Monday, Aug 31st

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Gov. Sam Brownback's brother accused of terrorizing rural neighbors

Jim BrownbackUndulating fields of crops and livestock-dotted pastures are the domain of a trigger-happy bully who brags about a political cloak of invincibility keeping him beyond reach of the law in faithfully conservative Linn County.

Adversaries say he has woven a liquor-infused tapestry of fear colored by intimidation, abuse and lies. The saga features stalking, death threats, trespassing, drive-by gunfire, massive explosions, cattle theft, loan defaults, hit-and-run driving and marital strife. Linn County Sheriff’s Department files bulge with complaints about him.


Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford dead at 84

Frank GiffordPro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who also had a prominent broadcasting career, has died.

His family issued the following statement through NBC on Sunday afternoon:

"It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved husband, father and friend, Frank Gifford. Frank died suddenly this beautiful Sunday morning of natural causes at his Connecticut home. We rejoice in the extraordinary life he was privileged to live, and we feel grateful and blessed to have been loved by such an amazing human being. We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time and we thank you for your prayers."


Protesters mark anniversary of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson

Ferguson protestSeveral hundred people gathered in Ferguson, Missouri, on Sunday to mark the anniversary of the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer that sparked protests and a national debate on race and justice.

Some pushed children in strollers as crowds of white, black, old and young people gathered at the spot in this mostly black St. Louis suburb where Brown, 18, was fatally shot on Aug. 9, 2014.


Phila. judge overturns 158 convictions tied to rogue narcotics cops

Jeffrey WalkerA Philadelphia judge on Friday reversed 158 narcotics convictions tainted by allegations of police corruption - the largest such dismissal in one day in city history.

The rulings by Common Pleas Court President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper were the latest fallout from the federal prosecution of seven police narcotics officers.


Railroad safety: Few likely to meet deadline for technology

train safety not met for most trainsOnly a handful of railroads are close to meeting a deadline this year to install safety technology that can prevent many crashes, including derailments due to excessive speed like the deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia in May, according to a government report released Friday.

Only three railroads have submitted safety plans to government, a necessary step before they can put the technology — positive train control, or PTC — into operation, the Federal Railroad Administration report said. They are BNSF Railway, the nation's second largest freight railroad, and two commuter railroads — Metrolink in the Los Angeles area, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in the Philadelphia area.


Tens of thousands of rape kits go untested across USA

Rape kits untestedAfter 18 years without justice, Joanie Scheske believed the man who raped her would never be caught.  That changed when St. Louis police called in 2009. Evidence in a separate, eight-year old sexual assault was finally tested and matched her attacker's DNA.

Rapist Mark Frisella, whose attack was so brutal Scheske still suffers from epilepsy, is serving 19 years in prison.

"I had a really difficult time wrapping my head around why that rape kit was never tested," Scheske said. "My case is a poster child as to why you test these kits."


Recordings: Michigan Republican Created His Own Gay-Sex Hoax

Michigan rep affair revealedState Rep. Todd Courser planned the distribution of a fictional email alleging he had sex with a male prostitute in a bid to conceal his relationship with Rep. Cindy Gamrat, according to audio recordings obtained by The Detroit News.

Courser, a Lapeer Republican, said on one recording the email was designed to create “a complete smear campaign” of exaggerated, false claims about him and Gamrat so a public revelation about the legislators’ relationship would seem “mild by comparison.”


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