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Autopsy: Indiana University student died from head injuries

(AP) — A coroner said Saturday that an Indiana University student found dead in a rural area hours before she was reported missing had been fatally beaten in the head with an unknown weapon.

The coroner said Wilson’s only other injuries were superficial abrasions and bruises that he described as protective, rather than defensive, wounds.

Bloomington police received a missing persons report on Wilson’s disappearance Friday afternoon, several hours before authorities identified the body.

IU basketball player Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell also postponed his planned Saturday night announcement of whether he’ll enter the NBA draft, citing Wilson’s killing.

Wilson’s death comes nearly four years after another IU student, Lauren Spierer, vanished after a night out with friends in the college town.

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Bill under debate would limit farm antibiotics in Oregon

[…] critics say repeated use of antibiotics has made bacteria more resistant to the drugs, resulting in people developing antibiotic-resistant infections.

Scientists, doctors and public health officials are unequivocal about the need to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

[…] some farmers and veterinarians say the bill would essentially bar them from using antibiotics to prevent disease outbreaks — a crucial tool in the treatment of large groups of animals.

Unlike in human medicine, on a farm it’s critical to treat the herd at the first signs of a bacterial infection, said Charles Meyer, a Grants Pass veterinarian and president of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause 23,000 human deaths and more than 2 million illnesses each year in the U.S. Doctors say resistant superbugs cause infections and make antibiotics ineffective in curing common diseases.

Farmers say the bill isn’t needed because the Food and Drug Administration is working to phase out use of low-dose antibiotics for animal growth by December 2016 and to increase veterinary oversight over the drugs.

The farm is the largest small chicken producer in the state, raising 8,500 birds a year and selling their meat at farmers markets and through farm shares; it also raises antibiotic-free grass-fed beef.


As theater shooting trial opens, gun debate dwindles

DENVER (AP) — When a gunman opened fire inside a packed movie theater in July 2012, killing 12 and injuring 70, it did more than spread fear and heartbreak across the Denver suburbs.

Democrats in the state legislature in 2013 muscled through new laws requiring universal background checks and banning magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

Though gun rights groups were successful in the recalls, the pro-gun state senators were voted out in the regular elections last year.

Guns were rarely discussed in a campaign where Republicans attacked Democrats on the economy and President Barack Obama’s health care plan.

A universal background check ballot measure is scheduled in Nevada next year, which will make it the next western swing state to test the volatile politics of gun control.

[…] though new gun restrictions have passed in a few states that aren’t reliably liberal — Feinblatt pointed to a bill signed last year by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to take guns from people with restraining orders — expanding Republican control over state legislatures has led to a flurry of legislation weakening gun laws.

[…] Walker, a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, has indicated that he’ll sign legislation ending his state’s two-day waiting period on handgun purchases, which would be at least his third expansion of gun rights since his 2010 election.


Public boarding school — the way to solve educational ills?

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo’s chronically struggling school system is considering an idea gaining momentum in other cities: public boarding schools that put round-the-clock attention on students and away from such daunting problems as poverty, troubled homes and truancy.

Supporters say such a dramatic step is necessary to get some students into an atmosphere that promotes learning, and worth the costs, estimated at $20,000 to $25,000 per student per year.

About 115,000 students board at private schools in the United States, federal statistics show, in a tradition that predates the Revolutionary War, but the idea of public boarding schools is relatively new.

Tasha Poulson found SEED and its 90-plus percent graduation rate while researching schools after seeing her daughter, who had excelled in elementary school, begin to lose ground upon entering one of Washington’s public middle schools.

[…] Poulson decided it would give her daughter the independence and confidence she would need to go to college.

A study of SEED published in the Journal of Labor Economics last year found that changing both a student’s social and educational environment through boarding significantly raised student achievement in math and English.


Each death in Baltimore makes mistrust harder to overcome

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s mayor and police commissioner came in making big promises to the inner-city residents and police who spent decades staring each other down in neighborhoods ravaged by crack and heroin.

Two and a half years into his job leading the city’s police department, Commissioner Anthony Batts is frustrated that the people he was appointed to serve have lost their faith in justice.

Six officers have been suspended with pay since Freddie Gray died of a spinal injury he suffered during an arrest Batts characterized as questionable.

Both Batts and the mayor, who took office in 2010, are African-American and no strangers to communities like Sandtown, a set of public housing projects not far from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and the Orioles’ baseball stadium where Gray tried to outrun three bicycle cops who spotted him on a street corner on April 12.

— Trayvon Scott, 30, arrested on a charge of attempted murder, died in custody in February 2015 after showing signs of distress in a holding cell.

[…] the Justice Department has opened a second probe, by its Civil Rights division, examining Gray’s death.

The future Maryland governor and Democratic presidential candidate imposed a “zero tolerance” policy that did reduce crime, but also resulted in thousands of arrests without cause.

“When we adopted zero tolerance policing we were embedding in the police culture this mindset of being at war with the citizenry,” said Sonia Kumar, an attorney at the ACLU.

Batts and the mayor said they’re still battling the legacy of this zero tolerance policy: “Although crime decreased, the high number of arrests for minor offenses ignited a rift between the citizens and the police, which still exists today,” they wrote in a report last year.

Marathon bomber trial casts focus on Boston Muslims

BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s Muslim community has been once again thrust into the spotlight as the death penalty trial of convicted marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev nears its conclusion amid rising concerns of terrorist recruitment in America.

Newspaper op-eds, advertisements and social media posts have highlighted connections between Boston-area mosques and terrorists and suspected terrorists, despite efforts locally to denounce them.

Boston is also one of three cities – along with Los Angeles and Minneapolis – where the Obama administration is piloting a controversial new program to tackle extremist group recruitment before it takes root.

“Blaming an entire mosque just based on a couple of radical people that don’t represent them really is unfair,” said Rania Masri, of Quincy, just before Friday’s prayer service at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, a towering brick mosque in the city’s Roxbury neighborhood.

In February, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, a Boston-based nonprofit group, took out a large ad in The Washington Times featuring pictures of the Tsarnaev brothers and other terrorists or suspected terrorists with alleged ties to the Islamic Society of Boston and other area mosques.

A few recalled a February incident in nearby Revere, where threatening, anti-Muslim notes were scattered near a subway station, prompting law enforcement and faith leaders to condemn the actions in a community forum.


With legalization, lawyers turn to business of pot

Kamin said the firms see marijuana as a lucrative new industry, but still worry about the potential ethical and legal pitfalls — and how it will affect their reputations.

The drug remains illegal under federal law, however, and the American Bar Association’s rules of professional conduct prohibit lawyers from assisting in criminal conduct.

With this in mind, attorneys say they focus on providing advice about what state marijuana laws do and don’t allow, and decline to answer questions about how clients can bend the rules.

Garfield, whose firm got into the marijuana field several years ago, was recently working on an appeal of a federal court’s ruling that a couple did not qualify for bankruptcy protection because their assets largely stemmed from marijuana enterprises.

Shy Sadis, 42, who has medical and recreational marijuana stores throughout Washington state, said Bricken has helped him trademark “The Joint,” one of his store names, locate properties that would comply with the state’s recreational marijuana rules and create forms that new patients must fill out.

Family looks to future after fugitive brother’s return to US

[…] Beth Kelley said she doesn’t plan to talk to him about the reasons for his absence: the child custody fight that made him and his wife international fugitives.

Scott Kelley and his wife, Genevieve, are back on U.S. soil and facing criminal charges for allegedly absconding to Central America with Genevieve Kelley’s daughter amid a bitter custody dispute that included allegations — which investigators say were unfair — that the now-19-year-old’s birth father abused her.

Beth Kelley said relatives are avoiding talking about the case and instead trying to focus on the family’s future, especially that of the couple’s two children: the young woman whose safety has been cited as the reason for their flight and the 10-year-old boy whose medical condition was the reason for their return.

[…] her brother, John, is living with Genevieve at an in-law’s home and being treated for cystic fibrosis.

If convicted, the Kelleys face up to seven years in prison on each of three felony counts involving custodial interference and witness tampering, and up to a year in jail on each of two misdemeanors.

Beth Kelley said the family avoids discussing the case — Genevieve Kelley is staying with one of Beth’s brothers, but is under court order not to contact her husband or her daughter — but is concerned about the possibility the couple could end up in prison.