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Device explodes at Disney; no injuries

ORLANDO — A device similar to a pipe bomb exploded in a trash can early yesterday at a remote parking lot at Walt Disney World, authorities said. No one was injured and no serious damage was reported in what officials called “an isolated incident.”

Orange County sheriff’s deputies responded to a 12:30 a.m. call from Disney. An employee heard a loud noise and saw white smoke coming from the can near the Downtown Disney shopping and entertainment district, Sheriff Kevin Beary said.

“Because of the time and location of the event, we do not believe this incident was designed to cause significant property damage or injury. We also believe this is an isolated incident,” Sheriff Beary said.

He said federal authorities also looked into the matter, but his office remains the lead agency.


Judge opens pretrial hearing

ATLANTA — The judge who wanted to close the pretrial hearing of one of four black persons accused of murder in the deaths of six Mexican immigrants reversed himself yesterday, agreeing with several news outlets that petitioned to keep the courtroom doors open.

In addition to overturning his own June 1 oral order, Tift County Superior Court Judge Gary McCorvey also agreed that motions filed in the case should remain open, instead of being sealed as defense attorneys had wanted.

Jamie Underwood faces the death penalty on murder charges stemming from a series of at least four home-invasion attacks on Sept. 30, 2005, in and around Tifton, about 170 miles south of Atlanta.

The brutality of the killings — in which the victims were beaten, shot and, in at least one case, raped — shocked the thousands of immigrants who have flocked to southern Georgia to pick vegetables, tobacco and peaches, and stirred local speculation that the attacks were racially motivated.

The judge also ruled that television and still-photography cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during the trial, again reversing a previous order. In his ruling, Judge McCorvey wrote that the U.S. and state constitutions require extraordinary measures “to ensure the reliability of decisions regarding both guilt and punishment in a case in which the government is seeking to punish a human being by extinguishing his life.”


Replica Patton vehicle allowed in parade

COEUR D’ALENE — Officials are allowing a World War II replica of Army Gen. George S. Patton’s command vehicle to take part in the July Fourth parade tomorrow as long as its gun remains silent.7

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