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Mother in drowning case found mentally incompetent
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
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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Wails, sobs: Rwanda marks 20 years since genocide
Written by JASON STRAZIUSO and KATHERINE SULLIVAN, Associated Press   
Monday, 07 April 2014 11:21
Rwanda_Genoci_Pool_rotator
Bizimana Emmanuel, who was born two years before the genocide, is consoled by an unidentified woman while attending a public ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, at Amahoro stadium in Kigali, Rwanda,  Monday, April 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Sorrowful wails and uncontrollable sobs resounded Monday as thousands of Rwandans packed the country's main sports stadium to mark the 20th anniversary of the beginning of a devastating 100-day genocide.

President Paul Kagame and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon together lit a flame at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, which estimates that 1,000,050 Rwandan perished in three months of machete and gunfire attacks mostly aimed at the country's minority Tutsi population by extremist Hutus.

"Twenty years ago today our country fell into deep ditches of darkness," said Rwanda's minister of foreign affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo. "Twenty years later, today, we are a country united and a nation elevated."

In the aftermath of the genocide, Rwandans felt alone, she said. But now friends around the world have joined "to commemorate the rebirth of our nation," she said.

Last Updated on Monday, 07 April 2014 11:24
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Rescues needed as storms drench the Southeast
Written by JAY REEVES, Associated Press   
Monday, 07 April 2014 12:57

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Severe thunderstorms crawled across the Southeast on Monday, dumping heavy rains and causing flash flooding in central Alabama, where crews in small boats and military trucks had to rescue more than two dozen people from their homes and cars.

In Mississippi, a 9-year-old girl was missing and feared swept away in a flash flood after the storm dropped nearly 7 inches of rain over the last two days. A possible tornado damaged homes and hurt seven people in another part of the state.

The storms hit Mississippi on Sunday and spread overnight into Alabama and Georgia. Strong winds downed trees, power lines and snarled rush hour commutes.

In Pelham, just south of Birmingham, more than 4 inches of rain fell from 7 p.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday. Police and firefighters rescued people who became trapped in townhomes and a mobile home park that flooded because of a nearby swollen creek.

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Two new pings sound 'just like' black box beacons
Written by NICK PERRY, Associated Press   
Monday, 07 April 2014 10:58

PERTH, Australia (AP) — An Australian ship detected two distinct, long-lasting sounds underwater that are consistent with the pings from aircraft black boxes in a major break in the monthlong hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, the search coordinator said Monday.

Navy specialists were urgently trying to pick up the signal again so they can triangulate its position and go to the next step of sending an unmanned miniature submarine into the depths to try to identify plane wreckage.

Confirmation that the signals picked up by the Australian navy ship Ocean Shield belong to Flight 370's black boxes could take days, but the discovery offers "a most promising lead" yet, said Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency coordinating the multinational search. They were stronger and lasted longer than faint signals a Chinese ship reported hearing farther south in the search zone in the remote Indian Ocean.

"Clearly this is a most promising lead, and probably in the search so far, it's probably the best information that we have had," Houston said at a news conference. "We've got a visual indication on a screen and we've also got an audible signal — and the audible signal sounds to me just like an emergency locator beacon."

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