Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Wake-Up Call: Nashville School Shooting Leaves Six Dead

A heavily armed shooter opened fire inside a private Christian school in Nashville, Tenn., killing six people before being killed by responding police, authorities said. 

Police identified the 28-year-old suspect as Audrey Hale of Nashville, who killed three students and three adults at Covenant School in the Green Hills neighborhood on Monday morning, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said.

Police said Monday evening that the suspect identified as transgender and was a former student at the school. Investigators found a statement written by the suspect associated with the case but haven’t determined a motive, said Nashville Police Chief John Drake. He said the suspect may have resented having to attend the Christian school. Drake said police also found detailed maps of the school at the suspect’s home. The suspect gained entry to the school by shooting through one of the school’s doors. “We have a map drawn out of how this was all going to take place,” said Mr. Drake.

 The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all age 9; Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61, police posted on Twitter.

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Hallie Scruggs, red circled left with her parents and brothers, was one of three nine year-olds shot dead by a transgender shooter at Covenant School in Nashville on Monday, The other youngsters killed are Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney. Three adults also died, including head of school Katherine Koonce. Custodian Mike Hill died too, as did 61 year-old Cynthia Peake. 

➤RUSSIAN PRESENCE IS 'RADIATION BLACKMAIL': Zelenskiy accuses Russia of holding Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant 'hostage'. Ukraine's president said Russian troops were holding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant "hostage" and its safety could not be guaranteed until they left it, while his forces shut the frontline town of Avdiivka as they planned their next move. Russian troops have occupied the nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, since the early weeks of the invasion of Ukraine and have shown no inclination to relinquish control. "Holding a nuclear power station hostage for more than a year - this is surely the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of European or world-wide nuclear power," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address. He decried the Russian presence as "radiation blackmail".

➤CHINA SAYS TIK TOK CONCERNS UNFOUNDED: The U.S. has made a presumption of guilt against TikTok without presenting any evidence that threatens its national security, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday regarding the TikTok bill. "U.S. should respect fair competition, and stop suppressing foreign companies," Mao said, while answering a question about U.S. lawmakers pushing forward with the bill, which is designed to address national security worries relating to the popular video app.

➤HUSH-MONEY GRAND JURY MEETS: The grand jury in the hush-money case against Donald Trump heard more testimony from the National Enquirer's former publisher, according to a person familiar with the matter. David Pecker was among the earliest witnesses in the grand jury probe. The panel is expected to reconvene Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter. Facing a potential indictment, the former president has increased his rhetorical attacks on prosecutors. At a Texas rally on Saturday, Trump denounced the “weaponization” of the justice system and alleged that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office was pursuing the case as a result of pressure from Washington. At issue is whether Trump falsified business records to hide a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, made before the 2016 election. Pecker had discussed how that year Trump’s then lawyer asked publisher American Media to buy the rights to Daniels’ story to keep her from telling it elsewhere, the person said.

➤SEN. RAND PAUL'S STAFF MEMBER STABBED IN D.C., TREATED FOR LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES: One of Sen. Rand Paul's staff members was stabbed in Northeast Washington, D.C. on Saturday afternoon and treated for life-threatening injuries. Metropolitan Police Department on Monday arrested Glynn Neal, 42, in connection with the incident that occurred over the weekend in the 1300 block of H Street. Police charged Neal with Assault with Intent to Kill (Knife). Federal prison records show Neal was released from prison Friday, the day before the attack. Police officers were dispatched to the scene at 5:17 p.m. Saturday, when they found the stabbing victim and took the staffer to a local hospital for treatment.

➤UNREST IN FRANCE: French unions are holding a new day of nationwide strikes Tuesday to try to force President Emmanuel Macron to reverse his decision to push through unpopular pension reforms. As concerns grow over mounting violence, labor organizations have blamed the government for creating an explosive situation. Protests on Thursday ended in chaos, with hardcore fringes clashing with riot police. Further scuffles have taken place in the days since. The backlash against raising the minimum retirement age by two years to 64 has escalated since Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on March 16 that Article 49.3 of the constitution would be used to avoid a vote on the bill in the National Assembly. Since then, there have been 114 acts of vandalism on the local offices of members of parliament, 128 cases of damage to public buildings and 2,179 arson attacks, while almost 900 police officers have been injured, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

1.7 TONS OF BONELESS BEEF CHUCK RECALLED IN 9 STATES DUE TO E. COLI DETECTION: Routine testing revealed the presence of E. coli in a sample of ground beef from more than a ton of boneless beef chuck product from Elkhorn Valley Packing, a Kansas-based meat packer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday. The USDA said the packer was voluntarily recalling the product, which totaled 3,436 pounds and was packed on Feb. 16 on shipped to distributors, retailers, restaurants, hotels, and other establishments in nine states: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania. 

➤WISCONSIN SCHOOL BANS MILEY, DOLLY DUET FROM CLASS CONCERT: Wisconsin educators have banned a first-grade class from performing a Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus duet called “Rainbowland” from the concert roster. The song sings about digging “down deep inside,” to “brush the judgement and fear aside,” and the ban comes after the school superintendent prohibited rainbows or pride flags from being displayed in classrooms along with dismantling the district’s equity and diversity work in 2021.

🏈QB LAMAR JACKSON SAYS HE HAS REQUESTED TRADE FROM RAVENS: Lamar Jackson unleashed his latest surprise in his ongoing contract saga with the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, announcing out that he requested a trade from the team just as coach John Harbaugh sat down to speak to reporters at the NFL's annual league meeting. Jackson, who represents himself, tweeted that he requested the trade on March 2 as the team "has not been interested in meeting my value" in contract talks.

🏌MIKE TROUT, TIGER WOODS TEAM UP TO BUILD GOLF COURSE IN NEW JERSEY: Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout and 15-time major champion Tiger Woods are teaming up to build a new private golf club in southern New Jersey, the pair announced Monday. Trout National-The Reserve will feature an 18-hole course that will be designed by Woods and his firm, TGR Design. The club will be built in Trout's birthplace of Vineland, New Jersey, which is about 40 miles south of Philadelphia. Construction is scheduled to begin this year. They hope the club will be open to members in 2025.

⚾METS DESIGNATE STRUGGLING DARIN RUF FOR ASSIGNMENT: The New York Mets designated first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf for assignment on Monday, ending his short tenure with the team. In a corresponding move, the Mets added right-hander Tommy Hunter to the 26-man roster. The Mets acquired Ruf at the trade deadline last summer from the San Francisco Giants for infielder J.D. Davis, left-hander Thomas Szapucki and two pitching prospects in hopes of a productive right-handed bat. Instead, he hit .152 with no home runs, seven RBIs and a slugging percentage of .197. This spring, Ruf batted .167 in 11 games, driving in one run.

🏀FORMER UNC AND NBA BIG MAN ERIC MONTROSS HAS CANCER: The family of former North Carolina and NBA big man Eric Montross says he has begun treatment for cancer. Montross' family issued a statement through the school on Saturday announcing the 51-year-old's diagnosis, though it didn't specify the nature of the cancer. Montross is a radio analyst for UNC game broadcasts and works for the Rams Club, the fundraising arm of UNC's athletic department.

RED SOX DEMOTE BOBBY DALBEC, JORGE ALFARO AS YU CHANG GETS ROSTER SPOT: The Boston Red Sox optioned infielder Bobby Dalbec and catcher Jorge Alfaro to Triple-A Worcester on Monday. Yu Chang beat out Dalbec for the final infield spot, and Connor Wong will serve as the primary backup to starting catcher Reese McGuire. Dalbec, 27, batted .215 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs in 2022, playing first base and third base. He hit .235 in 18 spring training games, with two home runs, two triples and four doubles.

  • Los Angeles Clippers 124 Chicago Bulls 112
  • Milwaukee Bucks 126 Detroit Pistons 117
  • Dallas Mavericks 127 Indiana Pacers 104
  • New York Knicks 137 Houston Rockets 115
  • Phoenix Suns 117 Utah Jazz 103
  • Denver Nuggest 116 Philadelphia 76ers 111
  • New Orleans Pelicans 124 Portland Trail Blazers 90
  • Minnesota Timberwolves 119 Sacramento Kings 115 

MORE STORMS EXPECTED IN U-S SOUTH: Flooding rain, thunderstorms and possibly more tornadoes continued to threaten the US South Monday after a weekend that saw a deadly outbreak of storms in Mississippi. Worst storms will likely arrive later this week. A slight chance of severe thunderstorms, which can spawn tornadoes, damaging winds and hail, is possible Monday across Alabama, northern Florida and Georgia, the US Storm Prediction Center said. 

A storm set to strike California with flooding rains Tuesday is expected to sweep across the US, raising a severe risk of thunderstorms and tornadoes from Texas and Oklahoma across Arkansas and into the Midwest Thursday and Friday.  “That is going to be the big severe weather day we’re expecting,” said Carl Erickson, a meteorologist with commercial forecaster AccuWeather Inc.  

On Friday, at least 25 people died in Mississippi when tornadoes ripped across the state, according to the state’s Emergency Management Agency.  At this time of year warm air from the south clashes with lingering colder air in the north to fuel ferocious storms. Mississippi’s outbreak was made worse because the warm water off the Gulf of Mexico helped fuel the danger, Erickson said. 

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