- - Thursday, August 13, 2009

ARIZONA

Activist sentenced for ‘littering’

TUCSON — A judge has ordered an Arizona man to pick up trash for 300 hours after he was caught leaving jugs of water in the desert for illegal immigrants crossing over from Mexico.

Walt Staton, a member of the group No More Deaths, was cited for leaving the jugs in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. A federal jury in June convicted him of littering.

Mr. Staton also was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation, and he’s banned from the refuge for a year. He could have been sentenced to a year in prison and a $10,000 fine. Federal prosecutors had requested a $5,000 fine.

Members of No More Deaths and other supporters applauded Mr. Staton as he left the federal courthouse.

ARKANSAS

3 children drown; mom faces charges

LITTLE ROCK — The mother of three young children who drowned after she drove her car into a manmade lake in central Arkansas told police she fell asleep behind the wheel on Johnny Walker Road before the April 19 crash, waking only after feeling water surge into her car, court documents show.

Amber Turley, 26, told officers she tried to pull her three sons — Aaron, 8, Alex, 7, and Anthony, 2 — out of Brewer Lake during an early-morning thunderstorm April 19, but lost sight of them. Officers found the boys, limp and not breathing, after Anthony’s diaper floated to the surface, according to a police report.

Miss Turley faces three counts of felony endangerment of a child. Toxicology reports from the state Crime Laboratory show a blood sample collected from the mother after the crash tested positive for marijuana and benzodiazepines. She also had a blood alcohol level of .05, the crime lab reported. The legal limit in Arkansas is .08.

Miss Turley quit drinking about two hours before leaving the party to drive her boyfriend home, witnesses said. The police report shows the boyfriend sent her a text message asking her to have a good night, and she sent him a message back about 3 a.m.

CALIFORNIA

Orbiter’s Mars shot available online

PASADENA — NASA says its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has returned a dramatic oblique view of a Martian crater that a rover explored for two years.

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