- - Friday, April 23, 2010


Budget crisis puts court system at risk

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles court system is the center of a dispute over a budgetary crisis that threatens its ability to serve the public.

A hearing scheduled for Friday in San Francisco may decide whether $47 million designated for courthouse construction will be diverted to help save hundreds of jobs and keep courtrooms open.

The state judicial council plans to consider the request from Los Angeles presiding Judge Charles W. McCoy Jr. He has already laid off 329 employees and closed 17 courtrooms.

The Administrative Office of the Courts opposes the plan. Its chief financial officer, Stephen Nathan, says a report holds out hope that the state budgetary crisis will ease, providing new funds for the courts.


Homeless man sent to jail in plane theft

FREDERICK — A homeless man has been sentenced to nine months in jail for stealing and wrecking a single-engine airplane at a Maryland airport.

Calvin Cox, 51, also must undergo a psychological evaluation and stay away from the Frederick Municipal Airport during two years of probation under a plea deal reached Thursday. He pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary.

Mr. Cox also must make some restitution to the plane’s owner in an amount yet to be determined. Prosecutors say the preliminary damage estimate is about $12,000.

Mr. Cox says he lived in the woods near the airport more than seven years until his arrest in December. His lawyer says he stole the plane because he was homeless and cold.

Mr. Cox’s former wife had obtained a protective order 10 days before the plane incident.


Assisted suicide ‘discussed to death’

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