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NTSB: 13-year-old drove pickup in Texas crash that killed 9

HOBBS, N.M. — The investigation into this week’s fiery head-on crash in West Texas now focuses on the revelation that a 13-year-old was driving the pickup truck that struck a van, killing nine people, including six members of a college golf team and their coach.The young teen, who is still unidentified, and a man traveling in the truck also died.National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg on Thursday revealed the truck was driven by the child. He said the truck’s left front tire, which was a spare tire, blew out before impact.The pickup truck crossed into the opposite lane on the darkened, two-lane highway before colliding head-on with the van. Both vehicles burst into flames.Although it was unclear how fast the two vehicles were traveling, “this was clearly a high-speed collision,” Landsberg said.Landsberg said investigators hoped to retrieve enough information from the vehicle’s recorders, if they survived, to understand what happened. He said many in the van were not wearing seatbelts and at least one was ejected from the vehicle.It’s not unusual for young teens to drive in that region and other more rural parts of the United States.But “that was dumb” for a 13-year-old to be driving on a busy two-lane roadway used by oil traffic, said Gib Stevens, who leads area trucking operations for an oilfield servicing company.One must be 14 in Texas to start taking classroom courses for a learner’s license and 15 to receive that provisional license to drive with an instructor or licensed adult in the vehicle.Department of Public Safety Sgt. Victor Taylor said a 13-year-old driving would be breaking the law.The University of the Southwest students, including one from Portugal and one from Mexico, and the coach were returning from a golf tournament when the vehicles collided Tuesday night. Two Canadian students were hospitalized in critical condition.The NTSB sent an investigative team to the crash site in Texas’ Andrews County, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of the New Mexico state line.University of the Southwest spokeswoman Maria Duarte declined to comment on the NTSB’s announcement about the young driver, citing the ongoing investigation. The private Christian college is located in Hobbs, New Mexico, near the Texas state line.The golf teams were traveling in a 2017 Ford Transit van that was towing a box trailer when it collided with the 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup, according to NTSB spokesperson Eric Weiss.The speed limit at the crash site is 75 mph (120 kph), he said.The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the deceased as: Golf coach Tyler James, 26, of Hobbs, New Mexico; and players Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico; Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado; Karisa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas; Laci Stone, 18, of Nocona, Texas; and Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal.Also killed were Henrich Siemens, 38, of Seminole County, Texas, and the 13-year-old boy who were truck.Critically injured aboard the van were Canadian students Dayton Price, 19, of Mississauga, Ontario, and Hayden Underhill, 20, of Amherstview, Ontario. Both were taken by helicopter to the University Medical Center in Lubbock, about 110 miles (180 kilometers) to the northeast.“They are both stable and recovering, and every day making more and more progress,” University of the Southwest Provost Ryan Tipton said Thursday.“One of the students is eating chicken soup,” said Tipton, calling their recovery “a game of inches.”Tipton said University President Quint Thurman visited the students’ parents at the hospital, illustrating the close community at the college with only about 350 on-campus students.“Hockey was a big part of life for a while, but his true passion is golf,” said Underhill’s brother Drew Underhill.The Mexican Federation of Golf posted an online note of condolence to the loved ones of Mauricio Sanchez.Sousa was from Portugal’s southern coast, where he graduated from high school last summer before heading to college in the U.S., said Renata Afonso, head of the Escola Secundária de Loulé.A memorial was set up Wednesday at the golf course near campus where the team practices, with flowers, golf balls and a handmade sign.About 150 people turned out Thursday evening to remember Jackson Zinn at Texas Roadhouse, a restaurant where he worked and met his girlfriend of five months.“We met here exactly at this table,” said Maddy Russell, 20, of Hobbs. “He was my heart.”The mourners released around 100 blue and orange balloons into the cold whipping wind of eastern New Mexico, which soon disappeared into the horizon.The university said on Twitter that counseling and religious services was available on campus.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expressed sympathy.The teams had been taking part in a golf tournament at Midland College, about 315 miles (505 kilometers) west of Dallas.———Bleed reported from Little Rock, Arkansas, and Snow reported from Phoenix. Associated Press writers Jake Bleiberg and Jamie Stengle in Dallas, Rob Gillies in Toronto and Barry Hatton in Lisbon contributed to this report.———Attanasio is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues. Follow Attanasio on Twitter.

Police: Student, 12, arrested after bringing gun to school

Authorities say a 12-year-old boy has been arrested after he showed off a handgun in his backpack to classmates and it fired into a table at a Southern California middle schoolByThe Associated PressMarch 17, 2022, 11:18 PM• 1 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleRIVERSIDE, Calif. — A 12-year-old boy was arrested Wednesday after he showed off a handgun in his backpack to classmates and it fired into a table at a Southern California middle school, authorities said. No one was hurt.The student, whose name was not released, was booked into a juvenile detention facility on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm within an occupied building and possession of a firearm on a school campus, according to the Riverside Police Department.The student was attending an afterschool program around 5 p.m. at the Loma Vista Middle School in Riverside, police said.“As he reached into the backpack, the gun fired and struck the table then the ground,” the police department said in a news release.The school campus went into lockdown and students were evacuated to a safe location. Police found the loaded gun and staff members pointed out the student.Officers found other guns at the student’s house and seized them, police said. Counselors were on campus the next day.The city of Riverside is about 50 miles (80.47 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

Today in History

Today in HistoryToday is Friday, March 18, the 77th day of 2022. There are 288 days left in the year.Today’s Highlight in History:On March 18, 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass, where the Italian dictator agreed to join Germany’s war against France and Britain.On this date:In 1766, Britain repealed the Stamp Act of 1765.In 1922, Mohandas K. Gandhi was sentenced in India to six years’ imprisonment for civil disobedience. (He was released after serving two years.)In 1925, the Tri-State Tornado struck southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois and southwestern Indiana, resulting in some 700 deaths.In 1937, in America’s worst school disaster, nearly 300 people, most of them children, were killed in a natural gas explosion at the New London Consolidated School in Rusk County, Texas.In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order authorizing the War Relocation Authority, which was put in charge of interning Japanese-Americans, with Milton S. Eisenhower (the younger brother of Dwight D. Eisenhower) as its director.In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gideon v. Wainwright, ruled unanimously that state courts were required to provide legal counsel to criminal defendants who could not afford to hire an attorney on their own.In 1965, the first spacewalk took place as Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov went outside his Voskhod 2 capsule, secured by a tether.In 1974, most of the Arab oil-producing nations ended their 5-month-old embargo against the United States that had been sparked by American support for Israel in the Yom Kippur War.In 2002, Brittanie Cecil died two days short of her 14th birthday after being hit in the head by a puck at a game between the host Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames; it was apparently the first such fan fatality in NHL history.In 2016, police in Brussels captured Europe’s most wanted fugitive, Salah Abdeslam, who was the prime suspect in the deadly 2015 Paris attacks.In 2018, Vladimir Putin rolled to a crushing reelection victory for six more years as Russia’s president.In 2020, the U.S. and Canada agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel.Ten years ago: Mitt Romney scored an overwhelming win in Puerto Rico’s Republican presidential primary, trouncing chief rival Rick Santorum.Five years ago: Chuck Berry, rock ’n’ roll’s founding guitar hero and storyteller who defined the music’s joy and rebellion in such classics as “Johnny B. Goode,” “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” died at his home west of St. Louis at age 90.One year ago: The European Union’s drug regulatory agency said that the AstraZeneca vaccine was not linked to an overall increase in the risk of blood clots and that the benefits of use outweighed the risks, paving the way for European countries to resume administering the shots. The Senate confirmed veteran diplomat William Burns as director of the CIA and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as President Joe Biden’s health secretary. The NBA said it was easing some of its health and safety protocols for individuals who were fully vaccinated.Today’s Birthdays: Composer John Kander is 95. Actor Brad Dourif is 72. Jazz musician Bill Frisell is 71. Singer Irene Cara is 63. Alt-country musician Karen Grotberg (The Jayhawks) is 63. Movie writer-director Luc Besson is 63. Actor Geoffrey Owens is 61. Actor Thomas Ian Griffith is 60. Singer-songwriter James McMurtry is 60. TV personality Mike Rowe is 60. Singer-actor Vanessa L. Williams is 59. Olympic gold medal speedskater Bonnie Blair is 58. Actor David Cubitt is 57. Rock musician Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) is 56. Rock singer-musician Miki Berenyi (ber-EN’-ee) is 55. Actor Michael Bergin is 53. Rapper-actor-talk show host Queen Latifah is 52. Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (ryns PREE’-bus) is 50. Actor-comedian Dane Cook is 50. Country singer Philip Sweet (Little Big Town) is 48. Rock musician Stuart Zender is 48. Singers Evan and Jaron Lowenstein are 48. Actor-singer-dancer Sutton Foster is 47. Rock singer Adam Levine (Maroon 5) is 43. Rock musician Daren Taylor (Airborne Toxic Event) is 42. Olympic gold medal figure skater Alexei Yagudin is 42. Actor Adam Pally is 40. Actor Cornelius Smith Jr. is 40. Actor Duane Henry (TV: “NCIS”) is 37. Actor Lily Collins is 33. Actor-dancer Julia Goldani Telles is 27. Actor Ciara Bravo is 25. Actor Blake Garrett Rosenthal is 18.

Experts lay out a strategy for U.S. energy independence amid Ukraine war

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated that energy independence is vital for national security, experts say, as European nations rely on Russian oil, a dependency that undermines the impact of the sanctions against the aggressor nation.Although the U.S. relied much less on Russian oil (before President Biden nixed imports), America seems unable to replace Russia’s role in Europe, which weakens its ability to help allies squeeze Russia. Energy experts emphasized the importance of U.S. energy independence and laid out a strategy to achieve it in comments to Fox News Digital.RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE: LIVE UPDATES”America’s economic sanctions are limited by those of its allies (Europe, India and others) who are hooked on Russian gas,” Steve Milloy, a former Trump-Pence EPA transition member and founder of JunkScience.com, told Fox News Digital. “This dependence is unnecessary as Europe, for example, has plenty of coal and natural gas – Europe has the same fracking potential as the US – as well as nuclear power.”
Vladimir President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine only eight months after TIME magazine billed President Biden as ready to take on the Russian leader. 
(Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)Milloy warned that “the green agenda – anti-fossil fuels and anti-nuclear – made Europe dependent on Putin. Worse, it empowered him and financed the Ukraine invasion.””America itself has essentially an unlimited supply of energy – a basic requirement for a robust economy and national security – and so could and should be insulated from those who would use energy as geopolitical weapon,” he argued.Joel Griffith, a financial regulations research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, noted that in 2021, the U.S. became a net exporter of petroleum products for the first time since 1949, a result of “pro-energy policies implemented despite opposition from the political Left.” HOUSE DEMS BLOCK ENERGY INDEPENDENCE BILL; GOP ENERGY EXPERT SLAMS MOVE AS ‘UNCONSCIONABLE’”Thanks to this newfound independence, our nation’s energy exports are helping to mitigate the danger posed by the dependency of European allies on Russian energy supplies,” Griffith noted.Yet Europe’s dependence on Russia may be a cautionary tale for the U.S., he warned.”European dependency on energy from Russia is self-imposed, as leaders across the European Union shutter nuclear power plants, impose renewable energy mandates, and attempt to effectively ban some forms of fossil fuel production,” Griffith noted. 
Steve Milloy
(Steve Milloy)He attributed surging oil and gas prices to the reverberations of the COVID-19 shutdowns, but also to President Biden’s policies. “The Biden Administration has proposed or finalized regulations that restrict nearly every aspect of conventional energy: financing and private-sector investment, exploration and production, pipeline construction and operation, and consumer use.””The administration is committing the US to energy policies like Europe did years ago and which have left them paying even higher prices and with few alternatives to Russian oil, putting him in direct conflict with the well-being of Americans,” Griffith warned. “President Biden needs to embrace energy freedom and unleash the American energy sector—for the benefit of America and of the world.”How should America pursue energy independence? Greg Wrightstone, executive director of The CO2 Coalition, laid out a six-step plan.
Oil rigs (iStock)
(iStock)”With respect to domestic energy development, the best thing government could do is get out of the way and allow American energy to blossom,” Wrightstone told Fox News Digital. “The renewal of American energy independence is achievable by freeing up the American energy sector to do what they do best: produce.”He recommended six concrete steps:Greenlight the completion of pipelines including the Keystone XL pipeline that would bring more than 800,000 barrels per day into the United States.Rein in the EPA’s overregulation of the fossil fuel industry.Repeal the ban on leasing of federal lands, including the Gulf of Mexico that provides 10% of American oil production.Approve development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Approve development of the National Petroleum Reserve.Employ the Defense Production Act to complete stalled pipelines, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia and Virginia.UKRAINE WAR HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, ENERGY EXPERTS RUNNING FOR CONGRESS WARNMilloy also emphasized unleashing American energy from burdensome regulations.”US energy resources are essentially infinite – from coal to oil/gas to nuclear to hydro to wind/solar, etc. (‘all of the above’),” he argued. “But activists use every tool in the book to stop every sort of energy related development – through junk science, fearmongering, overregulation, lawsuits, protests and more.”He noted that green technologies require rare earth minerals (minerals that are abundant on Earth’s crust but require extensive extraction), a market China dominates. The U.S. was “self-sufficient” in rare earths, and even produced over half the global supply of them until the 1980s, but between 2014 and 2017, the U.S. imported 80 percent of its supply from China.
Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin
(Getty Images)”No one knows what the actual US potential is because it is difficult to mine them here because of regulation and opposition,” Milloy noted. Milloy also argued that America’s extensive permitting process” and “enforced environmental regulation” would make U.S. mining for rare earth minerals “much cleaner than China” – and the process would not involve any “child slave labor” as mines in Congo allegedly use.Democrats and environmental advocates have claimed that higher gas prices represent an opportunity for Americans to transition to alternative fuel sources such as wind and solar. They have repeatedly warned that the continued use of fossil fuels will exacerbate climate change.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”We know that the majority of people in the U.S. want to see the government take action on climate and invest in clean energy technology,” Matthew Davis, League of Conservation Voters’ senior director of government affairs, told Fox News Digital.President Biden has blamed high gas prices on Putin’s invasion and on gas companies, claims which industry leaders have contested.

Two dead in DC less than 24 hours apart, one suspect arrested: police

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Police are investigating a shooting incident in Washington, D.C., that resulted in the death of at least one victim Thursday evening, the D.C. police said.The Metropolitan Police Department subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Jarrell David Harris, 27, who allegedly killed the victim in front of two children, WUSA reported. The incident took place on Chesapeake Street, Southwest. DC CRIME WAVE CONTINUES: AT LEAST 1 INJURED IN SHOOTING AFTER RESIDENTS HEAR 30 SHOTS RING OUT, POLICE SAYAcross the city, police are investigating another incident after a man was found dead in a pond outside the U.S. National Arboretum by a group of children, D.C. police said. 
Police vehicles stopping the traffic and closing a street in Washington, D.C.
(istock)Authorities were dispatched to the scene at the 3500 block of New York Avenue NE at 3:13 p.m., when D.C. Fire and EMS recovered the man’s body, Fox 5 of Washington, D.C., reported.This is an ongoing investigation and police have not identified the victim or the cause of death. DC RESTAURANT CRASH: 2 DEAD, SEVERAL INJURED AFTER CAR PLOWS INTO OUTDOOR SEATING AREAPolice have also not clarified whether the death was the result of a homicidal act or if the death was the result of a self-inflicted injury.Rising crime has plagued Washington, D.C., in recent months, including a pair of murders between Washington, D.C., and New York City.
DC homicide detectives examine evidence in a car at a murder crime scene, Washington DC, 1996. The victim’s body was found in the parked car.
(Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)Gerald Brevard, 30, of D.C. was arrested Tuesday afternoon in connection with five shooting incidents between the two cities, including two homicides.CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON THE FOX NEWS APP”Today I am here to announce: We’ve got our man,” D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said during a news conference Tuesday, WTOP reported.Each of the five victims, including the two who were killed, was homeless.
Shooting in Washington, DC, leaves at least 2 injured. The city recorded its 199th killing Tuesday, the largest uptick in murders in 16 years. 

Florida man accused of killing girlfriend's mother on her 93rd birthday, authorities say

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A Florida man is accused of killing his girlfriend’s mother at a retirement facility Sunday on her 93rd birthday, according to authorities. “This is a tragic and heinous case, and our thoughts are with her family and her loved ones,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said during a Thursday news conference. Javier Rosado Martínez, 54, was arrested Wednesday on a first-degree murder charge in the death of Dolores Padilla Marrero, whose body was found Monday at St. Joseph Garden Courts, a retirement community about 10 miles east of downtown Orlando. MARYLAND POLICE CHARGE SUSPECT IN 1989 HOMICIDE COLD CASE
Dolores Padilla Marrero was killed on her 93rd birthday 
(Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Florida)Family members described Padilla Marrero as a devout Catholic who was always willing to help others, Mina said. She leaves behind four children, 11 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren.”Sunday was Dolores’s 93rd birthday, and unfortunately late that evening she was brutally murdered by someone she knew, someone she had gone out of her way to help,” Mina added. “And that person was 54-year-old Javier Rosado Martínez.”
Orange County Sheriff John Mina holds up a picture of Dolores Padilla Marrero during a press conference on Thursday
(Orange County Sheriff’s Office)On Sunday, a resident at the retirement community noticed a man, later identified as Martínez, attempting to gain access to the facility via a keypad. The resident said they let the man in and later that night, a neighbor heard a male voice asking to be allowed inside the victim’s residence, an arrest warrant stated, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Martínez had arrived at the facility after getting into a fight with his on-again, off-again girlfriend who thought he was on drugs at the time, said Homicide Sgt. Joe Covelli during the news conference. Family members said they dropped Padilla Marrero off at the facility at 8 p.m., on Sunday and did a well-being check Monday after she failed to answer her phone. When they entered the residence, they found the victim laying naked on the bed with her torso covered by a blanket and her face covered with a pillow, authorities said. A medical examiner determined that the cause of death was strangulation and blunt force trauma to her torso, Covelli said. He noted the blunt force trauma was cracked ribs. SUSPECTED NYC, DC HOMELESS KILLER ARRESTED AFTER MANHUNTDuring an investigation, authorities said a horn necklace that Martínez usually wears was found wrapped in a shirt next to Padilla Marrero’s dead body. 
Joe Covelli, a Homicide Sergeant at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office holds up a picture of the necklace during a press conference on Thursday.
(Orange County Sheriff’s Office)Martínez was later apprehended at a residence in Casselberry, Florida, where authorities said they found items linking him to homicide, including the necklace and keys to the victim’s residence. While Martínez did not confess to killing Padilla Marrero, he told authorities he was on drugs and “blacked out” during the incident, Covelli said.Martínez and his girlfriend lived at the retirement facility with Padilla Marrero until January when Martinez had an argument with another resident, the Orlando Sentinel reported. After the argument, the resident wrote a letter to Padilla Marrero warning that Martinez couldn’t stay there anymore, Covelli added. Covelli noted that Padilla Marrero would typically offer her children a place to stay for a week or two.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”Horrific crime to be 93 years old, to go your whole life and this is how it ends,” he said.Martínez is being held in the Orange County Jail with no bond.

Maryland police charge suspect in 1989 homicide cold case

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Police in Maryland have charged a suspect in relation to a 1989 homicide cold case using DNA technology.The Prince George’s County Police Department announced on Thursday that James Clinton Cole, 65, has been changed with first degree murder, rape, and several other charges after allegedly killing 27-year-old Cynthia Rodgers in 1989, according to a press release.Rodgers was located dead in a wooded area of Forestville, Maryland on Jan. 27, 1989.Cole is already serving a prison sentence after being convicted of raping a child in 1996, NBC Washington reported.SC JUDGE SETS BOND FOR ALEX MURDAUGH ACCUSED CO-CONSPIRATOR CORY FLEMING OVER $3.6M GLORIA SATTERFIELD PLOT
Police in Maryland have charged a suspect in relation to a 1989 homicide cold case using DNA technology.