News

Evansville house explosion victims died of trauma, asphyxia

Preliminary autopsy results for the three victims of a house explosion in a southern Indiana neighborhood show they died of blunt force trauma and compression asphyxia. The Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office said Monday that a married couple who lived at the center of the Wednesday explosion in Evansville, 43-year-old Charles Hite and 37-year-old Martina Hite, both died of blunt force trauma to their chests. It says 29-year-old neighbor Jessica Teague died of compression asphyxia. Chief Deputy Coroner David Anson says final autopsy reports and toxicology are pending. The explosion also injured a fourth person and damaged 39 homes, leaving 11 uninhabitable.

Medical investigator rules Baldwin set shooting an accident

New Mexico's Office of the Medical Investigator has determined that the fatal film-set shooting of a cinematographer by actor and producer Alec Baldwin last year was an accident. The office issued its determination after completing an autopsy of Halyna Hutchins and reviewing law enforcement reports. Some of those reports were made public Monday by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office. Prosecutors have not yet decided if any charges will be filed in the case. An FBI analysis of the revolver in Baldwin's hand during the Oct. 21 rehearsal suggested it was in working order at the time and would not have discharged unless the trigger had been pulled.

New climate deal spurs hopes of more carbon storage projects

A project in the country's top coal-producing area seeks to pump the carbon dioxide produced by burning that coal back underground. The project is one of dozens nationwide that stand to get a big boost from tax credits in the new climate bill plus a share of $2.5 billion in funding for carbon capture and storage in last year's infrastructure bill. It's also part of Wyoming's vision of becoming a center for carbon capture and storage. The work near the Dry Fork Station power plant outside Gillette so far involves drilling two injection wells nearly two miles underground. Proponents of carbon storage say the technology is straightforward but others are skeptical it can ever be done economically.

Doctor who sexually abused patients kills himself in jail

A once-prominent neurologist who was convicted last month of sexually abusing patients has killed himself at a New York City jail. Dr. Ricardo Cruciani was awaiting sentencing, and faced an upcoming federal trial alleging abuse spanning 15 years. He was found unresponsive Monday in a jail shower on Rikers Island, according to two people familiar with the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly. Cruciani's lawyer has called for an investigation into whether the jail complied with a court order to place him on suicide watch. Prosecutors said Cruciani groomed vulnerable patients by overprescribing painkillers.

Ex-NFL star Aqib Talib's brother turns self in after slaying

The brother of retired NFL cornerback Aqib Talib turned himself in to authorities Monday after being identified by police as the suspect in the shooting death of a coach at a youth football game in Texas. Police in the Dallas-area city of Lancaster say that Yaqub Salik Talib is suspected in the Saturday night shooting that killed Michael Hickmon. Yaqub Talib’s attorney told The Associated Press that his client “regrets the tragic loss of life but self-surrendered this morning so that he may have the chance to say his side of the story.” Yaqub Talib is the brother of Aqib Talib, who announced his retirement in 2020.

$100K reward offered in slaying of North Carolina deputy

A $100,000 reward is being offered in the case of a North Carolina sheriff’s deputy found fatally shot along a dark stretch of road last week. “Horrified” by a string of shootings that have injured and killed several deputies in the state in recent weeks, on Monday the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association announced the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the killing of Wake County Sheriff’s Deputy Ned Byrd. Authorities say they're trying to learn why Byrd stopped there. The sheriff's office says there’s still an active investigation that now includes the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Judge: Family can't sue Lebanon over dead man's captivity

A judge has denied a family’s attempt to sue Lebanon on allegations that the country’s security agency kidnapped and tortured their family member before he died in the U.S. The family’s lawsuit filed last year against Iran says Amer Fakhoury developed lymphoma and other serious medical issues while imprisoned during a visit to Lebanon. The family had sought to expand the lawsuit to also target Lebanon. Messages seeking comment were sent to lawyers on Monday. Fakhoury, a Lebanese American man, died in the United States in August 2020 at age 57 after suffering from stage 4 lymphoma.

R. Kelly timeline: Shining star to convicted sex trafficker

R. Kelly’s musical accomplishments have been accompanied by a long history of allegations that he sexually abused women and children. Now the R&B singer faces a trial in Chicago on charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice. The trial comes after he was sentenced in June in federal court in New York to three decades behind bars on sex trafficking charges. While Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has vehemently denied the allegations, his accusers testified that he subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage.

Dog, missing 2 months, found alive inside Missouri cave

Jeff Bohnert had all but given up on seeing his poodle-hound mix again after she went missing in early June. Two months later, he got a text from a neighbor: People exploring a nearby cave found a dog. Could it be Abby? Curious, Bohnert went to the cave site not far from his rural Missouri home, expecting to confirm it wasn’t Abby. Then he saw the picture one of the rescuers took. He said, “That's my dog.” Bohnert and rescuers believe the nearly 14-year-old dog lived mostly off of her own body fat while spending nearly 60 days inside the cave before her rescue on Aug. 6. She is now regaining weight and is wagging her tail again.

Kemp will hand out up to $1.2B in cash to poorer Georgians

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says he will spend up to $1.2 billion on payments of $350 apiece to poorer Georgians. More than 3 million people who were benefitting from Medicaid, subsidized child health insurance, food stamps or cash welfare assistance as of July 31 will get the money. A Kemp spokesperson said Monday that payments will start as early as September. The decision will put money in the hands of less affluent Georgians as November's election approaches. Democrat Stacey Abrams criticizes the decision as one of Kemp's "election-year vote buying schemes.” Kemp's challenger for governor says it's hypocritical for Kemp to tout federal spending that he has criticized.

WVa governor: Voters shouldn't decide abortion access issue

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has rejected a suggestion by Democrats to let voters decide whether abortion should continue to be allowed in the state. The Republican governor said Monday that he's confident the Legislature will pass a bill that he will sign. During a special session last month, the GOP-controlled Legislature couldn't agree on legislation criminalizing abortion. Democratic leaders then asked Justice and top Republican lawmakers to call the Legislature back to consider a resolution to let voters decide on a constitutional amendment for “reproductive freedom.” Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin says abortion is an important issue that needs to be resolved sooner than later.