NEW YORK (AP) – Take a seat, “Thor.” Scattered plans among Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas to host women-only screenings of the upcoming “Wonder Woman” movie have produced both support and some grumbling about gender discrimination. Various locations have taken to social media in response, including the operators of the Brooklyn theater promising on Twitter to funnel proceeds from women-only screenings in early June to Planned Parenthood. And by women only, they mean staff, too.… Read More
ATHENS, Ala. (AP) – A Texas company is suing an Alabama school system over an educational program for young prisoners. Grade Results maintains the Athens Board of Education owes it more than $2 million for nearly 500 students in an online educational program for incarcerated youths. The Decatur Daily reports that the school system denies allegations in the federal lawsuit. Grade Results provides online educational programs. The system says it hired the company last year to provide education in county lockups. The school system says it wasn’t satisfied with Grade Results, which met with sheriff’s officials from around the state. The company says the school system is refusing to pay a fee of $4,300 for each of 489 students registered in virtual programs. The lawsuit says the system also owes it another $80,000.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A 43-year-old Texas man has died following the crash of an ultralight aircraft in far eastern Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says Richard Biggerstaff Jr. of Midland, Texas, was killed in Friday’s crash in Leflore County. Troopers say the crash occurred at about 7:42 p.m. near Arkoma along Oklahoma’s eastern border with Arkansas. The patrol says a witness who had observed the aircraft for about 25 minutes prior to the crash told investigators the ultralight was flying in a steep banked spiral when it entered a fast downward spiral and collided with the ground. Troopers say the impact resulted in a small explosion. Biggerstaff was pronounced dead at the scene. The patrol says the sky was clear at the time of the crash. Troopers say its cause is under investigation.
WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) – Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says this week’s terror attack in Manchester, England, underscores the need for institutions like the U.S. Military Academy. Mattis told the 950 graduating cadets at West Point on Saturday that they are joining the ranks of those whose mission is to protect the innocent from terror. He says they must never permit perpetrators of terror to define “our sense of normal.” Twenty-two people were killed in a bombing at a concert hall in Manchester on Monday. The retired four-star Marine general became defense secretary Jan. 20, hours after Republican President Donald Trump was sworn in. Three brothers are among the cadets. Noah, Sumner and Cole Ogrydziak, of Nederland, Texas, entered the academy in 2013. The last time three siblings graduated together was 1985.
DALLAS (AP) – Officials for the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System say failed land-development deals in Idaho and Colorado have cost the pension fund nearly $100 million. The deals account for a significant portion of the half-billion-dollar losses the fund has endured in recent years because of bad bets on real estate and private equity. The fund has spent $25 million just in fees to advisers and managers of the land deals. Earlier fund managers intended to build sprawling housing developments but the plans were ruined when the housing bubble burst. The Dallas Morning News reports the ventures are examples of the risky investment strategies that led the pension to the brink of insolvency. The Texas Legislature has agreed on a fix that will cut benefits and require city taxpayers to pay millions more to ensure solvency.
AUSTIN (AP) – A newspaper review of people in Texas who have died in police custody since 2005 reveals that a common cause of death is something called excited delirium. The review by the Austin American-Statesman shows that of the 289 nonshooting deaths since that year, more than 1 in 6 have been attributed to excited delirium, which features high levels of adrenaline. In many cases, people died after violent, extended struggles with police. Fourteen were shocked by Tasers before they died. Critics say a finding of excited delirium obscures police actions that may have contributed to a person’s death. Law enforcement and emergency responders say it’s a real syndrome that requires decisive action and quick medical treatment. Minority men are disproportionately represented among those who die by excited delirium in police custody.
AUSTIN (AP) – Texas lawmakers have voted to allow handgun permit holders to have guns in their parked cars outside schools. The Senate gave final approval to the measure Saturday, sending it to Gov. Greg Abbott for his consideration. The vote came a day after Abbott signed into law a sharp decrease in fees paid to obtain a handgun license. The bill allowing guns in parked cars at schools is aimed at teachers and school workers who want to keep their weapons in their vehicles without violating state law. Opponents worry it raises the potential for danger if a car is burglarized on school property.
AUSTIN (AP) – Texas will beef up security for judges under a bill signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott after an Austin judge was wounded but survived an alleged assassination attempt. The bill requires the state to set up a special judicial security division and allows personal security for state judges who have been threatened or attacked. Court security officers will get special training and the law restricts release of personal information of current and former judges. The bill signing was attended by State District Judge Julie Kocurek, who was wounded by a gunman in an ambush outside her home in 2015. After a long hospital stay and multiple surgeries, she has returned to the bench. Three men have been indicted in the attack.