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NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NATION

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POSTED April 7, 2014 9:00 p.m.

• TROOPER: WOMAN HIT 123 MPH WITH KIDS IN BACKSEAT: SACO, Maine (AP) — Police say a woman was arrested for driving at 123 mph on the Maine Turnpike with her two children in the backseat.

Troopers say 24-year-old Cheryl Gilson, of Cornish, was charged Sunday with criminal speed, driving to endanger and endangering the welfare of her children, ages 3 and 5. She was released on $250 cash bail.

A trooper in Saco clocked the Hyundai Sonata she was driving at 123 mph, almost double the 65 mph speed limit.

Public Safety Department spokesman Steve McCausland says it took the trooper at least 10 miles to run down the car because it was going so fast. Three men also were in the car, but they weren’t charged.

 

• POLICE: MAN CALLS 911 AFTER INJURY DURING BREAK-IN: LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Police in Louisville, Ky., say a man called 911 after falling from a ladder and breaking his leg in the middle of a home break-in.

According to an arrest warrant, emergency workers found 34-year-old Kenneth Dewhawn Splunge inside a house.

Louisville police in the warrant say Splunge last week climbed a fence and onto a roof before trying to get inside a home by kicking out a skylight. Police say Splunge dropped the ladder through the opening, but fell and broke his leg while climbing down.

Splunge was taken to a hospital. He was arrested and charged with second-degree burglary at the hospital two days later.

He was being held in jail a $2,500 cash bond. Jail records did not list an attorney.

 

• WOMAN COMPLAINS TO POLICE ABOUT MARIJUANA QUALITY: LUFKIN, Texas (AP) — Police in East Texas have arrested a woman after she called them to complain about the quality of the marijuana she had purchased from a dealer.

Lufkin police Sgt. David Casper said Monday that an officer went to the home of 37-year-old Evelyn Hamilton to hear her complaint that the dealer refused to return her money after she objected that the drug was substandard.

Casper says she pulled the small amount of marijuana from her bra when the officer asked if she still had it.

She was arrested Friday on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Hamilton said Monday that she spent $40 on “seeds and residue.” She says she called police when she got no satisfaction from the dealer’s family.

 

• BARBARA WALTERS SETS MAY 16 FOR EXIT: NEW YORK (AP) — Barbara Walters plans to make her final appearance on “The View” on May 16, part of a daylong retirement celebration that will include ABC News naming its New York headquarters after her.

Later that night, ABC will air a two-hour prime-time special on her career. Walters, who is 84, began in television in 1961 and became the medium’s best-known interviewer. She announced last year that she will retire from regular TV appearances.

Walters will remain involved behind the scenes as an executive producer at “The View,” the daytime talk show she invented.

Walters will be a lifelong member of the ABC News team, and she will make special appearances as news warrants.

 

• MASSACHUSETTS HOME INTRUDER TURNS OUT TO BE A DUCK: NORTH READING, Mass. (AP) — Police in Massachusetts responding to reports of an intruder in a woman’s home quickly quacked the case.

A North Reading (REH’-ding) woman called police Saturday from her upstairs bedroom to report that she heard loud banging noises downstairs and feared someone had broken into her home.

Officers who responded found no sign of a break-in.

But during a quick search of the home, police found a soot-covered wood duck.

Police say it appears the duck got in through the chimney.

An officer caught the duck and released it into a nearby pond.

 

• NY RAIL CRASH ENGINEER HAD SLEEP WOES, FELT DAZED: WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — An engineer driving a speeding commuter train that derailed last year, killing four people, had a sleep disorder that interrupted his rest dozens of times each night and said he felt strangely “dazed” right before the crash, according to federal documents released Monday.

Asked if he was clearheaded enough to realize he was entering a curve just before the Dec. 1 derailment in the Bronx, engineer William Rockefeller told investigators “apparently not.”

The Metro-North Railroad train hit the curve, which has a 30 mph speed limit, at 82 mph. More than 70 people were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board released medical reports, interview transcripts and other documents but said its analysis of the information and any determination of the cause would come later.

Rockefeller’s medical exam after the accident uncovered “severe obstructive sleep apnea,” apparently undiagnosed, the NTSB said. It said a sleep study had been ordered because Rockefeller “did not exactly recall events leading up to the accident.”

The study found that while Rockefeller slept, he had about 65 sleep arousals per hour. Scientists say as few as five interruptions an hour can make someone chronically sleepy.

 

• VETERANS’ SENTENCING BILL PASSES ASSEMBLY: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A bill moving through the state Legislature would urge judges to grant probation and give shorter prison terms to defendants who have mental health problems stemming from their military service.

AB2098 passed the Assembly on Monday on a 70-1 vote. It requires courts to consider post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues in sentencing.

The bill’s author, Democrat Marc Levine of San Rafael, says as many as one in five soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD and are more likely to commit crimes.

California law already requires judges to consider ordering treatment when granting probation for veterans with mental illness.

The bill is one of several that address how to deal with veterans in the criminal justice system. It now heads to the Senate.

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