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Teen hit by bus during Washington D.C. field trip dies

A North Carolina teen visiting the nation’s capitol on a middle school field trip died Thursday after he was hit by a bus March 9, according to officials. 

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Hunter Brown, 14, of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, was struck and trapped under a tour bus at around 6:50 p.m. near the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, according to the Wilkes Journal-Patriot.

Responders were able to jack up the bus and free Brown after about 10 minutes, according to WFMY. He was taken to Children’s National Medical Center where he was in critical condition. 

Brown was visiting Washington, D.C., on an eighth grade field trip with other students from Central Wilkes Middle School, according to WFMY

The incident is being investigated by the U.S. Park Police Traffic Safety Unit and Criminal Investigations

Man steals Jeep from dealership during test drive, police say

Authorities are looking for a man who stole a Jeep on Thursday from a dealership during a test drive, police said. 

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The suspect walked into Philly Auto dealership around 7 p.m. and expressed interest in a red Jeep Cherokee on the lot, according to WPVI

The man and a salesman went on a test drive. During the drive, the man started driving erratically and the salesman asked him to pull over, according to WPVI. The salesman started to switch seats with the man when the thief pulled out a gun and drove off, leaving the salesman on the side of the road. 

No shots were fired and there were no injuries. The man has not been seen since the incident.

Attorneys say convicted killer's IQ too low to be executed

Attorneys for an Orange County man who was convicted of first-degree murder and arson last year said their client's IQ might be too low for him to be executed.

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A jury in May 2017 convicted Juan Rosario of beating Elena Ortega, 83, and burning her alive in her home in 2013. Jurors unanimously decided that he should be sentenced to death.

Rosario's lawyers have spent almost a year trying to build up enough evidence to convince Circuit Judge Leticia Marques that he doesn't doesn't deserve to die. They'll make their case during a hearing scheduled for May.

"There's too much work that needs to be done, and we need to have additional experts appointed," attorney Ted Marrero said.

Marrero on Friday asked Marques for a six-month extension because he said he recently learned that Rosario has an IQ of 72.

"Tell them they need to soldier on and be ready," state attorney Brad King said. "And at the same time, tell them that we need our witness list by 5 o'clock today."

Prosecutors said one year was more than enough time for attorneys to figure out that Rosario might meet the legal definition of mental retardation.

"At some point, there has to be order," King said. "And the law has to apply to these cases, just like every other case."

Florida man armed with 20-inch knife tries to carjack sheriff citizen patrol car, deputies say

A man armed with a 20-inch knife tried to carjack a Flagler County Sheriff’s Citizen Observer Patrol (C.O.P.) vehicle while Cpl. Angela Camit was on patrol, authorities said.

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Camit said that after the failed carjacking attempt on Eric Drive in Palm Coast, the man, later identified as Stephen Goldberg, fled. Camit followed him and that’s when Goldberg, 32, ran toward her with the knife.

Investigators said deputies arrived and took Goldberg into custody without incident.

“Had he approached a sheriff’s deputy in this manner, it is likely that we would have had a different outcome,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said.

Staly said Goldberg is a “career repeat offender.”

“Our C.O.P.s are invaluable volunteers who serve and help protect this community alongside our deputies. We will not tolerate anyone threatening harm to them or anyone else. I hope the courts keep him locked up and he is sent back to prison where he belongs before he hurts someone,” Staly said.

Camit is a seasoned C.O.P. with several years of experience, and in light of the incident, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office will reevaluate the equipment issued to C.O.P.s for their protection.

Goldberg was arrested and charged with attempted armed carjacking, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and armed trespassing.

Deputies said Goldberg will be booked into the Flagler County Detention Facility without bail.

Controversial headstone company closes, says it plans to resolve orders

A grave marker company that was the focus of a police investigation and several consumer complaints, including one from a metro Atlanta woman, said it has permanently closed.

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The president of Wichman Monuments of Chattanooga said it plans to resolve as many unfilled orders as possible, according to the Times Free Press.

The 72-year-old business has hired a law firm to help it with the closure, and an attorney with the firm said plans are to contact each of Wichman’s customers.

A Paulding County woman, Pam Dean, said she paid more than $3,000 to Wichman Monuments for a headstone for her late husband’s grave. Though the check was cashed on Jan. 2, no monument was delivered.

“When I call the company, it goes to voicemail and a message that the voicemail is full,” Dean said.

Chattanooga police said they opened a fraud investigation into the company after receiving complaints.

The Better Business Bureau of Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia said it received a number of complaints “in the low 30s” about the company.

The company’s law firm said the closure was due to rising costs and losing some key workers to illness over the past month, the newspaper reported.

Cold snap expected to contribute to spike in manatee deaths

Florida is on pace to set an annual record for manatee deaths, according to officials with a nonprofit government watchdog group.

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Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility officials said the first two months of 2018 have been especially deadly for Florida manatees.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife statistics, through March 9, there have been 183 reported manatee deaths. Of those, 52 deaths are contributed to cold stress.Cold stress occurs in manatees as a result of exposure to prolonged cold weather.

Experts said exposure to water temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit for long periods can put a manatee at risk for cold-stress syndrome. It leads to weight loss, internal fat loss, dehydration and other issues.

Ron Mezich with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said young manatees are especially vulnerable to death from cold stress.

“It’s one of the factors that manatees typically have to deal with, and a lot of young animals tend to be more susceptible to cold winters when they’re out on their own for the first time,” Mezich said. 

A recent Florida-wide synoptic manatee survey found there are 6,131 manatees, which is down from 6,620 in 2017.

Escaped horses stop traffic on busy Atlanta highway

A prominent highway in DeKalb County had a different type of traffic problem Saturday morning.

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Horses were seen running along U.S. 78 East, with Triple Team Traffic tweeting that the highway was shut down past Montreal Road due to the incident.

Police were on the scene about 9 a.m. trying to contain the animals, and all lanes were back open about 30 minutes later, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Ranchers near U.S. 78 forgot to close a gate Friday night, DeKalb police spokesman Lonzy Robertson said.

Saturday morning, the horses ran onto U.S. 78 before they were “corralled” and taken back to the ranch, Robertson said.

No injuries to horses or people were reported.

Police K-9 bites girl, 4, while chasing suspect

A Shelby police dog chasing a man wanted on felony warrants bit a 4-year-old girl during the pursuit, officials said.

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The police chief told Channel 9 the suspect jumped on top of a car while trying to get away from the dog. 

At some point, the suspect opened the back door of the car and a girl inside was bitten. 

She was taken to the hospital to be checked out. The extent of her injuries is unknown.

After being denied marriage license, terminally ill woman, fiancé marry

Nearly a week after being denied a marriage license, a terminally ill woman and her fiancé have married. 

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Aubri Gillilan and husband Andrew Hendrickson wed at their home Friday afternoon

A relative officiated the wedding as their four children and other loved ones watched. 

A normally lethargic, Gillilan was giddy as she spoke the words she’d dreamed of saying: “I, Aubri, take you, Andrew, to be my husband.”

The couple was earlier denied a marriage license after they were repeatedly told they both needed to physically be present at the Fulton County South Annex to get their license.

Gillilan’s malignant melanoma prevented her from leaving her Fairburn home.

"I told them she was under hospice care, bedridden. She wasn't able to come," Hendrickson told Channel 2's Tom Jones earlier this week. 

The chances of getting married proved even more difficult after Fulton County Probate Judge Pinkie Toomer said it's difficult to send a worker to someone's home because of security issues. 

But Toomer eventually worked with the couple, sending a deputy and court clerk to their home to get the paperwork completed.

“There's no reason why we should have had to gone to this length to get married,” Gillilan said. 

Hendrickson said people in similar positions should be able to use Skype of Facetime for verification purposes. 

But, for now bride Gillilan is happy her wish came true: “It's great. We finally got married.”

Police: Explosive devices discovered in Florida man's pickup truck at Sonny's BBQ

A 46-year-old man was arrested Friday in Florida after explosive devices were discovered in his pickup truck in the parking lot of a Sonny's BBQ restaurant, police said.

Police were called to the restaurant and encountered Hargis Johnson, Clermont police Officer Erin Razo told WFTV.

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"In the bed of the truck were several 5-gallon buckets filled with bottles of gasoline," Razo said. "The bottles had rags sticking out of them."

The restaurant was evacuated and a highway was closed temporarily, police said.

"The Lake County Sheriff's Office bomb squad responded to the scene in reference to the multiple explosive devices located in the suspect vehicle," Razo said. "Officers also located a 'zip gun' inside the vehicle."

Investigators said the devices were deemed safe by the bomb squad and the roads were reopened, WFTV reported. No one was injured.

Razo said police don’t know what Johnson had planned.

Johnson was booked into the Lake County Jail on two counts of making/possessing a destructive device and one count of carrying a concealed firearm.

The incident remains under investigation.

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