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COLORADO

Pro-life group kicks out chapter

DENVER — Colorado Right to Life was kicked out of the National Right to Life coalition yesterday, in part for publicly criticizing Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

The Colorado group and three others accused Mr. Dobson of misrepresenting the U.S. Supreme Court's April decision that upheld a ban on partial-birth abortion. Mr. Dobson had praised the ruling as a victory, but the Colorado group said in full-page ads in The Washington Times and elsewhere that it would encourage doctors to find other, "less shocking" methods.

In a written statement, the national coalition said it disagreed with the ad. It said its rules require state affiliates to be in line with the national group's objectives. National Right to Life has named Colorado Citizens for Life/Protecting Life Now as its new state affiliate.

In a written statement, Focus on the Family said it appreciated the national group's action.

KENTUCKY

Police chief killed taking man to jail

CLAY CITY A small-town police chief was fatally shot yesterday by a man being driven to jail on a charge of driving under the influence, authorities said.

A county judge-executive said Chief Randy Lacy, 55, was shot from the back seat of his cruiser, but authorities at a press conference did not confirm that.

Chief Lacy, 55, had been police chief of this town of 1,300 in the Appalachian foothills since 2004.

Charges were pending against Jamie Barnett, 37, state police said. Mr. Barnett has a long criminal history, according to court records. He was charged with assaulting a police officer in 1994, according to the records.

In April, he was charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and disorderly conduct, court records said. Records also show that the April 9 drunken-driving arrest was his second such offense.

LOUISIANA

Cajun town bans saggy pants

DELCAMBRE — Sag your britches somewhere else, this Cajun-country town has decided.

Mayor Carol Broussard said he would sign an ordinance the Town Council approved this week setting penalties of up to six months in jail and a $500 fine for being caught in pants that show undergarments or certain parts of the body.

Albert Roy, the council member who introduced the ordinance, said he thought the fine was steep and should be in the $25 range, but he still favored the measure.

MONTANA

1 escapee caught; 2nd man still free

SWAN LAKE — An escaped prison inmate once accused of plotting to kidnap David Letterman's son was recaptured yesterday, but a man who fled with him was still on the loose, authorities said.

Kelly A. Frank was arrested along a highway in northwestern Montana after six days on the run, Lake County Sheriff Lucky Larson said.

Montana State Prison Warden Mike Mahoney said he was told that Frank was arrested at a cabin that may belong to the family of the other fugitive, William J. Willcutt, who had been serving time for burglary. He said Frank would be arraigned in Lake County on escape charges and other charges related to burglaries and thefts while the two were missing.

U.S. Forest Service workers had spotted Frank and Willcutt on Tuesday bathing in a creek in the Flathead National Forest near Swan Lake in northwestern Montana, authorities said.

The two inmates escaped Friday while working at a Montana State Prison ranch near Deer Lodge, about 120 miles south of Swan Lake.

NEW JERSEY

Eminent domain restricted to blight

MOUNT LAUREL — In a victory for private property rights, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that local governments can't seize land against the owner's wishes simply because the property is underused.

The court ruled unanimously that only "blighted" areas are authorized under the state constitution and that the Legislature did not intend for eminent domain to be used when the sole basis is that the property is "not fully productive."

Government watchdogs have argued for years that eminent domain is being used too liberally by governments nationwide to advance development. The backlash has grown since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that a Connecticut town could take over private homes on behalf of a real-estate developer.

The New Jersey case centered on a 63-acre tract in Paulsboro made up mostly of wetlands just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia International Airport.

NORTH CAROLINA

Billy Graham's wife close to death

RALEIGH — Ruth Graham, the ailing wife of evangelist Billy Graham, fell into a coma yesterday morning and appears to be close to death, a family spokesman said.

"She appears to be entering the final stages of life," said Larry Ross, Mr. Graham's personal spokesman.

He made the announcement the same day that Mr. Graham said he and his wife will be buried at the recently dedicated Billy Graham Library in Charlotte. He said his 87-year-old wife, who has degenerative osteoarthritis of the back and neck and has been bedridden at their home in the mountains of western North Carolina for some time, "is close to going home to heaven."

"Ruth is my soul mate and best friend, and I cannot imagine living a single day without her by my side," Mr. Graham said. "I am more in love with her today than when we first met over 65 years ago as students at Wheaton College."

Mr. Ross said Mrs. Graham was treated two weeks ago for pneumonia and her health temporarily improved before declining because of her weakened condition. Mr. Ross said she is being treated at her home.

NORTH DAKOTA

Nonprofit to offer harvest assistance

BISMARCK — They have planted crops for farmers who have lost arms in equipment accidents and a few who have been hospitalized with serious illnesses.

Farm Rescue volunteers recently finished their second planting season, helping farmers in the Dakotas and Minnesota who have suffered financial hardship through injury, sickness or an act of nature.

The nonprofit group now intends to expand its scope and help six farmers harvest their crops this fall, said Bill Gross, an airplane pilot and North Dakota native who founded the organization.

Farm Rescue seeded about 8,000 acres this year for 12 North Dakota farmers and one producer each in South Dakota and Minnesota. The group relies on donations, volunteers and corporate sponsors.

OREGON

Spotted owl habitat on chopping block

GRANTS PASS — The Bush administration proposes cutting 1.5 million acres from Northwest forests considered critical to the survival of the northern spotted owl.

The move could reopen the 1990s debate over timber production on public lands, in which logging companies argued that efforts to save the owl contributed to the Northwest timber industry's decline.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed Tuesday to reduce the critical habitat for the owl by 22 percent, from 6.9 million acres of federal lands to 5.4 million acres.

The proposal was a result of a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the timber industry. A final decision is due by June 1 next year.

WISCONSIN

Police say massacre was murder-suicide

DELAVAN — A weekend shooting that left six persons dead in an apartment, including twin baby boys, was a murder-suicide committed by the father of the children, police said yesterday.

Ambrosio Analco, 23, killed infants Isaiah and Argenis Analco, his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend Nicole McAffee, and two others before shooting himself Saturday, police Chief Tim O'Neill said. He also wounded his 1-year-old daughter, who was found in a van outside the home in Delavan, in southeastern Wisconsin.

Although investigators were still waiting for the results of tests on forensic evidence, Chief O'Neill said, "all agencies are confident this was a murder-suicide."

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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