Get In the Know With Kim’s Wednesday (Pre-Thanksgiving) News & Sports Headlines
In Local News…
(Suspects in Murder of Amanda Blackburn: Larry Taylor (left), Jalen Watson (right) Booking photos provided by IMPD)
If Larry Taylor is convicted of killing Amanda Blackburn, the pregnant pastor’s wife, he could spend an additional six-to-20 years behind bars. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office filed a sentence enhancement Tuesday after Taylor and Jalen Watson appeared in court for the first time. During that court appearance, Watson told the judge he does not want a speedy trial. The sentence enhancement is due to the fact that Blackburn was 12-weeks pregnant when she was shot and killed in a home invasion earlier this month. Prosecutors are still trying to determine whether this will be a capital punishment case that could end in the death penalty.
A young woman sexually assaulted inside an Indianapolis Public Schools high school is suing the state’s second largest school district for concealing a sexual predator. The lawsuit specifically names former IPS Assistant Principal Corey Greenwood and includes multiple former school administrators of George Washington Community High School, located just west of downtown on West Washington Street. Greenwood, a second-generation IPS school administrator, pleaded guilty in 2012 to child seduction and obstruction of justice after a 16-year-old student said he had sex with her on several occasions. The former student, who is now age 19, says the IPS system knew Greenwood was a child predator, but didn’t try to stop him. Back in April of 2012, IPS released a statement saying, “The trust built between students and staff is sacred. IPS is saddened that Mr. Greenwood breached this trust. We will continue to cooperate fully with IMPD as this case moves forward.”
A former Boy Scout leader in Plainfield is now facing child pornography charges. Thomas Franks was arrested Monday after police recovered more than 200 inappropriate images of children on electronic devices found in his home. Officials say they started investigating Franks earlier this month after receiving a call from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about a pornographic image being uploaded to an email account traced to a computer at Franks’ house. Police found those images on a computer and a thumb drive in his home.
A number of religious groups and non-profit organizations are asking Governor Mike Pence to change his mind about Syrian refugees. The group wrote to the governor, pleading with him to open the state to families fleeing the war in Syria. Their letter says Pence’s decision is based on “fear, not fact.” A fact we should mention is Pence is in lockstep with several governors around the country on this move to deny access to refugees to their states. It’s also a move that does not supersede federal law.
President Barack Obama was busy on Tuesday handing out the Medal of Freedom to this latest class of 17. Included among them was former, longtime southern Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton. Hamilton was praised during his 34 years in Congress for his honesty and integrity. Others in the class of recipients of the nation’s highest civilian honor were Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Shirley Chisholm and Willie Mays.
In National News…
The fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer led to a long night of protests in Chicago. Hundreds of protesters filled the streets Tuesday night after a graphic video of the killing was finally released ahead of the court-ordered deadline showing the officer shooting the teen 16 times. Just hours before that video was released, veteran police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The city and the prosecutor’s office in Cook County are facing tons of criticism and scrutiny for taking more than a year to charge Officer Van Dyke. McDonald was killed in October of 2014.
Speaking of Chicago…some folks there are remembering black history and a charismatic man who made it. He was Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African-American mayor. Elected after a tumultuous and racially-tinged political race in 1983, this seasoned leader and member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. died in his City Hall office 28 years ago today.
More than seven in ten Americans say racism is a real problem here in this country. In fact, the poll conducted by CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation shows nearly half the people surveyed, 49-percent, say racism is a big problem. Another 33-percent say it’s “somewhat” of a problem. In comparison, only 28-percent of people surveyed in 2011 said racism was a big problem.
AAA is predicting a slight increase in the number of travelers this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The travel organization says nearly 47 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home. AAA says 300,000 more of us will hit the road or catch a plane for ‘Turkey Day’ this year. They’re attributing this uptick in travelers to the savings from lower gas prices across the country. According to Gasbuddy.com the lowest gas price in Indianapolis on Thanksgiving Eve morning is $1.63. The average price in the area is $1.96. Check the website to get a fuel deal HERE.
Paul George made seven of the Pacers’ franchise-record 19 three-pointers in a 123-106 routing of the Wizards in DC. George ended with a season-high 40 points for the ‘Blue ‘n Gold’ and C.J. Miles was 8-of-9 from deep and had 32 points in this victory. The Pacers have won three in-a-row now and are 9-and-2 since starting the season with three losses. The Pacers host the Bulls at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday.
Plenty of sunshine today, on this Thanksgiving Eve. Expect a High 58 degrees.
Have you made your donation to the annual Mozel Sanders Foundation Thanksgiving Dinner? This annual event feeds the hungry in the city and surrounding area by providing a nutritious meal. They could use your help this year. It costs $4.50 to provide each meal. They’d love to hear from you. MozelSanders.org or drop by with a donation at their office at 709 N. Belmont Ave.
Hey be careful if you’re heading out on the roads or if you’re traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.
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