TEXAS
Children found locked in barn and dog cage

Deputies on Tuesday discovered two malnourished children crammed into a locked dog cage and two more smeared with feces and urine in a barn in northern Texas.

The barn was “crudely fashioned” into living quarters, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said, adding that all the children were hungry and thirsty around 7:20 a.m. when deputies responding to a domestic disturbance found them on the property near Rhome, about 20 miles north of Fort Worth.

“There was plenty of food inside the barn, but the refrigerator and the cabinets had been locked so the kids could not get in to get food,” Akin said. There were three boys, ages 5, 3 and 1, and a 4-year-old girl.

The oldest two were locked in the cage that was about three feet by three feet, and the other two were filthy and only partially clothed, Akin said. The children were taken to hospital in Fort Worth for evaluation.

Deputies were speaking with a man and a woman, both 24, when they heard children’s voices coming from the barn, Akin said. The woman is the mother of all four children, and the man is the father of one, he said. A fight between the two brought deputies to the home, and the man had cuts on his face. They were arrested and each charged with four counts of child endangerment.

— Associated Press

MISSOURI
Planned Parenthood fire is suspected arson

A fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia, Mo., was intentionally set and is being investigated as a possible hate crime, the FBI said in a statement Tuesday.

The agency also said it is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the fire early Sunday.

The FBI said surveillance video shows a person wearing dark clothing entering the Planned Parenthood-Columbia Health Center about 4:05 a.m. Sunday.

When that person later walked out of the clinic, smoke could be seen coming from the building, according to the agency.

No one was inside the building when the fire was reported. Its sprinkler system extinguished the fire before firefighters arrived.

The clinic remained closed Tuesday. Planned Parenthood Great Plains said the building sustained limited damage and crews are working to reopen it as soon as possible.

— Associated Press

SOUTH CAROLINA
Soldier gets 18 months in fatal training mishap

A U.S. Army drill sergeant who said he was exhausted and working on four hours of sleep on the orders of his superiors will serve 18 months in prison for killing two recruits during a training accident at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Marrow was sentenced Tuesday, a day after he pleaded guilty in a military court to dereliction of duty and negligent homicide.

Marrow was driving a truck hauling a water tank behind a group of marching soldiers on Oct. 6, 2017, when he fell asleep with his foot on the accelerator. The truck hit eight soldiers, prosecutors said.

Pvt. Ethan Shrader of Tennessee and Pvt. Timothy Ashcraft of Ohio were pinned beneath the vehicle and died.

Marrow, an Iraq War veteran with a spotless military record, asked for forgiveness before he was sentenced, according to media reports.

The State newspaper reported he was in tears as he recounted seeing the recruits under his truck.

During his guilty plea Monday, Marrow said he was at the base until 9 the night before the wreck and got little sleep before returning. He said he fell asleep twice before the wreck.

The military judge, Col. Charles Pritchard of Fort Bragg, handed down a 22-month sentence for Morrow, but a pretrial agreement from both sides was for an 18-month sentence.

Marrow will be discharged and demoted to private.

Tiger found in cage in Houston home: Houston police said some people who went into an abandoned home to smoke marijuana found a caged tiger. They called the city on Monday and the major offender animal cruelty unit and animal shelter volunteers arrived on the scene. Officials told KHOU-TV the tiger was well fed. But the cage was secured by a nylon strap and screwdriver, which could easily open and the tiger could have gone on a "rampage." The tiger was taken to an animal shelter, then it was transferred to an animal sanctuary in Texas on Tuesday. It's legal to own a tiger in Texas if the owner has a wild game permit. But it is illegal to have a tiger in Houston.