- - Tuesday, September 7, 2010

CALIFORNIA

Gun ban mulled in transit ads

SAN FRANCISCO | Bus shelter advertisements featuring a woman holding a shotgun and promoting a gun rights conference have popped up around San Francisco.

The group behind the posters — which ask “Can you afford to be unarmed?” — is challenging the city transit agency’s policy of banning any bus and train ads that “appear to promote the use of firearms.”

San Francisco’s Metropolitan Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose says officials allowed the Second Amendment Foundation to put up the posters while officials reconsider the ban, enacted several years ago.

Mr. Rose says the issue came up after a recent Supreme Court decision limiting the regulation of firearms by state and local authorities.

GEORGIA

Feds: Hospital gunman threatened Obama

SAVANNAH | A former soldier accused of demanding mental treatment as he took hostages at gunpoint at a Georgia Army hospital later told investigators he planned to kill President Obama and former President Clinton, federal prosecutors said in court documents filed Tuesday.

Federal charges filed in U.S. District Court in Savannah identified the accused gunman as Robert Anthony Quinones, 29. The Army says he took three hospital workers hostage early Monday in a two-hour standoff at Winn Army Community Hospital at Fort Stewart. Army officials say the gunman surrendered, and no one was injured.

Federal prosecutors charged Mr. Quinones with kidnapping and assault with deadly weapons in connection with the hospital hostage standoff. He was also charged with making threats to kill Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton.

MASSACHUSETTS

Non-word ‘refudiate’ gets most Web searches

SPRINGFIELD | Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Summer” is not even a word. That’s something no one can “refudiate.”

Sarah Palin’s attempt to splice “refute” and “repudiate” on a news show and in a Twitter message in July sparked more searches on the publisher’s online dictionary during the summer than most real words did. But don’t expect all the interest in “refudiate” to lead to an actual dictionary entry.

The former Alaska governor has laughed off criticisms about her pseudo-word, noting that Shakespeare also coined new words.

‘Refute’ and ‘repudiate’ do have similar meanings. Refute means to prove something wrong or deny its truth or accuracy. Repudiate means to refuse any connection with something or reject it as untrue or unjust.

“I think people immediately knew what she was trying to say because the words ‘refute’ and ‘repudiate’ were also being looked up very, very frequently,” said John Morse, Merriam-Webster’s president and publisher. “It’s an interesting blend, but no, ‘refudiate’ is not a real word.”

NEW YORK

Lennon’s killer again denied parole

BUFFALO | John Lennon’s killer has again been denied parole, nearly 30 years after fatally shooting the ex-Beatle outside the singer’s New York City apartment building.

A parole board on Tuesday denied Mark David Chapman his freedom after an interview at Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York.

It was Chapman’s sixth appearance before the parole board since becoming eligible for release in 2000. He’s eligible again in 2012.

Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for shooting Lennon in December 1980.

OHIO

Runaway convert gains legal residency

COLUMBUS | An attorney for a Christian convert who ran away from her parents said the now-18-year-old woman has gained permanent U.S. residency after living in Ohio as an illegal immigrant.

A lawyer for Rifqa Bary said Tuesday the Sri Lanka native can now start applying for a driver’s license, Medicaid coverage and college scholarships.

Lawyer Kort Gatterdam said Miss Bary got her permanent residency card last week and can apply for citizenship in five years.

Miss Bary had sought the green card as she argued she could not reunite with her Muslim parents. She alleged they threatened her with harm for converting, and she fled Ohio to stay with a minister in Orlando, Fla.

Miss Bary also sought legal residency to achieve health coverage as she battles uterine cancer.

VIRGINIA

Historic Triangle seeks heritage site designation

WILLIAMSBURG | Colonial Williamsburg is seeking the designation of the Historic Triangle as a World Heritage Site.

The historic area says it is partnering with Preservation Virginia and working with the National Park Service to seek the designation. The Historic Triangle is made up of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown.

Colonial Williamsburg says there are 20 sites in the U.S. on the World Heritage Committee list, but none that relate specifically to the establishment of English society in America.

The move comes as Colonial Williamsburg and Preservation Virginia are partnering to enhance visitor experience through compelling stories of discovery, diversity and democracy. It also will work to give visitors a glimpse at archaeological discoveries found in the area.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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