- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 14, 2010

ARKANSAS

Judge: Alamo victims get $500,000 each

TEXARKANA | Five young women abused by evangelist Tony Alamo while they were minors are each entitled to $500,000 for physical and mental pain they suffered, a federal judge said.

The 75-year-old preacher was convicted last year of taking underage girls across state lines for sex and was sentenced to 175 years. A federal judge Wednesday ordered restitution for the five, who are now ages 17 to 33.

A defense lawyer said Alamo shouldn’t have to pay anything.

CALIFORNIA

ACORN chapter leaves national group

OAKLAND | The California chapter of ACORN has split from the national organization, which has been tarnished by scandal.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Amy Schur, the former head of the California branch.

Miss Schur said the 37,000-member state chapter broke away this week to form a new nonprofit group, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. Miss Schur, who is executive director, said the new group will have many of the same staff members and the community-organizing mission.

GEORGIA

Army charges mom who didn’t deploy

SAVANNAH | The Army filed charges Tuesday against a single-mom soldier who refused to deploy to Afghanistan last year, arguing she had no family able to care for her infant son.

Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, a 21-year-old Army cook, could face a prison sentence and a dishonorable discharge if she is convicted in a court-martial. But first, an officer will be appointed to decide whether there’s enough evidence to try a case against her.

Spc. Hutchinson, of Oakland, Calif., was scheduled to deploy from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah on Nov. 5. She skipped her unit’s flight, saying the only relative she had to take care of her 10-month-old son — her mother — was overwhelmed by the task and backed out a few days before Spc. Hutchinson’s departure date.

A spokesman for Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah said Wednesday that Spc. Hutchinson has been charged with missing movement — for missing her overseas flight — being absent without leave, dereliction of duty and insubordinate conduct.

The stiffest charge, missing movement, carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.

ILLINOIS

Dozens locked up in parole crackdown

SPRINGFIELD | At least 100 parolees released from prison early are back behind bars because of an extraordinary crackdown led by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration, which has been stung by denunciations of a secret program that freed 1,700 inmates weeks ahead of time.

The Corrections Department confirmed it has begun “intensive compliance checks” on parolees released under the program known as “MGT Push,” beginning with those who committed violent crimes.

State records reviewed by the Associated Press show that the department has picked up 110 of the parolees in the past 10 days, most of them serving sentences for unlawful weapons charges or battery. They have likely gone back to lockup for violating terms of their discharge, but officials will not comment on the reasons or say how many have been apprehended.

The rules they are forced to follow are unprecedented in terms of their severity, according to law enforcement officials.

MARYLAND

Two stadium sites in World Cup running

ANNAPOLIS | Maryland could play host to soccer’s World Cup games.

U.S. soccer officials are including two Maryland stadium sites in their bid to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

Both M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and FedEx Field in Landover are among the 21 U.S. soccer stadiums in 18 cities that the USA Bid Committee is recommending to international soccer officials.

The U.S. is one of 11 bidding nations for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.

International soccer authorities will announce the selected host countries in December.

MISSISSIPPI

Hummer production to stop Tuesday

JACKSON | General Motors Co. will halt Hummer production next week at its Louisiana plant until sale of the brand to a Chinese company is completed.

Hummer spokesman Nick Richards said Wednesday it was not clear whether jobs would be affected at the Shreveport plant, which also builds Chevrolet pickup trucks.

The plant is the only one making Hummers.

GM agreed last year to sell Hummer to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp. The deal was expected to close early this year.

The plant once employed about 3,000, but layoffs and buyouts have reduced that to about 700.

TEXAS

Oil and gas platform catches fire, kills one

HOUSTON | Apache Corp. said Wednesday an oil and natural gas processing platform in the Gulf of Mexico caught fire, resulting in the death of one worker.

The company shut the wells that flow to the processing facilities on the EC2 platform off Louisiana and the fire was extinguished.

Workers on the platform evacuated and were rescued. They were transferred to the hospital, where one died.

Production processed at the platform totals about 7.7 million cubic feet of natural gas and 850 barrels of oil per day.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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