- - Wednesday, August 25, 2010

INDIANA

Rape victim’s name linked to stalking

DELMONT — Police say an Indiana man set up a Facebook account using the name of a woman he had raped to try to persuade a Pennsylvania woman to come back to him.

Authorities say 23-year-old Travis Allen Davis, of New Castle, Ind., was arrested last week as he slept in a car outside his ex-girlfriend’s home in the southwestern Pennsylvania town of Delmont. They say he had a gun and box cutter.

Police say Davis used the name of a woman he raped in Ohio last year to contact the Pennsylvania woman.

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday ordered Davis to undergo a mental health evaluation. He is charged with violating a protection-from-abuse order and stalking.

Davis’ attorney said he intends to prove his client’s innocence.

Davis pleaded guilty in the Ohio rape case and is awaiting sentencing.

KENTUCKY

Hand surgeons hail double transplant

LOUISVILLE — Kentucky doctors said they successfully completed a rare double hand transplant at Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center in Louisville.

The doctors, from Kleinert Kutz and Associates and the University of Louisville, started the operation at 7 p.m. Tuesday and finished Wednesday afternoon. They used Twitter to post updates on the 20-hour surgery.

Two double hand transplants have been performed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the first in May 2009 and the second in February this year. Louisville doctors performed the nation’s first five single hand transplants.

MASSACHUSETTS

Lawsuit tells EPA to clean up bay

BOSTON — Two environmental organizations have sued federal regulators in an effort to accelerate the cleanup of coastal waters in Massachusetts’ Cape Cod Bay.

The Conservation Law Foundation and the Coalition for Buzzards Bay allege in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that the Environmental Protection Agency has not fulfilled requirements to adequately regulate the discharge of nitrogen into the cape’s bays.

It says excess nitrogen from septic systems, storm-water runoff and wastewater treatment can cause algae blooms that choke off oxygen that marine life needs.

EPA spokeswoman Paula Ballentine said the agency is committed to reducing nitrogen levels.

NEVADA

Anti-government extremist gets prison

LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas anti-government extremist has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for possession of an unregistered machine gun.

Federal prosecutors said Harold Call was sentenced Tuesday, despite the 68-year-old’s attempt to withdraw his plea and fire his attorney.

Call is one of four anti-government, anti-tax-movement followers arrested in 2009 after a three-year FBI investigation into a group of people who said they were separate from the United States. Agents said they held seminars teaching followers how to avoid taxes.

U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson said Call was his own worst enemy, filing frivolous documents that the judge described as “stuff from outer space.” He must surrender to prison officials by Dec. 1.

NEW YORK

Suspect accused of targeting Muslims

NEW YORK — A 21-year-old man is being held without bail on charges he stabbed a New York City cabdriver in the throat after asking whether he was Muslim.

Manhattan prosecutors claim that Michael Enright spoke to the cabbie in Arabic and then said, “Consider this a checkpoint,” before attacking him Tuesday night on the Lower East Side.

Mr. Enright was arraigned in a Manhattan court Wednesday on charges of attempted murder as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime and weapons possession.

His attorney, Jason Martin, said Mr. Enright was a senior in college at the School of Visual Arts, lives with his parents in suburban Brewster and has done volunteer work overseas, including in Afghanistan.

PENNSYLVANIA

‘Cupcake lady’ says rules are half-baked

PHILADELPHIA — A kerfuffle over cupcakes in the city of Brotherly Love has dessert lovers sour on Philadelphia’s confusing business regulations.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections seized a converted mail truck on Tuesday that is used by a woman known as “the cupcake lady,” who roves the city selling 400 to 500 cupcakes a day.

The city says she did not have a proper permit to be running her small vending operation in the University City neighborhood, near the University of Pennsylvania. But the cupcake lady, Kate Carrara, a 35-year-old former lawyer, says the rules are just too confusing.

“It’s just the laws,” said Ms. Carrara, who paid $200 to get her truck out of the lot and was back selling cupcakes at a plaza near City Hall on Wednesday. “I’ve been trying to figure out where I can go and where I can’t go.”

Five days a week, she sells cupcakes downtown or nearby. She said she has tried to make sure she either has a permit or is outside of the zones where permits are needed.

UTAH

‘Buckeye Bullet’ aims for record

SALT LAKE CITY — A team of Ohio State University students that set out to build the fastest electric car on the planet is heading home with a broken clutch and a big grin.

The Buckeye Bullet was clocked on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats at speeds averaging 307 mph, which could set a record if it is verified by the governing body of motorsports. The old record for an electric car was 246 mph.

“We’ve been at this for 16 years now and have our newest lithium-ion-powered vehicle out,” team manager David Cooke said by cell phone from the Salt Flats, about 100 miles west of Salt Lake City. “Our vehicle was capable of going much faster.”

The effort to reach higher speeds ended after three runs Tuesday, when a clutch that connects the powerful motor to a gearbox ripped apart. The team tried to install a new clutch overnight but couldn’t get the old one removed. Test runs started Monday at slower speeds.

“Now its time to pack up our pits and head back to Ohio,” the Buckeye Bullet team said Wednesday on its blog.

The car was designed by Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research, which is refining technology for electric cars of the future.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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