A Washington couple who left their two toddlers in a car in freezing weather to attend a wine tasting accepted a plea deal in which charges will be dropped if they take parenting classes, court records showed on Thursday. Christophe Lucas, 41, and Jennie Chang, 46, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of second-degree attempted cruelty to children in District of Columbia Court on Thursday. Under their plea deal with prosecutors, the charges will be dropped after nine months if they attend parenting class and maintain good behavior, records showed.
The Archdiocese of San Francisco has issued an apology to homeless people who endured frequent dousings from a sprinkler system while sheltering at night on the grounds of its principal church, a spokesman said on Thursday. St. Mary's Cathedral had placed the sprinklers in four exterior alcoves to deter people from sleeping there and to keep the area clean but had no idea some individuals were enduring the showers, said spokesman Larry Kamer.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A man awaiting execution for the rape and murder of his 15-year-old stepdaughter has died of unknown causes.
NEW YORK (AP) — A victim of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center has been identified through DNA.
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - The Boston Marathon bombing trial jury on Thursday saw the remains of a pressure-cooker bomb that prosecutors say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hurled at police during a gunfight four days after the bombing as well as jihadist files recovered from his laptop. The bomb, described as similar to the twin bombs set off at the race, was extracted from a Honda Civic in which it embedded itself on a Watertown, Massachusetts street after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, detonated it during the gunfight. The pressure cooker was the same type as was used in the bombs that killed three people and injured 264 on April 15, 2013, said Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Brian Corcoran, though the pieces found in Watertown were more intact than those discovered at the race's finish line. "Those pieces were typically more fragmented, more cut up," Corcoran testified in U.S. District Court in Boston, looking at both the main pot and its lid, which was found halfway down the block from the blast site, in a child-sized soccer goal in a home's side yard.
By Serena Maria Daniels DETROIT (Reuters) - More than 60 motorists involved in a deadly 193-vehicle pileup on Interstate 94 earlier this year in southern Michigan will be ticketed starting on Thursday for driving too fast and other violations. A total of 58 people in commercial and passenger vehicles were driving too fast that snowy day on Jan. 9 when they slammed into vehicles that had already crashed about 10 miles east of Kalamazoo, said Michigan State Police First Lieutenant Dale Hinz. The fiery crash killed a truck driver and shut down a stretch of roadway for two days.
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A Colorado woman was due in court on Thursday accused of cutting a fetus out of another woman's womb after luring her with a Craigslist ad, then taking it to a hospital and claiming to have had a miscarriage. Dynel Catrece Lane, 34, was booked into Boulder County Jail on charges of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and reckless child abuse resulting in death, online jail records showed. The victim, who was not identified, is expected to survive after surgery at a hospital, police said. Some time later, the authorities said, a 34-year-old woman showed up at the same hospital carrying the fetus and told staff she had suffered a miscarriage.
By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown and top lawmakers on Thursday announced a $1 billion emergency legislative package to deal with the state's devastating multi-year drought. The proposed legislation would appropriate more than $1 billion in voter-approved bond funds to speed up water projects and programs and provide aid to struggling California cities and communities. The state Water Resources Control Board earlier this week imposed new drought regulations earlier this week, outlawing lawn watering within 48 hours of rain and prohibiting water from being served in restaurants unless a customer requests it. Consumer rights group Food & Water Watch responded that the governor and legislators were putting too much of the burden from the drought on Californians.
A U.S. healthcare worker who was admitted to the biocontainment unit at Nebraska Medicine on Sunday has been released after testing negative for Ebola, the hospital said on Thursday. All had contact with an infected co-worker in Sierra Leone who is being treated for Ebola at the National Institutes of Health biocontainment facility in Maryland. The person in Nebraska is one of five who are being housed near the facility in case they develop symptoms. Officials did not release any details on the healthcare worker.
A body found in a New Jersey river has been positively identified as David Bird, a Wall Street Journal reporter who disappeared more than a year ago, officials said on Thursday. Dental records were used to identify Bird, 55, an energy markets reporter at the Journal, published by News Corp, who had been missing since taking a walk from his home by the Passaic River in Long Hill Township, New Jersey, on Jan. 11, 2014, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office in a statement.
By Nathan Layne BILOXI, Miss. (Reuters) - Japanese slot machine tycoon Kazuo Okada had his license renewed on Thursday by Mississippi's state gaming regulator, but with a newly added condition that an ongoing FBI investigation related to his Philippines casino project is resolved without charges against him. The Mississippi Gaming Commission voted to approve Okada's "suitability" status, which had come up for a review after nine years. The commission, which oversees casinos in the state, also approved the license of Aruze Gaming America, Okada's slot machine subsidiary. The open-door hearing was the first known public appearance by Okada in the United States since the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2012 launched an investigation into $40 million in payments made to an associate of the Philippines' gaming regulator as Okada's company was seeking tax and ownership concessions for a $2 billion casino he is building on Manila Bay.
By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - More than 400,000 Ohioans adopted between 1964 and 1996 will be given access from Friday to their birth certificates with the names of their biological parents. The bi-partisan Senate Bill 23, passed by the state legislature in 2013, closed a loophole in Ohio law that allowed adoptees born after 1963 and before Sept. 18, 1996 access to birth records, but denied those records for those born in the 32 years in between. "A judge could open the records for 'good cause' like severe medical need but very rarely did," Betsie Norris, executive director Adoption Network Cleveland said. "For a long time adoption in our country was about secrecy and thought of as shameful." Ohio was the ninth state to open adoption records as of 2013, Norris said.
SEATTLE (AP) — A Washington man who posted Facebook comments threatening a former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer will avoid prison but has been ordered to stay off social media sites in a case that is part of a broader legal debate about when social media rants go beyond hyperbole and become a crime.
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The Texas Senate on Thursday approved a measure to allow licensed handguns on college campuses, part of a series of bills being considered that would expand gun rights. In a vote along party lines, the state Senate approved the bill, which will be sent to the House. "My concern is to expand freedom of the most trustworthy citizens to access property they as citizens of this state own," said Senator Brian Birdwell, a Republican sponsor of the legislation. "There is great concern that the presence of handguns, even if limited to licensed individuals age 21 or older, will lead to an increase in both accidental shootings and self-inflicted wounds," University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven wrote to lawmakers this year.
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The State Bar of Texas has sought punishment for the prosecutor in a 1992 trial who is suspected of withholding evidence that could have cleared a man convicted of setting a fire that killed his three daughters and was later executed. Death penalty opponents have said Texas may have executed an innocent man when it sent Cameron Todd Willingham to the death chamber in 2004 after he was convicted of murder in the 1991 house fire, largely on the testimony of a prison informant who told a jury that Willingham had confessed to the crime. The Texas Bar Association filed a petition this month with a district court to discipline the prosecutor in the case, John Jackson, who could be disbarred.
A Maryland dump truck driver who allegedly attacked two police officers with his vehicle has been ruled not competent to stand trial, police said on Thursday. The suspect, Gene Brandon Jr., 31, of Aquasco, Maryland, was charged with attempted murder for allegedly ramming his vehicle into Prince George's County Police Department squad cars in January. "Suspect in at murder of 2 of our officers found incompetent to stand trial," the department said on its Twitter feed.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI considers Evgeniy Bogachev one of the world's most prolific and brilliant cyber criminals, slapping his photos — bald, beefy-faced and smiling faintly — on "Wanted" fliers posted online. The Russian would be an ideal target for prosecution — if only the Justice Department could find him.
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The plastic red hotel will still ruin you, but instead of advancing to Boardwalk to face your demise, you'll take a long walk off a short Pierre.
WASHINGTON (AP) — An uncharacteristic joint effort by House Speaker John Boehner and his usual nemesis, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, to resolve a gnawing problem about how Medicare pays doctors underscores the political victories each sees in finally sweeping the issue off the deck — if they can.
ATLANTA (AP) — Jurors have begun deliberations in the trial of a dozen former Atlanta Public Schools educators accused of participating in a test cheating conspiracy.