Navy christens USS Gerald Ford

The Navy christened the USS Gerald Ford on Saturday as the late former president’s daughter, Susan Ford Bales, smashed the traditional bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the ship.

The Ford is the lead ship in the Navy’s next class of nuclear-
powered aircraft carriers. It’s designed to get more fighter planes in the sky in less time and to be ready to incorporate unmanned aircraft into its air wing. It’s the first carrier redesign in four decades and is scheduled to join the fleet in 2016.

“She is truly a technological marvel,” Adm. Jonathan Greenert , chief of Naval Operations, said in a Webcast ceremony at the Newport News, Va., shipyard where the Ford is being built.

Saturday’s christening was one part tribute to the future of naval warfare and one part tribute to the ship’s namesake, who was a lieutenant commander aboard an aircraft carrier during World War II and frequently spoke fondly of his time in the Navy.

— Associated Pres

Pinkberry founder guilty in beating

Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee faces up to seven years in prison after a jury found him guilty of beating a homeless man with a tire iron two years ago.

Lee, 49, was convicted Friday and ordered to jail without bail after a judge declared him a “significant threat to the community” because he threatened a witness in his trial.

The jury of six men and six women found Lee guilty of beating Donald Bolding with a tire iron after Bolding flashed a tattoo of a stick-figure couple having sex to the people in Lee’s car.

Lee drove away, but returned with another man who was in the car and beat Bolding.

Bolding suffered a broken left forearm and cuts to the head during the attack in June 2011, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Lee — who helped found the Pinkberry frozen-yogurt retail store chain in 2005 but is no longer involved with the company — faces a maximum of seven years in state prison at his sentencing in January.

— McClatchy/Tribune

Board votes to remove name of school honoring confederate: A north Florida school board has voted unanimously to change the name of a local high school honoring a Confederate general who was a slave trader and was linked to the Ku Klux Klan. Changing the name of Nathan B. Forrest High School had come up several times. In 2008, the vote to keep the name broke along racial lines. This time, a Jacksonville parent, Omotayo Richmond, took to social media with a petition signed by more than 176,000 people, generating widespread coverage and support from civil rights groups. Forrest made a fortune as a slave trader before joining the Confederacy. Troops under his command massacred more than 400 Union soldiers who surrendered at Fort Pillow, Tenn. An 1871 Congressional inquiry looked into Forrest’s link with the Ku Klux Klan.

— Reuters