Proving that just because you work at a college, it doesn't make you smart, Angela Timmons of Spartanburg, S.C., thought it would be hilarious if she sent her daughter a prank text on April 1 claiming that there was a shooting at her workplace, Virginia College. Her daughter, either forgetting it was April Fools' Day or mistakenly believing her mother wouldn't joke about a school shooting, called 911.
Spartanburg County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the campus "thinking Columbine High School, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech," Sheriff Chuck Wright tells FOX Carolina 21. By that point, Timmons, 54, had admitted to her daughter that it was all an April Fools' Day prank, and her daughter told the 911 operator. Timmons was promptly detained by authorities, none of whom were laughing.
"Text someone and tell them their tire's flat, that's funny," Wright advises. "We're talking about death. It's real. The people of Sandy Hook, when they see this online they're not going to think it's very funny. I don't think it's very funny."
Timmons was charged Tuesday night with two counts of unlawful use of a telephone, one count of disturbing schools, and one count of aggravated breach of peace. Listen to her daughter's 911 call in the video below. --Catherine Garcia
Researchers are now 90 percent sure there's a hidden chamber behind the tomb of King Tutankhamun, Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said at a news conference Saturday.
British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves published a paper earlier in 2015 with his findings from examining detailed scans of King Tut's tomb, suggesting there are two secret doorways that have gone untouched since the 14th century B.C. One might lead to a storeroom, and the other to the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, whose burial site has long been a mystery for researchers.
Though Reeves' theory isn't a sure thing, researchers are more confident they'll at least find something behind Tut's tomb, Reuters reports, so long as they can avoid damaging the structure.
"The key is to excavate slowly and carefully and record well. The fact is this isn't a race," Reeves said at the news conference. "All archaeology is disruption." Julie Kliegman
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is speaking not once, but twice in Sarasota, Florida, on Saturday to accommodate the 14,000 people who want to see him, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.
But he isn't the only star there:
There is an actual elephant at the Trump rally. GUYS - AN ACTUAL ELEPHANT. pic.twitter.com/WoHWCz3LAs
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) November 28, 2015
Trump supporter Frank Murray of Gainesville lent the campaign his elephant for free Saturday.
"The man knows how to make money," Murray told the Herald-Tribune. "He knows what America is all about and he can get America back on track."
The term "political circus" has never felt quite so literal. Julie Kliegman
Robert Lewis Dear, 57, is being held without bond in connection with Friday's fatal shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dear, who authorities say has an address in Hartsel, about an hour away from Colorado Springs, is reportedly well-known to law enforcement officials in South Carolina, where BuzzFeed News reports he used to live.
Suspect confirmed as Robert L. Dear date of birth of 4/16/1958 pic.twitter.com/4v2GtIsUgT
— Springs Police (@CSPDPIO) November 28, 2015
Authorities in North and South Carolina have investigated Dear as many as nine times, according to BuzzFeed's public records search.
In 1997, Dear's wife alleged he hit her and pushed her out of a window in Walterboro, South Carolina, but did not file charges against him. He was twice found not guilty of cruelty to animals, and an allegation that he was a peeping tom was dismissed at a preliminary hearing, BuzzFeed reports.
Three days after the city of Chicago released video footage of the 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a police officer, protesters took to the Magnificent Mile to disrupt Black Friday shopping.
Some shoppers, blocked from entering big-name stores like Apple, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, and Brooks Brothers, told the Chicago Tribune they supported protesters, who are calling for the resignation of Chicago's police superintendent and increased awareness of police brutality against black people. But others didn't take kindly to being barred from shopping by lines of protesters, as the newspaper reports:
At Zara, a Schaumburg man who gave his name only as Scott, 31, violently burst through the line and then through a revolving door like a running back looking to make a first down.
"I'm looking for a sports jacket," he said as he got his breath back. "Compared to what's happening in Syria, what's happening here is nothing much.
"The only thing new is that there's a video of this shooting," Scott said. "It's been going on forever. None of these people could even tell you why they're protesting." [Chicago Tribune]
Nilo Khan, another shopper turned away from Zara, told the Tribune, "We're not trying to stop them from protesting, so why should they stop us from shopping?"
More than 100 black religious leaders signed an op-ed published on Ebony's website Friday strongly discouraging their colleagues from supporting or endorsing Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. The real estate mogul had announced he'll receive endorsements from a group of prominent black ministers Monday.
"By siding with a presidential candidate whose rhetoric pathologizes Black people, what message are you sending to the world about the Black lives in and outside of your congregations?" the op-ed read. "Which Black lives do you claim to be liberating?"
After several white people allegedly physically attacked a black protester at a Trump campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama, on Nov. 21, the presidential hopeful said, "Maybe he should've been roughed up."
The National Security Agency will end its program to collect Americans' phone records in bulk Sunday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Friday, The Washington Post reports.
The secret Patriot Act program was brought to light by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. Congress ordered it shut in June. Some Republican senators, including Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.), had tried to delay the surveillance program's end in light of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, Politico reports.
The government has been testing a new system, which reportedly only allows intelligence officials to collect information on people and phones linked to foreign powers and terrorist groups. Julie Kliegman
"This is not normal. We can't let it become normal," he said. "If we truly care about this — if we're going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough."
Three people — one police officer and two civilians — died in the attack. Nine others were reportedly injured. Authorities took the suspected gunman, Robert Lewis Dear, into custody Friday night after an hours-long standoff with police.
"The last thing Americans should have to do, over the holidays or any day, is comfort the families of people killed by gun violence—people who woke up in the morning and bid their loved ones goodbye with no idea it would be for the last time," Obama said.