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American Scene

- - Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ARIZONA

Drug for execution came from Britain

FLORENCE | The Arizona Attorney General's Office says the state's supply of a scarce lethal injection drug was obtained from England.

This is the first time a state has acknowledged obtaining sodium thiopental from an overseas source since a shortage of the drug started affecting executions in the U.S. this year.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Tim Nelson told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the state revealed the drug's origins to let the public know it comes from a trustworthy source.

Jeffrey Landrigan's execution was scheduled for Tuesday morning. But it remains on hold after a federal judge delayed the lethal injection because of questions about the drug's origins.

Landrigan's lawyers are challenging the use of the English drug because it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

CALIFORNIA

Rocky and Bullwinkle creator dies at 90

CARMEL | Pioneering TV cartoon artist Alexander Anderson Jr., who created Rocky the flying squirrel and Bullwinkle the moose, has died. He was 90.

Mr. Anderson's son Terry told the Los Angeles Times his father died at a Carmel nursing home Friday after struggling with Alzheimer's disease. The elder Anderson was a longtime resident of Pebble Beach.

Alexander Anderson teamed up with his childhood friend and former University of California, Berkeley, fraternity brother Jay Ward to make low-budget TV cartoons.

Their creations included Crusader Rabbit and his pal, Rags the Tiger, and Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties.

The syndicated "Crusader Rabbit" became the first animated TV series in the 1950s. "Rocky and His Friends" debuted in 1959 on ABC.

DELAWARE

Fake Wyeth painting seized at auction

WILMINGTON | The FBI said it has seized a forgery of Andrew Wyeth's painting "Snow Birds" from a New York auction house.

The fake painting, seized in July, had been for sale at the unidentified auction house, and had been estimated to be worth between $300,000 and $500,000.

However, before an auction took place, questions arose concerning its authenticity. An expert at the Andrew Wyeth office at the Brandywine River Museum exposed it as a forgery. The person selling the art agreed to forfeit his interest in the painting.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Slain Levy's father testifies at trial

The father of slain Washington intern Chandra Levy testified Tuesday about his frantic efforts to find his daughter after she went missing nearly a decade ago and admitted that he shaded grand jury testimony back in 2002 to make then-Rep. Gary A. Condit look worse.

Ingmar Guandique, 29, a native of El Salvador, is on trial for allegedly murdering Levy. Prosecutors think she was one of several women attacked by Guandique while jogging in Rock Creek Park.

Prosecutors say Levy had an extramarital affair with the former California congressman, who was once the primary suspect. Police no longer think he had anything to do with her death.

In testimony Tuesday, Robert Levy said he deduced Chandra was having an affair with the congressman a few days after she went missing when he saw from the family cell-phone bill that she had made multiple calls to the congressman's office.

Mr. Levy said he initially thought Mr. Condit had killed Levy but now thinks Guandique is the killer.

On cross-examination, Mr. Levy acknowledged that he gave grand jury testimony in 2002 that downplayed the notion that his daughter might have been attacked while she was out jogging.

"We were thinking Condit was the guilty one before we knew about this character," Mr. Levy said, motioning toward Guandique. Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher ordered that answer stricken from the record and told jurors to disregard the statement.

In the grand jury testimony, Mr. Levy said his daughter "wasn't someone who would go wandering in the hills" of Rock Creek Park, jogging alone. On Tuesday, he said that she may well have done so because of her love of the outdoors.

MARYLAND

Baltimore church joins Catholic Church

BALTIMORE | A Baltimore church has decided to leave the Episcopal Church and join the Roman Catholic Church, citing concerns over the ordination of women and homosexuals as well as fundamental religious differences.

Warren Tanghe, a former Episcopal priest now preparing for ordination in the Catholic Church, said parishioners voted Sunday at Mount Calvary Episcopal Church. Mr. Tanghe said members were also upset with clergy who questioned beliefs such as the Holy Trinity.

An archdiocese spokesman said the Catholic Church would welcome the congregation.

However, church members will have to negotiate with the Episcopal Diocese to keep their church building. Under Episcopal canons, the property is held in trust for the diocese and national church, but the parish holds the deed.

MASSACHUSETTS

Drugmaker to pay $750M in pill case

BOSTON | Federal prosecutors say British drugmaker GlaxoSmith-Kline will pay $750 million to settle allegations that its subsidiary manufactured and sold adulterated drugs, including the popular antidepressant Paxil.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz on Tuesday announced that GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to settle civil and criminal charges related to the subsidiary in Puerto Rico.

Miss Ortiz said the London-based company will pay $150 million in criminal fines and $600 million in civil penalties.

In 2005, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to fix deficiencies at its now-closed plant in Cidra, Puerto Rico, that allowed tablets of Paxil to split apart before reaching consumers.

MICHIGAN

Oregon tourist town may shed 'Detroit'

DETROIT | A tourist town in Oregon says Detroit is giving it a bad name.

Voters in the 300-resident village of Detroit, Ore., will decide on Election Day whether to dump the moniker it shares with the Motor City.

The ballot proposal would change the name of the town nestled in the Cascades foothills, and best known for its boating and skiing, to Detroit Lake.

Builder Doug DeGeorge told the Detroit News that "Detroit" carries an unsavory image. He expects the measure will pass, but said the village means no offense to the Rust Belt city often associated with crime, corruption, failing schools and a troubled auto industry.

Detroit City Councilman Gary Brown said Oregon residents are making a big mistake because the Motor City will one day return to its previous glory.

NEW YORK

Terror suspect left activities trail online

NEW YORK | A New York City police unit that tracks terror threats on the Internet played a key role in the arrest of a New York man accused of trying to join the Taliban by enlisting in the U.S. military.

Abdel Hameed Shehadeh was arrested last week in Hawaii on charges he made false statements in a terror probe. He is in federal custody and will appear eventually in New York.

NYPD detectives began surfing the Internet for information about Mr. Shehadeh the same day he arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2008 with a one-way ticket to Pakistan.

The investigators found evidence against Mr. Shehadeh that helped make a suspected terrorist case against him.

VIRGINIA

No pay raises for state workers

RICHMOND | Gov. Robert F. McDonnell said Tuesday his next state budget won't include pay raises for state workers and might eliminate support for NPR.

Mr. McDonnell, a Republican, made the comments during his monthly radio show on WTOP in Washington, D.C. The governor is drafting amendments to the final year of the current two-year state budget.

"It's a tough economy. We just cut $10 billion out of the budget in the last 2½ years," he said in response to a question about raises from a Virginia Department of Transportation employee. "They're not in the budget and I don't see adding one of those this year."

State workers are scheduled to receive a 3 percent bonus this fall, but have gone without a raise since 2007.

Virginia has overcome months of declining revenue to finish fiscal 2010 with $400 million in unspent funds June 30. Despite apparently modestly higher general fund tax collections, Mr. McDonnell last week instructed the heads of state agencies to draw up contingency plans for cutting operating budgets 2 percent, 4 percent or 6 percent next year.

Mr. McDonnell said he is also considering cutting funding for NPR, but that the decision has nothing to do with the firing of news analyst Juan Williams.

"It's the principle of the thing: Do we need to subsidize a radio station when the free market is working very well?" Mr. McDonnell said.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports