Things to Know in the U.S. for Aug. 2

Published August 1 2017
Updated August 1 2017


Lobster boat saves eagle

A lobster boat crew used some Yankee ingenuity to rescue a waterlogged eagle that it spotted struggling offshore in the North Atlantic. Lobsterman John Chipman said Monday that the struggling bird seemed to be relieved to see his boat and even tried to hop on board after Chipman came across the unusual sight of an eagle flopping around about a quarter-mile offshore, near Schoodic Island. "The way he was acting, I knew that he wanted help. He seemed to try to come to the boat on his own and tried to get in. He wanted out of the water," he said. Two retired police officers aboard the boat with Chipman, Kevin Meaney and Michelle Ritzema, fashioned a makeshift raft from a life preserver, a piece of plywood and rope to save the eagle Thursday. The eagle hopped aboard the raft and eventually was hauled onto the stern of the boat, where it dried off, Chipman said. The bird was missing an eye and appeared to be older. Chipman intended to deliver it to game wardens for care and rehabilitation, but the eagle had other ideas. After drying off, it spread its wings and flew away.


Parole inconsistent for young lifers

Courtroom 801 in Detroit is nearly empty when guards bring in Bobby Hines, hands cuffed in front of navy prison scrubs. It's been more than 27 years since Hines stood before a judge in this building. He was 15 then, answering for his role in the murder of a man. He did not fire the deadly shot, but Hines said something like, "Let him have it," words that led to mandatory life with no chance for parole. The judgment came during a tough-on-crime era. Stoked by fears of teen "superpredators," states enacted laws to punish juvenile criminals like adults and the U.S. became an international outlier, sentencing offenders under 18 to live out their lives in prison for homicide and, in rare instances, rape, kidnapping and armed robbery. But five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court banned mandatory life without parole for juveniles in murder cases. Last year, the court went further, saying the more than 2,000 already serving such sentences must get a chance to show their crimes did not reflect "irreparable corruption" and, if not, have some hope for freedom. But prison gates don't just swing open. Instead, uncertainty and opposition stirred by the new mandate have resulted in an uneven patchwork of policies. The odds of release or continued imprisonment vary from state to state, even county to county, in a pattern that can make justice seem arbitrary.

South Dakota

Writing error may doom pot initiative

A writing error could potentially cost a ballot measure campaign its chances of legalizing recreational marijuana in South Dakota next year. The Argus Leader reported cannabis advocacy group New Approach South Dakota is supporting a ballot measure meant to legalize small amounts of marijuana. But the state's interpretation of the wording means it would only legalize marijuana paraphernalia and not the drug itself without affecting state law against recreational marijuana. New Approach said the problem is "just a typo" and can be fixed later by the courts or the Legislature.

New York

Cuomo orders inquiry into black discharge at Niagara Falls

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he doesn't believe a city agency's claims surrounding wastewater discharges that turned the water near the base of Niagara Falls black at the height of a busy tourist weekend. A day after directing state regulators to investigate, the Democrat told reporters Tuesday he thinks there will be a criminal investigation. Cuomo said Monday the expulsion of foul-smelling, black water into the Niagara River on Saturday may have violated state water quality standards.


White House looks into email prank

The White House is acknowledging that top officials responded to a British email prankster and says it is investigating. CNN identified Trump's homeland security adviser Tom Bossert as one of the officials who fell for the prank. Bossert responded believing he was corresponding with Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a senior adviser. The network said Anthony Scaramucci, ousted Monday after a brief tenure as communications director, also responded to the prankster. The White House said it takes cyber-related issues seriously and is looking into the incidents. Eric Trump, one of the president's sons, said he was contacted but recognized the email as a "sham" and turned it over to the U.S. Secret Service. The Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Which one's the calf, and which is Gene?

KISS frontman Gene Simmons is udderly thrilled by a calf born with strikingly similar markings to the face paint he wears on stage. Simmons tweeted his admiration for the calf Sunday, saying, "This is real, folks!!!" Heather Taccetta, who lives at the ranch near Kerrville with her family, said the calf born Friday belongs to her grandmother. It is named Genie, in honor of Simmons. Taccetta said the calf and its mother are doing fine and that Genie is a family favorite and won't be sold for slaughter.


Girl's dog stops attempted abduction

Authorities say a girl's dog stopped her from being abducted by biting a man who grabbed her. Police said on Facebook that a 10-year-old girl was walking her dog when an unknown man grabbed her arm Friday in Woodbridge. Police said the dog's bite caused the man to release the girl and run away. The girl was not injured. Police searched the area but could not find the man. — tbt* wires