The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, December 22, 2020 1:00 am


Soldier in NJ held in another's death

Associated Press

BYRAM, N.J. – Authorities on Monday were holding a U.S. Army soldier in the death of a fellow soldier from Tennessee who was found shot to death in New Jersey after he was missing from a base in upstate New York.

Authorities found the body of Cpl. Hayden Harris, 20, in a wooded area of Byram Township, New Jersey, on Saturday. The resident of Guys, Tennessee, was last heard from Thursday night after he headed from Fort Drum to Watertown, New York, for a vehicle transaction, the Army said.

Harris was meeting fellow soldier, Jamaal Mellish, for “some type of vehicle exchange,” First Assistant Sussex County Prosecutor Gregory Mueller said. Authorities believe Mellish “abducted” Harris and killed him, Mueller said.

Robert E. Lee statue removed in DC

A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that has represented Virginia in the U.S. Capitol for 111 years has been removed.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement that workers removed the statue from the National Statuary Hall Collection early Monday morning. Northam had requested the removal, and a state commission decided that Lee was not a fitting symbol for the state.

Lee's statue had stood with George Washington's statue since 1909 as Virginia's representatives in the Capitol. Every state gets two statues.

The state commission has recommended replacing Lee's statue with a statue of Barbara Johns. She protested conditions at her all-Black high school in the town of Farmville in 1951. Her court case became part of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling had struck down racial segregation in public schools.

Acrobats hurt in 2014 reach settlement

Eight acrobats severely injured when the rigging suspending them by their hair plummeted to the floor during a circus performance in Rhode Island in 2014 have reached a $52.5 million settlement with the ownership and management of the arena where the circus was held, their lawyer confirmed Monday.

“It's a great result, it's the right result and it's a just result,” Zachary Mandell, an attorney for the eight women, said of the settlement, first reported by The Providence Journal.

A metal clip that held the acrobats 20 feet above the floor of the Dunkin' Donuts Center snapped during the May 2014 performance, causing the women to suffer broken bones and spinal injuries. A ninth worker on the ground was also hurt.

Some of the women still suffer from “life-altering” injuries, according to Mandell, who said he could not get into specifics because of medical privacy laws.

Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island awakes

Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island roared back to life Sunday night as lava went shooting into air, boiling away a water lake and sending a massive plume of steam, gas and ash soaring into the atmosphere.

In the first hours of the eruption, lava mixed rapidly with water in the summit's crater lake to create steam. The sky above the eruption turned shades of orange and red as people lined up to watch the billowing column of gas and vapor rise above the volcano in the middle of the night.

Tom Birchard, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Hawaii, said lava poured into the crater and mixed with the water to cause a vigorous eruption for about an hour. When lava interacts with water it can cause explosive reactions. All the water evaporated out of the lake and a steam cloud shot up about 30,000 feet into the atmosphere, Birchard said.

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