News Briefs: March 26


An ex-Schlitterbahn leader and the company itself were indicted in connection with the 2016 death of a child on the record-breaking Verruckt water slide. According to the Kansas City Star, a grand jury charged the company and a former operations director with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated battery and reckless endangerment of a child. The indictment suggests that the rush to complete the slide’s construction resulted in insufficient adherence to industry safety precedents and ignorance to warnings about the lack of safety. Additionally, the indictment reports the ride was not properly maintained, and the company attempted to hide evidence of other riders’ injuries.

The Austin bomber called himself a “psychopath” in a taped confession before killing himself. According to CNN, Mark Anthony Conditt carried out a weeks-long “bombing spree” before using his cell phone to film the 25-minute confession as authorities closed in on his location. Conditt’s actions resulted in the death of two African American men. Anthony Stephan House was killed in the first attack on March 2, and Draylen Mason died on March 12. While the motive for the attacks remains unknown, authorities report that many fear the bombings were carried out by “a racially motivated killer.”

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, continued an apology campaign following the revelation that millions of users’ data and information had been accessed by Cambridge Analytica. The New York Times reports that the political data firm was hired by the Trump campaign to provide information on influencing American voters based on their Facebook likes. Access to the information was gained through a personality survey and app download.

President Donald Trump continues to deny allegations of an alleged sexual relationship with adult film star Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels. According to ABC News, Daniels filed a lawsuit against Trump to void the non-disclosure agreement she reportedly signed just weeks before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels maintains that she took part in a consensual sexual relationship with the president in 2006, and her lawyer Michael Avenatti says she was threatened to keep the affair private. The Wall Street Journal reported in January that one of Trump’s lawyers paid Daniels $130,000 for her silence prior to the election. Yesterday, Daniels said in her 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper that she did have sex with Trump and was threatened by another person after the sexual encounter. “A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone,'” Daniels said to Cooper. “‘Forget the story.'”

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the ex-managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.