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POSTED January 8, 2014 10:01 p.m.

MOM WHO LOST 'STAND YOUR GROUND' CASE IN TROUBLE: JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Jacksonville woman who spent 21 months in jail after unsuccessfully invoking Florida's "stand your ground" self-defense law as a defense for firing a gun at her husband is facing parole violation charges.

Prosecutors say Marissa Alexander violated her home detention by making short trips to places near her home. But Alexander's attorney told the Florida Times-Union for a story Tuesday that each trip was approved by parole supervisors. Alexander left jail on bond in November.

Alexander was denied immunity under the state's self-defense law and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The appeals court says the trial judge erred by putting the burden on Alexander to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she was beaten by her husband and acted in self-defense.

 

PA. PIZZA SHOP DELIVERS MEDICINES DURING COLD SNAP: LIGONIER, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania pizza shop has been delivering prescription medicines and other supplies to ill and elderly residents so they don't have to go outside in the bitter cold.

Tom Wynkoop, owner of Fox's Pizza Den in Ligonier, said that he tweeted his offer because his community about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh has a lot of elderly residents.

Wynkoop told those in need to call his cellphone to arrange deliveries of prescription medicines and other products — no strings attached. That's right: Folks don't have to order food from Wynkoop's shop to get help.

Wynkoop says his shop has made four deliveries. He says, "You have to be there for your residents."

The region was hit with record-low, subzero temperatures on Tuesday. Temperatures were subfreezing by Wednesday.

 

SOLAR ENERGY TO POWER ICONIC VEGAS WELCOME SIGN: LAS VEGAS (AP) — Officials in Las Vegas are harnessing the power of the sun to light the city's iconic welcome sign.

Elected officials and project leaders flipped a switch Wednesday linking solar panels on 25-foot towers to the glittering neon "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign.

The project was headed by the Green Chips and Clean Energy Project nonprofit organizations, and funded by the Consumer Electronics Association, electric utility NV Energy, the Las Vegas Centennial Commission and Bombard Renewable Energy.

The new power source is the latest upgrade for the sign designed by Betty Willis and installed in 1959 in a traffic median on the Las Vegas Strip.

 

OMAHA POLICE UNION POSTS VIDEO OF TODDLER CURSING: OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Omaha police union is facing criticism for posting a video online of a toddler being cursed at and being encouraged to curse.

Union officials say they wanted to stimulate discussion about problems in the community and show what officers encounter. Critics say there better ways to do that without subjecting a child to ridicule.

The video shows an African-American boy wearing only a diaper as he's harangued with racial slurs and obscenities from at least three adults.

The child responds to the off-camera adults with profanities of his own and at one point raises his middle finger. The video has been viewed several thousand times and remains available at the union's website. The Associated Press is not linking to the video because of the offensive content.

The union found the video on a known local gang member's Facebook page. The union said it had an obligation to share the video so the public will learn about "the terrible cycle of violence and thuggery that some young innocent children find themselves helplessly trapped in."

"The whole point of this is to give an unfiltered view of what police officers deal with every day," said Sgt. John Wells, president of the Omaha Police Officers Association.

Wells said he hopes the discussion will focus on ways to help the boy in the video and address problems in the community. At one point in the video, the adults reference a gang in northeast Omaha, which is where more than half of the city's roughly 40 homicides a year typically happen.

 

FUGITIVE WHO LEFT SHOE AT CRIME SCENE ARRESTED: SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Federal agents have apprehended a fugitive near San Antonio two years after he left a shoe behind while allegedly trying to storm a Colorado home with others.

Mario Andreas Godinez was arrested Tuesday by the U.S. Marshals Service on a charge of attempted murder. The 20-year-old was being held at the Bexar (bayr) County jail awaiting extradition to Weld County, Colo.

Service spokesman Chris Bozeman says Godinez and two others are accused of attempting a 2012 home invasion in Greeley, Colo. When they were unable to get inside, Godinez allegedly shot through the front door.

He left behind a shoe when the trio fled in a vehicle. Bozeman says the shoe could be an important part of prosecution efforts.

 

INSANE CLOWN POSSE SUES FEDS OVER GANG LABEL: DETROIT (AP) — The Insane Clown Posse sued the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday over a 2011 FBI report that describes the rap-metal duo's devoted fans, the Juggalos, as a dangerous gang, saying the designation has tarnished reputations and hurt business.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in Detroit federal court on behalf of the group's two members, Joseph Bruce, or Violent J, and Joseph Utsler, or Shaggy 2 Dope. It also names four fans as plaintiffs.

The FBI report on criminal gangs labeled the Juggalos as a "loosely organized hybrid gang." It said those who identify as Juggalos have committed assaults and vandalism, and a "small number" of them have engaged in more serious crimes.

The lawsuit contends that the gang designation violates free speech and due process rights.

At a news conference in Detroit, Bruce, 41, and Utsler, 39, wore their trademark face paint. The Detroit-area pair said Juggalos are like a family, not a gang, and they want their fans purged from the report.

"Our merchandise sales are just about cut in half. ... You don't see the stickers in the back windows anymore because everyone's afraid to wave the flag in their car," Bruce said. "They're afraid they're going to get pulled over and harassed."

 

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