Columbine survivor died of drug overdose
DENVER — A Colorado coroner has determined a Columbine massacre survivor and addiction recovery advocate died of a drug overdose.
The Denver Post reports the Routt County Coroner’s Office says an autopsy determined the death last month of 37-year-old Austin Eubanks resulted from a heroin overdose.
Officials say Eubanks was found by his father May 18 in his Steamboat Springs home.
The coroner’s report says the death was an accident caused by “acute heroin toxicity.”
The report says Eubanks had a history of opioid addiction and illicit drug abuse.
Eubanks survived a gunshot wound but lost his best friend in the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School 13 miles south of Denver.
He became a nationally recognized addiction and recovery speaker after overcoming his own struggle with painkillers.
Non-payment won’t cause disconnects
PHOENIX — Arizona’s largest electric utility announced Thursday it will temporarily stop disconnecting residential customers who are behind on their payments while it reviews its policies in the wake of a customer death.
Arizona Public Service Co. said the decision was made after reports that a customer died last year while power was disconnected, comments at recent meetings of its main regulator and the onset of summer heat.
The company’s action came on the same day that Phoenix New Times published a report about the death of a 72-year-old Sun City West woman whose electricity was cut off in September because she failed to pay a bill for $176.84.
The New Times noted APS records obtained by the woman’s daughter showed she paid $125 about a week after getting a disconnect notice, but the utility commonly known as APS still turned off her power. The temperature that week was well above 100 degrees in metro Phoenix.
Prosecutors drop Flint water charges
DETROIT — Prosecutors dropped all criminal charges Thursday against eight people in the Flint water crisis and pledged to start from scratch the investigation into one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in U.S. history.
The stunning decision came more than three years — and millions of dollars — after authorities began examining the roots of the scandal that left Flint’s water system tainted with lead. Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud, who took control of the investigation in January after the election of a new attorney general, said “all available evidence was not pursued” by the previous team of prosecutors.
Officials took possession this week of “millions of documents and hundreds of new electronic devices, significantly expanding the scope of our investigation,” Hammoud and Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.
The efforts “have produced the most comprehensive body of evidence to date related to the Flint water crisis,” they said, putting investigators “in the best possible position to find the answers the citizens of Flint deserve.”
Hammoud’s team recently used search warrants to get state-owned mobile devices of former Gov. Rick Snyder and 66 other people from storage.
Among those who had charges dismissed: Michigan’s former health director, Nick Lyon, who was accused of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly failing to alert the public in a timely fashion about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease when Flint was drawing improperly treated water from the Flint River in 2014 and 2015.
The dismissal came a day before a judge planned to announce whether a 2018 decision to send Lyon to trial would stand. Dropping the charges with just hours to spare killed the possibility of an adverse ruling and still gives prosecutors the freedom to haul Lyon into court again.
Cuba Gooding Jr. pleads not guilty
NEW YORK — Cuba Gooding Jr. has pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and sexual abuse after a woman accused the actor of groping her at a New York City night spot.
The 51-year-old “Jerry Maguire” star was arraigned Thursday after turning himself in to police. He smiled as he entered the courtroom wearing a dark blue suit and led by a pair of detectives. He then turned serious as his case was called.
A 29-year-old woman told police Gooding grabbed her breast while he was intoxicated around Sunday night at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge.
Gooding’s lawyer, Mark Heller, said security video will exonerate the actor.
Officer who pulled gun on black child sparks protests
WOODS CROSS — Activists are planning to protest at a police agency in northern Utah after learning an officer who pulled his gun on a 10-year-old child will continue to work.
Black Lives Matter in Utah founder Lex Scott said Thursday they will hold a protest Friday night to demand the officer be fired.
Woods Cross Police Chief Chad Soffe said Monday he is not looking to terminate the unidentified officer.
Jerri Hrubes, who is black, said a white Woods Cross police officer pulled his gun on her son while he was playing outside on June 6.
Soffe said the officer mistook the boy for a potential suspect during a pursuit of armed suspects.
Hrubes said the officer apologized but she still wants the agency held accountable.