Tag Archives: battery

Electrifying auto news: Top car award goes to Chevy Bolt

The Chevy Bolt has been named top car in North America, a milestone for a car General Motors hopes will finally get Americans hooked on electric vehicles.

The Honda Ridgeline grabbed the honor for top truck.

Utility vehicles were honored separately for the first time, with the Pacifica minivan from Fiat Chrysler snagging that award.

The honors were announced at Detroit’s Cobo Center as the North American International Auto Show’s press preview days kicked into high gear.

The Bolt beat out the Genesis G90 and Volvo S90 for the car award.

The electric car from Chevrolet went on sale late last year.

It gets more than 200 miles per battery charge, which is more than the average American drives in a day.

The Bolt also sells for around $30,000 when a federal tax credit is included.

Electric vehicles have failed to catch on with most American consumers, but General Motors hopes the improved range and price help shift opinions.

Mark Reuss, GM’s head of global product development, described the Bolt as a “moon shot.”

“We didn’t have all the answers when we started the program — in terms of how far we were going to get range-wise, how light are we going to get the car and … sell price,” he said. “We hit on all cylinders on this, so to speak, even though there’s not any in the car.”

The Ridgeline scored the truck award over Ford F-Series Super Duty and the Nissan Titan. Pacifica got the nod for the utility award over the Jaguar F-Pace and Mazda X-9.

Timothy Kuniskis, Fiat Chrysler’s car chief, said he’s “amazingly proud” that a minivan scored the utility honor. The award recognizes the automaker’s commitment to the foundation it established for the family hauler while reinventing it some three decades later, he said.

“This is really all-new from the ground up,” Kuniskis said of the Pacifica, a sleeker, swept-back minivan that hit showrooms last spring as a replacement for the Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. Among its firsts: hands-free sliding doors that open when the driver sticks a foot under them.

“We love minivans — we sold a quarter-million minivans this last year that just ended,” he added. “Our designers just did an amazing job of taking something that has to be very functional and making it look very beautiful at the same time.”

About 60 automotive journalists serve as judges for North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards. Eligible vehicles must be new or substantially changed.

Organizers accept no advertising, though automakers try to capitalize on the marketing value of the awards, in their 24th year.

The awards program launched in 1993, and patterned itself after the European Car of the Year. Organizers accept no advertising, though carmakers try to capitalize on the marketing value of the honors.

NARAL calls for Trump campaign manager to step aside after battery charge

Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with battery in a case involving a reporter.

Police in Jupiter, Florida, allege Lewandowski grabbed reporter Michelle Fields and yanked her away from the Republican presidential candidate when Fields was attempting to ask a question.

The police report states, “Lewandowski grabbed Fields’ left arm with his right hand causing her to turn and step back.” The charge of battery is a misdemeanor.

The legal complaint against Lewandowski was filed three weeks ago and new video evidence is circulating this week.

Lewandowski, in denying the accusation, tweeted earlier this month: “@MichelleFields you are totally delusional. I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you.”

NARAL, a national abortion rights group, previously called on the Trump campaign to cooperate with the investigation.

On March 29, Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said, “Donald Trump needs to have a zero tolerance policy for abusive behavior of any kind. How a candidate runs a campaign is a window into how they would run the country. Not only has Trump campaigned for policies that undermine women and our families, but he has treated women with a disdain and dismissiveness that is unmatched in modern American politics.

She continued, “We’ve already seen how this attitude has infected his increasingly violent rallies and now it seems to have found a safe harbor amongst his staff. The longer Donald Trump tolerates and encourages this outrageous behavior on his campaign, the more it becomes clear that he intends to bring this attitude with him to the Oval Office. Trump should immediately place his campaign manager on leave until the charges against him have been settled.”

The Trump campaign, in a statement, said, “Mr. Lewandowski is absolutely innocent of this charge. He will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court. He is completely confident that he will be exonerated.”

Trump, who was campaigning in Wisconsin on March 29, said in a Tweet: “Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. Look at tapes-nothing there!”

Trial likely for 3 in slur-filled attack on gay couple

Zachary Hesse and his boyfriend were moving on from a frozen yogurt stop toward a pizza joint in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood when they came across eight to 10 young adults out on the town.

One of the revelers, using profanity and slurs, asked if they were gay, Hesse testified on Dec. 15. Hesse said they were, echoing the same crude language, and they soon found themselves surrounded.

Hesse said he was pushed, pushed back and was promptly punched in the face.

“After that, it just kind of got messy,” Hesse, 28, testified before a judge upheld felony assault and conspiracy charges against two young men and a woman, the daughter of a suburban police chief. “(I felt) terrified.”

In a matter of minutes, boyfriend Andy Haught was lying in a pool of blood with a broken jaw and broken cheekbones. A nearby resident called 911, and the group took off.

The incident in downtown Philadelphia’s tony Rittenhouse neighborhood swirled on news and social media sites in September. It has alternately been described as a routine street fight or a homophobic attack in a state that doesn’t include sexual orientation in its hate crime law.

“I think this court knows, it’s going to be an interesting trial,” Assistant District Attorney Mike Barry said, asking Common Pleas Judge Charles Hayden to leave the answer to a jury.

The judge agreed and ordered the defendants to return to court in January to enter pleas.

Security video posted online by police helped identify the group, many of them friends from their days at a suburban Catholic high school. Defense lawyers vow to mount a vigorous defense for their clients – 24-year-old Philip Williams, of Warminster; 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, of Southampton; and 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan, of Warrington.

In court this week, defense lawyers compared the case to a street brawl, arguing that both parties took part.

“We don’t have a conspiracy, a wolf pack, a group of young people seeking to beat people up on the streets of Philadelphia,” defense lawyer Fortunato Perri Jr. argued.

Prosecutors took a darker view and called the initial query about the men’s sexuality “fighting words.”

“They got attacked just for being who they were,” Barry said.

He said defendant Harrigan ignited the fight when he hurled a slur at Hesse and threw the first punch.

Witness Geoff Nagle, who was looking out a third-floor window, said he saw a woman pointing a finger at one of the victims and then heard three to four punches land. He took a cellphone photo and called 911.

Prosecutors said they believe co-defendant Williams moved through the crowd to “sucker-punch” Haught. However, the defense said he went to Knott’s aid after Haught struck her.

“Phil Williams is not initially an aggressor here,” Perri argued. “He gets involved after a female is punched. … That is actually justified, under the circumstances.”

2 standing trial, charged in gay bashing in Rice Lake

UPDATE: On Feb. 12, the two defendants were acquitted. More to come.

Two people accused in the brutal beating of a gay man in Rice Lake last spring went on trial today (Feb. 11).

Rien L. Hendricks of Rice Lake is charged with substantial battery with the intention of inflicting bodily harm, a felony.

Shannon R. Hendricks also is charged with substantial battery with the intention of inflicting bodily harm.

The two were arrested following an attack on March 17, 2013, in Rice Lake that sent Timothy Phares to the hospital suffering head and facial abrasions, as well as multiple fractures.

Phares had worked with Shannon Hendricks at Applebee’s restaurant.

According to Wisconsin Gazette archives, Rien Hendricks, Shannon’s husband, allegedly struck Phares in the head with a 2×4 in the parking lot of another local restaurant on March 17, 2013.

Rien Hendricks was apprehended shortly after the attack on the battery charge.

Shannon Hendricks, who allegedly drove her husband to the scene of the assault, witnessed it and drove him away, was charged with battery on June 3, 2013.

The defendants face fines of $10,000 and three and a half years in prison if convicted.

Phares has said that when Rien Hendricks attacked him, he shouted, “Fucking faggot, I’m going to kill you.”

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Applebee’s kept Shannon Hendricks in her position at the restaurant and defended her continued employment: “This very unfortunate personal situation involving two of our franchisee’s employees occurred during their free time and entirely away from the restaurant. The husband of one employee has been charged by policy with felony assault. The police have informed us that this individual’s wife, who works at the restaurant, has not been charged and is not a subject in the investigation.”

At the same time, the restaurant asked Phares — who said he endured anti-gay harassment at Applebee’s — not to return to work because of all the negative publicity.

Phares subsequently returned to his job after Greg Flynn, CEO of Apple American Group Franchise, intervened. He later resigned. And Shannon Hendricks also eventually left the restaurant.

Two days were set aside for the trial in Barron County.

Records indicate that the defendants were in court earlier this month but no plea agreements were reached. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Phares said when he arrived to the courthouse in Barron this morning, he saw that the defendants have two witnesses for the trial. The prosecution has at least eight witnesses, including medical experts and patrons of the local restaurant.

Phares also said he wanted to make a statement to the judge if there is a sentencing phase of the trial. Although the defendants are not charged with bias, he said what happened to him was a hate crime.

Phares was one of the first to testify in the trial.

3 face hate crime charges after putting lock on black student in dorm

Three white students at San Jose State University face misdemeanor hate-crime and battery charges after authorities say they harassed a black roommate by outfitting their dormitory suite with a Confederate flag, barricading him in his room and fastening a bicycle lock around his neck and claiming they lost the key.

Santa Clara County prosecutors filed the charges late Wednesday against Logan Beaschler and Colin Warren, both 18, and Joseph Bomgardner, 19. The young men each face up to a year in jail if convicted.

University President Mohammad Qayoumi said in a statement that the suspects have been suspended.

The victim, now 18, moved into the four-bedroom suite in August with seven other young men, all of whom are white. The harassment began after all the roommates had attended an orientation that included cultural sensitivity training, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The victim’s name was redacted from the police report, and the newspaper did not name him at his parents’ request.

According to a university police report, the suspects admitted that they harassed the freshman but claimed they were merely playing “pranks” or “jokes.”

At first, the suspects nicknamed the victim “Three-fifths” and “Fraction,” referring to the way the U.S. government once counted a slave as three-fifths of a free person, police said. According to the incident report, they told investigators they also wrestled their roommate to the ground and placed a metal bicycle lock around his neck, and they blocked the victim’s bedroom door with furniture several times to prevent him from coming out. They’re also accused of writing a racial epithet on a dry-erase board in the suite’s living room and hanging a Confederate flag in a window.

Investigators said they found Nazi symbols in the suite, including the “SS” lightning bolt symbol and a swastika, as well as pictures of pentagrams, apparently intended to alarm the victim, who is Christian.

The victim’s parents had seen the Confederate flag and the epithet on the dry-erase board and reported it to housing officials. Two of the suspects were then transferred to a different dorm, the Mercury News reported.

Dorm staff were apparently aware even before the parents’ report that the Confederate flag had been placed in a window and had asked the suspects to remove it so it was not visible to the public.

Beaschler declined to comment to the Mercury News, and efforts to reach the other two suspects were not successful. It was not clear whether they have retained lawyers.

Students at the university held a rally protesting the incident.

Qayoumi, SJSU’s president, announced that the school will re-examine its diversity programs and campus housing safety measures.

“Diversity and a commitment to social justice are in SJSU’s institutional DNA,” he said, adding, “this deeply disturbing incident reaffirms that we must protect and steward our values.”

George Zimmerman arrested today for felony assault

George Zimmerman was arrested today and charged with assault after deputies were called to the home where he lived with his girlfriend, who claimed he pointed a shotgun at her during an argument.

Zimmerman pushed the woman out of the house and barricaded the door with furniture, Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference, as reported by The Associated Press. Samantha Scheibe gave deputies a key to the home, and they were able to push open the barricaded door.

Zimmerman was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, battery and criminal mischief.

“Just when you thought you heard the last of George Zimmerman,” said neighbor Catherine Cantrell. She said the woman who lived in the home was very sweet and quiet.

Zimmerman, 30, was acquitted in July of all charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager. Zimmerman claimed he shot the 17-year-old to defend himself during a fight in February 2012 inside a gated community in Sanford, just outside Orlando.

He wasn’t charged until 44 days after the shooting, leading to protests nationwide from people who believed he should have been immediately arrested. The case sparked accusations that Zimmerman had racially profiled Martin, and demonstrations broke out again after his acquittal. Federal authorities are now reviewing the case the see if Martin’s civil rights were violated.

Zimmerman has had other brushes with the law since his acquittal.

Zimmerman and his estranged wife were involved in a domestic dispute in September, just days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers. Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic stops since his acquittal.

In 2005, Zimmerman had to take anger management courses after he was accused of attacking an undercover officer who was trying to arrest Zimmerman’s friend.

Later that year, Zimmerman’s former fiancée filed for a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman responded by requesting a restraining order against her. Both requests were granted, and no criminal charges were filed.

Wisconsin man faces hate crime charge after punching 2 men speaking Hebrew

A Janesville, Wis., man was arrested early Oct. 26 for allegedly assaulting two men speaking Hebrew in the 200 block of North Henry Street in Madison.

A Madison Police Department report said 23-year-old Dylan T. Grall punched the men at about 2:19 a.m. after cursing at them and demanding they speak English.

Grall thought the men were speaking Spanish, according to the report, which said that one victim fell to the ground after being punched in the face. The other man was hit in the eye.

Grall was arrested on two charges of battery with a hate-crime enhancer. He allegedly denied delivering the blows but acknowledged telling the men to speak English.

One victim, age 22, is from Skokie, Ill., and the other victim, age 23, is from Milwaukee.