AM-Prep: Cooler Copy
FLORIDA - VOTING FELONS
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Most Florida felons who have finished their sentences will be able to vote again in future elections.
Voters have approved Amendment 4, which says that most felons will automatically have their voting rights restored when they complete their sentences or go on probation. The amendment exempts those convicted of sex offenses and murder.
Supporters said the state’s current system was too onerous. It required felons to wait at least five years after completing their sentence before they could file a request with the governor and Cabinet. About 1.5 million people are affected. Nearly all states allow felons to vote after completing their sentences.
Opponents argued that the measure treats all felons alike and takes away the ability to judge each individually.
The measure was placed on the ballot by petition.
FUNDS RAISED FOR TEACHER WHO PUNCHED STUDENT WHO USED RACIAL SLUR
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Community members have raised more than $100,000 for a Los Angeles-area teacher captured on video punching a student who had repeatedly called him a racial slur and other names.
Yesterday, a GoFundMe page had raised more than double the stated goal of $50,000 for Marston Riley, a music teacher at Maywood Academy High School.
Video on social media shows Riley, who is black, repeatedly hitting the student, who returns some blows. Before the scuffle, the video showed the student throwing a basketball at the 64-year-old Riley and calling him names.
The student was treated for minor injuries, and Riley was released on bond after being arrested on suspicion of child abuse.
The school district says administrators have met with students, staff and parents “to begin the healing process.”
GIRL SCOUTS - HIT-AND-RUN
LAKE HALLIE, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin prosecutors have filed vehicular homicide charges against a 21-year-old man who police say was inhaling chemical vapors before he crashed his truck into a group of Girl Scouts, killing three children and one adult.
The 11 charges filed against Colten Treu yesterday include four counts of vehicular homicide and four counts of a hit-and-run resulting in death. The punishment for those charges is up to 160 years in prison.
The Saturday crash killed 9-year-old Jayna Kelley and 10-year-old Autum Helgeson, both of Lake Hallie, and 10-year-old Haylee Hickle and her mother, 32-year-old mother, Sara Jo Schneider, from the Town of Lafayette.
Treu is being held on $250,000 bond. A passenger in Treu’s truck told police he grabbed the steering wheel when he saw that Treu “looked out of it.”
VATICAN BONES MYSTERY
VATICAN CITY (AP) — More bones were found on the grounds of the Vatican embassy in Italy, adding grisly new evidence to the growing mystery over who was buried on Holy See territory and why.
As police returned to the compound yesterday, coroner Giovanni Arcudi said preliminary examinations of bones found last week indicated they belonged to a woman likely in her 30s, “not an adolescent.”
The finding is significant since speculation has focused on whether the bones were Emanuela Orlandi’s. She was the daughter of a Vatican employee who disappeared in 1983 at age 15.
Despite the age of the bones, the Orlandi family lawyer, Laura Sgro, told the ANSA news agency her clients are waiting for DNA results. Some have hypothesized Emanuela wasn’t killed immediately, but instead held for years against her will.
ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE IN IOWA APOLOGIZING FOR SHIELDING PRIEST’S ABUSE
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Roman Catholic diocese is apologizing for covering up an Iowa priest’s sexual abuse of boys for decades and is promising to identify all priests who have faced credible allegations.
The actions by the Diocese of Sioux City come in response to an investigation by The Associated Press that broke the church’s 32-year silence on serial abuse by the Rev. Jerome Coyle.
In a statement yesterday, the diocese said more disclosures of misconduct may be forthcoming. It urged victims to come forward, vowing to use the information to publish a list of credibly accused priests — a step the diocese had resisted.
Coyle admitted in 1986 to having sexually abused 50 boys over a 20-year period. The diocese now says it should have notified parishes and asked victims to come forward back then.
The diocese says it also should have notified the public this summer when Coyle was placed at a retirement home near a school.
MAN USES SURFBOARD TO FEND OFF SHARK
SYDNEY (AP) — A man has used his surfboard to fend off a shark that bit him on his calf off an Australian beach two days after a fatal attack on the Great Barrier Reef.
The 43-year-old surfer was bitten yesterday at Shelly Beach off Ballina in New South Wales state.
Ballina Shire Mayor David Wright said the surfer described the shark as about 5 feet long. Wright told Sydney’s 2GB radio the man came onshore, wrapped his leg and went to the hospital for treatment of an 8-inch wound.
Beaches in the area are expected to be closed for at least 24 hours.
On Monday, a shark killed a man in an island harbor in the Whitsunday Islands where two tourists were mauled in September.