- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 14, 2006

Kevorkian lawyer in political-ad probe

LANSING, Mich. — Lawyer Geoffrey Fieger, who defended assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, may have violated state elections law in his 2004 ad campaign against a state Supreme Court justice, a special prosecutor said yesterday.

However, the prosecutor, Patrick Shannon, said at a press conference that he won’t recommend criminal charges.

Instead, Mr. Shannon said he has suggested the Secretary of State’s Office review the case for possible civil campaign-finance violations. He didn’t say what the possible violations might have been.

The campaign-finance investigation began in March after the Secretary of State’s Office had trouble contacting a political action committee, Citizens for Judicial Reform, that aired $457,000 worth of ads bashing Republican Party-nominated Justice Stephen Markman.

Mr. Fieger later acknowledged paying for the ads but said he broke no laws.

Teen shot by police clinically brain-dead

LONGWOOD, Fla. — A reportedly suicidal teenager who was shot by sheriff’s deputies while brandishing a pellet gun in his middle school is clinically brain-dead, an attorney for the family said yesterday.

Christopher Penley, of Winter Springs, was accused of pulling a pellet gun in a classroom Friday and pointing it at other students. When he later raised the weapon at a deputy, a SWAT team member shot him, authorities said.

“His organs are in the process of being harvested,” said family attorney Mark Nation.

New Orleans mayor: Rebuild to honor King

NEW ORLEANS — The mayor of New Orleans called on his struggling city yesterday to unite in honor of Martin Luther King’s legacy as it rebuilds its hurricane-ravaged neighborhoods.

“He would want us to get together. He would want us to start over,” Mayor C. Ray Nagin said during a press conference announcing events scheduled to honor the slain civil rights leader.

Activists and some members of the black community have been among the most outspoken critics of rebuilding proposals that would focus initial efforts on the least-damaged neighborhoods while delaying work on some of the hardest-hit, such as predominantly black eastern New Orleans and the 9th Ward.

Mr. Nagin said he is committed to seeing a diverse city rebuilt, and he hoped that this year’s King celebrations, which begin today, would focus on the legacy of King and Rosa Parks, as well as those who died as Hurricane Katrina hit the city on Aug. 29 and flooded its neighborhoods.

Volcano eruptions cause halt to flights

HOMER, Alaska — Snowflakes laced with fine, gray ash fell on communities south of Anchorage as a series of volcanic eruptions continued early yesterday on an uninhabited island dozens of miles away.

Plumes of ash from the volcano drifted across Cook Inlet and into Homer, 75 miles to the northeast, halting air travel and closing schools in some Kenai Peninsula communities Friday.

The 4,134-foot Augustine Volcano began erupting Wednesday after a 20-year lull. By yesterday morning, it had erupted at least eight times, and scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory said they expect more eruptions over the next several days or weeks.

Alaska Airlines canceled 28 flights into Anchorage and Fairbanks on Friday and early yesterday as a safety precaution. Ash can damage the engines of aircraft and vehicles on the ground.

Clinton: McCarthy changed history

Former President Bill Clinton eulogized the late Minnesota Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy yesterday for helping to shift momentum against the Vietnam War with his 1968 presidential campaign.

“It all started when Gene McCarthy was willing to stand alone and turn the tide of history,” Mr. Clinton said at a memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral.

Mr. McCarthy, who died last month at 89, mounted an anti-war challenge to President Johnson for the 1968 Democratic nomination, leading to Mr. Johnson’s withdrawal from the race after the New Hampshire presidential primary.

About 800 people, some wearing McCarthy campaign buttons, attended the memorial.

From combined dispatches

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