Schools across Denver area closed as “massive manhunt” continues for armed woman “infatuated with Columbine”

Sol Pais

Districts across the Denver metro area ordered their schools closed Wednesday as the FBI and local police continue a “massive manhunt” for an 18-year-old Florida woman they say is “infatuated with Columbine” and who purchased a shotgun shortly after arriving in Colorado this week.

Sol Pais

Most major Denver-area school districts — and others across the Front Range — have canceled classes Wednesday, including Denver Public Schools, Douglas County School District, Aurora Public Schools and Jeffco Public Schools, home to Columbine High School, which was on lockout on Tuesday along with more than 20 other schools in that district over “credible threats.”

Superintendents from school districts across the Denver-metro area gathered for a call Tuesday night and collectively determined that the safest course of action would be to close schools on Wednesday.

Even school districts as far away from Columbine as those in Weld and Larimer counties have been closed Wednesday as a precaution.

FBI spokesman Dustin Farivar said Wednesday morning that although the FBI is not making a recommendation about how many days schools should remain closed, he said they will back any decision the districts make.

“We will support the schools in anything they need,” Farivar said.

Police and federal authorities are searching for Sol Pais, 18, of Surfside, Florida, who traveled to Colorado from Miami on Monday night. FBI officials say she bought a pump-action shotgun as well as ammunition after leaving Denver International Airport.

“We’re looking for her everywhere,” Mike Taplin, spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, said Wednesday morning. “We’re hoping to find her before any bad can be done. All the jurisdictions are working together and the FBI is the lead agency.”

He added: “If someone sees her, they need to call 911 immediately and not try to contact …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


A tornado was bearing down on a bar packed with college students. Its owner explains why they were kicked out.

By Matthew Cappucci | Special To The Washington Post

Bin 612 – a popular pub a quarter mile from the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville – weathered two storms this week: once when an EF-1 tornado whirled a mile and a half east of the restaurant late on Saturday, and an internet firestorm in the days since.

The reason for the digital frenzy? Bin 612 – and nearly half a dozen nearby restaurants in the area’s Cotton District – shut their doors as soon as the tornado warning was issued. Those already inside were asked to leave. And it didn’t go over well.

UNACCEPTABLE—Reports from students at Mississippi State are that people who were at bars in the Starkville area were told to LEAVE rather than seek shelter during this evening’s tornado warning, putting people in danger as they walked away or tried to drive. #mswx

— Joel Young, CBM (@WTVAJoel) April 14, 2019

Bin 612 just had the fight of the century.

They kicked 150+ ppl out into tornado that confirmed being touched down 10 Miles away.

We survived but it wasn’t great.

— Richie Long (@RichLong18) April 14, 2019

Video posted to social media Saturday night showed a cacophony of dumbstruck students as chaos ensued following the evacuation notice. “Get the [expletive] out!” a voice can be heard shouting – later revealed to be a third-party security guard. The original poster removed the video hours later.

The backlash on social media was swift. Some faulted Bin 612’s decision to shut down, especially when it had a basement where people could shelter. Others felt the onus was on patrons, citing the importance of having individual severe weather plans.

A conversation with a spokesman for Bin 612 owner and chef Ty Thames offers some insight as to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


A 71-year-old man has been charged with 100 counts of rape

By Deanna Paul | The Washington Post

A 71-year-old man was arrested on 50 counts of first-degree rape April 9. Three days later, he was charged with 50 more counts.

Harvey Joseph Fountain. (Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office)

The alleged rape began in the early 1970s and continued for a decade, according to Lt. Stephen Phillips of the Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Sheriff’s Office. The assaults allegedly happened in Pineville, Louisiana, to children under 13.

Harvey Fountain has been charged in those assaults.

According to Phillips, the decades-old accusations came to light April 1, when one of the victims disclosed the alleged abuse to local authorities and said there may be other victims.

“One victim came forward and was aware of others that may have been a victim of Fountain’s,” Phillips told The Washington Post.

“After additional interviews, additional victims were located,” Phillips said, though he would not say how many. “And we still have more to interview.”

Under Louisiana law, if the complainant is under 13, any type of sexual intercourse constitutes first-degree rape; there is no statute of limitations for the offense in Louisiana.

As of Friday, Fountain was charged with 100 counts that involved more than one victim and occurred on various dates.

Phillips confirmed that Fountain was known to the alleged victims, but the lieutenant would not discuss the specifics of an ongoing investigation.

Fountain is being held in Rapides Parish on $1 million bond, according to the local records office. A grand jury date has not yet been set.

The Rapides public defender’s office refused to tell The Post who was representing Fountain.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Barr to withhold bail from asylum seekers in latest border crackdown

Reis Thebault, Michael Brice-Saddler | The Washington Post

Migrants who come to the United States seeking asylum may instead wind up jailed indefinitely while they wait for their claims to be processed, the Trump administration ruled Tuesday in its latest crackdown at the border.

Attorney General William Barr’s written decision, a policy reversal, applies to migrants who have already established “a credible fear of persecution or torture” in their home country.

Barr ordered immigration judges to stop allowing some asylum seekers from posting bail while they wait the months or years for their cases to be heard – a system that President Donald Trump has derided as “catch and release.”

But advocates criticized the policy change and said it would lock up people who are simply looking for safety.

“Unless stopped, this decision will result in the unlawful jailing of thousands of people who should not be behind bars,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, in a tweet.

Barr said the order wouldn’t go into effect for 90 days, a three-month time frame that will probably see rights groups challenge the ruling in court.

“We will see the administration in court on this latest unlawful & inhuman attempt to deter and punish asylum-seekers,” Jadwat wrote.

Barr’s ruling reversed the decision in a 2005 case in which an Indian man entered the United States from Mexico and requested asylum. Parole, granted solely and sparingly by the Department of Homeland Security, will be the only way asylum seekers who crossed the border illegally can be released once the order goes into effect.

Barr’s decision to withhold bail from asylum seekers comes as record numbers of Central American families are crossing into the United States, many of whom are fleeing violence and poverty. These migrants know they can seek asylum under federal law and be …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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