NEWS OF THE DAY
From Across the Nation
1 Extortion claim:
An attorney for the head of the National Enquirer’s parent company on Sunday denied that the tabloid committed extortion or blackmail by threatening to publish Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ explicit photos. Elkan Abramowitz, who represents American Media Inc. chief executive David Pecker, defended the tabloid’s practice as a “negotiation” in an interview with ABC. The Enquirer published a story last month that included lurid texts between Bezos and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. Bezos said AMI later threatened to expose his revealing photos if he didn’t have his private investigators back off.
2 Crowd struck:
Witnesses and emergency responders lifted a pickup truck off of people who were trapped when a truck plowed into a crowd Sunday in Fullerton (Orange County). Authorities arrested a man who they say drove a Toyota Tacoma onto a sidewalk and injured nine people. The injuries ranged from moderate to critical, and the victims are between 18 and 49 years old. Officials said Christopher Solis, 22, of Anaheim was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs. The crash happened in the South of Commonwealth district, a popular weekend destination.
3 Algae blooms:
Environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit pushing for more action to prevent the toxic algae blooms that plague Lake Erie’s western basin each summer. The lawsuit filed last week in Toledo says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency isn’t moving fast enough and must hold Ohio accountable for reducing the polluting runoff that feeds the algae. The Environmental Law & Policy Center’s lawsuit claims Ohio’s efforts to prevent blooms have had little impact. The lawsuit seeks a court order that sets a series of deadlines for progress on lake protections.
4 Teachers strike:
Denver teachers say they will strike Monday after failing to win an agreement on pay. Both sides met over the weekend in an attempt to reach a new contract after more than a year of negotiations. Teachers plan to picket schools around the city. The district says schools will remain open and will be staffed by administrators and substitute teachers. However, the district has canceled classes for 5,000 pre-schoolers because it doesn’t have the staff to take care of them.
.5 Guard charged:
A security guard at the Minnesota Sex Offender Treatment Program in St. Peter is accused of having a sexual relationship with a patient. Claudia Kogo, 57, was charged with felony counts of criminal sexual conduct. Authorities say a patient who was committed as a sexually dangerous person reported that he had sex with Kogo more than two dozen times in late 2017. Prosecutors say Kogo told a state investigator she kissed the patient but denied having sex with him. A St. Peter police detective who listened to recordings of phone calls between Kogo and the patient said many of the calls included conversations about their sexual activities, according to court documents.