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Thunderbirds pilot dies in F-16 crash in Nevada

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By Brittany Martinez

U.S. Air Force, FILE(LAS VEGAS) — A pilot with the U.S. Air Force’s elite Thunderbirds flight-demonstration team died Wednesday when the pilot’s F-16 crashed near Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas.

The Thunderbirds pilot died during a routine training flight at the Nevada Test and Training Range around 10:30 a.m., the Air Force confirmed in a statement.

The Air Force is not yet identifying the pilot so his family can be notified, according to the statement, which added that “an investigation is being conducted into the cause of the mishap.”

The Thunderbirds have canceled their appearance at this weekend’s “March Field Air & Space Expo” at March Air Reserve Base in California, and “it is unknown how this accident will impact the remainder of the 2018 Thunderbirds Season,” according to the statement.

The Thunderbirds consist of six of the Air Force’s best F-16 pilots, who fly difficult maneuvers in tandem and perform and airshows throughout the U.S. They’re based at Nellis.

Wednesday’s crash was the third aviation incident for the U.S. military in the last 48 hours.

On Tuesday, a Marine Corps Harrier crashed shortly after takeoff near the runway at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. The pilot ejected to safety.

That same day, a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed near El Centro, California. All four crew members on board were killed, the Marine Corps said.

This latest crash in Nevada follows a string of incidents at or near Nellis Air Force Base.

In January, an aircraft was required to abort its takeoff and subsequently caught fire. No personnel were harmed.

In September, a pilot was killed during a crash at the Nevada Test and Training Range.

On June 2, 2016, a Thunderbirds jet crashed outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado, following a flyover at the Air Force’s commencement exercises. The pilot ejected to safety. A later investigation revealed that the F-16 crashed because of an equipment malfunction.

That incident occurred the same day that 32-year-old Jeff Kuss, a member of with the Navy’s elite Blue Angels team, crashed his F/A-18 and died while preparing for an airshow in Tennessee.

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Scoreboard roundup -- 4/4/18

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By Brittany Martinez

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:

Final Minnesota 7 Pittsburgh 3
Final San Francisco 10 Seattle 1

Final N-Y Yankees 7 Tampa Bay 2
Final Houston 3 Baltimore 2
Final L-A Angels 3 Cleveland 2, 13 Innings
Final Chi White Sox 4 Toronto 3
Final Oakland 6 Texas 2
Kansas City at Detroit 1:10 p.m., postponed

Final Atlanta 7 Washington 1
Final N-Y Mets 4 Philadelphia 2
Final Arizona 3 L-A Dodgers 0
Final St. Louis 6 Milwaukee 0
Final Colorado 5 San Diego 2

Final Philadelphia 115 Detroit 108
Final Orlando 105 Dallas 100
Final Miami 115 Atlanta 86
Final New Orleans 123 Memphis 95
Final Toronto 96 Boston 78
Final OT L.A. Lakers 122 San Antonio 112


Final Ottawa 4 Buffalo 2
Final Chicago 4 St. Louis 3
Final Anaheim 3 Minnesota 1

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Woman arrested for 7th DUI in 7th state

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By Lily Lieberman

Riverside Police Department(NEW HOPE, Minn.) — Authorities are calling a Minnesota woman “one of the worst DUI offenders in the United States” after her seventh arrest in as many states.

Police in Riverside, Illinois, arrested Tasha Lynn Schleicher, 41, of New Hope, Minnesota, April 2 and charged her with two counts of felony aggravated drunk driving, two counts of misdemeanor drunk driving, not having vehicle insurance, driving with a revoked license and transportation of open alcohol while driving.

Schleicher had 11 prior arrests, all of which were DUI-related, the Riverside Police Department said in a statement. She had three active warrants from multiple states.

Schleicher’s 11 children all have been taken away by the State of Minnesota, Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said.

“This is one of the worse DUI offenders we have ever dealt with,” Weitzel said. “I’ve classified her as one of the worst DUI offenders in the United States.”

Police said they received a call at 9:27 p.m. on April 2 that reported a woman passed out in her vehicle at a Riverside gas station.

Officers found Schleicher sitting in her 2005 Nissan Maxima, which police say she apparently had tried to fill with kerosene. There was an open bottle of liquor in the front passenger seat, which witnesses told police they’d seen her drinking from.

Schleicher “had bloodshot, glassy eyes, and emitted a strong odor of alcohol from her breath” and was “in total disarray,” according to police. After refusing to cooperate with a field sobriety test, she was arrested.

She was “combative with officers,” lied about her name, date of birth and Social Security number, Weitzel said. She wasn’t positively identified until she was fingerprinted.

Schleicher was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn after claiming to be pregnant and having a miscarriage, but the hospital found the claim to be false, authorities said.

Previously, Schleicher had been arrested for driving under the influence in Kentucky, Wisconsin, Indiana, California, Oregon and Minnesota. Her outstanding warrants were from Nebraska, Idaho and Oregon.

“When she was arrested in a state, she would just not show up in court unless she was held in custody,” Weitzel said. “That’s one of the reasons for so many outstanding warrants.”

Weitzel asked that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office hold Schleicher and provide “immediate social service intervention and professional medical attention for severe alcohol abuse.”

It’s unclear whether Schleicher has obtained a lawyer at this time.

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Looter gets 20 years for stealing $5,228 of TVs, cigarettes during Hurricane Harvey

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By Michael Dobuski

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — A man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for looting over $5,000 worth of TVs and cigarettes during Hurricane Harvey.

Thomas Gamelin, 38, was arrested and charged with burglary of a building after a Houston police unit was driving by a Walmart on Aug. 29, four days after Harvey roared ashore in Texas as a Category 4 storm. The storm hovered over Houston for days, dumping record-breaking rainfall on the city.

Officers saw Gamelin carrying a television out of the store. He was also captured on the store’s surveillance cameras.

“Our city was in the midst of the worst natural disaster in its history, and the defendant saw that as the perfect opportunity to take advantage and try to make a profit,” Assistant District Attorney Joshua Raygor said in a statement. “While so many people were coming together to help others, Thomas Gamelin was off on his own looting.”

After a two-day trial, Gamelin was convicted by a jury. Since Gamelin was on parole for a drug conviction at the time of the incident, the judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

The stolen items were valued at $5,228.

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2 charged for allegedly smuggling 26 finches in hair curlers

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By Michael Dobuski

US Customs and Border Protection(NEW YORK CITY) — Two New York City men were arrested Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport and charged for illegally smuggling finches from Guyana, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said.

Twenty-six of the little birds were found stuffed in hair curlers and placed in the socks of the defendants, identified as Victor Benjamin, 72, of Brooklyn and Insaf Ali, 57, of the Bronx, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York.

“My investigation has revealed that individuals keep finches to enter them in singing contests,” said Gabriel Harper of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the complaint. “In such contests, often conducted in public areas like parks, two finches sing and a judge selects the bird determined to have the best voice.”

Those who attend the singing contests wager on the birds. A finch who wins can sell for $5,000 or more, Harper said.

“Although certain species of finch are available in the United States, species from Guyana are believed to sing better and are therefore more highly sought after,” Harper said in the complaint. “An individual willing to smuggle finches into the United States from Guyana can earn a large profit by selling these birds in the New York area.”

Benjamin and Ali were stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after they landed at the airport on a flight from Guyana.

The men made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn and were released on a $20,000 bond. They did not enter a plea.

If convicted they face up to 20 years in prison.

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