97.7 The Bolt http://977thebolt.com Your only source for daily news Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:04:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 Buccaneers release RB Doug Martin http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/buccaneers-release-rb-doug-martin/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:04:21 +0000 http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/buccaneers-release-rb-doug-martin/

Continue reading »]]> Allen Kee/ESPN Images(TAMPA, Fla.) — The running back once nicknamed “the muscle hamster” will be looking for a new home next season. Tuesday the Buccaneers announced they release running back Doug Martin. Martin was due to make seven million dollars next season.

Martin burst onto the scene in 2012 as a first round draft pick out of Boise State and amassed 1,454 yards on the ground and 11 rushing touchdowns in 16 games played. He only played a combined 17 games in 2013 and 2014, but came back with another 1,400 rushing yard season in 2015, where he once again played all 16 games.

In the last two years, however, Martin only played in 19 games and ran for a combined 827 yards. He also had some off the field issues, being suspended at the end of 2016 for four games for violating the NFL’s drug policy, which carried over into the start of last season. As a result, the Buccaneers weren’t on the hook for any of the $15 million of guaranteed money in the five-year, $35.75 million deal he signed in 2016.

He only averaged 2.9 yards per carry in 2017, was a healthy scartch against Saints in Week 15 for violating  a team rule, and was benched in favor of second-year running back Peyton Barber at the end of the year.

“I want to thank the Glazer family, Jason Licht, Coach Koetter, Coach Schiano, Mark Dominik, and the Tampa Bay organization,” the 29-year-old said on his Instagram. “You made my childhood dream of being an NFL player come to fruition when you drafted me and you afforded me financial independence when you awarded me my second contract. I am grateful for the impact you have had on my life.”

Despite his struggles lately, Martin says he’s ready for the 2018 season. “I am in the best shape of my life physically and mentally and my best football is ahead of me,” he said. “I look forward to the next stage of my career, while wishing everyone in Tampa Bay the very best.”

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NCAA denies Louisville’s appeal, rules team must vacate 2013 national title http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/ncaa-denies-louisvilles-appeal-rules-team-must-vacate-2013-national-title/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:04:21 +0000 http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/ncaa-denies-louisvilles-appeal-rules-team-must-vacate-2013-national-title/

Continue reading »]]> Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — The Louisville men’s basketball program won the NCAA Championship in 2013, but there will soon be no record of it. The NCAA ruled Tuesday that the team will have to vacate its 2013 title and 2012 Final Four appearance, despite an appeal to what the school called “Draconian penalties” placed on them last year.

“I cannot say this strongly enough: We believe the NCAA is simply wrong,” Louisville interim president Greg Postel said in a statement. “We disagree with the NCAA ruling for reasons we clearly stated in our appeal. And we made a strong case — based on NCAA precedent — that supported our argument.”

The penalties are a result of an investigation that included allegations that a former Louisville staff member arranged for striptease dances and sex acts for players and recruits during parties at an on-campus dormitory from 2011 to 2015. This same investigation led to the firing of legendary head coach Rick Pitino, who denied any knowledge of the incidents, athletic director Tom Jurich and university President James Ramsey’s resignation.

Louisville will be the first NCAA Division I men’s basketball program to vacate a national title during the Final Four era, but in a news conference after the announcement, interim athletics director Vince Tyra said the wins will not be forgotten.

“We’ll remove the official recognition, but it won’t remove it from our hearts and minds,” Tyra said. “It brings closure to one of these situations. It’s not going to bring closure to the successes and memories our teams had. I’m sad for our players and certainly our staff members.”

What’s next for Louisville? Postel says it’s time to put this behind them and move forward as a program and university.

“This dark cloud has hung over our heads for more than two years, and it has had a negative impact on our athletics program, our fans and the entire university family,” he said. “While we disagree with the NCAA’s decision, it is time for the university to close this chapter and move forward with a stronger commitment to excellence on and off the court.”

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3rd Olympic athlete kicked out for alleged doping violations http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/3rd-olympic-athlete-kicked-out-for-alleged-doping-violations/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:04:20 +0000 http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/3rd-olympic-athlete-kicked-out-for-alleged-doping-violations/

Continue reading »]]> Bruce Bennett/Getty Images(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) — A Slovenian hockey player has been expelled from the Olympic Games after allegedly testing positive for a banned substance, the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said Tuesday.

Ziga Jeglic, who played on the Slovenian team that beat Team USA last week, was tested on match day, according to Team Slovenia press officer Brane Dmitrovic.

He was told to leave Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday within 24 hours, the CAS said in a statement. Jeglic is the third athlete in the Winter Games who has been accused of doping.

CAS, the Switzerland-based body that reviews the evidence in such cases, said it has started an investigation.

Kei Saito, a Japanese short-track speed skater, was sent home after allegedly testing positive last week for acetazolamide, a diuretic and masking agent.

Russian Aleksandr Krushelnitckii, the bronze medalist in mixed pairs curling, allegedly had meldonium in his blood samples and has also left the games.

Meldonium appears to work by inhibiting the synthesis of a substance called carnitine, which the cells in the body need to burn fat to produce energy. The Russians argue that it wouldn’t help them.

Published studies say meldonium may be effective in treating heart ailments, strokes, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as in improving people’s moods. But some experts said the evidence for such claims was scant and that it was not even clear whether the drug improves athletic performance.

Krushelnitsky, in a statement published on the Russian Curling Federation’s website, said he has never used any banned substances in his career.

“I can declare openly that never have I used banned substances or resorted to any other unsportsmanlike methods over the time I have been in sport,” Krushelnitsky wrote.

The Russian National Committee is banned from the Pyeongchang games because of widespread, systematic doping during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Only athletes who were viewed to have not participated in any doping scheme were invited to attend these Olympics after careful vetting.

They participate under a neutral banner, the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR). If Krushnelnitckii is found to have purposefully taken the drug to enhance his performance, it could jeopardize Russia’s efforts to be reinstated into the Olympic family.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) today said it will launch a comprehensive investigation into the incident to establish the details. “The concentration of meldonium found in the sample indicates that it was a single dose of the drug, which is not used for medical purposes, and it is absolutely meaningless from the point of view of achieving any therapeutic effect on the human body,” the ROC said in a statement.

Krushelnitckii, who trained in Japan before arriving in South Korea for the competition, has reportedly told officials that somebody must have laced his food or drink with the banned substance. Meldonium has been a banned substance for athletes in competitions since 2016.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has declined to comment on the ongoing investigation until it is complete, but said the new strict procedures will catch violators.

“It is always disappointing when these things happen, but it shows the systems are working here,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. The Russian Curling Federation is fully backing its curler’s claim of innocence and rallying to show support for the OAR curling squad.

“Today, practically all members of the Russian Curling Federation are flying to Pyeongchang to attend the CAS session,” Dmitry Svishchev, President of the Russia Curling Federation, told Russian news agency TASS. “We cannot leave these guys all alone in this situation.” CAS has indicated it will release its ruling on Krushelnitckii by Thursday. The Olympic closing ceremonies will take place Sunday when the Russian athletes hope they will be allowed to march under the Russian flag.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Queen Elizabeth II sits next to Anna Wintour at London Fashion Week show http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/queen-elizabeth-ii-sits-next-to-anna-wintour-at-london-fashion-week-show/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:04:19 +0000 http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/queen-elizabeth-ii-sits-next-to-anna-wintour-at-london-fashion-week-show/

Continue reading »]]> iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — British royalty rubbed shoulders with fashion royalty Tuesday at London Fashion Week.

Queen Elizabeth II made her first ever appearance at London Fashion Week and sat front row next to Vogue’s Anna Wintour at designer Richard Quinn’s runway show.

The 91-year-old monarch sparkled in a blue tweed dress and jacket while viewing the emerging designer’s bold printed looks on the runway. She chatted with Wintour, who didn’t remove her signature sunglasses.

Quinn, who started his own label in 2016, is the inaugural recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, established to recognize emerging British fashion talent.

The award, initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy, will be awarded annually to an emerging British fashion designer of womenswear, menswear or accessories that shows exceptional talent and originality, while demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies, according to a statement issued by Buckingham Palace.

The British Fashion Council selected Quinn for his creative talent and for his work establishing a print studio, which offers high-quality and accessible services to students and fellow up-and-coming designers.

“From the tweed of the Hebrides to Nottingham lace, and of course Carnaby Street, our fashion industry has been renowned for outstanding craftsmanship for many years, and continues to produce world-class textiles and cutting-edge, practical designs,” the queen said. “As a tribute to the industry, and as my legacy to all those who have contributed to British fashion, I would like to present this award for new, young talent.”

The award was the idea of the queen’s personal advisor, Angela Kelly, who accompanied her and has coordinated her wardrobe for over 26 years.

Caroline Rush, the chief executive of the British Fashion Council, acknowledged Queen Elizabeth’s role as a fashion icon and her groundbreaking effect on the industry when she ascended the throne.

“Your Majesty, it is a true honor to have you here and to have your support for British fashion,” Rush said today. “Throughout your reign you have embraced fashion, using its power of diplomacy to communicate understanding between cultures and nations.”

Earlier in the day, the monarch visited showrooms to meet designers.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Airstrikes pound rebel-held Damascus suburb, leaving more than 200 dead http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/airstrikes-pound-rebel-held-damascus-suburb-leaving-more-than-200-dead/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:04:18 +0000 http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/airstrikes-pound-rebel-held-damascus-suburb-leaving-more-than-200-dead/

Continue reading »]]> iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Syrian government and its allied forces pounded a besieged rebel-held Damascus suburb on Tuesday, killing dozens of civilians — the enclave’s deadliest day in three years.

Airstrikes and shelling have killed at least 210 civilians, including 54 children, since Sunday night, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group, said. On Tuesday, at least 66 civilians were killed.

On Monday alone, at least 127 civilians lost their lives, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Every day people die and we’re used to it,” Nour Adam, 22, a media activist in Eastern Ghouta who asked that his real last name be withheld out of concern for the safety of family members in government territory, told ABC News via Skype. “But people think we are numbers. Actually, we are humans.”

During the interview the sound of an explosion could be heard in the background.

The recent surge in violence in Eastern Ghouta, which has been besieged by the Syrian government since 2013, is part of President Bashar al-Assad’s campaign to seize Syria’s last remaining opposition-held territories.

“The Syrian government is attacking all areas with all kinds of weapons — known and unknown weapons,” Siraj Mahmoud, head of media for the White Helmets civil defense rescue force, which operates in rebel-held areas in Syria, told ABC News.

“Warplanes don’t leave the sky at all. Today, we can’t say that we have any safe areas left in Eastern Ghouta,” Mahmoud, who works under a pseudonym, added.

The Syrian foreign ministry said that militants in Eastern Ghouta fired shells at Damascus on Tuesday, killing six civilians, according to the state news agency SANA.

An estimated 400,000 people are trapped in Eastern Ghouta with little access to food, water, fuel, electricity and health care. Many of them have left their homes and moved into underground shelters, where they spend their days and nights in hiding due to the intensity of the strikes.

Save the Children said on Tuesday that 4,100 families now live in underground basements and shelters. More than half are without water, sanitation or ventilation systems, according to local aid workers.

“The bombing has been relentless, and children are dying by the hour,” said Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Syria response director, in a statement. “These families have nowhere left to run – they are boxed in and being pounded day and night.”

The aid agency said that in some parts of Eastern Ghouta, the destruction is worse than it was at the height of the Syrian government’s offensive against Aleppo in 2016, “yet with only a tiny fraction of the global attention and outrage.”

The United Nations warned on Tuesday that the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta is “spiraling out of control” and that lack of access to the besieged enclave has kept aid away, leading to severe food shortages and a sharp rise in food prices. Malnutrition rates have now reached unprecedented levels, the U.N. said.

“I am deeply alarmed by the extreme escalation in hostilities in East Ghouta,” Panos Moumtzis, U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, said in a statement.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Man who says he was a Russian ‘troll’ arrested after going public http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/man-who-says-he-was-a-russian-troll-arrested-after-going-public/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:04:17 +0000 http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/man-who-says-he-was-a-russian-troll-arrested-after-going-public/

Continue reading »]]> ABCNews.com(MOSCOW) — Russian police have reportedly arrested a man who has claimed to be a worker at a so-called troll factory in St. Petersburg, Russia, hours after he gave interviews to foreign journalists and lifted the lid on a secretive organization the U.S. Department of Justice last week accused of trying to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

The Justice Department Friday indicted 13 Russians it accused of running a campaign through the alleged trolling operation to undermine the U.S. election, using social media posts and fake news websites. The indictment named the company behind the alleged operation as the Internet Research Agency.

Since the indictment, Marat Mindiyarov, a 43-year-old former teacher who said he worked for the operation from 2014 to early 2015, has been giving interviews to multiple foreign news outlets, including The Associated Press and The Washington Post, describing its inner workings.

He was then detained Sunday by police who accused him and a friend of making a false report about a bomb near his village outside St. Petersburg, he told The Moscow Times.

Mindiyarov has since been released, Russian radio station Echo of Moscow reported.

Mindiyarov, like most of the workers, was not named in the U.S. indictment brought as part of U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. The indictment Friday named people accused of overseeing the alleged trolling effort or playing a key role in the operation to undermine the election.

It also named the Internet Research Agency’s alleged owner, Yegenvy Prigozhin, a man nicknamed “Putin’s Chef” because of his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mindiyarov has said he was a lower-level employee, posting hundreds of comments on social media expressing Kremlin viewpoints.

Mindiyarov knew the operation’s “Facebook Department” had hired hundreds of Russians who spoke English well to take part in a campaign to influence U.S. public opinion, he told reporters.

“Your first feeling, when you were there, was that you were at some factory that turned a lie into a conveyor belt,” Mindiyarov told The Washington Post Saturday. “The volumes were enormous; there were a huge number of people, from 300 to 400, and they all wrote an absolute lie. It was like in the world of [novelist George] Orwell, the place where you have to say that white is black, and black is white.”

He is among a number of former employees at the “troll factory,” as well as undercover journalists, who have come forward in the past two years to explain what they say are the internal workings of its operation to media organizations, including ABC News.

The Kremlin has denied having any connection to the “troll factory,” with Putin’s spokesman telling reporters Monday that Mueller had failed to provide sufficient evidence of a campaign to meddle in the U.S. election.

Echo of Moscow, the Russian radio station, reported that police had detained Mindiyarov and a friend it named as Igor at an apartment Sunday, accusing Igor of having used his phone to make false reports about bombs near their village.

But, writing on his Facebook page Monday, Mindiyarov said he “is not afraid even after the events of the last night and today.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Iranian rescuers still looking for wreckage of plane crash that killed 66 people http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/iranian-rescuers-still-looking-for-wreckage-of-plane-crash-that-killed-66-people/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:04:15 +0000 http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/iranian-rescuers-still-looking-for-wreckage-of-plane-crash-that-killed-66-people/

Continue reading »]]> ABCNews.com(TEHRAN, Iran) — Time is ticking as Iranian rescue teams search the Zagros Mountains trying to locate the wreckage of a missing Aseman Airliner that crashed there on Sunday morning with 66 people on board.

The missing plane was an ATR 72-500 twin-engine turboprop. It left the capital city of Tehran to Yasuj, a southwestern city at 4:30 a.m. GMT on Sunday, but went off the radar 50 minutes into its journey around the city of Semirom in Isfahan Province.

Relatives of those on board have been desperately waiting all day on Sunday, but are losing hope as reports say all 66 passengers are feared dead. Those on board include 60 passengers, two flight attendants, two security guards, and the pilot and co-pilot.

According to the statement of Iran Emergency Center, the heavy winds and snow did not allow a rescue team’s helicopter to approach the possible location of the crash on the first day.

The rescue operation was resumed Monday in better weather, but the plane wreckage had yet to be tracked down.

To accelerate the operation, Iran has reached out to other countries for help.

“We have asked China and European countries to immediately inform us of any image they might capture with their satellites,” Mojtaba Saradeghi, deputy head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, told the Iranian Student News Agency on Monday.

Family and friends have posted desperate pleas for news on the missing on social media, including one from a women who listed four co-workers killed in the accident and the statement, translated as, “Do you know we have filled your desks at the office with flowers? We shared your memories, and cried.”

Russia has also sent information on the possible location of the crash to Tehran via diplomatic channels, according to Spotnik, the Russian news agency.

The Iranian airliner’s fleet is very old as it has been prevented from updating for years due to severe sanctions from the West. The Islamic Republic was not allowed to purchase new Western planes and spare parts for about two decades.

In 2015, the country signed a nuclear deal with six world powers (Germany, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and the United States), based on which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear-related activities in return for the easing of some sanctions against the country.

One of the top priorities of Iran was removing sanctions on its aviation industry. While easing these sanctions has led to a major deal between Iran and Boeing for the purchase of airplanes over the coming years, the body of the fleet of the country is still worn out.

The recent crash has led to discussions on social networks about where the West and Iranian aviation stands two years after the lifting of the sanctions on the industry.

Pouyan Tabasinejad, policy chair of the Iranian Canadian Congress, was among those to criticize Canadian Sen. Linda Frum on Twitter after she slammed Boeing for selling Iran new aircraft.

However, some of those who used to blame the West for the high number of casualties in airplane crashes in Iran are now pointing their fingers at Tehran’s mismanagement for not upgrading its fleet in the past two years after the lifting of the former restrictions.

Capt. Houshang Shahbazi became a national hero to Iranians in December 2011 after he managed to safely land a 40-year-old Boeing 727 while the gear in the nose was jammed and the front wheel did not open. He saved the life of 120 passengers on board.

Before the nuclear deal, Shahbazi was a vocal critic of the Western sanctions on Iran’s civil aviation industry. But in an interview with ABC News about the recent incident, he said time to blame the West for such incidents is over. Instead, he criticized Iranian aviation officials for not being swift enough in updating the fleet.

“It is not a humanitarian crisis. This crash is the result of a political crisis,” he said, putting the blame on where political parties choose to invest the resources of the country. “Two years has passed and managers have had enough time to buy new planes and spare parts, if it was their priority.”

However, Aseman Airliner’s technician and training manager, Capt. Bahador Ashayeri, denied any technical problem with the missing ATR plane.

“This plane was of the most modern models. … It has no problem at all,” Ashayeri said in a live TV program on Sunday.

The weather is expected to get even colder in the Zagros Mountains on Tuesday, making the search and rescue operation more difficult.

“Regardless of the weather condition, search and rescue operation will go on,” Shahin Fathi, operation deputy of Iran’s Red Crescent Organization told the News Channel.

“However, in case of a snowfall, aerial and helicopter search will not be possible and search will go on with the rescue teams on the ground.”

 Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Florida school shooting suspect was fascinated by talk of guns, preoccupied with wars: School records http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/florida-school-shooting-suspect-was-fascinated-by-talk-of-guns-preoccupied-with-wars-school-records/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:04:13 +0000 http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/florida-school-shooting-suspect-was-fascinated-by-talk-of-guns-preoccupied-with-wars-school-records/

Continue reading »]]> iStock/Thinkstock(PARKLAND, Fla.) — The teenager accused of gunning down 17 people at a Florida high school had a fascination with talk of guns and was preoccupied with wars and terrorists, according to school records obtained by ABC affiliate WPLG.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, was arrested after last week’s Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

The documents, first obtained by WPLG, detail an individualized education plan (IEP) written for Cruz in June 2015, seven months before he transferred to Stoneman Douglas High School. His eligibility for the IEP was based on emotional/behavioral disabilities and language impairments.

A spokesperson for Broward County Public Schools declined to comment to ABC News on the documents.

The IEP was written as Cruz was finishing ninth grade at Cross Creek, an alternative school. The IEP shows a mixed bag of an improving student with ongoing issues of self-control — and a fascination with talk of guns.

The IEP indicated that Cruz was making progress at the alternative school, both academically and behaviorally, but that he was, at times, easily distracted by his peers when discussions involved guns and the military.

In a science class, Cruz was “very compliant” and “helpful to his peers,” the document notes, but he was also reported to be “at times … distracted by inappropriate conversations of his peers if the topic is about guns, people being killed or the Armed Forces.”

Another entry in the report indicated Cruz needed to be redirected at times to make better choices and use better coping skills.

“When things don’t go that way he wants, Nikolas becomes frustrated and will perceive that it’s the fault of others,” the documents state. “He has made comments that authority figures are against him as a result of his not getting his way.”

“He becomes pre-occupied with things such as current events regarding wars and terrorist [sic],” the documents state. “He is fascinated by the use of guns and often speaks of weapons and the importance of ‘having weapons to remain safe in this world.’”

The IEP references Cruz’s mother, who has since died. She, according to the report, felt her son was “doing well at this school.”

“She is so happy with his academic as well as behavioral progress,” the report states.

The report says Cruz had no behavioral issues that had required him to be removed from the classroom, but it does note two incidents outside class; one where he was coerced into jumping out the back of a bus, and another where he was repeatedly punched by a peer because Cruz allegedly used racial slurs toward the peer.

The documents also reveal that Cruz enjoyed volunteering for the YMCA every week and playing video games after school.

“Nikolas navigates the community independently, and rides his bike throughout his neighborhood,” the report says. “Nikolas has not had any incidents of stealing since attending this school. He has been very focused on making appropriate choices in both the school and his neighborhood community.”

But the report adds, “Although Nikolas has made behavioral progress he continues to lack impulse control, he needs to be monitored while in both the school and neighborhood communities. … Nikolas has difficulty with wanting to have friends and engaging in following the negative behaviors of those peers. He also has poor judgment in social situations.”

According to the report, Cruz’s personal goal was to be “mainstreamed to his home high school. He often perseverates on the idea that his current school is for students that are ‘not smart’ and that he can now handle being in ‘regular’ school.”

“He expressed that he looks forward to living independently,” the report says. “He has been studying for the drivers [sic] license test and looks forward to getting his license before graduating high school.”

Cruz planned to go to college and/or the military, according to the report.

In court after his arrest last week, public defender Melisa McNeill called Cruz a “broken child.”

“My children they go to school in this community and I feel horrible for these families,” McNeill said, adding, “and Mr. Cruz feels that pain.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Suspect in custody for shootings that appeared to target homeless people http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/suspect-in-custody-for-shootings-that-appeared-to-target-homeless-people/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:04:12 +0000 http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/suspect-in-custody-for-shootings-that-appeared-to-target-homeless-people/

Continue reading »]]> iStock/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) — A suspect has been identified in connection with the series of shootings in Las Vegas that appeared to target the homeless.

Joshua Castellon was taken into custody Friday by an ATF special agent on a federal weapons charge. On Tuesday, detectives with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department submitted an arrest warrant declaration for Castellon two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

“Castellon will be booked into the Clark County Detention Center after the resolution of the federal case,” according to a press release from police.

At least four people were shot between Jan. 29 and Feb. 2, according to police. Three of the shootings occurred in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, according to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. One of the victims was pronounced dead at the scene after the suspect shot him while he was sleeping, police said.

The two other victims who were shot that day were taken to the hospital and treated for their injuries. One of the victims had been shot in the head and could not recall what happened, while the other victim was outside of a convenience store when the suspect approached him in a vehicle and shot several rounds at him, striking him once, police said.

The most recent victim was a homeless man named James Lewis, who was killed while he was sleeping under a bridge on Feb. 2, officials said. His killing was caught on surveillance video.

Video shows a dark-colored SUV parking near where Lewis was found. A man then walks up to Lewis and shoots him before running back to the SUV and driving away.

“He still should be here today regardless of if he’s homeless or not,” Lewis’s daughter, Oneida Lewis Baker, told ABC News earlier this month.

Further details on Castellon’s arrest were not immediately available.

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Survivors of school massacre take their ‘Never Again’ fight to Florida capital http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/survivors-of-school-massacre-take-their-never-again-fight-to-florida-capital/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:04:11 +0000 http://977thebolt.com/index.php/2018/02/21/survivors-of-school-massacre-take-their-never-again-fight-to-florida-capital/

Continue reading »]]> iStock/Thinkstock(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Many of the students barely had time to dry their eyes as they rushed from funerals for classmates killed in a mass shooting at their school to buses chartered to take them to the Florida state capital, where they plan to lobby legislators and rally for tougher gun laws and school safety.

The two busloads of student activists spawned from the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week left Parkland, Florida, about 1:30 p.m. today, for the 400-mile trip to Tallahassee.

“This isn’t about Democrats. This isn’t about Republicans. This is about us demanding change and this is about the fact that we have already won, it’s just a matter of when,” yelled a student standing atop a car, firing up the group before they hit the road.

But just as the students started rolling north on their journey for justice, state lawmakers voted down a measure to ban purchases of assault rifles like the one 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz allegedly used in his attack that left 17 students and school staff members dead in Parkland

With a 36-71 vote, Florida lawmakers defeated the assault rifle bill that would have also banned the purchases of large-capacity magazines statewide.

Several students from Stoneman Douglas who traveled to Tallahassee Monday night were in the gallery at the state capitol building when the vote was taken, and some gasped in disbelief.

Chris Grady, a 19-year-old senior at Stoneman Douglas school, was not deterred by the stubbornness to change gun laws even in the face of the tragedy that occurred less than a week ago.

“I really think they are going to hear us out,” Grady said as he prepared the board the bus in Parkland. He added that he hopes he and his classmates will change the minds of lawmakers to pass “common-sense laws like rigorous background checks.”

“We are focusing on gun rights and mental health,” Jaclyn Corin, a 17-year-old junior who helped organized the bus trip, told ABC News.

She said he hopes lawmakers will listen once they come face to face with school shooting survivors like herself.

“There aren’t a lot of bills focusing on mental health and we hope to change that,” Corin said.

The buses are scheduled to reach Tallahassee about 8:30 p.m. and a group of students from Leon County High School there plan to be on hand to greet them as a sign of support.

State Sen. Lauren Book — D-Plantation, Fla., who paid for the charter buses for the students out of her own pocket — also plans to greet the students when they arrive and help them organize and meet her fellow legislators on Wednesday.

The students plan to start their lobbying efforts early Wednesday when they walk to the state capitol building holding signs reading “Never Again,” the motto for their grassroots movement.

The students also plan to attend a noon rally Wednesday outside the old state capitol building to support gun safety reform.

“I’m committed to making sure no child is going to be scared going into a classroom,” Jon Faber, a parent chaperone on that trip, told ABC News. “That’s what they’re going to achieve.”

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