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  • Omaha police purge DNA samples from controversial 2004 sweep

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Police have destroyed DNA samples collected years ago from several black men in a controversial 2004 sweep in Omaha now that a suspect in a series of rapes has been charged.

    Officials told the Omaha World-Herald that they destroyed all samples taken as part of the DNA sweep.

    Dick Davis II, who now lives in Georgia, was among the men from whom police collected DNA in 2004 as police desperately sought to solve the rapes. Davis voluntarily allowed police to swab his cheek when they came knocking on his door, but he said he felt coerced to comply.

    The sweep led to a state law that requires police to notify innocent people in writing that they have not been implicated by their sample and that police purge DNA samples and any identifying information from their records. Davis contacted Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine in June after learning that Brandon Weathers, who is already […]
  • MGM to match employee donations to civil rights groups

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — One of the largest employers in Nevada is launching a donation match program benefiting civil rights organizations in light of the deadly Charlottesville protests.

    MGM Resorts International, the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip, said Friday that it would match employee donations made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign, Council on American Islamic Relations, OCA National-Asian Pacific American Advocates and League of United Latin American Citizens.

    CEO Jim Murren made the announcement in a letter, saying he felt compelled to speak out against “the degradation of basic human dignity” following the deadly attacks in Charlottesville and Barcelona in recent days. He said the company champions diversity and inclusion. Murren said MGM believes in free speech but that it would not tolerate […]
  • In this Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 photo, shows items Rickee Stewart, has gathered for the school's homeless students, in West Jordan, Utah. Stewart, a teacher who is getting married next month, is so concerned over the students' plight she registered for items they need instead of wedding gifts. (The Deseret News via AP)

    Utah teacher wants wedding gifts sent to homeless, not her

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah high school teacher is getting married next month. But instead of registering for a blender or stemware, she’s asking for shoes and backpacks to give homeless children at her school.

    Copper Hills High School teacher Rickee Stewart said she was shocked when she found out more than 100 homeless students attend her school. She learned about the homeless students after the school set up a food pantry.

    “One of my students walked up very quietly and said, ‘So, my mom wants to know how I can actually get some of that food,’ ” Stewart said. “It’s very real.” This realization prompted Stewart to tell her wedding guests they can donate to her homeless student project in lieu of gifts, KSL-TV reported (http://bit.ly/2vKlUhM […]
  • Whale stranded in western Washington state beach freed

    SEATTLE (AP) — Officials say a juvenile gray whale has been freed after being stranded on a remote beach in Washington state.

    NOAA Fisheries said Saturday that workers freed the 24-foot (7.3-meter) whale during high tide Friday by digging a trench and using a shore-anchored pulley system that was attached to a harness placed on the animal.

    Officials say the system turned the whale seaward in Olympic National Park and after some uncertain moments, it started swimming.

    Experts say the whale that was likely stranded Tuesday remained alert and tried to free itself several times during previous high tides. They say the whale is 1 to 2 years old and in fair condition. Several gray whales have been seen feeding in the vicinity of the site. Copyright © The Associated Press. All […]
  • American Girl’s first Native Hawaiian doll set to go on sale

    HONOLULU (AP) — American Girl has made its first Native Hawaiian doll.

    The doll’s name is Nanea Mitchell and she goes on sale Monday. The doll is 18 inches (46 centimeters) tall and is priced at $115.

    Her character grows up during World War II. Her wardrobe includes 1940s-era outfits, hula attire and many accessories.

    A five-member advisory board helped ensure historical accuracy and cultural authenticity when creating the doll, the company said.

    “We hope Nanea’s powerful story of resilience, responsibility to others, and contributing for the common good — or kokua, as it’s known in Hawaii — will resonate with girls and show them they have the power within to face the obstacles that come their way,” said Katy Dickson, president of American Girl. To celebrate the […]
  • Suspect killed, officer injured in early shooting in Alabama

    HOMEWOOD, Ala. (AP) — An investigation is underway after an officer-involved shooting in Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, left a suspect dead and a Homewood officer with minor injuries.

    Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation, at the request of Homewood Police and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, opened an investigation but have provided few details of what occurred near Homewood about 1 a.m. Saturday.

    Senior Trooper Chuck Daniel said details on what led to the shooting have not been released. The deceased suspect’s name, age and gender are also being withheld pending notification of relatives. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Mother, acquaintance in custody after child ‘tortured’

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A 9-year-old boy is recovering after Alabama police said he was tortured by his mom and an acquaintance of hers.

    WBRC-TV reports he was being treated at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham but is expected to pull through.

    Tuscaloosa Police said a relative notified them after noticing something was wrong with the child.

    The child’s mother, 31-year-old Cecily Burton, was arrested along with 40-year-old Marzel Mills for attempted murder and aggravated child abuse.

    Doctors say the child had over 100 bruises on his back alone, fluid behind his eye, broken bones, a homemade stitched ear, and was malnourished. Sgt. Mike Chaisson said it’s the most horrific child abuse case he’s seen in his 20-year law enforcement career. Mills and Burton are being held on $400,000 bond at the […]
  • In this Aug. 16, 2017 photo, Vice President Mike Pence takes part in a joint statement with the Chilean president at La Moneda government palace, in Santiago, Chile.   The day after President Donald Trump sparred with reporters on live television over assigning blame for violence at a white supremacist rally, White House aides were stunned, advisers were whispering their frustrations, business allies were cutting public ties with the White House and Trump was out of sight. But Vice President Mike Pence was on message.  At a press conference 5,000 miles away in Santiago, Chile, Pence offered a robust defense of the president, while neither endorsing nor denouncing his words.  (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

    Pence on message, despite Trump’s troubles at home

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The day after President Donald Trump sparred with reporters on live television over assigning blame for violence at a white supremacist rally, White House aides were stunned, advisers were whispering their frustrations, business allies were cutting public ties with the White House and Trump was out of sight.

    But Vice President Mike Pence was on message.

    At a press conference 5,000 miles away in Santiago, Chile, Pence offered a robust defense of the president, while neither endorsing nor denouncing his words.

    “What happened in Charlottesville was a tragedy, and the president has been clear on this tragedy and so have I,” Pence said Wednesday in response to a reporter’s question during a weeklong trip to Latin America. “I spoke at length about this heart-breaking situation on Sunday night in Colombia, and I stand with the president, […]
  • Feds allege California Marines involved in $67M health fraud

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — Federal authorities say Southern California Marines were recruited for a scheme that bilked the government’s military health insurance provider out of $67 million.

    The San Diego Union-Tribune (http://bit.ly/2v1kixi) says a complaint was filed Thursday in San Diego as part of a civil asset forfeiture case. Authorities are trying to seize the property of a Tennessee couple.

    Investigators say Marines were recruited at up to $300 a month for a so-called medical study that involved phone consultations with a doctor’s office in Cleveland, Tennessee, owned by Jimmy and Ashley Collins.

    The Marines were prescribed costly compound drugs. A pharmacy in Bountiful, Utah, filled thousands of prescriptions and billed them to the insurer, TRICARE. Lawyers for the couple deny they committed fraud. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Tennessee cancer survivor sinks hole-in-one after surgery

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee cancer survivor has hit a hole-in-one in her first round of golf since undergoing five surgeries in the past year.

    The Tennessean reports Cathy Helton hit a hole-in-one while playing in the annual Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition Celebration of Life Golf Classic at Hermitage Golf Course. Her singular shot came on the 17th hole of the General’s Retreat Course.

    Helton has endured 35 radiation treatments and 16 rounds of chemotherapy since November to treat her breast cancer. Her hole-in-one came just four days after her fifth surgery.

    Helton said she had tried to play several times over the past year, but would have to stop because of another surgery. Helton said it was confirmation it was time for her to get back to playing the game she loved. ___ Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. […]
  • Small earthquake strikes off Hawaii island’s east coast

    HONOLULU (AP) — A magnitude 4.1 earthquake hit off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.

    The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory says the earthquake struck at 8:35 p.m. Friday about 66 miles (107 kilometers) northeast of the town of Hawaiian Beaches on the island’s east coast.

    The agency reports that about 100 people on the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Molokai and Oahu said they felt the earthquake.

    Brian Shiro, the agency’s seismic network manager, says the earthquake was likely caused by the bending of the oceanic plate from the weight of the island. He says it does not pose no significant hazard. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says there is no tsunami threat and that the quake had no effect on Kilauea […]
  • Retired New York City Police Officer Frank Serpico, center, stands with other members of law enforcement during a rally to show support for Colin Kaepernick, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in New York. Kaepernick, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, became a controversial figure last year after he refused to stand for the national anthem. He said it was a protest against oppression of black people. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    Serpico, others from NYPD, rally in support of Kaepernick

    NEW YORK (AP) — A former New York City police officer, whose claims of police corruption in the 1970s were chronicled in an Al Pacino movie, joined dozens of current and former officers Saturday at a rally in support of getting quarterback Colin Kaepernick a job in the National Football League.

    The former San Francisco 49ers player became a controversial figure last year after he refused to stand for the national anthem in what he called a protest against oppression of people of color.

    He opted out of his contract in March and became a free agent, but so far, no NFL teams have signed him for the upcoming season. The gathering in Brooklyn featured about 75 mostly minority officers wearing black T-shirts reading “#imwithkap.” One exception was retired officer Frank Serpico, whose exploits were featured in the 1973 […]
  • Woman stuck in swimming pool turns to Facebook for help

    EPPING, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire woman who became stuck in a swimming pool after the ladder broke turned to Facebook to ask for help getting out.

    Sixty-one-year-old Leslie Kahn was swimming in her pool Aug. 11 when the ladder broke, leaving her stranded. She said she didn’t have the strength to pull herself. No one else was home and her cellphone was inside.

    She used a pool pole to drag the chair her iPad was on and posted in a community Facebook page, asking for help. She said she labeled the post “911” to get people’s attention.

    A woman who lived nearby showed up, followed by police and a neighbor. Kahn, a breast cancer survivor, tells WMUR-TV that sometimes you help others and other times, you ask for help. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • ‘Nazis’ spray-painted on Robert E. Lee statue in Dallas

    DALLAS (AP) — Dallas police officials say a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee has been vandalized.

    The Dallas Morning News reported a crew of city workers went to Lee Park early Saturday to power-wash the spray-painted word “Nazis” off of the statue, one of three Confederate monuments in the city. A police spokeswoman says extra patrols will be in the park to prevent further vandalism.

    City officials have been discussing whether to remove or relocate the city’s Confederate statues, a conversation hastened by violence that broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend.

    The city’s four black city councilmen held a joint news conference Friday to say they supported removing the statues as a way to start healing the city’s racist past. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Venezuelan National Assembly's Vice President Freddy Guevara speaks with the lawmaker Stalin Gonzalez during a session in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. Venezuela's pro-government constitutional assembly took over the powers of the opposition-led congress Friday, dramatically escalating a standoff between President Nicolas Maduro and his political foes.(AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    Venezuela congress defies push to take over its powers

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s congress met Saturday in defiance of what opposition leaders consider an autocratic push by allies of President Nicolas Maduro to usurp the legislature’s powers.

    Brian Naranjo, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, was among a group of foreign diplomats from countries including Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom who attended Saturday’s special session to express solidarity with the increasingly cornered lawmakers.

    Venezuela’s ongoing political standoff took another dramatic turn Friday after the pro-government constitutional assembly approved a decree taking over congress’ powers to pass legislation of vital importance to the crisis-wracked nation. Lawmakers and several foreign governments decried the move as an attempt to dissolve congress, although Maduro’s supporters insist lawmakers can continue to meet and […]