East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, December 30, 2017, WEEKEND EDITION, Page Page 12A, Image 12

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    Page 12A
East Oregonian
Saturday, December 30, 2017
Police: Prank led to police shooting unarmed Kansas man
Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police
and the FBI are investigating whether an
argument over an online game prompted a
hoax call that led to a house where an officer
shot and killed a Kansas man who apparently
wasn’t involved in the dispute.
Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy
Livingston on Friday blamed a “prankster”
who called 911 and made up a story about a
shooting and kidnapping. He did not mention
reports that an argument over online gaming
was at the heart of the prank, although he
said investigators had made good progress
tracking online leads.
Police have not disclosed the name of the
man who was killed Thursday evening, but
relatives identified him as Andrew Finch, 28.
Livingston, speaking at a news conference,
said the hoax call was a case of “swatting,” in
which a person makes up a false report to get
a SWAT team to descend on an address.
“Due to the actions of a prankster we have
an innocent victim,” Livingston said. He said
no one has been arrested in connection with
the hoax.
Police played audio of the call to 911. A
man said his father had been shot in the head.
He said he was holding his mother and a
sibling at gunpoint. The caller, speaking with
relative calm, said he poured gasoline inside
the home “and I might just set it on fire.”
Several officers arrived and surrounded
the home, braced for a hostage situation.
When Finch went to the door police told him
to put his hands up and move slowly.
Bo Rader /The Wichita Eagle via AP
Lisa Finch, surrounded by family members reacts to the killing of her son Andrew
Finch after he was shot Thursday evening by police in Wichita, Kan.
But Livingston said the man moved a
hand toward the area of his waistband — a
common place where guns are concealed.
An officer, fearing the man was reaching for
a gun, fired a single shot. Finch died a few
minutes later at a hospital. Livingston said
Finch was unarmed.
The officer, a seven-year veteran of the
department, is on paid leave pending the
The Finch family on Friday allowed
reporters inside their home. Lisa Finch told
them her son was not a gamer.
“What gives the cops the right to open
fire?” she asked. “That cop murdered my son
over a false report in the first place.”
Lisa Finch said the family was forced
outside barefoot in freezing cold and
handcuffed after the shooting. She said her
granddaughter was forced to step over her
dying uncle and that no guns were found in
the home.
Dexerto, an online news service focused
on gaming, reported that the series of events
began with an online argument over a $1 or
$2 wager in a “Call of Duty” game on UMG
Gaming, which operates online tournaments
including one involving “Call of Duty.”
“We woke this morning to horrible news
about an innocent man losing his life,” UMG
spokeswoman Shannon Gerritzen said in an
email to The Associated Press. “Our hearts go
out to his loved ones. We are doing everything
we can to assist the authorities in this matter.”
She declined to disclose other details.
In addition to the 911 call, police also
released a brief video of body camera footage
from another officer at the scene. It was diffi-
cult to see clearly what happened.
The FBI estimates that roughly 400 cases
of swatting occur annually, with some using
caller ID spoofing to disguise their number.
An FBI supervisor in Kansas City, Missouri,
which covers all of Kansas, said the agency
joined in the investigation at the request of
local police.
In other cases of apparent swatting, three
families in Florida in January had to evacuate
their homes after a detective received an
anonymous email claiming bombs had been
placed at the address.
A 20-year-old Maryland man was shot in
the face with rubber bullets by police in 2015
after a fake hostage situation was reported at
his home.
Rep. Katherine Clark, a Massachusetts
Democrat, introduced an anti-swatting bill in
2015 — then was herself the victim of swat-
ting. Armed officers in 2016 responded to an
anonymous call claiming an active shooter
was at Clark’s home.
3+ months after Maria, Officials: Deadly NYC
barely half of Puerto
fire lit by child playing
Rico has power
with stove
Sue Grafton, writer
of popular ‘alphabet’
mysteries, dies
Random drawing
scheduled to break tie
in disputed House race
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP)
— Puerto Rico authorities said
Friday that nearly half of power
customers in the U.S. territory still
lack electricity more than three
months after Hurricane Maria,
sparking outrage among islanders
who accuse the government of
mismanaging its response to the
Category 4 storm.
Officials said 55 percent of
the nearly 1.5 million customers
have power, marking the first time
the government has provided that
statistic since Maria hit on Sept.
20 with winds of up to 154 mph.
Officials had previously reported
only power generation, which
stands at nearly 70 percent of
pre-storm levels.
“It’s just extraordinary that
it is still so far away from being
100 percent recovered,” said
Susan Tierney, a senior adviser for
Denver-based consulting company
Analysis Group who testified
before a U.S. Senate committee on
efforts to restore power in Puerto
Rico. “I’m not aware of any time
in recent decades since the U.S. has
electrified the entire economy that
there has been an outage of this
One of Puerto Rico’s 78
municipalities remains entirely
without power, and it’s unclear
when some electricity will be
restored to the central mountain
town of Ciales.
Crews this week restored power
for the first time to parts of the
southeast coastal town of Yabucoa,
which received the first hit from
Grafton, author of the best-selling
“alphabet series” of mystery
novels, has died in Santa Barbara.
She was 77.
Grafton was surrounded
by family, including husband
Steven Humphrey, when she died
Thursday after a two-year battle
with cancer, her daughter, Jamie
Clark, posted on the author’s
“Although we knew this was
coming, it was unexpected and
fast. She had been fine up until just
a few days ago, and then things
moved quickly,” the posting said.
Grafton began her “alphabet
series” in 1982 with “A is for
Alibi.” Her most recent book, “Y
is for Yesterday,” was published in
“Many of you also know that
she was adamant that her books
would never be turned into movies
or TV shows, and in that same
vein, she would never allow a
ghost writer to write in her name,”
her daughter wrote. “Because of all
of those things, and out of the deep
abiding love and respect for our
dear sweet Sue, as far as we in the
family are concerned, the alphabet
now ends at Y.”
Humphrey said Grafton had
been struggling to find an idea for
“Z’’ while undergoing treatment for
rare and usually fatal cancer of the
appendix, which was discovered in
a routine colonoscopy.
“Nothing’s been written,” he
told The Associated Press in a
telephone interview. “There is no
Democrats and Republicans
continued partisan sniping Friday
over a House seat that could
determine the balance of power in
the Virginia House of Delegates,
state elections officials moved to
break the deadlock by scheduling
a random drawing to pick the
The Virginia Board of Elections
said it will pick the winner’s name
in the Newport News-based 94th
District next Thursday, unless a
recount court decides to intervene.
The race between Democrat
Shelly Simonds and Republican
Del. David Yancey has seesawed
since the Nov. 7 election. Initially,
it appeared that Yancey had won
by 10 votes, but a recount put
Simonds ahead by a single vote.
A three-judge recount court
later declared the race a tie after
agreeing with the Yancey campaign
that a disputed ballot was a vote
for him. On Wednesday, Simonds
asked the court to reconsider, but
the panel has not yet responded.
The fight over the seat has
been intense as Republicans try
to hold on to a majority in the
House after a bruising election in
which Democrats erased the 66-34
advantage held by Republicans,
as voters vented anger toward
Republican President Donald
During a conference call with
reporters Friday, GOP House
Leader Kirk Cox — who hopes
to become the next speaker of the
House — criticized Democrats
for causing “politically motivated
delays” in deciding the race.
preschooler toying with the burners
on his mother’s stove accidentally
sparked New York City’s deadliest
fire in decades, an inferno that
quickly overtook an apartment
building and blocked the main
escape route, the fire commissioner
said Friday.
A dozen people died , and four
others were fighting for their lives
a day after the flames broke out in
the century-old building near the
Bronx Zoo.
The 3½-year-old-boy, his
mother and another child were able
to flee their first-floor apartment.
But they left the apartment door
open behind them, and it acted like
a chimney that drew smoke and
flames into a stairwell.
From there, the fire spread
throughout the five-story building,
authorities said.
The city housing department
said investigators would look
into why the door did not close
automatically, though Mayor Bill
de Blasio said there was “nothing
problematic about the building that
contributed to this tragedy.”
At least 20 people scrambled
out via fire escapes on a bitterly
cold night, but others could not.
“People had very little time to
react,” Fire Commissioner Daniel
Nigro said. Firefighters arrived in
just over three minutes and saved
some people, but “this loss is
One family lost four members:
Karen Stewart-Francis, her
daughters and their cousin,
19-year-old Shawntay Young,
relatives said.
Apple apologizes for
slowing older iPhones
Apple apologized for secretly
slowing down older iPhones, a
move it said was necessary to
avoid unexpected shutdowns
related to battery fatigue.
Many customers had interpreted
the move as a way to for Apple to
juice demand for newer iPhone
models, their suspicions fueled by
the fact that the company didn’t
initially disclose the slowdowns or
its reasons for them.
Apple also said it will cut the
price of a battery replacement by
$50 to $29 through next year. New
batteries had previously cost $79
for those who didn’t purchase the
Apple Care maintenance plan.
“We apologize,” the company
said on its website . “We have
never — and would never — do
anything to intentionally shorten
the life of any Apple product, or
degrade the user experience to
drive customer upgrades.”
The replacement plan begins
in late January for anyone with an
iPhone 6 or later that requires a
new battery.
Apple said it will also issue an
update to its operating system early
next year to give users a better
understanding of the health of
their battery, so they can see if its
condition is affecting performance.
Hostile customer reaction
was swift after a report this
month uncovered the intentional
slowdown in speed tests. Only then
did Apple acknowledge that the
slowdown was due to a fix it rolled
out last year. Shares dropped 2.5
percent Tuesday — also dinged
by analysts predicting lower-than-
expected demand for i)Phone X.
Mixed plastics #1-#7 is no longer recyclable. Our depot collection containers
for this material near Fallen Field and at the Transfer Station will be removed
on or before January 1, 2018.
The only market for these materials was China. Eff ective January 1,
2018 China is implementing its “National Sword” policy to increase the
environmental quality in its own country, which will stop all mixed paper
and mixed plastics from being imported. This is a national and international
issue, but the eff ects are very local. There are no markets to absorb what
China has refused to accept.
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WHEN: By January 1, 2018 the plastics collection containers will be removed and
these plastics must be placed in the trash. Plastic water bottles and many
other drink containers may still be taken for the $0.10 redemption at grocery
stores or redemption centers.
All Pendleton residents and surrounding areas who use Pendleton Sanitary
Service recycling collection containers.
OTHER COMMUNITIES: Other communities that have “co-mingled” recycling (all
recyclables in one roll cart at their home) will be very severely impacted by
these market changes. Pendleton’s impact is small in comparison.
WHAT CAN I DO?: Continue to recycle whenever and whatever is possible. Recycling
is still the right thing to do – it saves energy, natural resources, and creates
a sustainable future, but be very careful about contamination. If an item
is questionable for recycling - “When in doubt, throw it out” is the best
policy. For complete recycling information, please visit our website at
pendletonsanitaryservice.com or call our offi ce at (541) 276-1271.
Pendleton Sanitary Service, Inc. is committed to off ering a recycling
collection program supported by our customers and turning this diffi cult
situation into an opportunity to strengthen the future of recycling. If
markets for recycled plastics become available in the future, we are
committed to reinstate our collection of plastics and adapt to
current market conditions.
LOCATION: 5500 NW Rieth Road • Pendleton, OR 97801
PHONE: (541) 276-1271 • OFFICE HOURS: Mon - Fri: 8 AM - 4 PM