National Roundup

New Jersey
Suit attacking Super Bowl ticket policies meets court defeat

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A lawsuit claiming the NFL violated New Jersey's consumer fraud laws with its ticketing policies for the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium has been dealt a defeat in court.

New Jersey's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the NFL didn't violate the laws when it released 1 percent of tickets to fans through a lottery.

The rest of the tickets were withheld for teams, sponsors and other insiders.

A New Jersey man's federal lawsuit claimed he was forced to pay more than double the face value for a ticket on the secondary market because of the NFL's policy.

Josh Finkelman has sought class-action status for himself and thousands of other fans.

A federal appeals court ruled the suit could go forward depending on how New Jersey's Supreme Court ruled.

Tennessee
2 of 7 bounty hunters charged with murder take deals

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Two of seven bounty hunters charged with murder after descending on the wrong car and killing an unarmed man in Tennessee have taken deals in the case to avoid trial.

The charges stem from a chaotic scene in Clarksville in April 2017, when police said the bounty hunters shot at four people in a sedan outside a Walmart and chased them for 7 miles (11 kilometers). Killed was 24-year-old Jalen Johnson, a father of three from Clarksville.

The Leaf Chronicle reports court records show 33-year-old Jonathan Schnepp Jr. entered an open plea to aggravated assault last month but won't be sentenced until after his co-defendants' trials.

Court records also show 40-year-old Kenneth Chiasson entered a "memorandum of retirement" agreement in the case, which means the charges against him will be retired after truthful testimony during the trial set to begin in July.

Ohio
School wants suit from transgender pronoun dispute dismissed

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Officials from a small, public university in Ohio argue a federal court should dismiss a lawsuit by a professor who was rebuked for not addressing a transgender student using the student's preferred gender terms.

In a court filing this week, lawyers for Shawnee State University officials contend the language in question is part of Nicholas Meriwether's job responsibilities and isn't speech protected by the First Amendment.

Meriwether's lawsuit alleges officials at the southern Ohio school violated his rights by compelling him to speak in a way that contradicts his religious beliefs as a Christian.

Meriwether received a written warning for violating the school's nondiscrimination policy and unsuccessfully challenged his reprimand in a grievance process. He argues he ­didn't discriminate and that he treated the student like "other biologically male students."

Florida
DeSantis picks female Cuban-American for state's high court

MIAMI (AP) - Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has chosen a female Cuban-American appellate judge as his first pick for the Florida Supreme Court.

The new governor on Wednesday announced that Barbara Lagoa will fill one of three open seats on the court.

Lagoa, a daughter of Cuban exiles raised in Hialeah, has been a judge on the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami for the past 12 years.

DeSantis said 50-year-old Lagoa has an impeccable judicial background and that her Cuban-American upbringing gives her extra appreciation for the rule of law. The announcement was held at Miami's Freedom Tower.

Lagoa attended Florida International University and Columbia University law school. Her father-in-law is Miami senior U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck.

DeSantis has two other Supreme Court picks due to mandatory retirements.

Pennsylvania
Police: Woman breaks into police station, wants to date cop

WYOMING, Pa. (AP) - Police in Pennsylvania say a woman smashed her way into a closed police station looking for an officer she'd been sexually harassing ever since he arrested her.

Police say 27-year-old Ashley Keister, of Nanticoke, used a large cigarette butt receptacle to smash glass doors into the West Wyoming police building around 12:45 a.m. Monday. Once inside, she started rummaging through filing cabinets.

West Wyoming Police Chief Curtis Nocera says Keister had been under investigation for harassing an officer who arrested her last year. He says she sent sexually harassing messages on social media and would call 911 just to talk to him.

The break-in was caught on surveillance cameras.

When officers responded, video footage shows her swinging at them.

Keister was charged with aggravated assaulted on a police officer, burglary, institutional vandalism and related charges.

Iowa
Man charged after shooting at deer, but ­hitting woman

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man faces felony charges after officials say he drunkenly fired a rifle from the front deck of a camper hoping to bag a deer but instead shot a woman in her home.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the shooting happened Friday in Wapello County.

The local sheriff's office says a 73-year-old woman was cleaning her stove when she heard a loud noise and felt pain in the back of her head.

When she saw she was heavily bleeding, she drove herself to a hospital. Doctors later removed a bullet from the back of her head.

Deputies believe 34-year-old Lee Joseph Ryals was the shooter. He's charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and reckless use of a firearm.

Court records don't list an attorney who could comment on Ryals' behalf.

Published: Thu, Jan 10, 2019

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