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POSTED December 12, 2013 9:23 p.m.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT' DROPPED FROM BOY'S RECORD:

CANON CITY, Colo. (AP) — Officials at a Colorado school where a 6-year-old boy was suspended for kissing a girl dropped the term "sexual harassment" from the boy's record, instead calling the behavior misconduct after his parents and the principal met to discuss the issue.

The girl's mother, Jade Masters-Ownbey, told the Canon City Daily Record (http://bit.ly/1f7z0Vw) on Wednesday that the school district did a great job protecting her daughter from repeated harassment from the boy.

First-grader Hunter Yelton was given a two-day suspension, with a sexual harassment infraction on his discipline record. The boy's mother, Jennifer Saunders, insisted the punishment was too harsh, and school officials agreed to reconsider.

The incident stems from when the boy kissed a female classmate on the cheek and later kissed the same girl on the hand.

The boy was placed on suspension for the first incident, his mother, Jennifer Saunders, told the Daily Record on Tuesday, and he was placed on a two-day suspension last week for the second infraction.

BLOOMBERG: ARMS WEBSITE SELLING GUNS ILLEGALLY: NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of guns could be sold illegally by unlicensed firearms dealers on just one classified ad website, according to an investigation commissioned by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg, one of the nation's leading gun-control advocates and a co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, asked his investigators to spend eight weeks monitoring the ads on Armslist.com. The classified marketplace, known as a "Craigslist for guns," is one of the nation's largest firearms websites.

The inquiry found that nearly one-third of gun ads on the site were posted by high-volume sellers who do not possess the mandatory federal firearms license. At that pace, nearly 244,000 guns would be sold illegally a year due to the "private sale loophole," which does not require a background check, Bloomberg said Thursday.

LAST MOMENTS RECOUNTED OF OFFICIAL KILLED IN CRASH: HONOLULU (AP) — In the final moments of her life, Hawaii Health Director Loretta Fuddy clung to the hand of her deputy after a small plane taking them back to Honolulu crashed in the ocean off the island of Molokai.

Fuddy, who gained notoriety in 2011 for her role in making public the birth certificate of President Obama, was one of nine people onboard the flight that went down Wednesday. She was the only one who died.

In the water, Fuddy held hands with deputy director Keith Yamamoto as he tried to help her relax, said the Rev. Patrick Killilea, who consoled Yamamoto after the ordeal.

"He recounted how he said he helped Loretta into her life jacket and he held her hand for some time," the priest said. "They were all floating together and she let go and there was no response from her."

The crash occurred when the single engine of the 2002 Cessna Grand Caravan failed soon after it took off from Molokai and made its turn toward Honolulu, said Richard Schuman, owner of Makani Kai Air, operator of the plane.

Schuman said the pilot did his best to get the plane down safely and keep the passengers together in the waters off Molokai. Asked how they survived, he responded: "Will."

"There's only one engine on that plane and when it quits on you, you just have to deal with it in that moment," he said.

Life jackets were instrumental in saving the lives of people on the plane, said Coast Guard Lt. Kevin Cooper, who helped coordinate the rescue effort from Oahu.

CDC: FLU SEASON STARTING A LITTLE MORE NORMALLY: ATLANTA (AP) — Health officials say the flu season seems to be getting off to more normal start this year.

Reports of the flu have been increasing, particularly in the South. But it's nothing like last year, when flu hit early and very hard in early December.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday said last year's flu season landed about 381,000 people in the hospital — the most since at least 2005. A contributing factor: The flu vaccine was only 51 percent effective overall

CDC officials said it's too early to know how bad this season will be or when it will peak. Flu is usually the worst in January or February.

LAWSUIT: DEPUTY FORCED MAN TO KNEEL ON HOT ASPHALT:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man suffered severe burns to his knees and buttocks after a Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy forced him to kneel and sit on hot asphalt for nearly half an hour, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque alleges Deputy Chris Starr made Jonathan Griego, 23, kneel on the scorching asphalt during a June traffic stop on a day when temperatures reached 96 degrees in the city.

Starr demanded that Griego kneel and sit on the asphalt, where he was forced to "literally cook" after a needle was found in his pocket, court papers said.

In court documents filed in response to the lawsuit, Jonlyn Martinez, an attorney representing the county, denied Griego's allegations. Martinez also asked that a judge dismiss the suit.

According to the lawsuit, Starr ignored Griego's complaints that the heat was burning through his pants and undergarments.

Shannon Kennedy, Griego's lawyer, said a medical report concluded Griego suffered second-degree burns on his knees. "The photos are just awful," Kennedy said.

She added the burns on Griego's buttocks were even worse than those on his knees.

Griego later was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, but Starr did not appear for the court date and the ticket was dismissed, Kennedy said.

The burnings caused "embarrassment, humiliation, pain and suffering and emotional distress," the lawsuit said.

 

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