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May 16, 2018

NAKED MAN-FLIGHT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A passenger on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Anchorage, Alaska, was restrained after he ran naked up and down the aisle. Passenger Nick Steffl (STE’F-uhl) says the man had been seated two rows in front of him near the back of the jet. Steffl says he looked up from his audio book to see the man unclothed and yelling and moving forward. The man approached the cockpit and Steffl says he thought it might be some sort of attack. But then the man turned and ran toward the back of the jet. Steffl says he stood up and slapped the man in the face. Another passenger pinned the man’s arms and help restrain him. The flight landed safely about 45 minutes later. The man was taken to hospital.

MARIJUANA ARRESTS

NEW YORK (AP) — The district attorney of New York City’s borough of Manhattan says he will stop prosecuting low-level marijuana cases. Cyrus Vance said his office will decline to prosecute marijuana possession and smoking cases starting Aug. 1, with a few exceptions. The move comes after The New York Times reported on the persistent racial gap in marijuana arrests. The Times reported that blacks in the city are eight times more likely to be arrested on low-level marijuana charges as whites. The report said the difference cannot entirely be attributed to more residents in predominantly black neighborhoods calling police to complain about marijuana. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the police department will overhaul its citywide marijuana-arrest policies within the next 30 days.

DEMOCRATS-BANNED SHIRT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Democratic chair of New Mexico’s largest county has told a voting rights group it can no longer sell its “Vote or Die” T-shirt at events. Democratic Party of Bernalillo County chair Bill Peifer told Dave Mulryan of Everybody Votes last week that sales of the shirt won’t be allowed at gatherings sponsored by the county party because it is “offensive.” Peifer says the shirt has a “very negative message.” The shirt has an image of the now-extinct dodo bird with the words “Vote or Die.” Mulryan said in a statement the group believes it has the right to sell the shirt. He says most of the profits are used to help register New Mexico high school students to vote.

SUPERMARKET-GUN PULLED

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a woman is accused of pulling a gun on another shopper outside a Florida supermarket after an argument that began in the checkout line. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office charged 36-year-old Jessica Mock with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. The Tallahassee Democrat reported Mock was in a checkout lane at a Publix grocery Sunday but left the line briefly for a forgotten item. When she returned she found a woman had gotten ahead of the cart she left in line. The sheriff’s statement says the two argued and the other woman changed lines.. Authorities say Mock then pointed a handgun at the victim.

12K TICKETS

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The city of Providence will offer partial refunds and reduced fines to thousands of people ticketed for speeding in order to settle a lawsuit over the city’s use of portable speed cameras. Officials declined to specify the amount of the refund on Monday because the settlement has not been formally approved. But they said anyone who received a ticket before April 15 would be allowed to challenge it in court and would be eligible for a reduced fine. The lawsuit was initially filed in March. The plaintiffs argued that the camera-based program that resulted in some 12,000 tickets being issued in the first month — at $95 apiece — was in violation of a state law requiring warning signs. The city says the program has substantially reduced speeding near schools.

ART-HEIST-MYSTERY

BOSTON (AP) — A West Virginia man who pleaded guilty to trying to sell paintings he didn’t have access to and falsely claimed were stolen in the largest art heist in U.S. history has been sentenced. Todd Andrew Desper was sentenced Tuesday to three years of supervised release, three months of which will be spent in home confinement. His attorney didn’t immediately respond to an email. Prosecutors say Desper solicited buyers on Craigslist for two paintings he claimed were among 13 stolen from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. Authorities determined Desper had no access to the paintings. Desper pleaded guilty to wire fraud in February. The FBI has said two suspects who masqueraded as police officers to rob the museum of $500 million worth of masterpieces are dead.

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