uSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber is releasing a new feature to help riders ensure they’re getting into the right vehicles.
The development comes several weeks after a University of South Carolina student was killed after getting into a car she had mistaken for the Uber ride she hailed.
Uber said Thursday it would send a push notification to riders reminding them to check the driver and vehicle. The push alert will include the driver’s name, photo, license plate number and vehicle make and model.
The ride-hailing giant is rolling out the feature first in Columbia, South Carolina and later nationwide.
Samantha Josephson, 21, was almost finished with college when went out with friends in Columbia’s bar district. She became separated from the group and ordered an Uber to take her home around 1:30 a.m. on March 29, authorities said.
The driver of the car she mistakenly got into had activated the child safety locks in the backseat, trapping her in the car, authorities said.
“We don’t want this to be something you forget, but we also don’t want it to be something that ends in sorrow, but something that ends in education,” said Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina, in an interview.
Pastides has mistakenly gotten into the wrong Uber himself, and believes the new push notification will save lives, he said.
Uber is also sending emails to every rider to outline the steps to make sure they’re getting into the right car.
uAUTHORITIES: MAN SLEEPING IN DUMPSTER ENDS UP IN TRASH TRUCK: MCKEES ROCK, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a man sleeping in a dumpster was tossed into the back of a garbage truck as the trash was being emptied, causing him to lose his prosthetic leg.
WPXI-TV reports the incident occurred around 2 a.m. Thursday in McKees Rocks. The truck driver heard the man yelling and called 911.
Officials say that while he was in the back of the truck the man realized his prosthetic lower leg was missing. He searched for it for about 30 minutes before police ordered him to stop.
The man didn’t appear to be injured in the accident but was taken to a hospital to be evaluated. His name has not been released.
uARKANSAS GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL RAISING MARRIAGE AGE TO 17: LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed legislation that increases the state’s marriage age to 17.
Under the previous law, 16-year-old girls and 17-year-old boys could get married with the consent of their parents. If the girl was pregnant, a judge could approve a marriage regardless of her age.
The legislation signed Wednesday raises the marriage age to 17 regardless of circumstances, and parental consent is still required.
Democratic Rep. Vivian Flowers of Pine Bluff sponsored the bill. She says Department of Health statistics show that more than 8,200 girls and 1,300 boys who were 17 or younger have been married in Arkansas since 1999.
Last year, Delaware became the first state in the U.S. to ban marriage for anyone under 18.
uSENIOR SLUGGER: 65-YEAR-OLD WOMAN HITS BURGLAR WITH BAT: GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — When a Florida woman heard a noise and saw a man trying to break into her car early Sunday, she took matters into her own hands.
Clarese Gainey, 65, of Gainesville tells WGFL that she picked up her softball bat early Sunday, braced herself and eased open the door before hitting Antonio Mosley.
“I took that bat and hit him upside the head, like ‘pi-yah,’ “Gainey said, adding that the 5-foot-6, 300-pound man said, “Ow!”
Mosely ran to a nearby mobile home park, leaving behind his pants, shirt, and a sock, police said. A K-9 unit tracked him down, and Gainey said she easily identified him because of the knot on his head.
Gainey says she played softball in high school and can still swing a bat.
“He better be glad I didn’t have a gun,” Gainey said. “Because I would have shot him.”
Mosely is being held in the Alachua County Jail on burglary and drug charges. A lawyer isn’t listed on jail records.
uDEPUTIES LOOK FOR NAKED BURGLAR WHO STOLE FROM LITTLE LEAGUE: DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in Florida are asking for the public’s help in tracking down a man who they say burglarized a Little League concession stand wearing nothing more than a ballcap and gloves.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says the naked burglar struck the stand at Fischer Field in Dunedin almost two weeks ago.
Deputies say the burglar stole cameras and a cash box with $250 inside, and he caused $5,000 in damage.
Surveillance video obtained by the Tampa Bay Times also shows the man taking a package of hot dogs.
The ball field is shared with Dunedin High School.
uCITING SAFETY, COLLEGE CANCELS POLISH CONSERVATIVE’S SPEECH: MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (AP) — Middlebury College has canceled a lecture by a conservative Polish speaker out of safety concerns two years after the school was the site of a rowdy protest.
Middlebury made the announcement Wednesday, hours before member of the European Parliament and philosopher Ryszard Legutko was to appear. The Vermont college cited an assessment of the school’s ability to respond to potential security and safety risks around both the lecture and the protest students had planned in response.
The student-run newspaper had described Legutko as a critic of LGBTQ activists, multiculturalism and liberal democracy.
A 2017 speech by conservative author Charles Murray was disrupted by demonstrations and a subsequent confrontation in which a Middlebury professor was injured. Murray is a social scientist who critics say uses pseudoscience to link intelligence and race.