National Briefs: Lt. Cushing gets Medal of Honor

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WASHINGTON — The White House announced Tuesday that President Barack Obama approved the Medal of Honor for 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, who was killed standing his ground against Pickett’s Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg.

The White House also announced that Mr. Obama will award the medal in a ceremony on Sept. 15 to two Vietnam War soldiers — Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins and Army Spc. Donald P. Sloat, who was killed in action Jan. 17, 1970, and also will receive the award posthumously.

Brown family donations

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Donors have given nearly $700,000 to online fundraising sites set up to collect money for the family of a black 18-year-old and the white police officer who fatally shot him in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

The Michael Brown Memorial Fund has raised almost $280,000 from more than 9,300 people in 13 days. Two sites supporting police Officer Darren Wilson have taken in nearly $410,000 from nearly 10,000 contributors through the site

Dad acquitted in shooting

ANGLETON, Texas — A jury on Wednesday acquitted a southeast Texas man of murder in the fatal shooting of a drunken driver who had just caused an accident that killed the man’s two sons.

Prosecutors alleged that Mr. Barajas killed 20-year-old Jose Banda in a fit of rage after Mr. Banda plowed into Mr. Barajas and his sons. Twelve-year-old David Jr. and 11-year-old Caleb were killed. The gun used to kill Mr. Banda wasn’t found and there was little physical evidence tying Mr. Barajas to the killing.

Jet crashes in Virginia

DEERFIELD, Va. — A military F-15 jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia on Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Sheriff’s officials in Augusta County confirmed that the plane crashed in a remote, mountainous area near Deerfield, Va. A spokesman with the Massachusetts Air National Guard confirmed that just before losing communication with the jet, officials received an emergency call from the pilot. The status of the pilot is unknown at this time.

‘Cops’ crew member killed

OMAHA, Neb. — Police officers who opened fire while disrupting a robbery at a fast-food restaurant in Omaha killed a crew member with the TV show “Cops” as well as the suspect, who was armed with a pellet gun that they thought was a real handgun, authorities said Wednesday.

The suspect, whom police identified as 32-year-old Cortez Washington, fired from the pellet gun before officers returned fire, police Chief Todd Schmaderer said at a news conference. Officers continued firing on the suspect as he exited the restaurant, and that was when the “Cops” crew member, 38-year-old Bryce Dion, was also struck, said Chief Schamaderer.

Mr. Dion was shot during a filming of the reality show. He was wearing a bulletproof vest, but a single bullet that hit his arm “slipped into a gap in the vest” and went into his chest, Chief Schmaderer said.

Medicare estimate falls

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Budget Office has reduced its estimate for how much the federal government will need to spend on Medicare in coming years. The latest reduction came in a report from the budget office on Wednesday morning that indicates annual budget deficits have fallen to a projected $506 billion in the fiscal year that ends in September.

The 2014 deficit projection issued by the nonpartisan CBO is slightly higher than the agency forecast earlier this year, due in part to lower corporate tax collections. The CBO is predicting that the nation will rack up $7.2 trillion in new debt by 2024 rather than the $7.6 trillion previously forecast.

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