The suspect in a Nashville school shooting had drawn a detailed map of the school, including potential entry points, and done surveillance before killing three students and three adults in the latest in a series of mass shootings in a country growing increasingly unnerved by bloodshed in schools. The suspect, who was killed by police, is believed to be a former student at The Covenant School in Nashville, where Monday's shooting took place. The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 8 or 9 years old, and adults Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61. Read moreNashville school shooter had drawn maps, done surveillance

Monday, March 27, 2023

The suspect in a Nashville school shooting had drawn a detailed map of the school, including potential entry points, and done surveillance before killing three students and three adults in the latest in a series of mass shootings in a country growing increasingly unnerved by bloodshed in schools. The suspect, who was killed by police, is believed to be a former student at The Covenant School in Nashville, where Monday's shooting took place. The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 8 or 9 years old, and adults Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.

Lines will be getting longer for free breakfast and lunch at New Mexico public schools. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday signed legislation to provide free school meals to all students regardless of family income. The bill cleared the Legislature during the recent 60-day session. New Mexico and several other states are looking to fill the gap as federal pandemic-era benefit programs lapse and as food prices strain family budgets. Lawmakers set aside more than $22 million in the state budget to help pay for the program. Some say more money will be needed to bankroll the effort over time.

Police in Arkansas say two people died and five were wounded in a shooting in the state capital. The Little Rock police chief says the shooting late Sunday occurred along Asher Avenue, southwest of downtown. One of the wounded people remains in a hospital in serious condition Monday. Chief Heath Helton says police are interviewing witnesses and serving search warrants. He hasn’t said how many suspects authorities are trying to find. He also says the shooting doesn't appear to be related to an earlier reported shooting in which a woman said she may have been grazed by a bullet when someone shot at her car.

Investigators looking for the cause of a deadly explosion that leveled part of a Pennsylvania chocolate factory are facing an even more difficult task as they comb through wreckage that was picked apart and moved around during the weekend search for victims and survivors. Seven people were killed and several others wounded in the powerful blast at the R.M Palmer Co. plant in West Reading (REHD'-ing). With the recovery effort now over, attention turned to identifying the cause. Authorities say that task is even more complicated because heavy equipment was used to pick apart the wreckage.

To use, or not to use, Bard? That is the Shakespearean question an Associated Press reporter sought to answer while testing out the artificially intelligent chatbot that Google has started to roll out. It's the company's attempt to catch up with the trendy ChatGPT tool that Microsoft has been melding into its Bing search engine and other software. During several hours of interaction, the AP learned Bard is quite forthcoming about its unreliability and other shortcomings, including its potential for mischief in next year’s U.S. presidential election. Even as it occasionally warned of the problems it could unleash, Bard repeatedly emphasized its belief that it will blossom into a force for good.

The man suing Gwyneth Paltrow over a Utah skiing collision has testified that he was rammed into from behind and sent “absolutely flying.” Retired optometrist Terry Sanderson said Monday the collision with Paltrow was “a serious smack.” He also said the 2016 crash left him with life-altering injuries, including a concussion with symptoms that have lasted years. Paltrow testified days earlier that Sanderson was the one who rammed into her. Sanderson is suing Paltrow for more than $300,000, claiming she skied recklessly. Next, the actress’ defense team will make their case. They’re expected to call her two teenage children to the stand, among other witnesses.

A man who spent 16 years in prison after he was wrongfully convicted of raping writer Alice Sebold when she was a Syracuse University student has settled a lawsuit against New York state for $5.5 million. The settlement comes after Anthony Broadwater’s conviction for raping Sebold in 1981 was overturned in 2021. Broadwater's attorneys say the settlement was signed last week and must be approved by a judge. A message seeking comment was sent to the attorney general’s office. Sebold described the 1981 rape in a memoir, “Lucky.” She went on to win acclaim for the novel “The Lovely Bones.”

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has signed a Medicaid expansion law that was a decade in the making. Cooper celebrated on Monday the passage of expansion legislation from the Republican-controlled General Assembly with the bill-signing ceremony at the Executive Mansion. Cooper has wanted expansion for years, but Republicans came around to the idea recently. North Carolina has been among 11 states who haven’t accepted expansion. Cooper isn't thrilled with a provision in the bill that requiring the legislature to pass a separate state budget law first for expansion to be implemented. The governor said the law will be the "working families bill of the decade” once implemented.

A vow by Arizona’s governor not to proceed with any executions amid lingering questions about the rights of death row inmates appears to have paused a scheduled execution next week. Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs won a key battle recently when the Arizona Supreme Court concluded a state law didn’t require her to proceed with the planned April 6 execution of Aaron Gunches. Hobbs has vowed not to execute prisoners until there’s confidence that the state isn’t violating constitutional rights when enforcing the death penalty. Gunches was scheduled to receive a lethal injection for the 2002 killing of Ted Price, who was his girlfriend’s ex-husband.

Officials say a rescued juvenile dolphin that was airlifted from Texas to the Florida Keys about one year ago is thriving. The young bottlenose dolphin is living in a Keys-based marine mammal facility. The orphaned male calf dubbed Ranger was discovered in June 2021. He was stranded and suffering from a respiratory infection and dehydration. Ranger was rescued by his dead mother and deemed too young to forage and survive in the wild. The National Marine Fisheries Service chose the Dolphin Research Center in Florida as Ranger’s permanent home. The center's vice president of animal care and training says Ranger is now fully adapted and "doing incredibly.”

Many Black and Latino investors were drawn to crypto by its promise to be pathway to wealth-building outside of a traditional financial system with long history of racial discrimination and indifference to the needs of low-income communities. Crypto’s spectacular crash over the past year has complicated that picture, fueling debate between those who continue to believe in its promise and skeptics who say misleading advertising and celebrity-fueled hype drew vulnerable people to a risky and unproven asset class. Many Black and Latino enthusiasts remain invested not only in crypto but in encouraging others to get in the game. Others are disillusioned by an industry that has yet to live up to its promises of financial empowerment.

Prosecutors say blood, video and other evidence point to a Florida plastic surgeon killing a lawyer whose body has not yet been found. In court documents filed Monday, prosecutors say video shows someone arrived outside a Tampa-area law firm in Dr. Tomasz Kosowski's pickup truck last week shortly before attorney Steven Cozzi disappeared. The person is seen leaving the office about two hours later and loading a heavy object into Kosowski's truck. Authorities say they found blood in the truck's bed, its cab, and in Kosowski's garage. License plate readers show the vehicle went from Tampa to Miami, a trip that goes through the Everglades. Kosowski has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges.

Chipotle Mexican Grill has agreed to pay $240,000 to former employees as part of a settlement stemming from a complaint that the company violated federal law by closing a restaurant where workers wanted to unionize. The settlement was released by union officials on Monday and states that two dozen employees will receive payments. Chipotle announced it was permanently closing its Augusta, Maine, location last year after workers filed a National Labor Relations Board petition for a union election. The NLRB later said the closure was illegal. The Maine location was the first in the chain to file a union petition.

While Wall Street works to contain the biggest American bank failure since the 2008 financial meltdown, founders of startups who are people of color worry it could become even harder to secure financial support. Silicon Valley Bank opened its doors to such entrepreneurs, offering opportunities to form crucial relationships in the technology and financial communities that had been out of reach within larger financial institutions. They say the bank's swift demise also reflects the perilous journey people of color face while navigating industries that have been rife with racism and discrimination.

Scientists have discovered a new and renewable source of water on the moon for future explorers in lunar samples returned from a Chinese mission. They reported Monday that the water is embedded in tiny glass beads in the lunar dirt where meteorite impacts occur. They base their findings on samples returned from the moon by China in 2020. It would take lots of these small beads to produce enough water for one astronaut. The findings were published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Previous studies found water in glass beads formed by lunar volcanic activity, based on samples returned by the Apollo moonwalkers.

A New Mexico judge says Santa Fe’s district attorney shouldn’t serve as co-counsel in the manslaughter case against actor Alec Baldwin and a weapons supervisor in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer during a 2021 movie rehearsal. State District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer says the district attorney misread provisions of state law in assembling a team to prosecute the case against Baldwin and movie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies wants to serve as co-counsel as her office regroups from the resignation of a special prosecutor. Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed have pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter.

New Jersey’s attorney general says his office has taken control of the police department in the state’s third-largest city, Paterson. The announcement Monday by Attorney General Matt Platkin came less than a month after Paterson police officers fatally shot a well-known crisis intervention worker during a tense standoff. Platkin said in a news release that his office had assumed control of all police functions without delay, including the division that investigates internal police matters. The announcement didn’t mention the shooting of 31-year-old Najee Seabrooks directly, but it reflected activists’ concerns about how the department was being run.

Poverty is adding to the challenges of recovering from a massive tornado that pushed through Mississippi. Two of the counties hit by the Friday storm are Sharkey and Humphreys. They have only a few thousand residents in communities scattered across wide expanses of cotton, corn and soybean fields in the flatlands of the Delta. Many people live paycheck to paycheck working jobs in agriculture. Sharkey’s poverty rate is 35%, and Humphreys is 33%. That compares with about 19% for Mississippi and under 12% for the entire U.S. On Monday, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency revised the state’s death toll from the tornado to 21, down from 25.

Stocks closed mostly higher on a steadying Wall Street as battered banks showed more strength, at least for now. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also rose, while the Nasdaq fell. Markets have been in turmoil following the second- and third-largest U.S. bank failures in history earlier this month. Investors have been hunting for which banks could be next to fall as the system creaks under the pressure of much higher interest rates. First Citizens' stock soared after saying it would buy most of Silicon Valley Bank, whose failure sparked the industry’s furor earlier this month.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is slated to lead off opening statements expected Tuesday in his state’s lawsuit against Juul Labs. The case marks the first time any of the thousands of cases against the e-cigarette maker over its alleged marketing to young people is going to play out in a courtroom. Minnesota sued Juul in 2019, accusing the company of unlawfully targeting young people with its products to get a new generation addicted to nicotine. Juul has faced thousands of lawsuits nationwide. But most of them have settled, including 39 with other states and territories. Minnesota added tobacco giant Altria as a co-defendant in 2020.

Administrators at a Wisconsin elementary school aren't letting a first-grade class perform a Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton duet promoting LGBTQ acceptance because they say the song could be seen as controversial. Students at Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha are being told they cannot perform a rendition of “Rainbowland,” and parents in the district say it's because the song encourages LGBTQ acceptance and references rainbows. Superintendent James Sebert and other administrators banned the song last week, angering parents and the first-grade teacher, Melissa Tempel, who says she chose the song because she thought its message was universal and sweet.

Fifteen mass shootings at U.S. schools since 1999’s massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado have killed a total of 175 victims. That’s according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University, in addition to other AP reporting. Mass shooters have killed hundreds of people throughout U.S. history in realms like stores, theaters and workplaces. But it is in schools and colleges where the carnage reverberates perhaps most keenly. The database defines a mass shooting as resulting in the death of four or more people, not including the perpetrator.

The family of a toddler fatally shot by a police officer during a standoff between her father and law enforcement has filed a federal lawsuit over her death. Kansas authorities have said 2-year-old Clesslyn Crawford was shot by a Joplin, Missouri, police officer on March 26 of last year in Baxter Springs. Authorities have said Crawford’s father, Eli Crawford, shot and killed the girl's mother and fired at officers for three hours before fatally shooting himself. The Wichita Eagle reports the girl’s family sued the cities of Baxter Springs and Joplin, along with Cherokee County. Those cities and Cherokee County didn’t immediately respond to the lawsuit.

Recent moves by President Joe Biden to pressure TikTok and approve oil drilling in an untapped area of Alaska are testing the loyalty of a young voters. And that's a group that's largely been in Biden's corner. Youth turnout surged surged after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016. These voters helped Biden eke out victories in swing states in 2020 and helped Democrats pick up a Senate seat last year. But the 80-year-old president has never been the favorite candidate of young liberals itching for a new generation of American leadership. As Biden gears up for an expected reelection campaign, a potential TikTok ban and fresh oil drilling could weigh him down.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Israel over the past three months to protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul the country’s judiciary. The protests have drawn from a broad swath of Israeli society: young and old, religious and secular, residents of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and beyond. Protesters have blocked main highways and disrupted daily life in their effort to fight Netanyahu’s ultranationalist and ultra-Orthodox government. Images of the protests show demonstrators wearing “Handmaid’s Tale” costumes, carrying sharp-witted signs and flying the ubiquitous blue-and-white national flag.

Two men accused of stuffing fish with lead weights and fish fillets in an attempt to win an Ohio fishing tournament last fall have pleaded guilty to charges including cheating. The two men have also agreed to three-year suspensions of their fishing licenses. Both are scheduled to be sentenced May 11. Prosecutors plan to recommend a sentence of six months' probation. The cheating allegations surfaced in September. A walleye fishing tournament director became suspicious when their fish were significantly heavier than typical walleye. They would have won a little over $28,000 in prizes for winning the tournament.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation to allow all K-12 students in the state to get taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools. The law signed Monday by the Republican governor expands Florida’s voucher system by eliminating the income eligibility limits on the program. Democrats and critics have said the legislation has an unclear price tag, amounts to a subsidy for the wealthy and could harm public schools. The so-called school choice movement first gained traction in the U.S. in the 1990s but has seen a renewed push after coronavirus pandemic school closures and ongoing cultural debates over education around gender and race.

A federal lawsuit accuses automakers Kia and Hyundai of failing to install industry-standard anti-theft technology, resulting in thousands of thefts of vehicles in St. Louis. The Missouri city filed the lawsuit Monday seeking damages in excess of $75,000 plus punitive damages. Several other cities that have filed similar lawsuits, including Cleveland, Milwaukee, San Diego, Columbus, Ohio, and Seattle. Kias and Hyundais have been targeted since a TikTok social media challenge put a spotlight on their lack of an immobilizer, showing viewers how to hot-wire cars with a USB cord and a screwdriver. The thefts have reportedly resulted in eight fatalities across the U.S.

South Dakota’s House has failed to override Gov. Kristi Noem’s recent veto of a bill that would have created government regulations for the use of cryptocurrency in the state. A 37-30 vote Monday in the House sustained last week's veto by Republican Gov. Kristi Noem. She has said adding regulations would take way from South Dakotans’ market freedoms.  Proponents had argued the bill would have centralized different cryptocurrency systems through one government oversight commission, boosting transparency. But opponents saw the proposed regulations as potential government overreach. Six other states have passed the Uniform Commercial Code’s update, which requires tangible records of cryptocurrency exchanges so that they can be considered money.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that he intends to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus. The move appears to be another attempt by Putin to raise the stakes in the conflict in Ukraine. It follows statements by the Russian leader and his top lieutenants that Moscow is ready to use “all available means” to protect its territory. The deployment of tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, which has a long border with Ukraine, could allow Russia to reach potential targets there more easily and quickly. It would also extend Russia’s capability to target several NATO members in Eastern and Central Europe.

First Citizens will acquire much of Silicon Valley Bank, the tech-focused financial institution whose lightning-quick failure this month set off a chain reaction that rattled faith in banks around the world. The sale underscores that Silicon Valley Bank’s assets do have value and helps to rebuild some faith. Stocks of several beaten down banks rose in a show of strength after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced the deal. But investors and experts caution the sale doesn't by itself provide an immediate all-clear for other banks following the second- and third-largest U.S. failures in history. That will likely take more time.

A Canadian Pacific train derailed in rural North Dakota Sunday night and spilled hazardous materials. But local authorities and the railroad said there is no threat to public safety. There were no injuries or fire associated with the derailment, which occurred in a rural area outside Wyndmere. Several hundred people live in that town about 60 miles southwest of Fargo. Canadian Pacific spokesperson Andy Cummings said 31 of the 70 cars on the train left the tracks around 11:15 p.m. Sunday, and some of the cars leaked liquid asphalt. But there are no waterways near where the derailment happened. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the derailment.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has launched a $25-million national ad campaign against antisemitism. The ads will be featured during popular television programs such as “The Voice” and during the NFL draft, and NBA and NHL playoffs. Antisemitism has been on the rise over the last five years. Statistics show that while Jewish people are 2.4% of the U.S. population, they are the targets of 55% of religion-motivated hate crimes. Kraft said the ads will show how non-Jewish people can stand in solidarity with their Jewish neighbors against antisemitism and all types of hate.