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News Brief: Oct 10-12


NASA’s Planetary Defense Test Exceeds Expectations

Man Charged with Kidnap and Deaths of California Family

Former Del City Church Payroll Administrator Pleads Guilty to Embezzling

International News

NASA’s Planetary Defense Test Exceeds Expectations

The results of NASA’s recent DART mission are in: its success surpassed the space agency’s predictions and give hope toward the first-ever planetary scale line of defense.

The aim of the Double-Asteroid Redirection Test, or “DART” mission, was to “throw” a refrigerator-sized spacecraft at 14,000 miles per hour into a 500-foot asteroid, Dimorphos,  causing its orbit to shorten by approximately 10 minutes.

Dimorphos’ orbit pre-collision took 11 hours and 55 minutes, but now has been shortened by 32 minutes. DART was three times more effective than anticipated.

“We conducted humanity’s first planetary defense test,” said Bill Nelson, the administrator of NASA, during a news conference. “We showed the world NASA is serious as a defender of this planet.”

Although there was no real danger in this test and there is much to learn in the coming years, this success could someday mean “one giant sigh of relief for humankind,” the New York Times said.

Click here to read more of the New York Times’ coverage of DART, NASA and its implications for our future.

National News

Man Charged with Kidnap and Deaths of California Family

48-year-old Californian Jesus Salgado has been charged with kidnapping and murdering a family of four: eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri; her mother, Jasleen Kaur, 27; her father Jasdeep Singh, 36; and her uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39.

Surveillance footage shows the family with zip-tied hands being loaded into a pickup truck at gunpoint from a trucking business in Merced, CA. Salgado is an ex-employee.

At court on Monday, Salgado requested additional time to find a lawyer. If convicted, he could face life in prison. According to police, his family says he admitted to being involved in the kidnapping, though to what degree remains unknown.

Salgado is due back in court on Oct. 13. Until then, click here to read more on the story.

Local News

Former Del City Church Payroll Administrator Pleads Guilty to Embezzling

Darla Bralley, former payroll administrator at the St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Del City, has pleaded guilty to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the church.

Bralley began her role in 2012 and embezzled from 2014 through 2020 according to court documents. She admits to writing 198 unauthorized checks for personal items and services which tally up to over $450 thousand.

“It’s obviously disheartening to hear something happening like that from a church,” said Avery Holt, the Interim Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. “When that trust is broken, it’s saddening to hear.”

Bralley could face up to 20 years for embezzling and up to an additional 3 years for lying about her 2018 tax return.

If and how the church will get the money back is uncertain. In the meantime, Holt says they will continue their Catholic duty.

“Here as Catholics, it’s our duty, our responsibility, to pray for everyone, no matter what they’ve done,” Holt said. “We’re glad this is taking the direction it has and we’re going to continue to pray for her and her family as they go through this.”

Read more about this story here.

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