Dozens injured in partial collapse at theater
The ceiling of a London theater partly collapsed Thursday night, showering a packed audience with heaps of plaster, wood and dust. More than 80 people were injured — at least seven seriously — and several trapped theatergoers had to be rescued, authorities said. The collapse at the Apollo Theatre took place at 8:15 p.m. during a performance of “The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time” at the height of the Christmas holiday season. The ceiling came down, bringing parts of the theater’s balconies with it, police said. More than 700 people were in the theater at the time, according to the London Fire Department.
Shooter left suicide note before attack
A gunman who complained he had a botched 2010 surgery left a suicide note outlining plans for his attack before targeting physicians in a deadly rampage at a medical office that left one doctor dead and another critically wounded, police said. Alan Oliver Frazier of Plumas County, Calif., a 51-year-old former power plant control room operator, calmly bypassed patients waiting at a Nevada urology medical practice on Tuesday until opening fire with a pistol-grip 12-gauge shotgun at doctors in the examination room.
Hijacker to plead guilty to air piracy
A former New Jersey man who hijacked a Miami-bound commercial jet to Cuba almost 30 years ago and surrendered to U.S. authorities last month is gearing up to plead guilty to an air-piracy charge, according to his attorney and court records. William Potts Jr., a one-time black militant, was scheduled to go to trial at the end of December, but his attorney won a delay Wednesday from a federal judge so he could obtain evidence about the case from the State Department while he pursues a plea agreement. Potts, 56, entered a not guilty plea last month. If convicted of air piracy in the United States, Potts could receive between 20 years and life in prison.
State sues to block horse slaughter
State Attorney General Gary King said he’s suing a Roswell company in an attempt to block a planned horse slaughter plant from opening in less than two weeks. The move comes after a federal appeals court rolled back a court order that had kept Valley Meat Company from beginning operations. Owner Rick De Los Santos has been making plans to open Jan. 1, and his attorney said those plans haven’t changed. The state is seeking a restraining order to keep the plant idle. King contends that Valley Meat has the potential to violate food safety laws. Valley Meat and other plants in Missouri and Iowa have been targeted by animal protection groups trying to block the slaughtering of horses.
Businessman wants expanded legislature
A San Diego County real estate mogul hates the way the California Legislature operates, so he wants to make it bigger. Much bigger. John Cox heads the Rescue California Foundation, which was cleared by the state to circulate petitions for a proposed ballot measure that would expand the Legislature from 120 members to 12,000 members, each elected from neighborhood legislative districts of 5,000 (for Assembly) to 10,000 (for Senate) residents. “I got tired of seeing what’s going on in our politics,” said Cox, a resident of Rancho Santa Fe. By having lawmakers elected from very small districts, the proposal could force candidates to spend more time going door-to-door seeking votes and less money on television ads and mailers, Cox said.