Ferguson judge orders reforms to rebuild trust
The new municipal judge in Ferguson, Mo., ordered massive changes Monday in the city's much-criticized municipal court, a move he said is aimed at restoring confidence in the system and easing the burden on needy defendants. Changes announced by Judge Donald McCullin include withdrawing many old arrest warrants and giving defendants new court dates and payment options.The changes come after a critical U.S. Department of Justice report cited racial profiling among Ferguson police and a municipal court system that often targeted blacks, who make up about two-thirds of Ferguson's 21,000 residents.The Department's investigation began following concerns raised during the unrest that followed the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Wolf pack spotted first time since 1920s
On a Northern California hiking trail near the Cascades' Mount Shasta, two all-black adult wolves and five 4-month-old pups have been captured on video. It's the first time in modern history that a gray wolf pack has been seen in the state since its population was hunted to extinction nearly a century ago. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife released photos Thursday showing the wolves — dubbed the Shasta Pack — rummaging around in rural Siskiyou County. California's gray wolf population was believed to be wiped out in the 1920s.
Work under way on $500M Ferris wheel
A $500 million Ferris wheel is rising along the Staten Island waterfront. The 630-foot-tall observation wheel is scheduled to open for business in 2017. Up to 1,400 passengers at a time will view the scenery of New York City, New Jersey and beyond during a slow-moving, 38-minute ride. The New York Wheel project was approved by the city in 2013.
Novice pilot is forced to land light aircraft
A Spanish woman who had never flown a plane brought a micro-light aircraft in for a crash landing after her pilot husband lost consciousness during the flight, officials said Monday. She was recovering in a hospital in the southern city of Seville. An emergency services spokeswoman said the woman "had no notion" of flying and air traffic controllers talked her through the procedure for 90 minutes before she attempted the emergency landing Sunday. The woman's husband died but it was not clear if that happened before or after the crash at Seville's airport.