National Roundup

 Idaho

Judge dismisses lawsuit over NSA cellphone data 
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit an Idaho woman filed against President Barack Obama and other federal officials over the National Security Agency’s collection of cellphone information.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill ruled Tuesday that under current U.S. Supreme Court precedents, the NSA’s collection of cellphone data doesn’t violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Anna J. Smith of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The Spokesman-Review reports that her lawyers plan to appeal.
Smith said that her cellphone is her primary means of communication with family and friends, her employer and others, and her communications are none of the government’s business.
The NSA collects the number that placed a call, the number called and how long the call lasted.
 
Alabama
Ministry says will remove billboard with Hitler quote 
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The founder of a children’s ministry in eastern Alabama says a billboard featuring a quote from Adolf Hitler has been covered and will be removed.
The Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Georgia, reports that the billboard at the Village Mall in Auburn, Alabama, features five smiling children beneath a quote from Hitler in a 1935 speech on the Nazi youth movement: “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”
It was displayed on the sign with a Bible verse from Proverbs: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The billboard was installed Friday and immediately sparked comments on social media. It was covered by midday Tuesday
Lamar Advertising officials say the billboard was rented by Opelika, Alabama-based Life Savers Ministries.
Live Savers Ministries founder James Anderegg told the newspaper, “We are pulling the billboard and certainly never intended to cause confusion.”
He added that in hindsight, it would have been better to quote Herbert Hoover who said, ‘Children are our most valuable resource.’”
“We are a children’s organization and had honorable intentions and nothing less,” Anderegg said.
 
Colorado
Former cop is found guilty in elk-killing case 
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — A former Boulder police officer was convicted Tuesday of killing a bull elk that had become a treasured companion in an upscale neighborhood and whose death sparked marches, prayer vigils and at least one tribute song.
A jury found Sam Carter guilty of nine charges. He could face up to six years in prison after shooting the animal known as “Big Boy” last year as it grazed beneath a crabapple tree, The Daily Camera reported.
Boulder animal activist Jessica Sandler applauded the verdict.
“It is so rare for an animal to get any semblance of justice in our court system,” she told the newspaper.
Carter argued that the elk had become dangerously domesticated and aggressive. But prosecutors told the jury the killing was a case of poaching by an officer who sought to use his position to get an illegal trophy mount.
After shooting the elk, prosecutors said, Carter called a friend and former officer to pick up the carcass and butcher it. They also said Carter later forged a tag to pass off the dead animal as road kill.
“They had no right to use their standing as police officers to poach this animal and lie about it,” Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said.
Witnesses said the sight of the hulking animal was a highlight of countless hikes and jogs.
The charges against Carter included three felonies — forgery, tampering with evidence, and attempting to influence a public official. Misdemeanor counts against him included misconduct, illegal possession of a trophy elk, conspiracy to commit illegal possession of wildlife, unlawfully taking a big game animal out of season, and unlawful use of an electronic communication device to unlawfully take wildlife.
 
Alabama
Man is told to disarm before voting at church
ALABASTER, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama gun rights supporter who took a loaded pistol to the polls Tuesday got to vote, but only after putting the weapon in his pickup truck.
John David Murphy wore his holstered 9 mm handgun and two ammunition magazines into First United Methodist Church of Alabaster when he went to vote in the Republican primary.
The church, like other precincts, had a sign in the door saying firearms are prohibited. But Murphy told a poll worker that his constitutional right to openly carry a weapon trumps a state law allowing guns in public places unless a sign is posted.
A poll worker called a Shelby County deputy, who made Murphy put the gun in his truck outside before voting. City police arrived as a precaution and left after Murphy left the polling place.
Several poll volunteers and voters expressed misgivings about someone being armed inside a precinct, but Murphy said he was going to complain to county leaders about his treatment.
“Them being freaked out doesn’t trump my right to open carry,” said Murphy, who described himself as a member of Alabama Gun Rights, an advocacy group.
In Chambers County, east of Montgomery on the Georgia line, the sheriff’s department posted a message on its Facebook page saying “no weapons” signs had been removed from precincts following complaints after the sheriff and probate judge determined a new state firearms law did not apply to polling places.
The National Rifle Association, while a zealous supporter of gun owners’ rights, has discouraged actions like Murphy’s in the state of Texas, where gun rights advocates have recently shown their support for “open carry” gun rights by bringing military-style assault rifles into businesses and public buildings.
The NRA has said such demonstrations have “crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness.”
“Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners,” the NRA said in a statement posted on its website Friday.

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