BY Wire reports
Thursday, December 06, 2012
12/06/12 at 2:37 AM
Weather Service looks at hurricane warnings
MIAMI - The National Weather Service is considering changing how it issues hurricane watches and warnings.
Spokesman Chris Vaccaro said in an email Wednesday the weather service is considering a proposal to issue watches and warnings for storms that threaten life and property even if they are no longer hurricanes or tropical storms.
The National Hurricane Center was criticized last month following superstorm Sandy after it stopped issuing hurricane warnings because the storm wasn't technically going to be a hurricane anymore when it made landfall.
Texas student shoots self while in police custody
HOUSTON - A student taken into custody for his own protection Wednesday at his Houston-area high school shot himself with a hidden gun while handcuffed inside a patrol car, authorities said.
The student, a senior whose name was not released, was conscious when taken to a hospital and was in critical but stable condition Wednesday evening.
Police say deputies searched the 17-year-old before placing him in the back of the patrol car and are investigating how the gun was not discovered.
Galena Park school district spokesman Jonathan Frey said deputies picked up the student between 10:30 and 11 a.m. Wednesday at North Shore High School after he sent a text message to a friend saying he wanted to hurt himself.
Washington governor signs gay marriage law
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state, which now joins several other states that allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.
Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election on Wednesday afternoon, as they were joined by couples who plan to wed. The law doesn't take effect until Thursday, when gay and lesbian couples can start picking up their wedding certificates and licenses at county auditors' offices. King County, the state's largest and home to Seattle, and Thurston County, home to the state capital of Olympia, will open the earliest, at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, to issue marriage licenses.
Because the state has a three-day waiting period, the earliest that weddings can take place is Sunday.
"This is a very important and historic day in the great state of Washington," Gregoire said before signing the measure that officially certified the election results. "For many years now we've said one more step, one more step. And this is our last step for marriage equality in the state of Washington."
Last month, Washington, Maine and Maryland became the first states to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote. They joined six other states - New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont - and the District of Columbia that had already enacted laws or issued court rulings permitting same-sex marriage.
Woman shot, killed after car bumps wheelchair
ATLANTA - An elderly man opened fire on a woman after her car came into contact with his motorized wheelchair at a central Georgia service station, authorities said Wednesday. She died shortly afterward at a hospital despite the efforts of a crowd of people to aid her.
Police said Linda Hunnicutt, 65, was driving onto the gas pump bay of the service station in Macon at about 1 p.m. Tuesday when her Buick Lucerne and the motorized wheelchair bumped. Hunnicutt stepped out of her vehicle, and the man in the motorized wheelchair pulled a handgun and fatally shot her, city police spokeswoman Jami Gaudet said.
"The whole encounter, I can tell you, was very brief," Gaudet said. "Everybody is just reeling from this."
The suspect, 73-year-old Frank Louis Reeves, was apprehended in the gas station parking lot. He made a brief court appearance Wednesday, and authorities said he was being held without bond on a murder charge at the Bibb County Jail. Gaudet did not know whether Reeves had an attorney, and jail records do not list one.
Marine official: Manning held improperly in brig
FORT MEADE, Md. - The Marine Corps' top correctional officer says an Army private charged with giving U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks was improperly kept on suicide watch for at least seven days of his nine months' confinement at a brig in Quantico, Va.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Abel Galaviz testified Wednesday during a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade for Pfc. Bradley Manning. The hearing is to determine whether Manning's confinement was so punishing that the case should be dismissed.
Galaviz says the brig commander should have immediately followed psychiatrists' recommendations to take Manning off suicide watch instead of waiting several days, on two occasions.
Galaviz also testified that a board that made recommendations to the commander about Manning's confinement conditions used improper procedures.
The brig commander is scheduled to testify Thursday.
Ex-President Bush still hospitalized, improving
HOUSTON - Former President George H.W. Bush is undergoing more physical therapy as part of treatment for a painful cough that has forced him to stay in a Houston hospital for almost two weeks.
Methodist Hospital spokesman George Kovacik said Wednesday that the 41st president remains in stable condition with a bronchitis-related cough.
Kovacik says the 88-year-old Bush has been increasing his physical therapy activities, such as getting up and moving around more Wednesday than he has in the past few days. Kovacik says doctors are pleased with Bush's improvement. No date is set for his discharge.
Bush has been hospitalized since the day after Thanksgiving. Bush's ailment is described as not life-threatening but painful.