HBCU president lauds students, officer for stopping Jacksonville killer before racist store attack
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A campus security officer tipped off by observant students likely stopped the killer who fatally shot three people at a nearby Dollar General Store from carrying out his racist attack at Edward Waters University, the president of the historically Black institution said Monday.
Students reported seeing a young, white man, pull into a campus library parking lot in Jacksonville, Florida, and begin putting on tactical gear Saturday, Edward Waters University President Zachary Faison Jr. said. They immediately flagged down a security officer who was on patrol to tell them what they saw.
The officer approached the car on foot when the driver — who would later be identified as the shooter at the store — sped off, hitting a curb and narrowly avoiding a brick column, Faison said. The campus officer, who the campus president called a hero, then called the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and shared the description of the vehicle.
Minutes later, the gunman made his way to a Dollar General Store down the road and killed Angela Michelle Carr, 52, an Uber driver who was shot in her car; store employee A.J. Laguerre, 19, who was shot as he tried to flee; and customer Jerrald Gallion, 29, who was shot as he entered the store in the predominantly Black New Town neighborhood. The gunman killed himself after the murders.
“It’s not just on a whim that he chose to come to Florida’s first historically Black college or university,” said Faison, who expressed condolences to the families of the victims and confirmed none were part of the university.
Trump chief of staff Meadows says actions laid out in Georgia indictment were part of his job
ATLANTA (AP) — Mark Meadows testified in court Monday that actions detailed in a sweeping indictment that accuses him of participating in an illegal conspiracy to overturn then-President Donald Trump's 2020 election loss were all part of his job as White House chief of staff.
The extraordinary testimony — from a former top presidential aide who now faces charges alongside his old boss — came in the first courtroom skirmish in a case that's likely to have many. Meadows' claims were part of his argument that the case should be moved from a state court to federal court. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones did not immediately rule.
As Trump was consumed by claims of widespread election fraud in the weeks after his 2020 loss, Meadows said, it was difficult to focus on the things they needed to be doing to wind down the presidency. As a result, Meadows said, he took actions to determine whether the allegations were true, including actions prosecutors allege were improper.
Meadows said he didn’t believe he did anything that was “outside my scope as chief of staff.”
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who used Georgia’s racketeering law to bring the case, alleges that Trump, Meadows and 17 others participated in a wide-ranging conspiracy to try to keep the Republican president in power illegally even after his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. Willis' team argued that Meadows’ actions were political in nature and not performed as part of his official duties.
Florida governor declares widespread state of emergency ahead of Idalia's expected landfall
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Florida residents loaded up on sandbags and evacuated from homes in low-lying areas along the Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Idalia intensified Monday and forecasters predicted it would hit in days as a major hurricane with potentially life-threatening storm surges.
“You should be wrapping up your preparation for #TropicalStormIdalia tonight and Tues morning at the latest,” the National Weather Service in Tampa Bay said Monday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
As the state prepared, Idalia thrashed Cuba with heavy rain, especially in the westernmost part of the island, where the tobacco-producing province of Pinar del Rio is still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian almost a year ago.
Authorities in the province issued a state of alert, and residents were evacuated to friends’ and relatives’ homes as authorities monitored the Cuyaguateje river for possible flooding. As much as 10 centimeters (4 inches) of rain fell in Cuba on Sunday, meteorological stations reported.
Idalia is expected to start affecting Florida with hurricane-force winds as soon as late Tuesday and arrive on the coast by Wednesday. It is the first storm to hit Florida this hurricane season and a potentially big blow to the state, which is also dealing with lingering damage from last year's Hurricane Ian.
Florida prays Idalia won't join long list of destructive storms with names starting with 'I'
Floridians pray that when Idalia hits the Gulf Coast it won't join the long list of destructive Atlantic Ocean storms whose names started with “I.”
Since 1955, 13 Atlantic storm names beginning with “I” have been retired, according to the National Weather Service. That happens when a storm’s death toll or destruction is so severe that using its name again would be insensitive, according to the World Meteorological Organization, which oversees storm naming.
Some letter has to be No. 1, and hurricane season often reaches its peak around the time that the pre-determined alphabetical storm-name list gets to the “I."
After “I” storms, 10 names that begin with “F” have been retired, as have nine storms beginning with “C,” University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said.
In addition to the 13 retired “I” names from Atlantic Ocean hurricanes, a handful of Pacific Ocean storms beginning with “I” have been retired since 1982.
Faculty member fatally shot in University of North Carolina building
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — A shooter killed a faculty member in a science building at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Monday, police said after a lockdown that paralyzed the campus community as authorities searched for the suspect.
Police arrested the suspect over three hours after the initial reports of shots fired came in from Caudill Labs, officials said at a news conference. Charges were pending, and the suspect was not immediately identified.
University officials also did not immediately identify the staffer who was killed and said it was too soon to offer a possible motive.
“This loss is devastating, and the shooting damages the trust and safety that we so often take for granted in our campus community,” Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said.
Emergency sirens sounded about two minutes after a 911 caller reported gunfire around 1 p.m. at the laboratory in the heart of the flagship campus, UNC Police Chief Brian James said.
Guatemala progressive's presidential victory certified, but his party is suspended from operating
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemala’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal on Monday declared progressive Bernardo Arévalo the winner of the country’s presidential election, but the prospect of him taking office on Jan. 14 was clouded by a decision by another government body to suspend his Seed Movement party.
No authority has explained exactly what the suspension by the electoral registry, confirmed to The Associated Press by the party’s lawyer, will mean for the president elect or for the Seed Movement lawmakers elected in the first round of voting in June.
But late Monday Arévalo called the registry's ruling legally void and said his party would appeal it.
“As of this moment, no one can stop me from taking office on Jan. 14,” he told a news conference.
The electoral registry's ruling arose from an investigation into the Seed Movement by Guatemala’s attorney general’s office for alleged irregularities in the gathering of signatures for its formation as a party.
Spanish soccer federation leaders ask president Rubiales to resign over his kiss of player
GENEVA (AP) — Leading officials within the Spanish Football Federation asked suspended president Luis Rubiales to resign on Monday because of his behavior at the Women's World Cup, including kissing a player on the lips after Spain won the championship match.
The heads of the regional bodies that make up the federation (RFEF) made the request in a collective statement.
“After the latest developments and the unacceptable behavior that has caused great damage to the image of Spanish soccer, the presidents request that Luis Rubiales resign immediately as president of the RFEF,” the statement said.
Earlier Monday, the federation asked UEFA to suspend it from international competitions because of government interference related to Rubiales. However, in their statement, the heads of the regional bodies urged interim federation president Pedro Rocha to withdraw that request immediately.
The federation's request for a suspension was widely seen as an attempt to silence some of Rubiales’ critics, including government ministers who have asked for his removal. Such a suspension would ban Spanish teams from competitions like the Champions League and could sway public opinion in favor of letting him keep his job.
GOP silences 'Tennessee Three' Democrat on House floor for day on 'out of order' rule; crowd erupts
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican lawmakers voted Monday to temporarily silence a Democratic member of the so-called Tennessee Three during an already tense House floor session after determining the young Black member violated newly enacted rules designed to punish disruptive members.
The move directed at Rep. Justin Jones prohibited him from speaking on and debating bills for the remainder of the day, which came a week into a special session that Republican Gov. Bill Lee called in reaction to a deadly shooting at a Christian elementary school in Nashville in March.
The House and Senate are locked in an icy standoff over what to pass as families close to the shooting have increasingly voiced their frustrations with the legislative process. Various mental health, juvenile justice, school safety and other proposals are among what’s being considered.
Republican legislative leaders aren’t taking up any significant gun control changes, including the governor’s push to keep guns away from people judged to pose a threat to themselves or others.
The vote to silence Jones prompted loud cries and chants that drowned out proceedings for several minutes even after the House speaker ordered the gallery to be cleared out.
Hawaii power utility takes responsibility for first fire on Maui, but faults county firefighters
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s electric utility acknowledged its power lines started a wildfire on Maui but faulted county firefighters for declaring the blaze contained and leaving the scene, only to have a second wildfire break out nearby and become the deadliest in the U.S. in more than a century.
Hawaiian Electric Company released a statement Sunday night in response to Maui County's lawsuit blaming the utility for failing to shut off power despite exceptionally high winds and dry conditions. Hawaiian Electric called that complaint “factually and legally irresponsible,” and said its power lines in West Maui had been de-energized for more than six hours when the second blaze started.
In its statement, the utility addressed the cause for the first time. It said the fire on the morning of Aug. 8 “appears to have been caused by power lines that fell in high winds.” The Associated Press reported Saturday that bare electrical wire that could spark on contact and leaning poles on Maui were the possible cause.
But Hawaiian Electric appeared to blame Maui County for most of the devastation — the fact that the fire appeared to reignite that afternoon and tore through downtown Lahaina, killing at least 115 people and destroying 2,000 structures.
Richard Fried, a Honolulu attorney working as co-counsel on Maui County’s lawsuit, countered that if the power company's lines hadn’t caused the initial fire, “this all would be moot.”
Joe the Plumber, who questioned Obama's tax proposals during the 2008 campaign, has died at 49
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Samuel “Joe” Wurzelbacher, who was thrust into the political spotlight as “Joe the Plumber” after questioning Barack Obama about his economic proposals during the 2008 presidential campaign, and who later forayed into politics himself, has died, his son said Monday. He was 49.
His oldest son, Joey Wurzelbacher, said his father died Sunday in Wisconsin after a long illness. His family announced this year on an online fundraising site that he had pancreatic cancer.
“The only thing I have to say is that he was a true patriot,” Joey Wurzelbacher — whose father had the middle name Joseph and went by Joe — said in a telephone interview. “His big thing is that everyone comes to God. That’s what he taught me, and that’s a message I hope is heard by a lot of people.”
He went from toiling as a plumber in suburban Toledo, Ohio, to life as a media sensation when he asked Obama about his tax plan during a campaign stop.
Their exchange and Obama’s response that he wanted to “spread the wealth around” aired often on cable news. Days later, Obama's Republican opponent, U.S. Sen. John McCain, repeatedly cited “Joe the Plumber” in a presidential debate.
The Associated Press