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Nation & World Briefs


Friday, April 13, 2018
Teacher victory: Kentucky lawmakers override budget veto

FRANKFORT, Ky. — With the chants of hundreds of teachers ringing in their ears, Kentucky lawmakers voted Friday to override the Republican governor’s veto of a two-year state budget that increases public education spending with the help of a more than $480 million tax increase.

The votes came as thousands of teachers rallied inside and outside the Capitol, forcing more than 30 school districts to close as Kentucky continued the chorus of teacher protests across the country. The rally took on a festival-like atmosphere in Kentucky as some teachers sat in lawn chairs or sprawled out on blankets. Crosby Stills, Nash and Young’s hit “Teach Your Children” bellowed from the loud speakers.

The two-year state operating budget includes record new spending for public education, fueled by a 50-cent increase in the cigarette tax and a 6 percent sales tax on some services including home and auto repair. But Bevin vetoed both the budget and the money in it, calling the bills “sloppy” and “non-transparent.” He said they would not raise enough money to cover the new spending.

The veto put Republican lawmakers in a tough position, asking them to vote a second time on a tax increase in an election year. But 57 House Republicans, later joined by just enough Senate Republicans, voted to override, asserting their independence after a tumultuous year marred by a sexual harassment scandal.

Police: Woman who drove SUV with family off cliff was drunk

SAN FRANCISCO — A woman who drove off a Northern California cliff last month in an SUV carrying her wife and children was drunk, authorities said Friday.

Toxicology tests found Jennifer Hart had an alcohol level of 0.102, said California Patrol Capt. Bruce Carpenter. California drivers are considered drunk with a level of 0.08 or higher.

Toxicology tests also found that her wife Sarah Hart and two of their children had “a significant amount” of an ingredient commonly found in the allergy drug Benadryl, which can make people sleepy. Toxicology results for a third child killed are still pending, Carpenter said.

Sarah and Jennifer Hart and their six adopted children were believed to be in the family’s SUV when it plunged off a cliff in Mendocino County, over 160 miles north of San Francisco.

Black teen who wanted directions shot at by white man

DETROIT — A black 14-year-old boy who got lost in a Detroit suburban neighborhood while trying to get to school was shot at by a white homeowner after knocking on a door to ask directions, prosecutors said Friday, citing home security video and the account of the boy.

Jeffery Zeigler, a retired Detroit firefighter, was arraigned Friday on charges including assault with intent to murder.

Oakland County sheriff’s deputies were called to Zeigler’s Rochester Hills’ home about 8:20 a.m. Thursday after a woman told 911 that her husband had chased a black male who tried to break in. Deputies learned that a shot had been fired and found Brennan Walker — unharmed — down the street.

Walker’s statement to police differed from that given by Zeigler, according to assistant prosecutor Kelly Collins.

“We do have the benefit of home security video,” Collins told the court Friday. He said Zeigler’s account was not borne out by the video.

1,000 bodies of militant fighters buried in Mosul mass grave

MOSUL, Iraq — Authorities in Mosul have buried more than 1,000 bodies in a mass grave in a desert valley outside the city, most of them believed to be Islamic State group militants, according to a provincial official. More remains are being dug out of the rubble of the district where the fighters made their final stand last year.

Hundreds more bodies are still strewn across or buried in Maydan district nine months after it was flattened in the final battles to retake Mosul, creating one of the grimmest scenes from a brutal war that was compared to the worst urban combat of World War II.

During a recent visit by The Associated Press, pieces of desiccated bodies, often in shreds of fighters’ uniforms, were visible scattered in the ruins, which are also laced with unexploded bombs and unused suicide belts. In one place, the crown of a skull stuck out of the dirt, brilliant white with a fringe of leathery scalp and hair. One man lay crushed under the wreck of a car, his legs sticking up in the air.

From Associated Press