TIME Crime

Edible Arrangements Van Thief Charged with DUI

DENVER, CO. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2004-Colorado produced foods that would make nice holiday gifts. EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS (DENVER POST PHOTO BY CYRUS MCCRIMMON CELL PHONE 303 358 9990 HOME PHONE 303 370 1054)
Colorado produced foods that would make nice holiday gifts. Cyrus McCrimmon—Denver Post/Getty Images

"Who steals a fruit truck?" said the store's owner. "I mean it’s a fruit truck"

A man accused of stealing an Edible Arrangements van Wednesday night is now behind bars after leading Alabama police in a two-county car chase.

The Edible Arrangements driver left the vehicle running when he quickly ran into the store in Huntsville, Ala. When he looked back to check on the van, it was gone.

“Who steals a fruit truck? I mean it’s a fruit truck,” Michelda Johnson, owner of the Huntsville Edible Arrangements, told WHNT News 19.

Police pursued the suspect, David Wessley Carter, until he ran over a spike strip and pulled over. Wessley, allegedly drunk at the time, is now in custody for multiple traffic violations and a DUI.

[WHNT News 19]

TIME Food & Drink

Photos: Southern Eats To Get You Ready for Memorial Day

With Memorial Day upon us, the season of burgers, dogs and BBQ kicks off. Photographer Andrew Hetherington shares pictures from his "5,000+ calories a day" Southern Eats Road Trip

TIME LGBT

Same-Sex Couple Sues Alabama to Have Marriage Recognized

The two plaintiffs claim the state's ban on same-sex marriage is a violation of the U.S. Constitution

A same-sex couple in Alabama has filed a federal lawsuit seeking state recognition of their six-year marriage.

Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand married in 2008 in California, but have lived in Mobile, Ala. for over a decade, the Associated Press reports. They are also seeking for Searcy to have legal parental rights for their 8-year-old son, Khaya, who was born biologically to McKeand in 2005 but is being raised by both women.

Searcy has previously sought to adopt Khaya, but was denied because the state doesn’t recognize their marriage.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange are named as defendants in the suit. The state is one of 30 to have amended its constitution to recognize marriage as only between a man and a woman. Searcy and McKeand’s lawsuit claims the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

This suit is one of many that challenge state laws against same-sex marriage.

[AP]

TIME Education

Alabama Teen: I Was Suspended For Refusing To Take Common Core Test

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Male student sleeping on desk in darkness Getty Images

Alyssa McKinney, 14, says she was punished for refusing to take tests associated with the controversial educational standards

An Alabama eighth grader has claimed she was suspended from school after declining to take standardized tests associated with the controversial Common Core curriculum.

Alyssa McKinney, 14, told WAAY-TV that she didn’t believe in the educational requirements, which aim to set a national standard in K-12 education for math and English, and thus refused to take the tests on three separate occasions. While her first two acts of resistance were reportedly met with in-school suspensions, the third time landed her an out-of-school suspension.

Although Whitesburg Middle School didn’t talk to the press, the Alabama Department of Education wrote on its Facebook wall that “parents can choose to have their child be absent (and follow all local absentee policies) or have their child work in a supervised area of the school. They should put their refusal in writing and give to their school.” It was unclear whether McKinney’s mother gave her daughter the required opt-out note.

The Common Core exists in 44 states and the District of Columbia and has proven highly controversial. Proponents of the educational standards, which were introduced by the National Governors Association in 2009, include President Barack Obama, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But there is strong resistance against the curriculum as well, emanating from conservatives who believe “Obamacore” represents federal overreach and an intrusion into states rights, but also encompassing left-leaning critics like comedian Louis C.K. who has said it destroyed his child’s love of math. Common Core also underwent scrutiny in April when New York parents and educators were surprised to see brand names including Barbie, iPod, and Mug Root Beer in more than 1 million tests.

McKinney isn’t the only student to get in trouble for refusing to take the standardized tests. Seirra Olivero, a 13-year-old in upstate New York, claimed to have been suspended for insubordination last month after encouraging classmates to opt out of the Common Core English test. Other students have allegedly been denied ice cream by school administrators for opting out.

(Fox News)

TIME

States That are Cheating Death

Where you live can help determine how long you'll live.

+ READ ARTICLE

The only sure things in life are death and taxes, and now your home state might control both of them. A report in the Center for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report this week analyzed premature deaths from the five leading causes – heart disease, cancer, lower respiratory illnesses, stroke and unintentional injuries – by state and found that 40% of them were preventable.

The fact that we can do better in avoiding early death isn’t news, given that we’re fond of some unhealthy habits, including smoking, eating lots of fat, sugar and salt and not exercising enough, but what’s surprising is that where you live plays such a large role in determining how likely you are to die early from a preventable cause. Living in states in the southeast, for example, can increase your chances of dying prematurely from each of the five leading causes than living in certain western states. Different regional lifestyles certainly play a part, but the availability of health-related programs such as screening for cancer and blood pressure, and safe places to exercise, can also help to bring preventable death rates down. Living healthy is half the battle in avoiding an early death, and living in the right state can be the other.

TIME States

Gas Explosion at Pensacola Jail Kills 2, Injures More Than 100

A gas explosion ripped through a Florida correctional facility after severe rains deluged the southeast, killing two and injuring more than 100 inmates and staff. More than 400 other inmates were transferred to jails in neighboring counties

A gas explosion at a Pensacola jail killed at least two and injured more than 100 inmates and correctional staff Wednesday night — one day after historic floodwaters devoured roads and ruined homes across the panhandle.

The explosion reportedly erupted at about 11 p.m. local time near the facility’s book center, causing part of the structure to collapse, according to the Associated Press. There’s no word if the accident was caused by the week’s heavy storms, which did flood portions of the jail.

The injured were taken to hospitals and more than 400 uninjured inmates were transferred to jails in neighboring counties.

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 26 counties and called on state and local agencies to respond rapidly to the needs of affected families.

“We’re continuing to work with local leaders on the ground to give them the support they need to keep families safe and get them back on their feet,” he said in a statement.

“To support our local leaders, early this morning I instructed the National Guard to deploy 24 high-water vehicles to the impacted counties to assist with rescue and recovery operations.”

At least one woman in Pensacola, Florida, died after her car was swept into a drainage ditch, according to authorities.

On Tuesday night, more than 15 in. of rain fell before midnight at Pensacola Airport — setting a new record for the rainiest single day in the area.

“We’ve seen flooding before, but never flooding that washes the back of a house away,” said CNN iReporter Matt Raybourn of Pensacola. “There are no words for what we are seeing here.”

Elsewhere in Escambia County, local officials responded to 281 emergencies while fire rescue teams answered more than 266 pleas for help on Wednesday. According to the county’s official website, the local 911 dispatch received more than 4,000 calls between the start of the emergency at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The behemoth three-day storm system cut through large swaths of the Great Plains and South as tornadoes, hail and floods left more than 30 people dead.

TIME weather

Photos: Tornadoes Tear Through the South

Several tornados have ripped through the south, including Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama, adding additional lives to the death toll

TIME weather

Swarm of Tornadoes Tears Across the South

Constance Lambert embraces her dog after finding it alive when returning to her destroyed home in Tupelo, Miss., April 28, 2014.
Constance Lambert embraces her dog after finding it alive when returning to her destroyed home in Tupelo, Miss., April 28, 2014. Brad Vest—AP

Dozens of twisters across Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee pushed the death toll from this week's storms to at least 35 as the system moves east

Updated 4:58 p.m. ET

At least 16 people were killed Monday as deadly tornadoes ripped through sections of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, bringing the death toll for the storm system that hit the Midwest earlier in the week to 35.

The dangerous weather was headed toward Georgia early Tuesday, after having flattened buildings in towns throughout the region, and Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency.

“For about 30 seconds, it was unbelievable,” said Mississippi state Sen. Giles Ward, whose Louisville home was destroyed in the storm while he huddled in a bathroom with his wife, four kids and dog. “It’s about as awful as anything we’ve gone through.”

The storm system rumbling east across the country has slammed a huge swath of territory with dangerous weather, from Iowa south to Oklahoma and into Arkansas, which alone saw 15 deaths. An estimated 11 tornadoes hit the central U.S. Sunday and 25 ravaged the South Monday, according to a preliminary count from the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.

The storm reserved its most severe weather for Mississippi and Alabama. At least 45 injuries and six deaths were reported in Winston County, Miss., on Monday. One was a woman who died in the day care center she operated in Louisville, though it remained unclear if there were children in the center when the storm hit.

In Tupelo, Miss., every building in a two-block area was damaged when a tornado ravaged the town of about 35,000. Limestone County, Ala., suffered severe damage in the storm, which knocked out power to nearly 12,000 and killed two when a twister hit a trailer park in the small community of Coxey.

Power was out for tens of thousands of customers in the region and road crews worked to clear debris from streets Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

[AP]

 

TIME weather

Tornadoes Trample Swath of South, Midwest

A U.S. flag sticks out the window of a damaged hot rod car in a suburban area after a tornado near Vilonia, Arkansas April 28, 2014 Carlo Allegri—Reuters

Dozens of twisters across Mississippi and Alabama pushed the death toll from this week's storms to at least 28 as rescuers search for survivors

Tornadoes have torn through the Deep South in the wake of two days of severe weather in the Midwest, killing nine and bringing the tornado-season death toll so far to at least 27.

At least five tornadoes touched down in Mississippi on Monday evening, claiming seven lives, while authorities in Alabama reported that at least two people were dead in Limestome County in the wake of several powerful spring storm cells. The severe winds have downed trees, leading to local power outages, and reportedly also destroyed a trailer park.

A tornado struck Tupelo, Miss., at around 2:45 p.m. on Monday, causing multiple injuries, the Weather Channel reports, though none were expected to be fatal.

A widespread tornado watch was put into effect across the Midwest and South on Monday night. Ohio, Iowa, Tennessee and parts of Missouri are at risk of severe weather.

The fresh spate of tornadoes comes after 18 were killed across three states on Sunday as a result of severe weather. The worst may not be over yet either: the Weather Channel reports that flooding, heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected to continue into Wednesday.

[Weather Channel]

 

TIME Crime

7-Year-Old Found With Loaded Gun at School

The boy has been suspended but is too young to face prosecution

A 7-year-old boy in Jefferson County, Alabama, was caught with a loaded gun at his elementary school Thursday.

Authorities say the boy was showing the snub-nosed revolver to another student when a teacher saw the gun and took it away. The boy was suspended and will face a disciplinary hearing but is too young to face criminal charges, AL.com reports.

“We don’t believe the 7-year-old had any ill intentions at all, just curiosity. In this case that could have been deadly,” sheriff’s deputy Randy Christian said. “Time and time again we have begged people to make sure guns were secure and out of reach for children. We are asking that again today.”

[AL.com]

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