- - Monday, November 22, 2010

CALIFORNIA

Toddler’s death at Staples Center probed

LOS ANGELES | A police investigation was under way Monday in the death of a toddler who plunged from a third-level luxury box at Staples Center after a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game.

The fall occurred Sunday as 2-year-old Lucas Anthony Tang was taking pictures with his family in a skybox with a glass safety barrier that varies in height but is at least several feet high, police Officer Julie Sohn said.

“Somehow the child went over the edge of the section and fell to the seating below,” Officer Sohn said.

Fire officials said boy fell 25 to 50 feet.

MASSACHUSETTS

Deal approved for offshore wind power

BOSTON | Massachusetts regulators have approved a power-purchase deal between the nation’s first offshore wind farm and its first customer.

The Department of Public Utilities on Monday approved a pact between the utility National Grid and Cape Wind, a 130-turbine wind farm planned for Nantucket Sound.

National Grid agreed to buy half the power generated by Cape Wind, and the department was charged with deciding if it was a good deal for ratepayers.

National Grid agreed to a starting price of 18.7 cents per kilowatt hour, about twice what it pays for power from conventional sources.

Critics argued the price was too high. But National Grid said the wind power was needed to meet renewable energy requirements.

Supporters say the deal will save ratepayers money in the long term.

NEW JERSEY

Tough law to fight bullying approved

TRENTON | New Jersey lawmakers have approved what advocates say will be the nation’s toughest laws to fight bullying in institutions of learning.

The state General Assembly and Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill Monday. It now goes to Gov. Chris Christie.

It would require anti-bullying programs in public schools and language in college codes of conduct to address bullying. The measure would update a law on the books since 2002.

The bill has been in the works for some time but gained attention after the high-profile suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi. He killed himself in September after his roommate allegedly spied on his liaison with a man on a webcam.

The Republican governor has not said whether he would sign the bill, but he spoke out against bullying after Mr. Clementi’s death.

NEW YORK

‘Star-Spangled Banner’ copy to sell at auction

NEW YORK | An 1814 first edition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is heading for the auction block in New York City. It’s estimated to go for $200,000 to $300,000 at the sale early next month.

Christie’s auction house says it’s the only known copy in private hands and one of only 11 first-edition copies known to exist. The others are in institutions or university libraries. The auction is scheduled for Dec. 3.

Francis Scott Key wrote a first draft of the poem in September 1814 after witnessing the British bombard Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

The poem was then set to music and publisher Thomas Carr rushed the song to print, resulting in typos and Key’s name being omitted. The first edition also called it “A Patriotic Song.” The song wasn’t officially recognized as the national anthem until 1931.

OKLAHOMA

Order blocking Islamic-law measure extended

OKLAHOMA CITY | A federal judge has extended a restraining order blocking an Oklahoma constitutional amendment that would prohibit state courts from considering international or Islamic law when deciding cases.

U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange took the action Monday following a hearing on a preliminary injunction against the amendment. The judge extended the duration of the restraining order until Nov. 29 to give her time to issue a ruling.

Seventy percent of Oklahoma voters approved the measure in the Nov. 2 election. The restraining order was granted Nov. 8.

Muneer Awad, a Muslim who is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma, sued to block enforcement. He says the law violates his right to freely practice his religion.

From wire dispatches and staff reports