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    U.S. marshals have erected billboards in multiple states as they continue to search for a Minnesota grandmother, gambling addict and alleged killer who is suspected in two homicides, including that of a woman she allegedly killed to assume her identity.  Lois Riess, 56, was last seen April 8 in the area of Corpus Christi, Texas, following what is believed to be a multistate homicide case. She is sought on murder and theft charges in the slaying of Pamela Hutchinson, of Bradenton, who was found shot to death April 9 in a condominium in which she was staying in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.  Riess, who Minnesota law enforcement officers dubbed “Losing Streak Lois” for her penchant for gambling, is also a person of interest in the killing of her husband, David Riess, who was found shot to death March 23 on the couple’s worm farm in Blooming Prairie. In each shooting, the victim had been dead for several days when the body was found. Authorities also believe Lois Riess used the same weapon in both cases. >> Related story: Minnesota grandma sought in deaths of husband, Florida ‘lookalike’ killed for ID The U.S. Marshals Service on Tuesday updated the search for Riess to major status and announced a $5,000 reward for her capture. Another $1,000 in reward money is being made available by Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers.   John Kinsey, a deputy U.S. marshal in Florida, told the Star Tribune in Minneapolis that the billboards are going up in Texas, New Mexico, California and Arizona.  “Unfortunately, there have been no further sightings,” Kinsey told the Star Tribune. “She blends in real well. She is an average, 56-year-old white female walking around, and that is part of the problem.” >> Read more trending news Florida investigators have said Riess killed Hutchinson, 59, for her identity. The women, who were strangers before Riess befriended Hutchinson, bore a striking resemblance to one another.  Surveillance footage from the Smokin’ Oyster Brewery, located two blocks from Hutchinson’ condo at the Marina Village at Snug Harbor, shows Riess smiling and chatting with a blonde woman in a hat who Lee County Sheriff’s Office detectives have identified as Hutchinson.  Hutchinson’s cousin on Monday posted an image from the surveillance footage to Facebook, side by side with an undated image of Hutchinson wearing that same hat as in the footage.  Officials with the U.S. Marshals Service said investigators believe Hutchinson was killed on or around April 5, when the surveillance footage at the bar was shot.  Lee County officials also on Tuesday released several snippets of surveillance video, including one piece that shows Riess, wearing the same blue shirt seen in the bar video, calmly walking away from Marina Village toward the parking lot. She is seen on another video driving away in Hutchinson’s white 2005 Acura TL. Hutchinson’s keys, identification, cash and credit cards were also missing when her body was found. The News-Press in Fort Myers reported Tuesday that sometime after Hutchinson’s death, Riess went to a Wells Fargo branch there and used Hutchinson’s identification to withdraw $5,000 from the slain woman’s account.  See the original footage of Riess chatting with Pamela Hutchinson, obtained by the News-Press, below. Riess was next spotted in Ocala, about 215 miles north of Fort Myers, where more surveillance footage released Tuesday shows her driving up to a Hilton hotel in Hutchinson’s stolen car and checking in as a guest. Again, she is wearing the blue top seen in previous videos, as well as a light-colored fedora-style hat with a black band. Lee County Sheriff’s Office officials told the News-Press that Riess stayed in the hotel the nights of April 6 and 7.  Riess used Hutchinson’s identity to check into the hotel around 8 p.m. on April 6. She also used the victim’s identification to withdraw another $500 from Hutchinson’s bank account at an Ocala bank.  “She’s confident, doesn’t look over her shoulder, like she’s not hiding anything,” Kinsey told the Star Tribune of Riess’ demeanor in the videos. “She was very nonchalant.” >> Related story: New footage released of ‘killer grandma’ suspected in 2 homicides; $6,000 reward offered for capture The fugitive was next spotted in the stolen Acura in Louisiana, where an attempt to get $200 at a gas station failed, the News-Press said.  Kinsey said Riess was also spotted on surveillance images April 7 and 8 in casinos in Louisiana.  “She went from casino to casino to make money, or because she is addicted to it,” Kinsey said. “She is consumed by it.” The final definite sighting of Riess was the following day, April 8 in Refugio, Texas, about 40 miles north of Corpus Christi. Corpus Christi is about 150 miles from the Mexico border.  Mexican authorities are aware of the search for Riess and are keeping an eye out for her, or anyone using Hutchinson’s identification, at the border, the News-Press reported. A Lee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said she would have to show identification to cross, but there is no guarantee she would not be able to slip through. The last confirmed sighting of Riess or the stolen car was the day before Hutchinson’s body was found -- and before she was even linked to that homicide.  The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which has been searching for Riess since late last month, describes her as a white woman with brown eyes and pale blonde hair. She is about 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 165 pounds.  The white Acura she is accused of stealing from Hutchinson has Florida license plate number Y37TAA.  Riess has been on the run since mid-March, when she is suspected of gunning down her husband, David Riess, on their rural worm farm before stealing $11,000 from his personal and business accounts. Deputies with the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office found him after his business partner reported that he had not been seen or heard from in several weeks.   Lois Riess was nowhere to be found, but investigators learned she visited a casino in Iowa on her way out of the Midwest, investigators said. She is charged with grand theft in connection with her husband’s slaying.  Dodge County investigators are also anticipated to file murder charges against her sometime this week.  Riess was initially linked to Hutchinson’s slaying, in part, because her family’s white Cadillac Escalade, which she was believed to be driving after her husband’s murder, was found abandoned in a county park in Fort Myers Beach, the News-Press reported.  Court records in Minnesota also show that Riess, who was named guardian of her disabled sister in 2012, stole more than $78,000 from her before being caught three years later.  Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno described Riess to NBC News earlier this week as a “stone-cold killer” who authorities fear might kill again when she runs out of resources.  “She smiles and looks like anyone’s mother or grandmother,” Marceno said. “And yet she’s calculated, she’s targeted and an absolute cold-blooded killer.”
  • The parents of children who died in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, have accused conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and InfoWars of defamation and seek damages in excess of $1 million. >> Read more trending news Two lawsuits filed on behalf of Neil Heslin, Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa allege that Jones and his media organization spread false information related to the tragedy. One of the suits also names Jones’ employee, Owen Shroyer, as a defendant. Heslin’s suit arose from accusations InfoWars made in 2017 that Heslin was lying about holding his son’s body and seeing a bullet hole in the child’s head. “This heartless and vile act of defamation re-ignited the Sandy Hook ‘false flag’ conspiracy and tore open the emotional wounds that (Heslin) has tried so desperately to heal,” a petition filed in Travis County District Court said. >> Related: Man sues Alex Jones, InfoWars for $1 million, says they defamed him in Fla. shooting The second suit was filed after InfoWars aired programming that claimed an interview De La Rosa did with CNN was faked, and pushed it as “evidence” of a government cover-up. “Those statements in 2017 were part of a long history of lies peddled by Jones,” said Mark Bankston, the attorney representing the plaintiffs. “Our clients have been tormented for five years by Mr. Jones’ ghoulish accusations that they are actors who faked their children’s deaths as part of a fraud on the American people. Enough is enough.” The pair of lawsuits marks the third to be filed against Jones and his company in recent weeks. >> Related: Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones apologizes for spreading fake 'Pizzagate' story Marcel Fontaine is suing Jones for more than $1 million after he used an image of Fontaine that portrayed him as the shooter who killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February. Fontaine is a Massachusetts resident with no ties to the deadly shooting.
  • Pollution has negative effects on our health, but scientists may be able to better combat the issue with a plastic-eating enzyme they discovered accidentally.  >> Read more trending news Researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently conducted a study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, to examine the natural molecules and chemicals found at a waste recycling center in Japan.  During their assessment, they discovered that the enzyme, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, can “eat” polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the material used to make plastic bottles.  While they intended to better understand the structure of it, they actually engineered an enzyme that breaks down PET products.  >> Related: Soaps and paint pollute air as much as car emissions, study shows “This unanticipated discovery suggests that there is room to further improve these enzymes, moving us closer to a recycling solution for the ever-growing mountain of discarded plastics,” co-author John McGeehan said in a statement.  The scientists said PET can persist in the environment for hundreds of years. The chemicals can seep into the soil, affecting the groundwater and infecting drinking water. >> On AJC.com: Climate change will internally displace 143 million people by 2050, scientists warn While the analysts called their discovery a “modest” improvement, they hope to continue their investigations to improve the enzyme with the help of protein tools. They said they believe their work will be used to industrially break down plastics in a fraction of the time.  “We can all play a significant part in dealing with the plastic problem,” McGeehan said, “but the scientific community who ultimately created these ‘wonder-materials’ must now use all the technology at their disposal to develop real solutions.” 
  • A preliminary examination of the blown jet engine that forced a Southwest Airlines plane to make an emergency landing Tuesday at Philadelphia International Airport shows evidence of “metal fatigue,” officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said. >> Read more trending news Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 was carrying 144 passengers and five crew members from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Dallas Love Field when it made an emergency landing around 11:20 a.m. Tuesday. One person was killed and seven others were injured after the twin-engine 737 blew an engine at 30,000 feet and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window. >> Related: Passenger killed in Southwest Airlines emergency landing identified Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the NTSB, said Tuesday that officials discovered during a preliminary investigation that one of the engine’s 24 fan blades was broken at the hub and missing, the Philly Voice reported. Metal fatigue appeared to be the cause of the break, Sumwalt said. >> Related: Who is Tammie Jo Shults, pilot of Southwest flight that had engine explosion? Officials also found part of the engine’s covering in Bernville, Pennsylvania, about 70 miles west of Philadelphia. Sumwalt said the investigation into the cause of Tuesday’s incident will likely take between 12 and 15 months. >> Related: Who was Jennifer Riordan, the passenger killed on a Southwest Airlines flight? “The investigation is very extensive,” Sumwalt said. “We’re just literally at the very, very beginning of the investigation.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • After it was confirmed that CIA Director Mike Pompeo secretly met with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. and North Korea will sit down at a summit to hammer out a plan for denuclearization.  >>Read: Trump acknowledges CIA chief met secretly with Kim Jong Un Trump made the announcement via Twitter Wednesday morning. >> Read more trending news 
  • Former First Lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92. >> Read more trending news  The news came after a family spokesman said April 15 that Bush would not be seek further medical treatment following a number of hospitalizations. Family spokesman Jim McGrath said the former first lady would “instead focus in comfort care.” McGrath did not specify the illness or sickness that led to Bush’s decision. She had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  >> Related: Former first lady Barbara Bush in failing health Bush was hospitalized early last year when her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, was admitted for treatment of a case of viral bronchitis. >> Related: George H.W. Bush discharged from hospital after pneumonia diagnosis The Bushes had six children, including former President George W. Bush, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush and Robin Bush, who died as a child. Barbara Bush was born June 8, 1925 in New York City. >> Related: Photos: Barbara Bush through the years She married George H.W. Bush in 1945, making theirs the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history. Barbara Bush supported her husband throughout his political career, including his time as a congressional representative from Texas, as vice president and as the 41st president of the United States. Barbara Bush founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 1989 with the goal of empowering families through literacy. Bush is survived by her husband, George H.W. Bush, five children, 17 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
  • The Sacramento Police Department on Monday released a trove of new audio and video material that further details officers’ and fire officials’ controversial medical response after Stephon Clark was shot and killed in his grandparents’ backyard last month.  Clark, 23, died March 18 after two police officers searching for a vandalism suspect opened fire on him as he stood on his grandparents’ back patio. Clark was hit by eight of the 20 bullets the officers fired, six of them from behind.  The new footage confirms that Clark lay face-down, unresponsive and dying, on the ground for more than five minutes before officers approached him to cuff his hands and begin medical treatment. A pathologist who conducted an independent autopsy on Clark’s body last month found that it took him between three to 10 minutes to succumb to his injuries, which caused massive internal bleeding.  The new videos also show that multiple officers muted the microphones on their body cameras as they investigated the bullet-riddled scene.  The Sacramento Bee reported that one officer’s actions, discovered in the first set of videos released last month, prompted Sacramento police officials to change departmental policy on the muting of body cameras.  “Any time an officer deactivates or mutes their camera, they must now audibly record on that camera the reason for the deactivation and muting before ever muting, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn told the City Council last week, according to CNN. Officers are now required to keep their cameras and microphones rolling, except in special circumstances. Those circumstances include when they are talking to medical personnel, when they are working with a victim of sexual assault or rape or when a victim or witness refuses to give them a recorded statement, Hahn said.  Officers will now also need a supervisor’s approval to mute or deactivate a camera.  >> Read more trending news The videos released last month depict the shooting itself, as well as the events leading up to it. The newly released footage shows other officers responding to the scene and their actions from their arrival to the moment Clark is pronounced dead by Sacramento fire medics.  The new material consists of 23 in-car camera videos, 28 body camera videos, two 911 transfer calls from the California Highway Patrol and the remainder of the footage shot by a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter circling overhead, a police news release said.  Find all of the videos and audio files released by Sacramento police officials, including the new files, here. Warning: The footage contains violence and explicit language that may not be suitable for all readers.  The previous footage from the helicopter’s infrared camera shows the officers shoot Clark shortly after he climbed a neighbor’s fence and entered his family’s yard. Body cameras from the two officers who fired at Clark also depicted the shooting in detail.  The officers said they saw what looked like a gun in Clark’s hand. Their body camera footage shows, however, that Clark was unarmed and carried a cellphone when he was shot.  The new videos show from different angles officers’ decision to hold off approaching Clark, as they debate among themselves whether it is safe to advance toward his motionless body. At least one officer can be heard saying that he cannot see the gun Clark was incorrectly believed to be carrying.  The body camera footage shows that Clark’s iPhone was under his head and could not be seen until the officers got closer to where he lay.  As in the previous footage, the new body camera videos show officers calling out to Clark, but not getting a response.  “Hey, can you hear us?” one officer yells.  “We need to know if you’re OK,” a female officer says. “We need to get you medics, but we can’t go over there to get you help unless we know you don’t have your weapon.” After multiple failed attempts to get a response, the officers approached Clark’s body. It took them about a minute to handcuff Clark and search his pockets before they began performing CPR.  An officer is seen in the videos doing chest compressions, his own body camera jostling around as he tries to pump life back into Clark’s body.  “Come on, buddy. Wake up. Breathe for me,” the officer doing compressions says.  Another officer is depicted hurrying back to a vehicle to grab a mask, which she brings to the backyard so an officer can breathe for Clark.  Fire rescue personnel were cleared to enter the scene about a minute after CPR was begun. By that point, Clark appeared to have already died.  “We’re fixed and dilated here,” a fire medic is heard saying in one of the videos, referring to Clark’s pupils, which were not responding to light.  “Nonreactive?” another person at the scene asks.  “Yes,” the medic responds.  One of the medics then calls Clark’s time of death: “21:42,” military time for 9:42 p.m. Sgt. Vance Chandler, a Sacramento police spokesman, told the Bee that the internal investigation into the shooting will look at whether the officers’ delay in rendering medical aid was appropriate.  Police training expert and Plumas County Deputy Ed Obayashi told the newspaper that he believes the time frame was appropriate under the circumstances, in which the officers could not see both of Clark’s hands.  “They approached him as soon as safely practical,” Obayashi told the Bee. “From what I am seeing and hearing, the officers in my opinion exercised good tactical decision-making.” The department is also investigating the muting of the body cameras, Chandler said.  Clark’s family, members of which have led protests in his name, is heading to New York City on Tuesday to take part in the 2018 National Action Network Convention, hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network. Sharpton delivered a eulogy at Clark’s funeral last month.  They will be accompanied by Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney representing the family since the shooting.  Crump responded to Monday’s release of additional video files by saying that Clark’s shooting has been “shrouded in confusion and misinformation” from the beginning. “The actions of the Sacramento Police Department -- before and after the shooting -- have left us all suspicious,” Crump said in a statement issued Tuesday morning. “Today, those suspicions were confirmed. This latest horrifying video evidence further proves the reckless, irresponsible and deadly behavior of the police officers involved. “Though nothing can bring Stephon back to his family, we will not rest until we see those responsible held accountable and clear action taken to prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future.”  
  • Detectives have released three new videos that show a Minnesota grandmother wanted in the slaying of her husband -- as well as the brutal killing of a Florida woman -- driving up to a hotel and checking in following the second murder.  Lois Ann Riess, 56, was still running Tuesday afternoon from murder and theft charges in the slaying of Pamela Hutchinson, a Bradenton woman who was found shot to death April 9 in the Fort Myers Beach condominium where she was staying. Hutchinson, 59, had been dead for several days.  >> Read more trending news Lee County Sheriff’s Office investigators believe Riess befriended Hutchinson at a nearby bar April 5 and either followed her or accompanied her two blocks to the Marina Village at Snug Harbor, where she killed her. Surveillance footage from the bar at the Smokin’ Oyster Brewery shows Riess chatting with a woman in a hat who detectives have identified as Hutchinson. One of Hutchinson’s cousins also shared on Facebook an image of the slain woman wearing the same hat seen in the video.  Investigators believe Riess killed Hutchinson for her identity because the two women resembled one another. Hutchinson’s identification, cash, credit cards, keys and 2005 white Acura TL were taken after the slaying.  Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno described Riess to NBC News earlier this week as a “stone-cold killer” who authorities fear might kill again when she runs out of resources.  “She smiles and looks like anyone’s mother or grandmother,” Marceno said. “And yet she’s calculated, she’s targeted and an absolute cold-blooded killer.” >> Related story: Minnesota grandma sought in deaths of husband, Florida ‘lookalike’ killed for ID In one of the new videos released Tuesday, a car that appears to be Hutchinson’s stolen Acura is shown pulling into the parking lot of a Hilton hotel in the Ocala area. Ocala is located in central Florida, about 215 miles north of Fort Myers.  Surveillance footage from the lobby of the hotel shows Riess walking in and up to the registration counter to check in. She appears to be wearing the same blue shirt she wore at the Fort Myers bar, as well as in a surveillance image shot at Hutchinson’s condo complex.  Riess’ alleged path of travel, which led to at least one sighting in Louisiana, indicated she might be trying to make it to Mexico. She was last spotted, driving Hutchinson’s car, in Corpus Christi, Texas, Lee County Sheriff’s Office officials said.  Corpus Christi is about 150 miles from the Mexican border.  Agents with the U.S. Marshals Service are actively looking for Riess, and border officials are also on the lookout in case she tries to cross into Mexico.  The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which has been searching for Riess since late last month, describes her as a white woman with brown eyes and pale blonde hair. She is about 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 165 pounds.  The white Acura she is accused of stealing from Hutchinson has Florida license plate number Y37TAA.  Marceno said Riess is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who spots her should not approach her, but should call the nearest law enforcement agency.  People with information on Riess’ whereabouts can also call Southwest Florida Crimestoppers at 800-780-TIPS or the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at 877-996-6222. Callers may remain anonymous.  The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to her capture, and Crimestoppers is offering another $1,000, according to the sheriff in Dodge County, Minnesota.  Prior to the Hutchinson homicide, Riess was already suspected of gunning down her husband, David Riess, on their Blooming Prairie worm farm in mid-March. David Riess’ body was discovered, with multiple gunshot wounds, on March 23 after his business partner reported that he had been unable to reach him in a couple of weeks.  It was unclear exactly how long David Riess, 54, had been dead before his body was found.  Lois Riess became a person of interest in the slaying when Dodge County Sheriff’s Office detectives could not locate her. They got a tip that she was at a casino just across the state line in Northwood, Iowa, but she had left by the time they arrived.  Detectives tied Riess to Hutchinson’s death, in part, because the white 2005 Cadillac Escalade she was believed to be driving after her husband’s slaying was found in the area.  The Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported that investigators in Dodge County said Lois Riess transferred nearly $10,000 from her husband’s business account to his personal account after his death. She is then accused of forging his signature on $11,000 worth of checks made out to herself and cashing them.  She has been charged with theft for the forgeries. Murder charges are expected to be filed against her this week in David Riess’ death.  Police officials in Minnesota said that Lois Riess has a history of gambling problems. The Star-Tribune reported that court records there showed that she was previously accused of stealing more than $78,000 from her disabled sister, for whom she was the court-appointed guardian.  Court records indicated that the sister, who is now 62, suffers from mental illness and Parkinson’s disease and has the cognitive ability of a 10-year-old child, the newspaper reported.  Riess was appointed to serve as her sister’s guardian in 2012. A routine audit three years later found multiple “payments, gifts and loans” from the sister’s account, with no documentation to back up the transactions.  One $14,000 payment was supposed to have gone to the sisters’ father -- who was already dead.  An affidavit from the Minnesota Prairie County Alliance, a social services organization overseeing the issue, sought to have Riess’ guardianship terminated. “I received a report that Lois Riess transfers funds from the guardianship account for (her sister) to Lois Riess’ own account,” the affidavit said, according to the Star-Tribune. “Lois Riess then withdraws the funds at the local casino.” The new guardian of the sister’s account sought to have Riess repay the funds, but court records did not indicate whether or not she was ordered to, and there is no record that she was ever charged with a crime, the newspaper said. 
  • Police in Cambridge are conducting an internal review into the use of force in a 'violent' arrest near Harvard University. Harvard University student Selorm Ohene, was struck by an officer during an arrest after police responded to reports of a naked man on Massachusetts Avenue. >> Read more trending news  “The first thing that happens is officers show up and engage this erratic male who’s naked on the median,” Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville Bard said.  Police say they made numerous attempts to calm the man down, but he was allegedly high on narcotics, hostile and resisting arrest. Video of the incident shows Ohene standing on a median before being surrounded by police, and then moving toward one of the officers. “He was flailing, he was kicking and the officers were doing everything within their power,” Bard said. “I stress it was for his safety and safety of everyone else around.” Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern said in a statement Sunday that the police department has assured him the altercation on the video is being investigated. McGovern says 'Cambridge affirms that Black Lives Matter, but it must be true in practice as well.
  • Adult film star Stormy Daniels and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, released a sketch Tuesday of a man who Daniels said threatened her in 2011 after she attempted to sell a magazine a story about her relationship with President Donald Trump. >> Read more trending news Daniels reiterated Tuesday morning on “The View” that she didn’t report the incident, which she said happened in Las Vegas while she was with her infant daughter, because she was afraid. She said she also hadn’t told her husband at the time about her affair with Trump. >> Related: Porn star Stormy Daniels sues Trump attorney Michael Cohen for defamation “I would have had to tell an entire police department – and police reports are public record, I know that for a fact – I had sex with Donald Trump,” said Daniels, whose birth name is Stephanie Clifford. “And then the whole world would have known.” Avenatti is offering a $100,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the identification of the man. “We want to get to the bottom of who this is,” Avenatti said. “We think we know who sent him.” Daniels has said that she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 after she met him at a celebrity golf tournament. Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, paid her $130,000 days before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence on the alleged affair. >> Related: Stormy Daniels offers to pay back $130,000 for freedom to speak She is suing to free herself of the nondisclosure agreement and has offered to pay back the $130,000 to “set the record straight.” Daniels said last month on “60 Minutes” that she was threatened by the man a few weeks after a magazine declined to run her story about Trump. The magazine initially agreed to pay her $15,000 for the story but dropped it after Cohen threatened to sue, Daniels said. She said that the unidentified man approached her while she was in a parking lot getting ready to go to a fitness class with her daughter. >> Related: Stormy Daniels on '60 Minutes': 5 revelations from the interview “A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,’” Daniels said last month. “Then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’ And then he was gone.” She said her hands were shaking after the encounter but that she never went to police. She said Tuesday that she told several family members and at least two friends about the incident. >> Related: Trump says he didn't know about Stormy Daniels payment Avenatti said he intended to release the sketch last week, but he was asked to hold the drawing after federal investigators raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room. Trump has denied he had any knowledge of the payment made by Cohen.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A suspect hiding from Pasco County deputies in a swamp after a high-speed chase was arrested covered in slobbery kisses instead of a bite from their K9.  The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office sent out an alert to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office after they say Paul Daniel Smith, 34, resisted arrest and battered a deputy. He took off in a Ford F150.  Deputy Marc Lane spotted the vehicle on US 41 and went after him.  Smith eventually stopped and ran into a heavily wooded, swampy area. With the help of their K9 bloodhound Knox, deputies tracked Smith down through the swamp, finding him stuck in thick mud with water up to his neck. “Stop resisting,” the deputies can be heard saying in the video posted to Facebook. (Facebook) As they try to get Smith out of the mud, instead of biting, Knox covers his face in wet, doggy kisses. Knox’s specialty is finding people, from missing children to wanted men. Smith is facing several charges including aggravated assault and violation of probation. As for Knox, he’s been rewarded for a job well done with his favorite treat: cheese.
  • Have you seen this guy? (tweet) Orlando police need your help in identifying the man who is suspected of attacking an elderly gentleman in the parking lot of the Lake Fredrica Shopping Center on Semoran Boulevard and Lake Margaret Drive. Witnesses say the suspect, a man in his 20s, stood in front of the car of the victim and blocked him from being able to drive away. When the elderly victim got out to confront him, the suspect punched him once, knocking the victim out cold. 'One punch that was all it took,” witness Jennifer Pola tells WKMG. “He hit him dead in the temple, boom. He was out for at least two minutes.' When police arrived, they found the victim, a man in his 60s, on the ground and bleeding.  Pola says the attack was completely unprovoked.  Several witnesses went after the suspect but he got in a vehicle and drove away. They managed to snap a clear photo of him before he took off. Anyone with information is asked to call Orlando police or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.
  • The head of the Capitol Hill office which deals with workplace harassment cases said Wednesday that she still does not have the power to reveal the names of lawmakers who used taxpayer dollars to pay legal harassment settlements, drawing sharp rebukes from members of both parties on a House spending panel, as lawmakers in both the House and Senate expressed growing frustration about the matter. “The transparency issue is revolting,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). “It is absolutely unacceptable that we continue to let members who abuse their employees hide.” At a hearing of a House Appropriations subcommittee, Susan Grundmann, the head of the Congressional Office of Compliance, said that workplace settlements which involve lawmakers, often include non-disclosure agreements, precluding any publicity. “Most settlement agreements – in fact all that I have seen – contain non-disclosure clauses in them,” said Grundmann. “Those are not by our doing.” In my opening statement to @LegBranch_OOC Executive Director Susan Grundmann, I emphasize the need for Congress to remedy workplace harassment on Capitol Hill. How can we expect others to follow our example if we're not willing to acknowledge and address this problem? pic.twitter.com/AHKtaPHVy9 — Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) April 18, 2018 Pressed sharply by both parties at a hearing where she asked for a nine percent budget increase to help deal with harassment training and case reviews, Grundmann made clear there was no plan to reveal the names of members who had engaged in such settlements in the past. “No, I think we are prohibited from under the law – in terms of the strict confidentiality that adheres to each one of our processes, and the non-disclosure agreements, we cannot disclose who they are,” Grundmann added. Grundmann said new reporting standards approved by the House would reveal every six months which offices had some type of legal settlements – and she also said that if a lawmaker agreed to a workplace settlement, taxpayers would pay the bill up front – and then have that member of Congress reimburse Uncle Sam within 90 days. So far, the House and Senate have not finalized an agreement on legislation to set new standards for transparency on workplace settlements involving lawmaker offices, as one leading Democrat today again demanded action by that chamber. “The Senate has no more excuses,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). The Senate has no more excuses. We must pass these reforms before our next recess. Members of BOTH parties, men and women, agree that it’s time to act. https://t.co/vSr7sew5KN — Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) April 19, 2018 Back in Wednesday’s House hearing, lawmakers did not like to hear that while reforms in the House would publicly name the lawmaker and/or a top staffer if they were involved in harassment of other staffers, a Senate reform plan would not be as sweeping. “So, if a Chief of Staff engages in that conduct, or anyone else that isn’t the member, then their conduct is not disclosed?” Wasserman Schultz asked. “That’s correct,” replied Grundmann. “That’s absolutely unacceptable,” the Florida Democrat said. The hearing came days after the resignation of Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), who had taxpayers foot the bill for an $84,000 settlement with a former office employee – Farenthold had promised to pay that money, but now that he is gone, it seems unlikely to happen. Meanwhile, Grundmann denied press reports in recent weeks that any personal information about sexual harassment or workplace abuses in Congressional offices was left on unsecured computer servers. “We have not been hacked. We have never stored our data on an unsecured server,” as Grundmann said their computer precautions had been described by officials as “Fort Knox.” “Fort Knox doesn’t talk about their cyber security,” she added, offering to brief members in private about the issue
  • U.S. marshals have erected billboards in multiple states as they continue to search for a Minnesota grandmother, gambling addict and alleged killer who is suspected in two homicides, including that of a woman she allegedly killed to assume her identity.  Lois Riess, 56, was last seen April 8 in the area of Corpus Christi, Texas, following what is believed to be a multistate homicide case. She is sought on murder and theft charges in the slaying of Pamela Hutchinson, of Bradenton, who was found shot to death April 9 in a condominium in which she was staying in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.  Riess, who Minnesota law enforcement officers dubbed “Losing Streak Lois” for her penchant for gambling, is also a person of interest in the killing of her husband, David Riess, who was found shot to death March 23 on the couple’s worm farm in Blooming Prairie. In each shooting, the victim had been dead for several days when the body was found. Authorities also believe Lois Riess used the same weapon in both cases. >> Related story: Minnesota grandma sought in deaths of husband, Florida ‘lookalike’ killed for ID The U.S. Marshals Service on Tuesday updated the search for Riess to major status and announced a $5,000 reward for her capture. Another $1,000 in reward money is being made available by Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers.   John Kinsey, a deputy U.S. marshal in Florida, told the Star Tribune in Minneapolis that the billboards are going up in Texas, New Mexico, California and Arizona.  “Unfortunately, there have been no further sightings,” Kinsey told the Star Tribune. “She blends in real well. She is an average, 56-year-old white female walking around, and that is part of the problem.” >> Read more trending news Florida investigators have said Riess killed Hutchinson, 59, for her identity. The women, who were strangers before Riess befriended Hutchinson, bore a striking resemblance to one another.  Surveillance footage from the Smokin’ Oyster Brewery, located two blocks from Hutchinson’ condo at the Marina Village at Snug Harbor, shows Riess smiling and chatting with a blonde woman in a hat who Lee County Sheriff’s Office detectives have identified as Hutchinson.  Hutchinson’s cousin on Monday posted an image from the surveillance footage to Facebook, side by side with an undated image of Hutchinson wearing that same hat as in the footage.  Officials with the U.S. Marshals Service said investigators believe Hutchinson was killed on or around April 5, when the surveillance footage at the bar was shot.  Lee County officials also on Tuesday released several snippets of surveillance video, including one piece that shows Riess, wearing the same blue shirt seen in the bar video, calmly walking away from Marina Village toward the parking lot. She is seen on another video driving away in Hutchinson’s white 2005 Acura TL. Hutchinson’s keys, identification, cash and credit cards were also missing when her body was found. The News-Press in Fort Myers reported Tuesday that sometime after Hutchinson’s death, Riess went to a Wells Fargo branch there and used Hutchinson’s identification to withdraw $5,000 from the slain woman’s account.  See the original footage of Riess chatting with Pamela Hutchinson, obtained by the News-Press, below. Riess was next spotted in Ocala, about 215 miles north of Fort Myers, where more surveillance footage released Tuesday shows her driving up to a Hilton hotel in Hutchinson’s stolen car and checking in as a guest. Again, she is wearing the blue top seen in previous videos, as well as a light-colored fedora-style hat with a black band. Lee County Sheriff’s Office officials told the News-Press that Riess stayed in the hotel the nights of April 6 and 7.  Riess used Hutchinson’s identity to check into the hotel around 8 p.m. on April 6. She also used the victim’s identification to withdraw another $500 from Hutchinson’s bank account at an Ocala bank.  “She’s confident, doesn’t look over her shoulder, like she’s not hiding anything,” Kinsey told the Star Tribune of Riess’ demeanor in the videos. “She was very nonchalant.” >> Related story: New footage released of ‘killer grandma’ suspected in 2 homicides; $6,000 reward offered for capture The fugitive was next spotted in the stolen Acura in Louisiana, where an attempt to get $200 at a gas station failed, the News-Press said.  Kinsey said Riess was also spotted on surveillance images April 7 and 8 in casinos in Louisiana.  “She went from casino to casino to make money, or because she is addicted to it,” Kinsey said. “She is consumed by it.” The final definite sighting of Riess was the following day, April 8 in Refugio, Texas, about 40 miles north of Corpus Christi. Corpus Christi is about 150 miles from the Mexico border.  Mexican authorities are aware of the search for Riess and are keeping an eye out for her, or anyone using Hutchinson’s identification, at the border, the News-Press reported. A Lee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said she would have to show identification to cross, but there is no guarantee she would not be able to slip through. The last confirmed sighting of Riess or the stolen car was the day before Hutchinson’s body was found -- and before she was even linked to that homicide.  The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which has been searching for Riess since late last month, describes her as a white woman with brown eyes and pale blonde hair. She is about 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 165 pounds.  The white Acura she is accused of stealing from Hutchinson has Florida license plate number Y37TAA.  Riess has been on the run since mid-March, when she is suspected of gunning down her husband, David Riess, on their rural worm farm before stealing $11,000 from his personal and business accounts. Deputies with the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office found him after his business partner reported that he had not been seen or heard from in several weeks.   Lois Riess was nowhere to be found, but investigators learned she visited a casino in Iowa on her way out of the Midwest, investigators said. She is charged with grand theft in connection with her husband’s slaying.  Dodge County investigators are also anticipated to file murder charges against her sometime this week.  Riess was initially linked to Hutchinson’s slaying, in part, because her family’s white Cadillac Escalade, which she was believed to be driving after her husband’s murder, was found abandoned in a county park in Fort Myers Beach, the News-Press reported.  Court records in Minnesota also show that Riess, who was named guardian of her disabled sister in 2012, stole more than $78,000 from her before being caught three years later.  Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno described Riess to NBC News earlier this week as a “stone-cold killer” who authorities fear might kill again when she runs out of resources.  “She smiles and looks like anyone’s mother or grandmother,” Marceno said. “And yet she’s calculated, she’s targeted and an absolute cold-blooded killer.”
  • On hold for months, President Donald Trump’s pick to head NASA was finally given the green light by a pair of GOP Senators, as the Senate voted 50-48 to overcome a possible filibuster, and advance the nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to be the next Administrator of NASA. A final vote to confirm Bridenstine’s nomination could come as early as Thursday in the full Senate. The key votes came from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) – Flake initially voted to filibuster Bridenstine, but after an extended wait, returned to change his vote for the final margin of victory. It wasn’t immediately clear why Flake – and then Rubio – had changed course on the President’s NASA nominee, as Bridenstine supporters had spent months trying to squeeze out a final vote in support of the President’s choice, who faced determined opposition from Democrats. Before the vote, Rubio’s office did not respond to requests for comment on the decision of the Florida Republican, who had repeatedly rebuffed the calls of fellow GOP lawmakers to support Bridenstine, a more conservative House GOP lawmaker who has not hesitated to make waves during his time on Capitol Hill. Sen Marco Rubio votes 'Yes' on cloture for Bridenstine – after months of opposing his nomination — Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) April 18, 2018 Just before the vote, Bridenstine’s leading Democratic critic in the Senate wasn’t backing away from his stern criticism of the three-term Republican Congressman from Oklahoma. “The NASA Administrator should be a consummate space professional,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) in a speech on the Senate floor. “That’s what this Senator wants – a space professional – not a politician,” Nelson added. “Senators on both sides of the aisles have expressed doubts – both publicly and privately to me – about his qualifications for the job,” said Nelson, who was the only Senator to address the matter before the vote on cloture, a procedure to end debate in the Senate. Since Bridenstine was nominated for NASA Administrator in September, Rubio had sided with Nelson and other Democrats, raising questions about Bridenstine’s ability to run a federal agency in a nonpartisan manner. But that suddenly changed this week – and GOP leaders quickly moved to take the Bridenstine vote, moving the President a step closer to having his choice in the job as NASA chief. The procedural vote on Bridenstine’s nomination almost went awry, as Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) voted “No,” leaving the vote tied at 49-49. Ordinarily, the Vice President would be brought in to break the tie, but Vice President Mike Pence was in Florida with President Trump, hosting the Japanese Prime Minister. After a wait of over a half hour, Flake returned to the floor and voted “Yes,” allowing the Senate to force an end to debate.