Parole denied to suspect in Atlanta serial killings

ATLANTA — A man considered the main suspect in a string of killings of Black children and young adults in Atlanta in the 1970s and 1980s has been denied parole.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles made the decision last month in the case of 61-year-old Wayne Williams. The more than two dozen killings, mostly of Black boys, terrorized the city from 1979 to 1981.

Williams was sentenced in 1982 to serve two life prison sentences after being convicted of murder in the killings of two adults. While authorities blamed him for the other killings, he was never charged.

A Nov. 20 parole board letter to Williams says he hasn’t served enough time given the “nature and circumstances” of his offenses. The board set his next parole consideration for November 2027.

— The Associated Press

New president appointed at Coppin State University

BALTIMORE — A new president has been appointed for Coppin State University.

The University System of Maryland announced Monday that Anthony Jenkins will succeed interim President Mickey Burnim as the president of the historically black university.

Burnim has been leading the university since former Coppin State President Maria Thompson ended her service on June 30.

Jenkins has been president of West Virginia State University since July 2016. His appointment to Coppin State is effective May 26.

Linda Gooden, who chairs the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents, says Jenkins has demonstrated a clear track record of success at West Virginia State University.

She noted partnerships he has established with higher education institutions in Africa, Mexico and China.

— The Associated Press

Survey suggests slowing economy in 9 Midwest states

OMAHA, Neb. — A new monthly survey of business leaders suggests the economy is slowing down in nine Midwest and Plains states as the U.S. trade war with China continues, according to a report released Monday.

The overall index for the region slipped into negative territory at 48.6 in November from October’s 52.6.

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below that suggests decline.

“Slow global growth and trade skirmishes and wars are negatively affecting growth among manufacturers in the region,” said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

The regional trade numbers showed new export orders falling to 39.1 from October’s 44.7. But imports increased to 52 in November from last month’s 48.2 as supply managers bought additional items ahead of higher tariffs expected in the weeks ahead.

The region’s employment index fell to 37.2 in November from October’s 50 as some businesses struggled to find workers to hire. Goss said the availability of workers continues to constrain job growth in the region.

The confidence index, which measures sentiment about the next six months, improved to 52.9 in November from October’s 47.3. Goss said business confidence will depend on the progress in trade talks with China and the passage of the nation’s trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

The wholesale price index, which measures inflation, increased to 65.7 in November from 57 in October. Goss said tariffs have had only a modest impact on inflation so far.

— The Associated Press

Federal judge rules for police in fatal shooting of teen

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge has ruled in favor of Indianapolis police in a lawsuit that accused officers of excessive force in a Black teenager’s fatal shooting following a suspected armed carjacking.

Andre Green’s family sued the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in August 2017, claiming that three officers used excessive force and violated the 15-year-old’s constitutional rights when they shot and killed him in August 2015.

Several officers had been following a stolen Nissan Altima driven by Green after learning about a reported armed carjacking where a suspect had fired four shots at a group of people.

Police said the officers shot Green after he drove the Altima into one patrol car, backed into another and then began accelerating into the first patrol car a second time along a dead-end street that police had blocked.

However, Green’s family said the teen slowly drove the stolen car into one of the patrol cars, striking it once before three officers opened fire on the moving vehicle.

The officer fired 20 shots and said later that they feared Green would ram one of the officers. Police said a handgun was found at the scene.

The city’s attorneys asked the court to grant summary judgment, arguing that the officers were shielded under a legal doctrine known as qualified immunity that typically protects police officers acting in their official capacities from such lawsuits.

U.S. District Court Judge Patrick Hanlon ruled in favor of the city and the officers on Nov. 13, ending the lawsuit prior to trial, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Hanlon’s order said Green’s family failed to prove that the officers were not acting reasonably when they used force.

— The Associated Press

Connecticut man gets court order to remove Dixie flag

PLAINVILLE, Conn. — A Connecticut man faces charges for allegedly using a Confederate flag to harass his African-American neighbors.

Prosecutor Brian Preleski says the conflict between the Plainville family and 49-year-old Anthony Esposito came to a head when he draped himself in the Confederate flag and ran up and down his driveway while the neighbors’ 12-year-old daughter waited for the school bus.

The Hartford Courant reported a judge ordered no such flag be flown within 250 yards of the neighbors’ property.

Preleski says Esposito “is a self-avowed racist, sex offender, convicted felon, and claims to have ties to the Ku Klux Klan.”

Esposito remains free on disorderly conduct and breach of peace charges.

— The Associated Press

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