New Orleans – Boosted by a drop in the city’s murder rate and an endorsement from President Barack Obama, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared victory Saturday as voters appeared to hand him a landslide victory and a second term.
Landrieu had 65 percent of the vote with more than 80 percent precincts reporting. His closest competitor conceded.
The city’s beleaguered sheriff, Marlin Gusman, led over three opponents, despite having come under fire last year for problems at the city jail, including violence, drug use and escapes. The question was whether he would get a majority or face a runoff against former Sheriff Charles Foti. Gusman had 48 percent of the vote, with most of the precincts reporting.
All of the candidates in both races were Democrats.
Man accused of threatening G.W. Bush
New York – A man has been arrested in New York City for allegedly threatening former President George W. Bush after declaring his love for the 43rd president’s daughter Barbara, officials said Saturday.
George Ogilvie, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, told the Los Angeles Times that officials arrested the man on Friday on suspicion of violating U.S. Code Title 18 Section 879 on issuing “threats against former presidents and certain other persons.”
Ogilvie would not comment further on the arrest or give the man’s name.
However, Reuters reported that the man has been identified as 44-year-old Benjamin Smith of Pittsford in upstate New York. Inside his car, officials found a loaded rifle, machete and container of gasoline.
Reportedly, Smith screamed “Bush will get his” when he was taken into custody. He allegedly told agents he was divorced and “working on a relationship with Barbara Bush,” referring to Barbara Pierce Bush, 32, one of Bush’s twin daughters.
United announces flight, job cutbacks
Washington – United Airlines said Saturday it will drop its money-losing hub in Cleveland, slashing its daily flights and eliminating 470 jobs.
The company’s CEO Jeff Smisek announced in a letter to employees that the airline will no longer use Cleveland to connect fliers coming from other airports around the country. As a result, United’s daily departures from the city will fall from 199 currently to 72 by June.
United said in November that it aims to cut $2 billion in annual costs in the coming year by shifting flights, making workers more productive, and improving its maintenance procedures.