Articles written by Ben Finley

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Charlotte, a stingray with no male companion, is pregnant in her mountain aquarium

Charlotte, a rust-colored stingray the size of a serving platter, has spent much of her life gliding around the confines of a storefront aquarium in North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains. She's 2,300 miles (3,700 kilometers) from her natural...

 

A grainy sonar image reignites excitement and skepticism over Earhart's final flight

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A grainy sonar image recorded by a private pilot has reinvigorated interest in one of the past century's most alluring mysteries: What happened to Amelia Earhart when her plane vanished during her flight around the world in...

 

She bought a colorful vase at Goodwill for $3.99. The rare piece sold at auction for $107,000

Jessica Vincent had just started surveying the shelves of a Virginia thrift store when a vase caught her eye. It was shaped like a bottle and had ribbons of color, aqua green and amethyst purple, that spiraled up its glass surface like stripes of pai...

 

UNLV gunman had list of targets at the university and 150 rounds of ammunition, police say

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The 67-year-old gunman who killed three faculty members and wounded a fourth in a roughly 10-minute rampage at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, had a list of targets at the school and 150 additional rounds of ammunition,...

 

Man believed to have fired shots before a Virginia house exploded died in the blast, police say

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The owner of a Virginia house that exploded as police tried to execute a search warrant is believed to have died in the blast, officials said Tuesday, as details emerged about numerous grievances he expressed against neighbors...

 

Mother pleads guilty to felony child neglect after 6-year-old son used her gun to shoot teacher

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — The mother of a 6-year-old boy who shot his teacher in Virginia pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of felony child neglect, seven months after her son used her handgun to critically wound the educator in a classroom full...

 

Worker warned organizer 'Someone's going to end up dead' before crowd surge at '21 Travis Scott show

HOUSTON (AP) — Just moments before rap superstar Travis Scott took the stage at the deadly 2021 Astroworld festival, a contract worker had been so worried about what might happen after seeing people getting crushed that he texted an event...

 

Rescuers race against time to find the missing sub in the Atlantic bound for the Titanic site

Rescuers in a remote area of the Atlantic Ocean raced against time early Tuesday to find a missing submersible carrying five people on a mission to document the wreckage of the Titanic. The carbon-fiber submersible named the Titan, part of a mission...

 

Pat Robertson, broadcaster who helped make religion central to GOP politics, dies at 93

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Pat Robertson, a religious broadcaster who turned a tiny Virginia station into the global Christian Broadcasting Network, tried a run for president and helped make religion central to Republican Party politics in America...

 

Mother of 6-year-old who shot teacher indicted by grand jury

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — A grand jury in Virginia has indicted the mother of a 6-year-old boy who shot his teacher on charges of child neglect and failing to secure her handgun in the family's home, a prosecutor said Monday. A grand jury sitting...

 

School where boy shot teacher reopens with added security

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — The Virginia elementary school where a 6-year-old boy shot his teacher reopened Monday with stepped-up security and a new administrator, as nervous parents and students expressed optimism about a return to the classroom. Ri...

 

Schools face pressure to take harder line on discipline

As kids' behavior reaches crisis points after the stress and isolation of pandemic shutdowns, many schools are facing pressure from critics to rethink their approaches to discipline — including policies intended to reduce suspensions and...

 

Survivor of Virginia Walmart mass shooting files $50M suit

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A Walmart employee who survived the mass shooting at a store in Virginia has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the company. Employee Donya Prioleau claims in her lawsuit that Walmart continued to employ the shooter "who had...

 

'Bodies drop' as Walmart manager kills 6 in Virginia attack

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — A Walmart manager pulled out a handgun before a routine employee meeting and began firing wildly around the break room of a Virginia store, killing six people in the nation's second high-profile mass shooting in four days,...

 

Witness: Walmart shooter seemed to target certain people

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The Walmart supervisor who shot and killed six co-workers in Virginia seemed to target people and fired at some victims after they were already hit and appeared to be dead, said a witness who was present when the shooting...

 

Family stranded in Virginia: 'It's not getting any better'

By 1 p.m. Tuesday, morale was plummeting for Jennifer Travis, her husband and their 12-year-old daughter. They were down to half a bottle of water and no snacks. Their last meal had been at a Denny's at 7 p.m. Monday. They hadn't slept and were...

 

Pat Robertson steps down as host of long-running '700 Club'

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Pat Robertson, who turned a tiny Virginia television station into a global religious broadcasting network, is stepping down after a half-century running the "700 Club" on daily TV, the Christian Broadcasting Network announced...

 

EXPLAINER: What happens when an ICU reaches capacity?

ATLANTA (AP) — The latest surge in coronavirus cases is overwhelming many intensive care units, causing hospitals and states to run out of ICU beds in some locations. Kentucky and Texas broke records this week for COVID-19 hospitalizations,...

 

Prosecutor finds deputies justified in shooting of Black man

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina prosecutor said Tuesday that sheriff's deputies were justified in fatally shooting Andrew Brown Jr. because he struck a deputy with his car and nearly ran him over while ignoring commands to show his...

 

FBI starts probe into death of Black man killed by deputies

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — The FBI launched a civil rights probe Tuesday into the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man killed by deputies in North Carolina, as his family released an independent autopsy showing he was shot five times, including...

 

Judge won't release videos of deputies shooting Black man

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A judge refused Wednesday to release body camera video showing North Carolina deputies shooting and killing a Black man, ruling that making the video public at this stage could jeopardize the investigation into Andrew...

 

Attorney: Black man killed by deputies shot in back of head

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A Black man killed by deputies in North Carolina was shot in the back of the head and had his hands on his car steering wheel when they opened fire, attorneys for his family said Monday after relatives viewed body...

 

Open spaces, no pharmacies: rural US confronts vaccine void

SURRY, Va. (AP) — When Charlome Pierce searched where her 96-year-old father could get a COVID-19 vaccine in January, she found zero options anywhere near their home in Virginia. The lone medical clinic in Surry County had none, and the last...

 

Cut cable shuts down Virginia voter portal; lawsuit filed

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An accidentally severed fiber optic cable that 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...

 

As Memorial Day tempts people outdoors, virus rebound feared

Millions of Americans are getting ready to emerge from coronavirus lockdowns and venture outdoors to celebrate Memorial Day weekend at beaches, cookouts and family outings, raising concern among public health officials that large gatherings could...

 

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