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Trump merchandise seller charged with assault, robbery at president’s Pa. rally

PHILADELPHIA — A traveling Trump merchandise seller in a camouflage “Make America Great Again” hat was charged with assaulting and robbing another vendor shortly after the president’s visit to Lycoming County on Monday.

According to the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Willie Edward Singleton, 29, of South Carolina, is accused of stealing cash — around $500 — from another vendor who had dropped a large amount of bills on Jordan Road in Mountoursvile. The men were leaving President Donald Trump’s rally at Williamsport Regional Airport.

A struggle ensued, the paper reported, and Singleton allegedly punched the man “unconscious and watched him fall into the street.” Singleton also allegedly stole the man’s chain and a silver watch. The victim fled to a nearby Turkey Hill store and called police, telling them that his assailant wore a red “MAGA” hat.

When police caught up with Singleton, they found he’d switched out the red hat for a camo one, and police discovered folded $20 bills in his pockets, according to Pennlive.com.

Singleton, according to the Sun-Gazette, is on probation in South Carolina for burglary, firearms and domestic violence charges. In Montoursville, he was charged with two counts of robbery, simple assault, harassment, and theft. He remains in the Lycoming County jail on $300,000 bail.

Pennlive.com reported that Singleton told a district judge that he traveled to Montoursville to sell Trump memorabilia, wasn’t employed, “and had used drugs in the past 24 hours.”

The victim was treated for cuts his legs and face.

—The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Prom party stocked with booze, weed, Jello shots and stripper poles foiled hours before it began

WEST BOCA, Fla. — Three charter buses had been booked, several hundred West Boca Community High students had been invited, a party pad had been rented and stocked with booze, pot and stripper poles for a post-prom bash. But it was foiled before it began, a police report said.

It was just hours before party time on April 12 when the Martin County Sheriff’s Office caught wind that a mega bash was set to go down at a Palm City Airbnb.

“They were almost on the buses,” said Lt. Ryan Grimsdale, of the sheriff’s office. “But they never got on the buses and the buses never left Palm Beach County.”

For $80 a head, students would get a bus ride and access to a smorgasbord of intoxicants at a three-story home at 3380 SW Grass Trail in Palm City, Grimsdale said.

“They had Jello shots, they had every mixer, they had high-end liquors, they had beers, they had it all,” Grimsdale said Tuesday. “This would have rivaled any bar in Martin County that day.”

Dozens of marijuana joints had been pre-rolled and put out for the taking, an incident report said.

Plastic covered the floors, stripper poles had been installed and balloons floated atop the swimming pool. Stereo speakers and strobe lights were set up and garbage cans filled with ice were on hand, according to Grimsdale and the report.

Why the stripper poles?

“My understanding was that they intended to have a Jello/bikini dancing contest,” Grimsdale said.

On the second and third floors, the bathrooms had been transformed into makeshift bars and stocked with booze, Grimsdale said.

Thomas Levin, 19, of Boca Raton, legally rented the house, an incident report said.

According to the report, Levin told deputies he had no idea who “brought all the liquor and drug paraphernalia.”

No one was arrested.

—Sun Sentinel

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Conn. police arrest man who had a plastic, 3D-printed gun

HARTFORD, Conn. — Waterbury police said they arrested a man who had a 3D-printed gun with a bullet in the chamber, in what may the first such arrest in Connecticut.

Jeremy Stevens, 36, was charged with weapons in a motor vehicle and carrying a pistol without a permit early Wednesday morning. He also was arrested on drug charges because officers found two bags of heroin on him, police said.

According to police, officers were investigating a report of a “suspicious vehicle” shortly after 1 a.m. when they spotted a man in the back seat of a 2005 Toyota Camry. Both right doors were open and the man, later identified as Stevens, appeared to be looking for something.

The officers saw a white-handled pistol in Stevens’ waistband, police said. It turned out to be a plastic, 3D-printed gun with a live, .22-caliber round in the barrel. Even though they are made of plastic, such guns are capable of firing.

In addition to the gun charges, Stevens was charged with illegal possession of a controlled substance and possession in a school zone. The drugs were within 1,500 feet of Yeshiva K’tana, a school for Jewish children, police said.

Plans for the first 3D-printable handgun were released online in 2013, causing concern among gun control advocates about the proliferation of unregulated guns.

Spokesmen for Hartford and the state police said they have not come across any of the plastic guns.

—The Hartford Courant

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Lake Tahoe’s clarity improved dramatically over past year

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The famed cobalt blue waters of Lake Tahoe became more clear last year, gaining 10 feet in visibility from the year before, according to a new study released Thursday by scientists at the University of California, Davis.

The jump is the largest annual improvement in water clarity at the iconic Sierra Nevada lake since measurements began in 1968.

On average in 2018, a 10-inch white disk lowered from a research boat was visible 70.9 feet under the surface. A year before, it could be seen at just 60.4 feet — the lowest level ever recorded.

The reason for the huge loss of clarity in 2017, scientists said Thursday, was that heavy rains in the winter of 2016-17 washed massive amounts of sand and mud that had built up during the five-year drought into the lake. The big drop-off in the lake’s clarity alarmed environmental groups, tourism leaders and many Tahoe lovers.

“A lot of people last year were looking at the decline and saying ‘It’s not working, Tahoe is not getting better,” said Geoffrey Schladow, a professor of engineering at UC Davis and director of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center. “Many of us were saying it was a really extreme year in 2017. It was a massive end to a massive drought. There was a lot of new material coming into the lake, and lots of new erosion. Now the lake has returned to being even better than it was. It’s good news.”

In 2018, after a relatively mild winter, not as much sediment washed in, returning the lake to a more normal pattern, he said.

Overall, the lake has a long way to go to recover its past ecological health.

In 1968, Tahoe’s visibility was 102.4 feet.

After steady development that began in the 1920s and accelerated in the 1950s, Tahoe began to lose its clarity because of erosion from construction, fertilizer from golf courses, loss of wetlands that filter pollutants and other human disruptions.

—The Mercury News

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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