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Thousands gather for King of the Hammers off-roading race

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Thousands gather for King of the Hammers off-roading race

Thousands of off-roading enthusiasts and rock climbers are defying lockdown rules to gather in the southern California desert for the annual King of the Hammers race.

The nine-day event, which takes place in the remote Johnson Valley, was given the go-ahead by the Bureau of Land Management although race organizers have said that strict protocols are in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. All participants require a negative COVID-19 test and a mask to attend, and temperatures are checked regularly. COVID tests are also available on site, according to a report.

The event, which combines off-road racing with rock-climbing, is spread out over 96,000 acres of public land, event organizers said.

Despite the protocols, thousands of people have descended on the region. “Roads are packed,” one local resident told the SFGate. “Grocery stores are packed. Everything is packed.”

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FBI launches probe in Lady Gaga’s dog theft

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FBI launches probe in Lady Gaga's dog theft

The feds are investigating whether the kidnapping of Lady Gaga’s dogs was politically motivated since she sang at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to a report.

The FBI is working on the case with Los Angeles police detectives, The Sun reported.

“Lady Gaga is high profile of course but she sang at President Biden’s inauguration which takes this case to another level,” a source told the outlet. “The FBI wants to know exactly what motivated this incident.”

An FBI spokesperson referred The Sun to the LAPD, which is leading the investigation into the dognapping, in which the singer’s dog walker was shot in the chest.

The rep noted that “the bureau provides resources if/where requested to our local partners,” according to The Sun, which said it has reached out to the LAPD.

The outlet said that although the feds are involved, investigators are working on the assumption that the attack by the gun-toting crook — who made off with two of the pop megastar’s beloved French bulldogs — was a straightforward armed robbery.

Lady Gaga has offered a $500,000 reward for the return of her pooches.

The popular breed’s small dogs can fetch between $1,500 and $5,000 in some circles, American Kennel Club Vice President of Public Relations Brandi Hunter told The Post.

The dog walker, Ryan Fischer, was strolling along North Sierra Bonita Avenue with Gaga’s dogs — Gustav, Koji and Miss Asia — around 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, when a four-door sedan pulled up and two men attacked, according to police.

When Fischer put up a fight, one of the men shot him one time with a semiautomatic handgun, and the duo sped off with Gustav and Koji.

Fischer “is thankfully recovering well” at a local hospital, a source familiar with the incident told The Post.

Nearby resident Buck Angel, who called 911, told The Sun that “where the attack happened can’t just be down to chance,” adding that the area where it took place has “no witnesses that live there” and has “been empty for five years.”

“They had to have chosen that spot to carry out the attack, and those dogs were targeted for ransom, it had to be,” he told the outlet. “They must have wanted to blackmail Lady Gaga for money.”

Angel added that he believed Fischer was dead.

“When they [police] arrived I came out and saw my neighbor from across the street giving aid to the man who was shot,” he said. “He was compressing his chest, trying to stop the bleeding. He was saving his life.

“I actually thought he was dead. He was shot once, I believe, even though there were two gunshots,” Angel added. “The injured guy told our neighbor as he was compressing the wound, ‘Those were Lady Gaga’s dogs — so that’s how we found out’.”

The Post has reached out to the FBI.
 

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DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s sister dies of COVID-19 complications

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DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s sister dies of COVID-19 complications

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s sister died Wednesday from COVID-19 complications.

Bowser announced in a statement that her only sister and oldest sibling, Mercia Bowser, died after battling COVID-19 related pneumonia at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She was 64.

“My family and I are mourning the loss of my sister, Mercia Bowser, who passed away this morning due to complications related to COVID-19,” the mayor said in a statement.

“Mercia was loved immensely and will be missed greatly, as she joins the legion of angels who have gone home too soon due to the pandemic.”

Mayor Bowser said her sister is survived by their parents, Joan and Joseph Bowser, siblings, nieces and nephews.

“Mercia was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. She worked tirelessly for children, the elderly, and those with behavioral disorders until her retirement and beyond,” the mayor said.

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DNA on Vanilla Coke can leads to break in 1981 Colorado murder case

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DNA on Vanilla Coke can leads to break in 1981 Colorado murder case

DNA evidence taken from a can of Vanilla Coke helped Colorado police crack a decades-old murder case, according to a report.

Investigators used a relatively new technology, called genetic geneology, to locate the suspect using DNA from family members whose biological information is already on file, either with a federal agency or a private company that has agreed to turn over its records to law enforcement.

In this instance, the FBI partnered with a company called United Data Connect to trace the DNA on a can taken from the crime scene to a Nebraska man named David Anderson, who according to 9News Denver lived a quiet life in the nearly 40 years since cops say he murdered Sylvia Quayle in Cherry Hills, Colorado.

In August of 1981, Quayle was found in her Colorado home after being sexually assaulted and then murdered.

Police found that the phone wire had been cut, and the screen from Quayle’s bathroom window had been removed and thrown into the woods.

Quayle was found by her father covered in blood with several broken fingernails and red marks that were “consistent with the shape of fingers,” according to a police report.

Police have spent decades unsuccessfully trying to piece together the events of that night — and officers say it’s a relief to finally receive some clarity on the brutal murder that rocked the small Colorado town.

“It’s been a journey, and then getting to know Jo, and understanding, being a little sister and what Sylvia meant to her, it’s been a little breathtaking,” CHVPD Police Chief Michelle Tovrea said at a press conference this week.

“Sylvia’s sister and family had the quote ‘beauty seen is never lost’ etched onto her grave marker a very fitting reminder of the beautiful person she was.”

According to the District attorney, Anderson will be tried under laws that were in effect during 1981 — meaning he could be sentenced to life in prison with a chance of parole after 20 years, should he be convicted.

He faces two counts of first-degree murder, according to court records.

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