- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 23, 2009

CONNECTICUT

Convicted of theft, priest dies in jail

BRIDGEPORT | The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport said the Rev. Michael Jude Fay died Saturday morning. Fay pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million from a Darien parish to support a lavish lifestyle.

The diocese said had prostate cancer and was serving a three-year sentence at Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina after being convicted in December 2007.

Fay’s death came a day after a judge refused to dismiss a suit against the diocese by a former bookkeeper at St. John Roman Catholic Church. Bethany D’Erario says she was harassed for exposing Fay’s crimes.

Fay set up secret bank accounts and spent the money on international travel, expensive gifts and a Florida condominium.

FLORIDA

Hunting season for pythons

TALLAHASSEE | Licensed hunters will soon have permission to kill pythons and other invasive reptiles in South Florida, but only in season and with approved weapons.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the new policy Friday, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. It takes effect Aug. 29.

Under the new rules, hunters with licenses for deer, hogs or alligators can kill Burmese pythons or any other listed reptile of concern. The list includes four more python species, the green anaconda and the Nile monitor lizard.

The allowed weapons are those in season - muzzleloaders only, for example, during the muzzleloader season. Reptile kills must be reported to the commission.

Thirteen experts licensed by the state to go after reptiles have killed 14 pythons since the hunt began last month.

Thousands of Burmese pythons - descended from pets - are believed to be living and breeding in the Everglades.

MONTANA

Large grizzly illegally shot

GREAT FALLS | The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever illegally shot one of Montana’s largest grizzly bears.

The carcass of the bear called Maximus because he stood 7 1/2 feet tall and weighed about 800 pounds was found Aug. 12 on a ranch in northern Montana. The bear had been dead about a month.

Special Agent Brian Lakes said he didn’t know the exact size of the reward but it would be “substantial.”

NEW YORK

Man fatally shot in boat brawl

NEW YORK | Omar Trent, 31, from Brooklyn, was shot in the head shortly before 4:30 a.m. after a brawl aboard a party boat spilled into New York City’s tourist-friendly South Street Seaport early Saturday, witnesses said.

After an argument, the dispute escalated into bottle-throwing and gunfire at the complex of shops, restaurants and maritime attractions in lower Manhattan, police said. Mr. Trent e was pronounced dead at the scene.

Workers at the complex said the fight started on the docked Atlantica, a three-level yacht that often hosts weekend parties.

NORTH CAROLINA

Elizabeth Edwards opens her store

CHAPEL HILL | Elizabeth Edwards, whose husband John was a U.S. senator and a Democratic presidential candidate opened her furniture store Saturday in this college town’s downtown area. He also attended the opening.

The Red Window, Mrs. Edwards said, will be similar to the Red Door, a charity store her mother managed in Japan.

Mr. Edwards confessed last year to an affair with Rielle Hunter, a videographer on his 2008 presidential campaign. Mrs. Edwards said she’s trying to ignore tabloid reports that her husband fathered Miss Hunter’s child.

A federal grand jury is investigating whether the candidate’s campaign funds were illegally paid to Hunter to keep quiet about the affair.

OHIO

Two on plane killed in crash

CINCINNATI | The Ohio State Highway Patrol said two people were killed when a biplane crashed near a football scrimmage at a high school.

The single-engine plane took off Friday night from West Harrison Airport, and crashed within minutes. Sgt. Clint Arnold said it wasn’t immediately known if the plane lost power.

Officials said the pilot and a female passenger died in the crash near McNicholas High School in Harrison.

Parent Ed Meyer said he saw the plane go down as he was watching his son play football. He said that “it was so sad to see, but there was nothing you could do.”

Officials say the National Transportation and Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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