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November 16, 2018

HOUSE - NEW RULES

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are unveiling new rules for how they would govern the chamber when they take over the majority next year.

The changes are large and small and remain in draft form. There’s a requirement to post legislation at least 72 hours before votes to ensure enough time to read the bill. There’s also new voting sway for the Puerto Rico commissioner and other nonvoting representatives of U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

One proposal from a newly elected Muslim-American lawmaker clarifies the 180-year-old rule against wearing hats on the House floor to allow for religious headwear, including headscarves. Others deal with budgets and oversight.

The rules package is traditionally the first vote of the new Congress. It is considered a reflection of a party’s priorities and influences legislation.

WRONG WAY CRASH IN N.C.

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Highway Patrol says one person is dead after a crash involving a wrong-way driver on Interstate 85.

News outlets report troopers said a driver entered the southbound lanes of the interstate and headed north before hitting another car around 5 p.m. yesterday.

Trooper Ray Pierce said Gaston Emergency Medical Services had at least two other patients, including at least one with life-threatening injuries.

A portion of the interstate was closed as a result of the accident.

ALCATRAZ DECOY HEADS

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The FBI has created replicas of decoy heads used by prisoners to mount their infamous escape from Alcatraz Island in 1962.

Authorities yesterday unveiled 3D-printed copies of the decoys that inmates had constructed with soap, plaster and human hair to distract guards from their plan.

Authorities say inmates Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin placed the decoys in their beds before climbing through the wall to escape the island prison in San Francisco Bay. The men were never found.

Inmate Clayton West also created a head but didn’t make it out.

Authorities say they made the replicas to share with the public because the original decoys are fragile and are evidence in the still-open investigation into the escape.

TODDLER DIES OF SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND

JONESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Police in Georgia say a 2-year-old boy who found a handgun under his father’s pillow has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the boy died yesterday after walking into a bedroom where his father was sleeping.

A Clayton County police statement says the boy didn’t wake the father, found the loaded handgun under his pillow and fired one shot. The boy was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Police say the toddler’s mother was asleep in the front room at the time.

The news release says both parents are cooperating with law enforcement. Police say it’s unknown whether charges will be filed.

MARYLAND NEWSPAPER SHOOTING

BALTIMORE (AP) — A judge has set a June 2019 trial date for a man accused of fatally shooting five staff members of the Maryland newspaper Capital Gazette earlier this year.

The Baltimore Sun reports Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Laura Ripken moved the trial to next June 3 during a hearing Thursday in Annapolis. The trial was originally scheduled to begin in mid-January.

Jarrod Ramos is charged with five counts of first-degree murder. Police say Ramos killed the five newspaper employees on June 28 after shooting through the glass newsroom entrance. Ramos was in the courtroom yesterday but didn’t address the judge.

Ripken cited outstanding motions, preparation for trial and a change of the prosecution team for the new date. State prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed on the postponement.

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