News Roundup

The investigation into Russian involvement in the presidential election continues to dominate the news this week.  On Wednesday, the Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller as special counsel responsible for leading the investigation.  The appointment comes after it was reported that former FBI director James Comey kept memos contemporaneously documenting his conversations about the investigation with President Donald Trump.  Mueller previously served as FBI director under George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  Keep reading for more news.

DA Resigns.  The Greensboro News & Record reports that Person/Caswell District Attorney Wallace Bradsher submitted his resignation to Governor Roy Cooper this week.  As the News Roundup previously has noted, Bradsher and former Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer are being investigated for a scheme where the two men allegedly hired each other’s wives for state jobs that didn’t actually require the women to perform work.

Raise the Age Legislation.  WRAL reports that state legislation that would raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction passed the House this week.  In a 104-8 vote, legislators passed House Bill 280 which, if signed into law, would cause most criminal cases against 16- and 17-year-olds to come under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court system.

Veteran Tragedy. The Fayetteville Observer reported last week that a disturbing animal cruelty story involving an Army veteran had turned tragic.  Last month Marinna Rollins and her boyfriend Jarren Heng were charged with animal cruelty after allegedly shooting Rollins’s emotional support service dog and posting a video of the incident to Facebook.  Heng is an Army special operations soldier and Rollins recently was medically retired from the Army because of PTSD.  The Observer reports that last week Rollins apparently committed suicide.  The NewsHour recently aired a multi-part report on PTSD in a series entitled War on the Brain.

Jones Sentenced.  The News & Observer reports that former Superior Court Judge Arnold O. Jones was sentenced in federal court this week as part of a plea bargain in the criminal case that arose from Jones’s attempt to have a law enforcement agent provide him with his wife’s text messages in exchange for money and beer.  Jones got two years of probation, was fined $5,000, and must perform 100 hours of community service.

Bundy Documentary.  Last year the News Roundup followed the story of the armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge by a militant group led by Ammon Bundy.  This week, a new episode of Frontline investigates the incident and its surrounding circumstances.  The episode is available for streaming here.

Naloxone Lockboxes.  The New York Times says that Cambridge, Massachusetts may become the first city in the nation to do what was “unthinkable” a few years ago – place lockboxes containing naloxone on street corners so that passersby can administer the overdose-reversal drug to people who have overdosed on the street.  The Times story includes mixed reactions to the proposal from the public.

Problematic PSA. For the past two years, the owner of a country music radio station in rural Arizona has been broadcasting a public service announcement in the middle of the night that instructs listeners about hiding child pornography.  Somehow, according to station owner Paul Lotsoff, “a lot of people have managed to misunderstand” the PSA as an indication that he thinks that possession, production, and dissemination of child pornography is “fine and dandy.”  Not so, Lotsoff says.  Rather, he simply recognizes “that there are some folks out there who do like this material and [he] feel[s] some sympathy for their plight.”  Seems plausible – to Lotsoff at least.

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