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Companies use 1851 law to deny liability in duck boat tragedy that killed 17

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana woman who lost nine family members in the sinking of a duck boat in Missouri over the summer, expressed outrage at a court filing Monday by two companies facing multiple lawsuits in the tragedy.      

The companies, Branson Duck Vehicles and Ripley Entertainment, cited an 1851 maritime law to limit or eliminate liability for the tragedy that killed 17 people in July, according to Tia Coleman’s lawyers. 

In a filing in federal court in Missouri, the defendants denied negligence in the sinking of the boat. But the filing said that if a court does find negligence, their liability is zero. That’s because “the Vessel was a total loss and has no current value. No freight was pending on the Vessel.”          

Coleman and her lawyers called the legal maneuver “callous and calculated.”

“Ripley’s legal claim that my husband and children are worthless is incredibly hurtful and insensitive,” Coleman said in a statement. “Anyone who cares about people or has any human decency should boycott Ripley and their attractions.”          

One of the lawyers, Robert J. Mongeluzzi, said, “Ripley’s inhuman legal ploy will sink as fast as their death trap duck boat did. We will legally and factually demolish this frivolous claim.”

A spokeswoman for Ripley’s could not be immediately reached for comment but told the Associated Press in a statement that the filing is “common in claims related to maritime incidents.”           

She said the goal is to give the parties time for mediation.

FILE – In this July 23, 2018, file photo, a duck boat that sank during a thunderstorm on July 19, killing 17 people on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., is raised from the bottom of the lake. A company facing multiple lawsuits over the summer tourist boat accident in Missouri has invoked an 1851 law that allows vessel owners to try to limit their legal damages as it also seeks settlement negotiations with victims’ family members. Attorneys for Ripley Entertainment Inc., based in Orlando, Fla., cited an old federal law in a filing Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, in federal court in western Missouri. (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP, File)

 

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4-Year-Old Tests Positive For Crack Cocaine After Bringing It Home From Daycare [Video]

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A 4-year-old girl came home from her Bronx daycare with a disturbing surprise — a handful of crack cocaine, and the drug in her system.

local NBC affiliate reports that Sabrina Straker, the girl’s mother, was shocked when her daughter (Serenity) told her that she put a vile of the drug in her mouth. Now, mom is calling for the daycare to be shut down!

According to the report, when Serenity came went home from Lil Inventors Child Care unusually hyper and with strange capsules in her hand, Straker said her child told her that another kid in the daycare gave her his “teeth,” but when she looked at the capsules, she knew something was wrong.

Straker immediately took the capsules to local police and after running some tests, narcotics detectives confirmed that they were crack cocaine. Serenity admitted that she had put one of the capsules in her mouth, but spat it out. Still —  she was rushed to the hospital, where she tested positive for the drug.

“She could have died if she ingested this,” Straker told PIX News. “I was furious.”

Lil Inventors Child Care Director Yvette Joseph said someone allegedly threw the capsules over the fence and one of the kids picked it up.

“We checked our center thoroughly and all of the children are safe,” Joseph said.

Police are reportedly investigating the incident and the family of the child who handed the capsule to Serenity.

Meanwhile, Straker wants the daycare closed.

“No one was watching the children,” she said. “There are 15 kids in the room with two teachers and two aides, where were they when this was going on?”

NY Magee, EURWeb.com

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Police chief defends officer after controversial video of 12-year-old’s arrested trying to sell CDs

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. – The Cobb County Police chief says he’s opened an internal investigation after an officer was caught on camera arresting a 12-year-old rapper. 

Numerous Channel 2 Action News viewers shared the now-viral video with us and criticized the officer for being unnecessarily harsh on a child.

Channel 2’s Tom Jones spoke exclusively with Chief Michael Register, who said his officer didn’t do anything wrong.

Register said there is more to the story than what was caught on camera. But he says because he’s gotten countless phone calls and complaints, he opened an investigation into the incident. 

“Does he have a right to put his hands on that child?” Jones asked Register. 

“He was within his rights,” Register said. 

The child on the video is Corey Jackson, who also goes by Lil C-Note. Jackson is a young rapper who is well known for trying to sell his CDs at local businesses. 

The mall considers that trespassing. Chief Register said the mall had given Jackson a criminal trespass warning and told him twice he couldn’t sell CDs on the property. 

When a mall security guard caught him in the act on Oct. 6, Register said Jackson became combative so they called over an off-duty police officer. The officer said Jackson tried to bend the officer’s fingers back and push or punch him in the chest. 

That part of the confrontation didn’t end up on video, Register said. 

What did end up on video was the officer appearing to squeeze Jackson by the arm and argue with him.

“You’re 12?” the officer is heard asking the boy. “You’re about to go to jail. You’re going to go to a youth detention center if you don’t [inaudible].”

Jackson argued back. 

“He told the police officer, ‘I don’t have to speak with you. I know my rights,'” Register said. 

The camera is jostled as an apparent altercation breaks out and the video ends with the officer calling in the incident as another officer restrains Jackson. 

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Jesus: Grandmother Charged with Murder After Stabbing & Baking 20-Month-Old Baby

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According to the Associated Press, on Tuesday, October 16, Carolyn Jones was arrested and charged with first-degree murder for the horrific death of her 20-month-old granddaughter Royalty Marie Floyd. On the evening of Monday, October 15, the 48-year-old grandmother’s brother is said to have made the gruesome discovery when he opened the oven door and saw the child’s mutilated body.

Stabbed and Baked: When Jones’ brother discovered the child’s body, he immediately called the police and they alerted the sheriff’s office and other first responders for further assistance. Once the child’s body was removed from the oven, officers also noted that she’d been stabbed. Spokesman Warren Strain at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, has revealed investigators are now working to determine the child’s cause of death and the time she died. Right now, police cannot determine whether the child was placed inside the oven before or after she died. The body has been taken to a Crime Lab in Pearl, MS for an autopsy. During a press conference, Bolivar County Sheriff Kelvin Williams Sr. released details about the child’s disturbing death. The child was reportedly “living at the residence with Jones at the time of the murder.” He admitted that this case is one of the most horrific he’s seen in his 25 years of law enforcement. “I’ve been in law enforcement a long time, 26 years almost. Some of the most horrific scenes I’ve seen in law enforcement involve children. Those are some of the— they have an effect on us. We don’t want it to happen, but unfortunately, things like this happen.” Williams said, “This is one of the most horrible things I’ve seen.” But Why?…: Although investigators are still working to collect evidence tying the 48-year-old grandmother to the heinous crime, Sheriff Williams has cited that she was the only person inside the home. “That was the only person who was there with the child at the time,” Williams said. The investigation is currently underway as investigators are working to piece together the timeline and determine the circumstances surrounding the child’s death. When asked specific questions about the case, Williams said, “We are trying to figure that out ourselves. We have no idea at this point.”

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