- - Thursday, June 18, 2009

ARIZONA

Card draw decides Council election

PHOENIX — The election came down to the high card.

With the final Town Council seat in the small Phoenix-area town of Cave Creek on the line, two candidates who tied with 660 votes apiece in a May runoff cut cards to decide the race.

The winner was Adam Trenk, 25, whose king of hearts beat out former Council member Thomas McGuire’s six of hearts.

An obscure Arizona law dating to 1925 says election ties should be broken “by lot.” It applies to all elected offices but the governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer and superintendent for public instruction. Ties in those seats are determined by the Legislature.

While a first for Cave Creek and relatively rare, such events do happen from time to time in Arizona. Last year, two local school-board candidates rolled dice to decide a winner. In 1992, a game of poker resolved a stalemate in the primary for a state legislative seat.

CALIFORNIA

9/11 search dog cloned for ex-cop

LOS ANGELES — Scientists in California said they have cloned a dog that helped with search-and-rescue after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York.

Five German shepherd puppies cloned from a dog named Trakr have been delivered to owner James Symington, a former police officer in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who now lives in Los Angeles.

Before Trakr died in April at age 16, Mr. Symington entered a contest sponsored by the California company BioArts International that offered to clone a pet dog for free.

Mr. Symington took Trakr to New York after the World Trade Center collapsed and said Trakr helped find one woman who was alive.

CONNECTICUT

Council member sorry for behavior

GLASTONBURY — A Town Council member is apologizing for her conduct after police released the video of her drunken driving arrest, which shows her warning officers that she authorizes their salaries.

Glastonbury Council member Barbara Wagner wrote a letter Tuesday to the police chief saying the June 2 episode was inappropriate and that she deeply regrets her conduct.

The police department video released Tuesday shows Ms. Wagner, 59, frustrated as she is interviewed in the Glastonbury police station, six miles southeast of Hartford.

At one point, she tells an officer she’s a member of the Town Council, saying, “I approve your salaries,” and she thinks the officer is being rude.

Ms. Wagner was stopped for driving erratically. She’s due in court July 13.

FLORIDA

Video sealed in Anthony case

ORLANDO — The public will not see a video that shows Casey Anthony’s reaction in a Florida jail when she learned that her young daughter’s remains had been found.

A judge ruled Wednesday to seal the video recorded Dec. 11 at the Orange County Jail. He worried the footage could taint potential jurors if it were released.

Defense attorneys have asked that the trial be moved to South Florida because of intense media coverage in Orlando, where the body was found.

Miss Anthony has been charged in Caylee Anthony’s death. She pleaded not guilty and says a baby sitter kidnapped her toddler. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty if she is convicted of first-degree murder.

LOUISIANA

Bid to draft Jindal for 2012 run idled

BATON ROUGE — A leader of a group seeking to encourage Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to make a run for the White House has urged the organization to cool those efforts for now.

Mr. Jindal delivered the nationally televised Republican response to a key speech in February by President Obama. The first-term governor also traveled to Iowa and other states, fueling speculation that he was exploring a run for president.

But a Jindal spokeswoman said Tuesday that the draft effort would distract from Mr. Jindal’s work as governor.

And the man listed as treasurer of the Jindal for President Draft Council announced late Tuesday that he was stepping down from the group. Dan Kyle also issued a letter asking his group to halt its activities until after the 2011 governor’s race.

MASSACHUSETTS

Abandoned kitten found in mailbox

BOSTON — A kitten was found abandoned inside a street mailbox in Boston, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said.

Society spokesman Brian Adams said the abandoned kitten was affectionately named Postina by a member of the animal rights group after society officials took possession of the animal, the Boston Globe said Wednesday.

“She thought it was appropriate, being that she was somewhat mailed,” Mr. Adams said, referring to the unidentified society assistant manager who named the 8-week-old kitten.

Mr. Adams said a number of people have already contacted his organization in hopes of adopting the kitten, which was discovered Saturday.

The Globe reported the 2-pound animal was found visibly shaken and malnourished inside the mailbox, but has since been nursed back to health.

MICHIGAN

Judges granted say in witnesses’ dress

LANSING — The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday voted to give judges authority over how witnesses dress in court after a Muslim woman refused to remove her veil while testifying in a small claims case.

A statewide court rule letting judges regulate the appearance of witnesses, such as asking them to remove face coverings, was approved by a 5-2 vote. The dissenters said there should be an exception for people whose clothing is dictated by their religion.

Justices heard last month from a Muslim woman who sued because her small claims case was dismissed when she refused to remove her veil.

Some Muslim leaders interpret the Koran to require that women wear a headscarf, veil or burqa in the presence of a man who is not their husband or close relative.

MINNESOTA

Executive killed in plane crash

CRYSTAL — Officials have identified the pilot of a small plane who was killed trying to land on a rainy night at a Minnesota airport.

CyberOptics Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Bertelsen said Wednesday that the company’s founder, Steven Case, died in the crash at the Crystal Airport near Minneapolis. Mr. Case, 60, was the only one aboard.

The plane was engulfed in flames after landing Tuesday night. Crystal police Sgt. Rob Erkenbrack said the pilot missed the runway.

Records show the single-engine Cirrus plane is owned by Laserman Inc., a medical laser company. Mr. Bertelsen said Mr. Case was returning from Georgia on a business trip and arranged to use the plane.

Mr. Case, of suburban Minneapolis, was chairman of the company that makes printed circuit boards.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

NEW JERSEY

Drugmaker to give WHO swine flu vaccine

TRENTON — French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis plans to donate millions of doses of swine flu vaccine to the World Health Organization for use in poor countries, Chief Executive Christopher Viehbacher said Wednesday.

Mr. Viehbacher said his company is making a “flexible donation” of 100 million doses of vaccines against swine flu and bird flu.

The company committed last June to donating 60 million doses of pandemic vaccine to protect people against the bird flu virus, a type designated as H5N1 influenza.

Mr. Viehbacher said that once his company starts production of vaccine against swine flu, or H1N1 flu, it will reserve 10 percent of its output for the WHO to help fight the flu pandemic in developing countries.

From wire dispatches and staff reports