- - Friday, January 1, 2010

FLORIDA

County jailer fired for joining KKK

GAINESVILLE — An internal affairs report by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office said that Detention Officer Wayne Kerschner, who was fired after telling investigators that he was an officer of the Ku Klux Klan, defended the group as a faith-based organization.

Mr. Kerschner told investigators that he blogged on a KKK Web site, attended a rally in Tennessee and paid dues to the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. He said his wife was also a member.

Mr. Kerschner was fired Wednesday for violating a department ban on subversive or terrorist organizations. He had worked four years at the jail in Gainesville. The investigation began after a tip from a sheriff’s deputy working on an FBI investigation.

GEORGIA

Wave of swine flu down to 4 states

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data Thursday saying swine flu was widespread in only four states last week: Delaware, Maine, New Jersey and Virginia.

Swine flu was widespread in seven states the previous week. Reported infections have been dropping since a peak in late October, when 48 states reported high levels of sickness.

CDC officials said swine flu vaccine is increasingly easy to get, with more than 118 million doses now available. They said people should still get vaccinated because there could be another wave of infections this winter.

INDIANA

Eli Lilly heiress dies at 94

INDIANAPOLIS — Ruth Lilly, 94, a prolific philanthropist who was the last surviving great-grandchild of pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly, died Wednesday.

Over the course of her life, the Indianapolis native gave away much of her inheritance from the Eli Lilly & Co. fortune. Court documents showed in 2002 that Miss Lilly had bequeathed nearly $500 million to charitable and arts-related groups.

That included an estimated $100 million to the influential literary magazine “Poetry,” which had rejected Miss Lilly’s submissions for years. She began writing poetry in the mid-1930s. Her attorney said in 2002 that she didn’t take rejections from the publication personally.

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