Man charged in a dozen highway shootings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Authorities announced charges yesterday against a Kansas City-area man suspected in connection with about a dozen recent highway shootings that have wounded three people.

Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said at a news conference that Mohammed Whitaker, 27, of Grandview has been charged with 18 felony counts and is being held on $1 million bail. Baker said Whitaker was charged with two counts of shooting into a motor vehicle and injuring a person, seven counts of shooting into a motor vehicle and nine counts of armed criminal action.

At least six of the shootings occurred near Grandview. The Kansas City suburb is home to an area known as the Grandview Triangle, where three interstates and U.S. 50 intersect.

Other shootings were reported in the Missouri suburbs of Blue Springs and Lee's Summit and Leawood, Kan. Two of the wounded drivers were shot in the leg, and the third was shot in the arm. None of their wounds were considered life-threatening.

Border Patrol arrests more than 200

McALLEN, Texas - At least 80 immigrants suspected of entering the United States illegally were arrested in a makeshift encampment in suburban South Texas.

They were found in an undeveloped patch of scrub near an abandoned tennis club in McAllen. They were camped under tents and huts camouflaged with mesquite branches and cacti. Some told authorities that they had been there sleeping on pieces of cardboard with little food or water for at least a week.

It was unclear whether any of those arrested Thursday afternoon were guides suspected of guarding the immigrants, Border Patrol spokesman Danny Tirado told the McAllen Monitor.

A short time later, Border Patrol arrested 132 immigrants found in two buildings on a property in Alton, about 8 miles west of McAllen, according to KRGV-TV.

The Border Patrol made more than 154,000 arrests on the section of the U.S.-Mexico border in southernmost Texas last year, more than anywhere else on the Southwest border. The majority of the immigrants come from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Head trauma linked to young NYC offenders

NEW YORK - About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults.

That's according to a new study by New York City doctors that's the latest in a growing body of research documenting head trauma among young offenders.

The findings were published this week in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Experts say they could lead to better training for guards on how to deal with the symptoms of such trauma, which include problems with impulse control and decision-making.

The study found nearly 50 percent of both boys and girls reported traumatic brain injuries that resulted in unconsciousness and/or amnesia. And they said 55 percent of those injuries were caused by assaults.

- Daily News wire services