The Journal Gazette
 
 
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 1:00 am

Nation

Officer accused of deadly scheme

Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A Tennessee police officer was charged with kidnapping a man in a squad car while on duty and fatally shooting him, authorities said.

Patric Ferguson, a Memphis police officer since 2018, was charged in the death of Robert Howard, 30, of Memphis. Howard was reported missing Wednesday, Memphis police said in a statement Sunday on Twitter. Ferguson, 29, was fired following his arrest, the statement said.

Ferguson used a personal handgun to allegedly force Howard into the back of a police car and drove him to an area where he was shot, the statement said. An acquaintance, Joshua Rogers, 28, was charged with helping Ferguson relocate Howard's body.

Woman in phone scuffle still skeptical

A white woman who wrongly accused a Black teenager of stealing her cellphone and tackled him at a New York City hotel appeared to back off her apology in a TV interview that aired Monday, suggesting without evidence that maybe he did try to steal her phone after all.

“As soon as I get asked to leave the premises after I had accused this person of stealing my phone, how is that all of a sudden they just miraculously have my phone at the back?” 22-year-old Miya Ponsetto said in the interview on “CBS This Morning.”

Ponsetto was charged Saturday in New York with attempted robbery, grand larceny, acting in a manner injurious to a child and two counts of attempted assault, according to city police. Security video shows Ponsetto frantically grabbing at 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. as he tries to get away from her through the front door of Manhattan's Arlo Hotel. The teen's father, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, has said that Ponsetto's phone had actually been left in an Uber and was returned by the driver.

Mississippi raises new state flag

Mississippi hoisted a new state flag without the Confederate battle emblem on Monday, just over six months after legislators retired the last state banner in the U.S. that included the divisive rebel symbol.

The new flag has a magnolia and the phrase, “In God We Trust.” Voters approved the design in November, and Gov. Tate Reeves on Monday signed a law to make it an official state symbol.

Multistate jackpots total over $1 billion

After a long stretch of relatively paltry prizes, U.S. lottery players now have a choice of games that offer combined jackpots of more than $1 billion.

The jackpot for Mega Millions' Tuesday night drawing has climbed to $615 million, and the top prize in the Powerball game reached $550 million ahead of Wednesday's drawing.

It has been nearly two years since the two national lottery games offered such giant prizes and only the second time both jackpots have topped $500 million.

'Trump' written on back of manatee

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating reports of a manatee found with “Trump” drawn on its back in a Florida river.

The aquatic mammal was spotted over the weekend in the Homosassa River in Citrus County, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed. The area is about 80 miles north of Tampa. The manatee does not appear to be seriously injured, officials said. It appears that the word was written in the algae that had grown on the animal's back, not scratched into its skin.


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