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Donations pour in for Phoenix mom facing charges PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by TERRY TANG, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 05:54

PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix woman arrested after leaving her two kids in a hot vehicle during a job interview is fighting to clear her name in court, with the support of a New Jersey woman who has raised more than $91,000 to help her effort.

Unemployed and on food stamps, Shanesha Taylor went to the job interview last month at a Scottsdale insurance company.

The 35-year-old wasn't able to find a sitter, so she left her 2-year-old son and 6-month old baby in her Dodge Durango with the key still in the ignition and the windows rolled down an inch.

A witness found the infant crying hysterically and sweating profusely as temperatures inside the SUV exceeded 100 degrees.

Taylor was arrested after returning to the vehicle, and her tearful mugshot later caught the attention of 24-year-old Amanda Bishop of New Jersey.

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California bill would end SeaWorld killer whale shows PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by FENIT NIRAPPIL, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 05:52

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A proposed California bill would force SeaWorld San Diego to stop using killer whales in its iconic shows and to release them from their tanks, the latest blowback that the exotic animal attraction has faced after a documentary criticized the marine park's animal welfare practices.

The state Assembly will hold its first committee hearing Tuesday on AB2140 by Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, that is pitting animal welfare activists against a staple of San Diego's tourism industry. SeaWorld San Diego houses 10 killer whales, which would be moved into a larger sea pen and could not be bred if the Legislature approved Bloom's bill and the governor signed it. The bill would also ban the import and export of the animals, and activists are moving to bring similar bills to Florida and Texas where SeaWorld has parks.

"They are too large, too intelligent, too socially complex and too far-ranging to be adequately cared for in captivity," said Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist with the Animal Welfare Institute, the bill's sponsor.

SeaWorld has been fighting back against that perception, which executives said is inspired by the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which its officials say distorts the facts to favor an anti-captivity agenda.

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Suspects sought in Smart car vandalism PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 05:49

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities in San Francisco on Tuesday were looking for suspects who flipped four Smart cars.

The small two-seat cars were flipped on their sides or roofs in an apparent vandalism spree Monday in two San Francisco neighborhoods.

Police said they didn't know whether the incidents were a prank or another episode in escalating tensions among some residents who blame the tech industry for rising rents and cost of living.

"It's hard to determine a motive without any suspects identified or in custody," said Officer Gordon Shyy, a police spokesman who said the culprits would face felony vandalism charges.

The first car was found flipped on its roof around 1 a.m., and a second was spotted on its side a couple of blocks away about 10 minutes later in the city's Bernal Heights neighborhood, said Shyy.

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Mother in drowning case found mentally incompetent PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOE MANDAK, Associated Press   
Monday, 07 April 2014 13:27

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania woman accused of drowning two of her sons in a bathtub was ordered Monday to a state mental hospital after a jail psychiatrist told a judge the defendant is mentally incompetent.

Dr. Christine Martone testified that Laurel Michelle Schlemmer is psychotic and suicidal and has a major depressive disorder. Schlemmer should be treated at Torrance State Hospital in Derry Township, about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh, before her condition is reviewed to determine if she can stand trial in the future, Martone said.

Judge Jeffrey Manning also issued a gag order in the case at the request of Schlemmer's attorney, Michael Machen. That prevents anyone associated with the case from commenting on the competency finding, which can be reviewed in 90 days.

County detectives said Schlemmer, 40, of McCandless, told them she was fully clothed when she sat on the boys, Daniel, 6, and Luke, 3, to hold them underwater Tuesday morning after their 7-year-old brother left for school.

Among other things, Schlemmer told police she heard "crazy voices" telling her to submerge the boys and she believed she could be a better mother to her oldest son and that the younger boys would be "better off in heaven," according to a police complaint.

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Trooper: Woman hit 123 mph with kids in backseat PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 07 April 2014 13:25

SACO, Maine (AP) — Police say a woman was arrested for driving at 123 mph on the Maine Turnpike with her two children in the backseat.

Troopers say 24-year-old Cheryl Gilson, of Cornish, was charged Sunday with criminal speed, driving to endanger and endangering the welfare of her children, ages 3 and 5. She was released on $250 cash bail.

A trooper in Saco clocked the Hyundai Sonata she was driving at 123 mph, almost double the 65 mph speed limit.

Public Safety Department spokesman Steve McCausland says it took the trooper at least 10 miles to run down the car because it was going so fast. Three men also were in the car, but they weren't charged.

It's unclear if Gilson has an attorney. A telephone listing for her could not be found.


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