- The Washington Times - Friday, May 18, 2007

CALIFORNIA

Hilton drops appeal of probation violation

LOS ANGELES — Paris Hilton won’t appeal the 45-day jail term she was sentenced to earlier this month, according to court documents filed yesterday.

A lawyer for the 26-year-old socialite notified Los Angeles County Superior Court that she is abandoning her appeal, said court spokeswoman Katherine Roberts.

She was ordered earlier this month to report to jail by June 5 for violating the terms of her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.

The socialite initially called the sentence unfair, and lawyers representing her filed a notice to appeal the sentence. She then switched attorneys and is now represented by drunken driving specialist Richard Hutton.

CONNECTICUT

Legislators give millions to exonerated inmate

HARTFORD — The Connecticut legislature voted unanimously Wednesday to give $5 million to a man imprisoned for more than 18 years for a rape he didn’t commit, then gave him a standing ovation.

Moved by James C. Tillman’s humbleness and lack of bitterness, lawmakers said they hoped the money will let him live the rest of his life in relative comfort.

The bill passed 148-0 in the House and 33-0 in the Senate. It now heads to Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican who said she would be honored to sign it.

Both chambers gave Mr. Tillman a standing ovation after the vote. After the House vote, his mother, Katherine Martin Tillman, wiped away tears as she and her son, who walks with a slight limp and wears a cross around his neck, were led to the House Speaker’s dais.

GEORGIA

Memorial planned for Yolanda King

ATLANTA — A public memorial will be held next week for Yolanda King, the firstborn child of the first family of the civil rights movement, relatives announced yesterday.

The service for the daughter of Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King will be held May 24 at Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizons Sanctuary, across the street from the sanctuary where her father preached.

Miss King died Tuesday at age 51 in Santa Monica, Calif.

LOUISIANA

Landrieu says no fraud found in pump contract

NEW ORLEANS — Congress’ investigative arm found no evidence of fraud or improper influence in the placing of faulty pumps along New Orleans’ drainage canals before the start of last year’s hurricane season, Sen. Mary L. Landrieu said yesterday.

Mrs. Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat, said the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Army Corps of Engineers was in a rush to get pumps in place prior to the June 1 start of the 2006 hurricane season. The 2005 season had produced Hurricane Katrina, when failures in the city’s flood protection led to inundation of 80 percent of New Orleans.

A May 2006 memo by a Corps inspector working on the pump project, provided to the Associated Press earlier this year, warned that the pumps were faulty and would not work if needed to remove water during a hurricane.

MINNESOTA

Governor signs smoking-ban law

EAGAN — Minnesota will outlaw smoking in bars, restaurants and other establishments statewide starting Oct. 1.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, signed the smoking ban into law outside the Granite City Food and Brewery in Eagan, surrounded by dozens of supporters of the law.

NEW JERSEY

Rain helps firefighters douse blaze

LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Rain reduced a 22-square-mile wildfire near a bombing range to mostly smoldering brush yesterday, but fire officials warned that the flames could rekindle if the wind picks up.

Firefighters were using bulldozers yesterday to plow through smoldering areas and extinguish hot spots.

New Jersey Air National Guard officials said they think a flare dropped by one of their F-16 fighter jets started the wildfire Tuesday on the Warren Grove Gunnery Range, a 9,400-acre expanse of scrub pine used for military bombing practice. Walls of flames 80 to 100 feet high raced toward nearby senior citizen communities as residents grabbed their pets and fled.

Only two minor injuries and no deaths had been reported.

NEW YORK

Sprinkler pipe falls, injuring 2 firefighters

NEW YORK — A 15-foot pipe fell off a skyscraper being dismantled near the World Trade Center site and plunged through the roof of a nearby firehouse yesterday, injuring two firefighters, officials said.

Demolition work was stopped on the 40-story former Deutsche Bank building after the sprinkler pipe fell from the 35th floor onto Engine 10/Ladder 10. The two firefighters were treated for minor injuries and released, fire officials said. They weren’t hit by the pipe, the department said.

RHODE ISLAND

Limo rider guilty in bank robbery

PROVIDENCE — Evonne D. Maurice apparently wanted to get away in style.

The 22-year-old pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to trying to rob a bank at a drive-up window while traveling in a hired limousine.

Authorities said Maurice had a limousine take her to a Citizens Bank branch in Cranston and told the driver she needed to withdraw cash to pay for the ride. Then she walked up to the window and handed the teller an envelope with a note demanding money and saying there were two bombs in the bank. The teller triggered an alarm, and Maurice got back in the limo without any money and was driven away.

Maurice was arrested in Tampa, Fla. Prosecutors said she told police there that she robbed banks to pay the drug-dealing debts of her and her boyfriend.

UTAH

Soldier charged in mall shooting

SALT LAKE CITY — A grand jury indicted four persons, including a U.S. Army soldier, in connection with the firearms a teenager used to kill five persons at a shopping mall, documents unsealed yesterday show.

Sulejman Talovic, an 18-year-old Bosnian immigrant, had carried a shotgun and handgun as he stalked through the mall, firing apparently at random. He died in a shootout with police during the Feb. 12 attack at Trolley Square.

The indictments charge three persons in the illegal sale of a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun to a juvenile, and a gun dealer in the sale of a 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip. The soldier, Matthew Hautala, was described as a witness to the handgun deal and was indicted for denying knowledge of the sale to authorities.

None of the four are accused of knowing Talovic’s plans.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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