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More inmates may go to problematic prison

BOISE — The state’s top prison official wants to send more inmates to a Texas lockup run by a private company, which is accused of abuse by guards, a suicide, filthy conditions and lack of treatment.

Prison Director Brent Reinke concedes his agency failed to properly monitor conditions but said moving inmates to another prison run by the GEO Group doesn’t mean problems will recur.

ILLINOIS

Van injures four at Cosi restaurant

CHICAGO — A van veered off a downtown street and slammed into a restaurant Monday, injuring four persons, two critically, authorities said.

The driver suddenly veered onto the sidewalk about 9:30 a.m., hitting a pedestrian and striking the Cosi restaurant, Chicago police spokesman John Henry said. A witness said the driver appeared to have been trying to avoid another vehicle.

The pedestrian and a person in the van were taken to hospitals in critical condition, said Chicago Fire Department spokeswoman Eve Rodriguez. Two others injured in the van were in stable and good condition, she said.

Mr. Henry said police had not determined whether citations would be issued.

“I’ve been shaking all morning,” said Tom McCarthy, 30, who was at the restaurant and saw the crash. “It was just the scariest thing I’d ever seen.”

INDIANA

Wandering toddler’s mother pleads guilty

INDIANAPOLIS — A woman whose 3-year-old son was found wandering on a busy highway pleaded guilty yesterday to child neglect charges.

Nancy Dyer, 31, was arrested Dec. 30 after stunned motorists found her son running on Interstate 465 on the city’s northwestern side, wearing only a diaper and a T-shirt. The boy was not hurt.

Dyer admitted in court before her bench trial was to start that she had been sleeping about 9 a.m. the day her son was found on the highway and that she knew the boy could get out of their apartment. She pleaded guilty to three of four counts against her of neglect of a dependent.

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