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Cory Booker Would Be Front-Runner In Prospective 2014 New Jersey Senate Race, Poll Finds
Nov-29-2012 417 0


Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) would likely fare well in New Jersey's 2014 Senate race, according to a poll released Thursday by the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling.

If Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) doesn't run for reelection, 48 percent of Democrats would support Booker, putting him far ahead of potential rivals Rob Andrews and Frank Pallone, PPP found. Nearly six in 10 Democrats said they'd rather see Booker run than Lautenberg, while 22 percent would rather see the current senator stay in place.

Lautenberg, who is 88, has refused to comment on his 2014 plans. His spokesman told NJ.com that he is focused on rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, and that "retirement is the last thing on his mind."

In the general election, Booker would defeat one possible Republican candidate, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, 52 percent to 29 percent, PPP found. Lautenberg would win 48 to 33 percent against the same opponent.

“Democrats will likely hold onto their Senate seat in New Jersey regardless of their 2014 candidate,” said Dean Debnam, PPP's president.

Booker would face longer odds if he entered the 2013 gubernatorial race against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), whose approval ratings have shot up since his handling of the storm. A Quinnipiac poll found Christie leading Booker by 18 points in a hypothetical matchup. Lautenberg recently told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he's not sure any Democrat could win against Christie.

The PPP polled surveyed 600 New Jersey voters between Nov. 26 and Nov. 28, and had a 4 percent margin of error. An oversample of 300 Democratic primary voters had a 5.6 percent margin of error.

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Mar-02-2015 87 0
Former Atlanta Public School Superintendent Beverly Hall has died, Channel 2 Action News has learned.

A member of Hall's legal team confirmed the death to Channel 2's Mark Winne.

Hall has been battling breast cancer as dozens of educators stand trial for a cheating scandal that happened during her tenure as head of the school district.

Hall faced racketeering and conspiracy charges but has not been well enough to stand trial.

Hall's oncologist argued in court last summer that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that spread through several parts of her body.

She was first diagnosed with the disease in 2004.

Hall defended her leadership style and denied any involvement in the cheating scandal. She blamed staff for allowing wide spread cheating on standardized tests.

A report by the state accused Hall of ignoring cover-ups during her twelve years as superintendent.

Hall resigned from her position in 2010. The American Association of School Administrators named Hall as National Superintendent of the Year in 2009.

Hall was 66 years old.

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Meg Wagner Mar-02-2015 138 0
A 4-year-old Texas boy accidentally shot and killed himself Sunday after he found a loaded gun in his babysitter’s house.

Codrick McCall Jr.’s mom dropped the boy off at a friend’s Harris County home Saturday so she could celebrate her birthday, relatives told the Houston Chronicle. At some point on Sunday morning, Codrick found a gun in the home and shot himself, deputies said.

"My baby is gone," Codrick’s mom, Ashley Beal, cried at the scene.

Harris County deputies and Texas Child Protective Services are investigating how the 4-year-old got his hands on the loaded weapon. Any charges in the case will be determined by a grand jury, officials said.

Codrick's mom dropped him off with the sitter Saturday so she could celebrate her birthday. His grandmother Sharron McCall said the weapon should have had a lock on it.

Codrick's mom dropped him off with the sitter Saturday so she could celebrate her birthday.

The 4-year-old’s family said the boy’s death could have been prevented. His grandmother Sharron McCall told ABC 13 the weapon should have had a lock on it.

"You can't bring death back,” she said. "All we can do is try to pick up the pieces and continue with life. There is nothing else to do."

Two days before Codrick’s death, another Harris County boy accidentally killed himself. The unidentified 3-year-old shot himself in the neck while his mom was in another part of the house, police said.

In January, a 2-year-old boy in Florida died after he found his father’s loaded gun. Last month, a 3-year-old Louisiana girl died after she picked up her dad’s handgun.

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Tobias Salinger Mar-02-2015 127 0
She left a prescription for how she hoped her quadruplets' lives would unfold, but little else.

Erica Morales, who died shortly after giving birth to quadruplets, left her husband Carlos a road map for raising their children in the form of an iPad note that outlined her wishes for them to learn English and Spanish, attend college and get good jobs.

"I will try my hardest to make sure that happens," said Carolos Morales

The Arizona father, 29, shared new details about the moments leading up to her death and how the babies are progressing.

Erica Morales suffered severe blood loss and died early in the morning Jan. 16, shortly after doctors and nurses delivered her quads via a C-section.

Morales is now caring for son Carlos Jr. and daughters Tracey, Paisley and Erica, the widower told People magazine.

Morales, a Phoenix manufacturing worker, discussed his efforts to cope with the tragic loss of his wife Erica, 36, who experienced severe blood loss and died early in the morning Jan. 16, shortly after doctors and nurses at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital delivered the quads via a C-section.

"I went from having the best day of my life to the next morning experiencing the worst day of my life," Morales told People. "My four babies came into the world and then my wife died."

Erica Morales gave birth to four babies before she died.

Morales said infants Carlos and Tracey have come home from the hospital and that he visits Paisley and Erica — his wife's namesake — every day.

The couple experienced a miscarriage before conceiving the quadruplets through in vitro fertilization.

Family friend Nicole Todman started a fund-raiser on GoFundMe. As of Monday morning, over 7,000 donors had given more than $253,000, according to the website.

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Steve Litz Feb-28-2015 245 0
Miami Gardens Police Chief Stephen Johnson was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in Dania Beach Friday, officials said.

Mayor Oliver Gilbert confirmed the arrest and said Johnson was fired immediately.

Jail records showed Johnson, 53, was being held on $300 bond. It was unknown if he has an attorney.

According to a Broward Sheriff's Office arrest report, deputies were conducting an undercover operation targeting solicitation of prostitution at a Dania Beach hotel when Johnson was arrested.

Authorities had placed an escort ad on backpage.com and two detectives were posing as prostitutes at the hotel, the affidavit said.

Johnson had called the number on the ad and arranged to pay $100 for 30 minutes with two prostitutes, the report said.

When Johnson arrived at the hotel room, he was let in and handed over the $100, the report said. He had two condoms in his pocket when he was arrested, the report said.

A news release from the department said Assistant Chief Antonio Brooklen will serve as interim chief.

"We remain committed to excellence and integrity on every level," the department said in the release. "We will not allow Mr. Johnson's bad judgment to reflect negatively on the hardworking officers of the City of Miami Gardens and the residents they serve on a daily basis."

The department came under fire earlier this month following the officer-involved shooting of 25-year-old Lavall Hall.

Johnson said Hall attacked two officers with a broom handle and was shot twice with a Taser before he was fatally shot by an officer.

Hall's family has been critical of police in the wake of the shooting, holding a vigil and protest and demanding more answers in the shooting.

Johnson was named Miami Gardens' Police chief in May 2014 after a long career with the North Miami Police Department. He also served as North Miami's city manager from 2011 to 2014.

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AP Feb-28-2015 244 0
Anthony Mason, a longtime NBA player who helped the New York Knicks reach the 1994 NBA Finals, has died at the age of 48.

A Knicks spokesperson confirmed Mason's death to ESPN. The 13-year NBA veteran had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure earlier this month.

Mason's son, Anthony Jr., released a statement:

“ First, I want to thank all those who offered prayers and well-wishes for my Father, our family really appreciated it. Overnight, New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother...but more than anything, our father, Anthony Mason. As you all would expect, our father—Big Mase—put up an incredible fight dealing with severe heart issues. I'm wishing this was something else I was writing, but Pops, we've got to let you know we love you and know you'll always be with us.

I ask at this time that you respect our family's privacy with regard to questions as our family takes the time to mourn.”

Longtime NBA media personality Peter Vecsey initially reported Mason's condition Feb. 11:

Mason started his pro basketball career overseas in 1988 after being drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers 53rd overall out of Tennessee State, and he also played in the Continental Basketball Association. He eventually established stateside staying power as a 13-year NBA veteran.

Inside Hoops provided comments from Phil Jackson:

For much of his prime, Mason played for the New York Knicks ('91-'92 to '95-'96) and Charlotte Hornets ('96-'97 to '99-'00).

Fans in New York and Charlotte came to witness the stocky Mason's physical, impassioned brand of basketball, and he was a key contributor in helping the Knicks reach the 1994 NBA Finals.

During Mason's only season with the Miami Heat in 2000-2001, he was named an All-Star. That year, he posted averages of 16.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per contest.

In total, he played for six different NBA franchises—Nets, Nuggets, Knicks, Hornets, Heat, Bucks—before retiring after the 2002-2003 season with Milwaukee.

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NINA GOLGOWSKI Feb-27-2015 205 0
An Atlanta woman is demanding justice after she says she was filmed being savagely beaten unconscious by her so-called friends over a burger.

In a disgusting 2 1/2 minute cell phone video, Myriah Pointer, 23, is seen being painfully dragged by her hair, punched and stomped on by three screaming women.

The Sunday morning attack, which left her with two black eyes, a chipped tooth and a concussion, was because they accused her of sitting on someone's burger during a drinking game, she told police.

"I was held down and stomped until I was unconscious. Once I gained consciousness they were still beating and stomping me," she later posted on Facebook with pictures showing her horrific bruises.

Myriah Pointer, 23, said it was her friends who viciously attacked her over the weekend, leaving her with two black eyes, a chipped tooth and a concussion.

Pointer identified two of her attackers to local news stations as her best friends and the third as one of their cousins.

Witnessing it all was one of their boyfriends, who filmed the attack, and one woman's 3-year-old child, she said.

When the animals finally stopped their clawing she was able to walk away, but with her attackers trailing behind.

She said she was held for three hours by them before she was able to call her aunt to come pick her up.

Asked by police why she didn't immediately call 911, "Ms. Pointer stated that she did not feel safe calling from that location," according to the police report.

In a Facebook post she asked that her story be shared so justice can be served.

"I am BLESSED to be alive and I need justice to be served because I DID NOT deserve this," she wrote while accusing Atlanta police of not "taking this as serious as it is."

Police, reached by the Daily News Thursday night, said they're investigating and that charges "will be forthcoming."

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AP Feb-26-2015 175 0
Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance Loretta Lynch to be the nation's next attorney general, overcoming Republican objections to her support of President Obama's executive action on immigration.

Lynch's committee approval, by a vote of 12-8, sets up final consideration by the full Senate.

The panel's vote comes nearly a month after a confirmation hearing in which the 55-year-old career federal prosecutor promised to repair the Justice Department's strained relationship with Congress and confront simmering racial tensions over law enforcement's dealings in minority communities across the country.

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Feb-26-2015 154 0
Adrian Peterson's return to the NFL cleared another hurdle Thursday as U.S. District Court Judge David Doty ruled that the former league MVP must be reinstated.

Peterson, 29, is currently a member of the Minnesota Vikings and was placed on the commissioner's exempt list following the season opener due to child abuse allegations that Peterson faced in Texas. He pleaded no contest to reckless assault on his four-year-old son, and was subsequently suspended until at least April 15 by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in November.

The NFL Players Association argued in court on behalf of Peterson, insisting that Goodell was acting outside his authority with the ban.

Peterson is scheduled to earn a base salary of $12.75 million in 2015 and count $15.4 million against the Vikings' salary cap. A CBS Sports report earlier in the week maintained that Peterson's agent Ben Dogra and Vikings vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski needed to be separated while at the NFL's scouting combine in Indianapolis. It is unclear whether Peterson will be back in Minnesota as a member of the Vikings.

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Nina Golgowski Feb-25-2015 213 0
Bobbi Kristina Brown is reportedly being taken out of her medically induced coma after more than three weeks in an Atlanta hospital.

The comatose daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, who was found unresponsive in a bathtub on Jan. 31, is being weaned off her coma-inducing medications, but remains on life support, People magazine reported.

Despite the hopeful step toward the 21-year-old's recovery, one source close to the family told the magazine that her condition remains "severe."

"There will be a sign of hope, and then nothing," said a family source. "Every day, we wonder if this will be the day that we get good news."

The source said they hope the decision to wake her will "give us some answers."

The news came as Brown's boyfriend, Nick Gordon, filed a temporary restraining order against the Roswell Police Department investigating reports of drug use in the couple's Georgia home, The Wrap reported.

Gordon’s attorneys reportedly hope to block authorities' access to home video surveillance footage, arguing that it's a breach of privacy and has an "insufficient link between the crime alleged."

The daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobbi Brown is reportedly being weaned off her coma-inducing medication at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Earlier this week a report accused the 21-year-old of regularly taking heroin, cocaine and Xanax in the months before she was hospitalized.

Eerily like her late mother, who was also found in a bathtub three years ago this month, Xanax was one of the drugs found her Houston's system at her time of death.

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