In brief: Man allegedly plans shooting spree
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A southwest Missouri man accused of plotting to shoot up a movie theater during the new “Twilight” film was charged Friday after his mother contacted police, telling them she worried her son had purchased weapons similar to those used during the fatal Colorado theater shooting.
Blaec Lammers, 20, of Bolivar, is charged with first-degree assault, making a terroristic threat and armed criminal action. He was jailed in Polk County on $500,000 bond.
“Thankfully we had a responsible family member or we might have had a different outcome,” Bolivar police Chief Steve Hamilton told the Associated Press. He said Lammers is under a doctor’s care for mental illness, and court documents said he was “off of his medication.”
His mother contacted authorities Thursday, saying she worried that with this weekend’s opening of the final film in the popular vampire movie series, her son “may have intentions of shooting people at the movie,” police wrote in the probable cause statement.
Judge won’t halt work on rail project
Sacramento, Calif. – A judge denied a request Friday from Central Valley farmers who sought to halt work on California’s ambitious high-speed rail project, allowing work on the $68 billion project to continue at an aggressive pace.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley denied a request for a preliminary injunction, saying that the agency overseeing the project “acted reasonably and in good faith” in trying to comply with California environmental law.
Groups representing Central Valley farmers had hoped to stop the California High-Speed Rail Authority from all planning and engineering work because of their claims that the authority did not thoroughly weigh the potential environmental harms of the project.
Frawley did not rule on the merits of their case, which is expected to be heard this spring.
NTSB probing train, parade float collision
Midland, Texas – The National Transportation Safety Board has begun its investigation into the crash at a railroad crossing in Midland, Texas, where a freight train hit a parade float carrying veterans, killing four and injuring 16 others, officials said Friday.
The crash turned what had been expected to be a celebration of veteran pride into a scene of destruction. Two flatbed tractor-trailers were carrying wounded veterans and their families to a banquet during a local veterans support group’s parade on Thursday afternoon when a Union Pacific train hit one of the vehicles as the parade was crossing the tracks, according to officials.
NTSB officials are on scene to head the investigation into the crash, Midland police announced. Among other things, they will examine the black box from the train to determine its speed at the time of impact.