Austin to be first U.S. city to fund abortion support services

AUSTIN, Tex. — Abortion advocates say Texas’ capital of Austin has become the first city in the nation to provide funding toward logistical services for abortion access.

The Austin City Council voted on Tuesday to allocate $150,000 of its next year’s budget for transportation, lodging and childcare for local women seeking abortions.Sarah Lopez of Fund Texas Choice says the move made “Austin the first city in the nation to provide practical support funding for residents seeking an abortion.”

It comes in the wake of a new Texas law passed this year that bans contracts between abortion providers and government entities.

Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza says the funding will break down some of the barriers created by restrictions at the state and federal level that limit access to abortion.

THC gummies at school; 2 charged

COVINGTON, La. — A 30-year-old Louisiana woman is accused of making THC-laced gummy candies, and her 11-year-old daughter is accused of giving them to classmates at school.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Wednesday that a deputy assigned to the school learned about the gummies after another child ate one and had to go to a hospital.

The woman was arrested Tuesday on five charges including making controlled substances and cruelty to juveniles. Her daughter was arrested on a distribution charge. Investigators say she knew the gummies contained the marijuana ingredient that makes people high.Officials say detectives found a variety of THC edibles and products at the house.

The sheriff’s office says the girl is in a family member’s custody.

Officials say there may be additional charges.

WWII veteran turns 110 in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — A man considered to be the nation’s oldest living World War II veteran was serenaded and showered with kisses during a celebration of his 110th birthday at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

Lawrence Brooks was born Sept. 12, 1909, and served in the predominantly African American 91st Engineer Battalion stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines. He was a servant to three white officers and his daily routine included cleaning their sheets and uniforms and shining their shoes.

Brooks attained the rank of Private 1st Class during the war.

Museum President and CEO Stephen Watson said Brooks is the nation’s oldest living WWII veteran. Watson was among the speakers at Brooks’ birthday celebration Thursday, which included a serenade of “Happy Birthday” by the museum’s singing trio, the Victory Belles.

3 teens arrested in fatal shooting

DEARBORN, Mich. — A 14-year-old Detroit boy wearing a GPS tether is one of three teens arrested in the armed robbery and fatal shooting of a 29-year-old woman.

The 14-year-old, a 13-year-old and 17-year-old are being held in connection with last week’s killing of Saja Aljanabi and they could be involved in other crimes in the area, Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said Thursday.

Aljanabi was shot while sitting in a car. Haddad said that around the same time, another woman was robbed in Dearborn and a shot was fired at a man in separate incidents.

The 17-year-old was arrested Saturday following a traffic stop and crash on Detroit’s west side. The 13- and 14-year-olds were arrested Monday in Detroit. The younger two suspects are being held in the county youth home, while the 17-year-old is jailed.

The names of the suspects were not released. Dearborn officers had made previous contact with the 13- and 14-year-olds in a shoplifting case that led to the 14-year-old wearing a tether, Haddad said.

The tether did not factor into their arrests in Aljanabi’s slaying, he added.

“It didn’t help us to locate him,” Haddad said. “It helped us to track the movements after we got him. That’s going to prove to be very valuable.”

Police have said that Aljanabi, of Warren, had gone to Dearborn to take her mother to a mosque for prayer. She was an innocent victim, Haddad said.

“If I were in that car, or you were in that car, the same thing would have happened,” the police chief said.

Mother acquitted of killing newborn

LEBANON, Ohio — A young Ohio mother who prosecutors said killed and buried her unwanted newborn in her backyard was acquitted by jurors Thursday.

The Warren County jury deliberated for four hours before acquitting 20-year-old Brooke Skylar Richardson of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment charges.She was found guilty of corpse abuse.

Richardson began crying as verdicts were being read.

Warren County Judge Donald Oda II scheduled sentencing for 11 a.m. Friday on the abuse of a corpse charge. It carries a potential sentence of up to one year in prison, but as a first-time offender, she could get probation.

Prosecutors contended that the high school cheerleader wanted to keep her “perfect life.” They said she hid her unwanted pregnancy and buried her baby in her family’s backyard in May 2017, within days of her senior prom.

Her defense said the baby she named “Annabelle” was stillborn and that the teen was sad and scared.

The remains were found in July 2017 in Carlisle, a village about 40 miles north of Cincinnati.

Richardson faced life in prison if she had been convicted.{span class=”print_trim”}

A forensic pathologist testified for the prosecution that she concluded the baby died from “homicidal violence.” Prosecutors said Richardson had searched on the internet for “how to get rid of a baby.” They played video for the jury of a police interview in which Richardson said the baby might have moved and made noises.

Cincinnati psychologist Stuart Bassman said “Skylar was being manipulated” into making false statements during interrogations. He described Richardson as a vulnerable, immature person whose dependent personality disorder makes her want to please authority figures, even to the point of making incriminating statements that were untrue.

Julie Kraft, an assistant prosecutor, suggested that besides wanting to please authorities, Richardson’s desire to please her family and boyfriend and fear of them abandoning her could have motivated her to commit extreme acts.

Her attorneys had had twice asked to move the trial, citing intense publicity they said was fueled by the prosecution. But Oda II denied their motions.

The trial drew daily coverage from Court TV and at least two national TV network newsmagazines planned stories on it.

The case had divided people in her village of some 5,000 people, with Facebook pages devoted to it and some critics trying to record the Richardson family’s comings and goings to post on social media.

The Associated Press

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