• REMAINS OF VIETNAM VET MISSING SINCE 1980 FOUND: RENO, Nev. (AP) — Sheriff’s deputies in northern Nevada are investigating the suspected murder of a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran whose remains were found last summer in a septic tank near the historic Comstock mining town of Virginia City nearly 34 years after he disappeared.
Investigators traced the partial serial number on a medallion found with the skeletal remains to ultimately identify George Benson Webster, who was 32 when his mother reported the Sun Valley auto mechanic missing in 1980, detectives said Thursday. His mother has since died.
Washoe County Undersheriff Tim Kuzanek said authorities received a tip in 1986 that Webster might have been killed and his body dumped in a septic tank in south Reno, but it didn’t pan out at the time.
The remains were badly degraded but forensic scientists at the University of North Texas were able to determine that he apparently died from a blow to the head, Kuzanek said.
• POSTHUMOUS MICHAEL JACKSON ALBUM DUE OUT MAY 13: NEW YORK (AP) — When Michael Jackson’s record label released his first posthumous album in 2010, a year after the King of Pop’s sudden death, producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins was asked to work on the project.
“I was asked to be on that album and to produce like five songs, but I turned it down,” he said. “I just felt like it wasn’t time.”
Years later, the hitmaker for Destiny’s Child and Whitney Houston — who worked heavily on Jackson’s 2001 comeback album “Invincible” — says he now feels comfortable producing Jackson’s music again. He produced the title track from the upcoming album, “Xscape,” out May 13.
• DETROIT SUBURB SELLING OFF VACANT LOTS FOR $1: WARREN, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit suburb is offering to sell city-owned vacant lots to adjacent property owners for $1.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts made the announcement in a news release Wednesday, saying the suburb owns 136 lots from past tax-reverted purchases from Macomb County and 70 more will be available with this year’s tax sale.
Fouts says the buyers will be responsible for closing costs that won’t exceed $700 per lot. Additional property taxes will be around $150 annually.
The mayor calls it a “win-win” deal for Warren and the nearby property owners. He says the price is hard to beat, plus the city will no longer have to cut weeds or grass and shovel snow at the sites.