tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018
  • Home
News Roundup

Undersea quake causes fear of tsunami in Alaska; Kentucky teen kills 2 classmates in shooting; ex-gymnast tells Nassar: ‘You didn’t heal me. You only hurt me’; more in U.S. news

Alaska

Undersea quake causes panic

A powerful undersea earthquake sent Alaskans fumbling for suitcases and racing to evacuation centers in the middle of the night after a cellphone alert warned a tsunami could hit communities along the state’s southern coast and parts of British Columbia. The monster waves never materialized, but people who fled endured hours of tense waiting at shelters before they were cleared to return home. "This was a win as far as I could tell," said Marjie Veeder, clerk for the city of Unalaska, which is home to the international fishing port of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. "We got advance warning and were so thankful for that." The magnitude 7.9 quake in the Gulf of Alaska triggered the jarring alert that roused people shortly after midnight Tuesday. Fleeing motorists clogged some highways in their rush to higher ground. Many took refuge at schools or other shelters.

Kentucky

Teen boy kills 2, injures 17
in rural school shooting

A 15-year-old student killed two classmates and hit a dozen others with gunfire Tuesday, methodically firing a handgun inside a crowded atrium at his rural high school. "He was determined," said Alexandria Caporali, who grabbed her stunned friend and ran into a classroom as others hit the floor. "It was one right after another — bang bang bang bang bang," the 16-year-old added. "You could see his arm jerking as he was pulling the trigger." He kept firing, she said, until he ran out of ammunition and took off running, trying to get away. Police arrested the teen boy moments later, leading him away in handcuffs to be charged with murder and attempted murder. Authorities did not identify the gunman responsible for the nation’s first fatal school shooting of 2018, nor did they release any details about a motive. Lt. Michael Webb said detectives are looking into his home and background. Seventeen students were injured — 12 of them hit with bullets and five others hurt in the scramble as hundreds of students fled for their lives from Marshall County High School. Caporali said most students knew what to do from active-shooter drills.

Washington, D.C.

Senate approves new Fed chair

The Senate approved President Donald Trump’s selection of Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve beginning next month. Senators voted 85-12 to confirm Powell to lead the nation’s central bank, a post that is considered the most powerful economic position in government. Powell will succeed Janet Yellen, the first woman to lead the Fed. Trump decided against offering Yellen a second four-year term as chair despite widespread praise for her performance. Powell, 64, has served for 5˝ years on the Fed’s board. A lawyer and investment manager by training, he will be the first Fed leader in 40 years without an advanced degree in economics.

Sessions interviewed by Mueller

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interviewed for hours last week in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the Justice Department confirmed Tuesday. He’s the highest-ranking Trump administration official and first Cabinet member known to have submitted to questioning. The interview came as Mueller investigates whether President Donald Trump’s actions in office, including the firing of FBI director James Comey, constitute efforts to obstruct the FBI probe into contacts between his 2016 campaign and Russia. Trump’s lawyers are discussing the prospect of an interview with the president. Sessions is seen as a potentially important witness given his involvement in the May 9 firing of Comey.

Michigan

‘You didn’t heal me. You only hurt me,’ ex-gymnast tells Nassar

A former elite gymnast said Tuesday that a sports doctor who treated Olympic athletes overlooked what turned out to be a broken leg while he molested her in the basement of his home, one of over 160 victims to testify at a sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar. Isabell Hutchins practiced for weeks at a Lansing-area gymnastics club and even competed at national events despite acute leg pain as a teen in 2011. "You were never a real doctor. You did not heal me. You only hurt me," Hutchins told Nassar in the courtroom as the sentencing phase reached a sixth day. The judge said he would get his sentence today. Nassar, 54, has admitted sexually assaulting athletes when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. Meanwhile, a senior member of Michigan State’s governing board said university president Lou Anna Simon will not be forced out over the Nassar scandal — "period." Joel Ferguson said she’s been the best leader in his 30 years as a trustee. He dismissed the issue, saying there are "so many more things going on" at Michigan State "than just this Nassar thing."

Maine

Town fires manager, a white separatist

A "pro-white" town manager who espoused separatist views was fired Tuesday and is getting $30,000 for agreeing not to sue the rural town of Jackman. Tom Kawczynski, the top administrator since June, has made comments bashing Islam and called for the preservation of white European heritage in northern New England. He also operates a website that touts racial segregation and describes itself as the internet home of pro-white group New Albion. Social media users and local leaders had called for Kawczynski to quit or be fired. He was paid $49,000 annually, and the town said he is getting $30,000 in severance. Kawczynski served as town chair in Lisbon, N.H., for President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Michigan

Man arrested after phone threats to CNN

Brandon Griesemer has been arrested after authorities say he threatened to travel to Atlanta and kill people at CNN headquarters. Federal court documents say the 19-year-old began calling Jan. 9. He allegedly told a CNN operator, "Fake News. I’m coming to gun you all down." He allegedly made racist and anti-Semitic comments, too. Altogether, there were 22 calls from two phones over two days. Court documents say Griesemer had earlier made threatening calls to a local mosque.

Nation

Legal immigrants avoid health care in fear

The number of legal immigrants from Latin American nations who access public health services and enroll in federally subsidized insurance plans has dipped substantially since President Donald Trump took office, many of them fearing their information could be used to identify and deport relatives living in the U.S. illegally, according to health advocates across the country. Trump based his campaign on promises to stop illegal immigration and deport any immigrants here illegally, but many legal residents and U.S. citizens are losing their health care as a chilling result, advocates say. After Trump became president a year ago, "every single day families canceled" their Medicaid plans and "people really didn’t access any of our programs," said Daniel Bouton, a director at Dallas nonprofit Community Council, which specializes in health care enrollment for low-income families. — tbt* wires

Weather Center

10Weather WTSP

Comments

News

Undersea quake causes fear of tsunami in Alaska; Kentucky teen kills 2 classmates in shooting; ex-gymnast tells Nassar: ‘You didn’t heal me. You only hurt me’; more in U.S. news