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January 9, 2019

SCHOOL SHOOTING - SHERIFF

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — With Florida’s new governor taking office, some parents of students killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High massacre are pushing for the removal of the local sheriff.

Gov. Ron DeSantis in his inaugural address yesterday said he would hold local officials accountable for any misdeeds. The assertion echoed statements he made during the campaign about possibly suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. Shortly after the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead, DeSantis told supporters he would suspend Israel. DeSantis retreated in later appearances.

Andrew Pollack, whose daughter died in the shooting, was a member of DeSantis’ transition team and says Israel should be removed for failing to protect the students.

Israel’s attorney Stuart Kaplan says Israel doesn’t deserve removal and DeSantis should leave his fate to voters in 2020.

TENNESSEE - CLEMENCY

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee governor’s decision to grant clemency to a woman who killed a man when she was 16 had the potential to pit political interests against widespread support for her cause. Yet the governor says the decision came down to doing the right thing.

Outgoing Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday quietly issued his decision on Cyntoia Brown, who says she was a sex-trafficking victim. However, the news quickly spread, thrilling criminal justice advocates, celebrities and other supporters who had been fighting for years to help Brown.

Haslam, who is considering a run for a U.S. Senate seat in 2020, has downplayed potential impacts to his political career in an interview with the Tennessee Journal.

The 30-year-old Brown will remain on parole for 10 years after her release Aug. 7.

DRUG PRICES - ADS

UNDATED (AP) — Drug maker Eli Lilly has started posting price information online for drugs advertised on TV.

Yesterday the company began running TV ads for a popular diabetes drug that don’t give the price but direct viewers to the website.

The site gives Trulicity’s monthly list price of $730.20, the average out-of-pocket costs based on insurance and details on financial assistance programs.

Lilly says it’s the first drug maker to do this. The Indianapolis company plans the same disclosures soon for its other medicines.

The top pharmaceutical trade group offered this approach in October to counter a Trump administration proposal to require list prices in all TV drug ads. Drug makers and some medical groups oppose that, arguing that steep list prices might deter people from seeking treatment.

COLLEGE SEXUAL ASSAULT - COURT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A lawyer for a college student who was sexually assaulted at a fraternity “Date Night” party and then driven across campus and assaulted again asked a U.S. appeals court yesterday to hold the public college liable.

Lawyer Patrick J. Whalen argued that Ramapo College of New Jersey created a dangerous environment by failing to monitor fraternities, discourage underage drinking and prevent sexual assaults.

Five former students, including a woman, were charged with taking part in the videotaped 2014 attack. Two of the men charged pleaded guilty to sex assault charges and were sentenced to about five years in prison, according to Whalen. The other three entered pretrial diversion programs.

The victim is suing the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, college officials and the individuals involved. The victim filed the suit under a pseudonym. The Associated Press does not typically identify people alleging sexual assault.

Prosecutors have said two assailants played the game “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to decide who would sexually assault the heavily intoxicated woman first in a fraternity bedroom.

FOILED SCHOOL SHOOTING

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Police in California say they have arrested a middle school student who was planning to carry out mass shootings at two Napa schools.

Napa police said in a statement Monday that they thwarted the planned attacks on River Middle School and Vintage High School thanks to a fellow student who alerted authorities.

It says investigators arrested the 14-year-old suspect on Jan. 2 after they searched two homes and found evidence he was researching and planning a mass shooting.

The student remains in custody and was not identified.

The police department says it started investigating on Dec. 31 when a student told police a classmate who was planning the attacks threatened to kill him if he warned anyone.

LAWYER - OBIT

MORRISVILLE, Pa. (AP) — A lawyer who held off an angry mob while representing the first black family to move into the all-white development of Levittown, Pennsylvania, has died. Samuel Snipes was 99.

His family says Snipes died Dec. 31 at his family farm in Morrisville, Pennsylvania.

In 1957, Snipes represented Daisy and Bill Myers when the black couple quietly moved into Levittown.

Weeks of harassment, public protest and death threats followed their move. At one point, Snipes held off a mob of enraged white people until police arrived. The governor eventually ordered in state police.

The Myers family stood their ground, remaining in the home until 1961.

Snipes, who was white, was a Quaker activist and a conscientious objector during World War II. He later worked as a township solicitor and historian.