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Documents: Montana congressman misled investigators after assaulting reporter

A Montana congressman misled investigators about his assault on a reporter the day before he was elected in May, claiming that “liberal media” were “trying to make a story,” the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Saturday, citing audio and documents.

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U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, told an officer in an audio interview after the attack that reporter Ben Jacobs of The Guardian newspaper had grabbed him by the wrist and pulled both of them to the floor.

Audio of Gianforte’s interview with Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Scott Secor was released along with documents requested by the Chronicle and other news organizations after Gianforte was cited for assaulting Jacobs on May 24.

Gianforte later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. 

The Chronicle requested the documents in June. After Gianforte, Jacobs and Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert did not object to the release, Gallatin County District Court Judge Holly Brown ruled this week that the documents could be released.

\The audio of the interview with Gianforte comes from a recording made by Sgt. Scott Secor outside of Gianforte’s headquarters shortly after the 5:07 p.m. call Jacobs made to 911, a minute after he posted on Twitter, “Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses.”

Once at the scene, Secor spoke with Jacobs first. “This is the weirdest day,” Jacobs told Secor. 

The documents include interviews with members of a Fox News crew who were in the room with Gianforte and Jacobs at the politician’s Bozeman campaign office. 

Gianforte told Secor that he was preparing for an interview with Fox News when “this man broke into a private room in the back and stuck a microphone in my face and started asking me obnoxious questions.”

Gianforte said he tried to explain to him that he was in the middle of an interview, but that Jacobs kept “waving” the microphone in his face, the Chronicle reported.

“I probably shouldn’t do it but I reached out for his phone ... he grabbed my wrist, he spun and we ended up on the floor ... so he pulled me down on top of him,” Secor quoted Gianforte as saying.

After the incident Gianforte’s campaign spokesman, Shane Scanlon, issued a statement that also blamed the attack on Jacobs, saying the reporter had grabbed the candidate’s wrist. 

Gianforte publicly apologized to Jacobs and told supporters he wasn’t proud of his actions. His spokesman, Travis Hall, insisted on Friday that the documents contained “nothing new.”

“No one was misled, and anyone who says otherwise is mistaken. Greg took responsibility for his actions and is focused on serving the people of Montana,” Hall said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press.

LaVar Ball minimizes Trump's role in getting UCLA players released

LaVar Ball downplayed President Donald Trump’s role in having his son and two other UCLA basketball players released from custody after a shoplifting incident in China, ESPN reported.

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“Who? What was (Trump) over there for? Don’t tell me nothing,” Ball told ESPN. “Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley had been detained in China for the past week on suspicion of shoplifting. The three players returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday and were indefinitely suspended by the team.

Trump, who returned from Asia late Tuesday, said he raised the question of releasing the players when he spoke with China’s president, Xi Jinping, during a trip to Beijing last week, ESPN reported.

The players were questioned about allegedly stealing from three stores in Hangzhou, including sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel. They were released on bail on Nov. 8, ESPN reported.

"As long as my boy's back here, I'm fine," Ball told ESPN. "I'm happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, 'They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.' I'm from L.A. I've seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. 

“Everybody gets stuck on the negativity of some things and they get stuck on them too long. That's not me. I handle what's going on and then we go from there.”

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, the co-founder of the rock ’n’ roll group AC/DC, died Saturday, Rolling Stone reported and the band announced on its website. He was 64.

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Young had been suffering from dementia for the past three years, which forced his retirement from the band that he founded with his brother Angus Young in 1973.

"Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young," AC/DC wrote on its site. “Malcolm, along with Angus, was the founder and creator of AC/DC. With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band. As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man. He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed.”

Angus Young added, "As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”

The Young brothers lost their older brother, George Young, who was the band’s longtime producer and a guitarist for the Easybeats, on Oct. 23. George Young was 70 when he died.

>> AC/DC producer, Easybeats guitarist George Young dead at 70

In a statement to Australia's SBS, the band said that Malcolm Young died peacefully Saturday with his family by his side.

“Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many,” the statement said. “From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.”

Malcolm Young was last featured on the band's Black Ice tour, which ran from 2008 to 2010 and is the fourth-highest grossing tour of all time, SBS reported.

Malcolm Young, like his older brother George and younger brother Angus, was born in Glasgow, Scotland before the whole Young family emigrated to Sydney, Australia in the early 1960s, Rolling Stone reported.

Malcolm and Angus named the band after the “AC/DC” electrical current marker that they observed on their sisters sewing machine, Rolling Stone reported.

The brothers were the creative forces behind hits like “Highway to Hell,” “Back in Black,” “Highway to Hell,” “Thunderstruck,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).”

Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine tweeted that he was “losing it that Malcolm is gone,  I hate this.”

David Coverdale of Whitesnake tweeted that Young was “a great guy” and “a pleasure to know.”

“Truly missed,” he added.

The Young brothers and AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, Rolling Stone reported. The band sold more than 110 million albums worldwide.

In September 2014 the band said Malcolm Young had left the group because of the onset of dementia, The Guardian reported.

In November 2014, Angus Young told The Guardian that his brother had developed symptoms when the group recorded the “Black Ice” album in 2008, and that he had to relearn songs between shows.

“It was hard work for him,” Angus Young said. “He was relearning a lot of those songs that he knew backwards; the ones we were playing that night he’d be relearning.”

Texas residents find mail dumped near sewer drain

Residents in a Texas neighborhood are angry that their mail apparently has been going down the drain.

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Brenda Tisdale was walking her dogs in a southwest neighborhood in Mesquite when she noticed a few clean, white pieces of paper in a sewer drain, KTVT reported.

“I was thinking, ‘that’s where all of our mail has gone,’” Tisdale told KTVT.

She said she found “hundreds” of sealed envelopes of undelivered mail teetering toward the sewer. There were stacks of new mail and some were still rubber-banded in groups.

“It would have went on down to the river,” Tisdale said. “Nobody would have ever known.”

Another resident, Audrey Carter, said her neighborhood has experienced mail-delivery problems for the past year. She and others claimed to have outstanding, missing mail.

“Mail not running for days. Maybe at 7 or 8 o’clock at night. Torn mail. I have found mail on the neighbor’s lawn,” Carter told KTVT.

But on Thursday, “It was as if somebody just took a tray or something and just dumped it straight in,” Carter said.

People’s personal information  also could have been compromised.

“Now it makes me want to look in each gutter that I pass by,” Tisdale told KTVT.

In a statement, the U.S. Postal Service said called the lost mail “a very serious matter.”

“This type of alleged behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated and the overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees, which serve the public, are honest, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals who would never consider engaging in any type of criminal behavior,” the statement read.

Mugabe refuses to step down as Zimbabwe’s president

Thousands of Zimbabwe residents marched in the streets of Harare on Saturday, demanding the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, CNN reported.

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The protests in the capital city occurred days after the 93-year-old president was put under house arrest by the army, which also detained some of his key political allies. Mugabe has been Zimbabwe’s president since 1987.

People waved Zimbabwean flags while others ran beside army tanks and hugged soldiers to show their gratitude, CNN reported.

“The whole nation is celebrating today. We are finally getting rid of the old man,,” said Tanashe, a Harare resident who declined to provide a second name.

But Mugabe was still refusing to step down Saturday, CNN reported. He was meeting Saturday with army chief Gen. Constantino Chiwenga to discuss what happens next. Chiwenga is pushing for Mugabe to step down and for an interim president to take over, CNN reported.

Happy birthday: Co-workers buy car for fellow employee 

A Michigan man will never forget his 19th birthday, thanks to the generosity of his co-workers, WJRT reported.

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Noah Robinson had been riding his bicycle to work from Saginaw to Kochville Township, pedaling the 6 ½ miles in 45 minutes regardless of the weather conditions. He works in the shipping department at Glastender and lives with his grandmother after growing up in the care of a guardian, WJRT reported.

Robinson passed his driving test last week. On Nov. 10 -- the day before his birthday -- he got his biggest present. It was an Oldsmobile Alero, paid for by dozens of his co-workers, WJRT reported.

"(We) congratulated him on getting a license, his birthday coming up, and then talking about how us, as a Glastender family, all pitched in to get him something," said Dan McGrandy, an engineering tech at Glastender.

They also raised enough money to pay for a year's worth of insurance,” WJRT reported.

“I couldn't say anything, I was too excited, like, ‘oh my goodness,’” Robinson said.

Robinson said this act of kindness showed him what it means to have a 'family'.

“I've been driving it for the whole weekend and even though, every time I get ready to step foot in the car, I'm like, 'I can't believe this is happening,’” Robinson said.

Indiana boy carves wooden toys for needy children

A 10-year-old Indiana boy is building toys from scratch to help children in need enjoy the holiday season, WISH reported.

>> Read more trending news

Zander Hite of Greenwood took the advice of his grandfather, Darl Hite, who gave the boy a $20 bill last winter and told him to make a difference this holiday season.

Zander bought two slabs of wood to build toy cars, WISH reported.

“I played with them when I was little,” he said. “And I thought they were fun to play with.”

At first he built only one toy car.

“It turned out to be really fun. And now I keep on making more,” he told WISH. 

Since then, Zander has been an apprentice to his grandfather, who has been woodworking for several decades.

Since beginning to work with wood, Zander has created 250 cars and trucks, WISH reported.

“Quite a feat for a 10-year-old,” Hite said.

Zander joined the Central Indiana Woodworkers club, where his grandfather has been a member for years.

The organization gave him the wooden wheels for the cars and the engine to deliver these toys to kids in need, WISH reported. 

As part of the club’s annual Christmas wooden toy drive, Zander donated his toys.

“It was a challenging thing to accomplish to want to keep going,” he told WISH.

The toys will be distributed by the wood club to different organizations around central Indiana in the coming weeks, WISH reported.

Former Washington State high school employee accused of rape

A former employee at a Washington State high school was charged Thursday afternoon with allegedly raping a 15-year-old student.

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Kristal M. Gamble, 33, was employed as an office assistant at Kent Meridian High School when she allegedly initiated an illegal sexual relationship with a boy last spring.

According to Detective Melanie Robinson, the boy’s parents allegedly found sexual photos and messages on their son’s cellphone, so they contacted the Kent Police Department in September.

By that time, Gamble was no longer working for the Kent School District, according to a spokesman.

Gamble was arrested Wednesday. She is being held at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center with bail set at $10,000.

Drug-filled drone crashes at Arizona prison

A drone crashed at an Arizona prison in September, and officials found drugs and cellphones aboard the vehicle, The Arizona Republic reported. 

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The drone crashed in a yard accessible only to corrections officers. The Arizona Department of Corrections said Thursday it is still trying to determine who was behind the delivery Sept. 24 delivery.

It was the first known incident involving a drone at an Arizona state prison, corrections spokesman Andrew Wilder told the Republic.

The drone flew over Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis in Buckeye, Wilder said. The contraband had been tied up in an orange sweatshirt. Inside were two cellphones and several freezer bags filled with marijuana, images show.

The items were sent to the state crime lab for fingerprint and DNA analysis, but investigators have not been able to locate the origin of the drone, Wilder said. 

All airspace around prisons is federally restricted, so flying any item, including drones, near the facilities is prohibited, Wilder said. Attempting to smuggle drugs and cellphones into prisons is a felony.

Cleveland zoo shows off new otter pups

Three male otter pups made their public debut at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Friday, WKYC reported.

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Zoo officials said the pups were born on Sept. 24 to Bitzy and Kibble.

Baby otters are born with their eyes closed and need a few weeks to learn how to swim, meaning they'll be ready to join their parents, Bitzy and Kibble, on exhibit in The RainForest in the coming weeks. The zoo now has seven otters, WKYC reported..

The pups are Asian small-clawed otters, which are indigenous to Asia. They're one of the smaller species of otters and have hand-like paws, WKYC reported. They're listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“We were aware Bitzy was pregnant based on body weight and body shape,” the zoo's animal curator Tad Schoffner told Newsweek in an email. “The otters are given their privacy and typically staff does not even know for a few days that there was a birth because the parents tend to be very protective when the pups are in their most vulnerable state.”

The three pups have yet to be named, and they still weigh less than a pound, Newsweek reported. A zookeeper saw the pups playing with one another just Thursday, indicating they're developing well so far. 

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