- - Friday, August 7, 2009


Mom gets jail for letting son, 7, drive

FAIRBANKS — An Alaska woman who let her 7-year-old son drive while she was passed out drunk in the passenger seat has been sentenced to 20 days in jail.

District Court Judge Raymond Funk also sentenced Karen Koch, 37, to three years of probation and six months of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Mrs. Koch pleaded guilty to one count of reckless endangerment in exchange for prosecutors dropping a charge of allowing an unauthorized person to drive. She has three previous convictions for drunken driving and did not speak at Wednesday’s court hearing.

A neighbor called troopers in May after seeing a young boy driving a car with an unconscious passenger.


History-making federal judge dies

LOS ANGELES — Judge Robert M. Takasugi, the first Japanese-American appointed to the federal bench, has died in Los Angeles. He was 78.

His son, Superior Court Judge Jon Takasugi, said he died Tuesday at a nursing home after a number of illnesses.

Judge Takasugi was a much-honored jurist who presided over the high-profile trial of automaker John Z. DeLorean in 1984 and authored groundbreaking opinions. He was appointed to the federal bench in 1976 and remained active as a judge until last April.

He was born in Tacoma, Wash., in 1930 and was interned as a child with his family during World War II.

He began representing indigents and civil rights protesters in the 1960s and became a key figure in the Asian-American legal community and mentored minority law students.


Former federal judge pleads guilty to fraud

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