Monitor will oversee stop-and-frisk reform

The new mayor of New York on Thursday delivered on his campaign promise to reform stop-and-frisk police tactics, agreeing to the appointment of a monitor and seeking to end a 14-year court fight that culminated in a judge’s ruling that New York City had discriminated in carrying out the crime-reduction program.

“We believe these steps will make everyone safer,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said shortly after city lawyers asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to return the case to the lower court “for the purpose of exploring a full resolution.”

A judge ruled last year that the New York Police Department had discriminated against blacks and Hispanics when stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking people on the street. The judge ordered major reforms to the implementation of the policy. Michael Bloomberg, the mayor at the time, appealed the decision.

— Associated Press

Mother, eight kids killed in house fire

Eight children and their mother were killed in an early-morning house fire in western Kentucky on Thursday, with only the injured father and an 11-year-old girl escaping, Kentucky State Police said.

Trooper Stu Recke said eight of the people were found in a master bedroom while the ninth person was found between 10 and 15 feet away. Recke said the fire started accidentally with combustible material against an electric heater in a bedroom.

The fire broke out in the single-family house just west of Greenville, which is about 130 miles southwest of Louisville in the state’s western coal fields.

Those killed included the mother, LaRae “Nikki” Watson, 35, and eight children, ages 4 to 15. Recke said the father, Chad Watson, 36, and Kylie Watson, 11, were at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

— Associated Press

McDonald’s worker accused of selling heroin in Happy Meals boxes: A McDonald’s worker accused of dealing heroin in Happy Meal boxes to customers using the code phrase “I’d like to buy a toy” was being held on a $30,000 bail Thursday in Pittsburgh, a spokesman for a local prosecutor said. Police arrested Shantia Dennis, 26, on Wednesday on charges of drug distribution after undercover officers purchased heroin at the restaurant, according to a statement from the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.

Utah school throws food out over money: A Utah school district is apologizing after 32 elementary students in Salt Lake City had their school lunches thrown out because money was owed on their food accounts. The Salt Lake City School District said it was a mistake, and officials are investigating. The lunches, costing $2, were taken from the children at Uintah Elementary School on Tuesday as the students arrived at a pay station after cafeteria workers gave them the food.

— From news services