Tornadoes kill seven people in Tennessee

Saturday, April 8, 2006

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms struck Tennessee on Friday afternoon, killing at least seven people, peeling away roofs and flipping cars over, officials said. All seven deaths were in Sumner County northeast of Nashville, said Eddie Boatwright, spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. Fire chief Joe Womack said three bodies were pulled from the wreckage of homes in a subdivision of Gallatin, about 24 miles northeast of Nashville. Last weekend, violent storms and tornadoes killed 24 people in the western part of the state and destroyed more than 1,000 homes and buildings.

Mom who severed baby's arms found not guilty

McKINNEY, Texas -- A mother charged with murder for cutting off her baby daughter's arms in what her lawyers portrayed as a religious frenzy was found not guilty by reason of insanity Friday by a judge. Dena Schlosser, 38, will be sent to a state mental hospital and held until she is no longer deemed a threat to herself or others. "My own expectation is that she will remain at the hospital for many, many years," defense attorney David Haynes said. Police arrested Schlosser in 2004 after she told a 911 operator she had severed her baby's arms. Officers found the 10-month-old baby, Margaret, near death in her crib and Schlosser covered in blood, holding a knife and listening to a hymn.

Woman dead after 911 call treated as a prank

DETROIT -- A 5-year-old boy called 911 to report that his mother had collapsed in their apartment, but an operator told him he should not be playing on the phone, and she died before help arrived. The family of Sherrill Turner, 46, does not know whether a swifter response could have saved her life, but relatives want to know why the operator apparently treated the call as if it were a prank. Police said the 911 response was under investigation. Turner's son, Robert, placed two calls to 911 after his mother collapsed Feb. 20 on the kitchen floor. During one of the calls, an operator said: "You shouldn't be playing on the phone."

Man in prison for too many years wins release

TAMPA, Fla. -- He was behind years for a decade too long, and now he's free. Leonard Brown spent more than half his life in jail because the judge sentenced him to 99 years for a robbery -- a crime that should have carried a 15-year-term. A fellow inmate who had worked in a law office found the mistake in Brown's file last year. Brown, 47, walked out of prison on Friday and straight into his mother's arms. Outside the prison gates, he thanked God and his mom for sticking by him all these years. Elizabeth Brown, 73, had visited her son almost every week of his imprisonment. The judge who imposed the excessive sentence committed suicide years ago while the government was investigating his handling of public records and personal finances.

Wal-Mart heads into battle over bank plans

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc., ever looking for ways to expand its already huge empire, is asking the government for permission to move into an entirely different industry: running its own in-house bank. The world's largest retailer will ask the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Monday for permission to open a bank that can process millions of checks and credit card payments each month. The company says it's not interested in running a consumer bank as well, but some of its opponents still fear such a step could hurt local banks much like the mom-and-pop stores were during Wal-Mart's rapid expansion. This is Wal-Mart's fourth bid at running a bank -- and its request unleashed an unprecedented flood of comments to the FDIC. In response, the FDIC scheduled its first public hearings ever on a bank application.

-- From wire reports

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