was attacked by 23-year-old Anthony Crawford. Crawford stabbed Martinez and then fled the scene. She was able to make it to a nearby restaurant before collapsing due to her injuries.

While those inside the restaurant attempted to save her life, she was pronounced dead at the hospital. Martinez’s tragic death comes just one month after the discovery of 19-year-old jogger Mollie Tibett’s body. Tibett’s was abducted and stabbed by her captor, who avoided police for weeks. In both of these cases, apprehension of the suspect was mainly credited to surveillance cams that caught both suspects on tape.

Crawford was arrested on Wednesday evening at a park in Washington, D.C. He has been charged with Martinez’s murder.

Friends spoke out at a vigil for Martinez, one of these friends-Kristina Moore- had heartfelt words to share with the crowd. “Wendy should have been shopping for her wedding dress on Friday,” Moore said, trying to hold back tears. “There is a hole in our hearts that will never be replaced,” Moore stated.

Crawford is set to appear in court for his first appearance on Thursday afternoon. Her death, and Tibbet’s, have started conversation over more precarious measures females joggers can take, especially at night.

Smart braces for release of captor


On the evening of June 5, 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart went to bed as she did every night, alongside her younger sister in their shared bedroom. However, in the middle of night Smart was awoken by a man who told her to come with him and be silent. Smart, fearing for her life, complied, and was led out of the house.

After months of searching for the missing teen, hope to find her alive began to dwindle in the community. Unbeknownst to the world, Smart was alive and being held captive by the man who took her from her home, Brian David Mitchell, and his accomplice Wanda Barzee. Smart was taken out in public on several occasions wearing a disguise, but the strange costumes eventually caught public eye.

On March 12, 2003, nine months after her abduction, Smart. Mitchell and Barzee were confronted and questioned by police while out in the park. Police recognized smart and she was taken to the police station and reunited with her family.

Smart endured months of starvation, rape and cruelty while with her captors. Mitchell was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and Barzee was sentenced to 15 years. Recently CNN reported, Barzee wasn’t expected to be released from state prison for at least another five years. But after receiving credit for time served in federal prison, Barzee is scheduled for release on Sept. 19.

Now, Smart fears for her the safety of herself, her children and others in the community. In a news conference Smart pleaded for the decision to be reconsidered. While it does not look like Smart will win her plea, she is still continuing to fight against her captors and receive justice for her torture.

Homeless hero gets his funds


Many have been following the story of Johnny Bobbit Jr., a homeless ex-Marine that saved a stranded girl by giving her his last $20 for gas last October. Soon after the encounter, the girl, Kate McClure, started a GoFundMe Campaign— “Paying it Forward”— in order to raise money for Bobbit as a thank you gesture. The campaign went viral.

Within a few months, more than 10,000 people had donated to the campaign and raised more than $400,000 for Bobbit. It seemed as though the story had come to a happy end. However, as the money came funneling in, problems began to arise between McClure, her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, and Bobbit.

“The money has been in dispute, and Bobbitt is suing the couple, accusing them of fraud. Bobbitt’s attorney says his client has only seen about $75,000 of that money and should have gotten about $300,000 more after GoFundMe’s fees,” CNN reported.

The couple refused to give Bobbit his campaign donations, claiming it was because of his drug addiction— feeling he would spend it all recklessly. Bobbitt and his lawyer disputed this and claimed the couple was using the money for their own necessities.

After a legal battle, the couple is now being ordered to hand over the money to Bobbit and a search warrant has been issued for their home to see what and how the money they received was handled. The mass amounts of news media attention on social media and the news surrounding Bobbit’s story contributed to his recovery of his deserved money quickly and smoothly.

Bobbit plans to use his new found fortune to find a place to live, pay rent and other necessities. He also plans to participate in a rehabilitation program in order to target his drug addiction problem.