- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 20, 2007

California lawmaker seeks spanking ban

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California parents could face jail and a fine for spanking their young children under legislation a state lawmaker has promised to introduce this week. Democratic Assemblywoman Sally Lieber said such a law is needed because spanking victimizes helpless children and breeds violence in society.

Mrs. Lieber said her proposal would make spanking, hitting and slapping a child younger than 4 years old a misdemeanor. Adults could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Some Republican lawmakers called the idea ridiculous, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he may be receptive to it although he has concerns about how the ban would be enforced.

Demolition crew blows up coliseum

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Crews set off a thunderous explosion yesterday to demolish Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a 35-year-old arena that held sporting events and concerts by Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.

Crowds filled a nearby 10-level parking garage to watch the demolition, which makes way for a downtown redevelopment project.

Much of the building already had been dismantled before two children, who had won a lottery, pushed a ceremonial plunger to set off about 2,000 pounds of explosives.

The $230 million development project will include stores and up to 280 housing units. A community college and a theater will move to the site and an adjacent property.

Judge denies jobless benefits

DES MOINES, Iowa — An administrative judge has denied unemployment benefits to a woman who was fired from her job for keeping a journal detailing her efforts to avoid work.

Emmalee Bauer, 25, of Elkhart, was employed by the Sheraton hotel company as a sales coordinator in Des Moines. While on the job, she kept a handwritten journal. A supervisor told her to stop writing on company time, but instead, Miss Bauer wrote her journal, all 300 single-spaced pages, on her work computer.

In the journal, portions of which were introduced during a recent hearing regarding the request for unemployment, Miss Bauer describes her efforts to avoid work.

“This typing thing seems to be doing the trick,” she wrote. “It just looks like I am hard at work on something very important.”

Miss Bauer was fired for misuse of company time after a supervisor discovered the journal late last year.

Accused killer seeks trial delay

INVERNESS, Fla. — Lawyers for a man accused of burying alive a 9-year-old girl after kidnapping and raping her have asked a judge to delay the murder trial while they interview new prosecutors’ witnesses.

John Couey’s lawyers say the Feb. 12 trial date should be pushed back so they can question the seven witnesses added to prosecutors’ list earlier this month, including a jailer who says the suspect gave him details of the slaying. It was not known when Circuit Judge Ric Howard might rule on the request.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the March 2005 slaying of Jessica Lunsford, whose body was found when Mr. Couey told authorities where to look near her Homosassa home in central Florida. Mr. Couey has pleaded not guilty to the charges of first-degree murder, sexual battery on a child, kidnapping and battery.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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