Jurors deliberate life sentence for Waffle House shooter
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jurors are hearing testimony about whether or not to make parole possible after 51 years in prison for the man who shot and killed four people at a Nashville Waffle House in 2018. On Saturday, jurors were to begin mulling the two options for 33-year-old Travis Reinking after hearing family members of the four people killed testify. They sobbed and trembled as they talked about their loved ones and how losing them continues to fracture their lives more than three years later. Jurors on Friday rejected Reinking’s insanity defense as they found him guilty on 16 charges, including four counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.
Police: Gunman killed four, then himself in Texas
CORSICANA, Texas (AP) — Police in Texas say a gunman killed four members of his own family, including a child, before fatally shooting himself as officers approached. Corsicana Police Chief Robert Johnson told the Corsicana Daily Sun on Saturday that one shooting was reported overnight in Corsicana, about 50 miles south of Dallas, and the second was discovered by authorities in Frost, about 20 miles west of Corsicana. Johnson said authorities tracked the suspect’s vehicle using GPS and the monitoring service shut off its engine. Johnson says officers found the man inside the vehicle with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. No names or ages have been released.
Police: 1 dead, 4 injured in shooting at Virginia hookah bar
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Authorities in Virginia say one person was killed and another four people were injured during a shooting at a hookah lounge. The Blacksburg Police Department says officers responded to reports of shots fired at Melody Hookah Lounge in downtown Blacksburg on Friday just before midnight. Police did not identify the deceased person or any of the people who were injured in the shooting. Authorities say they were taken to local hospitals, but that their conditions are unknown. No additional information was made available, including details on potential suspects or a motive.
Amir Locke, killed by Minneapolis cop, wanted music career
Before he was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer, Amir Locke had been making plans. The 22-year-old Black man had filed paperwork to start a music business with help from his mother, and had already designed a logo. His family says he planned to move to Dallas next week, where he would be closer to his mom and — he hoped — build a career as a hip-hop artist, following in the musical footsteps of his father. His death inside a Minneapolis apartment where police were serving a search warrant early Wednesday has renewed calls for police accountability and justice for Black people who are too often victims. It also left Locke’s tight-knit family, friends and a community grieving for the life he didn’t get to live.
DELTA-NO FLY LIST
Delta asks DOJ to put unruly passengers on no-fly list
NEW YORK (AP) — Delta Air Lines has requested that the U.S. Department of Justice put any person convicted of a disruption on board a flight to the national “no fly” list. In a letter to the Justice Department Attorney General Merrick Garland dated Thursday, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said there should be “zero tolerance” for any behavior that affects flight safety. He noted while such incidents of bad behavior represent a small fraction of overall flights on Delta, the rate of incidents on the airline has increased nearly 100 percent since 2019. Delta has — along with its industry partner Airlines for America — been pushing since last year for heightened reporting, investigation and prosecution of those who interfere with on-board safety.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-ILLINOIS SCHOOLS
Illinois judge blocks school mask mandate, state to appeal
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois judge has issued a temporary restraining order that prevents school districts from complying with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mandate that requires students to wear masks in the classroom. In Friday’s ruling, Sangamon County Circuit Judge Raylene Grischow wrote that Pritzker overstepped his legal authority with the mandate and determined that other emergency orders he issued to combat the spread of COVID-19, including one that mandates vaccinations for school employees, are “null and void.” Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul say the ruling will put students and school staffers at risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Raoul says he will appeal the decision.
COVID restrictions, policing debate spark conservative push
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Tough restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic and debates over police funding have sparked conservative movements in traditionally liberal cities, including Norman, Oklahoma. Supporters of Unite Norman say the group has galvanized conservatives in the college town just south of Oklahoma City. But opponents say it has exacerbated divisions in the community. Unite Norman failed in an attempt to recall the mayor and some city council members last year. But it has another shot at flexing its political muscle next week when voters decide whether to keep the incumbent mayor. Among the challengers is an optometrist and loyal supporter of former President Donald Trump. Other liberal cities, including Austin, Texas, and Seattle have seen similar conservative movements.
Winter storm blows out to sea, but some areas without power
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The winter storm that caused hundreds of thousands of power outages and contributed to hundreds of traffic accidents from Texas to Maine has moved out to sea. But more than 90,000 electric customers in the Memphis, Tennessee, area remain without electricity after ice topped hundreds of trees on to power lines. Some people could be in the dark for a full week. The National Weather Service forecasted temperatures to be in the low 30s in Memphis on Saturday. Nationwide, the storm is being blamed for at least five deaths, including two in Massachusetts and one each in Oklahoma, Alabama and Tennessee.
US military faces crisis in Hawaii after leak poisons water
HONOLULU (AP) — The Navy is scrambling to contain a major crisis in Hawaii after jet fuel leaked from an 80-year-old Hawaii tank farm. It seeped into a drinking water well and polluted water streaming out of faucets in Pearl Harbor’s military housing. Military medical teams have examined more than 5,900 people complaining of symptoms like nausea and rashes since last November. The Navy is currently housing about 4,000 affected families in hotels. The problem isn’t solved yet but the Navy has spent more than $250 million to address it so far. The Navy isn’t completely sure where the fuel came from and many Hawaii residents want the fuel complex shuttered.
DIGITAL HOUSE SALE
Florida home to be sold in novel non-fungible token deal
GULFPORT, Fla. (AP) — A home along Florida’s Gulf Coast will be auctioned off in the upcoming week as a non-fungible token in what is believed to be among the first such transactions in the U.S. Non-fungible tokens — or NFTs — use a version of the encryption technology employed to secure cryptocurrencies to create one-of-a-kind digital objects. The technology provides digital creations a kind of certificate of authenticity, allowing ownership of something that could otherwise be replicated endlessly. In the case of the home in Gulfport, Florida, a real estate tech company, Propy, will mint the property rights into a digital token and host an online auction. Bids start at $650,000.
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