National News

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tests positive for COVID-19

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has tested positive for COVID-19. The Democratic governor said in a statement that she tested positive for the virus Monday evening and is experiencing mild symptoms. Whitmer said she plans to follow proper guidance and protocols, while maintaining a remote schedule. She said all of her close contacts from Monday will be notified. Whitmer said she is grateful for the support of her family and staff, as well as the vaccine for “offering robust protection against the virus.” Whitmer said she is fully vaccinated and has received two booster shots. She encouraged fellow Michiganders to get vaccinated and boosted.

'I didn't really learn anything': COVID grads face college

After the disruption of online learning, first-year college students are arriving arrive on U.S. campuses unprepared for the demands of college-level work, experts say. Colleges from New Jersey to California have expanded summer bridge programs aiming to get students up to speed in math and English before they arrive this fall. Experts say it's clear remote instruction caused learning setbacks, most sharply among Black and Hispanic students. The stakes are high: Research shows that students who start college a step behind are less likely to graduate.

Driver in LA crash that killed 5 charged with murder

The driver suspected of causing a fiery crash that killed five people, including a pregnant woman, near Los Angeles has been charged with murder. Nicole Lorraine Linton of Texas also was charged Monday with vehicular manslaughter and was ordered held without bail. She didn't enter a plea Monday at her first court appearance.  Prosecutors say her Mercedes-Benz was doing 90 mph last Thursday when it plowed into cars in an intersection in Windsor Hills, setting several on fire. A pregnant mother, her unborn child, 11-month-old son and boyfriend all died in one car. If convicted of all charges, Linton could face up to 90 years to life in prison.

Muslim communities fearful after 4 killings in Albuquerque

The killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico, are sending fear through Muslim communities across the U.S. First was the death of a Muslim man from Afghanistan late last year. Then came two more slayings in the last two weeks — men from Pakistan who attended the same mosque. Those deaths were followed Friday by the city’s fourth homicide of a Muslim man in nine months. Now police are racing to find the killer or killers responsible. Authorities on Monday identified the latest victim as they sought help searching for a vehicle believed to be connected to the attacks.

Motown stars celebrate completion of museum expansion phases

Motown legends Smokey Robinson, Otis Williams and Martha Reeves were among those who celebrated the completion of the first two phases of the Motown Museum's expansion. The event took place Monday night in front of the famed “Hitsville, U.S.A.” building in Detroit. They celebrated the grand opening of Hitsville NEXT, an educational programming and creative hub, and the newly established Rocket Plaza that will serve as a community gathering place for museum visitors. Motown founder Berry Gordy's late sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, founded the museum in the former Hitsville headquarters in 1985. The museum on Sunday will welcome back visitors for tours following pandemic- and construction-related closures.

Southwest attendant suffers broken back in hard landing

A Southwest Airlines flight attendant suffered a compression fracture in her back during a hard landing last month in California. Federal safety investigators say the jolt was so strong that the flight attendant thought the plane had crashed. The National Transportation Safety Board completed its investigation without saying what caused the hard larding. The safety board says none of the other 141 people on board were injured in the incident, which happened July 1 at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California. The airport has a relatively short runway. The safety board has not made its documents from the investigation public.

Study connects climate hazards to 58% of infectious diseases

A new study finds climate hazards aggravate more than half of the known diseases that infect people. The study published Monday shows how widespread the influence of extreme weather such as flooding, heat waves and drought is in sickening people. The study looked at 10 types of extreme weather connected to climate change then mapped their paths to sick people. In some cases, heavy rains sickened people through disease-carrying mosquitos, rats and deer, and warming oceans and heat waves tainted food sources. The study didn't do the calculations to formally attribute the diseases to climate change. But several scientists call it a terrifying illustration of climate change's effect on human health.

Trump's pick overtakes GOP House member who voted to impeach

Republican Joe Kent has taken the lead over incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in the race for the second spot in Washington state’s top two primary. Because Washington is a vote-by-mail state and ballots just need to be in by Election Day, it often takes days to learn final results in close races as ballots arrive at county election offices over several days. Under the state's primary system, all candidates run on the same ballot, and the top two vote getters in each of Tuesday’s races advance to the November election, regardless of party. Herrera Beutler drew the interparty challenge over her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, and Kent was backed by Trump.

Death Valley route buried in floods closed for another week

Authorities say a main roadway into Death Valley National Park will remain closed into next week as crews clean up after record-breaking rains damaged the roadway and choked it with mud, rocks and debris. The California Department of Transportation says about 10 miles of State Route 190 remain to be cleared and patched up. Flash flooding in the park last week trapped hundreds of hotel guests and partially buried about 60 cars and trucks in mud. No injuries were reported. More flash flooding on Monday also closed a 5-mile stretch of road in Joshua Tree National Park and prompted evacuation of the southern portion of that park.

Cambodian ambassador: Looted artworks are 'souls' of culture

Cambodia’s ambassador to the United States says the return of 30 antiquities to his country by U.S. law enforcement is like a returning of the souls of Cambodia's culture. Ambassador Keo Chhea praised the cooperation between the U.S. and Cambodia to enable the return of the antiquities. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Monday some of the sandstone and bronze sculptures and artifacts were given up by their owners when U.S. authorities told them they were stolen. Others were claimed through court actions. The artifacts date from the Bronze Age to the 12th century. They were looted during civil war and instability in Cambodia, which was ruled by the brutal Khmer Rouge in the 1970s.

Gabby Petito's family files claim alleging police failed her

Gabby Petito’s family has notified Utah officials that they plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit alleging police failed to recognize she was in a life-threatening situation last year when they investigated a fight between her and her boyfriend. The fight happened weeks before authorities say he killed her while the two were on a cross-country van trip. The notice of claim says police in the Utah tourist town of Moab missed signs Petito was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of Brian Laundrie in August 2021. Moab officials declined comment about the notice of claim, saying the city does not comment on pending litigation.

Father, son get life for hate crime in Ahmaud Arbery’s death

The white father and son convicted of murder in Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting after they chased the 25-year-old Black man through a Georgia neighborhood have been sentenced to life in prison for committing a federal hate crime. A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Travis McMichael and his father Greg McMichael on Monday in Brunswick. Both were previously sentenced to life without parole in a state court for Arbery’s murder. The McMichaels armed themselves with guns and used a pickup truck to chase Arbery after he ran past their home on Feb. 23, 2020. Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, who recorded cellphone video of the slaying, was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Bert Fields, legendary lawyer to A-list clients, dies at 93

Bert Fields, an A-list Hollywood attorney whose clients included Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson, George Lucas and the Beatles, has died at age 93. Fields' law firm announced that he died Sunday at his home in Malibu, California. Fields' famous cases include a $250 million settlement from the Walt Disney Company for former executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and a multi-million dollar judgment for Beatle George Harrison against his former business manager. Fields' clients were often his close friends. Cruise called him “an extraordinary human being.” He was also a colorful character known for his luxury tastes and skills as a scholar and storyteller.

Ezra Miller charged with felony burglary in Vermont

Actor Ezra Miller has been charged with felony burglary in Vermont, the latest in a string of incidents involving the embattled star of “The Flash.” Vermont State Police said in a report Monday that they responded to a burglary complaint in Stamford on May 1. Police found that several bottles of alcohol were taken from a residence while the homeowners weren’t present. Police charged Miller after consulting surveillance footage and interviewing witnesses. Police said they located Miller shortly before midnight on Saturday and issued a citation to appear in Vermont Superior Court on Sept. 26 for arraignment.