- - Monday, May 31, 2010

ALASKA

Backpacker shoots, kills grizzly bear

ANCHORAGE | A backpacker fatally shot a grizzly bear with his handgun in Alaska’s Denali National Park, officials said.

A man and woman reported that they were hiking Friday evening when the bear emerged from trailside brush and charged the woman, park spokeswoman Kris Fister said.

The man fired nine rounds from his .45 caliber, semiautomatic pistol at the animal, which then stopped and walked into the brush.

The two reported the shooting to rangers, who restricted access to the Igloo Canyon area for fear that the bear was wounded and dangerous.

On Saturday, rangers found the dead bear about 100 feet from the shooting site.

Park officials are determining the justification for the shooting. It’s legal to carry firearms in that area of the park but illegal to discharge them.

CONNECTICUT

Judge nixes graduations at church

BRIDGEPORT | A federal judge has ruled two Connecticut public high schools can’t hold their graduations inside a church because that would be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall made the ruling Monday in the case of Enfield High School and Enrico Fermi High School, both in Enfield.

The Enfield school board says it voted to hold services June 23 and 24 at the First Cathedral in Bloomfield because it had enough space at the right price. But two students and three of their parents sued.

The judge, a 1997 appointee of President Clinton, says Enfield had unconstitutionally entangled itself with religion by agreeing to cover much of the church’s religious imagery. She also says the town coerced the plaintiffs to support religion by forcing them to enter the church for graduation.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Story Continues →