Employee shot dead at sports car parts store near Pittsburgh, shooter’s on the loose: cops

One person was shot dead Monday morning at a sports car parts store south of Pittsburgh, according to police. A man in a blue hoodie strolled into Minniti Motorsports in Rostraver Township, where he blasted one person behind the counter before fleeing the scene, sources told WPXI-TV. Police have swarmed the Tri-County Plaza, some 27 miles south of Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County, after the shooting about 8:15 a.m. The victim killed was an employee. The store's owner, in the back of the store, had a panic attack after gunfire broke out, according to KDKA-TV. Initial reports indicated two people had been shot. The store’s owner is Joe Minniti, a former councilman in a nearby borough, according to WPXI. The station identified the dead victim as 34-year-old Drew Molinari, though police have yet to confirm the man's identity. THIS IS BREAKING NEWS. CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Airstrikes targeting Shiite rebels destroy part of Yemen’s UNESCO heritage site, kill at least 6

SANAA, Yemen — Saudi-led airstrikes targeting Shiite rebels and their allies in Yemen destroyed historic houses on Friday in the center of the capital, Sanaa, a UNESCO world heritage site. Rescue teams digging through the debris pulled the bodies of six civilians from under the rubble. The bombing drew swift condemnation from the U.N. cultural agency, whose chief expressed sorrow at the loss of human life and the destruction of priceless architectural heritage. Yemen's conflict has left millions of the Arab world's poorest nation in dire need of humanitarian assistance in just about everything -- from fuel to water, food, electricity and medical supplies -- as civilians are increasingly caught in the crossfire. Also, early on Friday, random shelling killed 12 civilians in the southwestern city of Taiz, which witnessed some of the fiercest battles between rebels and southern fighters, witnesses and officials said. In the Sanaa airstrikes, residents initially believed the warplanes had targeted a house occupied by a senior rebel commander, but officials and witnesses later said there were no Shiite rebels among the victims. The impact of the missiles flattened at least three houses and caused cracks in surrounding buildings, which are cemented to one another, leaving large sections of the old city's district at the risk of collapse. At a destroyed four-story building, an Associated Press reporter saw a pile of bricks, dust and wood mingled with clothes, kitchenware and water tanks, which are traditionally kept on roofs. An adjacent three-story building was split in half, wooden window frames dangling from the upper floors. Rescue workers were covered with dust as they searched for victims. Most of the old city's three-to-four-story buildings had been emptied out weeks ago, as their residents left in fear of the airstrikes. The Saudi-led coalition launched the campaign in Continue Reading

Former Philadelphia cop admits robbing drug dealers as part of corrupt narcotics squad: testimony

A crooked ex-cop claims he framed drug dealers and shook down suspects for cash as part of a dirty Philadelphia narcotics squad. Jeffrey Walker, 46, recounted stunning tales of corruption and abuse while testifying against his former colleagues. Federal prosecutors claim six members of the elite unit planted drugs, roughed up dealers and pocketed up to $110,000 at a time from bogus busts. Walker, tall and imposing, worked as one of the squad’s henchman to push around monied bad guys, he said. The heavy-handed officer agreed to snitch on his former partners after the FBI caught him stealing $15,000 during a 2013 drug bust. Squad members publicly were darlings of the Philly police force, piling up arrests and confiscating mounds of drugs that made for good news conference photos. “They like that, as far as the bosses were concerned,” Walker told jurors on Tuesday. “It made them look good. It was nothing but a dog-and-pony show.” In reality, they were bullies of the underworld, padding three-figure salaries with as much stolen cash as they could carry — often literally, Walker said. He described lugging a safe full of money down 17 flights of stairs to dodge security cameras. They often picked on “college-boy... khaki-pants types” as easy targets for shake downs, splitting the stolen cash between themselves, Walker said. He claimed the squad’s leader, Thomas Liciardello, took a cut on every crooked deal and threatened him when he learned he was talking to investigators. Prosecutors showed jurors text messages Liciardello allegedly sent Walker. “Your now a rat I hope you die,” Liciardo is accused of writing. “I will have you locked up by midnight. Goodbye loner.” “You will be in jail before me,” Walker wrote back. The case has been a disaster for the Continue Reading

Mary-Kate, Ashley Olsen won’t be part of ‘Full House’ reboot

It's more of an empty nest than a full house. The planned Netflix reboot of the classic sitcom "Full House" will go forward without two key figures from the original eight-season run on ABC. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen won't be cast on the "Fuller House" revival. John Stamos, who played the twins' TV uncle from 1987 to 1995 and is set to reprise the role of Jesse Katsopolis, confirmed the news Friday night. "I understand they're in a different place and I wish them the best. I promise you will not be dissapointed with our reunion and spin off!!" Stamos said on Twitter. Twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at 28 and as toddlers in 1988. Stamos initially announced the news simply as #heartbroken. That followed executive producer Robert L. Boyett's announcement. "Although Ashley and Mary-Kate will not be a part of 'Fuller House,' I know how much 'Full House' has meant to them and they are still very much considered family," Boyett told The Hollywood Reporter. "It has been exciting to see how they have built their professional careers, and I support their choice to focus on their fashion brands and various business endeavors," Boyett added. "I appreciate their support and good wishes towards 'Fuller House.'" The Olsen twins, now 28, grew up on TV over the course of 192 episodes. Netflix announced "Fuller House" in April, slating a 13-episode run to premiere in 2016. From the start, the Olsen twins appeared to be on the project's periphery. They said Stamos surprised them when he announced the sequel on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” “I’m shocked I haven’t heard from John (Stamos),” Mary-Kate said in April. That began a very public family feud when Stamos said the sisters weren't being truthful. “I call bulls---,” Stamos tweeted. Bob Saget is still in talks to appear in the Continue Reading

Baltimore mother who beat son for taking part in riots says ‘he will not be a Freddie Gray’ (VIDEO)

The enraged Baltimore mother seen in a viral video smacking her son for taking part in riots yanked him off the city’s violent streets Monday to save him from becoming the next Freddie Gray. “I’m a single mother with one son. He will not be a Freddie Gray,” Toya Graham, 42, wrote on Facebook shortly after she was caught on camera whacking the boy and demanding he tear off his ski mask. “I beat the s—t out of him,” she posted. “So if anyone seeing me on the news tonight that’s why.” Graham had hunted him down after seeing him on TV joining in on the protests and hurling rocks at cops, WMAR reported. BALTIMORE RIOTS SCAR CITY WITH BURNING CARS, BUILDINGS She zeroed in on her 16-year-old son, Michael -- who was wearing all black and a mask that covered most of his face -- after he locked eyes with her, she told CBS News in her first interview since making headlines. “He gave me eye contact,” Graham said. “And at that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that.” The heroics were commended late Monday by Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, who urged parents to rip their rioting children off the streets. "If you saw on one scene, you had one mother who grabbed her child who had a hood on his head and she started smacking him on the head because she was so embarrassed," Batts told reporters. "I wish I had more parents that took charge of their kids out there tonight." Graham is seen slapping the teen three times on the side of his head as she attempts to tear the mask off his face. "Take that motherf-----g mask off! Take it off!" she shouts, chasing him down as he tries to flee. "You gonna be out here doing this dumb s--t." Several youngsters were part of "aggressive" groups seen throwing cinder blocks and bottles at police cars and looting stores, the Baltimore Police Department Continue Reading

Michigan woman who bit off part of ex-boyfriend’s ear avoids jail after copping plea

A Michigan make-up artist who bit off part of her ex-boyfriend's ear during an argument over bills has been spared jail — but ordered to attend anger management classes for two years. Danielle Nebelung savagely assaulted Anthony Caruso at their Macomb County home last March after a debate about money turned seriously ugly, reports The Macomb Daily. The 32-year-old jumped on the 37-year-old's back and chomped down on his ear "like a dog would," according to court reports. Nebelung was initially charged with domestic violence and felony assault with intent to maim. She entered a no contest plea to a single misdemeanor domestic violence charge at Macomb County Circuit Court on Friday. The deal saw her spared jail time, but she will have to enroll in anger management classes as part of her probation, according to The Smoking Gun. She has also been banned from having any contact with her ex-lover, whose had the severed part of his ear surgically reattached. Nebelung still faces a personal injury lawsuit filed by Caruso. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Russo brothers, not Joss Whedon, to direct ‘Avengers: Infinity War, Parts 1 & 2’

The Avengers will have to assemble without Joss Whedon. Marvel Studios has already tapped Joe and Anthony Russo to direct the third and fourth installments of the company's biggest franchise, "Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1 and Part 2." That means Whedon, who helmed the first "Avengers," the third-highest-grossing movie of all time, and the upcoming "Avengers: Age of Ultron," won't return to the cinematic superhero universe he helped build. While the mammoth success of "Avengers" has been a boon for Whedon, the director told the Daily News in 2013 that handling a property that enormous is like staying ahead of an out of control train. "The problem is that there's so much that if you're not on top of everything, you're always in danger of having something turn out generic and uninspired or wrong for a character," he said at the time. The Russo brothers are fast becoming Marvel's go-to super team behind the camera after the critical and fan acclaim for their eye for action on last year's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." The studio took a big risk with the pair considering their biggest previous credit were episodes of the sitcoms "Arrested Development" and "Community." They are also directing next year's "Captain America: Civil War," which will feature the titular star-spangled hero played by Chris Evans battling Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man. Filming is expected to begin next year on both "Infinity War" segments, which will be shot back to back, sources told The Hollywood Reporter. "Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1" is slated for a May 4, 2018, with the second half of the saga set to be released on May 3, 2019. Based on the title, comic book fans can expect the team to face off against Thanos (Josh Brolin), briefly glimpsed at the end of the first "Avengers" and in "Guardians of the Galaxy." Continue Reading

How ESPN ruined SportsCenter by selling its soul — and killed part of my youth

This wasn't the SportsCenter I grew up with. This was Rob Gronkowski and Odell Beckham Jr. attempting one-handed catches of a piece of birthday cake as part of an hour-long Wednesday evening ode to a video game. This was the night when SportsCenter truly and officially died, choking on all the money it must have gotten from EA Sports to turn an entire night into a giant infomercial for Madden football. With apologies to hardcore Madden Tournament gamers, the show that once defined sports for me — and an entire generation — had somehow forgotten about actual sports. Again. As others, including my colleague Bob Raissman, have noted before, this is what SportsCenter has become, and this is what ESPN does too often in 2015. Wednesday night was just another lowlight for the former sports highlight show. And to me, it was like watching strangers doing a bizarre touchdown celebration at a friend's funeral. It was sad but it also made me angry. If you like to watch Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless babble, if you see a 30-second "all-access" clip of the Cleveland Cavaliers that's really just a bunch of guys yelling random phrases, or if you want to hear SportsCenter talk about SportsCenter, you come to SportsCenter. Want to see the highlights? Check YouTube. Flash back about 10 years ago — and beyond — and ESPN's flagship show delivered all the sports news, both major and minor, in one compact hour. It overflowed with highlights, and clips, so many you could miss the Super Bowl and still grasp the enormity of the moment. It teemed with numbers, full screens flashing up after every game highlight, a newspaper box score come to life. It was sports fan nirvana, letting you run your fantasy team, admire Andre Johnson's latest, greatest catch, and ponder the ramifications of Barry Bonds' future all at once. You walked away from the TV wanting more. Now? Continue Reading

Bronx effort to speed up trials as part of Justice Reboot plan gets off to slow start

Now if only the defendants can make it on time. A Bronx judge, heeding the mayor’s call for a “justice reboot,” moved Wednesday to help the borough’s accused felons get their day in court a lot quicker. But the move to accelerate the judicial process got off to an unfortunately slow start, with the initial defendants brought to court more than an hour after the scheduled 9:30 a.m. opening. Chief Administrative Judge Robert Torres personally took control of the new Part 86, operating out of an empty courtroom in the basement of Bronx Supreme Court. Torres began plowing through the first 30 of the 546 unresolved Bronx cases where an accused felon remained behind bars more than a year after their arrest. Mayor de Blasio wants the qualifying cases resolved with a plea deal or a trial date within 45 days. The Bronx is notorious for its legal logjams. The judge acknowledged he was facing a tall order: “We’re handicapped on staffing. We don’t have the trial capacity that we had two years ago.” There was another and immediate problem when the delivery of prisoners to the courtroom from Rikers Island started about an hour after the 9:30 a.m. start of business. Thirty cases were scheduled on day one of the Bronx’s effort to meet Mayor de Blasio’s mandate to keep things moving quickly in the courtroom. Two plea deals were reached on the first day of the project. Several others were put off until May 27. Torres urged competing sides to work out agreements. “I’d like both sides to reconsider their position,” the judge told lawyers in the case of Hector Lebron, locked up for a February 2013 slaying. “I haven’t heard an offer yet,” said defense attorney Michael Marley. “But I’m all ears.” Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Microsoft looking to hire autistic employees as part of new pilot program

Microsoft's push for diversity extends beyond gender and race. The computer giant, whose CEO said last year that women should wait for "karma" to promote them, is looking to recruit 10 candidates with autism as part of a new pilot program to expand diversity. "People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft," Mary Ellen Smith, Microsoft's corporate vice president for worldwide operations, wrote in a blog post. "Some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code. It’s a talent pool that we want to continue to bring to Microsoft." Smith's own 19-year-old son is autistic, she added. The company will work with Specialisterne, a Danish firm that connects autistic people with jobs. Specialisterne was profiled by the New York Times Magazine in a 2012 feature on how tech companies could benefit from autistic workers because their skill sets match the rigorous yet sometimes monotonous parts of the job. Microsoft caught heat in October when CEO Satya Nadella suggested that women shouldn't ask for raises but rather let the universe work in promoting them. He quickly apologized. At the end of last year, Microsoft released some of its diversity stats and, after more pressure, its EEO-1 report, which further delves into internal data. The EEO-1 form tallied 116 white executive-level employees, and just two black, 20 Asian, 1 biracial, and 0 American Indian or Pacific Islander execs. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading