News Shorts, Weather and Sports for Tuesday, December 19, 2017

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Weather for Tuesday December 19, 2017


(AP) — A neurosurgeon and an Eagle Scout. A college student and military medics. Commuters and emergency workers alike rushed to help survivors when an Amtrak passenger train derailed Monday south of Seattle and hurtled off an overpass onto a busy interstate below. Oregon Health & Science University neurosurgeon Dr. Nathan Selden was headed to Seattle with his college-aged son when they came upon the deadly wreck near DuPont, Washington. It was the first mass casualty event Selden had seen, and he was amazed to see that one infant involved in the wreck seemed miraculously unharmed.


(AP) — Their long-sought political goal within grasp, Republicans in Congress are set to catapult sweeping $1.5 trillion tax legislation through the House, rolling over a dozen GOP defectors from high-tax states.

The Republicans’ final drive to deliver the tax package to an eager President Donald Trump begins Tuesday with a vote in the House. Quickly following, a vote later in the day or on Wednesday in the Senate is expected to seal the deal. Both tallies likely will cling along party lines.


(BBC)China has condemned the “Cold War mentality” of the White House after the publication of a new US national security policy. The document labels China and Russia as “rival powers” and lays out a number of potential threats they pose. The new strategy said Beijing and other governments were determined to challenge American power. But China’s foreign ministry criticised the strategy report, saying Washington should “abandon outdated notions”.


(NWI Times)A new trial has been scheduled for the suspended police officer charged this summer with rape. Judge Samuel L. Cappas scheduled Monday an April 23 trial date for Nicholas Medrano, who worked for the Lake County sheriff’s office. A pretrial conference is scheduled for March 14. Medrano, 34, of Crown Point, is charged with rape, attempted rape, sexual battery and criminal confinement on allegations he raped a woman, identified as a co-worker, between Jan. 10, 2013, and June 30, 2014. A grand jury indicted Medrano on the charges June 22. A trial scheduled to begin Monday was canceled earlier this month.


(NWI Times) A special judge Monday lifted a 15-day probation revocation hold a few days early for Lake County Councilman Jamal Washington, but Washington remains in custody pending a Tuesday hearing on the underlying criminal case.

Porter County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Thode ordered Washington released on his own recognizance in the alleged revocation.

The judge also scheduled a Feb. 12 hearing to check on the status of the case rather than hearing evidence in the alleged revocation.


(NWI Times) A Portage woman was arrested early Friday evening for allegedly trying to steal nearly $400 in liquor from a local store.

Police say she is also suspected in similar thefts from other retailers in Portage, Hammond and Lansing.

Melissa R. Dobkins, 24, was charged with felony counts of theft, possession of a hypodermic needle and possession of cocaine and misdemeanor count of possession of paraphernalia.

James A. Stewart, 41, Michigan City, was also arrested and charged with theft and assisting a criminal.

According to police, they were called to Walmart just before 6:30 p.m. Friday for a theft. A loss prevention officer told police that a woman had placed 10 bottles of liquor, valued at $385, in her purse and attempted to leave the store. When stopped, she began to fight with store security, was released and fled.

Police learned the woman, later identified as Dobkins, was suspected in other thefts from the Portage Walmart and Meijers, Walmart in Hammond and other stores in Lansing.

About 20 minutes later, the car in which she reportedly fled was spotted across U.S. 6 at Meijers. She was identified by Walmart loss prevention employees as the woman who fled and was taken into custody, said police.


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