National Roundup

Massachusetts
Cops caught egging superior officer’s home

NEWTON, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts police responding to reports of teenagers tossing eggs at a house last month got quite a surprise when they tracked down the suspects.
A department spokesman tells The MetroWest Daily News the three people who egged the house in Framingham early Dec. 11 were fellow law enforcement officers serving with the Newton police. They were off duty at the time.
They told Framingham police the egging incident was “a prank, a joke between friends.”
The homeowner is a Newton police sergeant and their superior officer. He says he is handling the matter internally.
No charges were filed, and the Newton officers were not publicly identified.

Connecticut
City halts gun shows after school shooting

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — The police chief in a Connecticut city has halted permits for gun shows, saying he’s concerned any firearms purchased there might one day be used in a mass shooting.
The Republican-American reports that Waterbury Police Superintendent Michael Gugliotti imposed a moratorium the day after the Dec. 14 killings of 20 children and six educators at a grade school not far away in Newtown.
He says he’s concerned a gun used in a future mass shooting could be traced to a purchase made at a show in Waterbury.
Westchester Collectors Inc. had planned a firearm and knife show for Jan. 12 and 13. Show organizer Newman B. Chittenden says canceling the gun show will not improve security.
He says that vendors will turn away people who have mental health problems and that they use common sense when evaluating whether to sell.

Florida
Cheesesteak ketchup request causes ruckus

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A customer’s request to put ketchup on a Philly cheesesteak caused a ruckus in an Orlando Subway shop.
Sandwich maker Lawrence Ordone told customer Luis Martinez that Subway doesn’t have ketchup when the order was placed on New Year’s night. There are differing accounts on what happened next, but Orlando television station WFTV reports Ordone lost his job.
Ordone says he told the customer he’s “never put ketchup on anybody’s sandwich.” He says Martinez got “mouthy.” Martinez denies that, but Ordone admits he flew off the handle at that point.
WFTV reports Ordone shoved a chair to the side and told Martinez “fight me like a man.”
Martinez called 911. Ordone left the building. No one was arrested. But now Ordone is looking for a new job.

Massachusetts
Meningitis error pharmacy blames cleaning company

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts compounding pharmacy linked to a nationwide meningitis outbreak that has been blamed for 39 deaths and hundreds of illnesses is blaming its cleaning contractor.
The Boston Globe reports that attorneys for New England Compounding Center sent a letter to UniFirst Corp. demanding that it take legal responsibility for claims against the pharmacy.
UniFirst acknowledged that a subsidiary helped clean portions of the pharmacy’s cleanroom facility in Framingham, but maintained its cleaning services were limited and it was not responsible for the contaminated drugs. A spokesman called the claims “unfounded and without merit.”
Federal investigators found widespread evidence of mold and other contamination when they visited the pharmacy in October.
UniFirst received the letter last week and disclosed it in a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Texas
Autopsy: Cowboys player killed in crash was sober

DALLAS (AP) — An autopsy has found that Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Jerry Brown Jr. was sober when he was killed in a crash that led to an intoxication manslaughter charge against the teammate at the wheel.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office reported Thursday that Brown died of head and neck trauma when their vehicle overturned. He had a dislocated neck, a severely bruised spine and a blood alcohol content of 0.056 percent. That’s well below the Texas drunken driving standard of 0.08 percent.
Police have said Cowboys nose guard Josh Brent, who was driving, had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit when after the Dec. 8 crash in Irving, a Dallas suburb. He remains free on $100,000 bond.
Police say neither man was wearing a seatbelt.

Maine
Alleged narwhal tusk-smuggling ring hit by Feds

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A smuggling ring brought narwhal tusks from the Canadian Artic into Maine in a trailer with a secret compartment and then illegally sold them to American buyers, officials said.
Andrew Zarauskas, of Union, N.J., and Jay Conrad, of Lakeland, Tenn., will be arraigned in Bangor, Maine, later this week on 29 federal smuggling and money laundering charges each.
For nearly a decade, two Canadians smuggled the whale tusks into Maine and shipped them via FedEx to Zarauskas, Conrad and other unnamed American buyers, according to an indictment.
Narwhals are known as the unicorns of the sea for their spiral, ivory tusks that can grow longer than 8 feet. The tusks can sell for thousands of dollars each, but it’s illegal to import them into the U.S.
The court document doesn’t specify how much money was involved, but it says the Canadian sellers received at least 150 payments from tusk buyers.

Texas
Convicted killer gets execution date for April 9

TYLER, Texas (AP) — A 50-year-old man on death row for the slaying of an East Texas man during a home break-in more than 21 years ago has been set to die April 9.
State District Judge Christi Kennedy in Tyler set the date Thursday for Ricky Lynn Lewis.
Lewis was convicted of the September 1990 shooting death of 45-year-old George Ray Newman. Evidence showed he also raped Newman’s fiancée at their home in Smith County and stole her car. She managed to call police to report the attack.
A federal appeals court in November rejected Lewis’ claims he’s mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty, clearing the way for the execution date to be set.
Lewis is among at least nine inmates already scheduled for lethal injection in Huntsville this year.?

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