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POSTED November 13, 2013 9:03 p.m.

TEEN NABBED FOR POSTS ABOUT SHOOTING: PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A teenager posted nonpublic information about a 2012 shooting on his Twitter feed, police said, and that material was later posted to an Instagram account being scrutinized for divulging information about witnesses to crimes in the city.

The 17-year-old was taken into custody after being charged with intimidation and terroristic threats, police spokeswoman Officer Tanya Little said Wednesday.

The charges come as investigators examine how the now-shuttered Instagram account titled "rats215," a reference to Philadelphia's area code, came to feature affidavits and photos of victims and witnesses in criminal cases.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported earlier that the "rats215" Instagram account had posted material identifying more than 30 witnesses since February. The newspaper said the account had nearly 7,900 followers and had more than 150 photos, many drawing dozens of comments and likes.

Little said the investigation, which started Oct. 24, was continuing. Although the teenager is not accused of having owned the Instagram account, "you have to think about ... where did it come from?" she said. "That's the question that has to be answered."

Authorities have called witness intimidation a serious problem in Philadelphia, with people arrested daily in the city's criminal courts building for taking photos of witnesses, victims' families or judges and posting the images online, said Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.

 

SD MOM'S BLOG ABOUT BULLYING DRAWS PRAISE, IRE: SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota mother is the target of both praise and criticism after she blogged that kids being bullied should toughen up.

Stephanie Metz's wide-ranging post spread on Facebook after she shared a link that was as much about oversensitive modern parents as it was about kids.

The 29-year-old Rapid City woman says it's not the job of parents to be their children's friend and make life easy for them. She says kids need to deal with some hardships.

The Oct. 25 post on "The Metz Family" blog was titled "Why My Kids Are NOT the Center of My World."

Metz said she doesn't condone violence but also doesn't think parents should let their kids shut down when someone's mean to them.

MAN AGREES TO REMOVE WIFE'S GRAVE FROM FRONT YARD: SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man has agreed to remove his wife's remains from his front yard after a four-year fight to keep her grave next to the house where they lived together.

James Davis testified at a court hearing Wednesday that he will hire a contractor to remove the body of his late wife, Patsy, and have it cremated. A judge still must approve the plan.

The court ordered the 74-year-old Davis to remove the body after the city of Stevenson won a lawsuit arguing the grave amounted to an illegal cemetery and had to be removed.

The City Council rejected Davis' request for a cemetery permit for his yard after his wife died in April 2009, but he buried her a few feet from the front porch anyway.

GOV. SIGNS BILL LEGALIZING GAY MARRIAGE IN HAWAII:

HONOLULU (AP) — Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill Wednesday legalizing gay marriage in Hawaii, the state that kicked off a national discussion of the issue more than two decades ago.

Now, the island chain is positioning itself for a boost in tourism as people take advantage of the new law and the state provides another example of the nation's changing views on marriage.

REPORT: 2 SECRET SERVICE SUPERVISORS UNDER PROBE: WASHINGTON (AP) — Two U.S. Secret Service officers are under investigation and have been removed from President Barack Obama's detail following allegations of misconduct, according to The Washington Post.

The allegations do not appear to involve a direct breach of Obama's security, but rather sexually-related misconduct, recalling previous scandals that have cast a spotlight on the service and its traditionally male-dominated culture.

The investigation stems from an incident during the spring at the Hay-Adams Hotel, an upscale hotel steps away from the White House, involving a senior supervisor responsible for about two dozen agents in the presidential security detail. The Post reported on its website that supervisor Ignacio Zamora Jr., was allegedly discovered trying to re-enter the room of a woman he had met in the hotel's bar after accidentally leaving a bullet from his service weapon in her hotel room.

After the woman refused to let him back in, Zamora sought access from hotel staff, who notified the White House, a Secret Service review found. In the subsequent probe, investigators came across sexually suggestive emails that Zamora and another supervisor, Timothy Barraclough, had sent to a female subordinate, the newspaper reported, citing people with knowledge of the case.

2 MORE PLEAD IN FAMU HAZING; 1 COULD GO TO PRISON: ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A former band member charged in the hazing death of a Florida A&M drum major pleaded no contest to manslaughter Wednesday and could become the first person to go to prison for his involvement in the beating.

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton described Jessie Baskin, 22, as being "most-consistently identified as the most enthusiastic" band member participating in the hazing ritual that led to Robert Champion' death. Baskin was beating Champion with his hands and feet, Ashton said.

A deal with prosecutors calls for Baskin to spend nine years in prison, though his attorneys can argue for a lighter punishment when a judge sentences him in February.

Champion collapsed and died in November 2011 after prosecutors said he walked down the aisle of a bus as other band members beat him with fists and instruments. The bus was parked outside an Orlando hotel following a football game.

Also Wednesday, Harold Finley, 21, pleaded guilty to felony hazing. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped manslaughter and misdemeanor hazing charges and he was sentenced to one-year of house arrest, four years of probation, 100 hours of community service and he must complete an anti-hazing course.

 

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