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NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NATION

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POSTED March 3, 2014 8:25 p.m.

• DAUGHTER’S FACEBOOK POST COSTS FATHER $80,000: MIAMI (AP) — A Florida teenager’s Facebook post has cost her father an $80,000 legal settlement.

The Miami Herald reports that father had sued Miami’s Gulliver Preparatory School for age discrimination after he lost his job as headmaster.

The school agreed to settle the case with Patrick Snay for $80,000. The agreement included a stipulation that Snay and his wife not disclose settlement details with anyone.

The Snays’ daughter, a recent graduate of the school, posted to her 1,200 Facebook friends that the money would pay for a family vacation to Europe.

“Mama and Papa Snay won the case the case against Gulliver,” she wrote. “Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer.”

A judge invalidated the settlement last week and said the post violated the confidentiality agreement.

 

• PENTAGON SUSPENDS MILITARY ENGAGEMENTS WITH RUSSIA: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says it is suspending exercises and other activities with the Russian military, in light of Moscow’s military involvement in Ukraine.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Monday evening that the U.S. military has “put on hold” all military-to-military engagements, including bilateral meetings, port visits and planning conferences.

Kirby said the Pentagon values the relationship it has developed with the Russian military in the last few years, to reduce the risk of military miscalculation.

He said the U.S. calls on Russian forces in the Crimea region of Ukraine to return to their bases.

 

• MAN ACCUSED OF TAKING SMALL PLANE ON JOY RIDE: BOULDER CITY (AP) — Police arrested a man accused of taking a small plane from the Boulder City Airport without permission, then taking off and landing repeatedly in a drunken joyride.

Paul Michael Weddle, 47, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center early Monday on suspicion of piloting an aircraft while under the influence, taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent and making a false statement to an officer. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney.

According to a police report, an employee with sightseeing company Scenic Airlines reported someone stole the plane and had been taking off and landing several times a little before midnight Sunday.

Police who responded said they watched the airplane taxi around at a high rate of speed and make two 360-degree turns before coming to a stop close to another aircraft. The pilot appeared to be “having a hard time operating/controlling the airplane,” according to the arresting officer.

When the pilot eventually got out of the plane, police said, he didn’t comply with officers’ commands and instead reached into his pockets. An officer then tackled him and cuffed him, according to the report.

 

• IDLING CAR PUT IN DRIVE BY TODDLER, HITS CARS: WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man is in custody after police say he left his 2-year-old daughter alone in his idling car and she put the vehicle into drive, smashing it into parked cars.

West Hartford Police arrested 33-year-old Oscar Chicas on Saturday and charged him with risk of injury to a minor. He is being held on $15,000 bond.

Authorities say Chicas’ daughter was left in a running car and managed to put the car into drive. The car struck two other vehicles, causing minor damage.

The girl was not injured. Police say the state Department of Children and Families was notified and the girl was left with her uncle.

 

• WOMAN GOING TO HOSPITAL IN LABOR ROBBED: ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Police say a woman reported to be in labor and her boyfriend were robbed in Annapolis as they headed to a hospital.

The couple was confronted by three men with guns as they left an apartment on Copeland Street early Sunday. When the woman’s boyfriend fled, police spokeswoman Cpl. Amy Miguez says, the suspects tried to get the woman to let them into an apartment, but she didn’t have a key.

That’s when two of the men took off in the woman’s car, Miguez says. After a chase, police arrested 24-year-old Devery Kelley of Annapolis and 44-year-old Cornell Robinson of Washington and charged them with robbery and assault.

The woman was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center, but a hospital official did not have details about her condition.

 

• Phoenix police officer dies after shootout: PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix police officer died and another was in critical condition after a shootout Monday that also killed a man wanted on a felony warrant, authorities said.

A member of the fugitive apprehension team died of his wounds at a hospital a few hours after the 3:30 p.m. shooting, Police Chief Daniel Garcia said.

The officer’s name wasn’t immediately released. Garcia said he was a 21-year veteran.

“The other officer is fighting for his life,” Garcia said at a news conference. The name of that nine-year department veteran also was being withheld by police officials.

The shootout occurred after the suspect fled in his car, caused a three-vehicle collision, and ran away on foot before exchanging gunfire with officers outside a check cashing and title loan business, authorities said.

 

• Oscars draw 43 million viewers: NEW YORK (AP) — An estimated 43 million people watched the Academy Awards, the most-watched audience for the show in a decade and most popular entertainment event on television since the “Friends” finale in 2004.

The Nielsen company said Monday that Oscar viewership was up for the third straight year and is considered yet another example of how social media is helping to drive up the ratings for big television events. The Oscars last year were seen by 40.4 million people.

Ellen DeGeneres was host of the Academy Awards for a second time, replacing the edgy Seth MacFarlane, who had the job last year.

The Oscars, which aired Sunday, are usually the second most-watched television program of the year in the United States, after the Super Bowl.

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