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Third party to probe Michigan high school’s actions ahead of deadly shooting

Jacob Scott

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PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A third party will investigate events at Oxford High School that occurred before a school shooting that left four students dead and six other students and a teacher wounded, the Michigan district’s superintendent said.

Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne said in a statement that he called for the outside investigation because parents have asked questions about “the school’s version of events leading up to the shooting.” He also elaborated on interactions with the student leading up to the shooting.

“It’s critically important to the victims, our staff and our entire community that a full and transparent accounting be made,” Throne said.

His comments came after a news conference Friday by Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald that detailed numerous warning signs from the student charged in the shooting: His search for gun ammunition on a cellphone, and a drawing that showed a bullet with the words “blood everywhere” above a person who appears to have been shot along with “my life is useless” and “the world is dead.”

“Of course, he shouldn’t have gone back to that classroom. … I believe that is a universal position. I’m not going to chastise or attack, but yeah,” McDonald said. Asked if school officials may potentially be charged, she said: “The investigation’s ongoing.”

On Tuesday at the school, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit, the student was sent back to the classroom after a school meeting with his parents. Three hours later the shooting occurred.

“The school should have been responsible to relay that to the sheriff’s office. It looks like this could have been prevented,” Robert Jordan, founder and director of St. Louis-based Protecting Our Students, said Friday. “People died because of those mistakes.”

In addition to Jordan, parents of students slain in a 2018 school shooting in Florida say police should have been alerted before Tuesday’s rampage.

The suspect in the Oxford High shooting, Ethan Crumbley, 15, is now charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other crimes.

On Friday, prosecutors charged his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter. They pleaded not guilty on Saturday and a judge imposed a combined $1 million bond.

The 9mm semi-automatic pistol used in the shooting was bought at a local gun shop on Black Friday by James Crumbley as an early Christmas present for his son, authorities said.

School officials became concerned about the younger Crumbley on Monday, a day before the shooting, when a teacher saw him searching for ammunition on his phone, McDonald told reporters.

On Tuesday, a teacher found a note on Ethan’s desk and took a photo. It was a drawing of a gun pointing at the words, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me,” McDonald said.

There also was a drawing of a bullet, she said, with words above it: “Blood everywhere.” Between the gun and the bullet was a person who appeared to have been shot twice and is bleeding, she said. “My life is useless” and “The world is dead” also were written.

Ethan Crumbley and both his parents met with school officials at 10 a.m. Tuesday. His parents left, and Ethan went back to his classes with his backpack, where investigators believe he stashed the gun. Authorities were not notified, something that county Sheriff Michael Bouchard said he wishes would have been done.

By 1 p.m. Tuesday, the school erupted in gunshots, chaos and bloodshed.

“The school had the responsibility to be doing an immediate threat assessment on the student and bringing into that conversation the sworn police officer and law enforcement,” said Lori Alhadeff, whose 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa, was one of 17 students slain in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.

About five weeks before the Stoneman Douglas shooting, an FBI tip line received a call saying former student Nikolas Cruz had bought guns and planned to “slip into a school and start shooting the place up.”

That information was never forwarded to the FBI. Cruz, who had been expelled from the school a year earlier and had a long history of emotional and behavioral problems, never was contacted.

Now 23, Cruz pleaded guilty in October to 17 counts of first-degree murder.

“We have to take these threats seriously,” Alhadeff said.

But looking at such an issue after the fact raises other questions, said Christopher Smith, professor of Law and Public Policy at Michigan State University and chair of the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

You have to consider whether the “teacher and school officials specifically have in their training that you need to report all these things,” Smith said.

In a video message to the community Thursday night, Throne acknowledged the meeting of Crumbley, the parents and school officials. Throne offered no details but said that “no discipline was warranted.”

In his statement Saturday, Throne elaborated on the events of Tuesday morning, saying the student was taken to the guidance counselor’s office where he claimed the drawing was part of a video game he was designing and that he planned to pursue video game design as a career. He worked on homework while waiting for his parents as counselors watched him.

“At no time did counselors believe the student might harm others based on his behavior, responses and demeanor, which appeared calm,” Throne said.

“While both of his parents were present, counselors asked specific probing questions regarding the potential for self-harm or harm to others,” Throne said, adding counseling was recommended for him, and his parents were notified that they had 48 hours to seek it. “When the parents were asked to take their son home for the day, they flatly refused and left without their son, apparently to return to work.”

He said that the student had no prior disciplinary infractions so he was allowed to return to the classroom instead of being “sent home to an empty house.”

(Copyright (c) 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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