- - Tuesday, June 8, 2010

ARIZONA

Minuteman’s wife: He threatened us

PHOENIX | The estranged wife of a man who helped launch patrols along the U.S.-Mexico border accuses him of threatening to kill their family and any police who try to help.

Chris Simcox’s wife is seeking a divorce and alleges in court documents that he twice brandished a gun and threatened to shoot his family in late 2009 — four years after he helped found the Minuteman movement that drew thousands of anti-illegal immigration activists to patrol the border.

Mr. Simcox worked recently as an adviser to J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging Sen. John McCain in Arizona’s Republican primary. A Hayworth spokesman said Mr. Simcox is no longer affiliated with the campaign.

A judge in Phoenix ordered Mr. Simcox to surrender his guns and stay away from his family.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Holloway’s mom opens center

The mother of an Alabama teen who disappeared in Aruba in 2005 said Tuesday it’s been a stressful time for her, but she hopes a new resource center named for her daughter will help guide families of missing persons.

Beth Holloway opened the Natalee Holloway Resource Center at the National Museum of Crime & Punishment in Washington. Mrs. Holloway said it will provide services that she initially lacked when her 18-year-old daughter vanished, such as access to government and media contacts and missing-persons posters.

Mrs. Holloway did not speak about the latest developments in the case of the prime suspect in her daughter’s disappearance, Dutchman Jaren Van der Sloot. The museum’s chief operating officer, Janine Vaccarello, said Mrs. Holloway could not discuss her daughter’s case or recent developments because of an FBI directive.

Natalee disappeared during a high school trip to the Caribbean island. The center’s opening comes just a day after police in Peru say Mr. Van der Sloot confessed to killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores, a Peruvian woman, in his Lima hotel room on May 30 — exactly five years after Natalee disappeared.

GEORGIA

JonBenet ex-suspect faces restraining order

ATLANTA | Authorities have served a temporary restraining order on the man who once falsely claimed to have killed JonBenet Ramsey.

It came after a former acquaintance of John Mark Karr in California told authorities that he threatened to kill her if she revealed his attempts to form a cult of little girls to have sex with him.

Sandy Springs, Ga., Police Lt. Steve Rose said Tuesday that officers issued a restraining order last week at the request of San Francisco authorities.

The order was taken out by Samantha Spiegel, 19, who claimed that he made “ongoing death threats” and “threats of sexual exploitation to children.”

JonBenet, a 6-year-old child beauty queen, was slain in 1996.

MICHIGAN

Romney’s childhood home demolished

DETROIT | A former childhood home of 2008 Republican presidential candidate and ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was demolished Tuesday as part of Detroit’s plan to wipe out thousands of dangerous and blighted houses from city neighborhoods.

It took an excavator only about an hour to knock down the walls and cave in the roof of the 5,500-square-foot house where Romney’s family lived from 1941 to 1953, years before his father, George, was elected Michigan’s governor.

NEW YORK

Teen charged in 2nd high school plot

RIVERHEAD | A teenager plotted with another to pull off a Columbine-style attack on his former high school, authorities on New York’s Long Island said Tuesday — the second time in three years he has been accused of such a plot.

Christopher Franko, who turned 18 Tuesday, was ordered held without bail after his court-appointed attorney entered a not-guilty plea to felony conspiracy. Mr. Franko and Dana Saltzman, 16, were arrested in early May on misdemeanor conspiracy, but a grand jury voted to upgrade the charges.

The teens were plotting to attack Connetquot High School this Thursday with shotguns and explosives, prosecutors said. Their plan was to kill security guards outside of the school, then go inside and shoot as many students as possible, Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said. Once police arrived at the school, the pair planned to fire at officers before ultimately killing themselves, the prosecutor added.

PENNSYLVANIA

Video shows tot with ballpark beer

PHILADELPHIA | A video snippet from a Philadelphia Phillies broadcast shows a little boy in the stands appearing to take a swig from a beer bottle, creating a fresh headache for a ballclub whose fans have been drawing almost as much attention as its players.

The fuzzy video, which began making the rounds online and on TV on Monday, shows the child, who appears to be about 4, putting the bottle to his lips at Sunday’s Phillies-Padres game at Citizens Bank Park.

No adults nearby appear to be paying attention to him when he does. It’s not clear whether the bottle has anything in it, but the boy is seen easily hoisting it to his mouth with one hand, suggesting it could have been empty.

TEXAS

Mexico: U.S. border agent killed teen

EL PASO | A U.S. Border Patrol agent fatally shot a 14-year-old boy after a confrontation at an international bridge near downtown El Paso, Mexican authorities said Tuesday.

Agents detaining suspected illegal immigrants Monday came under assault from rock throwers across the border in Mexico, FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons said.

The FBI is leading the investigation because it involved an assault on a federal officer. The agent was not injured, she said.

Chihuahua state officials released a statement Tuesday demanding a full investigation into the death of the boy, identified as Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Doug Mosier said preliminary reports indicated one person was shot Monday evening on the U.S. side of the Paso Del Norte bridge, across from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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