National coverage



Close to 90,000 sexual abuse claims have been filed against the Boy Scouts of America as the Monday deadline arrived for submitting claims in the organization’s bankruptcy case, the Associated Press reported.

The number far exceeds the initial projections of lawyers across the United States who have been signing up clients since the Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy protection in February in the face of hundreds of lawsuits alleging decades-old sex abuse by scout leaders, according to AP.

Eventually, the proceedings in federal bankruptcy court will lead to the creation of a compensation fund to pay out settlements to abuse survivors whose claims are upheld. The potential size of the fund is not yet known and will be the subject of complex negotiations. The national organization is expected to contribute a substantial portion of its assets, which include financial investments and real estate, AP reported.

Most of the pending sex abuse claims date to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, before the Boy Scouts adopted criminal background checks, abuse prevention training for all staff and a rule which two or more adults leaders must be present during activities, according to AP.

New York

Prosecutors said the man accused of punching actor Rick Moranis is a suspect in multiple other unprovoked attacks on people in New York, the Associated Press reported.

At a Manhattan Criminal Court hearing Sunday, prosecutors said Marquis Ventura is charged in five assaults on strangers which took place within the last 6 months. Ventura allegedly attacked the owner of a liquor store in Soho hours after he punched Moranis in the face October 1 in what police called a “random, unprovoked assault,” according to AP.

Judge Nicholas Moyne ordered a psychiatric examination for Ventura. An attorney for Ventura said he has a diagnosis of schizophrenia, a serious mental illness, and has previously been in inpatient mental health treatment. She said he was not on his medication, AP reported.

Ventura was arrested Saturday but the charges naming him as a suspect in other assaults were not known until yesterday’s hearing, according to AP.

Columbia, South Carolina

A section of Columbia, South Carolina was without power Monday after a squirrel scurried across equipment causing damage which led to a blackout, the Associated Press reported.

“The squirrel came into contact with the protective device around the transformer,” Dominion Energy spokesperson Matt Long said Monday. “Usually, if a squirrel were to touch a wire and then touch the metallic part of a breaker on a telephone line, they would be fine. However, if they touch the metal and then touch the wire, it would cause an arc which could burn out the unit.”

Long could not say whether it was exactly what happened Monday, but the transformer itself was not damaged during the shocking situation, just the device surrounding it. Long also confirmed the squirrel was killed while damaging the equipment, according to AP.

Another power outage was reported Monday after a dump truck hit some wires in the city. By 11:45 a.m., nearly 1,800 customers had reported being without power, according to an outage map on the energy company’s website. Power has since been repaired in downtown Columbia, AP reported.

Columbia Falls, Montana

A man who crashed his car into a Montana grocery store and fled the scene was later arrested after running nude through a nearby retirement home, the Associated Press reported.

The suspect was taken to a local hospital for non-injury medical issues Thursday and is expected to be booked after his is medically cleared. Columbia Fall Police Chief Clint Peters said his department will identify the suspect when he is booked into jail. Peters said he expects the man will face numerous charges, according to AP.

The man is accused of driving through the front doors of a Super 1 Foods in Columbia Falls Thursday night and continuing to drive through the store before turning around and driving out the way he had entered. The driver had fled the scene by the time authorities arrived, AP reported.

Employees at the retirement home were able to identify the man because he had a relationship with a resident. It was determined after a short investigation the nude male was the driver of the vehicle crashed through the Super 1 Foods. The police report said the male showed signs of drug impairment at the time of his arrest, according to AP.