- - Tuesday, June 15, 2010

ARIZONA

Police say mom rejects children

PHOENIX — Police arrested a mother after she reportedly told officers she didn’t want her children any longer.

Police said they received a 911 call Friday from an 11-year-old boy who said his mother was packing and moving to California and wasn’t taking him or his 6-year-old brother with her.

Police spokesman Sgt. Mark Ortega said the boy’s mother, Christina Muniz, 29, came out and told officers that she was “sick of her children” and wanted the police to take them so she can “have fun and play.”

Officers said they then contacted Child Protective Services.

Miss Muniz was arrested and charged with child neglect, felony aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.

CALIFORNIA

Cardinal’s deposition in abuse released

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony didn’t call police in 1986 after a priest admitted to molesting two boys, and he didn’t warn parishioners because the priest told him the children were illegal immigrants who had returned to Mexico, according to court documents released Tuesday.

Cardinal Mahony, 74, said he didn’t take stronger action against the Rev. Michael Baker because he didn’t know the victims’ identities and because Father Baker told him the abuse happened outside the parish.

The cardinal testified that he also did not ask his staff to search for the boys but instead sent Father Baker to a residential center in New Mexico for treatment and later placed him on restricted ministry.

The testimony released by the court marked the first time the cardinal gave a sworn deposition about his actions as head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, including how he handled allegations against Father Baker over a 14-year period. The deposition released Tuesday was part of a sex-abuse lawsuit that recently was settled for $2.2 million.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Boston dean tapped as new CUA leader

John Garvey, the dean of Boston College Law School, was named president of Catholic University of America on Tuesday in a leadership shift from a priest to a lay person.

Mr. Garvey, 61, replaces the Rev. David M. O’Connell who led the school for the past 12 years and was recently tapped as bishop-elect of the Diocese of Trenton, N.J.

Mr. Garvey will be the university’s third lay president. The school is the national university of the Roman Catholic Church, and the appointment of its leader requires approval from the Vatican.

FLORIDA

Armed man entering base was AWOL

TAMPA — A man arrested as he tried to enter MacDill Air Force Base with weapons and ammunition in his car is a serviceman listed as being absent without leave, base officials said Tuesday.

Air Force Col. Dave Cohen released few new details about Monday night’s arrest at the base that houses the U.S. command center for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But Col. Cohen said it doesn’t appear to have been a terrorism attempt. He did not release the serviceman’s name, his military branch or the name of the woman who was with him. Both are in their mid-20s, Col. Cohen said. The woman is not connected to the military.

Investigators were trying to get to the bottom of the couple’s motivation and intent, Col. Cohen said.

The couple’s vehicle contained three handguns, three rifles and some ammunition, Col. Cohen said. He described them as “military style” but commercially available.

“At no point was the security of MacDill Air Force Base breached,” he said. “The system worked exactly as it was supposed to.”

ILLINOIS

Flight attendant helps land plane

CHICAGO — A flight attendant who has a pilot’s license helped land a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport when a co-pilot became ill, officials said.

American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan said the co-pilot of a flight from San Francisco to Chicago on Monday became ill.

Miss Fagan said the flight’s pilot then checked whether any off-duty airline pilots were on board. A flight attendant told the captain that she is a commercial pilot and he asked her to fill in as a first officer.

The plane landed safely.

Officials said the first officer’s condition was not serious. He was treated at a local hospital and released.

MAINE

Biker killed in shootout

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — A Maine man was killed in a shootout with federal agents during a seven-state sweep of the Outlaws motorcycle gang.

More than two dozen Outlaws gang members across the country were charged Tuesday in Virginia with participating in a criminal enterprise that engaged in racketeering, drug dealing, gambling and witness tampering.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said someone opened fire while agents were serving a warrant Tuesday morning in Old Orchard Beach.

The medical examiner’s office confirmed that Thomas Mayne , 59, was killed. Authorities say a shotgun and a handgun were discovered inside the house after the shooting. No one else was hurt.

MARYLAND

Portrait of Poe doesn’t sell

BALTIMORE — A rare portrait of Edgar Allan Poe has failed to sell at auction.

The small watercolor by A.C. Smith is one of just three surviving portraits of the author and the only one that shows him as a writer. Poe looks robust and lacks the mustache that’s familiar from a series of daguerreotypes taken in the final years of his life.

The portrait went on sale Friday at Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati. The minimum bid was $15,000, but no buyers emerged.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Chocolate plant to process cocoa

STRATHAM — Swiss chocolate maker Lindt has finished a big expansion of its New Hampshire factory with the addition of a cocoa-processing plant that’s transforming beans into chocolate under one roof in the U.S.

It’s a milestone for the U.S. headquarters of the company, which is based in Kilchberg, Switzerland. The U.S. factory started small in Stratham in 1989 and now employs about 350 people. It’s holding an open house Wednesday.

Before the 350,000-square-foot processing plant was added, the factory would produce the cocoa in Switzerland, then ship it to New Hampshire to mix with other ingredients to produce its truffles. Now, it transports beans from Africa and South America right to Stratham, cutting up to 10,000 travel miles.

NEW YORK

Subway found rife with rats

NEW YORK — Rats have infested multiple subway lines in Lower Manhattan and often live right in the station walls, according to a rodent expert overseeing what officials say is a new approach of battling rats in the nation’s largest subway system.

The persistent pests have lurked in New York’s subways for decades, and the transit agency’s solution has been to toss poison bait packs, which resemble single-serving sugar packets, onto subway tracks, with lackluster results.

Now the state Metropolitan Transportation Authority and city health department are attacking the problem by looking more meticulously at what attracts rats to the subway and keeps them there to make their homes.

“We’re actually trying to measure what the factors are directly that cause rats to take advantage of certain stations and not others, so we’re putting some science into this,” said Robert Corrigan, a health department senior research scientist leading the effort.

He presented his findings Tuesday to the Board of Health.

OKLAHOMA

1 death confirmed in rain flooding

OKLAHOMA CITY — Record-breaking rainfall and ensuing flooding in Oklahoma led to at least one death, officials confirmed Tuesday, a day after several dramatic rescues of people who used treetops and roofs to escape swift-moving waters.

A man who drove onto a submerged street drowned after being swept away while trying to push his stalled car off the roadway in Lawton, said Comanche County Emergency Management Director Chris Killmer. The body of Miguel Lopez, 50, was found lodged against a bridge over a canal, Lawton Police Chief Ronnie Smith said.

Mr. Lopez’s death was the only fatality reported during Monday’s deluge. The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 136 injuries, but none requiring hospitalization.

RHODE ISLAND

Brown grad sues in rape case

PROVIDENCE — A recent Brown University graduate who accused a former classmate of rape has sued the student and his parents for breach of contract.

The woman maintains William McCormick raped her in 2006. She and Mr. McCormick signed a contract that year in which he agreed he would not sue the woman, say negative things about her or discuss the case.

But Mr. McCormick sued the woman and the school last year. He says the woman falsely accused him of rape and that Brown allowed him to be pressured off campus. Her father is an alumnus, major donor and fundraiser.

The woman’s lawsuit filed Monday says Mr. McCormick broke the contract.

Mr. McCormick’s lawyer says the contract was not valid because no rape occurred.

VIRGINIA

Tax commissioner dies unexpectedly

RICHMOND — Virginia Tax Commissioner Janie Bowen died unexpectedly Tuesday morning, the state’s Department of Taxation said. She was 56.

Miss Bowen worked for the department since 1978 and was appointed by Gov. Tim Kaine to head the agency in May 2006.

The department said Miss Bowen was a classic example of an employee who steadily worked her way up through the ranks and was the driving force behind many accomplishments that helped the agency better serve Virginians.

The Charlottesville native earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and government at the University of Georgia and a master’s degree at the University of Virginia.

Last week, Miss Bowen was elected to the head the board of the Federation of Tax Administrators. The group helps all 50 states with federal legislation affecting state tax revenue.

From wire dispatches and staff reports