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  • An infant recovered from a debris area in Ohio's Mad River on Tuesday evening has died despite CPR and other life-saving measures, the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office said. >> Read more trending news A female canoer called 911 about 2:16 p.m. to report that her infant had fallen into the water from her lap and disappeared under the rushing water as she and other members of her party, floating down the river, approached the area of several fallen trees and debris south of state Route 55, authorities said. A dive team and several other rescue crews were requested to Ohio 55 at the Mad River, just east of Ohio 560, after receiving reports that the infant went into the river.  At least seven people were on a flotation device when it reached a strainer (a large tree placed in the water more than halfway across the river) and overturned, German Township Fire/EMS Chief Tim Holman said. Everybody on the device – including the infant – was dumped into the river. Chief Holman said the victims were “freelancing” because that part of the Mad River where the strainer is set up is too dangerous for canoes, flotation devices and rescuers.  The survivors were able to make their way to a small island next to the strainer, approximately a half-mile south of state Route 55, where they were rescued, the chief said. No one was wearing a life preserver and a language barrier exists between the victims and the rescuers. Rescuers located the child in a debris area just after 5 p.m. and began CPR, which continued as they rushed the child to a waiting ambulance.  Life-saving measures continued at Mercy Hospital in Urbana, but were unsuccessful.  Holman said neither the age nor gender of the infant is known. “When it’s a kid, it takes a toll on everybody,” Holman said. “We live with that on a daily basis.” Two of the seven rescued people suffered minor injuries. All of them were taken to Mercy Memorial Hospital. German Township fire crews have had to perform three rescues on that part of the river recently. “The water is deep there and the current is fast,” Holman said.  The Sheriff's Office and the Champaign County Coroner's Office are continuing their investigation of this incident.
  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that the vehicle believed to be involved in an Amber Alert out of Fairmont, West Virginia, was spotted on Interstate 40 near Holbrook, Arizona, on July 17. It's unclear what direction the gold 2001 Subaru Forester was headed. >> Read more trending news The news came one day after West Virginia State Police issued an Amber Alert for Gracelynn June Scritchfield, 4. Police said she was last seen in Fairmont on July 6 and is believed to be in extreme danger. Police said she was most likely abducted by her biological father, 26-year-old Arlie Edward Hetrick III. He's described as Caucasian with brown hair and blue eyes. He weighs about 140 pounds and stands 5-feet, 9 inches tall, authorities said. Scritchfield is described as Caucasian with brown-blonde hair and blue eyes. She weighs about 35 pounds and stands 3 feet tall, police said. Authorities said she was last seen wearing summer clothes, but they did not have a description of her clothing. Police said she and her biological father may be traveling in a gold 2001 Subaru Forester with West Virginia license plate 1TH163. If you have any information on her whereabouts, you're asked to call 911 immediately.
  • Citing unforeseen costs, Amanda Knox and her fiance are asking for donations to their wedding following a trip to Italy in June.  >> Read more trending news Knox and her fiance, Christopher Robinson, wrote on their registry website that their wedding funds were spent on a trip to Italy last month when she was invited to speak at a criminal justice summit hosted by the Italy Innocence Project. The trip was Knox's first time back in Italy since being acquitted in 2015 in the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher. 'We weren't expecting to be planning a wedding and Amanda's first ever return trip to Italy at the same time,' the registry reads. 'With scant time to plan, and no financial backing, we had to spend our wedding funds on this challenging and important journey.' The registry asks for donations either for specific costs or at a patron level. The patron level ranges from $500 to $10,000, with each level having a title: Stellar patron, galactic patron and temporal patron.  People can also donate to aspects of the wedding ranging from the venue, special effects, costumes and the honeymoon.  All donors will receive a signed copy of 'The Cardio Tesseract,' a joint book of love poems written by Knox and Robinson. The website for the book describes it as alternating love poems written in conversation with each other, 'revealing the dynamics of their private life, their hopes, fears, and dark places.' Knox responded to criticism of the registry on her Twitter account.  Knox spoke at the conference on the role of the media in judicial errors. She and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were initially convicted in the slaying of Kercher in 2007. Their convictions were annulled by the country's highest court in 2015 after a yearslong series of flip-flop higher-court decisions. Judges in that final ruling cited flaws in the investigation and said there was a lack of evidence to prove their wrongdoing beyond reasonable doubt, including a lack of 'biological traces' connecting them to the crime. – The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
  • A north Alabama man was arrested Friday in connection with two homicides after patrol officers in another part of the state said they found him driving around with his dead wife’s body in the front seat beside him. Fred Sommerville, 47, is accused of killing his estranged wife, Lakresha Sommerville, 39, of Ardmore, Tennessee, who was reported missing Thursday in Limestone County, Alabama. Ardmore sits on the southern Tennessee state line and abuts its sister city of the same name in Alabama. Law enforcement officials have spelled the couple's name Sommerville, though their social media profiles show the spelling as Somerville. Fred Sommerville was taken into custody following a police pursuit in Pickens County, more than 150 miles away in west Alabama. “His wife, Lakresha, was in the front seat of the vehicle. She was dead and had been dead for several hours,” Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said during a news conference Monday evening. As of Tuesday morning, Fred Sommerville remained in the Pickens County Jail on charges of abuse of a corpse, attempt to elude, first-degree theft of property and reckless endangerment. He is expected to be transferred to Limestone County, at which point he will face a charge of first-degree murder for the murder of two or more people. Blakely said along with the slaying of his estranged wife, Fred Sommerville is also a suspect in the Thursday night killing of Bruce Cosman, 74, of Ardmore, Alabama. The News Courier in Athens reported that Cosman and his wife were inside their home around 7:30 p.m. Thursday when they heard suspicious noises outside. Cosman went outside to investigate the noises and his wife heard gunshots. According to the newspaper, Cosman was shot multiple times, dying in the yard. Blakely said Monday that investigators have evidence placing Fred Sommerville at Cosman’s home at the time of the shooting. He did not say what that evidence is. “There’s a lot of things we can’t go into at this time because it’s still an ongoing investigation,” Blakely said. He said a lot more legwork needs to be done in the case, but he is confident that the killer is in custody. Blakely said one reason he held the news conference was to calm the fears of residents in Ardmore. “We don’t have a murderer running loose up there in Ardmore. We have the person. He is in custody,” Blakely said. “We’re very confident he is the one that murdered Mr. Bruce.” >> Read more trending news  The timeline of the killing of Lakresha Sommerville is still not nailed down, Blakely said. He told reporters Monday that the victim’s mother reported her missing, with a possible kidnapping by her estranged husband, late Thursday night. Fred Sommerville was apprehended in Pickens County, in the town of Aliceville, around 11 a.m. Friday. Lakresha Sommerville had obviously been dead for hours at that point, the sheriff said. Blakely said there is no indication Fred Sommerville knew Cosman or his family. “We have some theories and possibly some evidence that’s going to indicate why he wound up at that residence, but we’re not prepared to discuss those at this time,” Blakely said. Watch the entire news conference with Limestone County officials below.  It was unclear why Fred Sommerville drove to Pickens County, though investigators said he has an uncle who lives there. Blakely said Sommerville also drove through other areas of Alabama for hours before his capture. The News Courier reported Fred Sommerville was caught after Aliceville police officers, who had heard reports regarding Lakresha Sommerville’s missing vehicle, spotted him downtown and attempted to pull him over. The officers ultimately fired at the car to stop it, the newspaper reported. The sheriff said Lakresha Sommerville had filed several complaints against her estranged husband alleging domestic violence and stalking. “According to the reports we’ve received so far, she was scared of him,” Blakely said. It was not yet clear exactly where Lakresha Sommerville was slain. According to investigators, she was shot once in the head. A Facebook page apparently belonging to Fred Sommerville, listed under the name Fila Somerville, shows multiple angry public posts that appeared to be directed at his estranged wife over the past few months. “All the slander you do towards me only gonna make that number bigger,” he wrote less than a week before Lakresha Sommerville was slain. “Get your lawyer, ‘cause you gonna pay dearly. Bet that.” Several people have commented on the post since the slaying last week. 'Why, Fred? Why?' Lakresha Sommerville's mother, Cindy Surles, wrote. 'Why would you take away the only person that was taking care of your son?' She wrote that Fred Sommerville did not care about the boy, who, according to Lakresha Sommerville's Facebook page, turned 13 earlier this year. 'All you care about is Fred and if it's not about Fred, then it ain't about nothing,' Surles wrote. On July 2, Fred Sommerville posted that he was in a domestic partnership with Lakresha, who appeared to express surprise at the relationship status. A friend asked Fred if he was OK. Fred Sommerville wrote that he had some business to take care of. 'This (expletive) the reason y,' he wrote, indicating his estranged wife. Other friends wrote that Lakresha Sommerville was not the source of his problems and urged him to accept that the relationship was over. On Friday, a woman named Stacey Smith commented on the status, along with several others on the Facebook page, telling those who saw her posts that Fred and Lakresha Sommerville were missing. 'No one has heard from them since yesterday afternoon,' Smith wrote. 'Their son was left behind and haven’t heard from them! If anyone knows or heard anything please let us know!' The following day, after news of Lakresha Sommerville's slaying emerged, the comments on Fred Sommerville's page turned to anger and anguish. 'You sorry (expletive), you didn’t have to kill her,' one person wrote. 'You could’ve thought of your son.' A friend of Lakresha's, April Robison, wrote on a Facebook fundraiser to help Surles fund her daughter's funeral and raise her son, that Lakresha Sommerville was loved and respected by many. 'Kresha was dedicated to her son, her mom, her whole family,' Robison wrote. 'She could light up a room with her smile. Her laugh was infectious. She will be missed by this entire town. We have lost a truly beautiful soul.' In a December post thanking her friends for birthday wishes, Lakresha Sommerville wrote that she thanked God for life and was looking forward to what the next year of life held for her. 'Just being honest I'm not living my best life yet, but if it's in God's will, I'm on my way,' she wrote. She wrote that she was looking forward to new and exciting things and a drama and stress-free year. 'May Chapter 39 be the best year yet!' she wrote.

Washington Insider

  • The White House on Tuesday defended the details of a major budget deal worked out between President Donald Trump and Democrats in the Congress, even as conservative groups and some GOP lawmakers denounced it as a budget boondoggle which would only increase spending and further raise deficits and debt. 'This deal on the discretionary spending caps is nothing short of a surrender by Republican “leadership” in the House and Senate and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin,' said the group Freedom Works. The plan would raise spending levels to $320 billion more than the budget caps in current law for 2020 and 2021 - though the actual increase in spending from 2019 would be much less. With no briefings at the White House, the public argument on behalf of the deal was carried in the rain on Tuesday by the President's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow. On Capitol Hill, Republicans said it was the best deal possible. 'In a compromise, neither side gets 100 percent of what they want,' said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). But the details produced a lot of grumbling from GOP lawmakers in the House, who want to see less spending - not more. 'The spending deal before us would continue Washington’s reckless spending with an unlimited line of credit,' said Rep. Mark Green (R-TN). 'This deal irresponsibly jacks up spending by $320 billion,' said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who complained 'this deal just kicks the can down the road again.' 'This proposal digs the US deeper into debt,' said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who said it was hard for budget haws to support a deal that adds more money to the deficit. 'Our credit card is maxed out,' said Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC). 'What this budget deal does is ask the credit card company for another $320 billion in credit.' A House vote is expected on the plan by Friday, with Senate action expected next week. Lawmakers needed to act now - before going home on an extended summer break - because Trump Administration officials were worried that the debt limit needed to be expanded soon after Labor Day.