- - Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gay marriage foes submit petitions

AUGUSTA, Maine — Opponents of Maine’s new gay marriage law have submitted petitions seeking a November referendum on the measure.

Leaders of the Stand for Marriage campaign said Friday they collected more than 100,000 signatures of registered Maine voters. Cartons containing the petitions have been turned into the secretary of state’s office to be certified.

A November referendum will be held if at least 55,087 signatures are certified by Sept. 4. The referendum would ask voters whether the law should stand.

Leaders of the campaign to overturn the law say marriage between one man and one woman is a basic building block of society and must be protected.

Five other states allow gay marriage. They are Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Tiger escapes act, ends up on streets

LAS VEGAS — Police say a tamed tiger that escaped from a magic act has been captured.

Residents in the city’s northwest section reported seeing the tiger wandering their streets Thursday night.

Police Lt. Les Lane said the cat belongs to Fernando’s Brothers magic act. He said the cat got loose, but “they got it back into custody.”

The cat was found in a resident’s backyard.

Animal Control and Metro Police were investigating the incident.

Burros booted from Army base

FORT IRWIN, Calif. — Bureau of Land Management officials say as many as 100 wild burros will be rounded up in the Mojave Desert next month and put up for adoption because they keep invading the Fort Irwin Army base.

The BLM said the donkeys are attracted by natural springs of water in the area.

A fort official said training has to be halted each time the burros roam through live-fire areas.

They also have a negative impact on the habitat of the threatened desert tortoise.

The BLM plans to remove the donkeys beginning in late August. There have been two previous roundups. The BLM said burros are popular, so finding homes for them should be no problem.

Eviction possible for Mr. Clucky

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — A celebrity rooster and Miami Beach tourist favorite named Mr. Clucky could soon be evicted from the condo he shares with his owner.

The Miami Herald reported that a dramatic city hall plea from Mark Buckley wasn’t enough to stop officials from giving city code officers authority to remove Mr. Clucky and his girlfriend, a hen named Wallflower.

Mr. Buckley was also ordered to pay a $50 fine for the rooster, known for perching on the handlebars of his bicycle.

Miami Beach code prohibits keeping poultry and other livestock in residential areas.

But there might still be hope for Mr. Clucky: Mr. Buckley can ask city commissioners for an exception or appeal to the courts.

Mr. Clucky has become a favorite subject of tourist photos and was even grand marshal of a parade.

Transcript details journalist’s slaying

OAKLAND, Calif. — Grand jury testimony shows the men indicted in the killing of an Oakland journalist and two other men joked as they planned the crime and hugged the shooter when he reported the journalist was dead.

Details of the testimony were revealed in newly released grand jury transcripts.

Devaughndre Broussard confessed to shooting journalist Chauncey Bailey in August 2007 and Odell Roberson Jr. a month earlier.

His April testimony led to the indictment of Yusuf Bey IV, former leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, and bakery associate Antoine Mackey.

Both have pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the deaths of Mr. Bailey, Mr. Roberson and a third man, Michael Wills.

Broussard struck a deal with prosecutors to cooperate in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence.

3rd man arrested in Harvard killing

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A third man has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a 21-year-old Massachusetts man inside a Harvard University dormitory in May.

Prosecutors said Friday that Jason Aquino, 23, was arrested by New York City police at his home in Manhattan on Thursday. A warrant from Massachusetts charges Mr. Aquino with first-degree murder.

Jabrai Jordan Copney and Blayn Jiggetts, both 19, have been indicted in connection with the fatal shooting of Justin Cosby on May 18.

Prosecutors say the men arranged to meet Mr. Cosby to get marijuana and rob him. Mr. Cosby was shot inside the dorm’s common area and died the next day.

None of the men were Harvard students.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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