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Parole board puts death case on hold

ATLANTA — The state parole board yesterday said it will suspend any consideration of the death sentence of convicted cop killer Troy Davis until the Georgia Supreme Court has finished studying the case.

The high court granted an appeal by Davis‘ attorneys last week after a lower court denied him a new trial.

Davis‘ attorneys say several witnesses who initially testified against their client have since recanted or contradicted their testimony.

The state Board of Pardons and Paroles had been scheduled to hear from witnesses in the case on Thursday concerning Davis‘ request for clemency. But the board put consideration of Davis‘ request on hold until the Supreme Court has acted.

“The board’s policy has always been not to look at death cases for clemency as long as there’s some viable court case going on,” said Tracy Masters, an attorney for the board. “We thought this one was at the end and it now appears it may not be.”

IDAHO

Grateful couple give city $250,000

KETCHUM — A couple who turned to a police officer to help find their misplaced car containing their dogs last summer is giving $250,000 to the city out of gratitude. Police Chief Cory Lyman said the couple have ties to Ketchum but wish to remain anonymous.

Chief Lyman said the dogs were found in good condition. City officials say they are not sure how the money will be used.

ILLINOIS

Mother’s obesity linked to birth defects

CHICAGO — Women who are obese before pregnancy face a higher risk of having babies with birth defects than women with a healthy weight, a study suggests.

The results involving nearly 15,000 women from eight states found abnormalities of the spine, heart, arms, legs and abdomen, building on research that showed heart and spine defects. The greatest risk was for spina bifida.

“Obese women should not be overly alarmed by these findings because their absolute risk of having a child with a birth defect is low, and the cause of the majority of birth defects is unknown,” said University of Texas researcher Kim Waller, the study’s lead author.

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