- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

EAST

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Some state lawmakers are pushing to use $8 million from a special transportation fund to help preserve municipal Dial-a-Ride services over the next two years. The on-demand rides for elderly and disabled people could be reduced in some Connecticut communities because the state, struggling with huge deficits, proposes reducing its matching funds to towns.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A man struck and killed by a Metro subway train was a bus driver on administrative leave from the transit agency. Witnesses said they saw Kurtland Johnson, 42, step in front of a train at a downtown station. Johnson was on leave pending an investigation into a March 6 crash that involved the Metrobus he was driving. No one was injured and no charges were filed in the crash.

SOUTH

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ A group of minority farmers is suing the state and a tax assessor for what they contend is discriminatory taxation of their property. The Minority Farmers Association filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Jackson. The association alleges that tax assessments on property owned by minorities and Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Pike County were higher than for whites.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ The state’s only national park has plans to expand again. Congaree National Park will use nearly $2.7 million of federal money to pay off the purchase of one tract of land, and start paying for an additional 1,840 acres, for a total of about 26,500. The park superintendent said the new land will help protect the rivers southeast of Columbia.

MIDWEST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ A nursing home in Guthrie Center was fined $7,000 for what a judge ruled was its indifference to complaints of sexual abuse against elderly residents. State inspectors cited New Homestead Care Center for failing to investigate allegations of abuse involving a male nurse aide and for failing to report them to the state.

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Catholic parishes that have traditionally served northeast Ohio’s eastern European community represent about 40 percent of planned reductions by the Cleveland Diocese. Factors include population shifts and financial struggles in the parishes. The Diocese plans a net reduction of 52 parishes by July 2010.

WEST

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) _ A business here drew criticism for posting two signs telling Spanish speakers that there are “no yobs aqui.” While “no aqui” is Spanish for “not here,” “yobs” is a reference to how some Spanish-speakers pronounce “jobs.” Flash Sharrar, owner of Team Ramco, said he meant no harm, but some members of the Hispanic community said the signs are derogatory.

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) _ The state Supreme Court threw out a $2.2 million fine levied by the city of Las Vegas against a strip club whose owner pleaded guilty to tax and extortion charges. The court ordered a Clark County District judge to hold a hearing to determine how much the now-shuttered Crazy Horse Too could be fined.

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