BUS DRIVER SPEEDING AND HAD USED PHONE
chattanooga, tenn.» The 24year-old driver in a school bus crash that killed six children was traveling about 20 mph over the 30 mph limit, police testified Thursday. Johnthony Walker also was using a cellphone in the bus before the crash, Officer Joe Warren said. He estimated Walker was driving 48 to 52 mph and never hit the brake.
Police filed preliminary charges of vehicular homicide, reckless driving and reckless endangerment. A sixth vehicular homicide count will be added.
The victims were 6 to 10 years old. Two children remain hospitalized, Officer Adam Cavitt testified.
After 61-year ban, pinball is legal again B Mayor
kokomo, ind.» Greg Goodnight bid farewell to a 61-year-old prohibition against pinball Tuesday. The Municipal Council voted to repeal the law, part of an effort to eliminate outmoded codes and obscure regulations. Goodnight signed the document overturning the ban atop a Flying Aces pinball machine in a record store. Authorities did not enforce the ban in recent memory, and some business owners were surprised to learn they had been offering an illicit pinball supply.
GOP bids to limit next guv’s power
B raleigh, n.c.» The Republicandominated legislature took extraordinary steps Thursday to reduce the powers of a Democratic governorelect, defying raucous protests and threatened legal challenges days before he takes office.
GOP lawmakers ignored protesters disrupting House and Senate floor debate and advanced legislation on the second day of their surprise session, which Democrats angrily called a power grab to weaken Roy Cooper once he becomes governor Jan. 1.
Cooper beat Republican Gov. Pat McCrory by 10,000 votes and vowed to fight GOP initiatives of recent years, particularly a law McCrory signed in March limiting LGBT rights.
GOP lawmakers sought to scale back the team Cooper can bring into office, require their approval for top administrators at state agencies and erase the governor’s ability to shape election boards statewide.
Rare plant named after Hendrix
B san diego» California researchers have named a newly discovered rare plant after Jimi Hendrix. The plant, found in Baja California, Mexico, has been christened Dudleya hendrixii, or “Hendrix’s liveforever.” Liveforevers are a kind of succulent with enormous lifespans.
This one is a stalky plant less than a foot tall with pinkish-white flowers that dies in summer and resprouts in fall.
Gun-friendly Liberty University to open on-campus shooting range
B lynchburg, va.» Liberty University is planning to open a stateof-the-art shooting range on campus next fall as part of the conservative Evangelical Christian School’s commitment to promoting gun ownership and firearm sports.
University president Jerry Falwell Jr. said that Liberty’s new complex will feature pistol, rifle and shotgun facilities as well as an archery range.
Traces of explosives found on victims of Paris flight B
cairo» Traces of explosives have been found on some of the victims of an EgyptAir flight from Paris that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea in May, Egypt’s government said Thursday.
Grand jury indicts pizzeria gunman on three charges B
washington» A man inspired by an internet conspiracy theory to fire an assault weapon inside a pizza restaurant has been indicted on three charges by a grand jury.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the nation’s capital says 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, N.C., will be prosecuted on charges of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, assault with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.
Florida agency paid Pitbull $1 million for “Sexy Beaches” promotion B
tallahassee, fla.» Rapper Pitbull released his $1 million contract with Florida’s tourism marketing agency via Twitter on Thursday, two days after a lawmaker sued to find out details of the agreement that included production of a video for the song “Sexy Beaches.”