How did Jackson’s water system get so complex that it led to disaster in Mississippi? Is fentanyl really showing up in Halloween candy? And the “world’s dirtiest man” has died.
👋 It’s Laura Davis. It’s Wednesday. Let’s do this news thing!
But first: All Micheal McGuire knew was that he had to drive 30 minutes Saturday evening to get from his job at a coal mine to the annual Kentucky basketball Blue-White scrimmage with his son. He didn’t expect his picture to go viral days later.
The Short List is a snappy USA TODAY news roundup. Subscribe to the newsletter here or text messages here.
Man found guilty of killing 6 with SUV at Christmas parade
Darrell Brooks Jr. was found guilty on dozens of criminal charges Wednesday after a jury found him responsible for plowing an SUV through a 2021 Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, wrapping up a trial in which he defended himself with bizarre legal theories and erratic outbursts. Six people died and at least another 61 others were injured when Brooks drove through the parade on Nov. 21, 2021. A jury found him guilty of all 76 charges brought against him in the attack, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide, which carry mandatory life prison terms.
👉 ‘Brooks left behind carnage and chaos’: Waukesha Christmas parade trial opening statements.
Jackson water crisis was a century in the making
Jackson, Mississippi’s water system continues to teeter on the brink of failure after this summer’s crisis that deprived more than 170,000 people of water to drink, wash or flush toilets and sparked a public health emergency. But a USA TODAY Network investigation reveals that the foundation for the current crisis was laid more than a century ago, and problems compounded amid bad decisions, failures to fund improvements and leadership that seemingly lost control. It’s a complex story of population decline, poverty, racism, politics, mismanagement and theft. Here’s how the water system returned into disaster.
What everyone’s talking about
The Short List is free, but several stories we link to are subscriber-only. Consider supporting our journalism and become a USA TODAY digital subscriber today.
Russia practices ‘massive nuclear strike’
Russia’s Strategic Deterrence Forces conducted a training exercise Wednesday aimed at delivering a “massive nuclear strike” in the event of a nuclear attack, the Kremlin said. The exercise, overseen by President Vladimir Putin, involved mobile ground-based missile systems and a strategic missile submarine. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov pressed his country’s narrative – vehemently denied by Ukraine and the West – that Kyiv is preparing to strike with a “dirty bomb” and then blame Russia. US experts theorize Russia is either considering its own “false flag” dirty bomb or is using the narrative to drum up more support for the war at home.
👉 More updates: Remains of American Joshua Jones, killed in Ukraine, returned; Putin challenger flees the country.
‘World’s dirtiest man’ dies at 94
His favorite meal was porcupineI have smoked multiple cigarettes at a time and he didn’t like soap and water too much. Not long after taking his first bath in more than 60 years, an Iranian man known as Amou Haji or Uncle Haji (an Iranian term of endearment for an older person), died on Sunday at 94. Haji became known as “the world’s dirtiest man “for choosing not to wash for six decades – fearing he would get sick if he ever used “soap and water,” according to the IRNA news agency. Haji cited “emotional setbacks in his youth” as a primary reason for not bathing. He did not have any known relatives, but the townspeople were known to take care of him. Learn more about the life of Haji.
🌤 What’s the weather up to in your neck of the woods? Check your local forecast here.
Rainbow fentanyl in Halloween candy? Experts say that’s ‘idiotic’
It seems like every year, panic spreads about drugs or needles being put inside Halloween candy. But Joel Best, a sociology and criminal justice professor at the University of Delaware who has spent decades studying the scare of tainted Halloween treats, says the current fears about colorful fentanyl showing up in trick-or-treat hauls have been particularly intense. What does he think about the risk? “This is idiotic,” Best said. “Nobody’s gonna give it away to small children.” Other experts agree. “The whole thing is just absolutely ludicrous,” said University of Buffalo professor David Herzberg, who studies the history of drug abuse in America. Why the annual panic?
A break from the news
Laura L. Davis is an Audience Editor at USA TODAY. Send her an email at [email protected] or follow along with her de ella adventures de ella – and misadventures – on Twitter. Support quality journalism like this? Subscribe to USA TODAY here.
This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Subscribe to the newsletter here or text messages here.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism