News briefs: March 13

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Search warrant executed in Haymaker Hall

As part of an ongoing investigation, Riley County Police officers carried out a search warrant at the room of Kevin Decock, freshman in biology, at Haymaker Hall Tuesday. Decock’s vehicle was stopped late Saturday night and he was arrested for DUI, interference with law enforcement, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, no Kansas drug stamp and identity fraud.

According to a press release from RCPD, detectives did not find hazardous materials or any safety concern during the search. K-State said in a separate press release that students in Haymaker were asked to vacate their rooms while the search was conducted, but were allowed to stay in the common area.

New York cop convicted in cannibal plot

A federal jury convicted New York police officer Gilberto Valle on Tuesday of conspiring to kidnap women whom he planned to rape, kill, cook and eat, according to a CNN article by Alan Duke. He could face life in prison for the crimes.

Documents and emails found on Valle’s computer contained detailed plans for the abduction, murder and consumption of several women. He and his lawyers argued that the plans were “fantasy role-play” and “dark improv theatre,” but prosecutors convinced the jury that he was serious.

Valle will be sentenced June 19 by U.S. District Court Judge Paul Gardephe.

Voters in small Maine town reject mandatory gun law

Voters in the 140-person town of Byron, Maine, unanimously struck down a proposed law that would have required each household to own a firearm and ammunition Tuesday, according to a CNN article by Brittany Brady.

After a town hall meeting Monday showed no support for the bill, even the official who introduced it, Selectwoman Anne Simmons-Edmunds, voted against it. She said she intends to rework and reintroduce the legislation.

Several cities in the United States have similar laws on the books that require citizens to own guns. Kennesaw, Ga., has mandated gun ownership since 1982, while Nelson, Ga., approved a proposal last week to require ownership of a firearm. The measure will be addressed by the city council in April.

Conclave ends first day without electing new pope

According to a Washington Post article by Anthony Failoa, black smoke billowed from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City on Tuesday, signifying that the cardinals assembled inside had completed a day of voting in which no candidate received the tally required to be named pope.

The first day of the conclave rarely sees a pope elected. The cardinals will vote four times a day until a successor to Benedict XVI, who became the first pope in over 500 years to resign last month, is chosen.

There is no set deadline to elect a Pope, according to the Post, but a conclave has not lasted more than five days in over a century. When the cardinals make their decision, white smoke will emit from the chimney above St. Peter’s Square.

Drone medal to be reconsidered

According to a CNN article by Jennifer Rizzo, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has decided to review the criteria for a recently established military medal that recognizes “extraordinary direct impacts on combat operations.”

Lawmakers have expressed concern that the medal, which has no geographical restrictions and can therefore be awarded to drone pilots, would be placed above battlefield honors like the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

The review will be conducted by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, who is expected to present his findings in 30 days. In the meantime, production of the medal has been halted.

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