The Journal Gazette
 
 
Wednesday, August 04, 2021 1:00 am

Nation

Pentagon officer killed in violence outside building

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – A Pentagon police officer died after being stabbed Tuesday during a burst of violence at a transit center outside the building, and a suspect was shot by law enforcement and died at the scene.

The Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. military, was temporarily placed on lockdown after someone attacked the officer on a bus platform shortly after 10:30 a.m. The ensuing violence, which included a volley of gunshots, resulted in “several casualties,” said Woodrow Kusse, the chief of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, which is responsible for security in the facility. Officials said they believe two bystanders were injured.

The suspect was identified by multiple law enforcement officials as Austin William Lanz, 27, of Georgia. Investigators were still trying to determine a motive for the attack and were digging into Lanz's background, including any potential history of mental illness.

Migrant vehicle stops put on hold

A federal judge Tuesday blocked Texas from allowing state troopers to stop vehicles carrying migrants on the grounds that they may spread COVID-19 as worries and new cases are rising along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The temporary order by U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone of El Paso is at least a short-term victory for the Biden administration, which had warned that Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's plan would create more problems amid high levels of summer border crossings in Texas – particularly in the Rio Grande Valley, which one U.S. official called the “epicenter of the current surge.”

In a sign of the growing strain, local officials there who have rebuffed Abbott's hard-line immigration actions to jail border crossers and build new barrier declared a local state of disaster this week as COVID-19 cases climb and capacity at migrant shelters is stretched.

Dixie Fire erupts again in California

California's largest wildfire exploded again after burning for nearly three weeks in remote mountains and officials warned Tuesday that hot, dry weather would increase the risk of new fires across much of the state.

Firefighters saved homes Monday in the small northern California community of Greenville near the Plumas National Forest as strong winds stoked the Dixie Fire, which grew to over 395 square miles across Plumas and Butte counties.

Evacuations were ordered for the community of about 1,000 people as well as for the east shore of nearby Lake Almanor, a popular resort area. About 3,000 homes were threatened by the blaze that has destroyed 67 houses and other buildings since breaking out July 14.

It was 35% contained.

Trump backer wins Ohio GOP primary

Mike Carey, a coal lobbyist backed by former President Donald Trump, won a Republican primary Tuesday for an open U.S. House seat in central Ohio that tested Trump's status as kingmaker.

The political newcomer defeated a crowd of other candidates, including some with establishment backing and experience in state politics. He'll take on Democratic state Rep. Allison Russo, a health policy consultant who won the Democratic nomination, in the GOP-leaning Columbus-area district.

Carey's victory was a win for Trump, who has prided himself on swaying elections but suffered a blow to that reputation last week when his preferred candidate in a Texas special election lost.

Cruise ship docks in Puerto Rico

The Carnival Mardi Gras docked Tuesday in Puerto Rico – the first time a cruise ship has visited the U.S. territory since the pandemic began.

Some cautiously celebrated the arrival. It comes as Puerto Rico has reported an increase in COVID-19 cases blamed on the delta variant but also as it seeks to restart its crucial tourism sector, which depended largely on record numbers of cruise ship passengers in recent years.

Carlos Mercado, executive director of Puerto Rico's Tourism Company, told The Associated Press that the government took several precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including allowing only those who are fully vaccinated to disembark.

Mercado noted that 95% of the ship's passengers are vaccinated, with children younger than 12 making up the majority of those who have not been inoculated.

Reagan shooter's mother dies at 95

Jo Ann Hinckley, a constant companion to her son John Hinckley Jr. as the would-be assassin of President Ronald Reagan was gradually allowed to live outside a psychiatric hospital in Washington, has died.

Jo Ann Hinckley, 95, had been her son's primary companion as he transitioned in recent years from living at a Washington psychiatric hospital to being allowed to live with her full-time in a gated community in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Barry Levine, John Hinckley's longtime attorney, said Jo Ann Hinckley devoted her life to looking after her son after Reagan's shooting.

She and her husband, John “Jack” Hinckley Sr., who died in 2008, had moved to Williamsburg to be closer to their son after a jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity and he was ordered to live at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington.


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