- - Thursday, November 25, 2010


Charges dropped in cat-cruelty case

MIAMI | A Florida teen no longer faces animal-cruelty charges in a string of cat killings with prosecutors saying Wednesday that the defense showed some of the cats may have been killed by other animals.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office dropped the charges against 19-year-old Tyler Weinman, who was arrested in June 2009 after a two-month string of 33 cat deaths in Miami-Dade County.

A forensic veterinarian hired by Mr. Weinman’s attorneys found puncture marks consistent with large animal bites on the eight cat carcasses that had been preserved.

The veterinarians who made the original report saying at least 19 of the deaths were man-caused admitted that the defense expert was correct, and authorities had no other carcasses to examine.

Defense attorney David Macey said Mr. Weinman was innocent and unfortunately lived in the middle of where the deaths happened.


Civil rights museum facing difficulties

JACKSON | Mississippi had some of the worst violence of the civil rights era, yet nearly a half-century later, it’s one of the few civil rights battleground states with no museum to commemorate the era.

Several events during the era, like the bludgeoning death of Emmitt Till and the murders of three civil rights activists in Philadelphia, Miss., forced the nation’s eyes on the segregated South.

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour took the reins on the project and picked a commission that chose the private Tougaloo College in north Jackson, a hub of civil rights activity during the 1960s and ‘70s, as the museum site in 2008.

But organizers have raised just $470,000 toward the estimated $73 million price tag, and have spent more than half of even that on consultants.

Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter, a member of Mr. Barbour’s museum study commission, disagreed with the suggestion that Mississippi’s leaders aren’t truly interested in creating a museum, saying the Tougaloo site drew criticism from those who wanted the museum in downtown Jackson

“The problem has not been resistance to the concept of having a civil rights museum,” he said. “But I do think it’s important that those who are interested get together on where it would be located.”

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