A weathervane sits on top of a barn over a wildfire near Dillard, Ga., on Monday. (Curtis Compton/AP)
TENNESSEE
Bus driver charged in deaths of 5 children

A school bus driver who authorities say was speeding along a narrow, winding road when he wrapped his vehicle around a tree was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide in the deaths of five children.

The wreck Monday afternoon plunged the city of Chattanooga into mourning, with parents stricken by the news and people lining up to donate blood.

Police said Johnthony Walker, 24, was driving well over the posted 30 mph limit when he lost control of the bus. He was jailed on $107,500 bail for a court appearance Nov. 29 on charges that also included reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

Thirty-five Woodmore Elementary School students from kindergarten through fifth grade were aboard when the bus flipped onto its side and hit a tree. No other vehicle was involved.

More than 20 children were taken to the hospital, police said. Twelve remained hospitalized Tuesday, six in intensive care, said Kirk Kelly, interim schools superintendent.

Three of the children killed were in fourth grade, one was in first grade and another was in kindergarten, Kelly said.

The driver was employed by an outside bus contractor, Durham School Services. Walker appeared to have no criminal record in Tennessee, state and local authorities said. Walker had an accident involving property damage in September, and his license was suspended for about a month in 2014 for failure to show proof of insurance, according to state commercial driver records.

— Associated Press

TEXAS
Suspected police killer married before arrest

The man arrested in the fatal shooting of a San Antonio detective got married in the hours after the officer was killed, county records show.

A copy of a marriage certificate obtained by the Associated Press shows that 31-year-old Otis Tyrone McKane married a woman Monday morning at the Bexar County Courthouse. He was arrested later that day.

Investigators say 50-year-old Detective Benjamin Marconi was shot Sunday while sitting in his patrol car writing a traffic ticket. McKane was apprehended when his car was stopped on an interstate. He told reporters he was angry about a child-custody fight and “lashed out at somebody who didn’t deserve it.”

— Associated Press

MISSOURI
Gun seller in wrongful-death case settles

A pawnshop that sold a gun to a mentally ill Missouri woman who used it to fatally shoot her father settled Tuesday in a wrongful-death case for $2.2 million, which the plaintiff’s lawyer said is the largest settlement since a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from most similar lawsuits.

Jonathan Lowy, a lawyer with Washington-based Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence who is representing the woman’s mother, said before a Tuesday settlement hearing in Lexington, Mo., that the case could have a national impact and is significant following the enactment of a federal law barring some state-level actions against gun dealers after buyers use the weapons to harm others.

Wellington, Mo., resident Janet Delana said her daughter, Colby Sue Weathers, bought a gun from Odessa Gun & Pawn in May 2012 and tried to kill herself. According to court records, Delana and her husband took that gun away from Weathers. Delana, a gun owner herself, said she asked the store in June not to sell a gun to Weathers, who is schizophrenic. Weathers bought a gun from the store two days later and within hours used it to fatally shoot her father and attempt suicide again.

The state committed Weathers to a mental institution, and Delana filed a wrongful-death suit against the gun dealer.

Lawyers for Odessa Gun & Pawn unsuccessfully tried to block the wrongful death case, arguing to the Missouri Supreme Court that the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was intended to prevent such lawsuits and potential chilling effects on commerce.

— Associated Press

Judge who remarked on Trump taken off citizenship ceremony: A federal magistrate judge in San Antonio who told people at a citizenship swearing-in ceremony that they “need to go to another country” if they object to Donald Trump’s presidency will no longer preside over such events. Orlando Garcia, the chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, said Tuesday that district judges on Monday agreed to bar Federal Magistrate Judge John Primomo from handling such proceedings. Primomo has said his words at Thursday’s ceremony were meant to be unifying and respectful of the president’s office, not political. He added that he didn’t vote for Trump.

— Associated Press