Grand Rapids, Michigan
Members of anti-government paramilitary groups implicated in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor ahead of the November election because of her measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 al discussed abducting Virginia’s governor, the Associated Press reported
The disclosure came during a federal court hearing in Grand Rapids, where FBI agent Richard Trask revealed new details about investigators’ use of confidential informants, undercover agents and encrypted communication to thwart the purported scheme to abduct Gov Gretchen Whitmer, according to AP.
“They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically the governor of Michigan and Virginia based on the lockdown orders issued to deal with the pandemic,” Trask said. He was referring to a June 6 meeting in Dublin, Ohio, which was attended by roughly 15 members of anti-government groups from “four or five states,” AP reported.
Whitmer, who was considered as Joe Biden’s running mate and is nearly halfway through a 4-year term, has been widely praised for her response to the virus outbreak but al criticized by people in more conservative area of Michigan. The State Capitol has been the site of many rallies with some demanding her ouster, according to AP.
Columbia, South Carolina
The dean of South Carolina’s largest law school is apologizing for forwarding an email which contained the names of students who failed the exam to become a lawyer and the confidential bar exam grades of every student, the Associated Press reported.
University of South Carolina School of Law Dean William Hubbard said he was so excited last week when he got the email 82 percent of his students passed he forwarded it without noticing the attachments which were supposed to remain private, according to AP.
“It totally was an accident, an accident I deeply regreat,” Hubbard said “I’ve sent a personal email to every one of those students, and I’ve had an email dialogue with some of them and some phone conversations and plant to make myself available to any student who wants to meet.”
Names of students who fail the bar exam are supposed to never be published and scores for those who passed are not revealed. Hubbard said he thought he was just forwarding a letter with overall results for the school, AP reported.
Strong winds fanned two Rocky Mountain wildfires Wednesday, prompting new evacuation orders as one of them spread toward communities which lie outside Rocky Mountain National Park, the Associated Press reported.
Cool autumn weather had been helping firefighters in their efforts to quell the Mullen Fire in Southeastern Wyoming and Northern Colorado and the Cameron Peak Fire in Northern Colorado, but gusts of 70-mile-per-hour wind complicated their overnight efforts. Forecasters expected dry air and strong wind to pose a challenge for firefighters into the weekend, according to AP.
The latest evacuations in the path of the Cameron Peak Fire mainly affected recreational properties in and around the unincorporated communities of Glen Haven and Drake east of Rocky Mountain National Park, according to AP.
The Cameron Peak Fire has damaged or destroyed 95 buildings, including 33 homes, while the Mullen Fire 25 miles to the north in Medicine Bow National Forest has destroyed or damaged 65 structures. Both fires affected primarily recreational subdivisions and isolated cabins, no cities or towns, AP reported.
An inmate who escaped from a Kentucky jail last month by climbing through a hole in a jail window has been captured in Southern Indiana, according to the Associated Press.
Anthony Martinez was caught Tuesday in a wooded area near Hanover, Indiana. When he was located, he fled from authorities but was later shot with a stun gun and captured near a church. He now is in custody of the U.S Marshals, AP reported.
State and federal investigators from Indiana came close to catching Martinez October 8 in nearby Scott County, but he fled on foot into an area of thick brush and they lost him, according to AP.
Martinez, who was arrested in February on robbery charges involving multiple banks, escaped September 29 from Louisville Metro Corrections after apparently climbing through a hole in a fourth-floor window and then using a hose draped along the building to lower himself to the ground, AP reported.
An accidentally severed fiber optic cable which shut down Virginia’s online voter registration system for several hours Tuesday, the last day to register before the November general election, has prompted a lawsuit from a civil rights organization, the Associated Press reported.
The Virginia Departments of Elections said in a statement on Twitter a “fiber cut” affected connectivity for multiple agencies, including the department’s citizen portal and registrar’s offices. The cable was inadvertently cut during a Chesterfield County roadside utilities project, according to AP.
Six hours later, the Department of Elections issued a statement which said the portal was back online But the fallout led to concerns voters were being disenfranchised at a crucial moment. Voting advocates said the accident couldn’t have come at a worse time and lambasted the state officials for the technological failure, AP reported.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit Tuesday night claiming voter registration must be extended for 48 hours and the state should make “a significant effort” to tell the public about the change. A representative from the group said Virginia failed the public and need to grant an extension to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to exercise their right to vote, according to AP.