Teacher accused of shooting 2 officials
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An elementary school teacher is accused of shooting and wounding the principal and assistant principal at his school Wednesday about an hour after the children were dismissed because of snow.
Police charged Mark Stephen Foster, 48, of Clinton, with two counts of attempted first-degree murder after the shooting at Inskip Elementary School. The school Web site identifies Foster as a fourth-grade teacher.
University of Tennessee Medical Center officials said Principal Elisa Luna was in critical condition and Assistant Principal Amy Brace was in stable condition Wednesday afternoon.
"We're very saddened by this tragedy," Knox County Schools Superintendent James McIntyre Jr. said. "Thankfully there were no students involved."
Homeless man kills shelter's director
CLEVELAND (AP) — An Air Force veteran who was told to move out of a homeless shelter because he had been uncooperative about attending counseling sessions attacked and killed the center's director on Wednesday before he was fatally shot by police.
Officers said that when they arrived at the homeless shelter, they saw veteran Raymond Ice standing over director Rita Ciofani with a knife and ax in his hands. Ice obeyed police orders to drop the weapons, but then charged at officers and was Tasered and shot, said police spokesman Sgt. Sammy Morris.
Ciofani, 59, and Ice, 48, were both killed, said Dennis Kresak, president of the Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio, which runs the center.
Fired TV worker ID'd as hostage-holder
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Police arrested a man suspected of holding hostages at gunpoint in a south-central Nebraska bank Wednesday and a local television station said he was a former employee who was recently fired for making threats against the station.
No shots or injuries were reported during the nearly three-hour standoff at the Wells Fargo bank branch in downtown Kearney. Police said they recovered a shotgun and machete from the scene.
Kearney police issued a statement that said Jonathon Buckley, 22, of Minden, began taking hostages inside the bank just before 11 a.m. and started releasing people about 45 minutes later. He surrendered about 1:30 p.m. Police would not say how many people had been in the bank.
NASA eyeing 2 new problems on shuttle
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is taking a close look at two new problems on space shuttle Endeavour.
A round ceramic spacer near one of the cockpit windows is sticking out. And a thermal tile repair that was made before the flight has failed, and the original crack is back, right over the cockpit.
Mission management team leader LeRoy Cain said Wednesday that neither problem appears to be serious. But he said everyone wants to be "very vigilant and take a closer look" in case spacewalking repairs are needed.
NASA has been extra careful about such matters since Columbia was brought down by a cracked wing in 2003.
Film subject Charlie Wilson dies at 76
DALLAS (AP) — Charlie Wilson, the former congressman from Texas whose funding of Afghanistan's resistance to the Soviet Union was chronicled in the movie and book "Charlie Wilson's War," died Wednesday. He was 76.
Wilson died at Memorial Medical Center-Lufkin after he had difficulty breathing while attending a meeting in the eastern Texas town where he lived, said hospital spokeswoman Yana Ogletree. Wilson was pronounced dead on arrival; preliminary cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest, she said.
Wilson represented the 2nd District in east Texas in the U.S. House from 1973 to 1996 and was known in Washington as "Good Time Charlie" for his reputation as a hard-drinking womanizer.
Blagojevich pleads not guilty to charges
CHICAGO (AP) — Ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich pleaded not guilty Wednesday to revised federal corruption charges and challenged prosecutors to allow jurors to hear all of the FBI's recordings of his telephone conversations.
Sounding unusually combative after the brief hearing, Blagojevich told reporters he would not ask Judge James B. Zagel to prevent jurors from hearing FBI wiretaps in which prosecutors say he schemed to sell or trade President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.