Man who shot woman sentenced to 17 years

A suburban Detroit man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch instead of calling police was sentenced Wednesday to at least 17 years in prison.

Wayne County Judge Dana Hathaway followed the recommendation of prosecutors in the case of Theodore Wafer, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.

Wafer, 55, of Dearborn Heights, opened his front door and shot McBride through a screen door Nov. 2. He said he was awakened by pounding before dawn and feared for his life. A jury rejected his self-defense claim.

— Associated Press

Costco to pay fine for failure to repair leaks

Costco Wholesale will pay a $335,000 fine and spend about $2 million over three years to fix refrigerant leaks and make other improvements at 274 stores to settle allegations that the warehouse club operator violated the federal Clean Air Act.

The Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that Costco failed from 2004 to 2007 to promptly repair leaks from its refrigeration equipment of the refrigerant R-22.

The ozone-depleting greenhouse gas has roughly 1,800 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide.

The settlement requires Costco to retrofit or replace commercial refrigeration equipment at 30 stores.

— Reuters

St. Patrick’s parade allows gay contingent

Organizers of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade have agreed to allow a gay contingent to march under its own banner for the first time, making an exception for a group of employees from NBC, the network televising the event.

The prohibition on identified gay groups in the centuries-old New York parade had made participation a political issue. Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to march this year, and Guinness beer dropped its sponsorship.

The private New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee said in a statement Wednesday that OUT@NBCUniversal would be marching up in Manhattan on March 17.

— Associated Press

13 hurt in demo at science museum: A demonstration about the science of tornadoes went awry Wednesday at a Reno, Nev., museum, leading to a chemical explosion that injured 13 people, most of them children, authorities said. Police said seven children and two adults were taken to a hospital for treatment of acid burns on their hands, arms and faces after the 4:10 p.m. blast at the Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum in downtown Reno. Four people were treated at the scene and released. The officials said a mixture of methyl alcohol and boric acid exploded during a routine exhibition that is conducted each day to create a whirling tornado effect.

Professor’s gun goes off in classroom: An Idaho State University assistant professor with a concealed-carry gun permit shot himself in the foot with a semiautomatic handgun that accidentally went off inside his pocket in a chemistry classroom full of students, police said Wednesday. No charges have been filed in Tuesday’s shooting in Pocatello. Idaho’s Republican-led legislature passed a law allowing guns on university grounds earlier this year over the objection of university presidents.

— From news services